Friday, April 29

Gary Cooper

I guess I just never caught that great wave that was Gary Cooper, an actor of undeniable mythic legend both on and off the screen. Once said, I did like him and enjoyed many of his films.  A two-time Academy Award-winning best actor, he was much admired for his minimalist (yup, nope, uh) acting style and I just never understood the acclaim.  I likened him to his hunting buddies Clark Gable and Robert Taylor... big, big movie stars but best to find the great acting chops in others. His offscreen antics put him in good standing to be included in this month's postings on Hollywood's horniest philanderers.

Tuesday, April 26

6 Depressing Films

A friend and I were texting the other day about the most depressing movies we've ever seen.  We agreed to think about six of them and get back to one another.  When we did, we not only agreed with all of the other's choices but we actually named three of the sames films. There's not an Ingmar Bergman film among them but then we agreed to look at American movies only. Let's see what you think...

Friday, April 22

REVIEW: Born to Be Blue

Directed by Robert Budreau
2015 Biography
1 hour 37 minutes
From IFC Films

Ethan Hawke
Carmen Ejogo
Callum Keith Rennie
Stephen McHattie

Tuesday, April 19

The Directors: Charles Vidor

He will be remembered, at least by me, for directing one of those magnificent film noirs you hear so much about. The fact is that noir aficionados know that Charles Vidor directed the dazzling Gilda and he will be forever in our gratitude. He also directed some musicals, a number of comedies, a few biographies and a whole lot of early forgettable stuff. He was a major music lover, particularly of classical, and managed to make two films about composers. He had no discernible style which keeps him off the list of the more famous directors but five of his films I much enjoyed. That's good enough for me.

Friday, April 15

Evelyn Keyes

I once spoke with Evelyn Keyes in Westwood Village, an artsy-fartsy little enclave in West Los Angeles, California, north of famed Wilshire Blvd and butting up against U.C.L.A.  I will never forget the time for a couple of reasons.  Just minutes before seeing her, I passed John Kerr and minutes before that, Henry Fonda.  My lucky day, I mused.  She was colorfully dressed with a funky touch and wore a cute hat.  I hadn't bothered Kerr or Fonda but determined I would say something to this mystical-looking creature that looked like she might be receptive.

Tuesday, April 12

Yvonne De Carlo

A triple-threat she was.  She could act, sing and dance.  From early childhood she developed a fierce ambition that she would professionally be able to do all three.  She turned into a very attractive woman who had an exotic look when the occasion called for it.  With all said, it's a wonder that she rarely rose above B pictures.

Friday, April 8

Hedy Lamarr

I never quite got her.  I've always tried to understand the allure and came up short. Funny, too, because maybe I found something fascinating about her once but I'll be darned if I recall what it was. Perhaps it was the fact that she was European... so different from the American girl next door. Yes, I saw her beauty. She was occasionally referred to as The Most Beautiful Woman in Films and I never screamed what...????!!!!!  I could buy it. And yet, even the beauty unearthed some reservations in me.

Tuesday, April 5

Lana Turner

Let's get one thing straight right away. It's Lahna. Think of llama with an n instead of an m.  Don't say Laaaannnna that rhymes with Hannah or the lady's bones will return and rattle around your lovely home.  She knew it was a given that people mispronounced her name but that didn't mean she wouldn't correct them if they did. That means in person and in filmed or recorded interviews as well.

Friday, April 1

Good 40s Films: The Hard Way

1943 Drama
From Warner Bros
Directed by Vincent Sherman

Ida Lupino
Joan Leslie
Dennis Morgan
Jack Carson
Gladys George
Paul Cavanagh
Faye Emerson
Leona Maricle