Friday, March 1, 2024

BING CROSBY - THE HOLLYWOOD YEARS: PART 2

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

RIP: RICHARD LEWIS

Richard Lewis, the stand-up comedian who also starred alongside Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” has died due to a heart attack, Variety has confirmed. He was 76.

Lewis announced last April he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and was retiring from stand-up comedy. He most recently appeared in Season 12 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” currently airing on HBO.

In 2021, Lewis announced he would not appear in Season 11 of “Curb” in order to recover from three surgeries. He surprised viewers by returning to set for one Season 11 episode, telling Variety at the time, “When I walked in and they applauded, I felt like a million bucks. Larry doesn’t like to hug, and he hugged me and told me how happy he was after we shot our scene.”

Lewis, who played a semi-fictionalized version of himself throughout the 24 years of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” was known for his neurotic, self-deprecating style of comedy. After making his screen acting debut in 1979’s “Diary of a Young Comic,” Lewis rose to prominence in the 1980s and ’90s with appearances on “The Tonight Show” and the “Late Show With David Letterman.” He showcased his dark, yet brightly animated persona in his 1985 Showtime comedy special “I’m in Pain,” following it up with the HBO specials “I’m Exhausted” (1988), “I’m Doomed” (1990) and “Richard Lewis: The Magical Misery Tour” (1997).

In 1989, Lewis landed a leading role in the ABC sitcom “Anything but Love,” in which he starred opposite Jamie Lee Curtis as coworkers at a Chicago magazine who fall in love and fail to uphold a strictly professional relationship. The series ran for 56 episodes across four seasons before ending in 1992...



THE CENSORSHIP OF MARY POPPINS

The age rating for the 1964 “Mary Poppins” has been increased in the U.K. due to “discriminatory language.”

On Friday, the British Board of Film Classification upped the Disney movie’s cinema rating from U, meaning it contained “no material likely to offend or harm,” to PG for “discriminatory language.”

In a statement to Variety, a BBFC spokesperson said that the film “includes two uses of the discriminatory term ‘hottentots’. While ‘Mary Poppins’ has a historical context, the use of discriminatory language is not condemned, and ultimately exceeds our guidelines for acceptable language at U. We therefore classified the film PG for discriminatory language.”

The word is a racially insensitive term for the Khoekhoe, an indigenous group in South Africa. The BBFC further explained that the word is used in the film by Admiral Boom (Reginald Owen), including when referring to the chimney sweeps whose faces are covered in soot.

“We understand from our racism and discrimination research, and recent classification guidelines research, that a key concern for people, parents in particular, is the potential to expose children to discriminatory language or behavior which they may find distressing or repeat without realizing the potential offense,” the BBFC spokesperson continued. “Some language or behaviors are therefore not permitted at U or PG in any circumstance, or are wholly dependent on context.”

The original “Mary Poppins” starred Julie Andrews as the magical nanny and Dick Van Dyke as her sidekick Bert. The cast also included David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns, Hermione Baddeley, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber, Elsa Lanchester, Arthur Treacher and Ed Wynn...


Sunday, February 25, 2024

GUEST REVIEW: LARCENY

The later great Bruce Krogan is back with another great review. This time around he is reviewing a forgotten 1948 film noir...

Watching Larceny I thought the way the film was building toward the climax I was sure of a sentimental ending. But far from it with this film. What we get is a crackerjack and original realistic ending in this noir film.

John Payne plays a smooth talking confidence man who is part of a gang headed by Dan Duryea. Duryea has set up a big score and Payne has to romance war widow Joan Caulfield who thought her hero husband walked on water. The con involves swindling Caulfield ot of money to build a youth center for the town's young people and Payne poses as a GI buddy of the late husband.

Payne's working a few cons here. He's also going out with the sultry and possessive Shelley Winters who is two timing Duryea. In the end though he falls for Caulfield and that sets up the climax.


Shelley Winters also has one of her good career roles in Larceny. The kind of woman that ought to come with a warning label. And Duryea gives us one of his classic bad guy roles as well.

The script is a fine piece of writing and the director gets some great performances out of his ensemble cast. Do not miss this one, it's one of the best noirs out there.

BRUCE'S RATING: 8 out of 10



Sunday, February 18, 2024

BEHIND THE SCENES: THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

One of the greatest movies ever made was The Wizard Of Oz. I have heard and read about many of the back stories of the filming of this 1939 classic, but here are some photos from the time - many of which I have never seen!












Sunday, February 11, 2024

THE BOX OFFICE STARS: 1951

 As the 1950s got under way, there were different movie stars in the top ten. Here are the top ten grossing movie stars of 1951...






1. John Wayne
2. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
3. Betty Grable
4. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
5. Bing Crosby
6. Bob Hope
7. Randolph Scott
8. Gary Cooper
9. Doris Day
10. Spencer Tracy



Sunday, February 4, 2024

PHOTOS OF THE DAY: CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD AND THEIR VINYL

I still have some vinyl. No a lot of vinyl but some vinyl. I love looking at the classic Hollywood stars as they listened to their record collections. Some great picures here...


Rita Hayworth


Marlene Dietrich 


James Stewart


Gene Tierney


Marlon Brando


Carmen Miranda