A sketch of Marlene Dietrich, and Merle Oberon sits for a portrait by Gerald Brockhurst

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Orson Welles spins a tale about two incomparable beauties; Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo…truth or fiction?

BEGUILING HOLLYWOOD

Once upon a time, in Hollywood’s Golden Era, there lived a photographer named Clarence Sinclair Bull who made it his business while at MGM to capture starlight. His portraits were legendary, and so were those who sat for them. Like Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich…

garbo clarence s bull 1929 the kissclarence sinclair bull dietrich

Now, there is a lot of illusion in these photographs, but the indelible impression is one of transcendent glamour and appeal, did it exist behind the scenes? Not so much.

I turn it over to Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles, who would, for a period of years meet for lunch and gab. The resulting book is, My Lunches with Orson, a really fun read.

Orson Welles… I was always a wild Garbo fan. But when I saw her in Grand Hotel, at first I thought it was somebody else making fun of her, like somebody taking off on Garbo. She was totally miscast…

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1958: Marilyn Monroe Poses for Life Magazine and Richard Avedon

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In 1958, Life Magazine invited Marilyn Monroe and photographer Richard Avedon to recreate images of five celebrated actresses of different eras.  Entitled “Fabled Enchantresses,” the piece was part of the magazine’s December 22 “Christmas” issue and included an article by Marilyn’s playwright husband, Arthur Miller, entitled “My Wife, Marilyn.”

Avedon found in Marilyn an easy subject to work with, “She gave more to the still camera than every other actress – every other woman – I had the opportunity to photograph…” He added that she was more patient with him and more demanding of herself than others  and that she was more comfortable in front of the camera than when not posing.

For my tribute to the luminous star,  Marilyn Monroe: Out of a Dream go to: http://eves-reel-life.blogspot.com/2012/08/marilyn-monroe-out-of-dream.html

Marilyn as Lillian Russell, turn-of-the-century American actress

Marilyn as Theda Bara, silent film star from 1914 – 1926

Marilyn as Clara Bow…

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As Turner Layoffs Loom, One Fan Says #DontTouchTCM

TCM IS HERE TO STAY

cinematically insane

postWhen Turner Broadcasting announced job cuts yesterday that would eliminate nearly 1,500 employees, many TCM fans began to worry about the fate of their favorite channel – and the loyal men and women “behind the curtain” who work to keep classic film relevant and accessible.

But one viewer decided to do something about it.

Elise Crane Derby, a Los Angeles based writer and media blogger, took to her blog to pen an open letter to Turner’s New York-based CEO John Martin, the man who will dictate the headcount reductions that are expected to take effect within the next few weeks. Reports have indicated that 975 Atlanta-based employees will be laid-off, more than 15 percent of Turner’s workforce in the city of their founding.

“TCM is a family to us and we can’t imagine a single person is expendable,” Derby wrote on The LA Rambler. “It is every one one of…

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