Movies 'Til Dawn Blog

RICHARD PRYOR SINGS? Who’d a thunk? He’s good too! Let’s consider this a week of videos featuring people singing skillfully who really ought not to be singing at all (see previous post). Next up is Earl Holliman…

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In 2002, my new friend Peter Bogdanovich and I decided to make a CD of songs from the American popular songbook. We both loved the standards from the 30s/40s/50s and Peter was, believe it or not, a pretty good singer. We’d been getting together at my apartment for the past

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My dear friend Peter Bogdanovich passed away the other day, age 82. I saw him last October in L.A. and he was, as always, funny and charming and dry-witted. While we were waiting for our table in the restaurant somebody noticed him and approached us (not an uncommon occurance–he was

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I’ve been working on a documentary about the great Burt Young on and off for the past five or so years. I’m honored to count Burt as a good friend and artistic collaborator and am delighted to be able to say that a cut of the film is finally finished.

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What the hell are Bette Davis, Dick Powell, Warren William, Joan Blondell, Ruth Donnely and Preston Foster doing in an informercial for General Electric products shot in 1933? The answer is: I haven’t the foggiest idea. I never heard of this little weirdie until stumbling upon it this afternoon, deep

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Here’s Don Rickles doing three minutes of ‘Sinatra Is A Gangster And We All Know It’ jokes for Frank’s 80th birthday concert. I can’t tell if Frank is really amused or if he’s out of it but knows he’s supposed to be smiling and laughing. Probably the latter as Frank

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What do we know about Ricky Ricardo’s career? Chiefly that he came to New York via Cuba sometime in the pre-war years (just as Desi Arnaz did) but that the similarities between the two mens CV’s ends there. Desi hit it big on Broadway in 1939 in Rodgers and Hart’s

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Not only was Desi Arnaz seriously underrated as the mind behind the building of Desilu Studios (see last weeks posts) but he was criminally underrated as a performer. In this 1951 clip from ‘I Love Lucy’ he and Lucille Ball perform a specialty number called ‘Cuban Pete’. It’s a frigging

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Take a trip to the dark side of yesterday’s humor with ‘Hollywood Night Court’, a 1930 ‘blue’ record meant for private consumption only at parties. The three minute sketch traffics in stereotypes of gay men and female prostitutes, using low-down double entendre to garner its laughs…if indeed anyone laughed at

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Dig this 1957 appearance of Tyrone Power on ‘Person To Person’, Edward R. Murrow’s fluff entertainment show which featured interviews via coast-to-coast hook-up with various and sundry celebs. For me these shows are of real scholarly value. Not because of the content of the interviews but because we get to

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Take a ride down the Sunset Strip in 1963 and enjoy the cool cars and the already sickening smog. My favorite liquor store, Gil Turner's, was already in business. #HollywoodHills #LosAngeles

Take a trip down the Sunset Strip, heading east and facing south, in 1967. I can smell the rib joint that was on the SE corner of Crescent Heights. Anyone know what I'm referring too? #SunsetStrip317 #Hollywood #LosAngeles #60s

What do Duke Ellington and Cinerama have in common? Find out in this quite fascinating (if I do say so myself) blog entry that I wrote in--yikes--2007. It includes the incredibly strange and beautiful short 'Symphony In Black'. #Jazz #TCM #Cinema

Dig Rick Moranis doing his wicked Merv Griffin impression in this sketch from the immortal SCTV NBC late night show of the early 80s. Guest appearances by Liberace, Loni Anderson and Yasser Arafat. #television #comedy #Mimicry

I had no idea that Merv Griffin interviewed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his show in 1967? Did you? A must-watch clip. #television #ClassicTV #MLKDay #MLK #BlackLivesMatter

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