COOL HAND LUKE BEHIND THE SCENES 2 | “MY SWEET LUCILLE,” THE CAR WASHING GODDESS

In an interview aired on TCM, George Kennedy discussed how Joy Harmon’s iconic car washing scene was originally scheduled for half a day, and how that shoot ended up taking 3 days. Kennedy laughed and said, “Somewhere…there’s 80,000 feet of film with Joy Harmon washing that car!”

When Joy Harmon filmed the scene in which the men watch her wash her car, she had no idea how suggestive it was. It never occurred to her until she saw it in the theater. “I just figured it was washing the car. I’ve always been naive and innocent,” she said. “I was acting and not trying to be sexy. Maybe that’s why the scene played so well. After seeing it at the premiere, I was a bit embarrassed.”

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HOW RITA MORENO USED ELVIS TO MAKE CHEATING MARLON BRANDO JEALOUS

“Rita Moreno knew how to make her cheating boyfriend jealous long before the age of social media. The task is simple; just a three-step process. First, date screen legend Marlon Brando. Second, find evidence of his affair (what would be the first of many). Third, get asked on a date by Elvis Presley and accept. While this seems like a page of Old Hollywood fan fiction, this was, in fact, Moreno’s life.” –From the pages of Vanity Fair.

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DAVID BOWIE IS WORTH IDOLIZING | SUSAN SARANDON SPEAKS ABOUT THEIR HUNGER

David Bowie, Susan Sarandon, Catherine Deneuve who starred together in the 1983 movie, The Hunger.

“He’s worth idolizing. He’s extraordinary. That was a really interesting period. I wasn’t supposed to have kids, and I’m the oldest of nine and had mothered all of them, so I wasn’t ever in a mode where I was looking to settle down and raise a family, so that definitely changes the gene pool you’re dipping into.”

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WHEN ELVIS PRESLEY TOOK A BACKSEAT TO CLAMBAKE’S RED HOT ’59 STINGRAY RACER

“For Corvette enthusiasts, the real star of ‘Clambake’ is the 1959 Stingray Racer concept— the car that is said to be the opening design salvo in what became the 1963 Corvette Stingray. While Corvette innovation was experience an exciting acceleration, the days of big money movie deals for Elvis were downshifting. Riffing on the similarity of every Elvis movie to every other Elvis movie, a studio executive once quipped: ‘Why do we bother to give his movies titles – couldn’t they just be numbered?'”

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McQUEEN’S BULLITT MUSTANG FOUND | IT WAS A JERSEY WIFE’S DAILY DRIVER…

It’s absolutely crazy to think that the same 1968 Mustang GT Fastback driven in Bullitt by Steve McQueen himself, would end up in the hand’s of an unassuming New Jersey housewife… But that’s exactly what happened.

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“After Bullitt wrapped, the hero car was sold to a studio executive in Los Angeles, who kept it briefly before selling it, coincidentally, to a police detective. The officer shipped the car to New York and kept it for about three and a half years before placing a for-sale ad in the back of Road & Track magazine in 1974. His $6,000 asking price was somewhat steep, but Robert Kiernan, a New Jersey insurance executive and Mustang fan, went out to look at it. He bought it for his wife to use as a daily driver.” –Vanity Fair

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The original 1968 Mustang GT Fastback from Bullitt in Sean Kiernan’s secret barn in Nashville. Inset, the letter from Steve McQueen to Robert Kiernan, dated 1977. (via Vanity Fair) Courtesy of Ford/Historic Vehicle Association.

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“WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE ” | COX’S CUSTOM CHOPPER FIT FOR BRAD PITT

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“When Push Comes to Shove” black & gold custom chopper built for Brad Pitt by Indian Larry Legacy (Paul Cox & Keino Sasaki), paint by Vince Szarek, and amazingly intricate engraving work by Tarrera.

“I try to carve out time for a solo ride in every country I travel to, from the Highlands of Scotland to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco to the belly of India. I haven’t even come close to fulfilling my list—yet. . . . But in the traffic of L.A. with a helmet on, I’m just another asshole on the road.” –Brad Pitt (Photograph by Mark Seliger for DETAILS magazine at Humboldt Redwoods State Park to promote the film Fury, 2014.) VIA

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ALICE DENHAM | SLEEPING WITH BAD BOYS IN NYC’S 1950s BOHEMIAN DAYS

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Alice Denham — writer, Playboy centerfold, film actress who left a vivid chronicle of her literary and sexual adventures in her 2006 memoir, “Sleeping With Bad Boys: A Juicy Tell-All of Literary New York in the Fifties and Sixties.” 

“Manhattan was a river of men flowing past my door, and when I was thirsty, I drank.”

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Ms. Denham came to New York in the early 1950s, fresh from the University of Rochester, with two things on her mind: literary fame and romance. The city held forth the promise of both, in abundance. “New York in the fifties was like Paris in the twenties.” 

A stunning beauty with a talent for repartee, she made her way easily into Manhattan’s literary salons, and her presence did not pass unnoticed by a long list of editors, publishers, film producers, actors and writers — most of whom made a play for her, quite a few successfully.

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Her conquests, she said, included the actor James Dean, a close friend until he fell hard for the Italian actress Pier Angeli; the authors James Jones, William Gaddis, Evan S. Connell and Philip Roth; and Hugh Hefner, whom she had persuaded, in a clever gambit, to feature her as a centerfold and reprint, as part of the package, her first published short story.

“Of course he was no egalitarian,” Ms. Denham wrote. “But he possessed one of the finer male characteristics I was aware of: He liked my writing.”

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MARILYN MONROE, THE TALK OF HOLLYWOOD | 1952 PHOTOGRAPHY OF PHILIPPE HALSMAN

In 1952, LIFE magazine assigned photographer Philippe Halsman to shoot Marilyn Monroe in her tiny Hollywood studio apartment. The resulting cover photo (at the end of this post) pushed her over the top, giving her immediate superstar status, and 20th Century Fox jumped to sweeten her existing multi-year contract to keep their starlet happy.

Marilyn Monroe LIFE Magazine Philippe Halsman photo shoot 1952 crop 900

“I drove to the outskirts of Los Angeles where Marilyn lived in a cheap two-room apartment. What impressed me in its shabby living room was the obvious striving for self-improvement. I saw a photograph of Eleanora Duse and a multitude of books that I did not expect to find there, like the works of Dostoyevsky, of Freud, the History of Fabian Socialism, etc. On the floor were two dumbbells.

I took hundreds of pictures. Finally I asked her to stand in the corner of the room. I was facing her with my camera, the LIFE reporter and my assistant at my sides. Marilyn was cornered and she flirted with all three of us. And such was her talent that each one of us felt that if only the other two would leave, something incredible would happen. Her sex-appeal was not a put-on– it was her weapon and her defense.” –Philippe Halsman

Marilyn Monroe LIFE Magazine Philippe Halsman Photo 1952 900

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CRY BABY | JOHNNY DEPP IN JOHN WATERS’ ’50S HIGH SCHOOL HELLCATS CULT CLASSIC

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“John Waters’ musical ode to the teen rebel genre is infectious and gleefully camp, providing star Johnny Depp with the perfect vehicle in which to lampoon his pin-up image.” –Roger Ebert. Well said. Depp has always deftly embraced ironic roles to deflect the trappings of his undeniable handsome-as-hell looks. 21 Jump Street definitely had the potential to pigeon-hole his career, had he been a lesser actor.

Cry Baby would go on to become a cult classic, due largely to the pouty lipped, chiseled face of a young Johnny Depp in his physical prime, and on a Harley to boot. (They used a Sportster and K model, both red, that they swapped a few times in the film apparently with the thought that it would go mostly unnoticed.) For me the enduring 1950s aesthetic is always a draw, and Waters’ witty one-liners are priceless. And let’s not forget the interest that was stirred up back then by the young and sultry Traci Lords. It was her first non-nude screen role following her controversial (not to mention highly illegal) underage porn career that was still hot on everyone’s tongues and minds.

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