Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Debbie Reynolds Auction Take 2!

Showbiz icon Debbie Reynolds is at it again, with her second auction of her astounding movie memorabilia collection of costumes, props, posters, pictures, and cameras of Hollywood's Golden Age. The auction is scheduled to take place on December 3rd.

Reynolds's original goal was to open a museum to house the Old Hollywood treasures. Even though she is a movie star herself, she is also a movie buff, and rescued a lot of her collection when MGM was going to simply throw away legendary items worn by stars like Clark Gable, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Ginger Rogers, and so on. She kept these iconic items safe for 40 years on her own, while trying to find a permanent place to display her collection. However, that plan never came to fruition, since she couldn't find a space or supporters of her project. Hence her first auction this past summer, which was a HUGE success, and should make anyone who rejected her idea of a museum ashamed and embarrassed. Clearly, powers-that-be had no idea of how valuable and well-loved costumes worn by the likes of Marilyn Monroe (some of her costumes were auctioned off for over a million dollars) and Judy Garland are to the public. While it is tragic that these jewels of Hollywood are no longer being stored together in one collection, it's a comfort to know that real fans and the general public appreciate how much these items need to be remembered and lovingly cared for.

Anyway, I'm sure you're all wondering which beloved items are being auctioned off this time around! Well, my friends, for a complete list, go to the Profiles in History website, but here are a few of my personal favourites that will soon be in the hands of the "people."

1) Judy Garland's "Manuela" dress from The Pirate

Perhaps the fact that this is one of Judy's most underrated and under-appreciated films is the reason that this beautiful gown is expected to go for only $4000 at auction. However, I am 99% sure that a devoted Judy fan will snatch this up, and pay far more than $4000. The dress is still in amazing shape!

2) Vera-Ellen's costumes from Three Little Words and Words and Music

I've always thought that Vera-Ellen was at her most beautiful (and most beautifully costumed) in Three Little Words with leading man Fred Astaire. I truly hope a devoted Vera-Ellen fan will get their hands on her "Mr. and Mrs. Hoofer at Home" outfit shown above, as well as another lovely gown from the same film. Also up for grabs: her Slaughter on 10th Avenue costume, which was her personal favourite dance routine. Gene Kelly was her wonderful partner and choreographer.

3) Rita Hayworth's black Affair in Trinidad gown

Rita returned to the screen after a three year absence with Affair in Trinidad. An attempt at
"redoing" her classic Gilda with a film-noir feel and with Glenn Ford as her leading man again, Rita wears this stunning black gown in the number, "I've Been Kissed Before," somewhat reminiscent of her iconic "Put the Blame on Mame" number from Gilda. The dress appears to be in stunning shape, and I'm sure it will go for big bucks at auction.

4) Marilyn Monroe's Let's Make Love gown

While certainly far from being her best film, I think Marilyn was extremely beautiful in this film, and what a stunner this gown is! One of the highest ticketed prices on the auction list, this and her Bus Stop leotard are sure to be the most popular at auction this time around.

Other personal favourites: gowns worn by Jennifer Jones from Love Letters and Love is a Many Splendored Thing, two beautiful dresses worn by a young Kim Novak in The Eddy Duchin Story, Jane Powell's quilt dress from the classic musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and outfits worn by Ava Gardner, Marge and Gower Champion, and Howard Keel in another classic musical, Show Boat.

I hope be live-tweeting the auction (I'm @judygenefan on twitter) on the day of the auction, eagerly awaiting how much these treasured items go for! I hope you'll be watching too! Profiles in History will probably have a live video feed from the auction room! Let's celebrate Debbie Reynolds and her amazing memorabilia collection together this Saturday!!

Monday, 28 November 2011

87 year old Doris Day keeps fans smiling with "My Heart"

If anyone can be deemed a survivor, it's Doris Day! The beloved singer and screen actress has released a new album, "My Heart," available in the U.S. on December 2nd. Full of her favourite songs that she's recorded, and never-before-released recordings from the 1980s, the album is a must for any Doris fan. The album landed on the U.K. charts at #9 when it was released there, making her the oldest artist to do so! Go Doris! You're an inspiration to us all!

The album is dedicated to her late son Terry Melcher, who sings a track on the album as well: the beautiful "Happy Endings." You can sample it on youtube here:

Doris also serenades us with the tune "You Are So Beautiful." Recorded in 1985, the recording proves Doris never lost her voice... if anything, it got better and even more poignant with the years. Take a listen here:

I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this album! Doris Day fans are rejoicing everywhere! There can never be too much Doris Day in our lives!

Thank you Doris, for the gift of your longevity, staying power, talent, and for being the classiest of class acts. Get "My Heart" on December 2nd and smile like the always-beaming Doris Day!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Great Gene Kelly Rare Book Find

Thanks to the charming and knowledgeable Mike Orlando at the Hollywood Canteen in the Mirvish Village, Toronto, I picked up this amazing and rare book on Gene Kelly, published in 1972. Included are rare pictures, an interview with Kelly, and a short biography. And Mike gave it to me for the amazing price of $15! Thanks, Mike! You guys at the Canteen are the best!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Dyan Cannon's "Dear Cary" a must-read

If you're a Cary Grant fan and anything like me, you probably think that Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon's relationship, marriage, and ultimate divorce was a weird mismatch of two very different (and differently aged) individuals who never belonged together. How wrong I was. Dyan Cannon's beautifully written account of their love story reveals a couple that was truly in love. Their eventual divorce was one of tragedy, and not a result of lack of love between the two.

Cannon's stories of their early romantic days together reads like a Cary Grant movie. He took an interest in her after seeing her on TV, she started dating him and slowly fell in love with him, and they seemed to be two very individual and well-matched individuals. She fell for his charm, his distinguished personality, and his humour. He fell in love with her young vivacity, her spunk, and vibrancy. And for a while, they were wonderful together. One particular comedic and lovely story involves a sick Cannon, a dressed-up Grant on his way to Frank Sinatra's dinner party, and a spilled glass of coke... read the book to find out the "punchline."

But, eventually, Grant's insecurities about marriage (he had already been married three times) and trust issues took over, and Cannon tried to overcompensate by becoming someone she wasn't, and losing her identity in the process.

Cannon desperately wanted to marry, and Grant resisted, but finally relented. It proved to be a mistake. Grant started treating Cannon differently, keeping her at a distance, instructing her what to wear, and how to act. Cannon responded by losing her identity in a desperate attempt to keep their marriage together. In the process, she became a shell of the woman she once was, and a woman Grant no longer loved. Soon after their divorce, Cannon suffered a nervous breakdown.

One positive thing that emerged out of their marriage though: their daughter Jennifer. She is the only child born to Grant, and they both loved their daughter deeply (who now has a son named Cary Benjamin).

Cannon's story is one of romance, heartbreak, and, ultimately, forgiveness and love. Before I read her book, I would have thought her opinion of Cary Grant would not be a kind one. My assumption couldn't have been further from the truth. One only needs to read Dyan's personal letter to Cary at the close of the book to realize that their relationship really was at one time the true thing, and she has no regrets or ill feeling toward the legendary and eternally loved Cary Grant.

Amazing Grace Kelly Exhibit at TIFF

If you are in the Toronto area, you NEED to check out the amazing North America exclusive Grace Kelly Exhibition that TIFF is putting on from now to January. Tons of her original and personal items are on display, including her breathtaking Oscar gown, her Oscar, her "High Society" goddess swim coverup, the dress she wore the day she met Prince Rainier, her civil ceremony wedding dress, and a replica of her iconic and timeless wedding dress. In addition, personal letters to Grace from the likes of Bing Crosby, Alfred Hitchcock, George Seaton, and more, are on display for your perusal. If you're a fan of grace, style, and beauty, you will love this beautifully arranged exhibit of her life.

Tickets are $15 for TIFF non-members, and are well worth the admission. Go to the TIFF website for more information.