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Guest Authors at The Silver Screen Oasis


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Come join the classic film fan fun!



Writer, speaker, producer and world traveler Cari Beauchamp will join us next weekend on Saturday, June 27, and Sunday, June 28, to discuss her latest book, My First Time in Hollywood: Stories from the Pioneers, Dreamers and Misfits Who Made the Movies


Academy Award-winning film preservationist, historian, and author Kevin Brownlow revealed that Beauchamp's latest book is “what every film fan yearns for––first-hand, eyewitness accounts of a Hollywood none of us can remember and all of us wish we’d known. Completely fascinating.”


Cari Beauchamp is the award-winning author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and The Powerful Women of Early Hollywood. She also edited and annotated Anita Loos Rediscovered: Film Treatments and Fiction by the Creator of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and co-wrote Hollywood on the Riviera: The Inside Story of the Cannes Film Festival.

Her book, Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary: Her Private Letters from Inside the Studios of the 1920s, was published in 2006 and has been optioned for television. Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years, was published by Knopf and Vintage. Her books have been selected for “Best of the Year” lists by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Amazon.


Cari wrote the 2003 Emmy nominated documentary film The Day My God Died which played on PBS and concerned the horrific abuses of the child sex trade in Nepal and India. She was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Without Lying Down: The Power of Women in Early Hollywood which she wrote and coproduced for Turner Classic Movies.


She has also been interviewed in over a dozen documentaries including Turner Classic Movie’s Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood and Mark Cousin’s The Story of Film.


She has written for Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and various other magazines and newspapers. She has twice been named the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Scholar and is currently serving as resident scholar of the Mary Pickford Foundation.


She has appeared as a featured speaker at venues throughout the United States and Europe including The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The British Film Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, The Edinburgh Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Women’s Museum of Art in Washington D.C. and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


Before turning to writing on a full time basis in 1990, she worked as a private investigator, a campaign manager and served as Press Secretary to California Governor Jerry Brown. She lives in Los Angeles.


At this year's TCM Film Festival, Cari Beauchamp moderated the interview with Oscar-winning editor Anne Coates in Club TCM, and introduced the presentation of Calamity Jane with Doris Day, remarking that it was time for Day's honorary Oscar "whether she shows up to accept it or not." (Beauchamp got my vote for "Best Introduction To A Classic Film 2015" for that remark!)


Blog link to an excellent account of Cari Beauchamp's interview with Oscar-winning editor Anne V. Coates on Saturday, March 28, in Club TCM during the TCMFF 2015:



One of the most interesting articles I've ever read in Vanity Fair was also co-authored by Beauchamp, "Cary in the Sky With Diamonds" : http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2010/08/drugs-in-hollywood-201008


And another Vanity Fair article solely authored by Beauchamp about Joseph Kennedy and Hollywood, "The Mogul in Mr. Kennedy": http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2002/04/joekennedy200204


TCM partners with Women in Film to Spotlight Gender Inequality in the Film Industry: http://deadline.com/2015/06/turner-classic-movies-tcm-gender-inequality-film-women-in-film-1201445747/


Cari Beauchamp's Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Cari-Beauchamp/e/B001IXROKW


You can access Cari Beauchamp's web page here: http://caribeauchamp.com


Link to my article concerning Cari Beauchamp's upcoming visit: http://www.examiner.com/classic-film-in-national/christy-putnam

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On Friday, July 10, and Saturday, July 11, The Silver Screen Oasis is looking forward to talking with J.R. Jones, author of THE LIVES OF ROBERT RYAN (Wesleyan).




Notice the plural in the title: This new biography deals with both the public and private lives of the great film actor Robert Ryan.


Robert Ryan never became a star of the magnitude of Cary Grant or Humphrey Bogart, but most lovers of classic film come to admire his work, whether he's playing the hero or the villain, the leading man or a supporting actor. Some of his best films, like ACT OF VIOLENCE and ON DANGEROUS GROUND, let him play aspects of both the villain and the hero in the same role.


Ryan excelled in a variety of genres. Film noir was a great fit for him, but westerns like THE NAKED SPUR and THE PROFESSIONALS also showcased his talent well. And then there's Ryan in domestic melodrama (CLASH BY NIGHT), Ryan in romantic drama (ABOUT MRS. LESLIE), Ryan in serious drama (THE ICEMAN COMETH). On stage he played Shakespeare's Coriolanus.


J.R. Jones is an award-winning film critic and editor for the Chicago Review, and his writing has appeared in many publications, from New York Press to Kenyon Review to Noir City. He did an outstanding job of introducing ON DANGEROUS GROUND at the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs this May, and as TCM Forum and SSO member kingrat can attest, he enjoys chatting with fans about our classic films.


What would you like to know about Robert Ryan? How he got interested in acting, what his favorite films were, how his politics affected his career? Unlike most Hollywood stars, he was only married once, and the marriage lasted until his wife Jessica died of cancer. 


J.R. Jones has written an informative, easy-to-read biography which I strongly recommend. It should be a lot of fun to talk with him about Robert Ryan.


Please note:

In 2008 we had the pleasure of hosting Robert Ryan's daughter, Lisa as our guest at the SSO as well. That Q & A is now available in our Archive here: http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=2658


Below are links to explore this essential biography:


A Link to The Silver Screen Oasis Guest Forum for the Q & A this Weekend:



J.R. Jones published interview:



J.R. Jones video interview:



J.R. Jones publisher's site:


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The Silver Screen Oasis welcomes David Meuel, the author of the new book, The Noir Western: Darkness on the Range 1943-1962 (McFarland, 2015) for a discussion of this intriguing development in film during the mid-20th Century on Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25.  (This Saturday is also, incidentally, the 11th Annual Day of the Cowboy).


I am particularly pleased to see David making this guest appearance, since, as a former guest blogger in 2012 on The Skeins blog, he celebrated and analyzed the power of Shirley Temple, this month's Star of the Month at TCM, drawing on his insights into John Ford's women in his previous book,Women in the Films of John Ford (McFarland, 2014).

You can post your own questions and read the Q & A with our Guest Author at the Silver Screen Oasis at this link this weekend:

Beginning in the mid-1940s, the bleak, brooding mood of film noir began seeping into that most optimistic of film genres, the western. Story lines took on a darker tone and western films adopted classic noir elements of moral ambiguity, complex anti-heroes and explicit violence. This “noir western” helped set the standard for the darker science fiction, action and superhero films of today, as well as for acclaimed TV series such as HBO'sDeadwood and AMC's Breaking Bad.

Since TCM's Summer of Darkness project screens films noir every Friday in June and July this summer, 12,000 students have signed up for the online film noir course taught by Richard Edwards from Ball State University on Canvas, and the free course has sparked much renewed interest in the genre. Perhaps a series on Meuel's The Noir Western: Darkness on the Range 1943-1962 might be the next logical step in further focusing on film noir.

Blending scholarship with an abiding love for both genres, Meuel was a featured speaker at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for its film series, Dark Horse: Film Noir Westerns, a program that was well-received as a popular and critical contribution to definitions of noir.


A lifelong student of films, David Meuel lives in Menlo Park, California, and has also published two volumes of poetry among other works.


David Meuel Online:


David Meuel's Books Online:


David Meuel on Youtube:


Immortal Ephemera: Review of Women in the Films of John Ford:

Review of The Noir Western: Darkness on the Range, 1943-1962: http://immortalephemera.com/57851/tcm-preview-april-2015/

The Evening Class Blogspot has an excerpt from The Noir Western:


The National Day of the Cowboy:


Christy Putnam's review of Women in the Films of John Ford:


TCM and Ball State's Online Film Noir Course:


David Meuel at Amazon:


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Moira, I am looking forward to visiting with David Meuel this weekend!


I thoroughly enjoyed WOMEN IN THE FILMS OF JOHN FORD, and The Noir Western is a perfect topic for TCM fans during this popular "Summer of Darkness." Meuel discusses two myths about John Ford in this youtube posting here:



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"In an era of breadlines, depression and wars, I tried to help people get away from all the misery...to turn their minds to something else. I wanted to make people happy, if only for an hour."

- Busby Berkeley




Jeffrey Spivak, the author of "Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley,"  will be our guest for an online Q & A at The Silver Screen Oasis on Aug. 22nd and 23rd. Drawing on personal letters, interviews, studio memoranda, and Berkeley’s private memoirs, our visiting author created a nuanced portrait of this natural talent, whose development of the kinetic aspects of film continues to influence filmmakers to this day. 




This thoughtful book reveals Busby Berkeley as a person without formal dance training but exceptional drive and ability who could never describe exactly how his creativity worked. Without whitewashing or indulging in unnecessary speculation, the author touches on Berkeley's intense closeness to his mother, Gertrude Berkeley, his six marriages, and the tumult in his personal life that nearly cost him everything. After reading his book, the reader can see the real life sources that inspired "The Lullaby of Broadway" in all its variations over the decades of his career at various studios.




Please join us here to post your own questions about Busby Berkeley and his films or to enjoy reading the exchanges. All are welcome.


For detailed information on this book and our visitor, please visit the following links:


Jeffrey Spivak's publisher, The University Press of Kentucky:



Jeffrey Spivak at Amazon:



Facebook Page for Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley:



The Hollywood Reporter on Ryan Gosling's purchase of the rights to our guest's book for a biopic:


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The Silver Screen Oasis is pleased to welcome Scott Nollen this weekend on Saturday, Sept. 26th and Sunday, Sept. 27th to participate in an online Q & A about his latest book, Glenda Farrell: Hollywood's Hard-Boiled Dame (Midnight Marquee Press). The Q and A thread where questions can be posted is now open here:






In the hectic '30s this character actress broke all the rules--she tempted Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. away from a life of crime with Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1931), she thought motherhood might cramp her style in Life Begins (1932), she jockeyed with Ruth Donnelly over unlikely boy-toy, Frank McHugh in Heat Lightning (1934), and she got the story first (and the marital commitment later) in several Torchy Blane films. In the '40s, Glenda could be found as a world weary gal in Johnny Eager (1941), sharing the screen for a few choice moments with Ronald Colman in Talk of the Town (1943), and stole the movie from several marquee names in I Love Trouble (1948) with her snappy way with a line and a raised eyebrow. In her five decade career, Glenda Farrell worked on film with every director from Mervyn Le Roy to George Stevens and actors as varied as Spencer Tracy (Man's Castle in 1933) and Elvis Presley (Kissin' Cousins in 1964), making her mark in every type of role and every medium.


As many of our members know who delighted in his 2014 visit to discuss Three Bad Men: John Ford, John Wayne, and Ward Bond (McFarland), Scott is a research historian with a gift for blending hard facts with humanizing detail and an abiding love for the studio era and the too-often neglected figures who gave it such zest and the lasting qualities we cherish in classic cinema. In his well-written and carefully researched books on varied topics such as Paul Robeson, Boris Karloff, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robin Hood and The Cinema of Frank Sinatra, our guest has regularly illuminated the abiding influence of people and authors who shaped popular imagination. One such individual is Glenda Farrell, an actress of considerable range and warmth, whether cast as one of a series of fast-talking dames, a hard-working reporters, brassy mob dolls or--as she proved on stage in in several memorable dramatic roles on screen--a singular actress. In her five decade career, Glenda Farrell worked on film with everyone from Spencer Tracy (Man's Castle in 1933) to Elvis Presley (Kissin' Cousins in 1964), making her mark in every type of role and every medium.




Off-screen, as the author describes, the polished performer Farrell was an intelligent, independent woman who eluded the fatal traps of the Hollywood system and managed to find monetary and artistic rewards in her career, while consistently seeking a balanced home life.


Please consider this your invitation to visit the world of Glenda Farrell with Scott Nollen this weekend!


Links to More about Glenda Farrell and Scott Nollen:


Scott Nollen Facebook Page for this book:




Scott Nollen on Amazon:




Midnight Marquee Press:




Glenda Farrell on Youtube:




Glenda Farrell In-Depth Quotes & Timeline from SSO Member Hardwicke Benthow:



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The Silver Screen Oasis is pleased to welcome Scott Nollen this weekend on Saturday, Sept. 26th and Sunday, Sept. 27th to participate in an online Q & A about his latest book, Glenda Farrell: Hollywood's Hard-Boiled Dame (Midnight Marquee Press). The Q and A thread where questions can be posted is now open here:



I am so darned upset I missed this. Don't like to miss authors discussing stars I love.


I assume we can click on the link and review the questions/answers that were posted a few days ago.


Next time, we need more advance notice, Moira. Please. :)

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TopBilled, please forgive my tardy reply, but I hope you and anyone else interested in reading past Q & A s with our visiting authors and filmmakers know that we leave all our discussions up after they have closed. We like reading them later too! Hope you will be able to visit during our forthcoming series of guests. All are welcome to participate in the conversations during these events.


All past discussions, from 2007-2015, can be read here in our Archives:



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“Go ahead and learn how to act, but don't get caught at it.” ~ Walter Brennan




The Silver Screen Oasis is pleased to welcome Carl Rollyson, the author of A Real American Character: The Life of Walter Brennan (Univ. Press of Mississippi) for an online Q & A with us on Saturday, November 7th & Sunday, November 8th. The conversation will take place here this weekend:



Walter Brennan, a consummate character actor of the studio era who stole scenes from the iconic likes of Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart and Humphrey Bogart, was sought out by masterful directors such as Howard Hawks, John Ford, and Fritz Lang for the versatility and credibility he brought to each film. So, as one reviewer of Mr. Rollyson’s book asked, “How could an actor win three Oscars in five years yet be all but forgotten?” The possible answer to this lies in his the actor's career, in our cultural memory, and in the human being examined in the pages of our guest author's book. 


In the first, full length biography of this now overlooked character actor, the author drew from archival material and with the full cooperation of the Brennan family to create a portrait of an authoritative actor as he journeyed from a Massachusetts town to the harrowing battlefields of World War One to journeyman actor and ultimately to a remarkable career spanning six decades. Able to play endearing bums, brutal fathers, veteran military men, struggling con artists, gentle musicians or courageous college professors believably, Rollyson presents the reader with Brennan as a human being whose talent, work ethic and foibles make him a worthy subject for this engrossing life story.




Our guest, who has visited the Oasis previously to discuss one of his many biographies, (the remarkably moving biography Hollywood Enigma: Dana Andrews ) is a noted biographer of everyone from Amy Lowell to Marilyn Monroe, limns Brennan’s development as a consummate actor who often hid his artistry, a fixture in a constantly shifting industry, and, in intriguing sidelights, his conservatism as he grew older and wealthier (the actor reportedly even wondered if John Wayne might be a communist). In reading this biography, the the actor’s skill at playing both sympathetic and negative characters takes on even more compelling complexity in light of his beliefs and long life, while the author avoids drawing easy answers about the mystery of an individual and his lasting impact on his family and film. 


Please join us for this opportunity to discuss a giant among character actors this Nov. 7th & 8th!


Carl Rollyson's video about Walter Brennan:


“Unsung character actors finally get a long-overdue close-up in A Real American Character, Carl Rollyson’s authoritative portrait of Walter Brennan. A real Hollywood success story, Brennan and his extraordinary career, which included winning three Oscars, are presented with great sympathy, sensitivity, and admiration.”


—Marion Meade, author of The Unruly Life of Woody Allen and Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase







The Author’s Website:


The University Press of Mississippi:


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TopBilled, please forgive my tardy reply, but I hope you and anyone else interested in reading past Q & A s with our visiting authors and filmmakers know that we leave all our discussions up after they have closed. We like reading them later too! Hope you will be able to visit during our forthcoming series of guests. All are welcome to participate in the conversations during these events.


All past discussions, from 2007-2015, can be read here in our Archives:





Thank you for providing that link...and for the heads up about this weekend's special guest. Carl Rollyson discussed the Dana Andrews book the first time I ever visited the Silver Screen Oasis. So I am happy to see he's returning to share insights about his latest cinematic subject! 

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"Lzcutter will be hosting a visit from J.B. Kaufman this coming weekend. As Lynn described in her announcement shown below, this second visit with this film historian allows us to ask him more about his remarkable body of work. Please join us on Nov. 21 & 22 to explore the history of animation, the contributions of Disney and other pioneering animators and the ongoing Griffith Project. All are welcome:"


from SSO site: http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=123&t=6929

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"All through my life people have tried to foist the role of leader on me; a role that I can play on stage but have no will to assume in life." Alan Napier

The Silver Screen Oasis is pleased to announce an online visit with James Bigwood, the editor and annotator of actor Alan Napier's autobiography, Not Just Batman’s Butler: The Autobiography of Alan Napier (McFarland) on Sat., Dec. 5th and Sun., Dec. 6th at the link below. All are welcome to participate in the Q & A there:

Almost 30 years after Napier’s death, writer and producer James Bigwoodwho first read the versatile actor's manuscript in 1975 when interviewing him for a Films in Review profile, was allowed by the actor’s daughter to arrange for its publication. A bit facetiously but honestly, Napier described to Mr. Bigwood how, despite the fact that the actor had "written an autobiographical work full of fascinatingstories"..."unfortunately, since I've never committed a major crime and I'm not known to have slept with any famous actresses, it's very difficult to get it published." That gentle, amused perspective on life and his career ups and downs comes across vividly in this charming book, allowing the reader to travel with him from an Edwardian boyhood to Hollywood in the '60s.

Supporting player Alan Napier (1903-1988) became a household name late in life thanks to the runaway success of the television series Batman (1966-1968), which spoofed comic books, pop art and the American penchant for heroics. It also allowed the severely myopic Napier to wear his own (much needed) spectacles, and to receive some of the attention he deserved for the droll elegance he brought to each of his scenes.

Long before this hit show the actor who became identified with the role of Alfred, the butler to Bruce Wayne/Batman had worked for decades with great actors and directors on stage and screen. Among those long remembered and sometimes sadly forgotten who shared the stage and screen with him during his forty+ years career were Gerard du Maurier, Marlon Brando, Ingrid Bergman, John Wayne, Laurence Olivier, George Bernard Shaw, Paul Muni, Sean Connery, Alfred Hitchcock, James Whale, Orson Welles, Douglas Sirk, Fritz Lang, Edmund Goulding, Otto Preminger, Val Lewtonand Edgar Ulmer, among others!


Above: Three Faces from Alan Napier--Left: in Orson Welles' version of MacBeth (1948), Middle: in Hangover Square (1945), & The Invisible Man Returns (1940). 


Fortunately for those of us who cherish the warmth, style and authority of a skilled, expressive character actor such as Napier in classic films, we will have a chance to explore his life and times of an actor who was an ensemble player for much of his career. This new memoir presented by James Bigwood in this lively, touching and informative first person account with his annotations, is just one of the many projects that our guest has been involved in during his career. Mr. Bigwood has written articles for Films in ReviewAmerican Film, American Cinematographer, and Film Fan Monthly on topics as diverse as Salvador Dali's films and a profile of character actress Norma Varden.  Our guest previously publishedThe Films of Peter Lorre (Citadel) with Stephen D. Youngkin & Raymond Cabana (prior to Mr. Youngkin's publication of his seminal Lorre biography, The Lost One). The list of Mr. Bigwood's work as a film and television producer and production manager include films and series such as Bob Roberts(1992), A Bright Shining Lie (1998), Iron Jawed Angels (2004), Ugly Betty (2006), The Red Road(2014), & Being Mary Jane (2015).  

In what is clearly a labor of love, our guest has also compiled several video clips of interviews with Alan Napier and posted them online. The actor discusses his first steps in Hollywood in We Are Not Alone(1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), House of Seven Gables (1940), the superb ghost story, The Uninvited (1944), and a few comments on becoming Alfred in Batman. Each of these can be seen on James Bigwood's Youtube Channel, found here:


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"All through my life people have tried to foist the role of leader on me; a role that I can play on stage but have no will to assume in life." Alan Napier


The Silver Screen Oasis is pleased to announce an online visit with James Bigwood, the editor and annotator of actor Alan Napier's autobiography, Not Just Batman’s Butler: The Autobiography of Alan Napier (McFarland) on Sat., Dec. 5th and Sun., Dec. 6th at the link below. All are welcome to participate in the Q & A there:




Thanks for letting us know about this, Moira. I always love it when someone publishes a good (auto)biography of a character actor.

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The lively Steve Hayes will visit The Silver Screen Oasis on Saturday, October 22, and Sunday, October 23, for a traditional Q & A.


Steve is known as the self-styled king of classic cinema enthusiasm, and has been sharing his love of Hollywood's Golden Era gems on Youtube since 2009 with his "Tired Old Queen of the Movies" series.

Steve reveals all about Joseph Mankiewicz' s "A Letter To Three Wives" (1949) featuring Ann Sothern, Linda Darnell, Jeanne Crain, Kirk Douglas, Connie Gilchrist, and Thelma Ritter


In a 2010 interview with Medusamorlock on the TCM website feature The Movie Morlocks, Steve reveals he's an accomplished actor in movies — Trick, The Big Gay Musical — an author and lyricist ("Kiss Me Quick Before the Lava Reaches the Village"), award-winning comedian and cabaret performer, a performing arts educator (Cabaret Convention at Yale, Cazenovia College), a talented musical comedy Renaissance man.  He’s also a veteran of NYC’s annual Gayfest theatre festival, and his one-man show Steve Hayes’ Hollywood Reunion was about his relationship, as a gay man, with old movies, a topic that also informs his Tired Old Queen productions. 


As Steve shares in the article: '…my dear friend and director Vincent J. Cardinal kept telling me that I should be sharing my love for old movies with a bigger audience.  He suggested we set a camera up in my apartment; shoot me talking about old movies just off the top of my head, exactly as I always do everywhere and anywhere. No fuss, no muss. Keep it simple. Then he said: 'Now, what should we call it?' I said; 'STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies!' I want to 'pass the torch,' so to speak, to the next generation. When I first moved to New York, I learned a lot from the older gay men who loved the movies as I did and shared their views and turned me on to films I’d never experienced before. I’m forever grateful.


“STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies” is, quite simply, a love letter to the old movies. 'I have been a devout movie addict since I was very young and have never wavered in my adoration and genuine awe of the classic motion pictures I grew up watching. I always say, I know this stuff like straight guys know baseball.  Some baseball fan will say to me: 'I know who played in the 1941 World Series!'  And my comeback is; 'I know who won Best Supporting Actress in 1941 and who she got it over!' "


Steve was also a guest host on Turner Classic Movies to celebrate TCM's 20th Anniversary in 2014,  introducing the sci-fi classic, “Them!" with Robert Osborne


Hayes has also appeared as:

Horton in Suessical: The Musical
Pseudolis  in A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To The Forum
Mayor Shinn in The Music Man
The Barber in Man Of La Mancha starring Terance Mann
Edna in Hairspray
"Polonious" in Hamlet
And many others...


Steve's Tumblr page: http://toqoffice.tumblr.com/page/2

Steve's Youtube page: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCdFnabzwv2SGIBX0tApn6EQ



Come welcome Steve Hayes this weekend at The Silver Screen Oasis for a rousing Q & A!

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"…But most of all, there was neon--everywhere."
- Lynn Zook, Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955
They were all there once. Dreamers, drifters, scoundrels, and sweethearts--whether working the crowd or keeping the back of the house stocked, everyone--from cowboys, innkeepers, movie stars, working stiffs and lucky bums as well as rule-breaking architects and artists who painted the night sky using neon once gathered there and come alive again in the story of the Las Vegas strip during its first 25 years and beyond in a fascinating, very American intersection of show biz & commerce. 
The Silver Screen Oasis is pleased to announce that one of our own--Lynn Zook (aka lzcutter)--will be joining us for a Q & A about her new book, Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955 on November 12th and 13th. Our guest author was among the people who stood out a dozen years ago when first encountered online at the Turner Classic Movies forum. Gradually getting to know her online--and in person for a lucky few in attendance at the TCM Classic Film Festivals--has been revelatory. 
As an admin here at the SSO and a contributor to the TCM website, the knowledgeable Lynn has been consistently friendly, observant, and, fortunately for us when life (and technology) goes awry, she is also blessed with a wry humor tempered with a kindness and patience that has never flagged. 
Lynn (above) rarely talks about herself, but she is quite an accomplished person as well as a passionate lover of classic film. She is a graduate of the USC School of Cinema and Television Masters of Fine Arts program who is also a digital archivist, and an accomplished award-winning producer and editor.  She is also the author of Las Vegas 1905-1965 and the just released e-book, Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955 as well as producer of the documentary, The Story of Classic Las Vegas
One subject Lynn does talk about is her love of her hometown and appreciation for the men and women who wrote this vivid chapter in American cultural life. 
As she does regularly on the Classic Las Vegas site, Lynn documents an earlier Las Vegas that hummed with neon as well as the work of imaginative pioneers, Americans on the move (and often on the make). Just as the movie industry was growing and changing, so did Las Vegas, affecting her residents and the country as a whole.
If you would like to learn more about this topic, please join us for our journey with Lynn through a vivid chapter in American cultural life next weekend, November 12th and 13th. You can be part of the conversation at The Silver Screen Oasis Message Board below:
Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955 is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes.


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The Vitaphone Project's Ron Hutchinson will visit The Silver Screen Oasis website this weekend, December 3 & 4, for our popular Guest Star Q & A.


If you have not registered on our website, which will allow you to post a question for Ron Hutchinson, all you need is a valid email address: http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3



TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz and The Vitaphone Project's Ron Hutchinson, who will be a TCM Guest Programmer on Monday, December 5. Hutchinson also introduced 7 Vitaphone shorts at the TCM Film Festival 2016 at the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, April 30.


Ron Hutchinson is a lifelong film buff and record collector who combined those passions into the founding of The Vitaphone Project in 1991. The Project seeks out missing 16-inch shellac soundtracks for 1926-30 disc-recorded talkie shorts and features, then works with archives, studios, and private collectors to get picture and disc re-married and restored. To date, the Vitaphone Project has located over 3500 soundtrack discs in private hands worldwide, and has partnered with Warner Brothers, UCLA, The Library of Congress and private funders to restore nearly 90 early vaudeville, comedy and band shorts and a dozen talkie features. Among the Project’s more exciting discoveries and restorations are the sole surviving (and badly cracked) disc for Al Jolson’s pre-JAZZ SINGER short A Plantation Act (1926) and restoration and the screening after 70 years of Baby Rose Marie, The Child Wonder (1929) with Rose Marie herself present to enjoy and critique her performance as a 7-year-old vaudevillian.


Ron has assisted in the development and production of many documentaries featuring early sound material, including the PBS American Masters documentary VAUDEVILLE, TCM’s ADDED ATTRACTIONS: THE HOLLYWOOD SHORT SUBJECT, and The Women Of Tin Pan Alley. He frequently hosts Vitaphone and vaudeville film programs at New York’s Film Forum and Lincoln Center. Ron has also contributed to more than two dozen film books and written articles on the early sound era for Classic Images, Joslin’s Jazz Journal and Vaudeville Times, among many others. He edits the Project’s bi-annual newsletter, “Vitaphone News.”


Ron lives in Piscataway, NJ with his wife Judy and two children. His real job is Corporate Environmental Health & Safety Officer for a major New York utility.


From the TCM website:




Vitaphone was a sound-film system developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories and Western Electric, and used by Warner Bros. and its sister studio First National to produce feature films and hundreds of short subjects during the 1920s and '30s. The original Vitaphone sound-on-disc system was retired early in the sound era when sound-on-film replaced the cumbersome discs. However, Warner Bros. kept the name alive through the Vitaphone Corporation, which was used through 1959 for releasing the studio's shorts and cartoons.


TCM celebrates the 90th anniversary of Vitaphone with a 24-hour tribute offering a generous sampling of its output including the silent feature Don Juan (1926), which was introduced on August 6, 1926, with a symphonic musical score and sound effects. Another landmark Vitaphone production was the legendary The Jazz Singer (1927), the first full-length movie with synchronized dialogue.



George Burns and Gracie Allen in Lamb Chops (1929)


Some 20 of the Vitaphone shorts are new to TCM. These shorts were often employed to capture musical and vaudeville acts, and serve as a training ground for future stars. Among the latter were Bob Hope (Paree, Paree, 1934), James Stewart (Art Trouble, 1934), June Allyson (The All-Girl Revue, 1940) and Red Skelton (Seeing Red, 1939). Shorts featuring "Vitaphone Bands" include Johnny Green and His Orchestra (1935), Harry Reser and His Eskimos (1936) and Cab Calloway and His Orchestra (1937). Vaudeville routines captured on film include Blossom Seeley and Bennie Fields (1927), George Burns and Gracie Allen in Lambchops (1929) and Baby Rose Marie, the Child Wonder (1929)."



Baby Rose Marie...


The Vitaphone News- Frequently Asked Questions : http://www.picking.com/vitaphone-faq.html


The Vitaphone Project: http://www.vitaphoneproject.com


Why Be Good? Restoration: http://www.picking.com/vitaphone124.html


The Vitaphone Project Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vitaphoneproject/


The full TCM schedule has Vitaphone shorts scheduled all day on Monday, December 5. Baby Rose Marie, The Child Wonder is the first screening Ron will introduce in the evening: http://www.tcm.com/schedule/index.html?tz=est&sdate=2016-12-05

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Her face was magnificent--and her acting could be unforgettable. In youth, middle age and as an elderly woman she wore it proudly, radiating intelligence, innocence, pain and joy--along with some acerbic humor and a stubborn feistiness--but Sidney's enduring spirit and professionalism might be even more impressive during her eight decade career.


That was Sylvia--a woman whose high cheekbones and magnetic, large eyes who could radiate an exquisite delicacy and toughness with the flick of an eye. Now we have an opportunity to learn more about this somewhat mysterious figure in classic film on Sat., Dec.17 & Sun., Dec.18 we have a chance to learn more about Sidney during an online visit at The Silver Screen Oasis. Scott O'Brien will be discussing his latest book, PAID BY THE TEAR (BearManor), throughout the weekend.


Sylvia who? For far too long, many of this Oscar & Emmy-nominated actress' best films remained unavailable until recent years. Some only know her from her very funny turns on the television classic, WKRP in Cincinnati, or in Beetlejuice (1988) or Mars Attacks! (1996)--but fewer know her best Depression-era dramatic work in such films as Street Scene, Fury and You Only Live Once and fewer still had the privilege of seeing Sidney on stage--despite a forty+ years career in live theater.


As many know, Scott O'Brien has long made our Oasis a beacon for classic movie fans with his previous visits discussing his previous books on Kay Francis, Ann Harding, Ruth Chatterton and George Brent (linked below).




Please consider this your gilt-edged invitation to join us for this celebration this weekend at the link below. Also listed--links to learn more about Scott O'Brien and his biographies:


The Upcoming Scott O'Brien Q & A at The Silver Screen Oasis:



Scott O'Brien's Previous Visits to the SSO:



Scott O'Brien on Facebook:



A Sylvia Sidney Playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... dko6u3ggq5


BearManor Media Publishers of Scott O'Brien's books:

http://bearmanorblog.blogspot.com/searc ... +o%27brien


Scott O'Brien on Amazon:




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