At the Movies with Joanna

Why I Love The Movies

I love movies! I always have, ever since I was a little girl going to the movies on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons at the old movie house on West 56th Street in Manhattan. I especially love the movies of the 1930s and ’40s. And I love the stars of these classic films-Jimmy Cagney, Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Edward G. Robinson, Bogart…And I want to share that love with you.

I’ll be writing in my columns about these classic, wonderful movies and exciting stars with their powerful presence that packed their movies with a wallop. Even though long gone, we still feel their power whenever we view their movies. What is it about them that still makes them unforgettable?

 

GRETA GARBO…a Woman of Mystery

by Joanna Paxinou “Gimme a whiskey—ginger ale on the side. And don’t be stingy, baby.” Greta Garbo spoke those words in her first “talkie,” Anna Christie in 1930. Garbo had been a great silent screen star and one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s biggest assets. Her first three silent films accounted for 13%…

JEAN HARLOW—Hollywood’s First Blonde Bombshell

“Men like me because I don’t wear a brassiere. Women like me because I don’t look like a girl who would steal a husband. At least not for long.”* That’s how Jean Harlow described her appeal. She became a star playing a sexy, wise cracking, bad girl. Harlow died at…

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH “MIDNIGHT IN PARIS”

Although my blog is devoted to films of the 1930s and ‘40s, there are many, many more recent films that I love too. Midnight in Paris is one of them. The 2011 film is a fantasy/comedy. I love this movie! It is clever, creative, imaginative, entertaining—it’s just wonderful. The film…

HARRY DAVENPORT…EVERYONE’S BELOVED ACTOR

Harry Davenport, Courtesy of LeRoy Heritage Museum, Canton, PA Years ago, an actor shone his light in every film role he played. You would have seen him in many roles—he appeared in over 100 films. He was delightful in comedies…and strong, resilient in dramas. He was a wonderful actor who…

FRIENDS FOR LIFE–Fred Astaire and Irving Berlin

One day in 1935, two men met on the set of the film TOP HAT and became lifelong best friends. They were very much alike: reserved, intensely private, dedicated to their wives, workaholics, perfectionists…and supremely talented. They were Fred Astaire and Irving Berlin. TOP HAT was the fourth film that…

FRANK SINATRA-ANOTHER SIDE OF THE MAN

  Frank Sinatra I’ve been a fan of Frank Sinatra’s music for a long time. And as other fans, I have heard about his bouts with the media. But I just read a beautiful book about Frank Sinatra written by his daughter, Nancy Sinatra, entitled FRANK SINATRA-AN AMERICAN LEGEND. In…

HIDDEN STARS: WARD BOND

Ward Bond with John Wayne, his friend for 30 years, and Director John Ford. Who can forget the great stars who appeared in the films of the 1930s and ’40s-Greta Garbo, James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Bogart. But in the background, there were many faces that added so much to their…

THELMA RITTER – THE MOVIE STAR NEXT DOOR

Actress Thelma Ritter When you hear the names Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, or Bette Davis, images come immediately to mind. But in the films of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, there was an army of bit players and character actors who stayed in the background. Their faces are familiar to…

Uncle George

UNCLE GEORGE…MOVIE BUFF EXTRAORDINAIRE

Uncle George Everyone should have an Uncle George. He was my father’s brother and when my Dad passed away, Uncle George truly became my second father. Growing up in midtown Manhattan, he was there for every crisis and for every good time. During those difficult teenage years, he was there…

Tonya Lewis Lee Producer

THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM

Fifty years ago, a horrific event changed our country. Four little girls were killed when a devastating bomb exploded in their church, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The four girls – Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Denise McNair – were honored by President Barack…