Born on this date: Mrs. Leslie Carter in 1862; Vera Lewis in 1873; Sessue Hayakawa in 1889; William A. Seiter in 1890; Al Dubin in 1891; Hattie McDaniel in 1895; Clyde Beatty in 1903; Julie Haydon in 1910; Judy Garland in 1922; and June Haver in 1926.
All links lead to each actor's IMDb page, set to open in a new tab. Classic Movie Daily subscribers can look for a Sessue Hayakawa clipping alongside a couple of old movie cards, a selection of Hattie McDaniel clippings, a shot of Clyde Beatty with Lou Costello, plus a few Judy Garland collectibles mixed in between all of those.
TCM TV Alerts through tomorrow at 7 am:
These titles play on TCM's US schedule and all quoted times are for my own local Eastern time zone.
A rather big surprise when recalling years past, but TCM chooses Hattie McDaniel over Judy Garland for Wednesday's daytime birthday marathon! Here's the full schedule:
- 7:00 am - I'm No Angel (1933)
- 8:45 am - Judge Priest (1934)
- 10:15 am - Operator 13 (1934)
- 11:45 am - Another Face (1935)
- 1:00 pm - The Bride Walks Out (1936)
- 2:30 pm - Don't Tell the Wife (1937)
- 3:45 pm - Over the Goal (1937)
- 5:00 pm Zenobia (1939)
- 6:15 pm - Janie (1944)
—Another Face is the title I'm most curious about. Anything starring Wallace Ford has me on board! Also features Brian Donlevy and Phyllis Brooks.
—Big stars highlight several of these, in case you need to put a face to the title, I'm No Angel is Mae West; Judge Priest is Will Rogers; Operator 13 is Marion Davies. Each is recommended, though Hattie McDaniel day may backfire for unprepared viewers caught off-guard by Stepin Fetchit's act in the Will Rogers film, or Marion Davies in blackface in the Civil War spy story. Of course, then there's Mae West, who offended more people in her own time than she does now.
—I love Cagney, but I've never been a huge fan of Torrid Zone (1940), which is otherwise a pretty popular title. It's playing in the middle of the night, at 3:30 am, presumably because Ann Sheridan co-stars and it's "Pin-Up Girls" night.
—TCM Thursday runs a bit modern during the day, but I'll definitely be back tomorrow in advance of Richard Dix night.
The day off went well. I spent almost the entire day on the Twelvetrees biography and got about 2,000 words of first draft done on Part 1 of the book. That probably makes it sound like I'm a lot further away from finishing up than I really am, so let me explain.
I'm going to open with an introduction explaining just why in the world anybody would want to write a book about Helen Twelvetrees, and then the bulk of the book is going to be split into two parts: Part 1 - Biography, Part 2 - Films of.
I've more or less completed Part 2, it just needs one final polish that I'm going to give after I complete Part 1. The Films of Twelvetrees section is going to seem familiar to anyone who's checked out my Pre-Code eBook: it's a "history" of each of Helen's 32 features, including her lost titles. I've reconstructed those through the period reviews. Each title will include background notes, basic plots, and a very Helen-focused review or summarization.
So right now I'm working on Part 1, having drafted her biography through, so far, 1931. The research phase is all done, I'm just cobbling it all together. I initially expected to polish up the biography I posted about her on the site, which is why I thought I'd be done with this back in, oh, February, but I just kept digging at every item from that piece that I wasn't sure about. And I managed to tie some loose threads together in doing do. Plus add a whole lot of detail.
I hesitate to even guess as to when I might be done, but I can say that the end is in sight (At least, I don't expect to spend anymore on online archives!). Expect a double-issue of the Daily (like yesterday) about once per week to ten days so I can push a little harder to the finish line.
I won't get back to work on the book until Thursday because I'm planning to spend the rest of tonight—and it's getting late!—and all day Wednesday, working on my Ace of Aces (1933) review. The goal is to have it in your inbox Thursday morning. Failing that, secondary goal is to have it posted to the site by the time it plays at 2:30 am, late Thursday night.
Until then, enjoy today's issue—don't miss the Hattie McDaniel stuff, I found some interesting clippings!
Issue count: Since going Daily on April 6, I've mailed posts to subscribers 63 out of 65 days.