Saturday, July 30, 2016

100 Days of Old Movies: The Finale!

I've put all of my 100 Days of Old Movies illustrations together in one image. Look at them all!

I've numbered them all for easy reference:

1&2: Romeo & Juliet (Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard)
3&4: Kiss Me Kate (Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel)
5&6: The Taming of the Shrew (Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton)
7&8: The Divorce of Lady X (Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier)
9&10: Key Largo (Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart)
11&12: Romance on the High Seas (Doris Day and Jack Carson)
13&14: Spellbound (Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck)
15&16: It Happened One Night (Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert)
17&18: The Court Jester (Danny Kaye and Glynis Johns)
19&20: Britannia Mews (Maureen O'Hara and Dana Andrews)
21: The Little Princess (Shirley Temple)
22, 23&24: Two Girls and a Sailor (June Allyson, Gloria deHaven and Van Johnson)
25&26: The Scarlet Pimpernel (Merle Oberon and Leslie Howard)
27&28: The Gay Divorcee (Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers)
29&30: Footlight Parade (James Cagney and Joan Blondell)
31: Smart Woman (Mary Astor)
32, 33&34: Anchors Aweigh (Gene Kelly, Kathryn Grayson and Frank Sinatra)
35&36: My Man Godfrey (William Powell and Carole Lombard)
37&38: Easter Parade (Fred Astaire and Judy Garland)
39&40: The Glass Slipper (Leslie Caron and Michael Wilding)
41: Miranda (Glynis Johns)
42&43: Love Affair (Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer)
44, 45&46: Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden)
47&48: Broadway Melody of 1936 (Eleanor Powell and Robert Taylor)
49&50: The Thin Man (William Powell and Myrna Loy (and Asta/Skippy))
51&52: 42nd Street (Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell)
53&54: 7 Brides for Seven Brothers (Jane Powell and Howard Keel)
55&56: The Awful Truth (Irene Dunne and Cary Grant (and Asta/Skippy)
57&58: Pride and Prejudice (Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier)
59&60: You Were Never Lovelier (Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth)
61&62: The Slipper and the Rose (Richard Chaimberlain and Gemma Craven)
63, 64&65: Singin' in the Rain (Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor)
66&67: Gilda (Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford)
68&69: Gigi (Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan)
70, 71&72: The Philadelphia Story (Kathrine Hepburn, Cary Grany and James Stewart)
73&74: Neptune's Daughter (Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban)
75&76: Ball of Fire (Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper)
77&78: La Belle et la Bete (Josette Day and Jean Marais)
79&80: The Bamboo Blonde (Frances Langford and Michael Wade)
81&82: Beauty for the Asking (Lucille Ball and Freida Insecort) 
83, 84, 85&86: White Christmas (Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney)
87&88: Hatari! (John Wayne and Elsa Martinelli)
89, 90&91: It Started with Eve (Deanna Durbin, Robert Cummings and Charles Laughton)
92, 83&94: How to Marry a Millionaire (Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable)
95&96: Maytime (Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy)
98&99: Gaslight (Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer)
99&100: Two Sisters From Boston (Kathryn Grayson, Jimmy Durante, June Allyson and Peter Lawford)

I made sure I didn't feature any screen couple more than once, but a number of people feature several times. Kathryn Grayson appears the most, at three times, followed by Leslie Howard, Howard Keel, Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Glynis Johns, Danny Kaye, June Allyson, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, William Powell, Leslie Caron, Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Cary Grant, Rita Hayworth and Ingrid Bergman, all with two appearances. All in all I depicted 81 different actors and actresses, 102 in total. 

A big criterion that I used when picking which movies to feature was the costumes (as well as trying to have a good spread of actors and actresses). Many excellent movies from the 30s and 40s involve men in suits. That includes the entire noir genre, for example, but I didn't want all the guys I drew to be wearing suits so I gave preference to films set in historical times, or musicals with wacky costumes. I think I only drew about 15 standard everyday suits. I also wanted a nice mix of well-known movies, and lesser-known ones, such as B-movies

47 films were depicted, 21 of them were musicals, 17 were drama and 9 were comedy. I had movies from 25 different years of the 20th century, and my most popular year was 1948, with four movies. 15 of the movies were from the 1930s , 17 were from the 1940s, 10 were from the 1950s, two were from the 1960s and one was from the 1970s. The earliest movie was Smart Woman in 1931 and the latest was The Slipper and the Rose in 1976.

Friday, July 29, 2016

100 Days of Old Movies: Final Instalment! (92 – 100)

I've made it! Here is the last instalment of my 100 Days of Old Movies! Still can't quite believe that I've made it to the end, and that I did so while only being late with two posts! (and that I got all my actual work done on time as well)

92, 93 & 94: How To Marry a Millionaire (1953)

If you don't marry him, you haven't caught him - he's caught you!

How To Marry a Millionaire is a comedy film starring Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, often mentioned because it has the reigning bombshell of the 40s (Grable) and the reigning bombshell of the 50s (Monroe) in the same picture. 
Schatze (Bacall) has a plan: she's already been married to a man with no money, who walked out on her. This time she's going to marry a millionaire. But you can't meet a millionaire just anywhere, you need to be in the right place - so she teams up with Pola (Monroe) and Loco (Grable), two dumb blondes, and they rent a fancy apartment and go to all the night spots. Only one of them needs to catch a millionaire for them to pay off the rent and everything, although obviously it will be better if they all catch one. Things don't, of course, go precisely to plan....

Here is the trailer. It seems to be happier about the Cinemascope than the film, but it is the trailer... =P

More below the cut: 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

100 Days of Old Movies: Instalment 9 (81 - 90)

This is the second-to-last instalment of my 100 Days of Old Movies series. I'm almost done!

81 & 82: Beauty for the Asking (1939)

Why should a woman stop using her brains just because she's caught her man?

Beauty for the Asking is an early Lucille Ball vehicle - it's not an outright comedy, and she isn't even the comic character. I've not seen a great many Lucille Ball films, they just don't seem to make their way down here, but I thought I'd feature her in this little film. 
Lucille is Jean, a beautician who has been working on creating a new beauty cream in her spare time. Her fiancé Denny (Patric Knowles) is a salesman for beauty companies and he will sell it for her when she's perfected the recipe. However, on the day she figures out the perfect formula, Denny drops by to tell her that the engagement is off - he's marrying Flora (Frieda Inescort), a plain woman with a fortune in the millions. Jean is shattered. Then she loses her job after stuffing cold cream in a woman's face after she chatters away about the upcoming society marriage. Her best friend and roommate Gwen (Inez Courtney) gives her a pep talk - she hasn't given up on her face cream, has she? Jean decides to give her cream a go - but without Denny to sell it, she needs advertising, so she follows advertising executive Jeffrey (Donald Woods) around until he gives in and helps her. They don't have capital, so to raise finances they send a sample of the product to ten rich women, hoping one will agree to finance a salon. Unfortunately for Jean, the woman who takes up the offer is Flora, who wants something for Denny to do. Now Denny is part of the business, and Jean has to see him every day, and (for some reason we do not understand, he's a total slimeball) she still loves him. Meanwhile Jeffrey is pining for Jean. Everyone is super happy. The salon is a huge success and the money starts rolling in. Jean sends Denny away on a business trip (out of temptation, he's indicated he'd be perfectly happy to have her as a bit on the side) and Flora comes to her for advice - she's losing interest her husband's interest: what can she do? Jean tells her the hard truth - for a woman owning a whole beauty empire, she looks awful, bad figure, bad makeup, bad hair, bad clothes. In the six weeks until Denny returns, Jean puts Flora through bootcamp, so that by the time he's back, she's a beautiful woman. Denny cottons on to what Jean has been doing, and tells her it's no use, he was a fool, he's coming back to her. Jean goes to tell this to Flora, who takes it hard, but when Denny discovers that Jean has said that they're giving Flora's money back, he changes his tune, and goes back to Flora - who has changed all the locks and ejected all his clothes from the house. Jean goes on a holiday to forget Denny, Denny marries one of Flora's wealthy friends, and when Jean returns she gets together with Jeffrey. The film ends with possibly my favourite movie-telegram:

Denny's new wife: 

Please forget that he was ever your husband STOP Please forget he ever meant anything to you, if even for a moment STOP Please forget - 

The reply:

Forgotten - Flora
Me too - Jean
I am sending you all my Mrs Dennis Williams calling cards. I hate waste - Flora
We are sending them airmail. We hope they do not arrive too late to be of use - Jean.

There is no trailer for this on youtube, sorry!

More below the cut:

Monday, July 11, 2016

100 Days of Old Movies: Instalment 8 (70 – 80)

Here's instalment 8 of my 100 Days of Old Movies. The finish line is drawing ever nearer!

70, 71 & 72: The Philadelphia Story (1940)

You're not doing it to soften the blow, nor to save my face?

The Philadelphia Story is a definite classic, and was remade in the 50s as the Cole Porter musical High Society with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. In the original, however, we have Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and James Stewart. 
Society girl Hepburn is getting married, and some reporters have come down to cover the wedding (James Stewart and a female photographer). Keeping the reports to what the family wants to convey proves tricky, however, what with Hepburn's ex husband (Cary Grant) wandering in and out, and her womanising father turning up unexpectedly. By the end of the film, Hepburn has three men to choose from - her fiance, her ex husband, or the reporter. Two of them worship her, but does she really want to be worshipped?

More under the cut:

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Here are a few pieces I have done recently of my little ghost character Mariella. 

This was for Colour Collective's Lilac Grey prompt - obviously I had to do a ghost for that!


Mariella has a partner in crime - her phalene puppy, Verity. I like to think of them running up and down panelled halls, causing unexplained gusts of wind and shrieking/barking. This illustration did the best on twitter of anything I have ever posted, which was a (very pleasant) surprise. 

And here's last night's effort, done in record time (under three hours) because it's been one of those weeks.... This was for the Cinnabar Green Deep prompt. My squirrels are a bit wacky, it was down to the wire and I had 15 minutes in which to do them both, which isn't conducive to perfect furry creatures... It was originally going to be something quite different, I'm not entirely sure what happened...

And here's a sketch, part of a larger illustration, which started with this sketch and grew, and which will hopefully be finished at some point in the not too distant future. There is always so much to do!

All of these were done in Photoshop on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. The linework is done with Kyle Webster's Perfect Pencil brush, the colours are done in a variety of brushes

100 Days of Old Movies: Instalment 7 (61 - 69)

61 & 62: The Slipper and the Rose (1976)

Dancing in his arms forever my heart will never be free, dreaming of the night he danced with me.

1976 is getting a bit modern (in my opinion) to be an 'old movie' but The Slipper and the Rose is a pretty film, so I put it in the lineup on the basis that it has fancy costumes. 

It's a straightforward retelling of Cinderella, with music by the Sherman Brothers (who did Mary Poppins among many other Disney films, although this film is not Disney) and in my opinion it would be an excellent movie if it were not suffering from what I call '1960s movie bloat' - starting in the 60s, films that would previously have run to a trim 90-110 minutes were suddenly pushing two and a half hours or more. The songs go on too long, the dances go on too long, there are unnecessary scenes.... and I make use of the fast forward function on my dvd player. The Slipper and the Rose goes for 146 minutes (as a comparison, The Glass Slipper (numbers 39 & 40 in my 100 Days) goes for 93 minutes, and still manages to squeeze in three arty 1930s ballet dream sequences, and the latest Disney Cinderella goes for 105 minutes.). 

This isn't to say that I don't like The Slipper and the Rose, I just think it would have been better if they'd trimmed it a little - but many people adore it just the way it is, and that's just fine. It's got beautiful costumes and sets, some truly lovely music, and Annette Crosbie makes an excellent long-suffering fairy godmother. Cindrella is played by Gemma Craven and the prince is Richard Chamblerlain. 

More under the cut (Singin' in the Rain, Gilda & Gigi)


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