I am the co-founder and programmer at Cinema Detroit, the only 7-day-a-week movie theater in the Greater Downtown area and the only truly independent in the Metro area. CD is a community-based, mission-driven non-profit cinema that provides a community gathering place for watching films and for the dialogue that they spark, and provides the city of Detroit and the metro Detroit region with access to a breadth of film options, especially the best independent film. In 2011, I founded #TCMParty and am the organizer and co-host of this live-tweet of Turner Classic Movies. Follow us on Twitter at @TCM_Party or check out the schedule and more at http://tcmparty.tumblr.com
Hey night owls and West Coasters, Paula here to close out our 10th Annual What a Character! Blogathon! It always brings me so much joy to see so much love for the backbone of studio-era Hollywood, the supporting players.
I was a late bloomer with Lured. I didn’t see Douglas Sirk’s remake of the 1939 French film Pieges until the mid-teens of the present century. This comedy/drama/film noir is a bit complicated, and I don’t want to reveal too much for those who haven’t seen the film. It’s so much fun, you deserve to see it for yourself. But here goes: Never-lovelier Lucille Ball portrays Sandra Carpenter, an American showgirl stranded in London. She’s working as a taxi dancer when her friend and co-worker Lucy (Tanis Chandler) disappears, probably the latest victim of the “Poet Killer,” a shadowy murderer who advertises for his prey in the personals section of the newspaper and taunts the police by mailing love poems to them. When Sandra goes to Scotland Yard to try and find Lucy, she is recruited by Inspector Harley Temple (Charles Coburn) to go undercover for the Yard. She will be essentially acting as bait for the killer, answering any and all personal ads that look sketchy enough to be leads. The first seeks a dress model. She goes to the studio of Charles van Druten (Boris Karloff), a former fashion designer, who is certainly unhinged. Is he the Poet Killer?
Meanwhile, Sandra had been trying to audition for a better dancing gig, in a new show with real producers, Robert Fleming (George Sanders) and Julian Wilde (Cedric Hardwicke). Long story short, while answering another personal ad, Sandra encounters “unmitigated cad” Fleming, and sparks fly. She’s on duty at the time, but he keeps turning up in the most unlikely places as she pursues the investigation. Hmm…
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.
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!
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.
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:
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
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!
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…
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…
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.
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.