Let’s learn about marvelous Myrna Loy

Film
Very much looking forward to an upcoming “Evening at the Barn” program  … it’s a book talk concerning the gorgeous Myrna Loy. Loy projected such an interesting persona — I want to learn how the super-sophisticate, Nora Charles, evolved out of a woman born in Helena, Montana. In my next life, for your information, I ...

The latest from Leo the Lion

Film
I very much enjoyed seeing Jack Goldstein’s art film, “Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer” (1975) screened by LA Filmforum as part of  “Industry Town: The Avant-Garde and Hollywood,” one of Pacific Standard Time’s offerings around L.A. This journey through eight short experimental films amply showed the shadow side of filmmaking in Los Angeles. Directors as disparate as Kenneth Anger, ...

Happy Birthday, Charlie Chaplin! 1

Architecture & Design · Film
Anyone who trolls mid-city Los Angeles will recognize the wonderful Tudor-style building at right (you can click on the photo). Creative dynamo Charles Chaplin, one of L.A.’s real go-getters, built it in 1917. And, there, leaning against the wall of his very own film factory stands the lovely Chaplin. It’s a pretty proud moment for ...

Jane Russell remembers “Gentleman” Jack Cole 2

Dance · Film
“Yes,” answered Jane Russell last Wednesday evening, nodding emphatically when asked if choreographer Jack Cole had directed the dance sequences in Howard Hawks’s “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953). Russell’s brown eyes flashed and she became animated on hearing Cole’s name. The brunette bombshell of the 1940/50’s, appearing at a Hollywood Heritage event this past week, chatted ...

Norman Lloyd remembers

Film · Theater
“Music to my ears,” cooed veteran stage and film actor Norman Lloyd in response to the fervent applause that greeted his appearance at Hollywood Heritage’s wonderful “Night at the Barn” lecture series held at the DeMille-Lasky barn. The 95-year-old Lloyd credits his lifelong love of tennis with helping him outlive his former collaborators Orson Welles, ...

Before Hollywood came Edendale 2

Architecture & Design · Film
This rustic boulevard, photographed at the turn of the twentieth century, occupied a Los Angeles neighborhood with the aspirational name of Edendale. One hundred years later, it’s called Echo Park. The street was then Allesandro. Now it’s Glendale Boulevard, or more accurately, a two-mile suction tube for automobiles hurtling toward downtown Los Angeles. On this ...

Jewish prince of Hollywood 1

Film
What can I, a mere mortal, possibly add to the legend of Irving Thalberg, Hollywood’s “boy wonder” producer who helped transform American movie making from a haphazard endeavor into a real industry; indeed a mass-market, fantasy production line. Starting as a secretary to “Uncle” Carl Laemmle at the tender age of 20, Thalberg earned stripes at Universal by bossing ...