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Game of Thrones Season 6 Premiere: Minor Characters Matter

As a reader of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, it felt decidedly strange going into the Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones. With the exception of some parts from A Feast of Crows, going forward the TV series is moving beyond events in the first five published books. We’re still waiting for publication of The Winds of Winter, the penultimate book in the series.

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Tony Curtis & Janet Leigh - Houdini - 1953. Restored by jane for Doctor Macro's High Quality Movie Scans website: http://www.doctormacro.com. Enjoy!

The Star-Studded Couple Blogathon: Tony Curtis & Janet Leigh

This post is part of the Star-Studded Couple Blogathon, hosted by Phyllis at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. Read the rest of the posts for this event HERE!

Janet Leigh had what seemed a very charmed career. With zero acting experience, she had been discovered by actress Norma Shearer, who showed agent Lew Wasserman a picture of a young girl she had seen while vacationing at a ski resort. Wasserman obtained for Leigh a contract at MGM. She debuted in the film The Romance of Rosy Ridge, which was a big hit. Her career stumbled a bit when a couple of film projects she was involved in were shelved, but soon got back on track with a role in the 1949 version of Little Women. She went on to an incredibly varied career, playing roles in an array of genres and for some of the most famous directors of the time, including Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock.

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William Holden Meets Lucy Ricardo, Hilarity Ensues!

This post is part of The Golden Boy Blogathon: A William Holden Celebration, hosted by Virginie at The Wonderful World of Cinema. Read the rest of the posts for this event HERE!

Big movie stars appearing on TV shows is fairly common nowadays—sometimes playing characters, sometimes playing themselves. We call it “stunt casting.” The classic 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy, which was a groundbreaking show in many respects, pretty much invented the practice. It has rarely, if ever, been done as well since.

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Beyond the Cover Blogathon: When Worlds Collide (1951)

worldcollide8This post is part of the Beyond the Cover Blogathon, hosted by Kristina at Speakeasy and Liz of Now Voyaging. See the roster for the rest of this event HERE!

The classic sci-fi apocalyptic novel When Worlds Collide was written by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie and published in 1933. It was originally serialized in the magazine Blue Book. They also co-wrote the sequel After Worlds Collide.

When trying to decide which book and film adaptation to write about for this blogathon, of course I considered many great works of literature and their great-to-kind-of-great adaptations. While When Worlds Collide is not exactly great literature, it is without doubt a seminal and influential work. It’s probably the first of the “Earth struck by planet/meteor/comet” sub-genre of apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction. It has been cited as having inspired Superman (which features escape from a planet about to destruct to another planet) and Flash Gordon (an athletic man, his girlfriend, and a scientist have adventures in space).

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Announcing The Sword & Sandal Blogathon!

Yes, I’ve finally decided to do it: host my own film blogathon!

I considered many, many different topics for my first blogathon, but kept coming back to the Sword & Sandal epics that have captivated film and TV viewers from the silent era right up to the present day. Please join in and celebrate the clash of steel in the arena, the miraculous events of the Bible, the political upheavals of ancient empires!

The event will take place July 8, 9 & 10, 2016. I will not be assigning days. Simply post your articles on or before these dates.

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F Troop: The Courtship of Wrangler Jane

This post is part of the 2nd Annual Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon, hosted by Terry at A Shroud of Thoughts. Read the rest of the entries for this event HERE!

I can’t tell you how much I envy young girls today. Young women can watch movies and TV shows with amazing heroines such as Rey, Katniss, Hermione, Tris, Peggy Carter, the female Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as long overdue reboots of classic action heroines such as Supergirl and Wonder Woman.

It’s far from perfect and we still have a long way to go, but when I was a little girl, during the mid-1960s, the list was much, much shorter. Continue reading “F Troop: The Courtship of Wrangler Jane”

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Why Writers Should Listen to the Hamilton Soundtrack

Hamilton, the hip-hop musical about one of our most fascinating Founding Fathers, has garnered a huge number of devoted fans. This is mainly due to the original cast album. If you can’t see the show (and most of us can’t, even many who live in the New York City area) you can listen to the album. It’s as close as you’ll get to experiencing the show because, with the exception of one scene, the entire show is in song.

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Mini-Reviews of Books I’ve Recently Read

It’s been a while since I’ve done some book reviews, so here are some books I’ve read recently that I have particularly enjoyed. Since I have little time to read, I mainly listen to audiobooks while at work, so these are all reviews of the audiobooks. Continue reading “Mini-Reviews of Books I’ve Recently Read”

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Random Thoughts on the Final Season of Downton Abbey

SPOILERS FOR SEASON 6 OF DOWNTON ABBEY. DO NOT READ IF YOU STILL PLAN TO CATCH UP ON THE FINAL SEASON.

It’s over! It’s all over! No more snarky bon mots by Violet! No more snarky anything from Mary! No more life treating Edith like the raggedy puppy mean people want to kick! No more members of the Bates family arrested on trumped-up criminal charges! No more Carson wringing his hands over the way his world is changing!

Whatever shall we do?

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The Terminator (1984) Cured Me of Being a Film Snob

This post is part of the In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb Blogathon, hosted by Steve at MovieMovieBlogBlog. Read the rest of the post in this event HERE!

Yes, it’s true. There was a point in my life when I was one of those insufferable film snobs.

I had grown up loving movies—all kinds of movies—but then two things happened that changed that:

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The Movie Scientist Blogathon: Them! (1954)

This post is part of the Movie Scientist Blogathon, hosted by Christina Wehner and Silver Screenings. See the list of the other participants HERE!

Them!, released in 1954, was the first of the “giant insect” movies that became so popular during the 1950s. It’s not only the first, it’s the best, and, I would argue, one of the best sci-fi horror films of the 1950s.

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Alan Rickman’s Absurd Lack of Oscar Nominations

This post is part of the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon, hosted by Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled, Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club and Aurora of Once Upon a Screen. Click HERE for a list of the other posts for Week 2: The Oscar Snubs.

I’m just going to throw this out there because I want to shut down, once and for all, the notion that Academy Award nominations have much to do with “merit”:

Sylvester Stallone has TWO Oscar nominations (in acting categories).

Alan Rickman died with ZERO Oscar nominations.

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The Second Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon: Seven Chances (1925)

This post is part of the Second Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon, hosted by Silent-ology. Click HERE for a list of all the participants!

I mentioned in my post for last year’s Buster Keaton Blogathon that I was a tad miffed I missed out on grabbing Seven Chances as my topic.

This year I SWOOPED in and grabbed it before anyone else could. HA!

Why so happy? This movie completely changed my attitudes towards 1) silent movies and 2) physical comedy.

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O Canada Blogathon 2016: Double Happiness (1994)

This post is part of the O Canada Blogathon 2016, hosted by Kristina at Speakeasy and Ruth at Silver Screenings. See a list of the participants for this event HERE!

Double Happiness, a 1994 Canadian film written and directed by Mina Shum, is a familiar tale of the tug children of immigrants feel between pleasing their old-fashioned parents and the new culture they live in.

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Remembering Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon: Annie Oakley (1935)

This post is part of the Remembering Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon, hosted by Crystal at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood. Read the rest of the posts HERE!

When choosing films to cover for movie blogathons, now and then I like to jump on lesser-known films—sometimes, even to me. I love Westerns, and am always open to viewing one I haven’t seen before, so for this Barbara Stanwyck tribute, I chose the 1935 film Annie Oakley, based on the life of the famous sharpshooter.

However, unlike the Western I chose to cover for the Miriam Hopkins blogathon last year (Virginia City), I didn’t exactly fall in love.

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