mary astor

Mary Astor: Bitch’s Cauldron – Episode 18

Mary Astor was in the words of David Niven a woman who “looked like a beautiful and highly shockable nun with the vocabulary of a long shoreman.” Dominated by a brutish money grabbing father, hated by her mother, pushed into film acting and some disasterous marriages and affairs, it was a long time before the real Mary Astor came into her own. A woman consumed by her many passions and demons, she brought a vitality, intelligence and wit to her roles that was ahead of its time. Join us as explore her best work in three films: The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Great Lie (1941) and The Palm Beach Story (1942).

Sources:

Astor, M. (1959) My Story: An Autobiography New York: Doubleday.

Astor, M. (1967) Mary Astor: A Life on Film 1 st British edition 1973. London: W.H. Allen.

Huston, J. (1980) An Open Book New York: Knopf.

Sorel, E. (2016) Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936 New York: Liveright Publishing Company.

Sturges, P. (1990) Preston Sturges on Preston Sturges Adapted and edited by Sandy Sturges. New York: Simon and Schuster.

The Great Lie (1941) Dir. Edmund Goulding (DVD) Warner Brothers.

The Maltese Falcon (1941) Dir. John Huston (DVR) Warner Brothers.

The Palm Beach Story (1942) Dir. Preston Sturges (DVD) Paramount Pictures.

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Fizz on the Soda: Ginger Rogers and Joan Blondell – Episode 9

Episode 9! This month we’re discussing women in showbusiness, focusing on two stars who started out their film careers pounding the stage circuit hoping to make it big. Ginger Rogers and Joan Blondell. He’s a Keeper this month is the wonderful Peter Lorre.

In the 1930’s, Hollywood became expert at creating fantasies for its audiences. Beautiful girls in skimpy costumes. in Busby Berkley designed spectacles singing ‘We’re in the money, we’re in the money’ gave audiences a momentary escape from the greyness and worry of reality. The Great Depression affected all Americans and led to thousands of movie theaters closing and ticket sales plummeted, in saying that Hollywood was still in the business of entertaining people. In 1933 60 million people still went to the movies. Life on the stage was very tough with thousands of girls audtioning and only a handful making it in the pick. Backstage there would be 25 girls to one dressing room, bad lighting, everyone stealing each others make-up, in-fighting and holding off advances from creepy stage managers. Ginger and Joan came up the hard way and by 1933 were two of biggest stars at the time.

Curtain up!

Fizz on the Soda: Ginger Rogers and Joan Blondell – Episode 9 by Any Ladle’s Sweet

Episode 9! This month we’re discussing women in showbusiness, focusing on two stars who started out their film careers pounding the stage circuit hoping to make it big. Ginger Rogers and Joan Blondell. He’s a Keeper this month is the wonderful Peter Lorre. In the 1930’s, Hollywood became expert at creating fantasies for its audiences.

Sources:
42 nd Street (1933) Dir. Lloyd Bacon. [DVD] Warner Bros.

Bawden, J and Miller, R. (2016) ‘Interview with Joan Blondell’ in Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood’s Golden Era. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Blondell, J. (1972) Center Door Fancy. New York: Delacorte Press.

Broadway Bad (1933) Dir. Sidney Lanfield. [YouTube] Warner Bros.

Dames (1934) Dir. Ray Enright & Busby Berkeley. [DVD] Warner Bros.

Der Verlorene ‘The Lost One’ (1951) Dir. Peter Lorre [YouTube] National-Filmverleih.

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) Dir. Mervyn LeRoy [DVD] Warner Bros.

Havana Widows (1933) Dir. Ray Enright [DVD] Warner Bros.

Kennedy, M. (2007) Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

M (1931) Dir. Fritz Lang [YouTube] Vereinigte Star-Film.

Mad Love (1935) Dir. Karl Freund. [DVD] Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer Studios.

Maltese Falcon (1941) Dir. John Huston [DVD] Warner Bros.

Nightmare Alley (1947) Dir. Edmund Goulding [DVD] 20 th Century Fox.

Professional Sweetheart (1933) Dir. Wiliam A. Seiter [YouTube] RKO.

Stage Door (1937) Dir. Gregory La Cava. [DVD] RKO

Swing Time (1936) Dir. George Stevens [DVD] RKO.

Rogers, G. Ginger: My Story. New York: It Books.

Youngkin, S.D. (2005) The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Gourley, Catherine. (2008) Rosie and Mrs America: Perceptions of Women in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Twenty First Century Books.

glamourdaze.com/2013/01/inside-a-…ressing-room.html

Music excerpt from 42nd St (1933), music and lyrics by Al Dublin and Harry Warren.

Music excerpt from Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), music and lyrics by Al Dublin and Harry Warren.

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All GIFs by Danielle so use them however you please.

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