gary cooper

‘WINGS’ (1927) – Hollywood’s first (and only) ‘Best Production’.

March 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

In 2012 a restored print of the very first Oscar-winning feature Wings was released on DVD. It is quite a beautiful print, (although overlong at 144 minutes), and well worth taking two and a half hours out of one’s life to watch it. It is, of course, a silent picture, shot just before The Jazz Singer turned the industry on its head by having actors speak for the first time. Wings was the only [...]

Thirties movie trivia – PT1

February 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

                  Norma Shearer                               Norma & Jimmy Stewart circa 1939         Mickey Rooney in his Andy Hardy days Norma Shearer’s husband, Irving Thalberg, passed away in September 1936. Because of his fragile heart condition the couple had, on doctor’s orders, pretty much abstained from energetic sexual activity during their [...]

RANDOM SNAPSHOTS No 4.

November 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

  Rory Calhoun (1922-99)                             The star of 80 movies, mostly westerns, and over 1,000 TV episodes, 6’4” Rory Calhoun made the most of a life that began badly, especially in his teenage years. At 13 he cut classes and stole a revolver that landed him in reform school. He soon absconded from there and shortly afterwards robbed several jewelry stores. [...]

The many loves of Ingrid Bergman.

August 5, 2017 // 8 Comments

  INGRID BERGMAN (1915 – 82)                   Most fans are genuinely surprised to find that many of the screen’s biggest movie stars are diminutive in stature. It probably has a lot to do with cinema-goers seeing their idols enlarged on theatre screens, but the illusion surely exists. Ingrid Bergman did not fall into that category, however, for she stood at 5’9” (1.75m) [...]

The Romances of Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco.

June 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

    The stunning American actress Grace Kelly only made eleven movies in her brief but spectacular career. By most accounts she made hay with most of her leading men while the sun shone. But not all of them. Her supporters argue that she was basically seeking a father substitute to compensate for her own father’s aloofness, that she was neither promiscuous in the true sense, nor [...]

WAMPAS Baby Stars of 1928.

February 6, 2017 // 2 Comments

      LINA BASQUETTE (1907 – 1994) Californian Lina Basquette was born Lena Baskette. Obviously, someone thought the French spelling gave her something that the American spelling didn’t. Her screen career comprised just 48 credits, many of them when she was a child actress signed by Universal during the First World War. Her private life, however, was something else again. Six of [...]

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 [...]

The Silent Movie Era – a few observations.

November 30, 2016 // 6 Comments

                                                             Here are a few unrelated ‘snippets’ from the good old days of the ‘Silent Era’. Some of them you may already know about; others you may not. But each one contributes to our knowledge and understanding of that long ago age when the movies were still a thing of wonder and the [...]

A few Hollywood substance abusers PT 2.

November 4, 2016 // 9 Comments

    Anthony Hopkins Anthony Hopkins opted to join Alcoholics Anonymous after he awoke in another state without having any idea how he got there. Until then he had struggled with alcoholism since the beginning of his acting career. It turned him into a loner and destroyed several relationships.   Veronica Lake Veronica Lake died at the age of 51 in 1973. Acute alcoholism and mental [...]

‘Hollywood – The Skeletons Are Out’ – a sampling

October 19, 2016 // 0 Comments

  My latest book is titled Hollywood: The Skeletons Are Out. It contains 1,200 direct quotes by actors and directors about themselves, their colleagues and their films. Here is a random two dozen of them:   Young Joan Collins When Joan Collins was asked if she was ever unfaithful, she replied: ‘Yes, but only on location. I used to say, ‘it doesn’t count on location.’ Everybody was [...]
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