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‘The Zero Theorem’ by Director Terry Gilliam

 

I clearly remember taking the shot (on the left) and thinking ‘wow, what an amazing painterly sky… it would make a lovely canvas print for somebody’s living room’. Little did I know that less than a year later I’d be emailing this image to a Hollywood Visual Effects advisor for use in Terry Gilliam’s film ‘The Zero Theorem'.

 

After a tantalising ten-month wait for the cinema release, I finally got to see how the visual effects team had adapted the original image for the silver screen. It was impressive to say the least. The realisation that my photography was part of a production of this magnitude was incredible and almost hard to believe.

 

So, if you decide to immerse yourself in the weird and wonderful dystopian world of Gilliam’s latest theatrical film, look out for the sunset sky. After all, it appears in several scenes and it’s the only utopian setting throughout the movie so it should be easy to spot. Oh, and wait until you see the finale scene with Christoph Waltz!

 

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Stars of ‘The Zero Theorem’ include Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Thierry, David Thewlis, Lucas Hedges, Matt Damon, Ben Whishaw and Tilda Swinton amongst others. Terry Gilliam is probably most well-known for his work on Monty Python’s Flying Circus and films such as Brazil, Twelve Monkeys and Time Bandits.

 

Here's a link to my website 'Published Work' page and follow the link to the official movie trailer:

www.markgeorgephotography.co.uk/news.html

 

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Il piccolissimo fiordo di Furore in inverno, Italia:

la casa appartenuta all'attrice italiana Anna Magnani (1908-1973), conosciuta in tutto il mondo soprattutto per i film "Roma città aperta", "Bellissima", "Mamma Roma", "La rosa tatuata". Quest'ultimo le valse l'Oscar alla miglior attrice protagonista.

 

The tiny Furore fjord in winter, Italy:

The house belonged to the Italian actress Anna Magnani (1908-1973), known all over the world especially for the films "Roma città aperta", "Bellissima", "Mamma Roma", "La rosa tatuata". The latter earned her the Oscar for the best actress protagonist.

 

Der winzige Fjord von Furore im Winter, Italien:

Die ehemalige Haus italienische Schauspielerin Anna Magnani (1908-1973), auf der ganzen Welt für den Film "Roma città aperta", "Bellissima", "Mamma Roma", "La rosa tatuata". Letzteres brachte ihr den Oscar für die beste Schauspielerin.

 

Le petit fjord de Furore en hiver, en Italie:

L'ancienne maison de l'actrice italienne Anna Magnani (1908-1973), connu dans le monde entier pour le film "Roma città aperta", "Bellissima", "Mamma Roma", "La rosa tatuata". Ce dernier lui a valu l'Oscar de la meilleure actrice.

 

El pequeño fiordo de Furore en el invierno, Italia:

La antigua casa de la actriz italiana Anna Magnani (1908-1973), conocido en todo el mundo para la película "Roma città aperta", "Bellissima", "Mamma Roma", "La rosa tatuata". Esta última le valió el Oscar a la Mejor Actriz.

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Hello again, actors and actresses. As the world is still a stage, and all men and women are still merely players; in order not to get axed, we will need to keep on acting. There are quite a few different ways of acting; I am not a big fan of method acting, I prefer putting on a different persona as in the good old Greek tragedy.

 

How to act accordingly

 

1. Get to know the set and surroundings

 

2. Understand the scenes you are in, do not get turn up in the wrong scene, things may get awkward

 

3. Do not stay in the scene for too long, you may become a scene queen

 

4. Then get to know the acts

 

5. Acts are the overall pictures of the scenes, which means it's the bigger picture

 

6. Know the other players

 

7. Try and understand the sort of interaction you will have and practise with the players

 

8. Put on a Persona once you start to real deal

 

9. Hide yourself behind these personae

 

10. No one cares to see the real you, because the whole play revolve around personae

 

12. Read the other personae and their body languages

 

13. Avoid Italian body languages because it is closer to being in a ballet; avoid Japanese gestures too, it is rather stiff and formalised

 

14. Remember to change your persona really quickly once you are switching scenes

 

15. Read the lines/blurbs clearly, even when your voice is obscured by the persona

 

Caution

You will not be awarded an Oscar or a BAFTA, but at least you will remain on stage if you are a good actor and handle your personae well.

 

Extra-Caution

Remember: wearing a persona for too long will mould your face; you are advised to change your persona, or remove it once it a while - unless you wear a happy one all the time; but do be careful, tears still crack through and your persona will forever be ruined.

  

This theatrical tutorial is brought to you by Linus & The Feel Good Factory.

Jack Cardiff: Oscar-winning cinematographer celebrated for his work with Powell and Pressburger

 

When I met Jack Cardiff on a film set at Elstree Studios, he was busy heaving spotlights around and nipping up a ladder to adjust them. The legendary cinematographer was then 84. Cardiff's career spanned the best part of film's first century; he worked with many of the art form's greatest practitioners and was famed for his pioneering mastery of Technicolor. But, whereas others might have been content to rest on their laurels, pottering around the occasional festival or sitting on the odd panel as emblems of nostalgia, he remained active and passionate about movies throughout his life. His last project was the television documentary mini-series The Other Side of the Screen (2007).

  

The set on which I met him was for a low-budget student short film The Dance Of Shiva (1998), which was, at the time, still awaiting completion finance. None the less, Cardiff was thoroughly in his element and eager to share his decades of experience. "I've been carrying the torch long enough," he told me. "You younger people should take it; you can run faster than I can. Whatever you know, don't waste it, pass it on."

 

Cardiff was the quintessential showbusiness babe. His parents were music hall comedians and hoofers (his father had played professionally for Watford football club): Jack was, metaphorically speaking, born in a trunk. He made his screen acting debut at the age of four, in a film called My Son, My Son, and went on to appear in other silent movies including Billy's Rose, The Loves of Mary, Queen of Scots and Tiptoes.

 

In the twilight days of music hall, the Cardiff family looked to the new, upcoming medium of cinema for employment. Aged 15, Jack landed a job as a production runner (essentially, a message boy) on The Informer (1929), where his principal task was to keep the German director, Dr Arthur Robison, supplied with Vichy water. He graduated to clapper boy or camera assistant on films including Alfred Hitchcock's The Skin Game (1931). By 1936, he had risen to the rank of camera operator at Denham Studios in London when the Technicolor Corporation arrived there seeking trainees to start using the process in Britain.

 

Cardiff had little expertise of Technicolor. But, in the course of his itinerant childhood, he had had the chance to visit art galleries in many cities and developed a deep love of painting (he became an accomplished painter in his own right). Consequently he finessed the job interview by praising the use of light in the work of Rembrandt, Vermeer and the other Old Masters and became the camera operator on the first Technicolor film made in Britain, the 1937 romantic drama Wings of the Morning, starring Henry Fonda.

 

When the Second World War began, Cardiff made public information films for the Crown Film Unit, at times under dangerous conditions. One of his most notable projects was Western Approaches (1944), a docu-drama about a Merchant Navy vessel struck by a German U-Boat torpedo which was shot, remarkably given the conditions, in full Technicolor.

 

The turning point in his career came while working on the second unit of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943). They were impressed enough to hire him as their cinematographer on A Matter of Life and Death (1946). Cardiff's collaboration with this audacious directing-producing-writing team who revolutionised British cinema was a perfect marriage. As he was to recall, "I was always doing rather outrageous things. And that was Michael's entire way of working, so we got on famously."

 

Powell's first perverse idea for A Matter of Life and Death was to subvert audience expectations by shooting the sequences set on earth in colour and those set in heaven in black-and-white. But it was Cardiff who suggested shooting the heavenly scenes on Technicolor stock which, when processed as though it were black-and-white, gave them an eery, shimmering quality. For a celebrated early shot near the beginning, when the mist clears on a beach, Cardiff simply breathed on the camera lens, steaming it up for a couple of seconds.

 

Today, many of the guidelines of cinematography have been set in stone and – as Cardiff was often to bemoan – practitioners can rely on the lazy short cuts afforded by computer technology. He lived through a period when the thrilling possibilities of the technology were still being discovered. Many of his most memorable effects were achieved, not in post-production, but in-camera, through experiment, ingenuity and imagination.

 

Cardiff worked again with the team on Black Narcissus (1947), a torrid melodrama set in a convent in the high Himalayas but shot entirely at Pinewood studios in London. His ingenious use of painted glass backdrops and his fierily expressionistic deployment of colour won him an Oscar and a Golden Globe. His third and final film with Powell and Pressburger, the dance drama The Red Shoes (1948), experimented with optical effects, speeding up the camera to slow the action and make a ballerina seem to hover in mid-air; or doing the opposite in order to turn her into a blur of whirling pirouettes.

 

He was brilliant at transforming sets: his next projects, Scott of the Antarctic (1948) and Hitchcock's Under Capricorn (1949), were shot in the studio. But Cardiff had become a cameraman to travel and was just at home on location. John Huston's The African Queen (1951) took him up the jungle in Uganda and the then-Belgian Congo, where he fell ill from water poisoning (Huston and his star, Humphrey Bogart, were spared on account of the fact that they both drank only neat whisky). Bogie – as Cardiff related in his entertaining autobiography The Magic Hour, published by Faber and Faber in 1996 – sternly instructed him not to try to conceal the maze of wrinkles on his face.

 

The cinematographer was, on the other hand, prized by actresses who knew they could rely on him to enhance their beauty. Among the many great stars he worked with were Ava Gardner (who warned him to light her differently while she was having her period), Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Ingrid Bergman, Deborah Kerr, Marlene Dietrich, Gloria Swanson, Myrna Loy, Marilyn Monroe, Katherine Hepburn, Julie Christie, Bette Davis, Faye Dunaway and Audrey Hepburn.

 

In fact the list of his collaborators, both as a cinematographer and, eventually, as a director, reads like a compendium of cinema: it also includes Fred Astaire, Kirk Douglas, Christopher Walken, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joseph Mankiewicz, Laurence Olivier, King Vidor, René Clair and Jacques Feyder.

 

Cardiff turned to directing in 1953, but his first attempt, William Tell, starring Errol Flynn, was thwarted when the funding collapsed; only a few minutes of footage remain. Sons and Lovers (1960) fared better: an adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence novel starring Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell and Wendy Hiller, it got six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Freddie Francis won an Oscar for his (black and white) cinematography.

 

In the same year, Cardiff made Scent of Mystery, a curiosity shot in Smell-O-Vision, a process which pumped odours into the cinema at appropriate moments in the story. Another of his intriguing films as director was The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968), an erotic drama starring Alain Delon and a leather-clad Marianne Faithfull as a married woman who zooms off on a motorbike odyssey to meet her lover.

 

Cardiff then abandoned directing, but remained a prolific cinematographer whose credits included Death on the Nile (1978), Michael Winner's remake of The Wicked Lady (1983), Conan the Destroyer (1984), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and Million Dollar Mystery (1987). This period was hardly the cinema's finest hour, but he would later talk of these films with as much enthusiasm as he did when speaking of the authentic masterpieces he had worked on. After earning two further Academy Award nominations for his cinematography on War and Peace (1956) and Fanny (1961), he was made an OBE in 2000 and received an honorary Oscar in 2001, the first technician to be thus honoured and only the second Briton selected after Laurence Olivier.

 

In a sly post-modern moment in A Matter of Life and Death, a messenger who descends to earth from the monochrome celestial world, sniffs appreciatively at a bright red flower and muses, "One is starved for Technicolor up there." That shortage has been rectified this week. The earthly world, on the other hand, became a shade or two greyer.

 

Jack Cardiff, film director and cameraman: born Great Yarmouth, Norfolk 18 September 1914; Academy Award for photography, 'Black Narcissus', 1947; OBE, 2000; Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement, 2001; BAFTA Special Award, 2001; married three times (four sons, one stepson, one stepdaughter); died Ely, Cambridgeshire 22 April 2009.

 

Sheila Johnston The Independent 24 April 2009

  

OMG, I suck so much neglecting my stream and you guys like this. And to make things worse, every time I am on a dryspell I present a shot of a bird silhouette. hahah

 

I was so dumb to only check my inbox occassionaly. I missed the chance to meet up with one of Flickr's finest- Jeff Eickhoff who was in town over the weekend for a shoot.

 

Guess what, I passed my driving the first time round so I'm taking Singapore roads by storm! HEHE.

 

And the OSCARS, oh wow. This piece is dedicated to my beloved actress of all time, Sandra Bullock! She's the real deal, this one!

 

Explored | March 8, 2010 #12

 

View On Black |

Textures courtesy of pareeerica

 

© Copyright Iskandar 2009 | All rights reserved.

Do not use, copy or edit any of my materials without my written permission.

Would appreciate not having large/animated multi invite codes

       

On February 9, 1960, Joanne Woodward became the first actress to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

 

When looking through her film titles, I found The Three Faces of Eve, for which Ms. Woodward won the 1957 Best Actress Oscar.

 

I had never seen the film, but watched it last night on Netflix (you can watch it instantly). It's a true story about a young woman who is diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. It's a beautiful film, during which I got chills several times and cried once. :) I highly recommend it.

 

Here are three of the many faces of Hilary.

 

Become a fan of History with Hilary on Facebook!

 

What is History With Hilary?

Every day, I take a self-portrait based on that day in history! The plan is to eventually make a book and/or calendar!

 

Select prints from my History With Hilary are for sale. Proceeds help to support the project, which is getting a little pricey! View them at Etsy!

 

I'm also accepting donations, including costumes, wigs, fabric, and props! Please email me at historywithhilary@gmail.com.

   

Sing, sing a song, well, don't.

 

Cinderella stepsisters Holliday Grainger as Anastasia alongside Sophie McShera as Drisella and Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine by artist Noel Cruz.

 

The 2015 Live Action Cinderella with Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine, Helena Bonham Carter as The Fairy Godmother and Lily James as Cinderella.

 

All repainted and restyled for www.myfarrah.com by Noel Cruz of www.ncruz.com. Photos by Noel Cruz photographed in the Regent Miniatures (www.regentminiatures.com) Mansion by Ken Haseltine.

 

Farrah is on facebook www.facebook.com/FLFawcett. On Tumblr at; farrahlenifawcett.tumblr.com. Join Farrah on Instagram at www.instagram.com/farrahlfawcett. On pinterest at www.pinterest.com/myfarrah/

 

Photo/Graphic Layout & web sites ncruz.com & myfarrah.com by www.stevemckinnis.com.

Wholesome but sexy, forthright and vulnerable, honest and energetic, Ginger Rogers was one of Hollywood's biggest stars of the Thirties and Forties. Not a great actress, as she was always the first to admit, she could handle both comedy and drama capably as well as sing and dance, and if her range was not as great as some of her contemporaries, her appeal and glamour were more down-to-earth than other screen heroines and thus easier to identify with. She would be remembered with affection now even if she had never danced with Fred Astaire. It is because she did, though, that she will have a special place in film history, a place that elevates her above many other actresses of the period just as popular and possibly more talented. Astaire and Rogers were, and are, quite simply the most famous dance team of all time.

Ginger was born Virginia Katherine McMath on 16 July 1911 in Independence, Missouri, but she quickly became known as "Ginger" when one of her young cousins had difficulty pronouncing her first name. Rogers was the surname of her mother's second husband. Ginger's mother Lela had always been attracted to show business, and when Ginger was five she was left with her grandparents in Kansas City while Lela went to Hollywood to pursue a writing career providing scripts (as Lela Leibrand) for silent stars such as Theda Bara.

Ginger had already appeared in some advertising films, and when Lela returned to Kansas as reporter and theatre critic for the Kansas City Post, she made sure her offspring met performers who were appearing in the city. Lela has often been described as the archetypal show-business mother, and Ginger herself always credited her with a major share of responsibility for her later success. Friends of theirs in Texas, however, have always claimed that Lela did not seriously push Ginger until the girl herself became irreparably stage-struck. This happened when Ginger, having studied dance since childhood, entered a local Charleston contest and won, going on to become champion Charleston dancer of Texas.

The prize included a vaudeville tour and Lela, taking over management of Ginger, hired the two runners-up to support her in a group called "Ginger and Her Redheads", with Lela supplying costumes and linking material. Later Ginger toured as a single, incorporating her speciality of monologues in baby-talk, then suddenly married another dancer, Jack Culpepper (against her mother's wishes), and they formed an act called "Ginger and Pepper". They separated after only a few months, and Ginger took her single act to New York, where she was spotted by the owner of the Mocambo night club, who recommended the newcomer to composers Kalmar and Ruby for their Broadway show Top Speed. As second female lead, Ginger stole a lot of the notices with her peppy rendition of "Hot and Bothered".

She had already been making one- and two-reelers at the Astoria studios in New York, and now she was offered a Paramount contract and made her feature debut in Young Man of Manhattan, starring Claudette Colbert. As an easy-going flapper, she uttered a line, "Cigarette me, big boy!", which became a popular catchphrase of the day and helped establish her name. Her first major break came with her casting as the lead in the Gershwin musical Girl Crazy on Broadway (1930), in which she introduced "Embraceable You" and "But not for Me". Her singing voice, never strong, came in for some criticism and the show was stolen by another newcomer, Ethel Merman, whose voice was anything but small.

Lela and Ginger decided that Hollywood was the place to pursue her future, and accepted a contract from Pathe. None of her early roles was memorable, however, until Warners cast her in 42nd Street. Besides being a landmark musical, it gave Ginger, as Anytime Annie ("The only time she said no, she didn't hear the question"), a chance to display her comic skills. She was now close friends with one of the studio's top film-makers, Mervyn LeRoy (it was strongly believed they would marry), and he cast her in an even stronger role in Gold Diggers of 1933, in which Ginger represented one of the cinematic icons of the Depression era when she opened the film clothed in gold coins singing "We're in the Money".

She was on the way to being typecast as a wise-cracking chorine in the Glenda Farrell-Joan Blondell mould when Dorothy Jordan, scheduled to play a featured role in RKO's Flying Down to Rio, married the studio boss Merian C. Cooper instead. Ginger was now under contract to RKO, so she was rushed into the film three days into shooting and found herself playing opposite Fred Astaire.

Rogers had met Astaire earlier when he had been brought in by Girl Crazy's producers to help out with the choreography and they had even dated a few times. Neither of them expected great things from the film they were about to make but as Astaire told her, "It'll be fun." Dolores del Rio and Gene Raymond were the film's romantic leads, but audience response to Fred and Ginger and their dancing of "The Carioca" was immediate.

While Ginger went on to other pot-boilers, and Fred to England to do The Gay Divorce on the West End stage, RKO started to plan more films for the team. The Gay Divorcee (title changed to placate Hollywood's production code) confirmed the team's magical chemistry and included the first of their classic romantic duets, "Night and Day". In a deserted ballroom, as Ginger crosses Fred's path to leave, he blocks her. Tentatively resisting, she bends her body with his and they start to glide across the floor. The harmony and sensual tension of this sequence is due in no small part to Ginger and demonstrates why she was the greatest of all Astaire's partners. Not only do they dance as one ("She could follow Fred as if one brain was thinking" said Ben Lyon), but Ginger acts the dance perfectly, never appearing to be revelling in the display of technique or conscious of anything other than the emotions of attraction and seduction implicit in the choreography. Katharine Hepburn's famed remark "She gave him sex, he gave her class" is true, but conveys only part of their magical chemistry.

The team's next, Roberta, had them again billed below the romantic leads (Irene Dune and Randolph Scott) but they had no trouble stealing the film. Because dialogue in their earlier films had been drowned out by cinema audiences applauding their numbers, RKO were careful in Roberta to follow all their dances with applause or laughter so that there was time for audience response.

Both Astaire and Rogers had raised objections to carrying on their partnership - Fred had long been paired with his sister Adele on the stage and now wanted to consolidate a reputation as a solo star; Ginger, though grateful for the good the films were doing for her career, wanted to be accepted as a straight actress. Her talents as a comic were already being appreciated - in Roberta she adopted a hilarious Polish-Hungarian accent to mimic Lyda Roberti, who had played the same role in the stage production, while "I'll Be Hard to Handle" in the same film was the first of the team's playful "challenge" dances, in which Ginger displayed her mischievously impish sense of humour - combined with the effortless technique that was in fact the result of weeks of work, the result was perfection.

Their next film was the first to be written directly for them (by Dwight Taylor) with new songs by Irving Berlin. Top Hat was the greatest film of their partnership, an enchanting combination of witty script, superb production values, hand-picked supporting cast and wonderful songs and dances. Their great romantic duet, "Cheek to Cheek", caused the one major rift between the two stars when Ginger insisted on wearing an ostrich-feather gown which "moulted" all over the set, besides creating some problems of manoeuvrability for Fred. Ginger had to enlist her mother, along with RKO's top brass, to persuade Fred to accept this, but when he was how well the number had photographed, he conceded its effect and thereafter would often refer to Ginger as "Feathers". Despite rumours to the contrary, both Ginger and Fred always insisted that their relationship was generally one of respect and friendship, though they were never close. "We had our differences," said Ginger later, "what good artistic marriage doesn't? - but they were unimportant."

Follow the Fleet (music also by Berlin) included Ginger's only solo tap routine in the series and she acquitted herself well. Swing Time (music by Jerome Kern), Shall We Dance? (Gershwin) and Carefree (Berlin) followed, though in between Ginger was making her mark in straight roles, notably as the caustic rival to Katharine Hepburn in Stage Door. In this witty and touching story of stage-struck hopefuls, Ginger was Hepburn's room- mate and whose brittle exterior conceals the fear of rejection, and she won particular praise for a deftly handled drunk scene. She also sparkled in Vivacious Lady as a cabaret singer who marries a professor and disrupts academia.

The films with Astaire had been full of treasurable musical sequences, such as Follow the Fleet's dramatic finale when the team enacted a shipboard romance between two suicidal strangers who meet and fell in love to the strains of "Let's Face the Music and Dance", ending with one of the most daring moments in screen choreography as the pair go into what many believe to be their finest and certainly their most emotionally powerful duet on an enormous art-deco set. Carefree's climactic number had Ginger literally under a hypnotic spell as she succumbed to Astaire's charms for "Change Partners".

Their scripts, though, had been getting weaker, and audiences were falling off, so The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939) was planned as the last Astaire-Rogers movie. A departure for the team in that it was both a period story and a true one (about the couple who pioneered ballroom dancing in America) with a tragic ending, it disappointed some at the time with its in-built restriction on the scope for the team's routines, but it is one of their finest all-round films and their dancing, though limited for the most part to displays of the Waltz, Tango, Mexixe, etc, is as exquisite as ever, their "Robert E. Lee" routine one of their most exhilarating. For Ginger, the final scene, in which while waiting for Vernon to join her in celebration she learns of his death, then reminisces about their years together as the orchestra reminds her of key melodies in their lives, was proof if needed that she could handle such tricky dramatic material without descending to bathos or banality.

One of Ginger's most fondly remembered comedies followed, Garson Kanin's Bachelor Mother, which included a brief "Charleston" but otherwise concentrated on Ginger's comic skills. The following year she made the film which firmly established her as a leading Hollywood actress and won her an Oscar, Kitty Foyle. Audiences had always found that they could identify with Ginger more easily than with many other actresses, and as the office girl who falls for a socialite but finally settles for an idealistic doctor from the same social background as herself, she induced so much empathy that stenographers all over America bought replicas of the white collar Ginger wore as Kitty.

Sent by her studio to meet stenographer fans in New York she arrived at Grand Central station wearing the simple white-collar outfit from the film, but by then every inch a star she was also wearing a diamond brooch, gold earrings and a mink coat. An enormous hit at the time, neither the film (directed by Sam Wood) nor Ginger's performance seem as impressive today, particularly considering that her rival nominees included Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn.

For Garson Kanin, Ginger did another good comedy, Tom, Dick or Harry, which Dilys Powell called "pure enchantment", adding that "one day we will be remembering Ginger as we now remember Mary Pickford and the Gish sisters." In Roxie Hart she had a bubble-cut and chewed gum in an amusing satire on justice in which, as a murder suspect, she had the jailers dancing the "Black Bottom" with her. Her best comedy of all is The Major and the Minor, Billy Wilder's first film as a director and pure joy as Ginger masquerades as a 12-year-old to travel half-fare, then has to sustain the impersonation at a military academy. Lela, still very prominent in Ginger's life and career, played her mother in this.

Ginger was now at the peak of her career but from the mid-Forties both her material and performances became inconsistent. Lady in the Dark (1944), adapted from the Broadway musical satirising the then fashionable craze for psychoanalysis, was Ginger's first film in colour and a huge success, not least for the publicity surrounding a stunning gown of mink and jewels in which the star performed "The Saga of Jenny", but most of the Kurt Weill- Ira Gerswhin score was cut from the film and Ginger, possibly trying to duplicate Gertrude Lawrence's stage portrayal of the confused heroine, seemed too confused for comfort. Ginger was also alienating a lot of Hollywood with her demands - she closed down the production of Lady in the Dark for three weeks in order to get married.

I'll Be Seeing You, a superior wartime weepie, and Weekend at the Waldorf, a glossy remake of Grand Hotel with Ginger in a more humorous reworking of the Garbo role, were big successes, but films such as Heartbeat, Magnificent Doll and It Had to be You had virtually ended her film career - when she was asked to partner Astaire once more. Judy Garland had withdrawn from The Barkleys of Broadway and Ginger happily stepped in to enact a story (a dance team breaks up when the female partner wants to be a dramatic actress) which bore a mild resemblance to hers and Fred's. In the rehearsal tap routine "Bouncin' the Blues" Ginger demonstrated that she could still keep up with the master even if some of the old spontaneity was missing. Their romantic duet to "They Can't Take That Away From Me", first sung by Fred in Shall We Dance?, recaptured the old magic as they swept languorously into and out of each other's arms. Ginger worked hard to make sure the public weren't disappointed in this reunion - she always believed in giving 100 per cent, and had tremendous energy.

"I detest idling," she once said, and both Astaire and Hermes Pan, dance director of the Astaire-Rogers films, attested to her professionalism and dedication.

Ginger Rogers's political views perhaps earned her more adverse criticism than any other aspect of her life. Like her mother, firmly right-wing, she campaigned for Richard Nixon when he ran for Governor of California in 1962, and during the McCarthy hearings Lela testified that Ginger had loathed making the 1944 film Tender Comrade about four war wives who set up house together, alleging that Ginger had insisted that the line "Share and share alike, that's democracy" be given to another actress. The director Joseph Losey, himself blacklisted, declared "Ginger Rogers was one of the worst, red-baiting, terrifying reactionaries in Hollywood," while her supporters argued that she merely followed her mother's lead and, according to one RKO employee, "I doubt that she could have told you the difference between the Republican and Democratic parties."

 

The Independent 26 April 1995

 

British postcard.

 

Vivacious Kate Winslet (1975) is often seen as the best English-speaking film actress of her generation. The English actress and singer was the youngest person to acquire six Academy Award nominations, and won the Oscar for The Reader (2008).

Theater District, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States

 

The Music Box Theater survives today as one of the historic playhouses that symbolize American theater for both New York and the nation. Constructed shortly after the end of World War I, the Music Box was built by producer Sam Harris to house Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues.

 

Sam Harris was a legendary Broadway producer, who first reached fame through his successful partnership with George M. Cohan, and then collaborated with Irving Berlin and later with Kaufman and Hart. Irving Berlin is among the greatest and best-known American songwriters of this century. Together they staged Berlin's Music Box Revues for the first five years of the 1920s.

 

C. Howard Crane was a nationally prominent theater architect when Harris and Berlin hired him, along with his associate E. George Kiehler, to design the Music Box. Besides his two Broadway houses (the Music Box and the Guild -- now the Virginia), he designed legitimate theaters and grand movie palaces in cities across the country, and later in England.

 

The Music Box Theater represents a special and important aspect of the nation's theatrical history. Beyond its historical importance, its facade is an unusually handsome Palladian-inspired design.

 

For over half a century, beginning with the Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues, the Music Box Theater has served as home to countless numbers of the plays through which the Broadway theater has come to personify American theater. As such, it continues to help define the Broadway theater district, the largest and most famous concentration of legitimate stage theaters in the world.

 

DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS

 

The development of the Broadway Theater District

 

The area of midtown Manhattan known today as the Broadway theater district encompasses the largest concentration of legitimate playhouses in the world. The theaters located there, some dating from the turn of the century, are significant for their contributions to the history of the New York stage, for their influence upon American theater as a whole, and in many cases for their architectural design.

 

The development of the area around Times Square as New York's theater district at the end of the 19th century occurred as a result of two related factors: the northward movement of the population of Manhattan Island (abetted by the growth of several forms of mass transportation), and the expansion of New York's role in American theater. The northward movement of Manhattan's residential, commercial, and entertainment districts had been occurring at a steady rate throughout the 19th century. In the early 1800s, businesses, stores, hotels, and places of amusement had clustered together in the vicinity of lower Broadway. As New York's various businesses moved north, they began to isolate themselves in more or less separate areas: the financial institutions remained downtown; the major retail stores situated themselves on Broadway between 14th and 23rd Streets, eventually moving to Herald Square and Fifth Avenue after the turn of the century; the hotels, originally located near the stores and theaters, began to congregate around major transportation centers such as Grand Central Terminal or on the newly fashionable Fifth Avenue; while the mansions of the wealthy spread farther north on Fifth Avenue, as did such objects of their beneficence as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

The theater district, which had existed in the midst of stores, hotels, and other businesses along lower Broadway for most of the 19th century, spread northward in stages, stopping for a time at Union Square, then Madison Square, then Herald Square. By the last two decades of the 19th century, far-sighted theater managers had begun to extend the theater district even farther north along Broadway, until they had reached the area that was then known as Long Acre Square and is today called Times Square.

 

A district of farmlands and rural summer homes in the early 1800s, Long Acre Square had by the turn of the century evolved into a hub of mass transportation. A horsecar line had run across 42nd Street as early as the 1860s, and in 1871, with the opening of Grand Central Depot and the completion of the Third and Sixth Avenue Elevated Railways, it was comparatively simple for both New Yorkers and out-of-towners to reach Long Acre Square. Transportation continued to play a large part in the development of the area; in 1904 New York's subway system was inaugurated, with a major station located at 42nd Street and Broadway. The area was then renamed Times Square in honor of the newly erected Times Building. The evolution of the Times Square area as a center of Manhattan's various mass transit systems made it a natural choice for the location of legitimate playhouses, which needed to be easily accessible to their audiences.

 

The theater business that invaded Long Acre Square at the end of the 19th century consisted of far more than a few playhouses, for at that time New York was the Starting-point for a vast, nationwide entertainment

 

network known as "the road." This complex theater operation had its beginnings in the 1860s when the traditional method of running a theater, the stock system, was challenged by the growing popularity of touring "combination" shows. In contrast to the stock system, in which a theater manager engaged a company of actors for a season and presented them in a variety of plays, the combination system consisted of a company of actors appearing in a single show which toured from city to city, providing its own scenery, costumes, and sometimes musical accompaniment. Helped by the expansion of the nation's railroads after the Civil War, the combination system soon killed off the majority of stock companies. By 1904 there were some 420 combination companies touring through thousands of theaters in cities and towns across the country.

 

Of crucial importance to the operation of the combination system was a single location where combination shows could be cast, rehearsed, tried out, and then booked for a cross-country tour. Since New York was already regarded as the most important theater city in America, it is not surprising that it became the headquarters for the combination system. In addition to the many theaters needed for an initial Broadway production for the combinations before they went on tour, New York's theater district encompassed rehearsal halls, the headquarters of scenery, costume, lighting, and makeup companies, offices of theatrical agents and producers, theatrical printers and newspapers, and other auxiliary enterprises. Close to the theater district were boarding houses catering to the hundreds of performers who came to New York in the hope of being hired for a touring show or a Broadway production.

 

As theaters were built farther uptown, the auxiliary enterprises also began to move north. By the turn of the century,

 

the section of Broadway between 37th Street and 42nd Street was known as the Rialto. Theater people gathered or promenaded there. Producers could sometimes cast a play by looking over the actors loitering on the Rialto; and out-of-town managers, gazing out of office windows, could book tours by seeing who was available.^

 

The theater district that began to move north to Long Acre Square in the 1890s was thus a vast array of business enterprises devoted to every facet of theatrical production.

 

The movement of the theater district north along Broadway had proceeded at a steady pace during the latter part of the 19th century. The Casino Theater was opened on the southeast corner of Broadway and 39th Street in 1882. A year later, it was joined by a most ambitious undertaking--the construction of the Metropolitan Opera House on Broadway between 39th and 40th Streets. In 1888, the Broadway Theater was erected on the southwest corner of Broadway and 41st Street. Five years later, the American Theater opened its doors at Eighth Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets, as did Abbey's Theater at Broadway and 38th Street and the Empire Theater at Broadway and Fortieth Street.

 

It remained for Oscar Hammerstein I to make the move into Long Acre Square itself. At the close of the 19th century, Long Acre Square housed Manhattan's harness and carriage businesses, but was little used at night,

 

when it seems to have become a "thieves' lair."^ In 1895 Hammerstein erected an enormous theater building on Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets. The original plan for the Olympia called for a "perfect palace of entertainment--which would have included three theaters, a bowling alley, a turkish bath, cafes and restaurants." Only part of this visionary plan ever became a reality. On November 25, 1895, Hammerstein opened the Lyric Theater section of the building, and a little over three weeks later he inaugurated the Music Hall section. Never a financial success, the Olympia closed its doors two years after it opened. Nevertheless, it earned Hammerstein the title of "Father of Times Square."

 

By the turn of the century Hammerstein had built two more theaters in the Long Acre Square area, and in the years 1901-1920 a total of forty-three additional theaters appeared in midtown Manhattan, most of them in the side streets east and west of Broadway. Much of this theater-building activity was inspired by the competition between two major forces in the industry, the Theatrical Syndicate and the Shubert Brothers, for control of the road. As each side in the rivalry drew its net more tightly around the playhouses it owned or controlled, the other side was forced to build new theaters to house its attractions. The result was a dramatic increase in the number of playhouses, both in New York and across the country. After World War I, as the road declined and New York's theatrical activity increased, the general economic prosperity made possible the construction of thirty additional playhouses in the Times Square area, expanding the boundaries of the theater district so that it stretched from just west of

 

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Eighth Avenue to Sixth Avenue, and from 39th Street to Columbus Circle.

 

The stockmarket crash of 1929 and the resulting Depression causec a shrinkage in theater activity. Some playhouses were torn down, many were converted to motion picture houses, and later to radio and television studios. From the time of the Depression until the 1960s no new Broadway playhouses were constructed. Fortunately, the theaters that survive from the early part of the century represent a cross - section of types and styles, and share among them a good deal of New York's rich theatrical history.

 

Evolution of Theater Design

 

The frenzy of theater construction that occurred in New York during the first thirty years of this century brought with it an evolution in architecture and decoration. At the close of the 19th century American theaters were still being built in the style of traditional European opera houses, with high proscenium arches, narrow auditoriums, two or three balconies built in a horseshoe configuration, and dozens of boxes, some set into the front of the first balcony. Although contemporary notices of the theaters attributed specific (though often vague) styles or periods to them, their interiors were more often than not a melange of styles and colors.

 

With the increase of theater construction after the turn of the century came a new attitude toward theater architecture and decoration as firms such as Herts and Tallant, Thomas W. Lamb, and others, began to plan the playhouse's exterior and interior as a single, integrated design. The

 

Art Nouveau style New Amsterdam Theater, which opened in 1903, signalled this new seriousness in theater design.

 

Perhaps influenced by such European experiments as Wagner's Festival Theater at Bayreuth, American theater architects after the turn of the century began to structure their playhouses along different lines. Proscenium openings were made lower and wider, auditoriums were made shallower, seating was planned in a fan shape, and the number of balconies was usually reduced to one. Boxes were cut back to a minimum. The theaters that were built just before and after World War I for the most part shared this new configuration.

 

Because many of New York's extant playhouses were built during the period in which New York was serving as the starting-point for nationwide tours, they represent a style of theater architecture that is characteristic not only of New York but also of other cities across the United States, for a show which was originally produced in a New York theater would require similar conditions in the theaters in which it toured, and theater owners often hired the same architects to design and build theaters in several cities. Thus, New York's theaters set the standard for theater construction across the United States, as an inspection of designs for theaters in various cities will show.

 

The Broadway Theater in American Theatrical History

 

The playhouses scj.ll standing in the Broadway theater district share among them over eighty years of American theatrical history. In the early years of the century, when American theater was still heavily influenced by Europe, the theaters played host to such great international stars as Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and Mrs. Patrick Campbell, and to adaptations of such European successes as The Merry Widow and Floradora.

 

It was in the Broadway theaters that the beginnings of a distinctly American drama could be seen in the Western melodramas of David Belasco, the social comedies of Clyde Fitch and Langdon Mitchell, and the problem plays of Edward Sheldon and Eugene Walter. With the rise of the "little theater" movement in the second decade of the century, it seemed that theatrical leadership had passed from Broadway to such experimental "art" theaters as the Provincetown Playhouse and the Neighborhood Playhouse. Before long, however, the innovations of the little theaters infused Broadway with new life. Beginning with the production of Eugene O'Neill's first full-length play, Beyond the Horizon, on Broadway in 1920, the playhouses of Broadway presented the work of a new generation of playwrights, including, in addition to O'Neill, Maxwell Anderson, Philip Barry, S.N. Behrman, Rachel Crothers, Sidney Howard, George S. Kaufman, George Kelly and Elmer Rice.

 

The Depression of the 1930s brought with it a new concern with political and social issues, and the dramas presented in the Broadway playhouses reflected that concern. Commercial producers gave us plays by Lillian Hellman, Robert E. Sherwood, and Thornton Wilder, whle the Group Theater and other new organizations introduced such writers as Clifford Odets and Sidney Kingsley. The Broadway theaters continued to house

 

challenging plays during the 1940s and 1950s, when new talents such as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Killer, and William Inge first began writing for the theater.

 

Meanwhile, musical comedy had blossomed from the adaptations and imitations of European operetta popular at the turn of the century to a uniquely American art form. By the 1940s and 1950s the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and many others, were being exported from the stages of Broadway to theaters around the world.

 

The 1960s and 1970s were decades of ferment and change, both in and out of the theater. As in the 1920s, the impetus for theatrical experimentation came from outside of Broadway, and as in the 1920s, the experimentation helped to revitalize the Broadway theater. Today, the playhouses of Broadway are showcases for the best plays of the Off- and Off-Off Broadway theaters, as well as for exciting productions from theatrical workshops, regional theaters, and outstanding foreign companies.

 

Having moved gradually northward all during the 19th century, New York's theater district finally came to rest at Times Square, where it has remained for almost ninety years. The economic Depression of the 1930s discouraged speculative ventures such as the construction of new theaters, while after prosperity returned in the wake of World War II, the cost of renting land and constructing a theater was prohibitively high. The northward movement of the theater district may also have been discouraged for a number of years by the existence of the Sixth Avenue Elevated Railway, which crossed from Sixth to Ninth Avenues 53rd Street, thereby providing a natural northern boundary for the theater district.

 

The Music Box Theater, as one of the Broadway playhouses surviving today in the theater district, contributes to the totality of the district's history by virtue of its participation in that history.

 

Irving Berlin and Sam H. Harris

 

The Music Box was built for Sam Harris and Irving Berlin, legendary Broadway figures who each played an important role in shaping the history of American theater entertainment. Sam Harris was a soft-spoken, behind-the-scenes genius whose percentage of hits is still one of the highest in Broadway history.^ Irving Berlin is one of the great American

 

songwriters of this century. Together they created the Music Box Theater and made it what one writer called "the home of the hits!"

 

Sam Harris, a native New Yorker, was born February 3, 1872, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He left school at the age of fourteen, and by the age of seventeen was organizing local holiday entertainment and athletic exhibitions. Harris also raised thoroughbred racing horses and promoted prize fighters, including the featherweight champion of 1897, "Terrible Terry" McGovern. The enterprising Harris figured "Terrible Terry" could do more than just box in the ring, so beginning in 1898 he had McGovern delivering punch lines on the stage, first in The Bowery After Dark, a financial success which went on to tour the country, and then in The Gay Morning Glories, not nearly as popular.

 

In 1904, Sam Harris began a lengthy collaboration with composer George M. Cohan. Their first great success was Little Johnnie Jones. It was Cohan's show; he acted in it and wrote the music, including the songs "Give My Regards to Broadway." Harris, however, knew better than anyone the

 

business end of good popular entertainment; together Cohan and Harris are still regarded as one of the most successful teams in Broadway history.

 

Harris also controlled several theaters with Cohan: in 1913, they built the Bronx Opera House on East 149th Street and Third Avenue (extant), and together they took control of the Cohan and Harris Theater. Their personal lives were linked through their marriages to sisters, Alice Nolan (Harris's first wife), and Agnes Nolan (Cohan's wife). Their partnership eventually dissolved over a disagreement during the actors' strike which preceded the formation of Actors' Equity in 1920. Despite their feud, Cohan and Harris remained good friends and even revived their partnership in 1937 to produce one more show, Fulton of Oak FalIs.

 

When Harris parted with Cohan, he joined Irving Berlin in the Music Box Theater project. In addition to Berlin, Harris went on to collaborate with George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart on a number of productions, including Once In a Lifetime, Dinner At Eight, and The Man Who Came To Dinner. Three of his productions won Pulitzer Prizes: Icebound in 1923, Of Thee I Sing in 1932, and You Can't Take It With You in 1937. Harris died in 1941, a successful and respected stage figure whose name, Max Gordon once said, "stood for impeccable taste and something called for lack of a better word, 'class.'"

 

Irving Berlin, still alive today at the age of 99, has been one of the most versatile and popular songwriters of the twentieth century. Born May 11, 1888, in Eastern Russia, Israel Baline immigrated to the United States with his family in 1892 when he was only four years old."* His first published song (1907) was "Mario From Sunny Italy." A printer's error on the cover spelled his name I. Berlin, and he kept the name. Unable to read music and without any formal training, Berlin nonetheless has had over 1500 songs published, many of them internationally known. He can play the piano only in the key of F-sharp, and even has a special instrument furnished with a clutch that enables him to switch automatically to any key.

 

At the beginning of his career, Irving Berlin was a "Tin Pan Alley" pioneer, helping to win wide acceptance for ragtime jazz and the accompanying dance craze. His first great musical success, "Alexander's Ragtime Band," became an international hit when vaudeville star Emma Carus introduced its syncopated march rhythms to Chicago audienpes in 1911. By 1915, the song had sold over two million sheet copies and Berlin had become identified in the public mind with ragtime.

 

In 1914 Berlin wrote his first complete score for the Vernon and Irene Castle revue Watch Your Step that popularized "Play a Simple Melody." At that time he was also performing in vaudeville, appearing at such theaters as the London Hippodrome, where he was billed as the "king of ragtime." Drafted into the army in 1918, Berlin wrote and starred in Yip-Yip Yaphank, a service musical in which he first introduced "I Hate to Get Up in the Morning."

 

In 1919, the songwriter formed his own musical publishing company, Irving Berlin, Inc. During the 1920s Berlin wrote for a number of revues including the Ziegfeld Follies of 1920 and 1927 and his own Music Box Revues of 1921-24. In 1925, he scored his first musical comedy, The Cocoanuts, for the Marx Brothers. His work took on a more sober tone in

 

the early 1930s with two political satires, Face the Music (1932) and As Thousands Cheer (1933), the latter featuring his holiday classic, "Easter Parade." In 1935 Berlin began writing for the movies. Bing Crosby, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Judy Garland owed some of their greatest hits to him. Top Hat (1935) featured Rogers and Astaire dancing to "Isn't This a Lovely Day" and "Cheek to Cheek," Crosby introduced "White Christmas" in Holiday Inn (1942), and Garland and Astaire walked up the avenue in Easter Parade (1948). On Broadway, Berlin was particularly identified with Ethel Merman who starred in his greatest hit Annie Get Your Gun (1944) and later spoofed Perle Mesta in Call Me Madam (1950).

 

In 1954 Berlin went into retirement. He returned to Broadway in 1962 with the score for Mr. President, a great popular success despite a lukewarm reception from the critics. In 1955, President Eisenhower presented Berlin with a gold medal "in recognition of his services in composing warm patriotic songs," the most famous of these being "God Bless America."

 

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C. Howard Crane and E. George Kiehler

 

During a career that spanned almost fifty years, Charles Howard Crane designed more than two hundred theaters in the United States and some 125 more in Canada and Great Britain. Among the most widely publicized of these were his only two Broadway playhouses, the Music Box (1921) and the Guild (later the ANTA, currently the Virginia; 1924-25). Quite different from each other in appearance - - the GuiId is mode 1 ed on a Tuscan villa while the Music Box is severely Palladian in style -- both theaters display Crane's academically correct eclecticism. Crane believed that

 

theaters ought to exemplify architecture as an art of dramatization. Unlike many other theater architects of the time, who blended various historical elements into a personal style, Crane never developed a "signature" in his work.

 

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1885, Crane began his career in that city in 1904. He moved to Detroit in 1905 where he apprenticed himself to Albert Kahn. Only a year later he had become the chief draftsman for the firm of Field, Hynchman & Smith, and by 1909 he had established his own practice. His expertise in theater design and construction, and specifically in acoustics, gained him a solid reputation and kept his services in constant demand, particularly during the 1920s. At one time he employed fifty-three draftsmen who assisted him with projects in almost every major American city. In Detroit alone, he designed almost fifty theaters, the most heralded two being the Majestic (1917) and Orchestra Hall (1919).

 

Crane employed two senior associates: Ben A. Dore, chief designer in the Detroit office, who collaborated on, or was in charge of, many mid-western projects' and Kenneth Franzheim (1891-1959), who ran Crane's New York City office. Two well publicized examples of Crane and Franzheim's collaboration were the twin Selwyn and Harris Theaters in Chicago. Archie and Edgar Selwyn, both prominent New York producers, commissioned one; and Sam Harris, impressed with his architect's 1921 Music Box design, commissioned Crane to build the other. The two separate but adjoining structures were roughly the same size and consisted of similarly fashioned Renaissance style facades. Another Crane and Franzheim collaboration was the Capitol Theater and Office Building in Boston in 1926. This elaborate design incorporated a two-story Ionic colonnaded facade into a standard fourteen-story office tower with an extremely plush and decorative interior. E. George Kiehler was also a collaborator on some of Crane's theater projects, including the Music Box, but his specific contributions are not known.

 

At the height of Crane's career, shortly before the Depression, many American film studios and theater corporations had attained their greatest financial and popular success. Individual theaters and theater chains became one part of an expanding entertainment empire. Beginning in 1925, for example, the Fox Theater Corporation embarked on a campaign to build or acquire what would amount to 800 theaters by the year 1929. Crane alone was commissioned by Fox to design twenty-five new theaters. Two of them, the Detroit Fox and the St. Louis Fox, both completed in 1928, were among the largest theaters in the country. Typically for Crane, the style of the Detroit Fox blended East Indian, Byzantine and Baroque motifs. Another similar theater in the Fox chain, the Brooklyn Fox, also by Crane in 1928, had a seating capacity of 4,305, and became a famous showcase for first-run motion pictures.

 

United Artists took advantage of Crane's talents too in 1927 when they commissioned him to design the Spanish Gothic style United Artists Theater in Los Angeles. With a lobby that resembled a vaulted Spanish cathedral, the theater also featured intricate tracery and a mirrored auditorium ceiling.^

 

In 1932, one of the worst years of the Depression, Crane moved to Europe, first to Milan where he designed Italy's first skyscraper, then to London where he settled permanently. Although his reasons for leaving the United States remain unclear, Crane continued to build theaters in England and maintained his office in Detroit. Perhaps his greatest architectural challenge, and certainly his finest engineering accomplishment, resulted in 1937 in his Earl's Court Exhibition Hall, sports and amusement center. Faced with a triangular twelve-acre site above a network of railway tracks, Crane created a modern curvilinear structure with a 118-foot high arena and five exhibition halls which could be opened into one vast amphitheater seating 30,000. It also featured an Olympic-sized swimming pool which could be raised, frozen for skating, or used as a stage or playing field. All this, it Is said, was erected without stopping a single train below the construction.

 

During and after World War II, Crane rechanneled his efforts into industrial design while working on the rebuilding of London factories and the modernization of other British plants. He continued to visit the United States frequently to lecture, but resided in London until his death there in 1952.

 

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The Music Box Theater

 

According to one account, Sam Harris first mentioned his interest in building a theater to Irving Berlin in 1919. Berlin responded, "If you ever do, I have a great title for you." "A title for a song?" asked Harris. "No, a title for a theater, the Music Box," replied Berlin.

 

The following year Harris joined with Berlin to build the Music Box Theater, shortly after the termination of Harris's partnership with George M. Coh an. Harris built the Music Box Theater specifically to house Berlin's Music Box Revues. (Harris and Berlin were joined in the venture by a mutual friend, motion picture magnate Joseph Schenck, who soon after the theater's completion sold his interest to the Shubert Organization.) A site on 45th Street was purchased from the Astor Realty Co., and on September 22, 1921 the Music Box Theater opened with an extravaganza Berlin wrote especially for the new house. The property cost $400,000, the building $600,000, and more than $240,000 was spent for Hassard Short to produce and stage the first show. Theatre Magazine's reviewer obviously thought the expense well worthwhile, for he proclaimed Berlin's Music Box Revue and the Music Box theater "a wonderful new show in a superlatively beautiful new theatre.""*

 

For another reviewer the theater and show were "the most eye-filling and appealing combination of play and playhouse that local playgoers accustomed as they are to things gorgeous theatrically -- have ever been treated to." "Say It With Music" became Berlin's theme song for the theater and for his Music Box Revues of 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1924.

 

The Music Box was one of the small number of theaters built in the 1920s for an individual producer, rather than for a large organization like the Shuberts or the Chanins. Harris and Berlin turned to C. Howard Crane for an unusual and individual design that would mark the theater as the home of Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues.

 

Crane's design for the Music Box combined Palladian and Adamesque motifs from an architectural tradition that was essentially English and neo-Georgian. Its most prominent feature was a delicate limestone Ionic

 

colonnade screening the gallery, with pedimented doorways and finely designed lanterns. The bays on either side were framed by double pilasters and punctuated by Palladian windows on the second level, and a single window on the third. The theater was then crowned by a mansard roof with four dormer windows and a decorative wrought-iron balustrade running the length of the 100 foot theater. As described by the contemporary architectural press:

 

The delicate limestone colonnade and gallery with its finely designed doorways and lanterns is the central feature. Pylon like at the sides the structural masses give strength and proportion to the design and the mansard roof with its dormer windows and balustrades is decidedly a crowning feature. The freedom of the front from the blatant electric advertising sign is a relief. Two signs of small size designed and proportioned in keeping with the whole scheme proclaim the purpose of the building and the marquise-a concession to the needs of a stormy night-is so submerged as not to obtrude to the detriment of the composition.

 

The overall effect of Crane's design for the Music Box was distinctly domestic. The combination of Palladian and neo-Georgian elements was suggestive of a grand country house. Such an approach was not new to the

 

theater district; a number of earlier theaters built as headquarters/homes for theatrical impresarios followed similar themes. David Belasco's Stuyvesant Theater (today the Belasco) used a neo-Georgian facade to suggest an Intimate, if luxurious, 1ivingroom housing his productions. Winthrop Ames's Little Theater used a similarly styled facade to suggest a domestic home for his intimate "little theater" productions, and his architects, Ingalls & Hoffman, did something similar for Henry Miller's Theater a few years later. Contemporary with the Music Box was the Theater Guild's home (also designed by Crane), whose Italian pa1azzo-inspired facade deliberately evoked the homes of the Renaissance princes who patronized the theatrical arts. This connection between neo-Georgian architecture and intimate theater appears to have been generally understood at the time, and a contemporary architectural periodical noted of the Music Box:

 

This small theatre seats one thousand and is designed for the so-called "intimate" production. This idea is well carried into the design by the use of the style of the Georgian period following the delicacy of domestic architecture more than the monumental.

 

From the first the Broadway critics were impressed with the beauty and refinement of the Music Box's design. Jack Lait of Variety called it "the daintiest theatre in America," and the Evening Telegram's reviewer dubbed it "a theatre unparalleled....so beautiful and so satisfying that its like is not to be found here or even on the continent.." For the Herald's reviewer the Music Box's facade provided a welcome contrast to the more mundane theater buildings then going up in the Broadway area:

 

The audience which gathered to witness the brilliant opening of the Music Box last night had its first surprise on approaching the building. The new theater actually has a front -- it even deserves to be called a facade -- Vith pillars and other dignified architectural decorations....

 

The architectural press was equally enthusiastic, though perhaps less colorful in its praise. A number of journals published photos, plans, and descriptions of the Music Box. The American Architect-Architectural Review devoted eight pages to Crane's playhouse in the February 1, 1922, issue, calling it one of the most "artistic additions to New York's large number of theaters." The journal added "how remarkable" the Music Box was "for the quiet dignity of its desien and in its plan for those elements of comfort and luxurious ease____"

 

A few years later in the American Spirit in Architecture, Talbot Hamlin ranked the Music Box "among the most beautiful of modern theaters" saying:

 

It is in a modernized Adam style, and borrows much from our own native tradition in its quiet wall and roof surfaces and its delicately proportioned loggia. Proportion, detail, atmosphere make its facade a true ornament to the city, and prove that gayety is quite compatible with repose and dignity.

 

Berlin presented a Music Box Revue in each of the next four years. He moved on to other creative projects after 1925 but maintained his controlling interest with Sam Harris in the Music Box Theater. Their careful supervision of outside productions using the theater gave the Music Box an outstanding performance record: in its first twenty-five years only three shows ran less than 100 performances.

 

Today Irving Berlin retains a share in the ownership of the Music Box Theater -- "What the hell does a songwriter want with a theater?" he said in 1971. "I've sold real estate, but I've held on to the Music Box. It's a sentimental interest." The Music Box remains remarkably intact inside and out, its facade largely unaltered from the day it was built.

 

The Music Box as a Playhouse^

 

Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues occupied the Music Box Theater for its first four years. The Mail called the Revue of 1922 "four hours of jazz, girls, gorgeous costuming, spectacles that at times were dazzling, dancing acrobatics, arui all the hurly-burly of color movement associated with its predecessor."

 

The first straight play produced at the Music Box following Berlin's Revues was The Cradle Snatchers (1925), whose cast included the young Humphrey Bogart. Two more hit comedies followed, Chicago with Charles Bickford and Francine Larrimore in 1926 and Philip Barry's Paris Bound with Hope Williams in 1927. Music returned to the theater in 1928 with Cole Porter's Paris starring the glamorous Irene Bordoni. The following year Clifton Webb, Fred Allen and Libby Holman appeared in the Little Show revue. In 1931, the third edition of this series also appeared at the Music Box featuring Bea Lillie's rendition of Noel Coward's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen." For the most part, however, during the 'thirties the Music Box was given over to the the works of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart who either together or in collaboration with others supplied the house with one hit after another. The decade opened with Kaufman and Hart's first joint effort,

 

Once in a Lifetime, a Hollywood satire with Jean Dixon that convulsed audiences for 410 performances. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind collaborated on the Music Box's next production, the Gershwin musical Of Thee Sing, which ran 446 performances in 1931-32 and won the first Pulitzer Prize awarded to a musical. Subsequent productions involving Kaufman or Hart included Dinner at Eight (1932, Kaufman and Edna Ferber), As Thousands Cheer (1933, book by Hart), Merrily We Roll Along (19 34, Kaufman and Hart), First Lady (1935, Kaufman and Katherine Dayton), Stage Door (19 36, Kaufman and Ferber) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (19 39, Kaufman and Hart). Kaufman also directed all of the above productions as well as John Steinbeck's dramatization of his novel Of Mice and Men which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1938.

 

Following the death of Sam Harris in 1941 the Music Box was leased to independent producers on a show-by-show basis. Continuing to attract strong productions, it retained its reputation as one of the most successful theaters on Broadway. Contributing to this success was Mike Todd's Star and Garter, a rowdy revue starring Gypsy Rose Lee that racked up an impressive 605 performances in 1942-43. Rodgers and Hammerstein's productions of John Van Druten's I Remember Mama also enjoyed great success with 714 performances in 1944-45. The young Marlon Brando made his Broadway debut in this production which also starred Mady Christians and Oscar Homolka. Other notable productions from the forties included Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke (1948) and the Maxwell Anderson-Kurt Weill musical Lost in the Stars (1949).

 

The fifties were marked by a happy association between the Music Box and playwright William Inge who supplied the theater with three hits: the Pulitzer Prize winning Picnic (1953), Bus Stop (1954), and Dark at the Top £f the Stairs (1958). Other highlights of the 'fifties included Separate Tables which featured a Tony Award-winning performance by actress Margaret Leighton, and Five Finger Excercise which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best foreign play of the 1959/60 season.

 

During the 1960s the Music Box housed a number of distinguished dramas, inc luding A Far Country (1961) with Steven Hill and Kim Stanley, and The Homecoming (1967) with Ian Holm and Vivien Merchant. Its most popular attraction, however, was a romantic comedy Any Wednesday (1964) which ran 983 performances and and garnered paeans of praise from the critics for actress Sandy Dennis.

 

Two thrillers dominated the 1970s, Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth (1970), a British import with Anthony Quayle and Keith Baxter, and Ira Levin's Deathtrap (1978), the Music Box's longest running play to date. In addition there was another long running comedy with Sandy Dennis, Absurd Person Singular (1974), and a revue of songs by Stephen Sondheim, Side by Side by Sondheim (1977), with Millicent Martin and Julie McKenzie. In recent years the Music Box has housed the stark drama Agnes of God (1983) with Elizabeth Ashley, Geraldine Page and Amanda Plummer, a charming revival of Noel Coward's Hay Fever (1985) with Rosemary Harris and Roy Dotrice, and a critically acclaimed production by the Royal Shakespeare Company of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1987).

 

The success of the Music Box as a theater may be best summarized in the words of Moss Hart:

 

The Music Box is everybody's dream of a theatre. If there is such a thing as a theatre's making a subtle contribution to the play being given on its stage, the Music Box is that theatre. Except for the Haymarket Theatre in London, I know of no other that possesses so strong an atmosphere of its own, as living and as personal, as the Music Box. Even in broad daylight, as we stepped inside its doors and into its darkened auditorium, there was an undefinable sense that here the theatre was always at its best.

 

Description

 

The Music Box Theater has a symmetrically-organized facade which is wider than it is high. The ground floor, which is of stone (with concrete infill and patches) is dominated by its doorways. Four pairs of original bronze and glass doors adorned with curvilinear motifs, lead into the ticket lobby at the right (east). These are flanked by original bronze -painted wood and glass signboards, framed by colonnettes with grotesques and crowned by stylized pediments (of sheetmetal over wood) composed of waves f 1 ank ing lyres in wreath surrounds. A modern marquee extends out over the entrance doors. Three pairs of original bronze and gl ass exit doors from the auditorium are flanked by similar s ignboards of bronze -painted iron, and doorways, that to the east with a single door, and that to the west with a decorative painted wrought - iron gate at the foot of the fire stairs. Decorative iron railings flank the two granite steps leading from the gate. Two large original iron signboards are placed on the wall adjacent to the recessed paired bronze stage doors.

 

A single bronze stage door in an iron frame is at the western end. These two stage door openings flank a single original sign board. The ground floor is surmounted by a cornice with a wide Adamesque frieze containing vertical ribs, urns, and swags. The major portion of the facade, rising from the ground floor base, is faced with stone and is organized into a colonnaded center section with flanking end bays. Double-height fluted columns with stylized Corinthian capitals are linked by wrought-iron railings with cast-iron panels which shield a recessed portion of the facade. The gallery thus created serves as the exit for a set of fire stairs at the east and for the three doorways from the balcony level of the auditorium. These doorways have pane led doors and are surmounted by entablatures with urn- and swag-adorned friezes supporting triangular pediments (at the outer doors) and a scrol led broken pediment with pineapple finial (at the center door). Three wrought-iron and glass lanterns are suspended from the ceiling of the gallery. The end bays are flanked by pilasters with stylized Corinthian capitals.

 

A Palladianesque window with fan-filled tympanum is placed at the second floor of each bay. The windows have multi-paned casement sash. At the third floor of each bay is a window with a simple molded surround. The sash are mul ti-paned casements. A vertical sign projects from the wall of the eastern bay. An entablature with rosette-adorned frieze, dentils, and modi 11ioned cornice spans the facade. This is surmounted by a slate -covered sloping roof punctuated by round-arched sheetmetal dormers with multi-paned sash. Wrought - and cast - iron railings are placed above the cornice and at the roofline.

 

- From the 1987 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

Belgian postcard by P Magazine, no. 37 in the series 'De mooiste vrouwen van de eeuw' (the 100 most beautiful women of the century). Photo: Sante D'Orazio / Outline.

 

Vivacious Kate Winslet (1975) is often seen as the best English-speaking film actress of her generation. The English actress and singer was the youngest person to acquire six Academy Award nominations, and won the Oscar for The Reader (2008).

 

Kate Elizabeth Winslet was born Reading, England, in 1975. She is the second of four children of stage actors Sally Anne (née Bridges) and Roger John Winslet. Winslet began studying drama at the age of 11. The following year, Winslet appeared in a television commercial for Sugar Puffs cereal, in which she danced opposite the Honey Monster. Winslet's acting career began on television, with a co-starring role in the BBC children's science fiction serial Dark Season (Colin Cant, 1991). On the set, Winslet met Stephen Tredre, who was working as an assistant director. They would have a four-and-a-half-year relationship, and remained close after their separation in 1995. He died of bone cancer during the opening week of Titanic, causing her to miss the film's Los Angeles premiere to attend his funeral in London. Her role in Dark Season was followed by appearances in the made-for-TV film Anglo-Saxon Attitudes (Diarmuid Lawrence, 1992), the sitcom Get Back (Graeme Harper, 1992), and an episode of the medical drama Casualty (Tom Cotter, 1993). She made her film debut in the New Zealand drama film Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, 1994) . Winslet auditioned for the part of Juliet Hulme, an obsessive teenager in 1950s New Zealand who assists in the murder of the mother of her best friend, Pauline Parker (played by Melanie Lynskey). Winslet won the role over 175 other girls. The film included Winslet's singing debut, and her a cappella version of Sono Andati, an aria from La Bohème, was featured on the film's soundtrack. The film opened to strong critical acclaim at the 51st Venice International Film Festival in 1994 and became one of the best-received films of the year. Winslet was awarded an Empire Award and a London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Actress of the Year. Subsequently she played the second leading role of Marianne Dashwood in the Jane Austen adaptation Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee, 1995) featuring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. The film became a financial and critical success, resulting in a worldwide box office total of $135 million and various awards for Winslet. She won both a BAFTA and a Screen Actors' Guild Award, and was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. In 1996, Winslet starred in Michael Winterbottom's Jude, based on the Victorian novel Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. She played Sue Bridehead, a young woman with suffragette leanings who falls in love with her cousin (Christopher Eccleston). She then played Ophelia, Hamlet's drowned lover, in Kenneth Branagh's all star-cast film version of William Shakespeare's Hamlet (1996). In mid-1996, Winslet began filming James Cameron's Titanic (1997), alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. She was cast as the passionate, rosy-cheeked aristocrat Rose DeWitt Bukater, who survives the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic. Against expectations, Titanic (1997) became the highest-grossing film in the world at the time and transformed Winslet into a commercial movie star. Young girls the world over both idolized and identified with Winslet. Despite the enormous success of Titanic, Winslet next starred in were two low-budget art-house films, Hideous Kinky (Gillies MacKinnon, 1998), and Holy Smoke! (Jane Campion, 1999). In 1997, on the set of Hideous Kinky, Winslet met film director Jim Threapleton, whom she married in 1998. They have a daughter, Mia Honey Threapleton (2000). Winslet and Threapleton divorced in 2001.

 

Since 2000, Kate Winslet's performances have continued to draw positive comments from film critics. She appeared in the period piece Quills (Philip Kaufman, 2000) with Geoffrey Rush and Joaquin Phoenix, and inspired by the life and work of the Marquis de Sade. The actress was the first big name to back the film project, accepting the role of a chambermaid in the asylum and the courier of the Marquis' manuscripts to the underground publishers. Well received by critics, the film garnered numerous accolades for Winslet. In Enigma (Michael Apted, 2001), she played a young woman who finds herself falling for a brilliant young World War II code breaker (Dougray Scott). She was five months pregnant at the time of the shoot, forcing some tricky camera work. In the same year she appeared in Iris (Richard Eyre, 2001), portraying novelist Iris Murdoch. Winslet shared her role with Judi Dench, with both actresses portraying Murdoch at different phases of her life. Subsequently, each of them was nominated for an Academy Award the following year, earning Winslet her third nomination. Also in 2001, she voiced the character Belle in the animation film Christmas Carol: The Movie, based on the Charles Dickens classic novel. For the film, Winslet recorded the song What If, which was a Europe-wide top ten hit. Winslet began a relationship with director Sam Mendes in 2001, and she married him in 2003 on the island of Anguilla. Their son, Joe Alfie Winslet Mendes, was born in 2003 in New York City. In 2010, Winslet and Mendes announced their separation and divorced in 2011. In the drama The Life of David Gale (Alan Parker, 2003), she played an ambitious journalist who interviews a death-sentenced professor (Kevin Spacey) in his final weeks before execution. Next, Winslet appeared with Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004). In this neo-surrealistic indie-drama, she played Clementine Kruczynski, a chatty, spontaneous and somewhat neurotic woman, who decides to have all memories of her ex-boyfriend erased from her mind. The film was a critical and financial success and Winslet received rave reviews and her fourth Academy Award-nomination. Finding Neverland (Marc Forster, 2004), is the story of Scottish writer J.M. Barrie (Johnny Depp) and his platonic relationship with Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Winslet), whose sons inspired him to pen the classic play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. The film received favourable reviews and became Winslet's highest-grossing film since Titanic.

 

In 2005, Kate Winslet played a satirical version of herself in an episode of the comedy series Extras by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. While dressed as a nun, she was portrayed giving phone sex tips to the romantically challenged character of Maggie. Her performance in the episode led to her first nomination for an Emmy Award. In the musical romantic comedy Romance & Cigarettes (John Turturro, 2005), she played the slut Tula, and again Winslet was praised for her performance. In Todd Field's Little Children (2006), she played a bored housewife who has a torrid affair with a married neighbor (Patrick Wilson). Both her performance and the film received rave reviews. Again she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and at 31, became the youngest actress to ever garner five Oscar nominations. Commercial successes were Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy The Holiday (2006), also starring Cameron Diaz, and the CG-animated Flushed Away (2006), in which she voiced Rita, a scavenging sewer rat who helps Roddy (Hugh Jackman) escape from the city of Ratropolis and return to his luxurious Kensington origins. In 2007, Winslet reunited with Leonardo DiCaprio to film Revolutionary Road (2008), directed by her husband at the time, Sam Mendes. Portraying a couple in a failing marriage in the 1950s, DiCaprio and Winslet watched period videos promoting life in the suburbs to prepare themselves for the film. Winslet was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance, her seventh nomination from the Golden Globes. Then she starred in the film adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's 1995 novel The Reader, (Stephen Daldry, 2008) featuring Ralph Fiennes and David Kross in supporting roles. Employing a German accent, Winslet portrayed a former Nazi concentration camp guard who has an affair with a teenager (Kross) who, as an adult, witnesses her war crimes trial. While the film garnered mixed reviews in general. The following year, she earned her sixth Academy Award nomination and went on to win the Best Actress award, the BAFTA Award for Best Actress, a Screen Actors' Guild Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.

 

In 2011, Kate Winslet headlined in the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce, based on James M. Cain's 1941 novel and directed by Todd Haynes. She portrayed a self-sacrificing mother during the Great Depression who finds herself separated from her husband and falling in love with a new man (Guy Pearce), all the while trying to earn her narcissistic daughter's (Evan Rachel Wood) love and respect. This time, Winslet won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Roman Polanski's Carnage (2011) premiered at the 68th Venice Film Festival. The black comedy follows two sets of parents who meet up to talk after their children have been in a fight that day at school. Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz co-starred in the film. In 2012, she was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In Jason Reitman's big screen adaptation of Joyce Maynard's novel Labor Day (2013), she starred with Josh Brolin and Tobey Maguire. Winslet received favorable reviews for her portrayal of Adele, a mentally fragile, repressed single mom of a 13-year-old son who gives shelter to an escaped prisoner during a long summer week-end. For her performance, Winslet earned her tenth Golden Globe nomination. Next she appeared in the science fiction film Divergent (Neil Burger, 2014), as the bad antagonist Jeanine Matthews. It became one of the biggest commercial successes of her career. This year, Winslet also appeared alongside Matthias Schoenaerts in Alan Rickman's period drama A Little Chaos (2014) about rival landscape gardeners commissioned by Louis XIV to create a fountain at Versailles. Next she can be seen in the crime-thriller Triple Nine (John Hillcoat, 2015), the sequel in the Divergent series: Insurgent (Robert Schwentke, 2015) and in The Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 2015). Since 2012, Kate Winslet is married to Ned Rocknroll, a nephew of Richard Branson; The couple's son have a son, Bear Blaze Winslet. They live in West Sussex.

 

Sources: Tom Ryan (Encyclopedia of British Film), Sandra Brennan (AllMovie), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

 

What would Sandra Bullock say? The celebrated star, 50, took home the Oscar for Best Actress at the 2010 Academy Awards for her role in The Blind Side, but the movie’s inspiration Michael Oher has less than positive feelings about the flick.

The NFL star, who was depicted in The Blind ...

 

fashionlifestyle.org/michael-oher-i-dont-like-the-blind-s...

These pink roses were outside of a barbeque restaurant we stopped at to have a delicious pork sandwich in Texas.... somewhere between San Antonio and Dallas.. LOLLLLL

  

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TpvTEb4BaQ ('toon with Henry Mancini - Italian Violin)

  

Days of Wine and Roses (film)

 

Wikipedia~

 

Days of Wine and Roses (1962) is a film directed by Blake Edwards with a screenplay by JP Miller adapted from his own critically acclaimed 1958 teleplay for Playhouse 90 of the same name (see: Days of Wine and Roses, 1958 TV drama). The movie was produced by Martin Manulis with Henry Mancini music, and features Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford and Jack Klugman.

 

The film depicts the insidious nature of addiction in modern life, following the downward spiral of two average Americans who succumb to alcoholism and attempt to deal with their problem.

 

An Academy Award went to the film's theme music, composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The film received four other Oscar nominations, including ones for Best Actor and Best Actress.

  

... Oh my! I discovered Anne Hathaway this evening. As I began to watch Rachel Getting Married, I didn't know a single performer in the movie. Kim was the leading lady and the heart of the whole narrative playing Rachel's sister who is just out of rehab for drug and alcohol dependency. At my age I'm not all that excited about "sexy" although it is still pleasant to the eye, but this girl carried the show. She is a superb actress, well within the class of Penelope Cruz, Eva Green and Lena Headey. Rachel Getting Married is a movie well worth seeing. Fortunately it's on Netflix, so I can go back and watch it over and over. Anne was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress for her performance in Rachel Getting Married, so I'm far from being alone in my excitement. Here are the Links ....

 

Anne Hathaway ...

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Hathaway_(actress)

 

Rachel Getting Married ...

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Getting_Married

French postcard by Photomania / Studio Magazine, Paris, no. PSM 393. Photo: Luc Roux.

 

French film actor Philippe Noiret (1930-2006) acted in several Hollywood productions, but he is best known for his roles as Alfredo in Cinema Paradiso, Pablo Neruda in Il Postino, and Major Dellaplane in Bertrand Tavernier's Life and Nothing But.

 

Philippe Noiret was born in Lille, France, in 1930. His parents were Lucy (Heirman) and Pierre Noiret, a clothing company representative. He was an indifferent scholar and attended several prestigious Paris schools, including the Lycée Janson de Sailly. He failed several times to pass his baccalauréat exams, so he decided to study theatre. He trained at the Centre Dramatique de l'Ouest and toured with the Théâtre National Populaire for seven years, where he met actress Monique Chaumette, whom he married in 1962. During that time he developed a career as a nightclub comedian in a duo act with Jean-Pierre Darras, in which he played Louis XIV in an extravagant wig opposite Darras as the dramatist Jean Racine. Noiret's screen debut was an uncredited role in Gigi (Jacqueline Audry, 1949) starring Gaby Morlay. Audry cast Noiret again in Olivia/The Pit of Loneliness (1950). In 1955 he appeared in Agnès Varda’s debut film La Pointe Courte/The Short Point opposite Sylvia Montfort. This was considered to be the first film of the Nouvelle Vague. The budget for the film was low, costing only $14,000. This was roughly one fourth the budget of other Nouvelle Vague films of the era such as Les 400 Coups/The 400 Blows and A Bout de SouffleBreathless. No members of the cast or crew were paid during the production. Sporting a pudding-basin haircut, Noiret played a lovelorn youth in the southern fishing port of Sète. He was not cast again until 1960 in Zazie dans le metro/Zazie in the Metro (Louis Malle, 1960) , based on the novel by Raymond Queneau. Noiret played a female impersonator who happens to be the uncle of 10-year-old Zazie (Catherine Demongeot). The provincial girl stays in Paris with him for two days, while her mother spends some time with her lover. Zazie manages to evade her uncle's custody, however, and, métro strike notwithstanding, sets out to explore the city on her own. For his role as the dull but inoffensive husband poisoned by his wife (Emmanuelle Riva) in Thérèse Desqueyroux (Georges Franju, 1962), he won the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival. In the romantic adventure Le Capitaine Fracasse/Captain Fracasse (Pierre Gaspard-Huit, 1961) , he played the secondlead to Jean Marais. From then on, he became a regular on the French screen, without being cast in major roles until the romantic comedy La Vie de château/A Matter of Resistance (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, 1966) in which he played the male lead opposite Catherine Deneuve. Finally, Noiret became a star in France with Alexandre le Bienheureux/Very Happy Alexander (Yves Robert, 1968). Noiret plays a henpecked childless farmer that lives oppressed by his authoritarian and materialistic wife, being the only worker in his farm. When she is killed in a car accident, the charming hedonist decides that the time has come to take it easy, locks himself up in his house with his dog and stays in bed.

 

In 1976, Philippe Noiret won his first César Award for his role in Vieux Fusil/The Old Gun (Robert Enrico, 1975) opposite Romy Schneider. His second César came in 1990 for his role in La vie et rien d'autre/Life and Nothing But (Bertrand Tavernier, 1990). He appeared in several Hollywood-financed films like The Night of the Generals (Anatole Litvak, 1967), the spy thriller Topaz (Alfred Hitchcock, 1969), the drama Justine (George Cukor, Joseph Strick, 1969), the war film Murphy's War (Peter Yates, 1971) starring Peter O'Toole, and the comedy mystery Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (Ted Kotcheff, 1978). Noiret was cast primarily as the Everyman character, although he did not hesitate to accept controversial roles, such as in La Grande Bouffe/ Blow Out (Marco Ferreri, 1973), a film about suicide by overeating, which caused a scandal at the Cannes Film Festival. Interesting was also his role as a man leading a quiet life in a Lyons suburb, stunned when he learns that his son is wanted for murder in L'Horloger de Saint-Paul/The Watchmaker of St Paul (1974). It was the first of a dozen films he made with director Bertrand Tavernier. Their second film together was the period piece Que La Fête Commence/Let Joy Reign Supreme (Bertrand Tavernier, 1975) in which the bewigged actor seemed to relish the role of the atheistic Philippe d'Orleans. For Tavernier, he also played a good humoured but ineffectual local constable in French West Africa who becomes a serial murderer in Coup de Torchon (Bertrand Tavernier, 1981). In Gli occhiali d'oro/The Gold Rimmed Glasses (Giuliano Montaldo, 1987), he played an elderly and respectable doctor who has a passion for a beautiful young man (Rupert Everett), and in J'embrasse pas/I Don't Kiss (André Téchiné, 1991), he was a melancholy old homosexual obsessed with young men. A huge success was the Italian drama Nuovo Cinema Paradiso/Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988) in which he played a wonderfully warm-hearted projectionist at a failing provincial cinema, affectionately sharing his love of film with a young enthusiast. Cinema Paradiso won the Special Jury Prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival and the 1989 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Another international success was the Italian film Il postino/Il Postino: The Postman (Michael Radford, 1994) which tells a fictional story in which the real life Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (Noiret) forms a relationship with a simple postman (Massimo Troisi) who learns to love poetry. In 2006, Philippe Noiret died of cancer in Paris, aged 76. By the time of his death, Noiret had more than 100 film roles to his credit. In his obituary for The Guardian, Ronald Bergan wrote: “The tall, bulky build and droopy bloodhound face of Philippe Noiret, who has died aged 76, were significant features on the European cinema landscape for more than half a century.”

 

Sources: Ronald Bergan (The Guardian), Wikipedia and IMDb.

All the best for your 101!

Dutch postcard. Photo: publicity still for Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967).

 

American film actress Faye Dunaway (1941) is a classic beauty with high cheekbones and a husky resonant voice. She had her breakthrough as Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and became one of Hollywood's biggest stars of the 1970s with Chinatown (1974), Three Days of the Condor (1975) and Network (1976), for which she won the Oscar.

 

Dorothy Faye Dunaway was born on a farm in Bascom, Florida in 1941, the daughter of Grace April (Smith), a housewife, and John MacDowell Dunaway, Jr., an army officer. After high school she majored in education at the University of Florida, but switched to theatre arts and transferred to Boston University, earning her degree in 1962. In 1962, at the age of 21, she took acting classes at the American National Theater and Academy. She did four plays on Broadway over the next three years. Her first screen appearance was on the short-lived TV drama series Seaway (1965). Dunaway's first screen role was in The Happening (Elliot Silverstein, 1967), which starred Anthony Quinn. That role was followed by a supporting role in the drama Hurry Sundown (Otto Preminger, 1967), co-starring Michael Caine and Jane Fonda. While she had difficulties with Preminger, her performance was well-received and she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best New Star of the Year. Then she skyrocketed to fame as the bank robber Bonnie Parker in the pop culture juggernaut Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967), with Warren Beatty. The film, though controversial, was a smash hit, and elevated Dunaway to stardom. For her part Dunaway earned her first Academy Award nomination. She lost to Katherine Hepburn, but won the BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer. From then on she was in demand everywhere, holding her own against Steve McQueen in the caper film The Thomas Crown Affair (Norman Jewison, 1968). The film was immensely popular, and was famed for a scene where Dunaway and McQueen play a chess game and silently engage in heavy seduction of each other across the board. She then took on a role in the Italian film, Amanti/A Place for Lovers (Vittorio De Sica, 1968). Dunaway played a terminally ill fashion designer who has a doomed romance with an Italian race car driver (Marcello Mastroianni). Dunaway and Mastroianni fell in love in reality too and had a two-year-affair.

 

Faye Dunaway had another success with the villainous role of Milady de Winter in an all-star adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers, starring Michael York, Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain, Raquel Welch, and Dunaway. After filming, the makers decided to split the film into two parts: The Three Musketeers (Richard Lester, 1973) and The Four Musketeers (Richard Lester, 1974). Critics and audiences alike praised the film for its action and its comic tone, and it was the first in a line of successful projects for Dunaway. Roman Polanski offered Dunaway the lead role of Evelyn Mulwray in his mystery neo-noir Chinatown (1974). Mulwray is a shadowy femme fatale who knows more than she is willing to let Detective J.J. Gittes (played by Jack Nicholson) know. The film made back its budget almost five times, and received 11 Academy Award nominations. Dunaway received a second Best Actress nomination, and also received a Golden Globe nomination and a BAFTA nomination. Dunaway's next project was the all-star disaster epic The Towering Inferno (John Guillermin, 1974). She played the role of Paul Newman's girlfriend, who is trapped in a burning skyscraper along with several other hundred people. The film became the highest grossing film of the year, furthering cementing Dunaway as a top actress in Hollywood. It was also in 1974 that Dunaway married Peter Wolf, who was the lead singer of the rock group The J. Geils Band. In 1975, Dunaway joined Robert Redford in the political thriller Three Days of the Condor (Sydney Pollack, 1975). A significant critical and commercial success, the film continues to be praised. Dunaway's performance was very well regarded.

In 1976 she finally won the Oscar for the satire Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976) as the scheming TV executive Diana Christensen, a ruthless woman who will do anything for higher ratings. She returned to the screen in Eyes of Laura Mars (John Carpenter, 1978), a thriller about a fashion photographer who sees visions of a killer murdering people.

 

Faye Dunaway's tour de force as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest (Frank Perry, 1981) marked her last chapter as a top tier actress. The film is an adaptation of Christina Crawford's controversial memoirs, Mommie Dearest. Christina Crawford's book had depicted her adopted mother as an abusive tyrant, who only adopted her four children to promote her career, and it made quite a stir as the first celebrity tell-all book. Though the film was poorly received by the critics at the time, Dunaway's performance received mixed reviews. The film was later seen as a camp classic. the American Film Institute named Dunaways' interpretation to be one of the greatest villainous characters in cinema history and the infamous line, "No wire hangers, ever!" to be one of the most memorable film quotes of all time. After a remake of The Wicked Lady (Michael Winner, 1983), Dunaway played another villain in the superhero film, Supergirl (Jeannot Szwarc, 1984). Both films flopped. A late career highlight came with the critically acclaimed drama Barfly (Barbet Schroeder, 1987), a semi-autobiography of poet/author Charles Bukowski (played by Mickey Rourke) during the time he spent drinking heavily in Los Angeles. From then on she appeared in several independent films. She appeared with Ornella Muti in Wait Until Spring, Bandini (Dominique Deruddere, ) and with Robert Duvall and Natasha Richardson in The Handmaid's Tale (Volker Schlöndorff, 1990). Then followed the sequel to Chinatown (1974), he Two Jakes (1990), directed by and starring Jack Nicholson. The film was not a box office or critical success. She starred alongside Johnny Depp and Jerry Lewis in Serbian director Emir Kusturica's surreal comedy-drama Arizona Dream (1993). Dunaway appeared with Depp and Marlon Brando in the romantic comedy Don Juan DeMarco (Jeremy Leven, 1995). A hit at the box office, the film was praised for its romance and the performances of the three main characters. She returned to the stage in 1996, playing famed opera singer Maria Callas in the Tony Award winning play Master Class by Terrence McNally. Dunaway toured the play through the United States. Dunaway was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award as Worst Supporting Actress for her part in the crime thriller Albino Alligator (Kevin Spacey, 1997) with Matt Dillon. In 1998, she starred with Angelina Jolie in Gia (Michael Christofer, 1998), about the tragic life of model Gia Marie Carangi, which would win Dunaway a third Golden Globe and win Jolie both a Golden Globe and an Emmy. She played a small part in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair (John McTiernan, 1999) with Pierce Brosnan. In 2002, she played Ian Somerhalder's mother in The Rules of Attraction (Roger Avary, 2002), based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Faye Dunaway continues to act, mostly in B-films and European films like the campy British horror film Flick (David Howard, 2008) and the Polish thriller Balladyna/The Bait (Dariusz Zawiślak, 2009). After her divorce from Peter Wolf in 1979, Faye Dunaway was married from 1983 till 1987 to British photographer Terry O'Neill. She and O'Neill have one child, Liam O'Neill (1980). In 2003, despite Dunaway's earlier claims that she had given birth to Liam, Terry claimed that Liam was adopted.

 

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

French postcard, no. C 469. Sorry, for the poor technical quality of the card.

 

Belgian martial artist and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme (1960) is best known for his Hollywood films of the 1980s and 1990s. His most successful films include Bloodsport (1988), Universal Soldier (1992), and Timecop (1994). But the Belgian crime drama JCVD (2008) gave him his best reviews ever and paved the way for his come-back to the mainstream.

 

Jean-Claude Van Damme (or JCVD) was born Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg in Brussels, Belgium, in 1960. He was the son of Eliana and Eugène Van Varenberg, who was an accountant. He began martial arts at the age of ten, enrolled by his father in a Shotokan karate school. At the age of 11, Van Damme joined the Centre National De Karaté (National Center of Karate) under the guidance of Claude Goetz in Belgium. Van Damme trained for four years and he earned a spot on the Belgian Karate Team. Later he was trained in full-contact karate and kickboxing by Dominique Valera. He eventually earned his black belt in karate. At the age of 15, Van Damme started his competitive karate career in Belgium. From 1976-1980, Van Damme compiled a record of 44 victories and 4 defeats in tournament and non-tournament semi-contact matches. He started lifting weights to improve his physique, which eventually led to a Mr. Belgium bodybuilding title and the nickname ‘The Muscles from Brussels’. At the age of 16, he took up ballet, which he studied for five years. According to Van Damme, ballet "is an art, but it's also one of the most difficult sports. If you can survive a ballet workout, you can survive a workout in any other sport." Van Damme began his full-contact career in 1977, when Claude Goetz promoted the first ever full-contact karate tournament in Belgium. From 1977 to 1982, Van Damme compiled a record of 18 victories (18 knockouts) and 1 defeat. Van Damme retired from competition in 1982.

 

In 1982, Jean-Claude Van Damme and childhood friend, Michel Qissi, moved to America in the hope of becoming action stars. He took English classes while working as carpet layer, pizza delivery man, limo driver, and thanks to Chuck Norris he got a job as a bouncer at a club. He and Qissi were cast as extras in the break dancing film, Breakin' (Joel Silberg, 1984). Van Damme had his first part as a ‘Gay Karate Man’ in the short film Monaco Forever (William A. Levey, 1984). After a small part in Missing In Action (Joseph Zitto, 1984), Van Damme was next cast in the low-budget martial arts-film No Retreat, No Surrender/Karate Tiger (Corey Yuen, 1986), as the Russian villain Ivan Kraschinsky. Van Damme worked for director John McTiernan for Predator (1987) as the titular alien, before being removed and replaced by Kevin Peter Hall. He also had a non-speaking part as a Secret Service agent who carries a polio-crippled President Franklin Roosevelt (Ralph Bellamy) out of a pool in the TV miniseries War and Remembrance (1988). His breakout film was Bloodsport (Newt Arnold, 1988), based on the alleged true story of martial arts artist Frank Dux. He performed numerous physical feats such as helicopter-style, jump spinning heel kicks, and a complete split. Shot on a 1.5 million dollar budget, it became a box-office hit grossing more than 11 million dollar in the US and 30 million world-wide. A new sensational action star was born. He then starred in Cyborg (Albert Pyun, 1989), shot for less than $500,000 and filmed in 24 days. Despite negative reviews, it became another box-office hit. Then the films followed rapidly. In Kickboxer (Mark DiSalle, 1989), his character fights to avenge his brother who has been paralyzed by a Thai kickboxing champion (Qissi). In Double Impact (Sheldon Lettich, 1991) he played the dual role of Alex and Chad Wagner, estranged twin brothers fighting to avenge the deaths of their parents. This film reunited him with his Bloodsport co-star, Bolo Yeung. In the science fiction action film Universal Soldier (Roland Emmerich, 1992), he co-starred with Dolph Lundgren as soldiers who kill each other in Vietnam but are reanimated in a secret Army project along with a large group of other previously dead soldiers. While it grossed $36,299,898 in the US, it was an even bigger success in the rest of the world, making over $65 million.With a modest $23 million budget, it was Van Damme's highest grossing film at the time.

 

Jean-Claude Van Damme starred in the action dramas Nowhere To Run (Robert Harmon, 1993) with Rosanna Arquette, and Hard Target (John Woo, 1993). Again, both were financially successful but received mixed reviews. In his next film, the science fiction action film Timecop (Peter Hyams, 1994),Van Damme played a time travelling cop, who tries to prevent the death of his wife (Mia Sara). With a box office of over $100 million worldwide Timecop remains Van Damme's highest grossing film in a lead role to date and is also generally regarded as one of his better films by critics. After this huge success, Street Fighter (Steven E. de Souza, 1994) with Raul Julia was universally panned by critics and fans of the video game series alike, but it was another commercial success. Sudden Death (Peter Hyams, 1995) did fairly well and was considered one of his best films to date. Then Van Damme’s projects started to fail at the box office. The Quest (Jean-Claude Van Damme, 1996) with Roger Moore, Maximum Risk (Ringo Lam, 1996) – again in a double role, Double Team (Tsui Hark, 1997) with sport star Dennis Rodman, and Knock Off (Rsui Hark, 1998) were all box-office flops. There was more trouble. The stress led him to develop a cocaine habit, on which he spent up to $10,000 a week, and consuming up to 10 grams per day by 1996. In 1997, Frank Dux, the martial artist whom Van Damme portrayed in Bloodsport, filed a lawsuit against Van Damme for $50,000 for co-writing and consultation work Dux did on The Quest. According to the lawsuit, Dux also accused Van Damme of lying to the public about his martial arts fight record. Van Damme won the court case. Van Damme’s next film Universal Soldier: The Return (Mic Rodgers, 1999) was again a box-office flop, and his last theatrically released film until 2008. Van Damme was arrested for driving under the influence in 1999. Attempts at drug rehabilitation were unsuccessful, and he resorted to resolve his addiction via quitting cold turkey and exercise.

 

Jean-Claude Van Damme returned to the mainstream with the Belgian crime drama JCVD (Mabrouk El Mechri, 2008). He played a down and out action star whose family and career are crumbling around him as he is caught in the middle of a post office heist in his hometown of Brussels, Belgium. The film was screened at various festivals and Time Magazine named Van Damme's performance in the film the second best of the year (after Heath Ledger's The Joker in The Dark Knight). According to Time, he even deserved an Oscar. Van Damme reprised his role as Luc Deveraux in Universal Soldier: Regeneration (John Hyams (2009), directed by John Hyams, son of Peter Hyams. Sylvester Stallone offered him a lead role in The Expendables (2010), but Van Damme turned it down. He voiced Master Croc in Kung Fu Panda 2 (Jennifer Yuh Nelson, 2011), the highest grossing animated feature film of the year. He also appeared in commercials for Coors Light beer, showing him on a snow-covered mountain wearing a sleeveless denim jacket, and for the washing powder Dash. He returned to the Universal Soldier series with Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (John Hyams, 2012), again opposite Dolph Lundgren. Then he did participate with Stallone in The Expendables 2 (Simon West, 2012), along with other veteran action stars as Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgren. That year he was honoured with a life-size statue of himself in his hometown of Brussels. Van Damme has been married five times to four different women. His first two wives were Maria Rodriguez (1980-1984) and Cynthia Derderian (1985-1986). He was married to his third wife, bodybuilder Gladys Portugues, until 1992, when he began an affair with actress Darcy LaPier, whom he married in February 1994. That same year he had an affair with his Street Fighter co-star Kylie Minogue during filming in Thailand, though LaPier, who was pregnant at the time with their son Nicholas, did not become aware of this until Van Damme publicly admitted this in 2012. After leaving LaPier, Van Damme remarried bodybuilder Portugues, in 1999. They have two children: Kristopher van Varenberg (1987) and Bianca Bree (1990). He appeared with both children in the action film Six Bullets (Ernie Barbarash, 2012). Van Damme has been planning to make a comeback to fight former boxing Olympic gold-medalist Somluck Kamsing. The fight was a focal point in his ITV reality show Jean Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors. However, the fight has been repeatedly postponed, and critics doubt it will ever occur. But no worries, the Muscles of Brussels keeps himself busy and three new films with him are scheduled for 2014.

 

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

I love to go to movies. In a theatre with a crowd. The crowd is optional, but prefered...

I probably average one a week during the course of a year.

 

A FEW RANDOM THOUGHTS AND WORTHLESS OPINIONS...

 

I hate arriving late for a movie. If the show is about to start... be prepared to see something else or buy tickets for the next showing. "I'm very anal about this". The last time I walked into a darkened theatre was the final installment of "Star Wars". This was only because I had already seen it... I like to have my popcorn and be seated before the coming attractions... "coming attractions" ARE a part of the movie experience. Commercials, on the other hand, suck.

 

Jodie Foster is the only movie star who's films I go to just because she's in them.

 

Russell Crow is my favorite actor. I am still miffed that he did not win the Oscar for "A Beautiful Mind". A film which won "Best Picture", "Best Director", "Best S. Actress", and "Best Writing". All for a movie in which every scene surrounds his character. losing to Denzel Washington(a very good performance) in "Training Day"(an ok film)... so wrong.

... that said. I do think Halle Berry was brilliant in "Monster's Ball". The last ten minutes alone were worthy of an Oscar nomination. She had very little dialogue during this part of the film. The emotions were conveyed in her facial expressions and body language. "Simply amazing"

 

"As Good As It Gets" is that rare movie where I leave the theatre wishing the characters would just keep going... the only film since then to bring out this response in me was "Friends With Money". A movie for which I have yet to lend to anyone who liked it.

GRACE KELLY

until 4 January 2015

Due to popular demand Paleis Het Loo is extending the exhibition ‘Grace Kelly, Princess and Style Icon’ to 4 January 2015. More than 150,000 visitors have visited the palace since the exhibition opened in early June.

  

Paleis Het Loo is mounting a magnificent show in 2014 with the ‘Grace Kelly, Princess and Style Icon’ exhibition presenting the unique story of the fascinating and eventful life of Princess Grace of Monaco. Clothes, accessories, film clips and photographs bring to life again the tale of the princess from one of Europe’s oldest royal houses. The image of Princess Grace, born Grace Patricia Kelly (1929-1982) in the United States, is indelibly imprinted in our collective memory.

Source: www.paleishetloo.nl/en/agenda/grace-kelly-prinses-en-stij...

 

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Grace Kelly

 

Occupation: Actress

Birth Name: Grace Patricia Kelly

AKA: Grace Grimaldi

 

Born: November 12, 1928,

Philadelphia, PA

Died: 1982

 

Education: AADA, New York (acting); Neighborhood Playhouse, New York

  

Grace Patricia Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an Oscar-winning American film actress who, as a result of marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco on April 19, 1956, became Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco. She was the mother of the principality's current reigning Sovereign Prince, Albert II of Monaco. Princess Grace was required to renounce her American citizenship upon her marriage.

...

Though her family had opposed her becoming an actress, Kelly became a fashion model and appeared in her first film, Fourteen Hours (1951), when she was 22. The following year she "starred" (with a supporting role) in High Noon (1952), a generally praised but somewhat controversial western starring Gary Cooper.

 

Her next film, Mogambo (1953), was a drama set in the Kenyan jungle which centers on the love triangle portrayed by Kelly, Clark Gable, and Ava Gardner. Whilst filming this movie she had an affair with Gable later memorably commenting "What else is there to do if you're alone in a tent in Africa with Clark Gable?" The movie earned Kelly an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, but the award went to Donna Reed for her role in From Here to Eternity. Kelly made three films with Alfred Hitchcock: Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, and To Catch a Thief.

...

Life as Princess

The musical comedy High Society (1956) was her last film, as her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco marked her retirement from acting.

 

Source: hitchcock.tv/people/kelly.html

Dutch postcard. Photo: Warner Bros.

 

American actress and dancer Virginia Mayo (1920-2005) is best known for her series of film comedies with Danny Kaye, including Wonder Man (H. Bruce Humberstone, 1945), The Kid from Brooklyn (Norman Z. McLeod, 1946), and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Norman Z. McLeod, 1947). The popular actress personified the dream girl or girl-next-door and audiences—particularly males—flocked to theatres just to see her blonde hair and classic looks on-screen in Technicolor. It made Mayo Warner Brothers biggest box office money maker in the late 1940s. Going against stereotype, Mayo accepted the supporting role of unsympathetic gold-digger Marie Derry in the Oscar winning drama The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946). Her performance drew favourable reviews from critics as the film also became the highest-grossing film in the US since Gone with the Wind. Later she appeared opposite James Cagney in White Heat (Raoul Walsh, 1949), Burt Lancaster in The Flame and the Arrow (Jacques Tourneur, 1950), and Gregory Peck in Captain Horatio Hornblower (Raoul Walsh, 1951). At the zenith of her career, Mayo was seen as the quintessential voluptuous Hollywood beauty: she "looked like a pinup painting come to life".

 

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

Spanish postcard by Editorial Filkasol.

 

German-born Austrian Susan Denberg (1944) was a Bluebell dancer and Playboy Playmate who had a brief acting career in the 1960s. One of her few roles was as Peter Cushing’s beautiful new creation in the Hammer horror Frankenstein Created Woman (1967).

 

Susan Denberg was born Dietlinde Ortrun Zechner in Bad Polzin, Germany (now Polczyn-Zdrój, Poland) in 1944. She was the eldest of three children of Austrian-German parents, and grew up with her two brothers, Reinhard and Ulrich, in Klagenfurt in Austria. Her father operated several electrical shops there. At 18, she travelled to England to work as an au-pair. In 1963 she met a dancer of the Bluebell Girls and did an audition in Paris. She was hired for the chorus line and in 1964 and 1965, she performed in the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas. There she met and married Latino singer Tony Scotti in 1965. She deserted the Bluebells for a movie career in Hollywood, and landed a co-starring role as a German girl on the TV series 12 O'Clock High (1964-1967). This ABC drama set during World War II was the television version of the Oscar winning classic Twelve O'Clock High (1949, Henry King) starring Gregory Peck. The following year, Zechner made her feature film debut with a supporting role in An American Dream (1966, Robert Gist). This trashy film drama, based on a Norman Mailer novel, starred Stuart Whitman and Janet Leigh. While working on this film, Warner Bros. held a nationwide contest to find Dietlinde a new screen name. They offered a $500 award to whoever came up with the best one. There were 5,000 entries, including ‘Norma Mailer’, but all were ultimately rejected. She herself came up with Susan Denberg. She was featured Playmate of the Month for Playboy magazine's August 1966 issue. In her profile, Denberg stated that she had ambitions to become an actress. Denberg was later one of the finalists for the title of 1967's Playmate of the Year, though the title ultimately went to Lisa Baker. Denberg's best known screen appearance was in the Star Trek episode Mudd’Women (1966, Harvey Hart). She played one of the three mysterious and stunningly beautiful women of the title, who have an odd effect on all the male crew of the Starship Enterprise (except Spock, who looks on bemused), causing involuntary arousal.

 

Susan Denberg moved to England to play in Hammer Film's cult science fiction/horror film Frankenstein Created Woman (1967, Terence Fisher). It is the fourth film in Hammer's Frankenstein series with Peter Cushing as Baron Frankenstein and Denberg as his new creation. Where Hammer's previous Frankenstein films were concerned with the physical aspects of the Baron's work, the interest here is in the metaphysical dimensions of life, such as the question of the soul, and its relationship to the body. Frankenstein Created Woman is one of the most critically acclaimed Hammer films. Nick Faust at IMDb: “Within the confines of a Hammer movie's melodrama, Fisher, a classical stylist and at times a superb artist, often created magic. This is one of those times. The performances are all equally compelling. Cushing gives the Baron more texture here than in any of the other films, I think. Thorley Walters is a good foil, and his befuddled affection and respect for the Baron makes some of this really rather touching. Arthur Grant's photography has never been better. I urge viewers to watch the film with an open mind. This is not the usual horror film; it's more a fantasy, a fairy tale.” Martin Scorsese picked the film as part of a 1987 National Film Theatre season of his favourite films, saying "If I single this one out it's because here they actually isolate the soul... The implied metaphysics are close to something sublime." However, Denberg's voice in the film was dubbed as her Austrian accent was considered too strong. Denberg had become immersed in the drugs and sex life style of the 1960s. She divorced Tony Scotti in 1968. She left show business and returned to Austria. Newspapers reported at the time that Denberg was suicidal and stayed in mental homes. During the 1970s she also performed in Viennese nightclubs. Nowadays, Susan Denberg lives in Klagenfurt, Austria, under her real name, Dietlinde Zechner.

 

Sources: Ted Newsom (IMDb), Memory Alpha (IMDb), Nick Faust (IMDb), Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen, HorrorStars.net, Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.

French postcard by Humour a a la Carte, Paris, nr. ST-150.

 

Beautiful Italian actress Ornella Muti (1955) often appeared in sexy Italian comedies and dramas, but she also worked for such major European directors as Marco Ferreri, Francesco Rosi and Volker Schlondorff. English language audiences probably know her best as the sensuous Princess Aura in Flash Gordon (1980).

 

Ornella Muti was born in Rome in 1955 as Francesca Romana Rivelli, to a Neapolitan father and Estonian mother. She has an older sister, Claudia Rivera, who was a soap actress in the 1970’s. As a teenager, the Latin beauty modelled and she posed for illustrated novels. At 15, she made her film debut in the romantic melodrama La moglie più bella/The Most Beautiful Wife (1970, Damiano Damiani). In the following years she starred in such giallos (erotic thrillers) as Un posto ideale per uccidere/Oasis of Fear (1971, Umberto Lenzi) with Irene Papas, and erotic dramas as Appasionata/Passionate (1974, Gian Luigi Calderone) with Valentina Cortese. In Romanzo popolare/Come Home and Meet My Wife (1974, Mario Monicelli) she married her 33-year older godfather (Ugo Tognazi). Her international breakthrough was as the girlfriend of Gerard Depardieu in Ferreri’s shocking psychological drama La dernière femme/The Last Woman (1976, Marco Ferreri) about a man who mutilates himself drastically when the custody of his nine-month old son is threatened. It lead to more interesting films with well known directors including La Stanza Del Vescovo/ The Bishop's Bedroom (1977, Dino Risi) opposite Ugo Tognazzi, Ritratto di Borghesia in Nero/Nest of Vipers (1977, Tonino Cervi) with Senta berger, and I Nuovi Mostri/Viva Italia (1979, Mario Monicelli, Dino Risi, Ettore Scola) with Vittorio Gassman. The latter was a black comedy, comprised of nine short stories all related to the theme that most men are selfish cads. The film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign film. In America the film was promoted by a poster with Muti in swimsuit and a critic’s quote: “Ornella Muti is the best filled thing from Italy since ravioli”. In France, Muti starred with Alain Delon in the crime thriller Mort d'un Pourri/Death of a Corrupt Man (1977, George Lautner).

 

Ornella Muti made her British film debut as Princess Aura in Flash Gordon (1980, Mike Hodges), based on the classic sci-fi strip. In the 1930’s, this strip had been the basis for a more straight-faced adventure serial. In this Dino De Laurentiis production Flash's story was mined for exaggerated, cartoon humor by screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr., who had been a central figure in the similarly campy '60s Batman TV series. The sets are spectacular and the rock score by Queen is appropriately over-the-top. Although Flash Gordon is not a film to turn to for fine performances, Muti shines as the luscious princess of the planet Mongo who tries to lure the blonde hero (Sam J. Jones). IMDb reviewer colleran-2 writes: “Ornella Muti is simply unbelievable as Ming's gorgeous but deadly daughter. Replying to Flash's query as to whether he can use the telepathy machine to contact Dale with a perfectly candid, ‘If I showed you how. But I'm not going to.’” Back in Italy, she appeared with Adriano Celentano in the comedy Il bisbetico domato/The Taming of the Scoundrel (1980, Franco Castellano, Giuseppe Moccia), and with Giancarlo Giannini in the Russian-Italian drama La vita è bella/Life is Beautiful (1981, Grigori Chukhrai). Then followed one of Muti’s greatest successes, Storie di ordinaria follia/Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981, Marco Ferreri), an adaptation of Charles Bukowski's roman à clef Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness. Nathan Southern writes at AllRovi: “Ben Gazzara delivers a gutsy, four-barreled performance as skid-row poet and storyteller Charles Bukowski (rechristened Charles Serking onscreen) (...); he eventually falls for a prostitute (Muti) who can express her affection only via self-mutilation. Ferreri lets Bukowski's ribald humor flow throughout and exposes the dark erotic currents at the heart of the author's narratives. Laced with perverse, shocking imagery, this unbridled celebration of life's dark underbelly has been praised by critics such as The New Yorker's Pauline Kael and Playboy's Bruce Williamson for its ‘genuine audacity and risktaking’.” It lead to the belated release of the Hollywood production Love and Money (1982, James Toback) with a nude Muti prominent on the poster. The film had already been completed in 1980, but was shelved. She co-starred in Un amour de Swann/Swann in Love (1984, Volker Schlöndorf), an ambitious attempt to film a portion of Marcel Proust's epic novel Remembrance of Things Past with Jeremy Irons as Charles Swann. Television fans were treated to her formidable presence in the TV movie Casanova (1987, Simon Langton) featuring Richard Chamberlain. That year she also starred in the Gabriel García Márquez adaptation Cronaca di una morte annunciate/ Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1987, Francesco Rosi) opposite Rupert Everett.

 

One of Ornella Muti’s most beautiful films is the Francis Coppola’s Zoetrope production Wait Until Spring Bandini (1990, Dominique Deruddere), based on a novel by John Fante. This film follows the trials of the Bandini family as they try to struggle through hard times in 1920’s Colorado. Muti plays the anxious mother, wife of Joe Mantegna. Her other English language films include the Sylvester Stallone comedy Oscar (1991, John Landis) and another comedy flop Once Upon a Crime (1992, Eugene Levy) with John Candy. In Italy, she appeared in the historical comedy Il viaggio di Capitan Fracassa/Captain Fracassa's Journey (1990, Ettore Scola) with Vincent Perez, and loads of forgettable films. In France she appeared in the thriller L'Inconnu de Strasbourg (1998, Valeria Sarmiento), director Lucas Belvaux's trilogy: Cavale/Trilogy: One (2002) - Un couple épatant/Trilogy: Two (2002) - Après la vie/Trilogy: Three (2002), and the comedy Les Bronzes 3: Amis Pour La Vie/Les Bronzes 3: Friends Forever (2006, Patrice Leconte), but is probably best known for a TV commercial of Giovanni Panzani pasta. Ornella Muti has been married twice, to Alessio Orano, her fellow actor in moglie più bella/The Most Beautiful Wife (1975–1981), and Federico Facchinetti (1988–1996). Muti has three children. She has a daughter by Spanish film producer José Luis Bermúdez de Castro, Acaso Naike Rivelli (1974). She is also a model and actress and has a close resemblance to her mother. Muti has also a son, actor Andrea Facchinetti, and a second daughter, Carolina Facchinetti , both from her second marriage. In 1996 her grandchild Akash was born, daughter of Naike Rivelli. From 1998 till 2008, Muti lived with Stefano Piccolo, a plastic surgeon. Her latest fiancé is Fabrice Kerhervé. In 2008, Ornella Muti introduced her own line of jewellery. She opened new shops in Paris, Milan, Rome, Riga, Moscow and Almaty. She is also still active in the cinema. She appeared in Peter Greenaway’s The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 3: From Sark to the Finish (2003) with Roger Rees, The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 2: Vaux to the Sea (2004), and Peopling the Palaces at Venaria Reale (2007). Her latest release was the spaghetti western Doc West/Triggerman (2009, Terence Hill, Giulio Base) starring western icon Terence Hill and Paul Sorvino.

 

Sources: AllRovi, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 907.

 

Italian film and stage actress Giulietta Masina (1921-1994) starred in the classics La strada (1954) and Notti di Cabiria (1957), both directed by her husband Federico Fellini and both winners of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The only 1,57 m long Masina was often called the ‘female Chaplin’. The skilled, button-eyed comedienne could deliver intense dramatic performances of naive characters dealing with cruel circumstances.

 

For more postcards, a bio and clips check out our blog European Film Star Postcards or follow us at Tumblr or Pinterest.

Italian postcard by Rotalcolor / OK Spedisci Qualita, no. R 561. Photo: still from Era lui, sì, sì!/It's Him!... Yes! Yes! (Marino Girolami, Marcello Marchesi, Vittorio Metz, 1951) as Harem Slave Girl Odalisca.

 

Sophia Loren (1934) rose to fame in post-war Italy as a voluptuous sex goddess. La Loren won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of the distraight mother in La ciociara/Two Women (Vittorio De Sica, 1960) with Eleanor Brown as her daughter. She became one of the most successful international stars of the 20th Century and is still a major sex symbol.

 

In the high-camp bedroom farce Era lui, sì, sì!/It's Him!... Yes! Yes! (Marino Girolami, Marcello Marchesi, Vittorio Metz, 1951) , the 17 year-old Loren was an extra (credited as Sofia Lazzaro). She appeared as harem slave girl Odalisca in a dream sequence. Reportedly, director Vittorio Metz had insisted that Sophia and her harem-mates appeared topless for the French version of the film.

 

For more postcards, a bio and clips check out our blog European Film Star Postcards or follow us at Tumblr or Pinterest.

Grace Kelly is clutching her Oscar for Best Actress in the movie 'Country Girl'.

German postcard by ISV, Sort. 19/6.

 

German-born Austrian Susan Denberg (1944) was a Bluebell dancer and Playboy Playmate who had a brief acting career in the 1960s. One of her few roles was as Peter Cushing’s beautiful new creation in the Hammer horror Frankenstein Created Woman (1967).

 

Susan Denberg was born Dietlinde Ortrun Zechner in Bad Polzin, Germany (now Polczyn-Zdrój, Poland) in 1944. She was the eldest of three children of Austrian-German parents, and grew up with her two brothers, Reinhard and Ulrich, in Klagenfurt in Austria. Her father operated several electrical shops there. At 18, she travelled to England to work as an au-pair. In 1963 she met a dancer of the Bluebell Girls and did an audition in Paris. She was hired for the chorus line and in 1964 and 1965, she performed in the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas. There she met and married Latino singer Tony Scotti in 1965. She deserted the Bluebells for a movie career in Hollywood, and landed a co-starring role as a German girl on the TV series 12 O'Clock High (1964-1967). This ABC drama set during World War II was the television version of the Oscar winning classic Twelve O'Clock High (1949, Henry King) starring Gregory Peck. The following year, Zechner made her feature film debut with a supporting role in An American Dream (1966, Robert Gist). This trashy film drama, based on a Norman Mailer novel, starred Stuart Whitman and Janet Leigh. While working on this film, Warner Bros. held a nationwide contest to find Dietlinde a new screen name. They offered a $500 award to whoever came up with the best one. There were 5,000 entries, including ‘Norma Mailer’, but all were ultimately rejected. She herself came up with Susan Denberg. She was featured Playmate of the Month for Playboy magazine's August 1966 issue. In her profile, Denberg stated that she had ambitions to become an actress. Denberg was later one of the finalists for the title of 1967's Playmate of the Year, though the title ultimately went to Lisa Baker. Denberg's best known screen appearance was in the Star Trek episode Mudd’Women (1966, Harvey Hart). She played one of the three mysterious and stunningly beautiful women of the title, who have an odd effect on all the male crew of the Starship Enterprise (except Spock, who looks on bemused), causing involuntary arousal.

 

Susan Denberg moved to England to play in Hammer Film's cult science fiction/horror film Frankenstein Created Woman (1967, Terence Fisher). It is the fourth film in Hammer's Frankenstein series with Peter Cushing as Baron Frankenstein and Denberg as his new creation. Where Hammer's previous Frankenstein films were concerned with the physical aspects of the Baron's work, the interest here is in the metaphysical dimensions of life, such as the question of the soul, and its relationship to the body. Frankenstein Created Woman is one of the most critically acclaimed Hammer films. Nick Faust at IMDb: “Within the confines of a Hammer movie's melodrama, Fisher, a classical stylist and at times a superb artist, often created magic. This is one of those times. The performances are all equally compelling. Cushing gives the Baron more texture here than in any of the other films, I think. Thorley Walters is a good foil, and his befuddled affection and respect for the Baron makes some of this really rather touching. Arthur Grant's photography has never been better. I urge viewers to watch the film with an open mind. This is not the usual horror film; it's more a fantasy, a fairy tale.” Martin Scorsese picked the film as part of a 1987 National Film Theatre season of his favourite films, saying "If I single this one out it's because here they actually isolate the soul... The implied metaphysics are close to something sublime." However, Denberg's voice in the film was dubbed as her Austrian accent was considered too strong. Denberg had become immersed in the drugs and sex life style of the 1960s. She divorced Tony Scotti in 1968. She left show business and returned to Austria. Newspapers reported at the time that Denberg was suicidal and stayed in mental homes. During the 1970s, she performed in Viennese nightclubs. Nowadays, Susan Denberg lives in Klagenfurt, Austria, under her real name, Dietlinde Zechner.

 

Sources: Ted Newsom (IMDb), Memory Alpha (IMDb), Nick Faust (IMDb), Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen, HorrorStars.net, Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.

AXTELERA-RAY The Movie (i-Generation) poster

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Created By : Prateek Mathur

Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, nr. 277.

 

Smart and sexy Julie Christie (1941) is an icon of the new British cinema. During the Swinging Sixties she became a superstar with such roles as Lara in the worldwide smash hit Doctor Zhivago (1965). Since then she has won the Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

 

Julie Frances Christie was born in 1941 in Chukua, India, then part of the British Empire. She was the daughter of Frank St. John Christie, a tea planter, and his Welsh wife Rosemary (née Ramsden), who was a painter. Her younger brother, Clive Christie, would become a professor of SouthEast Asian studies at Hull University. They grew up on their father's tea plantation in Assam. At 7, Julie was sent to England for her education. As a teenager at Wycombe Court School, she played the role of the Dauphin in a school production of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan. A fascination with the artist's lifestyle led to her enrolling in London's Central School of Speech and Drama training. She made her stage debut as a member of the Frinton Repertory of Essex in 1957. One of her first roles was playing Anne Frank in a London theatrical production of The Diary of Anne Frank. Christie was not fond of the stage, even though it allowed her to travel, including a professional gig in the United States. She made her TV debut as an artificially girl created from the DNA of a deceased science lab assistant in the BBC sci-fi series A for Andromeda (1961, Michael Hayes). Her first film appearance was a bit part in the amusing comedy Crooks Anonymous (1962, Ken Annakin), which was followed up by a larger ingénue role in the romantic comedy The Fast Lady (1963, Ken Annakin) with Stanley Baxter. Christie first worked with the man who would kick her career into high gear, director John Schlesinger, when he choose her as a replacement for the actress (Topsy Jane) originally cast in Billy Liar (1963, John Schlesinger). Christie's turn in the film as the free-wheeling Liz, the supremely confident friend and love interest to Tom Courtenay's full-time dreamer Billy, was a stunner, and she had her first taste of becoming an icon of the new British cinema. Her screen presence was such that the great John Ford cast her as the young prostitute Daisy Battles in Young Cassidy (1965, Jack Cardiff, John Ford), a biopic about Irish playwright Sean O'Casey. She made her breakthrough to super-stardom in Schlesinger's seminal Swinging Sixties film Darling (1965, John Schlesinger). Schlesinger called on Christie to play the role of the manipulative young actress and jet setter Diana Scott when the casting of Shirley MacLaine fell through. As played by Christie, Diana is an amoral social butterfly who undergoes a metamorphosis from immature sex kitten to jaded socialite. For her complex performance, Christie won raves, including the Best Actress Oscar and the Best Actress BAFTA. Her image as the It girl of the Swinging Sixties was further cemented by her appearance in the documentary Tonite Let's All Make Love in London (1967), which covered the hipster scene in England.

 

Julie Christie followed up Darling (1965) with the role of the tragic Lara Antipova in the two-time Academy Award-winning Doctor Zhivago (1965, David Lean). Lean’s epic adaptation of Boris Pasternak's novel became one of the all-time box-office champs. Christie was now a superstar who commanded a price of $400,000 per picture. More interested in film as an art form than in consolidating her movie stardom, Christie followed up Doctor Zhivago (1965) with a dual role in Fahrenheit 451 (1966) for Francois Truffaut, a Nouvelle Vague director she admired. The film was, according to Jon C Hopwood at IMDb, hurt by the director's lack of English and by friction between Truffaut and Christie's male co-star Oskar Werner, who had replaced the more-appropriate-for-the-role Terence Stamp. Stamp and Christie had been lovers before she had become famous, and he was unsure he could act with her, due to his own ego problems. On his part, Werner resented the attention the smitten Truffaut gave Christie. Stamp overcame those ego problems to sign on as her co-star in John Schlesinger's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd (1967, John Schlesinger), which also Peter Finch and Alan Bates. Jon C. Hopwood: “It is a film that is far better remembered now than when it was received in 1967. The film and her performance as the Hardy heroine Bathsheba Everdene was lambasted by film critics, many of whom faulted Christie for being too ‘mod’ and thus untrue to one of Hardy's classic tales of fate.” She then met the man who transformed her life, undermining her pretensions to a career as a film star in their seven-year-long love affair, the American actor Warren Beatty. Living his life was always far more important than being a star for Beatty, who viewed the movie star profession as a "treadmill leading to more treadmills" and who was wealthy enough after Bonnie and Clyde (1967, Arthur Penn) to not have to ever work again. Christie and Beatty had visited a working farm during the production of Far from the Madding Crowd (1967) and had been appalled by the industrial exploitation of the animals. Thereafter, animal rights became a very important subject to Christie. They were kindred souls who remain friends four decades after their affair ended in 1974. Christie's last box-office hit in which she was the top-liner was Petulia (1968, Richard Lester), a romantic drama about the romance between a staid doctor (George C. Scott) and a flighty but vulnerable socialite (Christie). According to Jon C. Hopwood it is “a film that featured one of co-star George C. Scott's greatest performances, perfectly counter-balanced by Christie's portrayal of an ‘arch-kook’ who was emblematic of the 1960’s. It is one of the major films of the decade, an underrated masterpiece. Despite the presence of the great George C. Scott and the excellent Shirley Knight, the film would not work without Julie Christie. There is frankly no other actress who could have filled the role, bringing that unique presence and the threat of danger that crackled around Christie's electric aura. At this point of her career, she was poised for greatness as a star, greatness as an actress.”

 

After meeting Beatty, Julie Christie essentially surrendered any aspirations to screen stardom, or at maintaining herself as a top-drawer working actress. She turned down the lead in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969, Sydney Pollack) and Anne of the Thousand Days (1969, Charles Jarrott), two parts that garnered Oscar nominations for the second choices, Jane Fonda and Geneviève Bujold. After shooting In Search of Gregory (1969, Peter Wood), a critical and box office flop, to fulfill her contractual obligations, she spent her time with Beatty in California, renting a beach house at Malibu. She did return to form as the bored upper-class woman who ruins a boy's life by involving him in her sexual duplicities, in The Go-Between (1970, Joseph Losey), written by playwright Harold Pinter. She won her second Oscar nomination for her role as a brothel 'madam' in Robert Altman's Western drama McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) that she made with her lover Beatty. Christie also turned down the role of the Russian Empress in Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), another film that won the second-choice (Janet Suzman) a Best Actress Oscar nomination. Two years later, she appeared in the dazzling mystery-horror film Don't Look Now (1973, Nicolas Roeg), with its famously erotic love scenes between Christie and Donald Sutherland. Director Roeg had been her cinematographer on Fahrenheit 451 (1966), Far from the Madding Crowd (1967) and Petulia (1968). In the mid-1970’s, her affair with Beatty came to an end, but the two remained close friends and worked together in Shampoo (1975, Hal Ashby) and the comedy Heaven Can Wait (1978, Buck Henry, Warren Beatty). Christie turned down the part of Louise Bryant in Reds (1981, Warren Beatty), a part written by Beatty with her in mind, as she felt an American should play the role. Beatty's then lover, Diane Keaton, played the part and won a Best Actress Oscar nomination. Other interesting roles she turned down were parts in Rosemary's Baby (1968, Roman Polanski), The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola), Chinatown (1974, Roman Polanski), Marathon Man (1976), and American Gigolo (1980, Paul Schrader).

 

Julie Christie moved back to the UK and became the British answer to Jane Fonda, campaigning for various social and political causes, including animal rights and nuclear disarmament. She was greatly in demand, but became much more choosy about her roles as her own political awareness increased. Her sporadic film roles reflected her political consciousness such as the animal rights documentary The Animals Film (1981, Victor Schonfeld), and the feature The Gold Diggers (1983, Sally Potter), a feminist reinterpretation of film history. Roles in The Return of the Soldier (1982, Alan Bridges) with Alan Bates and Glenda Jackson and Merchant-Ivory's Heat and Dust (1983, James Ivory) seemed to herald a return to form, but then she essentially retired. A career renaissance came in the mid-1990’s with her turn as Queen Gertrude in Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1996, Kenneth Branagh). Rave notices brought her turn as the faded movie star married to handyman Nick Nolte and romanced by a younger man in Afterglow (1997, Alan Rudolph). She received her third Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, and showed up at the awards as radiant and uniquely beautiful as ever. Christie lived with left-wing investigative journalist Duncan Campbell (a Manchester Guardian columnist) since 1979, before marrying in 2008. In addition to her film work, she has narrated many books-on-tape. In 1995, she made a triumphant return to the stage in a London revival of Harold Pinter's Old Times, which garnered her superb reviews. In the decade since Afterglow (1997, Alan Rudolph), she has worked steadily on film in supporting roles. She worked three times with director-screenwriter and actress Sarah Polley: co-starring with Polley in No Such Thing (2001, Hal Hartley) and the Goya Award-winning La Vida secreta de las palabras/The Secret Life of Words (2005, Isabel Coixet), and taking the lead in Polley's first feature film as a director, Away from Her (2006, Sarah Polley). Christie made a brief appearance in the third Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004, Alfonso Cuarón), playing Madam Rosmerta, the landlady of the Three Broomsticks pub. That same year, she also appeared in two other high-profile films: Wolfgang Petersen's historical epic Troy (2004) and Marc Forster's Finding Neverland (2004), playing Kate Winslet's mother. The latter performance earned Christie a BAFTA nomination as supporting actress in film. In the Encyclopedia of British Cinema Brian McFarlane writes: “Arguably the most genuinely glamorous, and one of the most intelligent, of all British stars, Julie Christie brought a gust of new, sensual life into British cinema.”

 

Sources: Jon C. Hopwood (IMDb), Brian McFarlane (Encyclopedia of British Cinema), TCM, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

Greta Garbo (18 September 1905 – 15 April 1990), born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress and an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of her films were sensational hits, and all but three of her twenty-four Hollywood films were profitable. Garbo was nominated four times for an Academy Award and received an honorary one in 1954 for her "luminous and unforgettable screen performances". She also won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress for both Anna Karenina (1935) and Camille (1936). In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Garbo fifth on their list of greatest female stars of all time, after Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman.

 

Garbo launched her career with a leading role in the 1924 Swedish film The Saga of Gosta Berling. Her performance caught the attention of Louis B. Mayer, chief executive of Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), who brought her to Hollywood in 1925. She immediately stirred interest with her first silent film, Torrent, released in 1926; a year later, her performance in Flesh and the Devil, her third movie, made her an international star.

 

With her first talking film, Anna Christie (1930), she received an Academy Award nomination. MGM marketers enticed the public with the catch-phrase "Garbo talks!" That same year she won a second Oscar nomination for her performance in Romance. In 1932, her immense popularity allowed her to dictate the terms of her contract and she became increasingly choosy about her roles. Many critics and film historians consider her performance as the doomed courtesan Marguerite Gautier in Camille to be her finest. The role gained her a third Academy Award nomination. After working exclusively in dramatic films, Garbo turned to comedy with Ninotchka (1939), which earned her a fourth Academy Award nomination, and Two-Faced Woman (1941).

 

In 1941, she retired after appearing in only twenty-seven films. Although she was offered many opportunities to return to the screen, she declined most of them. Instead, she lived a private life, shunning publicity.

German postcard by Film und Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. A 1799. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Film.

 

English actress Hayley Mills (1946) began her acting career as a popular child star and was hailed as a promising newcomer for Tiger Bay (1959), and Pollyanna (1960). During the late 1960s she played in more mature roles. Although she has not maintained the box office success she experienced as a child actress, she has always continued to make films.

 

Hayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills was born in London, England in 1946. She was the daughter of actor Sir John Mills and playwright Mary Hayley Bell, and the younger sister of actress Juliet Mills. As an infant she made her first film appearance in her father’s So Well Remembered (1947). At 12 she was noticed playing at her parent's home by director J. Lee Thompson. He was looking for a boy to play the lead role of a murder witness in his thriller Tiger Bay (1959) opposite Horst Buchholz and John Mills, but immediately cast Mills’ tomboy daughter. For her role she won the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer and a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Walt Disney's wife, Lillian Disney, saw her performance and suggested that Mills be given the lead role in Pollyanna (1960, David Swift). The role of the orphaned but infectiously optimistic girl who moves in with her crusty aunt Polly (Jane Wyman) made Mills a superstar in the USA. She earned a special Juvenile Oscar and a Golden Globe. Disney subsequently cast Mills as twins Sharon and Susan who reunite their divorced parents (Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara) in the charming and highly entertaining The Parent Trap (1961, David Swift), based on the classic book by Erich Kästner. In the film, Mills sings the song Let's Get Together, which reached no. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The success led to the album Let's Get Together with Hayley Mills, which also included her only other hit song, Johnny Jingo (1962). She made four additional films for Disney in a four-year span, including In Search of the Castaways (1962, Robert Stevenson) with Maurice Chevalier, and Summer Magic (1963, James Neilson). Her final two Disney films, The Moon-Spinners (1964, James Neilson) with Pola Negri, and the suspense comedy That Darn Cat! (1965, Robert Stevenson), did well at the box office. During her six-year run at Disney, Mills was arguably the most popular child actress of the era. In addition to her Disney movies, Mills starred in several British films. Opposite Alan Bates she appeared in Whistle Down the Wind (1961, Bryan Forbes), based on the book of the same title written by her mother Mary Hayley Bell. The Chalk Garden (1964, Ronald Neame) with Deborah Kerr was based on a play by Enid Bagnold, and in The Truth About Spring (1965, Richard Thorpe) her real father, John Mills, was cast as her father. The 16-year-old Mills was considered for the role of Lolita Haze in Stanley Kubrick's film version of Lolita (1962). However, Walt Disney discouraged the casting, feeling the role was not up to Disney's wholesome standard, and the part eventually went to Sue Lyon. In later years, Mills admitted that she regretted not taking the part.

 

After her contract with Disney expired in 1965, Hayley Mills starred in the comedy The Trouble with Angels (1966, Ida Lupino), opposite Rosalind Russell. Looking to break from her sunny, innocent Pollyanna image, Mills returned to England to appear as a mentally challenged teenager in the film Sky West and Crooked (1966), which was directed by her father and written by her mother. She made her stage debut in a West End revival of Peter Pan (1966). Shortly thereafter, Mills starred with Hywell Bennett in the comedy The Family Way (1966, Roy Boulting) as a couple of newlyweds having difficulty consummating their marriage. The film, in which she played a brief nude scene, featured a score by Paul McCartney and arrangements by Beatles producer George Martin. She then starred as the protagonist of Pretty Polly (1967, Guy Green) , opposite famous Indian film actor Shashi Kapoor in Singapore, and another film for director Roy Boulting, the thriller Twisted Nerve (1968) again opposite Hywell Bennett. While filming The Family Way, the 20-year-old Mills had fallen in love with Boulting, who was 53-year-old and married. After his divorce, they married in 1971. Boulting took control of his young wife’s career, and, as a result, she made bad film choices that left critics and audiences cold, such as the Agatha Christie adaptation Endless Night (1972, Sidney Gilliat) co-starring Britt Ekland and George Sanders. After the even worse drama The Kingfisher Caper (1975, Dirk de Villiers) and the comedy What Changed Charley Farthing? (1976, Sidney Hayers), Mills dropped out of the film industry for a few years. In 1977 she divorced Boulting. And as Tommy Peter at IMDb observes: “her film career had pretty much tanked”.

 

In 1981 Hayley Mulls made a come-back in a starring role in the TV Mini-series The Flame Trees of Thika (1981, Roy Ward Baker), based on Elspeth Huxley's memoir of her childhood in East Africa. The series was well-received, prompting Mills to accept more acting roles. She returned to the US, and hosted for TV an episode of Disneyland (1981), sparking renewed interest in her Disney work. In 1986 she reprised her roles as twins Sharon and Susan for a trio of Parent Trap television movies: The Parent Trap II (1986, Ronald F. Maxwell), The Parent Trap III (1989, Mollie Miller), and The Parent Trap IV: Hawaiian Honeymoon (1989, Mollie Miller). Mills also starred as the title character in the Disney Channel-produced television series Good Morning, Miss Bliss (1987-1989). The show was cancelled after 14 episodes, and the rights were acquired by NBC, which reformatted Good Morning, Miss Bliss into Saved by the Bell (without Mills). Hayley Mills was involved with the ‘Hare Krishna’ movement, and wrote the preface to The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking (1984). In 1988 she co-edited, with Marcus Maclaine, the book My God, which consisted of brief letters from celebrities on their beliefs (or lack thereof) regarding God and the life to come. She then concentrated on a stage career and had success as Anna in The King and I, which she played in touring stage productions throughout the 1990's. In 2000 she made her Off Broadway debut in Sir Noël Coward's Suite in Two Keys, for which she won a Theatre World Award. In recognition for her work with The Walt Disney Company, Mills was awarded the prestigious Disney Legends award in 1998. Mills recalled her childhood in the documentary film Sir John Mills' Moving Memories (2000) which was written by her brother Jonathan. Later she appeared in the acclaimed short film, Stricken (2005, Jayce Bartok), the ITV1 African vet drama Wild at Heart (2007-) with her sister Juliet Mills, and in the family adventure Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure (2010, Joy Chapman), based on one of the popular Mandie novels of Lois Gladys Leppard. Most recently she was seen in Foster (2011, Jonathan Newman) with Toni Colette. In 2008, Mills was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery and chemotherapy and told Good Housekeeping Magazine in January 2012 that she had recovered. Hayley Mills currently lives in New York City. Her son, Crispian Mills (1973), is known as the lead singer and guitarist of the psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker. He is now part of The Jeevas. She has a second son, Jason Lawson, from British actor Leigh Lawson, with whom she had a relationship between 1976 and 1984.

 

Sources: Tommy Peter (IMDb), Reel Classics, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

Here me in Hollywood.

 

Everyone of us knows that the 85th Academy Awards took place in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood "in Los Angeles" on the 24th of February 2013, which was yesterday. I watched this and I was inspired by Adele and other winner. For example the Jennifer Lauwrence as the best actress in a leading role.

Or also the winner of MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING is "Les Misérables":)

 

I hope you like my shooting and you can here tell me your opinion about this idea. You can also discuss you are agree with the Oscars or not.

 

XO XO Sweetie is here for you my friends

British card in the Greetings series. Photo: Universal-International.

 

Pretty and wholesome blonde American film actress Peggy Dow (1928) could handle comedy and drama with equal finesse. After only nine films, she retired and is now known as philanthropist Peggy V. Helmerich.

 

After brief modelling and radio experience, Peggy Dow was spotted by a talent agent. In February 1949, she was cast in a TV show and soon Universal offered her a seven-year contract. She made nine films, starting with the female lead opposite Scott Brady in the thriller Undertow (William Castle, 1949), as a vacationing schoolteacher who accidentally gets involved in a murder. She hit her peak when she co-starred as the lovely nurse Kelly in the classic farce Harvey (Henry Koster, 1950), with James Stewart as a man whose best friend is a pooka named Harvey—in the form of a six-foot, three-and-a-half-inch tall invisible rabbit. She also co-starred with Best Actor Oscar nominee Arthur Kennedy in the touching war drama Bright Victory (Mark Robson, 1951). After just three years in the business, she retired in 1951 to marry Walter Helmerich III, an oil driller from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Gary Brumburgh at IMDb: "This promising 1950s Universal-International contract player had so much going for her - beauty, brains and talent - to go the distance, but she came up far short after deciding to retire for domestic life. (...) Despite such a promising Hollywood forecast, she never looked back and raised five sons in the process." The couple was married for 60 years, until his death in 2012. She became an active supporter of libraries and other charitable activities.

 

Sources: Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

French postcard by Ebullitions, no. 26.

 

Isabelle Adjani (1955) is a dark-haired beauty with a porcelain skin and expressive blue eyes, who has appeared in 30 films since 1970. The French film actress holds the record for most César Awards for Best Actress with five, for Possession (1981), L'Été Meurtrier/One Deadly Summer (1983), Camille Claudel (1988), La Reine Margot/Queen Margot (1994) and La journée de la jupe/Skirt Day (2009). She also received two Oscar nominations for Best Actress.

French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1088. Presented by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane'. Photo: Studio Vallois.

 

French actress Emmanuelle Riva (1927) is best known for her roles in the films Hiroshima mon amour (1959), Léon Morin, Priest (1961), and Amour (2012). This year, Riva received the BAFTA Award and the César for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role in Amour (2012, Michael Haneke. Last night at the Oscar ceremonies, Amour (2012) won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

1966 Coppertone suntan lotion magazine advertisement, with celebrity endorsement from shapely Berlin-born actress Elke Sommer (b. 5 November 1940), wearing a stylish black-and-white bikini at a 1960s pool party.

 

Tagline:

"Elke Sommer starring in 'The Oscar' says "Coppertone gives you a better tan!"

 

Small text in upper left corner:

"Join the Tan-ables -- get the best of the sun with Coppertone!"

 

Published in Family Circle, Jun 1966, Vol. 68, No. 6.

 

Fair use/no known copyright. If you use this photo, please provide attribution credit; not for commercial use (see Creative Commons license)

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 142/3. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Das schöne Abenteuer/Beautiful Adventure (Reinhold Schünzel, 1932).

 

The Austrian-German actor Wolf Albach-Retty (1906-1967) is nowadays best known as the father of Romy Schneider, but during the 1930s he was a popular leading man of the German cinema.

 

Grand German-Dutch actress Adele Sandrock (1863 - 1937) had a successful theatrical career all over Europe. In Vienna she had a stormy affair with the famous playwright Arthur Schnitzler, and enjoyed triumphs as the diva of the modern playwrights. In the 1910’s she became one of the first German film stars. After the introduction of sound she emerged as a witty comedienne. She excelled as the intimidating elderly dragon, who could also be surprisingly funny and tactful.

 

Adele Sandrock was born as Adele Feldern-Förster in Rotterdam in the Netherlands in 1863 (some sources say 1864). She was the youngest of three children of the German businessman Eduard Othello Sandrock and the Dutch ballet dancer and actress Nan ten Hagen. Her siblings were painter and author Christian Sandrock and actress Wilhelmine Sandrock. In 1875 the family moved to Berlin. In 1978 she was discharged from school, and she tried to become an actress. Only 15, she made her debut in the comedy Mutter und Sohn (Mother and Son) by Charlotte Birch-Pfeiffer at the Urania theatre in a Berlin suburb. Later, she asked the Duke of Meiningen in a letter to engage her at the Hoftheater (Court Theatre). She chose a scene from Kabale und Liebe (Intrigue and Love) by Friedrich Schiller to show off her talent. The Duchess, a former actress, was so delighted by her acting that Sandrock received a three-year contract. When the famous actor Joseph Kainz refused to play her lover, she was deeply hurt and left Meiningen after only one year. She played in theatres in Moscow and Budapest, and also worked in Spain and France. In 1889 she moved to Vienna, where she had her breakthrough in the title role of Isabella in The Clemenceau Case by Alexandre Dumas and Armand d'Artois at the Theater an der Wien. From 1889 to 1895 she played at the Deutschen Volkstheater (German National Theatre) in Vienna. In 1893 she met the poet Arthur Schnitzler and the two had a tempestuous love affair that lasted for two years. In his works Der Reigen, Halbzwei and Haus Delorme (The Dance, Two and Half, and House Delorme) Schnitzler used his memories of Adele Sandrock. Their intimate correspondence was published in book form. In Vienna, Sandrock became a star and her tumultuous private life and her breach of contracts created some scandals. She became the diva of the 'Wiener Moderne’, the Austrian avant-garde movement. She created a number of major roles for such modern playwrights as Henrik Ibsen (in Rosmersholm) and Arthur Schnitzler (in Das Märchen (Fairy Tale) and Liebelei (Flirtation)). From 1895 to 1898, she worked with her older sister Wilhelmine Sandrock at the Hofburgtheater (Court Theatre) and later she went on a European tour. From 1902 to 1905 she worked again at the Deutschen Volkstheater in Vienna, but she could not repeat her previous triumphs. In 1905 she moved to Berlin, where she played at the Deutsches Theater under Max Reinhardt. In 1910 her engagement there ended and there were no new parts or engagements. Her highly theatrical style was regarded as old-fashioned now. It was a period of financial hardships.

 

In 1911 Adele Sandrock made her silent film debut for the Messter company in the short film Marianne, ein Weib aus dem Volk/Marianne, a woman from the people, starring Henny Porten. It was followed by parts in such films as Die Beichte einer Verurteilten/The confession of a condemned (1915, Rudolf del Zopp) and Passionels Tagebuch/Passionels diary (1916, Louis Ralph) with Emil Jannings. During World War I, Adele earned a small family income by giving lectures and acting lessons. After the war she worked more and more for the cinema. To her silent films belong Manolescus Memoiren/The Memories of Manolescu (1920, Richard Oswald) starring Conrad Veidt, Lady Hamilton (1921, Richard Oswald), and Kinder der Finsternis/Children of the Dark (1921, Ewald André Dupont). In 1924 she returned to the Netherlands to film Op hoop van zegen/Die Fahrt ins Verderben (1924, James Bauer, Henk Kleinmann), a Dutch-German coproduction, based on the play Op hoop van zegen uit (1900) by Herman Heijermans. Other silent films were Die Waise von Lowood/Orphan of Lowood (1926, Curtis Bernhardt), Feme (1927, Richard Oswald), the Schnitzler adaptation Fräulein Else/Miss Else (1929, Paul Czinner) and Katharina Knie (1929, Karl Grune) with Carmen Boni. In 1920 the then 50 plus Sandrock had also returned to the stage, where she again enjoyed great successes, this time as a funny old lady in such comedies as Liebestrank (Love Poison) by Frank Wedekind and Bunbury by Oscar Wilde. It was her second breakthrough, now as a comedienne. Sandrock developed a unique form of ‘unmodern’ comedy. She was hilarious as the stubborn, old fashioned mother-in-law, or the tyrannical grandmother. She still also took serious roles in silent films, but when the German sound film was introduced in 1930, she could also use her comic talent fully in the cinema. She appeared in box-office hits as Der Kongress tanzt/The Congress Dances (1931, Eric Charell) starring Lilian Harvey, Der tolle Bomberg/The Mad Bomberg (1932, Georg Asagaroff), and Die englische Heirat/The English Wedding (1934, Reinhold Schünzel). She was a comedian who spoke out for passion. Sandrock even became better known for her film roles than for her stage career. In 1935 and 1936 she took part in 16 films. Even today people remember her as Juno in Amphitryon (1935, Reinhold Schünzel). Another classic was her role as a director in Alles hört auf mein Kommando/Everything hears on my command (193, Georg Zoch), a title that describes her principle quality. Because of her distinctive deep tinny voice she was called ‘der General’ (the General). During her career she acted in more than 140 films. Adele Sandrock remained unmarried all her life. She lived with her sister, Wilhelmine in an apartment in Berlin, where she died in 1937. The cause of her death was the aftermath of an accident in 1936. Her autobiography, Mein Leben (My Life), was published in 1940.

 

Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Stephanie D’heil (Steffi-line), Museumonline, Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.

Edited By Angelica~ Jean had two famous superstitions: She always wore a lucky ankle chain on her left leg, which is visible in some films if you look closely, and had a lucky mirror in her dressing room. She wouldn't leave the room without first looking in it.

 

OTHER TRIVIA

Was the godmother of Millicent Siegel, daughter of the notorious mobster Benjamin Bugsy Siegel.

 

Dated the notorious mobster Abner "Longy" Zwillman, who secured a two-picture deal for Harlow with Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures by loaning Cohn $500,000 in cash. He also purchased her a jeweled charm bracelet and a red Cadillac.

 

Height is often listed as 5'2"-5'3 1/2"

 

Refused the lead in King Kong (1933), as well as the lead in the Tod Browning classic Freaks (1932).

 

Was photographed nude at age 17 by Hollywood photographer Edward Bower Hesser in Griffith Park in 1928.

 

In the 1933 Hollywood satire Bombshell (1933) Harlow is known as "the If girl" -- a spoof loosely based on 1920s sex symbol and "It girl" Clara Bow.

 

Went on a salary strike from MGM in 1934, during which she wrote a novel, "Today is Tonight." The book was not published until 1965.

 

Her final film, Saratoga (1937), became the highest grossing film of 1937 and set all-time house records, due almost entirely to her untimely death.

 

Was the idol of Marilyn Monroe, who backed out of a biographical picture on her life. After reading the script, Monroe reportedly told her agent, "I hope they don't do that to me after I'm gone." Both Harlow and Monroe co-starred in their last films with Clark Gable, Harlow in Saratoga (1937) and Monroe in The Misfits (1961).

 

The premiere of her first feature film, Hell's Angels (1930), on May 27, 1930, drew an estimated crowd of 50,000 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. The film also has an expensive eight-minute two-color Technicolor sequence - the only color footage of Harlow that exists.

 

Ranked #22 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Legends" list in June 1999.

She was the very first film actress to grace the cover of Life magazine in May 1937.

 

Born at 5:40pm-CST

 

Her funeral wasn't the average funeral. Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, took charge and made it a Hollywood event. Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy sang his favorite song Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life in the church chapel, followed by a huge banquet with an orchestra.

 

She was at a dinner party and continuously addressed Margot Asquith (wife of British prime minister Herbert Asquith) as "Margot", pronouncing the "T". Margot finally had enough and said to her, "No, Jean, the 'T' is silent, like in 'Harlow'"

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Had two famous superstitions: She always wore a lucky ankle chain on her left leg, which is visible in some films if you look closely, and had a lucky mirror in her dressing room. She wouldn't leave the room without first looking in it.

 

Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California in the Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Benediction, at the end of the corridor, on the left side, in the second to the last private room, marked "Harlow".

 

Favorite brand of cigarette: Fatima.

 

Never wore any underwear and always slept in the nude.

 

She had to stick to a strict diet to keep thin, eating mostly vegetables and salads.

 

She used to put ice on her nipples right before shooting a scene in order to appear sexier.

 

A new musical called "In Hell With Harlow" about an after-death meeting between her and Protestant WWII martyr Dietrich Boenhoffer never reached the stage. The production, written by best-selling author Paul L. Williams, was to star Dawn Winarski and Greg Korin.

Her birth name was Harlean Carpenter - the first name an amalgam of her mother's maiden name, Jean Harlow, which she later took as her stage name. At the height of her career, it came out that this wasn't her real name, and the insatiable public wanted to know what her real name was. The studio released her "real" name as Harlean Carpentier. Harlow had added the extra "i" herself before her career began to make it sound more exotic.

She was voted the 49th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

Following the end of her third marriage she met actor William Powell. They were engaged for two years (due to minor differences and Jean's belief that MGM wouldn't approve), but Jean became ill and died before they could marry.

 

Known as the "original blonde bombshell", pre-dating Marilyn Monroe as a blonde sex symbol.

 

For many years, it was a widely-held belief that she died because her mother, a Christian Scientist, refused to let doctors operate on her after she became ill. Christian Scientists prefer prayer to drugs and surgery. This story was even reprinted in David Shipman's famous book, The Great Movie Stars, but it has been repeatedly shown to be completely untrue.

 

On the day Hollywood canine superstar Rin Tin Tin died at age of 16 (112 in dog years), Harlow, who lived across the street from his master, Lee Duncan, went over to cradle the dog's head in her lap as the famous canine died.

 

Is portrayed by Gwen Stefani in The Aviator (2004), by Carroll Baker in Harlow (1965), by Susan Buckner in The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977), by Lindsay Bloom in Hughes and Harlow: Angels in Hell (1978) and by Carol Lynley in Harlow (1965)

 

Is one of the many movie stars mentioned in Madonna's song "Vogue"

 

She spent the night of April 6, 1933 - the day when Prohibition was set to expire at midnight - at the Los Angeles Brewing Co. with fellow movie star Walter Huston. A maker of "near-beer" and denatured alcohol (the alcohol was subtracted from the full-strength beer the company continued to brew during Prohibition, but could not legally market), the company was ready to immediately supply the Los Angeles area's demand for beer. Skipping the denaturing process, they had made a huge consignment of the genuine stuff to be marketed as Eastside Beer in bottles and kegs. The brewery's trucks were loaded and ready to roll out of the brewery the minute when suds could be legally shipped and sold. Two treasury agents and many guards were there that night to ensure things went smoothly, safely and legally. At 12:01 AM on April 7, 1933, when the sale and consumption of intoxicating beverages was once again legal in the United States, Huston gave a short speech and Harlow broke a bottle of beer over the first truck lined up and ready to deliver its now-legal load of liquid refreshment, thus christening the reborn brewery. The trucks rolled out, many staffed with armed guards riding shotgun lest the thirsty multitude get too frisky along the delivery routes. When the night was over, the brewery had done over $250,000 in business (approximately $3,387,000 in 2005 dollars) and had collected a stack of cash 18 inches high. Harlow has stayed the night, partying with brewery employees.

 

Once lived in Chateau Marmont, the famous Los Angeles hotel.

 

One of the last photos taken of Jean showed her carrying a copy of Gone with the Wind. She was determined to read it, but as her illness progressed, couldn't get past more than the first few pages. When she was admitted to hospital, she reminded one of her nurses to pack it. The nurse, realizing how serious Harlow's illness was, remarked "She'll never finish it." Her words came true when Harlow died later that week.

 

Everyone on the MGM lot called her The Baby with the exception of Clark Gable. A very close friend, he always called her Sis.

 

Attended the 1936 Oscars with her then-lover William Powell, her close friend and co-star Clark Gable, and his new lover Carole Lombard, who was Powell's ex-wife. Harlow was so ill during the evening, Lombard had to help her to the powder room to recover and re-apply her make-up.

 

Of her final performance in Saratoga (1937), critic Graham Greene wrote "Her technique was the gangster's technique - she toted a breast like a man totes a gun"

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When she died in 1937, her estate was valued at over $1 million and left entirely to her mother.

 

Harlow is interred at Glendale's Forest Lawn Cemetery in a private crypt purchased by William Powell for $25,000. The crypt and sanctuary room contained marble from France, Italy and Spain, and was a tribute to the woman he then loved and planned to marry.

When entombed at Glendale's Forest Lawn Cemetery in 1937, she was dressed in the same gown she wore in Libeled Lady (1936).

 

Along with Hedy Lamarr, they were the primary inspirations for Batman creator Bob Kane's Catwoman character.

 

Was known as "The Original Platinum Blonde".

 

When Jean Harlow died with about one week's worth of shooting left to go on "Saratoga," her stand-in, Mary Dees, replaced her in the remaining footage.

 

At the time of her death Jean Harlow was suffering from kidney failure that was causing her limbs to swell up with water, making her considerably heavier. Co-star Clark Gable noticed this when they filmed a scene for her last film, "Saratoga," that required him to lift her into the upper berth in a Pullman car. Gable complained that she weighed more and was therefore harder for him to lift than she'd been in their previous films together.

 

She was a devoted Democrat and in the year of her death she visited Franklin D. Roosevelt on his birthday at a dinner party being thrown at the White House. A small clip of the event, with her at the microphone, can be found on YouTube with her only words being, "Good Evening".

 

On the television series Night Court (1984) a black and white portrait of her on a bearskin rug in front of a roaring fire was seen displayed in the office of Judge Harry T. Stone (played by Harry Anderson) which was see throughout the entire series run (1984-1992).

 

She was honored as Turner Classic Movie's Star of the Month for March 2011.

Was considered for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).

 

Personal Quotes (3)

[on Hell's Angels (1930)] "When I was making a personal appearance, I'd always sneak in the back of the house to watch the zeppelin airplane attack. I never failed to get a tremendous thrill out of it. I probably saw that scene hundreds of times."

 

I was not a born actress. No one knows it better than I. If I had any latent talent, I have had to work hard, listen carefully, do things over and over and then over again in order to bring it out.

 

Men like me because I don't wear a brassiere. Women like me because I don't look like a girl who would steal a husband. At least not for long.

  

... if I tell you, "I have good news and I have bad news, which do you want to hear first?" Most people will ask for the bad new first. So this is a "bad news" email.

 

I watched a movie this morning that was so utterly bad, I finished it at just over half way through. It had an actress who had brought magic into my life in other movies and this one she only had a short part in before she was killed off. I would have to say the genre of this film could best be described as 'GORE!"

 

I don't do gore too well, not that I have a weak stomach or faint easily, but I always become repulsed thinking not about the gore itself, but about the people who feed on gore and get some type of magical pleasure from it. It makes we wonder if they're the kind of people who torture little animals and put razor blades in apples for the trick-or--treaters. I wonder about how many GORE people there are and how much pain they are causing all over the world.

 

Anyway, I just wanted you to know and the official Magic experienced email will come later.

 

I just bought a movie on Amazon, downloaded to my Amazon Movie Library and it is a real winner, based on an Oscar Wilde short story ... "Mrs. somebody's Fan" ... I'll have the correct name in the good new email and an image I feel is comprehensive. I only found out the movie was based on writing by Oscar Wilde, but all through the movie I noticed little phrases I thought were wonderful and hoped I could remember them. I may have to search out the Wilde short story and see if the quotes are his. I especially liked this one, "There is no saint without a past and no sinner without a future." This will be the good news Email.

 

The only magic in this movie is Lena Headey, a British Actress, who brilliantly plays the part of a Southern housewife. Her ability with dialect reminded me of Meryle Streep in "Sophie's Choice" another magic producing movie.

French postcard by De Marchi Frères, Marseille.

 

Belgian-born model, singer and actress Monique Van Vooren (1925) gained notoriety for her many celebrity appearances on the game and variety show circuit in the 1950’s and 1960’s. She became a cult star, best remembered for her role as Baroness Katrin Frankenstein in Flesh for Frankenstein (1973).

 

Monique Van Vooren was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1925. She started her career as a model and was as such spotted and photographed by Junior Gorg for Life magazine. Her first film was the Italian production Domani è troppo tardi/Tomorrow is Too Late (1950, Léonide Moguy) starring Pier Angeli. The gorgeous blonde soon got a Hollywood contract and had a supporting part in Tarzan and the She-Devil (1953, Kurt Neumann) starring Lex Barker. In France she played the leading lady-in-distress in Série Noire/Black Edition (1954, Pierre Foucaud), based on a series of popular paperback adventures of the same title. Hal Erickson at Rovi call it “an acceptable Gallic imitation of America's hard-boiled detective genre. Henri Vidal plays the anti-hero, who moves with ease through the Parisian underworld.” She also appeared opposite hard-boiled Eddie Constantine in Ça va barder/Give 'em Hell (1955, John Berry). Back in Hollywood, she appeared in a small role in the musical comedy Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957, Richard Thorpe), Dean Martin's first solo film after his split with Jerry Lewis. She also played a bit part as a showgirl in the award winning musical Gigi (1958, Vincente Minnelli) starring Leslie Caron, and the comedy Happy Anniversary (1959, David Miller) with David Niven. Van Vooren also appeared on stage. On Broadway she played in John Murray Anderson's Almanac (1953) and in 1960 she appeared as Frenchy in the national tour of Destry Rides Again.

 

During the 1960’s Monique Van Vooren appeared incidentally in films such as the eccentric independent comedy Fearless Frank (1967, Philip Kaufman) starring Jon Voight. Her few other credits of that decade include playing Miss Clean in two episodes of the television series Batman (1968). She was better known as a wild celebrity, who attracted more attention with her private life than with her films. Jack Gaver wrote in the Gazette about her appearance at the premiere of the stage musical Hair in April 1968: “ One of those who was not outdone by onstage proceedings was actress Monique Van Vooren, who showed up wearing a transparent black chiffon blouse with nothing but Monique beneath it.” She returned to Europe where she appeared as the Queen of Skulls in Il Decamerone/The Decameron (1970), the first of director Pier Paolo Pasolini's ‘trilogy of life.’ The film was based on the sexually charged tales of Boccaccio. Her most memorable role was Baroness Katrin Frankenstein in Flesh for Frankenstein (1973, Paul Morissey), starring Udo Kier and Joe Dallesandro. Andy Warhol was one of the co-producers of the film, but it was filmed in Cinecittà with an Italian film crew. In the USA, the film was marketed as Andy Warhol's Frankenstein, and was presented in the Space-Vision 3-D process in premiere engagements. The MPAA rated the film an X by, due to its explicit sexuality and violence. She also played opposite Elizabeth Taylor in Ash Wednesday (1973, Larry Peerce) and with Mary Woronow in the erotic thriller Sugar Cookies (1973, Theodore Gershuny). Sugar Cookies was an early production credit for both Oscar-winner Oliver Stone and Troma Entertainment honcho Lloyd Kaufman. She worked again with Stone on his Wall Street (1987, Oliver Stone) starring Michael Douglas. It was not her last film, because Oliver Stone’s son Sean Stone cast her for his horror project SecretStone . The film has not been released at the moment of writing. And Monique Van Vooren is still active in East Coast social circles.

 

Sources: Hal Erickson (Rovi), Kurt Gardner (Weird Movie Village), Jack Gaver (Gazette), Muppet Wiki, Broadway World, Wikipedia and IMDb.

 

A shot from The Great Movie Ride attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

 

Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical comedy film directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds, and choreographed by Gene Kelly. It offers a lighthearted depiction of Hollywood, with the three stars portraying performers caught up in the transition from silent films to "talkies."

 

The film was only a modest hit when first released, with O'Connor's Best Actor win at the Golden Globes, Comden and Green's win at the Writers Guild of America Awards, and the best supporting actress Oscar nomination for Jean Hagen being the only major recognitions. However, it was accorded its legendary status by contemporary critics. It is now frequently described as one of the best musicals ever made,[3] topping the AFI's 100 Years of Musicals list, and ranking fifth in its updated list of the greatest American films in 2007.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singin%27_in_the_Rain

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's musical film remake of the play and movie "The Philadelphia Story," this 1956 version, "High Society," starred Bing Crosby (May 2, 1903 - October 14, 1977), Grace Kelly (November 12, 1929 - September 14, 1982), Frank Sinatra (December 12, 1915 - May 14, 1998), Celeste Holm (April 29, 1917 - July 15, 2012), John Lund (February 6, 1911 - May 10, 1992), Louis Calhern (February 19, 1895 - May 12, 1956), and legendary musician and singer Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 - July 6, 1971) with his band. This was Grace Kelly's last movie before she retired from Hollywood and married Prince Rainier of Monaco, becoming Princess Grace of Monaco. The film was nominated for two Oscars.

 

More film trivia, via IMDb:

The house used for the exterior of Dexter's mansion was later bought by "Sunny" von Bülow and her husband Klaus. It was here she fell into the coma from which she has never recovered.

 

Louis Calhern died in Japan just after making this film. He was on the set of "The Teahouse of the August Moon" (1956) but died early in the filming. His role was recast, making "High Society" (1956) his last screen appearance.

 

The song "Well, Did You Evah?" (from a previous Cole Porter musical) was added at the last minute when it was realized that there wasn't a song for Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra to sing together.

 

Grace Kelly, recently engaged to Prince Rainier of Monaco, wore her actual engagement ring for her character's engagement ring.

 

Elizabeth Taylor was the first choice for the part of Tracy Lord. She was unavailable so the part went to Grace Kelly.

 

The song "True Love," written by Cole Porter especially for the movie, was a million seller and both Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby were awarded platinum records for the song. This is the only platinum record ever given to sitting royalty as Grace Kelly had become Princess Grace by the time it was awarded.

 

 

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This gritty, devoid-of-music film about the lives of heroin addicts in New York City, directed by Jerry Schatzberg, starred Al Pacino (b. April 25, 1940) and Kitty Winn (b. February 21, 1943). In smaller roles were Alan Vint, Richard Bright, Kiel Martin, Michael McClanathan, Warren Finnery, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Raul Julia, Joe Santos, and Paul Sorvino.

 

This was Pacino's first leading role in a film, and it was Winn's film debut -- she won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Pacino's performance in this film made Francis Ford Coppola want him for the role of Michael Corleone in the 1972 crime family blockbuster, "The Godfather," for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. The UK banned "The Panic in Needle Park" for four years due to its graphic, realistic depiction of drug use.

 

Synopsis, via >a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067549/">IMDb:

This movie is a stark portrayal of life among a group of heroin addicts who hang out in "Needle Park" in New York City. Played against this setting is a low-key love story between Bobby, a young addict and small-time hustler, and Helen, a homeless girl who finds in her relationship with Bobby the stability she craves. She becomes addicted too, and life goes downhill for them both as their addiction deepens, eventually leading to a series of betrayals. But, in spite of it all, the relationship between Bobby and Helen endures.

 

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Gregory Peck and Mary Badham review the script for the film, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' directed by Robert Mulligan. Peck won his only Oscar for Best Actor for his role in the film, while Mary was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

 

Photo by Universal Studios/Getty Images

OSCARS:LOS ANGELES,11FEB97 - Ralph Fiennes in a scene from The English Patient. Fiennes recieved a nomination for Best Actor when the Academy Award nominations were announced February 11. The film also recieved nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Director.

Renée Zellweger (born April 25, 1969) is an American actress and producer. She has received critical acclaim and many accolades, including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, three Golden Globe Awards, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. She was named Hasty Pudding's Woman of the Year in 2009, and established herself as one of the highest-paid Hollywood actresses in 2007. Zellweger's first major film role came in the horror sequel Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994) which she followed with a critically acclaimed appearance in Empire Records (1995). She later gained widespread attention for her roles in the dramedy sports film Jerry Maguire (1996) and the comedy Nurse Betty (2000), for which she won her first Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy. She subsequently starred in the romantic comedy Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), obtaining nominations for the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Leading Actress. Her role in musical Chicago (2002) earned her another Oscar nomination for Best Actress, and her second Golden Globe Award. She won the Academy Award, the BAFTA Award, the Golden Globe Award, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress for the epic war drama Cold Mountain (2003). She later reprised her title role in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), starred in Cinderella Man (2005), and played author Beatrix Potter in the biopic Miss Potter (2006). Several movie parts in low-key and limited release features such as Appaloosa (2008), My One and Only (2009), Case 39 (2009) and My Own Love Song (2010) were followed by a six-year hiatus from acting work. Zellweger returned to the screen in the highly-successful third Bridget-Jones movie, Bridget Jones's Baby (2016).

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