TomJH

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About TomJH

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    I know what gold does to men's souls.
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  1. Well there's a lot to read here, Lawrence, but I hope I got it right.. In summary: a drunken Gable drove his car into a tree, a branch of the tree striking a pedestrian. MGM executives rushed the pedestrian to a hospital, where he had his teeth capped and ears fixed. Charles Higham, in later writing about the incident, said that the pedestrian was, in fact, a Nazi spy who made love to Joan Crawford. Of course, I could have my facts wrong but it's as good as story as anyone else's.
  2. This Warners short, Alice In Movieland, was David Bruce's first acting assignment. He is unbilled but does have a few lines of dialogue, first appearing at the 13:07 mark, then again, starting at 14:23, when his character plays a mean joke on a young aspiring actress. She will then ball him out. Ironically, considering the subject matter of this thread, this short is about a small town contest winner who comes to Hollywood with the hopes of becoming a film star. The short was designed as a tryout by the studio for the up-and-coming Joan Leslie in the lead role. Leslie and Bruce's careers would take divergent paths, with she becoming a popular star at the studio for a few years. As for David Bruce, well, how many of you had heard of him before reading this thread?
  3. From Wikipedia: Errol Flynn song Amanda McBroom says that the lyrics to her song about her father, Errol Flynn, are "absolutely" true, including that Errol Flynn was one of Bruce's best friends."[6] Amanda McBroom confirms that excessive drinking "destroyed him for a while."[6] The lyric that Bruce "died with his boots on" does not refer to the Errol Flynn movie (which Bruce did not appear in) but rather to the manner in which David Bruce died, on a film set as a working actor.[6] While Amanda's song is about her father and others who never achieved the heights in the film industry, if you take a look at those song lyrics, a few of them (the "disappointments and bourbon", "the stars they keep falling") even applies to the likes of Flynn, as well.
  4. You're right, Wayne. I find the song so extraordinarily moving. Amanda's song speaks so poignantly to all the lesser lights in show business, and the pride their families can still feel for their struggles, along with reflection on their heartbreaks. I love the feeling, as well eloquence, of Amanda's performance of this song which, at its heart, I find to be achingly sad. And I think that some of the lyrics of the song are worth repeating here: Now fame is fleeting, And the stars they keep falling, And staying right up there, That's the business of art. And luck kisses some, And she passes by others, Disappointment and bourbon are hard on the heart. Now the women and beers and the years with old Errol, They took their toll and took me from his sight, He kissed me goodbye at the old Union Station, That's the last time I saw him, The last time I cried. Now I'm sitting alone in a house in Reseda, Watching the late show while the moonlight shines in, And upon the screen, well, here comes my Daddy, It's a sad, funny feeling, Now I'm older than him. So you Daddies and daughters, You sons and your mothers, Remember life's over before it begins, So love one another and stand close together, As close as my Dad did to old Errol Flynn.
  5. Where Is Barack Obama?

    "If he sees this picture of me laughing with you, it'll kill him. Let's do this more often."
  6. I've noticed David Bruce in a few films over the years. To be honest, though, I could barely recognize him when he appeared in Flynn's Don Juan. But I was really touched by the lyrics of his daughter's song, as well as the pride she displays as she pays tribute to her Daddy. Show business can be pretty cold and cruel, and her song touches upon that, without dwelling upon it in bitterness. I suspect that a lot of people who knew someone who never "made it" in the business can really identify with these lyrics. I hope posters will take a moment to listen to Amanda McBroom's song tribute.
  7. David Bruce. It's a name that may ring a few bells of recognition for a small handful of film buffs, a handsome actor who appeared in a number of Hollywood productions during the '40s and early '50s, often fourth or fifth billed, never, somehow, getting the right breaks to become a front ranked star, though the talent was there. His first Hollywood role was at Warner Brothers as a pirate aboard Errol Flynn's ship, the Albatross, in 1940's The Sea Hawk. Warners would cast him in largely inconsequential roles. By 1943 he appeared in The Mad Ghoul, a George Zucco "B" at Universal, playing a zombie. One of his best opportunities was in 1945 when Universal cast him as leading man to Deanna Durbin in Lady on a Train. Bruce was attractive and engaging in his light leading man duties here, but soon Universal changed into Universal-International, letting many of its actors go, including Bruce, and employment for him became spotty. David Bruce was a man who made friends easily, and old pal Errol Flynn gave him a helping hand in 1948 by getting him cast in Flynn's own star vehicle, Adventures of Don Juan. Bruce was looking heavier now and his part was chopped in the editing room to just one scene, unfortunately. By the early '50s Bruce was doing television work in various shows (Cisco Kid, Wild Bill Hickok, etc.) and supporting roles in a few minor films. Frustrated with a career that just wasn't going anywhere, Bruce gave up acting in 1954 to become a copywriter, eventually becoming an advertising executive. Tragedy struck David Bruce in 1960 when his wife was diagnosed with having a brain tumor, dying of cancer two years later. His 16 year old daughter, Amanda, went to live with her aunt in Texas, while Bruce, in coping with his loss, traveled extensively for his company. He also began to drink a lot. In 1969 Amanda returned to California, reuniting with her father as she tried to have an acting career of her own. And, through her support, Bruce was able to curb his drinking problem. The two lived in separate apartments on the same street in North Hollywood. Through her influence she also got her father to return to acting, something he still missed after all those years. There was some television work in the 1975-76 season (Barnaby Jones) and then, for the first time in 22 years, a film role in a production called Moving Violation. On the day that filming wrapped Bruce collapsed of a heart attack on the film set, was rushed to a hospital and died that same day, May 3, 1976. He was 60. Whatever his own frustrations with a show business career may have been, David Bruce still encouraged his daughter, Amanda McBroom, to seek her own artistic path as an actress. She became a very successful composer-singer, appearing in night spots and clubs in New York and San Francisco. Among her accomplishments was the song, "Errol Flynn," posted below. It's a loving tribute from a daughter to a father who never quite made it to the top. The song was co-written by Gordon Hunt, father of actress Helen. The song is bittersweet and touching, quite beautifully sung by Amanda. Clearly this is a song that comes from the heart. There's love and there's ache here. I wish David Bruce could have heard it.
  8. I Just Watched...

    I never heard that Ford thought his own How Green Was My Valley was not as good as Hawks' Sergeant York. I've never been much of a fan of the sentimental Ford film and much prefer the Hawks film myself.
  9. Cry Danger is worthy of a repeat. It will be interesting to hear what Eddie Muller has to say about it. This was Dick Powell's last tough guy role and he also worked as uncredited producer on the film. Powell also allowed Richard Erdman to have the best part in the film, with some of the best dialogue in a film full of good one liners. As an illustration of Powell's lack of ego as an actor take a look at a scene in a trailer featuring Erdman and himself. Erdman, who plays a drinker, has a bit in which he pours a glass of milk for himself, plays around with a sandwich which he finally rejects, and pours the glass of milk back into its container. All the time this is happening Powell lies on a bunk in the background staring at the ceiling. He doesn't do a thing to distract or remind you "the star" of the film is there. He lets Erdman have this good little scene all to himself because Powell, the producer, knew it would be a better film for it.
  10. I Just Watched...

    They might not have appeared in Cabin in the Sky but here is a clip of the remarkable Nicholas Brothers doing "Jumpin' Jive" accompanied by Cab Calloway and his orchestra in Stormy Weather. It just doesn't get any better than this, folks.
  11. Interestingly, as a kid I had a thing for Donna Reed on her television show, as well.
  12. Saturday April 21 10 am (EST) Tarzan Triumphs (1943) The first and, for my money, best of the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzans once the series moved from MGM to RKO. This one has much war time propaganda, with the Germans invading the African jungle and Tarzan, initially, acting like an isolationist. There was much cheering in the theatres at the time when Tarzan, having had enough of Nazi atrocities, suddenly declared while walking towards the camera, "Now, TARZAN make war!" This was also one of two Tarzan films in which there was no Jane, Maureen O'Sullivan having left the series with the last of the MGMs. As a substitute for her, RKO cast beautiful Frances Gifford, fresh off her serial success as Nyoka in Jungle Girl. Not only was Gifford lovely to behold with an innocent sexuality but she had a warm and appealing screen personality (quite frankly, far more so than Maureen O'Sullivan, for my money). As a young boy watching Tarzan Trumphs repeatedly on television I fell seriously in love with this actress. It was only later that I learned of the tragedy of Gifford's life. She was in a car accident in 1947, with head injuries serious enough that her acting career was put on hold for a few years. Later those head injuries are said to have contributed to mental health issues, to the extent that the actress was institutionalized in mental health facilities off and on for 25 years starting in 1958. In 1983 Gifford was found working as a librarian in Pasadena, CA.. Her final years were lived in obscurity, dying of emphysema in a convalescent centre at age 73. So here's hats off to a beautiful lady in Tarzan Triumphs, years before a road accident would change her life forever.
  13. Not in Canada. This country happens to be sane. And forget the landslide fantasy involving Trump and anybody else. Right now he is even having difficulty getting fellow Republicans to endorse him as their 2020 candidate. After the 2018 mid terms it will be even worse for him. Hope you don't stay up late too many nights worrying if a woman will take your job away.
  14. It's interesting how some men clearly uncertain of themselves (their finances, in particular) feel threatened by women in the workplace and anyone who calls him or herself a feminist.
  15. I Just Watched...

    The Sea God (1930) Early Paramount talkie set in the South Seas, about a pair of roughnecks (Richard Arlen and Robert Glecker), rivals in gambling, as well as for a woman, who both eventually get immersed in a competitive race for sunken pearls in the Solomon Islands. Glecker is the sneering boss of a collection of roughneck gofers who assist him, while Arlen's main companion is played by Eugene Pallette. Fay Wray is the girl caught between the two men. This is a surprisingly entertaining little adventure, involving underseas diving off an island inhabited by cannibals. There must be something producers found appealing about casting Fay Wray as a lady in distress on a South Seas island. Both The Most Dangerous Game and King Kong would soon be around the film corner for her. Glecker is not a name that many will recognize but his face will ring a bell, I'm sure, for many old film buffs. There's not too much subtlety in his villainy, while Richard Arlen is serviceable as the leading man. Fay Wray is appealing, as usual, and gets to do a little screaming. Seeing her captured by cannibals will provide an instant flash forward to when she will be in a similar situation on Skull Island. Eugene Pallette is fun as "Square Deal," Arlen's friend, who becomes indignant any time he is accused by his pal of being fat, insisting, instead, he possesses athletic muscle. A modest little film, its island scenes have a certain primitive appeal, further benefiting from the occasional nice photographic image. I had never heard of The Sea God until coming across a video of it on rarefilmm.com. The two screen snapshots above are both from the print of the film available on the website. 2.5 out of 4

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