|Sep 9 2023
Movie stars were always willing to give each other a hand.
Once again we've been struck, so to speak, by the sheer number of cinema promo images featuring actors and actresses pretending to slap each other. The just keep turning up. The above shot is more about the neck than the face, but it still counts, as Gloria Swanson slaps William Holden in 1950's Sunset Boulevard. Below we have a bunch more, and you can see our previous collection at this link. Since we already discussed this phenomenon we won't get into it again, except briefly as follows: pretend slaps, film is not reality, and everyone should try to remember the difference. Many slaps below for your interest and wonder.
Diana Dors smacks Patrick Allen blurry in 1957's The Long Haul.
Mob boss George Raft menaces Anne Francis in a promo image made for 1954's Rogue Cop.
Bud Abbott gets aggressive with Lou Costello in 1945's Here Come the Co-Eds.
Jo Morrow takes one from black hat Jack Hogan in 1959's The Legend of Tom Dooley.
Chris Robinson and Anita Sands get a couple of things straight about who's on the yearbook committee in Diary of High School Bride.
Paul Newman and Ann Blyth agree to disagree in 1957's The Helen Morgan Story.
Verna Lisi shows Umberto Orsini who gives the orders in the 1967 film La ragazza e il generale, aka The Girl and the General.
What the fuck did you just call me? Marki Bey slaps Betty Anne Rees loopy in the 1974 horror flick Sugar Hill.
Claudia Cardinale slaps (or maybe punches—we can't remember) Brigitte Bardot in the 1971 western Les pétroleuses, known in English for some reason as The Legend of Frenchie King.
Audrey Totter reels under the attentions of Richard Basehart in 1949 Tension. We're thinking it was probably even more tense after this moment.
Anne Baxter tries to no avail to avoid a slap from heel Steve Cochran in 1954's Carnival Story.
Though Alan Ladd was a little guy who Gail Russell probably could have roughed up if she wanted, the script called for him to slap her, and he obeyed in the 1946 adventure Calcutta.
Peter Alexander guards his right cheek, therefore Hannelore Auer crosses him up and attacks his left in 1964's Schwejk's Flegeljahre, aka Schweik's Years of Indiscretion.
Elizabeth Ashley gives Roddy McDowall a facial in in 1965's The Third Day.
Tony Anthony slaps Lucretia Love in 1972's Piazza pulita, aka Pete, Pearl and the Pole.
André Oumansky goes backhand on Lola Albright in 1964's Joy House.
Frank Ferguson catches one from Barbara Bel Geddes in the 1949 drama Caught.
This looks like a real slap, so you have to credit the actresses for their commitment. It's from 1961's Raisin in the Sun and shows Claudia McNeil rearranging the face of Diana Sands.
Gloria Grahame finds herself cornered by Broderick Crawford in 1954's Human Desire.
Bette Davis, an experienced slapper and slappee, gets a little assistance from an unidentified third party as she goes Old West on Amanda Blake in a 1966 episode of Gunsmoke called “The Jailer.”
There are a few slaps in 1939's Gone with the Wind, so we had our pick. We went with Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard.
Virginia Field takes one on the chin from Marshall Thompson in Dial 1119.
Clint Eastwood absorbs a right cross from nun Shirley MacLaine in 1970's Two Mules for Sister Sara.
Sunset BoulevardThe Long HaulRogue CopHere Come the Co-EdsThe Legend of Tom DooleyDiary of High School BrideThe Helen Morgan StoryLa ragazza e il generaleThe Girl and the GeneralSugar HillLes pétroleusesThe Legend of Frenchie KingTensionCarnival StoryCalcuttaSchwejk's FlegeljahreSchweik's Years of IndiscretionThe Third DayJoy HouseCaughtHuman DesireGunsmokeGone with the WindDial 1119Gloria SwansonWilliam HoldenDiana DorsPatrick AllenBud AbbottLou CostelloJo MorrowJack HoganChris RobinsonAnita SandsVirna LisiUmberto OrsiniMarki BeyBetty Anne ReesClaudia CardinaleBrigitte BardotRichard BasehartAudrey TotterAnne BaxterSteve CochranAlan LaddGail RussellHannelore AuerPeter AlexanderElizabeth AshleyRoddy McDowallAndré OumanskyLola AlbrightFrank FergusonBarbara Bel GeddesClaudia McNeilDiana SandsBroderick CrawfordGloria GrahameBette DavisAmanda BlakeVivien LeighLeslie HowardVirginia FieldMarshall ThompsonClint EastwoodShirley MacLainecinematelevision
|Vintage Pulp | Sportswire
|Apr 29 2022
If a boxer falls when nobody hits him is it still a knockout?
We've been neglecting French promo art lately, so here'a a little something—a poster for Plus dure sera la chute, which is better known as The Harder They Fall. This was painted by Jean Mascii, whose work we last saw several years ago when we talked about the 1960 thriller Plein soleil. We recommend having a look at that to get a better sense of Mascii's skill. He created a very interesting portrait of Humphrey Bogart for this effort. This was Bogart's last movie. He filmed it while gravely ill, having been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, but did his work in legendary style, a true professional, working long hours, shooting retakes, and generally doing all he could to prevent his condition from affecting the production.
Bogart plays a struggling sports writer hired by shady fight promoter Rod Steiger to be the press agent for his new discovery—a gigantic but glass-jawed carnival strongman from Argentina named Toro Moreno. Steiger wants Bogart to sell Toro as the next great heavyweight contender, but in order to do so they need to send him on a bum-of-the-month tour to knock out a series of hapless opponents paid to take dives. After Toro has been built up in the press as the second coming of the heavyweight division, Steiger plans to make a bundle with a match against the champ, played by Max Baer. Bogart signs on for this ride because after all his work in the newspaper business he has nothing, and wants to finally make real money. But it could cost his reputation, and because Toro has no clue the fights he's winning are fixed, the scheme can only end with the poor overconfident dupe slaughtered by the champ.
Steiger would win an Academy Award in 1967 for In The Heat of the Night, and here, more than a decade earlier, you can see that achievement as almost inevitable as you watch him dominate the screen. He's simply great in this, and Bogart gives an excellent performance too, failing physically but soldiering onward, using that world weary mug of his to impart a lifetime's worth of fatigue and disappointment. The movie also features Jan Sterling. We had no idea she'd gone in for rhinoplasty, and at first weren't positive it was her. It is though, and after writing just recently how gorgeous she was we're sad she didn't see her own perfection and instead chose to go under the surgeon's knife. But her body her choice. She's good as always, here playing Bogart's conscience, trying to keep him from sliding down the slippery slope to amorality.
There's another person who should be mentioned—Mike Lane as the lumbering Toro Moreno. This was his debut role, and you'd think there weren't many more parts out there for a guy standing 6'8”, but surprisingly he accumulated almost seventy acting credits, almost all on television, where he appeared in shows of every type, from Gunsmoke to Get Smart. Obviously, any vintage boxing movie involves mimetic acting, and the fighting here isn't realistic—quantum leaps in how to convincingly portray ring scenes came later—but they serve their purpose. And for boxing realists, the movie gets extra credit due to the presence of both Baer and Jersey Joe Walcott. The Harder They Fall opened in March 1956, and had its French premiere today at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival.
Fine, Toro, you're huge. Massive. Enormous. But you need to learn how to box or the champ is going to crush your face like a graham cracker.
Hi, champ! Before we start, I just want to say I'm probably your biggest admir—
I thought that whole graham cracker speech was just Bogie being colorful.
FranceCannes Film FestivalPlus dure sera la chuteThe Harder They FallGunsmokeGet MartHumphrey BogartRod SteigerJan SterlingMax BaerJersey Joe WalcottMike LaneJean Masciiposter artcinemaboxingmovie review
|Feb 22 2014
Can a wedding cake predict the future of a marriage?
Burlesque dancer Lili St. Cyr cuts a wedding cake with new husband Ted Jordan after marrying him at the El Rancho Vegas hotel in Las Vegas. Jordan was an actor who worked steadily during a long career, appearing regularly on Gunsmoke and other series. He later claimed that his wife once had sex with Marilyn Monroe. Actually, Jordan is the source of many stories about Monroe, having dated her briefly. Most of those stories are described as “dismissed by Monroe’s biographers,” but they’re very interesting and you just never know. We spent some years in Hollywood working in publishing, television and movies, and you’d be surprised how many stories that are “dismissed” are actually true. Anyway, enough about Marilyn—this is Lili’s day. You may notice her wedding cake is a bit unusual. That’s because it’s supposed to be a mushroom cloud in homage to her nickname The Anatomic Bomb. The choice was apt—within two years the marriage was blowing up. A divorce filing took a bit longer, coming in November 1958. But St. Cyr certainly looked radiantly happy at the wedding. That was today in 1955.