Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Three Brief, Utterly Unrelated Asides


When you read as many Hollywood books as the Siren has, you find the same anecdotes getting recycled and re-attached to different names. So the Siren has repeatedly heard the one about the star (variously said to be Doris Day, Jeannette Macdonald, Greer Garson or many others) who finds herself on the set with the cinematographer who shot a movie with her a decade earlier. The star upbraids the DP for not making her look as lovely as she did then. The DP diplomatically replies, "Well, ma'am, you have to realize, I am ten years older now."

What made the Siren think of this chestnut? Christian Bale, that's what. Now mind you, the Siren doesn't make movies, she writes about them. For all she knows, walking across a star's sightlines during a "difficult" scene automatically means the star is well within his rights to turn the air blue and threaten to tear down your lights and/or punch your lights out. The Guardian suggests that the incident shows Bale was really in charge on the Terminator set, and it sure sounds that way.

But the Siren's question is this: even if you are the big guy on the film, is it really a smart move to yell on and on like that at the cinematographer? This is the man who can use shadows to make your undereye bags the size of steamer trunks, light your every pore to look like Vesuvius or make it seem that your ear hair resembles Sequoia National Park.

If the DP or one of his confreres can't do it now while you are on top, just wait until (ahem) he's ten years older.

People may have mocked Merle Oberon for being more decorative than deep, but Merle knew how to treat a cinematographer: She married him.


*****

So, here we are discussing various composer biopics, and this very night on Turner Classic Movies, what should appear but Night and Day, wherein Cary Grant appears as Cole Porter, and Rhapsody in Blue, Warner's inadequate study of George Gershwin. Reportedly Cole Porter never had a bad word to say about Night and Day, despite its cavalier treatment of the facts, because after all, he was being played by Cary Grant. (Of the two films, Lou Lumenick prefers Rhapsody in Blue and he has a nice explanation as to why over here at his place.)


*****

Finally, Flickhead celebrates the great Claude Chabrol's 79th birthday with a ten-day wonder of a blogathon, June 21 through June 30. The Siren plans to be there, and so should you.

58 comments:

X. Trapnel said...

Siren, a number of these anecdotes are probably new to many of us; keep them coming. This one reminds of the great Lefty Gomez (pitcher and wit) who when told he wasn't throwing as hard as he used to replied: "I'm throwing as hard, but the ball isn't going as fast."

Peter Nellhaus said...

Speaking of the accuracy of bio-pics, I was wondering about the scene in De-lovely when Cole Porter, played by Kevin Kline, watches Cole Porter as played by Cary Grant.

I'm currently reading Ken Annakin's autobiography which has an interesting anecdote about how Alfred Hitchcock elicited a reaction from Madeleine Carroll.

Campaspe said...

ooh Peter, do tell! or post. I'd love to hear the Hitchcock story.

I read that Porter did have "Night and Day" input but it was largely ignored. Legend has it he suggested they cast Grant as a joke, only to have them go ahead and do it.

XT, I have heard so many versions of the DP story I am not sure it's true, but it's still funny.

X. Trapnel said...

True? "When the legend becomes truth, print the legend."

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

The star upbraids the DP for not making her look as lovely as she did then. The DP diplomatically replies, "Well, ma'am, you have to realize, I am ten years older now."

Jack Benny did a variation of this story as a gag on one of his radio broadcasts; he's discussing with his TV director Ralph Levy (actually played by announcer and future director Hy Averback) about how several people have come up to tell him that he looks so much older on the tube.

"Levy" responds: "Look, Jack--you know you're 39...and I know you're 39...it's just that the camera is so stupid."

DavidEhrenstein said...

In the treasure trove George Cukor left to te Acamedy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Library (letters, annotated scripts, all manner of material to study) ther's a letter from the irrepressible Chuck Walters congratulating Mr. Cukor on Les Girls. Cukor had never done a musical before and was ratther worried. Moreover he had Gene Kelley to direct. Chuck said it all turned out great and signed the note (wait for it )

"Madeleine Carroll"

DavidEhrenstein said...

Porter loved Night and Day because it was an all-purpose plug for his entire song catalogue.

Campaspe said...

David - wait, Charles Walters, the musical director? I am not sure I get it, am I missing a Madeleine Carroll anecdote? I seem to remember reading she was no great joy to direct ...

Ivan, I so need to watch & listen to more Jack Benny, he was such a genius. And it's true, the camera IS so stupid, I think this every time I see a recent picture of myself.

Flickhead said...

David, one other reason Porter may have liked Night and Day is that it turned him into Cary Grant!

Apropos of nothing:

"When the legend becomes truth, print the legend" reminds me of Elmyr de Hory's maxim, "If a forgery hangs in a museum long enough, it eventually becomes the real thing."

Thanks for plugging the Chabrol Blogathon!

Also: Siren, I left the following in an earlier post, but perhaps you didn't see it:

Siren, just a heads up: the 1992 version of Enchanted April finally comes out on DVD on May 5. It's one of those instances of a recent version trumping the original (I found the 1930s version dull and lifeless). Recommended viewing and well worth adding to your queue.

BTW, did you ever catch up with The Jane Austen Book Club? It's shaping into one of those films I find myself watching every couple of months.

Campaspe said...

Flickhead, I did miss the earlier post -- sometimes I get lost in my own threads. I saw Enchanted April in its first release and thought it was lovely; I was barely aware of the earlier version. No Jane Austen book club yet but it is on the queue!

Yojimboen said...

"...but Merle knew how to treat a cinematographer: She married him."

So did Jean Harlow.

Campaspe said...

Ah, that is right, I'd forgotten. But Harlow's marriage was a brief sham to defuse a scandal, as I recall. Whereas Oberon and Ballard lasted about five years and he invented a type of light for her, surely as big a love tribute as a sonnet when you make your living as a film actress.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Siren, just a heads up: the 1992 version of Enchanted April finally comes out on DVD on May 5. It's one of those instances of a recent version trumping the original (I found the 1930s version dull and lifeless). Recommended viewing and well worth adding to your queue.

And if you can't wait that long, TCM is showing it at 10pm on February 10th.

I remember not too long back there was some discussion here about a Region 2 release (in France) about Ruggles of Red Gap. I just saw where TCM has Ruggles scheduled for April 20th at 9:15pm.

Yojimboen said...

Re piano bars – Some years ago back in The City my wife and I had a significant anniversary, so we splurged: Le Cirque for dinner, a Broadway play then on to the Carlyle for drinks. I had known (from an old radio interview) that Bobby Short’s favorite Porter song was the obscure, seldom heard “I Happen to Like New York”. So at a break, we approached the Maestro and requested the song. His face lit up like a Christmas tree – I swear I thought he was going to jump my bones. After the break he played it, smiling and winking at me throughout. Later, my wife had a T-shirt made for my following birthday which read:
'I went to the Carlyle and all I got was cruised by Bobby Short.'

Lou Lumenick said...

Campaspe, thanks for the shoutout -- and, of course, Joan Blondell and Linda Darnell also counted cinematographers (George Barnes and J. Peverell Marley) among their spouses.

Peter, I forgot about the meta-clip from "Night and Day'' in "De-Lovely.'' As it happens, I interviewed the director of the latter before his movie premiered in Cannes. He holds "Night and Day'' in great contempt, and I believe including it was a misguided form of self-congratulation for his relative honesty about Porter's sexuality. Too bad the musical numbers weren't all that much better -- and wasn't the hokey framing device lifted straight from the end of "The Great Ziegfeld''?

Campaspe said...

Aha Lou, you are right! both ladies married very good cinematographers, as a matter of fact--nothing but the best in such matters for the real glamor gals.

On the one hand, I can understand dissing Night and Day (although I suspect if I re-watched I would find clues to Porter's sexuality there, just as they were there in Words and Music if you looked). On the other, if I were a director, I don't think I would have great contempt for even minor Curtiz. Even his worst movies have things to savor.

Ivan, it would totally be my luck if Ruggles came out right after I went to the trouble of buying it in Paris.

Yojimboen, I happen to like "I Happen to Like New York" very much--Judy Garland did a lovely version. What a fantastic memory!

Lou Lumenick said...

Campaspe, there's more than a slight hint of Porter's sexuality -- and Grant's uneasiness in the role -- in a scene where he is on a train surrounded by strapping Yalies.

And then there is Monty Woolley, as himself, who is a lot more flamboyant than the actor who plays him in "De-Lovely'' (even in that strange scene in Central Park's Rambles).

"Night and Day'' has its own meta-moment in the scene where Woolley calls Porter from the set of "The Man Who Came to Dinner.'' I wish someone would collect it with the scene in the long-unseen Diana Barrymore biopic "Too Much, Too Soon'' where Errol Flynn's John Barrymore unsuccessfully auditions for the same role. Per Leonard Maltin, Orson Welles' screen test for the role is still extant. Leonard says he was Jack Warner's choice, but RKO wouldn't let him go...

Peter Nellhaus said...

From Ken Annakin's autobiography, So You Wanna be a Director?:

'Hitch' was an expansive, larger-than-life character, and one day I checked with him the truth of a story told me by Dudley Lovell when we were shooting Miranda. Hitch was making The 39 Steps at the Islington Studios, London. His leading lady was Madeleine Carroll, a blonde beauty, but difficult to animate. Half an afternoon had been wasted trying to get her to register horror, when suddenly she shreiked and gave a fabulous reaction. Dudley operating the camera turned and caught sight of Hitchcock rising from his director's chair and buttoning up his flies! (sic) "I've always wondered whether that was true," I said to Hitch at one of his soirees. "Of course it was," he grinned. "And I've used the same technique quite a few times on some of the dumb blondes I've been lumbered with!"

DavidEhrenstein said...

Yes Charles Walters the director, and yes it was an allusion to how difficult she was.

I believe it was Monte Wooley who called Night and Day "One of the great science-fiction films of our time."

De-Lovely isn't much of an improvement. Linda Porter was not only older than Cole, she was a lesbian drug addict

IOW not a part for Ashley Judd.

Kevin Kline made a prety nice Porter and the REALLY gay John Barrowman pops in for a song, but that's about it.

Full-press biopics are hard to do. What interests me about Cole Porter isn't his "private life" but his work habits. A great film could have been made about the making of "Anything Goes." When Cole Porter discovered that Ethel Merman could sing with bell-like clarity and a power that could rattle the upper balcony any lyric he could write, it was better than love.

Hell, it was better than sex!

Lou Lumenick said...

David, if I were my movie, movie, rehearsals for "Anything Goes'' would be part of the bizarre saga of the Morro Castle. My understanding is that they had to commission an entirely new book at the last minute because it was too close to the story of the bargain cruise ship that started burning off Asbury Park, N.J. on the way back from Cuba after the mysterious death of the captain. Most of the passengers were evacuated, but only after virtually the entire crew abandoned ship when it was discovered the fire hoses were non-functional. It was a huge scandal and the ship became a major tourist attraction in Asbury for a time -- it washed up yards from the convention center, where an astonished radio newscaster was reading bulletins -- at least until the hides in the hold started stinking, and they towed it to Japan for scrap. Most historians think the ship's telegraph operator -- hailed as a hero at the time -- was the culprit. Decades later, after he died in prison while serving time for a double homicide, it came out that he was an FBI informant and a pedophile with a history of setting fires, including at a defense plant during World War II. He also worked at a police station where a bomb blew off a detective's arm! Anything goes, indeed.

Pete Lawson said...

Must second your love for Garland’s version of ‘I Happen to Like New York’, Siren. There’s a quote somewhere about Sinatra singing a song like it’s the first time it’s ever been sung, but Judy goes one step further – she sings ‘New York’ as if she’s making it up on the spot.

I find it a fascinating song – so dirgey and stream of consciousness, as if in 1930 Porter was competing with The Velvet Underground and Nico rather than De Sylva, Henderson and Brown.

mndean said...

Ivan,
TCM finally got ahold of some of the early Paramount and Universal films, and they're dribbling them out in the coming months. I think that deal is how they came to show Remember The Night in December, but most of them will start showing after The Interminable Month of Oscar.

Yojimboen said...

"...as if in 1930 Porter was competing with The Velvet Underground and Nico rather than De Sylva, Henderson and Brown..."

Dear me, that's nicely put.

For myself:

I happen to like New York
I happen to love this burg
And when I have to give the world my last farewell
And the undertaker starts to ring my funeral bell
I don't want to go to Heaven
Don't want to go to Hell
I happen to like New York
I happen to like New York

Jonathan Lapper said...

I listened to Bale's rant and thought he sounded like a complete idiot. I'm no big time film actor but I've done plenty of stage work and yes, in a rehearsal, movement in your sightline is certainly distracting but that doesn't mean you get as insulting and rude as Bale did. I thought it was inexcusable. But then he's never had to work a real job as he was a star in his teens or bear any real responsibility so I'm not surprised. Had I been the DP I would've been fired because I wouldn't have been able to stop laughing once Bale started his eruption. In fact, I started laughing when listening to it. I find outrageous displays of temper to be funny and also sad for the person with the temper. I had a temper once, when I was fourteen. I've since grown out of it.

Re: Rhapsody in Blue. I can't imagine anyone recommending that one over even most Ed Wood films. I found it to be borderline incompetent as a movie. And those lines - "My fingers wouldn't obey." Ouch! That movie hurts to watch it.

D Cairns said...

I was trying to put my finger on what EXACTLY was the logical flaw in Bale's argument, and finally decided that if Bale doesn't get bawled out any time he misses a mark and messes up a lighting effect, then he has no business going berserk here. And of course, time is a-wasting not because the cinematographer moved across the set, but because Bale is acting like a big baby. A big sweary baby.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Has everyone forgotten Lily Tomlin's freakout?

Juanita's Journal said...

Why are people making a big deal over the fact that Christian Bale had lost his temper with some cameraman, some months ago - when he was having trouble with his mother and sister?

Why? People are criticizing some actor whom they have no personal contact with?

What is this obssession or demand that actors and other celebrities act like perfect little people?

Christian Bale was acting like a human being. I don't know what to say about the so-call fans who think it is their responsibility to rant aganist someone - celebrity or not - they don't personally know about.

Flickhead said...

"Christian Bale was acting like a human being."

I remember acting in the very same manner at work several years ago -- an incompetent co-worker was screwing up repeatedly and I had to clean up his mess. After correcting a number of his mistakes, I blew my stack just as loud and venomous as Bale.

In the blink of an eye, the boss threw me out of the building. Like Bale, I was behaving like a rabid pitbull. I had to do some serious ass-kissing to get my job back because, quite frankly, there was nowhere else to go.

One possible source of frustration for Bale is his apparent inability to sell tickets. (How many people go to anything he's done because they're "Christian Bale movies"?) He's probably got some kind of Bat Contract enabling him to make tons of money doing substandard work in films he may not believe in.

Listening to him rant, in some spots it seemed that he was "performing" for the crew, that he was creating more rage to fill the moment. If only he were a better actor, it could've been his best performance to date.

Jonathan Lapper said...

What is this obssession or demand that actors and other celebrities act like perfect little people?

Amazingly, as I perused the comments, no one, not one person ever said, "I demand Bale act like a perfect person." Therefore, according to Oxford debating rules, and I know them well, you have created a straw man argument. You would be dismissed from the podium at this point in an actual debate.


Why? People are criticizing some actor whom they have no personal contact with?


As life-experience adults, one can adequately critique the behavior of someone they do not know from observation. Certainly there may be circumstances that we do not know (which is why we do not insist they be perfect) but an observed public tantrum can be critiqued without personally knowing the person. This is entirely valid.

What all of us who are offended by this are saying is that it is rude and insulting behavior. Furthermore, someone like Flickhead damn near loses his job, someone like Bale gets millions of dollars. So please forgive me if I do not weep tears of heartache for Mr. Bale who displayed the behavior of an angry child. And all because of a sightline. In Flickhead's case it was fixing the problems of another worker, in Bale's case it was being a pouty little child.

X. Trapnel said...

I'm only vaguely aware of who Xtian Bale (as in baleful)is but there is something inherently offensive in someone powerful screaming at or humiliating someone with less power (Tote that barge, lift that Bale).

Campaspe said...

Juanita, Jonathan and Flickhead are right. No one here is ranting, so I assume you've been reading the less temperate comment sections of other blogs. But even there, people aren't holding Bale to an unreasonable standard of perfection. People are asking why he didn't behave according to the standards the rest of us have to follow, and quite right too. In Lily Tomlin's case (and can I just say the best thing in that video is Isabelle Huppert--she can even steal a scene from a tantrum-throwing costar) both Tomlin and the director were going at it. Childish, but they were on an even footing. As XT notes, Bale was blowing his stack at someone who did not have the freedom to respond in kind. That's not being "human," it's being a bully, no matter what your profession is. And all I was saying was that, talented though he is, this kind of behavior has a history of coming back to bite a star, as the ghost of Constance Bennett could tell him.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Campaspe, you made the better case. Bullying someone who cannot respond because they could lose their job is just horrid behavior to me.

And Juanita, if I sounded a little piqued in my response I apologize. I probably took your comment too personally and I'm sure you didn't intend it that way.

Campaspe said...

Jonathan, back to Rhapsody in Blue -- I didn't catch it again, but I don't remember it being Ed Wood-bad. But as XT's dialogue tidbits show, there usually are plenty of groaners in this genre.

I did see a snippet of Night and Day. Here's something about seeing movies on TV; am I the only one who seems to perpetually catch certain movies at the same point? With Night and Day, it's when Cary Grant (not Cole Porter, mind you, it's Grant all right) has a horse accident. And then he's in the hospital listening to Begin the Beguine which is a song I WORSHIP, and the movie number is not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Someone emailed me off line about Words and Music to say it was a lovely post about a lousy movie, which made me laugh. These composer bios are a strange lot, and I can only think it's an early form of MTV.

Anagramsci said...

I'm gonna have to watch Rhapsody in Blue again (it has been ages!) and see if I can muster a defense of the film!

X. Trapnel said...

Begin the Beguine is an astonishing song. In terms of sustained melodic growth and invention it's worthy of Rachmaninoff (whose favorite American song interestingly was Blue Skies). The Artie Shaw version could raise the dead and make them dance.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I'm sure the Ed Wood line was hyperbole on my part but I watched Rhapsody in Blue on TCM fairly recently (it was in the last few months) and was taken aback at how shabby it was considering it's subject was so revered. In other words, the other musician biopics may not be better by orders of ten but they are given the full studio treatment. Rhapsody on the other hand seems like it was made with a hand me down 16 mm camera, a skeleton crew of three or four and a shooting schedule of nine days. It just comes off as unrehearsed and slapped together.

X. Trapnel said...

Maybe one thing can be said in defense of nearly all these old musical biopics, classical or popular: However naive or sentimental, nearly all show a reverence for music. The idea that Mozart was a braying ass (he wasn't; read his letters) mysteriously gifted is just the form our own sentimentality takes. This, of course, goes to the heart of contemporary condescension toward old movies: they were naive, we're sophisticated. The Siren recently noted the spate of 40s films about the 1890s (Strawberry Blonde is my favorite). Compare these to the mudflow of smug, 50s-bashing films.

Vanwall said...

Begin the Beguine - that was one of the things I liked about "The Rocketeer", it had a reverence for music as part of the background; when Melora Hardin on the half-shell, who did a nice job on this tune and also "When your Lover has Gone" later in the same film, steps up and the "Shaw-likes" start playing, I was really impressed with the commitment to re-creating the fell of the period.

Vanwall said...

Feel of the period, sorry.

Campaspe said...

XT, I like the way old movies treat both then-contemporary and classical music, as a sort of common cultural currency, where Bugs Bunny can do a Leopold Stokowski impression and everyone knows who he's imitating.

With Amadeus, though, I think playwright Peter Shaffer wasn't trying to get at the historical Mozart (at least I hope not), he was taking a look at the capricious way God or nature or genetics, call it what you will, bestows genius. I haven't read anything about whether he regrets having fixed Mozart in the public mind as a "braying ass" (as you very accurately summarize it).

As for Begin the Beguine--I have a friend who once rashly included it in a cabaret act and told me later it deserves its reputation for being impossible to sing. It's the most bizarrely complicated song but oh how I adore it.

Yojimboen said...

Let Warren Zevon have the last word on Christian Bale.

Anagramsci said...

I love The Rocketeeer

X. Trapnel said...

It's possible that Begin the Beguine works better as an instrumental. I suspect Porter was in such a transport of inspiration that he forget about limits of the human voice.
Shaffer may be in a sorcerer's apprentice situation with Amadeus. As you say, the idea may be a good dramatic one and a slap at Carlyle's foolish definition of Genius as the capacity for taking infinite pains (not unlike the infinite pain of reading [or being]Carlyle). I'm sure knew this was not the real Mozart (Just as Impromptu didn't pretend to be showing the real Chopin, Liszt, Sand, and [god knows] Delacroix). The problem is the culture in which it was let loose needs to believe that "classical" music is written, performed, and listened to by very strange people. Same goes for Shine which did for Rachmaninoff (who I worship) what Doctor Zhivago (movie) did for Pasternak.
It's often forgotten that there was a strong musical sympathy between the classical and popular composers of the 20s, 30s, 40s, lots of mutual admiration without condescension. I too love the idea of Bugs doing Stoki. but 100 Men and a Girl remains a strange artefact indeed.

Yojimboen said...

"...but 100 Men and a Girl remains a strange artefact indeed."

With repects X.T - name me a Henry Koster movie which isn't.

X. Trapnel said...

Oh, Yojimboen, you don't know what spirits you just called up from the vasty deeps! I just saw The Rage of Paris (Henry Koster) and, and...words fail me. Let's just say I would climb rivers and swim mountains to fetch Mlle. Darrieux un "zhelly deaunut."

Yojimboen said...

Pray forgive - I forgot about Danielle – I, too, would crawl bare-kneed through broken glass to sniff the tires of the camion which took her peignoir to the laundry.

I was thinking more of Mr. Koster's eyebrow-raising curios like The Bishop's Wife (Cary Grant and David Niven competing for Loretta Young? Yeah, right), Desirée, A Man Called Peter, the execrable remake of My Man Godfrey, The Naked Maja and Flower Drum Song (look, we know it's R&H's worst musical but do you have to rub our noses in it? What happened, was Henry King busy that week??) and - speaking of composer biopics - the very, very odd Stars and Stripes Forever wherein Clifton Webb happily demonstrates his triple-tongue to anyone willing to listen and watch. (Very nice, Clifton, very nice.)
I love Sousa, but words fail me too.

X. Trapnel said...

Ha, ha, ha about Henry King. He must have been off somewhere slicing and dicing ("Look at all that cole slaw!") Fitzgerald or Hemingway.
Re Koster, how could you forget The Singing Nun? Easily you say? Then let me remind you: "Dominique, kunneek, kuneek, etc." That's revenge for reminding me of Flower Drum Song, but perhaps we do well to remember that "Chop Suey" come from the man who wrote "Spring is Here" and that the hand that wrote "Let's Face the Music and Dance" also wrote "Abraham." They can't all be gems.

DavidEhrenstein said...

You want "Begin the Begeuine"?

Well here's part 1 of the ultimate version, danced by Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell in The Broadway Melody of 1940

DavidEhrenstein said...

Now hang onto something cause here comes part 2!

X. Trapnel said...

Thanks, David, sheer rapture.

The lightly clad vocalist and her decorative colleagues reminded me that the Beguines were nuns of some sort. Henry Koster, take note.

Vanwall said...

M. Ehrenstein - thanks for that, a lush version indeed. Needed a cheer. I'm bummed, I just read that James Whitmore has shuffled off this mortal coil. Who will save us from "Them" now?,

X. Trapnel said...

Alas, Vanwall, "they've" already won, entered the gates, knocked down the walls, and scorched the earth. Not one green leaf is to be left. All we can do is go into internal exile and otherwise resist.

Vanwall said...

M. X - hide the sugar.

Yojimboen said...

And Then There Were None:

On the recent 20 best actors Meme, I selected John Hodiak/Frank Lovejoy and James Whitmore as co-equals. I think I said that when you saw their names on the screen you knew you were safe.

Well, they're all gone. Now we're on our own.

Thank you Mr. W. for the pleasure of your company on this cockeyed caravan, and yes, we'll keep watching the skies (and hiding the sugar).

DavidEhrenstein said...

And speaking of six degrees of separation, Whitmore's widow is Noreen Nash -- a lovely MGM supporting player in her day who supplied me with a lot of information about Lucille Bremer. She was one of the dnacers in the "The Heart of Mine" number, had a supporting part in The Loves of Casanova and was "Maid of Honor" at Lucille's wedding. Fabulous woman.

DavidEhrenstein said...

And while I'm still on an Eleanor Powell kick. . .

MovieMan0283 said...

I recall (from a biography on William Holden if I'm not mistaken) that following production, if Sophia Loren liked the rushes she would ritualistically sleep with the cinematographer. I wonder if this is true.

Good call on recycling anecdotes. I just read Marc Norman's history of screenwriting and it basically used the loose thread of screenwriting as a springboard to collect all the anecdotes on every stage of Hollywood history into one book (everything from Mankiewicz's bon mots to the HUAC trials to Coppola on the set of Apocalypse Now to 80s parties with strippers). I enjoyed it, but the premise felt a bit disingenuous by the end of the book.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Sounds more like Grace Kelly than Sophia Loren to me.

And I very much doubt Garbo slept with William Daniels.