Hollywood’s cross-genre master Michael Curtiz gets biography

Featured · Film · Language & ideas
Academy Award–winning director Michael Curtiz (1886–1962)—whose best-known films include Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945) and White Christmas (1954)—was in many ways the anti-auteur. During his 27-year tenure at Warner Bros., Curtiz directed swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, romances, historical dramas, horror films, tearjerkers, melodramas, comedies, and film noir masterpieces. The ...

Olivia de Havilland: still fighting “Feuds” at 101 2

Featured · Film
by 
Revelations of predatory behavior against women first exposed in the film industry have spread to other corridors of power. The headlines have overshadowed a parallel story involving the shameless disrespect of an iconic figure of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She fought for, and changed, the way the entertainment business is conducted. That woman, now 101 years ...

‘Variety’ got it dead wrong: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) 1

Film · Visual arts
On the occasion of the hugely talented, innovative and original filmmaker George Romero receiving his star on Hollywood Boulevard (the auteur director died in July) and the wonderful tribute event we attended (screening Romero’s marvelous and underrated CREEPSHOW) this past week, we sense that Romero’s pioneering in the horror genre can’t have been easy. A tough ...

Hollywood harassment nothing new, says Barrie Chase 3

Dance · Featured · Film
The brouhaha over movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades of inappropriate sexual aggression with actresses brought back sixty-year-old memories from Barrie Chase, one of the most superb dancers to work in film and television. Her story concerns Arthur Freed, the renowned MGM producer with an A-list roster of movie-musical titles to his name, a revered high-quality ...

Free tix! DeMille’s ‘Cleopatra’ @ Chinese Theatre 90th birthday

Film
On May 1, 2017, Hollywood Heritage, the TCL Chinese Theatre, and NBCUniversal will celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the opening of the Chinese Theatre. It was known then, and for many still is nostalgically remembered as Grauman’s Chinese. The Chinese gives a prime example of Los Angeles’ kooky ‘themed’ architecture. The birthday bash will feature ...

Myron Hunt’s Wattles mansion to host interior design expo

Architecture & Design
Wattles Mansion, built in 1908, was the original home of Gurdon Wattles, a Nebraska banker who bankrolled much of early Hollywood. The classic Mission Revival masterpiece was designed by Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey, who also designed the Huntington Library, the Rose Bowl and the  Ambassador Hotel, which sadly met its maker via the wrecking ...

Dance double to Merle Oberon

Dance · Film
A revealing story captured in a comprehensive oral history conducted for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, in 2003, with George and Ethel Martin, the two great Jack Cole dancers. Ethel kicks it off, with a small assist from her husband. Ethel: Jack [Cole] told me, ‘I know Kenny [Williams]’. He was ...

Georgeous & Rita-licious

Dance · Fashion · Film
As Oscar Sunday approaches, we turn to the year when two beautiful young singer/dancers both won Academy Awards for West Side Story. George Chakiris and Rita Moreno, respective winners for Best Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role, appeared stunningly beautiful at the ceremony  April 9, 1962 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. This is ...

How Eugene Loring ‘got sold’ on working for producer Stanley Kramer 1

Dance · Film
Fascinating commentary from dance maker Eugene Loring who choreographed the whimsical The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, a Dr. Seuss-derived cult movie dating from 1953. Loring, the creator of “Billy the Kid” ballet for American Ballet Theatre and founder of Hollywood’s American School of Ballet, ports impressive film credits that include Ziegfield Follies (1945), Yolanda ...

George Chakiris recalls ‘West Side Story’ filming 1

Dance · Film
“All of Jerry’s choreography in this film is dialogue. It’s feeling. It’s not just dance steps.” So said George Chakiris apropos the choreography of Jerome Robbins, during “A Conversation with George Chakiris” at The Ellen Theater in Bozeman, Montana, in 2015. Robbins personally cast Chakiris as Bernardo, leader of the Sharks gang, for West Side ...