Author Archives: Vienna


Eva Marie Saint is 97 today, the 4th of July,2021.

A fine actress who won a Best Supporting Oscar for her film debut in On The Waterfront” in 1954, and became one of Hitchcock’s blondes in “North By Northwest”.


Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint

Eva had studied at the Actor’s Studio in New York and was active in television from 1948. She played ‘Wilma Deering’  in  a short lived version of “Buck Rogers”  in 1950.

She continued with her TV Appearances in the 1950s, only making 3 more films after “On The Waterfront” before being cast in “North By Northwest.”

  • She made two films with Bob Hope – “That Certain Feeling” and “Cancel My Reservation”; a western with Gregory Peck (“The Stalking Moon”); “Exodus” with Paul Newman.

Don Murray, Eva Marie Saint. A HATFUL OF RAIN.

One of my favourites (aside from “North By Northwest”) is “36 Hours”  with James Garner.


Eva Marie Saint, James Garner


Eva was married to director Jeffrey Hayden from 1951 till his death in 2016.

Jeffrey Hayden, Eva Marie Saint


Eva continued acting through the decades, and makes personal appearances at the Oscars and on TCM.

I think Eva chose her acting roles carefully, with  her family life always at the forefront.

That red dress in ‘North  By Northwest”.






And that famous scene in NORTH BY NORTHWEST when the little boy in the background covers his ears before Eva shoots Cary.


I enjoyed my first viewing of THE AMAZING MR. X (1948). Turhan Bey made the most of a starring role as ‘Alexis’,  a suave, phoney spiritualist  who fleeces well-to-do  women.

Advertising himself  as a ‘psychic consultant’ , he preys on vulnerable people, like Chris (Lynn Bari) who lives in a mansion next to the ocean with her sister Janet ( Cathy O’Donnell).

Chris is a widow, her husband Paul having died two years earlier.

With the help of Chris’s maid ( played by Virginia Gregg) , Alexis manipulates her – making Chris think her late husband is reaching out to her.

There’s a terrific twist near the end, all enhanced by the great, atmospheric photography of John Alton.

The film can be viewed on You Tube.


Lynn Bari


Donald Curtis, Cathy O’Donnell, Turhan Bey, Lynn Bari


Donald Curtis




Turhan Bey (1922-2017)

Turhan Bey was active in the 40s in DRAGON SEED, SUDAN, THE MAD GHOUL and several films with Susanna Foster.
His last Hollywood film was in 1953 and he returned to Vienna (where he was born) and became a commercial photographer.



After my last post,” Photo Mix 41”, I found this great colour video (see end of post) of the premiere of Errol Flynn’s Dodge City which took place in April 1939 in Dodge City,Kansas.
Warner Brothers chartered a train to the city for the world premiere of the film.
They loaded up the train with as many stars as were available, whether they were in the movie or not. Also film crew, executives and media.

And they sent a techicolor crew to film the event, giving us this wonderful colour video.

it’s amazing to think how much money Warners splashed out on this premiere. But advertising always was a big part of the costs of making a film.

Olivia De Havilland left the train at Pasadena as she was due to start work on GONE WITH THE WIND.


Olivia De Havilland, John Payne, Anne Shirley ,Hoot Gibson.

John Payne and Anne Shirley were married at this time.


The chap at far left is Leon G.Turrou who worked for the FBI for a period in the 30s.
The Edward G. Robinson film, “Confessions of a Nazi Spy” was based on articles that Turrou wrote and was soon to be released.


Dodge City at the time had a population of 11,000. Crowds that day swelled to nearly 50,000.


Husband and wife Humphrey Bogart, Mayo Methot next to Errol Flynn.


Errol Flynn gets the key to the city. John Garfield snatches a pic. The Bogart couple dress in black.

Errol Flynn in the parade through town.


A ticket for the premiere at the ‘Cozy Theatre’. $1.12. The film was screened at three cinemas.


Ann Sheridan shoots a grin at the cameras as she and Errol Flynn witness the wedding of a local couple.


Frank McHugh signs the hat.


This hat was signed by lots of the stars. Wonder where it is now, or if it survived.




This photo  is similar to the on in my Photo Mix post, but you can see Alan Hale far right. The figure at  centre back row, to the left of Errol Flynn is Jack Warner.

Lya Lys is far left ,next to Gilbert Roland. (Lya was in “Confessions of a Nazi Spy.”)

Sitting between Hoot Gibson and Guinn Williams is Buck Jones. Front row centre.

Below Errol Flynn is Lee Lyles, Vice President of the Santa Fe railroad.


What an event, maybe even bigger than the GONE WITH THE WIND premiere.



Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn.




Dana Andrews advertising hats, with a plug for FORBIDDEN STREET (BRITANNIA MEWS,1949), made in England and costarring Maureen O’Hara. Dana plays two roles in this film.

I always thought of the Stetson as a cowboy hat, but the Stetson hat company was founded by John B. Stetson (1830-1906) and the brand name,Stetson covers all sorts of hats.


I’m sorry, Mr.Mayer. This seat is taken.”

Louis B. Mayer, Irene Dunne.


James Stewart pilots Margaret Sullavan. 1939 in his own plane.



Randolph Scott in Sedona, Arizona for location shooting on THE GUNFIGHTERS (1947).


  • Bette Davis’s 33rd birthday and the world premiere of THE GREAT LIE in Littleton New Hampshire.  1941.



All aboard the Warner Brothers express for the promotional tour for DODGE CITY. Many contract players roped in.

Gilbert Roland, Priscilla Lane, Errol Flynn, Frank McHugh, Guinn Williams, Humphrey Bogart, John Garfield, Wayne Morris, John Payne.

Who have I missed?



Love the wording in this ad for PSYCHO:

“….The managers of the De Mille and Baronet theatres have been instructed, at the risks of their lives, not to admit to the theatre any persons after the picture starts.
Any spurious attempts to enter by side doors, fire escapes or ventilating shafts will be met by force.”


A rare group of top Hollywood singers: Susannah Foster, Jeanette MacDonald, Kathryn Grayson, Judy Garland, Deanna Durbin.

Wonder what the event was.


  • Edward G. Robinson on the KATE SMITH HOUR, CBS radio. 1937.

Did Eddie play the harp?


Marie Windsor, John Garfield. FORCE OF EVIL.


KEYE LUKE:Actor, Artist

This gallery contains 21 photos.

Keye Luke (1904-1991) was born in Canton, China and came to America , aged three. His father ,who was born in San Francisco, was an art dealer in Seattle, Washington , and Keye studied art at the University of Washington. His career path was set, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 27 and worked […]


Press photographer Harry Warnecke (1900-1984) joined the New York Daily News in 1921, only two years after New York’s first tabloid was established . He worked there till his retirement in 1970.

The paper was always picture- heavy and Harry became interested in color photography at a time in the 1930s when color photos in a newspaper were extremely rare.
He used a process and camera he devised himself. Before color film came into use, he would expose three different black and white negatives through coloured filters and combine the three images.

The result was a very vivid color image and the Daily  News would use many of Harry’s photos in their Sunday magazine.
Harry’s work was recognised in an 2012 exhibition of 24 of his images at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

Here are some of these wonderfully vibrant photos:



Irene Dunne


Jimmy Durante


Orson Welles


Gene Raymond, Jeanette MacDonald


Lucille Ball


Laurel and Hardy


Alexis Smith


Ann Blyth


Harry Warnecke


TRAILERS!  PREVIEWS!  COMING ATTRACTIONS !  Always part of cinema going . We need to know what to see next.

Of course the job of trailers is to make filmgoers go see the movie the following  week.  Nowadays, trailers don’t follow/trail the main feature , but back in the silent era , they ran after the movie.

With the coming of sound and continuous performances, we got double features followed by cartoons, newsreels – and trailers.

By 1919, a New Yorker, Herman Robbins, without any studio permission, took stills from films, spliced them with text and titles, and sold them to movie theaters.
He formed a company called THE NATIONAL SCREEN SERVICE and gradually the big studios started sending their films to NSS to be converted into trailers.

Considering everything else was done in-house, I’m not clear why the important advertising of trailers was outsourced. ( the only comment I saw was that making trailers was too time consuming).
As well as producing trailers, NSS also did posters and ads for the majors till the 1960s, when the studios took back control.

Trailers often had third person narrators, montages, teasers, rapid cuts, pictures of the stars, some clips of dramatic or exciting scenes – and all in about three minutes.

Like print advertising, the trailer is full of excessive praise for the film – Colossal and Stupendous were often the words used .
And sometimes the actual film was a let down after the rip roaring trailer.
Occasionally a trailer would use footage not in the actual film, depending on whether NSS was working from a final cut.  Sometimes they worked from the dailies ( unedited footage of film).

For example, in one of the trailers for CASABLANCA, Rick says, “ok, you asked for it”  before shooting Strasser – a line not in the final film.

When a film was re-issued some years later, a further trailer might be made, often  running only about 90 seconds.

With the advent of video and dvd, trailers were often added as extras and have become popular to watch.

I’ve pulled a few trailers from You Tube , with some comments.


NOTE: An extra comment to this post .

Having read some further articles, it looks like MGM and Warner Bros. did some of their own trailers, maybe for the bigger releases like MILDRED PIERCE and SHOP AROUND THE CORNER ,shown below. When the stars of the film are filmed for special spots in the trailers, that would be done in the studio.



This trailer for JOHNNY O’CLOCK was a re-issue and runs only 1m. 36 secs. Of course it emphasises  the dramatic character of the lead character – “the most fascinating character you’ve met in years!”




With PEOPLE WILL TALK, the film’s makers were selling points – Darryl Zanuck, Joseph Mankiewicz  had Oscar winning credentials. And the usual hyperbole – “Expect the unexpected, and you’ll still be surprised!”


DARK PASSAGE reminds filmgoers about the Bogie/Bacall previous hits, saying Dark Passage is the best yet.

The trailer even shows the end scene of the film, but no one would know that at the time.



LADY IN THE LAKE: “THE SCREEN TALKED, NOW THE CAMERA ACTS!” – “A MILESTONE IN MOVIE MAKING, starring Robert Montgomery and YOU!”  “You play the starring role!”

The trailer is a bit misleading because you see lots of Montgomery as he does the narration.




MILDRED PIERCE: One of the best trailers I have seen. Gripping first shot of the shooting of ‘Monty’, then Jack Carson, Bruce Bennett,  Zachary Scott speak to the camera, each describing how they see Mildred . And then the scene where Vida slaps Mildred.
And the description – “The film the WORLD  will talk about!”
it’s all there!




“SHOP AROUND THE CORNER.” I love this one, with Frank Morgan speaking directly to the camera and introducing the cast – with a surprise appearance at the end of director Ernst Lubitsch.


DOUBLE INDEMNITY: Another instance where the end scene is shown, with Fred MacMurray saying, “I killed Dietrichson…”



San Francisco  re-release trailer., stating this is a “limited return engagement.” Shots of the earthquake make for plenty of action.



A clever use of two William Powells for The Thin Man. It’s all about a tall, thin man.”



RKO re-released King Kong in 1938 and the message was , Dont Miss It This Time!



THE WOMEN : Reference  is made to the hit Broadway show on which the film is based.



An excellent Criterion trailer for their dvd release of 3.10 TO YUMA.



ON DANGEROUS GROUND. Always  great to hear Bernard Hermann’s soundtrack.




JEAN ARTHUR.Carmel 1988 . Photo by Roddy McDowall

A rare photo of Jean Arthur, aged 88. She died in 1991.


Robert Montgomery , Audrey Totter.LADY IN THE LAKE.

Wonder what it would have been like if they had made a conventional version – more of Robert Montgomery for a start.



Edward Everett Horton, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair.ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

Dont drink!


Too easy.  Whose hands?


Van Heflin, Cornel Wilde, Fred MacMurray, Clifton  Webb. A WOMAN’S WORLD.

It’s “A Woman’s World” and here are their men.  Who gets the job?


Joan Fontaine checks her hair, Robert Taylor checks his nails.





Crime doesn’t pay, not when Barbara Stanwyck is involved.

Neff reveals all.


Jack Warner has won an award, not sure what for but Virginia Mayo and Randolph Scott are on hand for congratulations.


Lyle Bettger, Barbara Stanwyck. NO MAN OF HER OWN.

Dont mess with me, I’m Lyle Bettger.”



Changes. Before and after.

Biggest changes are surely Joan and Myrna.



William Powell, Myrna Loy.

1936. Grauman’s. Cool footwear.


Bette Davis

Casual wear. 1939 , photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

THE WESTERNER with Brian Keith



THE WESTERNER was a 1960 TV series created by Sam Peckinpah and starring Brian Keith as a drifter who wanders the West with his dog, ‘Brown’.

With a theme similar to Lloyd Bridges’ The Loner, Brian Keith , as ‘Dave Blassingame’  meets all sorts of folk and trouble on his travels. We don’t learn a lot about him, except he sometimes  talks about having a ranch in the future.

We learn he can’t read  or write, but from time to time, he tries to learn.


Brian Keith

The show only had 13 episodes before being cancelled. Brian Keith wore the part very well, as a peaceable man ready to defend himself when necessary. It doesn’t look as if the series had much of a budget.
There are plenty of fist fights and shootings, so a lot of violence typical of Peckinpah , though  Blassingame only lashes out when pushed.
Of course his name alone – ‘Dave Blassingame’ – can bring trouble, though in a nice contrast, Malcolm Atterbury as the local sheriff says, “I like that. It’s a good name.”

( I’ d love to know how Sam Peckinpah came up with this very unusual surname.)

The series is well worth watching for all the well known supporting  names in the cast, including,one of my favourites, John Dehner who appears in three of the lighter episodes,playing a character called Burgundy Smith who tries to buy Blassingame’s dog, and is a rival for a lady Blassingame has an eye for.

(Keith’s ‘co-star’, Brown’ is a very well trained dog who was also ‘Old Yeller’. Blassingame has quite a few conversations with ‘Brown.’)

Other guest stars include Robert Wilke, Arthur Hunnicutt, Sam Jaffe, Ben Cooper, Katy Jurado . One episode has Malcolm Atterbury and Adam Williams ( both fresh from “North By Northwest”).Incidentally, Adam Williams, whom I liked in VICE SQUAD and THE BIG HEAT, was born in 1922 and died in 2006. According to IMDB, he never made another TV/ Film appearance after 1978 when he was 56 yrs old.

Arthur Hunnicutt

Hunnicutt plays an old prospector ready to kill Blassingame for gold .


In a powerful episode, reminiscent of The Ox-Bow Incident, Blassingame is set up for a murder.  With no real proof, R.G. Armstrong tells Dave to dig his own grave.
A young teacher has been killed and Dave’s  connection is that she was helping him – “I was learning how to write my name.”

Richard Rust plays  the deputy who tries to stop what’s happening.

A surprise in this episode was to see William Tracy whom I remember so well as the fast young go-getter from The Shop Around the Corner who stole every scene he was in.

In his early 40s at the time of the series, I kept thinking Tracy looked and sounded like Herbert Mundin.

William Tracy

I know he is made up for the role and it is 20 years later, but such a change.

William Tracy. Shop Around the Corner.

( British born Herbert Mundin tragically died in a car crash at the age of 40 in 1939.) Mundin was in so many 30s films such as The Adventures of Robin Hood, Mutiny on the Bounty.)

William Tracy served in the Second World War for 5 years and when he returned to Hollywood he only made a few films in the 1950s. A pity he didn’t get a studio contract and some decent roles. He died in 1967, aged 50.



Another episode has a Marie Celeste like opening , Dave coming into a small Mexican town which is deserted, though food is on a stove and the cantina has drinks on the table.  Katy Jurado guest stars.

The 13 episode box set has recently been issued in the U.K. by Renown. The series was previously released in  America by the Shout  Factory in 2017. The U.S. release had the added extra of the 1959 episode of the Zane Grey Theatre, “Trouble at Tres Cruces” which first featured Brian Keith as the ‘Dave Blassingame’ character.

And a slight mistake in the U.K. set – the cover says the series was made in  1962.

The whole series seems to be in the public domain and  can be viewed on You Tube. I don’t rate it quite as highly as IMDB reviews suggest. It’s all down to the writing of course and four or five of the 13 episodes are very good in my opinion.

Shout Factory

Brian Keith subsequently appeared in Sam Peckinpah’s “The Deadly Companions” in  I961 and continued to have a successful career, mainly in television including his own show, “The Brian Keith Show” in which he played a doctor. He was also in a long running sitcom, “Family  Affair” from 1966 to 1971. Another long running hit was HARDCASTLE AND MCCORMICK (1983-86).He and Ben  Cooper appeared in another western, “The Raiders”(1963). It seems a pity Brian’s career on screen only really got started in the 50s – he was active in stage and radio in the 40s after the war. I liked him in TIGHT SPOT, CHICAGO CONFIDENTIAL, ROUGH COMPANY. His laconic manner suited Noir.

Just after the series was cancelled, Brian had a big success in THE PARENT  TRAP with Maureen O’Hara and Hayley Mills. There was also an attempt at a reboot of The Westerner in 1963, in an episode of the Dick Powell Show called ‘The Losers’, with Lee Marvin and Keenan Wynn in the roles,played by Brian Keith and John Dehner.   Brian Keith, born in 1921 and the son of character actor, Robert Keith, was suffering from cancer when he took his own life in 1997.

Brian Keith, Ben Cooper

JAMES MASON: The Star with the Velvet Voice

James Mason

New to me, live online talks via webinars. ( I had to look up the meaning of ‘webinar’ – coined in the 1990s , a blend of web and seminar.)

I enjoyed one recently given by Adrian Garvey, a James Mason expert and organised by Nicky Smith of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea library.

James Mason (1909-1984) was the star with impeccable diction who conquered British and Hollywood films.

In the 1930s ,James had two careers -on stage and film. He did repertory at London’s Old Vic theatre, led by Charles Laughton, and appeared in ‘Quota Quickies’ from 1935 ( those films made to get more British films on British screens.)


In 1939, James costarred in the small independent film, I MET A MURDERER . His  costar Pamela Kellino whom he married in 1941. Mason played a farmer who murders his wife.

Interestingly, the film was co-written by Mason, Pamela Kellino and her then husband Roy Kellino who produced and directed it.


During the Second World War, James had deferred status due to essential civilian employment (the film industry). He could have had a lot of trouble in his career if this hadn’t happened , as he registered as a conscientious objector.

Stardom came with THE MAN IN GREY (1943) and FANNY BY GASLIGHT (1944).  He became known as ‘the man they loved to hate!’ in the Gainsborough costume melodramas.

In 1946 he was voted Britain’s  Most Popular Star by the readers of the Daily Mail.


With Margaret Lockwood. THE WICKED LADY.

Audiences loved his ‘ crushed velvet’ voice and found him charismatic and dangerous!

Director Michael Powell described Mason’s voice:

“It was cultured, tender and masculine, and irresistible  to women!”

James was cast for Powell’s I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING but fell out with Powell. (Roger Livesey took over.)


One of his last films before Hollywood was the highly regarded ODD MAN OUT(1947), with fine direction by Carol Reed and James as a dying Irish fugitive on the run from the police in Belfast.


Walter  Winchell described Mason in THE SEVENTH VEIL(1945)  as ……..”Humphrey Bogart with an Oxonian accent.”

(Mason didn’t go to Oxford, but he did graduate from Cambridge – he had studied architecture but preferred dramatics.)

With The Seventh Veil, Mason became more vulnerable and romantic – though not when he brings his cane down on Ann Todd’s fingers at the piano!

The film was a huge success in both Britain and America.

James commented on his move to Hollywood. He was fed up with his villainess image:

“I see precious little glamour in British films…..I wanted to see what it would be like in the U.S……..I wanted to be an international star because I thought it would give me the power to produce my own films.”

He did not want a long term contract, And in 1947, James signed with producer David Rose but was unable to work in Hollywood for over a year due to a dispute with Rose. (He and his wife Pamela worked on stage in New York for a year.)

His first Hollywood film was CAUGHT (1949)  with Robert Ryan and Barbara Bel Geddes . Although James got top billing, Robert Ryan, as a Howard Hughes type, had the more powerful role,  but it gave James the opportunity to play a more sympathetic part as a doctor.

An IMDB note says James could have played the main role but wanted to change his image.



Robert Ryan, Barbara Bel Geddes, James Mason


James Mason, Max Ophuls, Barbara Bel Geddes

Max Ophuls also directed the next Mason film, THE RECKLESS MOMENT with Joan Bennett.


One of my favourite Mason films, EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE, as a man torn between Barbara Stanwyck and Ava Gardner.



Mason did not attempt a German accent when he played Field Marshall Rommel of the Afrika Corps in THE DESERT FOX (1951). The portrayal of Rommel as a military man who was to be admired for his expertise was not well received in some quarters, being so soon after the war.

In 1953, Twentieth Century Fox persuaded Mason to play Rommel again in THE DESERT RATS, but as a cameo and with a plot showing the war in North Africa from the British point of view, and with a less sympathetic view of Rommel.

“The Desert Rats”may have been a counterpoint to “The Desert Fox”, but it wasn’t nearly as good.



James made a fine ‘Brutus’ in the all star JULIUS CAESAR, his voice perfect for Shakepeare’s words.


James reprised Douglas Fairbanks Jr’s role of Rupert of Hentzau in THE PRISONER OF ZENDA. It seemed a strange choice for him, duelling with Stewart Granger, and I preferred the portrayal by Fairbanks in the 1930s version.


FIVE FINGERS (1952) gave him  another memorable role as the valet turned spy, with the wonderful name of ‘Ulysses Diello’.  Set in neutral Turkey during World War ll, he plays a valet to the British Ambassador who sells information to the Germans about the Allied war plans.
A great thriller from Joseph Mankiewicz.


With Judy Garland. A STAR IS BORN.

I could only wish that both Judy and James has won Oscars for “A Star is Born”.
Mason’s ‘Norman Maine’ is so raw,intense and emotionally charged, surely one  of his finest performances .

He was very fond of Judy Garland and spoke the eulogy at her funeral.

A visual sign that Vicki Lester is overtaking  Norman Maine in star ratings.


James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford, Judy Garland. A STAR IS BORN.




Pat Boone,  Peter Ronson, James Mason, Arlene Dahl.

Another of my favourites, JOURNEY TO THE  THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH, with James as an Edinburgh professor who leads an expedition to the earth’s core. With a memorable Bernard Herrmann soundtrack and fantastic visual effects.


Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason. NORTH BY NORTHWEST.

James was a perfect foil for Cary Grant, as the urbane villain, Philip Vandamm in the Hitchcock thriller. Mason said he got on well with Hitchcock and Grant, but felt tightly controlled by the director.

I can still hear his voice when he says to Cary Grant, “With such play acting, you make  this very room a theater.”

In the 1960s, James eased into character roles, with his last starring role in LOLITA ( 1962). His last film was THE SHOOTING PARTY in 1984, shortly before his death.

130 films over 50 years. When  asked in an interview, “Is there anything you would have done differently?”, his reply, after some hesitation, was ,”Not much!”


A 1946 first place for James in a pole for Motion Picture Herald.


James was married to Pamela Kellino from 1941 to 1964 and they had two children,Morgan and Portland.
His second marriage in 1971 was to Clarissa Kaye Mason .



I found  this lovely portrait online by an artist called N. Shaddrion. Possibly from “Odd Man Out”.

How best to describe James Mason – Grace, elegance, charm, with a hint of menace!