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What I did.....

I arrived in California on Friday, April 22 in order to do research for a biography. I was busy from the minute I landed....


Flowers are blooming fuchsia everywhere.....


I arrived at LAX and picked up my car. (Avoid Dollar Rent-a-Car, please!




Went directly to the Margaret Herrick Library to do research for a project I'm working on.



I stopped to enjoy the wonderful exhibit honoring actor Gregory Peck in lobby. The black and white photographs chronicling aspects of his career were lovely, and I must have spent 10 minutes watching some of his home movies at the screen near the elevator. (Taking and sharing these photos is a "MUST NOT.")


Visited for a few minutes with Corliss, who greeted me at the entrance when I arrived, picked up my key, and secured my bag in the locker room. (Researchers are only allowed to bring in paper and pencil, and sometimes a laptop. No photos are allowed, but you can make copies of all your photos and articles if they have clearance.)



Personable author Jeremy Arnold (a snazzy, snappy dresser BTW), with one of his favorite fans in the lobby of the Hollywood Roosevelt during Arnold's book signing event- 52 Must- See Movies and Why They Matter, a TCM Running Press publication. Book signings in the lobby are a "MUST" for me. :D


I steeped myself in the Core Collection and researched the database on one of the computers, and then I saw Jeremy Arnold quietly doing research for his next project. After about 4 and a half hours of work, I went to eat at my favorite place near the library, La Provence on La Peer.


Had the Mexican Cobb salad and the stunningly fresh veggie-tomato soup with slivers of crusty French bread.



A lovely lady invited me to sit with her, and we began chatting while she waited for her takeout order.

I told her about my research project, and she explained that she was a producer working with some of her writers for a project in development. After she left, I finished my dinner, and bought some divine meringues and an apple tart for "later."



After dinner, I headed to Trader Joe's to purchase some snacks and some coffee, then on to a friend's swankienda where I will be staying. After unpacking, we discussed events at the upcoming TCM Film Festival, and I reviewed some of the research I did at the library.


Loved working in the backyard and looking up at this tree from time to time..


Then I made some phone calls, engaged in social media for a bit, and then took a nice, warm shower, and snuggled into my jams for some rest to recharge while reading before slumbering away in LA.....


Up Next in a few days...Saturday, April 23.

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May we know who your subject is. Or is that a secret. If so, totally understand. Sounds exciting though.


Love the picture of the tree below. I have some dandy pictures of same that I took in my local park (Balboa Park, San Diego) Are those elephant trees? I believe the stump of elephants trees resemble the foot of the elephant and then, uh, branches out as it scales the heights.



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Let me keep it a secret for now. I do have lots of friends who are writers, and I'm still in "development," but I can tell you it's someone who hasn't ever been the subject of a biography,


Thank you for asking! As soon as I've moved the project along, I'll certainly share more about it.


As for the palm-like tree in the photo, I am not sure of the specific flora and fauna designation.

I just know I loved it!


Thanks so much, lafitte, for your interest and comments!

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I have some very sad news to report.


Our friends, Theresa Madere Barrera (Butterscotch) and her husband Joe, had been expecting a blessed event this June. Unfortunately, Baby James Barrera did not survive the delivery process, and passed away last Thursday. A funeral will be held at their church near their home. If you are friends with Theresa on Facebook, you can express condolences on her personal page. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time of grief.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In recognition of Olivia de Havilland's centenary celebration on July 1st, classic film fans around the world are honoring her. Here's how:




Don't forget to tune in to TCM on July 1st when Olivia de Havilland's Star of the Month tribute begins!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just clicked onto this thread and saw the sad news about "Scotchie" and her husband losing their expected son.  I miscarried at least once, possibly twice, during my "marriage" and have a idea of what they must be feeling.  I knew that CineMaven was a fellow Theresa but not Scotchie.  I don't mind sharing the name but not the experience; I'm praying for them both.  

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How movers, shakers, mobsters, and dreamers created the Las Vegas Strip and transformed a dusty, lackluster desert into an oasis for guys and dolls flush with the blush of good times…







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Currently enjoying Lou Gossett, Jr.'s Guest Programming visit with Ben.

Here's Lou on the TCM Film Festival Red Carpet this year, a wonderful man who answered all journalist's questions and spoke with several camera crews.

(Photo courtesy of Sue Sue)


During the intro, I'd discovered that Lou Gossett, Jr. had been good friends with Sidney Poitier and Vic Morrow, and had been considered for a role in the Blackboard Jungle.Touch of Evil is on now, soon to be folowed by Lifeboat, and then Night of the Hunter!

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Well, there's a great big, empty space in my heart. Tuesdays and Wednesdays on TCM just won't be the same without...Keith Carradine. If anyone feels the same way, maybe this article can help...




Not only has he been a fabulous host, he also is a wonderful musician. Wouldn't we enjoy seeing him introduce Roberrt Altman's NASHVILLE at the next TCM Film Festival in 2017?



He's purty smooth. And....he's purty! :-)


I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the iconic and rarely screened Westerns this July. Thanks, TCM!

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It's here! TCM's annual Summer Under the Stars!

Linkdom: http://www.tcm.com/this-month/?ecid=subnavmonthhighlights



Lucy was always ahead of the trends. Before RVing was a national pastime, Lucy had a honeymoon with Desi, a mobile home, and an unstable rock collection from everywhere she traveled. Who doesn't enjoy personalized souvenirs?


Don't miss our favorite rollicking redhead today on TCM's Summer Under The Stars!



Henna rinse and hilarity all day long!

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It's Esther Williams' Summer Under The Stars Celebration today!


Do you know where your bathing suit is?


Pool your resources and find some time to enjoy a cool splash during the long, hot summer!


Esther Williams and Betty Garrett were both revered, special guests at the TCM Film Festtival in 2010 for a poolside screening of "Neptune's Daughter" at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and Ben Mankiewcz had the privilege of interviewing them before the film began.


Also, a special treat was included! All passholders attending the screening were lucky enough to enjoy a synchronised swimming exhibition by the lovely Aqualillies....




Betty Garrett and Esther Williams poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt with the Aqualillies in 2010...



Media mogul Ted Turner receives his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame accompanied by Ann Rutherford, Cora Sue Collins, Betty Garrett, Margaret O'Brien, and Esther Williams in April of 2004...



"Neptune's Daughter" will be screened late tonight or early in the a.m. depending on your time zone. Check it out here: http://www.tcm.com/schedule/





"The evening was cool, and even though I was wearing my coat, I was chilly. As I was making my way through the large crowd, I found my vintage-clad friends, Countess De Lave and her sister, Miss Lilacs. We all sat at a table and ordered something tasty and warm. I had coffee with B&B. All around the pool area by the bar, several toasty fires were blaring in metal "kivas" to keep everyone warm.


The lights made by the fires and the illumination on the palm trees reflected in the pool water made lovely shadows that sort of twinkled everywhere, depending upon where someone was seated. Up above the pool area, the large column of rooms of Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was visible, bathed in a sort of amber light.


The screen was at one end of the pool, by the shallow end, and the synchronized swimmers, the Aqualillies, had just begun to arrive.


Genevieve McGillicuddy, the director of the festival, steps on the stage and welcomes everyone, followed by applause, and then she introduces Ben Mankiewicz, and he then greets Betty Garrett and Esther Williams on stage followed by more applause.


And when Ben sees that Esther Williams is in a wheelchair, he quietly moves an extra chair out of the way. A very considerate act of kindness to accommodate the ladies. Esther and Betty are smiling and acting very happy to be at the Festival. Esther claims that "Everything sounds better under water," and Betty, who seems to be having a cold, has a little hoarseness in her speech, and states that she can't hear everything, but if if someone says something bad, she'll find out about it and "whack you later." Cute. Spunky. I like it.


Even though Esther Williams was in a wheelchair, she seemed in good health and quite perky. She was wearing a red sequined full-length sheath and sparkled when she spoke. Still a feisty gal, Esther still has her bathing suit business because the Aqualillies were sporting her little red swimsuits and she made note of it. The lovely synchornized swimmers had a great show, doing some of the same Esther Aquatics we've known and loved, and they received a large round of applause.


Betty Garrett was so cute, too, and seemed quite energetic. Esther left shortly after the film began, and so did Betty.


But after the movie started, and the double duets of the Academy-Award winning song, "Baby, It's Cold Outside," with Esther and Ricardo Montalban, and Betty and Red Skelton came on, Betty stepped back out on her patio from her private cabana and was watching this sequence wistfully. As many of the viewers around the area saw her standing there, they turned and gave her a round of applause, and as she teared up, she smiled sweetly and disappeared again into her suite.


Lots of folks were wearing their coats because, baby, it really was cold outside! But the Hollywood Roosevelt had several huge, round metal fireplaces warming everyone up. I was still in my full-length Chinese dress with the mandarin collar and stretched out on one of the deck chairs and finished sipping my coffee and brandy while I enjoyed Ricardo, Betty, Esther, and Red up on the silver screen at the end of the pool. I was able to be with my new friends, Kyle, Countess De Lave, Miss Lilacs and lzcutter for this wonderful close to a great first day at the festival."

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Robert Henrey, the young star of "The Fallen Idol," on the TCM Film Festival 2016 Red Carpet. Henrey told me he was amazed at the enduring popularity of this 1948 film.


I just enjoyed "The Heiress," again. One of my wise and witty #TCMParty friends pointed out that in the final scene as Catherine ascends the staircase while Morris is beating frantically on the door, she "rejects two men, and walks towards the light." Very succinct. And the rumor is that one of Robert Osborne's favorite lines is when Olivia says,"Bolt the door, Mariah." Hope you had a chance to enjoy this fabulous film during the Summer Under the Stars Celebration tonight. We've been having lots of rain, thunder, and lightening here as the system that flooded Louisiana moves our way. But a perfect night to screen "The Heiress!"


Up next on TCM's fabulous Summer Under The Stars:


The continuing tribute to Sir Ralph Richardson in his prime in a particularly memorable performance, "The Fallen Idol."


Sue Sue News...


I've been invited to introduce "The Philadelphia Story" at the McKinney Classic Film Festival next weekend

Read more about it here:



If this upcoming festival in 2017 is on your special events list, and I do hope it is, you might want to be on alert. Last year's festival dates were announced on Wednesday, August 26....


See you in the funny papers!

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Idol in free fall. The kiddo doesn't know what to make of it. The are a number of these furtive glances in this scene. A wonderful way to show what he is feeling.


Best child performance ever?

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It's definitely one of the best. I adored listening to Robert Henrey share his experiences on the set of "The Fallen Idol." Festival host Cari Beauchamp asked him some good, though-provoking questions. Of course, he stated that he never would have believed he'd still be talking about his experiences in 2016!

(Henrey's wife also accompanied him from his home in Connecticut.)


Somewhere on that list should be Patty McCormack in "The Bad Seed," Margaret O'Brien as Tootie in "Meet Me In St. Louis," Virginia Wiedler in "The Philadelphia Story," and the wonderful "Cinema Paradiso," whose star, Salvatore Cascio, I met several times at the TCM Film Fest this year as his room was directly across the hall from mine, and at least one Shirley Temple. And I'm sure there must be other worthy performances that escape me at this time.

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Executive Director, iLearn Research


Dr. Richard L. Edwards received his Ph.D. in Critical Studies from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. He is the co-author of The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism (University Press of New England, 2011). He is the co-host of the long running podcast series, Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir. Dr. Edwards previously taught 2015's TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir. This is his second course collaboration with TCM and Canvas Network. As Executive Director of Ball State's iLearn Research, Edwards specializes in teaching and learning innovations for online and blended education. He is also a big fan of comedy in the movies."




If you enjoyed "Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir," you just might be the right candidate for this free, online course.


Here's a description:


"This Autumn, you'll fall for... slapstick.


We invite movie lovers, comedy fans, and online learners from around the work to join us for a free, flexible online course, TCM Presents Painfully Funny: Exploring Slapstick in the Movies. Enjoy multimedia course materials, daily emails with movie clips and conversation starters, and ongoing interactions with fellow film fans on the TCM message boards or at #SlapstickFall.


In this course, we will explore the greatest slapstick gags in movie history by showcasing 56 classic films released between 1914 and 2004. Spanning almost a century of filmmaking, we will watch, discuss, and analyze the best comedy gags ever filmed involving physical comedy, broad humor, and outrageous situations.


The course will run concurrently with Turner Classic Movies' OUCH! A Salute to Slapstick programming event, airing every Tuesday and Wednesday in September 2016.


Both the course and the associated films will enrich your understanding of comedy, Hollywood filmmaking, and popular culture. You will be able to share your thoughts online and test your movie knowledge with a worldwide community of students, fans, and film lovers."



The Kingdom of Linkdom: https://www.canvas.net/browse/bsu/tcm2/courses/slapstick/



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  • 2 weeks later...

Dates announced for 2017!



The TCM Film Festival dates are April 6-9, 2017.


The theme is "COMEDY IN THE MOVIES!"


Hope to see you there!





"A day without laughter is a day wasted," said Charles Chaplin, and we at TCM concur. Join us for the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival, exploring COMEDY IN THE MOVIES. From lowbrow to high, slapstick to sophisticated comedies of manners—we will showcase the greatest cinematic achievements of lone clowns, comedic duos and madcap ensembles.




FYI:  The Hollywood Roosevelt is charging a two-night fee this year JUST to make a reservation.

Supposedly if you cancel by March 3, you should receive your two-night pre-paid reservation fee.




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So let's start trying to think of comedies we might want to screen this year!


Films made in 1937 will be having their 80th Anniversary, and none of these have screened at the Festival as yet....



1937—80th Anniversary


Ali Baba Goes to Town

The Awful Truth

Damsel in Distress

A Day At The Races

Easy Living-Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold

The Great Garrick-Olivia De Havilland

History Is Made At Night-Charles Boyer

It’s Love I’m After

Oh, Mr. Porter—British

One Hundred Men and a Girl-Deanna Durbin

Storm in a Teacup-British

Tovarich-British, Vivien Leigh,

Way Out West-Laurel and Hardy

You Can’t Have Everything!

True Confession- Carole Lombard

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We're almost down to our last three days of the fabulous Summer Under The Stars Celebration.



Monday, August 29-Charles Boyer

Tuesday, August 30-Jean Simmons

Wednesday, August 31-Dean Martin


Who were some of your favorites?


I enjoyed seeing Colleen Moore films, most of them for the very first time.

And many more!


Hope you have your hotel reservations somewhere close to the Hollywood Roosevelt or the Hollywood and Highlands Center. It won't be long until we're ordering our passes for the TCM Film Festival 2017!

It's 8th year! Passes go on sale in November: http://filmfestival.tcm.com



Don't forget to have fun! :-)

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What films from 1947 having a 70th anniversary might screen at the TCMFF 2017 that have never been shown?

(Remember our theme--COMEDY!)


The Bachelor and The Bobby Soxer

The Egg & I

The Farmer's Daughter

Life With Father

Copacabana (Groucho Marx, and with Carmen Miranda singing "Tico-Tico!")

Hi-De-Ho (with Cab Calloway and his orchestra!)

Road to Rio (Hope & Crosby)

Song of the Thin Man

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Voice of the Turtle (Ronald Reagan, Eve Arden)


FYI: Out of the Past is not a comedy, but it is the quintessential film noir, is having its 70th anniversary, and has never screened at the festival.

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