February 26, 2014

Weekend Recap: A real winner!

In the days leading up to this past weekend, I did two marvelous things: I watched Edge Of the City (1957) starring Sidney Poitier and John Cassavetes and I finished reading Eve Golden's biography of John Gilbert. Coincidentally, both made me cry. In my quest to watch all of my DVDs and read all of the books sitting on my shelf, I'd say I've been doing pretty well since I knocked off two items in a matter of a couple of days! The film was amazing, thrilling, and reminded me a lot of On The Waterfront (1954) - which isn't a bad thing. I also may have a slight crush on Cassavetes now. How lovely. Ruby Dee's performance as Poitier's wife in Edge Of the City was a stand-out one and I promised myself that I would mention it in this post. 

John Gilbert by Eve Golden was, perhaps, one of the best biographies I've read in a while - I suppose that's why it only took me a couple of days to get through! Usually what happens when I read a lengthy bio is I get bored about half-way through and have to fight really hard with myself NOT to flip ahead to the next chapter. I'm not saying this happens ALL the time, but I found myself doing that recently with a celeb bio that focused way too much on politics. Anyway! I've always admired Gilbert from afar and I've seen a few of his silent films, but I never quite understood how severe his fall from grace was in the early 1930s. Well, now I do. And the whole ordeal of discovering just how terrible it was made me shed many tears. Ugh. Someone pass me some tissues please ...

Another book I've had my eye on this weekend was Lulu In Hollywood by Louise Brooks - I picked it up on Thursday night and dove right into it, but had to stop after only a few pages. Unfortunately, it just didn't capture my attention and no one is more shocked than I am by that statement! If anything, I thought this book would be a real winner because I've heard so many great things about it from others who have read it before. I found it rather bland if I'm honest but knowing the history behind this book, I'm bound to pick it up again soon and give it a second chance.

This week will be spent watching more movies and reading more books - I've got my eye on Mr. Skeffington (1944) and Algiers (1938) and, in terms of books, I've been wanting to pick up Karen Swenson's biography of Greta Garbo again (I read it once before when I was very young and just getting into stars like Garbo, so I'd like to revisit it again and see if I pick up anything else from the book). From what I remember, Swenson probed deep into the reclusive star's life and her book is widely known as the definitive Garbo biography. When I originally read it, I had borrowed it from my local library. The copy that I currently have sitting on my bookshelf was purchased off of ebay a few years ago for a hefty sum I'd rather keep private.

What did YOU get up to this weekend? Tell me about it in the comments section below.

6 comments:

  1. I finally watched the original 1937 version of A Star is Born this weekend and was pleasantly surprised. I thought Frederic March gave an amazing performance and found that I prefer this version over the Judy Garland film.

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    1. I still haven't seen either - D'OH! I have the Garland version on iTunes so I'll probably end up watching that one first.

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  2. I believe you and I have discussed Sidney Poitier before. He was my star of the month last February, and I came away from that month of viewing discovering with three 5-star film discoveries..."Edge of the City" was one of those. Wow! What a movie, with terrific performances by all.

    Mr. Skeffington is a wonderful film. It's one of my 5 faves of Miss Davis (my #1 gal). I feel sure you will like it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about it.

    The bio I am intending to start soon is "Fredric March, A Consummate Actor." I adore Mr. March and am hoping to catch his entire filmography this year. I definitely agree with the above commenter, Brittaney, about preferring the 37 A Star Is Born to the 54 version. That 37 film is one of my top 5 of the entire 1930's.

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    1. Yup, we totally spoke about Poitier just the other week ;)

      I haven't gotten around to watching Mr. Skeffington yet this week because I've been absolutely swamped with writing assignments. Ack. The life of a freelancer. I pulled out Queen Christina to watch tonight, but I don't even know if I'll get around to watching THAT one.

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