Thursday, January 28, 2010


This is director John Frankenheimer second film and first with legendary actor Burt Lancaster. The cinematography is gorgeous. Many shots are layered and the mise-en-scene is dramatic with objects and faces frozen in the foreground and action happening in the background. The film deals with social issues in a way that only a '60s movie can do. The decade really opened filmmakers up to explore human nature more freely and with less restriction as the Code's reign was nearing it's demise. I place The Young Savages at the upper-echelon of superb dramatic movies! (Please read the excellent article on TCM's website about the film. Lots of great trivia and facts to be found there!)

I'm a bit torn about how the Puerto Ricans are represented in this film and find myself more ambivalent than offended. At first, the blind Puerto Rican boy is the epitome of innocence. His family, friends and neighbors all seem angelic in their mourning. However, as the story progresses the separation balance of evil on both sides changes with the Italians looking better and the Puerto Ricans looking worse and worse. We initially hate those three Italian boys but then we pity them. I'm not sure if this story would have worked in reverse with three Puerto Rican teens killing a blind Italian boy or if Bell would have been Puerto Rican, and in that case we wouldn't have had the wonderful Burt Lancaster in the starring role. This is such a great film than I really don't want to think to think ill of it but really in the end the representation of Latinos in this film can be considered poor at best. If you have any thoughts on these, please share!

Level of Brown Face ~ 0 out of 5 shades. 100% real Hispanic actors. Woot!

TCM Latino Images in Film Line-Up for Tuesday May 19th

The Lawless (1950)
Trial (1955)
Cry Tough (1959)
The Young Savages (1961)
Blackboard Jungle (1955)
American Express-Partners in Preservation program is giving grants to historical Massachusetts landmarks that need funding for the preservation of these sites. Out of 700 applicants, they chose 25 and they are asking that you the public vote for which you think most deserves funding. The winner will be guaranteed a grant. Others will be reviewed by committees to decide whether they should get some of the funding.
So why am I writing about this? Because my high school's Dairy Barn is one of the 25 contenders. I attended Norfolk County Agricultural High School from 1994-1998. I was an Environmental Science major but had a special place in my heart for the Dairy cows and the Dairy Barn. The barn was built in 1919 and has been instrumental in teaching students about farm management. However, due to detoriation the barn no longer houses dairy cows and students are not allowed in. This gorgeous barn is now used only for the storage of hay.

I spent many many hours in this Dairy barn. I got to see a cow give birth, I got to feed the cows, milk them and even bond with them. In my Junior year, I selected a special Guernsey cow named Gemma to be my cow for the Spring show. I would go to the school on Saturday mornings to train with her and groom her. I clipped her, bathed her, cleaned her ears and nose, scrubbed her, shined her hooves and got her all gussied up for the show. Together we won 3 ribbons! I have so many special memories of her and they all tie together with that barn.
So I'm asking you, please vote for my high school's barn. Register on the website and you can vote for it once a day until May 17th. The more votes it gets, the better chance it will receive some funding. Unlike the other sites, the barn is used for educational purposes and does not get any outside funding from admission fees. So it really really does need your votes!

That's me at 16 showing Gemma the Guernsey cow at the 1997 Spring Show.

Here is Gemma and I again and you can see the Dairy barn and silo in the background.

My friends Kevin and Lisa outside the dairy barn. 5/3/09

Here I am petting Crystal the Guernsey. She's Gemma's great-grandaughter! 5/3/09


Ann Dvorak and Marie Wilson in
The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947)

Twentieth Century (1934)

To Be or Not to Be (1942)

The Princess Comes Across (1936)

Love Before Breakfast (1936)

candid by Eisenstat

To Be or Not to Be (1942)


Jean Chatburn, Virginia Grey, Genevieve Tobin,
Ann Rutherford and Lana Turner in Dramatic School (1938)

Gina Lollobrigida in Woman of Rome (1956)

Debbie Reynolds and Barry Nelson in Mary, Mary (1963)

Barbara Pepper, Eve Arden, Marlene Dietrich,
Lucia Carroll and Joyce Compton in Manpower (1941)

Ruth Roman in Three Secrets (1950)

Paulette Goddard in Anna Lucasta (1949)

Rita Hayworth in Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)

Ruth Chatterton in Frisco Jenny (1932)

Cleo Moore in One Girl's Confession (1953)

Ann Sheridan in Juke Girl (1942)
I felt bad about failing to mention Carole Landis' birthday yesterday, since it falls on New Years Day, so here's some on-the-set candids to make up for it. :)

Carole and Lenere Aubert on the set of
Having Wonderful Crime (1945)

Carole dries off after a dunking on the set of
Mystery Sea Raider (1940)

One Million B.C. (1940)

Carole Landis and stand-in Jean Foley
on the set of One Million B.C. (1940)

Rita Hayworth

Myrna Loy

Virginia Dale

Ann Miller

Thelma White and Dorothy Lee
This film is also filled with a diverse selection of lively characters all with charming idiosyncracies that keep us holding our stomachs as we burst out laughing.

Cagney plays MacNamara is the head of Berlin's Coca-Cola factory who has his sights on a big position in London. His employees are all Gestapo-trained Germans who click their heels and stand up at attention much to MacNamara's very American dismay. His wife Phylis is a wise-cracking dame fed up with life in Berlin and MacNamara is also courting hot bilingual secretary Ingeborg (and is using her as bait to woo potential Russian business). MacNamara's boss in Atlanta, Georgia sends his daughter to stay with the MacNamaras in Berlin. This is when things get hilariously complicated and MacNamara finds himself in a jam when the daughter marries a Russian communist.

Pamela Tiffin's character Scarlett Hazeltine is really superb. Tiffin is in prime form as the ditzy hot-blooded Southern belle who rebels against her parents by falling in love with any boy in sight. After being engaged 3 times, her parents send her off to Europe which in her case is like putting fox in a chicken coop. Scarlett has a charming Southern accent, says "marvy" whenever she can and thinks it's cute that she secretly married a Russian communist. I love how Scarlett gets so excited that her man is an anti-American propaganda spouting subversive. Wonderful!

Scarlett: Tell him about the wedding rings...
Otto: Forged from the steel of a brave cannon that fought in Stalingrad.

I leave you now with the film's homage to Cagney's most iconic image. See if you can guess what I'm referring to.

MacNamara: How would you like a little fruit for dessert?
Pamela Tiffin also tests the limit of gravity by dancing to some cheesy '60s music on a diving board. Now I leave you with some pictures from the film of this breathtakingly beautiful actress. Enjoy...

Here are a couple of pictures of Queen Norma Shearer in action. Enjoy!

Norma was no stranger to a nice bathing suit!

Norma trains with Agnes de Mille

Norma having some fun on the slopes

Norma leaps for the tennis ball.

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