Friday, February 26, 2010
From 1940 through the late 1950s, Ciro's nightclub was "the" Hollywood hot spot frequented by Tinseltown's elite. But it was also a hangout for the local mob. Crime boss Mickey Cohen ran more than a few illicit businesses out of Ciro's back room and basement, with several other types of "acts" and "hits" being performed regularly. Even Cohen himself received a bullet wound while on the premises.
The whitewash of mirth
now roars through yesterday's halls,
but rooms hold secrets.
Today, the building houses The Comedy Store, a world famous comedy club owned by Mitzi Shore and her son, comedian Pauly Shore. On numerous occasions, staff, talent and guests have reported inexplicable and, at times, frightful goings on. It seems that laughter raises all sorts of spirits.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The Magic Castle is one of Hollywood's most exclusive private clubs, as well as the home of the Academy of Magical Arts. There's only one way in, and it's not through the door.
Where greeting an owl
is your passage to wonder,
as if by magic.
Who goes there? Yes, here.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
This 1915 photoplay edition book belonged to Wardrobe Designer Ralph Jester (1901-1991) who received an Oscar nomination for his costumes in Cecil B. DeMille's, "The Ten Commandments" (1956). Considering the costumes, he may have used the book for research purposes.
The silent stills spoke
to his creative nature,
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker in CBS's "All in the Family," the role that made him a household name in the 1970s. (Photo by Michael Roughier)
From "Sunday Showcase"
to "In the Heat of the Night" —
Yep, those were the days.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN GETS A TEMPORARY FACELIFT: The Trust For Public Land has until April 14 to raise funds to purchase the property surrounding the famous landmark, or the real estate goes up for sale on the open market.
Now, legendary icon.
Soon, high-priced condos?
To learn more, visit www.SaveHollywoodland.org.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
He transforms like a
(From the top down) Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland," John Dillinger in "Public Enemies," the Earl of Rochester in "The Libertine," Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean," Willy Wonka in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Sweeney Todd in "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," and as himself.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Part of the Paris Opera House set from the 1925 version of "The Phantom of the Opera," starring Lon Chaney. The set is preserved inside its original stage, a historical landmark, on the Universal Studios backlot.
Do I hear the wind
or the whisper of genius?
Echo the spirit.
The same piece of scenery (at right) as it appeared in the film.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Buster Keaton as Johnny Gray, taking on the Union Army from the front end of a moving train, in "The General" (1926).
War, twisters, the sea...
There exists no foe too grand
for The Great Stoneface.
FILMED BEFORE THE DAYS OF SPECIAL AND DIGITAL EFFECTS: Yes, he really did this.
Anything for a laugh!
Hit play to view the following:
CAMERAS WERE HAND CRANKED: The performance sequences were achieved through real-time multiple exposures by masking off areas of the lens, backing up the undeveloped film and shooting each position individually, over and over. There was no video playback, no means of checking what was being done. It was all accomplished with an impeccable sense of timing on the part of both subject and cameraman.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Actor William Powell played retired (supposedly) detective Nick Charles in six "Thin Man" movies, dating from 1934 to 1947.
Cocktails and intrigue...
It seems this former sleuth can't
sit on his "Asta."
THE PRINCIPAL CAST OF "THE THIN MAN" SERIES: Myrna Loy as Nora Charles, William Powell as Nick Charles and, of course, their dog Asta.
One would never guess that prohibition had been repealed not long before, making the availability of liquor a novelty.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Comedian-Writer-Director Roscoe Arbuckle was one of the most beloved performers of the 1910s. He served as a mentor to Charles Chaplin and was instrumental in bringing to film the talents of Buster Keaton and Bob Hope.
The gossip columns
demonized a gentle soul,
and killed a career.
In 1921, Arbuckle was accused falsely of committing homicidal rape against model-actress Virginia Rappe and became the subject of a gossip-fueled, highly sensationalized scandal that played out on the pages of the tabloid press. Although acquitted of all charges, his career, public image and personal life never recovered. He died of a heart attack in 1933 at age 46.
Monday, February 8, 2010
On September 16, 1932, Broadway Actress Peg Entwistle (also known by the stage name Mary Cecilia Brown) leaped to her death from The Hollywood Sign's letter H, after her first (and only) film with RKO Pictures, "Thirteen Women," received bad reviews in test screenings.
Somehow, Mary Brown
failed to see the wisdom in,
"Look before you leap."
The Hollywood Sign as it appeared in 1923. The last four letters were removed in 1949.
BROWN/ENTWISTLE'S DEATH CERTIFICATE: Sadly, she never got to read the letter offering her a starring role in a Beverly Hills Playhouse production that arrived only days following her suicide.
A rare clip of Peg Entwistle performing as Hazel Cousins in "Thirteen Women" (1932).
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Every actor reporting to set knows this sight: the back door and liftgate of the wardrobe trailer. For secondary performers, it is often the next stop after check-in.
Four a.m. call time.
Gotta be ready to roll
just before first light.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
(L to R) Makeup Artist Rick Baker and Actor Benicio Del Toro in a test photo for "The Wolfman." (Photo by Kazuhiro Tsuji)
What thesp does not dream
of rising to the challenge
of a Chaney role?