Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's a Jolly Holiday!

1964 Lobby Card

It's been 50 years since the premiere of Walt Disney's beloved classic, Mary Poppins. The film premiered on Thursday, August 27, 1964 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The premiere, which was broadcast on television and radio, attracted thousands of fans who lined Hollywood Boulevard to catch a glimpse of the stars of the film, Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, and perhaps Walt Disney himself!! Also in attendance were famed Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Chip & Dale, and even Captain Hook, among others. What a fun premiere that would be to attend!!

The novel Mary Poppins was published in 1934 by author P.L. Travers. Reportedly, Walt Disney read the book to his daughters, Diane and Sharon, and wanted to attain the rights to make a film in 1938 but Travers resisted until 1961, when she gave Disney the film rights, though she retained script approval. 

Winds in the east, mist coming in...

Disney put brothers Richard and Robert Sherman in charge of the musical score. Prior to Mary Poppins, they began their own music publishing company called Music World Corporation, where they wrote a top ten hit called Tall Paul for Mousketeer Judy Harriet which was later covered by Annette Funicello, also a Mousketeer. It garnered the attention of Walt Disney, and he hired the Shermans as songwriters. Richard and Robert won two Academy Awards for their work on Mary Poppins. Dick Van Dyke was cast as Bert after Disney read an interview where Van Dyke mentioned he wanted to make films that he could see with his children. Disney cast Julie Andrews in her first motion picture as the lovable, yet stern, Mary Poppins after he heard her records and saw her act in a New York performance of Camelot. Together, Disney, the Sherman Brothers, Van Dyke, and Andrews created one of the most classic musical films of all time. The film also featured long time performer, ex-vaudevillian, and comedian Ed Wynn as Uncle Albert. Wynn was in his late 70s and not well, according to Dick Van Dyke, but when the camera was rolling, he acted professionally and to his best ability, which just so happened to be a near perfect performance, if you ask me. 

In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. 
You find the fun, and - SNAP - the job's a game!

Behind the scenes, putting together Bert's one-man-band

It's a Jolly Holiday with Mary.
Mary makes the sun shine bright.

"She was a lady first and foremost, but she also had a great,
whimsical sense of humor... Only one thing surpassed
Julie's spot-on instincts, and that was her voice." 
-Dick Van Dyke on Julie Andrews

"Just as I suspected..."
-Mary Poppins

"We haven't retired yet. You never know what's coming."
-Walt Disney

Brothers Richard and Robert Sherman with Julie and Dick

Walt Disney with Julie Andrews and author P.L. Travers

A whole cast of characters!

"He impressed me as a nice man, really an old shoe. I later heard that he
was a tough taskmaster, nut I only saw his easygoing side, the side
that led others to refer to him as Uncle Walt." 
-Dick Van Dyke

"I would describe Walt Disney as a twinkly person. He had a kind
of cheerful merriment in his eyes. He didn't roar with laughter or anything
like that, but there was a kind of bubbliness about him."
-Julie Andrews

The film Mary Poppins is relatively new to my life. I had of course heard about it my whole life, knew some of the songs, but it wasn't until Walt Disney Studios announced 2013's Saving Mr. Banks that I got excited. I'm a fairly big Tom Hanks fan, and I also adore Emma Thompson, and pair those two actors with my love of Disney and Disneyland (I mean, we got to see Disneyland in almost all of it's vintage glory!), and of course I was in the theatre the weekend the film came out. My son and I also attended Disneyland's annual Mickey's Halloween Party dressed as Mary and Bert. In December 2013, I purchased Mary Poppins on bluray, and my son's love for the singing nanny was infectious! We've had many, many happy hours, days, weeks watching the movie! I kick myself for not enjoying Mary Poppins sooner! 

Happy 50th, Mary Poppins!!

Until next time,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

75 Years of Dorothy Gale

"For nearly forty years this story has given faithful service to the Young in Heart; 
and Time has been powerless to put its kindly philosophy out of fashion. 
To those of you who have been faithful to it in return...and to the 
Young in Heart...we dedicate this picture."

Do you remember the first time you saw The Wizard of Oz? I know I don't. It's one of those movies that has always been there, a staple of most peoples' childhood. Growing up in the 90s, it was a big deal when TBS or whatever station would play The Wizard of Oz on TV. It only happened once, maybe twice, a year! I grew up a little girl in Kansas, mostly living in the country & tornadoes were just a part of life. It was fun to see Dorothy growing up in Kansas on my television, with the Hollywood version of a tornado. Are you shocked that's not quite how they look, how the twister looks on The Wizard of Oz? While it's been fun being a real life version of Dorothy (okay, in my head I am), trust me when I tell you the The Wizard of Oz references I hear from people when I tell them where I am from are so overplayed and totally not funny. But my fake laugh has gotten pretty believable!

An early costume test for Dorothy

A Scarecrow makeup test

Flying monkey costume test

Buddy Ebsen in a Tin Man costume test.
He was the original Tin Man but was allergic to the aluminum
makeup, therefore replaced by Jack Haley.

Dorothy and her sidekick, Toto

Judy Garland looks stunning in this photo

 "A place where there isn't any trouble.
Do you suppose there is such a place...?"

"What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, 
or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage!"

"Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?"

"I'll see you reach the Wizard, whether I get a heart or not."

"And now, my beauties, something with poison in it, I think."

"Don't get excited. Obstacles make a better picture."
-Director Victor Fleming

The Wizard of Oz is said to be the most watched film
in history.

The Wizard of Oz premiered at Grauman's in Hollywood on August 15, 1939.
It was released nationally on August 25, 1939.

It was not a box office success, contrary to belief.
It wasn't until it's re-release in 1949.

Walt Disney originally wanted to make The Wizard of Oz into a movie after
the success of his Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
However, MGM owned the rights to the book.

This issue of Movie Life was released prior to the release
of The Wizard of Oz. It featured photos of Judy Garland's
early life.

"Gaiety! Glory! Glamour!"
That pretty much sums it up in this 1939 movie poster.

A 1970 reunion of Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, and Margaret Hamilton.
At the time, they were the last remaining main characters from the film.

They still had it.

The best thing about The Wizard of Oz is how timeless it is. Here we are, 75 years after its initial release, and I can sit with my toddler and watch it, and he is thoroughly entertained. I know it will continue on for generations. It's so easy to get lost in that wonderful Technicolor land of Oz with Dorothy and all her friends. We feel Dorothy's sadness when she can't get home to Aunt Em and Uncle Henry on their farm in Kansas. We feel elated along with her when she finally clicks her heels together and wakes up in her own bed. 

My love for Oz will never end.

Until next time,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bogie & Bacall - Together Again

September 16, 1924 - August 12, 2014

Today we mourn the loss of an icon. Lauren Bacall is gone at age 89. 

Lauren was first cast opposite her future husband, Humphrey Bogart, in Howard Hawks' To Have and Have Not in 1944. She continued working every decade thereafter and left her mark in Hollywood as a legend. You can't be a fan of Old Hollywood and not love Lauren Bacall. 

"She's a real Joe. You'll fall in love with her like everybody else."
-Humphrey Bogart

Bogie and Bacall with son Stephen 

"I am not a has-been. I am a will be."

"I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that."

"Was he tough? In a word, no. Bogey was truly a gentle soul."

With daughter Leslie, named after actor Leslie Howard

"I am still working, I've never stopped and, while my health holds out, I won't stop."

Rest in peace, dear Betty. I hope Bogie was there to welcome you with open arms.

Until next time,

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Lingerie of the 1950s

I have a slight infatuation with 1950s lingerie advertisements. Most of them have images drawn as opposed to photographs, for one, looking a lot like those vintage pinups I love so much (more on pinups later!). Advertisers were so eager to sell the product, too! One catch-phrase after another, the beautiful mixture of fonts, all the adjectives - oh my! 

Take a look at this catalog page. Now, this specific bra was scientifically designed. That means they're serious business. Oh, the lives these scientists must've changed! A style to flatter every bust size. Try it for 10 days, and if you don't like it, send it back! No big deal. Though you won't have to send it back because the scientists did their job right the first time!

This Life by Formfit bra will give you that perfect "sweetheart" figure. Having the perfect hourglass figure a la Marilyn Monroe was very important in the 1950s. Being curvy was beautiful!

 This page from a Sears catalog boasts their "Heavenly Bodies" collection. How celestial!! All sorts of corsets and girdles to give you the perfect shape.

Now this next advertisement is perfect for you thrifty ladies looking for a deal! SIX pairs of briefs alone is enough to sell me on their product, but they're throwing in that 45! Elvis, Eddie Fisher, Perry Como -  who would you choose? I'm an Elvis girl myself. Who doesn't go looking for a RCA record when they're underwear shopping?! Brilliant!

The Hickory PermaLift bra adverts are among my favorite ads of any kind. Their tagline, for starters, is a double entendre, which I LOVE. "The lift that never lets you down!" Beautifully said. Secretly processed cushioned inserts - that's the ticket for that perfect lift!

Cone bras. I know we've all seen those old movies and television shows where the woman had the pointed breasts. Sweater girls were all the rage in the 50s. Women who, like Lana Turner, had the silhouetted bosom in her favorite soft sweater attained her look with these ringlet bras like Lovable made. Circle after circle sewn to uphold the cone shape forever, or so they say in their ad! 

Do you have a problem with your bra fitting you evenly on both sides? Never fear, for ExquisiteForm has designed the bra for you! The Bra-O-Matic adjusts each cup to fit your individual shape! That's right, just a "quick click" and your bra's lift will be just right for you!!

Of course we can't leave the fellas out! Jockey underwear will make your guy feel like a million in these super attractive styles! Just take it from the guy with his shirt tucked into his Jockeys. 

Do you have a favorite lingerie advert from this era? Please share! 

Until next time,

site design by designer blogs