Darwin Porter – Can we believe what he writes?

September 28, 2017 // 2 Comments

  Darwin Porter (1937 – ) I doubt if there are many more controversial contemporary writers than Darwin Porter. His supporters believe he is telling the real story of Hollywood in its so-called Golden Age; his detractors consider him to be little more than a peddler of sleazy gossip. I do not know the man, but I imagine an accurate assessment rests somewhere between the two extremes. [...]

Why the studio system collapsed.

September 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

  The fall of the studio system in Hollywood did not happen overnight. It took from the late forties until the late sixties, but although it happened over a couple of decades, it was always going to happen sooner or later. Indeed, if World War Two had not interceded it might very well have occurred a decade earlier. When, in 1938, the Attorney-General Thurman Arnold restricted the practice [...]

‘THE CRUEL SEA’ (1953 – A British masterpiece.

September 24, 2017 // 2 Comments

                        For some reason or another I had never gotten around to watching, in its entirety, the British World War Two drama The Cruel Sea until just recently. I read the novel by Nicholas Monsarrat on which the picture is based when I was a boy, but the movie itself seemed to somehow slip by me. It came as a pleasant surprise, therefore, to find that the film has not [...]

B-LIST BEAUTIES – PT 3.

September 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

            PEGGIE CASTLE (1927 – 73)                  The Yellow Tomahawk (1954) opposite Rory Calhoun                                   Audie Murphy                                    Peggie Castle was a green-eyed blonde beauty from Appalachia, Virginia who, according to Hollywood lore, was discovered eating a shrimp cocktail in the seafood [...]

THE BOND GIRLS – PT1.

September 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

DR NO (1962)                     URSULA ANDRESS (1936 – )                  as Honey Rider                                   Ursula at 78             Swiss-born Ursula Andress was introduced to the movie-loving public in Dr No, when she walked out of the Caribbean in a white bikini setting male pulses racing all over the world. That was in [...]

Did O J Simpson’s son Jason do it?

September 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

  O. J. Simpson Former football champion and actor O J Simpson was granted parole in July 2017 and shall be released from Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Facility in October. Back in 2008 he had been sentenced to 33 years in prison for armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping, with a 9 year minimum period before being eligible for parole. During his time inside he was a [...]

DUSTIN HOFFMAN – An acquired taste.

September 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

DUSTIN HOFFMAN                                                Maybe he has mellowed as he has aged, but I doubt it. Dustin Hoffman’s contemporaries, actors, directors and producers alike, have always found him a pain in the neck to work with. His talent is conceded, but he is difficult. One director, who did not wish to be named, summed him up succinctly: ‘Next to [...]

ROBERT RYAN – A class act.

September 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

RYAN, Robert (1909 – 73) I recently had the pleasure of watching a terrific western named The Proud Ones (1956). It has gone completely unheralded, yet it is clearly a couple of cuts above the average western fare. I watched it for one simple reason, because Robert Ryan was its star and I cannot recall him ever appearing in a sub-standard movie. For that matter, I cannot remember him ever [...]

SNAPSHOTS Vol 2

September 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS (1937)                                   I have watched Captains Courageous only twice because, frankly, I cannot abide Spencer Tracy’s portrayal of the Portuguese fisherman Manuel. In fact, I only watched it the second time because of Freddie Bartholomew’s superb performance and to see Lionel Barrymore ‘box his ears’ better than [...]

B – LIST BEAUTIES PT2.

September 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

         LITA BARON (1923 – 2015)                          The Broken Star (1956) opposite Howard Duff Tiny Lita Baron (she was just 4’11”) was a fiery Andalusion-born singer/dancer from Almeria, Spain who performed up front with Xavier Cugat’s Orchestra at the Mocambo and at Ciro’s on the Sunset Strip. It was while she was working there that she encountered [...]
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