Monday, July 20, 2015

Alfred Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief" screens at Daystar Center August 11, 2015

When: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street


Filmed on location on the French Riviera, To Catch a Thief (1955) is a picture-postcard treat of a movie. The Alfred Hitchcock classic pairs Cary Grant as a reformed jewel thief, John “The Cat” Robie and Grace Kelly as Francie Stevens, a vacationing American heiress. When a series of jewel robberies occur, all similar in style to the methods of the so-called reformed Mr. Robie, the Riviera is abuzz with detectives, insurance investigators, and the international press. All of this intrigue and excitement is fascinating to Francie who thinks Robie is up to his old tricks again. Rather than finding his behavior repulsive, Francie instead is attracted to the enigmatic and sophisticated Mr. Robie.

Have some Joe and Enjoy the Show!
Before the movie, grab a cup of coffee from Overflow Coffee Bar, located within the Daystar Center. You can bring food and beverages into the auditorium; we even have small tables set up next to some of the seats. General Admission: $5 Students and Senior Citizens: $3.

Cary Grant and Grace Kelly along the French Riviera

Join the Chicago Film club; join the discussion
Once a month we screen a classic film and have a brief discussion afterward. For more information, including how to join (it’s free), click here. The Venue 1550 is easily accessible by the CTA. Please visit Transit Chicago for more information on transportation options.


Daystar Center located at 1550 S. State St. works through a grassroots network of collaborations and partnerships with individuals and other nonprofit organizations. Through this web, they’re able to provide educational, cultural, and civic activities that enrich and empower their clients, guests, and community members. To learn more about classes and events offered at the Daystar Center, please visit their Web site.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Classic Movie Memorabilia Up For Auction June 29 and 30

This auction, Day 1 and Day 2 Morris Everett, Jr. The Auction Part I, will be on June 29 and 30,
2015, starting at 11:00 AM PST on both days and will feature a selection of 1406 noteworthy auction lots. Items being offered as part of the sale include one-of-a-kind pieces from the collection of Morris Everett, Jr. including vintage movie lobby cards, posters and collectibles, many of which have been deemed some of the most significant movie promotional pieces ever made.

Here are a few lots for example:

Lot 24: Metropolis lobby card, Estimated Price: $20,000 - $30,000
Metropolis lobby card. (UFA, 1927) Color lobby card for Metropolis. Thematically one of the best cards in the set, featuring fantastic Paramount color and design. To the best of our knowledge, this is believed to be the only existing example of this card. Virtually unhandled. The original German poster for this film has twice sold privately, for well in excess of 1 million dollars. In very fine condition.

Lot 416: Frankenstein lobby card, Estimated Price: $10,000 - $15,000
Boris Karloff lobby card for Frankenstein. (Universal, 1931) Color lobby card for Boris Karloff in Frankenstein. One of the best cards in the set. Professionally cleaned with marginal repairs. Now presents as fine condition.

Lot 464: A rare color lobby card for King Kong, Estimated Price: $6,000 - $8,000
King Kong Empire State Building lobby card. (RKO, 1933) Color lobby card for King Kong. Widely considered the best in the set and one of the most highly desired horror lobby cards in existence. In very fine unrestored condition.

Lot 491: The Wizard of Oz lobby card Estimated Price: $6,000 - $8,000
The Wizard of Oz title-lobby card. (MGM, 1939) Color title-lobby card for The Wizard of Oz. Moderate retouching to correct corner pinholes and other minor handling. Now presents as very fine.

Check out other memorabilia items, as well as our other collectibles up for auction:


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" screens at Daystar Center July 14, 2015

When: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street

A favorite with both the public and critics,
 Rear Window’s reputation only seems to grow with each passing year. 

L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies (James Stewart) is confined to a wheelchair after breaking his leg while photographing a racetrack accident. While recuperating in his Greenwich Village apartment, Jeff suspects that his neighbor across the courtyard, Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) murdered his invalid wife. At first his girlfriend Lisa Freemont (Grace Kelly) and home-care nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter) think he’s imagining things, but soon both begin suspecting there may be some truth to his suspicions.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window is a master class in filmmaking; its technique and storytelling are timeless.

Have some Joe and Enjoy the Show!
Before the movie, grab a cup of coffee from Overflow Coffee Bar, located within the Daystar Center. You can bring food and beverages into the auditorium; we even have small tables set up next to some of the seats. General Admission: $5 Students and Senior Citizens: $3.

This amazing courtyard was built on the Paramount studio sound stage for Rear Window.


Join the Chicago Film club; join the discussion
Once a month we screen a classic film and have a brief discussion afterward. For more information, including how to join (it’s free), click here. To purchase your ticket in advance, click here. The Venue 1550 is easily accessible by the CTA. Please visit Transit Chicago for more information on transportation options.


Daystar Center located at 1550 S. State St. works through a grassroots network of collaborations and partnerships with individuals and other nonprofit organizations. Through this web, they’re able to provide educational, cultural, and civic activities that enrich and empower their clients, guests, and community members. To learn more about classes and events offered at the Daystar Center, please visit their Web site.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Liebster Award

Thanks to Jennifer Garlan (Virtual Virago blog) for nominating me for a Liebster Award! This is just a fun award that bloggers use to show their appreciation for each other, and I certainly am honored that she included me in her round of nominations. The rules require me to answer Jennifer’s 11 questions, list 11 things readers might not know about me, nominate up to 11 other bloggers, and pose 11 questions of my own to them. Whew! Here we go!



1. Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire?
Wow! That’s a tough choice. I enjoy them both, but I’ll have to go with Fred Astaire.
2. What’s your favorite Val Lewton film?
This is an easy one: I Walked With a Zombie is my favorite.
3. Name one book about classic movies or stars that everyone should read.
The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock by Donald Spoto. It’s packed with film history and stories about the movie stars Hitchcock worked with.
4. What’s the absolute worst old movie that you love anyway?
Hot Rods To Hell. It stars Dana Andrews and Jeanne Crain, both of whom I’d watch reading the telephone book (do they still exist?).


5. Who is your favorite character actor?
Thelma Ritter. I often say I don’t trust people who don’t like Thelma Ritter.
6. If you could adapt one literary work for film, which would it be and why?
The Blood of the Lamb by Peter DeVries. It’s a very personal story of one man’s journey while his daughter suffers from a fatal illness.
7. What's the last book you read?
Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress by Carl Rollyson. I’m currently rereading two books on Hitchcock and Romantic Comedy in Hollywood by James Harvey.
8. Name one of your favorite movie death scenes. What’s so great about it?
Louis Bernard (Daniel Gelin) from The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956). It’s surprising and shocking and pushes the narrative forward.


9. Who should really have gotten the role of Scarlett O'Hara?
Don’t get me started on this one! I love Vivian Leigh, but I think Joan Bennett would have made a terrific Scarlett. For her paddock scene screen test, she held nothing back.
10. Coffee, tea, or alcohol?
I’m not a big drinker, but I haven’t had coffee for almost a year, so it would have to be tea (decaf of course).
11. What's your favorite Disney movie?
Beauty and The Beast. I think the story of self-sacrifice is powerful and the animation and characterizations are wonderful.

11 Things Readers Might Not Know About Me

1. I’ve lived in six states since I graduated from college: New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Illinois
2. Dante and Christina Rossetti are distant relatives on my mother’s side.
3. I attended three colleges and changed majors three times. I eventually earned a degree in English Literature.
4. I was held up at the point of a sawed-off shotgun when I was 17. I was working behind the desk of a Holiday Inn at the time.
5. I’ve been quoted in the LA Times, Washington Times, Glamour, and The Philadelphia Inquirer due to my work in publishing.
6. I love to garden; I’m in charge of all the gardening at my condo complex.
7. I’m a volunteer docent at two house museums in Chicago.
8. I’d pay $10 for a good New York bagel right now.
9. I’d pay 5 times that amount for a New York pizza (are you detecting a theme?).
10. I was painfully shy as a child.
11. My older sister took me to see The Trouble With Angels when I was 9; I watch it whenever it’s on TCM.


11 Questions for my nominees

1. Screwball Comedy, Film Noir, Musical or Western?
2. Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe or Lana Turner?
3. What film do you think is the most overrated of all time?
4. Who is your favorite film star and why?
5. Do you have a favorite movie line? If so, what is it and what movie is it from?
6. Cheesecake, apple pie or hot fudge sundae?
7. What movie star’s work do you think should get more attention?
8. What was the first film you remember seeing in a movie theater?
9. How old were you when you realized you loved movies?
10. What is the best novel-to-screen adaptation, in your opinion?
11. Is there a movie you haven’t seen that would surprise us?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

My Twitter pal, Monica Lewis

Actress and singer Monica Lewis passed away June 12, 2015 at the age of 93. Monica started her singing career in the 1940s as a vocalist with Benny Goodman’s orchestra. In 1950, she signed a singing and acting contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where she recorded albums and appeared in films with Mickey Rooney and Red Skelton.

Perhaps Monica is best remembered as the voice of the Miss Chiquita Banana cartoon character—who advised us not to put our bananas in the refrigerator—a job she held for 14 years.

One on Monica’s recent tweets

But to me, Monica will always be @songbirdmonica, her Twitter handle. I love how she would tweet old publicity photos of herself with contemporary captions. Via Twitter I learned that she was from Chicago, the city where I live, and that she sailed the Long Island Sound with her husband, Jennings Lang. I grew up on Long Island and spent many a summer by, near, and in the Sound.

On Twitter, Monica was always engaging and fun. She would often favorite a tweet of mine and she always kindly responded to questions I posed to her. Those of us who tweet with the #TCMParty hashtag have had the pleasure of viewing tweets and interacting with Monica. She was the liveliest 93-year-old I have ever encountered.

I will miss you, Monica. Rest in peace. Amen.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Screening of Hitchcock’s “Dial M for Murder” at Daystar Center June 9, 2015

When: Tuesday, June 9, 2015 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street

Retired pro tennis player Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) discovers that his wife Margot (Grace Kelly) is having an affair with crime novelist Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings). Tony blackmails an old acquaintance, C. A. Swan (Anthony Dawson) into murdering Margot, but the plan backfires. Kelly manages to kill her attacker, but finds herself on trial for murder. Dial M for Murder (1954) was Alfred Hitchcock’s first collaboration with Kelly, who soon became the director’s prototypical cool blond and one of the biggest stars of the 1950s.

Have some Joe and Enjoy the Show!
Before the movie, grab a cup of coffee from Overflow Coffee Bar, located within the Daystar Center. You can bring food and beverages into the auditorium; we even have small tables set up next to some of the seats. General Admission: $5 Students and Senior Citizens: $3.

Robert Cummings, Ray Milland and Grace Kelly in Dial M for Murder

Join the Chicago Film club; join the discussion
Once a month we screen a classic film and have a brief discussion afterward. For more information, including how to join (it’s free), click here. To purchase your ticket in advance, click here. The Venue 1550 is easily accessible by the CTA. Please visit Transit Chicago for more information on transportation options.


Daystar Center located at 1550 S. State St. works through a grassroots network of collaborations and partnerships with individuals and other nonprofit organizations. Through this web, they’re able to provide educational, cultural, and civic activities that enrich and empower their clients, guests, and community members. To learn more about classes and events offered at the Daystar Center, please visit their Web site.

Friday, May 1, 2015

YouTube Film Noir Series "The Port of San Pedro"

A new YouTube series, The Port of San Pedro, captures the look and feel of film noir movies of the 1940s and 50s. Created by Cleo Valente and shot in black and white, the series takes place in the Port of San Pedro in California.

Cast and crew filming The Port of San Pedro

The story follows detective Nick De Salvo and Police Captain Sebastian Montenero as they team up to investigate the mysterious Luli May Tang who runs an illegal operation in Macao. A quick trip to the shows Web site will tell you the creators have a love for classic film noir. Pictures of Orson Welles in Touch of Evil and Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past populate the page.

If you’re looking for a modern take on the noir formula and look, give The Port of San Pedro a try by taking a look at the trailer below.


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