January 2016

A bit of TV nostalgia.

January 11, 2016 // 4 Comments

  As a follow-up to the Nielsen Ratings of the very top TV shows year by year in the USA, I thought I might take a crack at listing MY favourite programs down the decades. Not one of them reached the top, by the way. I have also highlighted the performer in each show whom I felt was the main reason for my enjoying the program (not always the star). Personally, I enjoy reading other [...]

America’s most watched TV shows 1950-2015

January 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

  I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the top ranked TV show from each season in America since the Nielsen Ratings first appeared in 1950. As the home of TV, the USA has set the pace for the rest of the world with its programs, some great, some OK, and some pretty awful. Here in Australia we tend to like, entertainment-wise, what Americans like (generally speaking), so most [...]

Studio cover-ups in the early days of Hollywood.

January 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

  A British actor in the fifties named Steve Hayes probably summed up the studio bosses as well as anyone, not that he said so when he was under contract, of course. To do so would have been career suicide, as well he knew. ‘All these guys were ruthless bastards’, he said years later. ‘Cohn, Warner, Louis B Mayer. All of them. They were nothing more than thugs in business suits.’ The [...]

The British Army in the Victorian Era

January 5, 2016 // 0 Comments

See larger image The British Army in the Victorian Era: The Myth and The Reality This book examines the myth about the invincibility of the British Army in the Victorian era, paying close attention to three conflicts – The Crimean War, The Zulu War of 1879, and the Second Boer War. It also examines the impact on the officer corps of both the Regimental System and the equally abominable [...]

Norma Shearer – MGM’S ‘Queen of the Lot’.

January 5, 2016 // 0 Comments

  Irving Thalberg, the ‘boy genius’ in charge of production at MGM, died in 1936 while his wife, Norma Shearer, was in the middle of making Marie Antoinette. He was a genius when it came to organizing a film studio and making it run efficiently and profitably. The fledgling company run by L B Mayer had taken him on at $600 a week, although an important clause in his contract guaranteed [...]

Is Mel Gibson genuinely ill or just a jerk?

January 3, 2016 // 2 Comments

  Mel Gibson was born in New York in 1956, but lived most of his youth in Australia. He claims that he started drinking at 13. In 1984 in Ontario he was banned from driving for three months after rear-ending a car while intoxicated. By the time he made Lethal Weapon 2 he admitted to drinking five pints of beer for breakfast! He maintains that by 1991 he was attending AA meetings, and that [...]

Josephine Baker – ‘the Black Venus’.

January 1, 2016 // 3 Comments

  It is more than likely that most young people have never even heard of Josephine Baker. Come to think of it, there are probably just as many elderly people to whom the name means nothing either. After all, she was a citizen of France, rarely set foot in the USA, and gained her reputation more as an exotic dancer and singer than she did as a movie star. In fact, she only made 12 movies in [...]
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