Wednesday, March 30, 2022


Bruce Willis is suffering from a medical condition that is affecting his cognitive abilities and will be taking a break from acting, his family shared Wednesday.

In a post on his daughter Rumer’s verified Instagram account, the caption on a photo of the “Die Hard” actor read: “To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities.”

“As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him,” the caption continued. “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. “

According to the Mayo Clinic, aphasia is “a condition that robs you of the ability to communicate” and can be caused by a stroke, head injury, a brain tumor or a disease.

The caption went on to read that the family is “moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him.”

“As Bruce always says, “Live it up” and together we plan to do just that,” it concluded, along with the names of his former wife, Demi Moore, who also shared the post, their daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah, as well as his current wife, Emma, and their daughters Mabel and Evelyn...

Tuesday, March 29, 2022


The dust has settled on what has become the Oscar telecast. The telecast itself was pretty much boring, which reflected on the movies that were made in 2021. Old entertainer wrangler Lady Gaga wheeled out a confused and sickly looking Liza Minnelli at one point. The whole show was pretty much a yawn fest - until the slap that was heard around the world, courtesy of Will Smith.

Comedian Chris Rock was presenting an award, and he told a lame joke about the obscure 1995 movie GI Jane, and Jada Pinkett Smith appearing in the sequel because she is bald. The only thing that Chris Rock is guilty of is telling a 20 year old joke! Will Smith laughed at the joke at first, but then seconds late Will Smith walks up to the stage and smacks a confused Chris Rock. Smith then walks back to his seat, and continues to verbally yell at Rock. It was the only excitement of the show, and unfortunately it is one of the low points of the Oscars.

Why this would set Will Smith off is beyond me. It really casts a dark shadow on the Oscars. Will would win the best actor award 45 minutes after the slap. It casts a shadow over his win. It casts a shadow over the Oscars. It casts a shadow over African-Americans finally winning the awards that they deserve. 

The joke was unfunny, but did it warrant Chris Rock to be physically assaulted - NO. It may warrant Will Smith losing his award that he so desperately wanted. Something needs to be done or the Oscars will have fallen to a degree that they will never recover from. Will Smith, an actor I admired for decades, I am embarrassed for. I never thought I would write this but Will Smith is a disgrace...

Monday, March 28, 2022


I barely managed to watch much of the Oscars last night. For one, it is too late for me on a Sunday night to stay up for. And second, I did not see any of the movies nominated last night - not one single movie! I wish I would have stayed up though to see the moment live that will be talked about for years now. That moment is the Will Smith and Chris Rock moment. 

Now, the Oscars have been known for controversy in the past. Anyone remember the American Indian accepting the Oscar for Marlon Brando or the streaker running on stage naked while David Niven was giving a speech? This most recent moment was the most surreal moment in all of Oscar history.

Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, which did not appear to go over well with her husband Will Smith.

While presenting the award for best documentary, Rock joked, “Jada I love you, ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it.”

The camera cut to Pinkett Smith, who rolled her eyes as she sat next to Smith.

“That was a nice one,” Rock said, appearing to respond to the joke not going over well.

Pinkett Smith has been open about her struggle with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that leads to hair loss

Rock then said, “Oh uh,” and laughed as Smith walked toward him on stage and appeared to strike Rock in the face.

According to  reporter Stephanie Elam, who is in the audience, she could hear Rock getting hit. Smith said twice during the incident, according to Elam, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth!”

Rock responded: “Oh, wow.”

For viewers at home, censors muted the verbal part of the exchange between Rock and Smith.

The theater went silent and Rock said, “That was the greatest night in the history of television.”

Sean “Diddy” Combs took to the stage moments later and told Smith and Rock that they would settle things “like family” later.

Roughly 40 minutes after the incident, Smith returned to the stage to accept the Oscar for best actor and apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees for the incident, but did not mention Rock by name.

He tearfully accepted the award for his role as Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, in the film “King Richard.” Smith said Williams “was a fierce defender of his family.”

Smith said, “I know to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse and have people talk people about you. In this business, you gotta have people disrespecting you. And you gotta smile and pretend that’s ok.”

Smith also talked about being a “protector” and thanked the tennis legends and their family.

Smith shared that prior to his win, fellow nominee Denzel Washington shared some wisdom with him: “At your highest moment be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”


Sunday, March 27, 2022


 Last year the world lost a great man when Bruce Kogan died. He not only was a great political activist, but he was a move buff that reviewed many great and not so great movies for this blog. When wish to keep his memory alive by publishing some of his great reviews on these blog pages...

The first of four films Constance Bennett did with Joel McCrea was one that you'd better bring the bath towels to the theater if you saw it. I'm sure even the men had a tear or two seeing what Connie went through.

An American nurse in London during World War I Bennett has American ace Joel McCrea and stiff upper lip British major Paul Cavanaugh after her. She loves McCrea and can't see Cavanaugh.

But when McCrea gets shot down and goes missing in action she's very pregnant and the sympathetic Cavanaugh is ready to marry her and make her respectable.

The usual complications ensue after that and Bennett pays a heavy price for her romances.

Born To Love fits rater neatly into that category called women's pictures. Women who worried where the next meal might come from, plunked don their nickel and could sympathize with a woman like Bennett and her complicated romantic life.

For this type the film is OK, but I doubt we'll see a remake in this century.

BRUCE'S RATING: 5 out of 10

Sunday, March 20, 2022


The "Young Frankenstein" cast re-created a scene for staff photographer Marianna Diamos. Director Mel Brooks, right, looks on as, from left, Teri Garr, Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman work on the monster, Peter Boyle.

Writer Wayne Warga reported in the April 14, 1974, Los Angeles Times:

The castle looms dark and foreboding, a dead tree in a courtyard leading to outside doors with huge knockers. The kind of place where people must come to die. Frankenstein's place. And this time the devout wish is that we'll all die laughing. It's Mel Brooks' version of Frankenstein's place.

It's impossible to tell how many versions of this classic tale have been made around the world, but certainly this must be the first one in which the monster has a zipper in his neck.

The $350,000 castle, on Stage 4 at 20th Century-Fox, is an inspiration of the macabre, while the goings-on of its inhabitants are inspiringly silly.

Brooks is shooting the film in black and white and is using cinematic techniques prominent in the late 1920s and the early 1930s. "It's not satire, it's a salute," he says. "It says, 'Mel Brooks Presents Young Frankenstein' so the audience will, of course, know the comedy will go an inch or two further than one usually expects. But you can't keep winking because it diminishes the melodrama. The melodrama has to be there."

Brooks at work is intense, serious and determined — in startling contrast to the inspired silliness of his films. Gene Wilder plays Frankenstein and, along with Brooks, is the co-author of the screenplay.

"Gene walked in one day and said he wanted to do a picture called 'Young Frankenstein,' Brooks recalls. "I told him he was crazy. A week later we were writing it." …

"Young Frankenstein" became a smash hit. It’s now highly ranked on many best comedy film lists.


Wednesday, March 16, 2022


My grandparents loved this show. Sometimes, on PBS, I even glimpse back at this wholesome show of the past. But a Lawrence Welk sex scandal???? Really??? 

The once-popular show ran between 1955 to 1982, including 27 seasons on the ABC network, and still remains popular in reruns. The show’s titular bandleader and accordionist oversaw the weekly musical offerings with a big smile — but behind the scenes, his show’s cast endured scandals ranging from secret gay lives to charges of child molestation!

That included Welk’s two biggest stars — Bob Ralston and Jo Ann Castle, each caught up in charges of child molestation. Ralston was arrested in 1984 on charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy who was also one of his piano students.

In 1986, Ralston pleaded guilty to a felony count of committing a lewd act with a child under age 14 — with charges made by two other boys dismissed in a plea bargain. LAPD Detective Steven Hales called it “the most inappropriate sentence on a pedophile I’ve ever seen,” and said he believed Ralston had at least 20 underage victims!

Jo Ann Castle was caught up in another horrifying scandal after her fiancé William Austin Holloway was charged with molesting one of her children in 1978. She was later found guilty of committing perjury to cover up the crime, and forced the victim to write a humiliating letter denying the molestation.

A longtime boozer, Castle then turned to drugs in her later years — overdosing on prescription pills several times, and suffering a stroke from a combination of alcohol, Percocet and other drugs in 2009. In 2013, according to court records, Castle finally confessed to perjury for her 1978 lies, saying she’d been “brainwashed” by her husband.

Amazingly, Castle covered up her scandals and kept trading off the Lawrence Welk name with a series of shows in Branson, Missouri. Alice Lon wasn’t as lucky — with Welk famously firing her as one of his “Champagne Ladies,” complaining: “Her knee showed too much. Cheesecake doesn’t fit on our show!'”

But that was after Lon  had made headlines with a bizarre story of being forced to pose for nude photos! She claimed that her home in North Hollywood was invaded by masked men who stripped her for the camera. She claimed that she, her husband and her mother-in-law were given sleeping pills — and warned the nude pics would be “turned over to the papers” if she called the cops.

The biggest stars to emerge from Welk’s show were the Lennon Sisters — but Kathy, Janet, Peggy and Dianne paid a high price for their fame. A stalker named Chet Young thought he could win Peggy’s heart by eliminating the sisters’ dad. He shot and killed William Lennon at noon in the parking lot of a California golf course in 1969, and later committed suicide.

Welk himself managed to dodge any scandals — except for being known as one of TV’s stingiest stars. One insider told The ENQUIRER about a Christmas party where the bandleader handed out his annual gift of cheap neckties — and discovered that one employee had been with him for 20 years. “You,” declared Welk, “get two ties!”

Monday, March 14, 2022


William Hurt, who became a hot Hollywood commodity with his performance as a hapless lawyer in “Body Heat” in 1981 and within a few years had won the best-actor Oscar for the 1985 film “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” in which he portrayed a gay man sharing a Brazilian prison cell with a revolutionary, died at his home in Portland, Ore., on Sunday. He was 71.

A son, Alexander Hurt, said the cause was complications of prostate cancer.

Mr. Hurt, tall, blond and speaking in a measured cadence that lent a cerebral quality to his characters, was a leading man in some of the most popular films of the 1980s, including “The Big Chill” (1983), “Children of a Lesser God” (1986), “Broadcast News” (1987) and “The Accidental Tourist” (1988).

“Children of a Lesser God” and “Broadcast News” earned him best-actor Oscar nominations as well, meaning he had the heady distinction of being nominated for that award in three consecutive years.

In later years, Mr. Hurt transitioned from leading man to supporting roles; he was nominated for another Academy Award, as best supporting actor, for “A History of Violence” (2005).

Mr. Hurt won an Academy Award for best actor in 1986 for his role in the 1985 film “Kiss of The Spider Woman.”

“Mr. Hurt won a well-deserved best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for a performance that is crafty at first, carefully nurtured and finally stirring in profound, unanticipated ways,” she wrote. “What starts out as a campy, facetious catalog of Hollywood trivia becomes an extraordinarily moving film about manhood, heroism and love.”

Before he broke into films, Mr. Hurt was an in-demand stage actor, working frequently at Circle Repertory in New York, among other theaters. In 1985 he was nominated for a Tony Award for best featured actor in a play for his work in “Hurlyburly,” a David Rabe play directed by Mike Nichols with a loaded cast that included Cynthia Nixon, Sigourney Weaver, Harvey Keitel and Jerry Stiller.

Later in his career he played roles large and small. In a 2009 interview with The Times, he explained: “I don’t have to be the star, physically. My greatest offering is my concept. It isn’t my face.”

In recent years he had worked more in television, including the FX series “Damages” and the British sci-fi drama “Humans.” He was also in the 2013 television movie “The Challenger Disaster,” which in a 2015 interview prompted The Guardian to ask him if he was interested in space travel.

“I’m interested in all horizons and what’s on the other side of them,” he said. “We know less about the ocean than we do about space. I like to swim, float and fly.”

In addition to his son Alexander, who is from his relationship with Ms. Jennings, Mr. Hurt is survived by two sons from his marriage to Ms. Henderson, Samuel and William Jr.; a daughter from his relationship with Sandrine Bonnaire, Jeanne Bonnaire-Hurt; two brothers, James Hurt and Ken O’Sullivan; and two grandchildren.

Alexander Hurt, an actor, said in a phone interview that what he will remember about his father is “the pride he took in the work he did, and the pride we took — all of my siblings and I — in the work he did.”

“He had a pure spirit,” he added, “and that’s what we’re all going to miss the most, and the way he challenged us all.”

He worked on films up until his death...

Sunday, March 13, 2022


For providing quality family entertainment and serving his country during World War I, O'Brien received the Legion's Distinguished Service Medal in 1976.

Accustomed to the spotlight, O'Brien, a Navy veteran, was nevertheless humble when accepting the award. "The pride in all of our hearts as Legionnaires is something that is beyond description in words," he said. "I have been a Legionnaire since 1927. That's practically 50 years."

The Irish-American O'Brien grew up in Milwaukee as an altar boy before the acting world, where he amassed more than 100 screen credits. He appeared with James Cagney in eight films, including "Angels with Dirty Faces" and Cagney's last film, "Ragtime." Some of O'Brien's more well-known roles include a police detective in "Some Like It Hot" and a football coach in "Knute Rockne, All American," in which he gave the famous "win just one for the Gipper" speech.

He earned numerous honorary degrees, including one from his alma mater, Marquette University. He was also named a Knight of Malta and a Knight of Papal Charity by the Catholic Church.

O'Brien died in California in 1983, at 83...

Sunday, March 6, 2022


Red Ingle was a very unique and fun entertainer. He was an American musician, singer and songwriter, arranger, cartoonist and caricaturist. He is best known for his comedy records with Spike Jones and his own Natural Seven sides for Capitol.

Ingle was born in Toledo, Ohio. He was taught basic violin from age five by Fritz Kreisler, a family friend. However at 13, he took up the saxophone, and that instrument later became his main instrument. Ingle received a music scholarship and studied at the Toledo American College of Music, playing classical music on a concert level. Ingle was also influenced by the country fiddlers he had heard; he was able to play their songs in their style as well as the classics in a traditional pose.

At 15 he was playing professionally with Al Amato, and by his late teens, Ingle was touring steadily with the Jean Goldkette Orchestra, along with future jazz legends Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer. A graduate of Toledo's Scott High School, at one time he intended to become a teacher. Ingle left the College of Music in 1926 to become a full-time musician when he married Edwina Alice Smith. He joined Ted Weems' Orchestra in 1931, after briefly being a bandleader himself, and working under Maurice Sherman. His work with Weems was such a success that they worked together into the 1940s. Singer Perry Como later called Ingle 'one of the most talented men I've ever met.

After he failed an eye test for the Air Force, he returned to music with Spike Jones & His City Slickers, where his comedic talents and flair for vocal effects found a welcoming home. Jones started featuring him as a frontman immediately, and Ingle's stage presence helped transform the City Slickers' stage act into something more visual than before. With Ingle's input, the band gradually became a complete stage package that would eventually peak (after his departure in 1946] in the late 1940s and early 1950s with the successful Musical Depreciation Revue. "You Always Hurt the One You Love", "Liebestraum" and "Glow Worm" – this last being featured in the film Breakfast in Hollywood, one of many films featuring the band.

Ingle left Jones and the City Slickers in November 1946 after a salary dispute. He drifted through Radio and Hollywood, even working in light opera until he made "Tim-Tayshun", a spoof recording of the then-popular Perry Como hit "Temptation", with Jo Stafford (under the name "Cinderella G. Stump") for Capitol Records in 1947.

As the single went on to sell three million copies, Ingle formed a new band – Red Ingle and His Natural Seven; the group included several former City Slickers, among them Country Washburn, who had arranged "Tim-Tayshun". The band had several more hits, including "Cigareetes, Whuskey, and Wild, Wild Women", "Them Durn Fool Things," and "'A', You're a Dopey Gal." "Cigareetes" became a hit because it was banned from radio airplay by all major networks.

After "Tim-Tayshun's" success, Ingle had a follow-up in mind: a take-off on the classical works of Paganini, but doing this required a violinist who was trained in classical music. Knowing that any direct requests for a classical performer would be refused, Ingle dreamed up his own "classical" ensemble: "Ernest Ingle's Miniature Symphony". A concert violinist responded and was quickly signed to a recording contract for the intended record. When the musician was shown the arrangement he was to play, he protested and attempted to leave without performing. Ingle and his band quickly reminded the violinist of the legality of the contract he had just signed. A deal was struck to get "Pagan Ninny's Keep 'Er Going Stomp" recorded: the concert performer was allowed to use a pseudonym on the record.

Ingle and his Natural Seven also performed with Grand Ole Opry performers such as Minnie Pearl and other Opry notables. He joined Jo Stafford on her 1949 tour of the Midwest. Despite the comedy emphasis, the quality of the musicianship was often outstanding, including in some cases Les Paul or Western Swing performers Tex Williams and steel guitarist Noel Boggs. The band also recorded short films of their numbers, before disbanding in 1952; by 1956, Ingle had formed the band once again.

After working again with Weems, Ingle eased out of music, tiring of touring. He reunited with Jo Stafford in 1960 for a performance of "Tim-Tayshun" on Startime; by this time he had lost a great deal of weight and was barely recognizable as the former leader of the Natural Seven. He also had a reunion with Perry Como; band leader Ted Weems and former fellow band members Ingle, Elmo Tanner, Parker Gibbs and "Country" Washburn appeared as guests on Como's Kraft Music Hall on 18 October 1961.

Ingle said he had been trying to retire from the music business since 1942; he signed up with Spike Jones a year later, and that his leaving the band in 1946 was another try at retirement. By 1948 he described himself as being resigned to staying in the field. He died from an internal haemorrhage on 6 September 1965, in Santa Barbara, California and was buried in Ovid, Michigan...