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Those Lovely Liars

There was a time when Hollywood was glamorous.  No there wasn’t.  The reality is that Hollywood was a dirty place filled with unscroupulous people doing very inappropriate things.  Movie stars who appeared to be gods and goddess on the silver screen were often sad, damaged people.  The glamour of old Hollywood was an illusion.  Or if you are feeling less charitable, it was a lie.  This article from the February 2003 issue of Movieline magazine looks at the real lives of some of the best liars in Hollywood’s bygone era.

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November 17: Happy Birthday Rachel McAdams and Rock Hudson


It’s Rachel McAdams’s 39th birthday today.  The Canadian actress studied theater at Toronto’s York University.  She made her film debut in a Canadian production titled My Name is Tanino, and then appeared in a film adaptation of Judith Thompson’s play, Perfect Pie.  Although she was already in her twenties, her first Hollywood productions cast her as high school students.  She first played a cheerleader who somehow swaps bodies with Rob Schneider in The Hot Chick, but her real breakout came when she was cast as Regina George in Mean Girls.

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November 17: Happy Birthday Martin Scorsese and Danny DeVito


Martin Scorsese, who turns 74 today, is one of the leading directors of the “New Hollywood” or “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” generation of American filmmakers.  He began making short films while studying at New York University, and after graduation he made his first feature, Who’s That Knocking at My Door, his first time working with two long-time collaborators, actor Harvey Keitel and editor Thelma Schoonmaker.

After directing the Roger Corman production Boxcar Bertha, Scorsese and Keitel reunited for the critically acclaimed Mean Streets, which was also Scorsese’s first time working with Robert De Niro.  His next film, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, was his first to receive Oscar notice, including a Best Actress honor for Ellen Burstyn.  That was followed by Scorsese’s first collaboration with writer Paul  Schrader, a film that was his first to receive a Best Picture nomination:

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Building my Movie Posters Puzzle: Pillow Talk

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In late June I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.

Despite its frothy reputation, there’s a reason that Pillow Talk, starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day, was both hugely successful at the box office and the recipient of some awards season love. That reason was rather accurately identified by the Academy when they awarded the film with 1959’s Oscar for Original Screenplay. The admittedly antiquated storyline and plot devices are clever nonetheless, and the dialogue is straight out smart and funny. For example, in response to Hudson’s character thinking her new beau’s intentions are not necessarily honorable, Day retorts “Not all men finish every sentence with a proposition.”
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