MARLENE: THE LIFE AND LEGEND

I have seen only a few of Marlene Dietrich’s films and know little about her life and career. And yet, I was in Berlin a few years ago with    my friend  Alistair who has been a Dietrich fan since his teens.

I accompanied Alistair to the fabulous Dietrich Archive at the Film Museum.

When I thought about writing about this remarkable woman who was one of the biggest stars of Classic Hollywood, who better to answer my many questions than Alistair .

My thanks go to Alistair for most of what is in this post. His personal reminiscences have proved invaluable and so interesting.
I have  already started catching  up on Marlene’s films – well, I watched ANGEL , that’s a start!
Reading about Marlene’s life, watching documentaries and hearing Alistair’s opinions has been a fascinating experience.

Born in 1901 ( though she often said 1904), her full name was Maria Magdalena Dietrich, but she shortened her Christian name to Marlene. She married Rudi Sieber in 1922 and had a daughter, Maria in 1923.

With Rudi and Maria

Although she later said that The Blue Angel was her very first film, she had In fact made several silent films before 1930.
She was already on her way to the States when The Blue Angel (which had been filmed in German and English ) was released to great success in Europe. Paramount held up releasing The Blue Angel in America till after issuing Morocco there.

And Marlene immediately had the song which would be hers for the rest of  her life – “Falling in Love Again”.

 

Director Josef von Sternberg had seen Marlene in a play in Berlin and had her audition for the role of Lola Lola.

With Josef von Sternberg

In Hollywood, Marlene and von Sternberg made 6 films together for Paramount between 1930 and 1935.

When the collaboration started to decline in box office success, Marlene took a break from filming then returned with great success in a completely different role as saloon girl ‘Frenchy’ in Destry Rides Again in 1939.
She only made just over 20 more films in the next four decades,  including three with John  Wayne. And two with her old friend Billy Wilder – A Foreign Affair and Witness for the Prosecution, plus a Hitchcock film, Stage Fright.

DESTRY RIDES AGAIN

 

Alistair talks of that special day in May,2013 in Berlin when we visited the Museum housing the Dietrich  archive!

…..”Our first trip in the morning was to the Marlene Dietrich Textile Archive in Schichauweg in a warehouse unit belonging to the German Film Museum.

Barbara Schroter, who showed us around, kindly looked out some things she thought would be of interest – the ringmaster’s outfit worn by Marlene at Madison Square Garden; one of the dresses (and matching unterhosen  – knickers to you and I ) from “Destry Rides Again”;  a red blouse from “The Devil is  a Woman”;   a suit from “Witness for the Prosecution “; and assorted shoes, handbags, luggage etc.

Marlene never threw anything  away. She was an inveterate hoarder and had even cut off designer labels from some of her costumes  to avoid paying customs duty on them. But she kept all the labels in an envelope!

 

………In the afternoon we made our way to Potsdamer Platz for our appointment with Silke Ronneberg , head of the Marlene Dietrich Collection at the Filmmuseum there.

Like Barbara at the textile archive, she couldn’t have been more welcoming to a couple of Scottish  film fans.

In a refrigerated storeroom we saw some of Marlene’s  jewellery , including a brooch I recognised – a pair of legs in gold, one of which is in a cast. It was given to Marlene when she broke her leg during the making of “The Lady Is Willing.”

We also got to see scripts, costume designs and stills. Silke had also looked out some of Marlene’s correspondence from her two Edinburgh  one- woman shows in 1964 and 1965, which was very thoughtful of  her.
Back in Silke’s office, we were shown  some of Marlene’s home movies on a TV monitor. 

One of the best days of my life!

(Alistair, I wish we could go again – I would appreciate it even more now!)

Marlene’s grave. Although she spent the last 13 years of her life in seclusion in Paris, she wanted to be buried in Berlin alongside her mother. She was a prolific letter writer and phone caller during these last years.

The gravestone inscription translates to “Here I stand at the marks to my days.”  She was posthumously made an honorary citizen of Berlin in 2002.

Marlene’s vast memorabilia collection was purchased from her family by the city of Berlin in 1993 for $5 million .

The archive includes 300,000 pages of written material including 45,000 pages of correspondence and 16,500 photos ( including 6500 set and production stills.). And 350 posters!

Her private library contained 1800 titles including 355 signed copies.

Visitors to the collection are welcome ( in non- Covid times)- the website is deutsche- kinemathek-de. Silke Ronneborg can be contacted at sronneborg@deutsche-kinemathek-de

 

I found a quote from Marlene – “I dress for the image – clothes bore me.I’d wear jeans.”

True?

        “Marlene was a keen fashion trendsetter for most of her life- she was the one who popularised the wearing of trousers by ladies in the 1930s: and even in the 1960s she set many trends.”

With costume designer TRAVIS BANTON

 

 

How do you  account for her longevity:

    “She was savvy enough to know that once you reach a certain age, Hollywood pigeonholes  you into character parts and when she was offered a chance to do a cabaret act at the Sahara hotel in Las Vegas, she jumped at the chance.

She was used to performing on stage from her early days in Berlin and also doing many troop concerts during World War II, so it was a seamless transition to recreate her act for a paying audience .
They loved her in Las Vegas and her original contract was extended. After that, she took her act all over the world until an accident in the 1970s in Australia ended that part of her career.”

 

Having become a U.S. citizen in 1939, when America entered the war, Marlene toured U.S.bases in 1942/43 and as part of the U.S.O, she went overseas and entertained the groups in Britain, France and finally Germany. She also did a lot of bond raising for the military effort.

In 1947, Marlene received the highest civilian honour in America, the Medal of Freedom.

 

Marlene Dietrich 1948 – On Set Of ‘A Foreign Affair’. Restored by jane for Doctor Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans website: http://www.doctormacro.com. Enjoy!

Marlene had studied the violin when she was young, and while entertaining wartime troops, she played a very unusual  instrument – the musical saw.

 

On seeing Marlene in person, Alistair remembered:

“I had seen and loved a couple of her films on BBC television in the early 1960s, notably THE SCARLET EMPRESS, and when I saw she was scheduled to appear at the 1964 Edinburgh Festival in a week of late-night engagements at the Lyceum Theatre, my best school friend,Richard and I, rushed out and got tickets.

We went to one performance and waited at the stage door for her to come out afterwards. I was also keen to see Burt Bacharach who was her accompanist and arranger at that time, as I loved (and  still do!) his songs written with Hal David for Dionne Warwick.

She didn’t disappoint her many fans who were also waiting – she came out with Burt and graciously and patiently signed autographs and chatted to the crowd.

We were right at the front and had a great view of her and Burt – I asked her about ‘The Scarlet Empress’ and she seemed surprised that an 18 year old was so fascinated by it.

Richard and I were so star-struck that we went up nearly every night after that, to hang about at the stage door and see her come out. I managed to get three or four autographs over the week – if we only had had access to phones  with cameras in those days!

Marlene was the first Hollywood star either of us had seen in person!  She came back again the next year and we repeated the process again. Burt was there again – this time with his wife, Angie Dickinson. They made a lovely couple.

 

Are there any of her films  that rarely get shown -or that you have never seen?

“ ‘Martin Roumagnac’ , her French film with her then lover, Jean Gabin is one that has escaped me so far, and many of her silents prior to ‘The Blue  Angel’ are also rarely seen these days.And she denied their existence  in many interviews over the years, claiming her film career started with ‘The Blue Angel’.

 

The wartime film ‘Follow The Boys’ offer us the opportunity to see Marlene get sawn in half by magician Orson Welles and isn’t shown often.

 

With Orson Welles.

 

Hitler’s government wanted Marlene to return to Berlin but she refused and became an American citizen in 1939. Can you  talk about her reception in Berlin when she finally returned there in  1960?

Many Berliners hated her when she went back there to perform .   I get the feeling that they think she deserted them. There were protestors outside the theatre with banners. But later appearances in Germany were well received.”

 

 

Could you name five favourite Dietrich films:

”Scarlet Empress”: Josef von Sternberg’s visual style at its most decorative.”

 

”A Foreign Affair” – Billy Wilder’s Classic set in post-war Berlin : his wry humour at its most acerbic. I love the line Marlene speaks to costar Jean Arthur – “ Let’ s go to my apartment.  It’s only a few ruins away.”

 

”Witness for the Prosecution “ is another Wilder gem , and although Marlene plays second fiddle to Charles  Laughton, she acquits herself well in this Agatha Christie whodunnit.”

Witness for the Prosecution.

 

”Stage Fright”, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is another Marlene favourite of mine. It seems to capture the grim post-war British atmosphere well.”

With Alfred Hitchcock

 

”Shanghai Express”, Von Sternberg’s ‘Grand Hotel’ on wheels. There are some excellent performances in this, including Louise Closser Hale’s frosty landlady, complete with pooch in basket: Anna May Wong as a Chinese courtesan, and of course,Marlene as ‘Shanghai Lily’. She even manages to make woooden Clive Brook look interesting.”

 

Her only Oscar nomination was for MOROCCO. Any other deserving roles?
“Witness  for the Prosecution”, “Judgement at Nuremberg”, “Desire” are a few I think she excels in.”

 

DISHONORED.

 

I listened to Marlene’s “Desert Island Discs” ( thanks, Alistair) from 1965 when she was appearing at the Queen’s Theatre in London.

Here are some of her comments ,spoken very matter of factly:

Making films is a very difficult task. It was hard work all along the line…”

I’m not a singer. I need the words very much to give expression to the song.”  “I never listen to my own records.”

”I loved Edinburgh. I carry with me a little bunch of white Heather that I received there, that the people of Scotland   brought me. I take it with me wherever I go.”

(Someone described Marlene’s voice as a “husky whisky tenor”!)

 

This post really only scratches the surface of Marlene Dietrich’s life. Alistair has 22 books about her – and indicated there are more! He recommends the biography by Steven Bach.

Marlene never divorced Rudolph Sieber . Alistair commented: “I think it was convenient for her to be married but it didn’t interfere in any way with her own liaisons.”  (Of which there were many!)

 

 

 

 

WITHOUT HONOR (1949)

 

I discovered this unusual little film on You Tube. At 66 minutes it felt more like a TV drama. With one main set , a small cast and dialogue heavy, it couldn’t have cost much to make – though it stars Laraine Day, Franchot  Tone Agnes Moorehead, Dane Clark , Bruce Bennett.

It has the kind of opening I like. You join the plot and realise that there is quite a back story.

 

Laraine  Day

Laraine Day is Jane Bandle, in her kitchen, cooking a meal and looking like a happy suburban housewife. Then Franchot Tone as Dennis Williams appears and it becomes obvious they are involved in affair whilst both are married to other people.

Dennis is there to tell her that her husband Fred (Bruce Bennett) knows about them, having hired a detective.

Dennis’ s first words to Jane are: “It’s alright. I parked down the street. We’re in a jam and we’ve got to decide what to do.”

But he has already decided – their 6 week affair is over.

Laraine Day, Franchot Tone.

But Jane doesn’t catch on right away, saying : ”We can be open with them and make a clean break.”

All he can say is ,”Persuade your  husband not to make a scandal.”

Melodramatically, Jane responds: I can’t stop loving you. I’d rather be dead. This is a nightmare.”

 

A nightmare indeed for Jane, but it is only just beginning . Before long there is an accident and cover up; her brother in law, Dane Clark as Bill Bandle turns up, having  arranged a little nightmare of his own for Jane whom he despises for rejecting him and marrying his brother.

 

That accident I mentioned – Jane has tried  to kill herself and when Dennis tries to stop her, he winds up being stabbed and falling down in the utility room next to her kitchen.
in a total state of shock, she shuts the door and washes her hands.

 

So, with a body in the house, the evil brother arrives and tells her he has invited Dennis and his wife to come to the house at 5.30 pm (when Jane’s husband is due home!

 

The stage is set as Agnes Moorehead  as Dennis’s wife Katharine arrives.  And then Jane’s husband Fred. They await the missing Dennis.

Bill gloats to Jane: “They’re all gonna be here at 5.30…. now I’m backstage on the curtain cue corner and I am watching the four of you put on the neatest show you  ever saw.”

The door bell rings and Bill continues: “Overture, curtain going up.”

Agnes Moorehead

This plot may sound ripe melodrama but honestly the small cast are all so good and the story is gripping.

A nice change for Agnes Moorehead as the dignified wife , Katharine, who has had enough of her husband’s affairs.  She sets Jane straight: “You see this has happened before – twice. But this time he’s going to realise I know.”     I’m supposed to hate you but I don’t – I think you’re a fool.”

Poor Laraine Day has little,to do except look stunned and shocked. Katharine has some sympathy, saying: “Have you any way of earning your own living?”

 

 

And then Jane’s husband Fred (Bruce Bennett) comes home, bringing with him a  brand new 10” television!

Bill take him outside to tell him what’s going on.( It was Bill who hired a detective.)

Bruce Bennett, Dane Clark

Dane Clark has the biggest role and delivers well as the brother who harbours a hatred for his sister in law .

 

Maybe the best line in the film, as they all wait for Dennis, Jane says, “I’ve been trying to tell you. He’s here. He’s been here all the time.”

As I am writing this, I realise it all sounds ridiculous , but it works!

There is a great twist in the last ten minutes.

And amazingly, Franchot Tone disappears after the first 15 mins of the film! One wonders why he took the role.

I wish it was on dvd, and hope it remains on You Tube for  a while.

 

 

 

Dane Clark

This darkish photo is the last dramatic shot in the film. For all Bill’s machinations, it isn’t a happy ending for him.

 

 

Re-release title.

 

 

 

 

 

TONY STELLA COVER ART

Tony Stella has been hand painting movie posters for many years. With an archive of 600 posters, Tony started posting online in  2013.
The samples of his work below , from watercolour to ink wash ,show wonderful re-imagining of Classic images.
Tony covers a  range of films, vintage, modern and foreign – his favourite film is The Seven  Samurai  and much of his work is on Japanese cinema.

Prints are for sale and Tony’s website is http://www.tony-stella.com and many of his posters can be seen on his Instagram account.

His email is illustration.drawing@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Burt Lancaster.

 

 

 

Nice to see Director Edgar. G. Ulmer  get top billing.

 

 

Barry Fitzgerald. THE NAKED CITY.

 

Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer. OUT OF THE PAST

 

Kirk Douglas. ACE IN THE HOLE.

 

 

The ending of KISS ME DEADLY.

 

Norma and supporting cast. SUNSET BOULEVARD.

 

Marlene Dietrich.

HOLLYWOOD STARS IN COLOR

So many wonderful photographs were taken by Hollywood  studio photographers,  but so often in Black and White.
With modern technology, many colour enhanced images can be found online , with wonderful colorisation.

Victor Mascaro (victormas@aol.com) has been colorising photos since 1994, and you  will see below how successful Victor is.
In a 2008 interview, Victor said, ‘as a Jean Harlow and Judy Garland fan, MGM was the dream factory. I now have my own little dream factory, turning out color photos of my favorite stars of the past.”

Victor spends time researching the actual colors as they appeared in real life.

Victor’s photos are available for purchase . He is also on Instagram at Hollywood-Stars-In- Color and he often shows the original B&W photo next to his colorised image.
I think his photos are tremendous. Just makes you  wish color film had come to movies sooner.

Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow. DINNER  AT EIGHT.

 

Garbo

 

 

 

 

Hedy Lamarr, Bette Davis

 

Edna May Oliver

 

Jean Harlow

 

Judy Garland.

 

And here’s an example of the ‘before’ and ‘after.

 

 

Victor Mascaro

ERNEST BACHRACH; Stillsman at RKO

A name I discovered recently was that of Ernest Bachrach (1899-1973), a stills photographer  who joined RKO in 1928 and worked there till  he retired in 1954.
He shot photos for  King Kong and Citizen Kane.

In 1947, he received a rare Academy Award medal of outstanding achievement in still photography for Cross Fire  and The Farmer’s Daughter.

The stills here demonstrate some of his excellent work.

Fay Wray.KING KONG

 

KING KONG

 

Orson Welles

 

 

Ann Harding

 

Lucille Ball

 

 

Jane Greer

 

Robert Mitchum

That’s NOIR!

 

 

Joseph Cotten, Loretta Young. THE FARMER’S DAUGHTER.

 

Robert Ryan

The king of menace when he wanted to be.

 

Ingrid Bergman

 

Robert Ryan

Love that shadow.

 

Alfred Hitchcock

Super idea to have blow-up of a script page for NOTORIOUS.

 

Robert Ryan.THE SET UP.

 

Marilyn Monroe.

 

 

 

Ernest Bachrach talking to enthusiastic amateur photographers. Virginia Vale in the foreground. Definitely a boy’s  club!

 

The annual Still Photography medal won by Ernest Bachrach in 1947

 

 

 

Janet Leigh, Robert Mitchum look at some of the RKO Still photography Exhibition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CATHEDRAL OF THE MOTION PICTURE

 


I love watching this scene from KING OF JAZZ (1930).And the way the Paul Whiteman band come together at the end.

Russell Markert’s dancers, who were first known as The Roxyettes, became the world famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.

  • The  Rockettes made their debut in St.Louis and were originally called The Missouri  Rockets.  They were formed in 1925 by Russell Markert who was inspired by the British Tiller Girls who were active from 1895 with their precision dancing.
  • When the Missouri Rockets came to New York, they were seen by entrepreneur S.L. ‘Roxy’ Rothafel who booked them for the opening night in December 1932 of The Radio City Music  Hall. And renamed them The Roxyettes.

S.L. ‘Roxy’ Rothafel

Prior to the opening  of  The Radio City Music Hall, Rothafel  had opened The Roxy Theatre at 7th Avenue and 50th Street   in 1927.

The Roxy became known as The Cathedral of Motion Pictures. It’s auditorium sat 5,900 , it had an orchestra pit for 110 musicians and three organs!  It became famous for the elaborate stage shows each week, which accompanied the major Hollywood feature film.

 

The Roxy

Costing $12 million, it really was a movie palace and Rothafel sparred no expense with his stockholders’ money. 
The building was designed by architect Ahlschlager and had a golden Spanish inspired auditorium and a lobby in the form of a large, columned rotunda called the Grand Foyer, with the world’s largest oval rug. 
What a palace to walk into! And all for 35 cents to 75 cents. 

 

 

The picture below gives you  an idea of the sheer size of the auditorium. 

 

 

 

Described as the world’s largest theatre.

 

 

When you see the Roxy program, it’s as if the feature film is almost an afterthought!  An organ recital, the Roxy symphony orchestra, the 32 Roxyettes and dancer Harriet Hoctor, plus a cartoon and newsreel before the big feature!

Still, with four (de luxe) performances a day, lasting two hours, I guess they made a profit. 

 

 

Gloria Swanson at the Roxy demolition, in the remains of the Grand Foyer.

The Roxy had opened in 1927 with a Gloria Swanson silent feature, LOVE OF SUNYA. it seemed appropriate that when the Roxy was demolished in 1960, it was Gloria who was photographed for Life magazine among the ruins of the interior. 
The Roxy’s final film was Dirk Bogarde’s The Wind Cannot  Read.

 

When controlling interest in the Roxy was sold to the movie mogul, William Fox, ‘Roxy’ Rothafel moved on and created Radio City Music Hall which opened in 1932. Most of the Roxy’s artistic staff moved with him.  And he opened another Roxy theatre, now called The RKO Roxy which didn’t last as long as the original Roxy. It only had an orchestra of 50!

Rothafel brought the same spectacular show to Radio City and in 1934, the Roxyettes became The Rockettes and continue to this day. Amongst former alumni are Lucille Bremer and Vera-Ellen.

If you want to see some stunning Rockette routines, visit Rockettes.com  Their “March of the Wooden  Soldiers “ is a sight to behold.


‘Roxy’ Rothafel retired in 1971. What a legacy he left. 
So famous did he make his Roxy theatre that it was quoted in songs. Cole Porter , commenting on the ushers’ crisp attire, wrote  in You’re The Top – ”you’re the pants of a Roxy usher…”

And in Frank Loesser’s GUYS AND DOLLS, for the title song, Loesser wrote – “What’s playing at the Roxy, I’ll tell you what’s playing at the Roxy, A picture about a Minnesota man so in love with a Mississippi gal that he sacrifices everything and moves all the way to Biloxi,

That’s what’s playing at the Roxy…”

Fame indeed. Such a pity the Roxy didn’t survive.

Don’t Call Me Audrey

Scrolling through the website, virtual-history.com, I found some photos new to me. This site is a little mysterious in that I couldn’t find who is running it. Possibly from Germany.
It has gathered together thousands of photos, from companies who issued film star pictures, mainly from the 1920s and 30s, and from European sources.  Many European stars are included , most of whom are unknown to me, but you can see names like Oscar Homolka, Peter Lorre, Conrad  Veidt, Marlene Dietrich, Garbo before they came to Hollywood.
And many of the postcard/cigarette card series in Europe included Hollywood stars amongst their own stars.

The site also has some issues of film magazines, mainly European .And an A to Z of films and stars.

 

Film World magazine.

 

Here is a selection of the photos:

A little careless!

 

It’s Gary, not Cary. He’s that other guy – Grant I think. He never did westerns – thank goodness.

 

S.Z. Sakall , when he was a mite slimmer.

 

Lovely picture, shame about the spelling. It’s Miss Dunne. (Though Irene’s birth name was indeed Dunn, but she added the ‘E’ in 1928 and her name was spelt Dunne from her first film in 1930.)

 

 

Never!  What film?

 

Oh, Myrna, I’m glad you  found The Thin Man.

 

Bow tie’s a bit crooked but still looking cool.

 

Cheer up, it’s only a movie.

 

Great  costume. Film?

 

Lovely.

 

Maybe Reckless?

 

That hat adds to his height.

 

 

 

Couldnt resist another lovely portrait of Jean.

 

 

HOLLYWOOD HOME MOVIES:TREASURES FROM THE ACADEMY

Wow! Big thanks to my friend Alistair for linking me to this terrific documentary from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – which is available for all to see on You Tube.

It is fortunate than many Hollywood players have donated their archives to the Oscar Academy   and other organisations which will preserve them as part of Hollywood history.

In this case, the Academy has put  together an hour of home movies,some in black and white  and some in glorious color.

I’ve taken some screen grabs but am sure you will go immediately to You Tube if you haven’t already done so.

I hope there will be more film compilations like this in the future from the Academy.

From The Florenz Ziegfeld and Billie Burke Collection:

Billie Burke

Lovely to see the real Billie Burke, so different from her character roles in the 30s and 40s.

Hollywood stars liked to get out on their boats and sail to Catalina Island. Billie can be seen here with her friend ,director Dorothy Arzner.

Billie Burke, Dorothy Arzner

 

 

From The Gilbert Roland Collection:

Shot in early Kodachrome by Gilbert Roland, again on board ship at Catalina Island. Gilbert and Constance Bennett were a couple at the time and later married.

George Cukor

Could these two be brothers!

 

David. O. Selznick

 

 

Constance Bennett

Time for a bit of knitting.

 

Gilbert Roland

 

 

From The Dolores Del Rio Cedric Gibbons Collection:

Color footage taken at a party thrown by Dolores Del Rio and Cedric Gibbons at their home in Santa Monica.

Dolores Del Rio

Such a beauty. Dolores and Cedric Gibbons  were married from 1930 to 1941.

John Gilbert

The footage shows John Gilbert looking fit and healthy, playing tennis. Sadly, six months later he passes away.

 

Gary Cooper

Love that wool jacket.

 

Cedric Gibbons

Cedric Gibbons, MGM art director from 1924 to 1956.

 

Marlene Dietrich

 

From The James Wong Howe Collection:

Famed cinematographer James Wong Howe of course had his camera along on a road trip to San Francisco.

His companions included his partner writer Sanora Babb, author James Hilton and Charles Korvin.

 As inter-racial marriage was illegal in America, Wowe and his partner were only able to get married in 1948.

Howe worked in Hollywood from the silent days till the 1970s. He won Oscars for The Rose Tattoo and HUD.

James Wong Howe

 

James Hilton, Charles Korvin

 

James Wong Howe, Sanora Babb

( this photo is not from the documentary).

 

From The Henry Koster Collection:

Home movies from the set of Come to the Stable which Henry Koster directed. With an commentary by Koster’s son, Bob Koster. A mixture of color and B&W film.

Bob Koster told the moving story of how his father was a director in Germany but after the rise of Hitler, he could no longer work there as he was Jewish. He was a friend of producer Joe Pasternak who was working at Universal and eventually he travelled to America with Pasternak in 1936 and started work at Universal, his first film being Three Smart Girls.

Celeste Holm

 

Loretta Young and her daughter.

 

 

Hugh Marlowe and his wife, K.T. Stevens

 

Thomas Gomez, Marion Martin

 

Henry Koster

 

Louis Jean Heydt

 

From The Gypsy Rose Lee Collection:

In 1965, Gypsy Rose Lee took her camera along when she appeared in The Trouble with Angels. And we are provided with some rare glimpses of Ida Lupino who directed the film. And a commentary by Hayley Mills.

Hayley told us that Ida’s director chair had “Mother of us all” written on it and Hayley said: “Ida used to insist that we all call her mother!”

Hayley also commented: “Ida was very clear, very decisive about what she wanted……I trusted her though it seemed odd to have a woman as director –  it had always been a man – I began to appreciate it.”

  • Binnie Barnes

     

  • Hayley Mills and June Harding

     

  • Gypsy Rose Lee (Louise Hovick)

    Some rare shots of Ida Lupino directing:

Ida doesn’t look too happy to be filmed.

 

 

THIS ‘N THAT 16

…………..I have had Jerry Vermilye’s book on Jean Arthur since it was published in 2012. Its 150 pages covers all of Jean’s films and includes an 80 page biographical profile.

Re-reading it recently, I was surprised to read that on Talk of The Town , Jean received half the salary of her costars, Cary Grant and Ronald Colman. (The two male stars each received $100,000 and Jean was paid $50,000).

Considering all three stars received the same star billing and their roles were certainly equally in size, one wonders how Jean was prepared to accept this big discrepancy in salaries.

 

  • ………..Out on 17th. November,2020, is the Mill Creek box set of 12 Rita Hayworth films on Blu-ray. “The Rita Hayworth Ultimate Collection has the following titles:

     MUSIC IN MY HEART –  YOU’LL NEVER GET RICH – TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT – DOWN TO EARTH – PAL JOEY – THEY CAME TO CORDURA – FIRE DOWN BELOW – LADY  FROM SHANGHAI – THE LOVES OF CARMEN – SALOME – MISS SADIE THOMPSON – AFFAIR IN TRINIDAD.

Looks good value at £32 for 12 of Rita’s films. Gilda not included.

 

……….Odd poster for UNDERCURRENT. A link to the title , but Kate and Bob are really up to their necks !

Don’t think it did well at the box office.

 

 

………… It’s SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, but I don’t  recall Debbie Reynolds in that outfit!

And the title has become YOU SHOULD BE MY LUCKY STAR in Germany.