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"Those eyes, those eyes [could] make me do most anything they
want me to do" ~ Conway Twitty

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BBC Report About Leslie Howard's Death

[BBC Report of Leslie Howard's Death] On Saturday, July 30, I posted on Facebook the 2014 BBC report on Leslie Howard's Death ...

Friday, June 1, 2018

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Remembering Arthur O'Connell On His Birthday

[Arthur O'Connell and James Stewart in
Anatomy of a Murder, 1959]

The year 1955 was very good for Arthur O'Connell (29 March 1908 - 18 May 1981). He appeared in Picnic, for which he received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also had parts in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and Bus Stop.

He was one of those great character actors who always turned in a stellar performance. My favorite was as Parnell Emmett McCarthy, the washed up, alcoholic attorney who saved the day for Jimmy Stewart in Anatomy of a Murder (1959) for which he received his second nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Happy Birthday, Arthur O'Connell.

Arthur O'Connell's Obituary, The New York Times, 19 May 1981

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Remembering Thelma Ritter On Her Birthday

[Thelma Ritter, 1955]

To me, Thelma Ritter (14 February 1902 - 5 February 1969) was the best character actor ever to appear on film. I loved her and believed everything she ever said. Co-incidentally, or is it, Ritter appeared in all my favorite films:

Just to name a few.

Ritter also delivered what I believe is the best comeback line ever to be uttered on film. In All About Eve when Gary Merrill asks Ritter on his way out of town to direct a movie in Hollywood, "What do you want me to tell Tyrone Power," Ritter responds, "Just give him my phone number. I'll tell him myself."

Oh, how I love you Thelma Ritter. Happy Birthday.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Leslie Howard: On & Off Screen

Recently, Tom Hamilton, Writer, Producer and Director of the documentary films Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn and The Mystery of Flight 777, the story of the ill-fated flight of the IBIS in which Leslie Howard met his death, made some of his Leslie Howard memorabilia available for purchase online at LeslieHowardMemories. [Items are still available for sale.] Of course, I had to purchase a few items—more than a few really—and Tom was kind enough to forward me a copy of Leslie Howard: On & Off Screen. [To see a write up of the original screening of the film by The Cinema Museum, click here.]

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

[Leslie and Ronald Howard at Marion Davies’ circus party 1937

Hello, everyone!

I hope you have all had a very happy holiday season and are looking forward to ringing in a new year we all hope will bring peace and prosperity to everyone. I have been absent for the last two months but will be back in the new year with new posts and pages on my blog.

Well, I'm not sure if this Marion Davies' circus party where Leslie and his son, Ronald, were celebrating was held on New Year's Eve, but I am going to use it to wish you all a very Happy New Year!

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Programming Note

[Leslie Howard and Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind (1939)]

Gone With The Wind to air on SundanceTV Thursday, November 24, at 10:00 AM PST [Please check your local listings]

Leslie Howard, Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable and Olivia de Havilland star in the top grossing movie of all time, Gone With The Wind. Produced by David O. Selznick, Directed by Victor Fleming and Screenplay by Sidney Howard, this film was delayed for two years while Selznick negotiated with MGM for Clark Gable and conducted an extensive "American Idol" type search for Scarlett O'Hara.

Top Awards:

Best Picture - Selznick International Pictures
Best Director - Victor Fleming
Best Actress - Vivien Leigh
Best Adapted Screenplay - Sidney Howard
Best Supporting Actress - Hattie McDaniel

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Remembering Jack Elam On His Birthday

[Jack Elam]

I just love character actors. And today would have been the 96th birthday (if I did the math right, and his year of birth is disputed) of one of my favorite character actors, Jack Elam (13 November 1920 - 20 October 2003).

Born William Scott Elam in Miami, Arizona, Elam appeared in 73 movies and 41 television series. Elam played the scheming, no-account, dastardly bad guy better than anyone. It is no coincidence that one of his best performances was in one of my favorite films, Rawhide, starring Tyrone Power. But Elam could also play the funny man which he did with greater frequency in the later years of his career.

Happy Birthday, Jack Elam.

Jack Elam's Obituary, The Guardian, 28 October 2003

Friday, November 4, 2016

Remembering Martin Balsam On His Birthday

[Martin Balsam in Psycho, 1960]

Martin Balsam (4 November 1919 - 13 February 1996) was one of those great character actors I loved watching. You know the kind. They seem to appear in all your favorite films, the ones you have on DVD and have watched so many times you know the dialogue word for word.

Balsam was the ardent detective, Milton Arbogast, in Psycho (1960) whose agonizing fall down those stairs went on forever. He was the calm and controlled Juror #1 in 12 Angry Men (1957). The way Balsam stood up after the jury had taken one more of those secret votes, you just knew Henry Fonda had finally turned the jury. His portrayal of O.J. Berman in Breakfast at Tiffany's always sticks in my mind, "She's a phoney. But she's a real phoney." Balsam played the sympathetic but ineffectual cop, Police Chief Mark Dutton, in Cape Fear (1962). And when he sneezed that last time in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) and Walter Matthau realized he had gotten his man...well, what can I say?

Happy Birthday, Martin Balsam.