People Profiles


Marlene Dietrich’s Re-Education of American Female Sensuality

This post was originally written for my MA Film and Literature course “Cold War Culture: Literature, Film, Theory in Cold War Europe” at the University of York (lecturer Dr. Erica Sheen).  The most poignant line Marlene Dietrich has in A Foreign Affair is when she asks her American army officer lover, […]


God and the Angel: Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh

This post is written in conjunction with the Star-Studded Couple Blogathon hosted by Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. “If we loved each other only with our bodies I suppose it would be alright. I love you with much more than that. I love you with, oh everything somehow, with a special […]


Greta Garbo Faces Hypocrisy in a Man’s World in ANNA KARENINA (1935)

This post is written in conjunction with the Russia in Classic Film Blogathon, hosted by Movies, Silently and sponsored by Flicker Alley. Like DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965), ANNA KARENINA gives a cinematic snapshot of the opulent life of Imperial Russia. Although the earlier film is unable to employ the scenery of Russia’s vast landscape […]


Miriam Hopkins: a Georgia Peach in Hollywood

Miriam Hopkins is just the sort of intellectual east coast actress I find most interesting. She was born in Savannah and raised in Bainbridge, Georgia where her mother’s twin brother was mayor. After her parents divorced, she moved with her mother to Vermont, where she attended the prestigious Goddard Seminary, […]


Contrary to Popular Opinion, Doris Day Bugs Me

Doris Day was a hugely popular film songstress of the 1950s and 60s. She was a relatively talented actress, in addition to being fairly good looking and having a nice voice. The bright technicolor musical comedies in which she starred, with all the pretty costumes and perky dance numbers they usual […]


Cantinflas: Mexico’s Answer to Charlie Chaplin

The Mexican actor Cantinflas has been compared to two very different American comedians – Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx. Like Chaplin’s tramp, Cantinflas represents the Mexican Everyman with his pelado character. Like Groucho Marx, he spurns authority figures and uses wit and wisecracks to get himself in and out of […]


Mickey Rooney at Disney: “There’s Always Magic at the Movies”

“I think the family pictures are what people really want to see – and musicals, of course.” Mickey Rooney’s boyishly ebullient spirit could have been custom made for a lifelong Disney career. His outlook about what movies could do for the public runs parallel to Walt Disney’s vision for his young […]


Mata Hari: Exotic Dancer, Courtesan, Spy

Name at birth: Margaretha Geertruida Zelle Date of Birth: 7 August 1876 Place of birth: Leeuwarden, Netherlands Spouse: Cpt. Rudolph John McLeod (m. 1895 – 1907) Children: Norman-John MacLeod (30 January 1897 – 27 June 1899)                      Louise Jeanne MacLeod (2 May 1898 – 10 August […]


A Bible and a Gun: ROOSTER COGBURN (and the Lady) (1975)

This post is part of the Build-Your-Own-Blogathon hosted by the Classic Film and TV Cafe. It follows Jennifer Garlen‘s post about BEND OF THE RIVER (1952), which is another Western that takes place in the American Northwest. For The Great Katharine Hepburn Blogathon earlier this year, Jennifer wrote a great post about […]


Oscar-Winning Director George Cukor (as in “cucumber”)

George Cukor was nominated for five Academy Awards for Best Director, ultimately winning in 1965 for MY FAIR LADY (1964). His first nominations were for two of the 10 films he made with Katharine Hepburn, LITTLE WOMEN (1933) and THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940). Although Cukor was known primarily as a […]


Mae West: The Original Blonde Bombshell

This post is written in conjunction with Classic Chops – Blonde Bombshells, hosted by The LAMB. Mae West made some of the raciest films of the studio era, single-handedly necessitating the instigation of censorship in the motion picture industry. This voluptuous blonde almost exclusively played over-sexed madams on screen, but […]


REMODELING HER HUSBAND (1920): A lost Gish sisters treasure

This post is written in conjunction with the Gish Sisters Blogathon hosted by The Motion Pictures and Movies, Silently. For my previous post about Dorothy and Lillian Gish, see Conservatism in Revolution: The Gish sisters in D. W. Griffith’s ORPHANS OF THE STORM (1921). For more about silent movies in general, […]


Shirley Jones (28 August SUTS)

This post is written in conjunction with the Summer Under the Stars Blogathon hosted by Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence and Scribe Hard on Film. Full listings for SUTS programming on Turner Classic Movies can be found HERE. “Deep down I am a small-town girl from Smithton, Pennsylvania.” Despite having only seen a couple of her […]


Maggie Smith (22 August SUTS)

This post is written in conjunction with the Summer Under the Stars Blogathon hosted by Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence and Scribe Hard on Film. Full listings for SUTS programming on Turner Classic Movies can be found HERE. Maggie Smith has not always played crabby old Dowager Countesses, though she seems to be taking parts of […]


Hattie McDaniel (20 August SUTS)

This post is written in conjunction with the Summer Under the Stars Blogathon hosted by Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence and Scribe Hard on Film. Full listings for SUTS programming on Turner Classic Movies can be found HERE. “We all respect sincerity in our friends and acquaintances, but Hollywood is willing to pay for it.” “You […]


Mickey Rooney, the audience’s best friend

This post is written in conjunction with the Summer Under the Stars Blogathon hosted by Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence and Scribe Hard on Film. Full listings for SUTS programming on Turner Classic Movies can be found HERE. As far as I am concerned, he who is tired of Rooney is tired of life. I don’t […]


Henry Fonda (11 August SUTS)

This post is written in conjunction with the Summer Under the Stars Blogathon hosted by Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence and Scribe Hard on Film. Full listings for SUTS programming on Turner Classic Movies can be found HERE. Did you know…? Henry Fonda knew Marlon Brando’s family from Omaha – he had studied acting with Brando’s […]