Author Archives: Vienna

JUDY GARLAND AT ABBEY ROAD

In a recent letter, a friend happened to mention an event he attended in May 1962 involving JUDY GARLAND.

I asked for more details and this is what Brian could remember from that day over 50 years ago.

 

“Along with other members of the JUDY GARLAND CLUB, I was invited to the Abbey Road Studios in London to hear Judy record the songs for her last film, I COULD GO ON SINGING ( for EMI/Capitol Records)……..

One of the most exciting times in my life……..

All three of Judy’s children were there, as well as DIRK BOGARDE ( Judy’s costar in the film). The film’s director ,RONALD NEAME, spoke to us . When Judy and the orchestra broke for refreshments, we were content to remain in our seats until play resumed, but Judy herself came and fetched us, saying that there was enough food and drink for all……..

We were there for about three hours .”

I COULD GO ON SINGING

Thanks, Brian. What a precious memory.

 

Judy on the Palladium stage in the film.

The four songs recorded for I COULD GO ON SINGING ( in two sessions in May and July 1962) included the title track ( written by HAROLD ARLEN and E.Y.HARBURG – the songwriters who had written ‘Over The Rainbow.’)

Also, ‘Hello Bluebird’, ‘By Myself’ and ‘It Never Was You.’

MORT LINDSEY arranged and conducted the orchestra.

Mort Lindsey conducts orchestra in I COULD GO ON SINGING.

 

Judy on stage at the London Palladium

This was one of four studio recordings Judy did for EMi/Capitol in London – 1957, 1960, 1962 and 1964.

Members of the Judy Garland Club were also part of the audience in the London Palladium scenes in the film.

 

 

JUDY with  Jack Klugman. I COULD GO ON SINGING, as she gets ready to go on stage at the London Palladium.

 

PUBLICITY SHOTS 15

Cary Grant, Edward Arnold, Jack Oakie (?) ,Donald Meek. THE TOAST OF NEW YORK.

Are they about to dance! Or is  it a competition – who has the tallest hat!

 

Preston Foster, Arleen Whelan, Don DeFore, Veronica Lake, Joel McCrea.RAMROD.

Veronica Lake was tiny!

 

Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes. JOHNNY O’CLOCK

 

 

Margaret Sullavan, Melvyn Douglas, Joan Crawford.THE SHINING HOUR.

The film had four stars. Who’s missing?

 

Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart,  Martha Vickers. THE BIG SLEEP

 

James Stewart, Richard Conte. CALL NORTHSIDE 777.

 

Ray Milland, Paulette Goddard, John Wayne, Susan Hayward. REAP THE WILD WILD.

 

Greer Garson, Dana Andrews.  STRANGE  LADY IN TOWN.

 

Louis Calhern, Sterling Hayden, Jean Hagen,  Sam Jaffe. THE ASPHALT JUNGLE.

 

Steve Cochran, Joan Crawford, David Brian. THE DAMNED DONT CRY.

THIS IS THE NIGHT (1932)

Cary Grant’s first full feature, THIS IS THE NIGHT  is set in Paris and Vienna, and stars Roland Young as the unlikely leading man,Gerald.

Gerald is having an affair with the married Claire (Thelma Todd). Claire’s husband, Stephen (Cary Grant) is an Olympic javelin thrower! Yes, the first appearance in the film has Cary carrying a shoulder bag of javelins! Unfortunately we don’t get to see Cary’s javelin throw!

Cary Grant, Charlie Ruggles

Thinking that her husband is across the Atlantic attending the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, Claire arranges a train trip to Vienna for her and Gerald. But Stephen comes back unexpectedly and finds the train tickets.

Gerald’s friend Bunny (Charlie Ruggles) pretends the tickets are actually for Gerald and his wife (though he isn’t married.)

Cary Grant, Roland Young, Charlie Ruggles

Stephen is suspicious and says he and Claire will also go to Vienna. Bunny hires Germaine (Lili Damita) to be Gerald’s ‘wife’. Germaine is a poor young Parisian who is desperate for a job.

So that’s the setup, but instead of keeping it light and frothy, Gerald’s character becomes serious as he starts falling for Germaine, and vice versa. In that persona, Roland Young (whom I like a lot) seemed woefully miscast.

Thelma Todd, Cary Grant

Young and Ruggles make a good comedy team, and Thelma Todd played well as the philandering wife who realises she still loves her husband. There’s a running joke in the film, as Thelma’ dresses keep getting accidentally caught  (in a car door, a suitcase lid ) and being ripped off her!

Cary has little to do but look handsome, but he did make an impression with the critics. Variety said: “Looks like Cary Grant is a potential femme rave.!” 

Cary Grant

I’ve never seen Lili Damita (1904 – 1994)  before and was impressed. A dark haired beauty, she didn’t make many films and more or less retired from the screen when she married Errol Flynn in 1935.

French born, Lili was married briefly to Michael Curtiz in 1925/26, and then for 7 years to Flynn. Her only son, Sean Flynn, disappeared in Cambodia in 1970.

Charlie Ruggles, Cary Grant, Lili Damita, Roland Young

 

Cary Grant, Lili Damita

 

 

Lili Damita,Cary Grant

 

LET’S LAUGH A LITTLE ‼️🎉

Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis

 

Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen,Douglas Fairbanks Jr.GUNGA DIN.

 

James Stewart

 

Garbo laughs. NINOTCHKA.

 

Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford. GILDA

 

Cary Grant

 

Rita Hayworth, Jack Lemmon, Robert Mitchum.FIRE DOWN BELOW

 

June Allyson

 

Joan Crawford, John Garfield.HUMORESQUE

 

Ava Gardner, Joan Fontaine.

 

Rita Hayworth

 

Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart. ( Tv’s THE PETRIFIED  FOREST.)

 

Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland

 

Ingrid Bergman

 

 

 

Clark Gable, Carole Lombard.

 

Marilyn Monroe

 

Bob Hope, Bing Crosby.

 

Gregory Peck, David Niven.THE GUNS OF NAVARONE

 

William Holden, Billy Wilder, Audrey Hepburn.SABRINA

 

Lana Turner, Eleanor Parker.

 

Douglas Fairbanks

 

LILLIAN BURNS, MGM DRAMA COACH

Lillian Burns

Another great find on You Tube, a 1996 interview with 93 year old LILLIAN  BURNS (1903 – 1998) who was the head drama coach at MGM from 1936 to 1956.

As she said, “I came to MGM the day after IRVING THALBERG was buried.”

Displaying why she was so good at her job, Lillian still had a strong, clear voice and very expressive hands. Just listening to the way she spoke,  you could understand why she was so successful in coaching young actors.

“As for my work, I saw everybody  who  was brought on the lot  by an agent. I never ran a school – it was a one to one process.”

“Young  contract players had an extensive apprenticeship.”

 

Clark Gable.PARNELL

“I remember very well at MGM when CLARK GABLE made a film in which he played an Irish political character – he wore exactly the same outfit he wore in Gone With The Wind, except for the hat.

The film was an absolute failure, but he had two other pictures coming out that year – you didn’t remember the failures.”

 

With Margaret O’Brien

In addition to helping MARGARET O’BRIEN, Lillian ( known as ‘Burnsy’) coached CLAUDE YARMAN JR. extensively  on THE YEARLING.

Claude Yarman Jr.

Of DEAN STOCKWELL, she said, “He was  loaded with talent.”

“I worked with LANA TURNER before she became a star – when she was doing ZIEGFELD GIRL.”

“For me, JUDY GARLAND was the great chanteuse of this century.”

Lana Turner, Judy Garland. ZIEGFELD GIRL

Other stars whom Lillian coached included AVA GARDNER, ARLENE DAHL,ESTHER WILLIAMS and DONNA REED.

 

 

With Debbie Reynolds

Lillian mentored DEBBIE REYNOLDS  when she came to MGM.

(Debbie and  Janet Leigh and Donna Reed came to Lillian’s aid when she needed financial help late in her life.)

 

When Lillian finally left MGM , she became HARRY COHN’s executive assistant , but I couldn’t find much reference to Lillian in the Cohn Biography,’King Cohn”.

Lillian was married to GEORGE SIDNEY ( director of Kiss Me Kate, Annie Get Your Gun) for 30 years. She was close to 70 when Sidney divorced her and married Edward G. Robinson’s widow, Jane.

 

This fascinating interview was conducted by Carole Langer and runs nearly an hour.

If only Lillian had written a book about her life at MGM.

TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX, A CENTURY OF ENTERTAINMENT

It’s huge – over 700 pages. In keeping with the previous books on MGM and Paramount, TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX, A CENTURY OF ENTERTAINMENT (2016) covers the history of the studio’s backlots and sound stages from the beginning in 1916  to the present day.

It is the first official history of Twentieth Century Fox ever released. It’s a studio tour in text and hundreds of photographs, the next best thing to being there in all the different decades of Fox .

 

WILLIAM FOX formed the Fox Film Corporation in 1915. Moving from premises in New Jersey, the Fox studio in Los Angeles was completed in 1916, at Western  Avenue and Sunset Boulevard.

 

In 1935, there was a merger with Twentieth Century  Pictures.

The book by Michael Troyan, Jeffrey Paul Thompson and Stephen X. Sylvester is a comprehensive look at how a studio uses the space it has for all the areas of expertise involved in film making. And how the vast backlot and buildings changed over the years.

FOX MOVIETONE NEWS ran from 1928 to 1963. The archives contain some great moments of history.

The book is full of rare and fascinating photos from the studio’s own archives like the ones below.

 

Anthony Quinn, Henry Fonda in the foreground. Whit Bissell on the left behind them. On the set of WARLOCK.

 

Marilyn Monroe on the set  of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, during the ‘Diamonds  are a Girl’s Best Friend’ number. George Chakiris can be seen at the back. One of the dancers wipes his forehead as they take a break.

 

Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall.HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE.

Interspersed with interviews and stories of some of Fox’s biggest hits, there is just so much to read,  two volumes might have been preferable.

I noticed a few mistakes -On page 220, a picture of Maureen O’Sullivan is credited as Barbara Rush. And on the same page there is a photo of Doris Day, but it looks more like Doris’s stand-in.

On Page 316, a photo of Vincent Price is described as Dana Andrews.

And I had to smile when PEOPLE WILL TALK was described as ”richly comic.”

20 pages on THE SOUND OF MUSIC was a bit much for me, but it was one of Fox’s  biggest hits.

Mention of Dana Andrews as “a wonderful singer”, made me wonder if he ever made any recordings – other than the song he sings in THE NORTH  STAR. I know he didn’t want to sing in STATE FAIR.

At the end of the book, every film ever made at Fox is listed , year by year.

I was interested to read about THE FOX ARCHIVES, set up to collect,,preserve and catalogue Fox props,set decorations,photos. And make them accessible to historians, museums etc.

 

 

This  is a labour of love by the writers, and the amount of research involved must have been colossal. It’s  a great addition to anyone’s film  library, but dont expect to get through it one session!

 

Some of Twentieth Century Fox’s stars:

Jean Peters, Richard Widmark.PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET

 

Betty Grable

 

5 YEARS ON

There’s a wonderful song in the musical ON THE TOWN called ‘Some Other Time’ (Leonard Bernstein, Comden and  Green). The song begins, “Where has the time all gone to, haven’t done half the things I want to…..oh well, we’ll catch up some other time…”

I started Vienna’s Classic Hollywood in September, 2012 , knowing next to nothing about blogging, but I did have experience editing a film magazine ,’That Certain Age’.

It’s now 5 years since my first post, and I do wonder where the time has gone!

That first post ( called ‘Classic Opening Scenes’ ) was only two paragraphs long and had one tiny picture . ( Boy, do I post a lot more pictures these days!)

It’s been great discovering so many online fans of vintage Hollywood. And I’ve enjoyed researching for articles and learning so much more about the classic era.

There are so many films I want to write about, and I always look forward to providing a forum for discussion.

My thanks to everyone who has contributed over the years, and to the many wonderful bloggers whose work I enjoy so much.

And, of course, any excuse for some photos! Some scenes from just some  of my favourite films:

Ann Sheridan, Errol Flynn.EDGE OF DARKNESS.

 


Fred Mc Murray,
Edward G Robinson.DOUBLE INDEMNITY

 

CROSSFIRE

 

CALL NORTHSIDE 777

 

Lloyd Bridges, Alida Valli, Glenn Ford.THE WHITE TOWER

 

Dean Jagger.12 O’CLOCK HIGH.

 

Ward Bond, Ida Lupino. Robert Ryan.ON DANGEROUS GROUND

 

Ella Raines, Brian Donlvey.IMPACT.

 

William Talman, Adele Jergens.  ARMORD CAR ROBBERY

 

THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD.

 

Cyd Charisse, FRED Astaire..THE BAND WAGON

 

SEVEN MEN FROM NOW

 

Sally Jane Bruce, Billy Chapin.NIGHT OF THE HUNTER.

 

Maria Schell, Gary Cooper.THE HANGING TREE.

 

Pernell Roberts, Randolph Scott.RIDE LONESOME.

 

Eva Marie Saint, Martin Landau.NORTH BY NORTHWEST

 

Good advice !