clark gable

Leslie Howard – hero or just unlucky?

March 3, 2016 // 12 Comments

  Even fans of Gone With The Wind do not think much of British actor Leslie Howard’s insipid performance in the picture. I certainly felt he was a much over-rated actor whose casting as Ashley Wilkes (a pivotal role) in GWTW almost ruined the movie. In my opinion, it turned what could have been a great picture into merely a fairly good one. Surely, very few movie-goers truly believed that [...]

Censorship – The Production Code & the C.L.O.D.

November 21, 2015 // 2 Comments

  The major studios realized as early as 1922 that they had better start policing themselves before the government decided to move in and curb the questionable morality of the industry themselves. Scandals such as the murder of director William Desmond Taylor and the alleged rape of Virginia Rappe at a Hollywood party, coupled with an increasing amount of nudity, immoral conduct and risqué [...]

Did you know? Points of interest Pt. 21.

November 5, 2015 // 2 Comments

  The 1955 Rodgers & Hammerstein hit musical Oklahoma! was actually shot in Arizona! The songs are every bit as good as those in South Pacific, in my opinion, but the movie contains an overlong dance sequence that is, frankly, boring in the extreme. Surprisingly, Rod Steiger does his own dancing in it (although it was a case of ‘no choice’ because it was impossible to find a dancer [...]

CLARK GABLE – Skeletons in the closet.

September 5, 2015 // 8 Comments

  A lady named Franz Dorfler was responsible for getting Clark Gable his first acting job, but he soon ditched her for acting teacher Josephine Dillon. Jo was 41, plain and matronly, but she took the 23 year-old aspiring young actor to Hollywood, and in 1924 they married. It was Jo who changed his first name from William to Clark. Josephine Dillon In 1925, when Clark was a struggling young [...]

SPENCER TRACY – A nightmare of a man.

August 6, 2015 // 15 Comments

  As an actor Spencer Tracy had few peers and cinema-goers adored him. Off screen he was a very ordinary human being, a man beset with all kinds of problems. He was a violent alcoholic his entire life and a rampant womanizer who had almost as many conquests to his name as Gable although, unlike ‘the King’, he is alleged to have taken male lovers as well. When he went on a ‘bender’, [...]

What’s in a name Part One?

August 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

Back in the good old studio days it was customary for studios to come up with snappy nicknames for their female stars. Well, they thought they were snappy, anyway. For some reason these were seldom given to male actors, although that is not to say that some of these guys didn’t have nicknames of their own long before their movie careers took off. John ‘Duke’ Wayne was one, for example. As a [...]

CAROLE LOMBARD – The Profane Angel.

July 31, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Finding really likeable movie stars from the studio era can be quite a challenge at times. Carole Lombard, however, courtesy of her brazen, down to earth approach to life, was a woman who enjoyed the trappings of fame, but never let them seduce her. And that made her a rarity. She seemed to recognize Hollywood for what it was, a ‘Dream Factory’ full of mostly ordinary people blessed [...]

Paul Bern ( 1889 – 1932 ) – An exercise in character assassination.

July 12, 2015 // 17 Comments

  Irene Selznick, the wife of producer David O, once described Paul Bern as ‘the single most beloved person in Hollywood’. He was a writer at MGM, 45 years old, short and bald, yet his new wife, Jean Harlow, clearly seemed to be in love with him. It was probably not a ‘match made in heaven’, but there seemed to be considerable trust and real friendship between them, qualities not [...]

‘America’s Sweethearts’ – or were they?

July 2, 2015 // 8 Comments

  Biographers have tried for years to figure out the relationship between singers Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. Most have given up. On the one hand we have Eddy, lifelong ‘sissy’, tied to his mother’s apron-strings, a bisexual man who definitely preferred male lovers to female ones, but who seemed to (from time to time) fall head over heels for MacDonald. Jeanette MacDonald, by [...]

LORETTA YOUNG – A good Catholic girl?

June 28, 2015 // 2 Comments

  If Olympic medals were given out for hypocrisy, Loretta Young (1913 – 2000) would have won gold many times over. The studio blurb described her thus: ‘Her true beauty lies in her dedication to her family and her faith.’ About the only truthful word in that whole line would be the word ‘lies’. Loretta attended church religiously (no pun intended), outwardly a Catholic the good [...]
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