Flicks From The Past

Pics and goodies mostly related to classic films and classic film people.
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a book with an image of a woman on it
Publiversary Time!
This month is not only the 2-year publiversary of Book 1 of the Adele Gossling Mysteries (when it all started). It’s also the 1-year publiversary for Book 5! Book 5 of the series is an exciting mystery about the mysterious death of a daredevil trapeze flyer when the circus comes to Arrojo. I’ve always loved circus films and Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus (1928) is always a fun one to watch. You can read more about this film in my blog post. And keep an eye out for the special discount that’s going to be happening later this month to celebrate the publiversary!
a woman in a fur coat and hat with a cat on her lap looking up
Hispanic Heritage Month celebration!
Today starts Hispanic Heritage Month! Did you know that before Joan Crawford and Bette Davis made headlines with their rivalry, Mexican actresses Dolores Del Rio and Lupe Valez were making headlines as rivals? Read all about it in my latest blog post!
two men in suits standing next to each other
The Case of the Dead Domestic inspiration!
So I’ve been dropping hints about how the latest book in the Adele Gossling Mysteries was inspired by a true historical crime, right? Well, my book wasn’t the only one! No less than David Lynch and Mark Frost, the creators of Twin Peaks, were also inspired by this crime! Read all about it in my blog post
a woman with blonde hair smiling and wearing an orange sweater, white collared shirt and red pants
Upstairs, Downstairs - relationships between master and servant in the early 20th century
One of my absolute favorite TV series is from the 1970s and shows the very complex relationships that were happening between wealthy early 20th-century families and their servants (kind of a precursor to Downton Abbey). You can read about the series (Upstairs, Downstairs) in my blog post for this week.
the east west players logo is shown in red, green, blue and purple colors
Happy Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month!
This month is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month so we want to celebrate this very diverse culture. Last year, I wrote a blog post about the East West Players and how an old (and not so non-discriminatory) film was the germ of the creation of this admirable acting group.
charlie chappin and the circus poster on a blue background with an image of people riding
Chaplin's The Circus
Who doesn’t love the circus? Chaplin loved it enough to make a Little Tramp comedy that takes place at the circus in 1928. While the film has all the Chaplin goodies, it also teaches us a lot about early circus life. Read more about that in my blog post.
a woman standing next to a statue holding a piece of paper in front of her
Marlon Brando's Mouthpiece? NOT!
Happy American Indian Heritage Month! Let’s celebrate with Sacheen Littlefeather, the activist who made headlines by having the guts to do what Marlon Brando didn’t at the 45th Annual Academy Awards.
an old photo of a woman dressed in costume and posing for the camera with her hands on her hips
RIP, Angela Lansbury
This is so sad to me. Y'all know I love Agatha Christie and other classic mystery writers and sleuths. I grew up watching Murder, She Wrote and it inspired me as a young writer (though I wasn't writing mysteries then). I'm sure Jessica Fletcher is partly why I turned to mystery fiction later in life. Plus, Dame Angela Lansbury was just an all-around amazing actress in film, TV, and stage. We will miss you, Dame Angela Lansbury.
black and white photograph of women holding protest signs
Lizzie Borden 1970's TV Movie
One of the most fascinating true crime cases of history is the Lizzie Borden case. Countless films and TV mini series have been made about Lizzie. I talk about one of them, a TV movie made in the 1970s
an old building with lots of windows and debris on the floor
Did you know there was a made-for-TV movie about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 that was made in the 1970s? I can't vouch for how good or how accurate it is, but you can watch it here:
a woman sitting on top of a bed in a pink dress and tiara with her legs crossed
William Holden & Kim Novak Dancing in the Movie Picnic
Labor Day (which was on Monday) is a time for picnics. I always think of the 1955 film "Picnic", which takes place in a small American town on Labor Day (during the annual holiday picnic, of course). It's an entertaining film, one of those potboiler films they made in the 1950s that skirted taboo subjects like sex and alcoholism (think: Desperate Housewives, 1950s style). Here's a clip from the film with the lovely Kim Novak and hunky William Holden:
an old black and white photo of two people sitting at a table with coffee in front of them
Last week I posted about Death of A Salesman, Arthur Miller's powerful play about family life in the post-war era. I talk even more about this film and the father figure to my newsletter subscribers. If you want to get in on it and haven't yet, you can sign up for my newsletter, which goes out twice a month on Fridays.
an old black and white photo of two people sitting at a table with coffee in front of them
A Boat Looking for a Harbor: Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman
The 4th Annual Broadway Bound Blogathon is going on right now, where classic film and Broadway lovers post about Broadway and Tony award-winning films and plays on their blogs. My contribution is all about a very complicated and not-so-nice father from the post-war era - Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.
an old black and white photo of a man reading a paper to a woman sitting on a couch
Life With Father (1947) Clip
Speaking of the Gilded Age disciplinarian father... A great example of this character on film from this era is William Powell in Life with Father (1947). This film parodies this kind of father so we get to laugh at his insane demands, his sexism, and his narrow-mindedness (though these are things we can't laugh at in real life).
two women in dresses standing next to each other
We're ending the week with some famous literary moms. One that stands out in my mind is Mrs. Bennet from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. She's sort of kooky and trying at times, but very much a product of the Victorian era (think: separate spheres). Mary Boland, who played her in the 1940 film version, is absolutely perfect in it. If you've never seen the film, here's a classic clip: