Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Very Random Post to Let You Know I'm Still Alive

     So, I feel really bad because I just haven't been posting at all this month. I had a slew of posts that I was going to do because of my involvement in the Summer Under the Stars blogathon, but then . . . something happened on August 16; something so horrendous that it gave me nightmares for days, even in my waking hours I couldn't escape it. It haunted me. It made me sick. It made want to scream. It made me want to throw hysterical fits in grocery store aisles and cause my parents alarm and give ol' Happy Dale a ring (please, please tell me someone caught that allusion to a certain film with my wonderful Cary . . . and if not one of you wonderful readers did catch it, I hang my head in sadness).
     What, some of you may be asking, what could possibly cause this rationally sane girl to go insane? What could possibly reduce her to wanting to make fits in grocery store aisles and make her parents ship her off to a sanitarium? Tell me, now! Tell me! Okay, okay, you beat it out of me. It causes me such pain to say this dreadful six-letter word, but if you must know, if it gives you peace of mind, I'll push back my own pain, and tell you: School.
     Yes, school has been in full swing for a couple of weeks now, and because it's my last year and I had to be an idiot and decide that I'd take A.P. Lit (which really isn't that bad at all) and just completely stink at math, and have a job that slurps up any free time that I could possibly have, I've been absolutely rendered from posting anything. On the weekends, I'm sleeping into well past the afternoon mark trying desperately to stock up on the snoozes, but it's done mostly in vain for I always find myself tired, and by the time Friday rolls around, I feel like I'm a floundering wanderer lost in the Sahara desert searching, always searching, for an oasis.
     I must admit that I have tried to write up a few things, but then I just get bored and I forget about it and I don't end up posting them. Also, when I'm not sleeping or at work or doing homework, I have found myself back in very familiar territory, something that came long before my love of Classic Hollywood, Cary Grant or Dean Martin: Reading. Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE to read; but when I found my new loves, I sort of set reading aside. Whereas it usually took me about two days to read books as long as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I was going weeks without cracking open a book and reading just for the pleasure of reading. I didn't, and I don't, like that. Reading has been my safe haven ever since I learned the magic of words; ever since I learned that by cracking open a book, I could transport myself wherever and whenever I wanted to. I would stay up until the slimmest of rays from the new light of dawn peaked between my tightly shut blinds, and bring me out of my world of ink and imagination to show me that a night had ended and a newly birthed day had began in my world of reality.
     I have missed that. I missed the itch that my palms would get every time I passed by a library or a bookstore; I missed the idea of all the books just awaiting for me to discover them, to love them, to treasure them. I missed discovering the meaning of a new word and the way it would roll around in my head, and then my tongue, and the nice fluid way it would come out of my mouth when I would use my newly discovered word in a conversation. I missed visiting the public library twice a week. I missed the old smell of books that have been closed for far too long; I missed the touch of yellowing pages between my fingers.
     I missed it all, and so it gives me great, great pleasure in saying that at last I have found my world again. It has welcomed me back with open arms, cocooning me in its familiar warmth, forgiving me for my long absence and assuring me that I never could have lost my safe haven had I even really tried . . .
     . . . The feelings that I have just spewed are feelings that I believe everybody should have when it comes to reading, but sadly, not everyone does. You can't possibly imagine how it pains me when someone says to me, "You like to read? Why? It's so boring. I hate it." It's worse then a sharp knife cutting through me. It's as though my very heart and soul has been ripped out of my body with someone's bare hands, and then just for his or her sadistic pleasure, stomping on them until they are nothing more than crushed particles mixing in with the dirt and bugs and the rest of the earth and her au naturel glory . . .

     . . . And now, I am left in an embarrassing position. I don't know how to end this post without sounding as completely out of my mind as I do in the main body. I guess I could say that I'm learning to balance everything in my life, and suggest that if you're life isn't already balanced that you get it so because if you don't, you might end up like me writing a very, very random post to let your readers (no matter how few they may be) that you are still alive and then end up sounding all cockeyed because you spew your guts about your obsessively insane love for reading and how you feel when you don't get enough of it. Yeah. That's how I'll end this post. See. I just did.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I've Succumbed . . .

     After a long hard battle of trying not to catch it, I've succumbed to the disease known as tumblr. Yes. I have one now, and already in a few short days, I've become addicted to it. I blame all the wonderful blogs that I've found on there, and all their wonderful pictures of Cary, Dean, Ray Milland (I've become obsessed with the film Beau Geste which I'll be doing a review on in September, so that should give you give an idea of who's going to be my star of the month).
     Anywho, what I found amusing was that I actually already had a tumblr that I apparently made not long after I made this blog, but I can't for the life of me remember actually making it. And though I've become even more entangled with the world wide web and the twenty-first century, which doesn't sit well with my stomach sometimes, I've got my little twist on it. Just because Facebook, Blogger, YouTube, and Tumblr and all the rest are products of the twenty-first century, I am firmly stationed in my years that were the shades of black and white . . .

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Leibster Blog Award . . . What? Another One?

     Nah, I'm just kidding. I don't mind getting another one. It's like asking someone if they would like a second slice of chocolate cake and they say, "No. One is enough." Generally, that's just not going to happen, especially in my family. Anyways, this time I was awarded the Leibster by a friend from this amazing website, FilmClassics, who just started her own blog Serenade in Blue, and so here we go again. I'll answer her questions and tell eleven more things about myself (like you really wanted to know the first eleven), but I won't be tagging eleven more bloggers; the first time was hard enough.

11 More Things . . .

11. I don't like for a majority of my food to touch. If something touches that I don't think should, I will eat around the parts that touch. (Weird, I know)
10. My favorite colors are blue and orange.
9. I easily remember names, faces, and voices. I'm really good with the voices. So, if sometimes I don't recognize a face, or remember his or her name, you can bet I'll remember his or her voice.
8. I have an Irish temper like you'd never believe.
7. Ireland, next to Italy, is my dream home.
6. I have never broken a single bone in my body. I have rolled down brick stairs (bloodied up my nose), smashed all ten of my fingers in the window, gotten my neck slammed on by the car door (the babysitter didn't mean to), fallen out of a tree, went down a hill, brakes wouldn't work on my bike, and fell in a brier patch (got scratches all over me, a little bloody), along with a slew of other things. NOT ONE BONE I TELL YOU, HAS BEEN BROKEN. Everyone else in my family has gone to the emergency room for something. (And for some strange reason, I'm jealous about this. I feel so left out. ;) 
5. I'm from Georgia, born and raised, and so I have a very southern accent. However, I'm very good at doing an English, French, and Italian accent, which I do to amuse my family all the time.
4. My feet are always cold. Winter, Summer, Spring, it doesn't matter. They're ALWAYS cold.
3. I picked up on Dean's habit of saying "Heaven's to Betsy" and "Hot diggity dirt" (That just shows you how much I watch of him).
2. I can't blow a bubble (as in bubble gum) to save my life. This is the saddest thing in my life. I'm seventeen, and I can't blow a freakin' bubble.
1. I am not a morning person. I'm a night owl by nature and prefer to stay up late, and sleep in the following morning.

The Q&A . . .

1. What was your first classic? The first film I can remember watching that I didn't realize at the time was a classic was North to Alaska with John Wayne. I was about six.
2. Favorite classic TV show? What's My Line (I like the part when the celebrities came out)
3. If you could spend a day with any classic star, who would it be? Cary Grant. Dean Martin. Jean Arthur. They all just happen to be at the same party. Lucky me!
4. Least favorite classic actor? I don't really think he's considered a "classic" star, but I don't care for Steve McQueen too much. I don't see what was so great about the guy.
5. Least favorite classic actress? How many death threats would I receive if I said Grace Kelly?
6. Musical remakes of the 50's: yes or no?:  Got to love musicals, at least I do.
7. Hayes Code: yes or no? Why? Yes. I prefer the Code because everything that's made today just makes me sick to my stomach. It's as though everyone is having a contest to see how many f-bombs they can say in one sentence. The dialogue stinks. I'm a girl who loves the English language, and so when you know how to use it, like the writers did back then when the Code was enforced to get their meaning across, well, how can it get any better?
8. Silents or Talkies? Talkies
9. What do you think of movies like The Artist? I have yet to see The Artist (it's on my list!), but I say they need to make them. A film like that might get some curious in the actual Golden Days of Hollywood, and next thing you know, we've got another classic film lover in the group.
10. What role did your favorite actress deserve an Oscar for?: Ah, my Jean deserved, in the very least, an Oscar nomination for everything she did (the fact that she only received one her entire career makes me steam), but I'd say either: You Can't Take it With You, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and/or The More the Merrier.
11. What role did your favorite actor deserve an Oscar for?: Cary: Notorious, North by Northwest, and the one (out of two) that he was actually nominated for, None but the Lonely Heart. Dean: The Young Lions, Some Came Running, Rio Bravo (a nomination in the very least).

     Well, there we are . . . again.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Film Review: Presenting Lily Mars (1943)

A new favorite of mine.
Photo Courtesy of
 TCM: A small-town girl fights for her big chance on Broadway.

     While I have always liked Judy Garland, I have never had one of her films to crack my top ten. Until Presenting Lily Mars that is. I don't know what it was about this film per say that did me in (besides the wonderful chemistry between Van Heflin and Judy), but whatever it was, it got me good. While everyone tends to say that Judy was at her most beautiful in the film Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) thanks to soon-to-be husband Vincente Minelli, and while she was very pretty, I think that Judy was her most gorgeous in this film.
     Often credited as her first grown-up film, along with For Me and My Gal (1942), Judy, for the most part, is still looked at as a kid for the majority of the film, and it's not until the very end do we, as the audience, see her depicted as an adult (who knew that putting up your hair and wearing a dress could do that to a young girl). What makes Judy seem really grown-up throughout the film, however, is not how she dresses, but rather it's her character's, Lily, relationship with John Thrornway, played by "my" discovery Van Heflin.
Photo Courtesy of
     It wasn't until after I had watched Presenting Lily Mars that I realized that this was not the first film that I had seen Van Heflin in. My very first one had been, in fact, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946). For some unknown reason, I just didn't pay attention to him in that film.
     Perhaps, for some, he might not be considered the usual quint-essential leading man, but for me, he's perfect. Maybe it's because I was paying attention better to this film than I had with The Strange Love . . ., or maybe it was something else entirely, but whatever the case may be, Van completely took me by storm. I found myself wishing that I was Judy. Sure, I do that a lot (imagine myself in the woman's place when she's across from a favorite leading man), but I also found myself wanting to be in Richard Carlson's, who plays Van's best friend, Owen Vail, place, too. Just so long as I could be near the guy . . . and that desire happens very, very, very rarely (I can count on one hand who I'd feel that way about).
Van and Judy.
Photo Courtesy of
     For me, looking at a picture of Judy alone, and looking at a picture of Van alone, I would never think about putting the two together. Alone, they just don't seem as though they would have very good chemistry, but then when you put them together, it's very apparent that they did. And so that is the reason why I would never be a casting director.
And this is where he begins to falter.
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     Watching Van and Judy on screen together made my heart catch slightly. They're just perfect together, in my opinion. Judy's character, Lily, in the fashion of what she thinks is an actress, is all over the place; running here, running there, never seeming to have her feet ever touch the ground. Then Van as John comes in the picture, and right off the bat, you see that he's going to be the anchor that'll bring her back down to Earth, though it'll take a little while and she won't be on there for long. Yet, as the film goes on, and with Lily trying her everything to get John, who's producing a play in New York, to realize that she has talent, though it's amateurish, and that he should put her in it, you see though initially exasperated with her, there's something that he likes, though he's keeping it hidden below his cool exterior.
Catch her John, catch her!
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     Though he gives her a resounding "No!" and sends her back over the wall (she crashed the party that John and his mother, played by one of my favorite character actresses, Fay Bainter, were throwing and that's the only way she could get in), Lily, though initially upset, goes to New York with the blessing of her eccentric mother, played by another favorite character actress, Spring Byington. After a day of no food, she is discovered by John when she runs out onto the stage when the dancers are practicing to get away from the man that guards the door and who will throw her out, when she suddenly faints . . . right into John's arms.
     It's at that moment when he really stars to notice Lily, and he can't help it. As I stated before, Van and Judy, despite my initial disbelief, had amazing chemistry. After they share a kiss when Lily goes to John's hotel room to talk to him and Owen about the ending of the play and how it sort of . . ."fizzles", they fall for each other fast. Maybe the critics will just see that as too convient or whatever, but when they finally had that first kiss, I literally appluaded them and said, "Finally!"
     I wanted, I needed for Van and Judy to get together, and the sooner that they did the better for me. And the moment that sealed the fate of Van becoming a new favorite only lasted one second, but for me, it was the sweetest second in the whole wonderful picture. Throughout the film, Judy has a problem with her banes, and has a habit of blowing them away from her face and then pushing them back with her hand.
Very cute, right? I think it is.
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     I'd take a wild guess and say that with Lily doing that to her banes all the time that the writers meant to symbolize that as her youth. Lily tries to act older than she actually is throughout the whole film, until she finally does become one, and with her blowing her banes away from her face and then pushing them back with her hand in exasperation, the writers are reminding us that just because she tries to act older, she's still just a young girl on the cusp of womanhood. So, later on in the film, when John and Lily are in the process of falling in love with each other, and when she starts to push her banes out of her eyes when they are dancing, and John reaches up and does it instead . . . oh, I could hardly control myself. It was just too perfect, too cute, and it was then that I knew Van Heflin, no matter what, would become a favorite of mine. Granted, this is only my second picture with him in that I've seen, and the first that I've actually really paid attention to, but I just know that he'll become one that I can't keep quiet about.
Awwwww! C'mon! That is so so so perfect!
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     As I stated before, Judy is just so beautiful in this picture to me. The prettiest I've ever seen her, in fact. And with Van's rugged, all-natural looks, Presenting Lily Mars is just a wonderful picture to watch. It made me happy, it made me smile, and it made me laugh (there are some definite funny parts in it), and it made me go "Awwww" so many times I lost count (I really didn't keep count). And the chemistry between the two, and the romance that blossoms between them, all of it is so real. Never once do I feel as though they were faking it.
Aren't they sweet?
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     It escapes me why Leonard Maltin only gives Presenting Lily Mars 2/4 stars, and I don't know where he gets off calling it "a stale story of determined girl getting big chance on Broadway only comes alive when Judy sings". I definitely disagree with him on this one. I think this story is still as timely as today as it was then. I say this because I'm quite sure that any aspiring actress feels the same about making it no matter what just like Lily. In Presenting Lily Mars I have a found a Judy Garland film that finally cracks my top ten, a new favorite actor in Van Heflin, who is vastly underrated as I am finding out (Oh! And he's in Shane [1953] a la with my Jean! So it's almost impossible for me not to like him), and a lovely film to obsess over until they put it out on DVD (which, in all honesty, I'm quite shocked that it already isn't).
     For Presenting Lily Mars, I give it a 4/4 star rating.

This has been my contribution to Van Heflin's day on TCM's Summer Under the Stars Blogathon which is being held in conjunction with TCM's Summer Under the Stars by Sittin' on a Backyard Fence,

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Just Marilyn

Marilyn in Niagara (1952) . . .
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     It seems improbable that fifty years have passed since Marilyn Monroe's death, but it really has been. It doesn't matter though because her popularity hasn't faded in the slightest since her untimely death as many star's have. Instead, it has done the exact opposite, and with each passing year Marilyn becomes more and more of a legend that we as the movie going public, classic film fans or not, have decided as her fate.
. . . and in River of No Return (1954)
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     If that's a good thing or not, I'm not sure. It seems to me that Marilyn is remembered more for her personal demons than for her acting, or lack thereof, abilities. I think that's the biggest insult one can do to her because in all reality, Marilyn Monroe was a fine actress, and I think--no, I know that's what Marilyn wanted us to remember her as.
     Perhaps limited in the roles that she could pull off, I think she really was a good actress who, if she had been treated as a human and not a sex symbol, would have been able to show off her talent; and then maybe we would remember her not just as Marilyn Monroe, but simply Marilyn Monroe.
     I have seen a very limited number of her pictures, but in everyone of them that I have seen, I've found her very enjoyable to watch. Whether she was playing a girl in the search of a millionaire, a girl who can thank the milk foundation for knowing how to kiss, or an actress who knows how to make lazy look real good, she just had this charisma with the video camera. She loved it, and in return, it loved her.
Clark and Marilyn in The Misfits (1961)
Photo Courtesy of
     My intention was to do a double feature of Niagara and River of No Return, but the first few parts of Nia-gara were blocked on youtube (my classic film oasis), and I haven't been able to find it on the other websites that I frequent. And so now I've just decided to do just a post on Marilyn; I hope that Sittin' on a Backyard Fence , who along with another blogger, is doing a month long tribute to all the stars in TCM's line-up for Summer Under the Stars, doesn't mind.
Yes, she was beautiful.
Photo Courtesy of
     Marilyn was a beautiful woman, no doubt about it. Yet, it seems to me that her breathtaking beauty was her biggest adversary because next to her personal issues, that's all anyone seems to remember about her as well. This past year in my U.S. History class, when we had finally reached John F. Kennedy's presidency, a classmate asked, "Didn't he bag that chick Marilyn Monroe?" When my teacher affirmed that, yes, he had an affair with Marilyn, this classmate of mine continued on and said, "Boy, that woman was FINE." Those are his exact words. I'm not making them up. It disgusted me then, and it still disgusts me now about what he said. He knows that she's beautiful, but I know without a doubt that he wouldn't be able to tell me, or anyone, one single film that she did. A total shame.
Norma Jean.
Photo Courtesy of
     I wonder, had there never been a Marilyn Monroe, had she walked this Earth her whole life as Norma Jean Baker, would she have made such a big commotion? I doubt it. Had she walked down the street, on the way to the super market, and had any man seen her, I think that they would have definitely noted her beauty, but that wouldn't be it. I bet that she would have been a friend to him, and he would have stopped and talked to her about every day things. She would have smiled, laughed, and then they both would have gone their own ways, and nothing more would have been done. I think that she would have liked that; to live as Norma Jean Baker and have people like her for being her; not having people fawn all over because she was Marilyn Monroe, and never know who was her friend and who was just being a leach.
     It's sad that no one will ever know, especially Marilyn. And so since that's impossible to find out, I suggest that instead of just everybody remembering Marilyn for her beauty, remember her as a woman that struggled her whole to become someone, to make a name for herself, and then when she finally did, she was never able to be her true self again; remember her not as Marilyn Monroe, but just Marilyn. Do it for yourself, and do it for her.
Just Marilyn.
Photo Courtesy of

My First Liebster Blog Award

     Well, I don't really know what to say about this other then "thank you" to Natalie over at The Swing Mood for picking me as one of her eleven people to tag who she thought deserved the award. I find it incredibly marvelous of her.
     This being my first time at bat with one of these things, I'll just start off by giving the rules once you receive this beauty: The first one is that I've got to tell eleven things all about me (which I'm figuring are eleven NEW things you didn't know), the second is that I've got to answer the eleven questions that the person who picked me asked . . . I've seen what Natalie asked and all I've got to say about that is . . . Oh, goody! The third rule is that I've got to tag eleven other people . . . and the fourth (and final) rule is that I've got to ask them eleven questions. Sounds fun, right? I think so, so let's get started, shall we?

11 Things You Didn't Know About Moi!

11. I know how to play the flute.
10. I'm very OCD about things such as the fact that all my films have to be in alphabetical order by title, my music alphabetical order by the artists FIRST name, and my books are arranged by their height.
9. I've taught myself to write with my left hand, though it's not nearly as good as my right hand, and though I'm right handed, I eat with my left hand.
8. I have two kittens that are named Kit (as in the candy bar, Kit Kat, my sister named her), and Missy, whom I named after Barbara Stanwyck.
7. My lucky/favorite number is seven.
6. I'm obsessed with anything Italian.
5. I want to be a U.S. History teacher. I did want to be a medical examiner, but that was before I found out how much I stink at chemistry last year when I was a junior.
4. I have bright strawberry blonde hair and dark blues eyes. Some days my hair looks really blonde, and then others it's really red, when it's wet, it's red with blonde highlights basically.
3. I write entirely in cursive which people have a hard time reading not because I have horrible handwriting, but because, as they put it, "it's too neat, too pretty, and too loopy".
2. I know how to speak a little of both French and Spanish, though I can read the language better than I speak it; and I'm teaching my self how to read and speak in Italian.
1. I'm extremely sarcastic. No joke.

Natalie's 11 Questions

1. In film do you prefer black&white or color? Black and White
2. In photographs do you prefer black&white or color? Black and White
3. Your favorite era in music? 30s-60s
4. Do you have a tumblr? No, but I do raid it quite often, as does a friend of mine for me.
5. Your second favorite actress? Katharine Hepburn
6. Your favorite movie starring your second favorite actress? Bringing Up Baby (1938)
7. Your second favorite actor? James Stewart (Cary and Dean are tied as #1)
8. Your favorite movie starring your second favorite actor? Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
9. Favorite foreign film? (I haven't watched too many foreign films, but of the few that I have it would be . . . ) La Strada (1954) which is The Road in Italian, and it stars Anthony Quinn.
10. Ice cream or French fries? French fries w/ranch dressing. Yum!
11. If you could see your favorite actress in any movie role [real or imagined] what would it be? I would have loved to see Jean Arthur in any film with Dean Martin.

My 11 . . . 

Bobby-Socks and Old Film Reels
Classic Movie Man
Out of the Past
Classic Film and TV Cafe
The Lady Eve's Reel Life
Dave's Classic Films
Sittin' on a Backyard Fence
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Caftan Woman
Another Old Movie Blog
MacGuffin Movies

The Big 11 . . .

1. Who is your least favorite actor?
2. Despite the fact that you don't like the actor, do you have a film that you really like with him starring in it?
3. A popular film that you'll never be able to understand why it's so popular?
4. A film that you really, really want to see, but haven't yet had the chance to?
5. What film of your favorite actress is your least favorite?
6. A favorite actor or actress who didn't make as many films as you wished that they had?
7. Do you have a film that, if not anything else, you love the dialogue?
8. Favorite film composer?
9. Do you have a film that you love, but didn't like the way it ended, and so you wish you could remake the ending to suit what you believe should have happened?
10. In your opinion, who do you think is the most underrated actor and/or actress?
12. A film that no matter what, you'll never watch it?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Duke, My Father, and I

My first love.
Photo Courtesy of
     When I was a kid there were two men in my life that meant everything to me: My father and John "The Duke" Wayne. My father has been a fan of John Wayne all his life, and so it was quite natural for him to pass on his admiration, respect, and love for this man to me. Now, granted, in the beginning, I didn't even comprehend how big this man was, or just who he was, and really I didn't care, but he's been a part of my life as far back as I can remember.
     The first memory I have of John on screen is in the 1960 film North to Alaska. Here I am, about five or six, sitting in the middle of the living room, on the floor, looking up at the television, and watching delightedly as John gets drunk, gets angry, punches the daylights out of everybody, kisses the girl, and--oh, yeah--shoots guns. My eyes follow him across the screen, never once leaving him, and my little insides start to get all bunched up.
John and Stewart Granger in North to Alaska.
Photo Courtesy of
     It is the beginning of my first crush.
     That shows just how magnetizing John could, and can, be. At the time he made North to Alaska, he was fifty-three-years-old--and there I was, some forty odd years later, wearing down the VHS tape to the movie, at the tender age of six and thinking that he was the most handsome man I had ever seen.
     In the days when VHS tapes were the "in" thing (yes, I do remember them), I was lucky enough that my father (of course) had an enormous pile of recorded John Wayne films from old cable stations and ones that had actually been sold and distributed on tape. By the time I was ten, I had watched all of them fourfold. And still, it wasn't enough for me.
John in Jet Pilot. He liked his lips, too.
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No one can even walk like John.
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     John made 154 pictures over his career, many of them wouldn't be considered even "good" by no means, but that hardly ever matters when somebody is a favorite of yours. The films among the pile were obscurities such as Jet Pilot (1957), Blood Alley (1955), The Fighting Ken-tuckian (1949), and, my personal favorite of all John's pictures for some reason or other, Angel and the Badman (1947), etc. I would watch these films over and over to the point where I could remember lines, note particular nuances, and match the John Wayne walk (or at least, what I'm sure I thought was the John Wayne walk).
     As a little girl, I really wasn't that interested in movies where the actors kissed (I think I was still in my "Eww, boys have cooties" stage), but when John kissed one of his leading ladies, my little heart would beat real fast, and I'd go "Wow." Even then I knew that John was a man.
     And since John did so many westerns, and that's the genre in which he is best remembered for (the poster boy, in fact), westerns have always been a favorite of mine. Many find them boring, but thanks to John, I have never found that to be.
Gail Russell didn't think he had cooties either.
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  There is so much that I love John for. It's not just who he was and what he did in the pictures and in his lifetime, but for what he has also done for my lifetime. His films has given my father and I this link, this bond, and I'm ever so grateful for that. And as hokey as this might sound, he's also taught me many lessons through his films: He's taught me to be firm in my beliefs, give a helping hand when you can, and love my country . . . All lessons that my father has taught me as well.
A young John Wayne.
Photo Courtesy of
     Though I didn't know it at the time, John started off my love for the classics. He was my foundation, and having John as my standing ground is like having the Rock of Gibraltar beneath my feet--I know that I'm not going to be falling through anytime soon. My love for the classics is here to stay forever, and it's all because of John. I have found other stars (Cary Grant, Dean Martin) whom I love, and who I state to be my favorite above all others, but John holds this very special place in my heart that no one will ever be to touch.  He was there from the very beginning and he'll be there at the very end.
     Thanks John.

I still think he's one of the most handsome men there ever was.
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This was my contribution to the Summer Under the Stars Blogathon for the whole month of August, which I will be partaking in all month long. See the other contributions for John Wayne here.