April 23, 2016

#SOTM - TCM's Star of the Month May 2016 - Robert Ryan

Robert Ryan Fast Facts

Born: Robert Bushnell Ryan on November 11, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois
Died: July 11, 1973 (aged 63) in New York City, New York (lung cancer)
Father: Timothy Aloysius Ryan (June 7, 1875 - April 27, 1936)
Mother: Mabel Arbutus (Bushnell) Ryan (May 12, 1883 - March 13, 1963)
Wife: Jessica (Cadwalader) Ryan (October 26, 1914 - May 22, 1972) (married from March 11, 1939 until her death)
Children: Two sons, Walker (born April 13, 1946) and Cheyney (born March 10, 1948), and a daughter, Lisa (born September 10, 1951).
Education: Attended Loyola Academy, Chicago; Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (boxing champion), B.A. in literature 1932.
Military Service: U.S. Marine Corps, 1944-47: drill instructor, Camp Pendleton barracks, San Diego (boxing champion).


Robert Ryan was unique among Hollywood stars for having been both an Ivy League graduate (Dartmouth, class of 1932) and an undefeated intercollegiate boxing champion, heavyweight class. Thus he brought to his acting career the unusual combination of a fine education and an authentic tough guy reputation. After a failed attempt to become a journalist in New York City, he found work during the Depression wherever he could, first spending two long years as an engine room janitor on a freighter that steamed from New York to East Africa around the Cape and back. He dug subway tunnels in Chicago, mined for gold and punched cattle in Montana and, back in Chicago, sold cemetery plots and steel products, modeled for a department store, and worked a desk job with the board of education. The low point came with a stint as a bill collector for a loan company, shaking poor people down for money they didn't have. Out of desperation Ryan took a job directing a play at a private school and later said he "was bitten by the acting bug watching those kids."

When he ended up in California in 1939, he enrolled at the Max Reinhardt Actors' Workshop, which led to his stage debut in Too Many Husbands at Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles. A Paramount Pictures talent scout was impressed enough by Ryan's opening night performance to offer him a $75 a week contract, which he accepted on the spot. With Paramount, he then made his feature film debut, appropriately cast as a boxer in a B movie entitled Golden Gloves (1940). Ryan was originally supposed to play the lead, the studio decided he wasn't ready and relegated him to a bit part. Years later director Edward Dmytryk admitted, "Perhaps we weren’t ready for him."

He found steady work in small parts, with his first big break coming in 1943 as co-star to Ginger Rogers in Tender Comrade. This film was later cited—ludicrously so—as an example of how communists had infiltrated the film industry. Both its director, Edward Dmytryk, and its screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, were among the original blacklisted Hollywood Ten. Ryan, however, was helped by his appearance in Tender Comrade, although his enlistment in the Marines in 1944 temporarily halted his promising career.

It was after the war that Ryan found real success as a movie star by being featured in a colorful dramatic role as a bigoted villain in Crossfire (1947). His chilling performance not only earned him an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor, it also typed him for the majority of the screen roles to follow. His film persona relied on that of the smooth surface which covers a twisted interior. Ryan was a tall man, 6-foot-4, with dark hair and good looks. He radiated Black Irish glamour. He might have become a traditional leading man, but instead he began playing articulate villains, the kind who could talk their way out of places and build alibis for themselves in any kind of situation. In addition to the obvious acting skill such roles require, Ryan had the sort of Irishness viewers often associate with blarney. He added to it a suspicious smile and overly confident manner which seemed to suggest hidden strength and possible danger, an undercurrent of violence and cruelty. With these characteristics, he created a gallery of some of the most interesting villains ever seen on film, and built a career out of crime films, films noir, melodramas, and westerns.

For the majority of the moviegoing public, he is most associated with the last genre. (Ryan himself referred to his "long, seamy face" as being perfect for westerns.) His filmography reads as a chronology of the development of the genre in the postwar period, from such classics as Anthony Mann's The Naked Spur (1953) and John Sturges's Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) through Budd Boetticher's Horizons West (1952), Raoul Walsh's The Tall Men (1955), and Andre De Toth's Day of the Outlaw (1959) to the iconoclastic film by Sam Peckinpah, The Wild Bunch (1969). Recently, much critical attention has been given to Ryan's seminal contributions to film noir, especially given his appearance in films by many of that genre's most important directors, notably Jean Renoir (The Woman on the Beach [1947]), Max Ophüls (Caught [1949]), Robert Wise (The Set-Up [1949]), Nicholas Ray (On Dangerous Ground [1951]), and Fritz Lang (Clash by Night [1952]).

Always an actor to seek challenge and a change, Ryan returned to the New York stage in 1954, starring in Coriolanus. From that time on, he moved back and forth from his film career to his stage career, creating successes in theater both in Los Angeles and New York, and particularly finding praise for his outstanding performance in an excellent revival of The Front Page shortly before his death. Unfortunately, over the last eight years of his life Ryan was largely relegated to cameos in big pictures, such as The Dirty Dozen (1967), Custer of the West (1968), and Anzio (1968) (although he made more money in this period than in the first 25 years of his film career combined).

Ryan guided his entire career with intelligence and seriousness of purpose. Since his desire was to be more than a movie star, he willingly accepted roles that did not create a lovable persona. Because of this, he did not attract as large a following as some other stars. Nevertheless, he always maintained a reputation for quality and reliability. Seen in retrospect, this quality places him at the center of film history, as he appeared in many films which, although not Oscar winners of their day, are now considered classics worthy of serious attention and study. In this way, history and time are making Robert Ryan into one of the most interesting stars of Hollywood films.

Did You Know?

When casting the leading man role in the 1943 Ginger Rogers vehicle Tender Comrade, RKO producer David Hempstead became interested in Ryan due to favorable preview cards hailing Ryan's performances in Bombardier (1943), The Sky's the Limit (1943), and Behind the Rising Sun (1943). He suggested him to Rogers, who was at first unimpressed after screening parts of the three movies. She turned him down as her leading man, as she thought he looked mean and, at 6'4", too big. A week later, when Rogers visited Hempstead at his office, he was busily going through preview cards of The Sky's the Limit and showed her some of them. Rogers saw that all the reviews of Ryan's performance were favorable and, since principal production was drawing near, she decided to have another look at him. Ryan was conveniently waiting in a nearby office for just such a possibility. Less than a minute later he came to the office and talked with both the producer and Rogers. After a few moments, she unobtrusively slipped Hempstead a note: "I think this is the guy." Today, the note hangs on the wall above Cheyney Ryan's (Ryan's son) desk in his study.

After his service in the Marines, he had a lifelong devotion to pacifism.

He was a vocal supporter of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten.

1951 - With wife Jessica, founded Oakwood Elementary School in North Hollywood, a cooperative dedicated to humanistic education.

1959 - Notably served as co-chairman of the Hollywood branch of the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy.

Co-founded the Theatre Group at the University of California at Los Angeles with John Houseman and Sidney Harmon in 1959. Nine years later in 1968 he co-founded the Plumstead Playhouse Repertory Company, with Henry Fonda and Martha Scott.

While dying of cancer, he gave one of his best film performances in The Iceman Cometh (1973).

Shortly before his death, Ryan moved out of his apartment (number 72) at the Dakota in New York City. Ryan leased (and then his estate later sold) the apartment to John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Meredy's Top 10 Robert Ryan Films

1. Crossfire (1947) - Ryan plays a hard, loud-mouthed, anti-Semitic psychopathic killer. The film was directed by Edward Dmytryk and the screenplay was written by John Paxton, based on the 1945 novel The Brick Foxhole by screenwriter and director Richard Brooks. In the novel, the victim was homosexual. The film features Robert Mitchum, Robert Young, Robert Ryan, and Gloria Grahame. It received five Academy Award nominations, including Ryan for Best Supporting Actor and Gloria Grahame for Best Supporting Actress. It was the first B movie to receive a Best Picture nomination. It's being shown on TCM on May 6, 2016 at 9:30 p.m.

2. Act of Violence (1948) - Ryan is disturbing as the obsessive, embittered cripple. Even better is the rich chiaroscuro of Robert Surtees' camera work, in which shadows slice bodies and cover faces until, like the contractor, we no longer have the vaguest idea where we are. It's being shown on TCM on May 7, 2016 at 5:15 a.m.

3. Caught (1949) - It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Smith Ohlrig, the character played by Robert Ryan, is a thinly disguised takeoff of Howard Hughes. But whereas Howard Hughes was merely paranoid and eccentric, Smith Ohlrig is an all-out psycho.

4. The Set-Up (1949) - Ryan gives one of his best performances as the over-the-hill pug who balks when ordered by his manager to throw a fight. As shown by the clock face that opens and closes the film, The Set-Up takes place within a compact 73 minutes, with the action played out in "real time." It was a key influence on Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980) and remains one of the best films on the fight game. It's being shown on TCM on May 7, 2016 at 4:00 a.m.

5. On Dangerous Ground (1952) - Ryan plays Jim Wilson, a tough police detective embittered by years of dealing with low-life urban scum. After severely beating several suspects, Jim is assigned to a case far from the city. Inspired by Mary Malden's (Ida Lupino) courage and recognizing Walter Brent's (Ward Bond) rage as the mirror image of his own, Wilson gains the insight to free himself from his own blindness. It's being shown on TCM on May 7, 2016 at 1:00 a.m.

6. Clash by Night (1952) - Ryan infuses his lecherous Earl Pfeiffer with the requisite nasty disposition. Barbara Stanwyck is also fine as Mae Doyle. As a footnote in the politically incorrect department, Ryan does an atrocious Chinese impression. It's being shown on TCM on May 6, 2016 at 1:30 p.m.

7. The Naked Spur (1953) - Ryan made many westerns, but I consider this one his best. He plays a likably hateful villain opposite Jimmy Stewart. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and is notable for having only five actors. It's being shown on TCM on May 20, 2016 at 6:15 p.m.

8. Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) - Mr. Ryan is angular and vicious as the uneasy king-pin of the town. He's a small-town big shot complicit in a racist murder. Spencer Tracy had great respect for Robert Ryan as an actor. Millard Kaufman recalled that Tracy said to him one day, "Bob is so good in this part, he scares the hell out of me." When Kaufman expressed the same, Tracy replied, "That's good. It means he'll scare the hell out of the audience, too." It's being shown on TCM on May 6, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.

9. Billy Budd (1962) - John Claggart is one of Ryan's most nuanced and complexand oddly sympatheticvillains. The film is being shown on TCM on May 13, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.

10. The Iceman Cometh (1973) - It's Ryan's finest four hours as barroom philosopher Larry Slade. This film was the final film appearance of Fredric March, Robert Ryan, and Martyn Green.

My Robert Ryan Guilty Pleasure Film - Ice Palace (1960)

I'm a sucker for film adaptations of Edna Ferber novels: Cimarron (1931 [AA Best Picture] and 1960), So Big (1924, 1932 and 1953), Show Boat (1929, 1936 and 1951), Saratoga Trunk (1945), Giant (1956), and Ice Palace (1960).

Ice Palace was directed by Vincent Sherman and dramatized the debate over Alaska statehood. It starred Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Carolyn Jones, Martha Hyer, Jim Backus, Ray Danton, Diane McBain, Karl Swenson, Shirley Knight, Barry Kelley, Sheridan Comerate, George Takei (his film debut), and Steve Harris.

The rights to Ice Palace were sold to Warner Brothers for $350,000 before the novel was published. Warner Brothers had already had a success with a 1956 adaptation of another Edna Ferber novel, Giant.

The film was shot in part in Petersburg, Alaska. It was beautifully photographed by Joseph F. Biroc. The music by Max Steiner is another plus.

Critics weren't kind but Ice Palace is a personal favorite of mine. I feel it's an overlooked gem.

Friday, May 6, 2016 and Saturday, May 7, 2016

11:00 a.m.
The Woman on the Beach (1947)
BW - 1h 11m

Coast Guard officer Scott (Robert Ryan) loves his fiancée, Eve (Nan Leslie), but he can't fight his attraction to the alluring Peggy (Joan Bennett), a lonely beauty he meets on the beach. But Peggy is trapped in a loveless marriage to Tod (Charles Bickford), a former painter whose career was cut short by blindness. Scott and Peggy become romantically involved, yet they can't help but feel that Tod knows more than he's letting on -- and his blindness may just be a ruse he uses to spy on Peggy.

Dir: Jean Renoir
Cast: Joan Bennett, Robert Ryan, Charles Bickford, Nan Leslie.

12:15 p.m.
The Woman on Pier 13 (1949)
BW - 1h 13m

Communists blackmail a San Francisco shipper (Robert Ryan) and recruit his wife's (Laraine Day) brother (John Agar) with a blonde.

Dir: Robert Stevenson
Cast: Laraine Day, Robert Ryan, John Agar.

1:30 p.m.
Clash by Night (1952)
BW - 1h 45m
After being away for 10 years, Mae Doyle (Barbara Stanwyck) returns to her California hometown following an affair with a married politician, which came to an end when he died and his relatives sued for her inheritance. Mae begins dating Jerry (Paul Douglas), an amiable fisherman, while his bitter best friend, Earl (Robert Ryan), a cynic married to a burlesque dancer, finds himself attracted to her. Mae and Jerry marry, but soon she gets bored and starts an affair with just-divorced Earl.

Dir: Fritz Lang
Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan.

3:15 p.m.
The Racket (1951)
BW - 1h 29m
As one of the only honest cops left in the city, Capt. Thomas McQuigg (Robert Mitchum) has his back against the wall when a large crime syndicate makes its way to his doorstep. After bringing aboard local mobster Nick Scanlon (Robert Ryan), the illegal organization intends to help place corrupt attorney Mortimer X. Welsh (Ray Collins) in a prominent government position. But, if McQuigg can stay alive long enough, he just might be able to bring down the crooks with a key witness (Lizabeth Scott).

Dir: John Cromwell
Cast: Robert Mitchum, Lizabeth Scott, Robert Ryan, Ray Collins.

4:45 p.m.
Berlin Express (1948)
BW - 1h 27m
During World War II, passengers of various nationalities travel by train from France to Berlin. One of them, Dr. Bernhardt (Paul Lukas), is an influential peacemaker who wants to mend the war-torn continent. When Nazi conspirators determined to keep Bernhardt quiet set off an explosion on the train, it kills a man who turns out to be Bernhardt's decoy. Other passengers (Merle Oberon, Robert Ryan, Robert Coote) seek the doctor for an explanation, but deception is all around.

Dir: Jacques Tourneur
Cast: Merle Oberon, Robert Ryan, Paul Lukas, Robert Coote.

6:15 p.m.
Born to Be Bad (1950)
BW - 1h 39m
Christabel Caine (Joan Fontaine) has the face of angel and the heart of a swamp rat. She'll step on anyone to get what she wants, including her own family. A master of manipulation, she covertly breaks off the engagement of her trusting cousin, Donna (Joan Leslie), to her fabulously wealthy beau, Curtis Carey (Zachary Scott). Once married to Curtis herself, Christabel continues her affair with novelist Nick Bradley (Robert Ryan), who knows she's evil, but loves her anyway.

Dir: Nicholas Ray
Cast: Joan Fontaine, Robert Ryan, Zachary Scott, Joan Leslie.

8:00 p.m.
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
Color - 1h 22m
When John J. Macreedy (Spencer Tracy), a one-armed war veteran, arrives in the small desert town of Black Rock, he's not greeted warmly. Searching for a man named Komoko, Macreedy is met with disdain by virtually every local, including the resident thug, Hector David (Lee Marvin), and the imposing Reno Smith (Robert Ryan). As Macreedy's investigation deepens, hostility turns to violence -- and to imminent danger for the mysterious and inquisitive stranger.

Dir: John Sturges
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Lee Marvin.

9:30 p.m.
Crossfire (1947)
BW - 1h 26m
Stark, claustrophobic thriller about an anti-Semitic soldier who kills a Jewish war veteran, evading detection because of his loyal friends' protection. However, a detective is determined that the crime will not go unsolved and sets about laying a trap for the murderer.

Dir: Edward Dmytryk
Cast: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan.

11:15 p.m.
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
BW - 1h 36m
Disgraced former police officer David Burke (Ed Begley) is looking for a way to make some quick money. When he decides to rob a bank, he calls on mean ex-con Earl Slater (Robert Ryan) and black entertainer Johnny Ingram (Harry Belafonte) to help him pull off the heist. Johnny is reluctant to agree but is forced to reconsider because of his significant gambling debts, while racist Earl balks because of Johnny's involvement. Ultimately, though, they must work together to get the job done.

Dir: Robert Wise
Cast: Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Ed Begley, Shelley Winters.

1:00 a.m.
On Dangerous Ground (1952)
BW - 1h 22m
Jim Wilson (Robert Ryan) is New York police detective on the edge. Hardened and embittered by his years of dealing with the lowest forms of criminal the city has to offer, Wilson becomes increasingly violent with suspects. For his own good, Wilson's police captain (Ed Begley) assigns him to a murder investigation in the countryside for a change of scenery. While searching for the killer, Wilson meets the suspect's sister, Mary Malden (Ida Lupino), a blind woman who might turn his life around.

Dir: Nicholas Ray
Cast: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond, Ed Begley.

2:30 a.m.
Beware, My Lovely (1952)
BW - 1h 17m
Widow Helen Gordon (Ida Lupino) hires Howard Wilton (Robert Ryan) to do some odd jobs around her large Victorian mansion. What she doesn't know is that Wilton is actually a murderous schizophrenic prone to violent blackouts. Although he has no memory of it, Wilton killed his last employer, and when his grip on his sanity begins to slip away while working at Helen's house, she has to think on her feet to keep him calm and rational until she can escape from her home and get help.

Dir: Harry Horner
Cast: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Taylor Holmes.

4:00 a.m.
The Set-Up (1949)
BW - 1h 13m
A boxer on the wane, Bill "Stoker" Thompson (Robert Ryan) is determined to stay in the game, in spite of his wife, Julie (Audrey Totter), who wants him to leave the dangerous sport. Unbeknownst to Stoker, his manager, Tiny (George Tobias), has lost confidence in him and sets the fighter up to lose an upcoming match at the request of a local gangster. Certain that Stoker will meet with defeat, Tiny neglects to tell him about the shady deal, resulting in conflict both in and out of the ring.

Dir: Robert Wise
Cast: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias.

5:15 a.m.
Act of Violence (1948)
BW - 1h 22m
A former prisoner of war, Frank Enley (Van Heflin) is hailed as a hero in his California town. However, Frank actually aided his Nazi captors, and he closely guards this secret. Frank's shameful past comes back to visit him when fellow survivor Joe Parkson (Robert Ryan) emerges, intent on making the turncoat pay for his betrayal. As Joe closes in on Frank, the traitor goes into hiding, abandoning his wife, Edith (Janet Leigh), who has no clue about her husband's wartime transgressions.

Dir: Fred Zinnemann
Cast: Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh.

Friday, May 13, 2016 and Saturday, May 14, 2016

3:30 p.m.
The Iron Major (1943)
BW - 1h 25m
In this biopic, Frank "Cav" Cavanaugh (Pat O'Brien) finds his family in a financial bind and quits Dartmouth, where he was a football star, to take a coaching job at another school. Soon, he meets and marries Florence (Ruth Warrick), and ends up coaching the Dartmouth team. But with World War I under way, Cav enlists, leaving behind his growing family. In Europe, he rallies the men under his command, but, after he's hurt on the battlefield, Cav comes home and football beckons again.

Dir: Ray Enright
Cast: Pat O'Brien, Ruth Warrick, Robert Ryan.

5:00 p.m.
Gangway for Tomorrow (1943)
BW - 1h 9m
As co-workers at a World War II-era airplane factory carpool to their job, they recall their lives prior to the war. French Lisette (Margo) escaped her Nazi-occupied homeland as a member of the underground resistance. Former prison warden Tom (James Bell) broods about a closely held family secret. Former Miss America Mary (Amelita Ward), pines for the serviceman boyfriend she left behind. Ex-lawyer Wellington (John Carradine) reminisces about his years as a hobo.

Dir: John H. Auer
Cast: Margo, John Carradine, Robert Ryan, James Bell, Amelita Ward.

6:15 p.m.
Tender Comrade (1943)
BW - 1h 42m
Jo (Ginger Rogers) works at an aircraft factory during World War II when her husband Chris (Robert Ryan) is called off to fight. Leaning on the support of her friends and co-workers, she suggests that they share a home together in the hopes of saving money. Her friends -- Barbara (Ruth Hussey), Doris (Kim Hunter) and Helen (Patricia Collinge) -- despite all having husbands at war, are extremely different. Together, the women help each other through difficult times despite the occasional spat.

Dir: Edward Dmytryk
Cast: Ginger Rogers, Robert Ryan, Ruth Hussey, Kim Hunter, Patricia Collinge.

8:00 p.m.
Billy Budd (1962)
BW - 2h 3m
In this film based on the Herman Melville novel, handsome, young Billy Budd (Terence Stamp) joins the British navy during wartime, where his skill quickly makes him a trusted crew member. However, sinister master-at-arms Claggart (Robert Ryan), secretly jealous of Billy, accuses him of treason. Billy strikes Claggart in anger, causing him to fall and die. Capt. Vere (Peter Ustinov) feels pity for Billy but believes that maritime law requires that Billy be executed for killing an officer.

Dir: Peter Ustinov
Cast: Terence Stamp, Peter Ustinov, Robert Ryan.

10:15 p.m.
About Mrs. Leslie (1954)
BW - 1h 44m
Vivien (Shirley Booth) runs a boarding house for young women. Through a series of flashbacks, she details the adventures of her life. Vivien was born poor, but escapes her home by becoming a cabaret singer. She meets George Leslie (Robert Ryan), who is a very private man, but the two get to know each other and begin a passionate affair. One night at the movies, Vivien sees George in the newsreel and learns he is actually a wealthy -- and married -- industrialist.

Dir: Daniel Mann
Cast: Shirley Booth, Robert Ryan, Marjie Millar.

12:15 a.m.
The Boy with the Green Hair (1948)
Color - 1h 22m
Peter (Dean Stockwell), an orphaned boy, is adopted by Gramp Frye (Pat O'Brien) after his parents are killed in Europe while doing war relief work. The boy feels safe with his new caretaker, but when he is taunted for being an orphan, he gets demoralized. The next day Peter wakes up with green hair. Embarrassed and further ridiculed, Peter seeks solace in a nearby forest. To his surprise, he finds other orphans in the woods, who encourage him to spread news of the injustices of war.

Dir: Joseph Losey
Cast: Pat O'Brien, Dean Stockwell, Robert Ryan, Barbara Hale.

1:45 a.m.
God's Little Acre (1958)
BW - 1h 58m
Ty Ty Walden (Robert Ryan) is a Georgia farmer obsessed with finding a fortune in gold that is rumored to be buried on his farm. The quest for riches is completely disrupting the lives of his family, including his three sons: jealous Buck (Jack Lord), who believes his wife, Griselda, still loves Will (Aldo Ray), who is married to Ty Ty's daughter, Rosamund (Helen Westcott); Shaw (Vic Morrow), who is single; and wealthy and estranged son Jim (Lance Fuller), who has moved away.

Dir: Anthony Mann
Cast: Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray, Buddy Hackett, Tina Louise, Jack Lord, Helen Westcott, Vic Morrow, Lance Fuller.

3:45 a.m.
Her Twelve Men (1954)
Color - 1h 31m
Recently widowed and needing a change of pace, Jan Stewart (Greer Garson) takes a job as a schoolteacher at the Oaks, an elite boys' prep school. She is given charge of 12 rowdy students, including a sullen boy (Tim Considine) whose father (Barry Sullivan) is a vocal critic of Jan's teaching capabilities. Jan must prove to the skeptical headmaster (Robert Ryan) and everyone else that she's up to the task by winning over her students and becoming more than just a teacher to them.

Dir: Robert Z. Leonard
Cast: Greer Garson, Robert Ryan, Barry Sullivan, Tim Considine.

5:30 a.m.
Back from Eternity (1956)
BW - 1h 37m
On a plane bound for South America, the son of a mobster travels under the protection of henchmen who learn in-flight that their boss is dead. Also on the flight are weary war pilot Bill Lonagan (Robert Ryan), prostitute Rena (Anita Ekberg), Jud Ellis (Gene Barry) and his fiancée, Louise (Phyllis Kirk), and a convicted murderer (Rod Steiger) who's bound for his execution. After a storm forces the plane down in a jungle, the passengers turn against one another in their struggle to survive.

Dir: John Farrow
Cast: Robert Ryan, Anita Ekberg, Rod Steiger, Gene Barry, Phyllis Kirk.

Friday, May 20, 2016 and Saturday, May 21, 2016

1:30 p.m.
Trail Street (1947)
BW - 1h 24m
Legendary lawman Bat Masterson (Randolph Scott) is called to rural Kansas to defend farmers from ruthless cattlemen. Joining Masterson in his efforts to clean up a lawless town are a couple of locals: Masterson's old chum Billy Burn and landowner Allen Harper (Robert Ryan). But ranch owner Logan Maury proves to be a more than formidable opponent. He'll stop at nothing, including murder, to turn the farmers' fields into grazing grounds for his cattle.

Dir: Ray Enright
Cast: Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan, Anne Jeffreys, George "Gabby" Hayes.

3:00 p.m.
Return of the Badmen (1948)
BW - 1h 30m
In 1889 in Oklahoma Territory, the land rush attracts thousands, including many outlaws. A gang led by Wild Bill Doolan includes the Sundance Kid (Robert Ryan) and the Younger brothers, who intend to take advantage of the confusion to rob banks. Doolan's daughter, Cheyenne (Anne Jeffreys), helps the gang in a heist, but is wounded and taken in by ex-ranger Vance Cordell (Randolph Scott). Vance sets about to change her allegiance, despite the misgivings of his fiancée (Jacqueline White).

Dir: Ray Enright
Cast: Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan, Anne Jeffreys, Jacqueline White.

4:45 p.m.
Best of the Badmen (1951)
Color - 1h 24m
After the North defeats the South, Union Maj. Jeff Clanton (Robert Ryan) heads to Missouri to provide the Confederacy's Quantrill's Raiders a chance to claim allegiance to the Union, thereby clearing their wanted status. But standing in Clanton's way are the corrupt lawmen Joad (Barton MacLane) and Fowler (Robert Preston), who would rather keep the men outlaws to collect the reward on their heads. After Joad and Fowler frame Clanton for murder, he manages to escape, becoming an outlaw himself.

Dir: William D. Russell
Cast:  Robert Ryan, Claire Trevor, Jack Buetel, Barton MacLane, Robert Preston.

6:15 p.m.
The Naked Spur (1953)
Color - 1h 32m
Howard Kemp (James Stewart) has been tracking killer Ben Vandergroat (Robert Ryan) for a long time. In the Colorado Rockies, he teams up with prospector Jesse Tate (Millard Mitchell) and former Union soldier Roy Anderson (Ralph Meeker). Thinking Kemp is a sheriff, they agree to help for a small fee. When they catch Vandergroat, he tells them Kemp is pursuing a $5,000 bounty. After demanding equal shares, the uneasy alliance heads for Kansas as Vandergroat tries to turn them against each other.

Dir: Anthony Mann
Cast: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Millard Mitchell, Ralph Meeker.

8:00 p.m.
Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973)
Color - 1h 45m
Tennessee clan leaders (Rod Steiger, Robert Ryan) let a case of mistaken identity turn their family feud into a war.

Dir: Richard C. Sarafian
Cast: Rod Steiger, Robert Ryan, Jeff Bridges, Scott Wilson.

10:00 p.m.
The Outfit (1973)
Color - 1h 43m

When petty crook Earl Macklin (Robert Duvall) is released from prison to find that his brother was murdered over a botched bank heist, he has one thing on his mind -- revenge. After tracing his brother's death back to a merciless, well-armed ring of mobsters, Macklin teams up with his old partner Cody (Joe Don Baker) in an effort to track down the thugs. However, the tables turn when Macklin realizes that the deadly criminals he is after have already put out a hit on him.

Dir: John Flynn
Cast: Robert Duvall, Karen Black, Joe Don Baker, Robert Ryan.

12:00 a.m.
The Wild Bunch (1969)
Color - 2h 25m

In this gritty Western classic, aging outlaw Pike Bishop (William Holden) prepares to retire after one final robbery. Joined by his gang, which includes Dutch Engstrom (Ernest Borgnine) and brothers Lyle (Warren Oates) and Tector Gorch (Ben Johnson), Bishop discovers the heist is a setup orchestrated in part by his old partner, Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan). As the remaining gang takes refuge in Mexican territory, Thornton trails them, resulting in fierce gunfights with plenty of casualties.

Dir: Sam Peckinpah
Cast: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson.

2:30 a.m.
Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969)
Color - 1h 46m
Survivors of a shipwreck are surprised to find rescue in the middle of the sea by none other than the renowned Capt. Nemo (Robert Ryan), who arrives in the Nautilus, his state-of-the-art submarine. As Nemo's guests soon discover, the eccentric genius has created an entire community at the bottom of the ocean. When the survivors find out that they can't leave Nemo's city, some of them rebel, causing a conflict that jeopardizes the lives of everyone in the undersea base.

Dir: James Hill
Cast: Robert Ryan, Chuck Connors, Nanette Newman.

4:30 a.m.
Executive Action (1973)
Color - 1h 31m
In 1963, with President John F. Kennedy growing more liberal and humanitarian in his policies, a shadowy cabal of Texas oil magnates, hardline conservatives, intelligence agents and rogue operatives meet to discuss possible action. The swaggering Foster (Robert Ryan) wants JFK dead, but the mysterious and powerful Ferguson (Will Geer) rebuffs the idea. Still, Farrington (Burt Lancaster) carries out a military training operation in preparation for an assassination while he waits for a decision.

Dir: David Miller
Cast: Robert Ryan, Burt Lancaster, Will Geer, Gilbert Green.

Friday, May 27, 2016 and Saturday, May 28, 2016

8:00 p.m.
Battle of the Bulge (1965)
Color - 2h 50m
American Lt. Col. Dan Kiley (Henry Fonda), a military intelligence whiz, discovers that the Nazis are planning to attack Allied forces near Belgium. Certain that the exhausted enemy can't muster much force, Gen. Joe Grey (Robert Ryan) isn't convinced by Kiley's findings, and his men pay the price when the German tanks begin their offensive. In the heat of this key World War II battle, Kiley must come up with a plan when it becomes clear that the Nazis are trying to steal fuel from the Allies.

Dir: Ken Annakin
Cast: Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan.

11:00 p.m.
The Longest Day (1962)
BW - 2h 58m
In 1944, the U.S. Army and Allied forces plan a huge invasion landing in Normandy, France. Despite bad weather, General Eisenhower gives the okay and the Allies land at Normandy. General Norma Cota (Robert Mitchum) travels with his men onto Omaha Beach. With much effort, and lost life, they get off the beach, traveling deep into French territory. The German military, due to arrogance, ignorance and a sleeping Adolf Hitler, delay their response to the Allied landing, with crippling results.

Dir: Andrew Marton
Cast: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda, Robert Ryan.

2:00 a.m.
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
Color - 2h 30m
As D-Day approaches, Colonel Breed hands the roguish Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) an important assignment: He must train a team of soldiers to parachute across enemy lines and assassinate German personnel at a French chateau. The soldiers, recruited from murderers, rapists and criminals on death row, are promised commuted sentences. In spite of their history, the 12 men prove a spirited and courageous unit. Led by Major Reisman, they will exact revenge.

Dir: Robert Aldrich
Cast: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Robert Ryan.

4:30 a.m.
Men in War (1957)
BW - 1h 38m
At the start of the Korean War, Lt. Benson (Robert Ryan) and his platoon are ordered to rendezvous with American forces at Hill 465. Benson and his troops encounter a truck containing Sgt. Montana (Aldo Ray) and his passenger, a colonel (Robert Keith) experiencing psychological combat trauma. Benson, who believes the safe passage of his men takes precedence over the colonel's medical needs, seizes the truck to transport his platoon's equipment -- a decision that Montana fiercely opposes.

Dir: Anthony Mann
Cast: Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray, Robert Keith.

6:15 a.m.
Bombardier (1943)
BW - 1h 39m
It's World War II, and young men are being turned into bomber pilots. Training them are Maj. Chick Davis (Pat O'Brien) and Capt. Buck Oliver (Randolph Scott), old chums who disagree about how to best win the war. As they train their fighting force, Davis and Oliver must overcome their cadets' fears, combat espionage and learn to put aside their rivalry. Romantic intrigue comes courtesy of Burt Hughes (Anne Shirley), the Bombardier Training School's much sought-after secretary.

Dir: Richard Wallace
Cast: Pat O'Brien, Randolph Scott, Anne Shirley, Robert Ryan.

8:00 a.m.
Behind the Rising Sun (1943)
BW - 1h 28m
In the 1930s, Taro Seki (Tom Neal) returns to Japan after graduating from Cornell University in the United States. An ambitious man, Seki searches for employment with Clancy O'Hara (Don Douglas), a prominent American engineer in Tokyo. While at the engineer's office, Seki falls in love with O'Hara's secretary, Tama Shimamura (Margo). Soon, the two plan to marry, but Seki is drafted for the Sino-Japanese War -- and, when he returns from the battlefields, he is no longer the same man.

Dir: Edward Dmytryk
Cast: Margo, Tom Neal, J. Carroll Naish, Don Douglas, Robert Ryan.

9:30 a.m.
Marine Raiders (1944)
BW - 1h 31m
Two marines with conflicting ideas of how to fight share a tumultuous friendship while stationed in the Pacific theater of World War II. On the front lines at the Battle of Guadalcanal, Maj. Steve Lockhart (Pat O'Brien) witnesses paratrooper Capt. Dan Craig (Robert Ryan) erupt in a frenzy of uncontrolled violence. When the two men are transferred to Australia, Lockhart attempts to put an end to Craig's whirlwind romance with servicewoman Lt. Ellen Foster (Ruth Hussey).

Dir: Harold Schuster
Cast: Pat O'Brien, Ruth Hussey, Robert Ryan.

11:15 a.m.
Flying Leathernecks (1951)
Color - 1h 42m
As the new commanding officer of a squadron of Marine pilots, Maj. Daniel Kirby (John Wayne), a stern and strict leader, cannot believe the lack of discipline exhibited by the soldiers. As the men resist Kirby's harsh adherence to orders, Capt. Carl Griffin (Robert Ryan) leads their cause for a more relaxed environment. But by pushing his men beyond their limits, Kirby slowly transforms them into battle-ready warriors, forcing all of them to make sacrifices along the way.

Dir: Nicholas Ray
Cast: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Don Taylor.

Robert Ryan on the Radio

"Beyond Reason" (February 21, 1948) - Robert Ryan, Ruth Warrick

Family Theater
"A Tale of Two Cities" (January 11, 1950) - Robert Ryan, Hans Conried

TCM Tribute to Robert Ryan - Narrated by Ernest Borgnine

April 22, 2016

The Star-Studded Couple Blogathon - Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood

Thanks to Phyllis for hosting the blogathon. Looking forward to reading all the posts about the star-studded couples of classic Hollywood. Please visit Phyllis' fine blog, Phyllis Loves Classic Movies.

I'll be focusing on the two marriages of Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood, one in 1957 and one in 1972, and the time in-between those marriages.

When I was in my teens in the mid to late '70s, they were a hot couple. I saved photos of them from newspapers and magazines, made collages by gluing the photos on poster paper, and hung them in my room.

For my blogathon post, I made Google Slide presentations about Robert Wagner's life and career, Natalie Wood's life and career, and their life as a couple. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.

The presentations are best viewed full screen. Also, you can enjoy a soundtrack with each slideshow by clicking on the small YouTube video embedded in the first slide of each presentation. Alternately, the soundtracks are available at these addresses:

Robert Wagner - https://youtu.be/Xv1Yx3eFnEg
Natalie Wood - https://youtu.be/kcoQ9MNy1Ck
R.J. and Natalie - https://youtu.be/5g6GSur3BIE

April 08, 2016

The Golden Boy Blogathon - A William Holden Celebration - Apartment for Peggy (1948)

Thanks to Virginie for hosting the blogathon. I love William Holden's work. Please visit Virginie's fine blog, The Wonderful World of Cinema.

I'll be focusing on William Holden and his 1948 film Apartment for Peggy. The film also stars Jeanne Crain, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Griff Barnett, Randy Stuart, Betty Ann Lynn, Marion Marshall, and Pati Behrs. I'm also adding a treat for those who love to listen to William's radio work: his performances on Lux Radio Theatre, Screen Directors Playhouse and Suspense. :) Listen to the radio programs via the player below.

Lux Radio Theatre

"Our Town" - May 6, 1940 - William Holden, Martha Scott
"I Wanted Wings" - March 30, 1942 - Ray Milland, William Holden, Veronica Lake
"Christmas Holiday" - September 17, 1945 - Loretta Young, William Holden, David Bruce
"Dear Ruth" - April 26, 1948 - Joan Caulfield, William Holden, Billy De Wolfe
"Apartment for Peggy" - February 28, 1949 - Jeanne Crain, William Holden, Edmund Gwenn
"Dear Wife" - February 19, 1951 - William Holden, Joan Caulfield, Edward Arnold, Mona Freeman
"Sunset Boulevard" - September 17, 1951 - Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Nancy Gates
"Union Station" - April 7, 1952 - William Holden, Nancy Olson, Lyle Bettger
"Submarine Command" - November 17, 1952 - William Holden, Alexis Smith
"Appointment with Danger" - January 19, 1953 - William Holden, Coleen Gray
"High Tor" - June 1, 1953 - William Holden

Screen Directors Playhouse

"Remember the Night" - July 19, 1951 - William Holden, Nancy Gates Director: Mitchell Leisen


"Blood on the Trumpet" - November 9, 1950 - William Holden with special trumpet effects by Ziggy Elman
"Report on the Jolly Death Riders" - August 27, 1951 - William Holden
"Needle in the Haystack" - November 9, 1953 - William Holden
"The Outer Limit" - February 15, 1954 - William Holden

William Holden Fast Facts

Born: William Franklin Beedle, Jr. on April 17, 1918 in O'Fallon, Illinois
Died: November 16, 1981 (age 63) in Santa Monica, California (He suffered a laceration to his forehead and bled to death, after he slipped on a throw rug and hit his head on a table. Claims that he was intoxicated at the time are disputed.)
Father: William Franklin Beedle, Sr. (1891 - 1967)
Mother: Mary Blanche Beedle (née Ball; 1898 - 1990)
Brother: Robert Westfield Beedle (1921 - January 5, 1945) (Navy fighter pilot - Killed in action in World War II.)
Brother: Richard P. Beedle (December 26, 1924 - July 1964)
Wife: Brenda Marshall (born Ardis Ankerson) (1941 - 1971) (divorced)
Adopted: Virginia Gaines (born to Ardis Ankerson and Richard Huston Gaines on November 17, 1937)
Born: Peter Westfield "West" Holden (November 17, 1943 - June 2014)
Born: Scott Porter Holden (May 2, 1946 - January 21, 2005)


Academy Awards

1951 - Nominated - Best Actor in a Leading Role for Sunset Blvd. (1950)
1954 - Won - Best Actor in a Leading Role for Stalag 17 (1953)
1977 - Nominated - Best Actor in a Leading Role for Network (1976)

Primetime Emmy Awards

1974 - Won - Best Lead Actor in a Limited Series - The Blue Knight (1973) - For playing: "Bumper Morgan."

Walk of Fame

Motion Picture - On February 8, 1960. At 1651 Vine Street.

William Holden Photos

Did You Know?

Nicknames: The Golden Boy, Bill, Golden Holden

A hygiene fanatic, he reportedly showered up to four times daily.

He was a Boy Scout.

He enjoyed fireworks displays.

Holden was vice president of the Screen Actors Guild and Parks Commissioner for Los Angeles.

He was so grateful to Barbara Stanwyck for her insistence on casting him in Golden Boy (1939), his first big role, that he reportedly sent her flowers every year on the anniversary of the first day of the filming.

Brian Donlevy was his best man when Holden married Brenda Marshall in 1941. A Congregationalist Church service was planned in Las Vegas. Since William and Brian were still filming The Remarkable Andrew (1942), there were delays and it was 3 a.m. before they arrived for the ceremony. By that time the minister had long gone to bed. It was 4 p.m. Sunday before another preacher could be found to perform the wedding. After they were married, they had a champagne breakfast and hopped a plane back to Los Angeles so Holden and Donlevy could wrap up shooting, and Brenda was off to Canada to film some location footage. It would be three more months before they would have a real honeymoon. (One mishap after another postponed it, including the two of them having to undergo emergency appendectomies!)

Holden did not legally change his name from Beedle until he joined the USAAF in 1942.

For a time in 1943, Holden shared an apartment in Ft. Worth, Texas with baseball superstar Hank Greenberg while both of them were serving stateside in WWII.

Although it is thought by some that J.D. Salinger got the name for his hero Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye when he saw a marquee for Dear Ruth (1947), starring William Holden and Joan Caulfield, Salinger's first Holden Caulfield story, "I'm Crazy," appeared in Collier's on December 22, 1945, a year and a half before this movie came out.

Considered himself to be a moderate Republican, although he was never involved in any political campaigns and never endorsed a candidate. In 1947 he joined the Committee for the First Amendment to oppose blacklisting in Hollywood, and was later very upset by the blacklisting of his close friends Dalton Trumbo and Larry Parks.

Holden starred alongside Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd. (1950) and Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday (1950). Both actresses were nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for their performances in these films. Holliday won.

Holden acted with wife Brenda Marshall professionally for the only time in a December 9, 1951 Theatre Guild on the Air production of "The Lost Weekend."

He was the best man at Ronald and Nancy Reagan's wedding in 1952.

He won Best Actor for his role in Stalag 17 (1953). When accepting his statue at the Academy Awards, he simply stated, "Thank you."

He felt he didn't deserve the Academy Award for Best Actor for Stalag 17 (1953), and that the award should have gone to Burt Lancaster for From Here to Eternity (1953). His wife also felt that the honor was just a belated apology for snubbing his nomination for Sunset Blvd. (1950).

Holden starred alongside Grace Kelly in The Country Girl (1954) and Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina (1954). Both actresses were nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for their performances in these films. Kelly won.

A Japanophile, he befriended actor Toshirô Mifune on a visit to Japan in 1954. After seeing the film Mifune was working on at that time, Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954), Holden offered to distribute the film in America. The producers agreed to let Holden record a narration to explain the film when it was released in America. This addition led American critics to wrongly think that Holden had recut the film for American distribution.

He turned down Henry Fonda's role in Mister Roberts (1955).

Toward the Unknown (1956) was the only movie made by his production company, "Toluca Productions."

He was originally cast for the lead in The Rainmaker (1956). The role was eventually played by Burt Lancaster.

He turned down Marlon Brando's role in Sayonara (1957) in order to make The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).

For The Horse Soldiers (1959), both Holden and John Wayne received $775,000 plus 20% of the overall profits, an unheard-of sum for that time. The final contract, heralded as marking the beginning of megadeals for Hollywood stars, involved six companies and numbered twice the pages of the movie's script. The film, however, was a critical and commercial failure, with no profits to be shared in the end.

He was considered for the role of "Maurice Novak" in Career (1959).

He turned down The Guns of Navarone (1961) because producer Carl Foreman wouldn't meet his fee of $750,000 plus 20% of the gross.

He was a favorite actor of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy but disappointed her immensely when she discovered he was a Republican.

Holden was cast as Pike Bishop in The Wild Bunch (1969) after the role had been turned down by Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster, James Stewart, Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Sterling Hayden, Richard Boone, and Robert Mitchum. Marvin actually accepted the role but pulled out after he was offered a larger pay deal to star in Paint Your Wagon (1969).

He appeared in nine films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Our Town (1940), Born Yesterday (1950), Sunset Blvd. (1950), The Country Girl (1954), Picnic (1955), Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), The Towering Inferno (1974), and Network (1976). Of those, only The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) won in the category.

On the American Film Institute's 50 Greatest Screen Legends list, Holden was the Male Legend No. 25.

He was voted the 63rd Greatest Movie Star of all-time by Entertainment Weekly.

He was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in Film History (No. 57).

He appeared among the top ten box office stars six times, as ranked by Quigley Publications' annual poll of movie exhibitors, The Top Ten Money-Making Stars, the definitive list of movie stars' pull at the box office. He actually topped the list in 1956, two years after entering it at No. 7 in 1954, the year he won the Best Actor Oscar with his performance in Stalag 17 (1953). In 1955, he was ranked No. 4, then hit No. 1 for the first and only time in 1956, and then dropped to No. 7 in 1957 before rebounding slightly to No. 6 in 1958. After five straight years in the Top 10, he dropped off the list in 1959 and 1960, but reappeared in the Top Ten in 1961, ranked in eighth place. His 1961 appearance among the Top Ten Box Office stars was his last.

He moved to Switzerland for tax reasons in 1959, and did not return to live in Hollywood until 1967.

He was involved in a horrific road accident in Italy in July 1966. Holden killed another driver in a drunk driving incident for which he received an eight-month suspended sentence.

Holden said that, at some point, he lost his passion for acting and that it eventually just became a job so that he could support himself.

In the last years of his life he increasingly suffered from emphysema.

Held a press conference in late 1980 to deny newspaper reports that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Although married to Brenda Marshall for over 30 years, they were actually separated for most of their marriage. At the time of his death, he was the companion of Patricia Stauffer.

Was an avid art collector. His private collection at his exclusive hilltop home in Palm Springs featured antique Asian art. Upon his death, the priceless collection was donated to the Palm Springs Museum of Art, where it is proudly displayed today.

Holden bequeathed $250,000 to lover Stefanie Powers, $50,000 to former co-star and lover Capucine, and $50,000 to lover Patricia Stauffer. The bulk of his estate was divided between ex-wife Brenda Marshall, their two sons, his stepdaughter, his sister-in-law, and his mother.

HR reported that Holden had signed to play the coach in That Championship Season (1982), but his death precluded that, and he was replaced by Robert Mitchum. Holden had also agreed to co-star with old friend Glenn Ford in "Dime Novel Sunset," which was never made.

Billy Wilder on Holden's death: "If someone had said to me, 'Holden's dead,' I would have assumed that he had been gored by a water buffalo in Kenya, that he had died in a plane crash approaching Hong Kong, that a crazed, jealous woman had shot him, and he drowned in a swimming pool. But to be killed by a bottle of vodka and a night table---what a lousy fade-out of a great guy!"

His ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.

Please read about the history of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation by clicking here. Also, please consider a donation in his memory.

This small plaque on the grounds of the Mount Kenya Safari Club
is dedicated to the memory of actor William Holden.

Apartment for Peggy is a 1948 American comedy-drama film about a depressed professor whose spirits are lifted when he rents part of his home to a young couple. It was based on the novelette An Apartment for Jenny by Faith Baldwin in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (March 1947). Campus exteriors were filmed at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Apartment for Peggy does the handy trick of being very evocative of the 1940s while being rooted in the timeless theme of people finding a common ground despite their differences. I believe it's ripe for rediscovery.

Starring Jeanne Crain, William Holden and Edmund Gwenn, Apartment for Peggy is fascinating just from a historic angle, as a relatively realistic look at people coming together during America's World War II-era housing shortage. Although produced on a modest budget, the film was photographed in Technicolor with an autumnal-toned palette which enhance its peculiar 1940s ambiance.

William Holden as Jason Taylor in Apartment for Peggy

Written for the Screen by: George Seaton
From a Novelette by: Faith Baldwin - An Apartment for Jenny
Color by: Technicolor
Technicolor Color Director: Natalie Kalmus Associate: Clemens Finley
Sound Mix: Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Runtime: 96 minutes
Production Dates: Late December 1947 to mid-March 1948
Release Date: October 1, 1948
Music: David Raksin
Musical Direction: Lionel Newman
Orchestral Arrangements: Herbert Spencer, Maurice dePackh, Edward Powell, Urban Thielman, John N. Scott
Director of Photography: Harry Jackson
Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler and Richard Irvine
Set Decorations: Thomas Little and Walter M. Scott
Film Editor: Robert Simpson
Wardrobe Direction: Charles Le Maire
Costumes Designed by: Kay Nelson
Makeup Artists: Ben Nye, Ernie Parks, William Riddle
Hair Stylist: Kay Reed
Special Photographic Effects: Fred Sersen
Sound: E. Clayton Ward and Roger Heman
Produced by: William Perlberg and Darryl F. Zanuck
Production and Distribution Company: 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation
Directed by: George Seaton
Music: Selections from Clarinet Quintet in A Major, Third Movement, First Theme by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Listen to it on the player below. For the production, Mozart's Clarinet Quintet was rearranged for a sextet by Edward Powell and Urban Thielman, with a flute playing the clarinet part.

"Hail to Thee, Dear Alma Mater" - Music by H.S. Thompson - Special Lyrics by Charles Henderson
"I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls" from The Bohemian Girl - Music by Michael William Balfe - Lyrics by Alfred Bunn - Sung by Jeanne Crain (dubbed by Louanne Hogan)
"Honey" - Music by Richard A. Whiting - Played when Prof. Barnes seeks a will.
"In My Merry Oldsmobile" - Music by Gus Edwards - Played at the beginning of the used car lot scene.

Credited Cast:
Jeanne Crain as Peggy Taylor
William Holden as Jason Taylor
Edmund Gwenn as Prof. Henry Barnes
Gene Lockhart as Prof. Edward Bell
Griff Barnett as Dr. Philip Conway
Randy Stuart as Dorothy
Betty Ann Lynn as Wife
Marion Marshall as Ruth
Pati Behrs as Jeanne

Rest of Cast Listed Alphabetically:
Robert Adler as Mailman (uncredited)
Ronald Burns as Delivery Boy (uncredited)
Hal K. Dawson as Salesman (uncredited)
Helen Ford as Della (uncredited)
Paul Frison as Boy (uncredited)
Charles Lane as Prof. Collins (uncredited)
Henri Letondal as Prof. Roland Pavin (uncredited)
Therese Lyon as Nurse (uncredited)
Gene Nelson as Jerry (uncredited)
Robert Patten as Student (uncredited)
Crystal Reeves as Librarian (uncredited)
Frank J. Scannell as Salesman (uncredited)
Almira Sessions as Mrs. Landon (uncredited)
Ann Staunton as Nurse (uncredited)
Houseley Stevenson as Prof. T.J. Beck (uncredited)
Ray Walker as Carson (uncredited)
Robert Williams as Salesman (uncredited)

Credited Cast: Top Row: L-R - Jeanne Crain, William Holden, Edmund Gwenn
Middle Row: L-R: Gene Lockhart, Griff Barnett, Randy Stuart
Bottom Row: L-R: Betty Ann Lynn, Marion Marshall, Pati Behrs

Professor Henry Barnes, a widower who has been retired from a Midwestern university for eight years, telephones his close friend and fellow chamber music performer, law professor Edward Bell, and asks him to come see him. Henry explains that he needs help preparing his will as he intends to commit suicide. Although Edward rushes over and tells Henry all the reasons why he should not take his own life, Henry continues to feel he no longer is of any use to society. Edward points out that Henry has a lifetime of knowledge to impart via his writings, but Henry declares that when he completes his latest book in three weeks, he will do away with himself. When Edward relates this to his colleagues and fellow chamber music players, they are horrified. One of them, Philip Conway, a medical doctor, arranges to examine Henry and finds him in excellent health and not depressed or bitter. Henry tells Conway that he had a wonderful marriage and, although their son was lost in the war, has had a full and satisfying life. Henry claims that he has not been sleeping well and asks Conway for sleeping pills, but the doctor gives him only two. Later, while Henry is feeding pigeons in the park, young Peggy Taylor sits down on the bench beside him. She tells him that she and Jason, her husband who is studying chemistry on the G.I. Bill, have been looking for an apartment and are expecting a baby. Henry offers to mention their predicament to Edward, who is also the university housing administrator. After a philosophical conversation with Peggy about the pros and cons of suicide, Henry ponders whether he is really "living now." When Edward reveals that during the war two soldiers were temporarily billeted in Henry's attic, the effervescent and determined Peggy goes to Henry's house and talks him into letting her and Jason move into his attic. The couple causes some havoc in Henry's life, blowing fuses, interfering with his writing and adopting a dog, and Henry finds himself calling Philip for more sleeping pills. Peggy and Jason invite Henry to see what they have done to the attic, and he is amazed by the transformation. Over a cup of tea, Jason tells Henry he wants to be a teacher. Later, Peggy does some household chores for Henry and tells him about the gulf in education between G.I. husbands and wives. Peggy maintains that the wives need overview classes so that they can help their husbands, and has suggested to the university that Henry organize such courses. He protests, saying he wants to finish his book but, a few days later, finds himself in a converted Quonset hut in front of a large group of students' wives presenting a lecture on the basics of philosophy. The class is very successful, and Henry takes a new lease on life. When Jason discovers that Peggy hasn't been taking vitamin pills because they don't have enough money to buy them, he talks about quitting school and getting a job. As Jason is telling his chemistry professor that he is going to have to leave school, he is summoned to the the hospital and learns that Peggy has given birth prematurely and the baby has died. While Jason and Henry walk home, Jason asks him, "Why?" but Henry cannot answer. Later, when Henry visits Peggy in the hospital, he finds her in good spirits and tells her that a life wasn't lost, but merely exchanged, as she has saved him from suicide. Jason then leaves for Chicago to take a job selling cars, intending to send for Peggy later. Henry goes to see him at the used car lot and informs him that he can be reinstated and given a job as a teaching assistant, but Jason feels that a teaching job will not be enough for him. Back home, Henry discovers that Peggy plans to go to live with her sister. Unknown to Henry and Peggy, Jason has returned to take the make-up exams and, with the help of Henry's colleagues, passes all but still has to face chemistry. After Henry grows very despondent because Peggy and Jason are apart, and downs several of Philip's pills, Peggy tells his friends that he has taken a a lot of sleeping pills. The doctor, however, informs them that what he prescribed were not sleeping pills but pills that will merely make him slightly uncomfortable. Meanwhile, Peggy is walking Henry back and forth and filling him full of coffee when Jason comes home. Henry explains that he took the pills because they are leaving him. Jason challenges Henry to pull himself together by saying that he can think of many fellows, including Henry's son, who would like to have had the choice he has now. Moved by Jason's words, Henry gets up and starts walking on his own. Later, Henry changes the living arrangements in the house to give the couple more space. The chamber music group is performing once again in Henry's parlor when Peggy and Jason announce that they are going to try to have another baby.


A working title of the film was Apartment for Susie.

According to documents in the 20th Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department and the 20th Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, the studio purchased rights to Faith Baldwin's novelette in April 1947 for $10,000.

Exteriors were shot at the University of Nevada, Reno, in early February 1948.

The legal records suggest that the production may have taken a hiatus for two to three weeks in January.

Griff Barnett replaced Lee J. Cobb in the role of "Dr. Philip Conway."

Sequences featuring Ray Walker as the manager of the used car lot and Crystal Reeves as a librarian appear to have been shot but were eliminated from the final film.

Jeanne Crain was the devoutly Catholic mother of seven.

Edmund Gwenn is the only actor to win an Oscar for playing Santa Claus.

Gene Lockhart wrote the words to the song "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise" which became a huge post-WWI hit. It was later recorded by Ted Lewis, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington; a version by Les Paul and Mary Ford became a million seller in 1951.

Griff Barnett frequently played doctors or lawyers.

Randy Stuart's best-remembered role is Louise Carey, the concerned wife of Scott Carey, played by Grant Williams, in the cult sci-fier The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957).

Betty Lynn played Thelma Lou (Barney Fife's girlfriend) on The Andy Griffith Show.

Marion Marshall was married to Stanley Donen and Robert Wagner.

Pati Behrs was a prima ballerina and a grandniece of Leo Tolstoy. She may be best known as the first of John Derek's wives.

A radio adaptation of the screenplay was performed twice on Lux Radio Theatre, first on February 28, 1949 with Jeanne Crain, William Holden and Edmund Gwenn, and on December 4, 1950 with Crain and William Lundigan.

Versions were also broadcast on the Screen Directors Playhouse on September 2, 1949 and on The Screen Guild Theater on May 31, 1951.

The first Lux Radio Theatre broadcast is the only one I could locate. Listen to it on the player below.

"Apartment for Peggy" on Lux Radio Theatre: February 28, 1949 - Jeanne Crain, William Holden, Edmund Gwenn, Griff Barnett, Alan Reed, Bill Johnstone, Howard McNear, Herbert Butterfield

Screen Captures of William Holden in Apartment for Peggy

Watch Apartment for Peggy

The Beyond the Cover: Books to Film Blogathon - Blood and Sand

Thanks to Liz and Kristina for hosting a blogathon that celebrates cinematic adaptations of the written word. Please visit their fine blogs: Liz = Now, Voyaging and Kristina = Speakeasy.

I'll be focusing on Vicente Blasco Ibáñez's Sangre y arena (Blood and Sand, 1908), which follows the career of Juan Gallardo from his poor beginnings as a child in Seville, to his rise to celebrity as a matador in Madrid, where he falls under the spell of the seductive Doña Sol, which leads to his downfall. In 1916, Ibáñez directed a 65-minute film version with the help of Max André. This version was restored in 1998 by the Filmoteca de la Generalitat Valenciana (Spain). There are three remakes made in 1922, 1941 and 1989, respectively. I'll be examining the 1922 and 1941 film versions.

Blood and Sand (1922) is an American silent drama film produced by Paramount Pictures, directed by Fred Niblo and starring Rudolph Valentino, Lila Lee, and Nita Naldi. Blood and Sand (1941) is a Technicolor film produced by 20th Century-Fox, directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth, and Alla Nazimova.

Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, (born January 29, 1867, Valencia, Spain—died January 28, 1928, Menton, France), was a journalist, politician and best-selling Spanish novelist in various genres whose most widespread and lasting fame in the English-speaking world is from Hollywood films adapted from his works.

His life, it can be said, tells a more interesting story than his novels. He was a militant Republican partisan in his youth and founded a newspaper, El Pueblo (translated as either The Town or The People) in his hometown. The newspaper aroused so much controversy that it was brought to court many times and censored. He made many enemies and was shot and almost killed in one dispute. The bullet was caught in the clasp of his belt. He had several stormy love affairs.

Tired and disgusted with government failures and inaction, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez moved to Paris, France at the beginning of World War I.

He was a supporter of the Allies in World War I.

He died in Menton, France, the day before his 61st birthday, in the residence of Fontana Rosa (also named the House of Writers, dedicated to Miguel de Cervantes, Charles Dickens and Honoré de Balzac) that he built.

Film Adaptations

Other than the previously mentioned film versions of Blood and Sand, his greatest personal success probably came from the novel Los cuatro jinetes del Apocalipsis (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) (1916), which tells a tangled tale of the French and German sons-in-law of an Argentinian landowner who find themselves fighting on opposite sides in the First World War. When this was filmed by Rex Ingram in 1921, it became the vehicle that propelled Rudolph Valentino to stardom. The 1962 film takes place during World War II, rather than World War I.

In 1926, Rex Ingram filmed Mare Nostrum (Latin for "Our Sea"), a spy story from 1918, as a vehicle for his wife Alice Terry at his MGM studio in Nice. Michael Powell claimed in his memoirs that he had his first experience of working in films on that production. A second film version of Mare Nostrum, this one a sound film, was made in Spanish in 1948. It starred Fernando Rey and María Félix, and was directed by Rafael Gil.

A further two Hollywood films can be singled out, as they were the first films that were made by Greta Garbo following her arrival at MGM in Hollywood: The Torrent (based on Entre naranjos from 1900), and The Temptress (derived from La tierra de todos from 1922).

Blasco Ibáñez and Sangre y arena

One of the secrets of the immense power exercised by the novels of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez is that they are literary projections of his dynamic personality. Not only the style, but the book, is here the man.

In Sangre y arena (Blood and Sand, written in 1908) Blasco Ibáñez attacks the Spanish national sport. With characteristic thoroughness, approaching his subject from the psychological, the historical, the national, the humane, the dramatic and narrative standpoint, he evolves another of his notable documents, worthy of a place among the great tracts of literary history. 

His process, like his plot, is simple; whether attacking the Church or the evils of drink, or the bloodlust of the bullring, his methods are usually the same. He provides a protagonist who shall serve as the vehicle or symbol of his ideas, surrounding him with minor personages intended to serve as a foil or as a prop. He fills in the background with all the wealth of descriptive and coloring powers at his command—and these powers are as highly developed in Ibáñez, I believe, as in any exceptional writer. The beauty of Blasco Ibanez's descriptions—a beauty by no means confined to the pictures he summons to the mind—is that, at their best, they rise to interpretation. He not only brings before the eye a vivid image, but communicates to the spirit an intellectual reaction. Here he is the master who penetrates beyond the exterior into the inner significance; the reader is carried into the swirl of the action itself, for the magic of the author's pen imparts a sense of palpitant actuality; you are yourself a soldier at the Marne, you fairly drown with Ulysses in his beloved Mediterranean, you defend the besieged city of Saguntum, you pant with the swordsman in the bloody arena. This gift of imparting actuality to his scenes is but another evidence of the Spaniard's dynamic personality; he lives his actions so thoroughly that we live them with him; his gift of second sight gives us the ability to see beyond amphitheaters of blood and sand into national  character, beyond a village struggle into the vexed problem of land, labor and property. Against this type of background develops the characteristic Ibáñez plot, by no means lacking intimate interest, yet beginning somewhat slowly and gathering the irresistible momentum of a powerful body. 

Juan Gallardo, the hero of Blood and Sand, has from earliest childhood exhibited a natural aptitude for the bullring. He is aided in his career by interested parties, and soon jumps to the forefront of his idolized profession, without having to thread his way arduously up the steep ascent of the bullfighters' hierarchy. Fame and fortune come to him, and he is able to gratify the desires of his early days, as if the mirage of hunger and desire had suddenly been converted into dazzling reality. He lavishes largess upon his mother and his childless wife, and there comes, too, a love out of wedlock.

But neither his powers nor his fame can last forever. The life of even Juan Gallardo is taken into his hands every time he steps into the ring to face the wild bulls; at first comes a minor accident, then a loss of prestige, and at last the fatal day upon which he is carried out of the arena, dead. He dies a victim of his own glory, a sacrifice upon the altar of national bloodlust. That Doña Sol who lures him from his wife and home is, in her capricious, fascinating, baffling way, almost a symbol of the fickle bullfight audience, now hymning the praises of a favorite, now sneering him off the scene of his former triumphs. 

The tale is more than a colorful, absorbing story of love and struggle. It is a stinging indictment brought against the author's countrymen, thrown in their faces with dauntless acrimony. He shows us the glory of the arena, —the movement, the color, the mastery of the skilled performers, —and he reveals, too, the sickening other side. In successive pictures he mirrors the thousands that flock to the bullfights, reaching a tremendous climax in the closing words of the tale. The popular hero has just been gored to death, but the crowd, knowing that the spectacle is less than half over, sets up yells for the continuance of the performance. In the bellowing of the mob Blasco Ibáñez divines the howl of the real and only animals. Not the sacrificial bulls, but the howling, bloodthirsty assembly is the genuine beast! 

The volume is rich in significant detail, both as regards the master's peculiar powers and his views as expressed in other words. Once again we meet the author's determination to be just to all concerned. Through Dr. Ruiz, for example, a medical enthusiast over tauromachy, we receive what amounts to a lecture upon the evolution of the brutal sport. He looks upon bullfighting as the historical substitute for the Inquisition, which was in itself a great national festival. He is ready to admit, too, that the bullfight is a barbarous institution, but calls to your attention that it is by no means the only one in the world. In the turning of the people to violent, savage forms of amusement he beholds a universal ailment. And when Dr. Ruiz expresses his disgust at seeing foreigners turn eyes of contempt upon Spain because of the bullfight, he no doubt speaks for Blasco Ibáñez. The enthusiastic physician points out that horse racing is more cruel than bullfighting, and kills many more men; that the spectacle of fox hunting with trained dogs is hardly a sight for civilized onlookers; that there is more than one modern game out of which the participants emerge with broken legs, fractured skulls, flattened noses and what not; and how about the duel, often fought with only an unhealthy desire for publicity as the genuine cause? 

Thus, through the Doctor, the Spaniard states the other side of the case, saying, in effect, to the foreign reader, "Yes, I am upbraiding my countrymen for the national vice that they are pleased to call a sport. That is my right as a Spaniard who loves his country and as a human being who loves his race. But do not forget that you have institutions little less barbarous, and before you grow too excited in your desire to remove the mote from our eye, see to it that you remove your own, for it is there." 

Juan Gallardo is not one of the impossible heroes that crowd the pages of fiction; to me he is a more successful portrait than, for example, Gabriel Luna of The Shadow of the Cathedral. There is a certain rigidity in Luna's make-up, due perhaps to his unbending certainty in matters of belief, —for to be exact, matters of unbelief. This is felt even in his moments of love, although that may be accounted for by the vicissitudes of his wandering existence and the illness with which it has left him. Gallardo is somehow more human; he is not a matinee hero; he knows what it is to quake with fear before he enters the ring; he comes to a realization of what his position has cost him; he impresses us not only as a powerful type, but as a flesh and blood creature. And his end, like that of so many of the author's protagonists, comes about much in the nature of a retribution. He dies at the hands of the thing he loves, on the stage of his triumphs. And while I am on the subject of the hero's death, let me suggest that Blasco Ibáñez's numerous death scenes often attain a rare height of artistry and poetry, —for, strange as it may seem to some, there is a poet hidden in the noted Spaniard, a poet of vast conception, of deep communion with the interplay of Nature and her creatures, of vision that becomes symbolic. Recall the death of the Centaur Madariaga in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, dashing upon his beloved steed, like a Mazeppa of the South American plains, straight into eternity; read the remarkable passages portraying the deaths of Triton and Ulysses in Mare Nostrum; consider the deeply underlying connotation of Gabriel Luna's fate. These are not mere dyings; they are apotheoses. 

Doña Sol belongs to the author's siren types; she is an early sister of Freya, the German spy who leads to the undoing of Ulysses in Mare Nostrum. She is one of the many proofs that Blasco Ibáñez, in his portrayals of the worldly woman, seizes upon typical rather than individual traits; she puzzles the reader quite as much as she confuses her passionate lover. And she is no more loyal to him than is the worshipping crowd that at last, in her presence, dethrones its former idol. 

Among the secondary characters, as interesting as any, is the friend of Juan who is nicknamed Nacional, because of his radical political notions. Nacional does not drink wine; to him wine was responsible for the failure of the laboring class, a point of view which the author had already enunciated three years earlier in La Bodega; similar to the role played by drink is that of illiteracy, and here, too, Nacional feels the terrible burdens imposed upon the common people by lack of education. Indicative of the author's sympathies is also his strange bandit Plumitas, a sort of Robin Hood who robs from the rich and succors the poor. The humorous figure of the bullfighter's brother-in-law suggests the horde of sycophants that always manage to attach themselves to a noted—and generous—public personage. 

The dominant impression that the book leaves upon me is one of power, —crushing, implacable power. The author's paragraphs and chapters often seem hewn out of rock and solidly massed one upon the other in the rearing of an impregnable structure. And just as these chapters are massed into a temple of passionate protest, so the entire works of Blasco Ibáñez attain an architectural unity in which not the least of the elements are a flaming nobility of purpose and a powerful directness of aim.

Click here to read Blood and Sand. Illustrators: Troy Kinney and Margaret West Kinney, Translator: Frances Douglas, Publisher: A. C. McClurg & Co. - Chicago, Illinois, Publication Date: November 1911.

Blood and Sand (1922) is an American silent drama film starring Rudolph Valentino, Lila Lee, and Nita Naldi. It's based on the novel Sangre y arena by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (Madrid, 1908) and the play Blood and Sand by Tom Cushing (New York, September 20, 1921).

Producers: Jesse L. Lasky and Fred Niblo
Produced and Distributed by: Paramount Pictures (as Famous Players-Lasky Corporation)
Directors: Fred Niblo, Javier Elorrieta, Dorothy Arzner, Frank Fouce
Screenplay by: June Mathis, Ricardo Franco, Rafael Azcona, Thomas A. Fucci
Story by: Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (novel), Tom Cushing (play)
Film Editing by: Dorothy Arzner
Cinematography by: Alvin Wyckoff
Makeup by: Monte Westmore
Music composed by: Paco de Lucía, Jesús Glück Sarasibar
Premiere: August 5, 1922
Release Date: September 10, 1922
Runtime: 80 minutes and 108 minutes (Kino Print)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White

Rosa Rosanova ... Angustias (as Rose Rosanova)
Rudolph Valentino ... Juan Gallardo (as Rodolph Valentino)
Nita Naldi ... Doña Sol
Leo White ... Antonio
Lila Lee ... Carmen
Rosita Marstini ... Encarnacion
Charles Belcher ... Don Joselito
Fred Becker ... Don José
George Field ... El Nacional
Jack Winn ... Potaje
Harry Lamont ... Puntillero
Gilbert Clayton ... Garabato
Walter Long ... Plumitas
George Periolat ... Marquis of Guevera
Sidney De Gray ... Dr. Ruiz
Dorcas Matthews ... Señora Nacional
W.E. Lawrence ... Fuentes (as William Lawrence)
Rafael Negrete ... Violinist
Louise Emmons ... Old woman

A young matador, Juan Gallardo, marries Carmen, his childhood sweetheart, while achieving fame throughout Spain. He is happy but succumbs, nevertheless, to the passionate charms of Doña Sol. Carmen accepts the situation but comes to nurse Juan when he is gored. Though his skill has diminished, he refuses her pleas that he quit the bullring; and he meets disaster when, distracted by the sight of a handsome young stranger with Doña Sol at a bullfight, he fails to defend himself from the first charge of the bull. Juan dies in Carmen's arms, in the sound of cheers for a new hero, after assuring her that she has always had his love. (In another version Juan recovers and gives up both bullfighting and Doña Sol for good.)

Rudolph Valentino wanted George Fitzmaurice to direct this film, but the studio forced him to work with the less highly regarded Fred Niblo instead.

Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova hoped to have the film shot in Spain, but the studio ultimately elected to shoot it on the back lot in Hollywood.

According to author James Kirkwood, Jr., whose mother Lila Lee played Carmen in this film, Rudolph Valentino liked to eat traditional Italian foods, heavily spiced with garlic. Lee had to ask that her love scenes with Valentino be shot in the morning so she wouldn't have to deal with his garlic breath after lunch.

Recently introduced laws protecting the safety of animals meant that it was impossible to shoot footage of a real bullfight. Stock footage is used instead.

Dorothy Arzner impressed the producers by cannily interspersing stock bullfighting footage with shots of Rudolph Valentino to make it look like the actor was actually in the ring with real bulls. This was quite a progressive technique in its day.

One of the top grossing films of 1922.

Along with his two 1921 films, The Sheik (1921) and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), this cemented Rudolph Valentino as a major box office attraction.

Reportedly one of Rudolph Valentino's favorites of his films.

The film gave its name to a popular Prohibition-era cocktail.

Blood and Sand is one of the few classic mixed drinks that includes Scotch. The red juice of the blood orange in the drink helped link it with the film. The recipe is first known to have appeared in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book.

Original Recipe from the Savoy Cocktail Book

3/4 ounce blended Scotch
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce Cherry Heering
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed blood orange juice

Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Flame orange zest over the top of the glass.

A variant is to combine all ingredients in a collins glass, add another splash of orange juice then flame the zest over it.

Blood and Sand Recipe from the Video Above

1 1/2 ounces blended Scotch
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce Cherry Heering
3/4 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice

Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Photos from Blood and Sand (1922)

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Blood and Sand (1941) is a Technicolor film directed by Rouben Mamoulian, produced by 20th Century-Fox, and starring Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth, and Alla Nazimova. It is based on the critical 1908 Spanish novel about bullfighting, Blood and Sand (Sangre y arena), by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. The supporting cast features Anthony Quinn, J. Carrol Naish, John Carradine, Lynn Bari, and Laird Cregar.

Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck and Robert T. Kane
Produced by: 20th Century-Fox, Darryl F. Zanuck Productions
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Directors: Rouben Mamoulian, Robert Webb, Sidney Bowen, Henry Weinberger 
Screenplay by: Jo Swerling
Story by: Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (Sangre y arena, Madrid, 1908)
Film Editing by: Robert Bischoff
Cinematography by: Ernest Palmer and Ray Rennahan
Art Direction by: Joseph C. Wright and Richard Day
Set Decoration by: Thomas Little
Music by: Alfred Newman, Vincente Gomez (guitarist), José Barroso (arranger)
Music: "El Albaicin" and "Gloria Torera" by Vicente Gomez.
Songs: "Tu no te llamas," music and lyrics by Fortunio Bonanova; "Chi-Qui-Chi," music and lyrics by Vicente Gomez and Abe Tuvim; "Romance de amor," "Verde luna" and "Saeta," music and lyrics by Vicente Gomez.
Sound by: W. D. Flick and Roger Heman
Costumes: Travis Banton, Jewels by Flato, Jose Dolores Perez (Tailor of torero suits)
Choreography by: Geneva Sawyer and Hermes Pan with technical advisor: Oscar "Budd" Boetticher, Jr.
Stand In: Armillita (Bullfighting double for Tyrone Power)
Premiere: May 22, 1941
Release Date: May 30, 1941
Runtime: 123 or 125 minutes
Sound Mix: Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Color: Technicolor - Technical Advisor - Natalie Kalmus


Young Juan Gallardo sneaks out of his room to survey the Seville nightlife and goes to a cantina, where noted bullfight critic Natalio Curro is praising Garabato, the current favorite of the ring. When Curro disparages Juan's father, a matador who died fighting, the youngster hits him over the head with a bottle and starts a brawl. Escaping the cantina, Juan goes to the ranch owned by Don Jose Alvarez, where he practices fighting one of the bulls. Don Jose is impressed by the boy's courage, but his servant, Pedro Espinosa, is angry, having warned Juan before about tiring the bulls. Juan accepts Don Jose's praise, then goes to see Pedro's daughter Carmen. Juan tells his sweetheart that he is leaving the next day for Madrid with his friends, Manolo de Palma, Pablo Gomez, Luis Potaje and Sebastian, to learn to be a matador. Juan promises to return to marry Carmen, and the next day, takes leave of his mother, Señora Augustias, who denounces Juan's dangerous aspirations. Juan and his friends travel to Madrid, where they spend the next ten years training as bullfighters. On the train returning to Seville, Sebastian, who is now known as Nacional, bemoans the fact that he and his friends are illiterate and uneducated, while Manolo jealously declares that Juan has taken most of the glory and money for himself. After a fiesta celebrating his return, Juan is approached by Garabato, who is now destitute. Juan hires Garabato as a servant, then finds Carmen and gives her a wedding dress. The couple are married, and during the next two years, Juan becomes a great matador. On the day Juan makes his first formal appearance in Seville, the audience contains a beautiful and infamous temptress, Doña Sol de Muira, about whom Curro declares: If bullfighting "is death in the afternoon, she is death in the evening." The doña is excited by Juan's style, and he is so captivated by her that he throws her his mantera. The next evening, Juan dines at Doña Sol's house, and Captain Pierre Lauren, her current favorite, realizes that he has been replaced in her affections and returns her ring. Juan spends the night with the doña, and the next morning, when he gives Carmen a necklace and tells her that she is "the only true one in the world," he is wearing the doña's ring. Soon it becomes obvious to everyone that Juan has fallen under Doña Sol's spell as he neglects Carmen and his training. Although Carmen defends her husband against his detractors, she leaves him after she visits the doña to discuss the situation and sees Juan kissing her. Soon Juan's dissipation increases and he loses both Garabato, who goes to work for Manolo, and Don Jose, who quits as his manager. Nacional sticks by his boyhood friend even though he says that Doña Sol has stolen his killer instinct, and at Juan's next fight, his incompetence results in Nacional's death. As Juan's fortunes decline, Manolo's star rises, and one day, Juan and the doña see him in the cantina. Doña Sol, attracted by Manolo's brutish charm, dances with him, and Juan angrily throws away her ring, realizing that he has lost her. Just before his next fight, Juan sees Carmen praying in the arena chapel. The devoted wife tells Juan that she has never stopped loving him, and only left to wait for his sickness to pass. Re-energized by Carmen's love, Juan promises that this will be his last fight and that the two of them will then settle down on a ranch. Juan fights with his old fire, and the crowd shouts its approval. He removes his attention from the bull too soon, however, and is gored. Carmen waits in the chapel as Juan is brought in and comforts him as he dies, then tells the priest that Juan's courage will always be with her. In the arena, the crowd has already forgotten Juan and is wildly cheering Manolo, who takes his bows near a stain of Juan's blood in the sand.

According to information in the 20th Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, located at the UCLA ArtsSpecial Collections Library, Hedy Lamarr was considered for the part of "Doña Sol." A January 20, 1941 news item reported that after M-G-M refused to loan Lamarr to 20th Century-Fox for the role, Mona Maris was tested for it. On January 29, 1941, it was announced that Lynn Bari, who appears in the finished film as "Encarnacion," was assigned "to the role for which the studio tried to borrow" Lamarr. Modern sources note that Carole Landis, Jane Russell, Gene Tierney, Dorothy Lamour and Maria Montez were also considered for the part of "Doña Sol," for which Rita Hayworth was borrowed from Columbia.

In February 1941, news items noted that Patricia Morison, a Paramount contract player, was being tested for "one of the top roles," and that Sigrid Gurie was also tested for the film. Neither actress appears in the completed picture, however.

According to a November 27, 1940 news item, Cesar Romero was set for a role in the picture and was to receive co-star billing with Tyrone Power.

Although production charts include Alan Curtis in the cast, he was not in the released film.

According to studio publicity and information in the 20th Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, also located at UCLA, renowned bullfighter Francisco Gómez Delgado (Armillita) instructed Power and other cast members in bullfighting techniques, as well as serving as Power's double in some of the bullfighting sequences shot on location.

The legal records note that tailor Jose Dolores Perez made exact copies of two of Armillita's matador suits to be worn as costumes by Power.

By ancient tradition, the "traje de luces" can be of any coloralthough yellow is widely considered unlucky and rarebut the stockings must be pink. When Tyrone Power is wearing his white suit, his stockings are whiteprobably a costumer's decision.

Contemporary sources indicate that the bullfighting sequences and other background material were shot on location in Mexico City, although Power was the only cast member involved in the location shooting.

Although a March 3, 1941 news item announced that a "Spanish bullring yarn" by Fortunio Bonanova, entitled La vida y milagros, was purchased by 20th Century-Fox "as a protective vehicle for possible follow-up with same cast if Blood and Sand proves a smash," Bonanova's novel was not produced as a film.

An April 11, 1941 news item stated that Bonanova wrote two Spanish songs entitled "Spanish Gypsy Song" and "Flamenco," which were to be sung by him in the picture, but studio records credit Bonanova with contributing only one song, "Tu no te llamas," to the completed picture.

According to an April 1941 news item, the trailer for the picture was to be the first Technicolor trailer produced by the studio.

On May 1, 1941, it was announced Zanuck's decision to release the film at its "present length" of 125 minutes, rather than following the original plan to cut it to 90 minutes. The news item also stated that the picture was scheduled "for a sneak preview below the border, probably in Hermosillo, Sonora, to get the reaction of Latin Americans to the film."

According to a letter in the film's file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, 20th Century-Fox intended to prepare "a special edition" of the picture for "circulation in South American countries." The purpose of the alternate version was to "include certain bullfighting scenes, which while they would not be acceptable in the American version, will, nevertheless, be accepted in countries where bullfighting is permitted." No other information about an alternate version of the film has been found.

Blood and Sand received an Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography and nominations for Best Art Direction and Interior Decoration.

Blood and Sand marked the first film work of technical advisor Oscar "Budd" Boetticher, Jr., who began directing films in the mid-1940s, several of which dealt with bullfighting. According to contemporary sources, Boetticher was in Mexico at the time of filming studying the techniques of bullfighting, which he taught to Power. Along with dance director Geneva Sawyer, Boetticher helped to stage the "El Torero" dance between Hayworth and Anthony Quinn.

The picture also marked the return to Hollywood of actor/director Monty Banks, who is billed onscreen as William Montague. Although Banks had appeared as an actor in several English productions during the 1930s, his last appearance in an American film had been in the 1928 picture A Perfect Gentleman.

Modern sources note that Rita Hayworth's singing voice was dubbed by Graciela Párranga.

It was Rita Hayworth's first Technicolor film.

Director Rouben Mamoulian based many of the film's color schemes and designs on the works of great Spanish painters such as El Greco and Velasquez.

During shooting Rouben Mamoulian carried paint spray guns in order to be able to alter the color of props at a moment's notice. He also painted shadows onto walls rather than changing the lighting.

In order to prepare for the role of Juan Gallardo, Tyrone Power attended a bullfight with his wife, Annabella. Because of Power's great stature as a star, he and his wife were given VIP seats in the center front of the ring. Power became violently ill witnessing the bullfight, and in order to get him out of the arena, Annabella said she was ill.

Vicente Blasco Ibáñez' novel was dramatized by Tom Cushing in a play entitled Blood and Sand (New York, 20 Sep 1921). Although 20th Century-Fox purchased the rights to Cushing's play, as well as to the novel, studio records indicate that no material from the play was used in the 1941 film.

According to studio records, 20th Century-Fox contemplated filming the novel again in 1957, with Sophia Loren in the role of "Doña Sol," but did not due to difficulties in clearing the rights.

This film was the fourth and last in which Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell worked together, others were: Day-Time Wife (1939), Brigham Young (1940) and The Mark of Zorro (1940).

A Lux Radio Theatre version of the story was broadcast on October 20, 1941. Listen below.

"Blood and Sand" on Lux Radio Theatre: October 20, 1941 - Tyrone Power, Annabella, Kathleen Fitz, Bea Benaderet, Gale Gordon, Jeff Corey, Lou Merrill

Photos from Blood and Sand (1941)

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