BBC: 1999 Jayne Mansfield Documentary

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Source: BBC- Jayne Mansfield 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I guess in one way Jayne Mansfield was a great actress and not just a great comedic actress and comedian, but a real great actress at least in the sense that she had so many people fooled. She wanted to be seen as the dumb blonde who needed her hot adorable sexy image to pay her bills. But in actuality she always knew what she was doing. An intelligent woman who wanted to be viewed as a bimbo and was such a great actress that she pulled that off. She had people thinking she was exactly as she came off which was as a bimbo.

Marilyn Monroe had the famous quote that it takes a smart woman to play the dumb blonde. Well that was Jayne Mansfield, the smart woman who played the dumb blonde. She knew what Hollywood was and how she could be successful in it and played her talents to the hilt. A hot adorable woman with a great body, but who also had a great sense of humor and comedic timing, who was also an accomplished singer. But knew exactly what people in Hollywood and what the fans noticed first and what they wanted.

Which was to see hot this adorable woman with the great curve appeal and then you add to that which was she was a great entertainer. Someone who should exchange wisecracks with funny people like Tom Ewell, Edmond O’Brien, Merv Griffin, Jack Benny, Cary Grant, and many others. She was better than Marilyn Monroe at least in this sense that Jayne knew she was really good and had made it and deserved what she accomplished. Unlike Marilyn who was battling mental illness and depression and was heavily medicated for a lot of her adult life and had even attempted suicide and been committed at one point.

Jayne had a plan from day one and knew what she needed to do to make it in Hollywood. But unfortunately Jayne Mansfield falls in the class of what could’ve happened if only and ends up dying at 34 in 1967 because of a car crash where she wasn’t even driving because her and her crew were in a big hurry to meet a big appointment that they had in New Orleans the next morning.

By the time Jayne died in 1967 she was woking the nightclub circuit as a singer because her Hollywood career at burned out because the major studios no longer wanted to work with her. Jayne mentally in many ways was just as adorable as she was physically. She came off a little girl both physically and personally. And was fairly immature and developed bad habits like drinking heavily and not able to take criticism very well and work to expand her image so she could get better and bigger parts. Which is why she fell out of Hollywood and down to the nightclub circuit just to pay the bills and keep working.

BBC: 1999 Jayne Mansfield Documentary

Alan Eichler: Robert Osborne Interviewing Lana Turner- 1982 TV Interview

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Source: Alan Eichler- Bob & Lana

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Just to be a little personal when you’re talking about cute Hollywood blondes, Lana Turner is at the top of the list. Even in her late forties and fifties she was still as cute as a little girl and not just because she was really short. Love Has Many Faces from 1964 I believe is Lana’s best movie and one of the best soap operas of all-time (at least in my opinion) Lana worked with the gorgeous baby-face adorable Stefanie Powers in that movie. And Stefanie is maybe 20 at that point and as cute as can be and Lana is in her early forties and Lana is the cutest women in that movie. That movie also had a beautiful adorable brunette in Ruth Roman in it. Peyton Place from the 1950s, she’s cuter than her daughter in that movie.

Lana Turner was always an adorable gorgeous baby blonde with a keen honest intelligence and quick wit. Which made her perfect for soap movies in the 50s and 60s like The Big Cube in 1969 which is more of a cult favorite than anything else, but still a very entertaining and funny movie. And made her perfect for TV soaps like Falcon Crest in the 1980s. The Bad and The Beautiful where she plays a brand new soon to be the next hot star in Hollywood and she works with Kirk Douglas, Barry Sullivan and Dick Powell in that movie. She was like a little girl in that movie as far as physical stature but that little baby face and how she spoke and came off in that movie. The Bad and The Beautiful is the prefect title for that movie. Because there were no angels in that movie. But ordinary people simply trying to survive working for a selfish producer who was user of talent.

If you were going to put together a list of the top 5-10 Hollywood actresses of all-time I believe Lana Turner would have to be on it. Of course it would also have to have The Love Goddess Rita Hayworth on it. Slim Lauren Bacall would have to be on it. Elizabeth Taylor would have to be on it. Ava Gardner would have to be on it and if you left Ava off she might sue you for that. Susan Hayward would have to be on it. I believe Lauren Bacall is the best perhaps Liz Taylor is just right behind her.

But Lana Turner is in that group as well because she was so convincing and a great dramatic comedic actress who combined great dramatic affect with quick wit as well. And self-deprecating humor as well and not afraid to make fun of herself. Maybe that had something to do with the alcohol or maybe just because she was so honest. But I believe the best actresses and actors are the most honest which allows for them to be the most convincing because they look like they’re playing themselves. Which is why Lana Turner is so high up the Hollywood best ever list.

Alan Eichler: Robert Osborne Interviewing Lana Turner- 1982 TV Interview

Joan Collins Archives: Mark McMorrow- Film Flashback: Rally Round The Flag Boys 1958

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Source: Joan Collins Archive

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Unlike Seven Thieves which I blogged about a couple weeks ago Joan Collins and Paul Newman, really are the only two reasons to watch Rally Round The Flag Boys. Joanne Woodward is pretty cute and funny in it, Jack Carson is great as the stumbling awkward U.S. Army Captain who tries to come off as a lot tougher than he actually is. Jack Carson is simply one of the top comedic actors of his generation.

But the first hour of this movie is pretty funny with Joan playing this beautiful (if not gorgeous) rich housewife in this small town about an hour outside of New York City who really only has one problem. Her wealthy business executive husband never sees her. The man is either working all the time at the office, out-of-town on business (or with his mistresses’s) or going out with his mistresses. I added the mistress part myself to make it sound funny, but the point being the man is never around and never seen with his beautiful adorable wife Angela Hoffa (played by Joan Collins) in the entire movie. And Joan can get kinda prickly about little things like never seeing her husband. Even if he gives her an allowance that makes her a millionaire.

But Angela comes across Harry Bannerman (played by Paul Newman) early in the movie when he gets to the train station in their small town coming back from work and his wife is too busy to pick him up. Angela just happens to be there perhaps thinking this might be the night where she actually gets to spend some time with her husband, but of course he’s still not there and still at work. And offers to drive Harry home. And that is where Angela and Harry who are neighbors get to know each other a little bit and find out that they have something in common. Which is they don’t get to see their spouses very often.

Harry’s wife Grace Bannerman (played by Joanne Woodward) is the busiest housewife in Putnam’s Landing if not America as a whole. Except she’s not very busy at home (if you get my drift) but instead is more like a First Lady and is involved in every civil activity known to man. At least in Putnam’s Landing and isn’t around much for her husband Harry, but he works a lot as well and doesn’t see his wife a lot either. They have a townhall meeting in Putnam’s and the Mayor there announces that the U.S. Army wants to open a base there, but won’t tell them why they need the base there. And his wife is appointed to run a new committee to deal with the new Army base coming to town. And appoints her husband to be the liaison between the town and U.S. Army about the base coming to town. Harry just happens to work in public relations and is in the U.S. Naval Reserve so is very qualified for this job.

To get back to Joan Collins which is really the only reason why I’m writing about this. There are two very hysterical scenes in this movie where Joan is her usually adorably funny self. Perhaps three with her picking up Paul Newman early in the movie and driving him home. But the first one being where Paul drives Joan home from the meeting because his wife stays late at the meeting and Joan invites him in to her home. And they have a hilarious but innocent party where they get drunk and do a lot of dancing and fall back down the stairs together after trying to go upstairs.

The other scene being where Joan follows Paul to his hotel in Washington where he’s there to talk to the Pentagon about his new role in Putnam’s and gets to his hotel room and Joan is there waiting for him. Harry makes it real clear that he’s happily married and doesn’t want to get involved, but Angela doesn’t take no at least not very easily and makes a big play for him. And Harry’s wife arrives there and sees them together. After that the movies gets really silly and looks more like musical comedy than anything else.

I saw this movie a few months ago and have it on DVD and tweeted that and shared that on Google+ as well that the only reason I saw this movie was to see the adorably funny Joan Collins in it. Joan actually saw that and liked it. Saw this movie over the weekend to refresh my memory about it and to prepare for this piece. Take Joan Collins out of this movie and replace her with a much more ordinary woman who doesn’t have Joan’s comedic ability and talent like a Deborah Kerr or someone like that (no offense to Deborah Kerr) and I don’t have much incentive to watch this movie, at least not a 2nd time. This movie is an example where a great actress and actor can pull the movie together by themselves. Especially if that actress is as beautiful, adorable, sexy, and funny as a Joan Collins.

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Source: James Neff- Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward 

James Neff: Rally Round The Flag Boys 1958

 

 

Suzy Reinhardt: Mysteries and Scandals- Susan Hayward

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Source: E Entertainment

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

When I think of Susan Hayward I think of great dramatic comedy actresses who are real-life drama queens. Similar to Ava Gardner, women who had a tendency to play parts that were close to home. Susan Hayward had a habit of playing women who were going through really tough experiences and were even scorned and somehow make it through those experiences until they’re hit so hard at the end which is what finally brings them down.

Susan Hayward played alcoholics, Susan was an alcoholic. Susan played women who were depressed and consumed a lot of sleeping pills and other medication just to try to get through life. Susan consumed a lot of sleeping pills and antidepressants. I believe what made Susan such a great actress and again very similar to Ava Gardner is she played women who were a lot like her. Very beautiful, really adorable, quick witted, very intelligent, and very honest.

As one of the men in this video said there was no bull or baloney with Susan Hayward. And I would have used much stronger language than that. You knew where you stood with her and how she was feeling all the tine. And again we’re talking about one of the best actresses ever, so could have easily hided her feelings if she wanted to and played pretend and fooled a lot of people. But again what made her such a great actress was that she was so real. And you always knew what she was going though, how she felt, and how she felt about you.

If you’re looking for good Susan Hayward movies to check out this weekend on in the future, I could give you several, but if you’re really interested in Susan Hayward herself and what she went through in life, then I have a few movies that will give you a great idea of why she was a great actress.

I Want To Live, where she plays a death row inmate the true story of Barbara Graham. Barbara was also a women who went through horrible experiences in life and had some real bad men in her life and ended becoming a criminal herself. Whether she was actually guilty of the murder she was convicted of in the end is a different story.

Where Love Has Gone from 1964 which I believe was made based on the life of Lana Turner and how her boyfriend ends up dying in that relationship because her daughter ends up killing him. Susan plays a women in Where Love Has Gone who has an abusive boyfriend or at least a man with a bad temper and goes off one night and Susan’s daughter comes in and shoots the man.

I’ll Cry Tomorrow where Susan plays a starlet who drinks too much and is overly medicated. Again very similar to the life that Susan lived herself.

Imagine how much more dramatic real-life would be if we had a lot more Susan Hayward’s in and out of Hollywood. Imagine what life would be like if you always knew where you stood with people. You would really know if someone liked you or disliked you. You would really know if someone loved you or hated you. If you were doing a good job or about to get fired. But at least you would know where you stood in life and how you stood with other people and be able to make the necessary adjustments or continue to do what’s working before something bad happened to you or you went off course.

That is the life that Susan played in the characters that she played and the life she lived. Which makes her very unique in Hollywood where everything is generally about appearances and make believe and where Hollywood imitates real-life too much and people outside of Hollywood are more interested in appearances instead of reality.

Suzy Reinhardt: Mysteries and Scandals- Susan Hayward

TV Fanatic: The Jayne Mansfield Story 1980- CBS Wednesday Night Movie

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Source: TV Fanatic

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

At risk of sounding old here, when I was growing up in the 1980s and even when I was in high school in the early 1990s. network original movies that were made and produced by the networks, were actually worth watching. CBS, NBC, and ABC, all had their own movie companies that were part of their entertainment divisions and had one night a week and sometimes multiple nights if they were showing a mini-series where they should show two-hour movie and sometimes longer than that. The networks would produce their own movies and of course would show movies that were from Hollywood and perhaps had been out for a year or so, or longer.

Very similar to what HBO, Showtime and others do on cable. Probably watched 5-6 of James Bond series of movies in the summer of 1992 alone on ABC. The networks did this because they were good at it and knew what movies to pick and how to promote them and what kind of cast they could put together and so-forth. But also because cable wasn’t as dominant in the 1980s as it became in the 1990s. CBS, NBC, and ABC, were worried about each other. And not so much what HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, TNT, USA, etc, were doing on cable. Because the cable networks simply didn’t have the resources that the broadcast networks had back then. And to certain extent today as well, but cable networks are much powerful and influential today than they were back then.

I only mention all of this because I’m trying to bore you into a coma. Especially if you weren’t even born yet in the 1980s. Actually, because the Jayne Mansfield Story was a TV network movie that CBS put together with the producers, directors, creators, and writers of the movie. And The Jayne Mansfield Story and I’m only 4 years old when it came out in October, 1980 so I didn’t see it and only finally heard about it a year or so ago and saw a video for it on YouTube and the finally got to see the whole movie on cable (of course) on Get-TV last February and saw it again a few months after that.

And this was a network movie where you have Loni Anderson as the lead actress playing Jayne Mansfield and Arnold Schwarzenegger playing her husband and long time lover Mickey Hargitay. (The father of Mariska Hargitay) Loni was already a star at this point with her guest appearances on Threes Company in the late 1970s playing Jack Tripper’s love interest. And then she lands WKRP in Cincinnati in 1978. (One of the best sitcoms of all-time) Arnold wasn’t a star as an actor yet, but he was a superstar professional bodybuilder and already well-known at this point. Mickey Hargitay ws a superstar bodybuilder before become an actor as well.

This is a very good and funny movie and a lot of that has to do with Loni Anderson. Who has great comedic ability and one of the top comedic actresses of her generation at least. And she happens to playing a very funny woman in Jayne Mansfield who was very funny in real-life both intentionally and unintentionally, because she was so adorable and very immature and then add her comedic timing and you had a very funny woman who might still be working today had it not had been for her tragic car accident in 1967.

The movie covers Jayne’s life from when she became star in the early 1950s looking for work and basically forcing herself on her future agent Bob Garrett (played by Ray Buktenica) and he tells her if he’s going to represent Jayne that she’s going to have to change her hair and a few other things. But sees potential in her as a comedian. And the movie goes from Jayne being discovered in the early 1950s where Hollywood wasn’t ready for her alway up to her fall and struggling to find work in the early and mid 1960s, to her tragic death in 1967.

Loni Anderson is just plain hot, sexy, adorable and funny as Jayne Mansfield. She’s as cute as a little girl with personality to match, but with body of a goddess with those legs, curves, chest and everything else, as well as the face. Arnold playing Jayne’s wife is also great as a very loving and caring husband of Jayne who tries to look out for her best interests and tries to manage her immatureness and irresponsible behavior, but fails at both and they split up in the movie.

I believe Jayne Mansfield in real-life would have been proud for how Loni played her and at least give her credit for doing such a great and accurate job. Because I think knew herself real well and didn’t try to be anyone other than herself even if she seemed overly adorable and even childish to even the people who loved and cared about her like Mickey Hargitay and her business people. This is a very entertaining movie that covers the struggles as Jayne making it as a great comedic actress, but someone who also wanted to be taken seriously in Hollywood and get serious parts with more meaning.

TV Fanatic: The Jayne Mansfield Story 1980- CBS Wednesday Night Movie

Emi Music: Tom Cochrane- Life is a Highway

48fafa63-c003-4be0-a21f-9476b4afa107This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily View

“Life is a highway, I want to ride it all night long! Tom Cochrane is really on to something with those lyrics. To use a cliche, “life is a marathon and not a sprint.” Meaning you’re going to around a long time, you might as well enjoy it and not try to accomplish everything at once, or let one setback and negative thing destroy you. So you should make out of life as much as you can and live your own life instead of trying to live someone else’s, or trying to live like someone. You your favorite celebrity (if you have to have one) should be just that. The famous person you like and admire most. But remember they have your life and you have yours. And not everything they do in how they live their life will work for you. And in many cases work against you and get you into trouble. So we should all be ourselves and be the person we can be and make ourselves happy, but not try to be something we’re not simply because we think that would make us cool or awesome or whatever, at that time.

Lisa Rinna: Marilyn Monroe- Things Happen For a Reason

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I’ve blogged this before and I’ll say this again. Marilyn Monroe, wasn’t known for saying intelligent things, at least not with people not knowing her personally. She was known as a goddess, dumb blonde, an entertainer, comedian, singer, a wild child with the baby-face of a sixteen year girl and even the personality of one. And except for the dumb blonde she was all of those things. But she was so much more and even those she was immature and lack self-discipline and self-confidence, which is shocking if you just look at her and see that smile, she had this keen blunt way of seeing things for what they are and knowing exactly how to describe them and put things and people in their place. She had a keen sense for commonsense about life outside of her. Even if she didn’t show much of it when living her own life. What’s she saying here in this quote is not something that makes people think, “I wish I thought of that.” Instead it’s more like, “I wish I remembered that, so I could see things what they were and take life as it comes and make the best of it.”

Things to happen for a reason. Which sounds like a quote from Captain Obvious, but it’s so true and if more people just saw that instead of thinking their life is collapsing because they’re facing some hardship. It’s not whether something for good or bad happens in your life that is key. The question is how does that change you and what do you do about it. Being poor at any point in your life is only a life sentence if you make it one for yourself. You don’t improve yourself, you don’t get yourself the skills that you need to live your life, you don’t make the necessary lifestyle adjustments needed to be able to move up in life and you’ll remain poor. Instead of saying, “I hate poverty, so I’m going to do what it takes to get myself out of poverty.” And that is just one example and when something positive happens in your life, you should know why and how that happened, so you don’t take it for granted and stay on that positive course. Whether you get a promotion at work, get a great girlfriend, whatever it might be.

One way I would describe Marilyn Monroe, is that she has a Ronald Reagan knack of commonsense. (Sorry my fellow Democrats) The Gipper had an ability to put things as they are and put them in a way that anyone basically could understand. That is how someone wins presidential elections with 56 and 59 percent of the vote and wins 93 states in two elections. Because you show strong leadership and layout a vision and character that everyone can understand. Even if they vote for you or not. Marilyn Monroe, was fifteen-years younger than Ron Reagan and politically very different, but she had that same ability of putting things in a way that everyone can understand. And not introduce knew language and facts, but instead remind people of commonsense that almost everyone knows. That perhaps we forgot, because it’s so common and perhaps seems so ordinary and perhaps old school and we feel the need to simply be different and fit in with current times. Marilyn was great at putting things exactly as they are and for that reason alone is worth being missed.

Scott Rogers: The Steve Allen Show- Diana Dors Hooray For Love in 1960

Diana Dors

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

It’s simply not possible for me to see too much of Diana Dors right now and believe me I’ve tried. If I don’t get over this compulsion fairly soon I might seek professional help. She along with Anita Ekberg, Ava Gardner, Liz Taylor, Shelley Winters, are my favorite not just Golden Age Hollywood Goddess’s right now, but my favorite Hollywood Goddess’s right now. Add Angie Dickinson, Marilyn Monroe and Kim Novak to that list. Diana, was so adorable with a hot baby-face, English accent and personality to match.

I’ve seen The Run For Doom which is her Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode from 1962, probably twenty times now. And it’s a very good show, but she makes it great. Simply because of her performance on it. Her presence on it is simply overwhelming by the way she moves and her adorable facial expressions. But keep in mind she was a hell of a lot more than a baby-face goddess with a great voice and personality. She was a hell of an actress and a very funny performer as well. She reminds me a lot of Shelley Winters as far as personality and comedic timing.

Diana could make serious parts look funny and keep people staring at her with her with her add living. Again watch The Run For Doom. Or be the funniest person in the room when you let her go off the cuff. Like she did with Bob Hope, Steve Allen and many others. As far as Hooray For Love, again Diana had many talents. She played a singer nightclub singer/gold digger in The Run For Doom. And in this performance she’s singing Hooray For Love on The Steve Allen Show, (Got me for who that show was named after) Great face, great voice, great body on a 5’6 frame. Tall and curvy, but definitely not too tall and I just wish she lived a lot longer and had a much longer career. Because she was so special.

The Immortal Jukebox: Thom Hickey- To Have and Have Not- You Know How to Whistle?

Lauren Bacall
‘… You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your…’

Source: The Immortal Jukebox: Thom Hickey- To Have and Have Not- You Know How to Whistle?

I haven’t seen To Have and Have Not in a while and perhaps I should have seen that movie again before I blogged about it. But this movie is classic Lauren Bacall-Humphrey Bogart. Their onscreen chemistry was very similar if not better than Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Both very sharp and very funny and perhaps sharing the exact sense of humor. Lauren Bacall if she’s 20 years old at this point, she just turned 20. And yet you could already see how great this young gorgeous baby-faced adorable women intelligent women was going to be. Bogie as the adorable Lauren Bacall called Humphrey Bogart, was of course already a star at this point. And old enough to be Lauren’s father.

Slim, as Bogie called Lauren Bacall, not just in this movie, but in their life together, was 19-20 years old. Playing a drifter who makes it to France. With very little if any money. Doesn’t sound that different from someone in their late teens early twenties in the 1960s. Who lets say grows up in Cleveland, Ohio and is somewhat lost and doesn’t know where they’re going or where they want to go in life. Who ends up in San Francisco and become a hippie. But hopefully never meets Charles. Which is sort of an inside joke. But Slim meets Harry Morgan, who sort of the definition of an American small businessman doing business in a foreign country. Not that different from Casablanca.

Slim and Harry get together, because basically they both need each other. They both need money. Harry’s client owes him money that Harry needs and he sees Slim pickpocket this guy that owes Harry money. And Harry sees her do that and that is how they get together. By making a deal with each other and helping each other out as they try to avoid having to deal with the Nazi-Germans who has just taken over France in 1940. There all sorts of crooked shady characters in this movie that Slim and Harry have to deal with. Including some adorable scenes featuring Lauren Bacall singing and doing other things. One of the best film-noir movies you’ll ever see.

Remembering Lauren Bacall: Lauren Bacall- Speak The Truth

Lauren Bacall

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Hollywood Goddess Lauren Bacall saying that she believes in the truth and saying what you think. And adds why not? And to make a political correctness point to that even though of course I agree with Lauren on this, whose at least arguably the greatest actress we’ve ever known even though this is not about her career. Political correctness advocates Left and Right and unfortunately more Left than Right would argue that sometimes the truth hurts. And we can’t always say what we think and know, because someone especially perhaps minorities might be offended by that. Which of course goes against liberal democratic values like fee speech. But that is really a different topic and this blog covers that a lot anyway.

The best tool that an individual has in life will ever have after life is not freedom. And that might sound surprising to some, but there’s actually something more important than that. That has everything that we all value and love built around this more powerful tool. That tool is the truth and without that and of course education which comes from the truth, nothing else matters. Without the truth and education we would never know what we actually know. You’ll never know how to improve yourself and where you do well and where you need to do better without the truth. And sometime you might have flaws that are so severe and screw up so badly that you need someone to get in your face and set yourself straight. (No offense to gays) The truth also helps you know where you’re doing well. So you can continue to do that as you’re improving on your flaws.

We’re nothing in a positive sense if we don’t have the truth and we don’t have an education. To know what’s going on and why it’s going on, to know what works and what doesn’t work, where we’re strong and where we’re weak, where we’re average. And then know to improve ourselves and emphasize our strengths. And yes that at times means hearing things about yourself and people you care about that are pretty negative. But the smart strong people can handle that, because they know themselves very well, because they value the truth and facts and rely on them to improve themselves. They know they’re not perfect and that there are times they need to be reminded of that and to see where else they may come up short. And there are times when the truth sounds real good. And you find out something good about yourself that you didn’t know before. But without the truth we would all be blind NASCAR drivers on the racetrack of life, hoping we get to where we need to go safely. But without a course that actually gets us there.