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Joseph Cotten was 76 when he took part in DESERT ISLAND DISCS in 1981.
His music choices included a brass band playing “Dixie”; Walter Huston’s “September Song”; and Ethel Merman’s “Anything Goes”. He commented: Some of the cleverest American lyrics must have come from Cole Porter’s ‘Anything Goes.’”


Patricia Medina, Joseph Cotten

Joseph said, “I’m married to a beautiful English girl, Patricia Medina who has lots of family in England.”

Again, in such a short program (30 mins.) there wasn’t enough time to talk about his career.

  • on Orson Welles; “I met him first on radio – I was a charter member of the Mercury Theatre.”

Welles , who had a three picture contract with RKO, invited him to Hollywood with other Mercury players – for CITIZEN KANE.”

Joseph signed a seven year contract with David Selznick:

My first job was being loaned out to Universal to work with Hitchcock on “Shadow of a Doubt”.

(Unfortunately there was absolutely no follow up questions about that experience, possibly Cotten’s best role.)

Shadow of a Doubt.

Joseph’s luxury item was a gardening manual and he requested a boat building book.


Gregory Peck was cast away in 1980. His eight discs were mainly classical but he also chose Frank Sinatra’s ‘ New York, New York’ and Duke Ellington’s ‘Satin Doll’.

Peck said he loved music and had taken singing lessons for four months so that he could be considered for MAN OF LA MANCHA. ( The part that went to Peter O’Toole.)

He said that at the start of his career he had absolutely no interest in pictures.  But while on Broadway, he had done a film test – “L.B.Mayer wanted me to join his ‘family of stars’ – I didn’t  want to be exclusively signed to anyone – I was fortunate enough to witness L.B.’s great crying act which he put on for my behalf.”

Gregory was Oscar -nominated  for his second film, KEYS OF THE KINGDOM. He was critical of his acting – ”I played that story with such utter overwhelming sincerity, and with very little skill I must say – I had not much film technique but I did believe in the character.”



“I began to drop my prejudice against film and became  less interested in theatre.”

Leland Hayward (famous Hollywood agent) signed me up for fourteen films with four different studios, then left town!”

“THE YEARLING ran over time and DUEL IN THE SUN was ready to begin….for weeks I found myself bicycling from one studio to another.”

“I got along very well with Hitchcock – people say he browbeats actors …..he was always considerate and gentle with his ‘cattle’. I never heard him humiliate an actor –  ever.”

On turning down HIGH NOON,  ….”a mistake in judgement on my part. I had made “The Gunfighter” and Stanley Kramer sent me the script of “High Noon” and I recognised it was a fine script.

But I thought I didn’t want to repeat – it had to do with the traditional loner who faces the whole town alone – I thought they were too much alike and I would like to be versatile.

It was a great mistake – I doubt I would have been nearly as good as Gary Cooper..”


John Swope?   Dorothy McGuire, Gregory Peck.

Once established in Hollywood, Gregory returned to his hometown, La Jolla in California and started a summer repertory theatre company with Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer.

For six years we produced all the plays ourselves and appeared in at least one each summer.”

The opening bill in 1947 was NIGHT MUST FALL, with Dame May Whitty.

Many Hollywood stars appeared at the La Jolla Playhouse. Imagine seeing Robert Ryan in BORN YESTERDAY!



Lauren Bacall  joined Roy Plomley in 1979. Her music choices included Ella Fitzgerald singing “Isn’t It a Pity” ( by the Gershwins), Nat King Cole, Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence in a scene from Coward’s “Red Peppers.”

Lauren’s luxury was also sun tan lotion – a large bottle.

Lauren talked about her early goals:

I first wanted to be a dancer – a ballerina…..the first play I ever saw was John Gielgud   in “Hamlet” – I was so moved by it.

I realised that at a very young age I really didn’t have the feet for ballet – I was in constant pain on point – no Margot Fontaine ,I ! “

Lauren started modelling – “Ten  bucks an hour – that is not ,what they say in America, hay!”

Slim Hawks, wife of Howard Hawks, saw Lauren’s photos in “Harper’s Bazaar” magazine and told her husband.

“I was seventeen when I went to Hollywood.” (Signed to a personal contract  by Hawks.)

“I loved “How To Marry a Millionaire “ and enjoyed “A Woman’s World” very much. I adored “Designing  Woman” – that is probably my favourite film”.

Lauren starred in CACTUS FLOWER on Broadway – “I did “Cactus Flower” two years non-stop, with one week’s holiday.”

(As much as I love Ingrid Bergman in the film version of “Cactus Flower”, I wonder  why Lauren missed out on the role she created.)


Lauren Bacall in APPLAUSE ( ‘All About  Eve’)

“Bette Davis was my great heroine -to be playing a musical version of the part she created was very curious – “Applause” took up five years of my life – I played the part too long.”



Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart. THE BIG SLEEP.

Lauren talked about a funny Hollywood legend – “Who pushed Owen Taylor off the pier.?”

The story goes , according to Lauren, that during the filming of “The Big Sleep”Humphrey Bogart asked that question.

(’Owen Taylor’ was the Sternwood chauffeur ( played by Dan Wallace).

Howard Hawks apparently quizzed the writer of “The Big Sleep”,  Raymond Chandler whose reply became Hollywood legend – “Damned  if I know.”


Devised by Roy Plomley in 1942, the BBC’s “Desert Island Discs” may well  be the longest running radio series in the world. And it is still running today after over 3,000 episodes. An institution.

The format was relatively simple, the theme being how would one cope if cast away on a desert island. Each guest would be asked to choose 8 favourite records to take with them. And they can choose a book and a luxury item.

Initially it was a half hour format, then extended to 45 minutes, with only a section of each record played.
Roy Plomley was the host till his death in 1985.
An invitation to appear in the show was a sure sign of success.

The well known signature tune was “Sleepy Lagoon”, written in 1930 by Eric Coates.

The BBC has released over 500 episodes on BBC Sounds  ( and I trawled through to find any Hollywood connections.

The earliest recording is from 1950 and featured Margaret Lockwood.

Rex Harrison chose seven Benny Goodman tracks, saying “I just love jazz.”

Joan Bennett  appeared in 1963. Unfortunately it is not one that is available to hear.

Joan’s luxury item was suntan lotion!

Joan Bennett


Barbara, Ben ,Bebe and Richard Lyon.

The first one I listened to recently was from 1956 and the star was Bebe Daniels.

In the half hour format, there seemed little time for in depth questioning . In fact Plomley spent most time asking Bebe how she would cope on a desert island. Her extensive career in silent films was glossed over.

She did say Rudolph Valentino was easy to get on with , had great charm and a sense of humour. ( they were in “MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRE (1924).

Bebe commented: “My father was born in Edinburgh….I was carried on stage at ten weeks…..I was seven when I made my first film……did lots of westerns.


Bebe named Bing Crosby as her favourite vocalist, and she chose Bing singing “Granada.”  She had known Bing  since 1931. She also chose her daughter Barbara singing ‘Stowaway’.

Bebe’s final music choice was one of my favourites- ‘The Coronation Scot’ which I always associate with the PAUL TEMPLE radio series.

Bebe’s luxury item was a typewriter and paper – “I’d like to write a mystery.” 



Fred Zinnemann was 83 when he was the castaway in 1991.

Fred Zinnemann

The director’s music choice was mainly classical – Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler and Bach. He also chose Cab Calloway and George Gershwin.

Fred Zinnemann (1907-1997) had studied law but said , “Instead of going to lectures, I went to movies.”

He had suffered anti-semitism in Vienna  and thought that was why he was drawn to the outsider who doesn’t quite belong.

His family wound up in Auschwitz – he did not want to talk about that subject.

In 1927, aged 20, he studied film in Paris and came to America  in 1929 with an introduction to Carl Laemmle,head of Universal.

He spent the 1930s making shorts.It was 1942 before he got to direct his first feature – KID GLOVE KILLER.

Of THE SEARCH ( which I rate highly), he said, “it was not suitable for a star – we needed someone unknown…I met young stage actor Montgomery  Clift and found him absolutely marvellous.”

Music was his first love and was happy to do OKLAHOMA after “From Here To Eternity.”

On colorisation: “A sign of the times – squeeze the last penny out of everything.”

His luxury item was a very large, self renewing luxury bottle of Scotch!

Winner of five Oscars, Zinnemann made less than thirty films – only eight each in the 30s and 40s and only three in the 60s and two in the 70s.

When asked if he looked at any of his films ,he said, “I sometimes look out of curiosity. I don’t spend too much time  reminiscing .”


Marlon Brando, Fred Zinnemann, Montgomery Clift.




Marlene Dietrich

Interviewed in her dressing room in a West End theatre in 1965, Marlene Dietrich declared she did not fear living in isolation on the desert island.


Good news indeed to hear that Lena Horne now has a Broadway theatre named after her.

The Brooks Atkinson on W. 47th St, New York now bears her name. ( Brooks Atkinson was a theatre critic for the New York Times).
Lena Horne (1917-2010) was signed to MGM in 1942 and appeared in several musicals but never in a lead role.

In 1957, Lena told the New York Times: ”Mississippi wanted its movies without me. So no one bothered to put me in a movie where I talked to anybody, where some thread of the story might be broken if I were cut.”

Lena was a civil rights activist who was blacklisted . With films and television not open to her in the early 1950s, Lena became a top headliner in concerts and nightclubs. She toured America ,Canada and Europe.

In 1981, her one-woman show ran for 300 performances on Broadway. A great voice and personality.




Lena Horne.





…………Another Classic anniversary. “Casablanca “ is 80 years old and this month a three disc blu-Ray set is released featuring lots of extras including a 32 page original press book, three lobby cards, seven art cards. With deleted scenes, outtakes ( plus some extras from the 70th anniversary release.)




…………Celebrating her 92nd birthday is Lois Smith who made two movies  in the middle 1950s then didn’t appear on screen again till 1970.
I remember Lois at the spirited sister of Dana Andrews in STRANGE LADY IN TOWN. She also appeared in EAST OF EDEN.

Lois left Hollywood for New York after these two films and joined the Actors Studio. She was very successful on stage and television and then had a film comeback in the 70s.

Lois Smith, James Dean.


Greer Garson, Lois Smith.


Lois Smith


…………When I found it on You Tube, I don’t think it was unreasonable to assume that a 1952 movie called “Return of the Texan” which starred Dale Robertson was a western.

Wrong again. It’s a modern day  setting for Dale who plays a widower with two young sons returning to his home in Texas ,along with his grandfather (Walter Brennan).

He clashes with Richard Boone and falls for Joanne Dru who is engaged to  a young Robert Horton.

I quite enjoyed it but Richard Boone didn’t have a lot to do .

Dale Robertson, Joanne Dru.


Richard Boone, Dale Robertson , Tom Tully.

I wondered why the fight scene between Robertson and Boone near the end of the film finished rather abruptly. The scene above was missing!


Helen Westcott

As the wife of Richard Boone and sister of Joanne Dru, Helen Westcott is only in a couple of short scenes ( unless of course some of her scenes were also cut from the print I saw.) Helen is best known for her role in THE GUNFIGHTER.



………….The 5th Cary Comes Home Festival runs from 18th to 20th November in Cary Grant’s home town Bristol. Wish I could be there. Hope there is a good turnout.

Details at 









Surrounded  by THE WOMEN.

George Cukor , Hunt Stromberg ( the film’s producer.)

How quickly can you name them all.


Bob Hope, Madeleine Carroll.MY FAVORITE BLONDE.



Joan Fontaine 

Which one will she choose.

Walter Abel, Dennis O’Keefe,   George Brent, Don De Fore.

I choose him.



George Brent

Audition for new film, ROBOT!


Carmen Miranda, Cesar Romero

Winners of the World Best Smile Awards.


Van Heflin, Ginger Rogers, George Raft, Reginald Gardiner.

Ginger to George: “George, you need to lose some weight – Van and Reggie agree.”


Ann Blyth, Zachary Scott. MILDRED PIERCE.

Veda is trouble. Watch out, Monty.


George Stevens


Cary Grant, George, Katharine Hepburn. BRINGING UP BABY.

GEORGE, where is that bone?”


If like me you like to know everything there is to know about a favourite film, you’ll understand why I was very pleased to see the documentary ”Inside High Noon: Directors Cut” .

Made as a dvd extra in 2003 at the time of the 50th anniversary of the classic western,  director /writer John Mulholland  interviewed many people who were able to comment on the making of “High Noon”.

The 50 minute documentary ,with a new narration by Matthew Rhys , is now being re-issued and completely re-done in honor  of the 70th anniversary this year. It will air on Public Television in America in November and will be released world-wide in 2023.


Fred Zinnemann, Carl Foreman.

Director Fred Zinnemann had worked previously with producer Stanley Kramer on “The Men” ( also scripted by Carl Foreman).


Stanley Kramer.

Independent producer Stanley Kramer went on to make  The Caine Mutiny, The Defiant Ones. And I love his earlier films , Member of the Wedding and Champion.


Maria Cooper Janis

Gary Cooper’s  daughter explained how ‘High Noon’ came to have its own meaning  – moment of reckoning, abandoned by people who should be allies….to be ‘high nooned’ – left in the lurch.


Jonathan Foreman, son of Carl Foreman, confirmed that John Wayne was NEVER  offered the leading role.

To this day, on the Internet, practically everything you read about High Noon says John  Wayne refused the role . (Even the 2019 blu-Ray says so!)

John Wayne

Gary Cooper was not the first choice to play Will Kane. Several other actors were approached – Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas.

Funding required for the Stanley Kramer independent production amounted to $750,000. When they were $250,000 short of the total, a business man offered to put up the shortfall but only if Gary Cooper starred.

There was concern over Cooper’s age and the fact his costar ,Grace Kelly was 30 years his junior.

Cooper took a drastic cut in salary , but with a hefty percentage of any profits.

Jonathan Foreman said that his father absolutely intended the plot as an allegory of McCarthyism and the Black List.

The use of the ticking clock throughout the film added so much to the drama and tension.

The first look at the clock is at 10.40am after the wedding , and after Kane receives the news about Miller’s release from prison.


Katy Jurado

The women in Will Kane’s life are no shrinking violets. Helen Ramirez runs her own business. She seems to understand Kane much better than his new bride. Their exchange:

Helen: “If you’re smart, you will get out too.”

Kane:”I can’t .”

Helen: “I know.”

This was Katy Jurado’s first English speaking role and she was excellent


Grace Kelly

A young Grace Kelly does well as the young bride, though I think that the relationship of Kane and Amy is a weak part of Foreman’s great script.



Lon Chaney Jr.

A brief but good role for Lon Chaney Jr. as the retired sheriff who would help Kane  if he could.


Otto Kruger

Otto Kruger never disappoints in his small role as the judge who sentenced Miller and isn’t sticking around for Miller’s arrival.


Lee Van Cleef

Shots like this at the start of the film need to be seen on a big screen. Beautifully framed. Washed out sky.


Another shot as the trio of henchmen await the train bringing Frank Miller.

( The train depot was built for the film but the company used the Railtown 1897 Historic Park at Jamestown.Calif. with  their steam train , belching smoke, coming along the tracks.)


Sheb  Wooley, Robert Wilke, Lee Van Cleef.

  • It was interesting to read of some casting suggestions – Peter Graves and Hugh O’Brien were considered for the role of  ‘Ben Miller’  which Sheb Wooley played.
  • Royal  Dano was a possibility for the role ‘Pierce’, which Robert J. Wilke played.
  • High Noon was Lee Van Cleef’s debut film and he had no dialogue – but that stare of his spoke volumes!

Lee Van Cleef


Ian MacDonald as ‘Frank Miller’.


Howland  Chamberlain as the hotel desk clerk.Never a friendly face.


The famous shot of that solitary figure of Gary Cooper, deserted by everyone, all doors shut to him.
Director Fred Zinnemann borrowed a huge crane to achieve the effect  on the Columbia Ranch western street.


That  ending. You know what is going to hit the dirt. Sometimes words aren’t needed.

“High  Noon” won four Oscars ( Best Actor, Score,Song, Editing.)  Gary Cooper was filming in Europe and asked John  Wayne ( they were friends) to accept his Oscar for him  and Wayne joked about why he didn’t get to do  High Noon instead of Cooper!   Considering Wayne’s subsequent comments about the film (un- American etc), that remark about wanting to be in the film takes some beating.

And isn’t this Wayne admitting he was never offered the role?

”High Noon” lost to “The Greatest Show on Earth”  as Best Picture.

In the middle of production, Carl Foreman, who had been a member of the American Communist Party , was called before HUAC ( the House UnAmerican Activities Committee )

In September 1951, Foreman attended the Los Angeles Federal Building and appeared before the Committee. He refused to name other Communist members and was labelled ‘an unfriendly witness’, leading to his blacklisting.

The Motion Picture Alliance ( of which John  Wayne was a prominent member) pressured producer Stanley Kramer to take Carl Foreman’s name , as associate producer, off the film.
Kramer consented. He had a new contract with Columbia and was thinking of backlash because of his association with Foreman.

When Zinnemann and Cooper threatened to walk off the set, Foreman’s credit as the screenplay writer remained, but it was the last time his name appeared on screen for many years.

Foreman’s friendship and partnership with Stanley Kramer , begun during World War 2, ended.

Carl Foreman left Hollywood and made a new career for himself in Britain ( writing The Bridge on the River Kwai and The Guns of Navarone.)

Carl Foreman later said, “Coop put his whole career on the block in the face of the McCarthyite witch hunters.”



On the set: Fred Zinnemann talks to Grace Kelly and Katy Jurado.


Jack Elam with Gary Cooper in a scene cut from the film. There was also footage of a second deputy bringing a prisoner into town which was also cut.


“High Noon” is often described as based on the 1947 short story, “ The Tin Star” by John W. Cunningham. Mainly because the  film’ s producer Stanley Kramer had bought the rights to the story to avoid any copyright issues and gave it a credit on the film.

Having read the short story ( available in the booklet with my 2019  blu-ray), the very loose connection is the fact that the story is about an elderly, arthritic sheriff waiting on the arrival of the man he sent to prison.
The train is due at 4.10pm , the  sheriff dies after a gun battle and his deputy decides to stay on in the town.
Other than the sheriff (called ‘Doane’) going to visit his wife’s grave, there are no women in the story and the sheriff doesn’t ask for help .

So only the basic premise of the badman being released from prison and seeking revenge is possibly taken from the short story. Having a credit on the film has , for me, given the Cunningham story more prestige than it deserves.

The film is very far from being an adaptation of the Cunningham short story.


Tex Ritter

  • Tex Ritter’s rendition of the Dimitri Tiomkin/Ned Washington song, “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’” is just perfect in my view – Ritter’s Southern  drawl as he tells the story ; the superb, stark , repetitive arrangement of the music matches the film’s look.
    Tex sang it on the night of the Oscars, when it won Best Song. ( Tex sang it many times afterward but I  wish we could see it live that night.)

Other singers, like Frankie Laine, have recorded the song, but there is nothing to beat that dramatic rendition by Tex Ritter.

  • According to IMDB, only three instruments accompanied Tex Ritter – guitar, accordion and a Hammond Novachord (an electronic synthesiser).

….Wait along, wait along…..

Back in 2015 I attended a wonderful concert by the Scottish National Orchestra of music from Hollywood’s golden age, including Dimitri Tiomkin’s “The Old Man and The Sea” and “The High and the Mighty” .
Dimitri Tiomkin’s widow, Olivia was in the audience and had brought along the two Oscars her husband had won for these two films. They were displayed in front of the conductor’s podium.

I was sitting behind Mrs. Tiomkin and told her what a thrill it was to hear the music and see the Oscars. ( if only I could have interviewed her.)


This documentary could be twice as long – I wonder if Stanley Kramer’s widow, Karen Sharpe Kramer, was approached for comment on the controversy over Foreman’s blacklisting.

There could have been footage of Fred Zinnemann himself,speaking about the film- and much more about the Tiomkin score. And the scenes filmed but not used.
And shots of the filming locations – St Josephs’s Catholic Church in Tuolumne City, Calif. where ‘Kane’ goes for help, still stands; and you can stand on the railroad tracks of the Sierra Railroad where the noon train came in.

St.Joseph’s Catholic Church.

There is another documentary I would love to see – “DARKNESS  AT HIGH NOON: THE CARL FOREMAN DOCUMENTS , made in 2002.

A TV movie about the making of High Noon would be fascinating. But who would play Cooper, Kelly, Jurado, Zinnemann, Foreman………


Finally, isn’t it amazing that this well nigh perfect movie was filmed in around 4 weeks.

And that iconic shot of Cooper:


Close ups of Oscar winner Gary Cooper’s face show the loneliness , the fear and the courage.



As a mystery woman Vera Ralston  fails to be convincing in Angel on the Amazon which I watched mainly to catch up on another Constance Bennett film.

This film ( also known as The Jungle Wilderness and Drums Along the Amazon) has Constance playing a doctor who is on a flight piloted by George Brent. When the plane crashes in the jungle, the passengers are rescued by Ms. Ralston who seems quite at home there among the natives, although she comes and goes between big game hunting and a more glamorous life in Rio de Janeiro.


Walter Reed, Constance Bennett ,Gus Schilling,   Ross Elliott

The other passengers on the plane are only seen briefly at the start of the film. After that, it’s George Brent who is intrigued by Vera, and wants to know all about her.

Turns out Vera had a bad experience when her new husband (Brian Aherne) took her on a hunting trip on their honeymoon. Attacked by a panther ( which she kills), she is so traumatised that she never ages. But only her husband knows the truth.

As one IMDB reviewer commented, “Vera is asked to play a character whose charms fascinate everyone, and, as usual, those charms seem elusive to the viewer.)


Vera Ralston, George Brent, Constance Bennett, Brian Aherne.


Reduced to a secondary role in this Republic film, Constance had been very successful in the 1930s ( “What Price Hollywood”, “Topper”, “Merrily We Live”), but only made a dozen movies in the 40s. 

In the same year as Angel On The Amazon, Constance and Brian  Aherne appeared in “SMART WOMAN” which I hope to  see. ( Ten years earlier they had starred in the comedy, “Merrily We Live”.)

I watched the film via


Vincent Price, Constance Bennett

Vincent Price’s first film was in 1938 and had him costarring with Connie Bennett in SERVICE DE LUXE, in which Connie and  Helen Broderick run a successful company catering for rich folk – a sort of superior hotel concierge service.

Vincent does well in a story of mistaken identity in which he thinks Constance is the kind of woman he’d like to marry – a homemaker, not a business woman.
The script is nothing special but it was an interesting  viewing nontheless. If only to see Vincent Price  at the very start of his career.


You Tube has at least three other Constance Bennett films I can catch up on – THE COMMON LAW, SIN TAKES A HOLIDAY and EVERYTHING IS THUNDER.

Also, Wow dvds have several of her films for sale.




Tyrone Power. “Jesse James.”  Intense.



ida Lupino, Jack Palance. “ The Big  Knife.”



Bette Davis. “Juarez”.


Charlton Heston. Reliable.



Lee Marvin. Scary.


Glenn Ford. Friendly.



Gene Tierney. Sweet.


James Stewart. Sceptical.


Robert Mitchum. Cynical.


Cary Grant. Serious.



Olivia de Havilland. Smart!







Such sad news to hear of the passing of Angela Lansbury. With a career that spanned virtually seven decades, Angela will be remembered for remarkable performances on stage,screen and television.


With Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. GASLIGHT.

Oscar nominated for her debut film, GASLIGHT, her MGM contract guaranteed her steady employment, but but it was really after the MGM years that her career flourished.




From 1950, Angela was active on television and in the theatre.

She was still in her 30s when she was cast as the sinister ‘Mrs. Islen’ in the political thriller, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE . Personally, I think she should have won the Oscar for her performance as the truly monstrous woman who destroys her own son ( played so well by Laurence Harvey.)



With William Windom.MURDER SHE WROTE.

Angela played Jessica Fletcher in MURDER SHE WROTE from 1984 and appeared in all 256 episodes!

She stormed Broadway in 1966 in MAME and it is such a shame she wasn’t allowed to preserve her performance on film (Lucille Ball took over).

I was fortunate to see Angela at the Piccadilly theatre in London in GYPSY  in 1973 and ,as I have said before, it was the first time I ever stood up in a theatre as Angela received a standing ovation.
In 1978 she transformed herself again as the pie-making ‘Mrs Lovett’ in  SWEENEY TODD.

And who can forget her beautiful rendition of “Beauty and the Beast” in 1991.

Angela was still  active in her 90s, appearing in BLYTHE SPIRIT in London.

What a book it would have been if Angela had written her autobiography.
A life well lived and a very talented lady.


Angela married her second husband, Peter Shaw in 1949.





I love this clip of Angela and Bea Arthur reprising one of their songs from MAME, ‘Bosom Buddies”.


………….According to an Instagram post, this painting appeared in a small village called Tornabous in the province of Lleida in Spain. Haven’t been able to find out any more about it.

(Irene Dunne, Charles  Boyer. LOVE AFFAIR.)

EXTRA: Thanks to Bob, We now know this painting in 2019 is by Spanish urban artist, Mon Devane who was commissioned by the Flotats family to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Flotats Cinema which opened in 1945.

(I’ve queried with the artist why the 1939 film was chosen.)

EXTRA NOTE! As Bob has pointed out, “ Love Affair” was the first film screened when the Flotats cinema opened in 1945.

Mon Devane in front of his painting

The title in Spain – “YOU AND I “.


…………..Yes, that’s MacDonald Carey to the right of Paulette Goddard, John  Lund. In  “Bride of Vengeance” (1949).

Goddard and Carey play sister and brother Lucretia and Cesare Borgia. Lund is an Italian prince.
Directed by Mitchell LeisenRay Milland went on suspension at Paramount rather than play the Lund role.

The film flopped at the box office though there are some fans in the blogosphere. Has anyone seen it?

I liked the advertising:   “She swore to Love, Honor….and Murder the man she married!



Paulette and MacDonald were in two other films, “Suddenly it’s Spring” and “Hazard”.

And here’s MacDonald Carey as I remember him.

For nearly thirty years, MacDonald Carey starred in the U.S. daytime soap, “The Days of Our Lives.”
And he was in “SHADOW OF A DOUBT”, as the detective after ‘Uncle Charlie’(Joseph Cotten).


…………..The Pixilated Sisters.

I came across a poster for the film “Danger, Love at Work” and was intrigued to see in the supporting cast, “The Pixilated Sisters” ( Margaret McWade and Margaret Seddon).

Turns out these two actresses, Margaret McWade (1872-1956) and Margaret Seddon (1872-1968) were the same two ladies who accused Gary Cooper of being ‘pixilated’ in “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town”.

As the two eccentric sisters, ‘Jane’ and ‘Amy’, they admit that everyone in Mandrake Falls is pixilated – except themselves!

Margaret McWade, Margaret Seddon, Gary Cooper.

(The word ‘pixilated’ is a variant of ‘pixie-led’ –  led astray by the pixies!)

Both the actresses were vaudevillians who teamed up as ‘The Pixilated Sisters’ , a comedy act in the early part of the twentieth century.  Both ended up in Hollywood in the silent era and were active for several decades in supporting roles.
After ‘Mr. Deeds Goes To Town” in  1936 , they were reunited the following year for “Danger ,Love at Work” as ‘Aunt Patty’ and ‘Aunt Pitty’, members of a screwball family ( similar to “You Cant  Take it With You”).

”DANGER, LOVE AT WORK” looks fun with a good cast. And it’s on You Tube. Here’s the title number sung by Ann Sothern and Jack Haley.



…………Leon Ames (1903-1993) is probably best remembered for playing the father in MEET ME IN ST.LOUIS.



With Audrey Totter in LADY IN THE  LAKE.


I read recently that Leon and his wife Christine went through a terrible ordeal in 1964 when a man knocked at their door and drew a gun, demanding $50,000 .

Leon owned several car dealerships and called his business partner asking him to bring the money to his house.

During a four hour ordeal, the gunman made threats to kill Leon’s wife. When the money arrived, the intruder took Mrs. Ames and the business partner hostage and drove off in the Ames car – having bound up Leon.

Fortunately, Ames’ business associate had contacted the police while getting the $50,000 from the bank. The police found the car and freed the hostages.

Leon Ames was in show business for 50 years. An MGM contract in the 1940s gave him wider recognition.

He played the William Powell role (as Clarence  Day) in a TV version of LIFE WITH FATHER ( with Lurene Tuttle as his wife). It ran from 1953 to 1955.

Pat Hitchcock played the family maid.

Leon Ames, Lurene Tuttle

Leon had appeared in the Broadway play, GUEST IN THE HOUSE. When it was filmed, Ralph Bellamy played his part.


A young Leon Ames in MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1933).




……………Cary Grant will be the subject of a new four part television series called “ARCHIE” (Cary’s real name – ‘Archie Leach’) and starring Jason Isaacs as the legendary actor. The series is written by Jeff Pope (who wrote PHILOMENA and STAN AND OLLIE.)

Cary’s daughter Jennifer and his ex-wife Dyan Cannon were both interviewed by Pope and have given their approval .

Cary Grant, Jennifer Grant, Dyan Cannon

The series will cover Cary’s formative years in his home town, Bristol, interspersed with scenes from his life in 1961 when he meets Dyan Cannon

The Bristol Post newspaper expressed disappointment that the show won’t be filmed in the city.

Jeff Pope commented that because of budget issues: ,”I’m slightly ashamed to admit Liverpool is going to double for Bristol.”

Further casting is yet to be announced but the series will premiere in 2023 on ITV’s new (free) streaming service, ITVX  and on BritBox in America.