Men & women in uniform

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I'll be trying to figure out how to have a great grill-out using only fruits and veggies and hanging out in the garden. I give you a few magazine covers celebrating the armed forces as well as a couple of films I'll be watching this weekend.

The New Yorker August 1943. Cover by Constantin Alajalov 

A 4th of July 1943 cover by Constantin Alajalov that is also perfect for Memorial Day

The New Yorker Feb 1943 | Cover by Constantin Alajalov

Lilliput Magazine cover by Walter Trier, July 1942

A lot of of war movies playing this weekend on tv, and there are many excellent ones. I have a personal affinity to World War II films. "From Here to Eternity is one of the best.

This has to be my favorite World War II film. William Wyler's beautiful 1946 drama of soldiers returning home after the war to try and pick up their lives. Playing tonight at 10:30pm EST or 7:30 PST on Turner Classic Movies' Memorial Day Marathon.  Don't miss it!

Maciej Hibner

Hibner, a Polish graphic designer born in Warsaw in 1931 was an important figure in the Polish school of poster design. Here are just a few of his wonderful book jackets and film posters from the fifties and sixties.

"Elmer Gantry" Sinclair Lewis Cover by Maciej Hibner Published by Wydawnictwo Iskry 1959

"Zielone złoto" Michał Rusinek Cover by Maciej Hibner Published by Wydawnictwo Iskry 1960

Maciej Hibner | Alibi Doskonale (Two Way Stretch) 1963. British (British Lion), 1960. Director: Robert Day. Starring Peter Sellers, Wilfrid Hyde-White.

"Smak soli i pieprzu" (Powiesť o dietstwie) Michał Sztitelman Translated by Zofia and Stanisław Głowiakowie Cover by Maciej Hibner Published by Wydawnictwo Iskry 1965

El verdugo (1963), Luis García Berlanga.

Tantalizing tidbits from a movie poster auction

Here are just a few of the beautiful film posters currently on auction at the 2014 March 22 - 23 Vintage Movie Posters Signature Auction at Heritage Auctions. Not exactly for the budget-minded, but we can admire from the sidelines, can't we?

Sullivan's Travels (Paramount, 1941). One Sheet (27" X 41") Style B.  "For only the second time, Heritage offers the rare style B one sheet from Sullivan's Travels. The sensuous image of Veronica Lake on the style A one sheet is a crowd pleaser, but the much more scarce style B, with a simple outline of Lake's striking features has an undeniable "wow" factor. Collectors will be hard pressed to find this gem again anytime soon ! Fine/Very Fine on Linen. Estimate: $6,000 - $12,000." —H.A. (This is one I would particularly like to have. I adore this movie and the graphics are beautiful. I own a small reproduction, but it doesn't nearly capture the vividness and impact of this original.)

Sullivan's Travels (Paramount, 1941). One Sheet (27" X 41") Style B. "For only the second time, Heritage offers the rare style B one sheet from Sullivan's Travels. The sensuous image of Veronica Lake on the style A one sheet is a crowd pleaser, but the much more scarce style B, with a simple outline of Lake's striking features has an undeniable "wow" factor. Collectors will be hard pressed to find this gem again anytime soon ! Fine/Very Fine on Linen. Estimate: $6,000 - $12,000." —H.A. (This is one I would particularly like to have. I adore this movie and the graphics are beautiful. I own a small reproduction, but it doesn't nearly capture the vividness and impact of this original.)

Vertigo (Paramount, R-1961). International One Sheet (27.75" X 41.5").  "It was on Vertigo that Alfred Hitchcock invented the famous "dolly zoom" technique that gave the thrilling impression of James Stewart's fear of heights, a camera trick that has become part of the grammar of the cinema, including being famously used by Steven Spielberg in Jaws. The classic design by Saul Bass, Kim Novak being thrown from the tower, James Stewart having a psychological breakdown, and, best of all, Alfred Hitchcock's portrait are featured on this early reissue poster. Restoration has addressed two small tears in the left border, fold wear, a chip in the upper left, corner pinholes in the borders, and creasing near the folds in the left and right border. Very Fine- on Linen. Estimate: $3,000 - $6,000" " —H.A.

Vertigo (Paramount, R-1961). International One Sheet (27.75" X 41.5"). "It was on Vertigo that Alfred Hitchcock invented the famous "dolly zoom" technique that gave the thrilling impression of James Stewart's fear of heights, a camera trick that has become part of the grammar of the cinema, including being famously used by Steven Spielberg in Jaws. The classic design by Saul Bass, Kim Novak being thrown from the tower, James Stewart having a psychological breakdown, and, best of all, Alfred Hitchcock's portrait are featured on this early reissue poster. Restoration has addressed two small tears in the left border, fold wear, a chip in the upper left, corner pinholes in the borders, and creasing near the folds in the left and right border. Very Fine- on Linen. Estimate: $3,000 - $6,000" " —H.A.

Another Fine Mess (MGM, 1930). One Sheet (27" X 41"). Al Hirschfeld. "Another Fine Mess is a three reel remake of the silent Laurel and Hardy comedy short Duck Soup, an adaptation of a vaudeville sketch written by Stan Laurel's father. As most fans know, the title is in reference to Oliver Hardy's famous catchphrase "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into.Delightfully impish, this poster showcases artwork by the famous caricature artist, Al Hirschfeld, and is the only copy known to exist. Even better, it is in spectacular condition! It shows light edge wear and wrinkling, and four small pieces of tape on the verso. It has a very tiny piece of paper almost seamlessly spliced into the lower border, tiny tears in the upper and lower border, and a 1" tear in the left border. For Laurel and Hardy fanatics, this highly revered and elusive poster presents an incredible collecting opportunity! Folded, Very Fine. Estimate: $25,000 - $50,000. " —H.A.

Trombone Trouble (RKO, 1944). Australian Daybill (13" X 30"). "Walt Disney's popular character Donald Duck takes center stage in this hilarious animated short. The crude and not too bright Pegleg Pete insists on practicing his trombone nightly, much to the disdain of neighbor Donald and gods Jupiter and Vulcan. In an attempt to put an end to Pegleg's horn blowing, the gods give the foul tempered fowl a bit of their power, of which Donald takes full advantage. A first for Heritage, this restored poster had a tear in the lower edge, chips in the left edge, and a small hole near the title. Fine/Very Fine on Linen. Estimate: $600 - $1,200." —H.A.

A Night at the Opera (MGM, 1936).  Pre-War Belgian (24" X 33.5"). "The Marx Brothers take aim at high society yet again in this, their first film for MGM after leaving Paramount. This comedy gem finds Groucho as the outrageous Otis B. Driftwood, companion to society matron Margaret Dumont. With the help of Chico and Harpo, he helps to smooth the path for opera singers Kitty Carlisle and Allan Jones to find love. The film showcases a slew of big musical productions, including "Cosi, Cosa" aboard the steamship. A rare find, this delightful poster features artwork in the style of Al Hirschfeld, brilliantly capturing the outrageous and zany nature of the film with its playful caricatures of the comedy trio. Prior to restoration, the poster had pinholes in the borders and lower background corners, two small tears in the right border, and a tear at the vertical fold in the imprint area. Touchup has been applied to the folds. Very Fine on Linen. Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000." —H.A.

A Night at the Opera (MGM, 1936). Pre-War Belgian (24" X 33.5"). "The Marx Brothers take aim at high society yet again in this, their first film for MGM after leaving Paramount. This comedy gem finds Groucho as the outrageous Otis B. Driftwood, companion to society matron Margaret Dumont. With the help of Chico and Harpo, he helps to smooth the path for opera singers Kitty Carlisle and Allan Jones to find love. The film showcases a slew of big musical productions, including "Cosi, Cosa" aboard the steamship. A rare find, this delightful poster features artwork in the style of Al Hirschfeld, brilliantly capturing the outrageous and zany nature of the film with its playful caricatures of the comedy trio. Prior to restoration, the poster had pinholes in the borders and lower background corners, two small tears in the right border, and a tear at the vertical fold in the imprint area. Touchup has been applied to the folds. Very Fine on Linen. Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000." —H.A.

That Girl from Paris (RKO, 1936). French Grande (46" X 62.25").  "Lily Pons plays a gorgeous French opera star who stows away on a ship to evade her overbearing fiancee. On board, she joins an American jazz group and falls for bandleader Gene Raymond. Artist Rene Peron evokes the sound of swing and sense of blossoming love on this charming French poster, a Heritage first. Only minor touchup to the folds can be noted. Very Fine+ on Linen. Estimate: $600 - $1,200.—H.A.

That Girl from Paris (RKO, 1936). French Grande (46" X 62.25"). "Lily Pons plays a gorgeous French opera star who stows away on a ship to evade her overbearing fiancee. On board, she joins an American jazz group and falls for bandleader Gene Raymond. Artist Rene Peron evokes the sound of swing and sense of blossoming love on this charming French poster, a Heritage first. Only minor touchup to the folds can be noted. Very Fine+ on Linen. Estimate: $600 - $1,200.—H.A.

The Women: "There's a name for you ladies that's not used in high society... outside of a kennel."

The-Women-b3f41025.jpg

1939's "The Women" boasts an all-star, all-female cast, brilliant direction by George Cukor, hilarious performances by Rosalind Russell, Joan Crawford, Paulette Goddard, Mary Boland, & Marjorie Main, fast, fast, witty dialogue, anchored by the warm central character and her sweet little family played pretty straight with a healthy dash of melodrama by Norma Shearer, Lucile Watson and the wonderful Virginia Weidler (Katherine Hepburn's hilarious little sister in "The Philadelphia story"). (Stops to catch breath)  It's really one of my favorite films of all time, catty as catty can be. Based on the acerbic play by Clare Boothe Luce and adapted for the screen by Anita Loos and Jane Murfin (plus an uncredited F. Scott Fitzgerald), what better tribute to l'amour (with a sizable sprinkling of salt).

The best lines of "The Women" These are only the tip of the iceburg. I could make another 10 of these if I wanted with no problem. This movie is great and (IMHO) 100x better than the remake. My favorite character is Miriam Aarons (Paulette Goddard). Followed closely by Sylvia Fowler (Rosalind Russell).

The Women (1939) trailer

On the train to Reno with Paulette Goddard, Mary Boland and Norma Shearer. "L'amour, L'amour!"

On the train to Reno with Paulette Goddard, Mary Boland and Norma Shearer. "L'amour, L'amour!"

Norma Shearer and Virginia Weidler supply the pathos, and how!

Norma Shearer and Virginia Weidler supply the pathos, and how!

Scheming Rosalind Russell engages in a bit of malicious gossip at the beauty parlor with the manicurist played by Dennie Moore.

Scheming Rosalind Russell engages in a bit of malicious gossip at the beauty parlor with the manicurist played by Dennie Moore.

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Holiday movies you may have forgotten about

These are some less obvious holiday films that I will be watching between now and New Year's Eve. 

The Apartment (1960) with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. This sardonic, sometimes dark but ultimately heart-warming film takes place over Christmas and New Year's. Wintery Manhattan in wide-screen black & white at the dawn of the 1960's.

Bachelor Mother (1939) also takes place over the Christmas Holidays, beginning in the toy department of a department store on Christmas Eve --- just before Ginger Rogers receives her pink slip and finds herself mistaken for the mother of an abandoned baby. Again, plenty of snowy New York scenes. Funny and full of charm.

If you like starry-eyed nuns who believe they can get cynical rich guys to donate expensive land to charitable causes while speeding around in jeeps and competing in tennis matches (and lots of snowy scenes of Connecticut hillside locales) then Come to the Stable (1949) might be right up your alley.