Thursday, December 31, 2009
just last night i watched 'the heiress' again. if anyone asks how many times i have seen it, the film's final scene will be my reply.
photo: the stunning players in the tense drama: montgomery clift and olivia de havilland. she took home an oscar oscar for this performance.
they were singers, actors, all around entertainers. frank sinatra and dean martin excelled in all aspects of their careers. while listening to a broadcast of one of their shared performances (most likely a las vegas date) i never heard such a wave of uproarious love coming from an audience.
when joan crawford's daughter wrote her book about growing up with mom she stripped away plenty of the glamour. i understand one's need to write their story. what i do not understand quite as well is joan's daughter popping up in so many of the commentaries accompanying joan's classic films. i cannot bear the 'dead horse' expression but it does come to mind regarding her mother.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
when judy garland joined up with mickey rooney it made a click which foreshadowed the one made by her 'dorothy's' red glitter shoes. the two made a string of nine 'backyard musicals.' their combined enthusiasm onscreen melted the hearts of the deepest cynics, foreshadowing the meltdown of the wicked witch in 'the wizard of oz.' judy was simply irresistible.
'When Jan and I finally settle down, I’d like to get a boat.' this quote is from a recent interview with actor mickey rooney. he is 87! jan is his eighth wife and they continue to tour. acting from the age of six, mickey has over 300 screen credits. he loves watching old films, but not his own.
photos: mickey/with first wife ava gardner
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
the sensation of vertigo is so unpleasant. when hitchcock's actors got into character for 1958's 'vertigo' i bet they felt kinda sick about the names they were going to have to call one another. 'midge', 'scottie', 'madeleine/judy' all feel kinda wrong for the three stars. the psychofest inherent in the story makes this a fave for people but i prefer so many other hitchcock movies. that said, the style/color of the film is kooky/classic.
photos: bxw still from the film/unknown library
Monday, December 28, 2009
james dean and elizabeth taylor, one of my favorite hollywood friendships. they just always look like they adore one another. i have a feeling he trusted her. my neighbor told me she once attended a party and liz was there. she described her as very down to earth. maybe not quite as down to earth as 'virginia woolf.' let's hope!
director clarence brown was the favorite of garbo. it is possible norma shearer felt the same. both actresses made multiple films with him.
brown directed 53 movies in his long life (1890-1987) and seems to have had no problem making the transition from silents to talkies. i adore his touch that is ever playful yet profound. whether an officer is walking a straight line while drunk as a lord or snow is swirling around the forms of two lovers as they silently commune, his mark is very strong.
in 1931 he made 'a free soul' with norma shearer. it was a very daring move that required sympathy for that day's devil. everyone is great in this tale of love, sacrifice, and the cost of living it up then down. from the opening credits to the embittered death of lionel barrymore this film is beautiful.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
this looks like marian marsh. i definitely do not come across people who every heard of this exquisite actress who was picked by the great john barrymore to star opposite him when she was a mere 17. till someone notifies me differently, here is marian posing for the studios with, i imagine, lots of empty boxes.
merci 'la douleur exquise' for the photo.
it took till the end of the year but i finally found a super snap of the wonderful actress teresa wright. though usually cast as 'wholesome', teresa always projected depth that revealed both insight and confusion. she landed a very plum role in the dark and disturbing 'shadow of a doubt.' directed by alfred hitchcock, he claimed it was his personal fave of all his films.
with over 80 screen credits, the hitchcock classic was only her fourth movie. her film debut? 'the little foxes.' what an amazing beginning to a lovely career.
photo: with marlon brando in 'the men.'
'...and there I suddenly found my articulate self in a dazzling land of smiling, jostling people wearing and not wearing all sorts of costumes and doing all sorts of clever things. And that's when I knew! What other life could there be but that of an actor?'