On a dark and windy night at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, Myrna Loy, wearing a red silk dress with matching heels, applies her lipstick. She stares at her reflection in the south window of the corner suite glancing down at the boulevard. Turning into the room she smirks, “It’s gotten louder and stinkier.”
It was an overcast day as I negotiated the narrow broken streets of Hollywood. I thought Tinsel Town had lost its luster until I spied a portly gent in a stained Buster Keaton t-shirt. I quickly parked my ride and hoofed it up to the Roosevelt Hotel. My heart raced like a three-year-old filly in heat with a hopped up jockey on her back. Once I hit the lobby, I felt right at home.
The room comes alive as the two men saunter in to meet the press. The self-described “hick farm boy” wears a light patterned silver suit with a yellow shirt open at the collar. The other, from a family steeped in politics, broadcasting, and show business, is dressed in jeans with his shirt tail out. Both men with degrees in journalism, born a generation apart, are at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood for roundtable interviews to kick off their duties as the main hosts of the TCM film festival. Four days of 83 classic films and several seminars drawing diehard movie fans from 49 states and 7 countries. Special guests will include Debbie Reynolds, Robert Wagner, Rhonda Fleming, Norman Jewison, Stanley Donen, and many more. But the true stars of this event are the gentlemen I’m describing, Robert Osborne and Ben Mankewicz.
When I was a kid I back in the 60’s, I’d peruse the television listings every Sunday morning in the paper. I wanted to see what movies were being telecast that week. Before the funnies, church, or bacon and eggs, I would count the number of stars listed after each title. Those stars were my…
I had a tough time trying to figure out this month’s pick. Maybe it’s because the end of the year is a little more stressful than usual. I couldn’t decide what I wanted. A tragic love story? A heist film? Perhaps something foreign? I’ve always loved the classic story of one individual against the system.…
This month, in Allan Havey’s Film Vault: One of the best films ever made. It took close to forty years to gain the recognition it so richly deserves. It’s majestic, intimate and bloody. It moves slow and steady, like a train. When it reaches its destination, you will be transfixed. It single handedly redefined the western genre in film. It’s Sergio Leone’s masterpiece, Once Upon a Time in the West.
When I was a kid growing up in the 60’s I would often envision the future. It was almost impossible not to. The space race was in full swing with the Russians. All of us looked up to the Mercury 7. Every little boy (and a few of the girls) dreamed of being astronauts.
This month’s film from the vault is a genuine turkey that was organically raised in the mid 60’s and is still as fresh today as it was on it’s opening weekend. It didn’t stick around long, but, thanks to television, it’s popped up from time to time over the years and it comes with all the fixing’s to satiate even a diehard vegetarian. It’s so bad it’s not funny, it’s hysterical.
Looking dapper in a black suit, dark blue shirt and sensible shoes, the man behind the podium surveyed the audience and pronounced, “Never eat oysters and don’t buy a Ferrari.” Still the director eleven years after his last film, Michael Winner had command of a full house of family, friends and film freaks eager to watch a double feature of his films Deathwish and Nightcomers at the Aero Theater on a balmy Friday night in Santa Monica.