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 →
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 →
Over the last several days I have been watching the approximately 423 minute version of The Godfather and The Godfather 2 entitled The Godfather Epic. It’s a re-edited version of the first two films in chronological order with some deleted footage included. The GodfatherEpic was originally released in 1990 as a box set on VHS. A similar version, running slightly longer at 434 minutes, known as The Godfather: The Complete Novel for Television, aka The Godfather Saga was broadcast on NBC back in November 1977. As mentioned, both versions include scenes not in the final films such as Michael’s first meeting with his father after returning from Sicily and Sonny’s taking charge of the family after his father was severely shot in an attempted assassination. In total, the Novel for Television/Saga included approximately 75 minutes of unseen footage. Since it was made for broadcast television some scenes of violence and nudity were trimmed to meet the commercial TV standards of the day. Continue reading →
My latest post is on my new blog. It’s film related yet it is not. The blog itself is new and basically is my writing on topics other than film. This subject is a kind of a crossover. Take a look at other posts and if you like, give it a follow. The link is below.