October 2016

Past Oscars – Pt 4 (1955-60)

October 31, 2016 // 4 Comments

  1955               Marty – Best Picture                         Ernest Borgnine – Best Actor for Marty   Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter Doris Day & Jimmy Cagney Well, at least Elia Kazan didn’t get Best Director for East of Eden despite being again nominated. I have seen all five nominated movies – Marty, Picnic, The Rose Tattoo, [...]

Did you know?

October 29, 2016 // 0 Comments

  A few notes on Destry Rides Again (1939) For years writers have been saying that the bar-room fight scene between Marlene Dietrich and Una Merkel in Destry Rides Again (1939) was real, that the two actresses went at it hammer and tong because they loathed each other. That is simply untrue. In fact, they had never even met until the day that sequence was filmed. Director George Marshall [...]

The best films year by year – PT 2 (1945 – 52)

October 27, 2016 // 0 Comments

  1945    OSCAR:         THE LOST WEEKEND Other nominees:    Anchors Aweigh The Bells of St. Mary’s Mildred Pierce Spellbound   My Top 10 films for 1945     #1   #2  #3  #4  #5  #6  #7  #8  #9  #10   COMMENTS:           This was one of the worst years for movies on record. I can honestly say that there is not a single feature from 1945 that I [...]

Sarah Miles – a candid eccentric?

October 25, 2016 // 0 Comments

  Her father was an affluent engineer so Sarah grew up in a house with servants. She claims her childhood was a happy one although her mother often beat her with a hairbrush whenever she was naughty. Young people today probably regard this as a contradiction in terms, but being physically beaten as punishment was pretty much par for the course for her generation. ‘I got whacked after I [...]

The best pictures – year by year – PT 1 (1939-44).

October 23, 2016 // 0 Comments

  I have often been flabbergasted or just plain disbelieving as the Academy ran out each year’s list of Oscar nominees, especially the Best Picture nominees, and time after time exceptional pictures simply did not make the list. Consequently, I thought I might (starting with 1939, the year movies came of age), examine each year since then, by first listing the nominees and winner; then [...]

W.A.M.P.A.S. Baby Stars 1922 – PT 1.

October 21, 2016 // 0 Comments

  Between 1922 and 1934 (except for 1930 and 1933) the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers (WAMPAS) annually selected 13 up and coming young actresses as ‘The WAMPAS Baby Stars’ amid considerable media publicity and fanfare. No doubt, being selected must have given these young ladies visions of future screen fame and possible immortality, yet not all of them had successful [...]

‘Hollywood – The Skeletons Are Out’ – a sampling

October 19, 2016 // 0 Comments

  My latest book is titled Hollywood: The Skeletons Are Out. It contains 1,200 direct quotes by actors and directors about themselves, their colleagues and their films. Here is a random two dozen of them:   Young Joan Collins When Joan Collins was asked if she was ever unfaithful, she replied: ‘Yes, but only on location. I used to say, ‘it doesn’t count on location.’ Everybody was [...]

Happy 100th birthday, Kirk… I think.

October 17, 2016 // 6 Comments

  Kirk Douglas was born Issur Demsky in New York City to Jewish-Russian parents on 9 December 1916. Like Olivia de Havilland (in July) he will turn 100 in 2016. Back in 1958 his good friend Mike Todd asked him to fly to New York with him to celebrate Mike’s film Around the World in 80 Days, but Kirk’s wife Anne had forebodings about the flight and talked him out of going. The plane [...]

Three old comics.

October 15, 2016 // 0 Comments

                                     Jack Benny (1894 – 1974) In his will Jack Benny left instructions for a single red rose to be delivered to Mary Livingstone, his widow and co-star from his radio days, every morning for the remainder of her life. She lived on for another nine years after his death. Mary, incidentally, was one of the guests aboard Randolph Hearst’s [...]

A small sample of Hollywood stars of Italian-American descent.

October 13, 2016 // 0 Comments

  Italian-Americans have been prominent in the lists of Hollywood movie actors since the silent era. Stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Mario Lanza, Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone and Al Pacino obviously have Italian roots, but quite a few others may come as a surprise to you – as they did to me when I delved into the subject. Here are some actors and actresses whose Italian ancestry is [...]
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