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ONE WAY STREET

Alan's sporadic takes on Film Noir and other aspects of pop culture

Commentary

Commentary on the movie industry, actors, and producers

Posted by on in Commentary
    Grandfather lit up a Salem and recalled the young Joan Crawford as we sat around the dining table.  “She would do anything with anybody,” he said with a knowing wink.  Grandmother shushed him with  “Alfonse!” as she and Mom cleared the table.   Mom stamped her foot on the kitchen floor, interrupting the cat licking the butter stick on top of the table. Grandmother Levy laughed and recalled a story involving a cat and her Mother who had been a six-gun toting Texas constable.    A reelection ink blotter for Great-Grandmother Meeks as Constable of Bexar County   My brother David excused himself to play the piano. The Scrabble board made its ritualistic appearance.  Alfonse and Dad were serious players who squared off with a large dictionary staged next to the board to settle word disputes.  David’s rendition of a Cole Porter standard filled the room as I resumed...
Alfonse at work

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The presentation of Abel Gance’s NAPOLEON this Saturday at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California, dwarfs any previous experience that I’ve ever had in a movie theatre.  I have never seen a film of such epic scale with the most amazing attention to authentic historical detail within a beautifully characterized story of a man destined to change the world.  NAPOLEON is truly a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Words are inadequate to describe my pure joy of taking in five and half hours of a restored classic that the great Kevin Brownlow spent much of his professional life restoring.  Kevin is an incredibly gifted, humble man whose lifework is to share his appreciation of silent films with the rest of the world. On a personal note, Kevin Brownlow graciously shared some of his archival information with me some time ago for my ongoing bio of Michael Curtiz after...
Napoleon Program Cover Blog
©Alan K. Rode

Posted by on in Commentary
I was chatting with an actor friend recently and as we discussed a couple of his choicest roles in successful pictures, he remarked, “I was a pretty hot actor at that time!” His statement resonated with me. Actors, are like baseball players, gamblers and any number of other professions. They are all prone to hot streaks. Some performers begin like supernovas and remain overheated for their entire careers; Burt Lancaster’s jump start in The Killers (1946) comes to mind.These fortunate few are usually called “stars”. The vast majority of working actors, then and now, try to better their craft while making a living. I wondered though who had the hottest streak of any screen actor in terms of appearing in the best films over the shortest period of time. What was the cinematic equivalent of Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game consecutive hitting streak? Back in the days when Hollywood manufactured movies like...
thomas-mitchell-at-his-height
©Alan K. Rode

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