Friday, June 10, 2016

"Rene and Me" by Gorden Kaye

Gorden Kaye with Hilary Bonno. Rene & Me: An Autobiography. London” Sidwich and Jacksn, 1989.

Actor Gorden Kaye has “painful awkwardness and “dreadful shyness” as an overweight youth. He joined the drama club and found acting as a “homecoming”. He used acting for the rest of his life “as a welcome escape from the harshest aspects of bleak reality/”

Kaye starred in “‘Allo “Allo, a BBC television series. There was criticism from those who felt its setting as a comedy during the Nazi occupation of France was objectionable. The show was successful. It was a success that drew a large number of British viewers at 16 million watching.

There were some mistakes during shooting A scene where a woman tried to rescue actor Arthur Bostrom, whose character who is hanging from a tree as his parachute is entangled. The female character accidentally pulls down Bostrom’s pants while trying to rescue him. During a take, she accidentally pulled down his pants and underpants. Of course, that tape was not the one chosen for airing.

There was a year gap between filming the pilot in 1982 and the series beginning.

Kaye, when delivering speeches, prefers to speech in character of Rene, who he portrays in “‘Allo ‘Allo”, Kaye is still shy and finds it easier to pretend to be Rene.

Once while in Rene mode, Kaye spoke at a dinner for Richard Branson and his Virgin Airlines, noting “why anyone wants to fly with an airline that is not prepared to go all the way I cannot understand.”

The longest audience laugh while filming was when an acrobat held a suggestion position  while being interviewed for a job as a wait server. The audience laughed for 37 seconds. The scene was reduced for TV broadcast.

Kate observed he never used his French accent while speaking English as a means to get a laugh. This was something Peter Sellers did masterfully as Inspector Clouseau.

“‘‘Allo ‘Allo” filmed most of its scenes before a live audience. Kaye notes some actors find an audience as disturbing and prefer not to shoot in front of audiences. Kaye found shooting before an audience “brings it all alive.

“‘Allo ‘Allo” was shown in France, Kaye notes that it may have been hard from some French viewers to buy a British comedy which makes French characters the butts f some jokes especially with the show was set during a time when French citizens ere being harmed and killed. Kaye appreciates that so many French viewers enjoyed the series.

Kaye belonged to a technical college drama group where he learned much about acting. He later was a past of the Bradford Amateur Theatre Group. He was in a play shown on BBC. When he joined Equity, they misspelled his first name as “Gorden”. He had a kidney stone attack and was unable to correct the error before receiving his Equity card. He accepted his new name.

Kaye performed in more plays before he was then cast on the TV show “Coronation Street”, which is seen by 500 million people. He was on that series for eight months. He was not given a contract extension. Kaye appeared in two episodes of “Are You Being Served?”. Crift then cast Kaye in a seires “Come Back Mrs. Noah”. It lsted one eason,

David Croft, who created “‘Allo ‘Allo” seriesm hired Kaye for the lead road. Croft also originaly thought the Edith character should be an opera singer. Carmen Silvera who portrayed Edith, recommended Edit e a good signerm in parr because she was petrified to sing, Croft agreed with the suggestion.

The “‘Allo ‘Allo” TV actors performed stage versions of the show. The stage show broke some audience records.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Them Ornery Mitchum Boys by John Mitchum

John Mitchum. Them Ornery Mitchum Boys: The Adventures of Robert & John Mitchum Pacific, CA.: Creatures at Large Press, 1989.

A large amount of brawling occurred amongst the Mitchum brothers throughout life. Many of these fights are detailed and we see the Mitchums up for themselves and are tough and usually victorious. It was not wise to challenge a Mitchum, as most of the fights were brought on by others.

It was often supporting character actors who had the lines the public remembered from films during Hollywood’s Golden Age. As skilled actors, the Mitchum brothers delivered many of the memorable lines in their films.

The Mitchum brothers were nicknamed “them ornery Mitchum boys” from childhood. Bullies attacked them. John bit back and Bob fought them so hard both bullies were hospitalized.

Their sister Annette became a dancer on Broadway shows. She moved to California and changed her name to Julie.  Bob spent time as a young hobo and took a train to visit his sister. She took Bob along on auditions. Bob to some theater work beginning in 1937, Bob realized he could reach inward and find characters using his adventurous youth as a brawler and hobo. He had even briefly been in a chain gang while being a hobo.

Bob appeared in his first movie, “Border Patrol”, filmed in 1942 and released in 1943, This led to more move roles in 1943, Bob appeared in five movies in 1944 including “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo”. His role in “Nevada” gained notice leading to more work He was in “The Story of G.I. Joe” in 1945 that brought him even more attention.

Robert Mitchum was in the movie “Cossfire”. He established himself as one who underplayed his characters. Director Eddie Dwytryk coached “I know what you’re doing, but it you keep it up, even the sound man won’t hear ya.”

In 1947, John MItchum was approached in the streets by an agent who asked if John waa an actor. John stated he was not. The agent asked if he wanted to be an actor. John replied “Why not? Where do I go?” John was signed to be in the movie “The Private.”

Robert was arrested for having marijuana in 1948. John writes it was entrapment. The press was alerted before the police entered a party and arrested him. John believes the police and move studio wanted to show they were doing something about the marijuana problem. Yet they did not want one of their big stars arrested. So Robert was set up Robert was sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years probation.

The event helped publicize Robert Mitchum’s name. He received larger roles.

John was in the movie “Flying Leathernecks”. A replica of Henderson Field, where Marine Corps planes flew, was built. It was so realistic it startled pilots who were familiar with Henderson Field.

John was on the 1951 TV series “Adams Spare Rib” which ran for 13 episodes, The sponsor, Easy Air Mattress, on live TV attempting to show how strong their mattress was that it could even hold an elephant, brought in an elephant, The elephant’s toot went through the mattress.

John was in the movie “One Minute to Zero”. In the move, he played an artillery officer ordered to fire on refugees being used as shields by North Korean troops. This was a controversial scene as this did happen in the Korean War.

Nicholas Ray was a director who would sit in deep concentration and then jump up with every detail having been determined. Ray directed both brothers in “The Lusty Men”. Both brothers agree it was one of their best films.

Henry Hathaway as a director was known for screaming directions. The author believed Hathaway would yell at weak links in cast and crew as a form of therapy.

Simone Silva, an actress who Robert had never met, ran up naked from the waist up to Robert, in front of press photographers. Silva did this to publicize her career.

If an extra had to say a line, the extra was paid more money, perhaps $40 in the early 1950w. Some movies saved paying an extra by having them respond nonverbally, such as being asked how many rode into town, and the extra would raise a number of fingers.

Bob once crawled in a scene bare chested for four takes for director John Huston. When Huston say how Bob was bloody from nettled, Huston asked when Bob didn’t say anything. Bob replied “That’s the shot you wanted, wasn’t it?”

Carey Lofton was a noted stunt driver. He once dug a trench so he could perfectly hit it while driving at a high speed in order for the care to roll over three times and land exactly were requested.

Actor Charles McGraw once complained that his Mexican hotel toiler did not flush. McGraw did not realize the handle was on the left side. McGraw died in 1980, probably while drunk, when he fell through the glass in shower which cut an artery.

Bob Mitchum was in 19 movies during the 1960s.

When John was filmed “El Doredo”, the director Howard Hawks told John a squid would go off on his hard at the count of three. This would simulate a bullet hitting his hand. Hawks had the squid go off on the count of one to film John’s actual surprise reaction.

Bob stated of actor Bruce Dern in 1982 “he hasn’t yet learned that acting is not a competitive business”

On actor Forrest Tucker, John writes I an happier to write that the tales of his sexual prowess, so legendary as to sound apocryphal, are true.” Tucker once his his penis to sink a two foot gold shot.

Clint Eastwood stated his directing style consisted of “1.) there are no rules of filmmaking---only sins---and the cardinal sin is dullness, and 2.) never underestimate the intelligence of the audience. Doing os stimulates restlessness and boredom and taxes the audience’s patience.”

Clint Eastwood demanded and received half interest in his movies. As director Ted Post stated, “This approach took its tool of meaningful scenes that were ruthlessly shortchanged and even excised. Clint’s gread and ego began to affect his sensibility and judgment. It was painful to watch.” Eastwood once allowed Post to direct a scene Post argued was important. Eastwood had instructed the cameramen not to even load the cameras and then claim the film was ruined in the laboratory,

An inmate at San Quentin Prison once told John Mitchum the mistake in films when someone is shot and they fall backwards several feet. The inmate explained he has shot and killed three people and each kept moving forward towards him.

John had a role in the CBS daytime TV drama “Clear Horizons.”

Thursday, January 14, 2016

By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There by Tom Sizemore

Tom Siexmore with Anna David. By Some Miracle I Made it Out of There: A Memoir. New York: Atria Books, 2013.]

Sizemore writes how he overcame drug abuse and restored a career that had been harmed by his imprisonment.

Sizemore was addicted to heroin as well as crystal meth. He admits back then he was not seeking sobriety.

Sizemore grew up admiring his two uncles who were drug dealers, even though his father did not use any drugs.

Sizemore, as a child, read books about James Dean and Montgomery Clift. He decided he wanted to be an actor. At age 20, Sizemore tried out for the League of Professional Theater Training Programs. He was accepted into Temple University’s program. He immersed himself in studying acting. He played on the college’s main stage as a first year student. He continued with graduate school and received an MFA. He worked performing in theatre in New York City. He attended the Ensemble master acting class.

A casting director, Risa Braman, helped bring New York City actors such as Alex Baldwin, John Torturro, Ethan Hawke, and Anthony LaPaglia to Hollywood films. She cast Sizemore in “Blue Steel”. That led to a role in “Point Break”, “Strange Days”, and “Born on the Fourth of July.”

Sizemore filmed with director Oliver Stone Stone thought Sizemore acted well. Yet Sizemore was very self-critical. Stone added Sizemore to additional scenes,

Sizemore was cast in the movie “Lock It Up”. Sizemore was amazed by Mickey Rourke’s talents.

Sizemore believes if you can imagine yourself being anything else but an actor, then you should be doing something else” He notes that an actor is selling, not a product, but the actor. Being rejected for a role is “the most personal kind of rejection.” He decided when he was rejected for a rle he would grieve for a day and then move on.

Sizemore had a recurring role on the TV series “China Beach”. Several more movie roles followed. He received a leading role in the movie “Passenger 57”.

When Sizemore was cast in “Natural Born Killers”, he realized he needed to become sober. He went to AA and achieve brief sobriety before filming.

Sizemore completed a 30 day rehab program. He returned to drugs without four hours after getting out of rehab. He still wanted to get high. He notes that “it sounds insane, I realize, but if you even heard that a guy OD’d fro a certain batch of drugs, you’d find out who his dealeer had been because you know that heroin was good.”

Sizemore was cast in “Saving Private Ryan”. He had to promise producer Steven Speilberg he could remain sober during the filming.

Sizemore next portrayed John Gotti in an NBC-TV mini-series “Witness to the Mob” He gained 40 pounds to play the role. Hw loat the weight under doctor[s supervision. He then was in the movie “Florentine”.

Sizemore went into methadone maintenance. He started at 200 mg, the largest amount allowed. He became addicted to methadone. He was on methadone for two years. He returned to using heroin. His wife called an ambulance when he didn’t respond and was told the ambulance got to him before he suffered brain damage.

Sizemore appeared in “Red Planet” with Val Kilmer. Kilmer kept production waiting 3 to 4 hours daily while arguing with director Antony Hoffman for script changes. Val Kilmer and Sizemore got into an argument and Kilmer responded by throwing a lighter at Sizemore. Kilmer later kept everyone waiting for nine hours. Kilmer got angry at a 18 year old prop gifl, called her a “dumb bitch”, and threw a lit cigarette at her which burned her chest. Things were so tense a producer asked Sizemore, if he came to blows with Kilmer, not to hit Kilmer in the face as it might be hard to cover that up with make-up. Sizemore did hit Kilmer in the chest, stomach, and arms. Both Kilmer and Sizemore were going through divorces. They later spoke to each other about their personal troubles and became friends.

Sieemore dated convicted prostitution madam Heidi Fleiss. They consumed meth together. Sizenore noted “when you’re letting yourself fall deep into a hole with drugs, whatever reins you have on other aspects of your ife can easily disintegrate.” Heidi Fleiss told interviewer Howard Stern has hard Sizemore’s movie “Black Hawk Down”. The film producer canceled a planned Academy Award campaign for Sizemore.

Siemore stopped using meth while filming a TV movie Sons of the Father” because he was afraid of carrying meth on a flight to Canada. When Sizemore filmed the movie “Swindle”, Heidi Fleiss sent women to Canada to deliver meth to Sizemore. Fleiss also put speed in his Visine bottle.

Sizemore was cast in the CBS TV series “Robbery Homicide Division”. Critics liked the show yet it had poor ratings. It was canceled after a few months.

Heidi Fleiss believed Sizemore stole her list of prostitutes. Sizemore states he believes Fleiss had a friend falsely claim Sizemore abused her and then drop the charges. Sizemore’s arrest made news but not that the charges were dropped.

Fleiss later had Sizemore arrested, claiming he hit her. He denies this. He was convicted on some counts.

Before sentencing, Sizemoe filmed his role in the movie :”Hustle”. Director Peter Bogdanovich stated people are mistaken in telling actors to become rheir roles, and an actor should strive to b the best “look for the character” inside the actor.

Before Sizemore was to be sentenced, he tried to kill himself by taking 100 antidepressants A friend something was wrong and found him, his face already blue He was told in the hospital he was near death.

Charlie Sheen was among friends who supported Sizemore at sentencing. Sizemore was sentenced to six months imprisonment reduced to three months if he completed drug rehabilitation. He left reb twice and got high He was given one last change and did not leave again. He stayed 57 days, which was longer then the 45 days we was sentenced He got high after release. He learned how to bend drug rules, including using a take penis with clean urie, He ried being in a steam room drinking water and not eating anything for four days followed by taking vinegar to become nauseous, drinking cranberry juice and taking many aspirin, only to still test positive He was found with meth and given 36 months probation. Sizemore spent $10 million in legal fees. He became broke and filed for bankruptcy.

The TV network VH1 had a reality show “Shooting Sizemore” that Sizemore calls “a piece of shit”. It showed Sizemore smoking speed and having a fake gun that he writes its use was taken out of context.

Sizemore overdosed a lot. His friends would take him to the hospital and shove him out the care to avoid arrest.

Sizemore remained “hopeless addicted” to meth. Sizemore filed a porn movie with six women. He was later arreste with meth and sentenced to 16 months imprisonment for violating parole, later cut in half for previous time spent imprisoned and in rehab. He learned he had to pick a gang to survive in prison. He found the guards were worse than inmates as they would have inmates fight to the death and take bets.

Sizemore appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew”. Sizemore failed to appear until day nine, He the escaped to get high. He was lured to return to treatment when he ran out of food and he was lured with pizza. He had to be sedatd with Seroquel to stop leaving.

Sizemore admits he filmed “Celebrity Rehab with Dr.Drew”” and then “Sober House” for the money. He lost $200,000 of the $250,000 he received for the shows. He believes some trusted firends took the money. He credits the shows for saving his life. He went to AA meetings, something he had declined to do before.

Sizemore appeared in the movie “White Knight”. He then received a recurring role in the CBS TV series “Hawaii Five O”.

Sizemore notes “the hardest part about acting, for me, is that you’re sitting there on a set for 14 hours only to act for maybe 28 minutes.”

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Lost Girl by Kathy Coleman

Kathy Coleman with Steven Thompson. Lost Girl: The Truth and Nothing But the Truth So Help Me Kathleen. 2015.

Coleman notes “the whole premise of the book should be that we’re no different.”

Coleman grew up without a father and was the youngest of several siblings. She lived in a small community an hour and a half away from Hollywood. She was not liked by her classmates who ridiculed her being a child actor. Coleman told Dinah Shore on “The Dinah Shore Show” that her classmates “beat the heck out of me.” That was edited out of the interview.

Abuse continued in her life. Coleman’s first marriage first marriage was to a husband who shot up their house, causing  $18,000 damage,. She hid and fled, fear for her life. Her husband was son the son of U.S. Rp. Alphonso Bell. Her husband grew up rich and without an appreciation for things. Her in-laws remained supportive of her and her children even when her ex-husband was non-supportive,

Whitman had an acting agent at age six. She was born Kathleen Buck (and never saw her father growing up and later learned she had a different father from her siblings. She used her mother’s maiden name, Coleman, while acing She first worked as Goldilocks in a Shakley’s Pizza commercial. More commercial work followed, including a part in the play “Gypsy”.

One commercial would quality as work during an unemployment compensation period. Coleman, along with numerous other celebrities, lived off of unemployment compensation.

Coleman was selected as one of the 16 members of the changing membership of the Mike Curb Congregation Congregation singing group.

Coleman was cast in the Saturday morning TV series “Land of the Lost”. The only child actor was Phil Paley. Paley and Coleman had worked together prior in a Cheez-Its commercials Paley was the youngest second degree black belt at the time, studying under Chuck Norris. Later, Coleman and Paley lived together briefly.

The writers of “Last of the Lost” developed intelligent science for adult viewers with visuals for children. Several top notch directors such as Bob Lally, Gordon Wiles, and Dennis Steinmetz directed episodes. Denis Steinnetz, a noted make-up articles worked on the series. Two sound stages were used. A chroma blue key, a.k.a. “green screen:, was used. Coleman were blue corduroys in early episodes that were changed o burgundy as the blue pants color faded in the chroma key blue.

Dinosaur close-ups involved hand puppets. Coleman noted “they could have been done better.”

Wesley Eure, an actor on the series, was originally billed as “Wesley”. He and Coleman would comptee for ad libs and last close-up shots.

When Coleman had to cry in a scene, Wesley Eure held her was she released tears. After her performance that included crying, the crew gave her a sanding ovation.

“Land of the Lost” declined in viewership when Spencer Milligan, who player her father on the show, He was replaced by Ron Harper, who was cast as her uncle. Spencer had acted as a father, which appealed to young viewers. Uncle Jack wanted to display sex appeal, Scenes between Coleman and Harper were visibly tense.

Coleman appeared singing on national TV during the Macy’s Day Parade. Minutes before she saw her mother having an epileptic seizure. She had to appear on TV not knowing if her mother was still alive. Her mother did survive.

Coleman’s agent turned down being on “One Day at a Time”. This was even though fellow cast member Wesley Eure was doing two TV shows at the time. Her agent didn’t want her to do that.

Spencer Milligan was upset that there were no payments for cast members for merchandising with their images. Milligan did not get along with producer Marty Kroft. Milligan left the show.

Ron Harper was added to the show. He made inappropriate advances to women on the set, including 14 year old Coleman on the set which was captured on tape. Coleman’s mother threatened to report the incident. She was offered the option of having the incident reported and shutting down the show, or accepting an apology from Harper. Her mother needed the income and agreed to the apology. Harper gave a weak apology. The tape was destroyed.

“Land of the Lost” was the top rated children’s show. It lost ratings as fans became confused and upset that Milligan was no longer on the show. The show lasted three seasons.

Coleman got a job in “Adam 12” through connections during a dinner discussion. Coleman writes “that’s how this business works. When you know someone and they can help you, then they do and that’s the beauty of it.”

Coleman filmed her last set of commercials for Burger King at age 17 before marrying, divorcing an abusive husband, and returning at age 29.

After divorcing a second abusive husband, who were sometimes homeless, Coleman was homeless alone for two months. She learned homeless people tend to be among the nicest people.

Coleman developed an alcohol addiction. It became serious enough that she was hospitalized for a month. She found recovery.

Coleman auditioned for the second “Land of the Lost” TV series. The director stated she gave the best reading but shoe was not cast.

Colmean filmed a scene with the “Land of the Lost” movie. Her cameo was deleted from the final movie when it was decided to use a different humorous ending.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Road to Happiness Is Always Under Construction by Linda Gray

Linda Gray. The Road to Happiness Is Always Under Construction. New York, N.Y.: Regan Arts, 2015.

At age five, in 1945, the author contracted polio. She was told she would be unable to walk. Her parents exercised her legs and her legs regained their functions. Her parents signed her to dance classes. At her first performance, she was scared yet her mother appreciated she could walk and dance at all. In 2012, at age 75, People magazine declared she had the “Sexiest Legs in the Universe”.

Linda Gray started acting in school She “came to associate acting with relief, calm, and confidence.” At age 16, she began modeling work. She auditioned for TV only to learn there was an industrial prejudice against models as people who couldn’t speak well.

Linda Gray enrolled in the CEC Studio acting class in Burbank. Her classmates included  Carl Weathers, Dee Wallace, Susan Blakey, and Veronica Hamel. Hamel would later win an Emmy for which Gray was also nominated. This class used the Conrad Method of memorizing scripts, repeating them rapidly to desensitize the actor to emotions, and remove preconceptions regarding the roles. The acting coach Charles E. Conrad explained that “Acting is reacting.”

Gray received parts on some TV shows, including playing a transsexual on “All That Glitters” where Norman Lear declared to her, and she was not sure how to take this, “You’re perfect for the role.”

Gray auditioned to be on “Dallas”. She won the role of Sue Ellen Ewing. Her portrayal of an alcoholic helped persuade alcoholic viewers to recognize their own problems and to obtain help.

A voice coach helped Linda Gray develop a Texas accent. Gray researched her character to better play the part, The “Who Do It?” episode of “Dallas” drew 80 million viewers, more people than had voted for President a few weeks earlier. Worldwide there were 370 million who viewed that episode.

Gray was nominated for an Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a Dramatic Series in 1981. Her contract ended after eight seasons on “Dallas”. She asked to direct a episode. She had studied directing with Lilyan Chauvin. She learned camera shots, blocking, camera height tricks, etc. The show executives at first refused to let her direct and they fired her from the show Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy had directed, The executive’s response was if Linda Gray directed then other women would want to direct. Larry Hagman threatened to leave the show if Gray was not signed, The executives relented and let her direct an episode. The show she directed received great ratings She later directed three additional episodes.

Gray left “Dallas” after its eleventh season. SHe filmed some TV movies. She learned about Aaron Spelling’s new show “Models Inc.” and asked to be considered for the show. She auditioned in front of 30 people and was hired. The show, though, flopped and received bad critical reviews. It lasted one season.

Gray had a recurring role in the soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful”. She had to memorize 30 pages of dialogue daily.

In 2011, “Dallas” returned with a new cast yet with Gray, Patrick Duffy, and Larry Hagman returning to their old roles. Hagman died in 2012, “Dallas 2.0: lasted three seasons.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Danger Rhythms by Richard Barrios

Richard Barrios. Dangerous Rhythms: Why Movie Musicals Matter. New York, N.Y. Oxford University Press, 2014.

The author observes movie musicals are “intended to seem effortless and diverting they are, beneath their gleaming surfaces complicated and contradictory.” Some are “so riddled with paradox that it becomes difficult to comprehend hem.” Still, the offer “a spectrum of fantasies” that are “balanced understanding between the sublime and the inane.”

Musicals allow an uplifting of spirit. “Chicago” won a Best Picture Oscar during the Iraq War. “Oliver!” won a Best Picture Oscar during the Vietnam War. “Oliver!” in 1969was the fourth musical in a seven year period to win as Best Picture along wtih “West Side Story”, “ My Fair Lady”, and “The Sound of Music”. After “Oliver!”, there were a few musicals such as “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Cabaret” that was successful yet musicals were mostly missing among movie offerings unitl “Grease” in 1979.

Musicals began with auteur directors which increased scrutiny of them. They held important roles in American society. “42nd Street” in 1933 increased the spirit of the New Deal. “Star Spangled Banner” rallied audiences during Wold War II.

The author observed each musical builds upon previous musicals Any part of a muscial had exise before. Audiences appreciate this “kinship” with the past.

“Don Juan” in 1926 excited audiences with its phonograph sound played over loud speakers. Al Jolson captivated audiences in “The Jazz Singer” in 1926 with sound portions combined with silent portions. Warner Brothers was unprepared for the success of “The Jazz Singer” as it had no further plans for musicals. MGM filled he void as its “The Broadway Melody” won the Oscar for Best Picture .

Ernest Lubissh ad King Vidor directed some musicals. Many were “trial and error” MGM tried shooting a night and in Technicolor.

In 1933, musicals delved into social issues, morale building, escapism, and propaganda.

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” began a long line of musical cartoon movies.

Arthur Freed, a producer “perhaps unwittingly” changed movie musicals from “formulatic schlock” to stories with music.

The author explains “A good musical must forge an emphatic bond with its public: a poor or ignorant one is merely show and tell.”

A “disconnect” with musicals began by the late 1960s.

The first Broadway musical made into a movie with songs was “The Desert Sons” in 1929. It was made simplistically.

The moral Code required of movies removed musicals about divorce, sex, and drugs.

Musicals were profitable during World War II. The late 1940s saw an increase in original musicals made as movies.

The 1950s saw the return of many Broadway musicals adapted into movies. The 1960s found great successes with “My Fair Lady” and “The Sound of Music” as well as Elvis Presley movies.

“Sweet Charity”, which the author describes as “so hyperkinetic, with so many zoom lenses, tht many were annoyed” did poorly. Musicals typically did not fare well for several years afterwards.

A number of great performers were impressive in musicals. These include Janet Gaynor, Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly, and Julie Andrews. Al Jolson presented confidence on the screen. Mickey Rooney had comedic versatility.

Cecil B. DeMille produced one musical, “Madam Satan” It did not do well with audiences..

“Tthe Wizard Of Oz” lost money and would take about 20 years before it made money MGM was less willing to invest in expensive musicals.

“The Singing Fool” cost MGM $388,000 to make and it earned $3.8 million domestic and $2.1 million foreign.

MGM made more costly musicals in 1944 and several years afterwards.

The author argues an excellent musical is “Singin’ in the Rain” because it “understands its roots, respects its ancestors, and by embracing its own history is enabled to soar.”

The author argues “Musicals don’t die, not even when neglected...their absence is always temporary, their heritage is everlasting.”

Monday, April 27, 2015

Eddie by Ken Osmond

Ken Osmond and Christopher J. Lynch. Eddie: The Life and Times of America's Preeminent Bad Boy. San Bernardino, Ca.:, 2014.

Ken Osmond's father worked at Universal Studios. Ken began taking drama classes at age 4. Dancing lessons were then added. He worked as an extra in movies. In 1952, his first role was a small port on "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet". He then had a role in the movie "Good Morning Miss Dove". This was following by more TV appearances, including an episode of "Corky" in 1957 which started Micky Lopez as Corky. He later, in 1957, won the role of Eddie Haskell on "Leave It to Beaver". It originally was meant for one episode He would up being in 97 of the show's 235 episodes.

"Leave It to Beaver" began with Monday table reads while led to script revisions. The scenes were blocked on Tuesdays. Child labor loads had a maximum of eight hours working per day including three hours of school.

"Leave It to Beaver" moved from Republic Studios to a better deal at Universal Studios.

After the show was cancelled, Osmond went into the helicopter rental business He then because a Los Angeles Police Officer. He was wounded when shot pursuing a suspect. He was also questioned by Internal Affairs asking if he was an adult film star. It turned out that porn star John Holmes was cleaning to have been Eddie Haskell. Osmond appeared in a few TV episodes.