Fatima In Hollywood

Bom dia... The fifties are somewhere we've all been to in terms of Hollywood movies, and we know it was an interesting time in the film industry. Big bad television and blacklisting made the studios rather nervous, and subjects that were once avoided now seemed safe. Religion was one of those, and Christian-centered films of … Continue reading Fatima In Hollywood

Shamedown #9: Touch of Evil

Well, lookee what we have here...another Shamedown. Anyone who's new to the blog and is wondering what the heck this is all about, please visit Cinema Shame. Orson Welles's relationship with Hollywood was always a contentious one, but by the late nineteen-fifties, a few things were changing. A lot of the old guard executives had … Continue reading Shamedown #9: Touch of Evil

Shelley Makes A Statement

And here's Ms. Winters... I don't know about everyone else, but when I think of Shelley Winters, I think of a funny lady who also looks like she could pop someone, like a cross between Lucille Ball and Betty Hutton. When Winters played Petronella van Daan in 1959's The Diary of Anne Frank, it combined everything the … Continue reading Shelley Makes A Statement

Stage To Screen: Mister Roberts

They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and some life experiences beg to be made into stories. Mister Roberts is one of those. Originally a novel by Thomas Heggen, it was published in 1946, premiered as a play in 1948, and released as a film in 1955. The story takes place very late in the war. … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Mister Roberts

Private Diva

Hello, Ms. Russell... Rosalind Russell was nothing if not versatile, and like a lot of stars during the petering out of the studio era, went free agent. Along with her husband, Fredrick Brisson, she even produced a few films for her own studio, Independent Artists, such as 1953's Never Wave At A WAC. Shot at Walt Disney … Continue reading Private Diva

My Five Favorite 50s Films

Happy National Classic Movie Day! Every year, Rick of Rick's Film and TV Cafe poses a question to the blogging world, and it's always a good surprise. Usually, but not exclusively, the number five figures into things somewhere, and this is one of those times. This year, Rick wants to know which films of the … Continue reading My Five Favorite 50s Films

Stage To Screen: Show Boat

Street corners. Tourist traps. Flatbed trailers. Any place is fair game for an entertainer to ply their craft as long as there's an audience. Or even if there isn't. When I was with the Continental Singers, we once did an impromptu mini-concert in an old folks' home in Nebraska while waiting for our bus's air … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Show Boat

The Trouble With Joe Gillis

Mr. Holden is back, and he's going to a familiar place... Sunset Boulevard is well-trod territory for film buffs, film students, and film lovers in general. It's quoted, imitated, and referenced constantly. Who hasn't heard, "I'm ready for my closeup." at least once? The 1950 film is not only important to movie aficionados, but for William … Continue reading The Trouble With Joe Gillis

In Love and War

Hello, Ms. Day... I'll admit, up until a few days ago the first and only time I saw The Pajama Game was my freshman year of high school, when it was our spring musical. Back then, I thought it was fun and different--I had been used to musicals like Fiddler On the Roof and Annie, so "Steam Heat" and "Hernando's Hideaway" … Continue reading In Love and War

Bela Lugosi Versus the Vampire

Film fest time... Bela Lugosi is best-known for playing Dracula in the 1931 Universal film. He played the role on Broadway as well, and he originated what we immediately think of when vampires come to mind (Not looking at you, Twilight.). Hauntingly slow speech. Clawed hands. A sweep of a cape. Bela Lugosi did it all first. Lugosi … Continue reading Bela Lugosi Versus the Vampire

Back To Titanic

Well, hello, Miss Barbara... In 1953, the Titanic disaster was only forty-one years in the past. Many of the survivors were still alive. However, the tragedy had all but passed from public consciousness, as between the sinking and the nineteen fifties, there were several wars, the Great Depression, and a sense of just wanting to live a … Continue reading Back To Titanic

Adjustments, All Sorts

Well, hello, Ms. Bacall... When life is in turmoil, people need release wherever they can find it, and the 1957 film, Designing Woman was one such break for Lauren Bacall. She called it "a nice, light comedy," and though she didn't think so initially, it was just what she needed during one of the toughest times … Continue reading Adjustments, All Sorts