In 2019, I decided to post a series of interviews with members of both the genealogical and old Hollywood communities, hoping to find common ground between the two and learn more about some people whose online presence I truly enjoy. Welcome to the Hollywood/GenesCrossover Interview series! For the original post in this series and to see the complete list of interviewees, click here.
Lisa is one of those essential Twitter film community pals that you need in your life. She always “shows up” for a film challenge and I could spend hours on her Twitter feed looking at her film picks. Find out for yourself! Check out her interview and link to her Twitter below.
What is your earliest memory of watching a classic film? What did it do for you? Why do you remember it?
My earliest memory is watching Arsenic & Old Lace with my Grandmother. I remember being scared & wondering why are they laughing over dead bodies? Of course, now I look at it differently but every time I see that movie that memory comes to mind.
Who are your top 3 favorite old Hollywood stars and why (1900s-1960s)?
Top 3 Hollywood stars; Bette Davis, in my opinion, is the greatest actress of all time. Her range is so impressive & even now when I watch her movies, she amazes me. Jimmy Stewart, I love all of his movies & his roles are diverse & he never disappoints. Cary Grant for the same reasons & he just makes me melt.
What are your top 3 favorite classic films and why?
Top 3 classic films; with all of these movies I could ramble on & on the costumes, sets & camera work make these films masterpieces.
- All About Eve (1950) is the original single white female. Bette Davis as Margo Channing is dramatic & fantastic. Thelma Ritter looking out for her is the best & Anne Baxter as Eve well, you just want to slap her. It’s a movie I can watch over & over again. Margo is mad but doesn’t let Eve get the best of her & she does it with such style. Her famous line “Fasten you seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night” makes me so excited each time I’ve seen it.
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) is another all time favorite. I’ve been watching this every year at Christmas with family as long as I can remember, it’s a tradition I’ve started with my stepsons & their families. I can watch it at anytime of the year. The line when George Bailey is at Martini’s Bar & says “Dear God, I’m not a praying man but if you’re up there, show me the way” always makes me cry. Most of us have had a time in our lives when we felt we are at the end of our rope & just can’t take anymore.
- Notorious (1946) I’m such a Cray Grant fan & noir films & Hitchcock so this is the perfect combination. It’s a romantic thriller & such a different role for Grant here but he plays it so well. Ingrid Bergman is subtle as Alicia but the innuendo is present relating to her promiscuity with Devlin (Grant) but after all she loves him. The camera work is so good as Hitchcock never disappoints.
How does classic film feature in your life today?
Classic films are always part of my life. TCM is usually on in the background to aid in whatever I’m doing. Working, cooking, cleaning, etc. I’ve tried to teach the importance of these films to my stepsons & their families. The silent era, pre-code, 40’s, 50’s & 60’s are important to the films of today. They paved the way & set the pace. They have charm & charisma that new films seem to have forgotten. I haven’t been to the TCM Film Festival but I have been to 2 festivals in Newport, RI some time ago.
What is your favorite website(s) dedicated to old Hollywood? Why do you find it so enjoyable or useful?
I usually refer to TCM for old Hollywood. Their website is informative & I love the intro each of the hosts give before the films. I’m always interested in the behind the scenes or who was supposed to be cast in the film instead. I sometimes check info on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes & if I have questions there are a few on twitter under #TCMParty that have impressive movie knowledge.
Which film star are you most often compared to or you think you look the most like? Does anyone else in your family (parents/grandparents) have an old Hollywood doppelganger?
Because I have curly hair I was often compared to Shirley Temple, as a child, & my family taught me her songs & exposed me to her movies. My honey & my family know I’m dramatic so it’s their fault, right? Lol.
We all know that classic film fans appreciate characters with moxie. Who is your most moxie filled family member or ancestor and why?
I would have to say my Mother is the family member full of moxie. She’s self confident & bold & self assured. I’ve always admired that I don’t have that kind of confidence.
Which is your favorite (fictional) film family and why?
Favorite fictional family is probably the Baileys from It’s A Wonderful Life. I just love how they all come together to help George.
Where can you find Lisa online?
Make sure to check Lisa out on Twitter at @lisa_narciso