MovieProfessor

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  1. MovieProfessor

    I Love You, 50 FOOT WOMAN!

    Whether you want to believe it or not, who could have ever thought that this movie would become a beloved classic? Certainly, one of the biggest and most sought after movie’s to see at film festivals and it’s cult continues to grow among the younger fans who have discovered the wonderful fun there is to watching “Attack of The 50 Foot Woman.” When Allied Artists released the film, all the studio needed was a reasonable distribution around most of the secondary markets of drive-in theaters and local, small movie houses. Instead, they suddenly had a huge block-buster hit on their hands! Producer Bernard Woolner was amazed, when he drove around L.A. to see scores of people lining up to see his movie! The same was happening in areas across the country, as the film quickly gain a tremendous amount of box-office momentum. In small towns where the movie opened, theaters that hadn’t seen much in the way of good business in years, (due in part to television) were filled to capacity, especially during night showings and on the weekends. Theater managers then demanded to hold the film for weeks on end! Some theaters even had periodical returns of the movie that pretty much signified “Attack of The 50 Foot Woman” would receive cult movie status. What most fans or film buffs don’t realize is that the film’s director, Nathan (Hertz) Juran, had his career saved by the sheer, overwhelming success of this movie. The following year, Juran then went back to work in the major leagues with producer Charles H. Schneer and special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen at Columbia Pictures, creating one of the greatest of all fantasy films, “The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad!” From that time on, Juran would never have to look back or wonder so much about his next motion picture assignment. He would also become one of the most active directors in television, between his work for major motion pictures. Certainly, he is today totally identified as a major exponent of Sci-Fi/Fantasy entertainment. The movie was made on a budget of less than $100.000, to later on bring in close to a million and then more money over the years the film continued to play on the drive-in circuit and in small theaters throughout the country. Upon the movie’s release for the television market during the early 1960’s, it became a staple and bona fide requirement for local television stations to air at various times of the year. The star of the movie, lovely Allison Hayes would never be able to shake off her association to what eventually became her most famous film role. Although Allison would be looked upon as a well known B-Movie star, the tremendous success of “50 Foot Woman,” allowed her to find steady work in television. She even co-starred in several primetime programs of the late 1950’s and into the early 1960’s. So, she wasn’t really hindered by her work in B-Films. In fact, Allison was for the remainder of her career, a working actress in Hollywood. Towards the end of her life, she was usually asked to make appearances at various memorabilia shows and she gave a few rare interviews to some movie magazines. It was such a shock to learn that she died in 1977 of blood poisoning. This sadly occurred due to the medications she was taking for her bout against the leukemia she suffered from. Actor William Hudson is probably best remembered as the twin brother of actor John Hudson. Some fans usually get confused between the two and there’s always been this debate as to who had the better career? Both only occasionally appeared in major films, while ending up working regularly in television. So, it simply too tough to call or say which of the two had a more serious career. John did out live Bill, when John died in 1996 and Bill in 1977. The funny thing is that they both retired from show business at about the same time, during the early 1970’s. Then, we come to my favorite member of the cast, Yvette Vickers. She was nothing more than a sometime model and actress around Hollywood. Like Allison, Yvette would go on to appear in various B-Movies throughout the late 1950’s and 60’s. She also did lots of television. However, her career was sort of hampered technically, when she decided on becoming a Playboy Centerfold for 1959. Obviously, Yvette was trying to gain some needed publicity, along the lines of say Marilyn or Jayne Mansfield. This ploy simply didn’t work and sort of stained her chances to move into the major leagues of motion pictures. Interestingly, Yvette would show up at some of the biggest casting calls in Hollywood, attempting to break away from her low-budget, television status, but this was never to be. After he retirement in 1990, she lived a somewhat quiet life, away from the Hollywood spotlight that had been so much a part of her life. A few times, she did manage come back into the public eye at movie conventions, but for the most part, Yvette never considered to ever get back into the business. What amazes me is the silly, overdone, 1993 HBO remake that had Darryl Hannah in the title role. This time shot in color, it was obviously trying to capitalize on the notoriety of the original film. While the HBO movie did have a few cute things about it, there was nothing as interesting or charismatic as the original. It seems that there are enough fans out there that simply won’t accept certain remakes of a popular or classic film! Certainly, the 1957 version of “Attack of The 50 Foot Woman” is and will probably remain, one of them!
  2. > I guess you really like this woman? Are you related to her or knew her? ?:| OK . . . Here’s what I can add to the Laurette Luze story, from having been around at the time she was working in town. First off, she was without doubt, one of the most beautiful starlets of the early 1950’s. Some movie insiders now even say, the imagery of Luze had some influence on the early career of Sophia Loren, upon her arriving in Hollywood! I only saw Miss Luze once, in 1956, at the Coconut Grove with her then husband, Robert Creel. She was for all intended purposes, absolutely beautiful, radiant beyond simple description. She did have what might be termed as a magical, sort of larger than life imagery that made her standout among the throng of so many others. Of course, a beautiful girl in those days was pretty much a dime-a-dozen and Luze would have to face the enviable situation of luck, versus the right choices being made for one’s career. Her basic problem as I knew it to be was her personal life, filled with the chaos of trying to stay viable and of interest, while deciding on who could help her seek a solid foothold to fame and whatever fortune lie ahead. You see, she made the usual mistake of not looking ahead or over the advice she was given. Luze lacked the tact needed to realize what were her best options in a situation that is under a constant change or fluctuating opportunities. Her frequent love affairs with top studio officials didn’t get her anywhere, as she drifted from one relationship to the next, between her second and final marriage. In this regard, she and Marilyn had a lot in common! When you’re an upcoming starlet and you give of yourself in certain ways that are of a moral fiber rather questionable, you can end up having to pay the high price of acquiring a reputation of sorts that in the long term, won’t help you out, to be taken seriously, unless (like Marilyn did) you find someone of important power in the business to back you up. Luze never was able to make this sort of connection, as she fell victim to her thinking she had made the grade by whom she selected in the hope of getting better exposure and a chance at a solid contract that was the dream of every starlet, hoping to make it in Hollywood. Someone once asked me why didn’t Luze turn instead towards a good career in television? Well, by the time she decided on moving towards the direction of TV, it was all too late. By the time she did land a regular role on a primetime series, it wasn’t exactly of high quality and that venture didn‘t last long. Her TV career would be for the rest of her time in the business sporadic, if at all, never really solid. She had initially become trapped by her exotic looks and style that limited what talents she may have been able to utilize. When she did manage to appear in most of the major films, it was as a walk-on or in an unaccredited role. This to me is quite embarrassing, since she was once on the cover of Life Magazine and other major periodicals across the country. I would have to think that she had a better time of it as a major model than attempting to become a movie star. She’s a good example of someone who simply stays around the business, hoping and praying that something good will pop up, while all along, time and age mounts up against you. Truth is that Luze was just one of those quick flashes that come and go in the movie business of old Hollywood. It’s a typical story of a lovely girl with hopes and a big dream of becoming famous, while not understanding or able to face up to the process of what it takes to reach a goal that for the most part is and will always remain a tremendous gamble. The choices one makes, be they considered big or small, do have a way of going in a direction that can’t be so easily mapped out or figured out to the point of reaching a positive conclusion. The main idea here is to keep alive as many options as possible and then don’t wait too long for what might be looked upon as a better deal or a higher playing field. In the movie business, one has to keep going, moving steadily towards grabbing or catching up to whatever is available that will give you that all important exposure, be it in a low-budget project or if you’re lucky enough to land in a big one. In her case, she simply stopped working periodically, not seeking what could have been something worthwhile. This is why I say stopping along the way can hurt one’s career and one should never let up on what might be out there! Luze was in some ways, spoiled by other pursuits, such as the Hollywood social life and this wasn’t going to get her up and above the fray and chaos that can affect one’s chances. My guess is that Luze had a horrible, lousy agent or whoever represented her didn’t do her much good. How terrible it must have been for Luze by that time in 1959, when she was at Universal Pictures, having received a “walk-on” role in the movie musical “Flower Drum Song.” Ten years earlier she had been touted as one of the new faces to watch, her face and imagery spread across the country on newsstands and in department stores! Where she ended up was about as low as one could get! What kept her around or perhaps her distant hopes alive were the many friends in town she made over the course of her rather inconsequential career. She at least remained somewhat beautiful up until the time she decided on calling it quits and becoming an everyday housewife. Towards the end of her life, she was all but forgotten and not known about in the small, quaint little, out of the way Florida town where she spent the remaining days of her life. I heard she did keep a few mementoes of her short lived glory time in Hollywood, gladly displaying them to anyone who showed interest. She had various photos of those long ago memories on hand in her living room. Sometimes, when asked she talked mostly about the once close friendship she had with Marilyn that always was the main topic of a first time meeting with someone. It was about the only call to any fame she could explain and talk about. Her time and career in Hollywood simply didn’t matter, at least to those who met her. She ended up a footnote to a time in Hollywood that had her associated to the glamour, but she just didn’t really count or amount to much in the eyes of those who came to hear her stories. The file on Laurette Luze isn’t such a sad one or disappointing to the extent of having been considered a failure. Point is that she never reached high enough or long enough to then be looked upon as a major failure. Hers was one that just didn’t workout towards the long term of remaining sufficiently developed towards the goal needed in acquiring that all important foothold that would allow a decent sense of flexibility to say I made it. Well, Luze never really made it. She was just like so many before and those who still are coming after her, on the edge of the fringes to what might transpire on becoming a movie star. Maybe, just maybe fate did her a good turn, because she could have ended up like Marilyn? Who can say?
  3. > {quote:title=TomJH You Wrote: }{quote}One day, when I have the courage, I shall take the plunge. :^0 It's rather funny to me . . . That's about what one has to consider, when thinking about wanting to watch "Torch Song!" It does take some courage to take the plunge towards a film that leaves one with a few distored visions and ideas about the possible real life of a legendary movie star. B-)
  4. Alas! This would definitely be one of my all time favorite subjects to tackle. After all, everybody who has been a movie fan all their lives has to have a love for a film that was either trashed or thrown into the wayside of critical humiliation! Well, having been around show business for over 50 plus years, I’m about as guilty as anyone who shunned what the critics said and felt a certain motion picture was worth my time and even my money to go see. There has been for me, several choices along the way that have remained on my list of films, usually ignored for the way the movie obtained a reputation of vacuous temperament and a depleted sense of purpose. Yet, many of these films that might be considered tripe, have a merit in simply being entertaining and thus exult the whole idea of creating something magical to the point of having a long term identity; even if it be bad! My all time pick in this category, goes way, way back to the time of 1953, when Hollywood was reminded of a once held, devoted union between a super movie star and a big studio. This marked what was supposed to be the triumphant return of the mighty Joan Crawford to her once home base of MGM! Just about every diehard movie fan, knows Joan’s story of having been asked to leave MGM in 1943, due to a bevy of films that had a poor box-office response. Most everyone will remember this event, by way of the biographic film, “Mommie Dearest,” coming off with a rather flamboyant treatment of Joan’s private life. I am not a fan of Christina Crawford, Joan’s adopted daughter who first wrote the story that was turned into the motion picture. There has always been for me, reason to question Christina’s action to writing her book. In showcasing her attitude to what was a turbulent time in her life and that of Joan’s, it all appeared to me to be exasperations, on exaggerations. Whatever the case, if anyone wants to believe Christina’s account of her life with Joan, one might want to turn towards viewing Joan’s 1953 potboiler melodrama, “Torch Song” I absolutely love this movie “Torch Song!” As crazy as this movie might seem to most fans, I have no qualms about admitting how much I enjoy the film. If anything comes close to capturing the hard-pressed imagery of Joan that Christina wrote about, it all can come to focus in some form with “Torch Song.” The film would become something of a sensation at the time it was announced that Joan would return to MGM, after a ten year absence. After having been let go by MGM, Joan swore she would never again set foot or work at the studio that had been her home for over a decade. What changed her mood or direction was that Louie B. Mayer, who had governed the studio during Joan’s time at MGM was gone, allowing for this easy return for Joan and there came this reconsideration of her past harsh feelings. The new management and staff running MGM, simply couldn’t resist the idea of taking advantage of an old situation that many knew would create a good amount of appeal or interest. They even sent so far as to utilize and revise an old MGM poster of Joan’s for this new motion picture venture! When Joan jumped at the chance of returning to MGM, she had been working regularly at Warner Brothers (the studio that hired her, after she left MGM) and it was there Joan was able to revamp her film career. The Warner years had been good for Joan, even winning for her the now famous Academy Award for the drama “Mildred Pierce.” One would have thought that perhaps her new venture at MGM would bring something of a similar success to when she left in 1943. Although she was middle-aged, she still had something of the glamour and fashionable style that had made her one of the most popular and admired motion picture stars of the 20th Century. MGM decided on not holding back in the technical department, giving Joan a working staff and crew that was surely one of the finest at the studio. Handling the script was noted screenwriter John Michael Hayes (best remembered for his work with Hitchcock) and he pretty much relied on the original material the film was based on, a novel entitled “Why Should I Cry?, by I. A. R. Wylie that today nobody really remembers! The director chosen for “Torch Song” was studio-regular Charles Walters, better associated with some of MGM’s best musicals. Walters had started his career as a charter member of the legendary “Arthur Freed Unit.” The producer for “Torch Song” would be a veteran of the MGM family, Sidney Franklin, truly one of the most successful director/producers the studio ever had. He and Joan obviously knew each other well enough to come to some agreement on how the project would evolve to what was hoped would be a smashing success. Instead of a full fudged dramatic film, Joan would be showcased in a semi-dramatic musical story of a highly demanding, temperamental, Broadway singing star. Of course, everybody knew Joan not to be an accomplished singer, meaning she would be fully dubbed for this part of the role. However, she still had some good moves and capability as a dancer. This was especially important with director Walters, who himself was a trained dancer. If anything, “Torch Song” would be a reminder to millions of fans that the early part of Joan’s career was as a lively dancer in various films she first made at MGM. The basic background to the new film could be looked upon as a throwback to that time she was discovered in the chorus line of a Hollywood night club, later to become a huge movie star. Starring opposite Joan was the rather elegant English actor, Michael Wilding. He was at the time, best known as Elizabeth Taylor’s second husband. Wilding was also just getting his Hollywood career underway, upon signing up with MGM. Most fans could agree that Wilding’s gentle, charming nature and smooth acting style had a charm that for the time he made his few films in Hollywood, had a nice sort of polished contrast, not seen since the glory days of fellow English actor, beloved Ronald Colman. The casting of Wilding opposite Joan appeared more like a definite typecast to what was a rather sympathetic role, as a blinded songwriter/pianist, who in the film Joan falls head-over-heels in love with. Wilding certainly adds a needed touch of sturdiness to the storyline that creates the aged old circumstance about opposites attract. In viewing the film, it’s almost as if Joan’s strong will of character is to some truth, intimidated by the presence of Wilding opposite her in the film. She gets more down to earth when pitted up against an old friend of mine, actor Gig Young. He plays what is essentially a gigolo sort of role, being called upon when Joan’s character as the Broadway star “Jenny Stewart” needs an escort or time spent creating an illusion of companionship. Gig’s performance is quite good, coming off with the shades of professionalism he had early in his career, despite the later tragic events that would overshadow his life. The male actors pretty much signify Joan has received the casting support of two reliable performers of the current movie business. It has to be said that the truly, one redeeming valuable factor for “Torch Song” is that of beloved character actress Marjorie Rambeau, playing the role as Joan’s voluble, witty mother. She dominates the scenes she is in. The simplistic beauty of her style of acting is absolutely breathtaking and has a loving spirituality that displays her long standing as a respected actress. Of all things that can be said about “Torch Song,” be they bad or tauntingly critical to the point of believing the film has no merit, Rambeau was surprisingly rewarded for her efforts with an Academy Award nomination as supporting actress. She wouldn’t win, losing out to Donna Reed. At best, Rambeau had been the odds on sympathetic favorite to possibly win. However, the overwhelming success of “From Here To Eternity” made it seem easy enough for Reed to walk away with the “Oscar.” Most critics agreed that Rambeau was the best part of “Torch Song” and perhaps gave the film its only type of justification to be taken seriously. An interesting point that is of historical interest, concerns director Walters making what is a cameo appearance as the dance partner of Joan in the opening scene of the film. There are today some rather peculiar, if not, outlandish stories relating to the relationship of Joan and Walters as they set out to make the motion picture. One story has Joan showing up in a trench coat at either the house of Walters or his studio office. She is reputed to have then taken the coat off and revealed her naked body to Walters, in an attempt to fend off rumors Joan had heard that Walters didn’t believe she was good enough to take on the role! This sort of intimidation was said to be a control ploy on the part of Joan, so that Walters be subservient to her wishes during the making of the film. It’s also believed by some diehard fans of Joan that she was just getting into the character for the sake of the film. Over all, there are some striking similarities to the real Joan Crawford and that of the character she portrays in “Torch Song.” One of the most obvious is this sense of feeling in control of the environment she works in and always being on guard to whatever obstacle may occur or situation that would make her feel uncomfortable. This film marks the stamp of approval for Joan becoming or being seen as the archetype of a superstar motion picture diva. One has to wonder if its really art imitating life or vice versa. One good aspect of the film that should be appreciated is its beautiful theme song, written by Walter Gross and Jack Lawrence, entitled “*Tenderly*.” The tune had actually been written and released eight years earlier. It would be singer Rosemary Clooney, who first made the biggest known, popular recording of the song. Within the storyline of the film, the song becomes instrumental to bringing together the two main characters, leading to a conflict of emotional passions. The song is what made the character of “Jenny” a star, when she sang the tune early in her career and is the one redeeming point the blind pianist remembers about her, since he knows what she looks like, because he initially wrote that very first important review of her career! This and other little tidbits throughout the story are what I love about the movie. However, most fans will look upon “Torch Song” as a rather over-the-top sort of Joan Crawford melodrama vehicle that becomes essentiality a one woman show. She is to put it mildly, seen as a glamorous figure throughout the film, dressed in colorful, ornate gowns designed by Helen Rose; some of which are today considered classics of motion picture costume design! The film is without question an expensive, extravagant Technicolor production that only a big studio could offer and exploit beyond reason or with any need of explanatory logic! Upon its release, the movie received mixed reviews and wasn’t really considered all that bad. Yet, over the years, film historians have not been kind to the film, believing for the most part it was nothing more than an attempt by MGM to fill in the gap needed for a commercially successful film that could guarantee a good box-office response. Certainly, the movie gives off an inordinate flavor that lends one to feel nothing was left to chance, except that perhaps there could have been a more inspired form of entertainment, instead of a usual, nicely produced, typical studio film that can best be remembered for not having something of cultural value. Well, “Torch Song” is today a big, cult film favorite among the fans, especially those of Joan and what she has come to represent towards motion picture history. There is an ironic twist to “Torch Song,” in that the movie reaps with shades of nonsense, while offering something interesting to watch or has an addictive atmosphere that forces one to somehow accept the imprudence to what might happen behind the scenes of show business. And, while this film and story might connect to Joan’s real life in various ways, I know for a fact she wasn’t as unruly, presumptuous and intrusive as the woman she portrayed in the film. Joan was after all, a consistent professional when it came to her work in films. This I think is what makes her career so substantial to having its value. Maybe Christina might think “Torch Song“ is part of this macabre legacy to Joan, since she likes to tell friends her mother was a witch, spelled with a capital “B.” Anyway, as crazy as what I’ve written might seem and I know some of you out there have seen this movie on TCM, it only stands to reason that I’m as human as the next, in getting sucked into loving a movie that has no overall value to be considered a classic, other than I can remember it for what it does towards extending so many unusual aspects, theories and feelings about a legendary movie star.
  5. MovieProfessor

    Marylin Monroe And Dorothy Dandridge

    > {quote:title=ValeskaSuratt . . .}{quote} *Excellent Observation!* Especially with the important dates and time frame that now make the photo, not so much a suspect of authenticity, but in need of clarification as to its origin. I did some research over this photograph and it seems no one has come forward or been able to verify exactly when it was taken and where it came from! The photo has simply popped up on the internet and while it could very well be from someone’s private collection, who happened to be on the set of a movie being made, it doesn’t necessary mean that the woman to the left is clearly Dorothy. Without some sort of explanation as to how this photo was taken, we can’t really accept it as historical proof to the friendship between Dorothy and Marilyn. The fact that this photo has never been seen or observed until now, with various books written and documentaries made over the years about both stars is rather frustrating. Had the photo been released and seen, say about 40 years ago, it would have most likely been accepted as part of the Dorothy Dandridge legacy. While I’m not an expert on photography, I do find the picture rather strange looking, as if something were superimposed. With today’s computer technology, a lot of fakery goes on and the clever quality of these various fraudulent methods become difficult to decipher. I am not one to rain on somebody’s parade, but it should be easy enough for the person in possession of the original to come forward and explain how they came to have this photo. I praise your research that for the long run is what finding an item like this is all about! You now have my *clear cut* respect and admiration!
  6. MovieProfessor

    Marylin Monroe And Dorothy Dandridge

    > {quote:title=. . . }{quote}You mean to the LEFT...Marilyn is on the right. > HA . . . Have to laugh at myself on that one! I had a senior moment! Anyway, can't call in the FBI . . . Director J. Edgar, who had all the files destroyed is also dead!
  7. MovieProfessor

    Marylin Monroe And Dorothy Dandridge

    AH-HA UniveralHorror! I just found out about that photo! It was presumably taken during the time Marilyn and Otto were making "River of No Return." If it is authentic, then it remains the only widely seen photo of Marilyn and (if it can be clearly proven) Dorothy. Yet, I still can't get any sort of details about the photo's origin.
  8. MovieProfessor

    Marylin Monroe And Dorothy Dandridge

    {quote:title=OK UniversalHorror . . . }{quote} Well, it could be . . . But, I'm not so sure if the woman to the right is in fact Dorothy . . . So tell me: What is the origin of this photo? Remember one thing . . . I said CLEAR CUT PHOTO. I'd want a date, place and possible verification. My guess is the photo is probably from a privatge collection or used in a biography of Otto or Dorothy? What's the story? ?:|
  9. MovieProfessor

    Star Autographs...

    DELETED due to problems with repeated posting . . . :0 Edited by: MovieProfessor on Aug 26, 2012 8:24 PM
  10. MovieProfessor

    Star Autographs...

    This is nothing so new to consider, since many stars over the years have charged fans for an autograph. It all probably started as a means to keep an overzealous fan away and not be bothered. Certainly, the most prevalent issue are movie stars becoming agitated to discovering individuals who make a living by profiting from their signatures or whatever personal items they might have once owned. Also, there is an ever growing market of fraudulent materials being sold or said to have been sanctioned by the movie star. So, when you add up or figure out what might be a situation gone erratic and not reasonably subjugated, it stands to reason why various motion picture stars will ask for a payment to what might be later on exploited for profit. Most movie stars I have known over my long years around show business, have tried to be fair and not be so downtrodden over this issue of whether or not they should give an autograph. In the old days, the studio did send out some signed materials, but on a limited basis. Of course, most of the 8x10 photograph stills sent out to fans with a signature were multilithed or printed onto the photo. These types of photos or autographs are a dine a dozen! I just don’t see the big deal about charging, since a diehard movie fan will want his or her favorite star’s autograph at whatever cost! And, let’s not forget about the lucrative trade in sports memorabilia that as of now has its high pricing, sometimes at levels most fans can’t even afford. Usually, at these memorabilia shows or movie conventions, the celebrities are paid. One of my all time personal heroes, Joe DiMaggio had to be paid each and every time he stepped into a convention hall, as thousands of the fans would stand in line, having paid about 15 to 20 dollars to have Joe D. sign a photo, a ball, glove or bat. But, often if Joe was out on the street and felt comfortable enough, he would sign his name on just about anything, free of charge. After all is said and done, I believe Joe D. just didn’t want to totally alienate the fans who had come to admire him throughout his lifetime. He was for me rather strange, since he was mostly something of a quiet, sort of secretive man. I once got up enough courage to bother Joe and ask, “Is it difficult for you to deal with the fans, always asking you for something?” Joe responded, “It depends on how I feel, when I first get up in the morning . . . Sometimes I have my feel good days and others not so good . . . So, it’s a crapshoot for the fans when they approach me.”
  11. MovieProfessor

    Marylin Monroe And Dorothy Dandridge

    So far, in over fifty plus years, no one has been able to come up with a clear cut photo of Dorothy and Marilyn together. There was once, a rare black and white photo floating around, taken at some movie premiere both ladies attended. I remember seeing this photo around 1956. The photo has yet to resurface or be found in order to finally quell those who have questioned the relationship of Marilyn and Dorothy. The problem was that the politics of those times, didn’t permit a woman of color, even if she be famous to have a photo taken at a public place or gathering with a Caucasian movie star! It took sometime for the restrictions to give way. Various big stars had to take a stand in order to change the mindset of those who objected or feared some sort of public backlash over African Americans and whites being seen as close, regular friends and equals!
  12. MovieProfessor

    Marylin Monroe And Dorothy Dandridge

    Well, I can fill you in on some loose ends of the story that I happened to come across. It was a fact that Marilyn and Dorothy became friends. This was especially the case, when Dorothy signed on at 20th Century-Fox studios, where Marilyn would make most of the major films of her career. Dorothy was at the time, jumping from one gig to the next, usually doing a singing nightclub act, while continuing on with somewhat of an acting career in films. During the early half of Dorothy’s career, she was trying to break away from her success within the Negro film community and reach towards getting into the major film market of mainstream Hollywood. It was only natural to surmise that for Dorothy it was a considerable, constant struggle against basic prejudices all African Americans faced when seeking a chance at major film production. Her first big break came about the same time it had come for Marilyn in 1953, when Dorothy appeared in the nicely produced, major MGM film of “Bright Road.” This was a film drama concerning the plight of a small-town, country school teacher. Opposite her in the film was singer, also turned as an occasional actor, wonderful Harry Belafonte. They became lifelong friends and would later on make two more major films together. Essentially, Dorothy and Harry would become two of the biggest major African American stars of the 1950’s. The friendship that Marilyn had with Dorothy, also included another legendary star that seldom gets mention, Ava Gardner. It was actually Ava who first had a deeply, rooted friendship with Dorothy, due to Ava’s close kit relationship with singer Lena Horne while at MGM. Lena had known Dorothy from the early days of her career, around the nightclub circuit. Lena didn’t hang out much with Ava and Dorothy, preferring to stay low-keyed and out of the public eye. Somewhere along the way, Ava introduced Dorothy to Marilyn. This turned out to be one of the most historic and remarkable friendships in the history of Hollywood gossip. The mainstream press gave little, if any coverage of their camaraderie, most likely due to the racial issues involved at the time. Yet, the trio could be seen showing up together at some of the biggest and most notorious Hollywood festivities. You might say that Ava, Dorothy and Marilyn pioneered this openness between races that for most of the time was hidden or not publicized much. Marilyn and Dorothy had a few things in common, one of them was this dependency on all sorts of sedatives and barbiturates. Of course, in those days, this was a normal way of life to having easy access to the use of various prescription drugs that today would be considered dangerous to one’s health. Like Marilyn, Dorothy struggled at the studio to acquire decent roles. She fought long and hard to not be regulated to the usual secondary parts of maids and subservient individuals that was so common in those days for African Americans. Some Hollywood insiders believe, Dorothy’s biggest problem came into focus upon having this turbulent love affair with director Otto Preminger. After Preminger cast Dorothy in the highly successful musical “Carmen Jones,” he then saw himself as being the guiding light to her career in motion pictures. As Dorothy and Otto became an open secret throughout Hollywood, Marilyn was about to have her own problems with her doomed and ill fated marriage to baseball great Joe DiMaggio. Not to sort of be left out, Ava’s torrid marriage to Frank Sinatra had also come to its enviable end! So, during this period, the three ladies sought comfort in expressing their emotional difficulties to each other. They drank a lot and along the way probably took a few pills here and there, as they discussed the enigma of being a motion picture star. The year 1955, ought to be considered the big turning point for both Marilyn and Dorothy. It was during this period, both ladies rebelled harshly against studio boss Darryl Zanuck, then head of 20th Century-Fox. Since it looked as if both actresses were heading towards bigger stardom, they now wanted a bit of control. Marilyn refused to be cast in what she considered a flimsy musical entitled “Pink Tights.” Dorothy was then offered a supporting role as the salve girl, in the big upcoming musical version of “The King and I.” Dorothy wouldn’t accept what she considered an objectionable role for an African American woman. Both Marilyn and Dorothy looked as if they were now teaming up together against the demands of Zanuck. This seemed very natural for everyone watching this melodrama, since most everybody in town knew they were good friends! Somehow, the press didn’t link Marilyn and Dorothy together over this contractual issue, probably due to the politics involved and all those social issues looming in the shadows. Certainly, if any details of the friendship between the two would have been widely reported, it could have hurt Marilyn’s career, as much as Dorothy’s. For her part, Marilyn must have known she was a financial asset and perhaps Dorothy’s emerging movie stardom also hanged in the balance for her to make a bold move. Marilyn then decided on heading out towards New York City and Dorothy did the same! They both walked out on their contracts. In the process, Marilyn would succeed, while Dorothy was obviously left out to dry. Although Marilyn would be the one to have the clout to win over on Zanuck, she did speak up on behalf of Dorothy. Thus, Marilyn aided Dorothy wherever she could, leading up to Dorothy getting a good role in the film “Island in The Sun,” opposite her old friend, Harry Belafonte. Whenever possible, Dorothy and Marilyn tried to keep in touch. By the end of the decade, Ava who had created the celebrated trio was gone. She ended up living in Spain, only now occasionally appearing to make a movie. Meanwhile, Dorothy had to concentrate more on her singing and nightclub act, in order to keep her career going, while at the same time, have to support the care for her disabled daughter, who had been placed into a special institution. Marilyn could relate to this issue fully, since she had her mother being cared for in a mental hospital. This situation pretty much signifies why there was this close and respected friendship between the two stars. When Dorothy was in New York, as much as Hollywood, both ladies hung out together. There were times the two talked about the problems of their careers, as opposed to their personal lives. During those last few yeares they were together, Sammy Davis Jr. played an important part to the friendship, especially since that era of the early 1960’s was the true, hardcore beginning of the Civil Rights Movement in America. Marilyn was making plans to get involved, due in large part to Dorothy and Sammy had become a close friend to Marilyn. Sammy was one of the very few Hollywood inter circle of friends to Marilyn, Joe DiMaggio approved of and would have allowed him to attend Marilyn’s funeral. I’ve never been so sure about Dorothy and whether or not she would have met with Joe D’s approval. I do know she was later seen showing up at Marilyn’s crypt and left some nice flowers. Like Marilyn before her, Dorothy would become emotionally burnt out and lose track of her self-consciousness. Dorothy too didn’t have long to live, when in 1965, she was also found dead at her Hollywood home, due to an overdose of barbiturates. How peculiar this all seemed, stemming from both having died the same way. Yet, Ava would be the one to finally survive, having left behind Hollywood and whatever chaos their might have been to her life and times in Tinsel Town. It was around the time before Dorothy died, she began to write her life story. Five years later, with the help of her sister, Dorothy’s autobiography was published posthumously in 1970. The book entitled, “Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy,” pretty much summed up what she had been through and there were passages in her book about Marilyn that as of today are the only known, direct information of their friendship that for the most part, went somewhat unnoticed by the fans.
  13. MovieProfessor

    why does modern cinema stink ?

    > {quote:title=TCMfan23 you say: }{quote}to me , Hollywood films have turned to garbage. Since the 80s , movies have been getting worse and worse. At the turn of the century , Hollywood writers have run out of ideas. Having been part of the “Old Hollywood School” of sorts and now retired, I would have to say it shouldn’t be a question that modern cinema simply stinks. Like it is in life, all things change or we move on towards different directions that suit each and every generation. An example I could give over this topic pertains to a film student I once chatted with about the motion picture business. The student seemed well versed enough to understand the mechanics of movie making, but not its overall past history. In the course of our conversation, I got onto the subject of movie stars and such, mentioning the work of Jack Lemmon. When I asked the student what film of Jack’s they admired or felt was of quality, the answer was they never looked into Jack’s body of work, not finding him so variable to the current trends and that Jack was nothing more than a faint object of the past. At that moment in time, I did become a bit agitated, wondering if the student had any sense of motion picture history. What I later realized was that the student’s mode of thinking was totally in a different area, unable to link my past with their current tangibility. This I think happens regularly enough to the point that the values or interests in filmmaking change. It isn’t an easy task to remain flexible from a view of seeking new avenues to creative expression and therefore the mindset of ideas, imagery and subject matter expand to a divergent area. This is the normal way of how the situation turns out, especially since society as a whole, moves on towards changeable atmospheres of social epitomes and what is considered popular subject matter. If one has a love or devotion to certain elements and patterns of our motion picture past, there must come a condition towards understanding the differences between the past and the current flow of creativity or what essentially becomes a popular mode of filmmaking. The changes brought on by time and circumstance are just different and shouldn’t be judged so harshly, since each and every generation of moviemakers have to face all sorts of technical problems and a difference to the values society hands us along the way of how time changes our lives. There are times I might feel I miss the past and wished for a return to these certain methods of motion picture expression I was exposed to and learned from. However, in the process of growing old and becoming tolerant to accepting life’s shifting patterns, I now find it best to simply say my place in time and all its contingency was different and can’t be compared to the point of judging or feeling that my generation was so much better. Each and every different generation of the creative artistic force has its own values, it’s own place to express what they believe to be coherent to the current flow of society’s thinking. As for me, I simply have to accept that my time and place that was different is not any better or above what new and fresh ideas of expression come our way. After all, what has brought on lots of the changes to the entertainment field is technology! This I think is the underlying, missed point as to why nothing stays the same or can remain so traditional.
  14. MovieProfessor

    Marlon Brando

    > {quote:title=Lori3 you wrote: }{quote}Hi ValeskaSuratt. I am jumping in here just to put my two cents in, but I am sure the MovieProfessor will provide you with some great information. > > > > You wrote: "The definition of an actor is someone who'll stick it into anything." > > > > For example. > I read once that Errol Flynn was sharing a sexual "score" he had made with a fan, to a younger actor. Flynn stated all during the act, the woman kept saying, "oh Errol Flynn, yes, yes Errol Flynn, etc, etc." Flynn seemed a little upset with the woman, especially when he realized that she wasn't making love or having sex with Errol, the real Errol but rather with the image or star of Errol Flynn. I don't think he felt any kind of love at that time. > > > > Any ways, let see what the MovieProfessor has to say about all this. > > > > Thanks > Lori Well, in speaking of the mighty Errol Flynn, I'm now instantly reminded of hearing him hum and sing one of his all time favorite tunes. One that was in so many ways best representative of everything he came to know about his love for the profession! Some of you might remember this little ditty as Cole Porter would have said: Hi-diddle-dee-dee An actor's life for me A high silk hat and a silver cane A watch of gold with a diamond chain Hi-diddle-dee-day An actor's life is gay It's great to be a celebrity An actor's life for me Hi-diddle-dee-dum An actor's life is fun . . . Hi-diddle-dee-dee An actor's life for me A wax mustache and a beaver coat A pony cart and a billy goat Hi-diddle-dee-dum An actor's life is fun You wear your hair in a pompadour You ride around in a coach and four You stop and buy out a candy store An actor's life for me! Hi diddle dee dee An actor's life for me A high silk hat and a silver cane A watch of gold and a diamond chain Hi diddle dee dee You sleep till after two You promenade a big cigar You tour the world in a private car You dine on chicken and caviar An actor's life for me! AN ACTOR'S LIFE FOR ME! :^0
  15. MovieProfessor

    Marlon Brando

    > {quote:title=Lori3 You Wrote: . . .}{quote}there is a claim that Clifford Odets was gay or bisexual and that Brando and Odets got together. The book makes it sounds like Odets would have liked to have a deeper relationship with Julius, but it didn't happen and I am not sure why, unless Julius just said no to his good friend. > True or Hollywood gossip? You are, without a shadow of any doubt, absolutely, positively correct! This issue was years ago conveyed to me by close friends of Julius and they certainly were very credible. Odets looked upon Julius as a sort of protégé, relating to the various ways in which Odets wanted to showcase Julius, seeing him as the archetype within America's struggling social problems. Early on, it looked as if Odets was something of a "big brother" to Julius, becoming an adviser and offering his emotional support. However, Julius was a contented married man at the time. When Odets did reveal some deeper feelings, Julius simply distanced himself from Odets hidden lifestyle. They managed to some extent to remain good friends, leading right up to the time they were reunited to work together on the film "Humoresque." There are of course, different versions of these tales and rumors. It’s just the way of things that past situations become expanded upon and perhaps exaggerated. There was nothing ever so complicated about the relationship Julius would have with Odets. It ended up being one of mutual respect. > {quote:title=Lori3 You Also Mentioned: }{quote}Do not kill the messenger here Brando fans, but in the book it states that Brando (in the beginning of his career) was quite jealous of Julius. And that Kazan stated that Julius had an affair with Odets wife. I am not sure which of wife. True or Hollywood gossip? I wouldn't exactly call it any sort of personal jealously, in that Marlon wanted so much to get to know Julius and absorb the essence of his talents. This is simply a form of professional envy that has more to do with a need to feel one can be at or reach an equal plain with their idol. Julius admired Marlon to some reasonable degree, but he wasn't as amicable as Marlon would have referred. There was a rumor or stated by some that Julius did have a close relationship with Odets wife, actress Bette Grayson. The strange thing was that she died only two years later, after Julius had passed on.
  16. MovieProfessor

    Marlon Brando

    > {quote:title=Lori3 You Asked: }{quote}Now I remember reading that at Wally Cox's funeral, Brando became hysterical and took Cox's ashes way from the widow Mrs.Cox. Mrs. Cox was going to go to court to get the ashes back but she changed her mind stating Marlon Brando needs the ashes more than I do. > > Is this true or just one of those Hollywood stories? > Yes, it is sort of true, in that Marlon took charge of the situation and Wally's wife (his third) didn't want to make a public scandal out of the funeral. Marlon felt because he had know Wally longer than his wife and looked upon himself as family to Wally, it was best he be the recipient to the ashes! Marlon then hid Wally's ashes at his home, fearing that they could be stolen or a family member of Wally's might come out of the shadows and demand they be returned. There are still these conflicting reports on just what really happened to both the cremated remains of Marlon and Wally. One report says they both ended up spread in of all places Death Valley! I'm banking on the story they ended up spread over the Pacific Ocean, near the beloved island home of Marlon in Tahiti. > {quote:title=Lori3 Then You Asked:}{quote} > I also read that Brando asked Kazan if Garfield was "gay" because he went by name "Julie." Kazan sort of laughed and said. "You can't find a "more heterosexual" actor than John Garfield. > > > True or another Hollywood or maybe NY Broadway story? > GOOD QUESTION! This is my kinda stuff! Well, you may know that Marlon was in so many ways, consider the heir apparent to Julius. During Marlon’s time at the “Actor’s Studio,” there was an accentuated point to say that Julius was the first and most important exponent of “method acting” for the motion picture genre, in as much as Julius had also been a fine stage actor. It’s now believed that Marlon did take in many of the attributes to The Method first advocated by Julius. This doesn’t mean that Marlon had copied Julius, but he was after all is said and done, the foundation Marlon needed to start from, while he studied with his teacher and mentor, Stella Adler. It’s no secret to anyone who knows the history of Method Acting that at the beginning of his acting career, Marlon actually studied whatever he could about Julius, going to see his films and talk to those at the Actor’s Studio who knew Julius, especially that time early in his career, when he first started out. As Marlon was able to get noticed and acquire good parts in various plays on Broadway, he kept himself in a close proximity to the aura of Julius and many began to notice a style that reminded them of when Julius first burst upon the acting scene. However, there was a big difference between the two, a very wide gap that had more to do with a natural flow of technique to applying the Method form of acting. Julius was in many ways prone to not creating something of a gimmick towards his abilities, whereas Marlon thrived on a sort of sensationalism that he enjoyed exploiting. All of this led right up to a comparison of both actors, even in their private lives. Well, within this area, Julius was somewhat laidback and didn’t like to brag nor make any flamboyant points about his sexual prowess. Despite his having had numerous love affairs, Julius remained low keyed about this part of his life. Marlon was more open about his sexuality to the point of not exactly seeking publicity about it, but allowing rumors and hints to the whole idea he was unconventional. In the case of Julius, he had been exposed to some sort of homosexuality, but not to an extent of becoming involved with the lifestyle. He kept his distance to a level of respect. The entertainment world has always been a place with many odd and freakish people, it takes a lot of tolerance and understanding towards this environment. While I can’t say for sure that Marlon asked Kazan the question, I do know that Marlon became obsessed with Julius, knowing something of his past and because there was this comparison between both men, it stands to reason that Marlon would ask this sort of question. This comes about, due in large part to Marlon becoming a bit distorted about where the cut the line between his acting career and his private life or as he sometimes felt there was this very thin line for any Method Actor to take between the reality of his or her life and that of their acting profession. As for Julius, he was on the straight and narrow of his life, not really having experimented in areas that Marlon would later undertake and be associated with. It’s a known fact that numerous, popular Method Actor’s were either gay or bisexual. Marlon was for the early time of his career in New York somewhat bisexual. So was James Dean considerably bisexual and of course Monty Cliff was deeply entrenched in a secretive gay life. There are other actors I might mention, but it’s best to simply let it go and not be so technical over the issue. Years ago, I remember Jimmy Dean responding to a question about his sexuality and he answered, “You don’t expect me to live with one hand tied behind my back?” If Julius had been asked the same question, he would have answered, “Just ask anyone who knows me well enough and been around the block with me.” Get it?
  17. MovieProfessor

    Marlon Brando

    There was nothing ever so strange about the close kit, early friendship between Marlon and Wally Cox. It’s rather understandable because they both arrived in New York about the same time, right after the Second World War. Wally was enrolled at NYU, when he first ran into Marlon, living in Greenwich Village, where they later on shared an apartment. It’s been reported that it was Wally who encouraged Marlon to become an actor, but this I think has been widely misinterpreted. During those early, struggling years, Wally managed to get a part-time job, working in a jewelry store as a salesclerk. Meanwhile, Marlon would become the star pupil at the legendary Actor’s Studio. This led to his acquiring bit parts in various Broadway productions. Although Wally wasn’t exactly an aspiring actor, he did have an ambition to become a comedian. It’s this issue for Wally that brings into play his reaching for a performing career and thus led to his being part of Marlon’s inter circle of friends. Right after Marlon made his big sensation in “A Street Car Named Desire,” Wally began getting gigs in a few nightclubs, creating a cult following throughout the New York performing nightlife. This also led to a little career gig in radio, where Wally began to create his now famous nerdy, shy comic character that would in the following years become his trademark. Wally would always credit Marlon with having helped him seek his fame as a performer and vice versa. It was Marlon who made various suggestions to Wally on what sort of imagery to exploit and take advantage of in getting noticed. As Marlon’s stardom rose, so did Wally’s in the different, newly emerging field of television. Both their career paths went their separate ways and they did for a time, lose track of each other. It wouldn’t be until both had sort of faded away from the public spotlight of popularity, they managed somehow to rekindled their once close friendship. When Wally died in 1973, right after Marlon’s big comeback in “The Godfather,” Marlon was distraught for weeks on end. Some say Marlon never got over the death of Wally, blaming himself for having wasted so much time away from each other. He would always consider Wally like a brother, especially from an emotional level of understanding Marlon’s frailties. Those last remaining years of Wally’s life were close to Marlon, so much so, a rumor has it that when Wally died, Marlon kept his cremated ashes, to later on be scattered with his over the ocean near Marlon’s home on the islands of Tahiti! Although, this has never been clearly proven, it is a very interesting side note to a friendship that only now has been receiving some attention and wasn’t really so noticeable during their lifetimes.
  18. MovieProfessor

    RIO BRAVO

    OK FRED! NOW YOU DID IT! . . . I too consider myself a devoted fan of "Land of The Pharaohs!! No matter what others have said over so many years, about what has been criticized as a campy, crazy, over the top sort of motion picture, I simply love it! In fact, the movie has become one of the most popular cult film favorites of the 1950's. While "Rio Bravo" is looked upon as a respected, serious film of the western genre, being a rather charismatic movie, it doesn't have that certain, little piece of delirious magic of entertainment that "Land of The Pharaohs" offers. I now can't count the many times I've seen the movie! There is something to be said for a film, created out of a lightheadedness to divert one's imagination. Years back, a friend asked me how could I like or admire a film that is so speculative on history, creating a giddy atmosphere of nonsense. I replied, "Sometimes, you just have to like a movie for the fun of it and it's not such a bad movie!" B-)
  19. MovieProfessor

    Hail to the King!!!!

    > {quote:title=ValeskaSuratt You Mentioned: > For Elvis, whose childhood dream was to become an actor, the relentless and obviously valid criticism he received film after film and year after year simply could not have gone unnoticed -- or unfelt. *“Someday we’ll do it right,”* he inscribed on a photo he gave co-star Gene Nelson. > > > }{quote} Just for the Record: If you mean Gene Nelson, actor/dancer turned writer/director, he directed Elvis in "Kissin' Cousins" (1964) and "Harum Scarum" (1965).
  20. MovieProfessor

    VERTIGO BLOOPERS

    One issue that seldom gets mentioned is when Madeleine is being followed by Scottie and she enters the boarding house by way of the front door. Upon Scottie entering and asking the desk clerk ( Ellen Corby) who is the person on the second floor, he is told no one has rented the room. This is rather strange, since one has to assume Madeleine was able to bypass the desk clerk or anyone else and not be seen? Of course, there are all sorts of alternative points that could be made, as to how Madeleine snuck into the boarding house without being detected. Even more perplexing is how she’s able to simply disappear so quickly, once Scottie is shown the empty upstairs room he traced her to. Perhaps one point I’ve heard is that the lady desk clerk could be in cahoots with the deceptive Madeleine. The problem with the situation and finding a rational explanation as to why she is not being seen or detected is that Madeleine has made this a daily routine of arriving at the house that was once the home of the dead woman that is presumed to have possessed her soul. So, how is it she can so easily slip by anyone within the confines of the house?
  21. MovieProfessor

    Hail to the King!!!!

    It’s a known fact that Elvis wasn’t really in any shape or form, able to be in Streisand’s anticipated Rock Music remake of “A Star is Born.” Aside from his health problems was the issue of billing or who was the real star of the picture. This I think was what influenced or induced Colonel Tom Parker to finally intervene and put a stop to Elvis moving ahead with Streisand’s idea to have the King of Rock & Roll in the project. Barbra’s then boyfriend and co-producer for the remake, Jon Peters, got involved in this campaign to sway Elvis away from the clutches of the Colonel. Peter’s offered Elvis an incredible amount of money to simply take second billing. Actually, the situation would have had Streisand not receiving any outright payment, other than she being a co-producer would share in a vast amount of the overall box-office profits. Therefore, the only obstacle in the way of Elvis appearing in “A Star is Born” was who would receive "TOP BILLING" or be considered the biggest draw on behalf of the project. Well, it doesn’t take much to figure out that this was after all, a vehicle for Barbra to sort of widen her musical appeal, as the changes in pop music were in a constant flux and she didn’t want to become a sort of throwback to that time period of the Golden Age of the Movie Musical. Cleverly, she and boyfriend Peters conceived this idea to expand upon an already proven and popular storyline of the entertainment world. The two previous filmed versions had become dramatic-musical symbols to their respected generation of devoted fans. It was Barbra’s feeling she could rekindle this already utilized format to a new, younger generation of movie audiences. Barbra was certainly at the time, still one of the top, leading performers of American Show Business. She could have stamped her name on just about any major project and have it underway in no time. In asking Elvis to co-star, he too would have something different and fashionable to consider for his career status. As Barbra and Peters did their best to convince Elvis, before the obstinate hand of the mighty Colonel would swing into action, Elvis became somewhat agitated to the point of not wanting to say yes, but not being able to simply outright say NO. While he struggled with his thoughts over the matter at his home in the Hollywood hills, there was one person he needed to speak to about the situation. He then ran over to the arms and comfort of his ex-wife Priscilla to seek her advice. Wisely, Priscilla broadened the whole circumstance for Elvis, by implying he needed a change, something new and fresh for his own sake to then move his career into an innovative direction. Priscilla pleaded that he reconsider the matter of the billing and take for the first time in his motion picture career, the second lead. Along the way of discussing what position to take, Priscilla stood up to Elvis, imploring he would have to relinquish part of his ego that was also a hindrance to his taking on the project. She offered to be at his side and help him get into shape for what she truly believed would have been a turning point to his life, as much as to his career! In the end, old Colonel Parker managed to get control, by way of the various contractual agreements Elvis had made for his concert tours. This meant a change in the schedule would have been next to impossible, unless Elvis decided to break away from the tight grip of the Colonel. As Elvis remained in this confused state of mind, as much as he was suffering from bouts of binge eating and fatigue, it made it all easy enough for the Colonel to swipe Elvis away from Hollywood and back to Memphis, where he could then have him prepare for another series of successful concert tours and later on back into the recording studio. Colonel Parker played upon the fallible ego of Elvis, by reminding his prized possession he wasn’t about to see him being treated as or placed into a secondary position for a major film that would have had Elvis in a role that was desolate and dispiriting. It also wouldn‘t be so fair to solely blame the Colonel for what was ultimately a decision that Elvis could have made in favor of moving away from his stagnant music career. Perhaps another issue may have been that his role in the movie, would have come rather close towards an open reflection to his then current life that wasn't getting very good publicity at the time! All we can do now is wonder, if Elvis could have pulled it off. Rumor has always had it that Barbra was willing to wait at any cost for Elvis to finally come around. She knew the power of his stardom and what it could have meant in terms of generating a massive amount of interest. Yet, I can’t help but feel, Elvis couldn’t see Barbra’s appeal or what it might have been able to do for him! In these passing years, no matter what, most critics believe Elvis couldn’t have made a difference to a film that was later looked upon as “A Bore is Starred.”
  22. MovieProfessor

    Had Marilyn Lived

    As Always . . . *Thanks Lori* and to everybody else for your support and understannding. I will admit that I have a tendency of going over the deep end on some of the subject matter. I'll try and be a little laid-back and share with everyone our love of the movies and the stars. P.S. I'll be getting to Julius in a few days . . . You know how I feel about him and there's a lot I will want to say.
  23. MovieProfessor

    Had Marilyn Lived

    Thanks Jake . . . You're OK In My Book, simply because you speak your mind and take great interest in the various subjects at hand.
  24. MovieProfessor

    Had Marilyn Lived

    Oh well, I just got a little bit emotional on this subject, since I was around at the time it all happened. Anyway, I won't respond to any questions about what I've written or said in my reply. It's all just an overly long opinion on my part. B-)
  25. MovieProfessor

    Had Marilyn Lived

    This might be a very tough question to answer. Since it’s been well documented that Marilyn was on a self-destructive course at around the time she passed away, the question of what might have happened had she not died becomes rather superficial. It’s doubtful that Joe D. coming back into her life would have saved her. There are still so many unanswered questions about those early months, before her death. Most of everyone in the film community, knew she was on the edge of trying to keep her sanity. The sad thing about Marilyn was her refusal to see just where her future in the business and perhaps her life would go. Everything about her during that period before she was presumably found dead was in a chaotic state. Nothing about Marilyn was ever very simple or easy to understand. She lived for the moment, pressing upon this urge of keeping alive the only way of life she came to know. The problem was that this life or career she believed was important to her was in a constant flux of indecisions, overbearing attitudes, unreliable professional characteristics that in the end finally consumed her and most likely drove her off the deep edge. Meanwhile, Joe D. was there for her. In fact, he was about the only one who wanted to take charge or at least try and make Marilyn see that her frantic pace wasn’t exactly so healthy. It was all too late, since Marilyn was just too dependent upon pills for energy, pills to wake-up, pills to sleep, until she simply couldn’t due without her daily and nightly fix! Her greatest of all trauma was a need to want to find a way to rest and be able to drift off into a peaceful tranquil state of mind. By 1962, this was nothing more than a tragic pipedream gone mad with delusions beyond ever finding any sort of sanctity. She was to put it plainly, burnt out. Even though she had managed to somehow convince the studio to take her back and try to finish her work on the last movie she was hoping to appear in, it’s doubtful she could have handled herself well enough to make it work towards a final analysis of having some sanity. I’ve always believed, Joe D. knew her number was up. Despite her having been forgiven by the studio for constantly being late on the set of the movie, she was never really prepared to the point of forgetting her lines and over extending the period of time to shoot the picture. There were times she was like a walking time-bomb, while other times she would get into a childlike phase, acting helpless and pleading for understanding and some emotional support. During that short period she worked on her last, uncompleted film, “Something’s Got To Give,” her co-star Dean Martin kept up with a steady flow of comfort for Marilyn. Point here is that when she wasn’t with Joe D., Dean filled in the necessary gaps to her emotional state of mind, especially on the set of the movie they were making together. When Marilyn got fired, Dean even refused to complete the picture with another actress. To this day, I also believe, like Joe D., Dean knew Marilyn was in big trouble. In later years, Dean never wanted to discuss his relationship with Marilyn and what he might have known those last several weeks of her life. When asked, Dean always changed the subject and never reflected on anything or gave a hint of his feelings on the matter of her death. Most of the theories on how she may have died leads to a never ending mystery of “The Kennedy’s” and what, if anything, they might have had a hand in or did both Jack and Bobby gone to extremes that aren’t very pleasant to discuss or even think about. Certainly, Marilyn was involved in some way with these titans of America’s political past. As to just how close it all was has never been clearly revealed and while the speculation favor’s that Marilyn was deeply associated to both men, this situation has now entered the realm of an urban myth! Perhaps one of the most striking of all theories leads to a possible diary Marilyn kept with entries that would have been believed to be touchy and uncomfortable for the public at large to contemplate about the Kennedy family. Assuming the dairy really existed, it’s now believed by many, the diary contained controversial political information that was shared with Marilyn. If this be the case, it could be very likely her death wasn’t exactly such a typical accident of a drug infested, pill taking user. This mystery of her death becomes a focus of a dispute, due in large part to Joe D. coming back into her life and settling some issues for her, as well as the studio bringing Marilyn back and subsequently paying her the highest money deal of any movie star up to that time; it was a whopping “two picture agreement,” at one million dollars each! This situation is believed to hinder the whole idea that she was on the down and out or would have committed suicide. Still, her frame of mind wasn’t on a clear mode of practicality and she continued to suffer from her typical bouts of depression. Whether or not this is enough to say she committed suicide or even accidentally took her own life can never be resolved. All the secrets or those who held them are gone and now a constant myth about her life and death drifts within this never ending limbo of conjecture. Upon her death, the funeral would be justifiably controlled by Joe D., who didn’t invite any of the noted Hollywood crowd that had known Marilyn nor did he want to create a spectacle out of the services. However, it would be the usual press and fans that couldn’t be kept away and thus several thousand people showed up outside the chapel. Even in death, Marilyn wasn’t about to go out on a lonely binge or private sort of circumstance. The disgusted and distressed look on Joe D.’s face said it all. Maybe he knew all along what the outcome would be and from that time on, he severed all his ties to Hollywood and from those who might have considered themselves a friend to Marilyn. In a final analysis of what Joe D. might have known about Marilyn in the last year of her life, there comes into focus an incident that at first went somewhat unnoticed to only later become something of a revelation to many who have speculated on just what might have happened to her. This event occurred six years later, in of all appropriate places, in the middle of the Yankee Stadium! It was a typical “old-timer’s day” and Joe D. was one of the honored guests. Upon his being announced and he walked to the middle of the dark green, grassy spot just above where second-plate lie, Joe D. was to be received and congratulated by a line of distinguished dignitaries. As Joe D. began to move down the line, when he got to the very end, there was Bobby Kennedy, who had just began his Presidential campaign, standing, ready to shake Joe D’s. hand. Well, in a move that was somewhat unexpected, Joe D. simply walked away and shunned the Presidential candidate. He did not in any form or shape, acknowledge the celebrated senator of New York State. The next day, there was little mention of what happened in the press, but as the years have moved on and even film footage of the incident has been found, this pretty much signifies to many, a possible conflict that existed between Joe D. and the Kennedy’s due to Marilyn. Of course, some will say that Joe D. was just a plain and simple Republican, but from all perspectives, there had to have been something uneasy, a deeper dark meaning to what went down on that fateful day Joe D. was so cold and indifferent to Bobby Kennedy. Joe D. would never get over Marilyn. She was in a strange and obscured way the greatest love of his life. Here was this national, beloved sports figure, who could have had just about any woman he wanted or ask for and he ended up emotionally distraught with what turned out to be a beautiful train-wreck! In the following years, as Joe D. continued on with his commercial and business interests, he changed towards becoming something of an emotionally frigid person; this was especially the case, when he shunned his only son, who later on became a drug addict and died homeless. He found little time in trusting most of the people who tried to surround him. There was a lonely, distant demeanor to Joe D. in those passing years, making it very difficult at times to approach him, despite what many of his fans still felt was this dignified figure. He might have been able to hide some of the past pains of his life, but throughout those remaining years, a passion to living was gone. After his death, it was said by a few of his close friends that he kept a pile of letters Marilyn had written to him during their courtship and even after their separation. It’s the correspondence after they both separated and before she died that was said to have been quite interesting, if not, serious enough for Joe D. to share and make a point that Marilyn wasn’t so hard-headed and gone off the deep end. Joe D. was said to sometimes read aloud the letters to these most trusted confidants and these individuals were far and in between, the very few he had during the remainder of his lifetime. His inter circle of companions was for the most part, never so openly revealed and therefore it’s anybody’s guess as to who they might have been for the long term, after Marilyn’s death! Since his death, the letters have mysteriously disappeared or at least have never been found. While it’s doubtful this personal correspondence may have anything so damaging, it probably makes mention of events and places that would have some speculation as to enlightening the various theories on what was going on those last weeks before Marilyn’s was found dead. It’s tough to say what really drove Joe D. to be so devoted to Marilyn, regardless of her numerous misgivings and an attitude that at times wasn’t on the straight and narrow. Many have asked if his love had turned to pity? If so, this is the worse kind of love, because it becomes a “one way street,” where one gives of their-self, while the other doesn’t give as much. The one who receives the love remains distant, not really taking in what is given. If by any chance, the other does appear to be receptive, it only comes in phases, never being so complete. So, when these two mighty titans of the media world decided on rekindling something of their past relationship, it was on Marilyn’s terms, allowing her to continue on with her film work and Joe D. would remain in the background, always waiting, always there with his tall, strong shoulder for her to lean upon. There were times Joe D. was warned to let her go and that she was too far gone and dangerous. But his love for her would never falter. Sadly, this agreement between the two, towards reaching some sort of understanding came all too late and the odds had in a technical and emotional way of thinking, always been stacked up against it ever having a chance to really worked out. My main point here is to respond on the opinion that Marilyn was doomed long before she made it to the motion picture screen. She had no real, solid future to speak of in the sense of how her life reads like a series of brash, hopeless events, peppered in a seasonal strife of emotional hardships and not much logic towards ever understanding her desires to what she wanted out of life. Yet, I can’t help but think, she failed at not finding herself or who she really was and in the end who she had to be. She feared growing old. Marilyn couldn’t have coped with the physical changes to her persona that had been the main focal point to her career and success. She had in so many ways abused what she had so cleverly created. Her recklessness simply overwhelmed what was left of her sanity. Perhaps this is why she began to open up to Joe D. and have him around for some sort of support as she surely needed it those last months of her life. He was a reminder of what lie ahead, in the sense that his career as a major league ball player was long gone and he had to face the enviable. No matter how hard Joe D. may have tried to get some sense into the mindset of Marilyn, it was from all angles to what she had become, never going to succeed or find some outlet. She had no future to speak of and in asking the “what if” question on Marilyn is technically so frivolous, because her actions, attitude and poor health, pretty much meant she was headed into the dark shades of the Abyss. There was no way out . . . She was trapped in this polluted cerebral mess that she had a large part in creating and it all backfired on her, as she lost control of everything so vital to keeping her stable enough to be considered sane. The madness that consumed Marilyn is that of fame and wanting too much, too quick, with not understanding the important goals and responsibilities one has to stay solidly fixed upon. Joe D. was the one who understood this issue and while he might have spent a lot of time trying to sway Marilyn into comprehending her frailties, his was just about as bad as hers, in that Joe D. was simply drained by his love for this woman. There’s an old saying that an over extended amount of hope for love can kill the spirit and not make it see beyond any logic. In Joe D.’s case, he did go the full distance, only to see all his hopes run dry and finally that emotional held flame in his heart gave out, extinguished forever. His life and attitude changed in a very idiosyncratic way, when he received the news she had died. Joe D. would always be reminded of his feelings for Marilyn, by that old blues song, entitled “I’ll Never Be The Same.” It was said to be a song he so deeply identified with and kept it within the framework of his mind, until the day he died. The tune goes . . . *I'll never be the same* *Gals have lost their meaning for me . . .* *I'll never be the same* *Nothin's what it once used to be . . .* *And when the song birds that sing* *Tell me it's spring* *I can't believe their song . . .* *Once love was king* *But kings can be wrong!* *I'll never be the same* *There is such an ache in my heart . . .* *I'll never be the same* *Since we're apart . . .* *But there's a lot that a smile can hide* *And I know deep down inside* *I'll never be the same . . .* *Never be the same again.*

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