Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Coveted Thingster Award (Revised)

(Subsequent to posting this earlier today, I decided to tie in my movie recommendations below with the Oscar-winning film The Artist which Thingy was watching when she gave me the Thingster Award.)

My blog pal Thingy over at Pondering Life has bestowed upon me the coveted Thingster Award. She was watching The Artist—the silent movie that won the Oscar for best picture in 2011—the other day and thought of yours truly.

"Mythical Monkey. The go to guy for great insight on the classics, and not so classic movies."

Thingy created the "Thingster Award" back in April. After winning the Liebster Blog Award, she wrote, "I came up with a scathingly brilliant idea. I shall give out my own awards at the end of each week to blogs I find especially appealing to me. You get no trophy, although, you can take the special banner I have made. I also assume many of you will never know of your special prize, for I shall not tell you. (I'm lazy that way)."

And she's been handing out the Thingster Award ever since.

Just not to me.

Now, I don't usually brood about this sort of thing, but every time she handed one out I thought, "Gee, I wish I had me one of those Thingster Awards." And now I do! To quote Mister Roberts, "I'd rather have it than the Congressional Medal of Honor" (you know, in my case because the Medal of Honor would require an act of extraordinary bravery and heroism, a hard thing to accomplish while sitting in front of a computer in the suburbs of Baltimore).

To return the favor, and since Thingy is apparently in a silent movie mood, here are five suggestions to follow up The Artist:

The Black Pirate—Jean Dujardin, the Oscar-winning star of The Artist, cheerfully acknowledged that he was channeling silent film legend Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., during his performance. So why not cut out the middle man and see Fairbanks for yourself. The Black Pirate is a swashbuckling classic, and if you have a Blu-Ray player, you can see the original color version.

Stella Maris—Remember the scene in The Artist where Peppy Miller fondles the jacket and imagines herself with the hero? That's a direct quote of a scene from the classic Mary Pickford melodrama, Stella Maris, my favorite of all of Pickford's films. There she plays two roles, and so convincingly that if you didn't know better, you'd swear it was two different actresses.

Show People—The story of an unknown girl from the country who makes it big in Hollywood was a staple of the silent era (see, e.g., A Girl's Folly, Souls for Sale, The Extra Girl and Ella Cinders), so much so that Marion Davies (with King Vidor directing) spoofed the genre with this 1928 classic comedy. Look for cameos from just about everybody who was anybody including Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, John Gilbert and even Marion Davies and King Vidor as themselves.

Flesh and the Devil—Speaking of John Gilbert, was his fall from box office grace with the coming of the sound age the inspiration for The Artist? Well, actually it could be any number of silent film greats, but if it was Gilbert, here's one of his best, a noirish romance pairing him with off-screen lover Greta Garbo.

Behind the Screen—And finally, a very funny behind-the-scenes look at the making of a Hollywood movie from the silent era's most popular comedy star, the legendary Charlie Chaplin.

Hope that's of use to you, Thingy, and once again, thank you very much for the award!

1 comment:

KC said...

Congratulations! That's a fantastic list. You ought to write a book.