Category Archives: Movies

Blazing Sadddles – Mongo Deleted Scenes

Mongo’s (Alex Karras) Cut Scenes From Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles (1974) would never get made today. The genius humor of writers Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Andrew Bergman, Alan Uger and Norman Steinberg is now politically incorrect. Yes, the movie is vulgar and over the top.  But it remains undeniably one of the funniest movies ever made.

Some of the best scenes in Blazing Saddles belong to the half-wit behemoth Mongo, played by former NFL star Alex Karras.

Here are two of the scenes involving Mongo that were not in the final cut but were broadcast  when eventually shown on television.

So why were these two scenes cut? Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #103 – Carolyn Jones & Aaron Spelling

Addams Family Actress Carolyn Jones Poses With Husband Aaron Spelling

Carolyn Jones Aaron Spelling c 1962 photo Bill Kobrin

Did two people ever look unhappier?

Or is it just Carolyn Jones who looks incredibly sad?

In 1960 Aaron Spelling said, “Carolyn is the only person in the world I need. We are more than in love. We are each other’s best friends.” Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #102 – Sean Connery, Before He Was James Bond

Before Being Cast As James Bond, Sean Connery Was Determined To Be A Star

Sean Connery 1960 photo The Picturegoer

James Bond is dead. At least to millions of movie fans who associate only one man, Sean Connery, with the role of Ian Fleming’s secret agent 007. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #101 – Groucho Marx Was Born October 2, 1890

The 130th Anniversary of The Birth Of Groucho Marx

Groucho Marx in 1931 photo Eugene Robert Richee for Paramount

There are at least five comedians I wish were alive now to comment on the state of the world. If interviewed they could  put current events into perspective. They are George Carlin, Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor and Groucho Marx.

Each humorist was intelligent, sardonic and biting in their outlooks on life.

My all-time favorite was Groucho Marx.

Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx was born on October 2, 1890.

There are literally thousands of stories about Groucho and the Marx clan. Rather than rehash his life I’ll throw out one little known fact about Groucho from brother Harpo’s autobiography, Harpo Speaks! (1961, Bernard Gies Associates). Continue reading

Really Bad 1970s Horror Movie Theatrical Trailers

The 1970s Saw The Release of The Exorcist, Carrie, The Omen and Halloween

It Also Had These Horror Movie Clunkers…

1970s audiences had the opportunity to see some of the all-time great horror classics when first released in theaters.

There were also imitators of horror. Low budget affairs plagiarizing a title or borrowing a plot. Many of them downright laughable, like Beyond The Darkness and The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave.

A trailer is akin to a writer describing his vision for a film to a studio executive. The two minute trailer is supposed to convince an audience to see a movie. Picture some producer listening to a writer’s pitch and then signing a check to get a turkey made. And the 70s saw lots of ’em. For every Alien (1979) that was made, there were a dozen horror catastrophe’s like Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977).

Based on these trailers, who in their right mind would pay money to see any of these?

Maybe I am being too harsh. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #99 – Orson Welles Performs Magic

Orson The Magnificent Performs For Servicemen During World War II

ORson Welles performs as Orson the Magnificent August 9 1943 photo APIt’s tough in Hollywood when everything you do is compared to your biggest success. And it makes it even tougher when your first movie is considered among the best movies ever made. Citizen Kane (1941) starring, produced, co-written and directed by Orson Welles remains Welles’ penultimate achievement. He was just 25-years-old. Continue reading

Cut Scene From A Classic Movie – Double Indemnity 1944

Double Indemnity – The Pep-Up Speech That Never Was

aka: The “Benefits” Of Living & Working In Mid-Century America

The classic American film, Double Indemnity has a scene in which Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) is meeting with his boss, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) in Neff’s office. Continue reading

Olivia de Havilland Dies At 104, The End Of An Era- Beginning Of A Book?

Olivia de Havilland Dies – Last of the Great Movie Stars

Olivia de Havilland 1943 photo: Ernest Bacharach

A couple of weeks ago Turner Classic Movies was showing Captain Blood. The 1935 Michael Curtiz directed adventure film stars Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, Donald Meek, Lionel Atwill, Guy Kibbee and a 19-year-old making her fourth film – Olivia de Havilland. Except for Flynn and de Havilland, the names are mostly forgotten except to the hardiest of film fans. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #98 – Fred Astaire & Daughter Ava

A Rare Photograph Of Fred Astaire With His Daughter Ava – 1958

Photo UPI 1958 Fred Astiare and daughter Ava

1/5/1958 – HOLLYWOOD – Fred Astaire poses with his daughter Ava, 16, in a rare family portrait taken on the set of the General Electric Theater TV show. This is reportedly the first picture of the entertainer and his daughter to be released in 15 years. Photo- United Press International Telephoto

With the paparazzi of today there are no limits to what constitutes an invasion of privacy. Nobody is off limits – especially the children of the famous. Then there are the celebrities that don’t stop at just cooperating with paparazzi. They shamelessly publicize their children (who have no say in the matter) to promote themselves.

Some old-time celebrities had ethics. They didn’t exploit their families to get publicity. Actor, dancer and singer Fred Astaire (1899-1987) falls into that category.

A Private Man

When he was big star in the 1930s, most people didn’t even realize Fred Astaire was married. Continue reading