Articles by Alan Royle

PETER O’TOOLE – the actor and the man.

August 19, 2017 // 1 Comment

  PETER O’TOOLE   (1932 – 2013)                                      Peter O’Toole hailed from Leeds in Yorkshire. He always maintained he was born in Ireland, but there are simply no records indicating that. As a teenager he started out as a newspaper copy boy, showed promise as a reporter, but was drawn to the theatre. At 17 he made his stage [...]

STEVE MCQUEEN – Not a nice guy.

August 17, 2017 // 1 Comment

  Steve McQueen’s mother was a prostitute, his father a circus stuntman and neither cared a fig about their boy. He lost his virginity at 13 to an obese teenaged hooker who accepted candy for sex. At 16 he was a towel boy in a brothel and encouraged to sample the wares on offer. Shoplifting and stealing hubcaps would land him in Chino Reformatory in California for five years between 1944 [...]

The Many Loves of Bette Davis (1908-89).

August 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

  Bette Davis was never a raving beauty. Indeed, when Jack Warner sent a representative to the railway station to greet her on her arrival in Tinsel Town, the man returned empty-handed, declaring that nobody even remotely looking like a movie star got off the train. Be that as it may, she was a real man-eater once she got the hang of it. Claudette Colbert once said that the only big star she [...]

The Hollywood Canteen – a unique experience.

August 13, 2017 // 4 Comments

  Between 1941 and 1944 over 6,000 Hollywood workers entered the services, 1,500 of whom were registered actors and actresses. The ‘Hollywood Unit’ made training and recruitment films (and newsreels). One recruitment film starring Jimmy Stewart was said to have been responsible for 100,000 men joining the air force. Hundreds of stars, male and female, volunteered for the USO tours, [...]

The making of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (1962).

August 11, 2017 // 1 Comment

  Lawrence of Arabia (1962) is a remarkable movie for many reasons, not the least of which is that it runs for 227 minutes (the restored Roadshow print) without a single word being uttered by a female! No women, no romance and no love story. Most Hollywood experts would automatically label it ‘destined for box-office failure’ on those grounds alone. And, no doubt, many of them did. They [...]

‘The Red Badge of Courage’ (1951) – John Huston’s ruined masterpiece.

August 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

  The most extraordinary thing about Stephen Crane’s American classic novel The Red Badge of Courage is that it was written 30 years after the US Civil War had ended, and penned by a young man who, at that time, had never experienced war in his life. In fact, he was born six years after the American Civil War had finished, yet everything about the feelings and reactions of his leading [...]

The many loves of Rita Hayworth

August 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

  RITA HAYWORTH (1918-87) As a teenager Margarita Cansino (Rita Hayworth) was sexually abused by her abominable father, a Latin dancer named Eduardo Cansino, who not only abused her himself, but rented her out to his cronies. When she confided this to her husband Orson Welles he was rightly appalled. ‘He was a terrible man and she hated him’, said Welles. In her later years Rita took a [...]

The many loves of Ingrid Bergman.

August 5, 2017 // 4 Comments

  INGRID BERGMAN (1915 – 82)                   Most fans are genuinely surprised to find that many of the screen’s biggest movie stars are diminutive in stature. It probably has a lot to do with cinema-goers seeing their idols enlarged on theatre screens, but the illusion surely exists. Ingrid Bergman did not fall into that category, however, for she stood at 5’9” (1.75m) [...]

The many loves of Ava Gardner.

August 3, 2017 // 3 Comments

  AVA GARDNER (1922-90)            Ava was a ‘knockout’, possibly the sexiest woman ever to grace a movie screen. She married Mickey Rooney when he was the number one box-office draw in movies (she refused to sleep with him unless he married her first). Within three weeks or so of the marriage he was cheating on her and she caught him out. She became involved with Howard [...]

The many loves of Lana Turner.

August 1, 2017 // 4 Comments

  LANA TURNER (1921-95)   1936:   Wayne Morris, who would become a fighter pilot hero in World War Two, was Lana’s first Hollywood crush.   1937:   Ronald Reagan was her first studio-arranged romance, although it is generally believed that their relationship did not go beyond a few horse-riding outings. However, given the healthy sexual appetites of both parties – who knows? [...]
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