Tag Archives: Robert Donat

Amanda’s Classic Cinema Survey, a la Casey

Amanda at Noodle in a Haystack has come up with this fabulous classic film survey that I simply must participate in. I’ve been truly enjoying reading all the responses from the classic film bloggers, so I’m going to jump in with my answers. Oh, and I’m adding photos for your viewing pleasure (an idea I’m borrowing from Kate!).

1. What is your all-time favorite Clark Gable movie?

China Seas (1935) with Jean Harlow. It was nearly a tie with Idiot’s Delight (1939), but China Seas wins because of all the terrific digs and jabs in the dialogue.

2. Do you like Joan Crawford best as a comedienne or a drama-queen?
Oh, drama queen – definitely. I don’t appreciate her comedic efforts. And don’t even get me started on her dancing… Some my favorite drama-Joan films are The Women, Grand Hotel, Susan and God, A Woman’s Face, When Ladies Meet, Above Suspicion and Mildred Pierce.

3. In your opinion, should Ginger Rogers have made more musicals post-Fred Astaire?
No, I don’t think so. The Fred and Ginger teaming was a very special match made in heaven. I think if Ginger had gone on to star in more musicals after Fred, it never would have worked out as well and now, we would all be mad she wasted her time on it. Just think of all the quality comedic and dramatic films she made after her time with Fred: Vivacious Lady, Having Wonderful Time (if Millie can place James Dean where ever she wants, I can capitalize on Doug Jr, too!), Stage Door, Primrose Path, The Major and the Minor, Weekend at the Waldorf, Kitty Foyle, Roxie Hart, etc… I’d rather have these gems than other musical films pairing Ginger with new leading men who could never compare with Fred.

4. I promise not to cause you bodily (or any other serious) harm if you don’t agree with me on this one. So please be honest: do you like Elizabeth Taylor? Hm?
Poor Liz. She is constantly the subject of controversy! I do like her, but with reservations. I’ve seen almost all the films she made between 1943 and 1954, plus some of the later ones like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer and Butterfield 8. I’ve found that I enjoy her earlier films much more than the later ones (the films made after 1960 I totally refuse to watch on several grounds, one of which is Richard Burton). I enjoy her performances in all of the films I’ve seen her in, but she was not the drawing star for me. For example, I didn’t watch Julia Misbehaves because it was a Liz Taylor film. So, she was just additional happiness in a film I was already enjoying.

5. Who is your favorite offscreen Hollywood couple?
Douglas Fairbanks Jr & Wife MaryDouglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Mary Lee Eppling

6. How about onscreen Hollywood couple?
Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon
7. Favorite Jean Arthur movie?
Mr Smith Goes to WashingtonMr. Smith Goes To Washington
Hey Millie – Jimmy Stewart is good sometimes! ;)
8. What was the first Gregory Peck movie you saw?
It’s hard to remember, but I’m pretty sure it was The Paradine Case with Alida Valli. The Paradine Case is the earliest memory I have of classic film, so I guess that makes it the first one I ever watched!

9. What film made you fall in love with Alfred Hitchcock? (And for those of you that say, “I don’t like Hitchcock” — what is wrong with you?!)

Either The Birds or Dial M For Murder. I think The Birds is the first Hitch I ever saw. My parents were on a Blockbuster renting kick for a little while and we rented it from there. I was about 6 years old and it terrified me to no end!

I also have early memories of Dial M For Murder. Fuzzy images of a key under a mat, Grace Kelly clipping articles from newspapers and a very excited Robert Cummings.
Both are superb films suitable for sparking a Hitch habit. And by the way, if you call yourself a classic film fan and have not contracted the Hitch habit, you need to enroll yourself in Hitch School, asap!
10. What is your favorite book-to-movie adaption? At the moment, it’s The Fountainhead starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. I’ll be reading the book it’s based on soon, so this is subject to change, depending on how faithful the film is to the book.

11. Do you prefer Shirley Temple as a little girl or as a teenager?
Though I love Shirley in general, I prefer her when she was a teenager. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against her in the child roles. It’s just that I spent a great deal of my own pre-teen and teenage years watching Shirley and Jane Powell when they were that age and the fond memories linger on.
12. Favorite character actor?
Just like all those who have responded to this survey before me, I’m having a really hard time picking just 1! Here’s a few that always put a smile on my face when their names pop up in the credits: Guy Kibbee, Eugene Pallette, Mildred Natwick, Barry Fitzgerald, Edna May Oliver, Eric Blore, Erik Rhodes, Edward Everett Horton and Alice Brady. I could write an entire post with nothing but the names of character actors I adore!
13. Favorite Barbara Stanwyck role?
Christmas In Connecticut - cast shot
Christmas In Connecticut with Dennis Morgan. It was quite a fight between this one and Ball of Fire, Double Indemnity, Clash By Night & The Mad Miss Manton.
14. Who is your favorite of Cary Grant’s leading ladies?
Jean Harlow in Suzy (1936).

15. Bette Davis or Joan Crawford?
Bette Davis!
16. What actors and/or actresses do you think are underrated?
Ronald Reagan, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, Robert Sterling, Dick Powell, Frank McHugh, Glenda Farrell, Claire Trevor, Audrey Totter, Billie Burke, Frank Morgan. Just to name a few.

17. What actors and/or actresses do you think are overrated?
Randolph ScottRuth Roman
Oh dear – what a can of worms this question is! But I’ve never been one to avoid opening a can of worms! Hmm, let’s see… Donna Reed (aka “The Most Annoying Whisperer of All Time!”), Randolph Scott (I love watching Follow The Fleet because Fred & Ginger get top billing over him after he outbilled them in Roberta), Rod Steiger (just a thoroughly unlikable person, especially in Oklahoma!), Robert Young (*yawn* aka Mr. Boring), John Garfield (makes my skin crawl), Ruth Roman (“The Second Most Annoying Whisperer of All Time!” She’s really annoying in Strangers On A Train). These are just the top 6, I have others but I won’t bore you.

18. Do you watch movies made pre-1980 exclusively, or do you spice up your viewing-fare with newer films?
I mainly stick with films made pre-1960, actually. Although I do begrudgingly see modern films. Whenever I do, it is almost always a disappointment and merely serves to reinforce my belief that films made before 1960 are the best ever. I recently saw Up, and was pleasantly surprised by the touching story. But a case like that is few and far between.

19. Is there an actor/actress who you have seen in a film and immediately loved? If so, who?
One For The Book - Ronald Regan & Eleanor ParkerRonald Reagan in One for the Book with Eleanor Parker. I’d seen films with Ronnie before that, but One for the Book made me fall in love with him and I’m sure I’ll never get over it!

20. Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire?
Absolutely, positively, Fred Astaire. No hesitation whatsoever.
21. Favorite Ginger Rogers drama?
Kitty Foyle with Dennis Morgan and James Craig

22. If you wrote a screenplay, who would be in your dream cast and what roles would they play? (Mixing actors and actresses from different generations is allowed: any person from any point in their career.)

Will you be very angry with me if I beg to save this question? I’ve planned a whole post that feeds into this idea, so I’ll reveal it then, okay? (oh and yes, I realized I just answered a question with 2 more questions. Isn’t blogging wonderful? ;) )

23. Favorite actress?

Ooh. Very tough! All right… I’ll make the hard choice: Hedy Lamarr.

25. Favorite actor?

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (20)Everyone probably knows it by now, but I’ll take any opportunity to advocate for my beloved Douglas Fairbanks, Jr!

26. And now, the last question. What is your favorite movie from each of these genres:
Love Letters '45
Drama: Love Letters (1945) with Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten (I can never decide exactly what genre this does fall under, since it’s a cross between Drama, Mystery/Suspense  and Romance.)
Romance: The Quiet Man (1952) with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers cast
Musical: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) with Jane Powell and Howard Keel (My favorite brother is Benjamin, aka Jeff Richards, who ends up with Julie Newmar. I’ve watched SBfSB a couple times just to find him in every scene. These JR viewings are in addition to the 20 or so times I’ve seen SBfSB anyway.)

Comedy: The Women (1939) with Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford – the above photo is a huge tribute to the talent of the three ladies, they look so happy! Sadly, the truth is the set of The Women was notoriously clouded with jealousy and star rivalry.

Western: Stagecoach (1939) with John Wayne and Claire Trevor – I like to think of it as Grand Hotel in a western setting. Isn’t that a marvelous photo?!

Hitchcock (he has a genre all to himself): The 39 Steps (1935) with Robert Donat and Madeline Carroll, even though Madeline Carroll makes me mad. I mean, seriously girls, who wouldn’t want to be handcuffed to Robert Donat?

Suspense/Mystery (I’m adding this one so I can include a Noir film): Laura (1944) with Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney (If you’ve never read the book by Vera Caspary, you have no idea what you’re missing!)
All right, there it is, all photoed and everything! A big thanks to Amanda for creating this survey – it was lots of fun coming up with the answers! And, dear reader, if you haven’t written up your own answers, what are you waiting for?


Filed under Film Bloggers, Tags & Awards

Top Twenty Classic Film Actors

I was tagged by the terrific Raquelle at Out of the Past to list my top 20 favorite movie actors.  It was a hard order to fill, because I really like so many of them.  The first five are according to my esteem for them, the rest are in alphabetical order.

(All images from Dr. Macro, unless otherwise stated)

1. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

2. Tyrone Power

(and the lovely Maureen O’Hara in The Black Swan – I just love the red scarf he wears in this movie!)

3. Robert Taylor

4. Errol Flynn

5. Gary Cooper

6. Marlon Brando

(I adore him in Guys and Dolls as Sky Masterson!)

7. Ronald Colman

(Photo from Arrowsmith)

8. Robert Donat

(This pic comes from The 39 Steps.)

9. William Holden

(from The Bridge Over the River Kwai)

10. Van Johnson

(Shown here with Lana Turner in Weekend at the Waldorf)

11. Jack Lemmon

(From The Apartment which is such a lovely love story.)

12. Victor Mature

(Shown here with Gene Tierney and Phyllis Brooks in The Shanghai Gesture – which, incidentally, if you’ve never seen it, it’s a quirky must!)

13. Robert Mitchum

14. Robert Montgomery

(My favorite Montgomery film is Lady in the Lake, although this photo is not from it)

15. Chester Morris

(The Boston Blackie series is so great!)

16. John Payne

(This photo is my scan from a vintage 1942 copy of Modern Screen magazine.)

17. William Powell

(Asta is pretty cute too!)

18. Gene Raymond

(I found this photo on the internet years ago now.  I can’t remember where it came from, so if it’s yours or you know whose it is, I’d appreciate a little heads up.  Thanks!)

19. Ronald Reagan

robert-sterling-120. Robert Sterling

(I just adore him in I’ll Wait for You (1941).  And, remember, he was Ava Gardner’s husband in the 1951 version of Show Boat!)

This is another photo that I cannot remember where I found it.  Link info would be very much appreciated!

Okay, there it is.  I know I’m going to feel guilty about who I listed and who I didn’t.  I like so many more actors, but when you can only pick 20, it puts a limit on your ardor.  Oh well.

Off to finish my art project!

[1/25/09 Edit:  I am supposed to pass on this tag, but when I wrote this, I couldn’t decide on who to award it to.  Since the lovely Jen was kind enough to be the first to comment on this post (other than my crony in film admiration, Raquelle) I’ll pass it along to her.  Here ya go, Jen.  Have fun!]


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Let me introduce you…

1.  Errol Flynn

A handsome devil if there ever was one.  EF is most famous for his spectacular portrayal of Robin Hood in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).  I saw his costar in that film (Olivia de Haviland) describing the making of Robin Hood in a documentary once and she sheepishly admitted that while filming the climatic kiss scene, she deliberately kept ruining each take so she could get to kiss him as many times as possible.  It’s not hard to understand why.  ;)

2. Ronald Coleman

The man with the dreamy voice.  My favorite RC film is the little known Random Harvest with Greer Garson.  He is the perfect husband.  Yet another reason why I am convinced that I was born in the wrong era.  RC is probably most famous for The Prisoner of Zenda with another dreamboat, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.    In Zenda, RC has a dual role as two men who look exactly alike.  It’s an unlikely story that would not “work” if RC were not such a marvelous actor.

3.  Robert Donat

Robert Donat was a real underrated hunk.  I don’t think he was as popular here in America as he was in England.  What a shame.  He was Mr. Chips in Goodbye, Mr. Chips, but my favorite of his films is The 39 Steps (this photo to the left comes from that movie).  The 39 Steps was made in 1935, co stars the beautiful Madeline Carroll and was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.  It is definitely worth watching if you ever happen to have the chance.

Well, that’s my first Let Me Introduce You post.  I’m hoping to have a new one every Wednesday.  Feel free to leave me comments or questions.  I’d be thrilled to hear from you!

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Filed under Film Bloggers, Let Me Introduce You