Costume Tests. 4

Loretta Young. Half Angel

Loretta Young. Half Angel

I love Loretta’s model like pose.

Has anybody seen this film, HALF ANGEL?

 

 

M

Joan Crawford. FLAMINGO ROAD

 

 

M

Olivia de Havilland. GONE WITH THE WIND

 

 

M

Judy Garland. ANNIE GET YOUR GUN

It wasn’t to be.

 

 

M

Eva Marie Saint. NORTH BY NORTHWEST

 

 

M

Errol Flynn. VIRGINIA CITY

 

 

M

Elizabeth Taylor, GIANT.

The shoes are to be dyed. (Saves buying a new pair, I suppose).

 

 

 

M

Ida  Lupino. THE SEA WOLF.

SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (1964)

M

Two lines of dialogue from SEVEN DAYS IN MAY always stick in my mind when I think of this marvellous political thriller which is masterfully directed by John Frankenheimer .

The first is when Colonel Jiggs  Casey (Kirk Douglas) goes to the White House to see President Jordan Lyman ( Fredric March) and has to tell the President:

” I’m suggesting, Mr. President, there’s a military plot to take over the Government next Sunday.”

That bombshell keeps you glued to your screen for the next  two hours.

The second line I always remember is when Vice-Admiral Barnswell (John Houseman) states:

“I signed no paper. He took nothing with him.”

John Houseman is such a consummate actor and his flat- out lie is well delivered. Barnswell ( who is on board his ship in the Mediterranean) had signed a letter saying he was part of the coup to overturn the Government, but he figured it was lost when Paul Girard (Martin Balsam) , who was taking the letter back to America , is killed when his plane crashes.

 

M

Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster

Jiggs (Kirk Douglas)actually agrees with his superior General Scott (Burt Lancaster) that a disarmament  treaty with Russia is wrong, but Jiggs knows that the military cannot overrule the government .

Scott and the other joint chiefs of staff are planning to remove President Lyman from office before he can sign the treaty.

 

M

Kirk Douglas ,Whit Bissell

Senator Prentice (Whit BISSELL) is an ally of General Scott and he assumes Jiggs is part of the plot.

 

 

M

Fredric March, Martin Balsam, Kirk Douglas.

Colonel Casey tells an astounded President (Fredric March) and the President’s advisor Paul Girard (Martin Balsam) about the possibility of  an attempt to overthrow the government.

 

 

M

Hugh Marlowe

Hugh Marlowe is Harold McPherson, a TV commentator who knows about the conspiracy. And will give General Scott air time to explain to the public what he has done.

 

 

M

Ava Gardner, Kirk Douglas

Ava Gardner ‘s role as Eleanor Holbrook ,who had been involved with General Scott, is small and could be deemed unnecessary . I guess the studio felt they couldn’t go with an all male cast.

 

 

M

Andrew Duggan, Kirk Douglas.

Andrew Duggan is Colonel Henderson, a friend of Jiggs.

Henderson is part of the jigsaw which leads Jiggs to his conclusion about a military take-over. Henderson is second in command of the mysterious EComcon unit.

 

 

M

Another part of the jigsaw. Jiggs finds this scrap of paper after a meeting of the joint chiefs of staff. It refers to a military group ,Ecomcon which he has never heard of ,until he talks to his friend Col. Henderson.

 

 

M

Edmond O’Brien, Fredric March

Edmond O’Brien as the senator from Georgia, Ray Clark who helped Jordan Lyman become President.  Ray is given an important task by the President – to find out where , in the area of El Paso, the  Ecomcon unit is based.

 

M

The President tells General Scott he won’t be attending the military training  alert the following Sunday ( which is when the coup would take place).

 

 

M

John Houseman, Martin Balsam.

The meeting on board Admiral Barnswell’s ship.

Barnswell admits his involvement and signs a letter to that effect.

 

 

M

Almost the best scene in the film when the two men speak plainly to each other. General Scott accuses President  Lyman of endangering the people of the United States and that he is fatally wrong to make a disarmament treaty with the Russians.

The President suggests that Scott should run for office – that’s the democratic way. He also points out that a military coup in America could result in action from Moscow.

The President demands the general’s resignation. He refuses.

Lancaster and March are well matched. A gripping scene.

Is this Burt Lancaster’s greatest role? He is that General with the three barrelled name, James Mattoon Scott. He is icily cold in his demeanour and fanatical in his belief that what he is planning is the only way .

 

M

Jiggs shows  President Lyman Barnswell’s  confession. Paul Girard had hidden it in his cigarette case.

(Edmond O’Brien and George Macready in the background.)

 

M

General Scott: “Do you know who Judas was.?”

Colonel Casey:” Yes, he’s the man I used to work for and respect, until he disgraced the three stars on his uniform.”

 

M

Kirk Douglas, John Frankenheimer.

John Frankenheimer said that Kirk Douglas had originally intended to play General Scott.Douglas admitted later that Lancaster had the better role.

 

M

Fredric March,Kirk Douglas, John Frankenheimer

Rod Serling wrote  the screenplay, from the 1962 novel by Fletcher  Knebel and Charles W. Bailey.

A brilliant soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith.

Tbis film had to be in black and white. I can’t imagine it in color.

 

M

John Frankenheimer .

 

 

M

 

Extra: Today, 9/12/16 is KIRK DOUGLAS’ s 100th birthday and Kirk’s film career is celebrated at http://shadowsandsatin.wordpress.com

image

 

 

ON THE SET. 28

M

Maureen O’Hara, John Payne (back to camera). TRIPOLI.

 

 

M

Russell Metty, Agnes Moorehead, Douglas Sirk, Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Ross Hunter, Jack Davis. ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS.

 

 

M

Clark Gable,Spencer Tracy, Robert Taylor, William Powell.

This is an interesting gathering of MGm top stars.

I don’t know what Robert Taylor is in costume for, but Tracy looks like Captains Courageous , Gable from Love on the Run and Powell from Libelled Lady.

 

 

 

M

James Stewart looks like he is preparing for his run down Pottersville’s Main Street. It’s snowing but the sun is  shining!

IT’ S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

 

 

M

ADVENTURE.

 

 

M

Lauren Bacall, John Wayne. BLOOD ALLEY.

I think Lauren knew that it wasn’t a great film.

 

 

M

Cary Grant and his wife Betsy Drake, on the set of TO CATCH A THIEF.

Wonder who Cary is talking to.

 

 

M

Lucille Ball, Gregory La Cava, Katharine Hepburn.STAGE DOOR.

 

 

M

Nice shot of. Marlene Dietrich and Jane Wyman . STAGE FRIGHT.

 

 

M

Frank Capra, Margo, Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, John Howard.LOST HORIZON.

MR LUCKY 1943

M

MR LUCKY is an uneasy mix of comedy and drama. I hadn’t seen it for a long time and it didn’t hold up as well as I remember it. Of course it is worth seeing if you are a CARY GRANT fan.

Highlights include :

Cary is cast as Joe ‘The Greek’ Adams who owns a gambling ship and wears flashy ties. So flashy that Dorothy (played by LARAINE DAY )can’t bear them any more and buys him a conservative tie which he reluctantly wears.

There’s a nice moment in the film when  Joe teaches Dorothy some rhyming slang – which he says he picked  up in Australia. eg.

Ones and twos – shoes

You’re a girl – twist and twirl

Where’s my tit for tat  – hat

Joe carries a lady  from Bristol – a pistol

Briny Marlin – my darlin’ . ( Joe ends up changing the name of his boat to the Briny. Marlin.)

 

M

Laraine  Day, Cary Grant

Note the conservative tie.

 

Another light note in the film is when Joe joins the war relief organisation Dorothy is involved in. (He persuades her to let him run  a gambling concession at a society Ball Dorothy is organising – he also intends to steal all the money they raise.

At the charity’s ‘s offices, Dorothy asks him if he knows how to knit. Joe says,

“Knit? Knit?I don’t knit.”

But with  the help of FLORENCE BATES, he soon becomes adept!

M

 

M

 

M

The handsome devil! (I prefer this tie!)

 

M

Charles Bickford  has a too-small role as Joe’s friend and captain of the ship.

Charles ( as Swede) introduces the long flashback which is the main part of the film.

Gladys Cooper also has a small part as head of the relief organisation.

And Henry  Stephenson plays Dorothy’s  rich grandfather.

 

 

M

 

Do visit the Cary Grant Blogathon at http://www.phyllislovesclassicmovies.blogspot.co.uk

 

M

THE BIGAMIST 1953

M

THE BIGAMIST is one of the small budget independent films which Ida Lupino made with her then ex- husband Collier Young. Ida directed and Collier wrote the screenplay and produced it.

In  an interesting piece of casting, Collier Young’s wife, Joan Fontaine starred in the film – with Ida and Edmond  O’Brien. And to add to the curious mix, Joan’s mother, Lillian Fontaine had a small part in the film.

Ida was the first female star to direct herself. I think Ida would have preferred just to concentrate on directing , but ended up playing one of the three main roles.

Typical of Lupino and Young, the story of The Bigamist is unusual in that it is written in such a way that we have sympathy for the bigamist, Harry  Graham (Edmond O’Brien) who is a traveling salesman often away from his San Francisco home and his wife Eve (Joan Fontaine) .

After 8 years of marriage, Harry and Eve are considering adoption and are being vetted by Edmund Gwenn the investigator for the adoption agency which is very thorough in its adoption procedures.

Gwenn goes to Los Angeles ( heaven knows why), where Harry spends a lot of time on business. Harry isn’t at the hotel where his agency staff usually stay. And by the simple mean of looking up the telephone directory, Gwenn finds a Harrison Graham and goes to see him.

(Mr. Gwenn is no mean  detective- I have no idea what made him look at the telephone directory)

When he knocks on the door of the address, Harry answers and invites him in. And suddenly a baby’s cry is heard – Harry’s son.

M

Gwenn says, “How long has this double life of yours been going on.?”

Harry answers:”18 months.”

M

Ida Lupino, Edmond O’Brien.

A longish flashback shows Harry in L.A. With time  on his hands, he takes a bus tour of the Hollywood star homes and meets Phyllis Martin (Ida Lupino) on the bus.

The tour bus driver points out various Stars’ houses including Jack Benny,James Stewart,Jane Wyman – and Edmund Gwenn.

Harry and Phyllis are portrayed as two lonely people. She works in a Chinese restaurant and invites him there.

Harry calls Eve frequently and even mentions meeting Phyllis. Eve isn’t bothered ,she’s concentrating on their business in which she has become more and more involved.

He decides he can’t see Phyllis again, but she comes to see him and they spend a night together. Phyllis has no idea that he is married.

Eve’s father is taken ill and she is away for several months. Meanwhile, Phyllis is pregnant and Harry decides he must ask Eve for a divorce .

 

M

Joan Fontaine

But when Eve’s father dies, he can’t leave her and the double life begins.

At the end of the flashback, back in the kitchen of Harry’s house in L.A., the investigator Gwenn says, “I despise you and I pity you.”

In the end, Harry surrenders himself to the police.

The final scene is in the court room, with both Eve and Phyllis present . A dramatic finale , though the judge defers sentencing to the following week.

So we are left not knowing what the conclusion will be. Will Harry go to prison? Will both women reject him?

Harry  is written so sympathetically ( and  O’Brien does such a great job), it’s hard to condemn him. He’s lonely and weak and I think we are  supposed to partly blame his wife for not paying enough attention to him. How he managed to keep the deception going for 18 months is anybody’s guess.

You do wonder why the  Filmakers would take on such a subject. I reckon if any of the big studios had considered it, the story would have told the story from the two women’s points of view. With no sympathy for the bigamist.

Twice in the film, Ida’s character says, “You kill me ” to O’Brien.  I’m sure this line is in her more famous Road House.

Ida didn’t direct a film again till The Trouble with Angels  in 1966.

M

 

M

Joan Fontaine, Ida Lupino.

Both Harry’s wife and the mother of his child are in court for Harry’s trial.

 

M

Joan Fontaine, Collier Young, Ida Lupino.

Two wives, one husband!

Ida was married to Young  from 1948 to 1951. Joan and Collier Young married in 1952.

 

M

I love this night time shot with a glimpse of  advertising for The Bigamist bottom left, and Disney’s Rob Roy on the right.

Ther’s  also an advertising for the 1953 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Me and Juliet on the left.

Is this Times Square?

HOLLYWOOD ALBUM 1947

M

This annual edition of HOLLYWOOD ALBUM is from 1947 (Gloria de Haven on the cover). And in case you are wondering who Ivy Crane Wilson is, she was the Hollywood correspondent for a London newspaper and edited the annual for at least 14 years, starting in  1947.

Curiously, most of the articles are written in the first person by stars such as Ida Lupino, Deborah Kerr, Van Johnson, Lana Turner, Larry Parks, Dorothy Lamour.

I think they were probably written by the studio publicity depts. Some of it can only be described as purple prose! Eg Ida Lupino talking:

“I am looking forward to a new horizon, that of the sea. To become a vagabond, without the pantomime , the glare of the footlights, the merciless eye of the camera – that is my dream.”

Though Deborah Kerr sounds natural when she says, “What with making my debut in “The Hucksters”, playing in “If Winter Comes ” and having a baby , 1947 is a year I’ll never forget.”

 

Aside from the color star photos, the book has some very interesting film industry statistics  for 1945/46.

The average weekly  earnings of an industry production worker was $87.

The average pay for an extra was $13 a day.

One  in every nine craft workers were women. The film industry ranked 8th bottom in the list of California industries with female employees.

8000 actors were registered with the Screen Actors  Guild.

The Federal Govt collected $415 million in admission taxes.

 

I’ve had no response to my query about similar American Christmas annuals. It seems unusual that such annuals didn’t come out in the States. They were always a handy Xmas stocking filler over here.

 

Here are some of the book’s illustrations.

 

Lizabeth Scott

Lizabeth Scott

 

 

Alan Ladd

Alan Ladd

 

 

Tom and Jerry

Tom and Jerry

 

 

Ida Lupino

Ida Lupino

 

 

Gig Young

Gig Young

 

 

Eleanor Parker

Eleanor Parker

 

 

Glenn Ford

Glenn Ford

 

 

Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth

 

 

James Cagney

James Cagney

THE RACKET. 1951

M

THE RACKET  has a lot going for it. It’s  well paced with plenty of action , as police captain Tom McQuigg ( Robert Mitchum) fights political corruption and the syndicate. His nemesis is Nick Scanlon (Robert Ryan), the ruthless  local crime boss – Scanlon has hooked up with a bigger, nation-wide crime syndicate which is led by someone called ‘the old man’ whom we never see.

 

M

Robert Mitchum

Surprisingly, Robert Mitchum’s character doesn’t appear until about 20 mins into the film. McQuigg is new to Precinct 7 and lets his assembled men know that  he  won’t stand for anything other than good policing.  Backing  him at the precinct are Sergeant Delaney (Walter Sande) and officer Bob Johnson (William Talman).

States  attorney Welch (Ray Collins) and his investigator,Turk (William Conrad) are in the pay of the syndicate which plans to make Welch a judge.

Robert Hutton is Dave Ames, a young reporter friend of Johnson. Ames is smitten with nightclub singer Irene Hayes (Lizabeth Scott)  who just happens to be involved with Scanlon’s younger brother.

The plot  moves fast as it becomes  clear that Scanlon’s ways of dealing with problems are outdated. The ‘old man’ thinks he’s a liability, that physical violence is outmoded – buying politicians and judges is the new way forward.

And you just know that Robert  Ryan’s Scanlon is going to explode at any minute.

One of the great things about this film is how it shows the depth of  acting talent in Hollywood – Mitchum, Ryan, Scott, Talman, Conrad, Collins, Sande – all so good.

Joyce  McKenzie and Virginia  Huston are, respectively, the wives of Robert Mitchum and William Talman  and are only in a couple of scenes.  Their parts could easily have been eliminated .

I would have preferred Mitchum as a loner who gets involved with Scott.

William Conrad is under-used as the ‘fixer’ who says little but carries out orders efficiently . I wanted to see more of him.

Lizabeth Scott’s  role is also under-written. She deserved more screen time and her developing romance with Robert Hutton is unconvincing. (Hutton’s role could also have been eliminated.)

As for the titular head of the crime syndicate, calling him ‘the old man’ and never letting us see him just seemed a waste of time. Don Porter was chillingly efficient as the second in command.

You  could argue that Mitchum is miscast – playing a crime-fighting crusading cop is not usually his style , but he does it well.

Robert Ryan hits all the right notes as the combustible hood who doesn’t know he won’t last long.

 

 

M

Walter Sande, Lizabeth Scott, Robert Mitchum.

 

 

M

Lizabeth Scott.

Lizabeth, ( dubbed by Trudy Stevens?)   sings “A lovely way to spend an evening.”

 

 

M

Robert Ryan, William Conrad, Don Porter.

 

M

Virginia Huston, William Talman.

 

 

M

Robert Mitchum, William Talman, William Conrad.

 

 

M

Robert Ryan, William Conrad, Robert. Mitchum, Ray Collins.

 

M

Robert Ryan

Mitchum  to Ryan,  ” You  were born with an alibi in your mouth.”

 

 

M

Robert Ryan, John Cromwell, Lizabeth Scott, Robert Mitchum.

The Racket was based on a 1927 play in which Edward G. Robinson played Scanlon, and, amazingly, director John Cromwell played the Mitchum role. It became a silent film in 1928, produced by a 24 year old Howard Hughes.

I’ve read good things about the silent version, but how can you beat the 1951 cast.

M

 

M