Ran away at 17 to join a band of Shakespearean players
Became an acclaimed theater actor before jumping to film
Helped found the Screen Actor's Guild and served as president
Helped found and rally the Actor's Equity, which helped actors during the black listing years
Was married four times, three ending in divorce
Famous for the roles in movies such as, "The Awful Truth", "Carefree", "His Girl Friday", and "Rosemary's Baby". And who can forget his awesome performance in "Trading Places" with co-star Don Ameche?!
Played many types of characters but set the standards for the "boring, push over" types. He lost his gal in movies to the likes of Cary Grant.
Owned his own stock company for four years called the "Ralph Bellamy Players"
Having a week off from work for Thanksgiving has allowed me to catch up on some oldies! The most recent- Scarlet Street with Edward G. Robinson and Joan Bennett.
Edward plays Chris who has recently been honored for his 25 years of service as a cashier. He gets a gold watch, some slaps on the back, and he heads home to his wife.
On the way home he witnesses a guy knocking around a lady on the street. He breaks them up and then runs for help as the damsel in distress yells at him not to.
Ouch! She might need a cold steak for that shiner but at least her outfit is protected from the rain!
When the fuzz comes to help out the lady(named Kitty) she plays if off and the man gets away. Chris takes her out for a drink instead and he quickly starts to fancy Kitty. In conversation Kitty comes to think Chris is loaded which is far from the truth. The next day we learn that Kitty and her accused are actually a couple. They hatch a plan to scam Chris by having Kitty pretend she is a struggling actress.
Meanwhile we learn Chris lives with a witch of a wife who nags him and makes him cook and clean! Chris's escape? Painting. His wife and even his boss think his work is crap but Chris doesn't care.
What is with the amazing floral wallpaper in every movie?
I want! I want!
When the wife wants his artwork out of the house he rents a place to put it and Kitty goes with it. Little does Chris know, but Kitty's boyfriend is living there too. Chris is in love but Kitty is having a hard time acting like she likes him. The charade keeps up for a while until Chris can no longer pay Kitty's expenses.
I'll just pretend this old guy is William Holden instead...
Kitty's boyfriend, who is still slapping her around BTW, decides to try and sell Chris's paintings for some cash. To his suprise, the art gets sold and when some rich art dealers come looking for the artist to these amazing paintings Kitty takes the credit!
Much to everyone's suprise the art is selling like hot cakes. Chris finds out and so does his wife, so he also has to play off Kitty as the artist to keep his marraige together. Money is still tight and Chris starts stealing from work. Little does he know that all his love for Kitty is an act. She is getting tired of pretending.
When Chris discovers his marraige is not going to work out he goes to Kitty to ask for her hand in marraige and she lets him have it. Chris is furious and goes after her with an ice pick!
What happens next you'll have to watch and see. What happens to Kitty and her boyfriend? Will Chris learn the who truth? What about his now famous work?
I think this portrait of Kitty looks more like Hedy Lamarr!
The artwork done for this film was by John Decker and the Museum of Modern Art in New York held an exhibit in 1946.
Will I ever tire of Esther William's? Once I think I have seen all of her films, another one sneaks in and I am happily taken away into technicolor land.
In Thrill Of A Romance, Esther plays Cynthia, a swimming instructor who falls for a handsome rich guy who gives no indication in the 20 hours they court that he has time to be married. Things seem swell, so they get hitched and off they go on their honeymoon.
Why didn't I think to wear a khaki wrap dress with a leopard print scarf belt on my honeymoon?! And I seriously want this wallpaper in my bedroom.
It's their wedding night and the newly minted husband gets a call to work and takes it! Esther is left alone on vay cay as hubby of the year promises to come back soon.
Bummed out, Esther takes to where else - the pool! Here she meets stylish Maude, who's father just happens to be her newlywed's boss! They strike up a friendship and Esther helps Maude search for a man.
It's photo stills like this that make me irritated that I can't live in a make believe world of turn of the century painted backdrops and colorful sets. Everything about this is magical. Tassel umbrellas, multicolored lounge chairs, swirly blue pool decks, vintage pony pool toys...and check out those tie up sandals!
Before the night is over Esther finds herself crying on her balcony and roaming the grounds where she meets hunky war vet Thomas played by Van Johnson.
Esther gives him the scoop on her awesome marriage situation and he is pitifully in love. Lucky for him, there is plenty of time for the two to hang out, as Esther's husband is kept away on business much longer than expected.
Esther doesn't want to fall in love with someone else, she'd rather be happy with man #1. But after a week of someone of the opposite sex giving her attention she falls hard. Now what to do about the loser hubby who BTW only calls her like twice and can't understand why Esther is so peeved!?
Van is thinking...How can I swoop in and make this my honeymoon?
Esther and Van go on a walk when they get lost in the forest and are forced to spend more time together that expected after dark only to find out Esther's husband has returned and is looking for her!
This film is full of swimming, bathing suits, bright colors, and Esther being cute. I loved it! There is also a beefy part for Tommy Dorsey and his famous band, including a cameo by his talented daughter who rocks out on the piano.
Happy Thanksgiving from The Affair to you! While I sit back and give thanks, please enjoy Jean Arthur and Lillian Roth dressed like slutty pilgrims hunting for turkey in the snow wearing heels. Gobble Gobble!
Not too long ago I got to see my dear friends Tiny and Mary (over at www.thewackytacky.blogspot.com) sing at the Pomona Packing House grand opening. I also stumbled upon the Museum of Neon Art storage unit. This warehouse is currently home to hundreds of old and new neon signs from all over California. As I walked through I noticed tucked in the back was the one and only Grauman's Chinese Theater sign.
Grauman's Chinese Theater opened in 1927 but the neon dragon signs were not added until 1958. The signs were torn down in 2001 as a plan to restore the theater to it's original facade. One of the dragon signs was left outdoors to rot and the other sign went temporarily missing! The signs are now at the MONA. It was really special to see a bit of history, and even more fun when you least expect it. The director of the MONA, Kim Koga, told me that they are hoping to restore the sign and had recently been receiving phone calls from some "very important people" who she is thinking might help with the restoration, since it will cost thousands of dollars due to their condition. We shall see! If you would like to visit this amazing space (which also houses the original Brown Derby neon light hat) you must check it out! You can even take an 8 week class to become a "bender" or as we know it, a person who makes neon signs. The museum's physical building will be in Glendale with hopes to open soon.
In the wake of Esther Williams death (June 6th) TCM played a 24 hour marathon. Did anyone watch? I ended up recording all of them and am slowing enjoying her films again. On An Island With You was her 12th film and a good one at that.
Esther is Roz, an actress who is filming a movie in the South Pacific with actor boyfriend Ricardo (Montalban). They slather her in self tanner and throw a sarong on her and off they go.
For continuity they bring in Lieutenant Larry (Lawford) to make sure they film looks legit. Little does Roz remember, but Larry met her a few years back and has had an obsessive crush on her every since. He makes this very clear early on. Roz wants nothing to do with him.
He vents his frustrations to assistant director Buckley (Durante) who helps him out best he can. Cyd Charisse is there too as Yvonne who seems depressed.
I would kill Cyd for this peasant top off her back!
Larry films a scene where he flies Roz around the island. When they yell, "cut" they realize Larry has flown away with Roz in tow! He takes her to the island where they met and tries to suck some face with her. She goes from mad to understanding to happy to irritated. Make up your mind woman!
One must not forget their orange lipstick when
heading to the tropics.
The crew finds Roz and Buckley goes off to find Larry who is hanging out with the natives. Ricardo is furious but Roz starts to have a change of heart. Larry is still crazy about Roz, and doesn't seam worried that he is going to be arrested for kidnapping!
Roz still wants to marry Ricardo but she starts to question her love. Even a romantic synchronized swim can't get her mind of the current events.
You will have to watch this cute film to see who Roz picks. But really it is a no brainer, who wouldn't want Peter Lawford?! This film is true to form with colorful dances, amazing wardrobe, and Esther swimming her heart out. I couldn't find any evidence, but Xavier Cugat has a beefy role in this film as himself naturally and is great. I love films with him and his band! A must see!