El Brendel

Much of my information came from online sources (listed below) and the book pictured here, Anthony Slide’s Eccentrics of Comedy. Originally, my plan had been to thrill you all with a quick one-two punch, er, I mean series, of El Brendel-related posts. That is, until my plans were waylaid by an uncooperative fact that involved…

Gloria Grahame

Much of my information on Gloria Grahame comes from the excellent book Suicide Blonde: The Life of Gloria Grahame by Vincent Curcio. I definitely recommend this book for fans of Grahame. It’s out of print, but used copies can be found online in several stores. Grahame was a beautiful, troubled actress with a unique style…

The Big Heat (1953)

The Big Heat (1953)

The Big Heat (1953, dir. Fritz Lang) is the quintessential classic 1950s film noir. The film begins, as they say, at the beginning: The suicide of a police officer and his hard, greedy widow looking to cash in while the body is still warm. She reads her husband’s suicide note and, seeing the opportunity for a payout, decides to blackmail the crime boss who had kept her husband on his payroll. Things go downhill from there.

In the Background: Richard Simmons

Fitness guru Richard Simmons once told A&E’s Biography that he spent time in Italy in his early 20s, and was a bit actor in the 1969 film Fellini Satyricon, an epic tale of decadence and bloodshed populated by hundreds of extras with unique faces and surprising bodies. It’s no surprise that a young, doe-eyed, very large young Simmons would be cast as one of these human decorations.