Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film - Due out this Fall from UOK Press

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

  There are few performers around that exude the instant recognizability that compresses multiple generations of movie lovers into a solitary entity of affection and respect as does Robert Loggia. I must confess that I immediately succumbed as well. When Bob and his wife Audrey drove up to the parking lot in the rear of the Egyptian Theatre where I was waiting to greet them on Wednesday night, I experienced a film buff's psychological voltage spike: "Holy Cow, it really is Robert Loggia - what a guy!" Loggia started out in the mid 1950's and as he remarked following the screening of The Garment Jungle that after finishing college, the Army and then studying acting with Stella Adler ( I may have the order wrong...), he immediately went to work as an actor. Bob readily admitted that, "I never had to 'pay my dues' waiting tables and the like." He studied...
robert loggia army
©Alan K. Rode
  I knew Richard Anderson had an impressive acting resume, but I didn't know how impressive a person he was until I met him Sunday night about an hour before the screening of The People Against O'Hara (1951). Nattily attired in a beige jacket with scarf, we started talking in the parking lot, continued while pausing in the Egyptian Theatre courtyard and then swept inside the lobby, still talking movies. The man isn't just an actor; he's a fan, a true cinephile. Anderson also is a history buff so we lapsed into a brief Civil War discussion in between stories about Spencer Tracy and Gary Cooper, the two actors that Richard admires above all others. Frankly, I was momentarily disappointed after glancing at my watch and noticing that the film was scheduled to begin in two minutes. The People against O'Hara is a considerable film that really holds up. Spencer Tracy's...
©Alan K. Rode
  As the actors who became personal touchstones during my youth continue to depart this mortal coil due to the inevitability of time, I usually attempt to place their passings into a philosophical perspective (unless I knew them personally) despite the pangs of inner pain and regret. Sometimes the departure of a familiar face affects me more than others. A case-in-point was the death of veteran character actor, Dabbs Greer last evening. Dabbs was 90 years old and had been an working actor for seven decades. Greer was everywhere on television when I grew up: The Adventures of Superman, The Rifleman, The Andy Griffith Show, Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, etc. He appeared in nearly 600 television programs and over 100 films. Greer was an actor's actor who was equally at home on a horse, a rocket ship, pumping gas or behind a grocery counter. There was always an earnest believability...
©Alan K. Rode

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