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.