The ABC Award

It’s been quite a while since I received this lovely nomination from Fritzi of Movies, Silently, but I hadn’t the time to dedicate to it until now.  The delay should not be interpreted as indifference, however, as it’s always an honor to be recognized by bloggers I admire.  And now that the daunting, albeit enjoyable task has been completed I am happy to share it in hope you find it entertaining.  Or at least interesting.

abc

As you see on the banner this is the Awesome Blog Content (ABC) Award and the rules are pretty simple:

1. Download the award logo and add it to your acceptance post.

2. Nominate a few fellow bloggers and share the award.

3. Since the award is ABC, take each letter of the alphabet and use it to tell something about yourself.

Step 1 is done, see banner above.  Step 2…

From the many fantastic bloggers in this community I subtracted those Fritzi included on her list and am nominating these five today – in appreciation.  Although I must note there is absolutely no obligation to formerly accept this task.

My nominees:

Wide Screen World

A Person in the Dark

Nitrate Diva

Outspoken & Freckled

It Rains…You Get Wet

Step 3…

The ABC Award Alphabet

Before you proceed know that I treated this much as I do such things all the time, like a Rorschach test, meaning I go with what first occurs to me in each category or letter unless otherwise noted.  I’ve posted a couple of other alphabet-type posts I didn’t bother to review before completing this one so you may see repeats in this if you happen to have gotten through those.  And whether the things I end up listing are actually about me or my likes is up in the air.  So here we go…

A – Aurora

Naturally, my favorite Disney Princess is…

sleeping

B – Bitches in the movies – the three that always come to mind have no political agenda or mental illness, they’re just plain hateful women who in my mind are somehow related.

Veda Pierce played by Ann Blythe in Mildred Pierce (1945)

Mrs. Henry Vale played by Gladys Cooper in Now, Voyager (1942)

Ellen Berent Harland played by Gene Tierney – Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

I hate them all!  No wonder the 1940s is my favorite decade in film.

C – Cuban Music

Because it is a major part of who I am.

cuba

Here are three random examples of typical Cuban music for your listening pleasure:

I’ll start with what is (arguably) the most famous piece of Cuban music ever written, which has impressive ties to classic Hollywood since 1932.  Groucho Marx whistles the tune in Duck Soup (1933), Cary Grant sings it in Only Angels Have Wings (1939) (go to 1:58), Jane Powell sings it in Luxury Liner (1948) and Judy Garland sings a piece of it in A Star is Born (1954) – to name a few.  The song is known as the “The Peanut Vendor” performed here in its original version as  “El Manicero,” by popular Cuban band, Orquesta Aragón.  The song was recorded over 160 times.

Next, a typical cha cha cha called “El Bodeguero” – popular in the early 1950s performed by Orquesta Aragón  By the way, Orquesta Aragón was formed in 1939 and was one of the most popular bands in Cuba, pre-revolution.

And here’s one by the man considered the premiere Cuban vocalist, Benny Moré, singing a signature bolero, “Como Fue” with his orchestra.

Cuban music has a deep and varied history and is what I believe the island nation’s greatest export.  I include three random examples based on my mood today, but they don’t represent the scope and richness of the history of this music in any way.

D – Dance – The sexiest of artistic expressions in my book.  Here are three of my favorite dance sequences in the movies:

Gene Kelly – the newspaper sequence in Summer Stock (1950)

Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire – “Begin the Beguine” from Broadway Melody of 1940

Fred and Ginger – “cheek to Cheek” in Top Hat (1935)

E – Espresso

I can’t live without it.

espresso

F – Fright – a sudden intense feeling of fear.  What I feel every time I see a bug.

G – George

The first thing that came to mind so here are my favorite classics in this category:

George Stevens – because he was fantastic director.

George Burns – because he had the good sense to marry Gracie.

George Gershwin – because when he was in a normal mood “music dripped from his fingers”

H – 

hh

I – Impossible Dream, The

One of my all-time favorite songs.  Composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics by Joe Darion, “The Impossible Dream” is the most popular song from the hit musical, Man of La Mancha.  The song was first sung and recorded by Richard Kiley in 1965 when he created the role of Don Quixote in the hit Broadway musical, one he won the Tony Award for.  Several great versions of “The Impossible Dream” would be recorded through the years, including wonderful versions by Robert Goulet, Andy Williams and Frank Sinatra, but it’s Kiley’s performance that moves me most.

From 1971 here is Richard Kiley reprising his iconic stage role at the 25th Anniversary of the Tony Awards.

J – The greatest of all Jacks

jack

K – Killers in the movies

I’m sure many more fabulous killers will pop into my head by the time this is published, but I’ll go with the ones that occurred to me first.

Tony Camonte in Hawks’ Scarface (1932) – because the world is his

Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – because as far as serial killers go Hannibal’s pretty stylish

Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity (1944) – because she has fatal powers over otherwise good men

Dracula – because he’s perfected the art of killing over lifetimes

Michael Corleone in The Godfather: Part II (1974) – because he kills his mother’s son

Bruno Antony in Strangers on a Train (1951) – because he chokes a woman and doesn’t bother to pick up her glasses

Uncle Charlie in Shadow of a Doubt (1943) – because you say “Uncle” and he comes to mind

Mrs Bates in Psycho (1960) – because she lent her son her house dress and it inspired him to kill the star of the movie

Brigid O’Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (1941) – because she is a precursor to Dietrichson who is also a better liar

Max Cady in Cape Fear (1962) and Harry Powell in The Night of the Hunter (1955) – because you simply cannot beat this killer one-two punch by anybody – so really this is for killer, Mitchum.

And because I find any way possible to fit her into a post – Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. (1950) – a movie star who has to kill in order to make the most spectacular entrance down a grand staircase and movie exit in all of film.

LLooney Tunes

In my book the smartest, most entertaining animation ever produced.

MAll hail the almighty Mango

My favorite fruit – a messy, pulpous, sweet delight.

A mango memory – I lost my two front teeth biting into a mango when I was about six.  Both stayed in the fruit as I removed my mouth.  I then remove them from the fruit, placed them on a napkin, had my aunt check my mouth and proceeded to finish the mango.

mango

You should know this cautionary tale – the mango tooth episode resulted in my being sent to speech class because I had a lisp, which disappeared as soon as my two front teeth grew back.

N – Newspapers in the movies

I’m a sucker for the newspaper image and montage in classic film, a storytelling technique rarely used in this age of instant gratification.  So here’s my short homage to two directors who were particularly fond of using newspapers in their movies – Capra and Hitchcock.

O – Orson

He’s been on my mind of late, the genius who makes me shake my head.  He was full of himself, which has affected the way I react to his films.  To me his greatest achievement went out to the masses by air via radio.

ow

P – Please and thank you – just think they’re not used enough!

Q – Queen of Salsa

I adore and miss her.  One of, if not the greatest talent latin popular music has ever known or will ever see.  She made it to the top and stayed there – in a man’s world – for over five decades.  She sang with the best and bettered them.  To Celia Cruz, the undisputed Queen of Salsa.

celia

R Love me some Rascals

S – Silent Clowns – because my appreciate for them grows each day.

I must make the effort to learn about the ladies of silent comedies as well.

T – TCMFF

So far the best part of 2014 for me.

U – Una O’Connor

Destined to be memorable.  So much so, in fact, that Frankenstein’s Monster didn’t bother to hurt her.

un2

una1

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

V – Vaudeville

Where so many future radio, film and television stars got their start.  And an entertainment era that is long overdue for some attention on Once Upon a Screen.  To honor in brief here are a few popular Vaudeville images.

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W – Who’s on First?

So, who would’ve thought that one of the acts conceived for the vaudeville stage would end up teaching me English?

I asked for a tape recorder for Christmas when I was five because one of my cousins had one and I thought it was cool.  Immediately upon getting it I started recording TV shows and movies as I watched them.  One of the first things I happen to record was Abbott and Costello’s famous “Who’s On First” skit as it appeared in The Naughty Nineties (1945) on television. I didn’t understand the skit at first, but still enjoyed the banter in some way – I’m guessing the musicality of it since I didn’t yet know the language.  I played the heck outta that recording until one day I understood it –  the day I learned to speak English.  I also remember trying to explain the routine in Spanish to my mother.  It didn’t translate well.

X – My favorite EXtraterrestrials

Y – Yippee Ki Yay

Why this for Y? Because I couldn’t think of anything else.

According to The Week online, the “yip” part of the this phrase dates back to the 16th Century.  However the entire “Yippee Ki Yay” phrase is believed to have originated from the following song performed by Bing Crosby and several other recognizable personalities in Norman Taurog’s Rhythm on the Range (1936):

You may be more familiar with the “Yippee Ki Yay” phrase as used in a much more colorful way by Bruce Willis in the 1988 movie Die Hardnow considered one of the best one-liners in movie history.

Z

The Mark of Zorro 1

 

 ♦

There you have it – 26 different mentions and not one dedicated to Cary Grant!  I hope you enjoyed perusing through the list or I commend and thank you for trying.  This was a lot of fun to put together.

I must end with a thank you to Fritzi, one of the most prolific, supportive bloggers anywhere.  As a gift for you, Fritzi here’s Cary Grant’s Barbecued Chicken Recipe.

bbq

14 thoughts

  1. You’ve done it again. A fabulous post. Have you ever thought of writing a book. Pick a film theme and I bet you could turn out a few hundreds pages in no time!
    So much to comment on.
    Enjoyed listening to the Cuban music. I take it that’s where you are from.
    I love your three Georges – “music drips from his fingers”(Gershwin)
    I too adore Richard Kiley singing The Impossible Dream.
    “You say uncle and he comes to mind” . So true!
    Una O’Connor – that face,those eyes. Character acting perfection. When a character actor is so real, I long to see what they were like out of character.
    Vaudeville. Amazing how many Hollywood stars started there. I hope you do an article.
    Think I’ll go around today saying “Yippee Ki Yay” !
    And you didn’t forget Cary.

    Brilliant post.

    1. Can never forget Cary. 🙂

      Yes, I’m originally from Cuba and suppose I should have mentioned that.

      Thanks so much, Vienna. It means the world how supportive you are to me and this blog. Can’t imagine I have anything of interest to say in a book, but you’re sweet to say so. So happy you enjoyed this and my ramblings.

      Aurora

  2. Congratulations!! I agree, well deserved for sure. This is such a fun post to read Aurora, thanks for doing it and sharing with us. Bravo dear!

    You know I’m gonna try the Cary Grant recipe, I just have to 🙂

  3. Losing your two front teeth to a mango kinda sounds like a Little Rascals-type moment, when you think about it.

    Many thanks.

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