The first half of The Sin of Harold Biddlebock kicks off promising, however, the second half grinds on like a car in stop and go traffic. It has its good spots but it’s a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. One would believe, or at least hope, that the combination of Harold Lloyd and Preston Sturges would yield a solid golden treasure. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The film displays bits of social commentary that keep it interesting. Of course, it gave us one last chance to see the great Harold Lloyd on screen. Still, in careers filled with so many highs, it remains a minor effort for both the director and star. Continue reading
America in the early 1950’s was on a high. The war was over, the boys were home, a baby boom was in full swing and the economy was growing. Many folks were beginning to leave the city and head out to the white picket fence world of the suburbs. In the suburbs, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, people were living what many thought was the American Dream. Continue reading
Photo Credit: Tracy May
Recently, my wife and I had the pleasure of spending an evening with Sophia Loren. That is, we and about 1,500 other folks at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. It was a Q&A and this was her last stop on a eleven city tour before she headed back home to Geneva. The 81 year old icon is still a beauty and extremely grateful for a life well spent. Continue reading
The Hollywood Blacklist was one of the most notorious outcomes resulting from the creation of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). Originally formed in 1938 to investigate American citizens with Nazi affiliations, the committee became famous in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. This occurred when a House of Representatives run commission began to investigate the private lives of American citizens suspected of being members, sympathizers or having any sort of connection to the Communist Party. Soon after, ten Hollywood writers and directors, the famed Hollywood Ten, were cited for contempt and each one was sentenced to jail for refusing to testify before the HUAC. Continue reading
John Huston’s 1952 film about the life of the great French artist, Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, more commonly known as Henri Toulouse-Lautrec was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress (Colette Marchand). It won two Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction. Surprisingly, cinematographer Oswald Morris, received no recognition since one of the film’s highlights is its brilliant use of color. Today, when you talk to someone about a film called Moulin Rouge, they assume you’re referring to the 2001 Baz Luhrmann musical. Huston’s film, while maybe not forgotten, is generally not discussed much. It’s a shame because there is much to admire. Continue reading
Ruth Kerr of Silver Screenings has just posted a wonderful review of my new e-book LESSONS IN THE DARK. Click on the link is below to read.
The Cool Kids’ Guide to Classic Film
The book is available at Amazon!
By the time Garson Kanin’s play, The Rat Race, premiered on Broadway the playwright, director, actor, biographer, novelist and musician already had 11 previous productions on Broadway, including his super hit, Born Yesterday, which ran for 1642 performances. The Rat Race opened only days before Born Yesterday closed after an almost five year run. It had a less auspicious run of only 84 performances. The film plays as a warning to Middle America – Beware of New York, it will eat you up! The two lead characters are naïve wannabe artists. So, where else do you go but to New York if you want to hit the big time. Continue reading