Yes Virginia, it's done!

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My Michael Curtiz manuscript is at the publisher with the book scheduled for publication in 2017.  “Done” is a relative term as there is still a considerable distance to travel before I am holding a completed book in my hand, but the work itself is completed and it’s a good feeling.  With that, I will be returning to my blog and updating the web site on what is going on with me and the world of classic film.



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


Commentary on the movie industry, actors, and producers

Posted by on in Commentary
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...
©Alan K. Rode

Posted by on in Commentary
  Some idle thoughts on how some of the star-crossed couples of film noir would celebrate Valentine Day. You’ll have to fill in the blanks with the actors and the movies. Walter and Phyllis might ignore the 45 mile an hour speed limit and decide to kick it down at the beach in Santa Monica. Would Holiday Carleton be inspired to find a way to keep Ralph Cotter from the arms of heiress Margaret Dobson? Jeff and Kathie would probably start off with a drink at the La Mar Azul before heading to Pablo’s to gaze in each others eyes over some American music. Paula misses Frank and just wants him to come home to Banning. Martha asks Sam to drive up at the campsite above the city to look at the lights next to a campfire that is still smoldering… just like her passion Helen gets Sam in a clinch...
©Alan K. Rode

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