john wayne

HENRY FONDA – (1905-82)

April 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

                                            On-screen Henry Fonda came across as a man of integrity, common sense, gentleness and affability. Off-screen he was a private man, cold to his family, aloof, frequently angry and, generally speaking, not a nice person to be around. Perhaps, his childhood had something to do with this. Who knows how he was affected when his father [...]

FIFTIES MOVIE TRIVIA – PT4.

March 19, 2018 // 8 Comments

Director Charles Laughton thought Robert Mitchum was one of the finest actors in the world and he also respected him as a person. He wrote in Esquire about the American who starred in his masterpiece The Night of the Hunter in 1955: ‘All this tough talk is a blind, you know. He’s a literate, gracious, kind man, with wonderful manners, and he speaks beautifully – when he wants to. He’s a [...]

FIFTIES MOVIE TRIVIA – PT5

March 7, 2018 // 3 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 [...]

More Thirties Movie Trivia – PT4

February 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

        Wendy Hiller and Leslie Howard in Pygmalion (1938) The scene in both Pygmalion (1938) and My Fair Lady (1964) where Eliza accidentally swallows a marble during her elocution lessons was never part of George Bernard Shaw’s original story. In the 1938 film Wendy Hiller suddenly exhibited a pained expression while co-star Leslie Howard was popping marbles into her mouth. [...]

RANDOM SNAPSHOTS – PT7.

November 11, 2017 // 3 Comments

HARRY JAMES (1916-83)                                      Harry James was a very good trumpet-player and a successful bandleader. He was also a bona fide skirt-chaser all his life and wound up marrying America’s number one pin-up girl of the entire Second World War – Betty Grable. Harry carried around an ego the size of the Grand Canyon and it caused him [...]

ROBERT RYAN – A class act.

September 14, 2017 // 2 Comments

RYAN, Robert (1909 – 73) I recently had the pleasure of watching a terrific western named The Proud Ones (1956). It has gone completely unheralded, yet it is clearly a couple of cuts above the average western fare. I watched it for one simple reason, because Robert Ryan was its star and I cannot recall him ever appearing in a sub-standard movie. For that matter, I cannot remember him ever [...]

SNAPSHOTS Vol 2

September 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS (1937)                                   I have watched Captains Courageous only twice because, frankly, I cannot abide Spencer Tracy’s portrayal of the Portuguese fisherman Manuel. In fact, I only watched it the second time because of Freddie Bartholomew’s superb performance and to see Lionel Barrymore ‘box his ears’ better than [...]

Casting Blunders Pt 1.

April 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

I often watch movies over and over again, just for the pleasure of re-visiting an extraordinary performance. Occasionally, as for instance with Double Indemnity (1944), it is not only an individual performance, but a combination of strong acting from more than one player, a fabulous script, seamless directing, and a score that seems to fit the overall production like a glove. Such combinations do [...]

Two forgotten beauties.

January 31, 2017 // 4 Comments

  Fans of the 1957 movie version of the musical South Pacific will well remember the enchanting Eurasian girl who played Liat. France Nuyen came out of nowhere (literally) and became the dream girl of many men around the world who saw her playing Bloody Mary’s daughter on Bali Hai, yet her life story reads like the script of a very bad B-movie. France as Liat in South Pacific She was [...]

On-set fatalities in Hollywood movies.

November 22, 2016 // 1 Comment

Movie-making has cost the lives of quite a few of those involved in the process. Stuntmen, cameramen, assistants, extras, plus the occasional director and actor have lost their lives down the decades. This is not a definitive list, not by a long shot, but it does demonstrate the perils that have always dogged the pursuit of excellence in the film industry. I have limited my list to actors, [...]
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