CRY OF THE CITY.  Richard Conte, Debra Paget, Victor Mature.



Spencer Tracy and Lana Turner. DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE.


Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn.THE AFRICAN QUEEN.

Happy moment.


Cary Grant, Sonia Henie.

Snazzy  shoes!  Don’t know the occasion.


Royal Film Performance. 1951. WHERE NO VULTURES FLY which starred Anthony Steel and Dinah Sheridan.  Based on a true story of the first game reserve in Kenya.

Lizabeth Scott, Jane Russell, Margaret Rutherford, Joan Rice, ? Merle Oberon, Fred MacMurray, Peter Lawford, Burt Lancaster.

According to the Pathe News footage of the event, Lizabeth Scott was introduced to the Queen as Zachary Scott ( who was standing to the right of Lizabeth!)

Who’s between Joan Rice and Merle Oberon?

It’s been pointed out to me (thanks, Vi) that the stars are standing in alphabetical order. Makes sense, I suppose. So the mysterious chap’s surname must  start O or R.




Fred and Gene Kelly,  ‘I love to go swimmin’ with wimmen’ from DEEP IN MY HEART.



Margaret O’Brien presents an award to Claude Jarman Jr. for  his role in THE YEARLING. . The award was from The Parents Magazine, recognising wholesome and family entertainment.

(That’s some  size of award!)


Irene Dunne presents the Best Director Oscar to Fred Zinnemann for “From Here To Eternity.”


Lew Ayres, Greer Garson, Robert Taylor. REMEMBER.

Is it well remembered?


Irene Dunne, Robert Montgomery.UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Finally caught up with this. Stars let down by poor script.





RHONDA FLEMING: Birthday Tribute

Birthday wishes to RHONDA FLEMING who was 96 on 10th August, 2019.

Rhonda was born Marilyn Louis in Los Angeles in 1923. She wanted to be a singer but was spotted by an agent who worked with David Selznick, resulting in a contract for Rhonda.


With Ingrid Bergman. SPELLBOUND.

Rhonda had a small part as Ingrid Bergman’s patient in SPELLBOUND.

In an interview I heard recently ,Rhonda said that Hitchcock was very nice to her. She also said, “ I adored Ingrid  Bergman – she was wonderful to me.”

(The 20 minute interview can be heard at


With Dorothy McGuire.

Another small role, as George Brent’s assistant , in THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1945).


With Robert Mitchum. OUT OF THE PAST.


With Bing Crosby

On loan to Paramount for A CONNECTICUT YANKEE AT KING ARTHUR’S COURT (1949), Rhonda’s singing voice was heard  for the first time and this was her first Technicolor film.

(My memory of this film is the wonderful number, ‘Busy Doing Nothing’ with Bing ,Cedric Hardwicke and William Bendix.)


With Raymond Burr.

I haven’t seen SERPENT OF THE NILE (1953), but it looks fun , with Rhonda as Cleopatra and Raymond Burr as Mark Anthony!


THE LAST OUTPOST (1951). (His Last Betrayal.)

Rhonda said she got on well with Ronald Reagan, with whom she made four films.


With Dick Powell.

Rhonda got into femme fatale territory in CRY DANGER.


RHONDA also made  4 films with John Payne.


Rhonda was Joseph Cotten’s wife in THE KILLER IS LOOSE – she is stalked by Wendell Corey.


With Sally Forrest and Ida Lupino. WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS.

Rhonda joined an all star cast in “While the City Sleeps” in which she played the unfaithful wife of newspaper publisher, Vincent Price.



With director Fritz Lang. WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS.


With John Payne and Arlene Dahl. SLIGHTLY SCARLET.

Rhonda was the sensible sister of Arlene Dahl in “Slightly Scarlet.” They were convincing as the siblings.


Another good role as the scheming wife of Robert Ryan in INFERNO.


One of my favourite Fleming roles, in GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K.  CORRAL. Rhonda plays a gambler whom Wyatt Earp (Burt Lancaster) falls for.


The RHONDA  FLEMING ROCK at Iverson Movie Ranch. (from TENNESSEE ‘S PARTNER).  Yes, a rock which is named for Rhonda!


It was pretty much a given that Rhonda would get her name at Grauman’s Chinese ( and deservedly so), as her husband Ted MANN owned the theatre in 1981.

Rhonda wrote : “To my Mann, Ted. Love Rhonda Fleming. 9-28-81.”

Rhonda was married to Ted Mann from 1977 for 23 years till his death in 2001.



Rhonda took to the Las Vegas stage in 1957 at the Tropicana club. One review said, “Her voice was the big surprise of the evening. As a film actress, she has hardly been called  upon to do any singing – she offered a variety of songs – ‘With a song in my Heart’,  ‘So In Love’ and ‘Hello Young Lovers.”


And there is a recording Rhonda did, some of which can be heard on You Tube.


”The Queen of Technicolor.”



By coincidence, ARLENE DAHL was 94  today.

Arlene Dahl, Joel McCrea. THE OUTRIDERS.

Two lovely ladies.


Murder, intrigue, madness, a life in peril, a fight against the clock. PHANTOM LADY has it all!  Based on a Cornell Woolrich novel and directed by Robert Siodmak, this is definitely film noir.


Scott Henderson ( Alan Curtis) ,after an argument with his wife, goes to a bar and starts a conversation with a mysterious lady who wears a fancy hat.


Scott had tickets for a show and persuades the mystery lady to come with him – they decide not to exchange names.

(Whoever was sitting behind the hat lady had every right to ask her to take it off!)


When Scott’s wife is found murdered on the same night, he is an immediate suspect, mainly because he can’t produce the woman he was with at the time of the murder, or anyone to substantiate his claims that he was in the bar then took a taxi to the theatre.

Thomas Gomez, Alan Curtis, Regis Toomey, Joseph Crehan

Scott is quizzed by the police led by Inspector Burgess (Thomas Gomez). They arrest him. ( his wife was strangled with one  of his ties.)

Burgess is sympathetic to Scott, saying, Only a fool or an innocent man would have stuck to that alibi.”  


Ella Raines.

Enter Ella Raines as  ‘Carol”, Scott’s secretary who decides to do everything she can to prove Scott’s innocence after he is convicted of the murder. (of course, she is secretly in love  with her boss.)

This really is Ella Raines’ film ( surely her best film), and she does a great job, driving the plot and uncovering the murderer. She’s relentless! Scott calls her ‘Kansas’ ( she’s from Wichita).

Two  shots of Carol visiting Scott in prison. Great b&w photography by Elwood Bredell. The scene typifies Film Noir – low key lighting, shadows, angles.

The room almost looks like a boxing ring, with that shaft of light from the barred window.



Thomas Gomez, Ella Raines, Franchot Tone.

Scott’s friend, Jack Marlowe (Franchot Tone) wants to help prove Scott’s innocence. Or does he?

Love  the comment Marlowe makes to Carol, telling her she should go back to Kansas – “ look, this is a man’s job.”


Ella Raines.

The bartender who served Scott and the mystery woman  denies seeing anyone with Scott. Carol goes to the bar every night, just sitting on her own and staring at the bartender (Andrew Tombes).



Ella Raines.

Carol then takes on the drummer at the theatre whom Scott remembered kept looking at his companion.

Dressing as trashily as possible and chewing gum, Carol sits in the front row of the theatre and Cliff (Elisha Cook) doesn’t miss her!


Elisha Cook, Ella Raines.


Elisha Cook

Cliff takes her to a club where musicians are jamming. Trying to impress her, Cliff’s drumming becomes more and more frenzied.

I like the IMDB quote, “Elisha Cook pounds his drum kit to a climax as Raines smoulders!”


Elisha Cook

Back at Cliff’s apartment, he brags to Carol that he was paid $500 for his false testimony. “I’m an authority on hats. I get paid for knowing about hats. 500 smakeroos for looking at a dame and saying I didn’t.”

Poor Cliff  ends up dead too .


Aurora Miranda channels her sister Carmen, as the star of the show Scott goes to see – the coincidence being that Aurora’s  character wears the same hat as the mystery woman sitting with Scott in the theatre.( The show is called “Chica-Boom Boom!)


Franchot Tone.

Another great noir shot of the  increasingly dangerous Franchot Tone.


Ella Raines, Franchot Tone.


Ella Raines, Alan Curtis.

Alan Curtis is very much side-lined,  as his character spends most of the film in prison, but he’s convincing as the man wrongly convicted of murder.

Definitely one of my favourite thrillers.  A solid plot with lots of twists.




Ella Raines on set.





Robert Mitchum, William Tallman.


……..Re-watching THE RACKET (1951), Robert Mitchum ‘s ‘Captain McQuigg’, several times refers to William Tallman as a great young cop – as if Tallman ‘s character was in his early 20s, or at least much younger than Mitchum.

WIlliam Tallman was two years older than Mitchum and they looked like contemporaries age wise.

In The Racket,  I kept expecting  we’d find out who was ‘the old man’, (the head of the criminal organisation)  but we never did. I was sure it was one of the group at the start of the film when the special prosecutor gets the support of the state governor to pursue .


……….MYRNA LOY did an interview with Dick Cavett in 1980. She was 74 at the time and proved to have a very good memory, ready to talk in detail about her career.

Myrna pointed out that she was a dancer in the 1920s at Grauman’s Chinese and Egyptian theatres and credited Sid Grauman for her first job. Hence her comment below.

Myrna said, “I was an exotic and stayed that way for a long time……then I went to MGM and became a star.”

“We made The Thin Man in about 21 days.”

As I’ve commented several times before, if only someone like Leonard Maltin or Robert Osborne had been able to sit down with Myrna for a couple of hours, what an interview that would have been!



……….. I came across a 1950 radio series  in which TED DE CORSIA (1903-1973) played a Scotland Yard inspector, with an impeccable British accent. And I am not the first to think that Ted sounded just like Ronald Colman!

The link is at The series was called “Pursuit.”

He also played Mickey Spillane’s ‘Mike Hammer’ on radio in 1953/54, under the title, “That Hammer Guy”!

Mr. de Corsia had a long career on stage and radio before starting in Hollywood in 1947. With his looks and gruff voice, it wasn’t long before he was typecast as the gangster in most of his films. He had the menace that brought him plenty of parts.


Ted de Corsia.


As a judge in A PLACE IN THE SUN.



…………I caught up recently with COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA, but didn’t particularly like it. But I was impressed with SHIRLEY BOOTH(1898-1992) who had a distinguished career on stage – she was the original  ‘Liz Imbrie’ in “The Philadelphia Story”.


Cover of Time, by Boris Chaliapin. 1953.


With Joseph Cotten, Katharine Hepburn, The Philadelphia Story.


After the Broadway success of “Come Back Little Sheba, (for which she won the Tony), Shirley got the chance to make the film version, promptly winning an Oscar.

But other roles she created on Broadway went to other stars. Shirley was ‘Ruth Sherwood’ in MY SISTER EILEEN ,but the film role went to Rosalind Russell. She was ‘Bunny’ in THE DESK SET ( Kate Hepburn in the movie); and her play THE TIME OF THE CUCKOO (1953) became SUMMERTIME in 1955, with Kate Hepburn.

Eve Arden replaced Shirley in the Joan Crawford film of GOODBYE MY FANCY.


With Fredric March



Shirley actually only made less than a dozen films.  She was very good in 1958’s THE  MATCHMAKER, and I would love to have seen her in the musical remake, “Hello Dolly” . She was also a singer and did a Broadway musical version of A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (1951) in which , as ‘Cissy ( the Joan Blondell role) ,she sings ‘He Had Refinement’ – which is very funny.


With Robert Ryan in ABOUT MRS.LESLIE.

Another of Shirley’s films which disappointed me unfortunately.

In the 1960s, Shirley had further success on television as HAZEL, winning two Emmies in the hit comedy.

Quite a talent who should have done more films.


………….And finally, NEHEMIAH PERSOFF turns 100 on the 2nd of August, 2019. A fine character actor, active till 2003.

He made his film debut in 1948 in THE NAKED CITY and played many varied roles throughout the 1950s and 60s. A member of The Actors’s Studio, he was ‘Little Bonaparte’ in SOME LIKE IT HOT,  and had roles in ON THE WATERFRONT, THE HARDER THEY FALL.

Nehemiah Persoff.

I remember him in THE BIG SHOW, a remake of HOUSE OF STRANGERS, in which he took on the Edward G. Robinson role. In 1983, he played Barbra Streisand’s  father in YENTL.

Nehemiah was in every TV show you care to mention, and played everything from Ali Baba to Mussolini! Generally he played pretty intense characters ( that Actor’s Studio training!)

Nehemiah took up painting in the 1980s and there is a website, where you can view his work.

With his wife, Thia .


His second film, ON THE WATERFRONT.



James Cagney, Viveca Lindfors, John Derek. RUN FOR COVER.


Jean Arthur, John Lund, Marlene Dietrich. A FOREIGN AFFAIR


Spencer Tracy, Henry Lamarr, Claudette  Colbert, Clark Gable.  BOOM TOWN



William Holden, Ellen Drew, Glenn Ford.THE MAN FROM COLORADO.


June Allyson, Joan Collins, Dolores Gray, Ann Sheridan, Ann Miller, Joan Blondell. THE OPPOSITE SEX.


Joel McCrea, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Preston. UNION PACIFIC.


Joan Bennett, Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck. THERE’S ALWAYS TOMORROW.


Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda. THE LADY EVE.


Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey.THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD.



Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe.RIVER OF NO RETURN.

’Are you listening?!’


Heaven for CARY GRANT fans is London’s National Film Theatre in August  and September, 2019.

A two month Grant retrospective will include most of his well known films. And there will be an eight week evening course every Tuesday, looking at his legacy.

Excuse enough to feature some Cary photos!


With Mae West. I’M NO ANGEL.


With Marlene Dietrich. BLONDE VENUS


With Constance  Bennett and Roland Young    TOPPER.


With Katharine Hepburn.BRINGING UP BABY.




With Rosalind Russell. HIS GIRL FRIDAY.


With Ingrid Bergman. NOTORIOUS


With Irene Dunne.THE AWFUL TRUTH




Books on Cary will be on display.



The sign I used to love to see if I was walking over Waterloo Bridge to  London’s South Bank. The sign, by architect Norman Engleback, is being restored by Heritage of London Trust.

It was replaced in 2007 as the complex is now called BFI SOUTHBANK.