John Wayne – Amercian Hero?

John%20Wayne%20(Flying%20Leathernecks)   This weekend TCM pays tribute to America’s fallen heroes with three days of mostly pro-war films  like The Flying Leathernecks (1951) and They Were Expendable (1945) both featuring the always hard-ass but plastic patriot John Wayne. When the war broke out stars like Henry Fonda, Robert Stack, Clark Gable and James Stewart joined the military.  Wayne on the other hand did not. Though eligible, he felt his career was more important. Wayne managed to obtain a 3-A status, “deferred for family dependency.” He had four kids. Additionally, El Duko’s career was  not on solid ground at the time. He had just completed Stagecoach and was on the road to stardom. Four or five years of military service could have ruined that. Additionally, actor’s in general, were given a bit of leniency because the Gov’t considered Hollywood a propaganda machine for the war effort. Continue reading “John Wayne – Amercian Hero?”

Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Wadsworth-Longfellow House-Portland_IMG_3402-001My  wife and I recently spent a few days in Maine. One of our stops was the Wadsworth-Longfellow House. Located on Congress Street, the home is now operated by the Maine Historical Society. It is one of the oldest standing structures in Maine as well as the childhood home of poet Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow. Continue reading “Wadsworth-Longfellow House”

Harvey Keitel

Blue Collar is just one of actor Harvey Keitel’s best films. In a career filled with stunning performances, Taxi Driver, Mean Streets and Fingers to name a few, Paul Schrader’s Blue Collar stands out. The 1978 film is a lost gem. Happy 77th birthday, Mr. Keitel!

blueFrom my book Lessons in the Dark

 “Blue Collar is the story of the have and the have-nots, the powerful and the powerless. Corrupt unions doing whatever possible to keep the working man in their place. A system beating you down, destroying your hopes, dreams and even your decency.”

Lessons in the Dark Cover-Small-003

You can read more about Blue Collar and other films by clicking on the link below.

Goodbye to The Good Wife

goodJust a few thoughts on what was the best show on broadcast television.

These days broadcast television does not get better than what we watched for the past seven years on Sunday nights on The Good Wife. It won’t be the same. Intelligent and sophisticated, it was everything broadcast television surrendered to Cable leaving us with Reality TV  and drab old style police shows.   Continue reading “Goodbye to The Good Wife”

George Hurrell and Mommie Dearest

Famed Hollywood photographer George Hurrell began his artistic life as a painter. He began to use a camera to photograph his artwork. Hurrell soon found out that he could make more money as a photographer. During this period he was introduced to actor Ramon Navarro by pioneer aviator Florence Lowe “Pancho” Barnes (Hell’s Angels) and took a series of photographs of the actor. Navarro was happy with the results and showed them to Norma Shearer who then requested Hurrell  take a series of provocative photographs of her. Pleased with the results by both Shearer and her husband and MGM production guru, Irving Thalberg, he was hired by MGM  to photograph their galaxy of stars. In later years, Hurrell would eventually move to Warner Brothers. Combined, Hurrell would have the opportunity to photograph some of the biggest of Hollywood stars including Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Jane Russell, Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Joan Crawford. Continue reading “George Hurrell and Mommie Dearest”

Robert Ryan on TCM – Beware, My Lovely

beware4Robert Ryan is TCM’s Star of the Month. On Friday, May 6th beginning at 11am (ET) TCM will be showing 13 films of Ryan’s darkest works including The Racket, Act of Violence, On Dangerous Ground, The Set-Up and Beware, My Lovely.

Continue reading “Robert Ryan on TCM – Beware, My Lovely”

Invasion of the Lovebugs

Lovebug Mates

   It’s that time of the year in Florida when those pesty yet romantic lovebugs make themselves one of the horrors of living in the Sunshine State. Twice a year, like many married humans, lovebugs begin to mate. Unlike humans they preform this blatant sexual activity out in the open for everyone to see. In the process, corrupting Florida’s youth and even worse making life a nightmare for drivers. While in the throes of wild passion along roads and highways they smash into your windshield like kamikaze pilots making a massive ghastly mess.        Continue reading “Invasion of the Lovebugs”