Saturday, March 31, 2012

Carole And Ginger State Their Cases

We're about half way through the voting in the fifth round—in the contest to represent the 1930s in the Final Four of Monty's Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney, Ginger Rogers leads Carole Lombard, 89-65.

We're turning the Monkey over to each actress to make her case for your vote, and what better way to do that than with an example of the work itself:

Carole Lombard (To Be Or Not To Be)

Ginger Rogers (Top Hat)

Remember: you've got until 10 p.m. Sunday night to cast your vote!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Round Five: The Elite Eight

The results from round four:

#3.Ginger Rogers def. #1.Greta Garbo, 177-78
#1.Carole Lombard def. #3.Joan Crawford, 170-82

In the course of the tournament so far, two great fan bases have turned out in force—those of Carole Lombard and Ginger Rogers—and it's no great surprise that each advanced easily in round four.

Now those two great actresses face off against each other for a chance to represent the Silent Era/1930s in the Final Four.

Should be a titanic battle. As the host of Carole & Co., VP81955, summed it up in a comment right here at the Monkey, "It'll be what King Kong vs. Godzilla would be like if they were glamorous blondes with good legs."

The voting begins now and runs until 10 p.m., Sunday April 1. Tell your friends, family, blog pals, twitter followers, Facebook mates and the guy on the bus.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Round Four Is Underway Here At The Monkey

#1.Greta Garbo
#3.Ginger Rogers

#1.Carole Lombard
#3.Joan Crawford

You have until 7 p.m. Thursday March 29 to cast your vote.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Third Round Recap

"Funny Ladies"
#1.Carole Lombard def. #2.Myrna Loy, 187-166.

"Singers and Dancers"
#3.Ginger Rogers def. #1.Irene Dunne, 264-214.

If you had said before the third round started that Irene Dunne would receive over 200 votes— and lose by fifty!—many would have called you a liar and a lunatic, but that's exactly what happened this week in Monty's Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney when Ginger Rogers more than doubled the record for votes in a single contest and bested Dunne, 264-214.

It was a brutal fight from the very beginning, with the two actresses trading the lead back and forth until Rogers raced ahead on Saturday afternoon.

After the beat-down, Rogers stood over Dunne's prone body, shouting, "I am the greatest! I am the greatest! Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee! I am the greatest 'cause I beat Irene!"

She also announced that from now on, she wishes to be known as Muhammad Ali Rogers.

Rogers' vote total smashed the old record by 153, a performance so utterly astounding, many contended afterwards that it could only have been the product of computer manipulation, fraud—or worse!

"Did Kennedy cheat in Illinois?" Rogers snapped. "Did the Patriots cheat in the Super Bowl? Probably. But just try to prove it!" Then she danced away, backwards and in high heels.

"What was I going to do?" Dunne said privately. "Call her out for cheating better than me? Which is a quote, I think, from Richard Nixon's autobiography."

Former baseball commissioner Ford Frick further fanned the flames of controversy by announcing that Ginger's vote total would carry an asterisk in the record books. "While it's true that Ginger was a better dancer than Babe Ruth," he said, "Ruth did his dancing in a 154-game season and that should be reflected in the record books."

Afterwards, men in white coats gently steered Frick away from the microphones and into an awaiting ambulance. "I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers," he said as they led him away. "How about lending me $12 until payday?"

In the other match here at the Monkey, #1 seed Carole Lombard outlasted a determined Myrna Loy, 187-166, a savage struggle that left both actresses bruised and battered.

"Ain't gonna be no rematch," Lombard said wearily.

"Don't want one," Loy answered.

There were upsets and titanic matches in the other brackets as well.

In the 1950s Debbie Reynolds and Janet Leigh defeated favorites Doris Day and Marilyn Monroe; in the 1960s, Ann-Margret defeated #1 seed Julie Andrews; and as of 10 p.m. Saturday night, top seed Rosalind Russell trailed Lucille Ball in the 1940s bracket.

"Story of my life," said Monroe. "I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop."

"Bring me a light breakfast," Russell moaned from her bed, "black coffee and a side car. Oh, oh. And a cold towel!"

After her stunning defeat to Ann-Margret, British acting legend Dame Julie Andrews shrugged and said, "Oi, as some daft rotter once put it, 'A spoonful o' sugar 'elps the medicine go down.' So I'm gonna stir a spoonful o' sugar into a pint o' bourbon, which is me own recipe for an Old Fashioned, and get bloody roaring drunk! Now bugger off
, guv'nor!"

Round four officially starts Monday, which is to say, late Sunday night. Ginger Rogers will take on Greta Garbo, while Carole Lombard faces Joan Crawford. Should be fun.

And remember: no cheating!

Tourney Rules: A Clarification

1) No hitting below the belt

2) Go to a neutral corner after a knockdown

- and, above all -

3) one vote per customer.

I'm not accusing, just saying.

Ginger Rogers, Fighter

They went at it, two legends toe-to-toe like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Round after brutal round, they slugged it out, a street brawl without art or finesse.

Rogers, her eyes swollen shut, blood oozing from a thousand wounds, slumped exhausted in her corner.

"You'll go blind, Ginger," pleaded her trainer and dance partner, Fred Astaire. "Let me throw in the towel!"

"Cut me!" she snapped. The fight went on.

With eight hours to go, Ginger Rogers leads defending champion Irene Dunne, 238-202.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Julie Andrews Needs Your Help!

Number one seed Julie Andrews is trailing Ann-Margret by 14 votes in the 1960s bracket of Monty's Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney. If you like raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, and the sweet, sweet star of Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and Victor/Victoria, then click here and vote!

"No, no!" says Ann-Margret. "Don't listen to him! Vote for me instead!"

It's up to you!

Third Anniversary

Three years of the Monkey as of today. Many friends have dropped by to celebrate. Why don't you join us?

Respectively, Kirsten Bell; Pier Angeli and Danny Kaye; Audrey Hepburn; Conan O'Brien; Doris Day; Gary Cooper; Katharine Hepburn; Marlon Brando; and Marilyn Monroe.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Round Three (Part Two) Begins

The results are in from Round Three (Part One):

"They Had Faces"
#1.Greta Garbo def. #6.Gloria Swanson, 75-57

"Tough Broads and Pre-Code Babes"
#3.Joan Crawford def. #1.Barbara Stanwyck, 81-74

Garbo was in control of her contest from the word go. Crawford, on the other hand, trailed Stanwyck for two days—by ten votes at one point—before rallying late to win. Well, Joan always was one tough broad.

Up now and running until 10 p.m. Saturday, March 24 are the remainder of the Round Three matches:

"Funny Ladies"
#1.Carole Lombard v. #2. Myrna Loy

"Singers and Dancers"
#1.Irene Dunne v. #3.Ginger Rogers
Garbo will take on the winner of the Irene Dunne/Ginger Rogers match-up. Crawford will face the winner of Carole Lombard/Myrna Loy. No rest for the weary.

The Monkey At Sharpologist

I have a new column up at Sharpologist, the online grooming magazine. Click here to check it out.

By the way, Sharpologist's YouTube video series got its five millionth view this week. Congratulations to Mantic59, our founder and editor!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Round Two Recap—And The Start Of Round Three

In case you missed Monty's full report this morning, this were the numbers here at the Monkey:

"Funny Ladies"
#1.Carole Lombard def. #4.Jean Arthur, 80-78
#2.Myrna Loy def. #3.Jean Harlow, 78-58

"Singers and Dancers"
#1.Irene Dunne def. #4.Jeanette MacDonald, 111-18
#3.Ginger Rogers def. #7.Hattie McDaniel, 85-42.

You read that right—defending champ Irene Dunne racked up 111 votes to Jeanette MacDonald's 18. There have been more competitive plebiscites.

And that race between Carole Lombard and Jean Arthur seesawed back and forth for three days, setting a record for most total votes (158) in the process.

Per Monty's lead, Round Three will again be split into a pair of three days sessions. Part One, which begins now, will run until Wednesday at 10 p.m.

"They Had Faces"
#1.Greta Garbo v. #6.Gloria Swanson

"Tough Broads and Pre-Code Babes"
#1.Barbara Stanwyck v. #3.Joan Crawford

Start voting!

P.S. Extra credit to anyone who correctly identifies how the Stanwyck/Crawford photo differs from the original.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Round Two: Jean Arthur Makes Some Noise

If top seed Carole Lombard expected a quiet second round, she was mistaken. Noisy upstairs neighbor Jean Arthur leads by four votes with 68 already cast.

But it's early days yet. You've got until 10 p.m. Saturday night to make yourself heard!

Round Two (Part One) Recap

The results from Round Two (Part One):

"They Had Faces"
#1.Greta Garbo def. #4.Clara Bow, 80-45
#6.Gloria Swanson def. #2.Mary Pickford, 82-38

"Tough Broads and Pre-Code Babes"
#1.Barbara Stanwyck def. #4.Claudette Colbert, 77-52
#3.Joan Crawford def. #2.Marlene Dietrich, 73-60

Mary Pickford's loss to Gloria Swanson wasn't surprising—more movie fans have seen Sunset Boulevard than all of Pickford's movies combined—but the loss was frustrating nevertheless.

"Ain't that a kick in the head," muttered Pickford's husband, silent film star Douglas Fairbanks, before walking away.

Pickford was more philosophical in defeat and spoke to reporters at length. "I guess now I'm supposed to eat those four puppies I threatened to devour if I didn't win," she said, "but I'm not going to do it. The truth is, I had them—and 97 others—made into a fur coat. That and Doug and the tens of millions of dollars I earned during my career will keep me quite warm at night, thank you."

In losing to Joan Crawford, number 2 seed Marlene Dietrich set the dubious record for most votes for a losing actress with 60, a total that would have won most contests.

The German film star was drinking mojitos with Nobel Prize-winning pal Ernest Hemingway when she received the news of her defeat. "Well, as Papa likes to say, 'The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places.' Which is absolute scheiße, of course. Really, Hem, do you ever listen to yourself?"

"There's nothing fine and noble about losing," Hemingway told her, "unless you lose gracefully. And then it's not only noble but brave."

"Oh, shut up!"

The other brackets featured upsets of their own.

Last year's tournament runner-up, Vivien Leigh, was breathless after her stunning loss to Gene Tierney in the 1940s bracket. "I can't think about that right now," she said, all aflutter. "If I do, I'll go crazy! Tara," she said. "That's it. I'll go home to Tara! Tara Reid, that is. She's got a really well-stocked liquor cabinet! We'll eat a gallon of Rocky Road and drink ourselves into a coma—because after all, tomorrow is another day! And I'll be damned if I'm going to face it sober."

The legendary Ingrid Bergman fared no better, losing to upstart Lauren Bacall, 54-37. "I was willing to pay as much as a franc for each vote," she said bitterly. "In Sweden, they're only worth a penny!"

Also falling in the second round was four-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn, who lost to Olivia de Havilland, 54-44. As befitting her reputation for flinty determination, Hepburn did not take the loss lying down. She immediately deployed an army of lawyers to the 1940s to dispute the results, claiming that some votes had not been counted.

"We'll count every ballot," she vowed, "we'll go on to the end. We'll fight in France, we'll fight on the seas and oceans, we'll fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, whatever the cost may be. We'll fight on the beaches, we'll fight on the blogs, we'll fight in the voting booths, we'll fight in the fields and in the comment sections—we shall never surrender!"

Her speech concluded, Hepburn promptly conceded and stomped off to her dressing room.

The other white Hepburn, Audrey, was one of the few favorites to win, handily defeating the ever popular Deborah Kerr, 73-45.

To celebrate, Audrey said she planned to have breakfast at Tiffany's, then jet off to Italy for a Roman holiday where she'd make love in the afternoon then play charades until dinner with her good friends Robin and Marian. "Marian has a funny face," she said, "but she knows how to steal a million which is what that green mansion I want costs."

Then with a cheery wave, she was off. "Sorry," she said, "I couldn't work The Lavender Hill Mob in there. It's a dumb joke anyway."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Round Two (Part Two) Begins

The top four seeds in the "Funny Ladies" bracket came through the first round unscathed. The second round match-ups.

#1.Carole Lombard v. #4.Jean Arthur

#2.Myrna Loy v. #3.Jean Harlow

And there was only one upset in the "Singers and Dancers" bracket. Round two looks like this:

#1.Irene Dunne v. #4.Jeanette MacDonald

#3.Ginger Rogers v. #7.Hattie McDaniel

You have until 10 p.m., Saturday, March 17 to cast your vote.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Close Races Elsewhere

While as many as 98 votes have been cast (in the Joan Crawford-Marlene Dietrich contest), none of the Round Two races here at the Monkey is closer than ten votes. Meanwhile, each of the other host sites have some real barnburners going (if burning a barn is your idea of a good time).

In the 1940s bracket, Vivien Leigh leads Gene Tierney by a single vote, 28-27; and Olivia de Havilland leads Katharine Hepburn, 30-28.

In the 1950s bracket, Audrey Hepburn leads Deborah Kerr, 40-32.

And in the 1960s bracket, Susannah York leads Julie Christie, 26-23, and Catherine Denueve leads Lee Remick, 28-24.

It's fun to vote here at the Monkey, but don't forget to vote in these other tight races.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Marlene Dietrich Sings For Your Vote

As the first day's voting draws to a close, Marlene Dietrich finds herself ten votes behind Joan Crawford. She's pulling out all the stops to win your vote and knows just how to get a (mythical) monkey's engine running ...