John Gilbert ‘The Great Lover’ was one of the few stars of the silent movie era who could rival Rudolph Valentino, and you can see why, handsome devil wasn’t he? Like Valentino his life ended tragically young (although not quite as young as Valentino) aged just 38. During this time he made in excess of(…)
For me Cary Grant will always be the ultimate leading man. Sophisticated, debonaire and witty (not to mention a bit of a goof-ball at times) he was a Hollywood icon millions of women fell in love with. He acted alongside the greatest leading ladies from 3 decades of Hollywood, from Greta Garbo to Mae West,(…)
Chaplin, along with his mother and siblings, were sent to the dreaded Victorian workhouse when he was aged just 7. After the breakdown of his parents marriage, his mother struggled to keep the family from destitution but without any help from his father she was unable to keep them out of the workhouse. Parents were(…)
Was Fred Astaire the greatest dancer on the silver screen? Personally I think he probably was, I grew up glued to Fred and Ginger movies and absolutely adored him! Born Frederick Austerlitz in 1899, Fred took to the stage at an early age singing and dancing with his sister Adele in a vaudeville act (see(…)
Who comes to mind when you hear the name Dracula? Gary Oldman? Christopher Lee? Or is it in my opinion the ultimate Dracula, Bela Lugosi? Lugosi was born in Hungary and was already a successful actor with the National Theatre of Hungary when he moved to America at the age of 42. He was forced(…)
Gable started out in Hollywood playing bit-parts in silent movies in the mid 1920s and starred in his first starring role in 1931 in The Painted Desert opposite leading lady Helen Twelvetrees. The movie that really catapulted him to fame was Red Dust (which I reviewed last week) where his rough and ready sex appeal(…)
You probably know Donald O’Connor best from the movie Singin’ in the Rain – I know that’s where I first came across him. While I fell madly in love with Gene Kelly, I was wowed by Donald O’Connor running up the wall and in fits of giggles at his fight with the mannequin. If you(…)
There were some great movie actors around in the 1940s, it truly was the golden age of cinema! Here are my top 10 leading men of that decade – have I missed anyone crucial out? 1. Humphrey Bogart Bogart was ranked the greatest male movie star in history by the American Film Institute, and he(…)
A tale of savagery, seduction and Stockholm Syndrome amongst the sand dunes… The Sheik, a silent-movie from 1921, is widely-regarded as the movie that really established Rudolph Valentino to stardom, so I thought I should give it a watch and boy was it a revelation! Watching silent movies is a funny old business, and I(…)
How can I talk about Gary Cooper without humming Irving Berlin’s Putting on the Ritz? Dressed up like a million dollar trooper Tryin’ hard to look like Gary Cooper (Super duper) That must have been the first time I heard Gary Cooper’s name, from the lips of Fred Astaire watching a Saturday afternoon movie on(…)
An early publicity photo of James Dean taken in 1953 when he was around 22. I say it was an early publicity photo, but it was only taken 2 years before his death which just brings into perspective how tragically short his career and life were.
Gregory Peck embracing Ann Todd in publicity still for Alfred Hitchcock’s film “The Paradine Case”, 1947. You can see why he made the ladies swoon can’t you? Source and copyright: This work is in the public domain in that it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice.
Dancer and actor Gene Kelly in a publicity photo. The scar on his cheek was caused by a childhood accident – this is what he said about it: I’d love to ascribe that scar to some great dramatic event, but actually I fell off my tricycle when I was a sprout of five. Source and copyright:(…)
Marlon Brando’s iconic publicity photo from the 1953 movie The Wild One. Source and copyright: This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed.
The US Navy portrait of a very young Paul Newman taken during Word War 2, probably in 1944 or 1945. Source and copyright: This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government,(…)