John Wayne: The Life and the Legend Qualifying Entry Task (for Twitter Contest, Wk of Apr 14)

John Wayne: The Life and the Legend — Qualifying Entry Task for this week’s  Twitter Contest

In order to qualify for this week’s John Wayne Book Giveaway on Twitter, you must complete the following task by Friday, April 18 at 5PM EST (i.e. any time between now and April 18 at 5PM EST):

John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman

1) TWEET (not DM) the answer to this question:
“I simply owe to him every mouthful I eat, every dollar I’ve got, and practically every bit of happiness I know, that’s all.” –a fitting tribute from Wayne about a Director’s profound influence on his life.  Who was the Director?   If you need help finding the answer, click here.

TO @classicmoviehub
WITH the two hashtags #JohnWayne #QualifyingTask
BY Friday, April 18,  5PM EST

NEXT STEP: Once you have successfully completed the above Qualifying Entry Task, you will be eligible to win a copy of the book. Your next step will be to wait for my Trivia Question Tweet* which will be sent on Friday evening, April 18, at exactly 10PM EST —and correctly tweet the answer to the Trivia Question.  The FIRST PERSON to correctly Tweet the Answer to that Trivia Question wins the book (assuming they’re already eligible because they’ve successfully completed the above-referenced Qualifying Entry Task).

In other words, the first person who successfully completes this Qualifying Entry Task AND correctly answers the Friday night 10PM EST Trivia Question wins the book.

*Here’s my twitter handle @classicmoviehub

If you have any questions, please feel free to DM me on Twitter @classicmoviehub.

Contest Information and Rules.

And if you don’t want to wait to win a copy of the book, you can purchase it at amazon:

Good Luck!

–Annmarie Gatti from Classic Movie Hub

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

John Wayne: The Life and the Legend — Enter-to-Win (Facebook Giveaway, week of April 14)

I am very happy to say that CMH will be giving away another copy of  John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman, courtesy of Simon & Schuster! 

And, the good news is that it’s sooooooooo easy to enter!  (no crazy twitter trivia race this time)…  All you have to do to enter is answer the following question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog post: What is your most favorite John Wayne movie and why?

Simple as that. You have until Sunday, April 20th, 5PM EST to submit your answer.  A winner will be picked at random and announced on Tuesday, April 22nd.

Please note that you must live in the Continental US to be eligible.

See complete rules here.

And if you don’t win this week, stay tuned, because CMH will be giving away one more copy later this month…

John Wayne

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Please take some time to read our Exclusive Interview with Scott Eyman here.

And if you can’t wait to win the book, you can buy it right now on amazon:


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–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

Posted in Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

John Wayne: The Life and the Legend — Enter-to-Win Trivia Question (for Twitter, Monday April 14)

Time for today’s Trivia Question (red font below) that will determine this week’s winner of John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman, courtesy of Simon & Schuster!  (remember, in order to win, you must have already pre-qualified via the Qualifying Entry Task posted earlier this week)

THE QUESTION:

In John Wayne: The Life and Legend, we learn about Wayne’s tough childhood, his school years and his ultimate transition into the actor ‘John Wayne’.  Fill-in-the-blank:
John Wayne’s birth name was  _____________  Robert Morrison. (TWEET your answer to @classicmoviehub)   [if you need a hint scroll below]

The FIRST person (who already completed this week’s Qualifying Entry Task) to correctly TWEET the answer to the above question — wins! :) 

If you need help with the answer, please click here. 

John Wayne

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Or read about it via our Exclusive Interview with Scott Eyman here.

And if you can’t wait to win the book, you can buy it right now on amazon:


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–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

 

Posted in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti, Trivia Questions | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Diamonds and Gold Blogathon: Bette Davis and The Baby Jane Paradox

 

The Diamonds and Gold Blogathon: Bette Davis and The Baby Jane Paradox

The world can be a scary place for an aging actress. With Hollywood’s well documented misogynistic tendencies, veteran actress, no matter how tremendous their talents maybe, are often cast aside in favor of a youthful, fresh face. Actresses that once graced the top of the marquee are soon regulated to mothers and grandmothers before they reach the age of 35 while their male counterparts are allowed to romance a new generation of actress well into their 50’s . And those are the lucky ones because for others, their age is simply the end of their careers. One actress, however, took another route, the “work with what you’ve got” route and in the process gave one of the best on-screen performances of her career. The actress I am talking about is, of course, Bette Davis for her performance in the delightfully campy but all around disturbing Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.

Baby Jane 1Bette Davis and Joan Crawford star in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962, Robert Aldrich director)

The film came to Davis at a low-point in her acting tenure. Despite her massive success with All About Eve at the start of the 1950’s, the rest of decade did not follow that example. After a series of bad films, mediocre stage plays, and another failed marriage, Davis knew she needed something to breathe life into her dying career and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane was just that.  For those of you who may not know, the film centers around the morbid and abusive relationship between the mental unstable former child star, Baby Jane Hudson, to her wheel-bound former matinee idol sister, Blanche. Understanding that the role of Baby Jane Hudson could be the revival force her career so desperately needed, Davis did the only thing she knew how to do – she unabashedly threw herself into the role.

Stuck in the past of her former childhood glory, Baby Jane is something of a Norma Desmond on experimental steroids. She is all at once the cruel and deranged tormentor to her crippled sister, yet at the same time so child-like her glee from doing so. She is a desperately unstable drunk, and yet clearly victim of a past that drove her to that point. In short, she is both comedy and tragedy wrapped in a crazed gothic-horror package.  The most impressive part of Davis performance, in my opinion, was her ability to convey this duality of character in such a believable manner. Take, for instance, the infamous scene where Jane sings “I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy.” From her grotesquely make-up to her baby doll dress to her awkward dance, everything about her appearance and movement screams deranged instability. Her external self is nothing but shield made from her personal delusions. However, it is in that very delusion that Baby Jane gains her child-like sincerity.

Baby JAne 2Can’t tell if more child-like or creepy…

Another great element of Davis’s performance is her ability to convey Baby Jane’s longing for the past; longing so great that it that she allows it to shallow her whole. Yes, that is displayed by her appearance but Davis takes that delusion further with her ever expressive face.  The sincerity of Davis’s performance comes after the audience is able to look past her baroque costuming and make-up. When looking at just her face, just her emotions, there is nothing false. She is expressing the joy, awe and validation that she could only receive when performance before a loving, devoted audience because in her view at that moment, she is performing to a loving audience. Even if the reality is only her own, she is completely true in it. In that moment, she is Baby Jane; that spoiled vaudevillian star who just wants to make her father proud. She is completely lost in the moment, lost in her performance, and lost in her delusions. She is lost in her own sincerity, even if the moment itself is not sincere and that is the power of Davis’s performance.

baby jabne 3Baby Jane and Big Jane

Although the film is often relegated to the notion of a fun piece of campy filmmaking, Davis did, indeed, work with that she was given. What could have been a campy, over the top performance devoid of any emotion was turned into a campy, over the top performance justified by the extremely paradoxical emotions portrayed by Davis.  The result: one of the most memorable and purposely uncomfortable film performances of all time. This is surly Davis “working with what you’ve got” at it’s very best.

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Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub

Posted in Blogathons, Posts by Minoo Allen | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

John Wayne: The Life and the Legend Qualifying Entry Task (for Twitter Contest, Wk of Apr 7)

John Wayne: The Life and the Legend — Qualifying Entry Task for this week’s  Twitter Contest

In order to qualify for this week’s John Wayne Book Giveaway on Twitter, you must complete the following task by Sunday, April 13 at 5PM EST (i.e. any time between now and April 13 at 5PM EST):

John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman

1) TWEET (not DM) the answer to this question:
What was John Wayne’s nickname?
If you need help finding the answer, click here.

TO @classicmoviehub
WITH the two hashtags #JohnWayne #QualifyingTask
BY Sunday, April 13,  5PM EST

NEXT STEP: Once you have successfully completed the above Qualifying Entry Task, you will be eligible to win a copy of the book. Your next step will be to wait for my Trivia Question Tweet* which will be sent on Monday evening, April 14, at exactly 10PM EST — and correctly tweet the answer to the Trivia Question.  The FIRST PERSON to correctly Tweet the Answer to that Trivia Question wins the book (assuming they’re already eligible because they’ve successfully completed the above-referenced Qualifying Entry Task).

In other words, the first person who successfully completes this Qualifying Entry Task AND correctly answers the Monday night 10PM EST Trivia Question wins the book.

*Here’s my twitter handle @classicmoviehub

If you have any questions, please feel free to DM me on Twitter @classicmoviehub.

Contest Information and Rules.

And if you don’t want to wait to win a copy of the book, you can purchase it at amazon:

Good Luck!

–Annmarie Gatti from Classic Movie Hub

Posted in Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti, Trivia Questions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

John Wayne: The Life and the Legend — Enter-to-Win Trivia Question (for Twitter, Friday April 4)

 

Okay, this is it!  Let the games begin! Time for today’s Trivia Question (red font below) that will determine this week’s winner of John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman, courtesy of Simon & Schuster!  (remember, in order to win, you must have already pre-qualified via the Qualifying Entry Task posted earlier this week)

THE QUESTION:

In John Wayne: The Life and Legend, we learn about Wayne’s tough childhood and how that laid the foundation for his relentless drive and ultimate success.  Fill-in-the-blank:
John Wayne was born in the city of Winterset in the state of _____________. (TWEET your answer to @classicmoviehub)   [if you need a hint scroll below]

The FIRST person (who already completed this week’s Qualifying Entry Task) to correctly TWEET the answer to the above question — wins! :) 

If you need help with the answer, please click here. 

John Wayne Birthplace, Winterset Iowa

 John Wayne’s Birthplace and Museum houses an impressive collection of John Wayne memorabilia

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Or read about it via our Exclusive Interview with Scott Eyman here.

And if you can’t wait to win the book, you can buy it right now on amazon:


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–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

 

 

Posted in Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti, Travel Sites, Trivia Questions | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Turner Classic Movie – Twenty Years of Classic Movies!

 

Turner Classic Movie – Happy 20th!  

I would like to wish a happy 20th birthday to one of my dear friends: Turner Classic Movies. OK, so perhaps the term “friend” is a bit intimate for a non-living entity, especially an entity such as a television station. But Turner Classic Movies has functioned as something more than just a television station in my life – it was my very first film class with Robert Osborne acting as my professor.

first

The Classiest 20-year old I ever met.

You see, from my early teens I knew I wanted to do something creative with my life. And by 9th grade I decided that this creative outlet was going to be film. Like most people, I loved movies since childhood. They acted as entertainment, as escape, and as education all in one. How could I not want to go into such a diverse medium? It was also around this time that my love for classic films began growing from just a mere interest to a deep adoration. I wanted to know everything and more about the history, structure, and culture that revolved around classic movies. And what better place to learn this from than a station called Turner Classic Movies? So, I began tuning into the station fairly frequently to sate this craving. However, my cravings grew on, and before I knew it, I was watching almost two films a day. To put it simply, I was passionately and manically obsessed. From the stars, to the directors, to the studio system that built them — I needed to know every detail, myth, and stigma that surrounded the world of classic film. With a high school that offered no film classes and a town that didn’t necessarily prioritize culture, I had nowhere to look but to TCM.

Night after night I would sit in awe at those magnificent creatures on the screen, acting in a world so glamorous, so different, and so much more beautiful than my own. Most of the time I wasn’t even sure what was airing; I just sat there and watched the TV. And yet, I was always informed because with every movie I watched, I got an introduction from Robert Osborne. Without fail, if I was watching TCM primetime, he would always tell me the director, the year, and a fun little anecdote, fact or theory surrounding the film. Along with an education in classic films, Turner Classic Movies also introduced to me movies outside of the Hollywood system. Every Sunday night at 2AM I would park myself in front of the TV to watch TCM Imports. Although I was basically a zombie at school the next day, it didn’t matter. From Bergman to Ozu, from Fellini to Tarkovsky, I was able to learn about directors and films that I would not have had access to otherwise — and that was worth losing all of the sleep in the world.

CriesAndWhispers2The first film I can remember watching on TCM Imports: Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers.

Without TCM, I probably never would have learned about great Hollywood directors such as Billy Wilder, George Cukor, or William Wyler. Without TCM I never would have seen The 400 Blows, Red Dessert, or Rashomon. Sure, the movies were out on DVD and available for the world to see, but it was TCM that introduced them to me. The way I see it, Turner Classic Movies was my Introduction to Cinema Studies class and Robert Osborne was my trusted Professor long before I ever went to Film School. So, Happy 20th Birthday TCM because without you, I probably never would have gone to film school. And if you have any TCM-related stories, antidotes, or birthday wishes, please feel free to share them with me in the comments section. I would love to hear how TCM influenced your life as a classic movie fan.

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Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub

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The Selig Polyscope Company and the Birth of Film in the Windy City: The Chicago Silent Era (Part 2)

The Selig Polyscope Company and the Birth of Film in the Windy City

selig portrait“Colonel” William Selig

By the time William N. Selig died in 1948, he had produced thousands of films via the Selig Polyscope Company, discovered a number of silent film stars, and had been recognized as a true pioneer in the film industry. Yet, his name isn’t nearly as widely known as it should be. So, who was this man, and what was the company that he created?

selig production

This, he created this.

The Selig Polyscope Company was founded in 1896. Although Selig (known as Colonel Selig despite having no military experience) is credited with erecting the first permanent studio in southern California, he actually got his start in his native Chicago. After spending time in California with a traveling minstrel show, Selig returned to the Windy City with a wealth of theater management experience and an interest in the Kinetoscope. Using drawings of the Lumiere Cinematographie, Selig, along with his machinist, mastered the art of building their own cameras, resulting in the Selig Standard Camera.

selig studio 1910

Selig Studio

Initially setting up shop on 20 Peck Court, Selig began experimenting with slapstick films that rarely exceed 50 feet in length. He began dabbling in industrial films, and with industrial film came his first big contract.

He began dabbling in industrial films, and with industrial film came his first big contract. In 1901, Armour & Co. was reeling from Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.” The novel had focused on the lives of immigrants in Chicago and other industrialized cities in the U.S., and, in the process, had brought to light the health violations and unsanitary conditions taking place in the meatpacking industry. Armour was eager to have their meat processing plant shown in a good light and contracted Selig to do just that. The end result was, as Moving Picture World described it, the greatest advertisement the company ever had. By 1904, Selig began experimenting with other genres and made his first “real” film — “Humpty Dumpty.”

The more he experimented with genres, the greater success he saw. He moved his plant to Irving Park Blvd. and Western Ave. and established the Edendale plant in LA. The studio specialized in westerns, dramas and comedies, but soon became best known for its animal pictures. Selig was also a film genre pioneer; he produced newsreels in association with William Randolph Hearst, created the first film serial (“The Adventures of Kathlyn”), and even produced the first two- and three-reel films in the US. He also, perhaps more-so than any other early producer, saw the potential in producing film adaptations of popular novels, stories and plays. He was even one of the first to produce versions of “The Two Orphans,” “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and “The Crisis.”

kathlyn ad

Despite a long period of success, and discovering and nurturing stars like Kathlyn Williams, Myrtle Stedman, Colleen Moore and Tom Mix, Selig’s reign was brought to an end in the mid-1910s. The Chicago branch of the studio closed in 1915 and Selig himself went into independent production until eventually closing up shop.

The Great Depression caused Selig to lose his assets. Fortunately, the story and novel rights he had acquired during the heyday of the studio saved him. In his later years, he became a literary agent, re-selling the story rights to films he had made during the 1910s.

Though he retired from the film industry, Colonel Selig’s contributions were recognized by Hollywood shortly before his death. Like fellow Chicago pioneers G.M. Anderson and George K. Spoor, was honored for his contributions to the film industry in 1948 with a special Academy Award.

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Janelle Vreeland for Classic Movie Hub

Posted in Guest Posts, Posts by Janelle Vreeland, Silent Films | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Wayne: The Life and the Legend Qualifying Entry Task (for Twitter Contest, Wk of Mar 31)

John Wayne: The Life and the Legend — Qualifying Entry Task for this week’s  Twitter Contest

In order to qualify for this week’s John Wayne Book Giveaway on Twitter, you must complete the following task by Friday, April 4 at 5PM EST (i.e. any time between now and April 4 at 5PM EST):

John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman

1) CREATE your own list of “Favorite John Wayne Films” (pre-1970**) via Classic Movie Hub’s ‘Create a List Tool” (click here)

2) TWEET (not DM) the Link to your “Favorite John Wayne Films” List:
TO @classicmoviehub
WITH the two hashtags #JohnWayne #QualifyingTask
BY Friday, April 4,  5PM EST

NEXT STEP: Once you have successfully completed the above Qualifying Entry Task, you will be eligible to win a copy of the book. Your next step will be to wait for my Trivia Question Tweet* which will be sent on Friday evening, April 4, at exactly 10PM EST — and correctly tweet the answer to the Trivia Question.  The FIRST PERSON to correctly Tweet the Answer to that Trivia Question wins the book (assuming they’re already eligible because they’ve successfully completed the above-referenced Qualifying Entry Task).

In other words, the first person who successfully completes this Qualifying Entry Task AND correctly answers the Friday night 10PM EST Trivia Question wins the book.

*Here’s my twitter handle @classicmoviehub

**If the CMH database is missing any of your Essentials, pre-1970, please let me know and I will be happy to add it to the database

If you have any questions, please feel free to DM me on Twitter @classicmoviehub.

Contest Information and Rules.

And if you don’t want to wait to win a copy of the book, you can purchase it at amazon:

Good Luck!

–Annmarie Gatti from Classic Movie Hub

Posted in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

John Wayne: The Life and the Legend — Book Giveaway Starts Tomorrow!

JOHN WAYNE: THE LIFE AND LEGEND
Book Giveaway starts tomorrow!

During the month of April, Classic Movie Hub will be giving away copies of the latest biography from acclaimed author Scott Eyman – John Wayne: The Life and Legend, courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

We have a total of SIX BOOKS to give away — four books via Twitter and two books via Facebook and this blog.  Click here to find out how you can enter and win!

John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman

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In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the book, here’s a quick promotional video for your viewing pleasure :)

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Please note that only CONTINENTAL United States (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and the territory of Puerto Rico) are eligible.

And — BlogHub members ARE eligible to win if they live within the Continental United States (as noted above).

See our exclusive interview with author, Scott Eyman here.

And if you can’t wait to win the book, you can buy it right now on amazon:

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–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

Posted in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti, Video Clips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment