Showing posts with label Podcast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Podcast. Show all posts

Monday, December 21, 2020

Podcast: Going My Way and The Bells of St. Mary's


Here's a holiday treat! Listen to the latest episode of The Movie Palace Podcast where host Carl Sweeney and I discuss two classics: Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945).

Happy holidays!

Listen to "Going My Way/The Bells of St. Mary's" on Spreaker.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Letters from Hollywood


Letters from Hollywood
Inside the Private World of Classic American Moviemaking
by Rocky Lang and Barbara Hall
foreword by Peter Bogdanovich
352 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781419738098
September 2019

AmazonBarnes and Noble Powells

Letters from Hollywood is truly a gift for classic film lovers. It's a time capsule of film history, preserving letters, telegrams and other missives that demonstrate the intricacies of relationships within Hollywood. Writer and filmmaker Rocky Lang and archivist Barbara Hall have curated an excellent collection, spanning from 1921-1976, and provide readers not only with a beautiful scan of the letter in its original form but also a detailed annotation that helps clarify, inform and give the letter context. These letters did not exist in a vacuum. Reading them on their own without knowledge of the circumstances which served as the catalyst for the message would make them infinitely more difficult to understand or appreciate. The annotations are key and I recommend reading them before the actual letter. Once you read the annotation and the letter, pore over the details of the image. That's half the fun. The creases and tears, the signatures, the handwritten notes and illustrations, the elegant corporate letterhead, all add additional charm.

The letters range from gravely serious to light and amusing and everything in between. Some notable letters include:

  • Irving Thalberg's scathing letter to Erich von Stroheim firing him from Universal.
  • Boris Karloff feeding writer Albert Hergesheimer a trivia tidbit for movie magazine fodder.
  • Henry Fonda's Western Union telegram announcing Jane Fonda's birth to William Wyler and Wyler's response.
  • Bette Davis's letter to studio executive Jack Warner pleading for better working conditions.
  • The intricately designed letterhead on which publicist Lou Marangella's puff piece informs Irving Thalberg of the production of Ben-Hur (1925).
  • Hattie McDaniel's carefully written rebuttal to Hedda Hopper regarding the NAACP's call for better roles for African Americans.
  • Ingrid Bergman's gushing letter to Cary Grant about learning of her Oscar through his radio broadcast.
  • Ronald Colman's letter to studio executive Abe Lehr on the advent of talkies.
  • Jean Bello's letter to her daughter Jean Harlow's agent Arthur Landau about "the baby" and the making of Bombshell (1933).
  • Paul Newman's hilarious letter to William Wyler turning down a role in Funny Girl (1968).

I have more thoughts about this book which I share on The Movie Palace Podcast. Give it a listen! Thank you to host Carl Sweeney for the opportunity to discuss this book on the podcast.

This is my third review for the Summer Reading Challenge.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cinema Shame: Rocky

Before this year I had never seen a single movie in the Rocky franchise. Not one.

My friend Jay hosts a Cinema Shame podcast in which he invites a cinephile to watch a big film they've never seen before and come on to the show to discuss. On Twitter Jay challenged me to watch Rocky.

And I took the bait.

The term cinema shame refers to the regret a cinephile experiences because they haven't seen a particular film. For years I suffered my cinema shame in relative obscurity, keeping the embarrassment to myself. Now I celebrate and embrace my cinema shame. It gives me an opportunity to tackle exciting new projects and to experience some great movies for the first time.

When Jay and I discussed our plans for the episode, Jay came up with the idea of a two-parter and challenged me to watch all 6 of the Rocky movies and the spin-off Creed if I felt like it. Challenge accepted! I love the satisfaction I get from tackling big projects and this challenge spoke to the completeist in me.

And this year I was ready for Rocky in a way that I hadn't been before. I started a new exercise regiment that would not only challenge my physical strength but my mental and emotional strength too. I was prepared to appreciate Rocky's struggle.

I shared my Rocky movie watching experience with my husband Carlos who insisted he be there for my inaugural viewings.

The two episodes of the Rocky Series Shame are now live. In the first episode looks at Rocky I, II and III and the second at Rocky IV, V and Rocky Balboa along with a bit about Creed. I'm very proud of these episodes and I hope you'll give them a listen.

Now having conquered the Rocky series I feel like I can accomplish anything.

If you want more podcast goodness, check out my guest appearances in the podcast tab of this blog. Also subscribe to Cinema Shame for future episodes and dive into the archive of goodness.

Many thanks to Jay for having me on the show!

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