Monday, November 29, 2010

Joan Crawford Biography Giveaway Reminder!! And an update.

Before getting into this post, just a little gentle reminder:  Please enter the Joan Crawford Biography by Donald Spoto giveaway!  All you have to do is follow these 3 easy steps!
Step 1: Follow this blog (if you don't already do so).
Step 2:  Comment in the Joan Crawford post below this one by sharing either your favorite Joan Crawford movie or favorite character, or if Joan Crawford doesn't float your boat share something you'd hope to learn by reading a Joan Crawford Biography.
Step 3: Cross your fingers and send good vibes to the random number selector I will be using to pick the winner.  Easy as pie! :)

Anyway on to business.  I've been remiss about updating this past week, this is thanks to Thanksgiving Celebrations, Belated Birthday Celebrations, Seemingly too soon 10 Year High School Reunions, and the usual: school, work and school work.  While all this has been going on I haven't been remiss about collecting classic movie DVDs and box sets.  This is thanks to the close proximity of my birthday and the holiday season mixed with very thoughtful friends and family members and my complete inability to pass up a good sale and a pinch of lack of self control.  I've made out like a bandit this year with a wide variety of individual movies and box sets.  I was thinking of doing a few sets of reviews of the box sets and share the special features, some pictures, which movies are included, which ones are worthwhile and which ones you might be able to skip (although when it comes to classic movies I have a very hard time recommending skipping movies).

My first selection is thanks to the WB Archive and inspired by Raquelle at Out of the Past.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the WB archive site was offering 5 DVDs for $50 (sale still going on now, get over there!).  I was mostly surprised cause I often feel like their prices are a smidgen too high for what you get.  In the past, I've purchased Not With My Wife, You Don't during my George C. Scott Phase (fun fact about me I go through Actor Phases, they're often intense; I feel compelled to see every movie that actor is in and learn a great deal about them.  Some phases are very long lasting and others are brief in their duration).   And while I was thrilled! to get to see the movie I felt like I was spending a lot for the bare minimum, no special features or extras.

My second experience with them was a little different.  I got the movie, The Actress, which I have yet to watch, but I selected because it's directed by George Cukor (who is one of my favorite directors) and I figured I couldn't go wrong with a Spencer Tracy movie.  I actually got this movie for free.  Free?!  You might be asking yourself, and the answer is: yes, free.  I got it because as a thank you for participating in a research focus group I was given a coupon for one free DVD at  It turned out that the focus group was for the WB archive online store and they were trying to figure out ways of improving so that they could compete with other online stores.  It was actually kind of amazing to sit in a room for an hour and discuss my DVD buying habits and make suggestions.  Now, you're going to say I'm crazy or reading too much into it, but! one of the things we discussed were DVD box sets.  I commented that sometimes the box set will contain 2 or 3 movies that are quintessential and amazing, but then the remainder of the movies in the box set are sub par or movies that no one would really seek out or want to see and I ended up saying, it'd be amazing if you could make your own box set.  So now I kind of feel like they maybe took my suggestion with this 5 DVDs for $50 deal.  It's not exactly building your own box set, but it's pretty darn close.  So anyway, I feel a slight connection to this deal and was more than happy to take advantage of it.  Long winded story, over! :)

Anyway, I was very happy to hear they were having such a reasonable sale.  But, it was so hard to pick just 5.   I knew for sure that I wanted Bachelor Mother, which I first saw on TCM a few years ago and adored.  I was surprised that they dealt with such taboo subjects in 1939, but I love it and I love seeing Ginger Rogers in her non-dancing roles.  I also knew that I wanted The Phantom Tollbooth, which I have loved ever since I read the book and saw this lovely Chuck Jones creation when I was in the 5th grade.  If you haven't read the book or seen the animated film, please do yourself a favor and try to seek them out.

For the remaining 3 I wasn't sure which direction to go.  I was tempted to go with all the Cary Grant movies that I haven't had the opportunity to see and aren't available anywhere else, but I decided to go for just 2 of them, which justifies the lovely picture of Mr. Grant to the left.  I decided on None But the Lonely Heart and Room For One More.  I've heard good things about both of them and was interested to see Cary Grant act alongside his real-life wife Betsy Drake (in Room for One More).  For the final selection I went with Boys Night Out, which I've never seen, but it  just jumped out at me for some reason.  I think I was drawn to the cast: Kim Novak, James Garner, Tony Randall, nice group.  I'm really looking forward to the arrival of these movies and I'll try my best to do some reviews of them when I get the chance.

That's enough typing away from me.  I hope you check out the 5 DVDs for $50 deal at WB Archive before the sale ends and Good Luck to anyone who enters the giveaway!  Also do yourself another favor and check out the great post at Out of the Past about the Warner Archive Black Friday Sale


  1. Thanks for the plug. Good luck with the giveaway!

    Great selection of movies you chose, I see we have 2 in common. And how cool that you got to do a research focus group that affected Warner Archive's shop! Awesome. :-)

  2. I've always loved the witchy Joan Crawford. "Mommy Dearest" was a book I always went to went I was younger. I read and re-read that book and when I was old enough, I watched the movie. She was definetly an "intense" actress. I've watched so many of her films but the one that stands out to me..."What ever happened to baby jane". I got 2 for the price of one with that movie!!!

  3. Joan is my absolute all-time favorite movie star. There are so many roles and movies to choose from, but I'll have to say my favorite is Mildred Pierce. I think in many ways, that character mirrors more of her life than is widely known. She grew up poor in Oklahoma, with a single mother, and worked her way up to Hollywood Superstar, much as Mildred started out a divorced waitress and went on to be a successful restaurant owner. For those reasons, my choice is Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce.