Friday, May 16, 2008

Lon Chaney Sr. Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928)

Tito, a clown, adopts a girl whom he names Simonetta. The girl matures into an attractive woman, desired by Luigi, a wealthy nobleman. On the eve of her marriage, Simonetta learns that Tito loves her, and she responds, presumably, to avoid hurting him, by declaring that she returns his love. That night, disbelieving her, Tito falls while practicing a familiar trick--sliding down a tightwire--thus freeing Simonetta to marry the count. In an alternative (happy) ending, Tito survives his fall, Simonetta marries Luigi, and they all remain close friends.

Lon Chaney (Tito )
Bernard Siegel (Simon )
Loretta Young (Simonetta )
Cissy FitzGerald (Giancinta )
Nils Asther (Luigi )
Gwen Lee (Lucretia )

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fredric March, 1931 "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"

Fredric March won an Oscar nomination in 1930 for The Royal Family of Broadway, in which he played a role based upon John Barrymore. He won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1931 for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and again in 1946 for The Best Years of Our Lives. On March 25, 1954, March co-hosted the 26th Annual Academy Awards ceremony from New York City, with co-host Donald O'Connor in Los Angeles.
March in A Star is Born (1937)

March was one of the few actors to resist signing long-term contracts with the studios, and was able to freelance and pick and choose his roles, in the process also avoiding typecasting. By this time, he was working on Broadway as often as in Hollywood, and his screen career was not as prolific as it had been.

March, however, won two Best Actor Tony Awards: in 1947 for the play Years Ago, written by Ruth Gordon; and in 1957 for his performance as James Tyrone in the original Broadway production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night.

March's neighbor in Connecticut, playwright Arthur Miller, was thought to favor March to inaugurate the part of Willy Loman in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Death of a Salesman (1949). However, March read the play and turned down the role, whereupon director Elia Kazan cast Lee J. Cobb as Willy, and Arthur Kennedy as one of Willy's sons, Biff Loman, two men that the director had worked with in the film Boomerang (1947). March later regretted turning down the role and finally played Willy Loman in Columbia Pictures's 1951 film version of the play, directed by Laslo Benedek. Perhaps March's greatest late-in-life role was in Inherit the Wind (1960), opposite Spencer Tracy.
in Inherit the Wind (1960)

When March underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 1972, it seemed his career was over, yet he managed to give one last great performance in The Iceman Cometh (1973), as the complicated Irish bartender, Harry Hope. Coincidentally, co-star Robert Ryan was entering the final stages of lung cancer, so the film was the last for both March and Ryan.

March has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1616 Vine Street.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Steve Fiorilla ....A Little Clay and Rubber

Steve Fiorilla (born January 12, 1961) is an American artist born in Paterson, New Jersey, who lives and works in Buffalo, New York. Throughout his career, Fiorilla has emphasized the grotesque and surreal in illustrations, sculpture and fine art. As a sculptor, he's produced a variety of bizarre, malformed creatures.
Fiorilla has illustrated for books and magazines (Heavy Metal, Video Games and Computer Entertainment, High Times), T-shirts, small press journals (Eegah!, Magick Theatre, Moody Street Irregulars), catalog covers (Gregg Press), fanzines (Horror from the Crypt of Fear) and mini-comics (City Scenes). One of his 1985 sculptures was featured 12 years later on a cover for the magazine Bloodsongs (1997).
He created numerous drawings and product designs for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, including a belt buckle, T-shirts, caps, ads and catalog illustrations. Fiorilla sometimes works in tandem with illustrator Jim McDermott, such as their collaboration for Stephen J. Spignesi's The Complete Stephen King Encyclopedia (1991).
Film and television
Fiorilla's work for films includes sculptural designs for Boston's Olive Jar Animation. The short film Things Never Seen (1989), with creatures designed by Fiorilla, received multiple showings on MTV during the 1980s and 1990s. In addition to special effects makeup for videos (Tennie Komar and the Silencers) and films (Winterbeast, 1991), he's designed masks for Death Studios and horror films, including Saturday the 14th (1981) and Till Death Do We Scare (1982).
The MTV animated logo "Guillotine" featured a sculpted horror by Fiorilla, and he also created the customized skeleton guitar writhing in a popular 1987 Dokken video seen on MTV. EC Comics publisher Bill Gaines owned one of Fiorilla's latex masks depicting EC's Old Witch (The Haunt of Fear). In the second season of HBO's Tales from the Crypt anthology television series, a photo of this Old Witch mask was a prop in the June 26, 1990 "Korman's Kalamity" episode, adapted from the EC story "Kamen's Kalamity." Illustrated by Jack Kamen, the original self-satirical story is set in EC's offices where the EC editors have a meeting with Kamen about his artwork.
Miscellaneous work
Buffalo's Low Down Dirty Low Brow Art Show was a 2002 group exhibition "inspired by the artwork of Steve Fiorilla," although he didn't participate in the show. Fiorilla's articles and reviews appear regularly in the online magazine, Flickhead. He also does film reviews under the pseudonym Jacques Corédor (a pun on Samuel Fuller's film Shock Corridor).

Friday, May 9, 2008

Three Stooges

SHEMP HOWARD. Nationality: American. Born: Samuel Horwitz in Brooklyn, New York, 17 March 1895. Family: Married Gertrude Frank, 1925, one son. Military Service: U.S. Army during World War I. Career: Worked as comic in vaudeville; 1922—worked with Ted Healy; 1938–49—made a number of solo films. Died: 23 November 1955.

MOE HOWARD. Nationality: American. Born: Moses Horwitz in Bensonhurst, New York, 19 June 1897. Family: Married Helen Schonberger, 1925, two children. Career: In show business from age 12: ran errands at Vitagraph studios; worked in various comic and singing acts with Ted Healy. Died: 4 May 1975.

LARRY FINE. Nationality: American. Born: Louis Feinberg in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 5 October 1902. Family: Married Mabel Haney (died 1967), two children. Died: 24 January 1975.

CURLY HORWITZ. Nationality: American. Born: Jerome Lester Horwitz in Brooklyn, New York, 22 October 1903. Family: Married 1) unknown marriage (annulled); 2) Elaine Ackerman, 1937 (divorced 1940), one daughter; 3) Marion Buxbaum, 1945 (divorced 1946); 4) Valerie Neman, 1947, one daughter. Died: 18 January 1952.

Moe, Larry, and Shemp teamed with Ted Healy in mid-1920s for early Stooges act; 1930—film debut in Soup to Nuts; 1932—Shemp replaced by Curly in the act, and Healy dropped: long series of shorts and features, for MGM, 1933, and Columbia, 1934–57; 1946—Curly retired from the act for health reasons, and was replaced by Shemp; 1955—Joe Besser joined the act after Shemp's death; 1959—Curly Joe DeRita replaced Joe Besser in the act; 1965—made a series of five-minute TV cartoons.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Dog

Well... let me start by saying, I think we all have a friend like this.