Glenn Ford RIP

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I woke up to the sad news this morning that Glenn Ford had passed away. I offer a small collection of images as a tiny tribute to a man, in screen terms of great stature.

New York Times online obituary
The Independent online obituary

Seminal Image #485

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Human Desire
(Fritz Lang; 1954)

They Were Collaborators #180

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Ingrid Thulin, Glenn Ford and Vincente Minnelli

The Art of Cinema #149

Blackboard Jungle
(Richard Brooks; 1955)

They Were Collaborators #179

Glenn Ford and William Holden

August 30, 1906

Joan Blondell, the patron Goddess of this blog and once one of the most aggressively hot women to step before a camera, was born on this day in 1906 . . . and, yes, that would make her 100 years old. Among other things, we here at If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger . . . would ask all of you in honor of this day to do your damndest to locate a print of the molten, rumored-to-have-been-destroyed 1933 film Convention City before all memory of its long whispered, sordid wonder has faded from the mists of recollection.

(how's that for purple prose)

Many thanks to David Hudson and Green Cine Daily for including an item on this event (otherwise I would never have known).

Lost Image #1

Convention City
(Archie L. Mayo; 1933)

Sex Education #63

Joan Blondell

They Were Collaborators #178

Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell

Seminal Image #484

Broadway Bad
(Sidney Lanfield; 1933)

The Art of Cinema #148

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
(Frank Tashlin; 1957)

When Legends Gather #153

Milton Berle and Joan Blondell

Seminal Image #483

Nightmare Alley
(Edmund Goulding; 1947)

Great Moments in Moxie #10

By the 1940s, the popularity of Moxie was in serious decline thanks to Coca Cola's superior marketing, which included giving free Cokes to G.I.s overseas. A decade later it would be a blip on the radar of popular culture, known mostly as an in-joke in MAD Magazine.

The following radio ads show Moxie's attempt to get in on the war effort by implying a little gentian root extract, caffeine, sugar and carbonation would go a long way towards taking down Tojo and Hitler.

Okay, while the ads don't venture into the realm of pure propaganda (although you've gotta love a jingle going out to "you folks at home making all our war machines"), they are a rare glimpse at Moxie marketing in the fading days of its glory years.

1. Battleship Launch

2. Kate the USO Girl

3. Willie the Worker

Adventures in American Filmmaking #57

Today's Adventure: Erich von Stroheim is nowhere to be found as the cast and crew of Greed make the trek to Death Valley for the film's closing sequence (1923)

Similar Images #1

Sunset Blvd.
Billy Wilder; 1950)

Necronomicon - Geträumte Sünden
(Necronomicon - Dreamt Sin)
(Jesus Franco; 1968)

When Legends Gather #152

Alberto Sordi and Anna Magnani

Seminal Image #482

Shunpu den
(Story of a Prostitute)
(Seijun Suzuki; 1965)

Dickens Art #3

"I am going to begin, Tom. Don't you wonder why I butter the inside of the basin?" said his busy little sister, "Eh, Tom?"
(from Martin Chuzzlewit; 1844)
(Fred Barnard; 1871 edition)

Broadcasters #4

Jess Yates

When Legends Gather #151

Pres. Herbert Hoover, Henry Ford, Thomas A. Edison and Harvey Firestone

Artists in Action #87

Tiny Tim contemplates the ceiling

Seminal Image #481

A Time to Love and a Time to Die
(Douglas Sirk; 1958)

P is for Pulp #4
The Golden Age of Prurience #35

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Reform School Girl
(by Felice Swados)
(Diversey; 1950)

The Art of the London Underground #5

Beaconsfield by H.S. Williamson; 1929

When Models Were Models #7

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Unknown Spanish Model; 1969

The Art of Cinema #147

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(Fantômas - À l'ombre de la guillotine)
(Louis Feuillade; 1913)

Kind thanks to Jeff Duncanson on Filmscreed for this image.

Artists in Action #86

John Wayne and John Ford dress alike

Seminal Image #480

La Terra trema
(The Earth Trembles)
(Luchino Visconti; 1947)

Politicians in Action #7

Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-MA) tries to restrain his running-mate.

They Were Collaborators #177

Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden and Adolph Green

The World of Jacob Riis #9

Home of an Italian Ragpicker (1888)

When Legends Gather #150

Ethel Merman and Mary Martin

The Art of War #21

The Present Day Composer #28

Nelson Riddle (1921-1985)

Seminal Image #479

Confessions of a Psycho Cat
(Herb Stanley; 1968)

Artists in Action #85

Andy Warhol paints a car.

P is for Pulp #3

Gun Molls
(October, 1930)

Movie of the Week #10

The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film
(Richard Lester; 1959)

That small charming pocket of cinematic joy known as The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film is said to have begun with no more ambitious intent than Peter Sellers' desire to give a 16mm Bolex camera he'd purchased a work-out. A few months after shooting for one day with fellow Goon Show mastermind Spike Milligan in the summer of 1958, Sellers enlisted a group that included Joseph McGrath and Graham Stark, David Lodge, Richard Lester and Leo McKern (all of whom had been involved at one time or another with the Goons' television incarnations), along with a few non-professionals and his own Chauffer. He then hauled them out on location one day to finish . . . whatever it was he and Milligan had started. There was nothing you could call formal about this shoot. But for the results and the cumulative talent of those involved, it was not very different from any occasion when a group of people, for a lark, screw around with a camera. They brought a few props and some loosely premeditated gags (most of which were devised by Sellers); that was all. They had no script. What would be the point? As it was, the whole thing cost £70-80, tops. You could then argue that if the stakes hadn't been so small the potential for chaos would have been exceeded only by the possibility of disaster.

The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film represented Richard Lester's first effort as a film director. At 27, he was an overeducated American-born whiz kid and pop culture polymath who'd made good across the Atlantic (he was already a veteran television director by this time) and would soon have as defining an impact on the development of Cinema in the 1960s as anyone you can name. He did not, as so many believed, coldly wield a deadpan humor and an arsenal of technique carried over from television commercials . . . or the avant-garde (depending on which critic you were reading) . . . to assault the viewer with sensation. He sought, rather anarchically in retrospect, to break through the formal conventions of narrative film without fundamentally altering its nature. His 1966 adaptation of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, for example, almost gleefully toyed with every idea moviegoers ever had, good or ill, about what a Musical was supposed to look like while remaining at the end a fundamentally solid exercise in that mode. The balance he could strike between subversion and fidelity on these occasions was bewildering; and the sheer exhilaration with which he carried it out made whole enterprise irresistable. In the 1970s Lester's methods became more understated, the balance so commonplace as to be invisible; his genre subversion in that decade grew incredibly nuanced and, almost as a result, his star fell somewhat with each (often brilliant) film. Few could see what he was up to; fewer cared. By the mid-1980s he had more or less walked away from filmmaking entirely.

But when he went out into the field to direct and act in today's offering, he could still afford to pretend that the horizons were limitless. And if his ambitions at this moment included a career directing motion picures, he could scarcely have begun with a more modest triumph.

The Art of Adolescence #1

When Legends Gather #149
They Were Collaborators #176

Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Vincent Price clown around on the set of The Comedy of Terrors in 1964. (And Price, reading up on The Cardinal in Variety, wonders why Otto Preminger hasn't returned his calls since A Royal Scandal.)

The Cool Hall of Fame #49

Thelonious "Sphere" Monk

People Who Died #32

Tony Hancock

They Were Collaborators #175

James and Bobby Purify

Broadcasters #3

Joe Pyne

The Art of the French Postcard #3