CLASSIC NEWS 3

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………….A visit to London for me was never complete without going to the Vin Mag shop (THE VINTAGE MAGAZINE SHOP) in Brewer street, so it is sad to read the announcement that the shop closed on 21 Sept.2016.

Manager, Paul Dempsey posted:  “The shop is now closed and Bogart has left the building. Thank you to all who have supported us over 35 years in Brewer St.”

The ground floor and basement of the shop were always overflowing with film memorabilia – posters, magazines, film stills. Browsing was a delight. Much of the stock will now move online, but it wont be the same.

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Back in the 1990’s, I was in the shop having my usual wander round when I suddenly saw a friend – we were both 400 miles from home, Alistair from the east coast of Scotland and myself from the west coast. We  had landed in the shop at the very same time! No prearranged meeting, Alistair was only in town for the day.  I call it the gravitational pull! Like minded folk often wind up in the same place, don’t we?

 

 

…………Filming has completed on FILM STARS DONT DIE IN LIVERPOOL, starring Annette Bening as GLORIA GRAHAME and Jamie Bell as Peter Turner. The film is based on Peter Turner’s memoir of the same name written in 1986.

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When film roles were drying up, Gloria had returned to the stage where she had  started her acting career. She had come over to England and did The Glass Menagerie in 1979.  After meeting a young actor, Peter Turner, they were together for a while in England and in  New York.

Gloria had been in remission from cancer, but in Sept.1981, the cancer returned while she was rehearsing another play. She collapsed in a hotel in Lancaster and and Peter was contacted at his home in Liverpool. He subsequently brought her to his family home  where his family tried to look after her.

But she was dying and refused to go to hospital. Finally two of her children ,Timothy and Paulette flew to England and  took her back to New York where she died in October of 1981, aged 57.

There will be a tie-in re-issue of the book when the film is released in 2017.

Annette Bening, Jamie Bell

Annette Bening, Jamie Bell

I was amazed to find an 12 minute audio interview with Gloria on You Tube. Dating from 1979 when Gloria was in Watford  for ‘Rain’. I don’t know who the  interviewer was , but he was dire, asking questions like, “You’ve never been married?” and saying, “You were just a supporting player in The Bad and the Beautiful.”

I didn’t know Gloria’s mother was Scottish – from Glasgow – Gloria did a pretty good Scottish accent during the interview. Most surprising was Gloria’s voice which didn’t sound at all what you remember from her films – a mid-Atlantic, almost refined accent.

Such a missed opportunity. With an experienced interviewer, Gloria sounded as if she would have willingly talked about her Hollywood career.And of course, a camera filming the interview!

Melvyn Douglas, Gloria Grahame, Maureen O'Hara

Melvyn Douglas, Gloria Grahame, Maureen O’Hara. A WOMAN’S SECRET

4 responses »

  1. Another London landmark bites the dust!
    I spent many a happy hour there when I lived in London.
    Also gone is The Cinema Bookshop in St Martin’s Lane.
    HMV in Oxford Street used to be a great place for DVD’s
    but not any more.
    Very interesting news about the Grahame film.

  2. When Gloria Grahame was appearing in Rain in Watford I was a film student and a big fan a friend and I made a pilgrimage to see her in the play and she was terrific. The idea struck us to arrange for her to come to the London Film School to discuss her career with our fellow students. Miraculously a call to the theatre got me her number and the address of her digs in Chalk Farm and when I called and asked for Ms Gloria Grahame “This is she” was the reply. In brief she was happy to accept my invitation with the Proviso that we didn’t show “Oklahoma” or another of her films (I forget which) but was happy for our choice of ‘in a lonely Place” and “the Big Heat”.
    Needless to say she was greeted with rapturous enthusiasm which strangely took her by surprise. She was very humble about her career and for instance dismissive of her appearance in “Human Desire” which we film buffs valued highly but which she thought insignificant beside the Renoir version which she called the classic version. When we showed her the “Big Heat’ she surprised us again by saying she had never seen it having been abroad on its first release and averse to watching herself on TV. She thought it was good.
    It was somewhat sad that she hadn’t seen herself as in the front rank of Hollywood stars but I hoped she was gratified to find that there was a generation that thought she was top of the tree.

  3. Great to hear from you, Joe and what a marvellous story. And great to hear that Gloria was lauded at the London Film School. If only her appearance had been recorded. How amazing that she hadnt seen The Big Heat.
    Good to hear too that you liked her in Rain.
    Thanks so much for getting in touch.

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