Merry Christmas, my pets.
A former fantastic jewel box museum of pop culture; now a museum of the mind, charting a remarkable archive and critical opinion.
Merry Christmas, my pets.
Time 2 take this piece 2 Greer Jewelers, 2 have two stones re-glued.
It's a small, beautiful faux-jeweled evening compact that belonged 2 Bette Davis.
Judging by the faux gold mesh reverse side, suspect it is a Whiting & Davis; creating beautiful luxury items 4 the world since their 1876 Massachusetts inception!
Legend-in-Residence: Meet Hamlet, who keeps order at The Algonquin, arguably the most divine of Manhattan Hotels.
It was home to the infamous Algonquin Round Table, the greatest collection of sophisticated wits EVER, as well as lodging for the likes of Tallulah Bankhead and John Barrymore.
We ask Alice de Almeida, the Algonquin Hotel’s chief cat officer—yes, that’s really her title—everything you wanted to know about the hotel’s glamorous cat-in-r
Yesterday was the anniversary of Elvis passing.
Have been surprised by this book I'm reading, which I'd had few expectations for.
By contrast, author Finstad has created a steadily compelling read about dysfunctional families; about two people n love w/ each other's external image without coming to grips w/ each other's true self.
It's always a delight when reading enjoyment is wholly unexpected. Recommended for those seeking complicated truths beneath the Elvis image (2 say nothing of Priscilla!).
Back n April, E.P. was also on my mind, as I wrote the following star analysis:
Elvis’ Presley's films are not generally dissected. But he seems to have done his homework, noting most male sex symbols, like Valentino (a Gladys Presley favorite), Gable, Cary Grant, Tyrone Power and Rock Hudson had black hair. So after his debut in ‘Love Me Tender, (1956; a sweet puppy dog performance)’ the ash blond hair went inky black.
Presley wanted to follow in the serious acting footsteps of Brando and Dean. At Paramount, a dramatic coach cited his work in class (“Now that is a natural actor.”), and he expressed interest in studying “somewhere like the Actors Studio.”
Shelley Winters once remembered having coached Presley for a test he
viewed later alongside Natalie Wood. Congratulations-all-around were stopped short by Colonel Tom Parker (“The money is in the music!”). So
Parker, hostage-taker and jailer extraordinaire, stymied Presley film
roles just as he did the singer’s concerts (Presley never played
outside the U.S.!).
‘Loving You,’ ‘Jailhouse Rock (both 1957)’ and ‘King Creole (1958;
ultimately, Presley’s favorite)’ presented Elvis as sexy hoodlum
entertainer, and each had exotic moments.
Both ‘Flaming Star (1960)’ and ‘Wild in the Country (1961)’ were dramatic non-singing roles, and proof Presley was coming along. He had a good director, Don Siegel, for the former; and his first right leading lady, Tuesday Weld, for
the second. Sluggish box-office dashed Elvis’ ambitions in both cases.
Amidst schlock, there was one lightweight musical exception, 1965’s
‘Viva Las Vegas,’ sharing genuine chemistry with his best co-star,
Ann-Margret (‘the female Elvis.’). Playing opposite an equal was
stimulating: Elvis’ singing of the title track was done in one single unedited, flawless take, a first and last in his film career.
When 'VLV's cost ran over, Parker cut all future budgets. Presley was consigned to stunted musicals, cheap jigsaw puzzles, hammered to fit. The scripts were deadly, unsaved by talented character actors hungry for work. Leading ladies were undistinguished television
ingénues, with the notable exception of Barbara Stanwyck, in ‘Roustabout (1964; Mae West turned it down).’ About once in each identikit flick, Elvis would sizzle his way through one promising number before the fizzle.
His Hollywood career came to be his biggest embarrassment and greatest
When he’d first started, Presley tested well doing thoughtful work from ‘The Rainmaker (1956).’ Arrived on time; knew his own lines and everyone else’s; had been polite, solicitous, eager to do the work. All that died in apathy.
Certainly he would have been preferable to leading men cast in ‘Bus
Stop (1956),’ or ‘Period of Adjustment (1962).’
One considers how much
Ken Russell got from Ann-Margret in ‘Tommy (1975)’; laments some
forward-thinking soul couldn’t cook up a co-starring rock opera.
Doubtful Presley’s presence would have made Streisand any more
believable as a rock star, but he might have been magnificent, harrowing, heartbreaking in ‘A Star is Born (1976; had he the interest, fitness and remaining will).’
Thus we’re left speculating, fortunate a couple of documentaries capture a fascinating animal prowling on tour.
But only fair to consider how many rock and pop stars met failure in
sustained film acting: Lennon, Starr, Jagger, Bowie, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Whitney Huston, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga…Is the latter but a continuation or a fortunate departure? Down deep, the public already knows the answer.
This stunning portrait of Paul Newman is from the Paul Newman Tribute page.
Film scholars, note that early screen test footage actually exists of Newman vying with James Dean, for ‘East of Eden (1955).’ Dean got the role, early death, the immortality of myth. Newman got the lengthy career, happy marriage and mere legend status.
He was the right stuff, with Yale Drama School and Actor’s Studio pedigree, stage and early TV experience. By 1956, Newman was an affecting Rocky Graziano in ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me (in arguably his most likable role).’
But the camera found in him a sexy opportunist, outsider-misfit characters, largely defined by uneasy relationships with women: ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,’ ‘The Left-Handed Gun,’ ‘The Long, Hot Summer (all 1958),’ ‘The Hustler (1961),’ ‘Sweet Bird of Youth (1962),’ and ‘Hud (1963).’ Although these represent his best work, it’s as if Newman himself noticed, flinched and withdrew.
He became distracted by racecar driving and interested in directing projects. Out of a respectable quintet of the latter, best was ‘Rachel, Rachel (968),’ starring his wife, Joanne Woodward (Newman won Best Director from the New York Film critics).
His legend status became inextricably cemented to buddy turns in ‘Cool Hand Luke (1967; expert, but the start of something), the dull ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1968),’ the slightly more entertaining ‘The Sting (1973)’ and ‘Slap Shot (1977).’
Having lost any number of years when actors find their richest roles, the senior Newman seemed to gauge his own diminished legacy; returning to anti-heroes, in ‘Absence of Malice (1981)’ and ‘The Verdict (1982),’ while finally winning Best Actor for ‘The Color of Money (1986).’ (He’d earned an honorary Oscar the year before.)
When Newman passed in 2008, audiences realized the measure of the man was better seen off set. Newman’s Own Foundation, begun in 1982, still donates 100% of its annual earnings to thousands of worthwhile charities. Profits now total over $525 million.
How many millionaires have generous instincts, anyway? Clearly, Newman was something lost between his bad boys and buddies: A truly rare man.
★ Paul Newman ★
Am proud of Miss Dolly's Grammy distinctions!
The 1st ceremony (a Taurus, I am thrilled 2 report) was held in '59, but publicity is referring 2 the 2019's as the 61st.
Drake & Lamar lead the nominations; with appearances by Gaga (skipping the BAFTA film awards 4 this one), Chloe X Halle, Mark Ronson & Travis Scott (last seen holding the fort 4 that ghastly Stuporbowl show); and an all-stah tribute 2 Aunt Re!
"Come backstage. I'll show ya a couple of Golden Globes."
--- Joan Crawford
A stellar yuletide season 2 all!!
Love finding things I've forgotten.
Copy of a book about NYC curiosities, by Helen Hayes & Anita Loos.
Hayes was the 1st Lady of the American Theatre, an Oscar winner (twice), as well as recipient of a Tony, Emmy & Grammy (1 of 15 to win all), the wife of playwright Charles McArthur.
Loos was a scamp, a prolific writer & screenwriter, best known for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; as well as a noted producer.
The book is signed by both.
Inside, an original book launch luncheon program from Delmonico's, 46 years old to the day (!); & a first-class Atlanta boarding pass bookmark.
55th Anniversary of Monroe's passing. Interesting that someone presumed 2 b a dim bulb has survived n collective memory---so much that they represent an industry more than any other star, past or present.
Yes, the depressed bombshell fascinates; as does the childhood, the glamour, the appeal 2 exceptional men, the mystery.
But also think a large part of it is visual beyond beauty, about a relationship not w/ the film camera, but the still camera.
There r many images of her I adore. This may b the favorite.
And on top of all that, the 70th Tony Awards are on CBS @ 8.
Sad 2 say, Star Museum is closed 4 good, but had a luminous run.
For some reason, most likely this site's renowned software, am unable to retrieve messages here. Rather than leaving them here, hit my profile up if u will.
Here's one of my creative depictions.
@ TCM screens 'The Apartment,' at 8, a respite if u need a break from news. The film's alternately hard-boiled and tenderly bittersweet, a wry spring salute 2 love & its losses.
Here's 2 the losers!
Sure Beats a Trump Rally: Viva Las Vegas is coming on TCM - Turner Classic Movies, the only sizzling teaming of The Pelvis & The Kitten with a Whip.
U might as well finish blowing the day.
The artist theme continues on @TCM, w/ the best one at 10:30: "Moulin Rouge," directed by John Huston: Jose Ferrer as Lautrec. An Oscar winner 4 art direction, sets & costumes, w/ a surprise walk-on by Zsa Zsa Gabor, as Jane Avril. A mesmerizing film, highly recommended.
@TCM is on artists 2nite, starting w/ Charlton Heston as Michelangleo, at 8, n "The Agony & the Ecstasy." With Rex Harrison, as wicked pontiff.
Pry the paint brush from Heston's cold, dead hands.
O I am heartsick over this one.
This is 4 Pie.
Bowie performing on Dick Cavett Show [4 of December 1974]
Having a tricky time accessing messages on this page. So if u have one 4 me, please send it 2 me through my profile page messages (i.e., Robert Weisfeld).
Just posting this so folks know messages here r not being ignored. Am more affable than rumor would have it!
Last night, the collective cast of 'The Wiz,' live on NBC, opened its exuberant, black, beautiful mouth, doing something two preceding white casts couldn't do: Soared.
It should b seen as a genuine triumph by the African-American community.
But by late last night, extremists were charging 'Wiz' casting as racist.
Wrong. Toto was clearly of fair coloring, providing the token casting folks of color have tolerated for ages.
I would've cast a black scottie.
The recording alert is for the next two.
For denizens of small Suh-thun towns, 'Flamingo Road,' at ten, is required viewing, based on a bestselling potboiler. @Joan Crawford has her Oscar director to helm, and a lulu of a role: A shady carny gal, stranded in Dixie, romancing a handsome but weak sheriff's deputy, and matching wits w/ her ultimate obstacle----not Bette Davis. It's behemoth Sydney Greenstreet, a specialist at malevolence, and when Crawford finally slaps his face on both sides, it's the fastest wallop ever captured on film!
'Possessed' is followed up by more delirium in 'The Damned Don't Cry.' Joan was having a fine old time, amidst an affair w/ her very married director, macho Vincent Sherman.
Re storyline, after her child's accidental death, Crawford walks out on her dead end marriage. She claws her way upward, getting torn between two hot thugs, learning the hard way that minks and drop dead couture can only partially guarantee happiness.
The guarantee?: It's a scream a minute, I promise u.
(This is for the impeccable viewing tastebuds of @Kathy Gibian, who's been yearning for more Weisfeld programming guides!)
August may b my favorite month on @TCM. That's because 'Summer Under the Stars,' is a star a day.
2nite, it's Our Lady of Perpetual Full Throttle, @Joan Crawford! At 8, she's 'Possessed.' Two years after her Oscar, she copped a third consecutive nomination, for this one---her personal favorite among her many strong performances.
She's a private nurse going crackers over a co-dependent relationship. An unrealized Method actress, Crawford did her homework at an institution. While it doesn't quite make sense that the object of obsession is the expert, if unattractive, Van Heflin, the film is certainly riveting.
2nite, @TCM is saluting the underrated, 4gottten Robert Walker, a talented, quick, sad comet whose streak was fast. He was too sensitive, and the sensitivity led 2 alcohol problems he couldn't overcome.
He was ordinary looking n a town of buffed beauties, married to Jennifer Jones, am ambitious actress swept up by the Selznick machinery. The boss had his personal eye on her, and cast young husband and wife cruelly n 'Since You Went Away'; w/ Walker playing the young soldier who doesn't make it back. The film has a painful train station farewell, symbolic of how Jones was torn away from Walker (she became the 2nd Mrs. Selznick). The producer made them repeat the scene again and again...
...Somehow, no one ever captured the longing of the American soldier better than Walker.
@6:15, u should put ur summer dogs up and watch a rare one, 'The Clock,' a small b&w film, innocent & dear. The plot is simple, about a romance between a soldier & working girl, which takes place over 24 hrs. time. It captures Golden Age NYC beautifully.
Because it's not a musical, ur forced to see Judy Garland's discreet expertise as an actress, and the film's fragile but great talents r gently handled by Liza's dad.
Sometimes I think---w/out knowing it---we miss innocence, sweetness, dearness, gentleness and sentiment n our abrasive world of posturing, bullying, drum-beating self-promotion. 'The Clock' is a welcome respite.
And if it's not enough evidence of Walker's talent, at 8, catch Hitchcock's 'Strangers on a Train,' wherein Walker plays a truly malevolent psycho, sweeping beautiful, gay Farley Granger n2 a vortex of murder.
Walker was coming to the end of his rope by this time, the year of his death (1951).
To combat the actor's highly agitated state one August night, his shrink administered amobarbital. Walker had apparently been drinking; his heart stopped and he could not b revived.
He was only 32 years of age.
If the heat got 'cha, there's a honey of a hipster flick on at 9:45 p.m., 1955's 'Kiss Me Deadly,' directed by Robert Aldrich ('Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?').
Fast, turgid, and violent, it's a dramatization of the Mike Hammer (!) detective series, & was a major influence on the French Wave films of the 60's.
W/ deadpan Ralph Meeker & Gaby Rodgers as the sexy detective team, wall-eyed Jack Elam, (real-life grisly suicide) Albert Dekker; & (the film debut of) Cloris Leachman, as the only desperate runaway.
Cooler than cool film noir, highly recommended.
And late night Tivo alert at 11:30, two pin-up goddesses for the price of one, Lana Turner & Hedy Lamarr, joined by goddess of musical genius Judy Garland.
Lamarr was the most beautiful face in the world, a woman who hypnotized the camera, one of those raven-haired beauties whose vogue peaked in the 1940's. Many are those who think she makes Elizabeth Taylor look cheap. It's appropriate at a time our dads & granddads were fighting Hitler, to know Hedy was an Austrian Jew.
Late n life, she received a Congressional honor 4 invention of technology which led to the internet!
Lana Turner leads the cast (opposite Jimmy Stewart), getting the big build-up here, n 'Ziegfeld Girl.' MGM had a way of signing sexy dames like Crawford, Harlow & Turner, then clipping their wings 2 make them ladylike. 'ZG' catches Turner as a redhead, not a blonde, capturing her essential appeal---being trouble. Had she stayed a redhead & worked at, say, rough house Warner Brothers, her career would've been far more interesting. This may b her best performance.
And there's Garland, beginning to look lovely, but straining to break out of the girl next door mode. Often, she looks fraught & nervous, but for chops, nobody like her.
Better is breathtaking redhead Rita Hayworth, the tragic lady at her dazzling peak, as 'Gilda,' at 9:30. Her cult think she eclipses all of them, even Monroe. At her finest, there's absolutely something to this. And 'Gilda' is peak film noir, a sexy S&M potboiler, w/ killer chemistry between Hayworth & studly Glenn Ford.
Hayworth's impact was so gr8, 'Gilda' led 2 her being named 'The Love Goddess.' A copy of the film went into a time capsule to be unearthed long after all of us are gone, when she'll b recognized as our Venus. Sadly, her portrait was also attached to the H-bomb dropped on Bikini Atoll, but one incident in a haunted life.
170 E Main St
Town buses; call 276-676-2282, our Visitor's Center, to schedule a pick-up.
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