Marilyn Monore

  • Hello everybody, Mr. Joe Morella and Mr. Frank Segers here again.

As we noted in yesterday’s chat Classic movies were hard to view in the age before videos and DVDs. Where the hell were you going to see a classic film unless some studio re-released it? The answer was to find someone who had a 16mm print of a movie classic, even though back then to possess an “unauthorized” print of a copyrighted film was a criminal offense… even if you were showing it to friend and not to paying customers.

Joe can still recall the time that friends in Greenwich Village had their apartment door kicked in by FBI agents. The G-men arrested the miscreants for the offense of (gasp!) having a 16 mm print of “Singing In The Rain.”

Even with all of the legal nonsense of the period, how thrilling it was back then to receive a call from a buddy discreetly disclosing that he or she had just secured a B title such as “My Name Is Julia” or an A classic such as “Out of the Past.” The big question: how soon can we meet to screen this magical
contraband?

Well, those days are gone forever thanks to DVDs, tapes, classic movie channels and so much more. You can even get for free the greatest classic titles ever made from your local library.

Now that we all have this marvelous access to the greatest films of the past, it’s time to share our enthusiasm for and our love of classic movies with you –the classic movie fan. When all is said and done, this blog is about and for YOU and the stuff that dreams are made of.

Let us introduce ourselves.

We have both been around and closely observed movie making and the movie business for nearly 40 years. We both spent time at VARIETY (Joe one year, Frank 28).

Joe is the author or co-author of more than 20 books, often about the most scintillating female stars of Hollywood’s golden age including Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Loretta Young, Judy Garland, Paulette Goddard, Lucille Ball, Jane Wyman and Clara Bow.

He has also written books about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Noel Coward and Cole Porter, Marlon Brando and Bob Hope, among others. In addition, Joe has surveyed the (then) young screen rebels of the Fifties and Sixties and co-authored a fascinating survey of the films of World War II.

Frank, who spent 20 years closely watching a more contemporary array of stars and movie personalities as contributor to a nationally syndicated gossip column, is focused more narrowly: film noir, spaghetti westerns, horror and action movies (the cheesier the better) that often star actors who regularly qualify for the annual Golden Raspberry Awards, the “Razzies.” In other words, his tastes are more often than not at odds with those of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Joining us on a regular basis – and keeping us honest – is guest contributor Larry Michie. Larry’s varied career includes stints as television editor of
Variety, editor of the Vineyard Gazette (the Bible of Martha’s Vineyard) and editor-co-publisher of a weekly newspaper in Western Massachusetts. He has written for a number of publications including The New York Times.

Larry’s brief at the Classic Movie Chat is tracking the often treacherous and mystifying journey of books made into movies. His blogs will be tagged BOOKS 2 MOVIES, and must not be missed.

We believe that our collective preferences perfectly complement each other with you, the classic movie fan, the winner.

Let us know what you think about what we write, or just let us know what you think – period. Perhaps you’d like to be a guest contributor. Let’s hear what YOU have to say about your favorite movies, your favorite stars and favorite movie lines.

Our Classic Movie Chat is very much a conversation, not a monologue. So let’s staring having fun together. Here’s looking at you Kid.

Yesterday’s Picture:

We bet you recognized at least one of the two great emperors shown in our photo. Yes, that’s Napoleon Bonaparte, as portrayed by Marlon Brando in 1954’s DESIREE, an elaborate costume spectacle from 20th Century Fox which costarred the likes of Jean Simmons (who plays the eponymous seamstress whom Napoleon loved but did not marry)and Merle Oberon as the Empress Josephine (whom Napoleon did).

But how about that other guy?  He’s Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974.  Selassie was a many faceted figure who loved show business.  It was even said that he once sat in on drums in a jam session with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. (Not sure we buy that one.)  Anyway, Hollywood fell in madly love with royalty very early on, and loved to amuse visiting royals and heads of state with tours of movie sets.



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