Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

Ronnie’s Centennial

On this, the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan, I’d like to offer a few lines of tribute to a special, one-of-a-kind person we all can respect. Ronald Reagan occupies an exclusive corner of my heart, a place where calling him “Ronnie” is the only way to go. While I have an infinite list of reasons for loving Ronnie, there is one reason above all he will forever have my respect and admiration.

Ronnie truly was exactly what he seemed to be. Balancing kindness, love and a gentle nature with immeasurable courage of his convictions, Ronnie captivated all those who saw him. In his letters to Nancy throughout their marriage, he fully reveals a vulnerable, sincere side of his nature the rest of us only glimpse briefly in his screen appearances. Because of Ronnie’s complete self-confidence, he had a capacity for love only dreamed of in romance novels. Perhaps most surprising of all in light of his soft-heartedness, he was not a wishy-washy man. In fact, we have yet to see an American politician with Ronnie’s unbridled devotion to his beliefs and the courage to defend them to all dissenters. Of course he wasn’t perfect (who would want him to be?), but even when he made mistakes he handled them with grace and charm. That’s all you can ask of a person.

So, may I say: Happy Birthday, Ronnie. We haven’t forgotten the lessons you taught us, even though we miss you more each day.

Don’t miss the other tribute posts to Ronnie around the blogosphere:

Millie of ClassicForever

Laura of Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings

Niamhy of Born in the Wrong Decade

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Filed under Birthdays, Film Bloggers

Elizabeth’s Two Sisters Tag

Hello dear friends! It’s seems ages since I wrote a blog post! But, never fear – I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. ;) And I haven’t lost interest in blogging, either. (I have so many ideas for posts I think I’m stuck with blogging for a good 6 more years!) I’ve simply entered back into service for my coveted degree, often times feeling like my head will explode with ideas, deadlines and lists of supplies I must buy or bring to class. (Don’t tell my profs, but I shouldn’t even be writing this now – I’ve got several projects I should be working on! Shhhh!)

Anyhow, my lovely friend Kate has kindly tagged me to participate in Elizabeth’s Two Sisters Tag. Here goes:

  1. Do you like Greta Garbo? In general, like will I watch anything she’s in just because she’s in it? No, probably not. Even though actresses with accents are a huge favorite of mine, something about GG rubs me the wrong way. Must say though, before I get too much fruit thrown at me, I totally love Ninotchka. She’s brilliant in the comedic scenes- especially the one where Melvyn Douglas pops the cork on the champagne bottle and she falls to the ground blindfolded as if she’s been shot. I burst out laughing every single time I watch that.
  2. In Buster Keaton’s MGM films, do his gestures and his plots resemble those of Harry Langdon? Elizabeth will be very disappointed in me when I say I have never seen a Harry Langdon film. But! Don’t feel too bad yet, Elizabeth because I did my homework and looked up Harry on Youtube. I see what you mean about his style and how it is choppy and staccato. I also watched a clip from The Cameraman (made by Buster Keaton at MGM) and I do see a resemblance in the physical styles. I think it’s highly believable Buster was channeling (subsciously or otherwise) Harry for his MGM films. We’re all inspired by everything around us all the time, so why couldn’t Buster be inspired too?
  3. Who is your favorite director of silent dramas? Fritz Lang – just for Metropolis.
  4. Do Harold Lloyd’s movies (movies, not shorts) drag along? Absolutely, positively not! Harold is my favorite of all the slient era comedians. He’s so sweet and kind. And I never felt his chase scenes dragged on. My favorite HL film is The Cat’s Paw. The last scene where he tricks all the bad guys with the magic secrets is totally priceless. I’m always spellbound during that scene. I love seeing the bad guys get their due!
  5. Who made better silent shorts, Mack Sennett or Hal Roach? Hal Roach, no doubts at all.
  6. Is Al St. John a genuine heavy, or a baby heavy? (This is based on the idea of the “Baby Vamp”, which was the character of the girl who was vampish, but not a vamp.) Although I have never seen Al St. John in a film, I say genuine heavy. Elizabeth says “heavy” means the villain, and in this case, I think it fits. Al St. John was rather handsome (in some of his early photos I found, he was quite good looking). A good villain should always have some appeal of some sort – he’s all the more dangerous for it! (by the way is St. John pronounced as it looks or in the English fashion: “sinjin”?)
  7. Do you like 1920s musicals? In theory, yes. Sadly, I’ve seen very few. Just don’t have Joan Crawford dancing and we’ll be fine. ;)
  8. Do you like Al Jolson’s movies? No, no, no – a thousand times NO! Al Jolson is one of those people I simply cannot stand. In particular, his voice and conceited attitude grate on me to no end. I’ve seen The Jazz Singer and have a very hard time seeing why everyone holds him as a fine example of a classic film star. It looks like I agree with Elizabeth’s sister and Kate’s mom on this one.
  9. Who is your favorite animal star? This is an incredibly tough one! And not because there are so many animals I love, but because I’m trying not to copy everyone else! First, I’ll just say I’m not a big fan of either Lassie or Toto. I hate crying over Lassie and worrying she’s going to die every 5 seconds and Toto was just not cute enough to be given such a major role. Asta from the Thin Man films would have been my first choice for this honor, but since I’m trying to be original here I’m going with choice #2: Bonzo from Bedtime for Bonzo with Ronald Reagan. I’ve talked about this film before, trumpeting the fact that it is an amazingly good film despite all the ridiculous bad press it has received. Besides dear Ronnie, Bonzo is one of the major reasons why it works. He’s adorable! I had no idea I could love a chimpanzee so much. Monkeys are usually not my cup of tea.

So! Many thanks to Kate for tagging me and Elizabeth for creating such a twister of a tag. :) You made me work hard for these answers, and now I’m just a little bit smarter about silent films, so thank you very much for that, too!

If you have a couple minutes you really should click through the links above and read the other responses to the tag. They’re marvelous! Happy day, my dears and I hope to have a new post for you soon!

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Filed under Film Bloggers, Pick-me-ups, School, Tags & Awards

Ronnie Heaven

I’m just reeling from the idea of Ronald Reagan being TCM’s Star of the Month.  Ronnie is one of my top favorite actors of the 1940’s. (see my top 10 list here) So, when I received my copy of Now Playing a couple of weeks ago and saw Ronnie’s handsome face gracing the cover, I nearly swooned!

Oh, Ronnie – how I adore you.

Well, on to more serious issues.  His films – winners one and all, I’d say.  And that’s not just my Ronnie bias speaking either.  I remember hearing Robert Osborne decry the misconception of Ronnie’s films, too.  If you have been avoiding Ronnie’s films because of the prevailing idea of their awfulness, please reconsider.

I’ve got some top picks for you, if you’re game:

Desperate Journey (1942) – A terrific war thriller starring Errol Flynn, Ronnie, Arthur Kennedy and Alan Hale.  The guys are American airmen who get stranded in Germany and have to fight their way out.  There’s several truly hilarious moments of comedy with Alan Hale. (TCM – March 25 @ 12.45am eastern, not available on DVD)

The Voice of the Turtle aka One for the Book (1948) – A truly tender love story with Ronnie and Eleanor Parker.  Ronnie can’t get a hotel room for his leave, so he stays with Eleanor.  Other cast attractions include the multi-talented Eve Arden and Wayne Morris.  (TCM – March 19 @ 4 am eastern, not available on DVD either!)

The Hasty Heart (1950) – This is an amazingly good film in it’s own right and with the stellar cast, it’s nearly perfect.  Ronnie, Richard Todd and many others are recooperating soldiers in a hospital in Burma.  Patricia Neal is their nurse.  Richard Todd is a Scotsman who is determined not to get involved with the other men.  The story revolves around the group trying to break him down and make him see how beautiful life can be.  It’s quite moving. (Sadly, TCM hasn’t scheduled this one.  I’m calling Bobby Osborne to find out why! ;) But, it is available on DVD in The Ronald Reagan Signature Collection)

Have a look at dear Ronnie’s films, if you get the chance.  I think you’ll find they aren’t half as bad as people say they are.  I’m off to spend some more time in Ronnie Heaven! :)

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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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Filed under Film Bloggers, Tags & Awards