HOLLYWOOD COMES TO HEARST CASTLE: MEMORIES & MUSINGS

Maybe it was the Hollywood homes featured in my last post or the ongoing worldwide celebration of Orson Welles 100th birthday? Whatever the reason, I spent a great deal of contemplating William Randolph Hearst and his massive hilltop estate at San Simeon last week. As any classic film fan worth their salt knows, the newspaper mogul once played host to many Hollywood stars and starlets … Continue reading HOLLYWOOD COMES TO HEARST CASTLE: MEMORIES & MUSINGS

Remembering Barbara Shelley 1932-2020

“This world is the nurse of all we know, This world is the mother of all we feel, And the coming of death is a fearful blow To a brain unencompass’d by nerves of steel: When all that we know, or feel, or see, Shall pass like an unreal mystery.” – Percy Shelley, ‘On Death’ (1816) I was deeply saddened to learn that my favorite … Continue reading Remembering Barbara Shelley 1932-2020

FRANKENSTEIN CREATED SUSAN DENBERG

Susan Denberg (aka Dietlinde Ortrun Zechner) was blond, beautiful, and unapologetically curvaceous. A German-Austrian Kim Novak look-alike with strong sex appeal and an endearing screen presence. Like Novak, Denberg dated Sammy Davis Jr. while some of her other romantic conquests included Stuart Whitman, Sidney Poitier, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, and director Roman Polanski. Following a few television appearances and a role in the Oscar-nominated film AN … Continue reading FRANKENSTEIN CREATED SUSAN DENBERG

MAE CLARKE: FRANKENSTEIN’S FIRST BRIDE

The name Mae Clarke might not immediately ring any bells. But the fair-haired, spirited, and sad-eyed beauty was a promising leading lady in pre-code Hollywood before personal disappointments, mental health issues, and a disfiguring car accident took their toll. When Clarke died in 1992 at age 81 most classic film fans remembered her as the woman who gets a grapefruit smashed in her face by … Continue reading MAE CLARKE: FRANKENSTEIN’S FIRST BRIDE

Telefilm Time Machine: SATAN’S TRIANGLE (1975)

One of my favorite actresses is the beautiful and enigmatic Kim Novak and one of the first made-for-TV movies she appeared in was SATAN’S TRIANGLE (1975). This surprisingly effective supernatural thriller combines elements of classic horror films such as PHANTOM SHIP (1935) and GHOST SHIP (1955) as well as THE EXORCIST (1973) into a spine-tingling original tale set on the stormy seas where the mysterious Bermuda Triangle is rumored to devour ships … Continue reading Telefilm Time Machine: SATAN’S TRIANGLE (1975)

“Nothing can eat your soul!” – THE WITCHES (1966)

Few things invoke autumn and the Halloween spirit in me as strongly as the stylized gothic horror films made by Hammer. The diversity and sheer volume of the studio’s output was impressive and this has occasionally led to some of their lesser-seen films being overlooked because they didn’t live up to critic’s expectations or they followed a less conventional path than many horror fans had … Continue reading “Nothing can eat your soul!” – THE WITCHES (1966)

Sticky post

Celebrating Black Film Artists

In honor of Juneteenth, I decided to collect links to some of the articles I’ve written where I discuss the work of black film artists in one celebratory post. I hope it will encourage readers to seek out work by black directors, actors and writers that I’ve singled out and discover more of their incredible output. THE BRUTAL TRUTH: Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave … Continue reading Celebrating Black Film Artists

TALKING WITH TRINA: AN INTERVIEW WITH TRINA PARKS

Tomorrow night TCM Underground will be airing the surprisingly surreal and smart blaxploitation comedy, DARKTOWN STRUTTERS (1975). I hesitate to tag DARKTOWN STRUTTERS with a simplistic label like “blaxploitation” because it’s really a cult movie that deserves a category of its own. The film manages to combine just about every popular movie genre imaginable including classic westerns and musicals, biker films and revenge fantasies as well as science fiction … Continue reading TALKING WITH TRINA: AN INTERVIEW WITH TRINA PARKS

Three Reasons to Spend Time with Cleopatra Jones

Decades before Wonder Woman made her feature film debut and the all-female Dora Milaje fighting force was introduced to movie audiences in BLACK PANTHER (2018), Tamara Dobson was winning hearts and kicking-ass with her powerful portrayal of Cleopatra Jones. Released by Warner Bros. in 1973, CLEOPATRA JONES was the studio’s big-budget response to a slew of popular black-led films dominating the box office (helmed by … Continue reading Three Reasons to Spend Time with Cleopatra Jones