John Wayne is back in Burbank!

The new security guard Duke at the Book Castle in Burbank, CA makes sure everyone puts back all books in their right place- Everyone complies without hesitation!

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Joel McCrea A Film History book signed by grandson Wyatt McCrea!

Another friendly person at Autry event in 2015 was Wyatt McCrea -grandson of screen greats Joel McCrea (Foreign Correspondent, Sullivan’s Travels, and one of my fav westerns Ride the High Country) and Frances Dee (I Walked with a Zombie, Little Woman.)-Talk about being born into a movie star family!!- Wyatt said that his grandfather’s heart was with the family ranch and often joked that he acted only to afford being a rancher! Of course, I am now the proud owner of a signed –with a big smile- copy of Joel McCrea A Film History.

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Great photo at an Autry Event for Western Movie families!

Exactly one year ago 11/18/15-It was the lunch event of a lifetime where these wonderful people shared touching stories about how it was to grow up in famous movie families: (left to right) William Winckler (son of child star Robert “Bobby” Winckler), very entertaining event host Rob Word, Joan Collins (who co-starred with Gregory Peck in The Bravados), Cindy Mitchum Azbill (daughter of John and Niece of Robert Mitchum), Wyatt McCrea (grandson of Joel McCrea), and Dawn Moore (daughter of Clayton “The Lone Ranger” Moore.)

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Martin Scorsese’s 74th birthday today!

In master director (74th birthday today 11/17) Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellars (1990) we hear the voice over soundtrack confessions of first Ray Liotta as Henry Hill and then the Oscar nominated here Lorraine Bracco as Karen Hill and later find out the couple are sitting in front of an FBI agent offering their inside information and bidding to go on a witness protection program.

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Marjorie Morningstar (1958) – Gene Kelly’s “A Very Precious Love” is Natalie Wood!

Look at the vinyl album I found in my NJ basement that is currently being shipped to my storage in Burbank- a lesser known Max Steiner score for one of my favs Marjorie Morningstar (1958) -“A Very Precious Love” sung by Gene Kelly to Natalie Wood is indeed a very precious song!

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Air Force (1943)- Hawks directs a great cast led by John Garfield

Today 11/15/16 on TCM- Air Force (1943) where great director Howard Hawks brings out the personal and technical details with the help of the Oscar nominated here James Wong Howe’s documentary looking cinematography of what it was like for the crew of a B-17 Bomber (Perfectly cast each with a compelling side story: John Ridgely as the pilot, Gig Young as the co-pilot, Arthur Kennedy as the bombardier, Charles Drake as the navigator, Harry Carey Sr. as the crew chief with George Tobias as his assistant and most of all charismatic John Garfield as the gunner) who departed on 12/6/41 from then peacetime San Francisco only to be caught in the air during Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Of the many memorable moments-the crew adopts a dog named Tripoli who growls when he hears the name of fictional Japanese detective Mr. Moto and when after the pilot is incapacitated, John Garfield as Winocki the washed out pilot cadet turned gunner safely lands the damaged plane.

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Finlay Currie – Contrasting Roles in Ben-Hur (1959) and Great Expectations (1946)

It takes a master director to effectively adapt a great novel. Two of my favorites are Great Expectations (1946) by Charles Dickens directed by David Lean and Ben-Hur (1959) by Lew Wallace directed by William Wyler. Catch the veteran British actor Finlay Currie in both classic films- playing the key role of Magwitch, the escaped criminal in Great Expectation and the extremely contrasting role of the narrator/Christian prophet Balthasar in Ben-Hur.

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