Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dewey Looks for Greener Pastures

Dewey Martin

Dewey Martin

Is expected to file for divorce soon, and that’s a pity.  He and his wife went through some mighty lean years together.  Now that his career is clicking, his marriage seems to be doing just exactly the opposite.  The price of fame can be high.

[Source: Movieland; February 1955]

Dewey Martin and Peggy Lee

I assume Movieland is referring to his first wife Margaret Ann Havelhurst.  I cannot find any marriage dates for the two.  Martin was also married to singer Peggy Lee from 1956-1958.  

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jimmy and Ingrid are Tempted

Director Leo McCarey

Leo McCarey

Has never given up the idea of doing the story of Adam and Eve for the screen.  At first he wanted Jimmy Stewart and Ingrid Bergman for the leads.  Now he’d settle for John Wayne and Audrey Hepburn.  How’s that for casting the Biblical version of the original man and woman.

[Source: Movieland; February 1955]

Unfortunately McCarey never was able to make his film because of the necessary nudity.  Those in charge of the production code would not approve the script, let alone the filming.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

James Mason Quits Acting

James Mason

James Mason and Judy Garland in A Star is Born

After making a neat fortune from “A Star is Born” is thinking about quitting acting and devouting his time to producing.  The Masons, who blasted Hollywood before coming here, are now two of its staunchest citizens.  Well they might be.  The movie capital has given them undreamed of wealth and opportunity.

[Source: Movieland; February 1955]

Mason and Garland in A Star is Born

While James Mason is known primarily for his fantastic acting skills, he did write, produce, and direct.  I'm glad he didn't quit for we never would have seen his delicious performance in North by Northwest, one of my favorite films.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Police Chief Mamie

Mamie Van Doren

Police Chief Mamie, Mayor Tony Curtis, and Fire Chief Mara Corday

(After being elected chief of police at Universal City)  “Now I’ll be able to pinch producers instead of vice versa”.

[Source: Movieland; February 1955]

Mari's Romance Goes Bust

Mari Blanchard

Mari Blanchard’s romance with that confirmed bachelor, Greg Bautzer, has gone completely bust.  She held onto the handsome lawyer about as long as any girl has.  Greg was dating Vera-Ellen shortly before she announced her engagement to Victor Rothschild.  That announcement caused about surprise in Hollywood as did Jean Peter’s marriage.  Almost everybody thought that Vera-Ellen was real gone on Richard Gulley, who is said to be carrying a huge torch for her.

[Source: Movieland; February 1955]

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ethel Merman - Housewife?

Ethel Merman

Ethal Merman and Irving Berlin; 1950

Who is Miss Broadway Musical in person, is deserting the stage to devote her time exclusively to television and motion pictures.  Between jobs you can just call her madam.  She’ll live with her husband in a twenty-seven-room house on a six-acre estate near Denver, Colorado.

[Source: Movieland; February 1955]

Ethel Merman and Irving Berlin; 1950

The husband Movieland refers to was Ethel's husband number three, Robert Six, president of Continental Airlines.  They were married from 1953 to 1960.  According to several sources, Six was upset that Ethel was satisfied just to be a housewife.  He expected her appearances to be free publicity and good will for Continental Airlines.  They would divorce following discovery of Six's affair with actress Audrey Meadows.  While it didn't work out for Six and Ethel, Audrey Meadows and Robert Six were married 25 years, from 1961 until his death in 1985.

Robert Six and Audrey Meadows Wedding; 1961

Monday, June 25, 2012

James Dean Gets Serious

James Dean

James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor Reading

“I’m a serious minded and intense little devil – so tense I don’t see how people stay in the same room with me.  I know I wouldn’t tolerate myself”.

[Source:  Movieland;  February 1955]

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jennifer Jones Redeems Herself

Jennifer Jones as Nicole Driver

I have to say that when someone redeems themselves in my eyes, I have to admit when I'm wrong.  Jones is on my Least Favorite Actresses list, and she did a fantastic job in this film.  I finally watched Tender is the Night (1962), based on the book by one of my favorite authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Jennifer Jones plays, Nicole Driver, a rich mental patient whom Dr. Dick Driver, played by Jason Robards, cured and then marries.

Jason Robards and Jennifer Jones

Jones played the role to perfection.  Robards was admirable as well.  The film is mature and thought-provoking, if not for the bright colors one might almost think it depressing.  But that's a Fitzgerald story.  If only it didn't have Tom Ewell in it.  Could someone please describe the appeal of him to me?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Jane Gets Stopped on her Way to Her Wedding

Jane Powell

Pat Nerney and Jane Powell

And Pat Nerney, after waiting all this while, got stopped by a cop for speeding on the way to their wedding in Ojai.  Pat explained the situation.  The cop wished them lots of luck and handed them a ticket anyhow. Jane had an interchangeable wardrobe made for her European honeymoon; so she could get all her fine feathers in two suit cases, an overnight bag, and a hat box.

[Source: Movieland; February 1955]

Pat Nerney and Jane Powell

Jane Powell and Pat Nerney were married from November 8, 1954 until 1963.  

Pat Nerney and Jane Powell

Jane has been married 5 times, currently to former child star Dickie Moore.  I find Jane's films simply delightful and it is too bad that classic movie musicals went out of style and we have been deprived of this wonderful star on screen.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ursula and Bob have a Cozy Christmas

Ursula Thiess

Ursula Reading a Script

Is hoping to get her eight-year-old son here from Germany by Christmas so he can join her. Bob Taylor, and his sister for the holidays.  The boy’s travel was held up by an appendectomy.  It’ll be curious to see Bob with two children on his hands and living in a new house of his own.  He was never very much of a family man even when married to Barbara Stanwyck.

[Source: Movieland; February 1955]

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Will Joe and Marilyn Ever Reunite?

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn 1954

And Joe DiMaggio who supplied the biggest screen divorce story of the year, may also come up with the largest reconciliation.  At this writing, Marilyn still has her divorce on file, but Joe, with time for reflection, seems to think he acted too hastily in walking out on his blonde bride.  And he was the one who did the walking, of that you can be sure even though Marilyn hastily applied for the divorce.  Joe was blazingly angry at something about which he wouldn’t talk.  The rumor mill has been working overtime to try to come up with an answer.  But Joe took the first active step toward a reconciliation when he visited Marilyn while she was hospitalized for minor surgery.  It was the concern that a man shows for his wife and not a divorced mate.  If they reconcile, and we believe they will, both Marilyn and Joe will have to learn a little more of the old game of give and take which has saved many marriages.  Certainly Marilyn has no intention of chucking over her career and Joe will have to accept that fact – just as Marilyn will have to accept the fact that a marriage brings responsibility to the home.  The highly publicized separation could be the best thing that ever happened to that marriage.  We believe the reconciliation will be as sudden as the divorce.  Marilyn needs a long rest, which a second honeymoon could provide – rather than the publicity field day occasioned by their first.

[Source: Movieland; February 1955]

Marilyn and Her Attorney Announcing the Divorce

We all know the story of Marilyn and Joe.  If not, there are plenty of sources which speak of the topic.  I wish they could have made things work.  They seemed to have a lifelong love, or at least lifelong respect for one another.  Joe certainly never married again and Marilyn is known to turn to Joe when life was roughest.

Marilyn 1954

There were rumors of the two reuniting in February 1961, but though Joe nursed Marilyn through this tough moment in her life, the two never remarried.  Maybe they found each other again in that great baseball diamond in the sky.
Joe and Marilyn - in Happier Times

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Barefoot Contessa Premieres - 1954

Ava Gardner

Ava Gardner
Must have found it ironical indeed to be attending the Hollywood premiere of “The Barefoot Contessa” with her press agent, David Hanna in view of the fact that Edmond O’Brien’s savage portrayal of a press agent is a highlight of the picture.  But then she had her hose on and was gorgeously gowned besides.  

Lauren Bacall, David Niven, and Mrs (Hjordis Tersmeden)

Humphrey Bogart, one of the stars of the picture, caused raised eyebrows by not appearing at the premiere.  Wife, Lauren Bacall, showed up with the David Nivens, explaining that Bogie had an early studio call the next day.  That was a lame excuse, because Humphrey is noted for staying up to all hours.  And you can bet that he was wide awake enough to discuss audience reaction with Lauren when she got home.  Trouble?

[Source: Movieland Feb 1955]

Bogart and Bacall return from "Barefoot" shoot

It is widely disputed that Bogart had an early call.  From what I was able to find out, the "no show" could be from one of several reasons:
  • Bogart rarely saw his own films.  This included premieres.
  • He thought Ava Gardner unprofessional and did not enjoy working with her
  • Gardner had recently broken up with Bogart's friend, Frank Sinatra
  • He had a huge argument with Bacall, who found Bogart with his secretary/toupee and hair stylist/self described mistress, Verita Thompson.  Bogie's solution?  Let Lauren go on a wild European shopping spree.
Bogart with Verita Thompson

The Milwaukee Sentinel dated November 21, 1954 had some fun commentary on the premiere:

"Ava was in a rosy-pink, body-molding sheath designed with a halter neckline, the full-length gown completely embroidered with matching pink sequins.  She wore a matching tiara, pink crystal earrings, long pink kid gloves, pink slippers, and carried a long pink fox stole.  It was a magnificent costume."

Ava looking Stunning

"Mrs. Robert Mitchum wore white lace, the dress embroidered with sequins with matching ful-length coat trimmed with white fox."
Ava Gardner

"Much longer hair was seen here than on smart women in the East - the longest ponytails in the world, and more red heads and white blonds than any other shade."

Ava Gardner

"Joan Crawford wore a stunning deep brown fallie gown with an elegant sable stole."

Charles Coburn

"Among the well-dressed men were Charles Coburn with a monocle, Edward Arnold, Victor McLaglen, and producer Jerry Wald."

Edward Arnold

"Lauren Bacall was in red and black brocade embroidered with gold coin dots."

Lauren Bacall

"Louella Parsons, who came with James McHugh, was in an orangey-red gown with a beautiful mink stole and a magnificent diamond necklace and diamond earrings."

Louella Parsons

"Red-harired Abbe Lane arrived with her husband Xavier Cugat, in a bright green lace gown embroidered with sequins."

Abbe Lane and Xavier Cugat

"Doris Day was in navy tulle and silk jersey with a mink cape."

Doris Day

""Marla English was in gold lace with a white fox stole"

Marla English

""Mrs. David Niven, who came with her husband, wore a white beaded net gown with a great skirt with swags of net and a white fox fur stole."

Lauren Bacall, David Niven, and Mrs

"Janice Wells, TV actress, in a white brocaded shirtwaist type gown girdled with a gold cummerbund, posed barefoot in front of the theater."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ann Rutherford's Passing

RIP Ann Rutherford (November 2, 1917 – June 11, 2012)

Stunning Ann Rutherford

Sad to hear the delightful Ann Rutherford passed away.  Born November 2, 1920 in Vancouver, Canada, she was one of the last remaining cast member of one of my favorite films, Gone With the Wind.  She seemed such a sweet, delightful woman.  She will be greatly missed.

Ann Rutherford on a enjoying the sun

Sadly, so I fear there are few of the greats left.  So glamorous, vibrant, and wonderful actors, they remind me of the best time in film history.

Sweet Ann, we'll miss you

Today, I can count on one hand the number of people I consider actors today.  I don't know what they are, but it feels like to me any old person could be thrown in a film these days and it wouldn't matter.  Just throw in a scantily clad girl and some gross-out humor or some CGI crap and you've got a hit.  What's the point of actors anyway when computer generated things seem to be more important?  I enjoy maybe one new film a year while I find at least one thing redeeming in every pre-1960s film I view - hence this blog.  Please, bring back stories, glamour, and actors in films.


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