Actors of Forbidden Hollywood

Forbidden Hollywood is one of those Risqué topics only whispered about after everyone else has gone home. Why? Well before the “Hays Code” set up the rules, films were on the verge of going to the dark side. Clothes got skimpier, decision making got more lax, and divorce was running rampant as was sex, drugs,…

Happy Fathers Day

To all of those Dad’s out there that go the extra mile (I’m sure those British Dad’s are now thanking Queen Elizabeth for putting the kibosh on the Debutante seasons after 1958) like Rex did for his American daughter in The Reluctant Debutante. Thank goodness Sandra Dee had John Saxon to save her from her…

Top 5 Song and Dance Men from Classic Hollywood Movies

As musicals begin to make a little bit of a comeback we decided to reflect on what it takes to make an amazing song and dance man. This is a little bit of a modge podge of men… all with different strengths.If you want a good classic hollywood musical education, try one flick from each fella…

Pillow to Post

A special Birthday shout out for Willie Best one of my favorite character actors. In the 1945 Warner Bros. Romantic Comedy Pillow to Post the world is at war and on the home front in this movie everything is topsy turvy. Ida Lupino’s character Jean Howard wants to help the war effort but has been…

How Gary Cooper saved Hollywood.

Gary Cooper as a man embodied “honor and decency” ( Smith, The Film 100), along with an unaffected manner that made him appear strong in the face of danger. His dream to draw newspaper cartoons for a living was put on hold when he made a trip to California in 1924 and landed a role…

Al St. John

TCM’s Star of the Month for April features Character Actors. I would like to give a shout out for my favorite Silent Era Character Actor… Cousin Al St. John. 100 years ago in 1917 cousin Al St. John starred or co-starred in 11 shorts, some with Paramount’s Famous Players ~ Lasky Corporation with his Uncle…

Top 5 Classic Hollywood Actors You Should Know

These are the men that defined Classic Hollywood and held roles in some of the most popular and influential films. Here you’ll get classy, debonair, rugged, wholesome and manly. Cary Grant In 1933 Mae West saw Cary Grant and quickly thrust him into her latest film She Done Him Wrong. You will know Cary Grant,…

When the King Met the Voice

As part of Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday celebration, TCM has included several television specials in their Wednesday Sinatra-centric programming. This Wednesday, December 16, the 1973 special Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back airs at 8:00pm EST. However, one TV special that was not included in the December programming is The Frank Sinatra Timex Special, which was…

James Bond through the years

Bond. James Bond In classic hollywood spirit I indulged in some James Bond Spectre this weekend. Even through the Daniel Craig films, which are said to be the closest representation of Ian Fleming’s true character, it’s the classic hollywood themes I see repeating that I respect most. You can still find the classic James Bond song…

David Niven ~ Star of the Month

I’ve come to the conclusion that David Niven was a rich man; rich in friends, rich in talent, rich in words that describe a bygone era that we will never see again. David Niven experienced the spectrum of Classic Hollywood first doing extra work for various studios, supplementing his income as crew on deep sea…

James Dean ~ Young Rebel

Sixty years ago today the world was shocked at the tragic death in a car accident of 24 year old actor James Dean. Sadly we only have three movies to turn to when needing a James Dean fix. If you want new material to study Dean’s acting style and early television in the 1950’s I…

JAMES DEAN

Kudo’s to TCM for premiering some historic rare live Television appearances of one of Hollywood’s 1950’s classic icon’s: James Dean on September 25th . September 30th will be the 60th Anniversary of Dean’s death. He first appeared opposite Natalie Wood in the General Electric Theater presentation of ‘I’m a Fool’ November 14, 1954. March 30th…

Tyrone Power

Since we all dearly missed Tyrone Power in the Summer Under the Stars 2015 on TCM  there’s no time like the present to honor this great star.  Tyrone’s playful spirit ( watch the extras on Mark of Zorro), and commitment to the craft of acting set him apart from other pretty boys of the day (like…

Monty Woolley

  Looking at Monty Woolley it wouldn’t be hard to believe that he was raised wealthy, went to Yale, was a professor and had friends like Cole Porter. A charmed life, he didn’t find Hollywood fame until he was 50 years old with The Man who Came to Dinner. Opposite Ann Sheridan and Bette Davis,…

Warren Oates

“There were forty western series, and I went from one to the other. I started out playing the third bad guy on a horse and worked my way up to the No. 1 bad guy,” Oates once quipped. Most know for the films/tv by director Peckinpah (Ride the High Country, Major Dundee, The Rifleman) Warren…

Summer Under the Stars ~ Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum is undeniably the epitome of Film Noir leading man. Never gets ruffled, has a slow easy manner can take a punch as well as give them and can spar witty dialogue with the best of the best femme fatale’s. I’m working my way through fifteen of his noir films and so far RKO’s…

Summer Under the Stars ~ Rex Ingram

As a kid I was deeply moved by Rex Ingram’s sympathetic portrayal of Jim the runaway slave in the 1939 MGM production of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn starring Mickey Rooney. As an adult I was impressed by his portrayal of the unbending father Joe Lucasta in the United Artists 1958 film Anna Lucasta starring…

Bob Hope Entertainer of the Century

  TCM honored Bob Hope on November 4th, reminding me why this man was an icon in film. While I’ve had many a pretty-boy phase in Classic Hollywood, I never ventured over to Bob Hope Land… until now. Just one film into the Bob Hope Collection and I was hooked, so I’ll be sharing some his…

Joel McCrea

Joel McCrea November 5, 1905 ~ October 20, 1990 Ramrod(1947), Bird of Paradise(1932), Chance at Heaven(1933) Happy Birthday Joel!  

The Archaeology of Hollywood

The Archaeology of Hollywood is a perfect book to read on All Souls Day. The book is a spot-on example of introducing a child to the wonders of the historical Architecture of London and Paris. Then introducing that child in remembering those who have passed not only family members, but historical figures as well, visiting…

Summer Under the Stars ~ Dick Powell

Dick Powell crooned his way through the 1930’s in Busby Burkely musicals like Gold Diggers of 1933. Strong armed his way through the 1940’s as the hard boiled bad boy in noir’s like Murder My Sweet. Founded Four Star Production in the 1950’s with David Niven, Ida Lupino and Charles Boyer and directed his wife…

Summer Under the Stars ~ Paul Newman

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Exodus (1960), Towering Inferno (1974) Absence of Malice(1981), Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990), Road to Perdition (2002).

Summer Under the Stars ~ Herbert Marshall

Herbert Marshall, WWI Veteran lost a leg during the Great War for King and country then came home to hold his own, playing leading man opposite some of Classic Hollywood’s greatest actresses. He duked it out with Barbara Stanwyck in Breakfast for Two (1937). Appeared as Deanna Durbin’s pretend father in the multi-nominated (4) film…