Richard Widmark Bio

Richard Widmark

Richard Widmark was born in Minnesota and always had an interest in movies. Like so many, he attends college to become a lawyer but he was derailed by the acting bug. By the late 30s, he was acting in New York. When World War II broke out he tried to enlist but was medically disqualified for an ear problem. Following the war, Widmark went under contract with 20th Century Fox. Darryl F. Zanuck saw Widmark’s screen test for “Tommy Udo” and had him cast in this role for Kiss of Death (1947). After being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in this role, Widmark’s career was a blaze. Through the 1950s, Widmark covered the major genres: Westerns, military, and the thriller. He appeared with Marilyn Monroe in Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) and made Pickup on South Street (1953) that same year for director Samuel Fuller. That same year Take the High Ground! (1953) came out where Widmark played the role of a tough combat veteran trying to prepare boys for…

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Time Limit (1957) – Episode 26

Time Limit (1957)

Time Limit (1957) is a Korean War POW investigation that takes place following the war. Welcome to Episode 26 Time Limit (1957). We are following the Richard Widmark line from The Long Ships (1964). This is a great little movie. I hadn’t watched this movie in a couple of decades and the last time I saw it was before I had ever seen The Manchurian Candidate (1962). I was a little shocked by the similarities between the two. But I’ll get into that after we go over the stars that are in this movie. This film was directed by Karl Malden. He was born in Chicago but was raised in Gary, Indiana. Following high school, he spent three years working in a steel factory. He spent a short time at Arkansas State Teacher’s College before attending the Goodman Theater Dramatic School. Three years after he left the mill he went to New York and found work on the stage. He severed in WWII as an NCO in the Army Air…

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Humphrey Bogart Short Bio

Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart was born in New York City but not in Hell’s Kitchen or the rough parts like some of the actors we have already talked about. His parents were doing pretty well. Bogie was preparing for medical school at Yale when he was kicked out of Phillips Academy in Massachusetts. Bogart joined the Navy but it believed the war ended before he saw action. It is during this time that he received the scar on his lip that created his distinctive speaking style. The most commonly accepted story is that he was escorting a prisoner to the brig when the prisoner asked for a smoke. When Bogie looked for a match the prisoner hit him with his handcuffs and escaped. After his time in the Navy, Humphrey Bogart returned to New York and began acting. In 1930, he signed a contract Fox. He did some shorts but Fox released him from his contract after 2 years. He continued stage work and minor roles until Warner Bros. began preparing to…

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Sahara (1943) – Episode 25

Sahara (1943)

Sahara (1943) is one of those wartime propaganda films that turned out to be pretty solid. They were usually shot very quickly and with a hastily written script. I have to always remind myself that we hadn’t won the war yet and these actors could have been executed if things had gone the other war. Nazi Germany may have seemed a long way from Hollywood but Pearl Harbor was relatively close, as the bomber flies. Released in November 1943, this movie predates D-Day by almost half a year. Did I mention it stars Humphrey Bogart? Well, this is my first milestone – 25 episodes so I am jumping line to bring you something special. And that special is named Bogart. So welcome to Episode 25 – Sahara (1943). This is one of those wartime propaganda films that turned out to be pretty solid. They were usually shot very quickly and with a hastily written script. I have to always remind myself that we hadn’t won the war yet and these…

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Roscoe Lee Browne Short Bio

Roscoe Lee Browne

Roscoe Lee Browne earned a master’s degree and began teaching French and comparative literature. In 1951, he won the world championship in the 800-yard dash. This lead to a change in profession, and in 1956 the decision to become an actor. With no training, his voice and presence lead to a role in the newly formed New York Shakespeare Festival. Roscoe Lee Browne began working on and off-Broadway until 1966 when he left the theater until 1983. By the end of the 1960s he was making regular appearances in films. His roles ranged dramatic such as Hitchcock’s Topaz (1969), comedies like Dear God (1996), and blacksploitation films such as the squeal to Super Fly (1972) – Super Fly T.N.T. (1973). Of course he was great in one of my favorites – The Cowboys (1972). He was also a mainstay in 70s television on shows such as All in the Family and Good Times. He also replaced Robert Guillaume as the butler Benson on Soap (1977). He died of cancer on April…

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Kirk Douglas Bio

Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas was a descendant of Jewish Russian parents from what is now in Belarus and was raised in a tough area of New York. He went on to be perhaps one of the greatest actors in American history. He performed a little on Broadway until he joined the Navy in 1941. At the end of the war, he returned to acting and was cast in the lead role in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946). The next role was in a film noir masterpiece title Out of the Past (1947). This was followed by a roll in I Walk Alone (1948), marking the first of seven times he would work alongside Burt Lancaster. In Champion (1949) he played an untrustworthy boxer. Douglas was cast as painter Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life (1956). This was followed by the western Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) with Lancaster. In 1957, he played a French Colonel in Stanley Kubrick’s intense anti-war drama Paths of Glory (1957). In 1960, Douglas…

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The Magic Sword (1962) – Episode 24

The Magic Sword (1962)

The Magic Sword (1962) was directed by Burt I. Gordan. This movie tells the tale of a battle between two sorcerers and a knight and a princess trying to find true love. This movie features magical knights, dragons, and other assorted creepy thing. It is a tale that should not be missed. Rough Script The Magic Sword (1962) Today is episode 24 The Magic Sword (1962). To get here we had to jump on the Basil Rathbone line from the Revenge of Frankenstein (1958). The Magic Sword has been one of my favorites since I was a Yout. Fortunately, I haven’t seen it since I say it in the theater and my memories constructed a better movie. Hey but don’t get me wrong it was fun to watch and you should definitely see it if you haven’t. It is campy and quirky enough that you won’t feel too bad wasting a lazy Sunday afternoon with this film – that is as long as it doesn’t cost you anything. Burt I.…

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Maureen O’Hara bio

Maureen O'Hara

Charles Laughton had seen a screen test of Maureen O’Hara and was twitterpated by her beautiful eyes. Just so were clear that Charles Laughton of Spartacus (1960), Witness for the Prosecution Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Mutiny on the Bounty  (1935), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939). The Bounty wasn’t the only role where he was Captain. He also played the lead role in both Captain Kidd (1945) and Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952). At 19 O’Hara was cast in her first marquee role in Jamaica Inn (1939) which was directed by none other that Alfred Hitchcock and that same year she was cast as Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) where her beauty caught the attention of the Hunchback who was played by Laughton. She went on to make 5 films with Wayne and had a total over 60 during her career. In addition to her looks, she was very athletic which was utilized in many of her movies, including At Sword’s Point (1952) where…

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Bela Lugosi – King of the Vampires

Bela Lugosi was born Be’la Ferenc Dezso Blasko in 1882 in Lugos, Austria-Hungary (now Lugoj, Romania). During WWI Lugosi was an infantry lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian Army. Yes, that is correct, it’s the other side. Since he was active in the Actors Union during the Hungarian Revolution of 1919 he was forced to leave his homeland. For a time he continued to act in Berlin but left for America in 1920. he arrived in New Orleans in December 1920. This makes me wonder, where the rats disappearing on the boat and did he mingle with the Crescent city vampires. After working on the stage for three years he got his first silent screen role in America, he had been in a dozen or so in Hungary. By 1927, he was back on Broadway in the role of “Dracula.” It has always been rumored the Lon Chaney Sr. was the first choice for the role but died before shooting began. There is some controversy with this a Chaney was under contract…

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The Long Ships (1964) – Episode 23

The Long Ships (1964)

Welcome to Episode 22 – The Long Ships (1964). We are still following the Lionel Jeffries line. This movie is about Vikings so I love it no matter what. With big stars such as Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier, it’s hard to go wrong. But they did seem to go wrong a great deal. Poitier said, “To say it was disastrous is a compliment.” Richard Widmark played the role of Viking Rolfe, son of Krok. He was really too old for this role and turned it down a few times. He finally agreed when that cast his good friend Sidney Poitier. Widmark has always fascinated me as an actor. He burst into movies playing angry and psychotic anti-heroes. However, in all of his roles, he seemed like he was cranked off. Is this good acting or was he really a mean guy? Widmark was born in Minnesota and always had an interest in movies. Like so many, he attended college to become a lawyer but he was derailed by the…

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Clint Eastwood – Rowdy Yates to Unforgiven

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood was born in California in 1930. He got his start in the movies as an uncredited actor in Revenge of the Creature (1955). His big breakthrough came out when he got a role as Rowdy Yates in 1959. Eastwood made three movies in Italy that kicked his career into high gear. These movies dubbed as spaghetti westerns are; A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). These westerns allowed Eastwood to take his tough guy act to bigger audiences. He made more westerns including the musical Paint Your Wagon (1969). He also made a few WWII movies with some of the bigger stars of the time. Beginning in 1971 he began directing and taking full leading men roles such as The Beguiled and Play Misty for Me. This was also the beginning of the Dirty Harry film series – go ahead make my day punk. He continued to make movies through the 70s but High Plains Drifter (1973)…

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First Men in the Moon (1964) – Episode 22

First Men on the Moon (1964)

First Men in the Moon (1964) is a wonderful sci-fi movie based on a H.G. Wells story. The master Ray Harryhausen did the effects for this movie and it should not be missed. Rough Script First Men in the Moon (1964) Welcome to Episode 22 First Men in the Moon (1964). We are following the Lionel Jeffries line from The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958). This is a great movie based on an H.G. Wells story. This movie was very enjoyable mostly because of Lionel Jeffries. I also learned that H.G. Wells is a hack but more about that later. Edward Judd was the star of the movie playing Arnold Bedford but Jeffries stole all of the scenes he was in. Judd is an English actor that started stage work when he was a teenager. By 16 he made his film debut in The Hideout (1948). He made numerous movies through the 1960s that include: Sink the Bismark (1960), The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961), The Long Ships (1964), and Invasion…

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The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) – Episode 21

The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) is a Hammer Production is a sequel to the Curse of Frankenstein (1957). Peter Cushing is good in the low horror horror-flick. Rough Script Welcome to Episode 21 The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958). This movie puts us on the Lionel Jeffries line for a bit. Well, I have to tell you this movie wasn’t about much. It lagged and dragged from the beginning and seems to have never had the power to scare. But I will endeavor to preserver. Did you get that Josie Wales reference? This movie is a sequel to The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) which was a reboot of the original story by Mary Shelley. The film was shot in a studio following Dracula (1958). This movie also starred Peter Cushing and had the same director. The scenes and props were repurposed for both movies. Sir Peter Cushing played Dr. Victor Frankenstein in three different incarnations. Given the caliber of this actor, I expected more. Cushing is an English actor that was…

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White Zombie (1932) – Episode 20

Bela Lugosi in White Zombie (1932)

White Zombie (1932) is an amazing black and white horror classic. Bela Lugosi is phenomenal as “Murder” the lord of the zombies. This is one film you do not want to miss as they weave an interesting tale around zombie lore in Haiti. Rough Script White Zombie (1932) Believe it or not this was the first time I have ever seen White Zombie (1932) and all I can say is why did I wait so long. As far as I’m concerned this is right up there with Dracula and Frankenstein. The movie was not received well when it was first released but has gained in popularity since its’ rediscovery in the 1960s. The band White Zombie was named for this movie. This film was originally shot in 11 days. Bela Lugosi always regretted that he was only paid $500 for this role. Lugosi is amazing with his pointed widow’s peak, very bushy eyebrows, a split mustache, and a goatee. He uses his Dracula stare to great effect in this movie. They…

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