Tag Archives: Old Hollywood

Tomorrow!! @ the Egyptian Theater, Hollywood, CA! 7:30pm

Buy your tickets here! http://www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/down-to-the-sea-in-ships

Elmer Clifton directed this exciting and realistic saga of 19th century whaling, featuring an actual whale hunt captured on film. Shot on location in New Bedford, Massachusetts with locals in period costume as extras, the film stars Raymond McKee, Marguerite Courtot and, in her second film role, Clara Bow.


The Knickerbocker Hotel- Tidbits and Facts on an old Hollywood landmark

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knickerbocker_Hotel_%28Los_Angeles%29

Hotel Knickerbocker served as a temporary home to Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Rudolph Valentino, Three Stooges, Francis Farmer and some still live there in spirit.

The Renaissance Revival bar was a popular spot for celebrities. Silent screen star Rudolph Valentino was known to ride his horse down from the hills and dance the tango to the live music in this bar. Marilyn Monroe used to sneak through the kitchen in order to meet up with Joe Dimaggio.

When making movies, Elvis Presley liked to stay in Suite 1016. In fact, the song “Heartbreak Hotel” was written about the Knickerbocker by Hoyt Axton’s mother. Some of his publicity shots were taken inside the hotel.

Frances Farmer, who had a brilliant career in the 1930s and 1940s, turned to alcohol and drugs. She was arrested at the Knickerbocker after getting into a fight and dragged out half-naked. She was taken to a sanitarium where she was abused and eventually given a lobotomy. (Actual pic below of the arrest!)

Famous film director D.W. Griffith died of a stroke in 1948. He was living on the 10th floor and collapsed in the lobby under the art deco chandelier. He had turned to alcohol and Hollywood disowned him. Later, he was remembered as a brilliant director and, in 1999, a plaque honoring Griffith was placed in the lobby at the Knickerbocker.

Irene Gibbons, who designed costumes for famous actresses such as Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich, committed suicide at the Knickerbocker in 1962. She went into a deep depression after the death of actor Gary Cooper, whom she loved.

Bess Houdini, widow of Harry Houdini, conducted annual séances on Halloween night on the rooftop of the Knickerbocker. She did this for 10 years until 1936. During the first séance, thunder and lightning began. It was believed that this storm was limited to the top of the hotel and was not seen anywhere else in the Hollywood.

“The Hollywood Knickerbocker Apartments, formerly the Knickerbocker Hotel, is a senior home located at 1714 Ivar Avenue in Los Angeles, California. Built in 1925 by E.M. Frasier in Spanish Colonial Revival style, the historic hotel catered to the region’s nascent film industry, and is the site for some of Hollywood’s most famous dramatic moments. Rudolf Valentino was a regular at the bar before his death in 1926.”


The Hollywood Connection: Photographs and Autographs ONLINE AUCTION

Tomorrow there will be an internet-only auction for original vintage stills and portraits showcasing many Hollywood legends, including Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Bogart, and Rita Hayworth. Also included are signed film books with autographs by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Hope, Orson Welles, Sidney Poitier, the Fondas, Bette Davis, and Charlton Heston. Here is a link to the catalog for more info.

JustElizabeth

http://issuu.com/haxbee/docs/photoauctioncataloghi-res

http://www.icollector.com/Hollywood-Photography-Autographs_as28470

The glamour and myth of Hollywood was built during the 1930s and ’40s by stars like Marilyn Monroe, Clara Bow, Clark Gable, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire, Greta Garbo and others. These timeless stars continue to awe, inspire and entertain us today. Blacksparrow Auctions is pleased to present a collection of original vintage stills and portraits that showcase the enduring magnetism and romance of Hollywood. Some of the highlight photos include scenes from There’s No Business Like Show Business with Marilyn Monroe, keybook stills of Clara Bow, Jean Harlow portraits, Humphrey Bogart stills from Key Largo, and many more. The collection includes Hollywood royalty such as Steve McQueen, Ingrid Bergman, Rita Hayworth, Errol Flynn, The Marx Brothers, Jayne Mansfield, Brigitte Bardot and Greta Garbo. Also featured are film stills from Stanley Kubrick films, Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Misfits, Bonnie and Clyde, The Three Stooges, and Alfred Hitchcock films. Altogether the collection spans the 1920s, pre-Code and silent era to the 1970s.

We are further excited to bring you a unique collection of signed film books that include autographs from some of the greatest actors and performers of the silver screen. One of the books, entitled The Bad Guys, contains dozens of signatures from some of Hollywood’s most memorable villains: James Cagney, Bette Davis, Edward G. Robinson, Cesar Romero, Joan Crawford, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and more. Another book, entitled The Fondas, contains over 250 autographs of actors, directors and producers who have worked with Henry, Peter and Jane Fonda, including Olivia De Havilland, Sandra Dee, Alice Faye, Mel Ferrer, George Hamilton, Elsa Lanchester, Dorothy Lamour, Fred MacMurray, Roddy McDowell, Burgess Meredith, Gregory Peck and so many, many more. There are 37 of these books, all filled with scores of original autographs collected over seven decades by a former journalist and studio publicist. This is an impressive and incomparable compilation that will be the cornerstone of any Hollywood autograph collection.

 


Bettie Page….the side you DIDN’T know

Pin-up beauty Bettie Page’s mugshot from October 29th 1972.  Many of Bettie’s fans don’t seem to know that she left the pinup world and became a religious fanatic. Years later she was diagnosed of having ( acute schizophrenia ) and she ev…entually spent 20 months in a state mental institution because she stabbed three people. A husband and wife the first time, and her 66 year old roommate the second time because she said that ( God inspired her to do it ) She died at the age of 85.

What was the dark secret of Bettie Page—the curvaceous  black-banged pinup goddess who titillated 1950s America with S&M poses, abandoned her career in 1957, and disappeared? Other bios have chronicled her subsequent incarnations as an evangelical Christian, suburban housewife, and English teacher. But journalist Richard Foster, in his sensationalistic, albeit scrupulously researched book, The Real Bettie Page: The Truth About the Queen of the Pinups, reveals that in 1979 and 1982, Page (a diagnosed schizophrenic) tried to stab several people to death and was institutionalized and spent her last days as a recluse. She also made several foster attempts, clumsily, to reconcile her victimized childhood with her mental illness.

A cult figure, Page was most famous for the estimated 20,000 4-by-5-inch black-and-white glossy photographs taken by amateur shutterbugs from 1949 to 1957. The photos showed her in high heels and bikinis or negligees, bondage apparel — or nothing at all.

Decades later, those images inspired biographies, comic books, fan clubs, websites, commercial products — Bettie Page playing cards, dress-up magnet sets, action figures, Zippo lighters, shot glasses — and, in 2005,  a film about her life and times, “The Notorious Bettie Page.”

“I want to be remembered,” she said, “as I was when I was young and in my golden times. . . . I want to be remembered as the woman who changed people’s perspectives concerning nudity in its natural form.”

Her life to an amazing twist at 35, Page walked away from it all. She quit modeling and moved to Florida, where she married a much younger man whose passions, she later learned, were watching television and eating hamburgers.

Page fled from her home in tears after a dispute on New Year’s Eve in 1959. Down the street, she noticed a white neon sign over a little white church with its door open.

After quietly taking a seat in the back, she had a born-again experience. Page immersed herself in Bible studies and served as a counselor for the Billy Graham Crusade.

In 1967, she married for a third time. After that marriage ended in divorce 11 years later, Page plunged into a depression marked by violent mood swings. She argued with her landlady and attacked her with a knife. A judge found her innocent by reason of insanity but sentenced her to 10 years in a California mental institution.

She spent most of her final years in a one-bedroom apartment, reading the Bible, listening to Christian and country tunes, watching westerns on television, catching up on diet and exercise regimens or sometimes perusing secondhand clothing stores.


Happy Birthday Lucy!!

As a HUGE fan of  “I Love Lucy” and owner of every season I must say, I love Lucille Ball OUTSIDE from the known TV series.

Before she became a television superstar she was a contract player for RKO and Columbia Pictures. Happy birthday Miss Lucille Ball born August 6th , 1911 in Jamestown , N.Y.

539615_541567322575599_213391364_n[1] 968890_641822775830516_915840163_n[1] 972107_287552141385413_1588940672_n[1] 1005677_634815239891681_919751557_n[1] 1098047_543819558999075_437447051_n[1] 1149029_541570569241941_1318401191_n[1]

I also love the fact that she was one of the Zeigfeld Follies Girls!

Check out this video/bio on Lucy.  AMAZING pictures I have never seen before!!

 


Old Hollywood like you have never seen before 1920s style…!!

If you are from Southern California, and frequent the downtown Los Angeles and the immediate surrounding areas, then all of the pictures below are really going to hit home.  I can honestly say I have been to every one of these areas and it amazes me to see how it all began.  Enjoy!!

(1922)*^ – Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks hang the entrance signs for their Pickford-Fairbanks Studios in Hollywood.

.

(ca. 1923)^# – About a dozen men cheering for the camera in what seems to be the completion of an early phase of the new housing development project. At the same time, construction crews appear to still be working.

(ca. 1924)* – Three cars are parked in the street in front of a sign for Hollywoodland sales. To the right is the tract office building. Behind that another building is under construction. Another at the top of the hill looks nearly finished.

(ca. 1924)* – The construction sign in back reads “You are now in Hollywoodland, Tray E. Shoults Co.”. In the street in front of the Tract Office and other buildings approx. 70 men in a line 2 to 3 rows deep stand at the gates of Beachwood Drive.

(ca. 1920s)* – Intersection of Sunset and Cahuenga boulevards with heavy traffic going in all directions. The tall tower in the center of the photo is the Hollywood Athletic Club.

Historical Notes

When the Hollywood Athletic Club was first built in 1924, Hollywood was entering its greatest and most productive period. The building was the tallest building in Hollywood and loomed above Sunset Boulevard. Membership was originally $150 for initiation fees and $10 for monthly dues.

During its early years as a health club, its membership included Johnny Weissmuller, Errol Flynn, Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, Walt Disney, John Ford, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Mary Pickford, Cecil B de Mille, Cornel Wilde, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Frances X. Bushman, Howard Hughes, Joan Crawford and Rudolph Valentino, Mae West, Walt Disney, and Buster Crabbe.*^

(1929)* – Street view of the Hollywood Athletic Club, located at 6525 Sunset Blvd.

(1922)* – Around 50,000 people gathered for the Easter sunrise service in the Hollywood Bowl. An even larger crowd was expected there on Easter morning when the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra played for the worshipers. The Hollywood Bowl would officially be opened four months later (July 11, 1922).

(ca. 1923)* – Bird’s eye view looking west on Hollywood Blvd. at Cahuenga circa 1923.

(ca. 1923)* – A view of the courtyard of Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre with statues of an Egyptian king, Indian elephants. Billboard advertising for Douglas Fairbanks “The Thief of Bagdad.” The theatre opened in 1922 and was designed by architects Meyer & Holler.

Historical Notes

The Egyptian Theatre was the venue for the first-ever Hollywood premiere, Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks, on Wednesday, October 18, 1922. As the film reportedly cost over $1 million to produce, the admission price to the premiere was $5.00. One could reserve a seat up to two weeks in advance for the daily performances. Evening admission was 75¢, $1.00 or $1.50. The film was not shown in any other Los Angeles theater during that year.

(1927)* – Night view shows theater lights and throngs of fans packing the streets for blocks around Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Publicity of Hollywood premiers usually brought stars and other distinguished visitors to magnificent events such as the one seen here – possibly the opening night of a movie starring Douglas Fairbanks.

(1928)* – Marquee says to “Watch for the Grand Opening” of Warner Bros. Theatre in Hollywood.

(1928)* – A customer gets full service at the gas pumps at Muller Bros. Service Station on Sunset Blvd.

Historical Notes

The Muller Brothers Service Station was located across Sunset Boulevard on 4 acres, where the Cinerama Dome Theater is now located. Opened in 1920 by the Muller brothers, Walter and Frank, this became the largest service station in the world (including a large automobile supply center), employing 120 people by 1937. Celebrities, from Rudolph Valentino to Clark Gable, came by regularly to get gas or just work on their cars. In 1963 the site was sold for the Cinerama Dome Theater, and, at that time, an eventual hotel.

(ca. 1928)* – Exterior view of the Gower Street entrance of the RKO Studios, located on Gower Street and Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. The studios were established by Robertson-Cole in 1921 and are now owned by CBS Paramount Television. RKO is short for Radio-Keith-Orpheum.

(ca. 1930s)^ – Carpenter’s Sandwich drive-in on Sunset and Vine. Two carhops are posing for the camera by the counter while another to the right appears to be serving food.

(1933)* – A man sits on a steel girder on the half-completed dome of the Griffith Observatory as other construction workers are on scaffolds on the building behind the dome. Construction rubble is scattered around the Observatory’s foundation.

(1934)* – The Griffith Observatory and the main building, the planetarium, are seen from below and from the back. A hiking path has been cut into the hillside below, on the south side, but brush still covers much of the area.

I found these and a million more pictures and information at the following site and all credit goes to them.  I just had to share a few jewels here. Please go here for many, many, many more pictures of Old Hollywood!!

http://waterandpower.org/museum/Early_Views_of_Hollywood_%281920_+%29.html

 


Hollywood Heavyweight – William Powell

Happy Birthday to William Powell (July 29, 1892-March 5, 1984).

Happy Birthday to William Powell (July 29, 1892-March 5, 1984).

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001635/

Personal Quotes

[when asked how he kept so slim] “I highly recommend worrying. It’s much more effective than dieting.”

[speaking in 1929] “Unfortunately, or perhaps it is fortunate that I have always been forced to stand on my acting ability. I haven’t a personality such as Jack Gilbert’s, for instance, that attracts women and makes them like me for myself. When I am on the screen I must make them forget me entirely and think only of my acting.”

My friends have stood by me marvelously in the ups and downs of my career. I don’t believe there is anything more worthwhile in life than friendship. Friendship is a far better thing than love, as it is commonly accepted.

I do not hold that because the author did a bad job of writing the player need trump it with the same kind of acting. When I go into a picture I have only one character to look after. If the author didn’t do him justice, I try to add whatever the creator of the part overlooked.

I have never gone into a picture without first studying my characterization from all angles. I make a study of the fellow’s life and try to learn everything about him, including the conditions under which he came into this world, his parentage, his environment, his social status, and the things in which he is interested. Then I attempt to get his mental attitude as much as possible.

There is more money in being liked by an audience than in being disliked by it. The biggest thing about movie audiences is the sympathy they give characters on the screen. But the art of acting and the talent of selecting what one will act are divorced qualities.


Old Hollywood Guess Who…….

I adore this picture!! I just can’t believe my eyes and think it is so lovely to find pictures of some of your favorite actors when they were young.  I dare everyone to try and guess before looking at the name below.

Vivian Vance

Vivian Vance!
AKA Ethel Mertz on TV’s “I Love Lucy”!!!
LOVE!!


PSA to Classic Film/Pre-Code Film lovers!!

I just found this out and will start my 2 week free trial TONIGHT!!

http://instant.warnerarchive.com/

Warner Archive Features


What to do on Saturday? Silent film under the stars? YES!

Just a reminder that  Silent & Classic Movie Nights continues this Saturday with the 1915 film version of Alice In Wonderland. Bring the whole family and watch the film under the stars. Gates open at 7:30.

“The 1915 film version of Alice In Wonderland will be screened on Saturday, July 27. This is the third film adaption of the Lewis Carroll classic novel. For admirers of the book, this film version is significant for portraying the ‘Father William’ poem in its entirety and it includes an image of John Tenniel’s illustration of Father William doing his back-somersault at the front door. Tenniel was the artist who illustrated Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

http://heritagesquare.org/about/press/press-release/2013-silent-and-classic-movie-nights-to-feature-early-film-adaptations-of-childrens-literary-classics

HeritageSquareMuseum is a living history museum dedicated to telling the story of Los Angeles like no place else. The Museum is regularly open for tours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $10/adults, $8/seniors, $5/children ages 6-12.  Heritage Square is located at 3800 Homer Street, off the 110 Arroyo Seco Parkway (110/Pasadena Freeway) at Avenue 43. For further information, visit our website at www.heritagesquare.org or like us at our Facebook page.

Alice in Wonderland 1915 with live music - dir. WW Young/ 3


Movie review – A true classic, I give you….Grand Hotel (1932)

First let me wow you with the cast: Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, John Barrymore.  Let me allow you to soak in this greatness.

Joan…*sigh*

Greta….*sigh*

and John…*swoons*

Basically this movie is about  a group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas. John, who is the resident hotel thief and gambler, has a brief flirtation with Joan who is at the hotel on business as a stenographer, only to quickly fall head over heals in love with Greta, a world famous ballerina.  Joan gives a great performance, her eyes and smile dazzle you, Greta, with her silent film background, is very passionate and communicates so much about her character just in facial expressions and body language.  You really get a feel her anguish.  I loved Johns character because he was devilishly handsome and flirtatious.  He was also a gentleman and played this diverse part well.

This is a great look into luxury travel in the past, and the different characters you would come in contact with during your travel adventures.  As I like to say, a must see!!

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022958/

I hope you take my word for it and give it a try!!


Ginger Rogers….the other side of Fred Astaire

I really hate to say “the other side”, but that is how most people would know Ginger Rogers.  The blonde bombshell who was Fred’s usual partner.  I followed her on TCM when she was Actress of the Month, and discovered she was most amazing in movies WITHOUT Fred Astaire! Truly stunning, talented, and quite sassy in many of her movies, and I love sassy!

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001677/

Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri on July 16, 1911.  Below is a few movie suggestions for Ginger Rogers.  If you have a chance to check them out, let me know what you think here! Also, if you have any other suggestions, please feel free to recommend!

I hope you enjoy these flicks and let me know if you get a chance to watch them!!


The Ultimate Classic Hollywood Experience

The Ultimate Classic Hollywood Experience

April 25–28, 2013  Things to do in Hollywood this weekend!

For years and years I have wanted to go but unfortunately the cost of this event has not allowed me to do so.  The cheapest total event pass starts at $249 per person.  I have thought of just hanging out in the area just to people watch as that can be just as fun sometimes.  The Turner Classic Movie channel has an annual event where they show classic films on the big screen and have lots of actors and actresses old and new come in and do commentary.

You can buy individual event passes for $20 for general audiences, $10 with valid student I.D. for most events. Individual tickets are $30 for general audiences, $15 with valid student I.D

Please note: Individual tickets will NOT be sold for the Opening Night Red Carpet Gala screening of FUNNY GIRL (1968) or Club TCM events – including panels – as these are exclusive events for pass holders (depending on pass level).

Please note: Children under the age of 4 are not admitted to any Festival events.

Please click this link to see the film festival schedule: http://filmfestival.tcm.com/programs/schedule-thursday.php  For movie nerds like us, this event is a guaranteed good time.  If you go, please share your experience here!!


I looooove Lucy!!!!

I looooooove Lucy!!!!

When I was a young child something that I shared with my mother and grandmother is that we loved to watch I love Lucy.  She was a wild woman who would do anything to make her audience laugh.  As an adult I can honestly say Lucy’s character was very catty, a tad bitchy, especially to her good friend Ethel, but still a good wife and mother.  I still enjoy watching I Love Lucy episodes to this day with my daughter!

Lucille Ball was quite the actress and comedian well outside of her part in the I Love Lucy show.  Lucille Desiree Ball was born on April 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York.  Her career started in 1933 when she appeared in The Bowery and 28 other films by 1936 including Moulin Rouge and The Three Musketeers before her name started to appear in the credits.  Not many people know but Lucille Ball was one of the original Follies Girls aka Ziegfeld Follies.  They were in a series of Broadway shows but were known for the many beautiful girls in very risqué costumes!

Check this out, what a lineup!!

I love Lucy most when she is playing something that is outside of her I love Lucy shows.  She is a great actress and I adore her opposite Bob Hope.

I do have a movie suggestion, a must see of early Lucille Ball films and that would be “Having a Wonderful Time” (1938) starting Ginger Rogers.  Lucy plays a college crazy woman called, “screwball”.  It’s quit fitting for Lucy and she is her usual wild self.  I also want to add that although she is known for her wild red hair, she has also been a blonde and a brunette.

Lucy is obviously beautiful and known for her comedy, but I have seen her in a serious roll, much later in her career, which left me speechless.  She was so incredibly talented and diverse.  She stared in a TV movie in 1985 called Stone Pillow.  In this movie she plays a homeless woman who befriends a young social worker.  Another Lucy must see.

Stone Pillow (1985) Poster

I hope you enjoyed my tribute to Lucille Ball!


Happy Birthday Charles Chaplin

Happy Birthday Charles Chaplin

644664_455807037821902_2072128449_n[1]

Where does one begin when trying to sum up Charlie Chaplin’s career?

Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin was born on this day, April 16, 1889 in London, England.

Charlie Chaplin, considered (and for good reason) to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood and film.  Charlie Chaplin was an actor, comedian, director, producer, writer, musician and music composer whose work in motion pictures spanned from 1914 until 1967.

He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular “Little Tramp” character; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk.

Here is an interesting trivia fact that I had no clue about: “On March 3, 1978, his dead body was stolen from the Corsier-Sur-Vevey cemetery. It took until 18 May when the police found it.” – OH MY  I know silent films aren’t for everyone but if you ever want to give it a shot, you will not be let down with Mr. Chaplin.  He is a great comedian who can make you laugh without saying a word, and that’s saying something.

Top 5 Charlie Chaplin movies I suggest:

1: The Great Dictator (1940)

2: The Gold Rush (1925)

3: The Circus (1928)

4: The Kid (1921)

5: Modern Times (1936)

If you are in the Los Angeles area, I would suggest looking up the Egyptian Theatre for silent film screenings as I have seen first hand Chaplin films on original 8mm along with commentary.  It was a fabulous experience and definitely a great way to view the classics!