Category Archives: Movies

Classic Hollywood #113 – Monty Banks Stars In Atta Boy -1926

Monty Banks With Flappers In Atta Boy – 1926

Our film still has no explanation and no id’s on anyone in the photograph except star Monty Banks and the film Atta Boy.

Born Mario Bianchi in Cesena, Italy on July 15, 1897, comedian Monty Banks was a popular comedian of the teens and 1920s. When Banks emigrated around 1914 he did not realize there were two America’s and ended up in Buenos Aires, Argentina!

Banks soon made it to the United States and started in films as a stunt man. He later became a gag man and a cutter. Eventually he worked his way up to starring in two reel comedies (ten to fifteen minute short films).

Atta Boy

In 1926 Banks made his first long feature (65 minutes) for Pathe, Atta Boy. How different was it to get a part in a major film 95 years ago? The diminutive five foot five Banks announced through the newspapers that he was casting for a leading lady. The qualifications? Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #112 – Marilyn Monroe Arrives At A Premiere

Marilyn Attends The New York Premiere of The Rose Tattoo

By The Way: June 1 Is The 95th Anniversary Of Marilyn Monroe’s Birth

MArilyn Monroe Rose Tattoo photo TribuneNew York – Marilyn Monroe arrived at the Astor Theatre for the film premiere of “The Rose Tattoo” wearing white fur over a dark gown. The premiere was for the benefit of Actors’ Studio, a non-profit for actors, directors and playwrights. photo: Tribune, December 2, 1955

Look at the different expressions on everyone as Marilyn arrives. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #111 – Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson 1934

This promotional photograph of Gloria Swanson was taken by Fox photographer Otto Dyar. The descriptive text on the rear of the photo is somewhat vapid, describing Gloria’s outfit. Swanson only made one film for Fox in the 1930s, Music In The Air (1934) with co-star John Boles.

Here is the text from the photo:

Short and sophisticated is this two-tone cocktail costume worn by Gloria Swanson and designed and created by Rene Hubert, international stylist, head of Fox film wardrobe. The form fitting skirt is of black velvet. The blouse and muff are of black tafetta with white chenille and gold thread stripes. The hat, also designed by M. Hubert, is an adaptation from the Cambodian wand was created in black velvet and features a rhinestone ornament. Note the zipper in the muff- – when opened it reveals a purse and vanity. credit: Fox Film –  Otto Dyar

After appearing in Music In The Air, Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #110 – Jayne Mansfield Selling Cigarettes For Charity

Jayne Mansfield, Saleslady – 1957

Jayne Mansfield charity 1957 Photo: APLos Angeles – February 11, 1957: Jayne Mansfield Hit As Cigarette Girl
Jayne Mansfield sells customer David Rosslaw a pack of cigarettes during charity banquet here last night and apparently, judging from expressions of unidentified spectators, was a success in her temporary role. About a dozen girls including Zsa Zsa Gabor and Marie Wilson, roamed the floor for about ten minutes during the evening but giving no change as profits went to local charity. Hundreds, including many Hollywood celebrities attended. photo: AP wirephoto

The news slug does not identify the charity Jayne was collecting for. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #109 – Fred MacMurray & Carole Lombard 1937

Fred MacMurray & Carole Lombard Skeet Shooting Between Takes

Fred MacMurray Carole Lombard 1937 Candid Skeet Shooting 1937 photo Tom EvansMore Deadly Than The Male!

Carole Lombard, blonde screen star, killed two kinds of birds with one gun in this skeet shooting match against Fred MacMurray and writer Claude Binyou while on location with Paramount’s “True Confession” company at Lake Arrowhead. Not only did Carole blast the clay pigeons with unerring accuracy. She also bagged two masculine egos, thoroughly puncturing the pretensions of MacMurray (waiting to shoot) and Binyou (operating the trap) to superior marksmanship. photo: Tom Evans for Paramount 1937

Among the many things that drew Clark Gable to Carole Lombard was that she was one of the guys. Lombard was also a favorite among studio stagehands and technicians.

In Gable & Lombard & Powell & Harlow, 1975 (Dell) by Joe Morella and Edward Z. Epstein the following story illustrates the sort of loyalty that made Lombard so appealing. Continue reading

Rare 1971 Tonight Show Clip With Johnny Carson & The Hilarious Bob Uecker

Johnny Carson Looks At Press Photos With Bob Uecker, Going Over Bob’s Legendary Baseball Career

In the mid-90s actor Leslie Nielsen was doing publicity for a comedic book “Bad Golf My Way.”  The radio stations who set up interviews with Nielsen expected the star of “Airplane” and  “Police Squad / The Naked Gun” to be as witty as the man who was in those movies.

While Leslie Nielsen had a sense of humor he was not a funny man. The public seems to forget that writers write those funny lines for actors to say.

Nielsen did his best, doing four hours of back to back interviews with FM stations across the country. But the radio hosts mostly got a reality check. Just because you’re a comedic actor does not translate into being a funny guest.

On the other hand Bob Uecker was a professional baseball catcher for six seasons in the 1960s who had a career .200 batting average. While Uecker was by his own estimate not a particularly good ballplayer, he was very funny. Uecker parlayed his natural sense of humor into a fifty year career as a baseball announcer and talk show guest, and he is still going strong, The 87-year-old Uecker remains the radio voice of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Here is Uecker’s seventh appearance on The Tonight Show, September 23, 1971.

What makes this clip rare is that for the first 10 years that Carson hosted The Tonight Show from New York, almost every tape was subsequently erased. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #108 – Ann Sheridan At Bat

The “Oomph Girl” Ann Sheridan Does Her Spring Training

Ann Sheridan 1930s Catalina Island with Gabby HartnettI made a positive print of this undated photographic negative, identified as Ann Sheridan. If correct, it is a very early publicity photo of the actress nicknamed the “Oomph Girl.” Besides that, there is no information about when or where the photo was taken or who the man in uniform with Sheridan is.

Obviously the photo was taken at a beach. At first glance the man squatting with the big smile resembles Continue reading

The Soon Not To Be Cleveland “Indians” At Spring Training 1954

Indians About To Tackle The Cameraman? No, Just A Foot Race At Spring Training 1954

Here we see the Cleveland Indians at spring training in 1954. The news slug reads:

Tucson, Arizona: Speed is what manager Al Lopez wants and these three outfielders got it. They are left to right – Larry Doby, Gale Wade and Dave Philley. photo : UPI Telephoto 3/5/54

They’ve been called the  Cleveland Indians since 1915 but the team will abandon their moniker after the 2021 season.

Are Native Americans truly offended by the name Indians? With partisan and politically motivated surveys and popular polls there is contradictory evidence that self-identifying Native Americans are bothered by the name “Indians.” Continue reading