Jack Cole & Marilyn Monroe reunite at Jacob’s Pillow

Dance · Film
It was my great honor to join a panel at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival on Saturday, August 14, 2010, to honor the peerless jazz choreographer Jack Cole, whom I revere and about whom I have written. As a former Denishawn dancer, Cole had a distinct history at “The Pillow.” Here I contribute a snippet about Cole’s choreography for Marilyn Monroe ...

Bob Hope roasts C.B DeMille in 1953

Film
While performing research in the DeMille archive at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, I came across this transcript of gags that Bob Hope zinged at Cecil B. DeMille. The occasion was the “Great American” dinner. The date, November 30, 1953. Cecil’s been in this business a long time I don’t know exactly when he ...

Charles Chaplin covered the waterfront — in China

Film
It’s kind of an ongoing  joke in Los Angeles that every neighborhood boasts a building or location that Charles Chaplin supposedly built, or invested in. Alternately, in that place, Chaplin lived, shot a movie, or (most probable) partied. The guy got around! He was at every social event, every film opening, each great hostess’s soiree. He was L.A.’s ...

C.B.’s captivating “Cleopatra”

Film
We just loved Cecil B. DeMille’s Cleopatra (1934)  — a movie that burns at high voltage for one hundred entertaining minutes. It looked all the better projected onto the Egyptian Theater’s humongous screen. Scott Eyman, author of the new DeMille biography, “Empire of Dreams,” was on hand to banter about the film with critic Leonard ...

Remembering Kevin McCarthy 4

Film
Guest writer Michael Schlesinger contributes this reminiscence of actor Kevin McCarthy, who died earlier this week. I met Kevin McCarthy through our mutual friend, actor James Karen; we sometimes all had lunch at Musso & Frank’s. And it turned out that Kevin lived a few blocks from me in Sherman Oaks, so I happily chauffeured ...

Jane Withers charms CINECON in “This is the Life” 2

Film
She wasn’t as pretty as her compatriot at 20th Century Fox, Shirley Temple. Both girls had high energy and talent to burn. But child star Jane Withers had something extra: disarming credibility. Appearing in person at a screening of her surprisingly moving film, “This is the Life” (Fox, 1935, dir: Marshall Neilan), Withers approached the microphone ...

Don Murray held Marilyn Monroe close in “Bus Stop”

Film
Read this story on The Huffington Post. We passed the Labor Day weekend inhaling the Egyptian Theater’s popcorn-soaked oxygen during  the 46th annual CINECON — a festival of the weird, the wonderful, and the rarely viewed. Cinecon is a connoisseur’s festival; and the key word is rare — movies that for whatever reason haven’t been ...

Pauline Wagner, 100, remembers James Cagney

Film
“The man you saw on the screen was certainly not Jimmy Cagney,” said former studio-system contract actress Pauline Wagner, 100, following a screening of “White Heat” at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Monday. Cagney was “one of the nicest persons in Hollywood,” so unlike Cody Jarrett, the homicidal psychopath with a mother ...

Cleopatra reclaims the Egyptian Theater 1

Film
What better place to celebrate the art (and commerce!) of Cecil B. DeMille than the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard? An under appreciated director who mined the nexus of the lofty and the lusty, DeMille fits well with the Egyptian Theater’s ornate aesthetic. His influence was ingrained in mainstream American culture by the time Sid Grauman ...

Charlie Chaplin to reappear at Cinecon

Film
I’m looking forward to attending the 46th annual Cinecon Classic Film Festival at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood California over Labor Day weekend, September 2-6, 2010. The big event at this year’s festival is the screening of a previously lost Charlie Chaplin film, “A Thief Catcher” from Keystone Studios, 1914. Film collector Paul Gierucki found ...