I have a couple of things to say. One, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR, SWEET LIVVIE DEE! Today happens to be Olivia de Havilland's 96th birthday! You all know I love her, and I did a sort of birthday post for her early yesterday, so we'll just leave it at that.
Two, we're pausing my learning about Irene Dunne (not like I had started anyway!) so that I can turn this blog into a Missy tribute until her birthday which is on the sixteenth. Okay? I know that was boring. Sorry.
Did I forget to mention that today is my birthday as well [see Bob cutting my cake]? Isn't that swell? Sure... Anyway, I told my best bloggin' buddy Rianna (of Frankly, My Dear) that I was going to tell the story of how I got hooked on classic films as soon as my birthday came around. Well, here it's come and here comes the story of my love of classic film (it's really very boring, but I said I would do it so I'm going to):
First of all, I just want to point out that I have been obsessed with history my whole life. This fact really has a lot to do with my ever being interested in classic Hollywood. From the time I saw Liberty's Kids on PBS when I was six or so until now at which point you find me wishing I had a time machine so I could live in 1941, History has always fascinated me more than anything in the world (except airplanes, I really love me some airplanes).
When I was young, my mother used to tell me that I looked like the real Shirley Temple (still don't know who the fake Shirley was, but I guess that's irrelevant). For some reason I hated this and vowed my eternal hatred of Shirley Temple (the real one) - silly? Oh yes, but I was the type.
When I was eight years old I was obsessed with the Civil War. Turns out Gone with the Wind is and was a favorite movie of my grandmother's so, seeing that I loved the Civil War, she made me watch it. I think during that period of my life I watched it three times in a week - not caring to notice the actors or anything at that time, I just watched the movie. Note: this part about Gone with the Wind is so totally unrelated I don't even know why I'm mentioning it, but I find it sort of funny.
Around the time I was 10-12 I fell in love with Harrison Ford. This was the start of my current obsessions. See, I fell in love with movies at this point, and I fell in love with the '40s and '30s (thank you, Indiana Jones).
When I was 13 going on 14 I became obsessed with Amelia Earhart; and, thanks to a book on the Great Depression, really obsessed with the 1930s in general. I watched Amelia that year and, being the prude I was (and am without shame), that kind of blew it for me. Only recently has my love for Meelie come back, but at that point when I gave up my Amelia obsession I was still in love with the 1930s, the whole era. I was in just the right place to fall in love with old movies, I only had to find them.
In late 2010, my aunt got a Netflix account and let me use it whenever I wanted (at least she was going to get her money's worth if I had anything to say about it). I would spend a lot of time going through the kids section of movies trying to pick something to watch and among the small selection of films were a few Shirley Temple flicks. So, there I was going through the list and I would look at the Shirley movie and check the year it was made and I would think "I've always hated Shirley Temple, but I love old things. So, why do I hate Shirley Temple?". I watched one of those movies and you know what I realized? Not only did I not hate Shirley, but I adored her! I also adored the people in the movies with her [Robert Young in one case, whom I still adore].
After watching Stowaway and Just Around the Corner, I had no idea what old movie I could watch next, but I knew I had to see more. Turns out, my aunt had a box set of old Rin Tin Tin serials in her house, which I borrowed [forever. I still have them]. I watched all of them in a few days. They were made in 1935 and boy were they corny, but I loved them so much. [I'll have to do a post on them someday]. Kane Richmond who stars in the '35 serial was my first Old Hollywood crush and, my goodness, I thought he was the best looking guy ever (and he's really not which makes me laugh now).
Because of Kane Richmond I watched Behind the Mask and The Missing Lady. Next was His Girl Friday (my first really classic, classic). Then the Capra films: It Happened One Night, You Can't Take it with You, Meet John Doe. From there, I don't remember exactly. I know I had a crush on Gary Cooper, though.
I've seen way too many movies now and have gotten used to being looked at oddly when I say my favorite movie was made in 1941 - that's the life of a classic movie fan, I reckon. I laugh at how much I used to think I knew. I knew nothing, yet talked about everything as if I was some sort of expert. Anyhow, that's the story of what has become quite a lovely obsession.
Oh, and for anyone who cares, I did not like Barbara Stanwyck the first time I saw her. That movie was Meet John Doe and how I could have missed the brilliance still shocks me, but that was it. After Meet John Doe I forced myself to watch Ball of Fire (it took me forever to decide to watch it, because I didn't know about the Code and I was horrified at the idea of watching anything 'bad'). I loved Ball of Fire and finally saw that Missy was alright. Then I watched The Lady Eve and Missy became my Queen for life. That is all.
Happy Birthday to Olivia de Havilland [and me]!
Until Later On~