Announcing the What A Character! *10*th Annual Blogathon – Dec. 4, 2021

Just three of the many many delightful names below the title: Porter Hall, Juanita Moore, and Una Merkel

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

It’s the TENTH anniversary of the WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon A RIOT!

It all began with What A Character!, Turner Classic Movies (TCM)’s series of interstitial dedications that honor character actors. You have no doubt seen these informative and entertaining video tributes to Edna May Oliver, Beulah Bondi, William Demarest, Butterfly McQueen, among many other supporting players whose work stands the test of time.

Unable to resist those actors, Aurora, Kellee, and I decided to dedicate a blogging event in their honor, and the WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon was born. Now, for the 10th consecutive year, we continue the tradition.

Aurora of Once Upon a Screen and @CitizenScreen, Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled and @Irishjayhawk66, and myself, Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club, @Paula_Guthat, and @TCM_Party extend an invitation to the 2021 WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon to all bloggers who appreciate the laughter, the good taste, the double-takes, the heart, and the comfort that all the character actors have brought us through the years.

This announcement also serves as a heartfelt thank you to all who have participated in this event so graciously for nine years. The talent, enthusiasm, and passion with which you have approached our beloved character actors are beyond anything we could have imagined. We hope you join us again for this special celebration!

The 10th Annual WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon takes place on Saturday, December 4, 2021.

  • Let the hosts know which character actor you choose by leaving a comment below.
  • We prefer no repeats, i.e. previously published posts.
  • Character actors can be from any era of film or television.
  • Please include the name and URL of your blog and your Twitter handle if you have one to help us promote your work properly.
  • Publish your post on or before December 4, 2021.
  • Please include the event banner (designed by yours truly from an idea by Aurora) on your blog to help us promote this special event

HAVE FUN and spread the word!

Giveaways!

A tenth anniversary is a big deal, a fact recognized by both TCM and The University Press of Kentucky, who have offered books to give away to a lucky 10 U.S. and Canada WHAT A CHACRACTER! bloggers.

From the TCM Library, we have 5 copies of The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter by Jeremy Arnold with a foreword by Robert Osborne. A big thank you to Justin Gottlieb, Entertainment Marketing, Social Media Manager at Turner Classic Movies for securing these books for us.

While you may well be familiar with TCM, you may not know about The University Press of Kentucky, which has a wonderful array of film history-related biographies and analytical studies in its Screen Classics series. For our event, Director of Sales & Marketing Brooke Raby has offered a sampling of their offerings, one copy of each of the following titles:

Charles Boyer: The French Lover by John Baxter

Natalie Wood: A Life by Gavin Lambert

Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King by Foster Hirsch

Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood by Robert S. Birchard

Radical Innocence: A Critical Study of the Hollywood Ten by Bernard F. Dick

Thank you to Brooke for the terrific list of books.

One Last Thing: Much gratitude to my friends and co-hosts, Kellee and Aurora, without whom this blogathon would not exist, and both of whom were instrumental to the development of TCM Party. One decade down: forever to go. Happy WHAT A CHARACTER! Anniversary!

Chosen Actors and Participating Blogs

Felix Bressart – Taking Up Room

Jack Carson – Second Sight Cinema

Hans Conried – A Shroud of Thoughts

Elisha Cook, Jr. – Whimsically Classic

Wally Cox – Journeys in Classic Film

Diana Dors – Real Weegie Midget Reviews

Mildred Dunnock and Patricia Collinge – The Last Drive In

Hope Emerson – Shadows and Satin

William Frawley – By Rich Watson

Theresa Harris – Blog of the Darned

Kathleen Harrison – Caftan Woman

Edward Everett Horton – Silent Film Music

Jessie Royce Landis – Michele Price

Lured (1947) Supporting Cast – Paula’s Cinema Club

Lucille La Verne – The Classic Movie Muse

Cloris Leachman – Outspoken & Freckled

Doro Merande – Trivial History

Edna May Oliver – Once Upon a Screen

Eugene Pallette – Top 10 Film Lists

Lillian Randolph – Another Old Movie Blog

George Tobias – A Person in the Dark

Conrad Veidt – Lady Eve’s Reel Life

TCMFF 2021: DOCTOR X (1932) + The Horror Films of Michael Curtiz short doc

 DOCTOR X (1932) © TCM Classic Film Festival 2021

Late Thursday night/very early Friday aka 1:30 a.m. Eastern, you can catch the TCM premiere of the recently restored Doctor X (1932).

I’ve always had a soft spot for two-strip Technicolor, and this particular film is a fun, appealing hybrid of horror and screwball comedy. For the Classic Film Festival, TCM has paired it with a short doc about director Michael Curtiz’ horror oeuvre. More after the jump!

Continue reading “TCMFF 2021: DOCTOR X (1932) + The Horror Films of Michael Curtiz short doc”

What A Character! Ninth Annual Blogathon

The anticipation is over! Today we bring you the 9th annual What A Character Blogathon, hosted by yours truly, Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club (on Twitter @Paula_Guthat), and my co-hosts, the classic film-loving ladies Kellee of Outspoken and Freckled (@IrishJayhawk66), and Aurora of Once Upon A Screen (@CitizenScreen).

This annual event celebrates the supporting actors who are ostensibly there to bolster the lead but more often than not steal the scene. From the frustrated hotel house detective or the reliably sarcastic maid to the cigar-chomping stage manager or the reliable sidekick — character roles are often our favorite performances in a film. So we invited bloggers to scribe on their favorite characters. Let’s begin after the jump…

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Ninth Annual What A Character Blogathon is Dec. 5 – Call for Entries

Borrowing a catchphrase from our favorite home of the classics, Turner Classic Movies, Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled / @IrishJayHawk66), Aurora, of Once Upon a Screen / @CitizenScreen), and myself Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club / @Paula_Guthat) dedicate a blogathon to character actors for the ninth! consecutive year. To the faces, the laughs, and the drama presented by these wonderful actors whose names all too often go unrecognized we dedicate WHAT A CHARACTER! 2020.

All the details plus Who’s Who in this graphic after the jump!
Continue reading “Ninth Annual What A Character Blogathon is Dec. 5 – Call for Entries”

What A Character! 2019 – Day 3

Subsequent to Day 1 over at Outspoken and Freckled, and Day 2 at Once Upon A Screen, I am presenting Day 3 of our annual tribute to the names below the title, those scene-stealing supporting players who add immeasurably to our favorite films.

First up, Gary Pratt takes a good look — literally — at Donald Pleasance, particularly as half of a beautiful friendship in The Great Escape in a guest post on Outspoken and Freckled.

Lesley at Second Sight Cinema looks at late-blooming Charles Coburn, who nonetheless became “as indispensable to the movies as he had been to the American stage for nearly four decades.”

Aurora at Once Upon A Screen… profiles another late bloomer, the inimitable Majorie Main, whose “physical look, her mannerisms, dry wit, and that voice! all made a package that was not easy to forget.”

The Lady Eve shines the spotlight on Joyce Compton, declaring, “there’s more to [her] story than her turns as scatterbrained, Southern-fried blondes.”

Kellee at Outspoken & Freckled sheds some very deserved light on Frank McHugh’s life and career.

To be continued with more character actors to come…

This post is part of the What A Character! 2019 Blogathon.

Announcing the What A Character! 2019 Blogathon

It’s hard to believe we’ve been hosting this blogathon for eight years now! But perhaps it isn’t that shocking — after all, discussing those scene-stealing character actors is a crowd-pleasing pastime amongst cinephiles.

Year after year, it’s an event we all look forward to. Wise-cracking Eve Arden, nurturing Louise Beavers, sassy Thelma Ritter, double-take pro Edward Everett Horton, tart-tongued Edna May Oliver, gravelly-voiced Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, fatherly Charles Coburn, frazzled Franklin Pangborn, bullfrog voiced, barrel-chested Eugene Pallette, cigar-chomping Ned Sparks… these and so many more lovable character actors are who we look forward to seeing as our dearest ole chums. Couldn’t we all use a trusted sidekick? All the details after the jump.

Continue reading “Announcing the What A Character! 2019 Blogathon”

THE GENTLEMEN looks decent

STX dropped the trailer for Guy Ritchie’s upcoming film, The Gentlemen, earlier today. It stars Matthew McConaughey, Henry Golding, Charlie Hunnam, and the almost unrecognizable Hugh Grant, who sounds as unlike himself as he can get. Seriously, I watched the trailer at least twice because I couldn’t believe it was him. This trailer represents a dollop of hope for those like myself who’ve been awaiting another RockNRolla, which I consider to be the apotheosis (so far) of the director’s patented crime/comedy hybrid. (RnR is now a shocking 11 years old, having been released in 2008.) The plot seems to be classic Ritchie (paraphrasing the synopsis): McConaughey is a pot kingpin who wants out. The others plot, scheme, bribe and blackmail in order to take over his piece of the action before he’s ready to leave. Will The Gentlemen measure up? We’ll all find out on January 24, 2020. Check out the trailer and pix below. PS: Looks like the film was formerly known as “Toff Guys,” which I prefer to the final title, but I understand that might not have translated on this side of the pond.

Oscar Musings

We made it. As I type this, the 91st Academy Awards ceremony is happening. The Academy has a lot of work to do before the 92nd. There are three four tasks that, if completed, would save this august organization and revive its beleaguered ceremony…all is revealed after the jump.

The Oscars have always had their controversies and backstories. Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, Joan Crawford (accepting for Anne Bancroft), and Maximillian Schell at the 1963 ceremony, held at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
Continue reading “Oscar Musings”

Day Two: #31DaysOfOscar Blogathon

Day 2 of 31 Days of Oscar 2019

Once upon a screen...

I’m happy to say that we approach the halfway mark of this year’s 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon without incident or controversy. As is the case with my co-hosts, I will not be hosting any posts during commercials today, my day to host this year’s event. To put you at ease here is a 1957 Oldsmobile commercial, which aired during the Academy Awards ceremony that year. I will watch it with you thereby pausing my hosting duties.

Welcome back. Before we get to today’s list of entries, you might want to visit the Announcement post, which includes the entire participant roster. Also, be sure to visit Kellee at Outspoken & Freckled and the Day One submissions. Terrific stuff there. Otherwise, I’m getting to the main course of this entry, the tributes to the movies and the people who have had relationships with Oscar…or should have had. Enjoy!

  • We begin…

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