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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Olivia remembers Mickey Rooney

TIME magazine published a few memories from Olivia de Havilland on her  Midsummer Night's co-starthe late Mickey Rooney. They were reunited at the 75th Oscars in 2003. She didn't say how may years it had been, but I'm sure it was many, many years. I remember watching the Oscars that night. What a special night it was!


Mickey Rooney and Olivia de Havilland in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mickey Rooney (1920-2014)

Hollywood Legend Mickey Rooney has passed away at the age of 93. A performer all of his life (his parents were vaudeville performers and brought him on stage when he was a baby), his best known films are from the 1930s and 40s, including the Andy Hardy series, National Velvet, Boys Town, Babes in Arms, and the one film he did with Olivia, A Midsummer Night's Dream. More from the New York Times


Mickey Rooney and Olivia de Havilland in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

RIP Mickey Rooney


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Live in Chicago? See Joan on the big screen next week

If you live in or near Chicago you have an opportunity next week to see 1948's Kiss The Blood Off My Hands at the Patio Theater on the city's northwest side. The film, starring Joan Fontaine and Burt Lancaster, is a presentation of the Northwest Side Chicago Film Society, and will shown in non other than glorious 35MM on Wed February 26 2014 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are only $5 per person. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

News about a new Olivia book

The Facebook page of the Olivia de Havilland Fan Club (also @OdeHavilland) posted a link to a recent article with some good news about....hold on to your seat....a new biography of Olivia, which sounds very promising.


According to the article, a special grant was awarded to Victoria Amador, a professor of English at the American University in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), and her plan is to write a new book, a critical biography of Olivia.

Professor Amador, a longtime fan of Gone With the Wind and Ms de Havilland, visited the legendary actress last year as part of her research; a photo of the two can be found in the article.

Also according to the article, the publisher will be University of Kentucky Press, and the goal is to have the book finished by the end of 2014.

For fans of Ms deHavilland, news about a new books is really exciting! Thanks to the Olivia de Havilland Fan Club for the update!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Remembering Shirley Temple (video)

Remembering the legendary Shirley Temple today.



source: WorldNewsNow / ABC News video




Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Damsel in Distress (1937)

This is a really fun musical comedy, featuring some wonderful songs by George Gershwin, and an Oscar-winning dance number, back when they gave Oscars for Best Dance Direction.

Fred Astaire plays an American entertainer visiting London. At one point, a crowd of people recognizes Fred and they get him to dance on the spot. It's a fun dance scene on a city street.

Joan Fontaine, proving she can handle the lead in a romantic comedy, is the titular damsel, who lives in a mansion with her father (Montagu Love) and numerous servants. Joan's "distress" is that she's forbidden to leave the mansion after she attempts a runaway to find a lover.

One of the young teenage servants named Albert (Harry Watson of The Watson Family) plays matchmaker and attempts to get Fred to fall in love with Joan and vice versa. Albert is really funny in this movie. Plenty of mistaken identity hilarity ensues.

George Burns and Gracie Allen play Astaire's sidekick assistants. They're not essential to the plot but provide plenty of comedic relief with zany one liners and retorts. In one scene, George and Gracie tour the mansion; a sign inside reads "Do Not Finger Art Objects" and Gracie giggles thinking "Art Objects" is a man's name.

I imagined Ginger Rogers - Fred's usual co-star - playing the lead insted of Joan, but Joan really won me over; she has good chemistry with Fred.  Joan's part doesn't require any dancing, except for one scene where she and Fred frolic on the castle grounds.

A high point in the film is the carnival sequence featuring the Oscar winning dance number in a fun house. Gracie really impressed me with her singing and dancing chops!

Highly Recommended. Directed by George Stevens.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Maximilian Schell (1930-2014)

Internationally acclaimed film and stage actor Maximillian Schell has passed away at the age of 83, reported today on The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, CNN.com and ABC News, among other news sources.

Among his distinguished film credits: 1971's Pope Joan starring Liv Ullmann and Olivia de Havilland.


In Pope Joan, which also starred Liv Ullmann and Olivia de Havilland

In Judgment at Nuremberg, which also starred Spencer Tracy and Burt Lancaster

According to the AP, Mr Schell was also a successful concert pianist and conductor, performing with such luminaries as Claudio Abbado and Leonard Bernstein, and with orchestras in Berlin and Vienna.




Mr Schell's film credits include:

1958 The Young Lions
1961 Judgment at Nurenberg (Oscar for Best Actor)
1964 Topkapi
1966 The Deadly Affair
1967 Counterpoint
1972 Pope Joan (co-starring Olivia de Havilland)
1974 The Odessa File
1975 The Man in the Glass Booth (Oscar nomination)
1977 A Bridge Too Far
1977 Julia  (Oscar nomination)
1979 The Black Hole
1984 Marlene (documentary on Marlene Dietrich, which was nominated for an Academy Award)
1990 The Freshman
1993 A Fair Off Place
1994 Little Odessa
1998 Deep Impact
2002 My Sister Maria (documentary on his sister, actress Maria Schell)
2008 The Brothers Bloom