Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Red Canyon location still


The publicity still from Red Canyon (1949) shows Ann Blyth and costar Howard Duff on location in what was Ann's first color film (even though the publicity still is black and white), and only feature western.  We discussed her work in this film on my Another Old Movie Blog:

She was 19 years old and had hit her stride.

It was a pinnacle of a kind, and the beginning of new trail.  After a string of six heavy dramas that gave her intense roles to prove herself a major up and coming actress, her last film before Red Canyon, Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid, was a complete change that charmed the public and clued-in the studio that Ann was also athletic, and that her beauty was as much an asset to selling a film as her acting skill.  Her trim body, also, could lend itself to more than posing in a crisp Noir wardrobe. 

It also reminded the studio that she was young.  In those dramas, from Mildred Pierce through Another Part of the Forest, Ann’s characters were increasingly poised, knowing, sophisticated, and wore a mantle of worldly experience even though in real life she was still some years away from being old enough to vote.  Her characters were restless, mean, sad, tragic.

Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid, because of her fanciful character and its exotic costuming, her silent communication through her expressive face, and the joyful silliness of the plot, actually managed to re-set the clock on her screen sophistication.  She was suddenly much younger again.  For the next several films she would play more innocent ingĂ©nues, most of them in comedies, and this one western...

For more, head on over to this post at Another Old Movie Blog.

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The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on Audible.com, and on Amazon and iTunes.


Also in paperback and eBook from Amazon.


Also in paperback from CreateSpace, and from my Etsy shop: LynchTwinsPublishing.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mother's Day with Mildred Pierce



Stunning photography—cinematography—
along with an ingenious twist in the script, turned James M. Cain’s novel of Mildred Pierce, into a visual masterpiece.  Unlike his other novels that were later made into the films Double Indemnity (1944), and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) which are noir stories even on the page, Mildred Pierce was not written as such.  It’s more a character study of a woman who indomitably struggles against privation, and whose Achilles’ heel is her greatest passion, her daughter.  In the hands of the Warner Bros. studio, this story, rather than a weepy so-called “woman’s picture” becomes first class noir.  Largely, this is due to the cinematography—and a newly invented murder plot.
--- From Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star.

You know this coming Sunday is Mother's Day when Turner Classic Movies includes Mildred Pierce (1945) in the lineup.  That infamous mother-daughter duo played by Joan Crawford and Ann Blyth will start their scene-stealing at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.  Ann and Zachary Scott play out a famous scene in the striking lobby card above.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ann and her pal, Roddy McDowall

Roddy McDowall and Ann became lifelong friends, and dated for a while during the period of time when fan magazines were chasing her every move.  For one, Screenland, Roddy, likely with the help of the publicity department, wrote an article about Ann and how he had come to know her as a guest at one of his Sunday parties.

She was at the house most of the day and I thought was one of the sweetest and nicest people I’d ever met.  I’d say that gentility was the right term to use to describe her.

He goes on to describe, or to attempt to describe, her personality for a readership, but more for the press that had since her coming of age regarded Ann as an enigma.

When you take her to a party, as I have on several occasions, she really can throw you.  To begin with, and not many know this about her, she is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.  She’s a tremendous story-teller and when she gets started on one of dialect stories you laugh so hard you almost fall on your face.  I’ve never ceased to be amazed at how quickly she changes when she’s being the comedienne.

Ann really loves parties—especially if charades is the game of the evening.

She also liked roller coasters.

When they met up for a date in New York City, she took him, with a New Yorker’s savvy and sense of humor, to the Automat for dinner.  

McDowall also notes, as others have:

She simply does not like to talk about herself.

That is perhaps her most unusual characteristic—her reserve.  She’s a great introvert.  It’s as though there was a wall around her.  Maybe you’d call it self-sufficiency, but I really don’t know.  It does seem, however, that she lives a good deal within herself.

Roddy McDowall, among his many accomplishments, was also an excellent photographer who published several volumes of his photographs.  In Double Exposure: Take Four, he includes a portrait photo he took of Ann Blyth.  It’s in black and white, taken in the early 1990s when Ann was in her early sixties and remarkably lovely, and the pose and facial expression—serene, enigmatic, with a touch of humor in her soft eyes—is strikingly similar to the cast head shot of her when she started in Watch on the Rhine in 1941.  The photo is accompanied by a quote from Jane Withers, in part, “She radiates beauty from within in everything she ever does.” 

Despite her reputation for being reserved and enigmatic, in the contemplative setting in the pages of this book, she is clearly supported by the understanding of two loving friends who had known her since they were all teens together in a special place at a special time.

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The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on Audible.com, and on Amazon and iTunes.


Also in paperback and eBook from Amazon.


Also in paperback from CreateSpace, and from my Etsy shop: LynchTwinsPublishing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Brute Force (1947) on TCM...


Ann Blyth and Burt Lancaster on set in Brute Force (1947).  He plays a criminal on the run in this flashback scene, stopping briefly to check on his love.  He will attempt to break out of prison for her sake in the movie's climactic scene.  It's coming up on Turner Classic Movies this Sunday the 23rd, at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Read more about the movie here at my Another Old Movie Blog.


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The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on Audible.com, and on Amazon and iTunes.


Also in paperback and eBook from Amazon.


Also in paperback from CreateSpace, and from my Etsy shop: LynchTwinsPublishing.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Clowning off set at Rose Marie


The cast of Rose Marie (1954) clowns around at the Mammoth Lakes, California, shooting location.  Here we have Fernando Lamas, Ann Blyth, Howard Keel, Joan Taylor, and Bert Lahr.  Tomorrow, Thursday the 13th, Turner Classic Movies is showing Rose Marie in a lineup of splashy 1950s MGM musicals.  NOTE:  Kismet (1955) with Ann Blyth is also part of the lineup.  Catch Rose Marie at 2 p.m. ET, and Kismet at 6 p.m. ET.  Howard Keel costars in both -- it's actually Howard's day, so enjoy a string of great Howard Keel performances.

We discussed Rose Marie here on my Another Old Movie Blog, and of course, there's more in the book -- Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star.
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The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on Audible.com, and on Amazon and iTunes.


Also in paperback and eBook from Amazon.


Also in paperback from CreateSpace, and from my Etsy shop: LynchTwinsPublishing.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Once More My Darling scene photo


Ann Blyth and Robert Montgomery in a very funny scene in a very, very funny movie: Once More My Darling ( 1949).

Sadly, the movie is not one of those that regularly pop up on TV, and to my knowledge, there is no DVD yet, but you can read about it here on my Another Old Movie Blog, and of course, in my book, Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. 

I certainly hope this gem is rediscovered so more people can enjoy this great "screwball" comedy in which Ann Blyth shines.  The film was the last acting role for Robert Montgomery in his feature film career, and the first of his directorial efforts.

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The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on Audible.com, and on Amazon and iTunes.


Also in paperback and eBook from Amazon.


Also in paperback from CreateSpace, and from my Etsy shop: LynchTwinsPublishing.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Another Part of the Forest - on TCM!


This is a publicity portrait of Ann Blyth in character as the charming, scheming young Regina Hubbard in Another Part of the Forest (1948).  This Friday, March 31st, Turner Classic Movies is broadcasting this excellent film that has so long been out of circulation (and apparently is now available on DVD). 

Another Part of the Forest, from the play by Lillian Hellman, is a prequel to her more famous The Little Foxes. The movie version of The Little Foxes starred Bette Davis, and in Another Part of the Forest, Ann plays Bette's character as a young woman. She sets fire to the screen.  You thought Veda Pierce was bad.

I go into detail on the movie here at my post at Another Old Movie Blog, and, of course, my book Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. covers this movie in depth as well.

Also starring Edmond O'Brien, Dan Duryea (playing the father of the character he played in The Little Foxes), and the wonderful Fredric March as the devious family patriarch, the movie is one of the finest produced in Hollywood's heyday.  Tune in to TCM at 11:30 p.m. ET.