Garbo At M-G-M

Once Greta Garbo came to America, the only studio she ever worked at was M-G-M. She was never loaned out, she never went freelance, and she didn't divide her time between the movies and the stage like many other actors of that era. M-G-M was Garbo's studio, and she knew how to use what it … Continue reading Garbo At M-G-M

Thicker Than Water

Monday was the seventy-fifth anniversary of the sinking of the U.S.S. Juneau, and among its dead were the five Sullivan brothers. The news horrified the American public, and caused the United States to officially ban immediate family members from serving in the same units in the Armed Forces, known as the Sole Survivor Act. The loss became … Continue reading Thicker Than Water

NOW: Dear Friend 2.0

We've seen the "Then," and now for the "Now"... By far, one of my favorite current-day screenwriters is the late Nora Ephron. She came by writing naturally, seeing as her parents both authored plays, books, screenplays, and the like. Before her death in 2012, she crafted films with deft and memorable dialogue, often collaborating with … Continue reading NOW: Dear Friend 2.0

Stage To Screen: Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy has been one of my favorite movies since the eighth grade. I don't remember what it was about the film that got me, but right from the first, I loved it. It's over twenty-five years later, though, and I've never read the play that it was based on until now. Written by … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Driving Miss Daisy

Jane and Edward

Presenting Miss Joan! Joan Fontaine wasn't a lady to be pigeonholed. She could be sweet, she could be romantic, and she could be steely. In the case of 1944's Jane Eyre, she was a mixture of all of these qualities and more, sharing scenes with Orson Welles, one of the most formidable figures in entertainment history. … Continue reading Jane and Edward

To Spencer, With Love

The relationship between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy is the stuff of legend. They were together for twenty-six years, and while morally their relationship may raise some red flags, it was always good to see their love for each other every time they locked eyes. Almost twenty years after Tracy's death, Hepburn, along with many … Continue reading To Spencer, With Love

He Ain’t Heavy, Father, He’s My Brother

Time to talk about Spence and Kate! December of this year will be the one-hundredth anniversary of Father Flanagan's Boys' Home, better known as Boys Town. Father Edward J. Flanagan, an Irish priest working in Omaha, Nebraska borrowed $90 and sought to provide a home for homeless, neglected, or delinquent boys, where they could receive … Continue reading He Ain’t Heavy, Father, He’s My Brother

Strange Bedfellows

Mr. Breen, I presume... The thing that people talk about when it comes to the American home front during World War Two, besides rationing, war jobs, and scrap drives, is how crowded the cities were. Residents of Mobile, Alabama liked to say that all someone had to do was bend down to tie their shoe … Continue reading Strange Bedfellows

In Old San Francisco

Anyone who has ever been to San Francisco, especially between the upper ends of Hyde Street and Market Street nearest the Bay, has probably seen (or at least walked over) the bronze compasses that commemorate the Barbary Coast Trail. The Barbary Coast was the stuff of legend in the nineteenth and early twentieth century with … Continue reading In Old San Francisco

Stage To Screen: The Women

September 1, 1939 was the day the Second World War started. It was also the day the M-G-M film, The Women, premiered to great fanfare. Three years previously, The Women was a successful Broadway play by Clare Boothe Luce, with a respectable six-hundred sixty-six performances to its credit (or six-hundred fifty-seven, if you believe Wikipedia). Directed by George … Continue reading Stage To Screen: The Women

Lionel On the Air

Lionel Barrymore was a towering actor, but unfortunately he had to deal with severe physical pain after the mid-nineteen-thirties, which limited his prospects somewhat. The possible causes range from rheumatoid arthritis to a drawing room table falling on him in 1936, to breaking a kneecap, to hip injuries. No one knows for sure. Some think … Continue reading Lionel On the Air

It’s Good To Be King

Entertainment's Great Family has arrived. Turbulence seems to run in the Barrymore clan. Drew Barrymore's grandfather, John, was an incredibly respected actor (even his profile was highly renowned). He also suffered from alcoholism, to the point that he began to forget lines and gain weight. His relationship with his wife, Delores Costello disintegrated--she finally called … Continue reading It’s Good To Be King

Page To Screen: Around the World In Eighty Days

Jules Verne's Around the World In Eighty Days has captured the public's imagination ever since its publication in 1873. It follows Englishman Phileas Fogg and his valet, Frenchman Jean Passepartout, as they go around the world in (surprise, surprise!) eighty days or less. To say Phileas Fogg is precise and punctual is an understatement. We're talking … Continue reading Page To Screen: Around the World In Eighty Days

Adulting With Laura Ingalls Wilder

It's rare to find kids and grown-ups these days who aren't at least a little familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books, even if it's just via the classic-but-mostly-inaccurate TV show, Little House On the Prairie. The original chronicles of Wilder's life are staples on library and home bookshelves all over the world. It may seem … Continue reading Adulting With Laura Ingalls Wilder

X Marks the Spot

Swish, swish, swish... 🙂 There have been adaptations a-plenty of Robert Louis Stevenson's most famous work, Treasure Island. The entertainment world has produced over fifty for film and TV, over twenty-four major stage productions, six radio versions, five computer games, five musical scores, three audio books and two retellings. And a partridge in a pear … Continue reading X Marks the Spot