The getTV Mickey Rooney Blogathon – The Unexpected Ascend to Manhood

 

Mickey Rooney and The Unexpected Ascend to Manhood

Mickey Rooney was a powerhouse of career longevity. From his earliest screen appearances as a baby during the silent era to his final performance in the still unreleased Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Rooney graced the big and little screen for nine decades. My introduction to Rooney, however, was at a very specific time in his illustrious career. The first, probably, five Rooney films I had seen all fell between the years of 1938 and 1941. From Love Finds Andy Hardy and Boys Town to Strike Up the Band and Babes on Broadway my initial image of Rooney was the jolly, energetic teen with nothing more on his mind than girls and dancing. He was the very image of a naïve, teenage boy just trying to have a little in his life. All of that changed, however, when I plopped on the couch to watch National Velvet.

national-velvet-posterMickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor star in National Velvet (1944, Clarence Brown director)

From the very first image of a now adult Rooney walking center frame down a dirt path in the countryside of England, I knew I was seeing a different Rooney. I wasn’t seeing the smiling face of a rambunctious teenager ready to get out there and face the world but rather, the back of a faceless wanderer already far too familiar with the world’s harsh realities. This is made all the more evident when we are ‘officially’ introduced to the character of Mi Taylor though the lens of a young Elizabeth Taylor. In their brief conversation we learn he’s alone, he’s cynical, he’s hungry, and he’s broke  – a far cry from the well-loved, well-fed, and well-off Mickey Rooney of yesteryear.  His newfound label of ‘adult’ is then succinctly solidified at the dinner table when the typically jovial favorite son of the Andy Hardy series is met with suspicion and ire from the Brown patriarch. As the viewer, we have a certain familiarity with Rooney. With already over 15 years experience on the big screen, at this point in his career Rooney was a something of a household symbol of boyhood. How could Mr. Brown be so distrusting of such an earnest young man?

Mickey_Rooney_still

Seriously, just look at that face!

Well, that’s the beauty of Rooney’s role – the father was right. Soon after the dinner is over and the Brown family has graciously offered Mi a place to rest his weary feet, we see him ‘stake out the place.’ We flat out catch him spying on where the family keeps their money stash and as we cut to the next scene with Rooney, we see him counting the money he stole from the very family that gave him a meal and some lodging for the night. Of course, when Mi finds out that his host family had extended their invitation from one night to as long as he wishes to work, guilt overcomes him and he quickly returns the money. But still, the very fact that Mi Taylor was more than willing to lie, cheat, and steal from a family that clearly only wished to help him was a major departure for the squeaky clean Rooney.

NATIONAL VELVETMickey Rooney coaching MGM new breed, Elizabeth Taylor.

The rest of the film continues to show this new, adult Rooney. As Mi Taylor, we see Rooney evolve from student to mentor, teaching new kid on the block Liz Taylor (playing the film’s lead, Velvet Brown) the preverbal ropes of the steeplechase. He is, for the most part, patient and understanding, while still remaining willing to listen and willing to grow. So, for me, National Velvet serves as a very important film for Rooney in two ways. The first is as a Rooney coming of age story – his own ascension into adulthood right in front of the public eye. And the second, well, is simply to pass the torch to the new generation of MGM children superstars – starting with Liz Taylor.

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A big Thank You to Once Upon a Screen and getTV  for hosting this fun Mickey Rooney Blogathon event! There are so many more wonderful Classic Bloggers participating in this event so please be sure to check out the other entries.

–Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub

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“Cosby: His Life and Times” Book Giveaway Twitter Contest (Week of September 22)

“Cosby: His Life and Times” Book Giveaway — Qualifying Entry Task for this week’s  Twitter Contest

In order to qualify for this week’s Bill Cosby Book Giveaway on Twitter, you must complete the following task by Friday, September 26 at 5PM EST (i.e. any time between now and September 26 at 5PM EST):

Cosby: His Life and Times

“Whenever I think of why my life as a comedian happened, the first name I think of is Bill Cosby.” -Jerry Seinfeld

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ENTRY TASK (2-parts):

1) Answer the below question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog post 

2) Then TWEET (not DM) the following message:
Just entered to win “Cosby: His Life and Times” courtesy of @ClassicMovieHub & @SimonBooks
BY Friday, September 26, 5PM EST

THE QUESTION:
Who is your favorite Cosby co-star (television or film) and why?

*Here’s my twitter handle @classicmoviehub

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

For more information about Cosby: His Life and Times, you can follow Mark on twitter at @MarkTWhitaker or on his Facebook Page, MarkWhitakerAuthor.

Contest Information and Rules.

And if you can’t wait to win the book, you can buy it right now on amazon (click here)

Good Luck!

–Annmarie Gatti from Classic Movie Hub

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

Legend Tribute: Chuck Jones

Born September 21, 1912 Animator and Director Chuck Jones! 

“Animation isn’t the illusion of life; it is life!” -Chuck Jones

I cannot really put into words how I feel about Chuck Jones and his artistry…  All I know is that when I saw some of his sketches at the Smithsonian Museum of American History a few years ago, I stood mesmerized, absolutely transfixed, gazing at the drawings with a huge smile on my face… those wonderful images from my childhood, those wonderful images that, to this day, make me laugh out loud, those wonderful images that are more than ‘just’ images — they’re ‘friends’ — friends that I have known and loved for as long as I can remember!

Chuck Jones sketch from Smithsonian Institute Museum of American History“I will do it with my spear and magic helmet!”
(picture from The Smithsonian Museum of American History)

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Of course I could never really list all of the accomplishments and successes of Jones — or even list all of the characters that he’s either directed or created — so I will just do my best to present some of my favorite highlights here…

Chuck Jones 1996 Honorary Oscar

In the course of his 60+ year film career, Chuck Jones directed over 300 animated films.  He won a competitive Oscar in 1966 for “The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics” (Best Short Subject, Cartoons) and, in 1996, received an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Oscar (pictured above) for ‘the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters whose animated lives have brought joy to our real ones for more than a half century’.

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Chuck Jones, three films inducted into National Film Registry: Duck Amuck, What's Opera Doc, One Froggy Evening

Three of Chuck Jones’ cartoon shorts (“Duck Amuck,” “One Froggy Evening” and “What’s Opera Doc?”) were inducted into the National Film Registry.

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And, yes, Chuck Jones ‘directed’ some of the biggest ‘stars’ on the Warner Brothers lot! :)

Producer-director-artist Chuck Jones sits at the drawing table in his southern California home, 1999

Jones ‘directed’ and helped in the development of some of the most beloved Warner Brothers characters including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig…

Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd and Bugs BunnyDaffy and Porky, and Elmer and Bugs…

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And that’s not all folks (sorry, couldn’t resist)…

Chuck Jones and his creations, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Pepe le Pew, Gossamer, Marc Antony and Kitty, Marvin Martian, Michigan J. Frog

Chuck Jones also created his share of Warner Brothers characters — including Wile E. Coyote, the Road Runner, Pepe le Pew, Gossamer, Marc Antony and Kitty, Marvin Martian, Michigan J. Frog (all shown below) — plus Henery Hawk, Sam Sheepdog, Witch Hazel and a multitude of other lovable characters.

And…

Chuck Jones sketch for The Grinch

Chuck Jones produced, directed & wrote the screenplay for the 1966 television cartoon classic “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

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That's All Folks!

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–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

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Mini Tribute: Porter Hall

Born September 19, 1888 Character Actor Porter Hall!

Character actor Porter Hall appeared in over 75 film and television episodes over the course of his 20+ year film career, playing his share of villains and pompous men…including the nervous, ill-tempered store psychologist who gave the psych test to poor Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street

character actor Porter Hall in Miracle on 34th Street
“After giving this man a comprehensive examination, it’s my opinion he should be dismissed immediately… I don’t think there’s any doubt about it. He should be placed in a mental institution.”
-Porter Hall as Granville Sawyer in Miracle on 34th Street

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–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

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“Cosby: His Life and Times” Book Giveaway Twitter Contest (Week of September 15)

“Cosby: His Life and Times” Book Giveaway — Qualifying Entry Task for this week’s  Twitter Contest

In order to qualify for this week’s Bill Cosby Book Giveaway on Twitter, you must complete the following task by Friday, September 19 at 5PM EST (i.e. any time between now and September 19 at 5PM EST):

Cosby: His Life and Times

“Cosby always makes things look so easy. This compelling book tells us it wasn’t always so. A revealing, honest look at my favorite comedian” -Billy Crystal

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ENTRY TASK (2-parts):

1) Answer the below question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog post 

2) Then TWEET (not DM) the following message:
Just entered to win “Cosby: His Life and Times” courtesy of @ClassicMovieHub & @SimonBooks
BY Friday, September 19, 5PM EST

THE QUESTION:
What is your favorite Cosby comedy routine (i.e. something from his comedy albums or stand-up shows, or something that he did on one of his TV shows)?

*Here’s my twitter handle @classicmoviehub

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

For more information about Cosby: His Life and Times, you can follow Mark on twitter at @MarkTWhitaker or on his Facebook Page, MarkWhitakerAuthor.

Contest Information and Rules.

And if you can’t wait to win the book, you can buy it right now on amazon (click here)

Good Luck!

–Annmarie Gatti from Classic Movie Hub

Posted in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Mini Tribute: Hal B. Wallis at Work

Born September 14, 1898 (or 1899?) Producer Hal B. Wallis

One of Hollywood’s most respected and honored producers, Hal B. Wallis started his entertainment career as a theater manager for a Warners-owned theater in LA. In 1923, after catching the eye of  Jack L. Warner, he was hired to work in the publicity department at Warner Brothers Studio. By 1928, he was Studio Manager, and shortly thereafter, Production Manager (before Darryl F. Zanuck, and again after Zanuck).  In 1944, he left Warner Brothers (after a clash with Jack Warner) to work as an independent producer, again enjoying both commercial and critical success.

Hal B. Wallis producer

Over the course of his 44-year production career, Wallis worked on over 375 films. There are, of course, too many to mention here, so to name just a few: Casablanca, Dark Victory, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Now Voyager, The Maltese Falcon, Sgt. York, True Grit, The Rose Tattoo, Come Back Little Sheba, Saratoga Trunk, and a number Elvis and Lewis & Martin films…

So, let’s celebrate the artistry and craft of Hal B. Wallis by looking at a few behind-the-scenes photos…

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Phyllis Kirk, Jerry Lewis and Hal B. Wallis on the set of The Sad SackHal B. Wallis (right) with Phyllis Kirk and Jerry Lewis on the set of The Sad Sack (1957, director George Marshall)

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Hal B. Wallis and Elvis Presley during the filming of Paradise Hawaiian StyleHal B. Wallis (left) and Elvis Presley during the filming of Paradise Hawaiian Style (1966, director Michael D. Moore) 

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Katharine Hepburn and producer Hal B. Wallis during filming of Rooster CogburnHal B. Wallis with Katherine Hepburn during the filming of Wallis’ final film, Rooster Cogburn (1975, director Stuart Millar) 

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–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

 

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“Cosby: His Life and Times” Book Giveaway Twitter Contest (Week of September 8)

“Cosby: His Life and Times” Book Giveaway — Qualifying Entry Task for this week’s  Twitter Contest

In order to qualify for this week’s Bill Cosby Book Giveaway on Twitter, you must complete the following task by Friday, September 12 at 5PM EST (i.e. any time between now and September 12 at 5PM EST):

Cosby: His Life and Times

“Bill Cosby has contributed more to comedy, television, education, and humanitarian causes than any person I know. Actually any hundred people I know. And he’s still funny. It’s really not fair.” -David Letterman

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ENTRY TASK (2-parts):

1) Answer the below question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog post 

2) Then TWEET (not DM) the following message:
Just entered to win “Cosby: His Life and Times” courtesy of @ClassicMovieHub & @SimonBooks
BY Friday, September 12, 5PM EST

THE QUESTION:
Who is your favorite Bill Cosby television character?

*Here’s my twitter handle @classicmoviehub

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

For more information about Cosby: His Life and Times, you can follow Mark on twitter at @MarkTWhitaker or on his Facebook Page, MarkWhitakerAuthor.

Contest Information and Rules.

And if you can’t wait to win the book, you can buy it right now on amazon (click here)

Good Luck!

–Annmarie Gatti from Classic Movie Hub

Posted in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti | Tagged , | 4 Comments

“Cosby: His Life and Times” Book Giveaway Facebook Contest (September 6-14)

“Cosby: His Life and Times” Book Giveaway — Qualifying Entry Task for this week’s  Facebook Contest

I am happy to say that CMH will be giving away two copies of  Cosby: His Life and Times this month via a Facebook contest, courtesy of Simon and Schuster and author Mark T. Whitaker!  I’m also happy to say that our Canadian friends are also eligible to enter this time!

That said, this week, we’ll be giving away our first copy…

All you need to do to be eligible to win is complete the entry task below by Sunday, September 14 at 5PM EST. A winner will then be selected at random and announced on Facebook and this blog post the following day.

Cosby: His Life and Times

“In his masterly telling of a great storyteller’s story, Mark Whitaker reminds us why we all love Bill Cosby” -Mary Tyler Moore

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ENTRY TASK:
Answer the below question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog post.  

THE QUESTION:
What do you love most about Bill Cosby?

For more information about Cosby: His Life and Times, you can follow Mark on twitter at @MarkTWhitaker or on his Facebook Page, MarkWhitakerAuthor.

Contest Information and Rules.

And if you can’t wait to win the book, you can buy it right now on amazon (click here)

Good Luck!

–Annmarie Gatti from Classic Movie Hub

 

Posted in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Regina Lampert: Classic Movie Characters with Kickass Confidence

Regina Lampert, portrayed by Audrey Hepburn in Charade

Adam Canfield: “Oh, you should see your face.”

Regina Lampert: “What’s the matter with it?”

Adam Canfield: “It’s lovely.”

“Lovely” goes right to the heart of this character in this wonderful comedy / mystery / romance. It’s Audrey Hepburn, after all.

And, in Regina Lampert, Ms. Hepburn gives us one character with kickass confidence who is witty, poised, charming, and well…lovely, even in the face of murder and intrigue.

Audrey Hepburn in CharadeAudrey Hepburn as Regina Lampert in Charade (1963 director Stanley Donen)

Here is a woman who is chased by everyone—the villains, the police, the government–and can still hold her own and keep a sense of humor as she dashes about Paris in kitten heels and Givenchy. Classy and wry, our heroine sidesteps danger while in hot pursuit of becoming the next Mrs. Canfield, or Mrs. Joshua, or Mrs. Crookshank.

Charade is one of my all-time favorite movies, and Regina Lampert one of my most-admired characters.  I can see that lovely face right now and hear: “Oh, I love you, Adam, Alex, Peter, Brian, whatever your name is, I love you! I hope we have a lot of boys and we can name them all after you!”

You go, girl!

–Michelle Kerrigan for Classic Movie Hub

 

Michelle Kerrigan is an expert in workplace performance who helps clients achieve success by developing the skills they need to increase their confidence. She shares “Classic Movie Characters with Kickass Confidence” because each of them has inspired her. She hopes that they inspire you too. For more about Michelle, follow @MKerriganInc or visit www.workplaceconfidence.com.

 

Posted in Characters with Kickass Confidence, Posts by Michelle Kerrigan | Tagged , | 1 Comment

“Cosby: His Life and Times” Book Giveaway Twitter Contest (Week of September 1)

“Cosby: His Life and Times” Book Giveaway — Qualifying Entry Task for this week’s  Twitter Contest

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

Cosby: His Life and Times

“In his masterly telling of a great storyteller’s story, Mark Whitaker reminds us why we all love Bill Cosby” -Mary Tyler Moore

…..

ENTRY TASK (2-parts):

1) Answer the below question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog post 

2) Then TWEET (not DM) the following message:
Just entered to win “Cosby: His Life and Times” courtesy of @ClassicMovieHub & @SimonBooks
BY Friday, September 5, 5PM EST

THE QUESTION:
What do you love most about Bill Cosby?

*Here’s my twitter handle @classicmoviehub

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

For more information about Cosby: His Life and Times, you can follow Mark on twitter at @MarkTWhitaker or on his Facebook Page, MarkWhitakerAuthor.

Contest Information and Rules.

And if you can’t wait to win the book, you can buy it right now on amazon (click here)

Good Luck!

–Annmarie Gatti from Classic Movie Hub

Posted in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti, TV Roles | 21 Comments