Everybody Loves Kay Francis

Please don protective eyewear, as you cannot stare directly into the glamour without jeopardizing your vision.

Holiday Pictures

Holiday pictures, as in pictures to send you off on your government-approved three day holiday. Valid in the U.S. only. The rest of you will just have to enjoy a regular weekend. I’m still cleaning out my Whoops I Forgot To Post This folder, so here we go. Hollywood Hotel: Housewife: Courtesy Film Noir Photos. I Married a Monster From Outer Space: Just Imagine: Wife Vs Secretary: The Big Heat: Big Bad Mama: Have a good weekend, where ever you may be.

The Bette Davis Project #16: Wagon Train: “The Elizabeth McQueeny Story”

Bette Davis guest starred in three episodes of “Wagon Train,” and BBFF Ivan tipped me off to a rerun of her second appearance in “The Elizabeth McQueeny Story”. This 1959 episode featured Ward Bond in the lead as wagon master Seth Adams leading a wagon train to, er, somewhere in the west. I don’t really know. Bette looks like she’s going to laugh when she makes her appearance as the fabulous Madame Elizabeth McQueeny, matron to ten lovely girls who are going west to establish a finishing school. They come with high recommendations and are to accompany the train as it heads west. It takes a few days but Adams, being the smartest of the bunch, figures out that the Madame is actually planning on setting up a dance hall. Those aren’t students, they’re dancing goils! Acting, theater, and dance halls seem to be used as euphemisms for cat houses and prostitutes, but sometimes when the show says “dancer,” it really means “dancer.” Made for kind of an uneven episode, but there was some fun dialogue: ADAMS: “You’ll be entertaining a lot of men.” ELIZABETH: “I am a lot of woman.” Soon after setting out, the train runs into a group of native peoples who turn over a bedraggled and soused man who claims to be one Count Roberto de Falconi, played by Robert Strauss, who is epically hot in this episode. He’s no Animal Kasava here, is what I’m sayin’. Bette looks pretty damn great herself, although I notice … Continue reading

The Bette Davis Project #15: The Star (1952)

The Star (1952) tries so hard to be the All About Eve of film, to mix real life with cinematic license, but it never quite succeeds at its lofty intentions. It’s possible The Star was conceived as pastiche, but I truly doubt it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthwhile film, because it is campy and fun and sometimes ridiculous, with one incredible scene that makes the boring bits worth trudging through. Bette plays aging film actress Margaret Elliot (sheesh, just call her Margo already). As the film opens, we see her as she stands sadly outside an auction house as her belongings are sold to pay her numerous debts. She catches her own agent leaving the auction with some of her stuff, which is hilarious in the same way Bette waiting for Anita Louise to die in That Certain Woman is. Margaret wants the lead in the upcoming film The Fatal Winter and insists her agent works on it for her, but you get the feeling he won’t. Afterward, she heads to her ex-husband’s house to visit her daughter Gretchen (Natalie Wood). Gretchen wants to go back to living with her mother, but because of financial concerns she can’t. Gretchen also insists that the kids at school bully her because Margaret isn’t really a star, which doesn’t seem particularly likely, but Gretchen has to be put-upon and that’s her particular cross to bear, apparently. Before Margaret leaves, her ex’s new wife accosts her with the “I didn’t steal your … Continue reading

Hedda Hopper #2

And now, those publicity stills of Hedda I promised you: Photograph by Victor Georg. This and other photos can be found at Allure — check it out! Irene Dunne, Louise Beavers, Hedda Hopper. From The Daily Mirror. Early 1930s publicity glamour photo, from Stirred, Straight Up, With a Twist. Hedda Hopper and Sam Goldwyn. Hedda and Tallulah and an accidental photobomber. Hedda under her hats circa 1952, the year From Under My Hat was published. Courtesy Stirred, Straight Up, With a Twist.

Hedda Hopper #1

At some point during my many hours of watching older films, I realized Hedda Hopper had been in an enormous amount of movies. I knew she had been an actress, but I learned that fact back in the day when almost nothing she appeared in was available for the general public. Curiosity piqued by her numerous small roles, I started screencapping her bit parts and even bought a couple of vintage copies of her books From Under My Hat and The Whole Truth and Nothing But. This potential project died a quick death, though, as the more I learned about Hedda, the less I liked her. That’s why there aren’t many screencaps, but at the same time, I couldn’t just let these go to waste. Larry Harnisch at the L.A. Times historical blog The Daily Mirror has posted dozens of Hedda’s columns from the 1930s and 1940s, starting with her very first column, some that show off her delightful habit of happily naming names during the McCarthy era, and her inclusion as an L.A. Times Woman of the Year in 1955 — she’s the unidentifiable blob on the left. Here are the whole four (4!) screen captures I grabbed of Hedda. Tomorrow, the publicity stills. Artists and Models (1937) The Man Who Played God (1932) Wings (1927) As herself in The Oscar (1966) where she loves Stephen Boyd’s cruel joke on his starlet girlfriend as much as überasshole Boyd does. It’s such a surprise that Hedda would enjoy cruel tricks. … Continue reading

Crazy Love (2007) and Mr. Death (1999)

There are spoilers. I am only going to tell you once. One of my favorite things is to catch a documentary on the spur of the moment, a documentary where I know nothing about the subjects. So it was on an early October evening when I was home, sulking around with a nasty sinus infection, that I saw Crazy Love (2007) was about to start on Sundance. Within a few minutes, I was hooked. How could I not be? The man being interviewed, Burt Pugach, had been described as looking like Arnold Stang when he was younger. It was all light-hearted and fun in the beginning, and all I knew is that the cable guide description said that one of Pugach’s love affairs lead to something “horrific.” Pugach is a lawyer who, in the 1950s, was a man about town who dated the beautiful young Linda Riss, despite having a wife and kid already.  We see their turbulent, problematic relationship begin and end, we learn how Linda got on with her life.  As the story unfolds, the documentary is eerily successful at not giving away too much too soon. You see Linda in sunglasses during her present-day interview, but the camera is careful not to reveal why. Just before the key incident is revealed, you start to see behind the glasses a bit, you realize she’s blind. Later, immediately before the film reveals the horrific act — that a crazed Burt hired men to throw acid in Linda’s face in … Continue reading

Diana Dors Nude

NSFW: Cheesecake nudity! Everyone loves it, but your boss might not.     Note: This nude publicity photo of Diana Dors by photographer Horace Roye was originally posted on my personal blog technoknob back in 2011, when Blogger insisted that if we were going to post naughty, naughty things, like a partial view of a hinder and the side of a woman’s breast, that we had to have a Content Warning. So this was my content warning.  

Actors I Love, Part III

The last group. Some are still assuredly missing from my list, but many of these actors and actresses are in modern movies that I’ll probably never get around to blogging about, so this was a fun way to give them a little SBBN-approved love. Stewart Granger Timothy Carey Kathryn Grayson Richard Jeni Austin Pendleton The 1967 revival of “The Little Foxes,” with Anne Bancroft, George C. Scott, E.G. Marshall, and Austin Pendleton.

Actors I Love, Part II

Now with actresses and even a director! Everett Sloane Harvey Korman Jesse Royce Landis John Cassavettes Maria Bello Mischa Auer Pam Grier