Thursday, July 21, 2016

Garry Marshall, RIP -- July 21, 2016
I was sad to learn of the death of Garry Marshall, who must have been one of the nicest people in show business.

I remember watching his 1970s television shows like Happy Days.  My daughter was a big fan of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
 I enjoyed many of his movies, especially A League of Their Own.  The whole family enjoyed The Princess Bride movies.

Kate Hudson posted this: "A hard day for those of us in the Garry camp. In reflection, I share some memories and feelings with you. Garry and I were shooting Mothers Day this past year my children came to visit the set. I was behind a wall about to do a scene waiting for the very words that every working actor is quite used to, "and....ACTION!" Much to my pleasant surprise the voice booming from behind the wall was my son, Ryder. I couldn't help but smile and after we finished the scene both Garry and I shared a moment. We knew in an instant that so many things come full circle. That once upon a time that was me on his lap yelling ACTION for my mother and pa on Overboard in 1987. That in Garry's words in that moment, "The circle of life is an amazing thing isn't it..." In that moment he was more then my director, he was family. That moment meant way more then any success of any film. I looked around the set and saw faces I had known and seen since I was a little girl. In one flash of a moment there was so much recognition of how loyal, wonderful, kind, generous, funny and profound Garry was. He kept his loved ones close, he loved people, he loved making movies, he loved to laugh, he loved loved loved. And those of us who were fortunate to know him like this were so lucky. The messages Garry shared with the world truly represented his character. He wanted peace and the importance of family and connection to be at the forefront of everything he did. I have so much admiration for his purity of such loving messages. He created things that made us feel good because he just wanted people around him to be happy. Once while shooting Raising Helen, I was reaching for a laugh. I didn't feel that a scene was going right and I wasn't hitting the joke and I was incredibly frustrated. He came over to me and gently held my hand and said, "Kate, sometimes we don't need to laugh, sometimes making us smile is even more important." Garry wanted to see the world smile because he knew we all need more of that. To everyone in the Garry Marshall family, I love you all so much. I will miss you Garry ❤️ I love you. "

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Blossom Seeley 125 -- July 16, 2016
Vaudeville singer Blossom Seeley was born in San Francisco 125 years ago today, on 16-July-1891.  She helped to introduce many audiences to ragtime and jazz.

I remember her appearing in San Francisco during the 1970s. 

Seeley and her frequent partner Benny Fields appeared in a 1927 Vitaphone short.  Warner Brothers produced hundreds of these shorts to play with their features, which were making the transition from synchronized accompaniment to all-talking movies.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pierre Richard -- July 14, 2016
In honor of Bastille Day, here is one of my favorite comic actors, Pierre Richard.
We saw The Tall Blonde Man With One Black Shoe and probably the sequel at the Clay.  The American remake was awful.
We saw The Toy at the Clay.  The American remake was horrible.
The last movie I saw him in was Faubourg 36, which I saw on cable. I did not recognize him at first. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dog Shy -- July 12, 2016

Film Daily, 27-March-1926

In 1926, Charley Chase appeared in "Dog Shy," a two reeler produced by Hal Roach.  Charley's leading lady was Mildred June.

Film Daily, 25-April-1926

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Noel Neill, RIP -- July 6, 2016
I was sad to learn of the death of actress Noel Neill.  All the people who met her said she was very good to her fans.  After a career as a movie actress and popular pinup model, she played Lois Lane in two Superman movie serials and in the pioneering television series after the first season.  Kirk Alyn played Superman in the movies and George Reeves played him in the television series.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day, 2016 -- July 4, 2016

Motion Picture Magazine, August, 1928

Happy Fourth of July to all.

Actress Myrna Loy, one of my favorites, ignores the sign prohibiting fireworks.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Olivia de Haviland On the Air -- July 1, 2016

This post is part of  the Olivia de Havilland Centenary Blogathon hosted by Crystal at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and Phyllis at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. On Friday, 01-July-2016, Miss de Haviland will be 100 years old.  

Commercial radio had begun in the United States in the 1920s.  The first national network, NBC, the National Broadcasting Company, began operating in 1926. The national networks and sponsors developed many types of programs, dramas, comedies and variety shows.  Recordings of radio shows from before the mid-1930s are very rare.  In part because of union contracts, shows on the national networks, NBC, CBS (the Columbia Broadcasting System) and MBS (the Mutual Broadcasting System) were broadcast live.  National shows were performed twice, once for the Eastern and Central time zones and once three hours later for the Pacific time zone.

Hollywood, after a short period of being worried about competition from the radio, embraced it as a mechanism to promote their movies and their stars.   Warner Brothers even started its own Los Angeles radio station, which is still called KFWB.  Warner Brothers star Olivia De Havilland made many appearances on the radio.  

Radio Mirror, October, 1937
Actress Olivia de Haviland famously never had an acting lesson.  In this article, "If You Want to Act," from the October, 1937 Radio Mirror, she says that "Any young actor should look at radio as his great opportunity ... Look at me.  Radio makes me a better actress every time I go on the air.  It gives me the inspiration and excitement I've never found in the movies.  And it's teaching me things about the job of acting the movies can't even touch!"  She speaks of the benefit of playing a story from beginning to end, building to a logical climax, rather than jumping around with lots of interruptions, as they do in movies.  Radio also gave her the opportunity to play with actors who were under contract to studios other than Warner Brothers.
In 1935, Olivia de Havilland's first big hit movie was Captain Blood, where she co-starred with Errol Flynn, who became a regular screen partner.

On 22-February-1937, an anthology show, The Lux Radio Theatre, which did weekly adaptions of popular movies, presented Captain Blood, with Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, Henry Stephenson and Basil Rathbone.  The host was usually director Cecil B De Mille, but this week, he was away working on The Buccaneer.  Actor Herbert Marshall served as the temporary host.

In many cases, the original stars of a movie were not all available.  In 1934 Alexander Korda produced an adaption of Baroness Emma Orczy's novel The Scarlet Pimpernel. Leslie Howard played Sir Percy Blakeney, the Scarlet Pimpernel and Merle Oberon played his wife, Lady Blakeney.  Raymond Massey played the bad guy, Chauvelin.

On 12-December-1938, The Lux Radio Theatre presented The Scarlet Pimpernel.  Leslie Howard reprised his role as Sir Percy. Olivia de Havilland played Lady Blakeney.  Howard and de Havilland worked together again in Gone With the Wind.  I could not catch the name of the guy who played Chauvelin.  Cecil B De Mille was the host.
In 1941, Alfred Hitchcock directed Cary Grant and Olivia de Havilland's sister Joan Fontaine in Suspicion.  de Havilland was nominated for Best Actress for Hold Back the Dawn and Fontaine was nominated for Suspicion.  Fontaine won.  On 04-May-1942, Joan Fontaine appeared in Suspicion on The Lux Radio Theatre,  Brian Aherne played Johnny, Cary Grant's role.

On 18-September-1944, The Lux Radio Theatre repeated Suspicion.  Since network shows had to be broadcast live, they had to create a new production. This time, Olivia de Havilland played her sister's role and William Powell played Johnny.  I wonder if this added to the friction between the sisters.

Olivia de Havilland appeared on other types of shows as well.  On 04-October-1938, she appeared on the Bob Hope Show, a comedy-variety show.

Suspense was a drama anthology known as "radio's outstanding theater of thrills."  On 07-September-1944 Olivia De Havilland appeared in "Voyage Through Darkness" with Reginald Gardiner.  I always like the series opening: "We hope to keep you in ... suspense." 

Search on the internet and you will find many more Old Time Radio shows featuring Olivia de Havilland.

We are lucky that she is still with us.  I hope she has a wonderful 100th birthday.

This post is part of  the Olivia de Havilland Centenary Blogathon hosted by Crystal at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and Phyllis at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. Thank you to Crystal and Phyllis for all the hard work.  Thank you to everyone who visited and I encourage you to read and comment on as many posts as you can.  Bloggers love comments.  

This post is my third blogathon post of 2016 and my 43rd since 2007.  This is my 25th blogathon.    This page has a list of all my blogathon posts.