Thursday, June 30, 2016

100 Days of Old Movies: Instalment 6

Here is the 6th Instalment of my 100 Days of Old Movies. I'm powering towards the finishing line!

51 & 52: 42nd Street (1933)

Come and meet those dancing feet. On the avenue I'm taking you to, 42nd Street.

I have a very soft spot for 42nd Street. It was (along with Singin' in the Rain) the first musical I ever bought, as a poor-quality unremastered VHS. I was 12, and had never really seen anything in black and white before, but obviously I have never looked back! 

Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) is putting on a show. The doctors warn that it will kill him, but he's broke. He's a great director, and everyone is very excited at the prospect of work. His star is Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels), a big-time performer who has to play up to Abner Dillon (Guy Kibbee) who is financing the show because she is starring in it. Behind his back, she still goes around with her boyfriend and ex-vaudeville partner Pat Denning (George Brent). Wondering where Ruby and Dick come in? Ruby is Peggy Sawyer, a first-time performer who gets a job in the chorus, helped by Billy Lawler (Dick Powell) the juvenile in the show. He thinks she's pretty cute. One day she passes out after a gruelling rehearsal, and is looked after by Pat Denning, who's hanging around the stage door. When Dorothy is stuck with Abner, he takes Peggy out to dinner instead, and she witnesses him being beaten up by gangsters hired by Marsh to keep him away from Dorothy (the finances are at stake). When the show goes to Philadelphia for tryouts Pat is already there for a job, and Dorothy (after embarrassing herself getting drunk at a party) rings him up to come to the hotel, and Peggy sees the gangsters follow him, and rushes in to warn him. Still drunk, Dorothy takes a swing at her, falls over and breaks her ankle. Oh no! Right before opening night, and there's no understudy! Abner picks Anytime Annie (Ginger Rogers) to take her place, but she knows she hasn't got it in her. Peggy is the girl. She's coached all day, goes on stage to the immortal line 'you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!' and steals the show. 

There are lots of fabulous Busby Berkely routines in here, and Una Merkel and Ginger Rogers for wisecracks. What's not to love?

More below the cut:

Saturday, June 11, 2016

100 Days of Old Movies: Instalment 5

Here's the fifth instalment of my sketches for #100DaysOfOldMovies for the 100 Day Project. I'm officially halfway through!

41: Miranda (1948)

There's a dreadful shortage of men underwater. 

Miranda isn't one of my favourite movies, but I picked it because I wanted to do one mermaid before Mermay finished on social media. On the whole, I like the sequel (Mad About Men, 1954) better, but it features far too much of Margaret Rutherford, who is not an actress I can stand for any extended period of time. She has a much more minor role in the original. 
Glynis Johns plays Miranda, a man-hungry mermaid who kidnaps Paul (Griffith Jones) while he's out fishing, and blackmails him into taking her on land and into his house as one of his 'patients'. She has no morals, and attaches herself to any man available, including the chauffeur and Paul's wife's friends fiancee. A trail of broken engagements is left in her wake before all the men realise that they were being taken for simultaneous rides and come to their senses. Paul's wife (Googie Withers) is suspicious of her, and when she discovers the truth Miranda wheels her wheelchair out to the river and disappears. At the end of the movie we see her somewhere warm with a merbaby on her lap - a suggestive ending that could only have been in a British film at the time. 

The other movies are below the cut >>

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Night Time

This week's Colour Collective prompt was 'Ivory Black'. I could have done something in black and white, as my black and white stuff tends to be heavy on the black anyway (last time a black came around in Colour Collective I had just finished Gwendolen and posted that). Myrna's half black anyway, so if I wanted to do a Myrna illustration I'd need a better way to use the black than just on her (which felt a bit like cheating). I had been wanting a dark colour to use with a night-time Myrna illustration, but I'd been thinking more on the lines of dark blue... black would pose a bit of a challenge, but I decided to try it:

Myrna likes to sleep right on top of me - and she weighs 15kg so she's not exactly light.... sometimes I'll wake up in the morning and she's snoring (she's a champion-level snorer) on top of me – but I haven't noticed her sneak up from 'her' place at the foot of the bed. I don't know how she does it! 

This was a very dark picture, so I gave Myrna one open eye - a little pop of bright white to draw attention to the illustrative part of the canvas and focus everything a bit. All the colours used in this are really dark, approaching black. I always find it fascinating how a colour can look relatively bright when against black, but super-dark when against white. I've done all the colour theory stuff, and I know why - but isn't the world an interesting thing?

Adobe Photoshop CC2015 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2
About 2 to 2.5 hours.


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