Sunday, October 30, 2011
'Still the tightest, sharpest, and most cynical of Hollywood’s official deathless classics, bracingly tough even by post-Tarantino standards. Humphrey Bogart is Dashiell Hammett’s definitive private eye, Sam Spade, struggling to keep his hard-boiled cool as the double-crosses pile up around his ankles. The plot, which dances all around the stolen Middle Eastern statuette of the title, is too baroque to try to follow, and it doesn’t make a bit of difference.'-George Theofanopoulos (media online)
thanks george! i always figured there was a screw loose in my head. i've seen this terrific film so many times and still i give up trying to put the puzzle together without cutting the corners off one or two pieces. while i was out walking this bright snow dripping off the trees morning, i decided 'the maltese falcon' is the best picture ever made. either it was the early snow or john huston's brilliance at assembling all the right pieces together to make the classic movie.
no one compares to bogart. or astor. or lorre! one person compares to greenstreet and that is rupert everett. if rupert were four times his size, i swear to you sydney greenstreet would come to mind.
a perfect film. i wouldn't be surprised if huston signed them all up and then just sat back and let them at it. a deeply satisfying, if bewildering experience.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
maggie smith and robert stephens were exceptional in 1969's 'the prime of miss jean brodie.' maggie won the oscar for her role as the free spirited yet dangerous school mistress. that same year they had a son, toby stephens. toby is well known to us who love british period dramas.
what great looking people!
photos: dame maggie/son toby/maggie and robert in 'the prime of miss jean brodie'
Saturday, October 22, 2011
photos: Humphrey Bogart leaves the Dead Reckoning set for a while to join Dick Powell in a lesson in roulette-spinning from Johnny O'Clock (my new fave film) technical advisor John 'Jake' Barrett/powell and joan blondell were married for four years.
sixteen months after the birth of the terrific olivia de havilland, a little sister came to join the family. to the future dismay of olivia, kid sister joan didn't exactly steal her thunder (as joan had plenty of her own) but for their own reasons the sisters developed a life long feud. they haven't spoken for decades. today would be a good day to make up. it is joan's 95 birthday.
both these girls were born in tokyo but due to joan's poor health their parents moved to the united states, the country where kids never get sick!
it's time to watch 'rebecca' or 'suspicion' again. hitchcock adored joan and took a chance on casting her, then an unknown, in 'rebecca.' joan was super and hitchcock cast her again in 'suspicion' whereby she won the oscar for best actress. i love watching both actresses. even if i should get an oscar for watching olivia's 'the heiress' more times than anyone on earth, i have a particular fondness for her kid sister.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
as a teen i tore out a picture of julie christie wearing a dress from her new movie 'petulia' and put it on my wall. i thought julie was 'it' and i wished that dress was in my closet. there's always been something innately stylish about christie, even if she may never have thought of herself in that light. in 1965 she won the oscar for her portrayal of 'model' diana scott in 'darling.' her co- star was dirk bogarde. they were both fantastic. the film is iconic.
soon another british 'it' girl by the name of charlotte rampling came upon the scene. she was impossibly gorgeous in 1966's 'georgy girl', but the character she played aroused zero sympathy. nine years later dirk bogarde made another iconic film called 'the night porter' with charlotte as his co-star. the scene of her wearing suspenders, a hat, and little else still inspires fashion.
there is a new documentary coming out called 'charlotte rampling: the look (a self-portrait through others)'. i wish it contained a conversation between her and julie. they could discuss the wonderful dirk. they could lament how women were portrayed in hollywood. they could touch one another's still beautiful faces and trace a delicate wrinkle with a fingertip and smile at how they were able to be actresses without betraying themselves.
charlotte has 97 screen credits and four films in production. she recently posed nude inside the louvre museum. julie has 53 screen credits and two in production. the trailer for the rampling documentary looks interesting and i'm sure i will enjoy seeing it. there is no way on earth julie christie would ever participate in one about herself. thanks to her modesty i will be spared standing in the rain in a line around the block to see it, cause that's what i would do if i had to.
mia farrow has had a pretty illustrious life so far. today i watched a clip of her handsome son (with woody) speaking before the united nations. mia, a dedicated activist, is most known for being the victim in 'rosemary's baby', a film i have never seen. however, i do adore all things john cassavetes! he played her husband in the legendary film.
clearly there was camaraderie on set, in spite of sinatra's detesting mia's participation in the movie.
Monday, October 17, 2011
when 'norma desmond' laments the state of cinema in 'sunset boulevard' she says, "they had faces then." not only did buster keaton have one of the most expressive faces, he was cast by 'sunset boulevard' director billy wilder to do a cameo. it is touching to see him silently playing cards with 'norma' and the other 'waxworks.' i love that wilder cast him but it is a sorrowful scene.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Yugoslav actress Sonia Romanoff attacks paparazzo photographer Rino Barillari ( The paparazzo in question was Rino Barillari, self-styled king of paparazzi, who was one of the original paparazzi whose antics inspired Federico Fellini to make La Dolce Vita ) with an ice cream, after he took an unflattering photograph of her on the Via Veneto in Rome, 1966.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Q: "What was your relationship with Elizabeth Taylor?"
RINGO: "That was... it went beyond 'Hello,' but I never went to bed with Elizabeth. (laughs) Elizabeth and I have a wonderful time. She was always married to Richard anyway! It was nothing to do with anything. But I think she is one of the most fascinating women in the world. And she's... I mean, I'm not the only one that thinks that. Half the world thinks it, if not three-quarters. And I get sad sometimes when people put Elizabeth down. She's got a wonderful personality. She's got a great heart. She'd give anything away. See, why we could get on... If people are just making it, they look at me and say, 'Ah! It's Fab Four Beatles stuff!' I still get that. But Elizabeth, she's been a star all her life so she's not playing the games anymore. (jokingly) She's still very stroppy-- 'Get me the car, get me the diamonds!' (laughs) I mean, she's a struttin' woman. She strides. She doesn't just walk into a room, she just comes in like a hurricane. You KNOW she's there. And she's fantastic. But on the other side, she's a very kind person. And I love her.
photos: ringo with elizabeth/with vivien leigh
Monday, October 10, 2011
i've never seen the 'twilight' movies so i cannot compare them to the books. However, it is interesting to know that Stephanie Meyer's books are some of the most popular of the millennium, selling over 116 million in a little over five years. Meyer and her novel were rejected by a fourteen literary agents...
it is possible to make a good film based on a great book. in the case of 'Lolita', the film had some of the most memorable acting ever. imagine if the author took his ball home after the first rejections came pouring in.
'One rejection letter even went so far as to inform the author, “It is overwhelmingly nauseating, even to an enlightened Freudian. To the public, it will be revolting. It will not sell, and will do immeasurable harm to a growing reputation… I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years.”'
anyone who likes patty duke will be familiar with her terrific portrayal of neely in 'Valley of the Dolls.' i can't recall how this film was received when it first came out but i do know that it continues to fascinate. interestingly:
'Before it sold over 30 million copies and was made into a blockbuster film, Sussan’s most famous work was rejected by ten different publishers, largely due to its taboo themes of sex, drugs, and alcohol abuse. Of course, the rejections didn’t only deal with the subject matter, one editor who looked at the manuscript critiqued, “She is a painfully dull, inept, clumsy, undisciplined, rambling and thoroughly amateurish writer whose every sentence, paragraph and scene cries for the hand of a pro.”'
Thursday, October 6, 2011
'Almost all of the roles that made Bogart a star (after a decade of toiling in minor films) were roles he got because George Raft had turned them down, from High Sierra (1941), in which Bogie was first noticed as a viable box office draw, to Casablanca (1942), which made him a true international star. Ironically, after having being overshadowed by Raft the whole first half of his career, Bogart is today by far the better-known star and is considered the superior actor of the two.'
top: doesn't bogie look terrific in a tee-shirt! bottom: judging by this photograph of well known ladies man george raft, i think it is fair to say he turned down scripts due to other interests.
diana dors may have been thought of as englands's marilyn monroe but she was absolutely tops just being diana dors. after a long string of films she went into t.v. her screen credits total 102!
now that 'my week with marilyn' is about to be released (michelle williams as monroe) people will get the chance to see just how unlike marilyn any other actress really is.
Monday, October 3, 2011
'Françoise was an up-and-coming star in the early 60s and younger sister Catherine Deneuve was actually whisked into films on her older sister's celebrity.'
francoise died in an automobile accident at the age of 25. i have only seen her in two films, my favorite being 'the soft skin.'
in interview clips (in french) it is truly enchanting to see the sisters laugh and and answer questions in unison.