Clara Bow – Hollywood’s first sex symbol.

August 6, 2016 Alan Royle 6

  Clara Bow was the original ‘flapper, the ‘It Girl’, the ‘Brooklyn Bonfire’. She enjoyed her sexuality. She exhibited it, she exploited it and she lived it. Yet, for all her voracious appetite for living life in the ultra-fast lane, underneath she carried dark secrets from her childhood that prevented […]

The ‘girl next door’ types – Pt.2.

May 6, 2016 admin 0

      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, […]

THE ‘GIRL NEXT DOOR’ TYPES – PT 1.

May 4, 2016 admin 0

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 […]

Bugsy and Virginia – a Hollywood romance?

May 2, 2016 admin 10

  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 […]

The exquisite Grace Kelly.

March 13, 2016 admin 10

  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 […]

Barbara Payton – what a waste.

December 6, 2015 admin 14

  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 […]

The three ‘Beau Gestes’.

November 15, 2015 admin 0

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 […]

JOHN WAYNE – The man and the myth.

October 14, 2015 admin 8

  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 […]

Stolen Oscars? Pt. 3

September 24, 2015 admin 15

  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 […]

TALLULAH BANKHEAD – The one and only.

September 1, 2015 admin 2

  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 […]