leslie howard

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 [...]

‘Correction, apology & thanks’.

February 16, 2017 // 2 Comments

  It has been kindly brought to my attention that a piece of information I included in one of my books, concerning the disappearance of British actor Leslie Howard, was in error. Mr. Howard was aboard a civilian aircraft that was shot down by German Junkers over the Bay of Biscay in 1943 during WW2. Author Derek Partridge sent me feedback on this site, correcting part of my story, for which [...]

Leslie Howard – hero or just unlucky?

March 3, 2016 // 12 Comments

  Even fans of Gone With The Wind do not think much of British actor Leslie Howard’s insipid performance in the picture. I certainly felt he was a much over-rated actor whose casting as Ashley Wilkes (a pivotal role) in GWTW almost ruined the movie. In my opinion, it turned what could have been a great picture into merely a fairly good one. Surely, very few movie-goers truly believed that [...]

The 4 ‘Romeo & Juliets’ – enough already!

November 25, 2015 // 6 Comments

  The chronic problem with casting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is finding actors who are both young and experienced enough in stage acting to carry it off. After all, in Bill the Bard’s play Juliet is just fourteen years old. MGM producer Irving Thalberg unwisely chose to tackle the problem in the 1936 version by giving his wife Norma Shearer the role. Depending on which birth date is the [...]

Did you know? Points of interest Pt. 18

October 28, 2015 // 2 Comments

    If the executives at Warner Bros. had their way it is very likely that Blazing Saddles might never have seen the light of day. They watched a private screening and none of them laughed at any part of it. Director and creator Mel Brooks then showed it to Warners employees and they laughed uproariously throughout the screening, convincing head office to take a chance with it. The [...]

Tragic Hollywood – Accidental Deaths ( Pt 4 )

May 30, 2015 // 0 Comments

    Part 4 of this series on accidental death focuses on twelve actors who died in accidents related to aircraft. I have not included Anthony Perkins’ actress wife, Berry Berenson, who was aboard Flight 11 when it struck the North Tower of the World Trade Centre on 9/11. Her death belongs in the ‘murdered’ category and will be included in that segment at a later date.   Aaliyah [...]