From the 1940s through the 1960s, photographer Sid Avery took candid photographs of some of Hollywood’s most glamorous stars, including Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren and Steve McQueen. He was the founder of the Hollywood Photographer's Archive and, in the 1980s, established the Motion Picture and Television Photo Archive. To showcase his work, Avery’s son Ron—along with Tony Nourmand and Graham Marsh—have put together a real page-turner, a handsome 288-page volume containing hundreds of rare images of cinema’s most compelling figures. For a chance to receive Sid Avery: The Art of the Hollywood Snapshot, click here, and be sure to type “Avery” in the subject line. The winner will be determined by a random drawing. Entries must be received by 11:59 EST, Sunday, April 21, 2013.
Entries in frank sinatra (10)
Betty Garrett is born in St. Joseph, Missouri, 1919. On screen she was cheerful and sarcastic in a number of MGM films of the late 1940s. Her first film was a drama, Big City (1948), which she followed with four musicals: Words and Music (1948), Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) with Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Jules Munshin, Neptune’s Daughter (1949) and On the Town (1948), in which she was reunited with Sinatra, Kelly and Munshin (above). Her momentum stalled considerably when husband Larry Parks testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee about a past connection to the Communist Party. Garrett later performed on television in All in the Family and Laverne & Shirley and on Broadway in Meet Me in St. Louis and Follies. The actress died in February 2011.
Dennis Hopper is born in Dodge City, Kansas, 1936. He emerged on the silver screen in 1954 in Johnny Guitar and soon thereafter made a number of films that became classics: Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Giant (1956) and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957). Hopper, never a shrinking violet, had this to say about his early days in Hollywood: “In the ‘50s, when me and Natalie Wood and James Dean and Nick Adams and Tony Perkins suddenly arrived…God, it was a whole group of us that sort of felt like that earlier group—the John Barrymores, Errol Flynns, Sinatras, Clifts—were a little farther out than we were. So we tried to emulate that lifestyle. For instance, once Natalie and I decided we'd have an orgy. And Natalie says, "Okay, but we have to have a champagne bath." So we filled the bathtub full of champagne. Natalie takes off her clothes, sits down in the champagne, and starts screaming. We take her to the emergency hospital. That was our orgy, you understand?”
Frank Sinatra dies in Los Angeles, 1998. When it came time to make Guys and Dolls (1955), Sinatra lobbied hard for the part of Sky Masterson, which instead went to non-singer Marlon Brando; Sinatra ended up with the smaller role of Nathan Detroit. The two men did not get along during the shoot, with Sinatra referring to Brando as “Mumbles” and Brando reportedly flubbing a scene in which Sinatra eats cheesecake over and over again so that Sinatra would get sick of it. In adapting the Broadway show for film, three numbers were added, including "Adelaide," sung by Sinatra. To further increase his singing role, the actor was also included in the title tune. Brando, on the other hand, was at the mercy of audio editors, who had to patch his songs together from multiple takes.
I’m not sure if attendance is down slightly from previous years or if my choices today were merely unpopular, but there were seats to be had in the programs I went to on this, the final day of Turner Classic Movies’s orgy of movie going. Here’s what today yielded.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Robert Evans, at age 81, is still tanned and handsome. This morning at Grauman’s Chinese, the famed producer introduced his first collaboration with director Roman Polanski and recalled the moment in the middle of the shoot when star Mia Farrow was served with divorce papers from Frank Sinatra’s lawyers. A factor in the break-up was Farrow’s refusal to leave the over-schedule production of Rosemary’s Baby in order to appear in Sinatra’s film, The Detective (1968). How Polanski would have completed Rosemary’s Baby without his Rosemary is anyone’s guess. Farrow, who appears in every scene, shows how tremendous she can be with the proper director, and this film joins Broadway Danny Rose (1984), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) and Alice (1990) as examples of her very best work.
The Brown Derby
Mark Willems, coauthor with Sally Cobb of The Brown Derby Restaurant: A Hollywood Legend, gave a dandy presentation on the history of the famed eatery—or, more accurately, eateries, as there were four of them throughout the Los Angeles basin. The photos accompanying his presentation were so detailed that I found myself paying more attention to the food, matchbooks, menus and tableware in the shot than I did the movie stars.
Black Narcissus (1947)
Adventure is in the air whenever a film festival guest takes questions from the audience. I remember a screening of Irma la Douce (1963) years ago where a moviegoer raised his hand and said to Shirley MacLaine, “I see you are wearing red. Do you like red?” She handled it like a pro, saying something about red being a powerful color and wanting to project a powerful image that day. Fortunately at the Black Narcissus screening this morning, all the audience questions host Robert Osborne elicited for guest Thelma Schoonmaker were thoughtful, even erudite. Schoonmaker, of course, is Martin Scorsese’s frequent editor and the widow of director Michael Powell, who codirected Black Narcissus with Emeric Pressburger. The story of a community of nuns in the Himalayas won well-deserved Oscars for Jack Cardiff’s cinematography and Alfred Junge’s art direction, both of which benefitted from the stunningly pristine print screened at Mann’s Chinese Six Theater.
The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
The Mont Alto Orchestra did a lot of heavy lifting tonight, accompanying all 160 minutes of the Raoul Walsh-directed fantasy starring a lithe and athletic Douglas Fairbanks. Though the actor and his zero body fat impressed, what really struck me in the sharply restored print was the art direction of William Cameron Menzies, an early effort in his 37-year career.