Tag: TCM

friends, lifestyle, movies, travel

an open letter of thanks



Dear Mr. Osborne, Mr. Mankiewicz, TCM Staff, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, TCM Party and many distinguished guests:

I cannot thank you enough for your gracious hospitality and entertainment this past weekend at the 5th annual Turner Classic Film Festival. As this was only my second year to attend, I am fully confident that I will be attending every year, as this is one hell of a party.

Hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, you were gracious, patient and truly engaged with all the guests, those famous and those famous in our own minds. The entire TCM staff, from producers to greeters, were genuine and really looked happy to be working. If this was not the case, perhaps you should consider work in front of the camera, because you were all very believable. Everyone received equal celebrity status treatment.

The Roosevelt staff, under pressure from the onslaught of guests requesting changes of rooms due to construction and early arrivals remained graceful and collected. The hotel itself is an homage to a more graceful and elegant era. You provided the staff to back those images up and it did feel like “Old Hollywood” rekindled.

Film screening poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Film screening poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Many classic and current film stars showed up to support the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Turner Classic Film channel. Every one of them looked out to our applause with humility, mutual admiration and style. They made us laugh and they made us cry. They reminded us of why we traverse from all over the country to see these classic films on the big screen.

Alec Baldwin with Don Was intro "A Hard Day's Night" Illeana Douglas interviews Richard Dreyfuss
Alec Baldwin with Don Was intro “A Hard Day’s Night”
Illeana Douglas interviews Richard Dreyfuss
Ben & Jerry (see what I did there) Ben Mankiewicz interviews the legendary Jerry Lewis
Ben & Jerry (see what I did there)
Ben Mankiewicz interviews the legendary Jerry Lewis

 Finally, I offer my full gratitude to my #TCMParty pals. I am not yet a seasoned veteran of the festival, and still easing into the marathon of movies. But, this I know is true: there is just something special between this group of “friends” that see each other once a year and are pretty damned excited about it. Some of you, I finally met after years of tweeting back and forth. We are not strangers at all, just like-minded people with a passion for old movies, the strong link in our social media friendships.  It doesn’t matter where you come from, … Read the rest

friends, lifestyle, movies

TCM Film Festival 2013

So, for my forty-schmismosh birthday last week, my wonderful husband treated me to my ultimate fantasy: The TCM Film Festival in Hollywood.

(Don’t even want to know what you were thinking.)

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram or are related to me or are my friends or were standing next to me in the grocery line yesterday, I apologize for showing this yet, again.

But, holy hell. THIS. HAPPENED.

photo (13)
The incomparable Robert Osborne

Don’t you just love the way he is cozied up to me? Like we’re old friends. Well, to me, he is. He will always be. I love Robert Osborne. He was as gracious and dapper as I thought he’d be. The perfect host. Lark just has to deal with it.

 I will be waiting with bated breath this fall, when tickets for next year’s film fest will go on sale. Larkin and I had the time of our lives and have vowed to go back every year.

with Larkin at the Vanity Fair party
With Larkin at the Vanity Fair party

Many of the movies I attended, I admit, I have seen numerous times. But, never on the big screen.

Some digitally remastered, some not. All amazing.

But, even more fascinating than re-watching them, as they were meant to be viewed, were the introductions.  Legendary filmmakers, actors, directors…discussing the details, the memories, the experience of taking part in creating these classics.

Tears filled my eyes, when we all gasped in surprise when Cher was introduced to kick off “Funny Girl”. (You may remember, she was one of my first mentors. See “About Lola”)

Cher introducing "Funny Girl"
Cher introducing “Funny Girl”

I heard Tippi Hedren and Norman Lloyd speak of working with Alfred Hitchcock. I was totally amazed by The Birds; a film I’ve seen many times. It sounded absolutely terrifying in the historical Grauman’s TCL Chinese Theatre. It felt like a totally different film.

I swooned over Cary Grant in Hitchcock’s Notorious. In my opinion, he is the most gorgeous, debonair male lead of all time. All these years, watching all of his movies, but finally…there he was….larger than life. I sigh, just typing this.

 Albert Maysels discussed his capturing the infamous “killing” on film while working on the Rolling Stones documentary, Gimme Shelter. The creators of Aiplane!, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and star Robert Hayes had us all rolling in the aisles before the film even started. … Read the rest

lifestyle, movies

The Tao of Hepburn

 TCM’s Summer Under The Stars celebrates Katharine Hepburn.  This post is inspired by the Summer Under the Stars Blogathon hosted by two fabulous classic film blogs Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence and ScribeHard on Film.  TCM will be airing a day of Hepburn’s films on Friday, August 17th.

 As my loyal Living Lola readers know, Ms. Hepburn is one of my personal heroes because of how she lived her life. She represents all I hope to convey in my little blog of big living. I have reviewed several of her films here on the blog and a few of my favorites are airing today, including Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Adam’s Rib and The Lion in Winter.


When I was gathering my thoughts in regards to writing a tribute piece for her and her films, it occurred to me in re-reading my highlighted parts of her autobiography, ME, that all we really need to know, we can learn from Katharine Hepburn. So, instead of film reviews or a profile of her life, I have compiled ten of her quotes that really speak to pursuing your own well-lived life, without reservation. Although her attitude and personality were considered “spirited” and “headstrong” for a woman making her way in the early days of Hollywood, her ideas still resonate boldly today.


The Tao of Hepburn~ 10 Life Lessons from Katharine Hepburn 

“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” Finding your passion and making it your life’s work is a choice, your choice.

“Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around.” Do not stand on the sidelines and wait for someone to put you in the game. You are the quarterback of your life.

“I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.” Every day, every minute, each mundane moment is a chance to create. You can conjure up boredom and complacency or you can make magic. It is all on you.

“Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world, but if it doesn’t interest you, don’t do it – I would have made a terrible mother.” If you choose the mission, then give it your all without demanding anything in … Read the rest

lifestyle, movies

TCM Tuesday 7/24

Summertime in Texas is guaranteed hot temperatures and crazy, out of nowhere, thunderstorms. Both, ideal reasons to head indoors for some classic movies on Turner Classic.

via Boston.com/AP

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the events in Aurora, Colorado last Friday. We are a movie family. We always have been. In my May 29th post, I wrote that going to a theater to watch a movie was where “all is right in the world for 120 minutes.” How wrong does that sound for the victims of that early Friday morning massacre?

My daughter Jordan, an aspiring filmmaker in Boston, got right back on the horse and went to see a movie, alone. She was not giving that perpetrator the power to take her passion and have it jaded it with fear or anger. She saw Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom”, which we all highly recommend, by the way.

Magic happens in movies theaters. You are transported to a different place and time. You relate to a hero or heroine. You can be inspired. You get swept away with the score. You can have your heart-broken. You can be driven to eruption of out loud laughter.  You root for the little guy. You boo the bad guy.

And, that was one, bad guy in Colorado.

We probably won’t ever sit in a theater again and NOT think about Aurora. But, we will still go. We will still go and have our 120 minutes of magic, where all is right in the world.

Now, for this week’s DVR alerts; movie magic from long ago.


Thursday July 24

6:00 AM


A husband and wife fight to conquer alcoholism.

Dir: Blake Edwards Cast:  Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford

BW-117 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format

The official tag line for this film says it all: “This, in its own terrifying way, is a love story.” Lemmon and Remick were both nominated for Oscars for their brilliant performances as raging alcoholics, in love. Hailed as one of the first movies to introduce AA as a realistic option for struggling alcoholics. Edwards also earned esteem for his groundbreaking portrayal of alcoholism as a disease. While the synopsis has “bleak” written all over, the performances will keep you riveted and sympathetic for these two broken souls. (Probably shouldn’t include a cocktail recipe with this post.)

Saturday Read the rest

cocktails, lifestyle, movies

Quintessential TCM

 The Essentials on TCM this Saturday, July 21, is a must-see.

To Have and Have Not is quintessentially classic.

There is nothing quite like watching Humphrey Bogart fall in love with his wife, Lauren Bacall. She is absolutely disarming, holding nothing back from seducing Bogart on-screen. They literally fall in love on-screen. This is legendary Hollywood at it’s best.

Betty Joan Perske had been a model and was invited to do a screen test for this film in 1944. Betty would soon become Lauren Bacall.

“I just saw your screen test,” Bogart said to Bacall. “I think we’re going to have a lot of fun together.”

And so it began.

 This film is more than just a movie.

This is Sexy Cool 101.

 Keep it on your DVR, add a little rum cocktail and you are set for a vintage sublime date night.

“Vieux”Martinque Cocktail
In a small glass
1/4 simple syrup
3/4 aged rum
small piece of lime squeezed

photos via Saveur.com, IMDB.com

 To my daughters (who have heard it all before), friends of my daughters and young women everywhere, at any mall, please take note:

Watch Bacall and learn the art of the saunter.  You can’t do that in flip-flops, ladies.

You can be crazy loud to get attention or you can be smoldering. Guess what wins every time?

Bacall was 19 years old when she filmed this. NINETEEN. Young women today know so much more at 19. How did we get so far from this?

Call me old-fashioned? Thank you. I’ll take it.


8:00 PM


A skipper-for-hire’s romance with a beautiful drifter is complicated by his growing involvement with the French resistance.
Dir: Howard Hawks Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, Lauren Bacall
BW-100 mins, TV-G, CC

“…Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.”                 -Slim                

lifestyle, movies

TCM Tuesday 6/19

Some Like It Hot









Hello, all! Hope you’re enjoying a fabulous summer week. We’ve been having some cool New England days, but it looks like a few warm beach days are heading our way. If your trying to beat the heat by staying indoors, here are my picks for this week on Turner Classic…including one of our family favorites, Some Like It Hot. (Sorry, Texans. No pun intended.) Enjoy!

Friday June 22

8:00 AM


A married man whose wife is on vacation falls for the blonde bombshell upstairs.

Dir: Billy Wilder Cast:  Marilyn Monroe, Tommy Ewell, Evelyn Keyes

BW-104 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

I appreciate Marilyn Monroe, but I wouldn’t consider myself a devoted fan. I guess I just didn’t relate to her dark and troubled life or her whole blonde bombshell thing.  (I’m a dark-skinned Latina; I didn’t even play with Barbies.) If you have always wanted to see the infamous white dress, billowing up around her legs, then here is your chance. The iconic scene was shot on Lexington Avenue at 1 am with over 5000 onlookers, including her husband, Joe Di Maggio. Monroe was really battling a bout of depression and self-medication during the making of this film and was having trouble taking direction, remembering lines and her cues. She had to shoot the scene many times, with the crowd cheering and clamoring each time her dress blew up. Di Maggio was not pleased. Neither was Wilder since he couldn’t use any of the footage due to the noise from the crazed fans. He recreated the street on a studio lot to finally achieve the scene he envisioned, but only after over 40 takes, as Monroe still could not remember her lines. In 2011, the white dress was auctioned at Sotheby’s for 4.6 million dollars.


2:45 PM


Two musicians on the run from gangsters masquerade as members of an all-girl band.

Dir: Billy Wilder Cast:  Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon

BW-121 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

When my children were quite young, they became enamored with this hilarious film. They would pop in the DVD like a Disney flick, and watch it over and over. They also loved “Tootsie” and “The Birdcage”. I used to wonder if cross-dressing would be in their futures. Nope, Read the rest

books, cocktails, lifestyle, Martha's Vineyard, movies

TCM Tuesday June 5th

It is a very blustery evening as I write. The wind is howling and there has been an unrelenting light rain all day. This is the weather forecast for the island for the next few days. I have plenty of food and provisions. And, I have plenty of DVR material to catch up on. I actually love this weather and I am looking forward to writing and catching up with the blog.

Here are my picks for this week, including one of my favorite films of all time, “Jezebel” with Bette Davis. It is the feature this week on TCM’s The Essentials. It’s going to be a good week.


Tuesday June 5th


2:00 AM


A black police detective from the North forces a bigoted Southern sheriff to accept his help with a murder investigation.

Dir: Norman Jewison Cast: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates

C-110 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format

While many movies attempt to show an honest narrative of racism in our modern history, they fall short when trying to appease a PC status quo. This Oscar-winning screenplay is brilliant for showing that racial tensions could be more than one-sided. Released in 1967, many viewed this as a timely film. But, let’s be honest, it is still timely today. This movie still stands as a timeless classic. Steiger won the Best Actor Oscar; the film, Best Picture. The Oscars were actually postponed that year for several days, due to the assassination of Martin Luther King. Sidney Poitier has often said this is his favorite movie. “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” is 16th in AFI’s greatest movie lines.

Thursday June 7th

8:00 PM


After learning to play the guitar in prison, a young man becomes a rock ‘n roll sensation.

Dir: Richard Thorpe Cast:  Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, Mickey Shaughnessy

BW-96 mins, TV-G, CC, Letterbox Format

Dance Alert! Elvis’ un-credited choreography for the song “Jailhouse Rock” is absolutely brilliant. He made it up on the spot, after the film’s choreographer realized that Elvis was not a professionally trained classical dancer. Gene Kelley was on set to watch Elvis film his most famous dance number. Sadly, Elvis refused to watch this movie because of the tragic death of Judy Tyler, just three days after filming was completed.

Friday June 8th

8:00 PM


A serial killer … Read the rest

lifestyle, movies, Uncategorized

TCM, Classic Continuity

Spring has truly sprung on Martha’s Vineyard. One of the things I love most about New England is the changing of four actual seasons. When I arrived 3 weeks ago, it was still cold and the leaves and flowers were still waiting for their cue, holed up in their tight buds. With a beautiful Memorial weekend, the island joined in on a resounding, “TA DAA”!

When I am here, there is always something to do to keep up this 135 year old house. It is a job I relish. This summer, I have plans to re-finish furniture, convert the shed into a Pilates studio and maybe, just maybe, build a small deck. It’s a hammer and nails and measuring tape, wood planks, right? I’m sure there is a YouTube for that.

When I retire for the evening, watching old familiar movies is comforting. Especially since my dear husband is in Texas right now.  There are some movies I can watch over and over again. Currently, however, I am all about ‘The Avengers”. I saw it again this weekend with my kids, my second time, my daughter’s third. We are hooked. (I want Tony Stark to be real and in my life.) There is something about the familiarity of knowing the lines and what’s coming next that I find reassuring. It is like all is right in the world for 120 minutes. To be honest, we watched Star Wars on Friday night for the, hmmm, 237th time? (It WAS the 35th anniversary!) And, I could still watch again. Continuity can be extremely comforting.

Today, it’s back to work around the Red Door cottage. It is garden day. There are flowers to prune and arrange. And, after a weekend with the kids here, I’m sure a trip to the market is in order, as well. Before I head out, here are my TCM picks for this week. There won’t be as many in the coming weeks since it’s summertime and I hope you are out enjoying it. But, it is nice to have a couple of sure things waiting on the DVR after a long day outside, at the beach or wherever you summer days take you. Enjoy!



Thursday May 31

10:00 PM

BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)   The legendary bank robbers run riot in the South of the 1930s. Dir: Arthur Penn Cast:  Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard. … Read the rest


TCM Tuesday 5/22

It is a cool, dark, rainy day in New England, perfect for old movies. This is why I always check the TCM schedule and set my DVR for upcoming classic films. On evenings like tonight, I don’t have to lament that, even with 500 channels, there is nothing on TV!  My DVR is usually at capacity with masterpiece movies. To me, it is like having a well-stocked pantry, in case of a storm. Here are my pics for this week’s classic films.


Tuesday May 22

2:00 AM   GILDA (1946) A gambler discovers an old flame in South America, but she’s married to his new boss.  Dir:  Charles Vidor  Cast: Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready. BW-110 mins, TV-PG, CC

Ladies, take note: THIS is a siren performance. Hayworth performing “Put the Blame on Mame” shows how sexy can be sexier without getting graphic. This is the movie that the prisoners cheer in “The Shawshank Redemption” as Hayworth does her famous hair flip. The sexual tension between Ford and Hayworth doesn’t just simmer, it boils over. This is classic, sexy 40’s noir and Hayworth is the definition of “femme fatale.” Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered why the government’s nuclear testing bomb was named “Gilda”…well, you’ll see.


Wednesday May 23

6:30 AM   SAN FRANCISCO (1936) A beautiful singer and a battling priest try to reform a Barbary Coast saloon owner in the days before the big earthquake.  Dir: W. S. Van Dyke Cast: Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy. BW-115 min TV-G, CC

This would be the Memorial Weekend blockbuster of its time. Star actors, lavish drama, great storyline, amazing special effects for 1936; definitely the blueprint for all of those 70’s disaster films. See if you can spot MacDonald’s opera gown that would later become Glinda’s costume in ‘The Wizard of Oz.” MacDonald and Gable are amazing in their roles, as they did not care for each other off-screen and never spoke to each other off camera.


8:30 AM   ALL THIS, AND HEAVEN TOO (1940) A French nobleman falls in love with his children’s governess. Dir: Anatole Litvak  Cast: Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn. BW-143 mins, TV-PG, CC

Not the conniving, chain-smoking Davis, but a sweet, warm and innocent Davis. Barbara O’Neil earned an Oscar nomination for the crazy jealous wife in this tragic story based on a true 1840 French scandal. Most of the budget
Read the rest
lifestyle, movies, Uncategorized

TCM Tuesday

If you play by the rules, you miss all the fun~Katharine Hepburn

This week, we are celebrating the May 12th birthday of Katharine Hepburn and TCM is offering some of her classics along with a rare interview.  Hepburn is ranked the #1 woman in the AFI’s “50 Greatest Movie Legends”.

She has always been one of my personal favorites; playing dramatic and comedic roles in her own special way, on her own terms. She even did her own stunts since no one could stand up as straight as her; reinforcing my personal mantra to always stand tall.


Tuesday May 8

3:15 PM


An American artist finds love in Paris but almost loses it to conflicting loyalties.

Dir: Vincente Minnelli Cast:  Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant

BW-114 mins, TV-PG, CC

The studio created 44 dramatic sets despite Kelly’s wanting to shoot on location in Paris. The romantic story set against Paris with fabulous choreography, combined with the general Gene Kelly casual coolness definitely make this a bucket list musical. Kelly discovered Caron while on vacation in Paris and she replaced the originally cast Cyd Charisse, who had discovered she was pregnant. At times, the numbers can seem overblown, but really, you risk that in any musical when characters suddenly burst into song and dance. Although, I sometimes think, trying life scenarios could totally be diffused with a good, choreographed number.

2:15 AM


A heroic slave leads a revolt against the corrupt Roman Empire.

Dir: Stanley Kubrick Cast:  Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons

C-197 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

I have to admit that I did not see this film until last summer and I was so taken with Kirk Douglas. The film was shot on a 10 acre site in Los Angeles, using about 10,500 people for battle scenes; filmmaking before CGI.  Over 180 stuntmen were actually trained in the rituals of a gladiator, battle to the death. “I am Spartacus” was voted as the #64 greatest movie line by Premiere in 2007.


Thursday May 10

10:30 PM

I WANT TO LIVE! (1958)

True story of the small-time lady crook who fought to escape the gas chamber.

Dir: Robert Wise Cast:  Susan Hayward, Simon Oakland, Virginia Vincent

BW-121 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

One of the first “old” movies I saw when I was in high school. I still Read the rest