Thursday, July 5, 2012

On The Porch

I believe the model's name is Aba, though I'm not positive. Errotica-archives isn't exactly good about having their model's names listed. But we don't need her name to appreciate her beauty.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Stars Who Insure Their Body Parts

From legs to butts to chest hair, celebrities have been known to take out an insurance policy on their most prized assets. We put together a few of the most outrageous cases of body insurance. 


Friday, March 23, 2012

Fredric March - Attack Ads "Dirty Trick"

Fredric March with wife Florence Eldridge

With an election coming up later this year and with a Republican presidential primary in progress, it's hard to avoid the many political attack ads airing on television. I'm just glad that California, where I'm at, is one of the last states in the primary process so we haven't quite been bombarded with ads the way other states have. Still, every news program seems to re-run the ads. I just saw one a couple weeks ago that portrayed Mitt Romney as an action figure - think Arnold Schwarzenegger in any of his action roles - running around with a large mudslinging gun. Eventually while Romney is firing his mudslinging gun it backfires on him. The sad thing is, contrary to the message of this particular ad, attack ads have proven to be an effective weapon for taking down an opponent. For this reason, despite how much any of us seem to dislike attack ads, politicians continue to use them.

Of course, these polished attack ads that sometimes look like a trailer for an upcoming Hollywood blockbuster are nothing new. Attack ads have been used for a long time. For that matter, Hollywood has been involved for a long time in producing attack ads.

The classic movie related blog Sittin On A Backyard Fence is currently hosting a blogathon dedicated to the early Hollywood star, Fredric March. As my contribution to the Fredric March blogathon I couldn't think of anything more currently relevant than a short anecdote that involves March, a political campaign, Hollywood and attack ads.

During the 1934 campaign for governor of California, socialist writer and political activist Upton Sinclair was the choice candidate for many politically left leaning Hollywood celebrities. Fredric March and his wife, actress Florence Eldridge, both progressive Hollywood liberals,  were part of Sinclair's ardent Hollywood supporters. To make a long story short and keep this centered on March, Sinclair lost the election. Many Sinclair supporters believed that Sinclair might have won the election if it wasn't for a series of newsreel films that were really just attack ads. In some of the films, supporters of Sinclair were shown as shady looking characters or spoke like newly arrived immigrants with foreign accents, while supporters of Sinclair's opponent, incumbent Republican Governor Frank M. Merriam, were always shown as respectable, upstanding citizens. 

At a post-election party hosted by March and Eldridge in Beverly Hills, several guests complained about the use of the films. In the book The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair's Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics, author Greg Mitchell writes about an exchange that took place at the party between March and the respected MGM producer, Irving Thalberg:

"Suddenly, and to the surprise of nearly everyone, Irving Thalberg quietly announced, 'I made those shorts.'
'But it was a dirty trick!' Fredric March protested. 'It was the damnedest unfair thing I've ever heard of.'
'Nothing is unfair in politics,' Thalberg replied, unperturbed. 'We could sit down here and figure dirty things all night, and every one of them would be all right in a political campaign.'
'It wouldn't be all right with me,' March maintained.
'That's because you don't know politics,' Thalberg answered, recalling his days as a boy orator for the Socialist party in New York. Tammany Hall, he explained, never would have let his party win an election in New York. 'Fairness in an election,' Thalberg advised, 'is a contradiction in terms. It just doesn't exist.'"

Nearly eight decades later and the same argument is still taking place in politics!

To read more about actor Fredric March please visit the blog Sittin On A Backyard Fence where many bloggers are contributing entries on all aspects of March's career.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Liberace and Terry Thomas Duet

Liberace and Terry Thomas Duet

The last few weeks have been incredibly busy both at work and at home. On the home front, my wife and I have been getting ready to welcome a daughter into our lives. We've been slowly turning what was once our office/craft room space into a little girl's bedroom, buying all the baby essentials, and reading up on birthing methods. Honestly, my wife has been the more studious one - doing most of the reading. Although, I can say I have attended classes and seen my fair share of pregnancy related documentaries - which there are many - just do a quick search on Netflix. 

With dwindling free time I'm taking a relaxing break to catch up on some YouTube fluff. I came across the video above of Liberace and actor Terry Thomas singing a duet of, "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue (Has Anyone Seen My Girl?)." It's a fun and silly song, with Liberace and Thomas adding in some of their own improvisations. My favorite line is when Liberace says, "pearls and sequins, jewels and furs" and Thomas jumps in with "enough about you and now about her."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Harry and Tonto (1974) - Film Locations

Art Carney was primarily a television star for most of his career, but at the age of fifty-five, Carney would win that award most coveted by film stars, the Oscar. The year was 1974, a year that included stiff competition in the Best Actor category: Albert Finney in Murder on the Orient Express, Dustin Hoffman in Lenny, Jack Nicholson in Chinatown, and Al Pacino in The Godfather, Part II were the other nominees. But Carney, best remembered as Ed Norton on The Honeymooners, would be the victor that year for his endearing performance as the 72 year-old widower Harry Coombs in a little film called Harry and Tonto. Carney was only 55 years-old when he played the part of Harry, but Carney whitened his hair, grew his mustache and used make-up to make himself appear older than he really was. 

In the film, Harry is a retired teacher who has lived in New York his whole life. At the age of 72, the proud New Yorker is evicted from his Upper West Side apartment building to make way for the development of a parking garage. With nowhere else to go, Harry moves in with his son's family on Long Island, but that situation just doesn't work out. Harry doesn't feel like he belongs there so he decides to hit the road with his cat Tonto as his travel companion. Harry and Tonto hitchhike across the country, befriending many interesting characters along the way, and end up in Los Angeles.

When Harry arrives in Los Angeles he is dropped off by bus in the center of Hollywood near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and McCadden Place, just outside a hotel that used to be the Christie Hotel. Built in 1922, the Christie Hotel was the first luxury hotel in Hollywood. The tall brick building is now owned by the Church of Scientology.

Harry gets dropped off in Hollywood near
6724 Hollywood Boulevard.

Looking towards 6724 Hollywood Boulevard. The
former Christie Hotel is now owned by the Scientology Church.

Harry gets picked up at the bus stop by one of his sons who is living in California. Across the street from the bus stop is the former Pickwick Bookshop located at 6743 Hollywood Boulevard. Pickwick opened in 1938 and was in operation until 1995 when it finally closed due to a lack of shopping in the area.

Harry and his son hugging at the bus stop across from
Pickwick Bookshop on Hollywood Boulevard.

6743 Hollywood Boulevard, the former home of
Pickwick Bookshop.

Another view of Pickwick Books ca. 1955
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Public Library

Looking at what used to be Pickwick Bookshop.

On the other corner of Hollywood Boulevard and opposite Pickwick Bookshop we see what was once a Diamond Jim's Restaurant. That corner is now the home of the lingerie shop Fredrick's of Hollywood.

Behind Harry (Carney) and his son is a Diamond
Jim's Restaurant, 6753 Hollywood Boulevard.

6753 Hollywood Boulevard is now Fredrick's of Hollywood.

Looking east down Hollywood Boulevard from
McCadden Place.

Looking east down Hollywood Boulevard from
McCadden Place.

When Harry and his son leave the bus stop we see them driving down Cahuenga Boulevard where it parallels the 101 freeway. In the shot below we see Cahuenga Blvd East at Lakeridge Place.

Looking down Cahuenga Blvd. East at Lakeridge Pl.

Cahuenga Blvd East at Lakeridge Pl.

Harry traveling past the intersection of 
N. Cahuenga Blvd at Cahuenga Terrace.

N. Cahuenga Blvd at Cahuenga Terrace.

The view of Cahuenga Blvd from near the Barham Boulevard bridge.

Looking down Cahuenga Blvd near Barham Blvd bridge.

Harry spends a lot of time near the end of the film in Santa Monica and Venice. The next comparisons are all from these beach communities.

Harry walks along the path near Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica.

Looking down the railing of the walking path in Santa Monica.

Another view of the walking path near Ocean Ave.
The Santa Monica Pier is in the background.

Looking down the walking path towards the Santa 
Monica Pier.

Harry sits at a bench in Venice across from 
401 Ocean Front Walk.

The benches on Ocean Front Walk in Venice as they
appear today.

Harry stands near 401 Ocean Front Walk, Venice.

Looking at 401 Ocean Front Walk.

The building at 401 Ocean Front Walk also appears in another 1970s film I recently blogged about, The Big Fix, starring Richard Dreyfuss.

Harry spots what he thinks is his cat Tonto.

Looking down Ocean Front Walk in Venice.

Another view of 401 Ocean Front Walk.

Looking towards 401 Ocean Front Walk.

A Tonto look-a-like cat on Ocean Front Walk in Venice.

If those are the same palm trees, look at how much they've grown!

Harry running towards the Pacific Ocean.

Looking towards the ocean from 401 Ocean Front Walk.

The view behind Harry is of Ocean Front Walk in Venice.

The view of Ocean Front Walk in Venice as it appears today.
Most of the same buildings seen in the screenshot can still be spotted.

Harry and Tonto has had a DVD release and is also currently available as a Watch Instantly title from Netflix.