A 4th Anniversary Celebration…and a Teaser

  Once Upon a Screen celebrates its 4th anniversary this week and there’s a lot to be thankful for… To start – It’s still here! For that alone I thank… everyone who visits this blog the community that has embraced it those I now call friends due to my ramblings here… To help commemorate this milestone… I honor tradition and the gifts appropriate […]

MY MAN GODFREY, Eugene Pallette, 1936

The Rotund and Gravel-voiced Ol’ Reliable, Eugene Pallette

A man descends a commanding staircase with considerable ease despite his heft.  He sings in a voice not made for song… Come landlord fill the flowing bowl Until it doth run over. For tonight we’ll merry merry be For tonight we’ll merry merry be For tonight we’ll merry merry be Tomorrow we’ll be sober. The […]


WHAT A CHARACTER! 2015 – Day Two!

This is so exciting Edward Everett Horton is biting his nails! I’m thrilled to be hosting Day Two of the 2015 What A Character! Blogathon, the fourth installment of an event during which we put aside the stars and focus our efforts on the Hortons of the world.  Paula’s Cinema Club kicked things off yesterday with a terrific […]

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Patience, MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946) from Criterion

When I think of John Ford, an artist if there ever was one, what I find most fascinating is his gruff persona, which is evidenced in every single image you see of the man and that comes across in most interviews, in contrast to the sensitivity and tenderness infused in his films.  That dichotomy is what makes […]


Violent Masterpieces: BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967) and THE WILD BUNCH (1969)

Most life-long film and Hollywood fans are equally fascinated by both the product and its history.  Of particular interest to me, for example, are the players and films that were influential in changing trends, the ones that pushed boundaries.  A while back I posted a write-up on Lowell Sherman’s, She Done Him Wrong (1933), one of the films responsible for the strict enforcement […]



THE JAGGED MARK OF HIS SWORD STRUCK TERROR IN EVERY HEART – BUT ONE! That’s a catchy tagline for Rouben Mamoulian‘s The Mark of Zorro, which serves a terrific ninety-four minutes at the movies!  This tale of chivalry and adventure with beautiful people, memorable (if familiar) characters and a snazzy, well-paced plot should not be missed if only for its […]

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November on #TCM

I’m a bit late with this entry given November is two days old already (where does the time go?) so I’ll get right to my TCM highlights for the month. There’s a particularly interesting article by Robert Osborne in the November issue of TCM‘s ‘Now Playing’ guide.  As each month’s featured write-up Mr. Osborne dedicates […]


Honoring a Small Horse and Big Dreams – SEABISCUIT (2003)

On this day in 1938 a small horse named Seabiscuit defeated a mighty champion, Triple Crown winner War Admiral during a race at the Pimlico Special in Baltimore deemed “the match of the century.”   To commemorate the event I am dedicating this entry to a post-classic film that honors the life of Seabiscuit – and unlikely […]

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Universal Pictures’ SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939)

My absolute favorite horror movies are those produced by Universal Pictures during the studio’s horror hey day.  Today I am dedicating a post to a prime example of the era, one that stands among my favorites from the Universal entries that tell the continuing saga of Frankenstein and his monster – Rowland Lee’s Son of Frankenstein […]


CMBA – Plains, Trains And Automobiles: Hitchcock On a Train

When the Classic Movie Blog Association (CMBA) announced the topic for its fall blogathon, Trains, Planes and Automobiles, the first images that came to mind were from scenes of trains and in trains from Alfred Hitchcock movies.  While the legendary director used all modes of transportation to the advantage of his stories and the peril of […]


Erle C. Kenton’s GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942)

Friend, good.  This movie, bad. In the timeline of classic Universal horror entries dedicated to the big boy on the lot, The Monster, Erle C. Kenton’s The Ghost of  Frankenstein (1942) follows Rowland Lee’s Son of Frankenstein (1939).  I’ll be posting a commentary on Son of Frankenstein, which is a favorite of mine in a couple of weeks, but for […]


¡De Película! Hollywood’s Hispanic Heritage Blogathon

 Celebrando la Herencia Hispana en Hollywood en este Día de la Raza o Día de la Hispanidad. The celebration of Hollywood’s Hispanic Heritage is upon us and I’m honored to be hosting a terrific array of posts.  I’ll waste no time getting to the submissions, which exceeded my expectations.  But first to all the bloggers who’ve taken the […]


OUT OF THE PAST (1947) remade AGAINST ALL ODDS (1984)

I HATE REMAKES.  That’s my usual point of view, but I’m about to contradict myself.  One of my favorite movies from the 1980s is a remake of one of the greatest films ever made and I don’t have a problem with it. When I first saw Taylor Hackford‘s Against all Odds (1984) I had not […]

Rita Hayworth leads a conga line of sailors during WWII

Hollywood’s Hispanic Heritage: The Conga Line

From flash mobs to high school proms to weddings the Conga Line makes appearances in celebrations the world over.  Just a few days ago I was watching an episode of “The Golden Girls” that ended with the ladies in a conga line during Blanche’s birthday party.  Instantly recognizable and easy to do, the conga line dance […]


FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN (1973) – Once was too Much

Flesh for Frankenstein was later titled Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein (1973) – Written & Directed by Paul Morrissey Cast: Udo Kier – Baron von Frankenstein Monique van Vooren – Baroness Katrin Frankenstein Joe Dallesandro – Nicholas, the stable boy Arno Juerging – Otto, the Baron’s assistant Dalila Di Lazzaro – Female Monster Srdjan Zelenovic – Sacha / Male Monster Marco […]


From ¿Qué Pasa, USA? to THE BIG BOODLE with Velia Martinez

I was talking to a friend of mine last week and the conversation turned toward “¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?” a PBS-produced sitcom we watched religiously in days gone by.  Hailed as the first bilingual situation comedy “¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?” centered on the multi-generational, Cuban-American Peña family living in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.  The show, which initially […]


“The Judy Garland Show” comes to getTV. Be still my heart.

I’ve been talking to myself for a couple of days now.  Or ever since I saw the announcement from getTV about the addition of vintage variety shows to their slate of classic movies.  I don’t know about you, but I love me some classic variety shows! getTV’s new variety night will begin on Monday, October 12 with a fantastic […]


Announcement: WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon 2015

NOTICE:  The WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon has been postponed until next weekend, November 21-22-23. We will promote everyone’s post as usual during those three days. To all participants – thank you for your patience and understanding. Kellee, Paula and Aurora ◊ WE’RE BACK for number 4! WHAT A CHARACTER! a phrase borrowed from Turner Classic Movies […]


Laurel, Hardy and the Biggest Stoop You’ve Ever Seen in Your Life

The best, most memorable comedy is often based on a simple premise or formula.  That’s especially true of classic comedians, masters of laughter like Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd or Laurel & Hardy who regularly took common situations or scenarios and turned them into madcap adventures.  The topic of this post is one of those instances where a couple of […]


#HispanicHeritageMonth Image Gallery

To commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) I offer you images of a few classic faces. The official celebration on this blog will take place on October 12 with the Hollywood’s Hispanic Heritage Blogathon.  For details click on the following banner.  There’s still plenty of time to join. El Dia De La Raza The […]

THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES, Lauren Bacall, 1996

Lauren Bacall in THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES (1996)

There are portraits of a familiar face in the New York City apartment of Hannah and Rose Morgan.  It’s the face of one of classic Hollywood’s great beauties – Lauren Bacall. Seeing Bacall’s face in those pictures alongside her marvelous portrayal of Hannah in Barbra Streisand‘s The Mirror Has Two Faces only enhances the movie and […]

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William Boyd and Hopalong Cassidy

After nearly 40 years of riding across millions of American TV and movie screens, the cowboy actor William Boyd, best known for his role as Hopalong Cassidy, dies on this day in 1972 at the age of 77.  In tribute here’s a flash look back at Boyd and the iconic Hopalong Cassidy. William Boyd became […]


Stanwyck in Wellman’s THE PURCHASE PRICE (1932)

“Egotism – usually just a case of mistaken nonentity.” ― Barbara Stanwyck William Wellman loved working with Barbara Stanwyck and the attitude illustrated by the above-noted quote is the reason why.  The no pretense director and the no pretense actress were a great match. As my entry to the William Wellman Blogathon hosted by Now […]


New York in the Movies – a Gallery

I’ve been wanting to dedicate a gallery post to my home town and today I found my excuse.  It was 351 years ago – on September 8, 1664 – that New Amsterdam became New York.  How’s that for a stretch? I love seeing New York in the Movies.  I love movies about New York.  The City’s […]


A Hammer-Style Female Monster – FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN (1967)

Who am I and what did you do with the real Aurora?  It’s not even October yet and I took another look at a Hammer Studios production, the ultimate evil, a female version of Frankenstein’s monster. While Terence Fisher‘s Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) is not a favorite entry in the Hammer horror arsenal, it is not without merit.  In […]


Lovable Con Man: W. C. Fields – 100 Years in the Movies

W. C. Fields was an avid supporter of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.   That is until the President stated that no actor should be paid more than $25,000 per picture.  Fields, who was getting $100,000 per picture at that time changed his allegiance immediately. I love that anecdote recounted by W. C. Fields’ grandsons, Ron and Allen […]


BROTHERHOOD OF THE POPCORN (2014) a Must for Movie Lovers

It’s been happening for over thirty-five years – a bi-monthly meeting of the Cliffhangers Club made up of nine guys who get together to watch movies.  This is not a gathering at the local movie theater, however.  It’s actually as close to a recreation of what made them fall in love with old movie serials as can […]


On Her Centennial – The NOTORIOUS Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman was an internationally renowned actress who’s still considered among the best the silver screen has ever featured.  Known for her beauty and talent, Bergman played all types of women on screen – from the simple and pure to the complicated, historical figure and in scenarios that varied from love affairs to international intrigue.  She always […]

Rita Moreno

Announcement: Hollywood’s Hispanic Heritage Blogathon 2015

Please visit th newly created, official Hollywood’s Hispanic Heritage Blogathon post to access the fabulous submissions. ◊ Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on September 15 and ends on October 15.  In celebration I am reprising the Hollywood’s Hispanic Heritage Blogathon to commemorate the imprint Hispanics have made on […]


Essentials: Marlene Dietrich and WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1957)

“If we had to invent someone to be the ideal woman…we would have to invent Marlene Dietrich.” – Billy Wilder Billy Wilder and Marlene Dietrich enjoyed a long friendship based on mutual admiration.   He admired her body, her attitude and her work ethic and she admired his kindness and talent.  It’s not a surprise then […]

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CAPITOLFEST Serves Rare, Early Film Feast With All the Trimmings

Two weeks ago today I was on my way to what would turn out to be a fantastically rich, three-day movie-going experience, one I’ve made it my mission to promote as much as possible because it remains oddly obscure.  That event is Capitolfest in Rome, New York, a three-day classic film festival which celebrated its 13th […]