Newsflash!

ON HIATUS ... or something like that

Michael Cortiz teaser

      

My blog posts for ONE WAY STREET will be missing in action as I attempt to complete my biography of Michael Curtiz in 2014.

 

Best Regards,

 

Alan

 

 

ONE WAY STREET

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

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When I found out that Karl Malden died last week, I initially recalled many of my favorite roles that he played and thought about how much he would be missed. His peaceful demise at 97 years of age doesn’t qualify as a tragedy, but even as a signpost of normal passage, there is genuine bereavement at his departure. As an actor and persona, Malden was so steady, so permanent. It never occurred to me that there would be a world without Karl Malden. He simply had always been there in movies, television and before all that, a belwether of Broadway. As I considered Malden's career, it occurred to me that a seminal era in American acting is drawing towards final curtain. Karl Malden was not only Hollywood’s version of Methuselah; he was one of the last of the original New York City Group Theatre alumni. Lasting only a decade, the Group’s...
karl malden
©Alan K. Rode

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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
  MSNBC's Kim Morgan on stage with the irrepressible Ann Rutherford following the screening of INSIDE JOB (1946). This rare programmer hadn't been shown to a theater audience since its release; it held up extremely well. Ann was terrific alongside Alan Curtis and Preston Foster. Even more delightful were Ann's endless stream of Old Hollywood anecdotes that left the patrons in stitches. From learning Yiddish from Preston Foster, to obtaining swimming lessons from Buster Crabbe at the Hollywood Athletic Club while "fibbing" her way into Westerns with Gene Autry, Ann had plenty of chutzpah to spare... and she still does! Her insider accounts of GONE WITH THE WIND were priceless and as she readily admitted, GWTW has "...turned my golden years to platinum". Veteran character actor Edward Faulkner joins his cousin Ann Rutherford along with Anne Jeffreys and Marsha Hunt. Don't try to calculate the years of show biz expertise in...
©Alan K. Rode