A Big Thanks to the Participants of the Joan Fontaine Centenary Blogathon!

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As it is said in the title, I’m simply publishing this post to thanks all the participants of the Joan Fontaine Centenary Blogathon for their marvelous pieces about Joan Fontaine’s films and their love and admiration for her.

Of course, it also was a pleasure for me to co-host it with Crystal from In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood! As bloggers, I don’t think we could have thought of a better way to celebrate this Hitchcockian star!

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You might like to know that your entries were not only shared on Twitter but also on my Joan Fontaine Facebook group and its members enjoy them very much! By the way, if you’d like to join us, you are most welcome. 😉 We are nice and like a big family!

With 20 submitted entries (and maybe some late entries to come!), we can definitely say that this was a success. 🙂

If you haven’t read the entries yet, make sure to do so. You’ll find them here.

I’ll see you again soon for the Grace Kelly Blogathon! 🙂

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In Honour of Joan Fontaine on her Heavenly Centenary

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Do you remember the first time you ever heard about the more than extraordinary Joan Fontaine? I do as if it was yesterday. I was looking at this book called Les Stars de cinema that I had bought for my own curiosity (I was 15 and yet not really familiar with classic movie stars, but I thought the pictures were beautiful) and came across this picture of Joan Fontaine. I thought she was simply gorgeous, and even if I didn’t immediately watch one of her films, I stayed forever fascinated by this photo.

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The book mentioned the film Rebecca and since I had always been curious to see more Hitchcock’s film, it obviously was quite high on my to-see list. However, the first Joan Fontaine’s film I saw was Suspicion (also directed by Hitchcock) for which she won the Best Actress Oscar in 1941 (she is the only actress who won an Oscar for a Hitchcock’s film). And then, I watched Rebecca. Two films were enough for her to become one of my favourite actresses. I was charmed by her softness, which is present in her smooth voice, her kind gaze and her her skillful ways. When I watched Suspicion for the first time, I was with my mother who also agreed that her performance was brilliant. She made an observation that I think defines perfectly Joan’s talent: she is able to change emotions very easily.

When I discovered Joan, one thing I found quite nice about her is the fact that she was still alive. That was something rare enough as most of the great classic movie stars are now dead. But, unfortunately, as I was thinking for the x time on how it would be nice (and impossible) to meet her, I read a fatal Facebook post announcing her death. That made me very sad and I didn’t sleep a lot that night. Poor Joan, she can’t be gone forever! December 15, 2013 was metaphorically a very cold day.

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Photo taken in the late 70s: proof that she aged very gracefully!

Another of Joan’s talents is the fact that she was always able to give the right essence to her characters, her performances. For this reason, I cannot think of a role where she was miscast. She often plays gentle and innocent dames, but movies like Ivy and Born to Be Bad are a proof that she could also play fascinating villain without, however, losing her charm and by staying faithful to herself.

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If Joan is often associated with one of Daphné Du Maurier’s most famous characters, many will agree that she was also the perfect Jane Eyre. Indeed, I can hardly imagine someone else than her for the role. The only problem might be that Jane is described as someone plain, but Joan certainly wasn’t!

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Poor Jane, alone in the fog

If we continue to discuss her movie roles and how talented she was in their execution, one thing that always fascinated me is how she was able to play teenage girls and be convincing. Indeed, in The Constance Nymph, Joan was 26 when she played the role of the young Tessa and 30 when she played the role of Lisa in Letter from an Unknown Woman. Here, her acting is convincing both as a teenager and an elegant lady. It’s perhaps the innocence that she embodied that made it easy for her to play these roles.

When we hear Joan’s voice narrating the film at the beginning of Rebecca, we are enchanted by this sweet melody. She had a voice that inspired calm and serenity and one of these movie star voices that I could recognize everywhere. I love the way she talks, with an incredible fluidity. I could listen to her all day, even if she was reading the back of a cereal box. The tenderness in her gaze is also something absolutely seducing about Joan. One of the best examples would be this scene in September Affair when she and Joseph Cotten listen to September Song sang by Walter Huston on the radio. The way she looks at Joseph, with nothing but love in her eyes, creates one of the most beautiful scenes of the film.

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In another tribute I wrote to her, I explained that what I liked the most about Joan, and this time, Joan the woman and not Joan the actress, was her sense of humour. Indeed, this one can easily be seized in her interviews. Even if she didn’t give many of those, her ease was admirable. One can only smile when listening to her laugh and stories. By embodying my favourite quality ever (sense of humour), Joan only gains my sympathy and make me regret I could never be one of her friends. But, she remains a friend at heart and a precious spiritual companion for all those who love her.

There is also this video of an amazing meeting between Joan and another of my idols: Doris Day. The circumstances were indeed perfect for them to meet: Both love/loved animals and live/lived in Carmel.

Joan the woman can also be admired for a multitude of other reasons. Indeed, apart from being a gifted actress, she also was a talented cook, a licensed pilot, an expert rider, a licensed interior decorator and certainly a clever woman: at the age of 3, she scored no less than 160 on an IQ test! (IMDB)

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With her first husband, actor Brian Aherne

In 2015, I read Joan’s autobiography No Bed Of Roses where she tells her fascinating story. However, I think I should read it again as, at the time, I was still not used to reading long books in English and probably missed a few things. the nicest thing about this book is that it has Joan’s autograph inside of it! She didn’t autograph it for me, but just to think that she held this book is quite satisfying. One thing that particularly marked me about her life story is when she tells how she met Evita Peron (who thought they looked alike). Can anyone find a picture of them together??

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To this day, I have seen a total of 21 Joan’s films. This is quite good I think, but not even half of her filmography! So, of course, there are much more I have to discover. So far, the ones I’ve seen are Rebecca, Suspicion, Gunga Din, The Women, This Above All, The Constant Nymph, Jane Eyre, The Affairs of Susan, Letter from an Unknown Woman, The Emperor Waltz, You Gotta Stay Happy, Kiss The Blood Off My Hands, September Affair, Something to Live For, The Bigamist, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Island in the Sun, Until They Sail, Ivy, Born to Be Bad and Darling, How Could You! For various reasons, I’ll recommend them all, but I’ll also be curious to know which one you think I should watch next!

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That awesome haircut! Joan was like the David Lynch of the actresses!

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It is not surprising that a rose was named after Joan Fontaine because this is really what she was, a true rose who embellishes our screens and seduces us forever. Today, this great lady would have had the honourable age of 100. Unfortunately, she didn’t have her sister’s Olivia de Havilland magic potion and already left us for a different world, but her memory is with us forever.

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Happy heavenly birthday dear Joan!

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This post was part of the Joan Fontaine Centenary Blogathon, hosted by me (!) and Crystal at In The Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood. Make sure to read the other wonderful entries:

The Joan Fontaine Centenary Blogathon

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I’ll leave you with this video tribute to Joan that I edited in…2014! Time flies!

See you!

The Joan Fontaine Centenary Blogathon is here!

We are finally going to celebrate what would have been Joan Fontaine’s 100th birthday. This magnificent star was born on October 22, 1917, but, unfortunately, left us in 2013 at the age of 96. I and my friend Crystal from In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood thought it would be a good idea to honour her with a blogathon and we were happy to have many subscribers!

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Now, this day has finally arrived and we are incredibly impatient to read all your wonderful entries!

As soon as your article is published, you can submit it here in the comment section or on Crystal’s blog. And we will add it to the roster. Don’t forget, the blogathon starts today and will take an end on October 22, on Joan’s birthday.

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The Lovely Entries

We start it all with a beautiful tribute to our Joan written by Maddy at Maddy Loves Her Classic Films

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Patricia at Caftan Woman tells us all about Kiss the Blood Off My Hands which reunites to icons of the cinema: Our Joan and Burt Lancaster!

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For the occasion, Wide Screen World watched The Bigamist for the first time and wrote about it! A movie directed by a woman. Yay!

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Rebecca at Taking Up Room wrote a complete and great review of Jane Eyre. And we agree with her that Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles were excellent in the main roles!

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Day two stars with an excellent review of Frenchman’s Creek (film based on Daphné Du Maurier’s novel) by Terence from A Shroud of Thoughts 

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Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews chose an intruiguing subject when she decided to write about The Visitor, the 55th episode of One Step Beyond starring Joan and Warren Beatty.

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Michaela from Love Letters to Old Hollywood wrote a lovely review of You Gotta Stay  Happy where Joan’s love interest is played by no one else than the great James Stewart!

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Elizabeth Nelson, guest writter at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood reviews Ivy, a film where Joan plays a fascinating villain in gorgeous gowns.

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On her birthday, I wrote with all my heart this personal tribute to Joan, a lady I’ve always admired

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Here we have another review of Ida Lupino’s The Bigamist beautifully written by Letícia at Critíca Retrô.

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Debbie at Moon in Gemini tells us about the time she saw Joan Fontaine (!) and accompanies this with a fascinating review of Born to Be Bad!

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Jenni from Portraits by Jenni gives us a great review of Ivanhoe a film starring two of classic films’s best ladies: Joan (of course) and Elizabeth Taylor!

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If Pure Entertainment Preservation Society‘s review of The Emperor Waltz doesn’t convince you to see this most underrated film, I don’t know what to tell you!

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Keisha from Cinema Cities wrote a fascinating article about one of Hollywood’s best collaborations: Joan and Hitchcock!

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Here is Tam from The Dream Book Blog‘s highly interesting analysis of September Affair which also stars another favourite of mine: Joseph Cotten!

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 You Gotta Stay Happy is back thanks to Andrew from The Stop Button whose dynamic review is just like a little breath of fresh air!

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Anna from Defiant Success entertains us with an article on Joan’s three Oscars nominations. Wait…Only three??!

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Alex from Anybody Got A Match? reviews one of Joan’s most beautiful and touching film: Letter From an Unknown Woman.

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With this review, we perfectly feel the admiration that Shounak from Life With Books and Movies has for Jane Eyre, an adaptation of his favourite novel

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Amanda from Old Hollywood Films gives us a pretty informative review of Voyage at the Bottom of the Sea, a science fiction film directed by the Master of Disaster Movies, Irwin Allen!

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A big thanks to all the participants!

We wish you a happy heavenly birthday lovely Joan. You are not on Earth anymore, but you certainly are in our hearts forever ❤

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News: I’ll be hosting the Wonderful Grace Kelly Blogathon for the third time in November! Click on this link if you want to participate: The Third Wonderful Grace Kelly Blogathon

See you!

Announcing the Joan Fontaine Centenary Blogathon!

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suRecently, my friend Crystal from In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood visited my  Facebook group on Joan Fontaine and gave me the excellent idea to host a blogathon in honour of her 100th birthday on October 22, 2017. The idea was definitely an appealing one and I’m glad that Crystal thought about me for hosting it (I think she knows I’m a big fan of Mrs. Fontaine). I had to think a bit about it since the Grace Kelly blogathon is also coming up not long after, but I found it impossible to put that idea aside. I also said to myself that it would be nice if Crystal could co-host it with me and. fortunately, she accepted. This will be our second blogathon collaboration, the first one being the fun Marathon Stars Blogathon that we hosted in March 2016. I hope this one will also be a success.

Joan Fontaine didn’t have as much luck as her sister Olivia de Havilland and died before she could turn 100. Nevertheless, this is not a reason why we shouldn’t celebrate her!

If you want to participate to this blogathon, please consider these few rules:

1- Choose a subject. It can be anything related to Joan Fontaine: her career, a particular movie, her fashion style. You decide. You can submit your subject here, on Crystal’s blog, via e-mail at virginie.pronovost@gmail.com or crystalkalyana@yahoo.com, or Twitter (@ginnie_sp). Please notice that the event will take place from October 20 to October 22, 2017. Please provide the name of your blog and the URL.

2- However, there is one subject we don’t allow: an article about her feud with Olivia de Havilland. We are here to celebrate Joan, not to talk about that unfortunate thing. Of course, if you want to write about it on your blog, it’s your own business, but it won’t be considered for the blogathon.

3- We allow duplicates, but only 2 blogs for the same subject.

4- All articles must be new material. We won’t accept posts that were published before the blogathon was announced.

5- We allow a maximum of 2 entries by bloggers, just to give a chance to everybody.

6- Can I participate to the blogathon if I don’t have a blog? Yes! Simply send your text via e-mail and me or Crystal will publish it on our own blog and credit you.

7- Once your subject has been approved, grab one of these beautiful banners and put it on your blog to help us promoting the blogathon. These were made by both me and Crystal.

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Banner made by me

 

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Banner made by Crystal
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Banner made by me
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Banner made by Crystal
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Banner made by me
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Banner made by Crystal

8- On the blogathon’s first day, me and Crystal will update a new post on our respective blogs where we will include all the entries and where you will be able to submit yours. Don’t forget, the blogathon will start on October 20, 2017, and will end on October 22, 2017!

9- If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! 🙂

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To help you in your choice, here are the topics that have already been claimed twice:

  • Letter From an Unknown Woman
  • Jane Eyre
  • Born to Be Bad
  • Rebecca
  • The Bigamist
  • You Gotta Stay Happy
  • Suspicion

Our participants:

In the Good Old Days of Classic HollywoodLetter From an Unknown Woman (1948)/ Profile on Joan Fontaine’s Life

The Wonderful World of CinemaA Personal Tribute to Joan Fontaine

Taking Up RoomJane Eyre (1943)

A Shroud of ThoughtFrenchman’s Creek (1944)

Life With Books and MoviesJane Eyre (1943)

Anybody Got A Match? – Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

Love Letters to Old HollywoodYou Gotta Stay Happy (1948)

Caftan WomanKiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948)

Defiant SuccessJoan’s Oscar Nominated Performances

Christina WehnerRebecca (1940)

Crítica Retrô – The Bigamist (1953)

Moon in Gemini Born To Be Bad (1950)

Wolffian Classics Movie DigestBorn To Be Bad (1950)

Thoughts All SortsThe Women (1939)

Elizabeth Nelson: Guest post at In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood Ivy (1947)

The Dream Book Blog – September Affair (1950)

Cinema CitiesRebecca (1940) and Suspicion (1941)

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society The Emperor Waltz (1948)

Portraits by Jenni Ivanhoe (1952)

Wide Screen WorldThe Bigamist (1953)

Musings of a Classic Film Addict This Above All (1942)

The Stop ButtonYou Gotta Stay Happy (1948)

Cinephilia Suspicion (1941)

Realweegiemidget Reviews One Step Beyond (Joan Fontaine’s episode)

Maddy Loves Her Classic Films – Personal Tribute (Favourite Joan Fontaine’s Performances)

Pop Culture ReverieThe Users (1978)

Old Hollywood FilmsVoyage To The Bottom Of The Sea (1961)

 

 

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Here is Crystal’s post for the announcement

See you on October 20! 🙂