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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.

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Golden age: Roll call


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#21 rayban

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 10:39 AM

 

screen-shot-2017-04-13-at-8-14-22-am.png

 

Occasionally Columbia Pictures put British performers on long-term contracts. Often these actors remained in England and made films in London. Or they might have been brought to Hollywood for one picture to support an American star in some historical drama, then sent back to England. In the case of Valerie French, she relocated to America.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-7-36-57-am.png

 

She had started behind the scenes but switched to acting and snagged a supporting role in a Rex Harrison comedy before Columbia hired her. She possessed a raw sex appeal normally reserved for more exotic European stars, and she used it to her advantage in motion picture assignments. When she arrived in Hollywood, she was quickly put in westerns– she had a supporting role in a Randolph Scott picture; and there was a lead opposite Glenn Ford in JUBAL, which is probably her most known film.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-7-37-42-am.png

 

Columbia also used Valerie in other genres, though she was usually typecast as sultry women who lured men into dangerous situations. For instance, the studio placed her in a science fiction story with Gene Barry; and there was a turn in a crime drama with Kerwin Mathews. Valerie’s performance in THE GARMENT JUNGLE garnered excellent reviews.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-7-38-56-am.png

 

After another western and a horror flick, her contract was not renewed. She then focused on television jobs as well as theater work. In the 1960s Valerie appeared on Broadway, and she generated considerable heat with one of her stage roles. Also she made one more film at the end of the decade. It was directed by Edward Dmytryk and shot in Spain, where she had spent her early childhood.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-7-37-13-am-07-

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. jubal (1956); columbia; western; glenn ford; 100 mins.
  2. decision at sundown (1957); columbia; western; randolph scott; 77 mins.
  3. the garment jungle (1957); columbia; crime; kerwin mathews; 88 mins.
  4. the 27th day (1957); columbia; science fiction; gene barry; 75 mins.
  5. the hard man (1957); columbia; western; guy madison; 80 mins.

 

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


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"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".


#22 TopBilled

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 10:23 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-13-at-8-14-22-am.png

 

Occasionally Columbia Pictures put British performers on long-term contracts. Often these actors remained in England and made films in London. Or they might have been brought to Hollywood for one picture to support an American star in some historical drama, then sent back to England. In the case of Valerie French, she relocated to America.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-7-36-57-am.png

 

She had started behind the scenes but switched to acting and snagged a supporting role in a Rex Harrison comedy before Columbia hired her. She possessed a raw sex appeal normally reserved for more exotic European stars, and she used it to her advantage in motion picture assignments. When she arrived in Hollywood, she was quickly put in westerns– she had a supporting role in a Randolph Scott picture; and there was a lead opposite Glenn Ford in JUBAL, which is probably her most known film.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-7-37-42-am.png

 

Columbia also used Valerie in other genres, though she was usually typecast as sultry women who lured men into dangerous situations. For instance, the studio placed her in a science fiction story with Gene Barry; and there was a turn in a crime drama with Kerwin Mathews. Valerie’s performance in THE GARMENT JUNGLE garnered excellent reviews.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-7-38-56-am.png

 

After another western and a horror flick, her contract was not renewed. She then focused on television jobs as well as theater work. In the 1960s Valerie appeared on Broadway, and she generated considerable heat with one of her stage roles. Also she made one more film at the end of the decade. It was directed by Edward Dmytryk and shot in Spain, where she had spent her early childhood.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-7-37-13-am-07-

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. jubal (1956); columbia; western; glenn ford; 100 mins.
  2. decision at sundown (1957); columbia; western; randolph scott; 77 mins.
  3. the garment jungle (1957); columbia; crime; kerwin mathews; 88 mins.
  4. the 27th day (1957); columbia; science fiction; gene barry; 75 mins.
  5. the hard man (1957); columbia; western; guy madison; 80 mins.

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


#23 TopBilled

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 10:37 AM

He was a very good actor AND a great beauty.

 

But the Tarzan film with Bo Derek was a bad film.

 

So was the follow-up film with her.

 

They were essentially films that fed into sexual fantasies.

 

But his film career was superior to his directorial efforts.

 

And, hey, how could you not include "The Adventures of Haji Baba"?

 

Sorry. I was focusing on his Columbia output, since that is my theme this week. HAJI is a Fox film, but yes, it's enjoyable and should be seen.


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


#24 rayban

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 10:29 AM

 

screen-shot-2017-04-12-at-5-44-45-am.png

 

John Derek’s parents were performers and both appeared in silent films. His father had even worked as a director in Australia but died when John was still young. John’s mother continued to take small roles in talkies but mostly focused on her son’s upbringing. During those years, she helped instill in him an interest in motion pictures, which John carried forward for the rest of his life. In the mid-1940s, John served in the military. When he was discharged, he signed a contract with producer David Selznick and found representation with super agent Henry Wilson.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-5-10-50-pm.png

 

Selznick and Wilson placed him in two of Selznick’s pictures– SINCE YOU WENT AWAY and I’LL BE SEEING YOU (both made at the end of the war). John had minor roles, and he didn’t catch on. A few years later he had become friends with Humphrey Bogart and convinced Bogart to use him in the crime drama KNOCK ON ANY DOOR. It was one of the first pictures Bogart did after leaving Warners, about a hoodlum headed for the electric chair. John got the part and was a sensation. It led to a long-term contract with Columbia.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-5-12-07-pm.png

 

Next Columbia cast him in ALL THE KING’S MEN as Broderick Crawford’s son, then there were several modestly budgeted programmers. These were usually pirate pictures or costume dramas where John was seen as an adventurer on the high seas. They were respectable productions and gave him a succession of lead roles in crowd-pleasing spectacles. Also Columbia put him in westerns and social message dramas with top stars; in fact, he worked with Brod Crawford several more times.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-5-10-08-pm.png

 

In the mid-50s, John left Columbia and began to work at Republic and Paramount. He did a few international films later in the decade, but he remained involved in big budget Hollywood pictures as well. Notably, he had roles in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and EXODUS. By the early 60s, he had grown dissatisfied with acting and decided to turn his attention towards photography and directing. He would go on to direct movies like his father had done, and most of them featured his various high-profile wives.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-5-09-49-pm.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. knock on any door (1949); columbia; crime; humphrey bogart; 100 mins.
  2. all the king’s men (1949); columbia; drama; broderick crawford; 109 mins.
  3. rogues of sherwood forest (1950); columbia; adventure; diana lynn; 79 mins.
  4. mask of the avenger (1951); columbia; adventure; anthony quinn; 83 mins.
  5. saturday’s hero (1951); columbia; drama; donna reed; 111 mins.
  6. the family secret (1951); columbia; drama; lee j. cobb; 85 mins.
  7. scandal sheet (1952); columbia; drama; broderick crawford; 82 mins.
  8. prince of pirates (1953); columbia; adventure; barbara rush; 80 mins.
  9. ambush at tomahawk gap (1953); columbia; western; david brian; 83 mins.
  10. mission over korea (1953); columbia; war; john hodiak; 85 mins.

 

He was a very good actor AND a great beauty.

 

But the Tarzan film with Bo Derek was a bad film.

 

So was the follow-up film with her.

 

They were essentially films that fed into sexual fantasies.

 

But his film career was superior to his directorial efforts.

 

And, hey, how could you not include "The Adventures of Haji Baba"?


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"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".


#25 TopBilled

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 08:10 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-12-at-5-44-45-am.png

 

John Derek’s parents were performers and both appeared in silent films. His father had even worked as a director in Australia but died when John was still young. John’s mother continued to take small roles in talkies but mostly focused on her son’s upbringing. During those years, she helped instill in him an interest in motion pictures, which John carried forward for the rest of his life. In the mid-1940s, John served in the military. When he was discharged, he signed a contract with producer David Selznick and found representation with super agent Henry Wilson.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-5-10-50-pm.png

 

Selznick and Wilson placed him in two of Selznick’s pictures– SINCE YOU WENT AWAY and I’LL BE SEEING YOU (both made at the end of the war). John had minor roles, and he didn’t catch on. A few years later he had become friends with Humphrey Bogart and convinced Bogart to use him in the crime drama KNOCK ON ANY DOOR. It was one of the first pictures Bogart did after leaving Warners, about a hoodlum headed for the electric chair. John got the part and was a sensation. It led to a long-term contract with Columbia.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-5-12-07-pm.png

 

Next Columbia cast him in ALL THE KING’S MEN as Broderick Crawford’s son, then there were several modestly budgeted programmers. These were usually pirate pictures or costume dramas where John was seen as an adventurer on the high seas. They were respectable productions and gave him a succession of lead roles in crowd-pleasing spectacles. Also Columbia put him in westerns and social message dramas with top stars; in fact, he worked with Brod Crawford several more times.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-5-10-08-pm.png

 

In the mid-50s, John left Columbia and began to work at Republic and Paramount. He did a few international films later in the decade, but he remained involved in big budget Hollywood pictures as well. Notably, he had roles in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and EXODUS. By the early 60s, he had grown dissatisfied with acting and decided to turn his attention towards photography and directing. He would go on to direct movies like his father had done, and most of them featured his various high-profile wives.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-5-09-49-pm.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. knock on any door (1949); columbia; crime; humphrey bogart; 100 mins.
  2. all the king’s men (1949); columbia; drama; broderick crawford; 109 mins.
  3. rogues of sherwood forest (1950); columbia; adventure; diana lynn; 79 mins.
  4. mask of the avenger (1951); columbia; adventure; anthony quinn; 83 mins.
  5. saturday’s hero (1951); columbia; drama; donna reed; 111 mins.
  6. the family secret (1951); columbia; drama; lee j. cobb; 85 mins.
  7. scandal sheet (1952); columbia; drama; broderick crawford; 82 mins.
  8. prince of pirates (1953); columbia; adventure; barbara rush; 80 mins.
  9. ambush at tomahawk gap (1953); columbia; western; david brian; 83 mins.
  10. mission over korea (1953); columbia; war; john hodiak; 85 mins.

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


#26 TopBilled

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 07:53 AM

Nice to see Janis Carter get some notice.    The book Film Noir (Ward  \ Silver),  said that if she was put into more first rate noir \ crime production she might of ended up being viewed today like Stanwyck is.

 

Carter was able to generate a lot of sexual tension;  one couldn't take your eyes off her and that was a good thing for the noir males in those films since she also couldn't be trusted!

 

She should have had a bigger movie career. Some noir actresses (Lizabeth Scott and Gloria Grahame come to mind) don't really succeed in westerns, but Janis Carter did. She was equally at home in both genres, just like Dorothy Malone and Barbara Stanwyck.


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


#27 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 07:58 PM

Nice to see Janis Carter get some notice.    The book Film Noir (Ward  \ Silver),  said that if she was put into more first rate noir \ crime production she might of ended up being viewed today like Stanwyck is.

 

Carter was able to generate a lot of sexual tension;  one couldn't take your eyes off her and that was a good thing for the noir males in those films since she also couldn't be trusted!

 

 


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#28 TopBilled

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 09:06 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-11-at-6-53-32-am.png

 

Janis Carter’s movie career lasted about a dozen years, from the early 1940s until the mid-1950s. During that time she appeared in films at several Hollywood studios; though the majority of those years were under contract at Columbia. She initially set out to be an opera singer and wound up singing on Broadway which brought her to the attention of a Hollywood mogul. However, by the time she was landing lead roles at Columbia, she was not exactly used for her musical skills.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-4-18-48-pm.png

 

Janis appeared in quite a few crime dramas during the war years, when Columbia had several mystery series in production. For instance, she costarred with Richard Dix in one of the Whistler movies; then was assigned to work with Chester Morris in a BostonBlackie picture; and this was followed by a role opposite Gerald Mohr in a retooled version of The Lone Wolf. These were hardly challenging roles, but Janis made the most of them.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-3-47-43-pm.png

 

When she was not cast in crime pictures, the actress was typically featured as a second lead in comedies headlined by bigger name actresses. She supported Lucille Ball, Barbara Hale and Rosalind Russell in these films. Sometimes she was loaned out and fared a little better. She wrapped up her Columbia contract in 1951 with a lead opposite Randolph Scott in the hit western SANTA FE.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-3-49-06-pm.png

 

After her days at the studio were over, Janis freelanced for a while. But by 1953 she was done with movies and went back east. She found jobs on live television programs and also found stage work. Then she married and decided to give her career up for love.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-3-47-20-pm.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. the mark of the whistler (1944); columbia; crime; richard dix; 60 mins.
  2. one mysterious night (1944); columbia; crime; chester morris; 61 mins.
  3. the ghost that walks alone (1944); columbia; comedy; arthur lake; 63 mins.
  4. the fighting guardsman (1945); columbia; adventure; anita louise; 84 mins.
  5. the notorious lone wolf (1946); columbia; crime; gerald mohr; 64 mins.
  6. framed (1947); columbia; crime; glenn ford; 82 mins.
  7. slightly french (1949); columbia; comedy; dorothy lamour; 81 mins.
  8. and baby makes three (1950); columbia; comedy; barbara hale; 83 mins.
  9. a woman of distinction (1950); columbia; comedy; rosalind russell; 85 mins.
  10. santa fe (1951); columbia; western; randolph scott; 87 mins.

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


#29 rayban

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:42 AM

 

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-8-11-44-pm.png

 

Vince Edwards had already played the title role in the independently produced comedy MR. UNIVERSE when he was signed to a contract at Columbia. The Mr. Universe movie capitalized on his boyish charm and allowed him to show off his physique.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-2-00-10-pm.png

 

He had been a championship swimmer and trained for the Olympics in college. He decided to study acting, learning the craft with other future Hollywood notables (including Grace Kelly). His acting career took off and his aspirations for the Olympics were set aside.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-2-08-45-pm.png

 

At first Columbia typecast Vince in crime dramas. His looks made him a natural for film noir, usually cast in bad boy roles. Most of these pictures were hits, and they established him as a leading man. But they didn’t exactly do a whole lot to make him a household name. That wouldn’t happen until he worked on television.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-2-01-09-pm.png

 

In 1961 Vince signed on to play the lead role in a medical drama series– Ben Casey. It was a huge success with TV audiences, even if the formula had been borrowed from MGM’s even more successful Dr. Kildare series with Richard Chamberlain. For five seasons, Vince played Dr. Casey, and he began to gain more control behind the scenes. In addition to acting, he would direct episodes of the program.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-1-51-18-pm1.pn

 

When his hit TV show ended production, it went into syndication. But Vince wasn’t one to sit around and not work, so he looked for another project. Instead of jumping back into the weekly series grind, he went back to movies full time. He experienced a career resurgence when he appeared in several big budget films in the 60s.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-1-59-08-pm.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. cell 2455, death row (1955); columbia; crime; william campbell; 77 mins.
  2. the night holds terror (1955); columbia; crime; jack kelly; 86 mins.
  3. murder by contract (1958); columbia; crime; phillip pine; 81 mins.
  4. city of fear (1959); columbia; crime; lyle talbot; 81 mins.
  5. the victors (1963); columbia; war; albert finney; 175 mins.
  6. hammerhead (1968); columbia; crime; judy geeson; 99 mins.

 

"The Victors" is such an interesting film - if only it were shown on TCM - or, for that matter, on DVD - or somewhere. 


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"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".


#30 TopBilled

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 08:25 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-8-11-44-pm.png

 

Vince Edwards had already played the title role in the independently produced comedy MR. UNIVERSE when he was signed to a contract at Columbia. The Mr. Universe movie capitalized on his boyish charm and allowed him to show off his physique.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-2-00-10-pm.png

 

He had been a championship swimmer and trained for the Olympics in college. He decided to study acting, learning the craft with other future Hollywood notables (including Grace Kelly). His acting career took off and his aspirations for the Olympics were set aside.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-2-08-45-pm.png

 

At first Columbia typecast Vince in crime dramas. His looks made him a natural for film noir, usually cast in bad boy roles. Most of these pictures were hits, and they established him as a leading man. But they didn’t exactly do a whole lot to make him a household name. That wouldn’t happen until he worked on television.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-2-01-09-pm.png

 

In 1961 Vince signed on to play the lead role in a medical drama series– Ben Casey. It was a huge success with TV audiences, even if the formula had been borrowed from MGM’s even more successful Dr. Kildare series with Richard Chamberlain. For five seasons, Vince played Dr. Casey, and he began to gain more control behind the scenes. In addition to acting, he would direct episodes of the program.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-1-51-18-pm1.pn

 

When his hit TV show ended production, it went into syndication. But Vince wasn’t one to sit around and not work, so he looked for another project. Instead of jumping back into the weekly series grind, he went back to movies full time. He experienced a career resurgence when he appeared in several big budget films in the 60s.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-1-59-08-pm.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. cell 2455, death row (1955); columbia; crime; william campbell; 77 mins.
  2. the night holds terror (1955); columbia; crime; jack kelly; 86 mins.
  3. murder by contract (1958); columbia; crime; phillip pine; 81 mins.
  4. city of fear (1959); columbia; crime; lyle talbot; 81 mins.
  5. the victors (1963); columbia; war; albert finney; 175 mins.
  6. hammerhead (1968); columbia; crime; judy geeson; 99 mins.

  • rayban likes this

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


#31 TopBilled

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 01:31 PM

12 years and 28 films - what a run for Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake,

 

Penny Singleton also starred in the original version of "Good News".

 

Yes, she did. Thanks for mentioning it. She was billed as Dorothy McNulty in the 1930 version of GOOD NEWS.


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


#32 rayban

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 01:25 PM

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-8-25-20-pm.png

 

Was there anyone more adorable than Penny Singleton? Especially when she played Blondie in Columbia’s long-running series based on the popular comic strip. Other performers came and went at the studio (a war even raged in the background), but for twelve years Penny and costar Arthur Lake were in their own little world as Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead. They entertained moviegoers and helped them forget the more serious issues of the day.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-2-12-10-pm.png

 

Altogether there were 28 films that showed the antics of the Bumstead household. Later Penny would gain even more fans when she was voicing June Jetson in Hanna-Barbera’s animated classic The Jetsons. In 1990 she "played" the character again in a feature film version. But it was her tenure as Blondie for which she is most remembered.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-2-13-11-pm.png

 

Before she signed with Columbia, Penny had previously worked at Warner Brothers. Mostly she appeared in comedies, but there were some exceptions. For example, she had a role in the Jane Russell drama YOUNG WIDOW; and she can be seen slinging lead with Glenn Ford and Ann Miller in the western GO WEST, YOUNG LADY. Ford had previously played a supporting role in BLONDIE PLAYS CUPID. In fact, most of Columbia’s rising stars paid their dues supporting Penny as Blondie. Performers like Rita Hayworth, Larry Parks and Janet Blair.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-2-10-35-pm.png

 

After her movie career went into decline Penny kept busy on television. Often she would use her talents as a voice actress for commercials and various animated programs. Audiences couldn’t get enough of Penny. She was delightful and always had a way of making people laugh, even when she was having a bad hair day.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-2-12-41-pm.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. blondie (1938); columbia; comedy; arthur lake; 70 mins.
  2. blondie on a budget (1940); columbia; comedy; rita hayworth; 72 mins.
  3. blondie plays cupid (1940); columbia; comedy; 68 mins.
  4. blondie goes latin (1941); columbia; comedy; tito guizar; 68 mins.
  5. go west, young lady (1941); columbia; western; glenn ford; 70 mins.
  6. blondie goes to college (1942); columbia; comedy; janet blair; 74 mins.
  7. blondie for victory (1942); columbia; comedy; stuart erwin; 71 mins.
  8. blondie’s holiday (1947); columbia; comedy; jerome cowan; 67 mins.
  9. blondie’s anniversary (1947); columbia; comedy; william frawley; 67 mins.
  10. blondie’s hero (1950); columbia; comedy; arthur lake; 67 mins.

 

12 years and 28 films - what a run for Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake,

 

Penny Singleton also starred in the original version of "Good News".


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"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".


#33 TopBilled

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 08:44 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-8-25-20-pm.png

 

Was there anyone more adorable than Penny Singleton? Especially when she played Blondie in Columbia’s long-running series based on the popular comic strip. Other performers came and went at the studio (a war even raged in the background), but for twelve years Penny and costar Arthur Lake were in their own little world as Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead. They entertained moviegoers and helped them forget the more serious issues of the day.

 

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Altogether there were 28 films that showed the antics of the Bumstead household. Later Penny would gain even more fans when she was voicing June Jetson in Hanna-Barbera’s animated classic The Jetsons. In 1990 she "played" the character again in a feature film version. But it was her tenure as Blondie for which she is most remembered.

 

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Before she signed with Columbia, Penny had previously worked at Warner Brothers. Mostly she appeared in comedies, but there were some exceptions. For example, she had a role in the Jane Russell drama YOUNG WIDOW; and she can be seen slinging lead with Glenn Ford and Ann Miller in the western GO WEST, YOUNG LADY. Ford had previously played a supporting role in BLONDIE PLAYS CUPID. In fact, most of Columbia’s rising stars paid their dues supporting Penny as Blondie. Performers like Rita Hayworth, Larry Parks and Janet Blair.

 

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After her movie career went into decline Penny kept busy on television. Often she would use her talents as a voice actress for commercials and various animated programs. Audiences couldn’t get enough of Penny. She was delightful and always had a way of making people laugh, even when she was having a bad hair day.

 

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09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. blondie (1938); columbia; comedy; arthur lake; 70 mins.
  2. blondie on a budget (1940); columbia; comedy; rita hayworth; 72 mins.
  3. blondie plays cupid (1940); columbia; comedy; 68 mins.
  4. blondie goes latin (1941); columbia; comedy; tito guizar; 68 mins.
  5. go west, young lady (1941); columbia; western; glenn ford; 70 mins.
  6. blondie goes to college (1942); columbia; comedy; janet blair; 74 mins.
  7. blondie for victory (1942); columbia; comedy; stuart erwin; 71 mins.
  8. blondie’s holiday (1947); columbia; comedy; jerome cowan; 67 mins.
  9. blondie’s anniversary (1947); columbia; comedy; william frawley; 67 mins.
  10. blondie’s hero (1950); columbia; comedy; arthur lake; 67 mins.

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


#34 TopBilled

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 09:31 AM

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Jim Bannon was already in his thirties and had been married to radio actress Bea Benaderet for several years when he made his first motion picture. It was a Hopalong Cassidy film, independently produced by its star William Boyd, and it featured Jim in a supporting role.

 

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Though he would come to be associated most strongly with the western genre, when he signed with Columbia a short time later, the studio originally used him in crime dramas. Notably Jim had the lead role in a series of programmers based on the popular radio drama I LOVE A MYSTERY.

 

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He was cast as super detective Jack Packard, and when the first film was a hit, Harry Cohn ordered up more installments with Jim returning as the main character. In one of the films Packard’s name was changed and the connection to the original franchise was downplayed. After portraying Packard, Columbia continued to use Jim in noir. He was cast in FRAMED with Glenn Ford; and in JOHNNY O’CLOCK with Dick Powell. Plus there was a part as a detective in the crime comedy THE CORPSE CAME C.O.D.

 

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At this point Jim started to appear in westerns. Before his contract ended at Columbia he teamed up again with Glenn Ford in THE MAN FROM COLORADO; and he was in RENEGADES with Evelyn Keyes. Based on the strength of his performances in these pictures, he was hired by an independent producer to make a series of Red Ryder films for which he is most known. Red Ryder was a B movie series that had been popular with audiences. Jim appeared in four of these productions, then he went to Republic to make other westerns, as well as a serial and some adventure flicks.

 

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09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. i love a mystery (1945); columbia; crime; nina foch; 69 mins.
  2. the gay senorita (1945); columbia; comedy; jinx falkenburg; 69 mins.
  3. the devil’s mask (1946); columbia; crime; anita louise; 65 mins.
  4. the unknown (1946); columbia; crime; karen morley; 70 mins.
  5. renegades (1946); columbia; western; evelyn keyes; 87 mins.
  6. framed (1947); columbia; crime; glenn ford; 82 mins.
  7. the corpse came c.o.d. (1947); columbia; comedy; joan blondell; 87 mins.
  8. the thirteenth hour (1947); columbia; crime; richard dix; 65 mins.
  9. trail to laredo (1948); columbia; western; charles starrett; 54 mins.
  10. the man from colorado (1948); columbia; western; glenn ford; 100 mins.

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


#35 TopBilled

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 01:47 PM

Thanks TB for mentioning Edith Fellows.   One of my favorite child stars. 

 

I haven't seen The Peppers.      Like I have been saying for years,  I wish TCM showed more 30's Columbia films and serials. 

 

You're welcome. TCM has aired all four Pepper movies a few times since I started watching in 2008, but the broadcasts are not often. It's a cute family-friendly series. Edith is great in them.

 

Is "The Peppers" franchise available on DVD?

 

Not to my knowledge, Ray.


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


#36 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 01:13 PM

Thanks TB for mentioning Edith Fellows.   One of my favorite child stars. 

 

I haven't seen The Peppers.      Like I have been saying for years,  I wish TCM showed more 30's Columbia films and serials. 

 

 

 


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#37 rayban

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 10:45 AM

 

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She was the first child performer to be given a long-term contract at Columbia, and she was probably one of the most memorable. In 1935 studio boss Harry Cohn was so taken with Edith’s performance as Melvyn Douglas’ bratty daughter in SHE MARRIED HER BOSS, he decided a series of films could be tailored around the young actress’s talents.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-04-at-6-19-18-am.png

 

Originally Edith had learned to dance to correct a problem with her foot. Her mother had abandoned her, and she was raised by her father and paternal grandmother. But after Edith’s dad disappeared, it was just her and her grandma, and young Edith wanted to get into the movies. One day while her grandmother was working, she went with a friend to be an extra in a film. During a break between scenes, Edith was dancing and singing on the set and caught the eye of the director who hired her a few days later for a short comedy film.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-04-at-6-08-57-am.png

 

In the early 30s, before her success at Columbia, Edith had bit parts at a variety of studios. She was still finding her way professionally and learning as much as possible about the movie-making business. By the time she was cast in the Douglas picture she was a seasoned veteran. Though her performance gained her a contract and many subsequent roles at the studio, it also typecast her. She had the looks of Shirley Temple, but the acting style of Bonita Granville, and she would not really be able to expand into playing other characters as she grew older. Nevertheless she made several memorable pictures, including one with Bing Crosby.

 

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After a year of fame and financial success, Edith’s mother returned to her life. Unfortunately, it was not a happy reunion, since it put Edith in the middle of a widely publicized custody battle between the mom and grandmom. Eventually Edith was allowed to choose which one she would prefer to live with, and she asked to remain with her grandmother and keep making movies.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-04-at-6-14-08-am.png

 

She stayed at Columbia until 1941. During her last two years at the studio, she headlined a series of family comedies called THE PEPPERS. She played the oldest daughter, and the pictures were popular with audiences. But she was growing up and wanted to try her hand at more mature roles. After she left Columbia, she found other opportunities, but soon left the screen and turned her energies toward the stage. A few years later she was married and raising a daughter. She would return to acting in the late 70s and 80s, when she had character parts on television series like Simon & Simon and Cagney & Lacey.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-04-at-6-12-53-am.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. she married her boss (1935); columbia; comedy; melvyn douglas; 85 mins.
  2. tugboat princess (1936); columbia; drama; valerie hobson; 66 mins.
  3. pennies from heaven (1936); columbia; musical comedy; bing crosby; 81 mins.
  4. and so they were married (1936); columbia; comedy; melvyn douglas; 74 mins.
  5. life begins with love (1937); columbia; drama; jean parker; 72 mins.
  6. little miss roughneck (1960); columbia; comedy; leo carrillo; 64 mins.
  7. the little adventuress (1938); columbia; adventure; richard fiske; 60 mins.
  8. five little peppers and how they grew (1939); columbia; comedy; charles peck; 58 mins.
  9. music in my heart (1940); columbia; romance; rita hayworth; 70 mins.
  10. nobody’s children (1941); columbia; drama; billy lee; 64 mins.

 

Is "The Peppers" franchise available on DVD?


"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".


#38 TopBilled

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 09:39 AM

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-7-02-37-am.png

 

She was the first child performer to be given a long-term contract at Columbia, and she was probably one of the most memorable. In 1935 studio boss Harry Cohn was so taken with Edith’s performance as Melvyn Douglas’ bratty daughter in SHE MARRIED HER BOSS, he decided a series of films could be tailored around the young actress’s talents.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-04-at-6-19-18-am.png

 

Originally Edith had learned to dance to correct a problem with her foot. Her mother had abandoned her, and she was raised by her father and paternal grandmother. But after Edith’s dad disappeared, it was just her and her grandma, and young Edith wanted to get into the movies. One day while her grandmother was working, she went with a friend to be an extra in a film. During a break between scenes, Edith was dancing and singing on the set and caught the eye of the director who hired her a few days later for a short comedy film.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-04-at-6-08-57-am.png

 

In the early 30s, before her success at Columbia, Edith had bit parts at a variety of studios. She was still finding her way professionally and learning as much as possible about the movie-making business. By the time she was cast in the Douglas picture she was a seasoned veteran. Though her performance gained her a contract and many subsequent roles at the studio, it also typecast her. She had the looks of Shirley Temple, but the acting style of Bonita Granville, and she would not really be able to expand into playing other characters as she grew older. Nevertheless she made several memorable pictures, including one with Bing Crosby.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-04-at-6-10-19-am.png

 

After a year of fame and financial success, Edith’s mother returned to her life. Unfortunately, it was not a happy reunion, since it put Edith in the middle of a widely publicized custody battle between the mom and grandmom. Eventually Edith was allowed to choose which one she would prefer to live with, and she asked to remain with her grandmother and keep making movies.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-04-at-6-14-08-am.png

 

She stayed at Columbia until 1941. During her last two years at the studio, she headlined a series of family comedies called THE PEPPERS. She played the oldest daughter, and the pictures were popular with audiences. But she was growing up and wanted to try her hand at more mature roles. After she left Columbia, she found other opportunities, but soon left the screen and turned her energies toward the stage. A few years later she was married and raising a daughter. She would return to acting in the late 70s and 80s, when she had character parts on television series like Simon & Simon and Cagney & Lacey.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-04-at-6-12-53-am.png

09d8a-screen2bshot2b2016-12-192bat2b2-00

  1. she married her boss (1935); columbia; comedy; melvyn douglas; 85 mins.
  2. tugboat princess (1936); columbia; drama; valerie hobson; 66 mins.
  3. pennies from heaven (1936); columbia; musical comedy; bing crosby; 81 mins.
  4. and so they were married (1936); columbia; comedy; melvyn douglas; 74 mins.
  5. life begins with love (1937); columbia; drama; jean parker; 72 mins.
  6. little miss roughneck (1960); columbia; comedy; leo carrillo; 64 mins.
  7. the little adventuress (1938); columbia; adventure; richard fiske; 60 mins.
  8. five little peppers and how they grew (1939); columbia; comedy; charles peck; 58 mins.
  9. music in my heart (1940); columbia; romance; rita hayworth; 70 mins.
  10. nobody’s children (1941); columbia; drama; billy lee; 64 mins.

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#39 TopBilled

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 11:33 AM

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

 

Columbia Pictures contract players

 

screen-shot-2017-04-05-at-6-31-35-pm.png

 

Friday April 7-- #507: The first child star to have a contract at the studio.

Saturday April 8-- #508: Played Jack Packard.

Sunday April 9-- #509: She was Blondie Bumstead.

Monday April 10-- #510: He was later known as Ben Casey.

Tuesday April 11-- #511: Starlet usually cast in film noir.

Wednesday April 12-- #512: Married to Linda Evans.

Thursday April 13-- #513: Sexy British actress of the 50s & 60s.


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


#40 TopBilled

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 11:00 AM

John Saxon gave Sandra Dell her first screen kiss in "The Reluctant Debutante", which was directed by Vincente Minnelli.

 

He was also instrumental to her emotional development in "The Restless Years", which was based on the play, "Teach Me How To Cry".

 

I wonder if people can tell which performers I (really) like when I write these. John Saxon is someone I like a lot. A perfect example of a guy who had looks and no acting talent when he started, but became one of the screen's most versatile performers. I love how entertaining he is in his character roles. 


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





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