About CineMaven

I am a Capricorn and a native New Yorker who has loved classic films for as long as I can remember. My favorite film? Alfred Hitchcock's “VERTIGO.”



Ava Gardner was born today, Christmas Eve, 1922 at 10 at night in Grabtown, North Carolina. “Not Brogden, not Smithfield, like so many of the books say, but poor old Grabtown. God knows why it got that name: there was no place to grab, and hardly any town at all. And wouldn’t it just be my luck to be born a Capricorn. I’ve often thought of it as the worst sign, but no matter. It wasn’t my style to let a little thing like the stars get in my way.” ~  AVA MY STORY, page 1.

Personally, I love being a Capricorn ( January 18th . . . like Cary Grant ). And knowing Ava was one gives me inspiration. I think it stood her in good stead too; Capricorn is the goat, and like a goat climbing up the mountainside, Ava had a slow and steady climb to the top in Hollywood, something I’d attribute to our sign.

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I am a big fan of AVA GARDNER.      

What with TCM featuring her as December’s STAR OF THE MONTH, this is the perfect time to feature her on my blog. Photos are hot linked to other pages re this post.


Who KNOWS how these things start. I don’t remember how or when or where I saw Ava Gardner for the first time. But I can give you my thoughts about her in this video . . .

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In SILVER SCREEN CLASSICS blogathon, participants are asked:

“In 150 – 200 words, what was the first classic horror film that you can remember seeing?”

“It could be that first horror film that left a lasting impression, rather than the very first one you remember seeing. The good news is that there are no limitations to write about as there are so many to choose from. Keeping a short word limit should hopefully make it an easier task as well.”

~  ( Click the above poster for a directory of participants ) ~

With MY journey in classic films starting 60 years ago, I can barely remember my first time for ANYthing. What I can say is that in my recent sojourns with horror movies, my sympathy has come to lie with The Monster. Lord knows in these troubling times, I wouldn’t give a hill of beans or a plug nickel for human beings.


If you have any doubt, this is Bette Davis’ movie ~


Hearing the news of Paddy’s passing unexpectedly knocked me for a loop. And I’m not alone in that, I know. This idea for a blogathon is a way to commiserate and commemorate a great writer, a good and genuine person, and an avid classic movie and TV fan. Patricia Nolan-Hall had a blog known as CAFTAN WOMAN, and she told us we could call her Paddy. She always had a kind word about someone else’s work. ( Where she got the time to read all of us I’ll NEVER know! ) And I’ve been one of the very lucky recipients of her praise.

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HI! CINEMAVEN here, coming to you from HOLLYWOOD!!!

I’m here to attend the 2011 TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES FILM FESTIVAL. Admittedly, I blew it last year. I didn’t go; didn’t want to go. But reading everyone’s accounts of their experience last year showed me that I made a BIIIIIIG mistake. HUGE. So I’m here to make it up to myself. And I’d like to share my experience with you.

I’ll break it down into three parts . . .

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For the first time in 58-years . . . I simply don’t care. And this saddens me.

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BETTY WHITE’s passing on New Year’s Eve 2021 was a kick in the pants to all of us and sent shockwaves throughout the entertainment industry and American culture ( and those around the world familiar with ours ). I think it’s safe to say that Betty ( if I may ) ~ who was such a vibrant personality on television ~ had a terrific ‘second act.’ She made an impact on television with talk shows, game shows and a tv series. Three, in fact! You’d be hard pressed to find an actress as successful as Betty with three prime-time tv series under her belt: The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, “The Golden GirlsandHot In Cleveland.”


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How is it possible that the passing of someone I’ve never met . . . hurts like the dickens.

Reading the Widow Tillane’s tweet this afternoon really broke me down. I was at my favorite diner where my happy mood dropped like a stone as I sat there grappling with what I read and the emotions that came up on me unexpectedly…and publicly. This hurt.

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