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”.

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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 this pic! Kim Morgan ‘s striking blue dress cinches the entire color spectrum of fashion in this formidable lineup.

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With Edward Faulkner. They don’t come any nicer than Ed.

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With Anne Jeffreys- “the hostess with the mostest” before the Saturday night screening of RIFFRAFF (1947). The movie was absolutely superb- great work by Anne, Pat O’Brien and Walter Slezak complements the beautiful camera work by director Ted Tetzlaff- and the Q&A with Anne delighted a capacity audience in the Camelot Theater. When I asked her about Robert Mitchum, Anne audibly sighed and recalled filming an oater with Mitch up in Lone Pine: “He wrote poetry, he was … irresistible!” Conversely, she said working with the notorious tough guy Lawrence Tierney in DILLINGER (1945) and STEP BY STEP (1946) were distinctly unpleasant experiences. Larry’s timeless rep for less than charming behavior was well earned. We also spoke of TOPPER and her work with Nelson Eddy among others. Anne was a delight!

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(L to R) Sherry Jackson, director/producer William Asher, Bill’s wife Meredith and yours truly.

Sherry Jackson was the post screening guest for THE BREAKING POINT (1950) in which she played John Garfield’s eight year old daughter. Along with THE KILLERS (1946), I believe this picture may be the finest example of Hemingway’s work ever brought to the screen. After the film concluded and before I brought Sherry to the stage, I played a clip from her appearance in the original Star Trek series. She portrayed an android who was adorned in a alluring, double strap costume that raised this baby-boomer’s temperature back in 1966! I really wanted the audience to have a fuller perspective on Sherry’s career that transitioned from child star to a gorgeous leading lady in films and on television. We spoke of the tragedy of John Garfield and how Jack L. Warner buried THE BREAKING POINT, spending next to nothing on publicity for the picture due to Garfield’s listing in the notorious Red Channels screed; Sherry’s own stepdad, Montgomery Pittman actually spotted the list on Warner’s desk! Sherry also reminisced about Michael Curtiz, John Wayne, Gilbert Roland, “Make Room for Daddy” and talked frankly about the ups and downs of being a child actress back in the day. A smashing discussion! Spending time with Sherry and her husband Mike was one of my personal highlights of a fantastic weekend.

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The Dark City Players doing the intermission riff! Eddie Muller, Kim Morgan, Foster Hirsch and yours truly comprised the “A Team” of film introducers and guest interviewers at the 2009 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival. It was a distinct pleasure to have Eddie screen his short film, THE GRAND INQUISITOR (2008) with star Marsha Hunt on stage afterwards. Foster and Kim were similarly terrific sharing the load with 14 films and 8 guest stars over one evening and three full days. This year’s festival broke previous records for attendance and revenue. We’re keeping the team together for 2010!

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Jemma and me, Sherry Jackson and Eddie Muller

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An absolute treat was the screening of Joseph Pevney’s FEMALE ON THE BEACH at 4:00 PM on Sunday to a nearly sold out house with the Pevney family in attendance. Joe’s daughter Jan and son Jay flank my bride Jemma on the right and Joe’s wonderful wife Margo on the left. Jay sent me a copy of a thank you note that Joan Crawford wrote to his Father and Mother after FEMALE wrapped over half a century ago that I mentioned during my intro. A great afternoon!