Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How Does an Obsession Begin?

This questionnaire originated over at Classic Hollywood Nerd, though the title is stolen from Movie Viewing Girl's blog. I've never been accused of NOT being a scavenger...Anyway, seeing as I could use a break from some of the long-winded stuff I’m working on, I submit for your approval:

Who was the actor/actress that you were first interested in?

Steve McQueen. While most kids my age were marveling over Star Wars and Harrison Ford, I was pretending I was McQueen’s Captain Hilts character from The Great Escape while pedaling my bike as fast as I could. My childhood “Holy Trilogy” of McQueen adventure epics were The Great Escape, The Sand Pebbles, and Papillon. That hasn’t changed! My close friends and I worshipped this guy’s movies! McQueen turned out to be a not-so nice human being, but I “judge the art, not the artist.”

Childhood Icon: Steve McQueen could do no wrong. I'm still looking for that color of sweatshirt.

How old were you when you really began watching old movies?


What was the first old movie that caught your interest?

One of the "Universal Monster movies": Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolfman, and the Abbott & Costello variations thereof. With Frankenstein being my all-time favorite. I reminisce about it here.

Who is currently your favorite actor?

I'm not tellin'!

Second place in this favorite actor category would be a revolving door policy of various 1960s actors. As Trixie once told me, “Your love of 1930s women is only overridden by your love of 1960s tough guys.” So true, but Steve McQueen, Lee Marvin, James Coburn, Burt Lancaster, Charles Bronson, and Clint Eastwood---are all jockeying for second place to ---. It's interesting to note that I haven't written about him yet...

Who is currently your favorite actress?

I guess when all is said and done I’ll take Katharine Hepburn. Any dame who can go toe-to-toe with the best actors of their respective generations (Spencer Tracy and Peter O’Toole) has got to be my favorite.

What is your favorite old movie and why?

I’m not tellin’—yet. A lengthy blog entry is in progress. Stay tuned.

How many old movies do you own? How many old movies do you have recorded/on the dvr?

Not as many as I’d like. A lot less than everyone else who's answering this! I also have a lot of 1960s-70s TV shows that compete for my attention. I don’t have a Tivo/DV-R recorder…

If you could go back in time and visit any actor/actress, who would it be?

I’d love to play poker and drink tequila late into the night in a tent in the middle of the desert with John Wayne, John Ford, Ward Bond, and the other stock cast members on the set of one of Ford's cavalry epics. Oh, the ripe conversations they must have had!

Who is one actor/actress that you want to know more about?

I’m usually disappointed when I read too much about a beloved movie star. But I’ll say Robert Ryan.

What film could you watch over and over again?

Impossible to pick just one, but if I had to live my life in a movie, it’d be as Nick Charles in a never-ending Thin Man film.

What is your favorite Hitchcock film?

B&W: Strangers on a Train
Color: North by Northwest

Who is your favorite director?

I don't think I really have one. Today, I’ll say George Cukor---but tomorrow it might be…Richard Brooks, Leo McCarey, Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, John Ford, Howard Hawks...it's impossible to choose a single director.


  1. Yay! A Strangers on a Train fan!! That movie is always overlooked when people talk about Hitchcock, but it's one of my favorites. Robert Walker is so perfect-- with his really sweet looks and demeanor hiding his insanity. Great film!

  2. Wow! That was really cool to read. Thanks for posting that. I quite enjoyed it. Great answers.

  3. The favourite director-bit was lost in my Q&A! Damn it. But still, it's a hard question to answer, so I might as well be glad.
    And darn it! You remind me that I forgot to mention North by Nortwest among my favourite Hitchcock films!
    I'm waiting for your favourite movie post!

  4. C.K. - McQueen is an excellent pick, as is Hepburn for actress, though I always favored Paul Newman myself. Right about McQueen not being a nice guy but you are also correct on separating the art from the man!

    I was going to comment on John Wayne but it was turning into a tirade better left unsaid. I have a love-hate relationship with JW.

    BTW - I just started reading "Suicide Blonde" which you previously recommended.

  5. John: If the tirade wasn't about John Wayne the man, what could it possibly be about? Guess I'll continue to stay tuned into Twenty-Four Frames for the answer! I'm glad that The Duke can still inspire deep, passionate feelings! LOL

  6. That was really interesting and made me think about what my own choices would be. It's not an easy thing to do. Good for you.

  7. Good choices and I think I'd sit in on that poker game too but I'd bring Clint Eastwood and Sam Peckinpah along to. And my Hitchcock's would be Lifeboat and Rear Window.


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