Friday, March 30, 2012

happy birthday, little brother

warren and shirley. too dang cute.

the plot thickens

'double indemnity' trivia: 'About 16 minutes into this movie, Raymond Chandler is sitting outside an office as Fred MacMurray walks past. Chandler glances up at MacMurray from a paperback he is reading, a great clue of his identity.'

i have seen this film a zillion times and i NEVER KNEW THIS. i love chandler a heck of a lot. he wrote the genius screenplay for this terrific billy wilder movie. they must have filmed his cameo very early on as he and the director didn't really bond, to say the least.

'wilder' at heart

what a cool collage of 'double indemnity' images!

i found this wonderful piece of trivia too:

During production, one day Raymond Chandler failed to show up at work and was tracked down at his home, and he went through a litany of reasons why he could no longer work with director Billy Wilder. 'Mr. Wilder frequently interrupts our work to take phone calls from women... Mr. Wilder ordered me to open up the window. He did not say please... He sticks his baton in my eyes...I can't work with a man who wears a hat in the office. I feel he is about to leave momentarily.'

a baton? that hat complaint is priceless.

a good guess

kate moss attending a private screening of johnny depp film.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

it's too late baby

hugh grant can be really good, right? he maybe could have been the guy to play the poet arthur rimbaud.

photos: arthur/hugh

makin' movies

malcolm in the middle/kubrick with a camera

Saturday, March 24, 2012

truth telling

not too long ago i did a posting on 'diary of a mad housewife.' maybe it was a posting on the actress carrie snodgress. can't recall! however, i do know for a fact that i mentioned frank langella being, in his youth, the sexiest actor i ever saw on screen. hence, the 'mad housewife' put up with his arrogant ways so as to keep him as a lover.

well, guess what? frank was not only gorgeous but he went and wrote a biography that promises to satisfy our mind's as well. it's called 'dropped names', and it comes out in a week or so. it is gonna be FUN.

here's what i've read about it:

In the world described by Langella, Richard Burton was a ‘crashing bore’ who liked to recite poetry in a drunken stupor, Rex Harrison was a ‘real son of a bitch’ terrified people would think he was homosexual (he wasn’t), and Laurence Olivier was a ‘silly old English gent who loved to play camp and gossip’. Paul Newman was dull, and Graduate star Anne Bancroft was so vain she fell in love with her own reflection.

As Olivier put it when he grabbed Langella by the arm following a Dracula photocall at which both refused to play second fiddle: ‘You know, Frankie, dear. You’re a monster. So am I. It’s what you need to be a star.’


Thursday, March 22, 2012

simple pleasure

the great escapism

hitchcock is known for a long line of ice-cool blonde screen goddesses with whom he had become fixated during his 40-year career. here are some interesting facts:

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, the son of a Catholic greengrocer, was born in the East End suburb of Leytonstone in 1899. His father, William, was a strict disciplinarian who took to sending his son to the local police station with a note explaining that he had been ‘naughty’.

On arrival, a custody sergeant known to the family would lock the boy in a cell for five or ten minutes before releasing him. The clanging of the door, Hitchcock always insisted, used to cause him ‘dread’, and gave him a lifelong fear of arrest, jails and policemen. It also evidently appealed to his sense of drama.
His mother, Emma, was sharp-tongued and exacting. She compelled her son to stand at the foot of her bed and recite his daily activities — something he later referred to as his ‘evening confession’.

painting by pal shazar

the last word

3 4 83 5.

that's tippi's career in shorthand. ms. hedren had early international fame as a result of her third and fourth films being directed by hitchcock. i love her in 'marnie' but never watched 'the birds' more than once. hitchcock fever is about to be thrust upon us. scarlett johansson is going to play janet leigh in one film and sienna miller is going to play tippi in another. all hell is gonna break loose when the master of suspense gets raked over the coals for being a manipulative predator of his female stars. yes, they achieved great fame but now the details of the price they payed will be shared.

tippi seems the most vocal about her mistreatment. she is also the most active of all of hitckcock's surviving leading ladies. the amazing actress eva marie saint just completed a t.v. series but it is tippi with 5 films in production! that will teach his ghost a thing or two about destroying the career of a woman who would not give in to his wicked ways while he was alive.

of all her 83 screen credits, she is going down in cinema history for her two hitchcock movies. still, she ain't leaving without shedding some light on the man behind the camera.

photo: making marnie' with sean connery

Monday, March 19, 2012

worth the bruise

'to kill a mockingbird' was not what you'd call a funny movie. it was actually proud and serious and crucial. however, this is one of the few 'fall on the floor laughing' moments i treasure.

by way of illustration

from 'out of the past.'

far from plain

when people tell me they love the movie' night of the hunter' i just about walk out the door. guess i am not a 'cult' type. still, both shelley winters and robert mitchum signed up to do it so what do i know? i guess i know what i like. how anyone can even mention mitchum without talking about 1947's 'out of the past' beats me. it was his best role. he had his most memorable line which was used as the title for his biography, 'baby, i don't care.'

why was that line so good in the noir classic? because he was looking into the eyes of the tiniest bad girl to ever hit the screen. (three years later another tiny psycho tuna would appear. that would be peggy cummins in 'gun crazy.')

jane greer had 47 screen credits, one of the last being 'twin peaks.' regarding the femme fatale of all time i hand her the crown for her performance opposite mitchum. as 'kathie moffet 'she was such a flipping LIAR. plus, she took a slap in the face from kirk douglas like nobody's business. test of a great actress!

as my dad would say, she was 'a living doll.'

ave ava!

ava gardner was absolutely gorgeous. i love her in the film 'east side west side.' it is a not too big film that you get when you buy a barbara stanwyck box set. in that she is WICKED and ridiculously beautiful. when she turns around to reveal her back in a backless gown you actually gasp.

by the time she made the classic 'the night of the iguana' (1964) she possibly had poured too many shots over the years. still, she was terrific opposite richard burton and deborah kerr. that is a great movie.

in a very early picture called 'whistle stop' (pretty lame) her beauty is kinda crazy. she was a true statue come to life. i think her most glorious role as far as capturing her essence might be 'mogambo.' that movie looks like it was shot by the photographer paul outerbridge.

her autobiography was fun. ava liked to drink and party. sinatra never severed his allegiance to her. she wrangled to help him get his role in 'from here to eternity.' he won an oscar for that one. i always dug frankie the actor.

ava seemed like a real dyed in the wool dame. i feel her peers really must have really liked her, no matter how rough her hangovers may have been.

Friday, March 16, 2012

touching you touching me

'But I will not try to inhabit the role of Strauss-Kahn too deeply, as I have never been moved very much by people who have no dignity.'- gerard depardieu

i would imagine an actor would keep such a thought to themselves.

French actress Isabelle Adjani is being lined up to play Strauss-Kahn's wife Anne Sinclair who stood by him as his political career collapsed.

it will be fun for their fans to see them in a film together again. they've already co-starred in these films:

Mammuth, the 2010 French drama film directed by Benoît Delépine
Camille Claudel, the 1988 french movie directed by Bruno Nuytten
Bon Voyage, the French film directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau
Barocco, the 1976 french film starring Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu

chances are they will drink lots of red wine and laugh. one would certainly hope so, non?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

troubles of tippi

to quote the gangster in 'performance':

'you forget your bloody well working for ME.'

Monday, March 12, 2012

wicked wears well

edward albee wrote an amazing play called 'who's afraid of virginia woolf?' it was made into an unforgettable film, if watching burton and taylor rip one another's guts out in front of two young innocents sounds like an experience worth remembering.

i first saw the film on t.v. while staying in london in the mid eighties. i was transfixed. yes, transfixed. i have seen the movie plenty of times since. it is a crying shame that burton did not win an oscar along with elizabeth for his astonishingly great performance. apparently hollywood was not a fan of this rough welshman sweeping in and carrying 'their' princess off into his world. who says the academy is not political?

elizabeth chose stage director mike nichols to direct. she could pick 'em. check out his early days makin' movies:

1971 Carnal Knowledge

1970 Catch-22

1967 The Graduate

1966 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


there have been t.v. versions in both 1985 and 1995. i doubt i will look for them.

today is the playwright's birthday!

photos: mike nichols/elizabeth, richard. and one of their unfortunate victims, george segal.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

what an actor

lorre terrified me when i was a kid. now i can't get enough of him. he played 'raskolnikov' in an early version of 'crime and punishment.' unfortunately, it is not easy to find. he was wonderful opposite marian marsh, the prettiest woman to ever make movies.

one of lorre's great lines: “You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust.”

photos: Peter Lorre and Marian Marsh in Crime and Punishment (1935)/Jeanloup Sieff Hollywood, 1962

Friday, March 9, 2012


with that front tooth you can forget about the initials.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

unhealthy relationships

well, i guess enough time has gone by. some people (including tippi hedren) are ready to let hitchcock movie lovers know just how twisted making some of those films were. i don't know how i feel about it. then again, i was not one of the actresses who felt abused by the director.

tippi is very famous for starring in both 'marnie' and 'the birds.' she has 83 screen credits and 5 films in production now! she has a large cat (as in lions) preserve in california.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

shilling shades

back to the future! this posting was inspired by the previous one...

'well i can say hello!'

i adore carroll baker so much. she was gorgeous and feisty and just plane brave. she was one of playwright tennessee williams's greatest successes. even though his 'baby doll' was banned and reviled, tennessee knew what a little sweetie the film was.

baby doll's voice of reason:

baby doll: you don't think l'll cook for a big fat old thing like you.

archie lee: quit calling me fat old thing

baby doll: You get young and thin and i'll stop calling you fat old thing.

the entire screenplay is excellent. the casting was tops. tennessee must have been a happy writer when he saw the finished film.
carroll is 80 years old and has 81 screen credits. big budget spectacular ('Giant') or low brow ('Bad'), she was always a treat.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

makin' movies

stills from my fave bardot film, 'le mepris' directed by godard. the wonderful michel piccoli plays her confused husband. the wickedly convincing jack palance plays the amercian film producer who drives a wedge between the couple. the lack of understanding among all characters is a priceless lesson.

sunset stripping

Friday, March 2, 2012