From Gordon Skene’s excellent site Past Daily, a fascinating 1969 half-hour radio interview with the one and only Lillian Gish.
Lillian Gish – Despite her modesty, a star of the highest magnitude during the Silent Era of Film.
Lillian Gish, a name synonymous with the early days of Hollywood, and along with her sister Dorothy, household names in both Theater and Film from the earliest days.
The farther we get away from those formative years of Cinema, when the craft was evolving and the growing pains were plentiful, the less we remember those names which were such an integral part of that early history – the crucial period when film went from being an arcade novelty to the artform it evolved into. The changes in attitude – the advancement of lighting and technology and even the cameras used to shoot these films – they were all part of a great movement that was growing up and becoming the new entertainment form, popular all over the world.
In this interview, conducted as part of the weekly series Bookbeat featuring Chicago Tribune/Washington Post,
Read the rest and listen to the interview HERE.
Jacques Tourneur directs a taut little noirish thriller!
US / 26 minutes / bw / Revue, MCA, CBS Dir: Jacques Tourneur Pr: Leon Gordon Scr: Mel Dinelli Story: Charles Hoffman Cine: Ellsworth Fredricks (i.e., Ellsworth Fredericks) Cast: Eddie Albert, Ruth Roman, Dane Clark, Robert Armstrong, Jeanne Bates, Wallis Clark, Bill Fawcett, Nora Marlowe, Larry Blake, Bob Bice, Jerry Mathers.
An episode of the CBS drama series General Electric Theater (season 3, episode 32, for the benefit of completists), this Jacques Tourneur-directed outing manages to pack all the plot, characterization and suspense of an upper-drawer B-feature into half or less of the typical running time.
Helen Mattson (Roman) and husband Paul (Albert) are going away for a weekend’s vacation in Palm Springs, leaving Continue reading
Tricks of the mind . . . and a schoolgirl accused of murder!
UK / 81 minutes / color / Metro, Media One Global Entertainment, Motion Picture Partners Dir: Antara Bhardwaj Pr: Sunanda Murali Manohar Scr: Carl Austin, Mike Kramer Story: Carl Austin Cine: Ravi Yadav Cast: Melanie Brown, Jenna Harrison, Kelly Stables, Jason Flemyng, Algina Lipskis, Richard Fry, Matt D’Angelo, Carmen Du Sautoy, Claire Amias, Jane McDowell, Helen Worsley, Bethany Hague, Chloe Rose-Thomas, Lee “Dags” Alliston, Spud Murphy, Mary Mitchell, Genevive Swallow, Mike Mungarden, Kristian Wilkin, Susan Scott, Sarita Sabharwal.
Faith Munro (Harrison) has returned to her posh school, St. Matthew’s, after a period of compassionate leave following the death by carbon monoxide poisoning of her alcoholic mother Diana (McDowell). The girl’s having difficulty fitting back in; matters aren’t helped by the discovery that, during her absence, her boyfriend Derek Ellis (D’Angelo) has ditched her in favor of classmate Portia Samuels (Lipskis), who seems to revel in rubbing Faith’s nose in the reality of her changed status.
Portia (Algina Lipskis) and Derek (Matt D’Angelo) are very public about their new relationship.
Matters aren’t great at home, either. Her father, Jack (Flemyng, in a distinctly one-note portrayal), is a prominent defense lawyer who Continue reading
Peter Lorre and Brian Donlevy, top secret plans and espionage!
US / 71 minutes / bw / TCF Dir: Malcolm St. Clair Scr: Charles Kenyon, Sam Mintz Story: John Goodrich Cine: Barney McGill Cast: Peter Lorre, Brian Donlevy, Helen Wood, Ralph Morgan, Thomas Beck, Kay Linaker, Lester Matthews, Earle Foxe, J. Carroll Naish (i.e., J. Carrol Naish), Gloria Roy, Oscar Apfel, Paul Stanton, Howard Hickman, Robert Homans, Sam Hayes.
An odd little pre-war espionage movie whose downbeat ending and occasional callousness toward human life—plus the presence of Lorre—give it something of a noirish credential.
The Fleming–Grant aircraft factory, owned by mainspring John P. Fleming (Morgan) and his partner Sidney Grant (Matthews), has completed construction of a new plane, the Wild Goose, which has the extraordinary ability to transport a consignment of passengers across the Atlantic. (This was, you’ll remember, 1936.) Fleming plans to take it on its maiden flight from the US East Coast to Berlin, with pilot Ace Martin (Donlevy) and mechanic Joe Randall (Beck). The naming ceremony, emceed by broadcaster Sam Hayes (himself) and with Fleming’s wife, Lois (Linaker), doing the stuff with the bottle of bubbly, is attended also by Continue reading
And you can read it online for free!
Here’s the mag’s cover, illustrating the story:
This stunning piece of artwork is by Reiko Murakami — many thanks to her!
Here’s the link so you can you feast your eyes upon the issue as a whole: voila. If you’re so awestruck by what you see that there’s nothing for it to preserve your sanity except subscribe, try clicking here.
And a happy July 4th to all people of good will.
NB: “The Law of Conservation of Data” does have cussing and rudery: be warned.
Some fun stuff this month, including the two nonfictions and several of the lighter reads. I’m running out of Jean-Patrick Manchette novels to read, which is a bit of a b . . . er, a bit of a bind.
As usual, the links are to my often hasty Goodreads notes.
An illicit affair leads to murder!
vt The Blue Room
France / 76 minutes / color / Alfama, Arte France Cinéma, Centre National du Cinéma et de L’Image Animée, Canal+, Ciné+, Cofinova 10, La Région des Pays-de-la-Loire, Le CNC Dir: Mathieu Amalric Pr: Paulo Branco Scr: Stéphanie Cléau, Mathieu Amalric Story: La Chambre Bleue (1964; vt The Blue Room) by Georges Simenon Cine: Christophe Beaucarne Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Léa Drucker, Stéphanie Cléau, Laurent Poitrenaux, Serge Bozon, Blutch, Mona Jaffart, Véronique Alain, Paul Kramer, Alain Fraitag, Christelle Pichon, Olivier Mauvezin, Joseph Ancel, Marie-Agnès Renard.
In the small French town of St. Justin, farm-machinery merchant Julien Gahyde (Amalric) has been having an affair for the past eleven months with pharmacist’s assistant Esther Despierre (Cléau); the pair might have been childhood sweethearts had Julien’s family not moved out of the area. In the interval before his return, both of them got married, Julien to Delphine (Drucker), now mother of his child Suzanne (Jaffart), and Esther to the rich but sickly Nicolas Despierre (Mauvezin). The illicit couple meet clandestinely on occasional afternoons in the Blue Room (so-named because of the color its walls are painted) of the Hôtel de la Gare.
Esther (Stéphanie Cléau).
Julien (Mathieu Amalric).
One day, between bouts, Julien sees from the Blue Room’s window Esther’s husband Nicolas, apparently making his way intently toward the hotel. This sparks both of the lovers into a rethink of Continue reading
An Anglo–American team uncovers a nest of spies!
UK / 66 minutes / bw / Ello, Rank Dir: Robert Tronson Pr & Scr: Jim O’Connolly Story: J. Levy, J.P. O’Connolly Cine: Michael Reed, James Bawdon Cast: Patrick Allen, Jacqueline Ellis, James Maxwell, Zena Walker, Ewan Roberts, Harold Goodwin, John Bown, Jeffrey Segal, Anne Padwick, Jack May, Mark Singleton, Sean Lynch, A.J. Brown, Victor Platt, Reed De Rouen, Anton Rodgers, Michael Corcoran, Sheldon Lawrence, Robert Raglan, Fanny Carby, Henry De Bray, Arthur Barclay, Frank Wilson Taylor, Mike Martin.
NATO Security is concerned because, in the wreckage of an air crash in Munich, they’ve discovered a roll of microfilm related to a top-secret nuclear-rocket project based in Woking, England. General Waring (uncredited) of NATO calls in the British Security Service in the shape of its incompetent boss, Colonel Burlinson (Roberts), and his assistant, John Lane (Allen). They agree that Lane should take over the case and they Continue reading
And, once more, thanks to Christina Wehner and Ruth at Silver Screenings, the Movie Scientist Blogathon returns. This year, as you’ll have deduced from the image above (upon which please click for more info), the ‘thon runs September 8-10.
Noirish is planning to contribute a piece on the, er, classic Lon Chaney Jr-starring noirly sf horror piece Indestructible Man (1956), which is very, very scary, so best staple your socks on.