Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lucky Seven

Over the past few weeks the 7x7 Link Award has been making its way across the classic film blogosphere. I’ve been kindly honored with this award by three of my favorite bloggers:  Ivan G. Shreve, Jr., of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, FlickChick of A Person in the Dark and Whistlingypsy of Distant Voices and Flickering Shadows.

Recipients of the 7x7 are obliged to do these things:

Mad Men's Don and Sally Draper
Reveal an unknown aspect of ourselves. With my current blog event, a tribute to Mad Men, in mind, I’m disclosing that, in my distant youth I was a quintessential child of the ‘60s/’70s. To wit…my brother and I were taken with our parents to hear JFK deliver a speech during his presidential candidacy –I managed to grab and shake his hand by standing on an abandoned papier-mâché donkey in front of the podium. There's more, but that's enough for now. In other words, I think I have a pretty good idea where Sally Draper is headed…
Single out those posts we consider our:

1. Most beautiful piece – Possibly, The Private Lives of Elizabeth & Essex – my entry in CMBA’s Movies of 1939 blogathon last year. Though E&E isn’t a favorite film of mine, I was fascinated by its history and tried to tell the story of what turned out to be one of the lesser films of that storied year in an interesting way.

Edna May Wonacott on the set with Alfred Hitchcock
2. Most helpful piece – My pieces on child actress Edna May Wonacott (Shadow of a Doubt, The Bells of St. Mary’s) have had a positive impact on her life. When our first interview appeared - online, in her local paper and in a classic movie journal - she began hearing from fans from all over the world. She has since received invitations to speak about her movie-making experiences at local clubs and organizations. Earlier this month a British professor of film studies/ Hitchcock authority contacted me with an interest in interviewing Edna for an upcoming book; Edna has since responded to her questions.

3. Most popular piece –Hands down, Marlene Dietrich: another facet of her legend, about the less glamorous side of the legendary goddess of screen and stage.

4. Most controversial piece – I can’t think of one, but I’ll choose my pieces about Leatrice Gilbert Fountain if only because of the controversy surrounding the career of her father, John Gilbert.

5. Most surprisingly successful pieceLocation, Location Location, about the movie history of Southern California’s Catalina Island. View #s for this post are through the roof.

Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Sternberg
6. Most underrated pieceLight, Shadow and Synergy a 3-part series on the collaboration of Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich that I posted very early in this blog’s life.  I suspect it would have been more popular had it appeared later.

7. Most pride-worthy piece – It's not a piece but an event, this January’s A Month of Vertigo which was successful beyond my wildest dreams.

Bestow the award upon seven bloggers we follow:

Fellow CMBA members Allen Hefner of Bit Part Actor, John Greco of Twenty Four Frames, Kevin Deany of Kevin’s Movie Corner and Jill of Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence who is hosting the fantastic tribute to Fredric March, March-in-March this month -along with these classic film bloggers from other corners of the blogosphere: Yvette of …in so many words, prolific blogger on art, literature and film…Kay of the entertaining and canny Movie Star Makeover who I met on Twitter…and The Vintage Film Costume Collector, who I discovered through Chistian’s blog roll on Silver Screen Modiste.


  1. I'm honored, Lady Eve! Especially as you used one of my favorite words, "canny"...previously only bestowed on me by a hobbit of a man in England, who encouraged his daughter to bring 'round more "canny lasses" like me. Your blog is one of my reliable delights and I'm tickled Think Pink that you've included me in your list. My 7X7 post will go up as soon as I've gotten back from Spring Break with the WHERE THE BOYS ARE gals! ((virtual hugs))

  2. Eve ~ a wonderful trip down memory lane; I’m glad I’ve been able to share in the journey. Your memory of meeting and shaking hands with then presidential candidate Kennedy is both artistically and historically profound…evocative of both place and time and standing on a papier-mâché donkey, sublime. I have my suspicions that Sally will be just the right age and of the right sentiment to head off to Yasgur’s Farm in August, 1969. One of my favorite series is this posts dedicated to John Gilbert, Leatrice Joy and Leatrice Gilbert Fountain; excellent background on a legend and a living legacy. Your participation in and encouragement of renewed interest in Edna May Wonacott’s life and career is inspiring and touching (a book in the works? Bravo!). Each title is a literary gem of cinematic delight (how’s that for mixing my metaphors), and I’m reminded to re-read your wonderful series on Dietrich and Von Sternberg.

  3. Thanks very much, Eve! Your JFK connection was a real treat to read. Thanks for sharing that. Thanks again, I am honored!

    John Greco

  4. Eve, You were fortunate that you got some actual up-close contact with JFK - that was a wonderful but fleeting moment in american history. I've just been reading "Jack Kennedy - Elusive Hero" by Chris Matthews. The book is real inside stuff and it describes the powerful effect that Kennedy had on the females in his audience. From the podium JFK would look out and see women leaping into the air in order to get a better view (apparently there were only so many paper-mache donkys to go around). Jack and brother Bobby use to refer to them as "the jumpers"... I thought your piece on Leatrice was quite moving.

  5. About JFK...the speech mentioned was given for a small group in an area on the tarmac at Lindbergh Field in San Diego where his plane had just landed. There was no problem seeing him (no "jumpers" that I noticed), but I was intent on touching him which is where the fallen donkey came in. Later he spoke downtown before a massive crowd at Grant Plaza. I don't remember catching sight of him at all there.