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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Alan Eichler: Robert Osborne Interviewing Lana Turner- 1982 TV Interview

Source: Alan Eichler- Bob & Lana-
Source: Alan Eichler: Robert Osborne Interviewing Lana Turner- 1982 TV Interview

Just to be a little personal when you're talking about cute Hollywood blondes, Lana Turner is at the top of the list. Even in her late forties and fifties she was still as cute as a little girl and not just because she was really short. Love Has Many Faces from 1964 I believe is Lana's best movie and one of the best soap operas of all-time (at least in my opinion) Lana worked with the gorgeous baby-face adorable Stefanie Powers in that movie. And Stefanie is maybe 20 at that point and as cute as can be and Lana is in her early forties and Lana is the cutest women in that movie. That movie also had a beautiful adorable brunette in Ruth Roman in it. Peyton Place from the 1950s, she's cuter than her daughter in that movie.

Lana Turner was always an adorable gorgeous baby blonde with a keen honest intelligence and quick wit. Which made her perfect for soap movies in the 50s and 60s like The Big Cube in 1969 which is more of a cult favorite than anything else, but still a very entertaining and funny movie. And made her perfect for TV soaps like Falcon Crest in the 1980s. The Bad and The Beautiful where she plays a brand new soon to be the next hot star in Hollywood and she works with Kirk Douglas, Barry Sullivan and Dick Powell in that movie. She was like a little girl in that movie as far as physical stature but that little baby face and how she spoke and came off in that movie. The Bad and The Beautiful is the prefect title for that movie. Because there were no angels in that movie. But ordinary people simply trying to survive working for a selfish producer who was  user of talent.

If you were going to put together a list of the top 5-10 Hollywood actresses of all-time I believe Lana Turner would have to be on it. Of course it would also have to have The Love Goddess Rita Hayworth on it. Slim Lauren Bacall would have to be on it. Elizabeth Taylor would have to be on it. Ava Gardner would have to be on it and if you left Ava off she might sue you for that. Susan Hayward would have to be on it. I believe Lauren Bacall is the best perhaps Liz Taylor is just right behind her.

But Lana Turner is in that group as well because she was so convincing and a great dramatic comedic actress who combined great dramatic affect with quick wit as well. And self-deprecating humor as well and not afraid to make fun of herself. Maybe that had something to do with the alcohol or maybe just because she was so honest. But I believe the best actresses and actors are the most honest which allows for them to be the most convincing because they look like they're playing themselves. Which is why Lana Turner is so high up the Hollywood best ever list.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Joan Collins Archives: Mark McMorrow- Film Flashback: Rally Round The Flag Boys 1958

Source: Joan Collins Archive-
Source: Joan Collins Archives: Mark McMorrow; Film Flashback: Rally Round The Flag Boys 1958

Unlike Seven Thieves which I blogged about a couple weeks ago Joan Collins and Paul Newman, really are the only two reasons to watch Rally Round The Flag Boys. Joanne Woodward is pretty cute and funny in it, Jack Carson is great as the stumbling awkward U.S. Army Captain who tries to come off as a lot tougher than he actually is. Jack Carson is simply one of the top comedic actors of his generation.

But the first hour of this movie is pretty funny with Joan playing this beautiful (if not gorgeous) rich housewife in this small town about an hour outside of New York City who really only has one problem. Her wealthy business executive husband never sees her. The man is either working all the time at the office, out-of-town on business (or with his mistresses's) or going out with his mistresses. I added the mistress part myself to make it sound funny, but the point being the man is never around and never seen with his beautiful adorable wife Angela Hoffa (played by Joan Collins) in the entire movie. And Joan can get kinda prickly about little things like never seeing her husband. Even if he gives her an allowance that makes her a millionaire.

But Angela comes across Harry Bannerman (played by Paul Newman) early in the movie when he gets to the train station in their small town coming back from work and his wife is too busy to pick him up. Angela just happens to be there perhaps thinking this might be the night where she actually gets to spend some time with her husband, but of course he's still not there and still at work. And offers to drive Harry home. And that is where Angela and Harry who are neighbors get to know each other a little bit and find out that they have something in common. Which is they don't get to see their spouses very often.

Harry's wife Grace Bannerman (played by Joanne Woodward) is the busiest housewife in Putnam's Landing if not America as a whole. Except she's not very busy at home (if you get my drift) but instead is more like a First Lady and is involved in every civil activity known to man. At least in Putnam's Landing and isn't around much for her husband Harry, but he works a lot as well and doesn't see his wife a lot either. They have a townhall meeting in Putnam's and the Mayor there announces that the U.S. Army wants to open a base there, but won't tell them why they need the base there. And his wife is appointed to run a new committee to deal with the new Army base coming to town. And appoints her husband to be the liaison between the town and U.S. Army about the base coming to town. Harry just happens to work in public relations and is in the U.S. Naval Reserve so is very qualified for this job.

To get back to Joan Collins which is really the only reason why I'm writing about this. There are two very hysterical scenes in this movie where Joan is her usually adorably funny self. Perhaps three with her picking up Paul Newman early in the movie and driving him home. But the first one being where Paul drives Joan home from the meeting because his wife stays late at the meeting and Joan invites him in to her home. And they have a hilarious but innocent party where they get drunk and do a lot of dancing and fall back down the stairs together after trying to go upstairs.

The other scene being where Joan follows Paul to his hotel in Washington where he's there to talk to the Pentagon about his new role in Putnam's and gets to his hotel room and Joan is there waiting for him. Harry makes it real clear that he's happily married and doesn't want to get involved, but Angela doesn't take no at least not very easily and makes a big play for him. And Harry's wife arrives there and sees them together. After that the movies gets really silly and looks more like musical comedy than anything else.

I saw this movie a few months ago and have it on DVD and tweeted that and shared that on Google+ as well that the only reason I saw this movie was to see the adorably funny Joan Collins in it. Joan actually saw that and liked it. Saw this movie over the weekend to refresh my memory about it and to prepare for this piece. Take Joan Collins out of this movie and replace her with a much more ordinary woman who doesn't have Joan's comedic ability and talent like a Deborah Kerr or someone like that (no offense to Deborah Kerr) and I don't have much incentive to watch this movie, at least not a 2nd time. This movie is an example where a great actress and actor can pull the movie together by themselves. Especially if that actress is as beautiful, adorable, sexy, and funny as a Joan Collins.
Source: James Neff- Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward
James Neff: Rally Round The Flag Boys 1958

Friday, August 11, 2017

Suzy Reinhardt: Mysteries and Scandals- Susan Hayward

Source: E Entertainment- Susan Hayward-
Source: Suzy Reinhardt: Mysteries and Scandals- Susan Hayward

When I think of Susan Hayward I think of great dramatic comedy actresses who are real-life drama queens. Similar to Ava Gardner, women who had a tendency to play parts that were close to home. Susan Hayward had a habit of playing women who were going through really tough experiences and were even scorned and somehow make it through those experiences until they're hit so hard at the end which is what finally brings them down.

Susan Hayward played alcoholics, Susan was an alcoholic. Susan played women who were depressed and consumed a lot of sleeping pills and other medication just to try to get through life. Susan consumed a lot of sleeping pills and antidepressants. I believe what made Susan such a great actress and again very similar to Ava Gardner is she played women who were a lot like her. Very beautiful, really adorable, quick witted, very intelligent, and very honest.

As one of the men in this video said there was no bull or baloney with Susan Hayward. And I would have used much stronger language than that. You knew where you stood with her and how she was feeling all the tine. And again we're talking about one of the best actresses ever, so could have easily hided her feelings if she wanted to and played pretend and fooled a lot of people. But again what made her such a great actress was that she was so real. And you always knew what she was going though, how she felt, and how she felt about you.

If you're looking for good Susan Hayward movies to check out this weekend on in the future, I could give you several, but if you're really interested in Susan Hayward herself and what she went through in life, then I have a few movies that will give you a great idea of why she was a great actress.

I Want To Live, where she plays a death row inmate the true story of Barbara Graham. Barbara was also a women who went through horrible experiences in life and had some real bad men in her life and ended becoming a criminal herself. Whether she was actually guilty of the murder she was convicted of in the end is a different story.

Where Love Has Gone from 1964 which I believe was made based on the life of Lana Turner and how her boyfriend ends up dying in that relationship because her daughter ends up killing him. Susan plays a women in Where Love Has Gone who has an abusive boyfriend or at least a man with a bad temper and goes off one night and Susan's daughter comes in and shoots  the man.

I'll Cry Tomorrow where Susan plays a starlet who drinks too much and is overly medicated. Again very similar to the life that Susan lived herself.

Imagine how much more dramatic real-life would be if we had a lot more Susan Hayward's in and out of Hollywood. Imagine what life would be like if you always knew where you stood with people. You would really know if someone liked you or disliked you. You would really know if someone loved you or hated you. If you were doing a good job or about to get fired. But at least you would know where you stood in life and how you stood with other people and be able to make the necessary adjustments or continue to do what's working before something bad happened to you or you went off course.

That is the life that Susan played in the characters that she played and the life she lived. Which makes her very unique in Hollywood where everything is generally about appearances and make believe and where Hollywood imitates real-life too much and people outside of Hollywood are more interested in appearances instead of reality.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

Source: The Atlantic- 
Source: The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

What makes things cool? A very good question especially since America is such a trendy what's hot now and cool society where everyone who wants to be cool seems to follow whatever the latest trend is even if they look ridiculous, (like wearing cowboy boots and running shorts with a mink coat)  talking or looking like that, or could feel like they're dying when they try to drink the latest drink or eat the latest dish.

Americans by enlarge and there some exceptions of people who have a healthy degree of self-confidence and are very comfortable being themselves even if their best friends are following their favorite celebrities like cult followers follow their leaders. And even with some Americans who are simply cool, because they are themselves even if that makes them different, but by enlarge feel the need to be like everyone else who is considered cool at the time.

With Jim Morrison of The Doors from the late 1960s being a perfect example of an exception to this rule. Marilyn Monroe from the 1950s would be another great example of that. Sean Connery at any point of his career has always been Mr. Cool, or is that Steve McQueen, but both of these men were always themselves. With the personal attributes, looks, intelligence, charm, humor. These two men were always themselves and if anything drove other men to be like them. Instead of these two guys trying to be like some other hot celebrity of that time.

Pop culture and what's seen as cool drives Americans more than just about anything else. We have a lot of Americans especially young Americans who rather be seen as stupid, instead of intelligent and willing to step out on the ledge (in pop culture, not in actuality) and risk not looking and sounding cool. And young adults and even teenagers if they're into something, than people who are just older than them and even much older than them try to get into the same things. And what drives young people today in pop culture is new technology, because it makes their lives much easier and the ability to communicate so much easier than it was even more my Generation X when I was growing up in the 1980s and early 1990s. And the other thing being celebrity culture including talentless celebrities whose only ability has to do with cursing people out and expressing deep anger in public.

Derek Thompson in his video gives you the more scientific explanation of why things are cool and things become trends. But when it comes to Americans it's about trends and faddism. What are the cool people doing meaning the popular people in pop culture and that is who people who are not famous, but perhaps want to be or just want to be part of the cool and party scene in their local community and where they work and so-forth.

And most pop culture today has to do with new technology and people feeling this need that they may die if they don't get the latest iPhone the day that it comes out, watch the last episode of their favorite reality show or drama on cable, or what have you. And keeping up with the pop culture tends and having this feeling of coolness and being in is what drives the happiness of a lot of Americans. Way too many from my point of view.

Monday, August 7, 2017

TV Fanatic: The Jayne Mansfield Story 1980- CBS Wednesday Night Movie

Source: TV Fanatic-
Source: TV Fanatic: The Jayne Mansfield Story 1980- CBS Wednesday Night Movie

At risk of sounding old here, when I was growing up in the 1980s and even when I was in high school in the early 1990s. network original movies that were made and produced by the networks, were actually worth watching. CBS, NBC, and ABC, all had their own movie companies that were part of their entertainment divisions and had one night a week and sometimes multiple nights if they were showing a mini-series where they should show two-hour movie and sometimes longer than that. The networks would produce their own movies and of course would show movies that were from Hollywood and perhaps had been out for a year or so, or longer.

Very similar to what HBO, Showtime and others do on cable. Probably watched 5-6 of  James Bond series of movies  in the summer of 1992 alone on ABC. The networks did this because they were good at it and knew what movies to pick and how to promote them and what kind of cast they could put together and so-forth. But also because cable wasn't as dominant in the 1980s as it became in the 1990s. CBS, NBC, and ABC, were worried about each other. And not so much what HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, TNT, USA, etc, were doing on cable. Because the cable networks simply didn't have the resources that the broadcast networks had back then. And to certain extent today as well, but cable networks are much powerful and influential today than they were back then.

I only mention all of this because I'm trying to bore you into a coma. Especially if you weren't even born yet in the 1980s. Actually, because the Jayne Mansfield Story was a TV network movie that CBS put together with the producers, directors, creators, and writers of the movie. And The Jayne Mansfield Story and I'm only 4 years old when it came out in October, 1980 so I didn't see it and only finally heard about it a year or so ago and saw a video for it on YouTube and the finally got to see the whole movie on cable (of course) on Get-TV last February and saw it again a few months after that.

And this was a network movie where you have Loni Anderson as the lead actress playing Jayne Mansfield and Arnold Schwarzenegger playing her husband and long time lover Mickey Hargitay.  (The father of Mariska Hargitay) Loni was already a star at this point with her guest appearances on Threes Company in the late 1970s playing Jack Tripper's love interest. And then she lands WKRP in Cincinnati in 1978. (One of the best sitcoms of all-time) Arnold wasn't a star as an actor yet, but he was a superstar professional bodybuilder and already well-known at this point. Mickey Hargitay ws a superstar bodybuilder before become an actor as well.

This is a very good and funny movie and a lot of that has to do with Loni Anderson. Who has great comedic ability and one of the top comedic actresses of her generation at least. And she happens to playing a very funny woman in Jayne Mansfield who was very funny in real-life both intentionally and unintentionally, because she was so adorable and very immature and then add her comedic timing and you had a very funny woman who might still be working today had it not had been for her tragic car accident in 1967.

The movie covers Jayne's life from when she became star in the early 1950s looking for work and basically forcing herself on her future agent Bob Garrett (played by Ray Buktenica) and he tells her if he's going to represent Jayne that she's going to have to change her hair and a few other things. But sees potential in her as a comedian. And the movie goes from Jayne being discovered in the early 1950s where Hollywood wasn't ready for her alway up to her fall and struggling to find work in the early and mid 1960s, to her tragic death in 1967.

Loni Anderson is just plain hot, sexy, adorable and funny as Jayne Mansfield. She's as cute as a little girl with personality to match, but with body of a goddess with those legs, curves, chest and everything else, as well as the face. Arnold playing Jayne's wife is also great as a very loving and caring husband of Jayne who tries to look out for her best interests and tries to manage her immatureness and irresponsible behavior, but fails at both and they split up in the movie.

I believe Jayne Mansfield in real-life would have been proud for how Loni played her and at least give her credit for doing such a great and accurate job. Because I think knew herself real well and didn't try to be anyone other than herself even if she seemed overly adorable and even childish to even the people who loved and cared about her like Mickey Hargitay and her business people. This is a very entertaining movie that covers the struggles as Jayne making it as a great comedic actress, but someone who also wanted to be taken seriously in Hollywood and get serious parts with more meaning. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher- New Rule: What if Barack Obama Said It?

Source: Real Time With Bill Maher-
Source: HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher- New Rule: What if Barack Obama Said It?

Just to at least sound serious for a minute. The reasons why the Republican Party are holding Donald Trump to a lower standard and perhaps low standard is not the right term and no standard at all would be more accurate, is because they weren't expecting Donald Trump to be President.

And having to deal with President Trump's narcissism, inexperience, immaturity, irresponsibility, lack of intelligence (at least when it comes to public affairs) , etc, and I could go on but it's Saturday and I don't want to spend my whole day on this. But having to deal with all of Donald Trump's personal weaknesses like they were producers of a so-called reality TV show having to deal with an inexperienced, irresponsible cast that believes the whole world revolves around them and they are now the latest hot pop culture celebrity.

The GOP was expecting to Hillary Clinton to not only be the next President right now, but for her to defeat Donald Trump going away not just in the popular vote, but in the Electoral College as well. And that the GOP would hold the House, but perhaps Democrats would win back the Senate. And that the GOP would be spending the next two years trying to obstruct and investigate the Clinton Administration, but not having to actually govern themselves.

The other reason except for the Russia investigation where there's a consensus both in the House and Senate with both parties, that this is a real investigation and that Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be investigating this and that President Trump shouldn't be able to fire Bob Mueller simply simply because he might be investigating not just the 2016 Trump Campaign but the White House as well, is because they're now in bed with Donald Trump and his administration politically. I realize the Washington GOP and Donald Trump are not natural bedmates. Sort of like a top model trying to sleep with a serial killer with hair all over his back and chest who belches as a form of communication.

But for the Republican Party to accomplish anything politically and on policy in 2017-18 before the Congressional mid-terms, they're going to need a functioning Trump White House and administration to accomplish those things. That is at least popular enough for them pass their agenda. Both the GOP Congress and the Trump Administration, have similar policy agendas and are close enough to work together. For the GOP to at least hold the House and have no real risk of losing the Senate next year, they're going to have to govern and govern successfully. And they're going to have to work with the Trump White House to do that.

I mean if the House GOP and the Senate GOP abandons President Donald Trump and says they can't work with the White House for laundry's list worth of reasons and I've already mentioned several of them and being a potential puppet that was bought by President Vladimir Putin and Russia, would be another one and instead tries to work with House Democrats and Senate Democrats on issues like health care, infrastructure, tax reform, and tells the White House if President Donald Trump that if he vetoes their legislation they'll just override his vetoes with help of House Democrats and Senate Democrats, because now the House and Senate have these huge majorities on their legislation, because everything they're doing now has bipartisan support, what incentive would Trump voters and the Tea Party have to vote for Congressional Republican and candidates next year? Republicans would be labeled as RINOS. (Republicans in name only)

The Republican Party is now in a damned if they do, damned if they don't situation. They're damned if they stick with Trump (sounds like a campaign sticker) because if he goes down and has no popularity that he can use to govern and Americans aren't listening to him, Republicans won't be able to pass anything meaningful out of Congress, at least on their own. And as a result will depress their base and ignite the Democratic base and at the very least lose the House next year and might lose north of 40 seats as well. And perhaps lose the Senate as well.

If the GOP sticks with Trump and his popularity continues to slides or even holds between 33-38%, but because of his bad behavior and what comes out of the Russian investigation, that the Republican Congress is also divided and can't work with each other and Congressional Democrats have no political incentive to work with Republicans, because they want to at least win back the House in 2018, the Congressional GOP will go down and we'll have a new Congress in 2019 with Democrats controlling at least the House.

I agree with Bill Maher about the Republican hypocrisy when it comes to Donald Trump.

Had Barack Obama said that John McCain a Vietnam POW wasn't a war hero, they would've called him an agent of the Communist Party of Vietnam. And perhaps the Birthers would then say that Barack Obama is from Vietnam instead of Kenya.

Had Barack said that he openly grabbed women's pussies in public, Sean Hannity and many others on the Tea Party right would have said that Barack belongs in prison and called him a serial rapist from the ghetto or someplace.

If President Obama had taken as much time off for vacation at this point in his administration, the Tea Party and others would have labeled President Obama as a lazy bum from the hood who wasn't raised right. And I could go on but I'll spare you.

And I'm not trying to excuse the GOP's double standard for Donald Trump, because their hypocrisy is obvious and disgusting. And just trying to explain it in political terms and what they believe they can achieve with a Donald Trump in the White House and how bad a hand they have with him. And they've decided that sticking with him at all costs is the best decision they can make right now.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Crash Course: Craig Benzine- The Golden Age of Hollywood: Film History

Source: Crash Course-
Source: Crash Course: Craig Benzine- The Golden Age of Hollywood: Film History

Damn, if Craig Benzine could only talk faster and not have to take breaths in-between words, he could get a lot done. But seriously, this guy must have a year supply of free Red Bull or Starbucks coffee, because he makes speed freaks sound like comatose patients. I'm not saying I've never heard someone else talk faster and for a longer period of time, I just can't name anyone right now. I would have to go through all of my memory banks and cash all them out and I might not be able to come up with another time where I heard a faster longer talker.

I'm not going to cover much of what Craig Benzine said there, because I don't have slow-mo on my computer and he just went through all of these areas really fast. But the Golden Age of Hollywood really for me goes from the 1940s up until the 1970s or so. It was an era where movies were about writing, plot, directing, and acting. Not who swears the most and loudest and who is the biggest asshole in the movie. Catch phrases that make rookie no names actors stars overnight where everyone in country is using that catch phrase to describe whatever current situation they're facing.

To succeed in the Golden Age of Hollywood, you really had to be able to write to make it as a writer. Unlike today where phrases and words are borrowed from other shows and movies and used for their shows and movies. The Golden Age of Hollywood wasn't cookie-cutter, but originalist.

Movies like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington from 1939 with Jimmy Stewart and many others. You can't really say there was a move like that before and there have been many attempts to make another great political movie and movie about Congress since, but most of them have come up weigh short. Mr. Smith came out in 1939 and almost either years later it's still one of the best and most popular movies in Hollywood history.

North by Northwest- still my all-time favorite movie and I would argue at least is Alfred Hitchcock's best movie, even though many others would argue for Notorious instead. There really isn't another movie like North by Northwest. Yes it's a Cold War movie involving the CIA trying to catch a traitor they believe is selling U.S. Government secrets to Russia and perhaps other communist states. So that by itself doesn't make it original. But you have a movie where ordinary people become heroes. Again that doesn't make it original, but it's how it was done.

The closing action scene where the good guys defeat the bad guys takes place on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Can't believe someone other than Alfred Hitchcock would come up with that. And then you have Cary Grant as the lead actor who arguably is the most handsome actor of all-time, but he also happens to be the best actor and also one of the funniest actors with incredible comedic timing. James Mason very similar to Cary Grant as far as what he brought to his parts, as the lead bad guy. Martin Landau playing a supporting role. The beautiful and adorable Eva Marie Saint who was also a great actress, as the lead actress.

 It wasn't a suspense movie. It wasn't a thriller. It wasn't an action movie. It wasn't a mystery. It wasn't a comedy. North by Northwest was all of those things in an action-packed movie with a lot of humor in it. That again was sell well-written, directed and delivered. Where the actors and crew knew they were part of something really special and wanted to be there and do their best work.

Today where in an era of Hollywood where TV and movies are about style and appearance. Who is up and who is down, who looks and sounds the hippest and has the most pop culture and reality TV appeal. Instead of who can actually act, who can improvise and be themselves and come off as likable and as someone who not only knows what they're doing, but can bring something different in value that perhaps hasn't been seen before. Where the biggest jerk (to put it mildly) who not only swears the most and puts people down as the most tends to be the most popular. Even if they're no better than your average reality TV star as far as their ability to act.

Today if the public likes the performer and they're so-called viral on social media and the internet, they'll continue to work and make a good living in Hollywood. Even if all their shows and movies are garbage as far as the material. Their shows and movies will continue to sell even if the critics are beating the hell out of their performances and not taking those performers seriously, let alone respecting their work.

The Classic Hollywood era was anti-reality TV. Of course they loved their beautiful, sexy, and adorable actresses. Women like Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins, and many others were all big stars back then. And Hollywood loved their big handsome studs. Actors like Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Dean Martin, Sydney Poitier, and many others. But the difference being that the Hollywood goddess's and gods, were more than their beautiful faces and bodies.

If you couldn't act back then, if you didn't show up for work, then you didn't work. It wasn't an era where Hollywood was trying to sell personality and popularity when it came to their characters, over substance. Classic Hollywood was a professional era where the professionals were in charge which is what makes it so great and classic. As long as reality TV is dominating TV and movies, we won't see another great era in Hollywood again.