The den is finished! I need to take some photos of its first draft ASAP, but while you're waiting, how about a 1930's MGM movie recommendation?
I was thinking about Jean Harlow the other day after Lauren Hairston (have you seen her fabulous blog The Past on a Plate? If not, RUN, do not walk, to that hyperlink. It's Fun with a capital F.) mentioned on something about Red Dust on Facebook and my little heart fluttered a bit at hearing it said. Now, know that invoking the name of that movie takes me back to an early college, 2003-ish moment in my life where I was sincerely considering being a film studies professor upon graduation, specializing in 1930's Warner Brothers and MGM productions. Oh! If I could honestly place myself in one discrete spot in American history, it would be 1930 on the MGM back lot, craning my neck to see if that was really Wallace Beery's dressing room or if I need my eyeglasses prescription updated. Bid time return!
Jean Harlow is one of my top, top, TOP favorites, and when I was treating myself to something nice on Amazon a couple months ago, I picked up a seven disc Harlow box set from Warner Archives (which, for some convoluted reason, also sells some MGM releases through its online site) and hadn't quite made it through all the titles. Reckless, produced in 1936, has the added drawing power of coupling Harlow with real-life love interest William Powell and Joan Crawford's at the time spouse Franchot Tone in the leading roles. Thank you, Lauren, for reminding me that I needed a little bias-cut evening gown day dreaming to get me through a dull Saturday afternoon...!! This was just the trick.
|With director Victor Fleming, who worked on EVERYTHING back then (source)|
It's not a perfect movie, but it really was a fun ride to check this out-- and it reminded me but good what I liked so much about Harlow in the first place. Yes, she has a figure like an art deco hood ornament, and a face underneath that halo of cotton candy hair that is as pretty and petulant as a child's-- and yet it's her squeaky, breathless, down to earth vitality that really sells her as a top notch movie star. There were far better actresses, sure, in that era, but in terms of sheer, onscreen like-ability, you can't beat Jean Harlow. It's such a shame she died so young for a lot of reason, but wouldn't we have loved to see what kind of character actress she would have made in her late forties'...cut short too soon.
Did you see any good old time movies lately? Do you have a classic Hollywood movie star you just really connect with and would watch in a cereal commercial, as long as they're in it? I feel like I need to make a priority to watch more things on my "to do" movie list, because doesn't my brain just light up like a pinball machine every time I actually settle down and watch one of these black and white gems from start to finish!
That's all for today...see you guys tomorrow!
PS: Did you know you can RENT a handful of Harlow movies on Amazon Instant, including Reckless? $3.99 a pop! That's WAY less than buying direct from the archives if you're just looking for something to watch of a Saturday night. Just a heads up!