Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Category Archives: My Crazy Movie-Loving Family

When Richard Widmark Hugs You, You Stay Hugged

Back in the spring of 2001, the Walter Reade Theatre had a retrospective of Richard Widmark films, with a special—to put it mildly—appearance by the man himself, who was then 86. I had loved Richard Widmark since I was a kid, when I saw him in Don’t Bother to Knock. He seemed like a bit of a …

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Saying Goodbye to My Dad and CASABLANCA

“Where I’m going, you can’t follow.” Not the most famous line in Rick’s closing speech to Ilsa, but the one that stays with me. Casablanca was the last movie I ever saw with my Dad, who I followed everywhere. We were true kindred spirits, and there was no one I saw more movies with. Saturday mornings were …

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Of Dads, Dreams and the Damn World Series

Watching the final game of the World Series, as our home team was ground to bits by a baseball machine known as the Royals, one classic film kept running through my mind. I’m guessing you know which one. The Royals were the best team in baseball this year. If you’d plugged all the variables into some fancy …

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Guilty Pleasures, Sleepers and (Way Too Much) Stuff About Me: It’s Liebster Time

The wonderful Lea at Silent-ology has tapped me for a Liebster Award! Liebster, by the way, is from the German for dear, sweetheart or darling—three words that perfectly suit Lea, and that show up in old movies a lot. The award is sort of a way to celebrate kindred spirits in the online community and help us all get …

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Remembering Buster Keaton, with Love and Gratitude

Squonk. Squonk. Squonk. The walk to school from my house was five blocks long, and my crepe-soled shoes squeaked more slowly with each passing street. Squonk. Squonk. Stop. Squonk. Stop again. Root around in my bookbag. Maybe I forgot something. Maybe I should go home. When I was in the third grade, I developed a duodenal …

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Buy Your Christmas War Bonds from Bette Davis!

I’m borderline-obsessed with the way Hollywood threw itself body and soul into the cause during World War II. I can’t get enough of stories of the Hollywood Canteen, the bond drives, the USO shows… not to mention those who actually fought on the front lines. Here’s a little war-bond short that Bette Davis (who would go …

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The Day Van Johnson Sent My Aunt Ruth to the Fainting Couch

Happy Birthday to the fabulous and insanely underrated Van Johnson, the light, romantic leading man with hidden depths. Though actually they weren’t hidden at all—they were pretty much right there, even in his breezier roles, but especially in weightier films such as Battleground, The End of the Affair, Miracle in the Rain and A Guy Named Joe. If you’re not familiar with that Van, …

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