By msbethg in Actresses, Fifi D'Orsay, Holidays, Thanksgiving Tags: actress, Broadway, Canadian, Canadian actress, Canadian actresses, Fifi D'Orsay, film, Follies, Follies Bèrgere, French persona, French-Canadian, grateful, Greenwich Village Follies, holiday, holidays, Mademoiselle Fifi, Marie-Rose Angelina Yvonne Lussier, movie, movie theater, movie theatre, musical, ou-la-la, ou-la-la girl, pseudo French, publicity, publicity still, showgirl, Solange LaFitte, Sondheim, stage, Stephen Sondheim, television, Thanksgiving, The French Bombshell, theater, theatre, TV, vaudeville
Things have been hectic at chez Spellbound. We’re moving! As I pack today, my husband’s been cooking our Thanksgiving dinner. While we hadn’t planned to move yet (our landlords are resuming occupancy of our apartment), something stressful has turned into a blessing. We’re relocating to a cool, new home–a loft on the second story of what used to be a movie theatre. We’re grateful for the family and friends who have been supportive through all parts of this process, and we can’t wait to settle into our new home.
I, also, can’t wait to take our turkey out of our oven like Fifi D’Orsay above. Marketed “The French Bombshell,” D’Orsay never set foot in France. She was born in Montréal, and her real name was Marie-Rose Angelina Yvonne Lussier. D’Orsay was clever. When auditioning for the Greenwich Village Follies, she sang her song in French to make herself stand out. She reinvented herself as an ex-Follies Bèrgere showgirl, and the Parisian persona stuck! Her career stretched from vaudeville to Hollywood movies to television to a final return to the stage, only on Broadway. She played Solange LaFitte, a former Follies star, in the Sondheim musical, FOLLIES. A perfect role to cap her career!
While I eat my meal tonight, I’ll take a moment to think of D’Orsay. I’m inspired by her ingenuity and drive, and those are traits I’ll call upon as Hubbs and I make a new home.
By msbethg in Actresses, Holidays, Lillian Roth, Thanksgiving, Thelma Todd Tags: actress, Bay Stater, holiday, holidays, Lillian Roth, Lillian Rutstein, Massachusettsan, Massachusite, Michelle Morgan, publicity, publicity still, publicity stills, still, stills, Thanksgiving, The Ice Cream Blonde, Thelma Todd
By msbethg in 1900s, Actresses, Directors, Easter, Era, Films, Genres, Holidays, Julienne Mathieu, Les oeufs de Pâques, Segundo de Chomón, Silent Film, Trick Films Tags: Abel Gance, actress, actresses, de Chomón, director, directors, Easter, French, Gance, Georges Méliès, holiday, holidays, holidays in movies, Julienne Mathieu, Les oeufs de Pâques, Méliès, novelty, novelty film, novelty films, Pathé, Pathé Frères, Segundo de Chomón, Spanish, surreal, surrealism, trick, trick film, trick films
As an Easter treat, here’s the delightfully magical silent short Les oeufs de Pâques. The film was written and directed by Segundo de Chomón for Pathé Frères. A contemporary of Georges Méliès, de Chomón was often compared to the other director due to their work in trick films, but the Spanish director would go on to work in other genres and for other directors, like Abel Gance. If you’ve seen other French silents from this era, then you might recognize this one’s lead actress Julienne Mathieu. She was de Chomón’s wife, and she started in films before he. She encouraged him to seek film work, so we have both to thank for the creation of this bit of whimsy in more than one way!
By msbethg in Actors, Actresses, Comedies, David Niven, Genres, Ginger Rogers, Holidays, New Year, New Year's Eve, Romantic, Screwball Tags: adopted, baby, bitchy, catty, Cinderella, classic film, classic movie, David Niven, film classics, foundling, Ginger Rogers, happy New Year, holidays, holidays in movies, mistaken identities, movie classics, New Year, New Year's, New Year's Eve, NYE, party, party scene, RKO, RKO Radio Pictures, romance, romantic comedy, romcom, screwball, screwball comedy, shop romance, zingers
Wishing you a wonderful New Year’s Eve and New Year! May both be filled with everyone and everything you love–like movies! As a special holiday treat for you, here is a scene from one of my favorite screwball comedies, Bachelor Mother (1939).
Its plot seems inspired by Clara Bow‘s It (1927). A salesgirl named Polly Parrish (Ginger Rogers) falls for a department store heir, David Merlin (David Niven), and he for her. There’s even a baby he mistakes as hers. All those elements are in the Bow vehicle, but where the infant temporarily complicates her film’s plot, he’s the focus of Rogers’s. Polly finds an abandoned baby on a stoop, and everyone mistakes her as the mother. She can’t give the baby up. No one will let her! No one will believe the baby isn’t hers. Due to her being his employee, David makes her his project. He’s going to make sure she’s a good mother. His task isn’t hard because she soon loves the baby.
In the clip, he’s giving Polly a Cinderella night out. Decked out in finery from his store, she’s his stand-in New Year’s Eve date after getting the dust off from his girlfriend. Since this is a screwball comedy, he overcomplicates Polly’s presence by saying she’s Swedish and doesn’t speak English! Despite this impediment, she charms most of his friends. The scene starts with their departure and ends with a well-deserved zinger.
By bethanngallagher in Available on DVD, Dance, Fred Astaire, Holiday Movies, Tap Tags: "Fred Astaire", 1942, 4th of July, American, Bing Crosby, celebrations, clips, Dance, dance movies, Fourth of July, Great American Songbook, holiday, Holiday Inn, holidays, Independence Day, jukebox, jukebox musicals, Mark Sandrich, movie, movie musicals, movies, musicals, Say It With Fireworks, song and dance, Tap, tap dance, tapping, United States, United States of America, US, USA
Somehow it’s a little too dry and a little too chilly for fireworks in the Bay Area, but I’m going to wish you a happy Fourth of July and say it with fireworks anyway. From the original jukebox (movie) musical, here is Fred Astaire tapping out his tribute to tomorrow’s holiday:
This is one of my favorite Astaire solos. A little movie magic tricks the eye and the ear, but the moves are all his. I love how happy he looks when done. He’s probably imagining how the finished scene will look, and it is a stand-out in a film full of production numbers.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!
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