December 2015

Tragic Hollywood – no end of stories.

December 12, 2015 // 0 Comments

Louise Brooks once described Buster Keaton as the most beautiful man she ever saw. Be that as it may, he was certainly a comic genius. While other funny men relied on slow-cranking cameras and speeded-up images to get their laughs, he mostly worked at normal speed, much of his humour coming from scenes in which he hardly moved at all. And he never threw a single custard pie in any of his [...]

Reds under the bed – Hollywood and the HUAC.

December 10, 2015 // 6 Comments

  John Huston directed and Sterling Hayden starred in The Asphalt Jungle in 1950. At the time both were members of The Committee for the First Amendment, a group formed in September 1947 to support the Hollywood Ten and to oppose those who wished to blacklist actors, writers etc. who were suspected of having Communist sympathies. Already Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles and Paul Robeson had [...]

TV – More trivia from the early days.

December 8, 2015 // 2 Comments

  In 1945 there were 7,000 TV sets in the USA. By 1950 there were 5 million! The first three shows to run weekly were I Love Lucy, Life with Riley and The Adventures of Superman. Most movie actors did not want to have anything to do with TV, convinced it was a fad that would quickly die out, just like their predecessors in the theatre thought movies were a fad 50 years earlier. How wrong [...]

Barbara Payton – what a waste.

December 6, 2015 // 14 Comments

  One of Hollywood’s truly tragic stories was that of Barbara Payton, a pretty and talented actress who experienced both the highs and lows of life in Tinsel Town. Just sixteen years after starring alongside Gregory Peck in the western feature Only the Valiant (1951) she was dead. Her body was so ravaged by hard living and liver failure by then it was all but unrecognisable, yet she was [...]

More tragic Hollywood.

December 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

                              Lord Richard Attenborough starred as the creator of Jurassic Park. Three of his family members lost their lives in Phuket, Thailand when the devastating Boxing Day tsunami hit the Pacific Rim in 2004. His daughter Jane, her mother-in-law and grand-daughter, 14 year-old Lucy, were swept away and killed. His eldest grand-daughter, 17 year-old Alice, was [...]

The Original ‘Star Trek’ (1966-69)…simply the best.

December 1, 2015 // 0 Comments

  When NBC first promoted the upcoming new series Star Trek in 1966 it was decided to airbrush Mr. Spock’s pointy ears out of all photos. Executives were concerned that viewers would react badly to a character with ears that resembled the Devil’s, although how anyone can confidently describe Old Nick’s ears is questionable at best. Spock, of course, became immensely popular, with [...]
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