April 2015

JFK – Oswald alone? Rubbish.

April 16, 2015 // 6 Comments

I was 16 years old when John F Kennedy was assassinated. Like just about everyone else, I assumed Lee Harvey Oswald did the deed because the US government, FBI, CIA and Secret Service all said he did. Yet, even at sixteen, I smelled some kind of rat when Jack Ruby shot Oswald on national TV and in a police station. It seemed more like a movie script than real life. Over the next few decades all [...]

James Dean – over-rated nobody?

April 15, 2015 // 2 Comments

  James Dean’s mother died when he was nine. His father promised to attend the funeral, but never showed up, and Jimmy would resent him for the rest of his short life because of it. He once told Elizabeth Taylor of how he had been consistently molested by a trusted member of the clergy when he was just eleven years old. And this constant abuse had, understandably, affected him deeply. He [...]

Capital Punishment – yes or no?

April 13, 2015 // 0 Comments

When I was young and passionate I was all in favour of capital punishment. Why should killers be shown mercy and compassion when they had shown neither to their victims? Why should they continue to live a full life after depriving others of theirs? Why should society be concerned about their wants and needs when they had already turned their backs on society’s fundamental rules and [...]

Ben-Hur ( 1959 ) – why 11 Oscars?

April 12, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Every so often a movie comes along that has the Hollywood crowd and the critics tripping over one other in their eagerness to shower it with honours. William Wyler’s 1959 epic Ben-Hur is one such picture. It was nominated for twelve Oscars and won an unprecedented eleven. Only Karl Tunberg’s screenplay missed out. The word had spread prior to the Oscars that Wyler considered it to be a [...]

Maralinga? What’s a Maralinga?

April 10, 2015 // 6 Comments

  About eight years ago I was tutoring a unit called ‘Reinventing Australia’ at Murdoch University in Western Australia when, in a moment of boyish enthusiasm, I asked my students: ‘What does the word ‘Maralinga’ mean to you?’ The response was deafening. Deafening silence that is. You would have thought I had just asked them to explain Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in ten [...]

What Happened To? ( Pt 1 )

April 9, 2015 // 2 Comments

This category will, from time to time, look at old stars from both movies and TV, to see where they are today, and what happened to them after their days in the spotlight ended. I shall start Pt 1 with the TV western series of the 50s and 60s. Some of them anyway. GUNSMOKE (1955-75)   James Arness (1923-2011). He played the star of the show, Marshal Matt Dillon, and appeared in all 635 [...]

Hollywood’s real-life war heroes ( PT 4 )

April 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

In this, the fourth and final part of the ‘Hollywood & WW2’ series, I look at more movie stars and how they spent the years between 1939 and 1945. Not all of them saw action, but most of them were in uniform. I have added in a couple of unique ones as well. I refer to Audrey Hepburn, Hardy Kruger and Japanese star Sessue Hayakawa.   Audrey Hepburn was just 10 years old when war broke [...]

Gallipoli or Kokoda?

April 7, 2015 // 0 Comments

    ANZAC COVE 1915 Most of this entry appears in my book ‘Movies Based on True Stories’, which will be released shortly, but with April 25 fast approaching, I thought it might be the right time to publish something here on the subject of acknowledging ANZAC Day in Australia. Actually, the word ‘acknowledging’ is quite an understatement, given all the media hype [...]

Political Correctness gone mad?

April 6, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Prince Harry The other day someone said to me, ‘You do not have to always write about movies and movie stars. You can write about other things, anything in fact, because it is, after all, your blog.’ So, for a slight change of pace, I thought I might discuss two of my pet ‘hates’ – political correctness and racism. For many people the two are irreconcilable. You must always [...]

The real-life Wolf of Wall Street

April 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

    Jordan Belfort The real ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ is a man named Jordan Belfort, the same name used by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie. Today, he is a free man, a motivational speaker who charges big dollars to listen to him. He claims he has never been happier in his life, mostly because he no longer has to keep ‘looking over his shoulder’. He comes across, even today, as [...]
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