Thursday, June 25, 2009

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

Wowza. Someone shelled out over $93,000 for an Audrey Hepburn stamp! The winning bid for the 2001 print occurred at an auction in Germany on Tuesday. Only five known copies of the stamp are in existence! Still, that is quite the chunk of change for a tiny paper rectangle.

If you want something a little cheaper – like say, 42 cents – you can always get yourself a Gary Cooper stamp. He’s featured as part of the Postal Services’ Legends in Hollywood series this year. His stamp becomes available on September 10th.

Quick Quips for June 25th

"Hollywood is a place where people from Iowa mistake each other for stars."
- Fred Allen

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oscar Doubles Its Chances!

The 2010 Oscars are taking some cues from the past! It was just announced today that the Academy Awards is expanding the number of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10. This move harkens back to the tradition of the 1930s and 40s, when 10 nominees were common. For example, in 1939 the nominees were: Gone With the Wind, which won, The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, Love Affair, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Of Mice and Men, Dark Victory and Ninotchka. All worthy contenders!

Academy President Sid Ganis announced the change at a news conference today. This way, there's more room for deserving films - and less chance for snubs (*cough* The Dark Knight *cough*). What do you think?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quick Quips for June 18th

"Why do I prefer prostitutes? With one of these floozies, I don't have to pretend that I'm Clark Gable."
- Clark Gable

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This Cracks Us Up...

Umm...TCM is selling a Robert Osborne bobble head. That makes us laugh.

Monster Movies are Alive Again! (And Penn's No Longer a Stooge)

It’s aaaliiiive!!! The big-wigs at Universal and Imagine are remaking 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein. They’re eyeing Neil Burger, who directed and wrote The Illusionist starring Edward “Don’t-call-me-Ed” Norton, to direct and write this new version of a classic. The original was directed by James Whale and starred Boris Karloff as the monster and Elsa Lanchester as the bride. Believe it or not, this remake has been a long-simmering discussion in Hollywood. About five years ago, there were talks about setting the film in contemporary New York. That idea was, thankfully, scrapped. But one thing's for certain: the Bride will be a babe. "She'll be young. They're looking for a person with great power and sex appeal," a Hollywood insider told Page Six. "Someone along the lines of Scarlett Johansson or Anne Hathaway."

Bride isn’t the only classic monster movie being brought back to life. Universal is also developing a new version of 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon, and later this year it will release The Wolf Man, an update on the 1941 film, starring an appropriately cast Benecio del Toro. Seriously, did they even need any makeup for that one?

And speaking of Benecio, he was set to co-star with Sean Penn in that Three Stooges remake we were telling you about. But as it turns out, Penn has pulled out of the project citing personal reasons (i.e.: A marriage that's been on and off more times than a light switch). Wonder who'll replace him...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quick Quips for June 17th

"Does she have to pray so much?"
-A senior studio executive to Ronaldo F. Maxwell about his script for Joan of Arc

Monday, June 15, 2009

Extra! Extra! Read All About it!

Thanks to a well-placed source (read: my friend Nicole at her kick-ass NY1 internship), I got the scoop that Rachel McAdams was filming her new flick right in the NY1 newsroom last week. Slated for a summer 2010 release, Morning Glory also stars Patrick Wilson (yum), Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton. It’s about a big-time television producer enlisted to help revive a struggling morning show. So it’s not exactly about hard-hitting journalism, but the setting got me thinking about my favorite reporters in classic films. Of course, they hold a special place in my heart being that we share the same chosen profession. (Though, sadly, my job has never included a “meet cute,” a murder mystery or a jaunt around Rome.)

1. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday (1940)

He's the newspaper editor, she's the best reporter he's got. Not even their divorce could separate their shared passion for the headlines.

2. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in Woman of the Year (1942)

She's a prize-winning political journalist, and he's a lowly sports reporter - but together, they're magic! Hilarity ensues when he tries to teach her the rules of baseball...

3. Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (1953)

This reporter thinks he's got the story of the century when he meets a runaway princess...too bad he ends up falling in love with her!

4. Clark Gable in It Happened One Night (1934)

Another down-on-his-luck reporter stumbles into front-page news when he meets a runaway heiress on a night bus. Again, love gets in the way.

5. James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story (1940)

He's an aspiring writer stuck working at a society tabloid. Katherine Hepburn helps bring him out of his rut.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quick Quips for June 12th

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."
- Woody Allen

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quick Quips for June 9th

"I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic."
- Andy Warhol

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Great White Way to Hollywood!

Before Broadway became a haven for American Idol rejects (the bright lights are calling for you next, Adam Lambert) and movie stars looking to prove their “serious” acting abilities, it was the prime breeding-ground for Hollywood legends. That’s where many of the most celebrated actors of the 1940s and 50s were discovered. Think Marlon Brando, James Dean, Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn, etc. Broadway was also where most film ideas were conceived. It was almost a given that a successful play would be adapted into a movie.

Oh, how the Great White Way has changed. It seems now more than ever established movie stars are trying their hand at the stage, rather than starting out their career there. Think Julia Roberts in Three Days of Rain, Katie Holmes in All My Sons, Jennifer Garner in Cyrano de Bergerac, etc. Most of the time it works out fairly well (i.e.: Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe in Equus) and it certainly brings people to the theater. But every so often you get the screen star who realizes he can’t hack it on stage and promptly comes down with a mysterious case of mercury poisoning. (Too much sushi, Piven? Really?)

The stage and screen have never been mutually exclusive, and nor should they be. Actors like Geoffrey Rush and Marcia Gay Harden (who both won Tony awards last night) prove that. But it takes a special talent to do both. Which is why Jeremy Piven should have never left his Entourage.

In commemoration of Broadway’s profound impact on Old Hollywood, here are some awesome photos:

Audrey Hepburn, Dolores Gray and Jo Van Fleet at the 1954 Tony's

Marlon Brando and Kim Hunter in a famous scene from 1947's A Streetcar Named Desire on stage

Paul Newman outside the Music Box Theatre, where he was starring in Picnic in 1953

James Dean playing opposite Geraldine Page in 1953's The Immoralist

Quick Quips for June 8th

"Over the past 50 years Bob Hope employed 88 joke writers...who supplied him with more than one million gags. And he still couldn't make me laugh."
-Eddie Murphy [the guy who made Meet Dave]

The Many Minnelli's...All Look the Same

In honor of last night’s Tony Awards (and to banish Alice Ripley’s psychotic acceptance speech from memory), I’d like to take a moment to recognized one of the legends of stage and film (and Arrested Development): Liza Minnelli.

The perpetual divorcee and ever-friend of Michael Jackson, if it weren’t for Liza we’re not sure where gay men would have found their first real icon. With that in mind, I celebrate the many faces of Minnelli. And by “many faces” I really mean “one face” because, why and how being beyond us, this woman hasn’t changed her look once in decades. Except maybe for wearing red instead of black. In any event, much respect.

Young Minnelli:
Later Minnelli

Same hair and practically the same clothes. How is this possible in entertainment?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Siren Centerfold: Janet Leigh

The first woman ever to show her bra on screen definitely deserves a place on our Siren Centerfold. She was also the first woman to get hacked to death in a shower and fall to the floor in a puddle of Bosco chocolate syrup on screen, but that’s beside the point.

Discovered by the actress Norma Shearer at a ski resort in Northern California, Janet Leigh secured a contract with MGM and began her film career in the late 1940s - as a brunette. She appeared in movies like 1949’s Little Women, 1953’s Houdini with then-hubby Tony Curtis (and today's Matinee Man) playing the famous magician, and 1958’s Touch of Evil with Orson Welles. It wasn’t until 1960 that she found her most memorable role as Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (cue the scary violins). She received a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Leigh succesfully paved the way for the sexy scream queens of today and proved that sometimes the best way to live on in movie history is to die an untimely death. Check out Janet Leigh’s killer good looks in today’s Siren Centerfold!

She married her first husband in 1942 at the age of 14! And no, she didn't live in Arkansas. The marriage was annulled the same year.

One of the "risky" bra scenes in Psycho.

Man, her waist was tiny!

Matinee Man: Tony Curtis

Bernard Schwartz turned 84 this week (June 3rd) and since 1949, the man made over 100 films. Not under the name Bernard Schwartz, though. His stage name was Tony Curtis. Of course, as a kid, I always confused old Tony Curtis movies with Ray Liotta movies, but let’s face it, kids are dumb. My cousin used to think that all moms and dads shared the same birthdays just because his parents did. See? Stupid.

Anyway, Curtis made his screen debut in Criss Cross playing a rumba dancer of all things, but two of his most famous roles were in Some Like it Hot and Sparatacus.* Despite his exhausting list of films, though, Curtis never once won an Academy Award, something he wasn’t too thrilled with. “My profession has never recognized me sufficiently for my work,” he once said. Bitter Betty, much? Hopefully he learned to be happy with the Sony Ericcson Empire Lifetime Achievement Award and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The acting gene didn’t end with him, though. You may have heard of his two daughters: Jamie Lee and Kelly Curtis. Their mother was Janet Leigh, one of Curtis’ five wives, who he was married to for 11 years. Curtis claims that he was “very dedicated and devoted” to Leigh, “but in her eyes that goldenness started to wear off. I realized that whatever I was, I wasn't enough for Janet. That hurt me a lot and broke my heart.” He later revealed that he cheated on her throughout their marriage. Not for nothing, but we may have just pinpointed whatever it was that wasn’t enough for Janet. But anyway

Curtis still acts but he considers painting to be his current career, a hobby he took up in the 1980s. Some of his work goes for $25,000. That’s one hell of an up-sell when you consider how little paint costs.

Despite the fact that we wouldn’t recognize Curtis if we passed him on the street today, he was a hottie in his hey day. That’s why he’s today’s Matinee Man.

Sorry, but smoking never looked so good

*If you don’t get that reference please, please rent Clueless as soon as possible. It’s so much more than you probably think it is.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Quick Quips for June 4th

"I pretty much try to stay in a constant state of confusion just because of the expression it leaves on my face."
- Johnny Depp

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fangs on Film

It’s the genre that doesn’t die – literally. Vampire movies have been around almost as long as film has existed, and every so often their popularity hits a fever pitch. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in one of those surges right now. With the massive craze that is the Twilight franchise (books=fun, movie=awful) and the upcoming second season return of the awesome HBO hit series True Blood (which is technically TV and not film, but it’s on HBO so work with me here), vamps have evolved from the Count Chocula-variety into something inherently sexy.

Hollywood’s original fascination with fangs came out of the coffin, if you will, in the 30s and 40s. Studios churned out Dracula movies designed to be horror/sci-fi fright-fests. There was 1931’s Dracula and 1944’s The Return of the Vampire, both starring Bela Lugosi, 1936’s Dracula’s Daughter, starring Gloria Holden, and 1943’s Son of Dracula and 1945’s House of Dracula, both starring Lon Chaney Jr.

So when exactly did vampires go from looking like this, to looking like this (or this)? When did they stop making women faint in terror and start making them swoon with lust? Perhaps it was with Brad Pitt in Interview with a Vampire. Whenever the change occurred, we’re mighty glad it did. This is one instance where we’d have to say the new stuff trumps the old. No more bad Transylvanian accent! We prefer our bloodsuckers hot, sexy and completely cape-free.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Quick Quips for June 2nd

"Mel Gibson in Hamlet? Now I've seen everything. Except Mel Gibson's Hamlet."
-Robert Mitchum

Monday, June 1, 2009

Miley is No Mills

It’s not like I exactly expect the MTV Movie Awards to be of any worth or credibility, but last night’s show was more of a joke than usual. Aside from awarding the Twilight stars the top honors despite the worst acting jobs of the year (and I’m a fan of these books, mind you), MTV gave Disney actress Miley Cyrus an award. I can’t remember what it was for because I blacked out after they called her name and woke up just before she screamed, “I’m on a boat!” which was weird because no she wasn’t. Anyway...

Disney has a history of taking one actress and squeezing every last penny out of them that they can. Think: Hilary Duff, Raven Symone, that chick who played Alex Mack and then did 10 Things I Hate About You. Right now Vanessa Hudgens is eclipsing Cyrus thanks to the High School Musical disasters, but even Selena Gomez is being prepped for her imminent takeover.

Well, Sunday afternoon, mere hours before Cyrus’ teeth led her on stage to get her award, I watched an airing of the 1960 Disney classic Pollyanna. It starred Hayley Mills, which got me thinking that really, Mills was the Miley Cyrus of her day (albeit a much less annoying day). In fact, Mills could easily be considered the first “Miley Cyrus” ever.

Mills began with Disney in 1960 when she filmed Pollyanna and she subsequently made six films after that – the most memorable of which (for me) is 1961’s The Parent Trap. Not that crap that Lindsay Lohan made a few years ago. She went on to star in In Search of the Castaways, Summer Magic, The Moon-Spinners and That Darn Cat – and all before she was 20-years-old. Sound like a familiar trend? How many High School Musicals have there been, again?

I don’t think anyone will surpass Mills as the quintessential Disney child star. Although I’m sure Cyrus probably believes she already has.


Happy Birthday Ms. Monroe!

Marilyn Monroe once crooned "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy, but today it’s our turn to sing our own sultry version of the song to her. The blonde bombshell would have been 83 years old, had she not died of a tragic drug overdose in 1962 at the age of 36. Since she’s not around to celebrate her birthday, Life magazine has given us a surprise gift: a gallery of never-before-seen photos of a 24-year-old Marilyn taken back in 1950. Then, Marilyn was just another rising-star having played a small role in The Asphalt Jungle. She hadn’t yet graced All About Eve with her presence, or blown up her skirt in The Seven-Year Itch, or fallen for a man in drag in Some Like it Hot.

Seeing these pictures, it’s hard to believe that anyone with a pair of eyes could have doubted her eventual rise to fame. Now how long before Lindsay Lohan tries to recreate them?