Category Archives: Movies

Classic Hollywood #118 – Jane Withers & A Little Rascals Reunion

Our Gang (The Little Rascals) Reunion With Jane Withers -1942

Jane Withers Alfalfa Spanky and other Our Gang stars 1942 photo Acme

Old-Timers To Make Comeback Try
Hollywood, Calif – This young sextet of “old-timers” of the movies are no doubt familiar to you. In case they’re not, photo shows, (left to right): “Our Gang’s” Alfalfa Switzer; singer Bobby Breen; infant star Baby Sandy; Jane Withers; Spanky McFarland;  and Bobby “Sooky” Coogan, Jackie Coogan’s brother. They are all playing in one picture with Jane Withers, each trying to make a comeback in his own right. credit: Acme 1942

The motion picture referred to is a 1942 feature film, Johnny Doughboy.

Actress Jane Withers died on August 7, 2021 at the age of 95. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #117 – Charlie Chaplin & George Bernard Shaw

Charlie Chaplin and George Bernard Shaw Meet For Lunch – 1936

Movie Star Chaplin & Author Shaw

Charles Chaplin and George Bernard Shaw In Honolulu
Honolulu, Hawaii – Charles Chaplin, film comedian, (left) and George Bernard Shaw, playwright, are shown in a Honolulu restaurant when they meet to keep a luncheon engagement – February 26, 1936 photo: International News

When they met for lunch Chaplin and Shaw were both on around the world tours in opposite directions. Chaplin kept Shaw waiting half an hour, which had Shaw fuming. But all was forgiven once Chaplin greeted Shaw at Waikiki Lau Yee Chai Chinese restaurant. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #116 – Mary Pickford & Charles Buddy Rogers Announce Their Engagement

Mary Pickford & Charles Buddy Rogers Engaged November 23, 1936

MAry Pickford engaged Charles Buddy Rogers 1936Mary Pickford was born Gladys Smith in 1892. Pickford was the most famous film star in the world for two decades and dubbed “America’s Sweetheart.” Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #115 – Tyrone Power “No Good Reason To Get Married”

Tyrone Power Escorts Marlene Dietrich and Annabella To A Premiere

Love or a Hollywood beard? Beard is the old term for a man covering his preference for male companionship by being seen with or escorting women in public.

Deanna Durbin Charms In Preview
Hollywood, Calif. – Deanna Durbin previewed her new picture at the Panteges Theater in Hollywood, last night before an enthusiastic  crowd which witnessed her picture “Three Smart Girls Grow Up” by Universal.
Photo shows (left to right) Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power and Annabella arriving at the Theater. Photo: Acme 3/17/39

In 1938 Tyrone Power placed second in receiving fan mail, right behind Shirley Temple.  Power was a major film star form the late 1930s until his death on November 15, 1958 at age 44 from a massive heart attack. Power reportedly smoked three packs of cigarettes a day.

Biographer Hector Arce in his book The Secret Life of Tyrone Power (William Morrow) 1979, claimed Power was bisexual.

A newspaper article by Lucie Neville in 1938 asked a bevy of Hollywood actor-bachelors why they were not married. Among those Neville queried were James Stewart, Edgar Bergen and Tyrone Power. When read today, the responses Neville received are almost comical for the reasons the actors gave for averting matrimony. Continue reading

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