Archive for Bed of Roses

On the Pertness of Pert Kelton

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2011 by dcairns

Image via If Charlie Parker Were a Gunslinger

Over at The Chiseler, a piece of pre-code appreciation. Anybody who sees BED OF ROSES is pretty much guaranteed to think (1) “Constance Bennett and Joel McCrea sure are lovely to look at, and great onscreen, and great together,” and (2) “Who is THAT?” And the answer to (2) would be “That’s Pert Kelton, honey!”

The movie is probably her apotheosis, but she had a long career doing more or less exactly the same performance. Recently enjoyed her in SALLY, her debut, a mainly lumpen musical with impossibly-sugar-sweet Marilyn Miller — a few fragments of two-strip Technicolor still adhere in places — and BACHELOR BAIT, an early George Stevens comedy which makes good use of Stuart Erwin’s naive hick charm. Pert models a succession of eye-popping dresses: one like the image on a faulty television, another like a futuristic cake. From her first appearance, though, her ability to drip sarcasm from stratospheric heights of disdain was fully developed.

Work in Progress

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2009 by dcairns


OK, here’s a provisional list — tear it apart or question it or whatever. Be great to have your thoughts. Apologies to all those whose ideas I didn’t use, but please believe that you inspired or clarified my own thoughts.

1) Monday 29th September.

Silent comedies: Buster Keaton’s SHERLOCK JNR plus a few shorts.

2) Monday 6th October.

Silent drama: Victor Sjostrom’s HE WHO GETS SLAPPED.

3) Monday 13th October.

Early talking pre-code cinema: Gregory LaCava’s BED OF ROSES and Mervyn LeRoy’s THREE ON A MATCH

4) Monday 20th October

The Classical era: Powell and Pressburger’s A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH

5) Tuesday 3rd November

Studio experimentation: Charles Laughton’s NIGHT OF THE HUNTER

6) Tuesday 10th November

Post-war “realism”: Stanley Kubrick’s PATHS OF GLORY

7) Tuesday 17th November

Sixties experimentation: Luis Bunuel’s SIMON OF THE DESERT and Lindsay Anderson’s THE WHITE BUS

8) Tuesday 24th November

Bernardo Bertolucci’s THE CONFORMIST

9) Tuesday 1st December

New Hollywood: Peter Bogdanovich’s PAPER MOON

10) Tuesday 8th December

The world: Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s A MOMENT OF INNOCENCE

11) Tuesday 15th December

Seasonal treat: Billy Wilder’s THE APARTMENT

I’m going to watch a bunch of the films you all suggested which I haven’t seen, probably starting with Johnny To’s THE MISSION and carrying on with Makhmalbaf’s ONCE UPON A TIME…CINEMA.

And, yeah, I’m definitely going to have second thoughts in the morning, so let me know what you think I should change.