Beneath the Beauty

And here's Miss Hedy... When it comes to Hedy Lamarr, it's easy to zero in on her beauty and go no further. However, this woman had plenty more going for her than just a gorgeous face, and we in the twenty-first century wouldn't be where we are today without her. 2017's Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story ably … Continue reading Beneath the Beauty

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Stage To Screen: Pygmalion

The idea of a master proving his prowess via a supposedly hopeless case is an old, old tale, and one of its most famous modern iterations is George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. First exhibited in Vienna, Austria in 1913, it follows Professor Higgins and his subject, Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle, as that august gentleman teaches … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Pygmalion

Semper Fidelis

As I've said before, with many of their bigger stars and directors overseas, Hollywood studios had to get creative as to what kinds of films they made. Actors and actresses who normally played character or supporting roles were commonly moved into lead parts, and one example of this is the 1943 film, Salute To the Marines. Featuring … Continue reading Semper Fidelis

Rita Hayworth and World War Two

Well, hello, Miss Rita... As we've talked about on this blog before, Hollywood threw itself into doing its part during the Second World War. All efforts were vastly appreciated, but some stood out more than others, and one of those was Rita Hayworth. In the early nineteen forties, Rita's star was on a rapid ascent, … Continue reading Rita Hayworth and World War Two

Page To Screen: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

One of the most iconic tales of American literature is The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Written by Washington Irving and originally published in 1820 as part of his Sketch Book, this story of ill-fated schoolteacher Ichabod Crane never fails to chill. It also never fails to find new life in various media. For those who … Continue reading Page To Screen: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Fighting WACs

One obvious side effect of war, especially a global one, is the shortage of men at home, and World War Two was no different. Countless Hollywood fixtures, whether cast or crew, enlisted or were drafted into the armed forces, leaving studio rosters a little thin for the time being. Naturally, this gave rise to more … Continue reading The Fighting WACs

Origins: Lizzie

We've all heard the playground song, "Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother forty whacks," right? I don't know if kids still sing that, but if they do, I have to wonder if they know where the chant came from, or who Lizzie Borden was. For those who are unfamiliar with her, Lizzie … Continue reading Origins: Lizzie

Joseph Cotten and the Mercury Players

Mr. Cotten, I presume. Joseph Cotten was an unusual actor. Sure, he was handsome and funny and could play a variety of roles, but he was also a late bloomer when it came to film. Born in 1905, he didn't make his stage debut until 1930 and his film debut in 1938. The latter is … Continue reading Joseph Cotten and the Mercury Players

Stage To Screen: Fiddler On the Roof

This really ought to be a "Page To Stage To Screen" look, because Fiddler On the Roof is based on a collection of short stories entitled Tevye And His Daughters, or Tevye the Dairyman, written by Sholem Aleichem, whose real name was Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich. First published in Yiddish in 1894, they are set in the Ukranian village of … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Fiddler On the Roof

And Now For Something Completely Different

Who's up for a little classic intrigue? Sometimes when a chance presents itself, there's nothing to do but take it (Within reason, of course). In the early nineteen-forties, Fred MacMurray was a durable rom-com guy, but 1944 brought him a new kind of opportunity--a role in Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity. Based on a story by James M. … Continue reading And Now For Something Completely Different

Everybody Plays the Fool

The Cold War was a serious, intense time, but it was also ripe for parody and satire. By far, the most famous example of this is the 1964 Stanley Kubrick film, Dr. Strangelove, or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Starring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, it's an infamous and uncomfortably compelling … Continue reading Everybody Plays the Fool

Ingrid’s Casablanca

Welcome back, Ms. Bergman! What hasn't been said about Casablanca? What hasn't been asked about Casablanca? This is a film that's been parsed, analyzed, memorialized, quoted, parodied, and collected more homage than most films in history, with the exception of Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz, of course. What's left to be said? Plenty. It's a classic film that we … Continue reading Ingrid’s Casablanca