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Posts tagged: film history

RIP, David Hannay

Producer David Hannay has died. Hannay is probably best known for Dragon Flies / The Man From Hong Kong (1975), The Kung Fu Killers (1974) and Mapantsula (1987).  The Sydney Morning Herald, NZ Edge and IF.com.au have obituaries. Jon Hewitt remembers Hannay at SBS. Brian Trenchard-Smith remembers Hannay on Hannay’s Facebook page. Hannay speaks at the The National Film and Sound Archive of…

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Before shooting began on Pillow Talk, Doris Day and Marty Melcher, her third husband, launched weekly informal dinner parties for the cast and crew at their house on North Crescent Drive, in the flats of Beverly Hills. In her efforts to make the insecure Rock Hudson feel more at home in a comic role, Day remained on the set when he filmed their split-screen telephone scenes to read him her lines, and during the pre-recording session for the title song, in which Hudson was to join her in the chorus, she spontaneously suggested, “Why don’t you sing a verse?”

He later said he had been expecting someone “as warm as a December night on an ice floe.” But, as Day herself recalled, “the very first day on the set, I discovered we had a performing rapport that was remarkable. We played our scenes together as if we had once lived them.” Their compatibility should have been foreseeable, for they had much in common. Like Day, Hudson was riddled with doubts and insecurities, stemming from a miserable childhood. When he was still Roy Harold Scherer Jr., his father abandoned him, and his mother and stepfather abused him emotionally and physically. At bottom, Hudson was no more the All-American Male than Day was the Girl Next Door. They soon came up with nicknames for each other. He became Ernie; she was either Eunice or Maude. In the course of shooting, Day adopted Hudson’s habit of doing crossword puzzles during downtime on the set. She, in turn, wanted to teach him how to play tennis, but he didn’t take her up on the offer. Hudson later recalled, “They had to add a week on to the shooting schedule because we could not stop laughing I used to think about terrible things, to try not to laugh, but I think that’s the wonderful part about when you see two people on the screen—if you like them, if they like each other, and you sense that they like each other.”

When Pillow Talk opened, in October 1959, the reviewers welcomed it as a new modern comedy and embraced Day and Hudson as a natural team. It was the No. 1 film for a couple of months.

RIP, Harry Novak

Producer and exploitation pioneer Harry Novak has died. Daily Grindhouse remembers Novak with a collection of trailers from his films. Dougsploitation has an overview of Novak’s career well-illustrated with film posters. The Los Angeles Times has a brief obituary.

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RIP, James Rebhorn

Actor James Rebhorn has died. The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Hollywood Reporter have obituaries. Rebhorn had roles in films including Independence Day, Basic Instinct, The Talented Mr. Ripley and He Knows You’re Alone. And he had roles in television shows including, Search for Tomorrow, Guiding Light, As The World Turns, Wiseguy, Third Watch, Law & Order, White Collar and Hom…

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Karel Zeman Galleries

Karel Zeman Galleries

The Gutter’s Own Keith has posted galleries of charming and wondrous images from Czech animator Karel Zeman’s films: Cesta do Praveku / Journey to the Beginning of TimeVynalez Zkazy / The Fabulous World of Jules Verne; and  Baron Prasil / The Fabulous World of Baron Munchausen; Ukradená vzducholod / The Stolen Airship; and,  Na Komete / Off On a Comet.

 

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"The Fabulous World of Karel Zeman"

“The Fabulous World of Karel Zeman”

At Teleport City, Keith reports on his visit to the Film Special Effects Museum / Muzeum Karla Zemana, writes about Zeman and five of Zeman’s films: “If you took special effects film pioneer Georges Melies and combined him with stop motion animation genius Ray Harryhausen and surreal fantasist Terry Gilliam, then taught him to speak Czech, you’d have a filmmaker very close to Karel Zeman. In…

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