Saturday, July 5, 2014

Week in Review

Films of the Week

  • Another Man's Poison (1951)- Bette Davis (Janet Frobisher), Gary Merrill (George Bates), Emlyn Williams (Dr. Henderson), Anthony Steele (Larry Stevens), Barbara Murray (Chris Dale)

Links of the Week

Mary Livingstone

  • It's no surprise that I love Old Time Radio.  I'm obsessed!  When I'm not watching classic films, I'm listening to radio plays.  It's what I have on at night while I'm up with my insomnia.  Naturally, Radio Spirits is one of my favorite companies.  They also have a great blog.  On Monday, they had a great feature about Jack Benny's wife and partner, Mary Livingstone.  What I love about Mary is that she seems so real on the radio.  She became a star, yet she was never trained and basically lucked into it.   She appeared on radio, yet she had stage fright.  She was a natural.  Often, she would record her lines and they would be played with someone mouthing the lines because she was to scared to appear.  I love her.  She's one of my favorite female comedians.  Happy birthday Mary!

  • Chester Morris is my favorite Boston Blackie, on film anyway.  On radio, it's Dick Kollmar (awesome name, by the way).  Morris, is one of those forgotten early stars of film.  I really appreciated Immortal Ephemera's biography on Chester Morris.  He is probably best remembered for his role opposite Norma Shearer in The Divorcee, but he did so many more films, including 14 Boston Blackie films.  Fun fact (although not really fun), in 1952 his friend director Roland West gave his alledged deathbed confession to Chester.  West claimed he killed actress Thelma Todd in 1935.  
Palace Theater in LA; Source

  • Movie Palaces were amazing architecture and luxury.  Their elaborate exteriors and interiors made going to the movies an event - like it was a special treat.  Movies were "the" thing to do, especially in the early and mid 1900's.   These places brought the glamour of film to life.  Attending a film was an event worthy of putting on your Sunday best clothes.  There is nothing comparable today.  Today most people wear what they want regardless of the occasion.  I never had to opportunity to attend a movie palace, let alone during their hey days.  Stefanie Klavan, a photographer, has created a photographic exhibition of some of the remaining palaces.  It looks wonderful, making one yearn for the days of tuxedo dressed ushers and velvet curtains.

  • Few people remember that Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis formed a comedy team.  They toured, were in television and films, and even had their own radio show.  But did you also know they had competing restaurants?  Neatorama brings this little known fact to light.  I imagine Dino's must have had some amazing Italian food.  The article sounds like Jerry was quite petty about such things, which doesn't surprise me.  I personally find Jerry Lewis's comedy extremely annoying and painful to listen to.  I might never figure out why he is so beloved.

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