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Those Lovely Liars

There was a time when Hollywood was glamorous.  No there wasn’t.  The reality is that Hollywood was a dirty place filled with unscroupulous people doing very inappropriate things.  Movie stars who appeared to be gods and goddess on the silver screen were often sad, damaged people.  The glamour of old Hollywood was an illusion.  Or if you are feeling less charitable, it was a lie.  This article from the February 2003 issue of Movieline magazine looks at the real lives of some of the best liars in Hollywood’s bygone era.

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Building My Movie Posters Puzzle: Rear Window

In late June of last year I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.

I want to mention two things before we proceed beyond the break to a discussion of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 suspense film Rear Window. First of all, I should let you know that discussion will necessarily include some spoilers for the movie, so if you haven’t seen it I would recommend that you go rectify that situation (it’s available for rent through iTunes) and then come back to read the rest of this article. It’s an immensely engaging and electrifying movie that any film buff should have under his or her belt.

Secondly, I have to say that the version of the poster for Rear Window included in the puzzle which is the inspiration for this entire series is pretty far from my favorite.
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November 12: Happy Birthday Anne Hathaway and Grace Kelly


Of our two headliners today, one first became well-known by playing a girl who learns she is a princess.  The other became a princess.

Anne Hathaway celebrates her 34th birthday today.  Her career started with a bang—after appearing in a short-lived Fox series, Get Real, she was cast as Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries.  The success of that film has meant that she has never really wanted for decent roles.  For a while she seemed typecast in family films, but by 2005-06 she was decisively moving into adult roles in films like Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada.

Since then, Hathaway’s roles have included playing Jane Austen in the biopic/period piece Becoming Jane, Agent 99 in the film adaptation of Get Smart, a recovering drug user in Rachel Getting Married, and the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland.  2012 was a big year for Hathaway, as she played Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises, one of the year’s blockbusters, and then swept most of the major Best Supporting Actress awards (including winning an Oscar) as Fantine in Les Misérables:

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