deborah kerr


March 17, 2018 // 2 Comments

In the 1955 Hitchcock picture To Catch a Thief, there is a scene in which John Robie (Cary Grant) is discussing the cook’s ‘sensitive hands’ with an insurance agent and casually mentions that those hands once strangled a German general without a sound. For German audiences, however, the words were changed and he tells the man she had once caught a lion escaped from a circus with her bare [...]


March 13, 2018 // 2 Comments

The Moon is Blue (1953) is a pretty tame picture, yet it was the first post-Hayes mainstream Hollywood movie to use the words ‘virgin’, ‘seduce’ and ‘mistress’ (in the sexual partner sense). The mere utterance of these three words was enough to get the picture banned from theatres in Boston, Massachusetts. Director Otto Preminger shot two versions of the movie, one in English and one [...]


March 7, 2018 // 2 Comments

  Joan Collins in The Opposite Sex (1956) The Opposite Sex (1956) was a musical re-make of the 1939 film The Women. It was also one of the early vehicles for the new British bombshell Joan Collins. New to the movies and to MGM, she recalled walking past the studio mail-room and being whistled at and asked out to dinner by a brash 18 year-old worker there. She turned him down, so he propositioned [...]

A couple of English roses – Simmons & Bloom.

July 30, 2017 // 4 Comments

    JEAN SIMMONS (1929 – 2010) Jean Simmons was her real name and she hailed from Crouch Hill, London. She was barely sixteen when she landed a miniscule part in the British film Caesar and Cleopatra in 1945. The production proved to be an opportunity (however small) for several future stars of British and international film. Roger Moore played an uncredited Roman soldier, Kay Kendall [...]

DEBORAH KERR – Class and beauty personified.

July 10, 2017 // 3 Comments

  I have written nine books on Hollywood, mostly on the stars of the so-called ‘Golden Era’, and have reached the slightly disillusioning understanding that most of my readers, (not all I hasten to add), are far more interested in the scandal and gossip than about any of the genuinely decent, unsullied stories. And that is very much a human trait I guess, particularly in an industry [...]

‘South Pacific’ (1958) – an almost perfect musical.

March 20, 2017 // 2 Comments

  The Broadway production of South Pacific ran for 1,925 performances in New York City, and in London it ran for four and a half years. In my opinion it contains the best soundtrack of all of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musicals and it was the first to be recorded and released in stereo. The screen version of this record-breaking musical simply had to make money. It couldn’t miss. Under [...]

Hollywood & the Catholic Legion of Decency (CLOD).

December 18, 2016 // 6 Comments

  At the zenith of their power the ‘Seven Sisters’ (MGM, Warners, Paramount, Universal, Columbia, Fox and RKO) did much as they pleased. Few outsiders had any influence over their decisions or their conduct. Few, that is, with the exception of the Catholic Legion of Decency (CLOD). They were a force to be reckoned with and they exercised their power each year by publishing their [...]

Actors marrying other actors – Pt 11.

September 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

  BRUCE, Virginia                              GILBERT, John                                1932-4 (div.)   Virginia Bruce may have started out as one of the original 20 Goldwyn girls, along with Betty Grable, Paulette Goddard and Ann Sothern, but she soon showed she had talent. In all she chalked up 82 screen credits between 1929 [...]

David Niven – a true gentleman.

December 22, 2015 // 3 Comments

  David Niven’s first wife, Primula Rollo, (known as Primmie) died in a tragic household accident several months before he made The Bishop’s Wife in 1947. The couple had been married since 1940 and were visiting Tyrone Power’s home when a game of ‘hide and seek’ was suggested by someone. In the dark Primmie opened what she thought was a closet door, but happened to be [...]

Did you know? Points of interest Pt.19.

October 30, 2015 // 2 Comments

  There have been many, many Hollywood musicals made since talkies began, but those composed by the brilliant combination of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II hold a special place in the hearts of millions of movie-goers. Although both men created several musicals with other partners during their careers, together they collaborated to bring seven to the screen – Oklahoma! Carousel, [...]
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