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That's Entertainment Trivia

From a young age, I always loved watching the old classic movies and and adored the movie stars.  It was one of the few ways my dad and I bonded.  He was a brilliant engineer, and strict disciplinarian, but always had a soft spot for the movies and the lives of the stars.  

 

My contribution: Fred Astaire: one of the greatest ( if not the greatest ) dancers in the movies.  In 1933 Fred Astaire received his first screen test. It was quoted that a casting director conclusion was that  Astaire, "Can't act, slightly bald, but can dance a little."  Hopefully whoever said that was fired!

Anyone else have a fascination about the stars and their movies from the 1930's - 1970's? Would be fun to have a place to swap little known, but interesting facts about the era. I can't be the only old movie fan in the on-line community.

 

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I remember watching a lot of old movies as a kid. I liked all the Shirley Temple movies until I watched them more recently and saw they were pretty awful scripts and lots of over acting by the adults and/or bad directing. Hepburn and Grant in Bringing Up Baby was funny. I enjoyed Hepburn and Tracy in Desk Set. Never really got into info about the lives of stars. 

 

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@DeahWAI think the most fascinating thing about Shirley Temple's career, was that she could watch a whole dance demonstrated once, and could do it flawlessly.  Hepburn and fill in the blank, awesome.  Loved her pairing with Humphrey Bogart  in the "African Queen."

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                  ----- #1 Movie Legend Of All Time -----

                                  Humphrey Bogart

 

Bogart grew up into a wealthy and well respected family in New York.  Father was a heart surgeon, and mother artistic director and painter for a woman's fashion magazine.  Bogart, due to his mothers artist rendering of her baby son, became the Mellin's baby food fore-runner of the Gerber Baby , who appeared nearly three decades later.

 

When Bogart was of age, he enlisted into the United States Navy during World War I.  The only note-worthy event was getting a scar above the right corner of his upper lip, that would fit right into his future tough guy appearance. ( The most accepted story of the scar, was receiving it while transporting a handcuffed prisoner who asked for a cigarette, while Bogart was retrieving a match out of his pocket. The handcuffs did the damage, but Bogart successfully thwart any attempt of escaping. )

 

Bogart's acting career breakthrough came in 1934 when he appear on stage in "The Petrified Forest" and the movie adaptation in 1937. His next big hit was "The Maltese Falcon" and then what many consider the greatest movie of all time, "Casablanca"  with Ingrid Bergman( of course "Citizen Kane" always a contender too. )  Many other classics followed, African Queen, The Caine Mutiny, Sabrina and The Harder They Fall.

 

Married four times, the most memorable was to his much younger co-star in "To Have and Have Not", Lauren Bacall. She was with him until his death on 1957 of throat cancer.  No doubt from his serious cigarette habit.  

 

Bogey and Bacall. She is cited as being the one who came up with "The Rat Pack" nickname, do to the frequent visits of the members to their home.

 

 

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I need to see "Casablanca" again. I only saw it once, about fifteen years ago. And what stuck with me beyond the fact that it was a great film was that I recognized so many references that Bugs Bunny made in countless cartoons I saw growing up.  He quotes the movie a lot!

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@AvocadoDog It's amazing the humor in cartoons, often pretty sophisticated jokes on pop culture, over the heads of kids, but great for the adults.  Bugs is my favorite cartoon character, my dad loved Pink Panther.

 

Casablanca has got to have the most quotable lines of any movie.  There's so many great ones.  Can't even think of all the times that movie has been spoofed.  "Play It Again, Sam" with Woody Allen is the first one that comes to mind.

 

 

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                          Katharine Hepburn

                        --- The Great Kate ---

 

The fact that James Stewart ( The Philadelphia Story 1940 ) Humphrey Bogart ( The African Queen 1951 ) and Henry Fonda ( On Golden Pond 1981 ) received their only Oscars starring opposite Katharine Hepburn, says a great deal about her and the roles she played.

 

Katharine was born in 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, and was encouraged to speak her own mind from her earliest memories with suffragist mother and dad who was a doctor.  Mostly home schooled, she developed an interest in acting while attending Bryn Mawr College where she starred in many of their productions. 

 

After graduating, she had bit parts on Broadway and elsewhere. Her first film was with John Barrymore in 1932's A Bill of Divorcement and was a huge hit.  Her third film 1933's Morning Glory won her the first of four Oscars. 

 

In the intervening years, she continued to collect Oscar nominations, totaling 12 by the end of her career.  

 

Her second Oscar was for her ninth and final teaming with her long time lover Spencer Tracey in 1967's Guess Who's Coming To Dinner.  The following year her third Oscar win for 1968's Lion in Winter.   The Final Oscar was in 1981 with Henry Fonda ( his one and only Oscar ) In On Golden Pond.

 

The 1970s and 1980s were filled with many made for tv films, and by 1991 she completed and published her autobiography simply titled, "Me." Her final film was 1994's Love Affair with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, and final tv film, the same year, One Christmas.  She retired from public life with her declining health, passing away from natural causes in 2003 at the age of 96.

 

She often starred in roles much like her own personality, strong, independent women with minds of their own.  

 

 

 

 

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to be continued . . . taking a break

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From Fred Astaire to his most famous dance partner, Ginger Rogers.  The whole time they were partners, they never had a fight, except for one time  Fred got exasperated and yelled about a certain dress that Ginger insisted on wearing.  It was covered in blue ostrich feathers, and as she danced a few would fall off, requiring take after take.  They finally found a solution, reinforcing every feather to withstand the rigorous hours of dance, and the dance sequence filmed beautifully. It was from "Top Hat" in the scene where Fred sang "Cheek to Cheek. After that, Astaire's  affectionately referred to her as "feathers."

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                                        ----- Cary Grant: One Of The Best -----

 

The American Film Institute called Cary Grant the second greatest male star behind Humphrey Bogart ( oddly never won a best actor oscar ).  Not bad for someone who started out with the name of Archibald Leach, very poor, broken home life and dropped out of school at the age of 14.  He supported himself in his first jobs as a acrobat and vaudevillian. Which helped him  him with timing and physical comedy. Never played  a villain in he numerous movies that spanned decades. 

 

Married five times.  But the love of his life was Sophia Loren.  Had a mother who spend most of her life in a psych ward.  Famous Grant quote, " insanity runs in my family.  It practically gallops."  He was quoted as saying, "Everyone wants to be Cary Grant.  Even I want to be Cary Grant." Actress and comedian Mae West is credited with discovering Grant.  The James Bond ( 007 ) was partially modeled after Cary Grant. With his incredible good looks and ability to be suave and charming, not surprising.  Many consider George Clooney as the modern-day Cary Grant.  

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Are there people in the movie industry that you would like to see featured on this site? Do you have anyone that you would like to share about?

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    -----  Hardest, Nicest  Working Actress - Barbara Stanwyck  -----

 

Barbara Stanwyck was born in Brooklyn N.Y in 1907, and soon after, orphaned, by the time she was 14, she dropped out of school and started working odd jobs.  She was a chorus girl in many stage productions, including "The Ziegfeld Follies."  Hollywood came calling after her well-received rule in the play "Burlesque."

 

For the next 60 years, she was in numerous movies and tv productions with top leading men.  Her most successful movie year was in 1941 starring in a string of well-receved movies.  "Meet John Doe with Garry Cooper, who also starred with her in "Ball Of Fire,"  Henry Fonda starred all side Stanwyck in "The Lady Eve," and noir classic, "Double Indemnity" with Fred MacMurry.  She was also cast in William Holden's movie debut, "Golden Boy."

 

From the 1960's through the 1980's Barbara Stanwyck was in the tv series, "The Big Valley," the mini series, "The Thorn Birds," and the Dynasty spin off "The Colbys."

 

Frank Capra once said ,"She was destined to be beloved by all directors, actors, crews and extras."  Marilyn Monroe was quoted as saying Miss Stanwyck was the only actress from the older generation who was kind to her. Miss Barbara Stanwyck was always modest about her accomplishments, saying," I just want to survive and eat and have a nice coat." Class act.

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I watch more old TV than old movies, but certainly have an appreciation for old films. I watched a few episodes of "The Barbara Stanwyck Show" a few months ago. It's an anthology series, with each episode starring Stanwyck in a different role. It's pretty hokey by 2020s standards, but I enjoy it for that reason (and for seeing which character actors I recognize). 

 

There's something about Barbara Stanwyck's presence, in the roles she plays on the show and her intros, where I kind of got the impression she was a nice, down-to-earth person.

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@AvocadoDog  You bring up an excellent point, maybe we should open up this space to old tv shows as well. Thank you for the info on "The Barbara Stanwyck Show", I'll see if I can find that."

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