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  • mistermuse 12:02 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: actors and actresses, , , , , , , Norma Desmond, screen immortals, Sunset Boulevard, The Little Tramp, the silver screen   


    On August 30, I did a post (titled “MAC”) about the late great actor Fred MacMurray. In recent comments to the MAC post, faithful reader Thom Hickey and I opined that I should publish more posts on actors and actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age, even though most of them are now little remembered, long forgotten, or unheard of. To the point, how many of these once-upon-a-time familiar film faces and names are familiar to you?

    I know not who you know not (above), but I’ve spent some of my happiest hours being entertained (and often drawn in) by such silver screen sorcerers/sorceresses working their magic on my imagination. Watching that clip, it seemed almost unfathomable that nearly all those ‘reel-life’ characters I knew almost as well as I knew real-life family and friends, have gone over THE END. Rapt in their world, how was I to know immortals were mortal?

    So, you can take this as a preview of coming attractions featuring close-ups of some of my favorite stars and character actors from the days when the likes of Charlie Chaplin was The Little Tramp….

    ….and Gloria Swanson was Norma Desmond….

    Are you ready for your close-ups?





    • America On Coffee 12:17 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful. I believe the featured actress is Barbara Stanwyck. I love her.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 12:58 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Likewise. Not only was she one of the most versatile actresses in screen history, but one of the most professional and well thought of.

        Liked by 2 people

    • calmkate 2:20 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      what a trip down memory lane … know most of them, but a few I’ve not seen or heard of … I must be younger than you ūüėČ
      Had not realised Charlie was such a good-looker, he always acted the clown so I had no idea!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 8:38 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        ….and yet, that “Remembrance of Classic Hollywood Actors and Actresses” barely began a thoroughgoing trip down that memory lane. For example, what classic movie buff wouldn’t recall the likes of Buster Keaton, Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, The Marx Brothers, Errol Flynn, Charles Laughton, Walter Huston, and so many more. In upcoming posts, I hope to take us a little farther down the road.

        Liked by 3 people

        • calmkate 9:32 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink

          yea, I’m looking forward to it … and please don’t forget Charles Bronson ūüôā

          Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 9:09 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Love classic Hollywood. Such glamour!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:57 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Rg. I’ll be sure to include one or more of those Hollywood “glamour girls” in an upcoming post (I’m sure you would qualify if not for the Hollywood part).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rivergirl 4:01 pm on October 13, 2019 Permalink

          I always had a soft spot for Rita…

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 6:07 pm on October 13, 2019 Permalink

          Did you know that Fred Astaire said Rita Hayworth (not Ginger Rogers) was his favorite dancing partner? She is probably not best remembered for her dancing, but was in fact a superb dancer and starred in two musicals with Astaire.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 10:05 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A wonderful post. The “Remembrance” video had me smiling, and with tears in my eyes!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:00 pm on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I know what you mean, Ashley. It’s sad to think that so many of those who gave us so much joy are gone.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ashley 5:17 am on October 14, 2019 Permalink

          Of course, I am constantly reminded of these old movies since my mother told me where my name came from; I always thought it was something to do with Ash trees (ash trees surrounded by a meadow-a ley) but it turns out that Mum’s favourite film was Gone With the Wind! Thank goodness I wasn’t called Rhett!

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 4:07 pm on October 14, 2019 Permalink

          If you had been called Rhett, you could always claim the BULER did it (ha ha).

          Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 11:37 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A lovely trip down memory lane. ūüôā I wonder how many of today’s actors will be as well-remembered?

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 12:12 pm on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Shakespeare (in HAMLET) said, “I shall not look upon his like again.” That’s how I view yesterday’s actors compared with today’s, scifi.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mlrover 8:56 am on October 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Just saw a clip about Audie Murphy. If only people looked up to true heroes like him instead of sports stars. But a man like Audie is so rare. The pain in his eyes from his lifelong struggle with PTSD is haunting. And all through it, he continued to serve. Loved him best in the film The Unforgiven.

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 12:12 pm on October 16, 2019 Permalink

          Sorry to say I haven’t seen The Unforgiven, as (with a few exceptions) I’m not a big fan of westerns. However, I should have made this one of the exceptions, as I notice The Unforgiven was directed by John Huston and has a great cast. My bad.


    • Don Ostertag 4:29 pm on October 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      One of the little granddaughters asked why I always watched movies with the color turned off.

      Liked by 4 people

    • D. Wallace Peach 4:31 pm on October 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I used to watch Barbara Stanwick in Big Valley. Remember that show? She was the matriarch. Gloria and Charlie not as much, but I remember them. Fun clips.

      Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 5:26 pm on October 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I didn’t watch Big Valley, but I’ve seen many of her movies — some of them (such as THE LADY EVE and REMEMBER THE NIGHT) multiple times. Truly a wonderful actress!


    • Thom Hickey 3:37 pm on October 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Looking forward to an extensive series!

      Regards Thom

      Liked by 2 people

    • Cheryl Wright 12:17 pm on October 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Watching the video In Remembrance brought back memories of when I used to watch old movies with my grandmother. She also got me into watching soap operas…lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:34 pm on October 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Watching soap operas is one habit I never got into….but I did watch many a ‘horse opera’ (western) when I was a kid. Oddly enough, I’ve never heard a fat lady sing in a horse opera, but I have heard many a horselaugh when the fat lady sings in The Marx Brothers At The Opera.


    • Susi Bocks 10:15 pm on October 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not from that era but I was fortunate to have a step-father who exposed us to a lot of the generations we weren’t a part of. Lovely! ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:38 am on October 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I’m so old, I’m a part of many generations (but ‘apart’ from today’s).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Susi Bocks 11:21 am on October 23, 2019 Permalink

          Sorry to hear that?

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 12:30 pm on October 23, 2019 Permalink

          To clarify, I simply feel that so much of today’s politics and culture are so beyond the pale and so debased, that this generation has become increasingly foreign to the values and ideals we should stand for.


    • Silver Screenings 8:34 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m very much looking forward to this series. At some point this weekend, I’m going to settle down with a cup o’ tea and binge read you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:02 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoy the multi-post series, SS. You’ll know it’s over when the fat lady sings.


  • mistermuse 12:01 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Dashiell Hammett, Edgar Allen Poe, , , , Howard Hawks, , , , , movie poster art, , , Raymond Chandler, Sunset Boulevard, ,   


    The film noir of the classic period (1941-59) is normally associated with the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood and its aftermath. In truth, the creative impetus for its most influential literary content dates back a full century.
    In April 1841, Graham’s Magazine in Philadelphia published the first detective story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe and thus, mystery fiction was born. –
    -Lawrence Bassoff, CRIME SCENES

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    In my 11/30/16 post titled BOOKS RIGHT DOWN MY ALLEY, I wrote of finding a large cache of old movie books at a local library’s used book sale. One of those books was CRIME SCENES (subtitled Movie Poster Art of the Film Noir), from which the above quote is taken. How could I resist buying such a book, given that Film Noir has long been one of my favorite film genres, which includes such classics as¬†THE MALTESE FALCON (1941), MURDER MY SWEET (1943), DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), LAURA (1944),¬†THE BIG SLEEP (1946), SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950), and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951). The introduction states it “is the first genre retrospective collection of movie poster art on the topic ever published in book form.”

    Bassoff writes that in the summer of 1946, ten American films whose French releases had been blocked by WW II (including the first five of the above) arrived in Paris theaters to be viewed by “new product-starved French filmgoers”….films based on American novels the French called “Serie Noire” by such authors as Dashiell Hammett and¬†Raymond Chandler. The term “film noir”¬†(first attributed to Frenchman Nino Frank in 1946) literally means “black film” for the “often low key, black and white visual style of the films themselves.”

    And what great films they are! Even after having seen¬†some of these films¬†more than once, I could return to the scene of the crime once again; ¬†no doubt you could too —¬†assuming you’re a film noir buff, which it¬†would be a crime¬†if you’re not. The test? Can you name at least half of the directors¬†and stars of the above films?¬†Answers¬†(directors in CAPS):

    THE MALTESE FALCON — JOHN HUSTON (making his directorial debut), Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet
    DOUBLE INDEMNITY — BILLY WILDER, Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
    LAURA¬†— OTTO PREMINGER, Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price
    THE BIG SLEEP — HOWARD HAWKS, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall
    SUNSET BOULEVARD — BILLY WILDER, William Holden, Gloria Swanson
    STRANGERS ON A TRAIN¬†— ALFRED HITCHCOCK, Farley Granger, Robert Walker

    Moving on: if Basssoff’s¬†book were not confined to¬†Hollywood film¬†noir,¬†no such¬†list would¬†be complete¬†without THE THIRD MAN (1949), a British-made classic directed by Carol Reed, starring Orson Wells and Joseph Cotton.¬†And of course¬†there are many other Hollywood¬†tour de force¬†classics¬†worthy of being kept alive, including such killer-dillers as:

    WHITE HEAT¬†is considered by some¬†to be in the¬†gangster film¬†realm rather than film noir, but there’s no law against crossover —¬†in fact, WHITE HEAT is classified as film noir¬†in CRIME SCENES and gangster film¬†in¬†CLASSIC GANGSTER FILMS (the latter being another used book sale find, which I¬†may review in a future post). Meanwhile, I highly recommend the former¬†—¬†as Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) said of the bogus Maltese Falcon:¬†It’s¬†“the stuff dreams are made of.” And nightmares.

    *HOLLYWOOD, DEAD LEFT ON VINE is a play on the famous intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. I heard on the grapevine that the site was a ranch, and then a lemon grove, until 1903.



    • linnetmoss 7:03 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Good fun–I will never forget the creepiness of seeing Fred MacMurray in “Double Indemnity,” after growing up with him in Disney movies like “Son of Flubber”!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 7:41 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Now that you mention it, I recall thinking the same thing the first time I saw “Double Indemnity.” And I can’t think of a better way to characterize these ‘bad’ movies than as “good fun” — seriously!

        Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 10:29 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Living la vida noire out here on the Left Coast, Sr. Muse. Did you see that the head of the European Union was going to start advocating for US states to leave the Union in retaliation for Trump promoting the dissolution of the EU? Ohio was specifically mentioned. Hopefully, I won’t need a passport to visit you if I ever get the chance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:24 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I hadn’t heard (or seen) that, Ricardo, but I think the best place to start would be to advocate for Trump to leave the union….better yet, leave the planet (though I can’t imagine that the inhabitants of any other world would be gullible enough to fall for Trump’s con job).


    • BroadBlogs 4:28 pm on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      My mom loves old movies. She’d love this list!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:22 pm on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Prudence dictates keeping my posts to a reasonable length, or I’d have listed many more movies. Sometimes I wish Prudence would mind her own business! ūüė¶


    • Don Frankel 5:04 pm on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great movies of course I’ve seen them all and more than once. They did a remake of Out Of The Past called Against All Odds with Jeff Bridges, Rachel Ward and James Woods. In a bit of smart casting they also had Jane Greer in there.

      But White Heat is one of the all time any type of movie you want to call it and no mention of it would be complete without…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:20 pm on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        These movies had it all: great writing, atmosphere, directors, stars, supporting casts — the works. I’ve only watched WHITE HEAT once or twice, but I’ve seen MALTESE FALCON and THE THIRD MAN at least 5 or 6 times each, DOUBLE INDEMNITY and SUNSET BOULEVARD probably about 3 times.


    • M√©l@nie 11:00 am on March 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I did watch them all… just like you, I may have seen “Maltese Falcon” 4-5 times! ūüôā

      • * *

      @film noir – en fran√ßais dans le texte, SVP… ūüôā MERCI, Monsieur Muse!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:34 pm on March 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Mercy me — I fear my very limited French fails me in getting the gist of the sentence before “SVP” (which I understand stands for “s’il vous plait”). If you please, please translate into English. Merci!

        Liked by 1 person

        • M√©l@nie 3:25 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink

          SVP = s’il vous pla√ģt = please… ūüôā you’re too modest, Sir… my very best and respectful regards, M√©lanie Bedos

          Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 9:51 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Jack Lemon, , , Sabrina, , Stalag 17, Sunset Boulevard,   


    Fans of Hollywood’s Golden Age movies will recognize the above title as one of the classic¬†last lines in¬†film history, said by Joe E. Brown to¬†Jack Lemmon at the end of Billy Wilder’s SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959). Today being Wilder’s birthday (June 22, 1906), and me being¬†in the middle of a biography of Wilder¬†by the same title, I thought I’d offer my own¬†brief tribute to one of the great directors of all time, to be followed at a later date by a review of the book when I’ve finished reading it. Seeing as how I’ve owned the book for over a year and am not yet halfway through it, don’t expect the follow-up anytime soon. I may be retired, but I still can never seem to¬†find time to catch up on my reading. Hey, nobody’s perfect.

    Even the greatest directors made some films that weren’t so hot, and Wilder made a few such, but few directors and screenwriters have made more movies that bear repeated viewings (which is my standard for greatness) than Billy Wilder. Here is¬†my Top Ten list of¬†favorite Wilder films:

    THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR (1942), starring Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland
    DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson
    THE LOST WEEKEND (1945), starring Ray Milland
    SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950), starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson and Erich von Stroheim
    STALAG 17 (1953), starring William Holden

    SABRINA (1954), starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden
    WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1957), starring Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton and Tyrone Power
    SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959), starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe
    THE APARTMENT (1960), starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray
    ONE, TWO, THREE (1961), starring James Cagney

    When Wilder died March 27, 2002, he took his wit to his grave. His headstone reads:


    ¬†¬†¬†¬† I’M A WRITER
             BUT THEN

    • Michaeline Montezinos 10:08 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse you may not believe me but I have watched every single one of the movies on your favorite Billy Wider list. Not only that but I am guilty of watching them more than once. I finally had to stop since my husband had enough of “my hobby.” But some day when I am old and gray, and find myself sitting next to someone dressed as an elf, I will have the old folk’s nursing home television on The Dish, and watch Wilder’s movies as much as I wish!
      This based not only on a fantasy. But after my December knee replacement surgery in 2008, we had “Santa” and his reindeer helpers plus a funny looking elf present a lovely Christmas show. The newly stitched up patients as well as the residents enjoyed it immensely. ūüôā


      • Michaeline Montezinos 10:17 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Today is also my youngest daughter’s birthday. She is an Angel of Mercy and that is her vocation. (No, she did not become a Nun but at times I wish I had joined the convent when I was a young girl.)
        Best wishes to you, my darling, Michelle, who cares for her patients with compassion, and efficiency. Love you, Mama Michaeline XOXO


    • mistermuse 10:37 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Happy Birthday to your daughter, and continued happy Billy Wilder watching to you, Michaeline.


      • Michaeline Montezinos 11:42 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so very much, mister muse. I am so glad we can communicate with each other. I am not complaining bu I have not yet made a lady friend here in St. Pete’s. Oh yes, the hair salon stylist and the waitresses at the various eateries we visit know me as well as my new Nurse Practioner. I think I may…and don’t let this upset you, my dear friend…become a member of the nearby Reform Judaic Temple. One great thing about places of worship is if they have a good following of nice women, I can usually find a friend or two. Maybe one that likes Billy Wilder films and playing Scrabble and of course, going out to eat. What retiree in Florida cooks at home any more? Oh, yes, my dear husband, Dave.
        Toodles, mistermuse, looking forward to your next posting. ūüôā


    • arekhill1 8:39 am on June 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I salute you, Sr. Muse, for still trying to catch up on your reading, no matter how far behind you are. I long ago abandoned any hope of it. Now I have to scramble just to keep up with my writing.


    • mistermuse 9:57 am on June 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      When it comes to reading, I feel like the perfect example of the Lewis Carroll quote, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” And yet I keep adding more books to my Father’s Day, Birthday and Christmas wish lists.


    • Don Frankel 5:37 am on June 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      A lot of great movies here and this one is certainly not the best but the last 15 minutes or so of One, Two, Three are just hysterical. Cagney at his best. “Schlemmer you’re back in the SS. Smaller Salary!”


    • mistermuse 6:34 am on June 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right, Don. Cagney’s talent certainly wasn’t limited to being the classic tough guy of Hollywood’s Golden Age, He was also great at comedy, such as in ONE, TWO, THREE and MISTER ROBERTS, and at dancing, as in Cagney’s own personal favorite performance in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY.


    • thefirstdark 6:54 pm on June 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on The Darkness in the Light.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 11:11 am on December 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bank robbers, , , , James Baldwin, , , , , Sunset Boulevard,   


    I rob banks because that’s where the money is. –Willie Sutton (though he denied saying it in his autobiography WHERE THE MONEY WAS)

    • * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *¬† * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    It occured to me, as I was thinking about this, my 253rd post, that¬†few (if any)¬†of my previous 252 posts were¬†about money….in fact,¬†I can recall mentioning money in only one post, in the opening line of a 24-line¬†poem titled A MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TOO CHASTE:

    Money may talk,
    Though I can’t hear it —
    It takes a walk
    When I come near it.

    So a mistermusing on the subject seems long overdue….not unlike many of the bills I owe. Just kidding. I don’t not owe nothing to no one¬†— no one¬†that I owe of, anyway.

    Anyway, what I want to say, as is my wont to say when I can think of nothing more to say, is that I hope you enjoy the following quotes. I trust you will find them on the money:

    A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it. –Bob Hope

    The lack of money is the root of all evil. –Mark Twain

    Money was fun only until you ran out of things to buy. –Gloria Swanson, actress (silent films, Sunset Boulevard, other movies)

    Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn’t have it and thought of other things if you did. –James Baldwin

    Money and women are the most sought after and the least understood of any two things we have. –Will Rogers

    Where I was brought up, we never talked about money because there was never enough to furnish a topic of conversation. –Mark Twain

    What this country needs is not more money, but more people who have some of it. –Evan Esar

    I am having an out of money experience. –Anonymous

    We live by the Golden Rule. Those who have the gold make the rules. –Buzzie Bavasi

    If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it. –Anonymous

    Cocaine is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money. –Robin Williams


    • ladysighs 11:38 am on December 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You already know this but will tell you again. I enjoy all of your posts. The money quotes are really great. Even if I have read some of them before, they still are funny.
      But the best part of your blog isn’t the quotes but your lead in to them … or what ever you are presenting. I could have stopped reading before the quotes and enjoyed. ūüôā


      • mistermuse 2:43 pm on December 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I think I’ve said this before to faithful follower Don, but I believe in gender equality, so I’ll say it to you as well: If I ever need a press agent, you da man – I mean woman. Bless you, my child.

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 11:52 am on December 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “A nickle ain’t worth a dime anymore”–Yogi Berra


      • mistermuse 2:51 pm on December 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        ….and for those who love the smell of money, here’s another goody I left out: “Money is the best deodorant.” – Elizabeth Taylor


    • Don Frankel 4:12 pm on December 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I give to to Twain here although the Robin Williams quote is pretty good. The one about the $20 I heard used in the movie a Bronx Tale but it might have been around.


    • mistermuse 5:17 pm on December 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s another one I left out that I probably should have closed my post with:
      “Money will buy you a fine dog, but only love can make it wag its tail.” -Richard Friedman


    • Michaeline Montezinos 7:37 pm on December 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I enjoyed all of the comments here on mistermuse’s blog. Especially liked the Mark Twain one, the Richard Friedman one and the Bob Hope and Yogi Berra quotes.. All the quotes and the poem you wrote before and were intertaining.


    • mistermuse 8:36 pm on December 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Your comment has me wagging my tail, Michaeline. It must be true that all good things must come to an end.


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