The #PayClassicsForward Challenge

I discovered the #PayClassicsForward Challenge on Aurora’s wonderful blog Once Upon a Screen (Click HERE to see the challenge!) and I thought it would be a fun challenge to take on this holiday season!

So here’s the challenge: There are 12 categories (in the same tradition as the 12 days of Christmas) that can literally be anything related to the movies. It’s all about creativity here which was a huge part of the fun! The idea is to spread the love of classic movies to others and particularly to those who are not already classic movie diehards like the rest of us. Therefore, if you are a serious classic movie fan, these movies probably won’t surprise you or be new to you. However, they are movies that I felt could be enjoyed by everybody, even by those who are not as accustomed to watching old movies.

My twelve topics were chosen pretty randomly so I wouldn’t dare you to try to make sense of it but I’ve tried to cover most genres and subjects to try to encompass all interests. I kept descriptions short and only posted one photo per film. I’ve also made sure that I chose titles that are easily available to watch. You can click each title and it will take you to the IMDb page if you are interested in more information on the film.

As TCM would say… Let’s Movie!

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John Barrymore: A Real Life Jeckyll and Hyde

Two traits are often mentioned alongside the name John Barrymore: First, that he is one of the greatest American actors who ever lived. And secondly, that he was an alcoholic who lived a highly publicized and tumultuous life. Like many great artists, Barrymore was plagued by an inner darkness that ultimately led to his demise. But if there is anything I’ve learned about the great John Barrymore through Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., it is that he truly was a class act. In a sense, Barrymore was a real life Jeckyll and Hyde. For Douglas, he shunned away his worst traits and presented an illusion of greatness to the young devotee.

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The Fairbanks Legacy: Fides Conatus et Fidelitas

In 1922, at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, on the very balcony that Charles Lindbergh would later stand to a cheering crowd of thousands after his great flight, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and Jr. had what Douglas, Jr., referred to as, “the worst row in my life!”1 The issue at hand: Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.’s, entry into a film career. The last thing Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., wanted for his son was for him to become a movie star. After all, he was the King of Hollywood and represented to many Americans the ideal model of youth and  masculinity. Having a teenage son in the movies had the potential to make him seem old to audiences and there was certainly a fear of possibly being embarrassed by his own son. On top of it all, he feared his son was being taken advantage of because of the name he carried. Whatever the true reasoning for his disapproval, the rift between father and son significantly impacted and shaped the film career of Douglas, Jr.

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The Prince and the Flapper: The Romance of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Joan Crawford

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “Joan Crawford is doubtless the best example of the flapper, the girl you see at smart nightclubs, gowned to the apex of sophistication, toying iced glasses with a remote, faintly bitter expression, dancing deliciously, laughing a great deal, with wide, hurtful eyes. Young things with a talent for living.”1 We see this Joan Crawford burst onto screen, madly dancing the Charleston, in Our Dancing Daughters in 1928. The following year, we watch as she falls in love with the crown Prince of Hollywood, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., in Our Modern Maidens, a sequel to Our Dancing Daughters. For movie fans, it was a match made in heaven, the perfect Hollywood romance, the true love story of a prince and a flapper.

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Parachute Jumper: Fairbanks and Davis’ Least Favorite Film

The movie Parachute Jumper is known by many Bette Davis admirers to be one of her least favorite films. In fact, she pretty much hated it. So much so, that she used clips from the film in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? to demonstrate a film career gone wrong. However, Parachute Jumper was not a bad film and even did pretty well in the box office. And it wasn’t just Bette Davis that found this movie to be a drag. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., her leading man, did not have very fond memories either.

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