Editorials,  Movies/Entertainment

"Cool Off With the Classics" Blog-A-Thon

Hello film fans! I’d like to welcome one and all to our August Blog-A-Thon and to start things off I have just one question for you all…Is it hot enough for you?? This time of year is the perfect opportunity to relish in the films of old and staying indoors to do so is a good way to beat the heat. So pour yourself some lemonade, turn on all your fans (they didn’t have A/C in the 40’s) and travel back to the bygone era of the Golden Age in cinema as we prepare to Cool off with the Classics.


The Philadelphia Story – This must have been what it was like before Pacino and De Niro shared the screen in Heat; two of the era’s finest actors facing off against one another (just sans the guns and crime of course). A funny movie that almost wrote the book on the “ensemble cast” really gets better with each viewing.


The Killing – The line “the best laid plans of mice and men”  from John Milton’s Paradise Lost comes to mind when thinking of this Kubrick (and Criterion) classic. Just goes to show that no matter how good your plan is, nothing is perfect. Makes a good case for crating animals and reformed carry on regulations at the airport though wouldn’t you say?


Casablanca – If you need me to tell you why this is a classic then you’ve come to the wrong place. But if this is truly your first time in to the Cafe American then Rick, Ilsa and the gang should be among the first of those wanting “merely to welcome you to Casablanca and wish you a pleasant stay“.


Bringing Up Baby – Yes I know, by today’s standards, Katherine is annoying as all get out. But looking back she was and forever shall be a screen dynamo.


I Was A Male War Bride – That Meatloaf song “Anything For Love” from the 90’s always reminds me of this film. I guess being labeled a transvestite (by the modern vernacular mind you) is of little consequence when said fascicle cross dressing is done for someone you care enough about to be married to in the first place.


Tokyo Joe – Not one of Bogie’s most popular films, it’s still a great entry level noir that should be recognized above the “also rans” in his dynamic catalog. Suspenseful, heartfelt and Bogie doing what he does best…forsaking his own happiness for a greater good.


My Favorite Wife –  Cary Grant has been aptly described by my favorite TCM host Robert Osborne as “the best of the best” and although this isn’t his most dashing role it is perhaps Grant at his comical best. His mannerisms pave the way for comedians in years to come but while this can get a little zany, Grant keeps from going over the top and the result is just an enjoyable ride all the same.


Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House– A cut above the previous entry and all his other films as far as I’m concerned this is Cary Grant’s best role. Sure some would argue the same for North By, Charade or To Catch A Thief (actually he’s never taken a bad role) but this, admittedly putting nostalgia aside, is Grant playing the best of all his angles; a perfect cocktail of dashing, funny and everything that makes him so likable.


The Treasure of the Sierra Madre – Going back to Bogey this is less a praise for him but more for Walter Huston. I’ve raved about it before (twice actually) but due largely to the entertainment we see day in and day out, these’ days it’s getting tougher and tougher to be impressed with the films of yesteryear…Madre certainly stands up and easily passes the test of time.


The Thin Man – Ah, what fun it is to watch the world’s most famous alcoholic detective match wits against the city’s criminals as he solves crimes with the help of his equally imbibed wife and the famous canine Asta. It always gets a little muddy at the end and I credit Clue for being a better “wrap it up” comical detective story, but Powell and Loy had such magnetic chemistry…I guess that’s why they made 6 Thin Man films.


Gunga Din – Cary Grant as an all out Russell Crowe styled badass…what more do you want?


Honorable Mention (or as is the thought process in Texas, whatever else it takes to beat the heat):

Run Silent Run Deep – It’d be difficult for any actor to distinguish themself as anything but what they played after the success of the behemoth that was Gone With the Wind. But Gable amazingly did it with ease as his post-Rhett Butler submarine captain pretty much defined what it means to be tough as nails.


Twelve O’Clock High – Wrapping up this journey to the golden age of cinema how could we not include Gregory Peck?? Like most other flashback films of that era (Citizen Kane, It’s A Wonderful Life, etc) this is such a delight that deserves more recognition than it gets.


Now what Blog-A-Thon would exist without a little help from our friends?? Click the links below and check out the week’s line up of all the other great cinebloggers who also wanted to Cool Off With the Classics!!

Andy at Fandango Groovers

Wynter at Cinema Scream

Kyle at Kyle’s Adventures In Pop Culture

Toby at Blah Blah Blah Gay

Sherry at A Restless Moment

Caroline at Let’s Go To the Movies

Eric at The Warning Sign

Iba at I Luv Cinema

Hels at A Whole Load of Blah

Alan at Great Movie Project


  • blah blah blah toby

    wow nice picks! as i said on mine i felt like i was being obvious but yours are 90% different. so different that i have only seen 3 of them. thats gonna have to change clearly.

    another enjoyable blogathon marc. thanks.

  • Caz

    You really done it again with a fantastic blogathon Marc! Love taking part in these, this one has been even better for me as I now know how many films I have to watch and what I am missing out on in the black and white films!

    • MarcC

      Thanks Caz! Yes I’m very happy everyone liked it as much as the did. Above all I think this gives us a chance to find out just what makes our friends tick with the added bonus of learning about great films we might have otherwise never ever known of or gotten around to.

  • Brian Vs. Movies

    This is a very cool idea for a top ten list. Good job and nice picks. It’s funny that you mention Katherine Hepburn being annoying in Bringing Up Baby — my wife refuses to watch that film with me because of her performance! Oh, well…her loss. If I take nothing else away from your list, it is that I haven’t watched nearly enough Cary Grant films. I’ll have to fix that.

  • Alan

    Thanks for hosting this. I had fun (and some difficulty) putting the list together. Stupid B&W TVs kept steering me in the wrong direction.

  • Sherry

    Love your list Marc. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only huge Cary Grant fan out there although I guess I prefer him in color because I only listed two of his films with Alfred Hitchcock. Thanks for hosting this blog-a-thon.

    • MarcC

      I think you win the prize for the list that I’ve seen zero films from. I’ve heard so many great things about Rebecca and need to check that out. Thanks for the reminder:)

  • ruth

    Another great blogathon, Marc, sorry I can’t participate this time. I haven’t seen any of these, but out of your list I really want to see The Philadelphia Story and Casablanca.

  • Hels

    Yo, better late than never, here’s mine:


    This was brilliant – really tough but so fun – and weird… I never noticed before how niche my golden age film tastes were! This is going to be great; each list is like a mini inventory of other stuff you might not have looked up. Like yours… some of them I’ve never even heard of. And I call myself a film fan. The Thin Man, Run Silent Run Deep, Mr. Blandings and Male Bride – I’m definitely gonna have to get those!

  • Kyle

    Great list, I too, apparently, have some Cary Grant films to catch up on (an exciting prospect, as I love the man). This was a lot of fun, keep ’em coming!

  • MarcC

    @All…Thanks to everyone for their participation and really awesome posts. I had to leave town early days Sat but I’ll make the rounds as soon as I get back!

  • Eric

    I am just now getting a chance to check out everyone’s lists. I am really surprised that I have only seen one of yours, The Killing, which I also included on my list. I think it’s pretty much inexcusable that I haven’t seen Casablanca yet. Gotta get on that ASAP. Good stuff, man.

      • MarcC

        Yeah Eric, I have called the “Classic Police” and they’re en route to your place. While an outright arrest isn’t a certainly, you’ll most likely walk away with a hefty hefty fine. Get on Casablanca ASAP!!!!:P

  • Dan

    I’m loving the love for Cary Grant – he’s an actor I could enjoy in anything. That picture for I Was A Male War Bride is very funny – that’s a film I haven’t seen so I’m going to have to check that out.

    • MarcC

      Personally I like the films where he has a laugh at himself best of all. Sure he’s dashing and such but his comedic timing makes him a very well rounded actor…plus I think he’s better at that anyway. Hope you like the film Dan:)

  • moviesandsongs365

    Good idea for a blog-a-thon! Some interesting choices here, I have only seen 3 or 4, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, what a film, reminded me of indiana jones.

    Ice Cold in Alex(indiana jones-esque again) ,Douglas Sirk’s Tarnished Angels, and Woody Allen’s Manhattan are pretty good, they are classics to me ( ;

    Granted, I’m late to the party given that the blogathon was in August, all the same do stop by and say hi and check out 10 b/w films I love here: