February 2015

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

February 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

  The sonnet Will Shakespeare writes for Viola that begins: ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ is number 18 in the 1609 collection. Sonnets 1-126, including this one, were all written for a male friend of Bill’s, either for Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton or for William Herbert, the Earl of Pembroke. Bill the Bard, it seems, may have batted for both sides. The great [...]

THE MARX BROTHERS – Likeable scallywags.

February 19, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Harpo Marx (1888 – 1964) Chico Marx (1887 – 1961) Groucho Marx (1890 – 1977) Individually they were very funny. Collectively they were even funnier, whether on stage, on the screen, or in real life. When MGM summoned them to Hollywood to discuss a movie contract, the brothers tired of waiting for executive Irving Thalberg to arrive, so they stripped naked in his office and [...]

River Phoenix – a foolish waste?

February 19, 2015 // 0 Comments

      River boasted of losing his virginity to an eighteen year-old girl he met while making Stand by Me in early 1985. He told his parents and siblings of his intention to seduce her, so they erected a psychedelically painted tent in their back yard for the occasion. His ditzy mother described the ‘ceremony’ as a ‘beautiful experience’. Well, it might have been had he been [...]

Rita Hayworth – a tragic repeat offender?

February 17, 2015 // 8 Comments

    Rita Hayworth posing for her famous Life magazine World War ll pin-up. There have been many tragic screen goddesses down the decades, especially in the days of the studio system, but none had it tougher than Rita Hayworth. As a young girl she was treated abominably by her lecherous father, Eduardo Cansino, who not only hawked her body to others, but used it himself whenever he felt [...]

VANESSA REDGRAVE – Never a backward step.

February 17, 2015 // 0 Comments

        Vanessa Redgrave in Camelot ( 1967 ) During the evening of January 20, 1937, Laurence Olivier was starring in Hamlet alongside her father Michael Redgrave when he announced to the audience at curtain call that, ‘tonight a great actress was born’. Over the course of her already long life Vanessa Redgrave has lived up to that accolade, collecting along the way an [...]

Thirteen Days (2001)

February 13, 2015 // 0 Comments

Director: Roger Donaldson Source:    IMDb's page for this movie   It is common knowledge that Richard Nixon taped conversations he had in the Oval Office, but he was not the first president to do so. Much of the dialogue in this film comes from tapes that JFK recorded in that very same room (and others) during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In fact, the movie is based on [...]

JOAN CRAWFORD – A star at any cost?

February 13, 2015 // 7 Comments

    Of all the movie stars that have come and gone down the decades, none strove so hard, or for so long, as Joan Crawford did, to get to the top of the pile and remain there. In effect, there was almost nothing she would not do to become and stay a star. She was born in 1905 with the unfortunate name of Lucille LeSueur, but MGM would later change that to Joan Crawford, a name she [...]

LINDSAY LOHAN – A female Peter Pan?

February 13, 2015 // 0 Comments

    Lindsay Lohan was born into a wealthy family in 1986 in New York City. Her mother was once a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan; later a Wall Street analyst; later still, career manager for her daughter. The girl’s father, a Wall Street trader for years, turned the family’s pasta business into a multi-million dollar fortune, which he uses to fund and develop [...]

GRACE KELLY – Man-eater extraordinaire.

February 6, 2015 // 4 Comments

    Every once in a while an actress comes along with whom the camera seems to fall in love. Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo were three one could name, but even these beauties took a back seat to Grace Kelly. She only made eleven movies, yet she will be remembered forever, not just as Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco, but as Amy in High Noon (1952), Linda in [...]

NICOLAS CAGE – Nepotism, talent, or a bit of both?

February 6, 2015 // 0 Comments

He was born Nicholas Coppola, his father being the brother of screen director Francis Ford Coppola. Young Nicholas changed his name in the early days of his career because he wanted to make his own way in the acting business without his connection to Francis Ford giving him unfair advantages. Well, that’s what he says, anyway, although how effective that was is debatable, given that everybody [...]
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