Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Bring on the champagne and get ready to celebrate a happy New Year....or as Tom Corbert would say, "Here's to a better New Year". Happy 2014 dear readers! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

It's a dark scene, but one that we know some fans will recognize in a snap. We're big fans of this film and we wouldn't recognize it all that quickly, but then we know we're not as clever as most of our audience. 

If you are not familiar with the rules to the Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie game or the prize, click here. ( That's our way of saying we're too lazy to re-type the information! ) 

Good luck guessing! 


Congratulations to The Tactful Typist for correctly guessing "The Scarlet Claw" ( 1946 ), one of the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes films. In this particular scene, the minister was approaching the church tower where the sound of mysterious bell tolls was emitting from. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Nugget Reviews - 7

The capers are here! 

How to Steal a Million ( 1966 ) 18k

An intrepid insurance investigator discovers a master painting forger in Paris but falls in love with his daughter and helps aid her in stealing back one of her papa's forgeries - a statuette valued at one million dollars - from the Paris LaFayette Museum. Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Hugh Griffith, Charles Boyer. 20th Century Fox. Directed by William Wyler. 

This is undoubtedly one of Oma's favorite movies. We had watched it countless times growing up ( these kind of films were shown for our education! ) and Oma adored it because it brought back memories of the time she spent in Paris and the people she knew. She especially enjoyed Monsieur Bonat's secret entrance to his art studio and wished that we had one. I did too! Anyway, it's a wonderful romantic comedy and has great atmosphere. Paris. That alone earns it an 18k rating!


The Ladykillers ( 1955 ) 14k

A sweet little old lady is known at the local police station for telling rather imaginative tales of activities she thinks her neighbors are taking part in, but when a group of real bank robbers take lodging in her house with their stash of the lolly she finds the police do not believe her story.  Alec Guinness, Katie Johnson, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellars, Cecil Parker, Danny Green. Ealing Studios. Directed by Alexander MacKendrick. 

This is always a delight to watch, in no small part due to Katie Johnson's marvelous performance as the little old lady who unwittingly bumps off all of the bank robbers. My grandmother always enjoyed Peter Sellers performance best and wished that she had lived in a little house by the railroad tracks. Bless her heart, in real life I'd doubt she would have put up with the rumbling.Screenwriter William Rose claims that he dreamed the entire plot one night and only had to write down the details when he awoke. That dream earned him the BAFTA award for Best British Screenplay.


The Pink Panther ( 1963 ) 18k

A jewel-thief, known as the Phantom is prancing across Europe stealing the most priceless jewels. Inspector Clouseau attempts to capture the Phantom when it is rumored that Princess Dala has the Pink Panther, the largest diamond in the world, in her possession during a ski trip in northern Italy. Little does the Inspector know that the Phantom's accomplice is none other than his own wife! David Niven, Claudia Cardinale, Peter Sellars, Capucine, Robert Wagner, Brenda de Banzie. Mirisch Corporation. Directed by Blake Edwards. 

Now this is one delightful film! It is no wonder that it spawned 10 sequels. But alas, like most films the first remains the best. Inspector Clouseau appears as one of the most original detectives to ever hit the big screen, being both terribly cunning and clumsy at the same time. The Pink Panther boasts a superb cast of comedic talent, features beautiful location scenery at Cortina d'Ampezzo, and has a wonderful soundtrack from music maestro Henry Mancini. And who can forget the lovable Pink Panther himself? It was this film which introduced the spunky cartoon character. 


Gambit ( 1966 ) 14k

Two criminals take part in the theft of priceless antiquity residing in the private collection of millionaire recluse Mr. Shabandar, with the help of an American dancer disguised as his late-wife. Michael Caine, Shirley MacLaine, Herbert Lom. Universal Pictures. Directed by Ronald Neame.

One can never go wrong with a Ronald Neame film and this movie is no exception. While it does not earn an 18k gold rating from Pete ( due to its slower pace ) it is nonetheless a very entertaining caper. Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine make a marvelous team and it is a shame that they did not make more films together. 


L'Homme de Rio aka That Man From Rio ( 1964 ) 14k

An airman embarks on an 8 day leave in Paris to visit with his fiancee but within one hour sees her kidnapped in order to gain information about a South American statuette her father, a professor, discovered. His pursuit of the villains takes him to Rio De Janeiro and the Amazon jungle. Jean-Paul Belmondo, Francoise Dorleac, Adolfo Celi, Jean Servais. United Artists. Directed by Phillipe de Broca. 

That Man from Rio capitalized on the popularity of the James Bond spy features and when it was released it became the 5th highest-earning film of the year ( in France ). In the States, hardly anyone knew of the film. But what a great movie they missed! That Man from Rio packs a wholloping good punch in its 110 minute run-time and there is a hardly a minute's pause in the action. Jean-Paul Belmondo is a ravishing good lead as our James Bond/Indiana Jones adventurer hero. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Zsa Zsa Gabor's Vonderful Marriage Advice

When you want to build a house, do you consider choosing an architect who has built one home or twenty? When you wish to engage a babysitter do you pick the girl who cared for one baby or ten? When you want marriage advice do you ask the woman who has been married once or seven times? Ah yes dahling, we knew you'd see the wisdom in this! 

Below we have gathered together some of the choice bits of sage advice given by Zsa Zsa Gabor - the-Budapest-born-beauty-queen-turned-actress-turned-socialite-turned-tabloid-fixture. Zsa Zsa is the most famous member of the Gabor sisters which included Magda, the eldest, and Eva, who became popular on the classic television sitcom Green Acres. Those delectably stylish Hungarian dumplings shared a grand total of twenty marriages between the three of them. Now that's alot of rice! 

As Eva once declared, " Marriage is too interesting an experiment to be tried only once "

Zsa Zsa was the reigning queen of marriages, racking up a total of nine herself. Currently she is married to Prince Frederick von Anhalt. Some of her husbands included Herbert Hunter, Jack Ryan ( creator of the Barbie doll ), and Felipe de Alba. Her third husband was the suave actor George Sanders. Even though the marriage ended in divorce Zsa Zsa remained lifelong friends with Sanders. Her reasons for divorcing him were quite simple : " Ven I vas married to George Sanders, we were both in love with him. I fell out of love with him, but he didn't ". George must have missed the excitement of being apart of the Gabor family because he later married older sister Magda, although that union only lasted six weeks. 

Sister Magda's happiest marriage was to her fourth husband Tony Gallucci, whom she married in 1956. Gallucci died in 1967 of cancer and Magda was heartbroken...she only married twice after that and then chucked the whole institution. 

Interestingly enough, of all the marriages the sisters had ( not counting the affairs they had! ) only one child was born among them - Zsa Zsa's daughter Constance Francesca Hilton, whose father was the famed hotelier Conrad Hilton.

In 1970, Zsa Zsa penned a book based on all the lessons she learned from her marriages...." How to Catch a Man, How to Keep a Man, and How to Get Rid of a Man ". She knew how to do all three. This book contained some vonderful advice that we thought we'd share....believe me you, if you can't follow Zsa Zsa's dating advice whose can you follow? 

On Dating :

“The best way to attract a man immediately is to have a magnificent bosom and a half-size brain and let both of them show. If you already have these two things, though, you probably aren’t reading this because you don’t need to. You are too busy beating men off with a baseball bat. Also I hope for you that you don’t spend too much of your time reading.”
“Emphasize your good points, your face or your legs or your derriere or something else that men normally find attractive, rather than your elbows or your feet. Although Goethe, the famous German poet, said, ‘A pretty foot is a great gift of nature,’ you don’t run into men like Goethe every day.”
“One of the best places to definitely not find a man is Hollywood.”
“You are much better off staying home and being the prettiest girl in Paris, New York, Chicago and Budapest rather than the 27,304th prettiest girl in Hollywood.”
“If you even can just barely stand a man in, say, Pittsburgh, you’ll adore him in Paris. I guarantee it. On the other hand, if you should find a man in Paris, by all means leave him in Paris, because if you take him somewhere else, you’ll find that it wasn’t the man, but, as the song goes, it was Paris that you loved.”
“A successful romance is like a game of tug-of-war. But remember, playing hard-to-get comes after he thinks he’s got you. If you play hard-to-get while he’s playing hard-to-get then nobody gets anybody.”

On Love :

“If you catch that wonderful man, what does age matter? After all, love is blind, and it is also not good at arithmetic.”
“Unfortunately, it’s true that most of the men I choose are the type most women would be attracted to, because I’m such a careful shopper.”
“If you are insanely mad about your husband, then you are mainly lovers, not married people. It’s the biggest luck in the world to have a love affair which is legal. But, La Rochefoucauld was so right when he said ‘True love is like seeing ghosts, we all talk about it, but few of us have ever seen one.’”
“I couldn’t endure living in a harem, not even if I were the favorite (which, of course, I would be, if only because I would have poisoned all the others). Also, in a harem the only men you would be allowed to talk to, besides your husband, would be eunuchs, and I’ve had enough of them since I have lived in Hollywood.”

On Marriage :

“It is unfortunately true that the only man who will always ask you to marry him immediately is the one you would never marry.”
“A man in love is incomplete until he is married, then he is finished.”
“If you like a man and he likes you, you should get married as fast as you can. Otherwise, you both are going to change your minds. There’s plenty of time for that after marriage.”

“I would not advise any girl to marry a man just because he is rich. I absolutely believe in that Scottish proverb that says, ‘Don’t marry for money; you can borrow it cheaper.’”
“I would take an American man for a husband three times out of five. In fact I did take an American man for a husband three times out of five. No other men can fix your dishwasher and your electric gate as well as American men. European men absolutely refuse to fix anything. It’s beyond their dignity.”

“When the young girl who is married to the older man gets mature herself, the man she has been married with has probably dropped dead. This, of course, is an ideal marriage.”
“Men are like fires : they go out if left unattended.”
“Any woman who slops around the house all the time with grease on her face and curlers in her hair in front of her husband is a dumb woman. If he stands for it, he’s not genius himself.”
“Remember, if you wear the pants in your family, your husband’s mistress is going to wear the sables.”

“Don’t ever let your husband take a vacation without you, unless it’s somewhere like on a mountain climbing expedition up Everest with only other men and sherpas, or maybe down a river fastened into a kayak so he can’t get out when he passes through a town. But even then to be on the safe side, you should send along with him your mother, as long as she isn’t your stepmother who looks just your age or younger...”
“I have noticed that often the more romantic a man is before marriage, the less he is after. At least with his wife.”

“The minute I understand a man, he is no longer exciting and a challenge to me. And the last thing in the world I want is for a man to understand me and know what’s always going on inside my head. It takes away from all my mystery, which, as I’ve told you before, is the most important thing between a man and a woman.”

On Divorce 
“If it’s okay to have your nose fixed if it’s messing up your face, it certainly ought to be all right to get a divorce, if it’s your whole life that’s being messed up by your marriage.”
“The truth is, you never really know a man until after you have divorced him.”
" I believe in large families : every women should have at least three husbands "
Vell dahlings, there you have it...everything you'd want to know about dating and marriage from the Queen of Matrimony.....whether you want to take it seriously or not is up to you.  As Zsa Zsa so aptly put it, 
" I tell you, in this world being a little crazy helps to keep you sane ". 

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Tribute to Oma Rozalia

Oma in Serbia in 1942
The Christmas season is a mixture of happiness and bittersweet moments for many, because it is a season filled with nostalgia. The happy moments we create anew each Christmas are intertwined with the traditions and memories of years gone past. Familiar melodies, cherished moments, and childhood experiences with dear loved ones are all woven together to create a unique tapestry of memories that warm us all through the winter. 

Some of my fondest winter memories took place on the days leading up to Christmas, those cold December days when my family and I were home bound due to the snowy weather. This was the season that our grandmother - "Oma" as we called her ( we're German ) - loved the best. I rather fancy it was because her own fondest memories were from the winter months she spent as a child in Serbia. 

We were very close to our Oma, and even though she passed on two years ago, she still remains with us in our hearts. Since we feel her presence the most during the Christmas season we decided to make our December issue a tribute to all of the films our Oma loved the best, because - yes indeedee - she was a film fanatic. 

Before we highlight the upcoming features please let us indulge in a little bragging about our beloved Oma....

Rozalia Amstadt was born in Serbia in 1925 and as a teenager worked as an usherette at a movie theatre near the Hungarian border. This is where her love of film was born. She often claimed that she saw more movies than anyone in the world and quite frankly, we don't doubt that. How many Serbian and Polish films do you think Robert Osborne saw?

She use to bring the old movie posters home from work and paste them on her bedroom wall and in the bathrooms of her childhood home. Not only were they interesting bathroom reading material but they kept the room warm too....heat was costly and paper not easy to come by you know. 

Oma with her beloved Rolls Royce, once owned by a general

Oma met my grandfather in the "Lager" ( a refugee camp ) in Innsbruck during WWII when she lived and worked there as a chef. Shortly after they moved to France while they waited for the Catholic church to approve and pay for their passage to America. In France, Oma was not able to watch many movies since the town my grandparents lived in had no movie theatre, but once they arrived in Cleveland in 1956 the first piece of furniture my grandfather ( Opa ) purchased was a black and white television. They couldn't speak a word of English but they - and their three boys - sat enthralled watching Arsenic and Old Lace on television that night. If a good movie was playing on tv their neighbor would reach across the yard with a broomstick and thump on their window holding up a sign with the channel number and airing time on it. How sweet! 

Oma quickly learned the language ( she already spoke four languages so what was one more? ) and despite the fact that she told us everyday " Never forget that you are European " and often criticized "dis kontry", she fell in love with America and its history. Her favorite period of time was the Roaring 20s and always wished she was a saxophone player for a swing band during that era. She would have loved the 1920s...bootleggers and all.

As Oma got older her knowledge of movies grew larger and larger. Aside from cooking and crocheting, her favorite hobby was watching classics. If a classic film wasn't to be found on cable tv then she would enjoy any good thriller. Action flicks were not her cup of tea but suspense films and mysteries she adored....just so long as they didn't have "too much talk". She must have seen every Hitchcock film twenty times over.

We often referred to Oma as "Countess Rozalia" because she loved the good life - fancy cars, sparkling jewelry, mink coats, dapper men in suits, world travel and loads and loads of money. Since she didn't have this herself she enjoyed reading and hearing stories about the wealthy - aristocrats, royalty, and.....movie stars! We always wished we could have seen Beverly Hills with Oma. 

If she had to pick a favorite film to take on a desert isle I'm sure she would have grabbed Some Like It Hot. That film captured all the wonderful things that Oma loved - the millionaire life, hot jazz music, train travel, jewelry, and gangsters. Our grandma loved everything about gangsters. I believe she rather wished that the Roaring Twenties would return and then she would be a "Ma Barker" herself. The last film she watched before she died was Some Like It Hot. 

Rest in peace Oma, I know you are enjoying "the good life"!

Here is a overview of what you can expect to read about this month :

Scrooge ( 1970 ) : our grandmother's favorite Christmas film. We watch it every December a week before Christmas, usually on a Friday morning. While our father and uncle snuck off to the auto auction in the freezing cold weather we stayed at home and watched this lovely film. Oma simply adored the first hour, especially the December the 25th dance number, but once it got to the grim reaper scene she usually headed to the kitchen to get a head start on making soup. 

How To Steal a Million ( 1966 ) : of all the genres of films that were made, "heist" films and musicals were the themes Oma preferred, and so we're going to feature a behind-the-scenes look at one of her all-time favorite films - How to Steal a Million - and our Nugget Reviews will be a look at some other classic heist flicks of the 1960s. Anyone ever hear of That Man From Rio? 

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous ( 1984 ) : this show was Oma's bread and butter for many years. When it finally went off the air in 1995 she consoled herself by watching the three episodes we had taped off of television. Eventually The Price is Right became her favorite television show. It was a toss-up for us whether to right about that classic game show or Lifestyles but ultimately we choose the rich one because there isn't much written about it. 

Zsa Zsa Gabor : Dahling, dis was Oma's alter ego, what more could we say?

The Ghost of Jayne Mansfield : Jayne Mansfield was one of those iconic buxom babes that seem to crop up every other generation. Jean Harlow was the Mansfield of the 1930s, Loni Anderson of the 1980s, Anna Nicole Smith the Mansfield of the 1990s. We spent our childhood hearing every tale of gossip from Hollywood that Oma could remember. Most of the time she mixed all the tales together and gave them a good shuffle ( which only made them more juicy ) but there was one she liked to repeat over and over which never changed - the ghostly image Engelbert Humperdinck saw in Jayne Mansfield's home. 

And last but not least....an Impossibly Difficult Movie Scene from an impossibly good film. 


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hot Like Sugar

Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in a scene from the classic Billy Wilder comedy "Some Like it Hot" ( 1959 ). Sugar Kane and Jerry are having a ball while Joe poses as the millionaire heir to Shell Oil. When Some Like it Hot was released it was issued a "C" rating from the National Legion of Decency and this film, along with Hitchcock's Psycho, contributed to the end of the Production Code. Well, some like it hot and some do not.