And just like that…Once Upon a Screen has been around for nine years.
It has been an enjoying ride thus far with extraordinary learning curves. Yes, I am talking to you WordPress. But seriously, as I admitted a few years ago, I am at once shocked at my stick-to-itiveness and happy I still enjoy sharing my thoughts on all things classic on this blog. Although it has been a bit difficult of late, this place remains an important respite from all the negativity we are bound to run into out in the real world.
Before I get to the formal celebration of 9, a note of apreciation to everyone who stops in for a visit or to leave a comment. It means the world and never gets old.
As is the usual custom for these types of occasions I begin with a presentation of traditional gifts. A ninth anniversary poses some challenges, but I am determined to match the gifts with images. The presents for this milestone are Pottery (which represents nature and simplicity) and willow (indicative of nature and flexibility). These are for you.
Anna May Wong, the first shovel in the grounds of Los Angeles Chinatwon’s Central Plaza, planting a ceremonial willow tree in 1938.
Now that the gifts are out of the way, I venture forward with the celebration and things connected to nines in some classic way.
These are all Dressed to the nines
Movie stars love creatures with Nine Lives
A Stitch in time saves nine
I couldn’t find the exact origin of this proverb, but it comes in handy. The meaning is simple, little effort expended sooner to fix a small problem prevents it from becoming a larger problem requiring more effort to fix later.
The whole nine yards
This means everything.
On cloud nine
To be ‘on cloud nine’ is to be in a state of blissful happiness. From 1969, here are The Temptations to help us celebrate:
A nine day’s wonder
Something that is interesting or effective or famous for a short period of time. This one was new to me. I had heard on a one day wonder, but nine days is good too.
Nine out of ten times
Most of the time. Nine out of ten times I like what I post on this blog.
Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration
This quote is attributed to Thomas Edison who many of you may know owns an important part of motion picture history. The quote simply means that hard work plays a huge part of all inventions/success.
1909 was an important year in motion picture history and it conveniently ends in a nine. Anyway, you have such ffilm greats born that year as Dana Andrews, Ann Sothern, Carmen Miranda, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, James Mason, Margaret Sullavan, Errol Flynn, Ruby Keeler, Elia Kazan, Robert Ryan, Frances Dee, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Notables who made their film debuts in 1909 include Roscoe Arbuckle, Marie Dressler, Tom Mix, and ‘America’s Sweetheart,’ Mary Pickford, in a small role as a ten-year-old girl in the short Her First Biscuits, directed by D.W. Griffith.
Important events took place behind-the-scenes in 1909 as well. Carl Laemmle founded the Independent Moving Pictures Company, eventually renamed Universal Pictures Company. Also, May of that year saw the release of Mr. Flip starring Ben Turbin. Mr. Flip is notable for being the first movie that features someone being hit in the face with a pie, a gag emulated the rest of motion picture history.
Nines at the Oscars
Jack Nicholson owns the record for most Oscar nominations for a male actor with twelve, but today we honor nine, which brings Laurence Olivier to the lead with ten nominations, but nine of those were for Best Actor. Are you confused yet? OK. Next is Spencer Tracy who also garnered nine Best Actor nominations with two wins, one more win than Olivier. Paul Newman has a total of nine acting nominations, eight for Best Actor and one for Best Supporting. Finally Al Pacino also has a total of nine nominations, four of which are in the Best Actor category. If none of that made sense, these four guys somehow had nine Oscar nominations…
There are several female actors that have surpassed nine nominations with Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis among them. However, since none of those have a memorable ‘nine’ in any category I have nothing to share here on the female front. The same holds true for films. Several movies have earned exactly nine nominations, but most are relatively contemporary and none broke records.
Classic Movie Series with 9 outings
Beach Party series
- Beach Party (1963)
- Muscle Beach Party (1964)
- Bikini Beach (1964)
- Pajama Party (1964)
- Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
- Ski Party (1965)
- How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965)
- The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966)
- Back to the Beach (1987)
Hammer Dracula (1958 series)
- Dracula (1958)
- The Brides of Dracula (1960)
- Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
- Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
- Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969)
- Scars of Dracula (1970)
- Dracula AD 1972 (1972)
- The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
- The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)
Torchy Blane series starring Glenda Farrell in all but two of the movies
- Smart Blonde (1937)
- Fly-Away Baby (1937)
- The Adventurous Blonde (1937)
- Blondes At Work (1938)
- Torchy Blane in Panama (1938)
- Torchy Gets Her Man (1938)
- Torchy Blane in Chinatown (1939)
- Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939)
- Torchy Plays with Dynamite (1939)
In case you missed it, I picked my 9 Supreme Court Justices from classic film in this post.
You can also take a look at my tribute to 1939 because Hollywood’s greatest year ends in a 9.
99 years ago it was 1921. Here are a few important films and events from the year:
Director George Melford’s and Famous Players-Lasky’s melodramatic The Sheik debuted and established Italian-born star Rudolph Valentino as cinema’s best-known lover.
Charlie Chaplin’s first feature-length film (a six-reeler) and first film as producer, The Kid (1921), was released, with a star-making role for young Jackie Coogan.
Roscoe Arbuckle signed a $3 million contract with Paramount and celebrated in room 1227 at the San Francisco hotel. Terrible events resulted with his life and career destroyed and a young woman dead.
The first film featuring the four Marx Brothers together was the slapstick two-reel comedy, Humor Risk released in 1921.
With that I extend a happy anniversary wish to Once Upon a Screen! By way of this blog I’ve met wonderful people and learned a heck of a lot about classic movies. To ensure nine blessings to it, you and yours here are 9 classic images. With these I send best wishes and heartfelt appreciation for your continued support.