2nd edition: The Blue Veil

For those of you who bought Volume 2, here is an addition for the second edition as a little thank you:

Jane Wyman’s performance as a children’s nurse in The Blue Veil cannot be compared – literally. The film has been tied up by the French copyright holders for decades, and has never been released on DVD or VHS, and hasn’t been shown legally in the United States for several decades. Sorry, Jane – better luck next time. Wait, Jane! In 2014, for the 2nd edition, I was able to watch The Blue Veil. (And yes, I wore a black hat, mask, and cape; I wiped down the surfaces for fingerprints afterwards…actually, my wife really likes it when I do that. For the movie, I just watched a friend’s ancient VHS of an old television broadcast. No piracy here, people! Just move along…) Producer Jerry Wald initially wanted Greta Garbo, then turned to Bette Davis, before finally settling on Wyman as the widow who raises other children as if they were her own, including Natalie Wood. Joan Blondell, Charles Laughton, Agnes Moorehead, Alan Napier, Harry Morgan, Vivian Vance, and Dan O’Herlihy have smaller roles. Might as well get out the hankies, because you’re going to need them. And water. Lots of water, because you’re going to get plenty dehydrated, from either crying or vomiting, depending on your response to all the babies and desperate children needing mothering, and the sadness of Wyman growing old and apparently unloved. The ending will kill you – either literally, if you have no stomach for this kind of movie, or figuratively, from all the weeping you’ll be doing at the end. Wyman has no shame in milking our sympathy, but she never overplays the moment, taking things quietly, with dignity. She never lets the trademark blue veil of her profession become even slightly wrinkled, at least in part because she’s not really given much to do other than look noble, love children, and wring our hearts when she has to leave them (over and over again). The Blue Veil is a very old-fashioned movie, shameless and unapologetic; Wyman gives a performance to match. Part of me wants to run screaming out into the night, and part of me wants to enjoy a good cry (I really should have bought stock in Kleenex before watching the end). Given how much I tend to hate melodrama – with some notable exceptions – I have to chalk this up to the strength of Wyman’s honest emotional take on the character, and suggest she earned this nomination, even as I can’t believe I sat through this schmaltz without the aid of alcohol. Nah, that would have just dehydrated me even more…

Progress Report

I’m progressing rapidly to the second editions of my first two books. I’m taking the opportunity of correcting the thankfully short list of typos folks have contributed over the past two years, as well as adding in the one formerly unavailable movie to volume 1. Jeanne Eagels’ performance in The Letter was the first posthumous nomination by the Academy (she died of a drug overdose). Many thanks to Robert Alan Bryan for gifting me a copy of the Warner Archives DVD!

I hope to have the print editions of v.1 and v.2 back on Amazon by August 1 and August 8 respectively, with the NEW third book available by August 15th. The Kindle and Nook versions should be released within a few weeks after that, if not sooner.

I want to thank you all for your support and encouragement. You make it all worth doing!

The Spines, They Are a Changin’

This weekend is the final time to purchase copies of my first two books from my first, esteemed publisher, Variations on a Theme. The books will be down for a brief period of time, before they are re-published in corrected editions — along with the NEW third volume!

Thank you, Deb Houdek Rule and Geo Rule, for seeing me start off on this journey — and for being my friends for many years to come!

See you in all new spines (and covers) very soon!

Throughout the blog, the links to my books no longer work. I will replace them when the new editions become available. Until then, if you just can’t wait, there are some for sale by third parties:

Here is v. 1: http://www.amazon.com/WHO-Won-Irreverent-Oscars-1927-1943/dp/0984955860/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0BW6RZNMEH1G7HDZ23RS

Here is v. 2: http://www.amazon.com/WHO-Won-Irreverent-Oscars-1944-1952/dp/1940058015/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404247262&sr=1-1&keywords=who+won+robert+james

Status Update; Or, The Facebook Page Shambles Forth…

Status update! All the primary work on v. 3 is done. I am in the editing stage, cutting away the unnecessary verbiage and cleaning up every typo I can find. I’ve also started the work on v. 4, and am done with most of 1964. Up next:

I’ve finally split my personal page from the promotions of my books. Please like the page 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/WhoWonAnIrreverentLookattheOscars?notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite

What Awaits You Here

I’ve finally finished the primary research for v. 3, with a final edit and indexing left to go to finish. I expect v. 3 to be available this summer.

Once the third book is available, I’ll go through and add more polls and articles to accompany that volume.

Until then, if you haven’t come here to visit before, you can find articles and polls on the first two books, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress. I also have done a series of Special Features, which covers all the categories and movies which I omit from the published books (mostly due to lack of availability of source material).

I hope you will enjoy these in the brief interim before v. 3 appears!

If you haven’t read my books, you can find them on Amazon:

V. 1: http://www.amazon.com/WHO-Won-Irreverent-Oscars-1927-1943/dp/0984955860/ref=la_B00AAA73SW_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400169867&sr=1-3

v. 2: http://www.amazon.com/WHO-Won-Irreverent-Oscars-1944-1952/dp/1940058015/ref=la_B00AAA73SW_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400169867&sr=1-2

I’ve started doing the work on v. 4 as well, which should go from 1964-1977. I just watched Becket, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins,and Zorba the Greek this past week. Dr. Strangelove is up next.

Thanks for coming by — I hope to hear from you soon!

The Best Actress Polls for Book Two Are Complete!

I’ve finished putting together the polls for Best Actress from 1944-1952, which finishes off the series for V. 2, WHO Won?!?

I’m also on the last movie for V. 3, which will then get a final rewrite, proofing, and editing, before I add the index. V. 3 will be published this summer!

I hope you enjoy the polls. I went more visual here, as I did in the Special Features, given how easy that is to do here on the internet, as opposed to print.

If you’d like to buy my books, WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, V. 1: 1927-1943 and v. 2, 1944-1952, please follow the links below — and thanks for having such good taste!

Link for V. 1: Link for My Book!

Link for V. 2: http://www.amazon.com/WHO-Won-Irreverent-1944-1952-ebook/dp/B00DYFWKGA/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

The Best Actor Polls for Book Two are Complete!

I’ve finished putting together the polls for Best Actor from 1944-1952, which finishes off the series for V. 2, WHO Won?!?

I’ll get started on the Best Actress polls for v. 2 later this week. I’m also on the last movie for V. 3, which will then get a final rewrite, proofing, and editing, before I add the index. V. 3 will be published this summer!

I hope you enjoy the polls. I went more visual here, as I did in the Special Features, given how easy that is to do here on the internet, as opposed to print.

If you’d like to buy my books, WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, V. 1: 1927-1943 and v. 2, 1944-1952, please follow the links below — and thanks for having such good taste!

Link for V. 1: Link for My Book!

Link for V. 2: http://www.amazon.com/WHO-Won-Irreverent-1944-1952-ebook/dp/B00DYFWKGA/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

The Best Actress Polls for Book One are Complete!

I’ve finished putting together the polls for Best Actress from 1927-1943, which finishes off the series for V. 1, WHO Won?!?

I’ll get started on v. 2 next week — probably with the actors. I’m also on the last four movies for V. 3, which will then get a final rewrite, proofing, and editing, before I add the index. V. 3 will be published this summer!

I hope you enjoy the polls. I went more visual here, as I did in the Special Features, given how easy that is to do here on the internet, as opposed to print.

If you’d like to buy my books, WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, V. 1: 1927-1943 and v. 2, 1944-1952, please follow the links below — and thanks for having such good taste!

Link for V. 1: Link for My Book!

Link for V. 2: http://www.amazon.com/WHO-Won-Irreverent-1944-1952-ebook/dp/B00DYFWKGA/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

A New Direction

After mature consideration, my publisher and I have decided that my book series and her publishing mission are not the good fit we had hoped they would be. We were friends before this began; we continue to be friends. V.1 and v. 2 will continue to be sold by her company until June 30, 2014, at which time I expect the entire series will be republished along with v. 3, either by myself, or with another publisher. I want to thank Deb for her support from day one, and for her gracious intelligence and professional guidance. I have learned so much from her, and whatever success my books have began with her insight and perseverance. I also want to thank those of you who have read the books, and assure you the project will most definitely continue to be published.

Progress Report and the 2nd Blind Oscar Predictions

Kristen Lopez and I make this an annual thing with me making my predictions for the Oscars having seen nothing, and with her seeing everything:

http://journeysinclassicfilm.com/2014/02/28/2nd-annual-blind-oscar-predictions-with-special-guest-robert-james/

V. 3 Progress Report:

So here’s what I have left for V. 3 of WHO Won?!? to watch: nominated, The Leopard; ignored: The Nutty Professor, Jason and the Argonauts; Dementia 13; The Haunting; Winter Light; The Music Room; Knife in the Water; Pickpocket; and The Trial. I’ve seen some of those, but not in years. Good way to finish up on a rainy weekend.

My First Author Talk!

If any of you folks are in Southern California, I will be giving my very first author talk on my book series WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars on Tuesday, February 25th at the Cypress Library on 5331 Orange Ave., Cypress, CA 90630. We start at 7 pm and go to about 8:30. Please come!

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Robert James was born on Skull Island and raised in Freedonia. He played baseball with Gary Cooper, fell in love in Paris with a suspicious Swede, got a pet leopard with a penchant for love songs, raised children in Oz, grew old (slowly) in Shangri-La, was killed by biplanes on the top of the Empire State Building when he was out on a date, and was then brought back from the dead in Dr. Frankenstein’s lab, just in time to be chased by an angry mob.

Or so he likes to believe.

In a more fantastic reality, he was born and raised in Santa Ana, California in a blue-collar family. His father and mother, being typical Americans of their generation, believed in the movies in the same way they believed in reading, the Constitution, hard work, family, barbeque, and the greatness of the American Way. They also believed Richard Nixon, but they couldn’t get it all right, now could they?

Robert went to public schools at a time when they still worked reasonably well. He wasn’t the first person in his family to pursue higher education, but he was the first one who tried to make a career of it. Once he received his Ph.D. from UCLA, he came to the abrupt realization that he had to actually work for a paycheck instead of a report card.

He promptly became a teacher, and he’s never recovered from it. Neither have his students. Or his wallet.

Along with his beautiful wife, with whom he has raised six children – some of whom he actually helped make – he enjoys reading, music, talking, traveling, cooking, sleeping, and other nocturnal activities.

Somehow along the way, he has also managed to become a well-known authority on Robert A. Heinlein and other science fiction writers. He’s been called the “Indiana Jones” of Heinlein studies, having tracked down numerous artifacts from Heinlein’s life which had either been lost or never known. His most famous find was the last remaining copy of Heinlein’s first unpublished novel, which Scribners published in 2004, with an afterword by Robert James.

Put him in front of an audience and good things happen. Just ask any number of students, attendees at numerous conventions, and the Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he’s been a guest speaker. His students sometimes refer to him as the Voice of God, but he doesn’t claim more than his fair share of omnipotence.

Finally, he has enjoyed writing for friends, family, and students for many years, and is very pleased to have finally turned out a book series, WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, which you should all be going to buy and read right now rather than wasting your time reading this author biography.

Link for My Book!

If you’d like to buy my book, “WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, V. 1: 1927-1943” please follow the link above — and thanks for having such good taste!

Link for V. 2: http://www.amazon.com/WHO-Won-Irreverent-1944-1952-ebook/dp/B00DYFWKGA/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

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The Best Actor Polls for Book One are complete!

I’ve finished putting together the polls for Best Actor from 1927-1943, which finishes off the series for V. 1, WHO Won?!?

I’ll get started on v. 2 next week — I’m moving this weekend, so I’m going to be a trifle busy. I’m also closing in on finishing v.3 of WHO Won?!? which will cover 1953-1963. I’m in the last chapter, and searching for the handful of movies I’ve missed for two earlier chapters.

I hope you enjoy the polls. I went more visual here, as I did in the Special Features, given how easy that is to do here on the internet, as opposed to print.

If you’d like to buy my book, “WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, V. 1: 1927-1943″ please follow the link below — and thanks for having such good taste!

Link for V. 1: Link for My Book!

Link for V. 2: http://www.amazon.com/WHO-Won-Irreverent-1944-1952-ebook/dp/B00DYFWKGA/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

I’ve crossed two finish lines…and started a new race!

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Last night, I finished the last of the Best Picture winners and the Special Features for the first two books! I’ll post these as we go along in various places, but for those of you with no patience, they’re here on the blog.

I’ve also started a brand new series for Best Actor for the first two books, chock-full of visual goodies! I will do Best Actress after that.

Thank you for all your support — you make all the work worthwhile!

Link for My Book!

If you’d like to buy my book, “WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, V. 1: 1927-1943″ please follow the link above — and thanks for having such good taste!

Link for V. 2: http://www.amazon.com/WHO-Won-Irreverent-1944-1952-ebook/dp/B00DYFWKGA/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

The Academy snubbed me too…

0d7af4e28f4a0ad8976fa3.L._V397546331_SX200_.png

Robert James was born on Skull Island and raised in Freedonia. He played baseball with Gary Cooper, fell in love in Paris with a suspicious Swede, got a pet leopard with a penchant for love songs, raised children in Oz, grew old (slowly) in Shangri-La, was killed by biplanes on the top of the Empire State Building when he was out on a date, and was then brought back from the dead in Dr. Frankenstein’s lab, just in time to be chased by an angry mob.

Or so he likes to believe.

In a more fantastic reality, he was born and raised in Santa Ana, California in a blue-collar family. His father and mother, being typical Americans of their generation, believed in the movies in the same way they believed in reading, the Constitution, hard work, family, barbeque, and the greatness of the American Way. They also believed Richard Nixon, but they couldn’t get it all right, now could they?

Robert went to public schools at a time when they still worked reasonably well. He wasn’t the first person in his family to pursue higher education, but he was the first one who tried to make a career of it. Once he received his Ph.D. from UCLA, he came to the abrupt realization that he had to actually work for a paycheck instead of a report card.

He promptly became a teacher, and he’s never recovered from it. Neither have his students. Or his wallet.

Along with his beautiful wife, with whom he has raised six children – some of whom he actually helped make – he enjoys reading, music, talking, traveling, cooking, sleeping, and other nocturnal activities.

Somehow along the way, he has also managed to become a well-known authority on Robert A. Heinlein and other science fiction writers. He’s been called the “Indiana Jones” of Heinlein studies, having tracked down numerous artifacts from Heinlein’s life which had either been lost or never known. His most famous find was the last remaining copy of Heinlein’s first unpublished novel, which Scribners published in 2004, with an afterword by Robert James.

Put him in front of an audience and good things happen. Just ask any number of students, attendees at numerous conventions, and the Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he’s been a guest speaker. His students sometimes refer to him as the Voice of God, but he doesn’t claim more than his fair share of omnipotence.

Finally, he has enjoyed writing for friends, family, and students for many years, and is very pleased to have finally turned out a book series, WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, which you should all be going to buy and read right now rather than wasting your time reading this author biography.

Link for My Book!

If you’d like to buy my book, “WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, V. 1: 1927-1943″ please follow the link above — and thanks for having such good taste!

Link for V. 2: http://www.amazon.com/WHO-Won-Irreverent-1944-1952-ebook/dp/B00DYFWKGA/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

1942 Special Features is up!

Time to get your war on, stop blabbermouthing, avoid spitting camels, celebrate corn, and pay your taxes with Donald Duck! The 1942 Special Features includes the second installment on the Best Documentary category, which has a staggering TWENTY-FIVE nominees and FOUR winners. I hope you enjoy the marathon — this is another one I’ve been working on over Christmas break.

1941 Special Features is up!

Joan Blondell wants to know if her ectoplasm is showing, the British stiffen their upper lips, and I show where Citizen Kane should have won more Oscars — all these and more in the new 1941 Special Features, a longish blog post that covers everything I left out of the original book. The Academy Awards added a documentary category, which I cover, as well as the two Short Subjects, Editing, and Sound. Somebody tell Joan to cover up her ectoplasm!

Prophets of Science Fiction

If you’re interested, Netflix Streaming now has Prophets of Science Fiction, which incorporates considerable film clips. I’m in the Heinlein episode with Bill Patterson, trying hard to keep it on track and away from the silly accusations some people make about Heinlein 🙂