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A Second, Third, Fourth & Fifth Liebster Awards

A couple of weeks ago, both Phyl of Phyllis Loves Classic Movies and Bonnie of Classic Reel Girl nominated me for two Liebster Awards, which reminded me that Virginie of The Wonderful World of Cinema and Simoa of Simoa Writes had also nominated me months ago and I completely forgot to answer them. Shame on me! So to all of you four lovely girls — thank you so much for including my humble Back to Golden Days in your list of nominated blogs. It really does mean a lot to me. Five Liebsters — Michaela of Love Letters to Old Hollywood nominated me for my first Liebster almost a year ago — in my first year and a half of blogging is more than I could ever have asked for when I entered this journey in February 2015. Virginie and Simoa, I hope you can forgive me for taking this long to do it. I am sure you all know by now what the Liebster Award is and what it consists of, so without further ado, let's get on with the show. 



1. If time travel were possible, which era would you travel to?
2. Favourite film from 1939?
3. Which actor/actress would you want to co-star in a film with?
4. Favourite film that has won the Academy Award for Best Picture?
5. Favourite movie scene?
6. Is there a film you wish would have ended differently?
7. If you could bring a fictional character to life, which one would you choose?
8. Favourite television character?
9. What film have you seen more times than any other?
10. Classic movie star that you can't stand or simply don't like.
11. Favourite Olivia de Havilland film? 

1. If you had to «promote» a not too well known classic film, what will be your choice?
The first one that comes to mind is William A. Wellman's Small Town Girl (1936), with Janet Gaynor and Robert Taylor. It is one of the cutest films I have ever seen and Janet and Taylor are a surprisingly good team. A dork named James Stewart is an added bonus.

2. You are participating to the making of a film. What's your job?
I think I would probably be the screenwriter because I love to write and create stories. Or maybe something to do with the wardrobe department because I also really love fashion and clothes.

3. Do you share your birthday with one of your favourite movie stars? If yes, who?
Yes, I do. I happen to share a birthday with the most wonderful Mr. Burt Lancaster. We were both born on November 2nd, but 76 years apart.

4. What is your favourite movie score?
Let's see... Pearl Harbor (2001) is very good; I especially like a piece called «Tennessee.» Changeling (2008) is phenomenal; it was written by Clint Eastwood (who also directed the film) and it is very eerie and moody and I think it elevates the picture to a whole new level. Atonement (2007) is quite beautiful as well.

5. How many films per week do you usually watch?
It depends. There are weeks when I watch a film practically every day, there are others when I don't watch any film at all. But on a good week, I would say probably about 4 or 5 films.

6. What do you think is the most CREATIVE movie ever made and why?
The first one that pops to mind, at least in terms of visual style, is The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), which I think is absolutely genius and also one of the strangest films I have ever seen — in a good way, though. First of all, it's a story within a story within a story within a story, which is crazy, but also quite clever. The film also alternates between three time periods and each one of them is shot in a different aspect ratio, which tell us where we are in the timeline. I have never seen any of this being done in a film before and the results are rather spectacular. It makes the film an absolute treat to the eyes. Another picture that I think is quite innovative is Boyhood (2014), at least in the way that it was produced. It was filmed over a period of 12 years with the same actors, so instead of reverting to make-up or different actors to show the characters' aging process, they aged naturally, which I think made the film more authentic and unique.

7. Do you have a child name after a certain movie star or movie character? Or are you planning this for your future kid (if you plan to have one, or many!).
I'm Portuguese, so I don't think I would be able to give my children English names. However, I absolutely love the name Eugene after Gene Kelly, who is one of my favorite people in the whole entire world. I also love the name Flynn, after Errol Flynn; Glenn, after Glenn Ford; Clarence, after Frank Sinatra's character in Anchors Aweigh (1945); and Clyde, after Warren Beatty's character in Bonnie and Clyde (1967). For a girl, I quite like Natalie, after Natalie Wood; Eleanor, after Eleanor Powell or Eleanor Parker; Evelyn, after Evelyn Keyes; Olivia, after Olivia de Havilland; and Harlow, after Jean Harlow. Goodness gracious, that's a lot of names! 

8. How much does classic films influence your everyday life?
For as much as I love classic films, I wouldn't say they have a huge influence in my «everyday» life. I mean, they obviously influence me to write blog posts, which I do practically every day (I always try to write my articles in advance). One influence that classic films have in my life, though, is the way that I sometimes dress. If I see a clothing item or a pair of shoes that remind of something I might have seen an actress wear in a film, I always tend to buy it (if I can afford it).

9. What are you planning to do to honour Olivia de Havilland on her centennial?
See, this is why I should have answered this months ago. To celebrate Olivia de Havilland's 100th birthday, I had a special Olivia de Havilland-themed weekend: first, I wrote a general tribute article about her; then I posted an article about To Each His Own (1946) for my «Film Friday» and one about The Heiress (1949) for The Olivia de Havilland Centenary Blogathon; and lastly I did a pictorial tribute. I also plan to write a post about her relationship with Errol Flynn, both on and off-screen, and one about her «feud» with Joan Fontaine.
10. What do you enjoy the most about blogging?
I love the research aspect of it (I always do some research before writing my articles) and also the interaction with other bloggers. When I started this blog, I never imagined there would be so many people out there who love and appreciate classic films as much I do.

11. Do you have any advice, suggestions for future bloggers?
Write about what you love, be that classic films, fashion or anything else that you are passionate about, check your sources, check your spelling (that's always important) and be polite.

1. A book you wish could/should be adapted into a film.
I would love to see a film version of The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, which is quite possibly my favorite book of all time. But it would have to be very carefully thought out, because I think it is quite a difficult book to translate onto the screen.

2. Worst film you've ever seen.
I would not exactly called them the worst films I have ever seen, but there are a few that I disliked immensely, for instance Citizen Kane (1941), Heathers (1988), The Thin Red Line (1998), Children of Men (2006) and Foxcatcher (2014).

3. A film so bad it's good.
I don't know, really. If I think a film is bad, then I think it's bad.
4. Two actors from classic Hollywood you wished had worked together / Two actors you want to work together now.
Gene Kelly and Ginger Rogers. Honestly, how didn't anyone ever think of that!? A film with Gene and Eleanor Powell would have been amazing as well. Two actors I want to work together now... Maybe Christian Bale and Carey Mulligan, in some kind of period drama. I would also really love to see James Norton and Emilia Clarke work together, again in some sort of period piece.

5. Classic film that could be made today / Modern film that could have been made in the studio era.
I can't think of a classic film that could be made today, but I think Brooklyn (2015), for instance, is a modern film that could have easily been made in the studio era, particularly in the 1950s. It's a beautiful love story between a young Irish girl named Eilis (beautifully played by Saoirse Ronan) who emigrates to New York in the early 1950s and falls in love with a Italian-American boy called Tony (played by Emory Cohen). Her past eventually catches up to her and she must decide which country — and which life — is better for her.
6. Favourite wardrobe from a film.
The wardrobe is always one of the things I notice the most when watching a film, so I have a quite a few favorites. These include Esther Williams' gowns in Thrill of a Romance (1945), especially the white flower dress; Grace Kelly's gowns in To Catch a Thief (1955), particularly this white dress; and that stunning white gown worn by Ginger Rogers in The Barkleys of Broadway (1949). Saoirse Ronan's outfits in Brooklyn are quite beautiful as well. I could definitely see myself wearing some of them, especially this one.

7. Favourite soundtrack.
Across the Universe (2007), Killing Bono (2011) and Rock of Ages (2012). After watching these films, I had their soundtracks on repeat for months.

8. Favourite film quote.
Without any doubt, «Here's looking at you, kid.» from Casablanca (1942). This line sums up the whole film for me and the way Humphrey Bogart delivers it is amazing.

9. Favourite animated film.
I'm not really a fan of animated films, but I would say probably Cinderella (1950). It's the perfect fairytale.

10. Favourite remake.
I would say probably Waterloo Bridge (1940), remake of the 1931 film of the same name; An Affair to Remember (1957), remake of Love Affair (1939); and Heaven Can Wait (1978), remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941). I love Warren Beatty in Heaven Can Wait.

11. Favorite period piece.
If there's one thing I like is period pieces, so if I were to name all of my favorites, we would be here all week. Some of my favorites include the film Pride and Prejudice (2005) and the TV shows Downton Abbey, The Musketeers and Grantchester. And if you count Band of Brothers and The Pacific as period dramas per se, then those are my absolute favorites.


1. Out of the classic movie stars still alive, who would you most like to meet AND what would you talk about?
I would like to meet Olivia de Havilland and I would ask her about Errol Flynn. I bet she could tell me a whole bunch of crazy stories about him. I would also love to meet Warren Beatty, simply because I love the man and I am always fascinated by him whenever I watch one of his films. Speaking of Warren Beatty, is anyone else as excited as I am about his new film, Rules Don't Apply (2016)? It looks amazing! Just my kind of film. And the cast is extraordinary.

2. One classic movie you really want to see, but can't seem to get your hands on.
Pretty much every silent film Gary Cooper ever made. There is this one in particular called Wolf Song (1929), which apparently contains a scene where he appeared almost entirely naked and who wouldn't want to see that? Another one that I also can't seem to find anywhere is Children of Divorce (1927), which he made with Clara Bow.

3. Current movie star crush (and by current I mean the one you're crushing on right now, not necessarily a current celebrity).
My current celebrity crush is James Norton, whom I completely fell in love with while watching a TV show called Grantchester a couple of months ago. Not only is he amazingly talented, but he is also a lovely person and so terribly handsome. I've been watching this other series he made, Happy Valley, and it only proved to me how brilliant an actor he actually is.

4. James Stewart or Gary Cooper?
That is IMPOSSIBLE to choose! Let's put it this way: if I was looking for someone to marry and settle down with, I would definitely chose James Stewart; if I was looking to have a bit of fun and basically someone to stare at the whole day, then I would go for Gary Cooper.

5. You're interning at a studio and you find a box hidden away that hasn't been touched in decades. What do you find inside?
Copies of the following supposedly lost films: The Forward Pass (1929) with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Loretta Young; Covention City (1932) with Joan Blondell and Dick Powell (apparently this film was so extraordinarily racy that Jack L. Warner had it destroyed); and Murder at Monte Carlo (1934), the first film Errol Flynn made in England.

6. What would you write your thesis on if you got a films studies degree?
Either Pre-Code Hollywood or juvenile delinquency in 1950s films. Or maybe Hollywood during World War II. The origins of film noir would be really interesting as well.

7. What TV house would you like to live in?
There are two TV houses in particular that I really like: the Foremans' house in That '70s Show and the second Cunnighams' house in Happy Days.

8. A classic movie star asks you to help them write their autobiography, who is it?
The obvious answer I guess would be James Stewart, seeing that he is my favourite classic actor. But actually, I'm going to say James Dean because he intrigues me more than any other Old Hollywood star. I think he was/is an absolutely fascinating creature and I would have loved to find out what made him tick and what made James Dean James Dean. Does that make sense? Anyway, that's my answer.

9. Do you prefer films with over-the-top costumes that are a feast to the eyes or films where the costumes aren't noticeable and where your main focus is the story?
I definitely prefer films where the main focus is the story. I find that lavish, over-the-top costumes — although stunning to look at — are often distracting.

10. Last year TCM had a free online class on Film Noir. What topic would you like to see a free class on in the future?
At the risk of sounding repetitive, Pre-Code Hollywood.

11. What Olivia de Havilland film are you most looking forward to seeing in July?
I'm planning to see all the films she made with Flynn that I haven't seen yet, so I guess those. I think I'm most looking forward to Santa Fe Trail (1940). Although I'm not a fan of Westerns, Ronald Reagan is in it as well and you know how much I love Ronnie.


1. Name the post that you are most proud of having written.
I wrote an article last year for The Classic Movie History Project Blogathon that had to do with juvenile delinquency in 1950s films, which is a theme I am really interested in. I was really proud of how the article turned out and I learned a lot while writing it.

2. What is your favourite movie star photo?
This one of James Stewart. I have no idea who took it or even what it was taken for, but I absolutely love it.

3. What is your favourite movie poster?
I would say probably the 
poster of Casablanca designed by Bill Gold. Fun fact that I've just learned: Apparently, Bogart's gun did not feature in the original draft. According to Gold, «My initial thoughts were to put together a montage showing all the characters depicted in the film. They appeared to be an interesting ensemble of notable characters. Something was missing, however. And I was asked to add some more 'excitement' to the scene. I added the gun in Bogart's hand, and the poster suddenly came alive with intrigue.» I also really like Saul Bass's poster of West Side Story (1961). I love the combination of black, white and red.
4. What is your favourite comedic exchange in a film?
The first that I can think of is this brilliant one from Born Yesterday (1950), between Judy Holliday (Billie Dawn) and Broderick Crawford (Harry Brock):
Billie Dawn: Would you do me a favor, Harry?
Harry Brock: What?
Billie Dawn: Drop dead.

5. What is your favourite dancing number?
The phenomenal «Moses Supposes» routine from Singin' in the Rain (1952). If it hadn't been for this particular number, I would never have discovered Gene Kelly and, consequently, I would never have fallen in love with classic films.

6. Name a film that didn't earn its happily-ever-after.
I genuinely cannot think of one. Although I wasn't particularly happy with how I Give It A Year (2013) ended. I think Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne should have ended up together. Granted, they were complete opposites, but I liked them together. The film concluded on a «happily-ever-after» note because they both found the person that they should supposedly be with, but to me that was the wrong person. Anyway, I hope that answers the question.
7. Name a sad ending you wouldn't change.
Waterloo Bridge, Splendor in the Grass (1961), Titanic (1997), Life is Beautiful (1997), Brokeback Mountain (2005), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), One Day (2011) and The Great Gatsby (2013).

8. What is a film you watch for pure pleasure; i.e. no real cinematic value?
I don't know, really. Maybe one of those teen flicks/romantic comedies of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Something like She's All That (1999) or Jersey Girl (2003), which I actually saw recently on television. They are utterly clichéd and will never win any awards, but I always find myself watching them whenever I catch them on TV.
9. What TV series would you like to see turned into a film?
The first that comes to mind is Chuck, which might be my favourite TV show of all time. But I want a film with all the original cast. I miss them so much! Especially Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski, who are just amazing together. I would also love to see a Happy Days film, again with the original cast, though sadly Tom Bosley is no longer with us.

10. What book would you recommend for classic movie fans?
This might sound completely ridiculous, but I have never actually read any film-related book.

11. Name a film-related bucket-list item.
Visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.


Since I can't possibly think of another 11 (mildly interesting) facts about myself, for this part of the «game» I'll just do what many people have done and answer my own questions.

1. If time travel were possible, which era would you travel to?
First, I would travel to the 1930s and 1940s in Los Angeles, California to experience firsthand the wonderful world of Old Hollywood. Then I would go to the 1980s, because I love absolutely everything about that decade, even the horrid fashion sense.

2. Favourite film from 1939?
So far, I would say definitely Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. James Stewart is perfect in it and he and Jean Arthur play off each other brilliantly. Other favourites (so far) include Gone with the Wind, Bachelor Mother and The Women.

3. Which actor/actress would you want to co-star with in a film?
The obvious choice would be Jimmy Stewart because he is my favourite classic actor. But I also think it would be fabulous to appear in a film with Gary Cooper — a lighthearted comedy, preferably. I would most definitely be fired after a week, though; I would be so enthralled by Coop's beauty that I wouldn't be able to deliver a single line. Also, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in some sort of sophisticated comedy set amongst the British upper-class society he fitted so well into. That would have been amazing.
4. Favourite film that has won the Academy Award for Best Picture?
I have a few: It Happened One Night (1934), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Rain Man (1988), Schindler's List (1993), Forrest Gump (1994) and Titanic (1997).

5. Favourite movie scene?
The drunk scene between Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart in The Philadelphia Story (1940). That was the scene that made me fall in love with Jimmy, who in turn was the one that made me start watching black and white films. Second favorite is the gin rummy scene with Judy Holliday and Broderick Crawford in Born Yesterday.

6. Is there a film you wish would have ended differently?
I'm a sucker for happy endings, so of course I wish Myra and Roy had ended up together in Waterloo Bridge, or Deanie and Bud in Splendor in the Grass, or Ennis and Jack in Brokeback Mountain, although if they did those films would not have been as good. 
7. If you could bring a fictional character (cinematic or literary) to life, which one would you chose?
My favourite fictional character of all time is John Bender from The Breakfast Club (1985), so I would start with him. Also, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, preferably Matthew Macfadyen's Mr. Darcy (from the 2005 film version), and Billie Dawn from Born Yesterday, because I think she would be awesome to hang out with.

8. Favourite television character?
I have quite a few, actually: Chuck and Sarah from Chuck; Sidney Chambers from Grantchester; Ten and Rose from Doctor Who; Wolfgang and Will from Sense8; Joey from Friends; Richie, Fonzie and Chachi from Happy Days; Lucy and Ricky from I Love Lucy; Gyp Rosetti and Lucky Luciano from Broadwalk Empire; Matthew and Tom from Downton Abbey; Aramis from The Musketeers; and Jon Snow and Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones.
9. What film have you seen more times than any other?
I think probably Pearl Harbor (2001), which is one of my absolute favourite films. I have seen it close to ten times and I love it each time. Some bits of dialogue I already know by heart. I am perfectly aware that Danny dies at end (spoiler alert!), but each time I pray that he stays alive.

10. Classic movie star that you can't stand or simply don't like.
Orson Welles (Citizen Kane traumatized me for life), Kay Francis, Stewart Granger and Tallulah Bankhead. I'm not too keen on John Wayne either.

11. Favourite Olivia de Havilland film?
So far, my favorite Olivia de Havilland is To Each His Own. She is stunning in it. I also really like Princess O'Rourke (1943), which I actually saw on her birthday.

And that is it. I hope that was interesting to read and once again, thank you Virginie, Simoa, Phyl and Bonnie for the nominations. Feel free to answer my questions in the comments, even if you haven't been nominated by me.  


  1. *Gasp face* that you don't like John Wayne!!!! Please watch Rio Grande. Thank you. ;)

    I just skipped the 11 facts about me for mine. Never thought to answer my own questions! *face palm*

    I can't wait to see Four's a Crowd. I've been waiting for TCM to show it for AGES!!!

    1. I guess John Wayne is not really my type. However, I did genuinely like him in "The Quiet Man." I'll give "Rio Grande" a go sometime.

      "Four's a Crowd" is pretty good.

    2. I just posted my top ten John Wayne films if you need any more suggestions ;)

  2. This is so great! I really enjoyed reading through this :)

    I always thought that photo of Jimmy Stewart was an outtake from "Mr Smith Goes to Washington"- you know the sequence where they have the newspapers with him making ridiculous faces. I can't remember if I read that or if I just assumed, but that's where I always thought it was from lol.

    Also a random question, what didn't you like about Citizen Kane? I'm not one of those people who consider it THE GREATEST FILM OF ALL-TIME but I really like it. Plus, putting a ban on films with Orson Welles means you get less Joseph Cotten which is a real shame ;) I love me some Joseph Cotten <3

    1. Thank you, Laura.

      Don't get me wrong. I think "Citizen Kane" is a great cinematic achievement as far as cinematography, editing and narrative structure go, but the film itself didn't do anything for me. It was one of the first classic (black & white) films I saw and I was actually pretty excited about it before watching it. AFI had classified it (twice!) as the greatest film of all time, so I thought, "Ok, this must be phenomenal." I was fairly interested in the beginning, but as the film progressed, I was like, "Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into?" And by the end of it, I was terribly disappointed to find that "Rosebud" was actually a sled. I mean, I do understand that the sled was supposed to be a reminder of his younger days - better days - and then when it was burned, it meant the destruction of all of that, but I don't know. I found it a bit anti-climatic, to be honest. Or maybe I just missed the whole point of it.


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In 1940, up-and-coming Broadway star Gene Kelly was offered the lead role in Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's new musical Pal Joey , based on the eponymous novel by John O'Hara about an ambitious and manipulative small-time nightclub performer. Opening at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Christmas Day of that year, the show brought Gene his best reviews up to that date. For instance, John Martin of The New York Times wrote of him: «A tap-dancer who can characterize his routines and turn them into an integral element of an imaginative theatrical whole would seem to be pretty close, indeed, to unique .»   One of Gene's performances in Pal Joey was attended by established Hollywood star Judy Garland , who requested to meet him after the show. Gene agreed and then accompanied Judy and her entourage, which included her mother Ethel and several press agents, to dinner at the newly-opened Copacabana nightclub, at 10 East 60th Street. They sang and danced until 3 a.m., after whi