Showing posts with label Blog News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blog News. Show all posts

Friday, June 20, 2014

2014 TCM Cruise

The 2014 TCM Cruise is shaping up nicely. They have just sent out a guest list which includes Shirley Jones, Tab Hunter, Ann Blyth and Diane Baker. Here's a gander:

Thursday, August 08, 2013

August Blogathons

2012 TCM Summer Under the Stars Banner

Summer Under The Stars Blogathon
Date: Every day in August 2013
Hosts: Michael and Jill

Using the TCM Summer Under the Stars schedule, pick
" ... a movie … pick a star … pick a whole day … pick five … pick ten … whatever! This is a month-long blogathon and we want to showcase as many bloggers as many times as we can. And because your picks will coincide with their respective SUTS days, you can plan as far in advance as you need to.
"Whether your medium is the long form written word, stories in pictures, poetry, or video tributes, we want you to make the great Summer Under the Stars event even greater."

The 5 Obstructions Movie Blog Writing Challenge

Date: On-going until October2013
Host: My Film Views

This blogathon uses movie-related challenges to improve your blog writing.
"The goal? To challenge yourself as a writer and force you to get out of your comfort zone (hopefully) resulting in lessons learned to improve your blogging in various ways."

Monday, July 08, 2013

A Little Summer Housekeeping


There have been a few minor decor changes at Java's Journey, a little shuffling of the furniture, for easier access to information. This may also be of help to some of our newest followers as they navigate the site.

 1. Java's Journey has noticed that many people enjoy flipping through reviews by genre. To wit, new directories up top and on the sidebar which take you directly to all reviews in comedy, drama, westerns, film fashion or musicals. There is also a directory of seasonal or holiday movie lists, which feature such popular articles as 12 Classic Movies for Summer.

It's the same thing as Blogger's labels (which are still appended to each blog post), but instead of words there is an image to click on. You will also find genre labels and other labels in the Archives.

2. All "follow me" type buttons have been consolidated and squeezed into the top right corner of the sidebar under "Join Java's Journey." This is to cut down on the length of the sidebar and the visual disorganization. (Why haven't we done this sooner?) Over there you'll find the buttons for following Java's Journey by RSS, by email, by Google Friend Connect, on Youtube, Pinterest, Twitter and GooglePlus.

I've only just discovered that my blog is also mentioned on Bloglovin,' so there is a button for that as well.

I'm just keeping you abreast of what's going on.



Monday, July 01, 2013

July Movie Blogathons

Dynamic Duos in Classic Film Blogathon
Dates: July 13th - July 14, 2013
Hosts: Once Upon a Screen and Classic Movie Hub

Dynamic Duos is "dedicated to perilous, precarious and/or personable pairs" on film. You can write about siblings, professional partners, romantic pairs, even rivals.

Me TV: Summer of Classic TV Blogathon
Entry Deadline: July 12th
Dates: July 15- 19, 2013
Host:Classic TV Blog Association

This blogathon is about shows on the Me TV Network's lineup.  A blogathon post "may be:  an overview of a TV series;  a profile of one of the series' stars; an article on the blogger's favorite episode(s), etc."

Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon

Date: July 16 -22, 2013
Host: The Girl with the White Parasol
Updated link:

This blogathon marks a week-long celebration beginning on Barbara Stanwyck's birthday.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Deanna Durbin Dies at 91 (Read the Last Interview)

Deanna Durbin David 1921 -2013

Deanna Durbin David, screen star of the 1930s and 1940s, has died.  In a newsletter for The Deanna Durbin Society, who mentioned the death on Tuesday(April 30, 2013), her son, Peter H. David, announced that the megastar died "a few days ago."

After worldwide success as a film and music star, Durbin retired from show business in 1949  to live in seclusion with her family in France. She was last to known to live in an apartment in Paris.

Durbin's movie characters often have a "can do" spirit. Her best known films include the comedy, It Started with Eve and the melodrama Christmas Holiday with Gene Kelly.

Read Deanna Durbin's Last Interview. It's here on Java's Journey.

Fan Sites for Deanna Durbin

Tributes to Deanna Durbin
  • Classic Forever - I saw her tribute first and wondered why she was writing in the past tense. Now I know. The blogger posts a personalized autographed photo from Deanna Durbin.

  • Emmy-Winning screenwriter, Robert Avrech, notes that Deanna Durbin was a symbol of a time of hope and liberty in Hollywood. He recalls seeing a picture of Ms. Durbin on the wall in Anne Frank's hideout.

  • Self-Styled Siren gives a detailed tribute, including discussing specific Deanna Durbin films. The Siren states that in It Started with Eve, Durbin had greater rapport with Charles Laughton than with her love interest, Robert Cummings. I would say she has equal chemistry with both men, but her scenes with Laughton are more endearing.
  • A fan on Facebook posts a letter from Deanna Durbin to him, dated 1994. Ms. Durbin mentions that she does not have a secretary, which makes responding to everyone difficult. She hopes everyone understands. How gracious! The more I read of Ms. Durbin the more I like her.
  • Jim Lane's Cinedrome discusses America's Canadian Sweetheart. He mentions something I've never noticed in all these years- an anagram of the star's birth name, Edna, hidden in her stage name, Deanna. 

Updated as the tributes roll out.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

March Blogathons

John Garfield's 100th Birthday Blogathon
Entry Deadline: Now
Dates: March 1st-4th, 2013
Host: They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Pay tribute to Warner Brothers Studio's brooding, dark-haired star in this blogathon.

Fashion in Film Blogathon
Entry Deadline: TBA
Dates: March 29th-30th, 2013
Host: The Hollywood Revue

Glamour! That's the key to this blogathon. Or you can talk about how frumpy a character is made to look. Either way, clothing is the order of the day. This one is always fun!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

January Blogathons, Classic Movies in a Cinema Near You, Stage Plays

January Blogathons

Java has found only one movie-themed blogathon beginning in January.  If you know of any more, please apprise me and I'll add its information.

31 Days of Oscar Blogathon
Entry Deadline: Jan 31st - Feb 28th
Dates: Feb 1- March 3, 2013
Hosts: Aurora from Once Upon a Screen, Paula and Kellee

The 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon coincides with Turner Classic Movies' month-long tribute to Academy-Award winning films.

Scenes of the Crime: Crime Film Blogathon is still open

Entry Deadline: Now

Dates:December 1, 2012 - April 30, 2013

Host(s): Furious Cinema, Criminal Movies and Seetimaar


Any film featuring crime as a main plot point - heists, police procedures, etc. - can be reviewed.

The NostalgiaTHON is always open.
Entry Deadline: N/A
Dates November 1, 2012 -(No End Date)
Hosts: Andy Watches Movies and Cinema Schminema

NostalgiaTHON is a perpetual blogathon that encourages you to revisit a film that you watched in childhood and report your experience.

Classic Movies in a Cinema Near You

Cinemark presents its Classic Series beginning Jan 2nd. The following films will run nationwide:

January 2nd:  2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) -      Rated G

January 9th:   Rocky (1976)- Rated PG

January 16th: The Sound Of Music (1965)- Rated G

January 23rd:  To Catch A Thief (1955)- Not Rated

January 30th: Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)- Rated PG

Find a cinema that is showing these films in your area by going to this website:

Stage Plays

The Heiress by Ruth and Augustus Goetz is still on Broadway. The Tony-Award-winning play is notable for many things including having been adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Olivia DeHavilland. Click here, here and here for a discussion of the film version.

The play's engagement runs through January and ends February 10th. Here's the official website:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Movie Blogathons for December

Here are a few movie-themed blogathons for this month that are still open for entries. Enjoy!

Entry Deadline: N/A
Dates November 1, 2012 -(No End Date)
Hosts: Andy Watches Movies and Cinema Schminema

NostalgiaTHON is a perpetual blogathon that encourages you to revisit a film that you watched in childhood and report your experience.

Scenes of the Crime: Crime Film Blogathon
Entry Deadline: Now
Dates:December 1, 2012 - April 30, 2013
Host(s): Furious Cinema, Criminal Movies and Seetimaar

Any film featuring crime as a main plot point - heists, police procedures, etc. - can be reviewed.

Dueling Divas Blogathon
Entry Deadline: Now
Dates:December 20-23, 2012
Host(s): Backlots

The dueling divas are at each others' throats again in this second annual blogathon reviewing movie rivalries onscreen and offscreen. You may also discuss actors in dual roles. Prizes will be offered.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

2011 CiMBA Awards

The nominations for the 2011 CiMBA Awards are in and Java's Journey is among them. I'm stoked! Thanks everyone and congratulations to my fellow nominees!

Java's Journey is up for Best Film Review (Drama) for "The Heiress(1949): Her Mother's Presence" and Best Profile of a Classic Movie Performer or Filmmaker for "Judy Garland vs. Deanna Durbin."

See the list of nominees at the Classic Movie Blog Association: CiMBA Nominations Have Been Announced!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

CMBA Guilty Pleasures Blogathon: How To Murder Your Wife (1965)

Perpetual bachelor Stanley Ford (Jack Lemmon) wakes up married to the stripper (Virna Lisi) in his friend's cake. Her presence interrupts his routine, thus Stanley must get rid of her.

How To Murder Your Wife (1965) is written by prolific comedy writer and Broadway author George Axelrod. The writer who penned the tale of an itchy married man who wants to scratch while the wife's away now brings the tale of an angry married man who desperately wants to put his wife away. Permanently.

What could be good about How To Murder Your Wife?  Three things: Terry-Thomas, the tunes and the townhouse.


In this film the wife is simple, the husband's a jerk, his lawyer's a pain and the lawyer's wife is a nag. The only person worth your time is Terry-Thomas as the butler, Charles, who refuses to work for married couples.  He's a jerk as well, but somehow, even with a limited amount of screen time, he's funnier than anyone else.
Charles is disgusted!

It is partly Charles' ultimatum and Stanley's desire not to lose a good manservant that catapults our "hero" to action, thinking of ways to rid himself of his lovely wife. Terry-Thomas is the king of indignation and is perfectly cast since the entire plot largely hinges on Charles' disdain for married females. Think of him as a slightly less discriminating Henry Higgins type.

The veteran character actor's elastic face helps here as well. Charles prances about the house glorying in all the testosterone, the corners of his mouth pent to his ears like a Cheshire cat. Discovering there is a missus in the house, the pins pop out and his mouth slowly slides like melting mustache wax. His scowl is hilarious!


Helping the audience feel the characters' pain is composer Neal Hefti. Hefti is one of a long list of musicians/composers who imbues music for 1960s movies and television with its unique sound.

Each main character in Wife has a theme, but my favorite is the noble little funeral march called "Charles Packs His Bags." It's heard under the footsteps of Stanley's misogynistic butler as he walks towards the door - luggage in hand, nose in the air - protesting his employer's nuptials.  Here the composer of TV's classic "Batman" theme song brings vivacity and humor to an otherwise gruesome tale.

Charles storms out. Nicely placed portrait of a female rests between them

The soundtrack for Wife is not so avant-garde as to be intrusive; it stays comfortably in the background underscoring little gestures. But neither is it a wallflower at this party. The music is partly romantic, partly snappy and jazzy. You keep thinking "Doesn't that sound like a couple of bars from the 'Odd Couple' show?," and "Wow! This is right up there with Henri Mancini and Quincy Jones."

It's a bad movie with an outstanding score.


You've got an unapologetically offensive (and thus comical) manservant and you've got great music, but this film wouldn't be half as entertaining without the sumptuous and modern trappings. Stanley Ford lives in a beautiful three story townhouse right in the middle of New York City. With skyscrapers all around, Charles declares, "Look at us! The last stronghold of gracious living in a world gone mad! Mad!"

He's right.
Ford. Stanley Ford.
Near the beginning of the movie, the camera follows Charles as he gives the audience a tour of his employer's opulent but tasteful bachelor pad. The butler looks squarely into the camera, gives a toothy grin and purrs that all of this could have been yours had you poor souls remained unmarried.

And what a pad it is! Married or single, male or female, you will love this house!

A little antagonism in the kitchen. But that exposed brick is to die for!
Spiral staircases, a butler's pantry with floor to ceiling cupboards and drawers, dark wood finishes, a workspace with artfully arranged clutter and a shower with a panopticon array of nozzles that automatically adjust the water to your preferred temperature. Utopia!
Gorgeous! And the guys look good too.

It all comes crashing down, figuratively, when the missus begins redecorating. You can almost hear that famous musical misogynist, Professor Higgins, singing

But! Let a woman in your life,
And your serenity is through.
She'll redecorate your home
from the cellar to the dome,
Then go to the enthralling fun
Of overhauling you.

Seriously, the townhouse is another star in this piece, one that deserves appreciation. Perhaps you should watch How To Murder Your Wife with the sound off. You'll miss the wonderful music, but not having to hear a bunch of idiots rant against women might improve the plot.

This post is a part of the CMBA Guilty Pleasures Movie Blogathon. Click here for the other posts in this 3-day blogathon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On Robert Osborne, Lucille Ball and other things

Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne has taken leave for minor surgery? I'm totally out of the loop! As of a month ago, according to the New York Post's film critic Lou Lumenick, after the surgery, Osborne is taking a three month vacation.

Osborne enjoys and knows such a great deal about classic movies that he's become a treasure himself. The host was first an actor in New York. Later he switched coasts, famously working for the Desilu Workshop under the supervision of Lucille Ball. The young contract player became a confidante and escort for her now and then when  her husband, Desi Arnaz, wasn't available.

In preparation for True Classic's Lucille Ball birthday blogathon last Saturday (I didn't have the blog post written in time!), I finally got around to reading Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. In it, Osborne is quoted alot, especially concerning Lucy. He often speaks of the ground-breaking comedienne not in terms of her humor, nor in terms of her power (he joined her at the height of the Desilu corporation's existence) but in terms of her persistence.  Here are two examples.

Osborne on Lucille Ball's early days in show business:

" She had to go out pounding the pavements for work, doing modeling. She used to tell me about how, a lot of times, she used to go to these parties, where she'd go in and there'd be this huge, long table. She said the girls would sit at every other seat. 'The first thing you did,' she'd say 'is reach under your plate and get your hundred dollar bill.' I don't know if they had to end up going to bed with them, or were just there as dinner companions while these mobsters were having a meeting, but it was survival, just trying to survive."

Osborne on Lucille Ball's obsession to hide her age on camera:
"It's not vanity as much as it is survival. It's knowing the town so well and how Hollywood gets rid of you with age, and she wanted to work."

Of course, behind every successful clown is a profound solemnity. Jerry Lewis has it and so did Lucy. Says Osborne,
"I don't think [Lucille Ball] had any humor at all, strangely enough, for someone that funny. She could laugh, and she liked a good laugh, but she didn't think funny, although she knew what was funny and could make a situation funny. I don't think of her as a 'light' person at all. I think of Lucy as a 'heavy' - serious about comedy, serious about having fun."

Speaking of serious fun with classic film icons, after his vacation, TCM's silver fox will be raring to go for the TCM Classic Cruise in December. Our man of the (prime-time) hour will be joined by Norman Jewison, Tippi Hedren and Ernest Borgnine, among others. (Where have I been that I didn't know of this? )

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tom's Review of Durbin's Amazing Mrs. Holliday (1943)

Movie star Deanna Durbin is known for her feel-good films and perky demeanor - assets that helped morale during the harrowing times of World War II. The Amazing Mrs. Holliday (1943) is one of Ms. Durbin's more dramatic films. Durbin plays a missionary who aids orphans in war-torn areas.

Tom at The Amazing Deanna Durbin Blog has written a review of that film here: The Amazing Mrs. Holliday (1943).

Tom makes an excellent point that the movie is so realistic that for awhile "it almost felt like an autobiographical film." He's right - the first half of the film is like an engrossing documentary or newsreel. The studio-controlled star was rarely allowed to do straight drama, which is one more reason to see this movie and enjoy a not-as-well-known side of Deanna Durbin.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Dietrich Biography Winner [Contest is Closed]

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Marlene Dietrich biography giveaway. The winner, Diana B., has been notified and the book has been shipped.

For more information on the actress,

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Before He Was Bond, He Was Remington Steele

Stephanie Zimbalist & Pierce Brosnan in "Remington Steele"
Yours truly contributed a guest post to the Classic Film and TV Cafe with a review of "Remington Steele" (1982 -1987), a television dramedy about two detectives who battle crime and their feelings for each other. The title character played by Pierce "007" Brosnan, references classic movies, whose plots usually help him solve the mystery.

I'll post at The Cafe whenever I get the urge to scratch an itch for discussing pop culture beyond the 1960s. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

CMBA Hitchcock Blogathon: Monday Jan 17, 2011

The Classic Movie Blog Association is having a Hitchcock blogathon this Monday January 17. One day only will be devoted to the films of the master of suspense.

 More information can be found at the CMBA blog.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

War Stories from Another Old Movie Blog

Jacqueline of Another Old Movie Blog has a 3 part series of reviews called "War Stories."
Hollywood’s interesting conundrum was to address The War through an industry that was largely devoted to fantasy and entertainment. Far from looked upon as good material from which producers could prospect for stories (too much political tightrope walking, too great a risk for offending the public), nevertheless Hollywood was forced to acknowledge the elephant in the room. But the movies interpreted The War on its own terms: the war as melodrama, the war as romance, the war as comedy.

She reviews Mrs. Miniver (1942), The More The Merrier  (1943) and Love Letters (1945).

Each of these reviews is detailed, encompassing not only the plot but conventions of the time and how they influenced what we see on screen.

The author also compares the three movies against each other, mentioning the perspective of the civilian in a war torn area, eking out survival; the wise cracks of civilians in Washington, D.C. who live in relative safety but must deal with shortages; the tragedies or romances that await in the aftermath of war.

Jacqueline has given me plenty of new stuff to think about.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Happy Birthday, Deanna Durbin

Film star Deanna Durbin was born Edna Mae Durbin  in Winnipeg, Manitoba on December 4, 1921.

Happy Birthday, Ms. Durbin!
A Brief Bio
A singing sensation, Ms. Durbin grew even more famous as Universal Studios featured her in charming, family-friendly fare in the 1930s. As she grew up, the 1940s saw her break away just a bit from being Little Miss Fix It in her movies. Faced with 13 years of similar films, the star retired before her 28th birthday, married director Charles David  and moved to France.  Except for a few interviews early on in her retirement, a few missives to magazines to straighten out some misinformation and the 1983 interview with David Shipman, the star has not returned to public life. However, the Universal Studios glamor girl is still very gracious with her fans, sending them photos autographed "Deanna Durbin David."

To celebrate her eighty-ninth year, I would highly recommend viewing the comedy It Started With Eve (1941), featuring Ms. Durbin with Charles Laughton (Great chemistry with him.)  and Robert Cummings (They are fun together.). This is the tale of a struggling young singer who, for a little cash, finds herself pretending to be engaged to a stranger (Cummings) to please his dying father (Laughton).

The leading lady was only 19 when making this film. What a mature teenager! In  poise, looks, voice, everything. Because of that rather grown-up sound, Disney turned down the singing teen queen  for the part of Snow White in the classic animated feature. Deanna Durbin was considered for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939), but, again, sounded and appeared quite mature. Much like the tape used to flatten Judy Garland's womanly curves in Oz, Universal's story lines would often continue to suppress Ms. Durbin's obvious adult development in a rash of girl-ish (but charming) roles.

If you're in the mood for holiday fare with Durbin, get your hands on a copy of Lady On a Train (1945), which is a comic, murder mystery film that is set during Christmas time (our leading lady even halts the film to sing "Silent Night"). Or for darker fare, Christmas Holiday (1946), which is also peripherally about the holidays, and finds our star in a rather cynical movie about a young woman's loyalty to her convicted murderer husband (played by Gene Kelly).

Deanna Durbin Around the Blogosphere

Self-Styled Siren has an interview

The Siren uses a picture of Joan Fontaine in Suspicion on her profile
Black Book Magazine has recently interviewed the author of Self-Styled Siren, a prominent classic movies blog.

 Ms. Farran Smith Nehme, the author, recounts how her blog became popular,  gives her opinion on what constitutes a classic film (“to be a true classic, you want something that has stood the test of time, that people still watch with pleasure. ”) and  recommends some of her favorite gateway movies for those who disclaim any interest in old films ( “…Double Indemnity because it‘s so…witty”).

Java follows  the Siren blog, but did not know that Ms. Nehme has done a bit of programming for TCM. That must have been fun. The Siren is also co-hosting a noir, film preservation blogathon in February.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Doris Day's Recent Interview

This must be Java's week for studying reclusive stars with double D initials. Actress, singer, activist, entrepreneur Doris Day graciously consented to be interviewed by WNYC music host Jonathan Schwartz last month after many years of having eschewed the limelight (at least where her movie and singing careers are concerned).

WNYC Culture Producer Abbie Swanson notes:
Day shares with Schwartz, among other anecdotes, how a car accident curtailed her stint as a dancer, why she turned down the lead in the movie "South Pacific" and the time Frank Sinatra came to her defense at a birthday party.
Raquelle from Out Of The Past blog notes:
[The interview is] like you stopped by her house and she sat you down for tea and just talked about her life and career. It feels very personal...
Read the article and see the photos here: Celebrating Hollywood Legend Doris Day

Listen to the interview at WNYC or below:

H/T Raquelle

Monday, November 01, 2010

CiMBA Winners have been Announced

Winners have been announced for the 1st annual Classic Movie Blog Association Awards (CiMBA). Congratulations to the participants. We've had some very great contenders this year. With  CiMBA membership growing so rapidly, we're sure to see even more competition in 2011.(Yikes!)

And thanks so much to everyone who voted for Java's Journey. See you next year.
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