Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Subdeacon Joe

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Subdeacon Joe

  1. For William Powell's first scene in "The Thin Man" (1934)director  (at the bar), W.S. Van Dyke told him to take the cocktail shaker, go to the bar and just walk through the scene while the crew checked lights and sound. Powell did it, throwing in some lines and business of his own. Suddenly he heard Van Dyke say, "That's it! Print it!" The director had decided to shoot the scene without Powell knowing it so that he'd be as relaxed and natural as possible. Similarly, in order to keep Myrna Loy's entrance fresh and spontaneous, Van Dyke did not tell her about it until right before they shot it.
    Powell spoke of how much he loved working with Loy because of her naturalness, her professionalism, and her lack of any kind of "diva" temperament. "When we did a scene together, we forgot about technique, camera angles, and microphones. We weren't acting. We were just two people in perfect harmony," he said. "Myrna, unlike some actresses who think only of themselves, has the happy faculty of being able to listen while the other fellow says his lines. She has the give and take of acting that brings out the best."
    According to Loy, the biggest problem during shooting was the climactic dinner party scene when Nick reveals the killer. Powell complained that he had too many lines to learn and could barely decipher the complicated plot he was unraveling. It was the one scene when several retakes were necessary, which brought up an entirely new problem. The script called for oysters to be served to the dinner guests, and in take after take, the same plate of oysters was brought out under the hot lights. "They began to putrefy," Loy said. "By the time we finished that scene, nobody ever wanted to see another oyster."
    MGM was advised that some dialogue was "censorable," such as Powell's line "He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids," and Myrna Loy's line "What's that man doing in my drawers?" However, the picture was approved for exhibition in 1934 and granted a PCA certificate in August 1935. After the film's release, some territories did censor some lines of dialogue. And at least one theatre owner from the South wrote to the PCA to complain of excessive drinking in the picture drinking which his patrons found offensive. (IMDb)
    Happy Birthday, William Powell!



    • Like 4
  2. Well said, Red.  Being raised near Camp Pendleton I was around a LOT of vets of WWII and Korea.  Most of the men at the Catholic parish we attended were vets, many of whom were willing to talk about their experiences.  Dad didn't talk much about it, and then mostly about the training and use of artillery.  The closest I remember him talking about anything combat related was when he was on guard on the bridge of the USS Brooklyn and man came on deck at night with a lit cigarette. The OOD told him to shoot the man because he was a danger to all of them, before Dad got his sidearm drawn someone had knocked the guy down a hatchway.  

    I envy all of you who got to know your grandparents.  

    • Thanks 1
  3. Ben Johnson 1953: “At the end of the year, I didn’t have $3, All I had was a wore-out automobile and a mad wife.”


    So, the 6-foot-2 Johnson returned to the movies, where he had worked as a stunt double for Gary Cooper, Joel McCrea, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. He was working as a 21-year-old Oklahoma ranch hand when his big break occurred. Johnson delivered 16 horses to a movie set – earning the unheard of sum of $300 – and was hired by producer Howard Hughes as a stuntman and wrangler. He also met his wife, Carol, on that trip to Flagstaff, Ariz.


    His next big break came in 1947, when he was working as a stunt double for Henry Fonda in “Fort Apache” and saved three stuntmen’s lives when he courageously stopped a runaway wagon in a scene-gone-wrong. Director John Ford rewarded him with a seven-year contract at $5,000 a week. Some of Johnson’s top movies include “The Wild Bunch,” “Shane,” “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” “Rio Grande,” “Chisum,” “The Sugarland Express” and “Angels in the Outfield.”


    Johnson, who died in 1996, amassed a fortune – much of it through real estate investments – valued at $200 million in the 1980s. He was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame with the inaugural 1979 class and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.

    Credit: Respective Owner ( DM for credit or removals )



    • Like 4
    • Thanks 3
  4. The Golden Arrow
    Henry Segrave had a need for speed.
    After serving as a British fighter pilot in World War I, he won numerous car races in the 1920s before retiring to concentrate exclusively at smashing speed records.
    He set his first land speed record in 1926, pushing a car named Ladybird to a speed of 152.33 miles per hour. That record was broken just a month later.
    Segrave regained the top spot in spectacular fashion in 1927, when he hit 203.79 miles per hour in the Sunbeam 1000 HP Mystery, making him the first person to exceed 200 miles per hour. His brakes melted as he raced down the sands of Daytona Beach, Florida, forcing him to stop by veering into the shallow waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
    That record was broken twice in 1928, with American Ray Keech hitting 207.55 miles per hour. Meanwhile, Segrave was developing a car that would leave his rivals in the dust.



    • Like 1
    • Thanks 3
  5. 6 hours ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

    Never cared for Opera and always figured musicals were just opera dumbed down!!


    None for me, THANKS!!


    I like Gilbert and Sullivan opera, usually light and comical, almost making fun of Classical OPERA!  Musicals...I didn't like them much when I was a kid, except for The Music Man.  Then came Kiss Me Kate, and Man of La Mancha, The Producers (how can you not like that one?), and in a way, O Brother Where Art Thou?  There are others, the names of which I can't recall.

  6. Ida and Louise Cook were unmarried sisters in their mid thirties who lived with their parents. One wrote romance novels for Mills and Boon (England’s Harlequin equivalent) and the other commuted from their sleepy London suburb to work as a secretary for the civil service. They wore home made clothes and shared a love of opera. They loved opera so much, they would go to Germany for the weekend just to see the opera there. In the 1930’s.
    No one paid attention to them crossing the border, a couple of dowdy women in their homemade clothes, nor on the return trip with their furs and jewels. What Ida and Louise were doing, in addition to going to their beloved opera, was collecting valuables from would be refugees to help them in their new lives. The sisters would find people who would vouch for the refugees, find people willing to home them, assemble papers for them, and even rented an apartment as a temporary space for refugees just arrived. The sisters used their own money for this, so the refugees could sell their valuables for money to help them settle in.
    The women entered and left through different checkpoints, so the same guards wouldn’t be able to notice their sudden acquisition of too much jewelry, and created a lie about the valuables in their purses as ‘we can’t trust them in our apartment when we aren’t there!’ They acted simple and foolish and were never caught. They did eventually halt their visits over the border, after directly rescuing 29 people (mostly families), but they did not stop working. They continued to raise money and awareness, and to help refugees in England.
    The sisters were honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, in 1964.
    Ida wrote a memoir that was republished as “Safe Passage” in 2008. In it she plays down their role, saying that what they offered wasn’t much. In exchange for saving lives, they only needed “some trouble, some eloquence, and some money.”


    • Like 4
    • Thanks 6
  7. 19 hours ago, Tell Sackett SASS 18436 said:

    WHY do they think everything needs to be turned into a musical???

    I saw something the other day that blew my mind: Groundhog Day-the musical!

    Why, oh why???



    What is interesting is that James Clavell was behind this program, which started in 1982.



    Clavell himself initiated the project in 1982 and, when it remained in limbo for more than eight years, finally provided most of the financing required to get it mounted. Compressing his mammoth work, which had required twelve hours to tell fully on television, into a reasonable length for the theatre proved to be a daunting task. When the production opened at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., it closely resembled Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera in size and scope, with a cast of thirty-eight characters, more than three hundred costumes, a libretto nearly entirely sung, and a running time of 3½ hours. Critics and audiences alike had difficulty following the convoluted plot, and it was decided to cut much of the music and replace it with dialogue. Composer Chihara objected and was dismissed. The leading man Peter Karrie was also let go and replaced by Philip Casnoff, who had originally auditioned but was rejected by producers for being too young and too American.[2]


    • Confused 1
  8. 5 hours ago, Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619 said:

    It's been remarked that WWI was an artillery war, and the first use of aircraft in that war was for artillery spotting. The pilots would observe the accuracy of artillery fire and report by dropping lead-weighted reports written in the air.


    My granddad, a Canadian, entered the war as an artilleryman, and that path put him into the Royal Flying Corps, which became the RAF in April of 1917, a few months before the war's end. We have his perfectly preserved uniform with RAF wings and a lot of his written material.


    He said that when he became a pilot and officer, he was required to grow a mustache and carry a swagger stick! On one mission, he lost power at 4,000 feet and glided to a safe landing, though just behind enemy lines. He evaded, getting a whiff of mustard gas on the way.


    I grew up a few blocks from him and was close to him, often hunting on Saturdays for pheasants in the local Puyallup valley. I own the 12 gauge Sterlingworth side-by-side that he hunted with. I was 29 when he died at 82, while I was the midst of a jury trial. So he lived long enough to see me enter a profession, which he had urged, and to see several great-grandkids, my children.


    He told a few stories of the War, but I wish I had inquired more deeply and gotten more details. We donated his handling notes for his Clergy engine, which were accepted by the RAF museum in London.


    A day came when there wasn't a single WWI veteran left in the whole world. That day isn't so far off now for WWII vets....



    Great bit of personal and family history, Red.  Thank you.

    • Like 2
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.