frank sinatra

AVA – ‘She can’t sing, she can’t act, she can’t talk. She’s terrific!’

March 1, 2016 // 2 Comments

      Ava – a unique beauty                            If Ava had not decided to meet her sister Beatrice in New York in 1941, we might never have heard of Ava Gardner the actress. Beatrice’s husband was a professional photographer and offered to do a portrait or two of Ava and display them in his 5th Avenue studio window. One thing led to another and before long she was [...]

Tragic Hollywood – no end of stories.

December 12, 2015 // 0 Comments

Louise Brooks once described Buster Keaton as the most beautiful man she ever saw. Be that as it may, he was certainly a comic genius. While other funny men relied on slow-cranking cameras and speeded-up images to get their laughs, he mostly worked at normal speed, much of his humour coming from scenes in which he hardly moved at all. And he never threw a single custard pie in any of his [...]

Did you know? Points of interest Pt. 24.

November 11, 2015 // 9 Comments

  Yesterday I stole 203 minutes out of the remainder of my life and watched the Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson and Jimmy Dean 1956 blockbuster Giant. I have certainly seen worse movies, but two hundred and three minutes! I found Rock and Liz to be far better than I expected, but I am still to understand what all the fuss was about Jimmy Dean. Half the time he was incoherent, the other half he was [...]

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 [...]

DEAN MARTIN – Mr. Nice Guy.

October 6, 2015 // 4 Comments

  Dino Crocetti was an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and Joseph Levitch was a Jewish boy from Newark, New Jersey, and nearly nine years his junior. From the moment they joined up in 1946 to form the comedy duo of Martin & Lewis they were a hit. Within three years they were in the movies; My Friend Irma (1949) and At War With the Army (1950) being their first, and on their way to [...]

The truth about the making of ‘From Here To Eternity’ (1953)

September 9, 2015 // 22 Comments

  When James Jones wrote his best-seller From Here to Eternity, he based it on his own experiences in the US Army on Hawaii just prior to the Pearl Harbor bombing. The original manuscript contained extensive use of the word ‘fuck’, which made it totally unacceptable to the Catholic group called The National Organization for Decent Literature, who blacklisted it and brought considerable [...]

Did you know? Points of Interest Pt. 7

September 7, 2015 // 2 Comments

  Twenty year-old Brigitte Bardot was understudy to the star of Helen of Troy (1956), but ended up with a small role as Rosanna Podesta’s handmaiden. She would make her British screen debut in Doctor At Sea in the same year. The French actress has had psychological issues for much of her life and has attempted suicide at least four times, the first of these when she was just fifteen. Once [...]

Did you know? Items of interest Part 2.

August 16, 2015 // 9 Comments

  Mimi Rogers Until 1990 Tom Cruise was a Catholic. In fact, at 18 years of age he studied to become a priest, but changed his mind after one year. His first wife, actress Mimi Rogers, convinced him to renounce Catholicism and embrace the Church of Scientology. In 2003, he antagonized the National Dyslexic Foundation when he claimed Scientology had cured his dyslexia. ‘Dyslexia is a [...]

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 [...]

Dean Martin – funny and nice.

July 8, 2015 // 2 Comments

  In his youth Dean Martin delivered bootleg liquor, ran numbers and craps games for hoodlums, and fought as a prizefighter under the sobriquet of ‘Kid Crochet’. He worked at the Club Alabama in New York City, an establishment owned by Louis Buchalter (a.k.a. Louis Lepke), the killer who ran Murder Incorporated. When Lepke went to the electric chair, Martin sat with his family throughout [...]
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