‘SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS’ (1961) – Natalie, Warren & Bob

June 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

  Stars Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty in Elia Kazan’s Splendor in the Grass (1961) were supposed to be playing teenagers, but were in fact 22 and 23 years old respectively at the time of filming. Kazan simply surrounded them with more actors in their twenties, rather than players in their teens, so that his subjects would not appear out of place. This was Beatty’s movie debut, yet crew [...]

‘DOCTOR ZHIVAGO’ (1965) – the making of a masterpiece.

June 4, 2017 // 0 Comments

Doctor Zhivago was released in the same year as The Sound of Music and was almost as successful, finishing second behind that picture in the race for box-office champion of 1965. Furthermore, of all the movies produced by MGM in its entire history, only Gone with the Wind (1939) made more money for the studio. In 2010 ‘Zhivago’ was named as the 8th greatest grossing film of all time after [...]

‘AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER’ (1957) – the 5th greatest romance of all time?

June 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

Lately, I have been making a point of catching up on famous movies that, for various reasons, I never got around to seeing when they were released. I mainly watch them to see what all the fuss was about. Leo McCarey’s An Affair to Remember is one of those fifties romances that reportedly had theatre-goers diving into their handbags in search of handkerchiefs, desperate to dry their eyes before [...]

‘EASY RIDER’ (1969) – an accidental classic.

May 31, 2017 // 2 Comments

  Easy Rider (1969) was intended to star Peter Fonda, Rip Torn and Dennis Hopper, but Fonda encountered impenetrable opposition when he went in search of financial backing, because nobody wanted to get involved with a project that included the notoriously difficult Dennis Hopper. His professional reputation was in the toilet and he was, not too inaccurately, deemed by most of Hollywood as a [...]

Last Cab to Darwin (2015) – an Aussie gem.

May 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

Although I am Australian through and through, born and bred in Fremantle, Western Australia where I have lived almost my entire life, I have never been a fan of Australian-made movies. In my opinion, most of the early screen efforts painted Australian men as stereotypes; loud, foul-mouthed, country bumpkins, forever running about with a beer in their hands and calling each other ‘cobber’. And [...]

James Garner (1928 – 2014) – a true gentleman

May 27, 2017 // 2 Comments

  James Garner was one of those rare Hollywood stars who lived long lives completely free of scandal. He met his wife Lois Clarke in 1956, they married two weeks later, and remained together until Jim’s death in 2014! As far as I am aware he never played around and they lived in the same Brentwood house for all 58 years of their marriage. Their next-door neighbor was Steve McQueen. The two [...]

‘ENCHANTED’ (2007) – a whole lotta magic.

May 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

                                     I wonder if Disney realized back in 1988 that their hybrid feature Who Framed Roger Rabbit, released that year, would be their last live action/animated picture for almost twenty years. It would not be until Enchanted hit the screens in 2007 that hybrid success would be tasted again. Made on a production budget of $85 million it grossed $340 [...]

‘TITANIC’ (1997) – some observations.

May 23, 2017 // 0 Comments

  As a spectacle Titanic, the 1997 version, is a marvel. We are given front row seats to one of the most tragic, yet awesome, events in history. We even see the mighty ship sailing along in broad daylight in all its pristine beauty. And in living color too. I love movies for that very thing. They provide us with a window into the past, a chance to see what life was really like in bygone [...]

WAMPAS Baby Stars 1934 – the final year.

May 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

  Between 1922 and 1934 the Western Association of Motion Pictures Advertisers (WAMPAS) chose between 13 and 15 young actresses in Hollywood that they believed were on the threshold of movie stardom and presented them at the annual ‘WAMPAS Frolic’. Until its final year starlets had to be under contract to major studios, a condition that was at last relaxed in 1934. Indeed, this condition [...]

Audie Murphy – my boyhood hero.

May 19, 2017 // 4 Comments

  AUDIE MURPHY (1924 – 71)                     1094 Audie Murphy’s World War Two combat record is well-known to his fans, indeed to history. Enough to say that he was America’s most highly decorated soldier of the entire conflict and a worthy Medal of Honor winner. Not a bad effort when we consider he was rejected by both the Navy and the Marines before being [...]
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