Friday, November 3, 2017


The Classic Movie Blog Association’s fall blogathon, Banned and Blacklisted, ran from November 15 -19. Participating CMBA members blogged on the broad ranging subject of banned films and blacklisted actors, writers, directors and others in the business of making movies. 

Contributing blogs are listed below on the dates their pieces posted.Please be sure to check out all their fine work - just click on entry titles (in bold) to go to each post:

Wed. November 15 


Friday, October 20, 2017

The Horrorathon Blogathon - Oct. 26th & 27th

Maddy of Maddy Loves Her Classic Movies is hosting The Horrorathon Blogathon on October 26th and 27th. As she writes in her announcement : 
In less than two weeks it will be Halloween; cue the scary music, flickering candles, screams, and people banging at your door thinking it’s fine to demand sweets. A perfect opportunity then for us to discuss those films that scare us.

You can discuss anything related to horror films. For example you could discuss your favourite scary film. The Universal Monster Movies (DraculaThe Invisible Man etc.) The Hammer Horror films. The films of Val Lewton. The Horror directors. The Horror stars, such as Vincent Price, Lon Chaney Sr, Peter Cushing etc. It’s entirely up to you.
As usual, I will only be accepting two duplicate posts about the same film, actor etc. There are so many films and stars out there for this genre, that we shouldn’t all need to write about the same ones. Check the participant list below to see who is writing about what. You are welcome to write more than one post.
I’ll put up a new post on each of the days for you to leave me your live links. It’s up to you on which of the days you make your entry live. All I ask is that nobody posts late, you can post early if you like, let me know and I will add your link in on one of the days.
Grab one of the banners below to help spread the word, and put it up on your site somewhere. Have fun writing, and please don’t scare yourselves too much!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

2017 CiMBA Awards Results

Congratulations to all of the winners of this year's annual CMBA Awards! Thank you to everyone who participated by submitting and to all who took the time to vote.

Best Film Review ( Drama ) :

Self-Plagiarism is Style: Hitchcock, Grant and North by Northwest (1959) - ONCE UPON A SCREEN

Best Film Review ( Musical/Comedy ) :

Me and My Pal (1933) - CAFTAN WOMAN

Best Classic Movie Article :

A Government by Classic Movie Characters - ONCE UPON A SCREEN

Best Classic Movie Series :


Best Profile of a Classic Movie Performer :

Louise Fazenda, Comic Venus - SILENTOLOGY

Best Classic Movie Event :

What a Character! Blogathon - ONCE UPON A SCREEN

Best Blog Design :

The Blonde at the Film

Sunday, October 15, 2017

CMBA Blog Profile: Silentology

The CMBA profiles our classic movie blogs each month. Today we're featuring Lea from Silentology:

Silentology is a personal favorite of our blogs. Lea takes a fun and fresh approach to movies that a lot of people – even classic movie fans – think are old and dull, or hard to follow. It’s refreshing to see someone so young who is interested in movies that are so old. But, somehow, it makes perfect sense. Lea’s enthusiasm for early film springs from her own sense of wonder at new experiences and reminds us that what is truly classic is timeless and speaks to all generations. Her playfulness can be seen right now in the “Halloween” banner at the top of Silentology, where a red-eyed and fanged Buster Keaton examines a reel of film. The seriousness with which she takes historical research can be verified in her article on the “Big Four” of comedy, in which she examines a thorny question among silent movie fans.

Lea says “My post In Defense of the Big Four of Silent Comedy is a good example of what I try to do with Silent-ology--be informative, be interesting to read, share detailed knowledge of silent films AND offer some fresh perspectives. Hope you enjoy!”

CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
Silentology: Well, I grew up with tons of classic films-- ones made from the '30s through the '60s, that is. Rogers and Hammerstein musicals, Alfred Hitchcock, Laurel and Hardy, classic Disney, film noir, screwball comedies--everything. My mom loved old movies, so I watched hardly anything else. My particular obsession with silents, however, didn't start until a few years ago when I started watching them on YouTube for fun. Once I stumbled upon the work on Buster Keaton, I was officially sold. In a way, silents were my perfect match. Not only was I already very comfortable with older movies, but ever since I was little I had always been interested in things that were obscure. Obscure names, obscure old books, obscure countries on the map, you name it. Georges Melies said that when he first encountered moving pictures in the 1890s he immediately thought, "This is for me!" That's exactly how I feel about the silent era--"This is for me!"

CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?
Silentology: It's a well-made, well-paced film that's stood the test of time, and can still entertain or move people today. Being "dated" isn't always a flaw, necessarily. It just has to "work." Being a good example of skilled filmmaking is usually a must, although there are exceptions for some low-budget films that still make an impact on people.

CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
Silentology: For one thing, if someone says they hate old movies I usually assume they haven't watched one! Or at least, that they happened to be introduced to one that absolutely didn't appeal to their interests. Since my niche isn't just old films, but really old films, the biggest challenge is to prove to people that movies from their great-grandfather's day were often just as entertaining and well made as the ones made decades later. Buster Keaton shorts always do the trick for me--they're fresh, very funny, briskly paced, and everyone has always been impressed by them. Once they've gotten a taste of how good silents can be, I'll follow up with whichever film I feel will pique their interest. For some it might be a short drama, for others maybe a flapper flick. Usually, mentioning how fascinating it is to actually see history, rather than just read about it, is enough to make people feel curious. (It helps when you're enthusiastic, too!)

CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?
Silentology: Oh my, let me count the ways. For one thing, appreciating classic film is no different from appreciating art or literature. And it's incredibly important, because it's influenced the way we think and feel about countless subjects, such as history, romance, issues of the day, and so on. Plus, with film, we have the rare ability to study an art form from its clear-cut beginnings. I'll add that it's also a window into history unlike anything else--a chance to go back into time, in a sense. 

CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
Silentology: It's the gift that keeps on giving! The biggest thrill is getting feedback from readers who appreciate my posts. And I can confirm that it can lead to so many wonderful things. My blog's led me to attending film festivals, conventions, and special movie screenings I wouldn't have heard of otherwise. I've visited Hollywood (twice!), met wonderful new friends, and even met some relatives of old Hollywood stars. Little did I know when I started Silent-ology, that it would truly change my life. So I say, if you have an inkling that you'd like to start a blog--do it!

CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
Silentology: While I usually can find time to write, I have jobs that tend to be physically tiring, and at the end of a long day it can be tough to sit down and try to gather my thoughts together. And, of course, I can procrastinate as much as the next person. Sometimes it helps to make yourself write steadily for half an hour, take a ten minute break and go do something else, then sit down and write for another half an hour. And ultimately, there are times when you have to get tough with yourself and decide that when you sit down to write, you have to do it, no ifs, ands, or buts!

CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Silentology: Other than "go for it!" I say to do two things. First, get to know people in the film community--if anything, find some fun Facebook groups to join.  I was in various silent-related groups for years before even thinking about being a blogger, and as it turned out, knowing fellow fans helped me find an audience much quicker. Second, write a bunch of posts before you make your blog "go live." Then you'll get some practice and see if it's to your liking, and you'll also have a stash of material ready to go.

Thank you for joining us, Lea! You can visit Silentology HERE.

Monday, October 2, 2017

2017 CiMBA Award Nominees

The 2017 CiMBA Award nominees have been determined! There is an excellent selection of posts this year and it will be difficult voting to narrow down our winners.

Good luck to all of our nominees!

Best Film Review (Drama)

Self-Plagiarism is Style: Hitchcock, Grant and North by Northwest (1959)  - ONCE UPON A SCREEN
Maedchen in Uniform (1931) - SILVER SCENES
Thirteen Women (1932) - CELLULOID CLUB
Nosferatu (1922) - SILENTOLOGY
Stella Dallas (1937) - CARY GRANT WON'T EAT YOU

Best Film Review ( Musical/Comedy )

Unfaithfully Yours" (1948) - LADY EVE'S REEL LIFE
Me and My Pal (1933) - CAFTAN WOMAN
It's a Great Feeling (1949) - THE BLONDE AT THE FILM
Get Your Man (1927) and the Importance of Film Preservation - BACKLOTS

Best Classic Movie Article

A Government by Classic Movie Characters - ONCE UPON A SCREEN
What I Learned from George Bailey - 4 STAR FILMS
The Legacy of Gone with the Wind - HOMETOWNS TO HOLLYWOOD
My Favorite Herbert Marshall Performances - CLASSIC FILM OBSERVATIONS & OBSESSIONS
Classic Movie Gift Guide - THE BLONDE AT THE FILM
A Rainbow of Silent Film - SILENTS, PLEASE!

Best Classic Movie Series

History Through Hollywood - THE BLONDE AT THE FILM
Comique Month - SILENTOLOGY
The RKO Story (Entries to Consider: Part OnePart TwoPart Three)- VIENNA'S CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD
2017 Centennials - APOCALYPSE LATER

Best Profile of a Classic Movie Performer or Filmmaker

Louise Fazenda, Comic Venus - SILENTOLOGY
"Masterful, audacious, beautiful...": Basil Rathbone's Captain Levasseur - A VIEWER'S GUIDE TO CLASSIC FILMS
Cary Grant's Resume - ONCE UPON A SCREEN
The Twin Careers of Lyn and Lee Wilde - HOMETOWNS TO HOLLYWOOD
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher - THE CELLULOID CLUB

Best Classic Movie Blog Event

Things I Learned from the Movies Blogathon - SILVER SCREENINGS & SPEAKEASY
The Third Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon: Celebrating 100 Years of Buster! - SILENTOLOGY
What a Character! Blogathon - ONCE UPON A SCREEN
Diva December - SILENTS, PLEASE!

Best Movie Blog Design

The Blonde at the Film
Java's Journey
Silver Scenes
Hometowns to Hollywood

Friday, September 15, 2017

CMBA Profile: Silver Screenings

The CMBA profiles our classic movie blogs each month. Today we're featuring Ruth from Silver Screenings.
CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
Silver Screenings: I’ve always had an interest in old movies, and I’m not sure where that came from. For instance, when I was a kid, I’d study the movie listings in our local television guide and try to memorize titles of older films. But as a teenager I discovered Laurel and Hardy, and they became my glorious introduction to old films. A local television station would air their shorts early Sunday mornings, and I fell in love: the comedy, the fashions, the vintage Los Angeles scenery and, of course, Laurel and Hardy themselves. Every Sunday morning I’d sneak downstairs to the family room and watch these films on mute so I wouldn’t wake the rest of the house. I had found gold.

CMBA: What makes a film a “classic” in your opinion?
Silver Screenings: I wonder if the word “classic” needs to be more sharply defined when it pertains to film. I’ve met a couple of people online who feel Hollywood’s best years were the 1980s, and they describe films from that decade as “classic”.

If we use the word “classic” to describe an era of Hollywood filmmaking, e.g. the studio era, I personally feel that era ended in the late 1950s. However, if we’re describing films with timeless themes, I think classic films are released every year.
CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
Silver Screenings: I recommend films to match their interests. I’ve introduced people to old movies through Casablanca, Double Indemnity and Sabrina. Even my long-suffering husband, who claims he’d rather watch modern sci-fi flicks, has a few classic favourites, such as Winchester ’73 and anything starring John Wayne.

CMBA: Why should people care about classic film? 
Silver Screenings: Some folks think movies aren’t art, but even if they are “just” pop culture influences, they deserve study and appreciation. People make a career out of examining the history of music, literature and fine arts. So I think the question then becomes: Why not study the history of one of the greatest cultural influences of our age?

CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
Silver Screenings: My goal is to “sell” people on old movies and convince folks not to dismiss them outright just because they’re black and white. When someone outside the classic film community gets excited about an old movie, I always joke, “Well, my work here is done.”

CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
Silver Screenings: There are two things I constantly run into: (1) something unique to say about a film; and (2) writer’s block.

When I write about a movie that’s been reviewed a zillion times through the years, I try to think of one thing about it that resonates with me, then I build a post around it.

If I’m suffering from an acute writer’s block that not even chocolate can cure, I listen to the British band Coldplay. (Don’t laugh!) To me, their music becomes a metronome of sorts, and it propels me to complete that important first draft.

CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Silver Screenings: Share your personality with us. We’ll love you for it.

CMBA: What is one blog post that you would like to share on your profile – and why?
Silver Screenings: I have a soft spot for the WWII propaganda film, 49th Parallel. Not only does it recognize Canadians’ contributions to the war – which is often downplayed or ignored – it also shows how beautiful our country is.

Thank you for joining us, Ruth! You can visit Silver Screenings HERE.

Monday, July 31, 2017

CMBA Blog Profile: The Vintage Cameo

The Vintage Cameo

The CMBA profiles our classic movie blogs each month. Today we're featuring Emily from The Vintage Cameo.

The Vintage Cameo is a kind of "classic" example of a classic movie blog. With a clean look and a focus on the major stars, Emily also takes the time to seek out some lesser-known gems and comments on TCM's offerings and festivals as well as the vivid locations of "Hollywood Haunts." Located in Los Angeles and working in film studies at the University, she brings strong contextual detail to her discussions of the movies she reviews. More than reviews of the movies, her discussions can also be reviews of particular screenings, the conditions under which modern Los Angelinos are seeing the movies their forebears knew and worked on in original release. Reading her blog is almost like going to the movies with an old friend, one whose knowledge and passion for the movies makes the experience all the better. 

CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
The Vintage Cameo: My childhood movie collection was an eclectic mix of “whatever my mom had taped off HBO during the free preview weekend,” so I don’t think I initially felt much of a distinction between “classic” and “modern” films—but first developed a love for movies as a whole. Some of my early classic favorites were Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story, and the Wizard of Oz (in addition to more questionably-appropriate kid fare, like Beetlejuice). As I got older, I realized that there was a whole world of classic film out there, but also that it seemed like many of my peers weren’t at all interested in exploring it further. But luckily I was OK with being a weirdo! It also helped that shows I liked, like The Simpsons, utilized classic film references all the time, which encouraged me to seek out the original sources. Although the show probably spoiled me for a ton of classic movie scenes (Citizen Kane, The Shining, Planet of the Apes), the constant riffs also seemed to encourage knowledge in classic film as a necessary component of pop culture. 

CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?
The Vintage Cameo: As a marker of quality, I would say any film that has made a significant cultural impact—whether it’s changing what people thought about something, evoking some sort of discussion, or even just remaining in the public cultural consciousness for decades after its debut.

As a synonym for “old,” I try to keep the majority of my blog content focused on films within a rolling marker of about 40 or 50 years or so.

CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
The Vintage Cameo: I’m a TA for my university’s intro film course, so this is actually something that comes up quite often for me! To be fair, most students wouldn’t say they hated old movies, but for many of them, their reference points are restricted to about the last 10 to 15 years. A few of the new-to-them films I’ve assigned that students later told me they liked/loved: King Kong (1933), Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), The Thin Man (1934), Gojira (1954), Ocean’s 11 (1960), Psycho (1960), The Italian Job (1969), and The Last Picture Show (1975). I find that approaching older films through genre often makes an easier entry point for resistant people—if somebody loves modern action or horror or comedy, there’s usually a corollary from the past that they would also enjoy. I’ve also been pleased to find that the most magnetic stars of the past still seem to be able to draw in modern viewers, so anything with one of the greats usually works pretty well too. 

CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?
The Vintage Cameo: I think it’s necessary for anybody interested in film, as the whole history of film is basically a bundle of continuous timelines. While you don’t need to understand the full historical and cultural context for every film you see in order to enjoy it, I think the ability to think about films in a deeper way almost always contributes to a better and more rewarding experience. There’s also SO many amazing and varied films out there, that people who avoid “old” films are really missing out!

CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
The people, for sure! Finding such an active community of like-minded folks has been really gratifying if even a little surprising! Watching older films can be a bit isolating since, unlike the watercooler-friendly films that come out in theaters every week, we’re usually all watching them at drastically different times. When I watch a musical from 1938, chances are fairly slim that my coworker has seen it (recently enough) to listen to me gushing about it, but the classic film community always seems to step up. Or if nothing else, I can go back and read somebody else’s review from two years ago about the same film, which can help prompt discussion.

The Vintage Cameo: On a related but more trivial note, my memory for movies is super terrible, so writing my entries helps me remember what I’ve seen and what I thought about it!

CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
The Vintage Cameo: I am just now getting back on schedule after spending the past two years getting my Master’s, so first: scheduling! I am a fairly slow writer—even trivial things like festival recaps take me at least a few hours to complete, so a real review is usually a pretty significant undertaking. I’ve been trying to balance this a bit by being more active on social media, especially Twitter, where I can train myself to be a little looser and not agonize over every word choice. I’m also working on editing down some of my school assignments to post on the blog, since I’ve already done the work on them, as well as coming up with some new short-form ideas for regular posts.

CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?
The Vintage Cameo: One thing that helped when I was starting out was having a specific project to complete. For me, it was tracking down all the full films from the clips featured in That’s Entertainment, and writing reviews on those. That gave me a bit of structure to start from, as well as a built-in list of topics to cover for when I wasn’t feeling inspired. It also let me feel like I was doing something a little bit unique. Since many of these older films have been covered by tons of writers/blogs at this point, it initially felt impossible to say something new about them—but having the structure of the project meant that I could at least approach it from my own perspective.

What is one blog post that you would like to share on your profile – and why?
I’ll just say this recent post on The Star, which is fairly representative of my combination of analysis and personal history!

Thank you for joining us, Emily! You can visit The Vintage Cameo HERE.