Saturday, August 25, 2012

Remembering Tyrone Power


“There he was, dark-looking with black hair and eyebrows, and no man had a right to be that handsome.” So aviator Bob Buck remembered first meeting Tyrone Power. Buck, enlisted by his boss Howard Hughes, the owner of TWA, to pilot Power on a tour of South America, Africa and Europe, would spend three months with the actor and a small retinue on a trip that was set to begin in September 1947. The group would travel in Power’s plane, The Geek, named after a character in his latest film, Nightmare Alley.  At the time, at age 33, Tyrone Power was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, an adored “matinee idol,” but his straightforward, unassuming manner instantly disarmed the skeptical Buck.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gene Kelly's Brief Sojourn, "Let's Make Love" (1960)


The Classic Movie Blog Association is sponsoring the Gene Kelly Centennial Blogathon from August 20 - 25 and this is my contribution to the event. Please click here for links to the other participating blogs.

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1960 was the year that

Echo I
  • an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over Russia and its pilot, Francis Gary Powers, was imprisoned there
  • young Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) won the gold medal in the light heavyweight competition at the Summer Olympics in Rome
  • Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and John Updike's Rabbit, Run were published
  • NASA launched the first communications satellite, Echo I, into space
  • the first working laser was built by American T. H. Maiman
  • #1 hit songs of that year included the Everly Brothers' "Cathy's Clown," The Drifters' "Save the Last Dance for Me" and Percy Faith's version of the theme from A Summer Place
  • on TV, Western series ruled the ratings, with Gunsmoke, Wagon Train and Have Gun Will Travel ranked one, two and three for the year
  • Camelot, starring Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet, debuted on Broadway
  • John F. Kennedy was elected the 35th President of the United States

Monday, August 13, 2012

"The Misfits" and Me - by Christian Esquevin


Where does the first step begin on a journey to fate? For me it was sometime in August of 1960, just a kid on a camping trip with his parents and their friends. Lake Tahoe was the destination, with side trips to Squaw Valley, Reno, Carson City, and Virginia City, Nevada. Little did I know, nor anyone else in our little party, that we would run into the production of The Misfits, starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift, as directed by John Huston. It was clear from the entourage around Gable and Marilyn that this was a very big deal. And my father reinforced this message with his excited exclamation, “there’s Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable!” although he probably uttered this in French, my parents’ and their friends’ native language. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Marilyn Monroe: Out of a Dream

photo by Jack Cardiff

One chilly winter morning in 1953, a 15-year-old boy took a bus from his home in New Jersey to New York City in search of adventure. His conception of the city then was of Times Square and he roamed the neighborhood until daylight began to fade. As he made his way to the Port Authority Terminal and his bus trip home, he noticed a long black limousine driving slowly toward him. The limo came to a stop and its driver jumped out and opened the back door at the curb. As he did, he motioned the boy to stay where he was so his passenger would have a clear path across the sidewalk. Nearly 60 years later, the man who had been that boy remembered,"...a white-gloved hand reached out for help and it was given. Then came a face of dizzying beauty..." She was blonde and she wore a long gown that appeared to be made of "tiny white pearls seemingly flung at her in wild abandon and clinging to every pore. Around her neck, over her wrists and on her ears were brightly sparkling diamonds." The boy's heart was already pounding when, as she turned, the woman noticed him, smiled and whispered, "Hi."