Archive for the ‘Pictorial of the Month’ category
On a brisk April evening in 1958, Broadway’s newly refurbished Paramount Theater hosted the glittering premiere of Edward Dmytryk’s World War II epic The Young Lions. The film, adapted from Irwin Shaw’s acclaimed novel, had been generating high interest given its lavish budget and A-list cast, namely, Marlon Brando, Dean Martin and Montgomery Clift.
Perhaps more than anyone else involved in the project, Clift had the most riding on the film’s success. In a business where you’re ‘only as good as your last film,’ it was important for this film be a hit. His near-fatal car wreck two years prior had left him physically wrecked, emotionally spent and his last big budget film, Raintree County, had been a critical failure. Read more ►
“The little fellow,” Vanity Fair once wrote, “was not a small man.”
Indeed, there are movie stars. There are superstars. There are legends. And then there’s Charlie Chaplin.
He was born on April 16, 1889 in south London at a time when poverty was rife, housing was scarce, and low-income tenements had decomposed into dirty, overcrowded slums. Charlie knew such poverty intimately during his unstable childhood and spent most of it in and out of workhouses and schools for the poor while his mother, a failed singer, bounced in and out of sanitariums. His entire life-course was to be a product (whether directly or indirectly) of the desperation of deprivation. Read more ►
Stany. Beautiful, ballsy, brainy and just plain brilliant, Barbara Stanwyck was the ultimate actor’s actor. Before there was such a thing as “method” acting, Stanwyck had already perfected the art of the lifelike performance. From Night Nurse to Double Indemnity, there is never a moment when Stany doesn’t own each and every frame of film she occupies. She was widely regarded as Hollywood’s consummate professional, a hard-working nose-to-the-grind career woman who, at the same time, shied away from words like ‘career’: “Career is too pompous a word,” Stanwyck once said. “It was a job, and I have always felt privileged to be paid for what I love doing.” Read more ►
When Errol Flynn died suddenly in October of 1959, Louella Parsons had this to say about the man who was: “A world of living was crowded into the 50 years allotted to handsome, tumultuous, devil-may-care, exciting and adventurous Errol Flynn.”
For once, Parsons was not exaggerating. Matter of fact, the only true way to describe te essence of Errol Flynn is to describe him as … well … Errol Flynn. A Tasmanian devil of excess and passion—outrageous, charismatic, gregarious, and an unabashed womanizer who was “happy to note that even at an early age” he was observant of the ladies.
And yet what endears him so to us is that Flynn got his own joke. Read more ►
The brief 26 years of Jean Harlow’s life were marked with tragedy, disappointments, heartbreak and, of course, a tremendously successful screen career. Her intensely sensual on screen presence ignited American movies and gave the world something it had never before known: the blonde bombshell. She was beautiful, true, but hers was an attainable beauty that led even Harlow herself to admit that “men like me because I don’t wear a brassiere. Women like me because I don’t look like a girl who would steal a husband.” She was a natural comedienne with a gift for belting out the difficult, rapid-fire dialogue that made some of the best films of the mid 30s truly unforgettable. She was not, even by her own admission, a great actress and because of this awareness Harlow worked hard at her craft and eventually would successfully hone her screen personality into one of the most enduring in motion picture history: the sassy, saucy girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Read more ►