“Potato Salad!” And A Million Other Reasons I Love Danny Kaye

Confession time: When I was 12-years-old I was head over heels in love with Danny Kaye.

I had two VHS tapes chock full of his films, labeled in childish scrawl; sacred possessions that no one in the house save for me was allowed to touch. It happened over a long-ago Thanksgiving when the American Movie Classics channel (back when it really was the American Movie Classics channel) aired a festival of Kaye’s films … and everything else in my life stopped. I was already in love with old movies, courtesy Charlie Chaplin, but I think it was Kaye’s films that really solidified my obsessive personality when it came to the world of yesteryear. I immersed myself into his eye-popping, Technicolor dream world all day, every day– and I do mean all day. I wanted to be as beautiful as his best gal Virginia Mayo; I wanted my life to erupt into sparkling production numbers at a moment’s notice alongside Vera-Ellen; and I wanted a fella as sweet and honest and hilarious as Kaye. (I’ve obviously given up on the first two, but am still holding out for the latter…) Read more ►

The Kitty Corner: An Interview with Jessica Pickens of Comet Over Hollywood

The Kitty Packard Pictorial is pleased to be back with another installment of the Kitty Corner, a series spotlighting some of the very best film blogs on the web, and the masterminds behind them. Today, The Pictorial sits down with the lovely Jessica Pickens of “Comet Over Hollywood.” Pickens, a journalist based out of South Carolina, has been blogging since 2009 and her adventures in the classic filmdom have brought her into the company of legendary actresses such as Dolores Hart,  this year’s Turner Classic Movies Film Festival– and into the hearts of classic film lovers. Pickens sat down with The Pictorial to talk about her career as a journalist and classic film blogger.

The Kitty Packard Pictorial: I think it’s safe to say that in the classic film blogosphere, your blog “Comet Over Hollywood” is one of the most loved, and certainly one of the most consistently well-written. The question I ask to start off with any blogger is: How would you define “Comet Over Hollywood,” and why does it exist?

Jessica Pickens: Back in 2009 when I was a sophomore in college, I guess I felt frustrated because no one around me understood why classic films were so great. I thought, “Surely there is a way I can spread the word and get people to understand.” This was pre-Twitter popularity. Blogging was something my journalism professors said we should do and most of us weren’t. We sort of dismissed it. But then I thought, maybe a blog is just how I could do that. “Comet Over Hollywood” is really just a place where I express my film love, and maybe try to present things to people in a way they may not have thought of. Like, Rebecca and Elephant Walk being so similar– or even doing the [classic movie] beauty tips. Read more ►

Roll Credits: John Fulton and My Man Godfrey

This is the third installment in the Pictorial series “Roll Credits,” profiling some of the greatest title sequences in film history. 

John Fulton was one of the most important special effects artists to come from the studio era: without Fulton’s creative wizardry, many of the most famous moments in film would never have been visualized. He was the man who made lightening strike the monster in Frankenstein (and his Bride). He made Claude Rains disappear before our eyes in The Invisible Man. He split the red sea for Moses in The Ten Commandments. He made the ghost of Danny Kaye jump in and out of human bodies in Wonder Man. And he is responsible for some of Hitchcock’s most terrifying moments: Kim Novak’s fall from the church tower in Vertigo and Norman Lear’s fall from the Statue of Liberty in Saboteur. Read more ►

The Kitty Corner: An Interview with Ivan Shreve of THE THRILLING DAYS OF YESTERYEAR

The Kitty Packard Pictorial is pleased to be back with another installment of the Kitty Corner, a new series spotlighting some of the very best film blogs on the web, and the masterminds behind them. This time, The Pictorial sits down with Ivan Shreve, whose blog Thrilling Days of Yesteryear is one of the most exhaustive, eclectic, entertaining blogs on film and nostalgia in existence. Shreve, who also serves as the associate editor over at ClassicFlix (Netflix for the classic movie buff), has been exploring the depths of classic film and nostalgic television and radio since 2006, and he graciously agreed to sit down with The Pictorial for a stroll down memory lane.

 THE KITTY PACKARD PICTORIAL:  So, to start off with a bit of poetic waxing: Your blog Thrilling Days of Yesteryear was one of the first blogs that I stumbled across when I first ventured into the blogosphere, and the sheer scope of it awed me– still does! Just how would you describe Thrilling Days of Yesteryear and why does it exist? Read more ►

Roman Polanksi at 80: A Retrospective

This month marks the 80th birthday of Roman Polanski: a man who remains one of the most controversial figures in popular culture, and one of the most brilliant filmmakers of all time. To coincide with the auteur’s birthday, James Greenberg  (The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Magazine, DGA Quarterly), has published a lavish, beautifully illustrated coffee-table book,  Roman Polanski: A Retrospective, that tackles one of the most famous–and infamous–directors in film history.
Read more ►