Monday, March 5

Inquiring Minds

Here are some questions I have rolled around in my mind... some for quite some time, others while I sit here at the computer.  If anyone knows the answers, do let me know.

Why can't we see the Sidney Poitier-Dorothy Dandridge movie Porgy and Bess?  It is never on any of the gazillion TV channels I have and not on DVD.  Why not?  Is it tied up in litigation or something?

Whatever happened to actor Dewey Martin?  He would be unknown to many these days.  He was a handsome one, married to singer Peggy Lee for a short time.  I remember him mostly from the Kirk Douglas western 1952's The Big Sky, the wonderful Humphrey Bogart version of The Desperate Hours (1955) and the 1956 William Holden-Deborah Kerr war-romance The Proud and Profane.  Apparently he hated Hollywood, which he left in 1978 and to my knowledge has not been heard from again.

Why hasn't Universal Studios put its library of older films on DVD? It seems every other major studio has done it.  Not only are they not on DVD, a great many of them are not shown on television either.  What's up, Universal?  Let's get modern.

What went so wrong so quickly in the 1964 Ernest Borgnine-Ethel Merman marriage that lasted scarcely a month?  Whether that happens to the famous, the not famous or the infamous, I am totally fascinated.

Another 1964 marriage lasted only a few months longer was that of teen heartthrob Troy Donahue and beautiful Suzanne Pleshette.  They romanced on the set of 1962's Rome Adventure and divorced the same year they made A Distant Trumpet.  Now whatinthehell is going on?

Speaking of marriages, dancer-actors Donald O'Connor and Dan Dailey were both married to the same woman... O'Connor from 1944-1954 and Daily from 1955-1961.  In 1954 the two played father and son (no less) in There's No Business Like Show Business.  Gee, I wonder how all that worked out?

Who thought of the blonde Cinderella-type Amanda Seyfried of Mamma Mia fame to portray brunette porn actress Linda Lovelace in a new film bio based on her memoirs?  The casting would never have occurred to me.

When did British actors become better than American actors?  We once had the best actors in the world, I thought, but that has changed.  Today there is no one better at the craft of acting than  Brits.  And the Aussies and Canadians aren't anyone to sneeze at either.

Why does the media refer to Sandra Dee as Bobby Darin's widow?  She divorced him and he was married to another at the time of his death.  How rude.

Why doesn't Jennifer Aniston make better movies?

Why hasn't Daniel Truhitte, the blond actor who played Rolf in The Sound of Music, ever taken part in any of the retrospectives on the film?  Or has he and I've just missed him?

Why did handsome Michael Schoeffling make just 10 films (16 Candles, Longtime Companion, Mermaids among them) from 1984 to 1991 and then walk away from Hollywood? The last thing I heard was that he owned a woodworking shop in Pennsylvania. Would somebody get on this? I need to know wassup?

How did Vera-Ellen become such a fine dancer?  She had the skinniest legs I have ever seen; how did she stand, much less dance?  Check 'em out the next time you watch White Christmas.  Am I wrong, huh?

Why is Jimmy Stewart's Christmas movie It's A Wonderful Life so popular?  I have never much cared for it.  What a depressing holiday movie.  It makes me not want to put up a tree or put out cookies and milk.  Downer...!

When it comes to writing autobiographies, some actors resist because they don't want certain details of their personal lives made so public?  Don't they know I don't give much of an expletive about their personal lives?  I just want the scoop on all their films.  Write about the films.  Write everything about the experience of making each film.  Do it.

Whatever happened to Asian actress Miyoshi Umeki, the Oscar-winning supporting actress of 1957's Sayonara?  Apparently she hasn't been heard from in years.  Miyoshi, phone home.

I read once that Catherine Zeta-Jones was gonna go blonde and play 1940s film queen Lana Turner in a movie focusing on Lana's real-life murder melodrama in the late 1950s?  What happened?  What a great film that would make and Zeta-Jones as Turner seems perfect to me.  Did Turner's daughter Cheryl Crane put the kibosh to it?

Years ago film goddess Kim Novak finished or had nearly finished writing her autobiography when it burned in a fire.  As frustrating as that would be, a long time has passed and I think she should write it again.  Migawd the stories this lady could tell us.  Could one of my roving Oregon reporters locate her and get back to all of us?

Why was the bisexuality of Denys Finch Hatton, the real-life adventurer that Robert Redford portrayed in Out of Africa, omitted from the film?  Whatever the reason, I'm sure it stinks of rotting carcass.

Why was the 1968 Burt Lancaster film The Swimmer made?  It was one of the most dull-witted, agonizing experiences I've ever had watching a film.  What was he thinking?

Has anyone ever noticed how much Leonardo DiCaprio and Eric Dane  look alike?

Why hasn't Patricia Nell Warren's popular 1974 novel The Front Runner been ever been made into a film?  It was a quite popular gay sports novel once rumored to become a special film project for Paul Newman, but that never materialized.  In these changing times and with so many gay characters and gay themes floating across the big and small screens, wouldn't this be the time to bring The Front Runner to the silver screen?  Really now, why hasn't that happened?

One Oscar telecast long, long ago, the presenters were all former costars.  I don't recall any of them now except for Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak (Vertigo and Bell, Book and Candle) and I thought that was a wonderful idea.  It would add some lovely nostalgia to the tiresome proceedings.  Why don't they do it again?  Maybe Doris Day and James Garner, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, Joanne Woodward and Sean Connery, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton, Harry Belafonte and Joan Fontaine, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris, Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan, Al Pacino and Diane Keaton.  Oh wow, who else?  Now I won't get good sleep. 

Why wasn't one of my favorite actors, Robert Mitchum, ever given an honorary Oscar for his contribution to the movies?  Those voters sure missed the boat on this one.

What else?

NEXT POSTING:   Richard Widmark


  1. Addendum:
    One question has been answered. Miyoshi Umeki died in 2007 in Missouri. RIP.

  2. Michael Schoeffling probably went through ISH and got "it."