I love reporting all the goings on from the Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival, held every year in Los Angeles. Not only is it a chance to see some great films with appreciative audiences, it’s also great to catch up with online #TCMParty friends who quickly become IRL friends, and to reunite with offline friends. It’s just a big classic movie love fest, as you can read below…more tweets and IG posts after the jump.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences handed out its first Awards at a dinner party for about 250 people on May 16, 1929, to honor movies released from August 1, 1927 – August 1, 1928. The organization’s first president, Douglas Fairbanks, hosted and presented at the ceremony, held in the Blossom Room of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. The brainchild of MGM studio mogul Louis B. Mayer, the Academy was formed in 1927 as a non-profit dedicated to the advancement and improvement of the film industry. Some might argue about some of those achievements, but there is one thing that is sure to impress classic movie and Hollywood fans: When the music plays to open this year’s Oscars on March 4, 2018, it will be the 90th time the film industry has honored achievements in movies. Check out all the 1929 nominees and winners.
If you look through 90 years of Oscars ceremonies, you’ll find numerous surprises, disappointments, and controversies, any number of which may spur debate from film aficionados. That’s where we come in. For the sixth consecutive year, I am joining forces with Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled and @Irishjayhawk66 and Aurora of Once Upon A Screen and @CitizenScreen to bring you the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon. Given Oscar’s special anniversary and all of the memories, we hope you’ll consider joining us to make this the best and brightest outing yet. Details & list of participating blogs after the jump…
What’s great about being a character actor is you know that you can survive forever. It’s not about the gloss of your eyebrows.
— Martin Short
We’re back for a fifth consecutive year to honor the versatility and depth of supporting players with the WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon. Based on a phrase borrowed from Turner Classic Movies (TCM), the WAC! Blogathon is an event that many look forward to each year. It’s a chance to pay tribute to the Louise Beavers and Eddie Andersons of the movie world — the names that seldom or never appeared above the title. Your enthusiasm for spotlighting the oft-nameless faces that appear in countless beloved movies is admirable, and Aurora, Kellee, and I extend sincere thanks to all of the bloggers who have joined us in the previous four years. We invite you all to help us make the fifth outing extra special. Get all the details after the jump…
As #TCMParty people and/or readers of this blog may or may not know, I’m obsessed with the 1947 mystery-drama Lured. Sure, the presence of one of my favorite velvet-voiced British thespians, George Sanders, has a lot to do with it. But its major charm is Lucille Ball’s fine performance in the lead role, which, while allowing flickers of her comedic genius to show through, always makes me wish she’d done more dramatic roles.
WE’RE BACK for number 4!
The WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon honors the players who rarely got leading parts, exhibiting instead a versatility and depth many leading actors wished they had. Aurora, Kellee, and I never tire of seeing them show up in films or paying tribute to their talents, and as the previous three installments of this event have proven, neither do you.
And so here I am with Day 1 of the 4th annual WHAT A CHARACTER! I know you can’t wait to read all the fabulous posts. Before you jump in though, we’d like to thank all the participants for their understanding as we re-scheduled the blogathon from last weekend due to world events. We really appreciate your patience.
The third edition of Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide drops tomorrow (September 29, 2015). Updated for the first time since 2010, and presented by Turner Classic Movies (TCM), the Guide covers films “From the Silent Era through 1965.” There’s more than 200 new entries — some of which are running on TCM tonight, including our TCM Party at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Why Be Good? (Maltin gives it 3 stars out of 4, in case you were wondering.)
The bulk of the book is capsule reviews, each of which includes the film’s year of release, running time, rating, director, major cast, and symbols indicating what formats are available. It’s fairly comprehensive, with more than 10,000 entries. Although it’s light on films before 1920, there’s plenty in here that I’ve never heard of. The “Index of Stars” at the end of the book is a partial listing of selected actors’ filmographies and is handy for recalling the name of a movie when you can only remember who starred in it.
UPDATE – November 21: WHAT A CHARACTER! Day 1 Posts are here.
UPDATE – November 13:
The WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon has been postponed until next weekend, November 21-22-23. We will promote everyone’s post as usual during those three days. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
WE’RE BACK for number 4!
WHAT A CHARACTER! — a phrase borrowed from Turner Classic Movies (TCM) so that we could dedicate a blogathon to those whose names few remember, but whose faces are familiar – honors the players who rarely got leading parts, exhibiting instead a versatility and depth many leading actors wished they had. Aurora, Kellee, and I never tire of seeing them show up in films or paying tribute to their talents, and as the previous three installments of this event have proven, neither do you. So here we are with the fourth annual WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon.
“Oscar and I have something in common. Oscar first came to the Hollywood scene in 1928. So did I. We’re both a little weather-beaten, but we’re still here and plan to be around for a whole lot longer.”
— John Wayne
Continuing an Oscars tradition – albeit a much newer one than either the legendary awards or Mr. Wayne’s impressive career – Kellee (@IrishJayHawk66) of Outspoken and Freckled, Aurora (@CitizenScreen) of Once Upon a Screen, and myself, @Paula_Guthat of this blog, are back our Third Annual 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon. Update: Scroll on down to the end of the post to see the list of 2015 participants so far.
It doesn’t even really seem real, but just about a week from now, if you tune in to Turner Classic Movies (TCM), you’ll see me chatting with Ben Mankiewicz about the Bob Hope Christmas classic, The Lemon Drop Kid. I’m one of four TCM fans introducing favorite films on the afternoon/evening of Saturday, November 29. I am lucky enough to know the other three, Aurora Bugallo, Joel Williams, and Miguel Rodriguez, who are all friends I met first online via the live tweet I co-founded and organize, TCM Party, and then offline at the TCM Film Festival.
The intros were all recorded in August via Skype, which I think is a cool use of technology. Mine took place at Cinema Detroit, the indie theater I co-own with my husband, Tim. While my programming there is mostly contemporary and decidedly indie, we have shown classics like The Lady from Shanghai, A Hard Day’s Night, and a whole mess of noir for Noir Detroit (during CD’s first full month, November 2013). I definitely think my experiences bringing people and movies together online influenced us to try to do the same offline with Cinema Detroit.
So here is the schedule for Fan Favorites on Saturday, November 29 (all times Eastern):
12:30 p.m. Meet Me in St. Louis – Aurora
2:30 p.m. The Lemon Drop Kid – Me
4:15 p.m. The Thing From Another World – Miguel
6:00 p.m. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – Joel
In case anyone is curious why the The Lemon Drop Kid…TCM producer Courtney O’Brien asked me to submit a list of 10 mostly family-oriented, somewhat holiday-related, classic movies that I would want to introduce. As it is extremely difficult to limit oneself to 10 films, I actually sent more than 10. This was the list I sent, there’s no particular order:
There is nothing on here I don’t really love, but I’m glad they went with Lemon Drop Kid. It has a special place in my heart, because Christmas is a tough time for me. My mother passed away a few days after Thanksgiving in 2002 and during the holiday season, I often need a laugh, which this film provides. It does have some sentimental moments, but it’s mostly Hope one-liners, sight gags, and Runyon-esque characters and situations. Damon Runyon wrote the story it’s based on…think Guys and Dolls, Little Miss Marker…like that.
I cannot say enough good things about the people at TCM, who made the whole process easy for me, a total novice. Noralil, Courtney, Mardy and Ben…thanks for your patience and understanding.
So I hope you will tune in on Saturday afternoon, November 29, and check it out. And in the meantime…what would be on your list of 10?
The 2014 What a Character Blogathon schedule has been set, and the blogathon is underway.
There’s still plenty of time to join though. If you want to participate, check out the announcement immediately following, and contact one of us ASAP.
Ann Doran and Lurene Tuttle – Theresa on Once Upon a Screen
Billie Burke – Girls Do Film
Burgess Meredith – The Last Drive-In
Charles Durning – Movie Movie Blog Blog
Chris Cooper – Jack Deth on Paula’s Cinema Club
Christopher Lloyd – The Movie Rat
Dame Edith Evans – Margaret Perry
Edna May Oliver – Portraits by Jenni
Elsa Lanchester – Blog of the Damned
Frank McHugh – (This) Girl Friday
Leo Carrillo – Phantom Empires
Richard Widmark – Danny’s Reviews
Thomas Mitchell – Once Upon a Screen
Tony Randall – A Shroud of Thoughts
Agnes Moorehead – Tales of the Easily Distracted
Arthur Housman – Silent-ology
Charles Coburn – Amy’s Rib
Charles Lane & Friz Feld – Vienna’s Classic Hollywood
Chester Clute – Grand Old Movies
Dennis Hoey – Silver Scenes
Esther Dale – Caftan Woman
Harry Dean Stanton – Joel’s Classic Film Passion
John Ridgely – Comet Over Hollywood
Kathleen Howard – Sister Celluloid
Mae Busch – Movies, Silently
Peter Lorre – Second Sight Cinema
Rochelle Hudson – Bunnybun’s Classic Movie Blog
Tuesday, November 18 – Hosted by Aurora
Ann Dvorak – A Person in the Dark
Beulah Bondi – A Thousand Words
C. Aubrey Smith – Critica Retro
Cecil Kellaway – The Lady Eve’s Reel Life
C. Aubrey Smith – Critica Retro
Don Beddoe – Christy’s Inkwells
Edward Everett Horton – Outspoken & Freckled
Eric Blore – The Blonde at the Film
Grant Mitchell – Immortal Ephemera
Henry Travers – Movie Fan Fare
Iris Adrian – Speakeasy
Karl Malden – Oh Rachel Leigh
Melville Cooper – Classic Movie Hub
Ned Sparks – Paula’s Cinema Club
Raymond Burr – Shadows and Satin
Thelma Ritter – Cinephiled
Wallace Shawn – Moon in Gemini
I was only a leading man for a minute; now I’m a character actor. — Robin Williams
In 2012, we – by that I mean myself, Aurora, and Kellee – borrowed a catchphrase from our beloved Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in order to host a blogathon dedicated to those amazing actors whose faces are familiar but whose names few remember.
The phrase is WHAT A CHARACTER, and the individuals concerned rarely got leading parts, exhibiting instead a versatility and depth many star players wished they had. We never tire of seeing them or paying them tribute, and if the previous two installments of this event are any indication, neither do you.
So, here we are with the Third Annual WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon.
To say we’re thrilled is an understatement. We hope you’ll join us in spotlighting the Edward Arnolds, Alan Mowbrays, and Alice Bradys of the world, oft-forgotten names that never appeared above the title.
If this is right up your movie alley, then give us a shoutout…
We ask that you adhere to the following guidelines:
- Let one of the hosts know which character actor is your choice. Since there are so many greats worthy of mention, we won’t take any repeats and we’re not limiting these to “classic” actors. Great character actors have made their mark both before and since the end of the classic era and contemporary talents deserve some attention as well, so the field is wide open.
- Please include your twitter and/or FB tag, email address and blog name & URL.
- Publish the post for either November 16, 17 or 18. Let us know if you have a date preference, otherwise we’ll split publicizing duties equally among the three days.
- Please include one of the blogathon graphics in this post on your blog to help us publicize the event.
- Include the graphic and link to the host sites in your WHAT A CHARACTER! post
- If possible, please send any of the hosts the direct link to your WHAT A CHARACTER! post by the day before your due date. Otherwise we’ll simply link to your site’s home page.
- HAVE FUN and spread the word! There are so many great characters worthy of attention, we would like to honor as many as possible.