Dorothy's shoes in The Wizard of Oz

Some interesting and iconic film costumes are about to go on auction from actress Debbie Reynold's extensive collection including the shoes that were originally worn by Judy Garland. I was surprised to see the style that was initially chosen and after seeing them, I am glad that they decided to go another route!

From the Wall Street Journal:
"These ruby slippers were used during the first 2 weeks of filming 'The Wizard of Oz' but then rejected in favour of the less Aladdin-reminiscent ones now indelibly inscribed in the American imagination. The early footage had to be reshot."

Photo: Garry McLeod

Items in the auction set for June 18th of this year include Audrey Hepburn's ascot gown in 'My Fair Lady', Charlie Chaplin's bowler hat, Vivien Leigh's 'drapery hat' in 'Gone with the Wind', and Marilyn Monroe's halter-neck dress from 'The Seven Year Itch' which is expected to sell for over $1million. Debbie Reynolds has taken four decades to amass this collection of thousands of items and has decided to sell them after failing to find a place to house all of it. It's unfortunate since it sounds to me like her collection would have made a museum worth a visit!

Full article at Wall Street Journal

Barbara Streisand's dress from 'Hello Dolly'

Visit Profiles in History (auction house where sale will be held)

Cross Creek (1983)

"The portrait of a woman who, at the edge of survival,
found a world of meaning."

The true story about the woman who wrote "The Yearling" based, in part, on Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' 1942 memoir, Cross Creek.

Plot : In 1928, frustrated newspaper reporter Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings leaves her husband and career to move to an isolated orange grove in the Florida bayou to write fiction. But instead of solitude, Marjorie finds herself surrounded by interesting characters: a devoted servant who becomes a fast friend; a handsome local businessman; a backwoods local man; and the man's young daughter, who becomes Marjorie's biggest inspiration. Based on the memoirs of the bestselling author of The Yearling, this powerful biopic received four Academy Award nominations and remains a remarkable true story of one woman's struggle to find her own voice.

Cast: Mary Steenburgen, Peter Coyote, Rip Torn, Alfre Woodard, Dana Hill

The film received four Academy Award nominations:
Best Supporting Actor (Rip Torn)
Best Supporting Actress (Alfre Woodard)
Best Costume Design
Best Music, Original Score

It's been a few years since I've seen this but I do recall it being a worthwhile film!

A letter from Richard Armitage

It seems Mr. Armitage took some time while down in New Zealand filming The Hobbit, to send a message to his fans. Thanks to Annette at RichardArmitageOnline for sharing it with us!

Dear All,

I wanted to post a message to say a huge thank you for your generosity of donations to the Christchurch fundraiser on 22nd May, I gather there was a considerable contribution from members of our little community, which is gratefully received to help a rather larger and damaged community 'rise up' get back on its feet. I am so grateful and proud to see such support from so far away, you really are hugely reliable when it comes to those in need. Thank you. I hope our little teaser want too much of a tease, it is so difficult to give anything away, of the movie we are making but we had to do something; I have resisted signing anything 'Hobbity', until the film is finished (just a little bit superstitious) but I was very proud to add my name to the book for Christchurch.

I had a belated request from a certain Wizard about some cello playing, now as a music lover, and particularly that instrument, I can see how that might be a real possibility and perhaps a joy to hear...if Yo Yo Ma were asked. However, raising money for charity by simulating the sound of a strangled cat whose claws are clinging onto a chalkboard for dear life, whilst someone in another room tries to tune a radio in, would result in a charity deficit, with demands for refunds and compensation to boot. So I may have to decline for now, until I have had time to practice a bit more.

With regards for requests for social media, blogs tweets etc. I have always worried that I will reveal something about the project I am working on that I am not allowed to, added to the fact that I am just about up to e mailing and little more, I may have to abstain for now.

So were are about to depart for our short hiatus and I will be sorry to say farewell to Wellington and NZ, one of the most exciting places I have been lucky enough to live and work, not just a magnificent landscape but a warm, friendly, generous and really cool community, which has welcomed us with open arms. Seriously this place has to go to the top of the Bucket List.

Much Love

Photo source

Cloudstreet (2011)

Cloudstreet is a novel by Australian writer Tim Winton. This 3-part series chronicles the lives of two working class Australian families who come to live together at One Cloud Street, in a suburb of Perth, over a period of twenty years, 1943 - 1963. It was the recipient of a Miles Franklin Award in 1992.

Description: Fate robs Sam Pickles of his fingers and the Lamb's son suffers a near-drowning. Sam inherits a house in Perth, but bad luck leads him to rent half of it out. The Lambs move in to No. 1 Cloud Street. Set in and around Perth during the 40s and 50s, Cloudstreet tells the story of two rural families who suffer separate catastrophes and flee to the city to pick up the pieces of their lives and start again. Brought together in the same house at No.1 Cloud Street, the Lambs and the Pickles' share numerous tragedies and triumphs that draw them closer together, until the roof over their heads becomes a home for their hearts.

Featuring an outstanding ensemble cast including Stephen Curry, Essie Davis, Emma Booth, Geoff Morrell, Kerry Fox, Todd Lasance and Hugo Johnstone-Burt.

Airing on Showcase Australia beginning May 22, 2011

Photo credit: David Dare Parker

Renaissance / Elizabethan Era Films

Next in the series of period dramas sorted by era, we go back to the Renaissance (1400-1600). These films include the Tudors, especially the renowned reigns of Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth, the exploration by Christopher Columbus and of course, the works of Shakespeare! (Although, whether or not Shakespeare is in fact the legitimate author is up for debate in Anonymous, due out this fall.)

Which of these Renaissance dramas have you seen?

Top 10 Results / Poll still open here

See movies from other eras

Original source list found at
Eras of Elegance

1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)
A Man for All Seasons (1966, 1988)
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Anne of a Thousand Days (1969)
Anonymous (2011)
As You Like It (2006)
Christopher Columbus (1985)
Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett)
Elizabeth I (Helen Mirren)
Elizabeth R (Glenda Jackson)
Elizabeth I the Virgin Queen (Anne-Marie Duff)
Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
Hamlet (Kenneth Branaugh, Mel Gibson, David Tennant)
Henry V (1989)
Henry VIII (2003- Ray Winstone)
Henry VIII and His Six Wives (Keith Mitchell)
King Lear
Lady Jane (1986)
Looking for Richard (1996)
Luther (2003)
Mary, Queen of Scots (1971)
Mary of Scotland (1936)
Mill and the Cross (2011)
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Nostradamus (1994)
Othello (1995)
Princes in the Tower (2005)
Princess de Montpensier (2010)
Richard III (Laurence Olivier, Ian McKellan)
Romeo and Juliet (Leonard Whiting & Olivia Hussey)
Romeo and Juliet (Leo Dicaprio & Claire Danes)
Romeo and Juliet (Jonathan Firth & Geraldine Sommerville)
Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead (1990)
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)
The Fountain (2006)
The Golden Age (2007)
The Merchant of Venice
The New World (2005)
The Other Boleyn Girl (2003 -Natasha McElhone, Jodhi May)
The Other Boleyn Girl (2007 - Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johannson)
The Prince and the Pauper (2000)
The Sword and the Rose (1953)
The Taming of the Shrew (1967)
The Tudors (2007-2010)
Twelfth Night (1996)
Young Bess (1953)

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