gary cooper

The ‘girl next door’ types – Pt.2.

May 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

      In the fifties the iconic ‘girl next door’ arrived on the screen in a series of domestic romantic comedies, several of them opposite Rock Hudson. Doris Day would grace the pop music charts with numerous best-selling singles and albums, but her screen image of the suburban housewife, freckled face and all, battling family issues common to most housewives made her the [...]

THE ‘GIRL NEXT DOOR’ TYPES – PT 1.

May 4, 2016 // 0 Comments

There has never been a shortage of classical beauties, sex symbols, femme fatales, man-eaters and out and out dramatic or musical stars in Hollywood. Many of these ladies led headline-riddled lives, married multiple spouses, and/or embarked upon numerous affairs, not always exclusively with members of the opposite sex. Some had booze and/or drug issues as well. But there also existed a group of [...]

Bugsy and Virginia – a Hollywood romance?

May 2, 2016 // 10 Comments

  New York crime boss Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano initially sent Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel out to California in 1937 to set up a horse-racing wire service on the West Coast for the National Crime Syndicate. Once in Los Angeles, however, Bugsy set to work infiltrating the movie unions. He also controlled an extensive prostitution ring. Before long he was making millions extorting [...]

The exquisite Grace Kelly.

March 13, 2016 // 10 Comments

  Fans of Grace Kelly (and I am one of them, believe it or not) are probably going to jump up and down if they read this, and accuse me of ‘muck-raking’ or, at best, sensationalising her track record (or should I say ‘sack’ record) with members of the opposite sex. Be that as it may, there is a plethora of sources to draw from when it comes to Grace and her penchant for [...]

Barbara Payton – what a waste.

December 6, 2015 // 12 Comments

  One of Hollywood’s truly tragic stories was that of Barbara Payton, a pretty and talented actress who experienced both the highs and lows of life in Tinsel Town. Just sixteen years after starring alongside Gregory Peck in the western feature Only the Valiant (1951) she was dead. Her body was so ravaged by hard living and liver failure by then it was all but unrecognisable, yet she was [...]

The three ‘Beau Gestes’.

November 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

So far the classic PC Wren novel Beau Geste has made it to the screen on three occasions – in 1926, 1939 and 1966 – with varying success. It has been nearly fifty years since the last version, so one expects the industry might be gearing up for another crack at it, although the plot does have one serious drawback. No women. Well, none to speak of that is. And that means no romance, no sex [...]

JOHN WAYNE – The man and the myth.

October 14, 2015 // 8 Comments

  A lot has been written about John Wayne and his early days as an actor in ‘B’ westerns during the 1930s, although even he thought ‘B-Grade’ was rather over-generous description. ‘Hell, they were a lot farther down the alphabet than that’, he recalled. And they were, too. Rock bottom in his career was probably reached when he played ‘Singin’ Sandy [...]

Stolen Oscars? Pt. 3

September 24, 2015 // 10 Comments

  Part 3 of ‘Stolen Oscars?’ looks at some of the individual Academy Award winners who, for want of a better word, purloined their statuettes. I shall start with the Best Actor category. 1930/1             Lionel Barrymore for A Free Soul I haven’t actually seen any of the other nominated performances for this year, but if this was supposed to be the best of them, then I [...]

TALLULAH BANKHEAD – The one and only.

September 1, 2015 // 2 Comments

  The incomparable Tallulah Bankhead was born in Alabama in 1902 to a father who would become the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1936 until 1940. At the age of eleven she was raped. At fifteen she ran away from home and before long was the toast of Broadway. It was not long before Hollywood beckoned and she responded. Her first Hollywood party was at director George Cukor’s [...]

GARY COOPER – The ultimate movie star.

June 13, 2015 // 0 Comments

  He was born Frank Cooper in Helena, Montana, but his agent was born in Gary, Indiana, so his hometown was chosen for Coops’ Christian name. After all, the name Gary Cooper had a certain masculinity that Helena Cooper seemed to lack. A car accident in his youth broke Coop’s hip and left him with a permanent limp. This, plus his deafness in one ear, kept the gangling star out of WW2. [...]
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