THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES! COMING SOON!!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

50'S FOCUS : THE OPPOSITE SEX ... 1956...

MGM
Presents


THE OPPOSITE SEX 

Starring
JUNE ALLYSON as Kay Hilliard 
JOAN COLLINS as Crystal Allen 
DOLORES GRAY as Sylvia 
ANN SHERIDAN as Amanda 
ANN MILLER as Gloria 
LESLIE NIELSEN as Steven Hilliard 
JEFF RICHARDS as Buck Winston 
AGNES MOOREHEAD as Countess Grafin 
CHARLOTTE GREENWOOD as Lucy 
JOAN BLONDELL as Edith 
SAM LEVENE as Mike Parker 
BILL GODWIN as Howard Fowler 
ALICE PEARCE as Olga 
CAROLYN JONES as Pat 

Director of Photography - Robert Bronner         Music by George Stoll          New songs- Sammy Cahn  
     Screenplay by Fay & Michael Kahn           Adapted from  "The Women" by Claire Luce Booth
              Costumes by Helen Rose    Produced by Joe Pasternak    Directed by David Miller





MONTAGE OF SCENES
When Kay Hilliard discovers her loving husband is having an affair with a showgirl, she seeks a divorce and must gather her strength to regain her self esteem. But things are not that rosy between her ex and Crystal Allen. Kay decides to fight for the man she loves and with the help of a little gossip, innuendo and the glare of Jungle Red, we soon discover the bare facts about The Opposite Sex!!




(c)  1956  MGM ...  116 MINS ...  METROCOLOR.....


HELEN ROSE WITH DOLORES GRAY & LAUREN BACALL

THE GIRLS ARE SWAYED BY THE OPPOSITE SEX
CRYSTAL RINGS THE BURNS UNIT

JOAN & JACKIE ATTEND MAXWELL REED HEARING



KAY SEES JUNGLE RED WHILE CRYSTAL BATONS DOWN THE EARRINGS!


This glorious film from MGM, has an all star cast and is a remake of a 1939 Joan Crawford / Norma Shearer film called "The Women", based on a play by Clare Luce Booth. The original was a drama, while MGM decided to add musical numbers to this version and bill it as a musical. It was originally set to star Esther Williams, but she was not interested in the role, maybe the lack of a swimming pool put her off!! The role instead went to June Allyson, who was a favourite with fifties audiences.. Joan plays the role off the vixen Crystal, originally played by another J C , Joan Crawford. Of course much later in her career, Joan would become involved with another Crystal, albeit spelt differently! Carolyn Jones who plays Joan's roommate Pat in the film was living with Aaron Spelling at the time, he been another connection with Joan's later career success. Joan was under contract to Fox, but they were delighted with her performances, so they were more than happy to loan her out to MGM for this film. But glamorous as the finished production looks, it was not all heavenly on set. Joan had a few unpleasant incidents during shooting. Whilst shooting a bath scene, which took three days, she developed a reaction to the detergent they were using to create the bubble bath. This caused her to break out in a rash, which burned her skin... While shooting a confrontation scene where June's character Kay finds out Crystal is seeing her husband, June has to slap Joan across the face. Well June slapped Joan so hard that her earring fell off and Joan had a black eye for a few days. June ended up in a worse state than Joan, with the shock as she had not been instructed to do the scene properly. Between being burned by bubble bath and battered by a fifties sweetheart, the last straw was when Joan's ex-husband Maxwell Reed appeared on the Hollywood scene, as he had just opened a lawsuit against her, claiming she owed him over a thousand dollars a month in palimony. He charged her with cruelty and desertion in his superior court suit. He laughably said he had made her the success she was! She even had to deal with been served a summons on the set to appear in a Los Angeles court over the matter.. However Joan enjoyed making the film, even though there was endless costume fittings. The film is more famous for it's fabulous fashion parade, than anything else. The costumes by top MGM designer Helen Rose, who has two Oscars for her work and has been nominated on eight occasions, are sensational to look at.. The costumes have even influenced today's designers, most famously Isaac Mizrahi, who has commented that they had inspired him! The director David Miller was delighted with Joan's performance and was heard telling Joe Collins, Joan's dad that he thought she was the perfect actress, reliable, co-operative, always on time and wonderfully untempremental... I recently spoke to Leslie Neilsen , who liked Joan and has met her over the years, but he could not remember much about the film.  "The Opposite Sex" was nominated for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy at the 1957 Golden Globe Awards. Even though it got panned by critics and viewers alike, it still is a glorious film to watch, with a sparkling cast of legendary ladies, glorious costumes,not too great songs, but two out of three ain't bad!!
JOAN OFF SET WITH A DANCER FROM THE FILM..



PHOTO OF THE DAY : JOAN MAKES A START IN THE ALEXIS STAKES!

With the success of the new series of 'Dallas', there has been talk in the press of a new series of 'Dynasty'.. This is probably just specualation at the moment, if anything develops will post it here! In the meantime here is an early promo shot of Joan as Alexis from 1982, as you can see the shoulder pads had not arrived and Joan had yet to get into her stride as the legendary vixen!

Friday, June 29, 2012

PHOTO OF THE DAY : TONY REAPS THE FRINGE BENIFITS WITH JOANIE!

This photo form 1966 features Joan with Anthony Newley attending Shirley Bassey's opening night at the Coconut Grove in Hollywood...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

PHOTO OF THR DAY : JOAN BACKS TONY UP!

This photo from 1957 features Joan at an event, Tony Curtis is behind her, not quite sure if both of them were together that evening..

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

PHOTO OF THE DAY : JOAN'S ONE IN A HUNDRED!

One of my favourite star-studded show's are the Night of 100 Stars spectacular's which were held in aid of the Actor's Fund of America.. There were three productions of the show held at Radio City Music Hall, the first in 1982, then 1985 and in 1990.. Joan appeared in the two 80's shows.. This promotional photo features Joan along with Billy Dee Williams .. Anne Baxter .. Rock Hudson .. Carol Burnett .. James Stewart .. Lucille Ball & Laurence Olivier.. All three shows are well worth repeated viewings!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

PHOTO EXTRA : TWO FOR THE ROAD... THAT'S JOAN & EVIE!

JOAN WITH EVIE..
This great shot features Joan leaving 34 Restaurant after celebrating Johnny Gold's 80th birthday.. Here Joan shares a joke with one of her closest friends Evie Bricusse...

PHOTO OF THE DAY : HOLD MY HAND DARLING..I'LL GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE 80'S!

This photo of course features Joan with Michael Nader in a promotional shot for 'Dynasty'....

EVENT UPDATE : JOHNNY GOLD 80TH BIRTHDAY .. JUNE 25TH ..34..LONDON

JOAN WITH JACKIE & BILL
THE LEGENDARY SISTERS!
Joan attended the 80th birthday party of old friend Johnny Gold, also attending were Joan's brother Bill and of course Jackie, who's late husband Oscar was Johnny's partner in the legendary Tramp.. Here are some shots of Joan at the party at London's exclusive 34 Restaurant on Grosvenor Square.. Also thanks to Glynis Barber for sharing two of her photo's!
JOHNNY'S BIRTHDAY CAKE!

ROD STEWART GREETS JOAN!



JOHNNY WITH MICHAEL BRANDON.. ERROL BROWN & PHILIP GREENE




JOAN & JACKIE WITH JOHNNY

Sunday, June 24, 2012

PHOTO OF THE DAY : JOAN'S STILL A GIBSON GIRL!

As I have just featured the dvd and article on Joan's 1955 film 'The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing', here is a still featuring a dramatic courtroom scene.. Featuring Joan as Evelyn Nesbitt with Cornelia Otis Skinner as her mother...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

DVD UPDATE : THE GIRL IN THE RED VELVET SWING ..

This 2007 dvd release from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment features Joan's 1955 lavish drama 'The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing'.. This was released as part of a box set of Joan's Fox releases and is also available as a stand alone.. As well as a wonderful widescreen pristine print of the film, the dvd also features the following special features... Commentary by Author & Film Historian Aubrey Soloman ... Isolated Score Track  .. 'From Ingiune to Icon' featurette.. Magazine Cover Gallery .. Animated Photo Gallery .. Restoration Comparison .. Original Theatrical Trailer .. Interactive Pressbook .. Advertising Gallery .. Vintage Press Release... 
Region 1 .. Ntsc.. 4.0 Dolby Surround . WS.2.55:1 . 1955 ..109mins
INSERT ..

50'S FOCUS : THE GIRL IN THE RED VELVET SWING... 1955..

20TH CENTURY FOX

Presents

A Cinemascope Production

THE GIRL IN THE RED VELVET SWING
 Starring
RAY MILLAND       JOAN COLLINS    FARLEY GRANGER

Luther Adler  Cornelia Otis Skinner  Glenda Farrell  Frances Fuller  Philip Reed  Gale Robbins
    John Hoyt  Robert Simon  Harvey Stephens  Emile Meyer  Leslie Parrish.
Assistant Director - Ben Kadish    Director of Photography - Milton Krasner A.S.C
Music by Leigh Harline  Art Director - Lyle R Wheeler & Maurice Ransford  Edited by William Mace
   Written by Walter Reisch & Charles Brackett    Costumes by Charles La Maire
           Produced by Charles Brackett   Directed by Richard Fleischer

True life scandal as showgirl Evelyn Nesbitt becomes involved with two men, who hate each other as much as they love her! Playboy architect Stanford White and millionaire Harry K Thaw, take their jealousies over Evelyn out in public. Jealousy that ends in murder and a sensational trial ensues. A trial that shocked a nation and focused attention on The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing!

(c)  1955  .. FOX .. 109 MINS .. COLOR by DELUXE ..  REG 1 DVD From FOX Home Entertainment.

"The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing" was originally intended for Marilyn Monroe, but she was deemed too old for the role and she had been put on suspension, she refused to do the role as she felt it too serious a part for her. It then was set to star Sheree North, who was a contract player at that time, but the role finally was offered to Joan. It is loosely based on the scandalous case of Evelyn Nesbitt, the original Gibson girl, who became involved with married, ageing architect Stanford White and the unbalanced young millionaire Harry Thaw. The real Evelyn was employed as a technical advisor on the film, which critics complained gave a sanitised version of the story and portrayed Evelyn as the victim. In reality Evelyn sat on a bottom glass seat for white as she swung knickerless or even naked for him. Where as in the film, she is portrayed as the virginal girl next door, pounced on my worldly wolves! Following the court case, the real Evelyn went on to make eleven movies from 1914 to 1922. But after bad investments she became penniless, until she died in 1967. Joan enjoyed making the lavish film, which Fox spent $1.6 million dollars on. It turned out to be Joan's grandmother Hettie's favourite film's of hers! While making the film, Joan learned some valuable make-up tips from Hollywood expert Witey Snyder, which she put into use on her subsequent film roles. She also began to take more care in her public appearances, after some harsh words from director Richard Fleischer, who saw her lunching in the Fox commissary with no make-up and untidy hair and clothes. He told her to never go out without grooming herself, as it is a star's duty to always look their best for their public. This is a lesson that Joan has continued to practice, to this day, as she always appears in public looking well groomed and eternally glamorous! It also did not do her any favours when top Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper commented..
" Joan Collins obviously combs her hair with an egg beater!"
The film gave Joan the opportunity to appear on the cover of "Life" magazine, which was something of a prestigious event at that time.
One critic commented... " Joan Collins is startlingly beautiful and sexy as Evelyn. She's a torrid baggage!"
Some reviews of the film at the time included;
VARIETY -

"Joan Collins is a captivating, bundle of sex appeal!"

DAILY SKETCH -

"Joan Collins is a young woman of almost disturbing beauty, technically accomplished, perfectly poised, stylish from the top of her head, to the turn of an ankle. She possesses the capacity to express an eager eroticism, beneath the appearance of virginal innocence and gives a performance as sweet and intelligent as any we have reason to expect."

ROBERT OTTAWAY -

"Joan was the most mishandled actress that ever belonged to the Rank Organisation. Now she is set to join the ranks of top grade international stars!"

Joan was still living with Sydney Chaplin at this time but he still was lounging around, watching TV and playing golf and showing her little attention. The last straw as far as she was concerned came in Palm Springs, where he had agreed to pick Joan up at the airport, but he was too wrapped up in his golfing and his friends that he never bothered! She had enough at this stage and moved out of the Beverly Glen apartment they shared, which she had hated anyway! She then found an apartment on Olive Drive, which coincidently was near to her next beau, Arthur Loew Jr!
Despite it's big budget, sadly the film lost money at the box office. But it still is a glorious film to view today and Joan looks stunning as the ill fated showgirl.


JOAN ON SET WITH REAL EVELYN NESBITT




(c)  2010 ...   Mark Mc Morrow ....

PHOTO EXTRA : WHAT'S FOR LUNCH CLIVE? A GRAMMY OR SO OF CAVIAR!

Joan currently enjoying her Summer break in the South of France, took time out from working on her next book 'A Passion For Life', to catch up with friends Barbara Davis and Nikki Haskell at music mogul Clive Davis's home for a luncheon.. Joan looking sensational as always was delighted to share this photo.. With thanks to Joan!

PHOTO OF THE DAY : JOAN EARNS HER STRIPES ON PLAYBOY ISLAND!


This photo features Joan in a scene from an episode of Starsky & Hutch called 'Murder On Playboy Island'.. I had a nice chat with David Soul on Thursday evening and he kindly signed this photo for me... 

Friday, June 22, 2012

PHOTO OF THE DAY: SUCH A DARK PLACE TO PUT A HOLE IN THE WALL MACHINE!

This photo feature Joan in the 1973 thriller 'Dark Places', which also starred Christopher Lee and Herbert Lom..

Thursday, June 21, 2012

PHOTO OF THE DAY : JERRY & JOAN HAVE ALL THE HALL-MARKS OF STYLE!

As I will be seeing Jerry Hall later this evening, I thought I would pop this on.. This was at the recent Terence Higgins Trust Auction at Christie's in London...

WEB ALERT : TARA'S GOT THE LOWDOWN ON THE UP'S AND DOWN'S OF SEX IN THE COUNTRY!

Just to mention an exciting new website from Tara Newley, called 'Sex In The Country'.. Follow Tara's regular column... You can discover the up's and downs, not to mention the comings & goings... of Penny, Beatrice and Megan and that's just the women! So don't delay check out  http://www.sexinthecountry.com or see link on side bar.....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

PHOTO EXTRA: MOORE CHAMPAGNE! OR IS IT WINE FOR JOAN & ROGER!

Whilst enjoying the parties at the recent Festival de Monte Carlo, Joan caught up with old friend Roger Moore.. Thanks to Joan for sharing this photo....

PHOTO OF THE DAY : MILES LOVES A BITTA JOAN!

Recently Joan appeared on the cover of top fashion art magazine 'Ponystep', in a series of photographs by top photographer Miles Aldridge... Here is another shot from the magazine, featuring Joan wearing Alexis Bitter jewellry....

Monday, June 18, 2012

PHOTO OF THE DAY EXTRA : THAT DUMMY'S GOT GREAT FACE!

Since the 1950's one of the worlds top Mannequin designers has been South African born Adel Rootstein, it was only natural she would find inspiration in some of the worlds most beautiful if not famous faces! One of those was none other than Joan's and in the early 80's stores worldwide displayed their stylish wares on mannequin's created in the image of Joan.. I first saw one of these in a book store window in 1989, when Joan's novel 'Prime Time' was topping the bestsellers list and she was due to appear there for a signing.. The store had decked the window out in silk and lace, it's centrepiece a stylishly dressed mannequin, the image of Joan! Here is a rare photo of one of them.. Thanks to Joan for sharing this shot!!