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March-in-March Free-for-All

So far March-in-March has been a wonderful success! I want to thank all of the contributors featured here on the site. We have a few more coming next week, including a post from yours truly, so stay tuned!

Those who are participating in the free-for-all event on your personal blogs today and tomorrow, please feel free to leave me a comment with a link to your post, or email me at sittinonabackyardfence (at)gmail(dot)com. I’ll get your post linked and added to the list below.

R.D. Finch from The Movie Projector on Death of a Salesman (1951)
Robby from Dear Old Hollywood- Fredric March: Attack Ads “Dirty Trick”
Ruth from Silver Screenings on Inherit the Wind (1960)
Cliff fromImmortal Ephemera on Researching The Adventures of Mark Twain 
KC from Classic Movies on Nothing Sacred (1937)
Le from Critica Retro compares March and Mason Who was the Best Norman Maine?
Rich from Wide Screen World: Fredric March on Broadway
Angela from The Hollywood Revue on Middle of the Night (1959)
Toby from Toob World on March in the Producer’s Showcase presentation of Dodsworth
Ivan from Thrilling Days of Yesteryear on So Ends Our Night (1941) and Tomorrow, the World!
Rachel from The Girl with the White Parasol on Death Takes a Holiday
R.C. from The Shades of Black and White on Death Takes a Holiday 

His Star Shines On

March as Loren Shaw, the company’s controlling Controller and compulsive hand wringer.
March as Loren Shaw, the company’s controlling Controller and compulsive hand wringer.

The very first Fredric March performance I saw was actually during the “William Holden phase” of my classic film self-education. The film was the 1954 corporate boardroom drama Executive Suite. March has a supporting role as Loren Shaw, the company’s fiscally conservative Controller. Shaw is difficult, obnoxious, and just downright infuritating. He’s simply unlikable. I hate to admit this, but I have a bad habit of disliking an actor if I hate the character portrayed. After watching Loren Shaw weasel his way to the top of the executive food chain, while attempting to discredit the beloved William Holden, I took it personally. “No one hurts my William Holden and gets away with it”, I thought. I’m ashamed to say it, but at that moment, Fredric March was added to the “I don’t like you” list. In all honesty, it is a testament to his acting prowess.

A few years later, TCM featured March during their annual Summer Under the Stars festival in August. I don’t know what possessed me to sit down and watch this actor I thought I loathed, but it doesn’t matter. What I do know is how I felt watching a master of his craft: simply awestruck. I watched every film TCM aired that day, with little reliance on my DVR. I immediately began searching for all of his films and slowly amassed a decent portion of his filmography. One thing I quickly realized about Fredric March is that he is largely forgotten today, despite his two Academy Awards, two Tony Awards for best actor, and a career that spanned half a century.

Although March is not remembered in mainstream pop culture like Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, or even Fred Astaire (remember when he and Stanley Donen choreographed that famous “vacuuming on the ceiling” number?), he is remembered by the classic film community. Not only is he remembered, but he is respected and adored. I discovered this through interactions with fellow classic film bloggers and my pals on Twitter. It was this shared admiration that inspired me to host an event honoring one of the greatest actors of the stage and screen.Throughout the rest of the month, The Fence is featuring essays on Fredric March and his films by bloggers I hold in the highest regard. The goal of March-in-March is to celebrate his life and career, encourage discussion, and inspire those who are not familiar with his work to give him a chance. March once said:

Stardom is just an uneasy seat on top of a tricky toboggan. Being a star is merely perching at the head of the downgrade. A competent featured player can last a lifetime. A star, a year or two. There’s all that agony of finding suitable stories, keeping in character, maintaining illusion. Then the undignified position of hanging on while your popularity is declining.

He might have not held much stock in stardom, but for me and all the wonderful people contributing to this event, Fredric March’s star still shines bright.

I will be back next week with thoughts on a couple of my favorite, lesser known March performances. In the meantime, I’ll be posting March-in-March related material, like trivia and photos, on Twitter. Follow me @biscuitkitten and join in on the discussion with the hashtag #MarchInMarch. If you’re interested in participating in the Free-for-All event, go here for information. Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the new Kino International release of A Star is Born. Scheduled for tomorrow is an excellent analysis and review of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by my good friend Josh Mauthe.

Update: March-in-March

The March-in-March blogathon will include 2 free-for-all days so that everyone can participate! Those days are scheduled for March 24-25th (Saturday and Sunday). On Saturday morning I will publish a post here and add your links as I receive them. All you have to do is give me a link to your article via email (sittinonabackyardfence (at) gmail (dot) com) or leave a comment on that post.

Bloggers signed on for the free-for-all event:

Angela at The Hollywood Revue
R.A. at Silver Screenings 
Tony Dayoub at Cinema Viewfinder
Rich from Wide Screen World
Laura from Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings 
R.D. Finch fromThe Movie Projector
Whistling Gypsy from Distant Voices and Flickering Shadows
Rachel from The Girl with the White Parasol
Robby fromDear Old Hollywood
Le from Critica Retro
Ivan from Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Toby from Toob World
KC from Classic Movies 

Scheduled bloggers who will have their posts here at The Fence throughout the event (final posting schedule TBA):

Bobby Rivers- Bobby Rivers TV will discuss his favorite March performances and tells a story 
Michael Nazarewcyz- ScibeHard on Film The Best Years of Our Lives
Karen-  Shadows and Satin Merrily We Go to Hell
Josh Mauthe - Umney’s Alley Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Brandie-True Classics I Married a Witch
Jessica- Comet Over Hollywood One Foot in Heaven
The Lady Eve- The Lady Eve’s Reel Life Design For Living
Greg F.-Cinema Styles will discuss March’s acting style along with some favorite performances
Kim-(contributor here at Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence) The Eagle and the Hawk
Rick- Classic Film and TV Cafe Executive Suite
Cliff Aliperti- Immortal Ephemera The Adventures of Mark Twain
Carley- The Kitty Packard Pictorial A Star is Born

Please spread the word! I would love to have lots of submissions on the free-for-all day! If you’d like to contribute, just leave a comment below and I’ll add you to the list. And if you haven’t done so yet, please snag the banner for your blog! Stay tuned for more information, including a giveaway and how you can contribute via Tumblr!

Blog Event: March-in-March

I have a wonderful blog event scheduled for March 15-31st, featuring one of the true greats of the stage and screen: Fredric March. I am fortunate to have an outstanding group of bloggers signed on to contribute:

Bobby Rivers- Bobby Rivers TV 
Michael Nazarewcyz- ScibeHard on Film
Karen-  Shadows and Satin
Will McKinley- contributor at Cinema Sentries
Josh Mauthe - Umney’s Alley
Brandie-True Classics
Jessica- Comet Over Hollywood
The Lady Eve- The Lady Eve’s Reel Life
Greg F.-Cinema Styles
Kim-contributor here at Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence
Rick- Classic Film and TV Cafe
Cliff Aliperti- Immortal Ephemera
Carley- The Kitty Packard Pictorial

…and me, of course!

More information to come–including how you can participate in the celebration, a schedule of events, and a giveaway! In the meantime, snag the banner and spread the word!