Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hey hey in the Haystack

I must reluctantly confess that I’m a bit behind in catching up on some of my favorite blogs, so I’m coming a bit late to the party that is this questionnaire at TDOY chum Amanda’s A Noodle in a Haystack. (Anybody who admires both Una Merkel and Helen Broderick is aces in my book.)  Try it at home, but peeking!

1. What is your favorite movie starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, excluding all of The Thin Man films?

I was sorely tempted to put down The Senator Was Indiscreet (1947), because it’s a Powell film that I haven’t seen in ages and it’s really first-rate. But since Loy’s only in it for a brief cameo, I’ll go with I Love You Again (1940).

2. Name a screen team that appeared in only one film together but are still noteworthy for how well they complimented each other.

Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame in In a Lonely Place (1950). (See also the answers for #30 and #31.)

3. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' best film together?

I have to confess—I’m not much of a Fred and Ginger fan. Top Hat (1935) is fairly easy to take, though.

4. Your favorite actor named "Robert"?

Robert Mitchum. (This was tough, since I also like Robert Ryan.)

5. An actor/actress who, when you see one of their movies, you always wish that someone else was in his/her role?

This is a pretty lengthy list, but Robert Cummings would probably be at the top.

6. An actor/actress that someone close to you really loves that you can't stand or vice versa?

My mom is a fan of both Steven Segal and Jean-Claude Van Damme (or as I like to call him, “Jean-Claude God Damme”). (I realize you asked for an “actor” but this is as close as I could come.)

7. An actor/actress that you both agree on completely?

James Cagney.

8. Complete this sentence: Virginia O'Brien is to Ethel Merman as...

Sorry, Amanda—this is the only question that threw me.

9. What is your favorite film starring Ray Milland?

That’s a toughie. I’ll go with It Happens Every Spring (1949).

10. You had to have seen this one coming: what is your favorite movie of the 1960s?

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). (This will be the answer to several of these questions, by the way.)

11. An actor/actress that you would take out of one film and put into a different movie that was released the same year?

Okay, I fibbed—I don’t have an answer for this one, either.

12. Who was your favorite of Robert Montgomery's leading ladies?

Since my list of favorite Montgomery films could be written on a matchbook cover, I’ll go with Evelyn Keyes (from 1941’s Here Comes Mr. Jordan).

13. You think it would have been a disaster if what movie starred the actor/actress who was originally asked to star in it?

Frank Sinatra as “Dirty” Harry Callahan. Unthinkable.

14. An actor/actress who you will watch in any or almost any movie?

John Garfield.

15. Your favorite Leslie Howard film and role?

My intense dislike for Gone with the Wind (1939) is known the length and longth of the Internets, and one reason (among many) is that I just don’t understand what Scarlet O’ Hara (Vivien Leigh) sees in that effeminate pansy Ashley Wilkes (Howard). I don’t care for Howard, but applying The Blind Nut Squirrel Theory of Film™ I liked him as Atterbury Dodd in the seldom-seen Stand-In (1937).

16. You have been asked to host a marathon of four Barbara Stanwyck films. Which ones do you choose?

Remember the Night (1940), Ball of Fire (1941), Double Indemnity (1944) and The Lady Gambles (1949).

17. What is, in your mind, the nearest to perfect comedy you have ever seen? Why?

It’s awfully hard to beat Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).

18. You will brook no criticism of what film?

Citizen Kane (1941). (Actually, I welcome all criticism of any film, I was just stuck for an answer.)

19. Who is your favorite Irish actress?

Maureen O’ Hara. (*sigh*)

20. Your favorite 1940s movie starring Ginger Rogers?

Since Ging is in Tales of Manhattan (1942), I’ll go with that one even though she’s not “the star.” (Otherwise I’d have to leave that one blank.)

21. Do you enjoy silent movies?


22. What is your favorite Bette Davis film?

All About Eve (1950).

23. Your favorite onscreen Hollywood couple?

Laurel & Hardy. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming.)

24. This one is for the girls, but, of course, the guys are welcome to answer, too: who is your favorite Hollywood costume designer?

Edith Head.

25. To even things out a bit, here's something the boys will enjoy: what is your favorite tough action film?

Well, I’m the kind of person who won’t say no to an action film but I like a little something more with it. I choose Midnight Run (1988), which is also falling-down funny at times.

26. You are currently gaining a greater appreciation for which actor(s)/actress(es)?

Gene Autry, thanks to exposure to his films on Encore Westerns.  I also enjoyed TCM's recent Alec Guinness tribute last Saturday.

27. Franchot Tone: yes or no?

Oh yes. Franch is cool with me. (Especially in Phantom Lady [1944] and Advise & Consent [1962].)

28. Which actors and/or actresses do you think are underrated?

Sterling Hayden, Van Heflin, Maureen O’Sullivan, Evelyn Keyes, Edward G. Robinson

29. Which actors and/or actresses do you think are overrated?

Vivien Leigh, Van Johnson, June Allyson, Charles Boyer

30. Favorite actor?

Humphrey Bogart.

31. Favorite actress?

Gloria Grahame.

32. Of those listed, who is the coolest: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, or Patrick Stewart?

Steve McQueen. No contest.

33. What is your favorite movie from each of these genres:

Comedy: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).

Swashbuckler: If by “swashbuckler” you mean a lot of swordplay, then it’s Scaramouche (1952).

Film noir: Out of the Past (1947).

Musical: Singin’ in the Rain (1952).

Holiday: Miracle on 34th Street (1947).

Hitchcock: North by Northwest (1959).

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mndean said...

Such dislike of Leslie Howard in the comments! I don't care for GWTW myself, but I can agree with Stand-In (at least it's 2/3 of a good film), and include Pygmalion, It's Love I'm After, The Animal Kingdom, Of Human Bondage, and even in Captured!.

I do find him rather a windbag in The Petrified Forest, but that goes back to the play.

panavia999 said...

Robert Cummings - good choice.
As for GWTW, while Rhett really was the proper match for Scarlett, he could be such a jerk!
Oh well, it's only a movie.