Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Student Prince - today on TCM


The Student Prince (1954) was meant to reunite Ann Blyth on screen with Mario Lanza, but only Lanza's voice was used for the musical soundtrack; his role was played by Edmund Purdom.  From my book, Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star.:

Ralph Moratz, recounts his experience as a movie extra playing one of the students in The Student Prince:


I was in constant awe working so closely with this charming, beautiful, friendly actress.  She treated all of us as equals, joking, talking and enjoying our company as we enjoyed hers.  To this day I can recall the good feelings on that set just because Ann Blyth made it that way.


What a joyous delightful welcome for me into the fairytale land of the 1950s major studios.

Like everyone on the set, I fell in love with that talented young lady, Ann Blyth and still cherish the image of her coming out of the double doors leading to the beer garden with steins swinging in the air.
  Can’t remember how many takes for that scene alone but her stamina was amazing.


The Student Prince airs on Turner Classic Movies today at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.  I hope you can see it.
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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.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ann Blyth's Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame


Ann Blyth has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, shown above.

As noted in Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star.:

On February 8, 1960, Ann was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  It’s on the north side of the 6700 block on Hollywood Boulevard.  This was part of the first huge batch of stars installed in what would become a major tourist attraction in Hollywood many years hence, but at the time did not draw the media fanfare it does today.  At the time, though long-planned, the new Hollywood Walk of Fame had about the same amount of press coverage as the average sidewalk repair.

Ann’s name was included in the jumble of stars from the silent era to the 1950s, her place among them in tribute to her as one of the major film actresses of the last decade.  At the time her star was cemented on the pavement, her film career, unknown to her at the time, had finished three years prior with The Helen Morgan Story.  Television guest roles still brought her work, and because of her selectiveness, quality work...


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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.



            

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ann and some techies off camera...


Here's a Universal studio publicity shot from 1947.  Ann Blyth is here with some of the technical crew, but unfortunately I do not have them identified, nor the occasion, nor exactly what they are doing with the equipment in this shot.  Not much help, I know, but if somebody out there can better identify this scene, I'd love to know more.


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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.




Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Early Studio Publicty Portrait by Ray Jones


This could be one of the earliest studio publicity headshots of Ann Blyth, taken in 1943 by Universal studio photographer Ray Jones.  She is about fifteen years old here, and had recently joined the studio ranks after concluding the nation-wide tour in Watch on the Rhine.

From my book, Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star.:


Black and white photography perhaps reached its zenith as creative art form in the Hollywood studios—but especially still photography that sculpted the stars images with light and shadow and glamorized them as persons of almost supernatural beauty.  One of the very best of the artists was photographer Ray Jones, head of the Stills Photo unit of the Publicity Department at Ann’s home studio of Universal.  An excellent survey of his work and the function of a studio portrait photographer is discussed in author Tom Zimmerman’s Light and Illusion – The Hollywood Portraits of Ray Jones.  The author describes Jones’ studio in the Stills Building on the Universal lot, where he was in charge of a staff of fifty-four people. 

 There were three dressing rooms in his studio where the stars were prepared for their photo shoots: for body makeup, for face and hair, and for clothes.  Grips worked under Jones’ direction to set the lights and enormous 8 x 10 view camera.

 Ann Blyth recalled for the author that photo sessions usually lasted all day, and along with other stars, complimented Ray Jones on his ability to put his subjects at ease, to inspire their confidence.  They were placing their image, and whatever insecurity or doubtfulness they brought with them to the photo shoot, in his capable hands.

 Jones remarked in a 1952 interview about photographing starlets:

“Of the current crop, Ann Blyth has the most perfect face to photograph.  She also has one of the best figures, but she won’t let me do cheesecake of her.”


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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.




Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Brute Force on TCM


You have a chance to see Brute Force (1947) tonight on TCM, 10:15 p.m. ET.  This impressive prison drama stars Burt Lancaster and a very strong supportive cast, including Ann Blyth as his girl on the outside.  For more on the movie, have a look at this previous post on my Another Old Movie Blog.

There was some talk at the time of making Ann Blyth and Burt Lancaster a movie romantic team and featuring them together in more films, but that never came to be.  But you can enjoy their chemistry in this one.
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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.