We're excited to present a great new set of boards to classic movie fans with tons of new features, stability, and performance.

If you’re new to the message boards, please “Register” to get started. If you want to learn more about the new boards, visit our FAQ.

Register

If you're a returning member, start by resetting your password to claim your old display name using your email address.

Re-Register

Thanks for your continued support of the TCM Message Boards.

X

Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

X

Jump to content


Photo

Golden age: Roll call


  • Please log in to reply
1287 replies to this topic

#1 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted Yesterday, 09:43 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-7-31-14-am.png

 

Oklahoma native Will Rogers brought his folksy brand of humor to audiences all around the world. Working in a variety of media, he was one of the most popular and influential comedians of his time. It started simply for him, almost as if by a fluke, when his cowboy skills captured the attention of a New York City audience. They wanted more and never stopped wanting more.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-4-38-43-pm.png

 

Will started with roping tricks but quickly branched out to more topical commentary. His act became a main attraction in vaudeville. He was then hired by Ziegfeld and became part of more prominent stage shows on Broadway. During this time Will also wrote humorous essays in newspapers and started appearing on radio. His easy-going verbal wit made him well-known and led to a movie contract with producer Samuel Goldwyn.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-4-37-46-pm.png

 

Will’s silent films with Goldwyn, as well as other films for producer Hal Roach in the 1920s, did not showcase the humorist at his best. It wasn’t until Fox signed him and he began making talkies that he would come to dominate motion pictures. From 1930 to 1935, he was one of the highest paid and most successful movie stars in Hollywood. His clean moral tone during the precode years made him an anomaly. Some of his best-loved movies were directed by his friend John Ford.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-4-38-23-pm.png

 

In addition to his work on radio and the screen, Will was also noted for his love of aviation. Unfortunately in August 1935, his private plane crashed in Alaska, and he was killed. His last two films were released posthumously. Years later his son Will Rogers Jr. played him in a Warner Brothers biopic about his life and phenomenal career.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-4-37-55-pm.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. young as you feel (1930); fox; comedy; fifi d’orsay; 78 mins.
  2. ambassador bill (1931); fox; comedy; marguerite churchill; 70 mins.
  3. down to earth (1932); fox; comedy; dorothy jordan; 79 mins.
  4. too busy to work (1932); fox; comedy; dick powell; 76 mins.
  5. business and pleasure (1932); fox; comedy; joel mccrea; 77 mins.
  6. state fair (1933); fox; comedy drama; janet gaynor; 97 mins.
  7. handy andy (1934); fox; comedy; robert taylor; 83 mins.
  8. judge priest (1934); fox; comedy drama; stepin fetchit; 80 mins.
  9. steamboat round the bend (1935); fox; comedy; anne shirley; 82 mins.
  10. the story of will rogers (1952); warners; biographical comedy drama; will rogers jr. ; 109 mins.

  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#2 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 25 April 2017 - 10:09 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-25-at-7-48-57-am.png

 

She came from a humble background, and most of her life was filled with tragedy. Helen Twelvetrees would become one of the talkie era’s best dramatic actresses. Her suffering on screen was usually achieved with the slightest effort, and those sad eyes transfixed costars and moviegoers.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-1-25-49-pm.png

 

Originally Helen had studied to become a stage actress. She carried the death of a young brother with her, and she also found herself bearing the cross of a first husband who was an alcoholic. He gave her his unique last name along with scars from beatings. Helen strived to make a success for herself despite the real-life drama that continually surrounded her. She did well in the theater and was given a contract by Fox when the sound era was ushered in.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-1-25-21-pm.png

 

Helen’s first film in 1929 provided her with a lead role. It was Fox’s second all-talking feature. She made a few more pictures at the studio before her contract was taken over by Pathe. She had even bigger hits at her new studio, playing women who dealt with men that were all wrong for her. Off camera Helen divorced her first husband and married another man. She soon gave birth to her only child and continued to turn out movies. She was very prolific during the first half of the 1930s.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-1-24-38-pm.png

 

Pathe was absorbed by RKO, and she found her roles changing– especially with the production code now fully enforced. The stories were ‘cleaned up’ and the women Helen played either redeemed themselves or were punished and made to suffer even more. By the middle of the decade, she left RKO and began to freelance. One of her independent assignments took her to Australia, but she became quite ill while she was abroad. A second divorce occurred, and she was off screen for awhile. When she returned to Hollywood, she made just two more pictures then quit the movies and returned to the stage.

 

325361fb9c30458258ba96a72b1eedb4.jpg?w=7

 

There was another marriage after the war, and she cut back on performing. Occasionally she did summer stock, where she played Blanche in a touring production of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ a character she strongly identified with. When not working, Helen traveled with her husband. In the 50s, she was dealing with a kidney ailment. When the pain became too much to bear she took her own life at the age of 49. She was buried in an unmarked grave, but her legacy as one of the best dramatic actresses of the precode days of Hollywood will always live on.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-1-27-21-pm1.pn

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. her man (1930); pathe; drama; phillips holmes; 85 mins.
  2. the painted desert (1931); rko; western; william boyd; 75 mins.
  3. millie (1931); rko; drama; robert ames; 85 mins.
  4. a woman of experience (1931); rko; drama; william bakewell; 74 mins.
  5. panama flo (1932); rko; drama; charles bickford; 74 mins.
  6. state’s attorney (1932); rko; drama; john barrymore; 73 mins.
  7. is my face red? (1932); rko; drama; ricardo cortez; 66 mins.
  8. unashamed (1932); mgm; drama; robert young; 77 mins.
  9. a bedtime story (1933); paramount; comedy; maurice chevalier; 87 mins.
  10. now i’ll tell (1934); fox; drama; spencer tracy; 72 mins.

  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#3 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:44 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-24-at-6-23-49-am.png

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-7-29-04-am.png

 

Jack La Rue made a name for himself on stage and in the movies. His screen career began during the talkie era. The production code was not fully enforced in those days, so the content of early sound films was a lot more sensational. Jack’s performances were sensational, too.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-7-28-42-am.png

 

Jack first gained fame on the Broadway stage in the late 1920s. He had a costarring part in Mae West’s stage production of ‘Diamond Lil.’ This brought him to the attention of Hollywood directors and studio execs. One such person was Howard Hawks who wanted him to play a gangster in the original version of SCARFACE. However, the star of the movie (Paul Muni) had casting approval and vetoed Jack because of differences in their height and voice. The job was given to another Mae West costar (George Raft).

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-7-30-55-am.png

 

Soon another film opportunity came Jack’s way. Raft was under contract at Paramount and had been sought to portray a perverse thug named Trigger in the adaptation of William Faulkner’s ‘Sanctuary’ (retitled THE STORY OF TEMPLE DRAKE). Since Raft thought the character was too despicable, he passed, and Jack stepped in. His scenes with Miriam Hopkins were so sordid they incurred the wrath of censors. TEMPLE DRAKE led to the strict enforcement of the production code. But Jack was now a star.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-7-28-21-am.png

 

During the 30s he continued to find substantial roles in movies, but by the early 40s, Jack’s motion picture career was on the wane. He began to appear in more lower budgeted fare, or else was assigned smaller supporting roles in ‘A’ pictures. He then went to England to try his luck there. And for a fleeting moment he was back on top as a ruthless character that must’ve shared DNA with Trigger. It was the starring role in NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH, which in many ways seemed like a holdover from the precode days of Hollywood.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-7-28-10-am.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. virtue (1932); columbia; drama; carole lombard; 68 mins.
  2. a farewell to arms (1932); paramount; drama; helen hayes; 85 mins.
  3. christopher strong (1933); rko; drama; katharine hepburn; 78 mins.
  4. gambling ship (1933); paramount; drama; cary grant; 72 mins.
  5. the woman accused (1933); paramount; drama; nancy carroll; 70 mins.
  6. the story of temple drake (1933); paramount; drama; miriam hopkins; 70 mins.
  7. headline shooter (1933); rko; drama; william gargan; 60 mins.
  8. the kennel murder case (1933); warners; crime; william powell; 73 mins.
  9. miss fane’s baby is stolen (1934); paramount; crime; dorothea wieck; 70 mins.
  10. no orchids for miss blandish (1948); rko; crime; hugh mcdermott; 102 mins.

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#4 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 23 April 2017 - 08:04 AM

Can you guess the ones I will be spotlighting..?

 

Pre-code stars

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-8-08-26-pm.png

 

Monday April 24-- #522: Traded roles with George Raft.

Tuesday April 25-- #523: The saddest eyes in the motion pictures.

Wednesday April 26-- #524: Popular humorist.

Thursday April 27-- #525: Married to Dick Powell (pictured above).

Friday April 28-- #526: Made two films with Kong.

Saturday April 29-- #527: a "French" star. 

Sunday April 30-- #528: Costarred twice with Irene Dunne.


  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#5 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 22 April 2017 - 04:28 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-22-at-2-16-05-am.png

 

Grace Moore was born and raised in Tennessee. She had a natural aptitude for singing, and when she was old enough she went to New York to pursue a professional career. She soon found work performing in cafes and on Broadway in musicals. After a few years, she took her earnings and went to Europe to study opera with some of the best teachers she could find.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-39-19-pm.png

 

When she was ready she came back to New York and debuted at the Met. She proved to be quite successful, and Grace found herself in demand. She would go on to sing for the Met for 16 seasons, and she also developed a simultaneous career in motion pictures.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-39-44-pm.png

 

Grace went to Hollywood during the era of the talkies, and in 1930 she made the first of two musical films for MGM. They were not hugely popular, and she went back east. But in 1934 Harry Cohn enticed her to sign a contract with his studio. Her first movie at Columbia was ONE NIGHT OF LOVE, and it was a big hit. It netted her an Oscar nomination. During the years that followed, Grace made several more pictures at Columbia. They were either musical dramas or frothy musical comedies.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-40-48-pm.png

 

Costars included Cary Grant, Franchot Tone and Melvyn Douglas. Most of these productions did well with moviegoers. Grace continued to perform opera on stage and traveled abroad when she wasn’t working. Her husband was a Spanish movie actor. After her contract with Columbia ended, Grace made a French film based on Gustave Charpentier’s opera LOUISE. It was directed by Abel Gance, and would be her final screen appearance.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-40-26-pm1.pn

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. a lady’s morals (1930); mgm; musical drama; reginald denny; 87 mins.
  2. new moon (1930); mgm; musical; lawrence tibbett; 78 mins.
  3. one night of love (1934); columbia; musical; tullio carminati; 83 mins.
  4. love me forever (1935); columbia; musical drama; leo carrillo; 91 mins.
  5. the king steps out (1936); columbia; musical comedy; franchot tone; 85 mins.
  6. when you’re in love (1937); columbia; musical comedy; cary grant; 104 mins.
  7. i’ll take romance (1937); columbia; musical; melvyn douglas; 90 mins.
  8. louise (1939); ideal film; musical; georges thill; 83 mins

  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#6 rayban

rayban

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,731 posts

Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:22 AM

 

screen-shot-2017-04-21-at-6-31-35-am.png

 

Some stars are more temperamental than others. And no matter how much natural talent they have, they might still be prone to self-destruction. Ultimately that’s what happened to Mario Lanza. But before his meteoric rise and burn-out, he made some wonderful records and some equally wonderful motion pictures.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-29-30-pm.png

 

He had been singing for about ten years when he was ‘discovered’ by L.B. Mayer at a Hollywood Bowl concert after the second World War. Mayer signed him to a long-term contract, but Mario was in the middle of a concert tour and would not actually be available to make his first film until a year later. While he was doing quite well on his tour, he still was not accomplished as an opera star and had not debuted at the Met in New York or played in some of the world’s major opera houses. Usually opera stars came to Hollywood after considerable success on stage, and they made movies between concert seasons. But Mario became a movie star first, and the process was a reverse one for him. While this situation did not diminish his overall credibility as a singer, it was a bit more difficult for him to be taken seriously by some of his contemporaries.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-31-15-pm.png

 

In a way you might say Mayer was his mentor, at least in the movie business. Mario was paired with Kathryn Grayson in his first two pictures (billed after her), and they were smash hits. He carried his third and fourth pictures at Metro with ‘lesser’ stars. But in the early 50s there was a power struggle behind the scenes; Mayer was essentially ousted and his successor Dore Schary did not get along with Mario. The two men clashed, and Mario walked off the set of his fifth picture, THE STUDENT PRINCE. Since he had already recorded the soundtrack, Mario’s vocals were used in the finished picture, but European star Edmund Purdom took over the role and lip-synced the musical scenes. It was still a hit, but it would be Mario’s last film at the studio. He and MGM became engaged in a long drawn-out lawsuit and he was off screen for the next few years.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-29-08-pm.png

 

After the litigation ended, Mario was able to freelance and he made his comeback at Warners. While his next movie was financially successful, its box office was nowhere near as great as his earlier efforts. He then went to Europe and dedicated himself to stage work. There were personal problems (he drank and ate too much), but he still managed to make two more pictures in Europe. These films were independent productions, but MGM bought the rights for distribution (after Schary’s ouster). Mario was preparing for his next movie and a chance to sing opera at a prestigious venue in Italy when he died from a heart attack at age 38.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-30-12-pm.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. that midnight kiss (1949); mgm; musical; kathryn grayson; 96 mins.
  2. the toast of new orleans (1950); mgm; musical; kathryn grayson; 97 mins.
  3. the great caruso (1951); mgm; musical; ann blyth; 109 mins.
  4. because you’re mine (1952); mgm; musical; doretta morrow; 103 mins.
  5. the student prince (1954); mgm; musical; ann blyth; 107 mins.
  6. serenade (1956); warners; musical; joan fontaine; 121 mins.
  7. seven hills of rome (1958); mgm; musical; marisa allasio; 107 mins.
  8. for the first time (1959); mgm; musical; zsa zsa gabor; 92 mins.

 

Mario Lanza's voice was certainly good enough for The Metropolitan Opera.


  • TopBilled likes this

"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#7 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:42 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-21-at-6-31-35-am.png

 

Some stars are more temperamental than others. And no matter how much natural talent they have, they might still be prone to self-destruction. Ultimately that’s what happened to Mario Lanza. But before his meteoric rise and burn-out, he made some wonderful records and some equally wonderful motion pictures.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-29-30-pm.png

 

He had been singing for about ten years when he was ‘discovered’ by L.B. Mayer at a Hollywood Bowl concert after the second World War. Mayer signed him to a long-term contract, but Mario was in the middle of a concert tour and would not actually be available to make his first film until a year later. While he was doing quite well on his tour, he still was not accomplished as an opera star and had not debuted at the Met in New York or played in some of the world’s major opera houses. Usually opera stars came to Hollywood after considerable success on stage, and they made movies between concert seasons. But Mario became a movie star first, and the process was a reverse one for him. While this situation did not diminish his overall credibility as a singer, it was a bit more difficult for him to be taken seriously by some of his contemporaries.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-31-15-pm.png

 

In a way you might say Mayer was his mentor, at least in the movie business. Mario was paired with Kathryn Grayson in his first two pictures (billed after her), and they were smash hits. He carried his third and fourth pictures at Metro with ‘lesser’ stars. But in the early 50s there was a power struggle behind the scenes; Mayer was essentially ousted and his successor Dore Schary did not get along with Mario. The two men clashed, and Mario walked off the set of his fifth picture, THE STUDENT PRINCE. Since he had already recorded the soundtrack, Mario’s vocals were used in the finished picture, but European star Edmund Purdom took over the role and lip-synced the musical scenes. It was still a hit, but it would be Mario’s last film at the studio. He and MGM became engaged in a long drawn-out lawsuit and he was off screen for the next few years.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-29-08-pm.png

 

After the litigation ended, Mario was able to freelance and he made his comeback at Warners. While his next movie was financially successful, its box office was nowhere near as great as his earlier efforts. He then went to Europe and dedicated himself to stage work. There were personal problems (he drank and ate too much), but he still managed to make two more pictures in Europe. These films were independent productions, but MGM bought the rights for distribution (after Schary’s ouster). Mario was preparing for his next movie and a chance to sing opera at a prestigious venue in Italy when he died from a heart attack at age 38.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-7-30-12-pm.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. that midnight kiss (1949); mgm; musical; kathryn grayson; 96 mins.
  2. the toast of new orleans (1950); mgm; musical; kathryn grayson; 97 mins.
  3. the great caruso (1951); mgm; musical; ann blyth; 109 mins.
  4. because you’re mine (1952); mgm; musical; doretta morrow; 103 mins.
  5. the student prince (1954); mgm; musical; ann blyth; 107 mins.
  6. serenade (1956); warners; musical; joan fontaine; 121 mins.
  7. seven hills of rome (1958); mgm; musical; marisa allasio; 107 mins.
  8. for the first time (1959); mgm; musical; zsa zsa gabor; 92 mins.

  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#8 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:30 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-19-at-3-53-14-pm.png

 

She was called “the first lady of swing.” Probably there was no other female vocalist who dominated the airwaves during the war years like Martha Tilton. She had started singing on small radio stations in the mid-30s, and the right people heard her. Soon she was offered the chance to perform on bigger stations and to start singing with some of the most important bands around.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-10-38-07-am.pn

 

During the late 30s Martha was most closely associated with Benny Goodman’s band. Years later she’d play herself in a biographical drama about Goodman’s life. Their association peaked with a number one song, ‘And the Angels Sing,’ which topped the charts in 1939. She went solo after this, though she still played engagements with other big bands. In the 40s she was hired by Hollywood studios to dub actresses who couldn’t sing too well. She dubbed Barbara Stanwyck in one film, and Anne Gwynne in another; and Martha also sang a number in one of Rita Hayworth’s pictures.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-10-37-51-am.pn

 

Occasionally Martha appeared as an on-screen vocalist. She had a small role in an Anna Neagle musical at RKO, and Universal used her in the musical comedy STRICTLY IN THE GROOVE. Meanwhile poverty row studio PRC was anxious to feature her in a few of its low-budget productions. These gave Martha her best roles and of course showcased her musical talents. She starred in the appropriately titled SWING HOSTESS.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-10-40-38-am.pn

 

When she wasn’t on screen or performing on the radio, Martha traveled extensively during the war entertaining the troops. She was often near the front lines, putting on shows with people like Carole Landis or Martha Raye. After the war she continued to cut records, and she appeared on television, earning an Emmy award in 1960.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-10-37-31-am.pn

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. sunny (1941); rko; musical; anna neagle; 98 mins.
  2. strictly in the groove (1942); universal; musical comedy; leon errol; 60 mins.
  3. swing hostess (1944); prc; musical comedy; iris adrian; 76 mins.
  4. crime, inc. (1945); prc; crime; leo carrillo; 75 mins.

  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#9 rayban

rayban

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,731 posts

Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:01 AM

 

screen-shot-2017-04-19-at-7-36-28-am.png

 

Not every radio star is meant to become a movie star. This was certainly the case for handsome Perry Como whose hit recordings brought him to the attention of executives at 20th Century Fox. In 1943 the studio signed him to a seven-year contract, and he was placed in a few morale boosters. But as soon as the war was over, Perry’s tenure at the studio was basically over, too.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-11-04-18-am.pn

 

Of course, he would continue to make more hit records and go on to star in a very successful television program. So it wasn’t like Perry just vanished from the scene.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-11-07-56-am.pn

 

Usually Perry’s films paired him with Vivian Blaine and Carmen Miranda. Together they made SOMETHING FOR THE BOYS, which featured Michael O’Shea; DOLL FACE with Dennis O’Keefe as the male lead; and IF I’M LUCKY, where Perry was the lead. After he was done at Fox, Perry went to MGM for one musical, WORDS AND MUSIC, where he appeared in a segment with Cyd Charisse.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-11-23-02-am1.p

 

In later years Perry talked about his experiences in the movie making business. He felt radio and television were the keys to his success, because he could be more himself with audiences in those mediums. After his weekly television show took off, there were more offers to return to the movies but either Perry was too busy or too reluctant to give it another try. And by then, he no longer needed to prove himself.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-11-05-00-am1.p

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. something for the boys (1944); fox; musical comedy; carmen miranda; 87 mins.
  2. doll face (1945); fox; musical comedy; vivian blaine; 80 mins.
  3. if i’m lucky (1946); fox; musical comedy; vivian blaine; 78 mins.
  4. words and music (1948); mgm; musical; cyd charisse; 120 mins.

 

Actually, I like Perry Como and Vivian Blaine in "If I'm Lucky".


  • TopBilled likes this

"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#10 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:08 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-19-at-7-36-28-am.png

 

Not every radio star is meant to become a movie star. This was certainly the case for handsome Perry Como whose hit recordings brought him to the attention of executives at 20th Century Fox. In 1943 the studio signed him to a seven-year contract, and he was placed in a few morale boosters. But as soon as the war was over, Perry’s tenure at the studio was basically over, too.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-11-04-18-am.pn

 

Of course, he would continue to make more hit records and go on to star in a very successful television program. So it wasn’t like Perry just vanished from the scene.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-11-07-56-am.pn

 

Usually Perry’s films paired him with Vivian Blaine and Carmen Miranda. Together they made SOMETHING FOR THE BOYS, which featured Michael O’Shea; DOLL FACE with Dennis O’Keefe as the male lead; and IF I’M LUCKY, where Perry was the lead. After he was done at Fox, Perry went to MGM for one musical, WORDS AND MUSIC, where he appeared in a segment with Cyd Charisse.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-11-23-02-am1.p

 

In later years Perry talked about his experiences in the movie making business. He felt radio and television were the keys to his success, because he could be more himself with audiences in those mediums. After his weekly television show took off, there were more offers to return to the movies but either Perry was too busy or too reluctant to give it another try. And by then, he no longer needed to prove himself.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-11-05-00-am1.p

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. something for the boys (1944); fox; musical comedy; carmen miranda; 87 mins.
  2. doll face (1945); fox; musical comedy; vivian blaine; 80 mins.
  3. if i’m lucky (1946); fox; musical comedy; vivian blaine; 78 mins.
  4. words and music (1948); mgm; musical; cyd charisse; 120 mins.

  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#11 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:53 AM

Lily Pons and Gene Raymond were delightful in "That Girl From Paris".

 

Yes they were. Ray, you asked me to do a lengthier piece on Gene Raymond. In May, I will be doing a column on Gene and his wife Jeanette MacDonald. Look for it on the Today's Topic thread.  


  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#12 rayban

rayban

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,731 posts

Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:51 AM

 

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-6-35-27-am.png

 

Some musical stars have more interesting lives than others. Lily Pons is a perfect example. She grew up near Cannes and during WWI, Lily entertained French soldiers by singing to them. As she became older, she began to pursue a career as a professional singer. She was encouraged to devote herself to opera, which is what she did. By the late 1920s she was a star in France and other parts of Europe.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-11-51-39-am.pn

 

In 1931 she had her debut at the Metropolitan in New York City. At the time most Americans had never heard of her, but that quickly changed. Overnight she became a sensation in the U.S., and Lily would spend the next three decades performing at the Met. Several years later she became an American citizen. She also had a movie contract offered to her by RKO.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-11-54-33-am.pn

 

Lily only made four motion pictures. The first three were at RKO in the mid 30s. She was usually put in romantic musical comedies. Her first movie paired her with young rising star Henry Fonda and sixth-billed Lucille Ball. In her second cinematic venture Lily costarred with Gene Raymond; Lucille Ball appeared again in a sixth-billed role. For Lily’s final RKO production, she worked with Jack Oakie and Edward Everett Horton. She wouldn’t make another movie until after the war, when she had a cameo in CARNEGIE HALL, directed by Edgar G. Ulmer.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-11-56-44-am1.p

 

During the second World War, Lily and her conductor husband toured with the USO and entertained the troops. In the late 40s and 50s she was back at the Met; and she also played live concerts around the country. One town in Maryland was named after her, and each year she sent out her Christmas Cards from there.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-11-51-16-am.pn

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. i dream too much (1935); rko; musical comedy; henry fonda; 97 mins.
  2. that girl from paris (1936); rko; musical comedy; gene raymond; 104 mins.
  3. hitting a new high (1937); rko; musical comedy; jack oakie; 85 mins.
  4. carnegie hall (1947); ua; musical; marsha hunt; 144 mins.

 

Lily Pons and Gene Raymond were delightful in "That Girl From Paris".


  • TopBilled likes this

"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#13 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:46 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-18-at-6-35-27-am.png

 

Some musical stars have more interesting lives than others. Lily Pons is a perfect example. She grew up near Cannes and during WWI, Lily entertained French soldiers by singing to them. As she became older, she began to pursue a career as a professional singer. She was encouraged to devote herself to opera, which is what she did. By the late 1920s she was a star in France and other parts of Europe.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-11-51-39-am.pn

 

In 1931 she had her debut at the Metropolitan in New York City. At the time most Americans had never heard of her, but that quickly changed. Overnight she became a sensation in the U.S., and Lily would spend the next three decades performing at the Met. Several years later she became an American citizen. She also had a movie contract offered to her by RKO.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-11-54-33-am.pn

 

Lily only made four motion pictures. The first three were at RKO in the mid 30s. She was usually put in romantic musical comedies. Her first movie paired her with young rising star Henry Fonda and sixth-billed Lucille Ball. In her second cinematic venture Lily costarred with Gene Raymond; Lucille Ball appeared again in a sixth-billed role. For Lily’s final RKO production, she worked with Jack Oakie and Edward Everett Horton. She wouldn’t make another movie until after the war, when she had a cameo in CARNEGIE HALL, directed by Edgar G. Ulmer.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-11-56-44-am1.p

 

During the second World War, Lily and her conductor husband toured with the USO and entertained the troops. In the late 40s and 50s she was back at the Met; and she also played live concerts around the country. One town in Maryland was named after her, and each year she sent out her Christmas Cards from there.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-11-51-16-am.pn

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. i dream too much (1935); rko; musical comedy; henry fonda; 97 mins.
  2. that girl from paris (1936); rko; musical comedy; gene raymond; 104 mins.
  3. hitting a new high (1937); rko; musical comedy; jack oakie; 85 mins.
  4. carnegie hall (1947); ua; musical; marsha hunt; 144 mins.

  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#14 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 17 April 2017 - 10:42 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-17-at-8-25-16-am.png

 

While most opera stars who wind up in the movies tend to be foreign born, Lawrence Tibbett was originally a Bakersfield boy. Growing up in California, he had been the son of a lawman who was gunned down in the line of duty. Money was tight and to help make ends meet, Lawrence found jobs singing since it was something he was good at doing. Later he served in the first World War, and after his military duty, he went to Los Angeles to find more work as a singer.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-10-39-01-am.pn

 

During his time in Los Angeles, Lawrence sang in movie theaters. Then he went to New York to professionally train for the opera. After a period of study, he snagged a job with the Metropolitan Opera, and it was the beginning of great things for him. He would go on to perform in around 600 productions with the Met. When he wasn’t focusing on opera, Lawrence took roles in musical theater, which prepared him for his subsequent movie career.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-10-48-03-am.pn

 

It was MGM that signed Lawrence during the talkie era. Big screen musicals were suddenly all the rage. Since he had proven himself on stage and with numerous recordings and radio performances, he seemed like a natural fit for the studio. However, his tenure at MGM was not too lengthy. Lawrence would only make four films at Metro, two in 1930 and another two in 1931. He earned an Oscar nomination for one of them and had the chance to work with diverse costars like Laurel & Hardy as well as Jimmy Durante and Lupe Velez.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-10-47-04-am.pn

 

He returned to live concert work after this, but in 1935, 20th Century Fox signed him and he made two more pictures. In 1949 one of his songs was used by Fox in the crime drama HOUSE OF STRANGERS. And while Lawrence did make one appearance on television, the rest of his career was mostly dedicated to the stage and to radio until his retirement.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-10-40-42-am.pn

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. the rogue song (1930); mgm; musical; catherine dale owen; 104 mins.
  2. new moon (1930); mgm; musical; grace moore; 78 mins.
  3. the cuban love song (1931); mgm; musical; lupe velez; 88 mins.
  4. the prodigal (1931); mgm; musical; esther ralston; 76 mins.
  5. metropolitan (1935); fox; musical; virginia bruce; 79 mins.
  6. under your spell (1936); fox; musical comedy; wendy barrie; 62 mins.

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#15 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 16 April 2017 - 02:39 PM

Her husband, Martin Melcher, had signed her up for "The Doris Day Show" without her knowledge.

 

When he died suddenly and left her without funds, she had to do the TV show.

 

On her 90th birthday there was a tribute to her on Me-TV with a marathon of episodes from the series. Many costars and guest stars and friends of hers were interviewed and those segments aired between the episodes. She even did a voice-over at the end, using the event to publicize her animal-rights foundation. So doing the sitcom turned out not to be a terrible thing and years later she was still able to use it to promote charitable causes.


  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#16 rayban

rayban

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,731 posts

Posted 16 April 2017 - 01:32 PM

 

screen-shot-2017-04-16-at-12-28-59-am.pn

 

Doris Day had already enjoyed success as a singer in clubs and on radio when Warner Brothers hired her to appear in her first full-length motion picture. Actually, she was a last-minute substitution for Betty Hutton.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-7-20-47-pm.png

 

Warners had made a deal to borrow Betty from Paramount for ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS and the script had been written with her in mind. But when a pregnancy forced Betty to bow out of the picture, Doris was given the chance to take over. The film was a tremendous hit with audiences, and so were the next few musicals the studio produced with Doris. She wasn’t even the lead star in her films of the late 40s– that distinction came with 1950’s TEA FOR TWO– but it was pretty clear in those early productions Doris was the main attraction.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-7-23-55-pm.png

 

From 1948 to 1957, Doris enjoyed a succession of hits at Warners. She was paired with Gordon MacRae several times; and there was a memorable collaboration with Howard Keel in Doris’ own favorite, CALAMITY JANE. Doris also worked with Frank Sinatra in the tearjerker YOUNG AT HEART. Next there were some films at MGM, including a nonmusical called JULIE; as well as a picture with Clark Gable at Paramount. She continued to do well with audiences, though most roles and situations were fairly standard and didn’t require too much in the way of acting.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-7-27-06-pm.png

 

She finally had a chance to take on more “adult” roles when she signed a deal with Universal. In 1959 she made the sex farce PILLOW TALK with Rock Hudson. She and Rock teamed up two more times; and Doris also had several hits with James Garner. However, a few years later, her film career was in decline. A series of financial setbacks caused her to do a weekly television series which she began the same year her movie career ended.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-7-27-42-pm.png

 

From 1968 to 1973 The Doris Day Show aired on CBS. Though it began as a rural sitcom, by its second season it was reformatted. Soon Doris moved off the farm with her TV kids and into the city (San Francisco) where they started a new life. The program was retooled once more (the kids were dropped without explanation), and she was suddenly a middle-aged single career women. After five seasons, Doris packed it in and decided it was time to enjoy her well-earned retirement.

 

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. romance on the high seas (1948); warners; musical; jack carson; 99 mins.
  2. it’s a great feeling (1949); warners; musical; dennis morgan; 85 mins.
  3. tea for two (1950); warners; musical; gordon macrae; 98 mins.
  4. calamity jane (1953); warners; musical; howard keel; 97 mins.
  5. young at heart (1955); warners; musical; frank sinatra; 117 mins.
  6. love me or leave me (1955); mgm; musical; james cagney; 122 mins.
  7. the pajama game (1957); warners; musical; john raitt; 101 mins.
  8. teacher’s pet (1958); paramount; comedy; clark gable; 120 mins.
  9. pillow talk (1959); universal; comedy; rock hudson; 102 mins.
  10. the thrill of it all (1963); universal; comedy; james garner; 108 mins.

 

Her husband, Martin Melcher, had signed her up for "The Doris Day Show" without her knowledge.

 

When he died suddenly and left her without funds, she had to do the TV show.


  • TopBilled likes this

"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#17 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 16 April 2017 - 02:58 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-16-at-12-28-59-am.pn

 

Doris Day had already enjoyed success as a singer in clubs and on radio when Warner Brothers hired her to appear in her first full-length motion picture. Actually, she was a last-minute substitution for Betty Hutton.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-7-20-47-pm.png

 

Warners had made a deal to borrow Betty from Paramount for ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS and the script had been written with her in mind. But when a pregnancy forced Betty to bow out of the picture, Doris was given the chance to take over. The film was a tremendous hit with audiences, and so were the next few musicals the studio produced with Doris. She wasn’t even the lead star in her films of the late 40s– that distinction came with 1950’s TEA FOR TWO– but it was pretty clear in those early productions Doris was the main attraction.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-7-23-55-pm.png

 

From 1948 to 1957, Doris enjoyed a succession of hits at Warners. She was paired with Gordon MacRae several times; and there was a memorable collaboration with Howard Keel in Doris’ own favorite, CALAMITY JANE. Doris also worked with Frank Sinatra in the tearjerker YOUNG AT HEART. Next there were some films at MGM, including a nonmusical called JULIE; as well as a picture with Clark Gable at Paramount. She continued to do well with audiences, though most roles and situations were fairly standard and didn’t require too much in the way of acting.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-7-27-06-pm.png

 

She finally had a chance to take on more “adult” roles when she signed a deal with Universal. In 1959 she made the sex farce PILLOW TALK with Rock Hudson. She and Rock teamed up two more times; and Doris also had several hits with James Garner. However, a few years later, her film career was in decline. A series of financial setbacks caused her to do a weekly television series which she began the same year her movie career ended.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-7-27-42-pm.png

 

From 1968 to 1973 The Doris Day Show aired on CBS. Though it began as a rural sitcom, by its second season it was reformatted. Soon Doris moved off the farm with her TV kids and into the city (San Francisco) where they started a new life. The program was retooled once more (the kids were dropped without explanation), and she was suddenly a middle-aged single career women. After five seasons, Doris packed it in and decided it was time to enjoy her well-earned retirement.

 

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. romance on the high seas (1948); warners; musical; jack carson; 99 mins.
  2. it’s a great feeling (1949); warners; musical; dennis morgan; 85 mins.
  3. tea for two (1950); warners; musical; gordon macrae; 98 mins.
  4. calamity jane (1953); warners; musical; howard keel; 97 mins.
  5. young at heart (1955); warners; musical; frank sinatra; 117 mins.
  6. love me or leave me (1955); mgm; musical; james cagney; 122 mins.
  7. the pajama game (1957); warners; musical; john raitt; 101 mins.
  8. teacher’s pet (1958); paramount; comedy; clark gable; 120 mins.
  9. pillow talk (1959); universal; comedy; rock hudson; 102 mins.
  10. the thrill of it all (1963); universal; comedy; james garner; 108 mins.

  • AndreaDoria and rayban like this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#18 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 15 April 2017 - 03:29 PM

screen-shot-2017-04-15-at-12-35-19-pm.pn

 

Lauritz Melchior was one of the world’s most important singers. His success in opera productions took him in a variety of artistic directions. He capitalized on the opportunities that came his way, and audiences were richer for it.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-3-20-56-pm.png

 

He started his career in Europe as a high baritone. But a mentor decided after hearing him perform one day that he had the potential to switch over to operatic roles as a low tenor. This proved a fortuitous bit of advice, and after a period of retraining, Lauritz found his niche. He became widely celebrated across the European continent; and in addition to his stage work he began to cut records. This was followed by the chance to work in America.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-3-24-47-pm.png

 

After establishing himself in U.S. opera productions, Lauritz became just as well-known in North America as he had been overseas. Soon MGM signed him to a movie contract. From 1945 to 1947, he would appear in four of Joe Pasternak’s productions. One film starred Kathryn Grayson– it was the smash hit TWO SISTERS FROM BOSTON; and there were two musicals with Esther Williams; as well as another with Jane Powell.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-3-32-13-pm.png

 

After his tenure at Metro Lauritz returned to the world of opera and continued to tour extensively. He remained active until he went into semi-retirement in the mid-1950s. There was another musical– made at Paramount with Rosemary Clooney. This was followed by some sporadic television appearances. In an episode of Danny Thomas’ show, he played Shirley Jones’ father and of course, both were featured musically in the story.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-3-26-59-pm.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. thrill of a romance (1945); mgm; musical; van johnson; 105 mins.
  2. two sisters from boston (1946); mgm; musical; kathryn grayson; 112 mins.
  3. this time for keeps (1947); mgm; musical; esther williams; 105 mins.
  4. luxury liner (1948); mgm; musical; jane powell; 98 mins.
  5. the stars are singing (1953); paramount; musical; rosemary clooney; 99 mins.

  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#19 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:45 AM

Can you guess the ones I will be spotlighting..?

 

Singers

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-6-33-14-pm.png

 

Saturday April 15-- #514: Opera singer who costarred with Esther Williams.

Sunday April 16-- #515: Que sera, sera.

Monday April 17-- #516: Opera star who appeared in talkies.

Tuesday April 18-- #517: Diva who made films at RKO.

Wednesday April 19-- #518: Popular crooner at Fox in the 40s.

Thursday April 20-- #519: Singer who entertained the troops.

Friday April 21-- #520: He played the great Caruso.

Saturday April 22-- #521: Opera singer who made films at Columbia in the 30s. 

 


  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#20 TopBilled

TopBilled

    Film Writing and Selected Journalism

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34,201 posts

Posted 13 April 2017 - 10:50 AM

Off-topic, but "The Garment Jungle" is one of Kerwin Matthews' best performances.

 

They're all great in it, especially Lee J. Cobb. It should air more often on TCM.


  • rayban likes this

"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users