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Old Hollywood: Did You Know? 10 Puerto Ricans in Classic Films

September 28, 2022
A Vintage Nerd, Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican Old Hollywood, Latino Old Hollywood Stars, Old Hollywood Blog

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) I wanted to share some information about Old Hollywood that you might have known about before. As a person of Puerto Rican descent myself, I find the history of Latinos in Old Hollywood and the roles they played in films/tv, fascinating .

Latinos have been a part of the cinematic experience from the very beginning. Many of the actors back then were Mexican-born American or of Mexican descent. It wasn't until about the 1940's that Puerto Ricans became a part of the Old Hollywood landscape.

Just for background information, Puerto Ricans are Americans as Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States. As a U.S. territory, it is neither a state nor an independent country. It was in the 1940's and 1950's that many from the island of Puerto Rico came to the States in droves. My own paternal grandparents came to New York in the 1940's. My grandfather fought in WWII and in 1949 they had their first child, my father.

As more Puerto Ricans began to pursue careers in the arts, more were scene on the big screens as well as the small screens. Probably the most famous Puerto Rican Old Hollywood actors on this list are Jose Ferrer and Rita Moreno. 

The actors on this list forged through many challenges trying to find roles that weren't typecasting them but eventually they all created incredible careers. I really enjoyed putting this post together because I discovered a few Puerto Rican actors that I never heard of before. 

Here are ten Puerto Ricans that were in classic films:

A Vintage Nerd, Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican Old Hollywood, Latino Old Hollywood Stars, Old Hollywood Blog, Jose Ferrer

José Ferrer (1912 - 1992)

A Vintage Nerd, Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican Old Hollywood, Latino Old Hollywood Stars, Old Hollywood Blog, Tony Martinez
Tony Martinez (1920 – 2002) 
A Vintage Nerd, Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican Old Hollywood, Latino Old Hollywood Stars, Old Hollywood Blog, Marquita Rivera
Marquita Rivera (1922–2002)
A Vintage Nerd, Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican Old Hollywood, Latino Old Hollywood Stars, Old Hollywood Blog. Olga San Juan
Olga San Juan (1927–2009) 

A Vintage Nerd, Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican Old Hollywood, Latino Old Hollywood Stars, Old Hollywood Blog
Rita Moreno (1931 - )
A Vintage Nerd, Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican Old Hollywood, Latino Old Hollywood Stars, Old Hollywood Blog, Raul Davilia
Raúl Dávila (1931–2006)
A Vintage Nerd, Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican Old Hollywood, Latino Old Hollywood Stars, Old Hollywood Blog, Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera (1933-) 
A Vintage Nerd, Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican Old Hollywood, Latino Old Hollywood Stars, Old Hollywood Blog, Victor Argo
Victor Argo (1934–2004) 
A Vintage Nerd, Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican Old Hollywood, Latino Old Hollywood Stars, Old Hollywood Blog, Miriam Colon
Míriam Colón (1936 - 2017)
A Vintage Nerd, Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican Old Hollywood, Latino Old Hollywood Stars, Old Hollywood Blog, Gregory Sierra
Gregory Sierra (1937-2021) 

8 Places To Watch Classic Films in New York

September 27, 2022

If you are ever in New York and want to find a theater to see a classic film, here are eight places where you can go to watch classic films. I have been to five of these already but hoping to check out the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema's Yonkers location soon. I have heard a lot of good things about it. 

Have you been to any of these? Do you have a theater to go to watch classic films on the big screen?

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Film Form

Film at Lincoln Center

IFC Center

Metrograph

Museum of Moving Image 

Quad Cinema (Landmark Theater)


5 Natalie Wood Film Recommendations

September 26, 2022

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Natalie Wood had a career in acting that spanned from childhood to the teens years and through adulthood. Not many can claim a career that survived and thrived from all the stages of their life. Although Natalie tragically passed in 1981, her movies have stayed with us and have become staples to most classic film fans.

Natalie started acting in small roles at the age of five in films like The Moon is Down (1943) and Happy Land (1943). Her biggest roles during her childhood were in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) and Miracle of 34th Street (1947) when she was just nine years old. She muddled through some forgettable roles until she finally found a role that could break her out into more mature roles.  That role was in the iconic Rebel Without a Cause (1955) starring alongside James Dean and Sal Mineo. From that point on she would land the biggest roles of her life in the 1960's when she was in her twenties. She took some time off in the 1970's to raise her children and her comeback role was in Brainstorm (1983). Brainstorm was released two years after her passing but it was a film she hoped would bring her back doing what she loved.

These Natalie Wood film recommendations are just a few of the films that shined the brightest. She made many others that are just as wonderful as these but if you are just delving into Natalie Wood's films these are a good place to start.

Have you seen any of these film recommendations? What Natalie Wood films have you enjoyed?


Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

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Splendor in the Grass (1961)

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West Side Story (1961)

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Brainstorm (1983)

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Behind The Scenes: Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

September 25, 2022
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After reviewing Rebel Without a Cause (1955) which you can read HERE, I wanted to share some behind the scenes photos of the film. I can't help but think how beautiful and young they all were. Looking at these photos makes me think that while making this film they must have forged some special friendships. 

Which of these behind the scenes photos of Rebel Without a Cause (1955) is your favorite?

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A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Old Hollywood Blog, Rebel Without a Cause Review, Behind the Scenes Classic Films, Rebel Without a Cause Behind the Scenes, Classic Movie Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Old Hollywood Blog, Rebel Without a Cause Review, Behind the Scenes Classic Films, Rebel Without a Cause Behind the Scenes, Classic Movie Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Old Hollywood Blog, Rebel Without a Cause Review, Behind the Scenes Classic Films, Rebel Without a Cause Behind the Scenes, Classic Movie Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Old Hollywood Blog, Rebel Without a Cause Review, Behind the Scenes Classic Films, Rebel Without a Cause Behind the Scenes, Classic Movie Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Old Hollywood Blog, Rebel Without a Cause Review, Behind the Scenes Classic Films, Rebel Without a Cause Behind the Scenes, Classic Movie Blog

Classic Cinema: Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

September 24, 2022
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Nerd, Rebel Without a Cause, Natalie Wood, James Dean, Classic Film Blog, Old Movie Blog

To me, Rebel Without a Cause (1955) is the quintessential film about teenagers and teen angst. It is an iconic portrayal of the lives of teens and the challenges they face. James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo each show different sides of teen life through their characters. James Dean plays Jim Stark who is new to town and deals with the frustrations of having parents who always fight. Natalie Wood plays Judy who is struggling with growing up and losing her fathers affections. Sal Mineo plays John "Plato" Crawford whose parents have neglected him and suffers from extreme isolation and loneliness. 

Their three lives converge through a series of events at Dawson High School, the Griffith Observatory, and a seaside cliff. They deal with bullies, adults who misunderstand them, and parents who fail to help them through their struggles. Eventually Jim, Judy, and Plato form a family unit of their own. Plato is in awe of Jim and Judy is enamored with Jim. It is definitely a Jim love fest but when you see how effortlessly cool Dean was with his red jacket and cute smile, you will know why Wood and Mineo's characters gravitated to him.

This film is the kind that I would honestly say is a must-see. Not only it is James Deans' most famous film but it was also Natalie Wood's breakout role from child actress into more mature roles. Everyone in this film showcased their full talent. Dean, Wood, and Mineo were also surrounded by incredible seasoned actors like Jim Backus (Jim's father), Marietta Candy (Plato's maid), and Edward Platt (Inspector Ray Fremick). 

There is no other film about teenagers that I have seen that truly embodies all the angst, turmoil, frustration, and confusion that comes with trying to be a person that is no longer a child but isn't an adult. Rebel Without a Cause (1955) embodies the trials and tribulations of teen life in an honesty and sincere manner that stays with the viewer long after the film is over.

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A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Nerd, Rebel Without a Cause, Natalie Wood, James Dean, Classic Film Blog, Old Movie Blog
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A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Nerd, Rebel Without a Cause, Natalie Wood, James Dean, Classic Film Blog, Old Movie Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Nerd, Rebel Without a Cause, Natalie Wood, James Dean, Classic Film Blog, Old Movie Blog

1970's Far Out Slang Words

September 23, 2022

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Slang has a way of making it into our everyday vocabulary and staying there for years to come. There are slang words from the 1950's and 1960's that many of still use today even though we weren't even born during those decades. Words like cool, groovy, dig, or flake snuck into our vocabularies and ver left.

The 1970's gave us a heap of slang words that still are used and have no plans of ever leaving. I, myself use words like bummer, chill, funky and snaps.

Here are a slew of 1970's slang words that you will find to be radical and leave you stoked to use on your friends and family:

aww sooky sooky: aww yeah, baby

bogart: to be greedy; keeping something for yourself that's meant to be shared 

bomb: cool in a hip or awesome way

boogie: dance

boogie down: to dance very enthusiastically

book it: to quickly run away

buggin' outfreaking out

bummertoo bad 

can you dig it?asking someone if they understand or agree 

catch my drift?: asking if someone understands your meaning

catch you on the flip side: see you later

check ya latersee or talk to you later

chill: relax

chillaxin': chilling and relaxing

close the shades: shut up

closet disco queen: one who dances at home where no one can see but not in public

crib: apartment or home; place of residence

do me a solidhelp me; do a favor

don't be a bunny: don't be stupid

do you copy?: asking if a person understands your meaning

dork: nerd

down with: okay with

dream onresponse to someone who's being unrealistic

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fake me out: trick me

far out: very cool in a weird way

flat leaver: ditch someone to hang out with someone cooler

flower powerchoosing peace over war

foxy mama: a sexy lady

freaky deaky: odd; something that's very strange

freak out: become frightened; be bothered by something 

funky: cool in an eccentric way

get your groove onto dance

gimme some skin: low five

going around: dating

good vibes: positive energy

groovy: cool in a hip way

jive-talking: foolish chatter; saying things that aren't true that don't really expect anyone to believe

jive turkey: one who tries (unsuccessfully) to be cool 

keep on steppin': keep it moving; get out of here

later days: goodbye; farewell

lowdown: the truth; an overview of facts

mind your potatoesmind your own business

my man, my man: hello, friend; general greeting for a male friend

                                          • A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Fashion Blog, 1970s Slang, Exploring the 1970s, Everyday Vintage Living
                                          • out of sightvery cool in an impressive way 
                                          • pad: where someone lives 
                                          • peace, love, and granola: goodbye and positive wishes
                                          • peace out:  heading out; I'm leaving
                                          • radical: cool in an awesome way
                                          • right on: yes; I agree
                                          • rip off: lesser value than expected; poor quality; waste of money
                                          • say, brotha':  friendly greeting for a male friend
                                          • sound as a pound: all is well; everything's fine
                                          • snaps: my bad
                                          • space cadet: airhead, goofy person
                                          • spaz: klutzy person; someone who is acting silly
                                          • stellar: cool in an incredible or awesome way
                                          • stoked: excited; thrilled
                                          • stone fox: a woman who's really hot
                                          • take a chill pill: calm down
                                          • the flip side: See you later
                                            1. the man: law enforcement or establishment authority figures
                                            2. the skinny: the whole truth; the real story
                                            3. threads: clothes; apparel
                                            4. to the max: take something to the extreme
                                          • trippin': acting crazy
                                          • wally wally, blood and dolly: you're crazy about someone in an unhealthy way

                                            what's crackin': general greeting, like asking someone what's going on

                                          • what a nightmare: something is very wrong or difficult
                                          • what it is: hey, hi; asking what's up
                                          • what's your 20?: tell me where you are
                                          • you ain't just a woofin': asking if someone really means what they're saying
                                          • youngblood: a young man; boy

                                        Classic Cinema Spotlight: Claudine (1974)

                                        September 22, 2022
                                        A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Classic Movie Blog, Claudine 1974, Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones

                                        When I first heard about Claudine (1974) I didn't know what to expect. Seventies films have a tendency to be gritty, have heightened realism, and are not shy about subjects like sex, politics, religions, death, etc. It is one of the reasons why I enjoy films from the 1970's. There is a underlined in-your-face approach to most films of that decade and as a New Yorker I appreciate how these films keep it real.

                                        Claudine did not disappoint. The film follows the life of Claudine Price who is a single mother of six children who depends on welfare in order to help her take care of her kids. She is loving yet strict,  vulnerable yet strong, and forges through life with dignity and grace. I have never seen Diahann Carroll in a film before this movie and her performance was so honest that I was glued to my tv screen.

                                        Despite working as a maid Claudine cannot make ends meet so she lies about not being employed so she can supplement her poorly check with welfare support. While at work one day she meets a garbage man by the name of Rupert "Roop" B. Marshall played by James Earl Jones. He notices her, she notices him, he openly declares that she is a foxy chick, and she openly accepts his invitation to go on a date. Despite Claudine's dating and marriage history she has become a realist when it comes to relationships. Yet she approaches her date with Roop with openness and with eagerness to connect with another person.

                                        Throughout the film we see Claudine's and a Roop's relationship blossom. We also see more of Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones than I would have ever imagined. Then Claudine quickly introduces her children to Roop but things get complicated when it comes to her children's extracurricular activities, the welfare worker checking in on them, and the idea of Roop taking on the responsibility of an entire family. All of this proves to be too much for Roop and he begins to step away from the relationship. Claudine takes on all of these challenges in a way that makes sense for her, with honesty and hope.

                                        I didn't expect the ending that this film delivered but it was an absolute joy to watch. I have even more respect for Carroll and Jones as actors and really want to watch more of their work. This film told the story about a single, black mother and her journey to find her own happiness in a beautiful and realistic way.

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                                        A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Classic Movie Blog, Claudine 1974, Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones
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                                        A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Classic Movie Blog, Claudine 1974, Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones
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