Category: Actresses


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So… who’s ready to hear the King of Rock n’ Roll and who wants to see lovely Ann-Margret? They sizzle together in Viva Las Vegas and the Pickwick Theater is proud to bring it to the big screen for your enjoyment. Made in 1964 it is considered by many to be one of the King’s best films. Though it didn’t walk away with any first place prizes it did received second place as a musical and third place for both Elvis and Ann-Margret for their musical performances in the Golden Laurel category which is not surprising when you realize that there are no fewer than 10 songs.

In a very few days this film will open on the big screen and you and your family can experience the magic of Vegas with all its pomp and ceremony. See the casino’s, the girls and experience the clubs as only two men on the search for one girl can bring you.

Please be advised that our last show was nearly 800 people in a theater that seats 950. If you want to get a good seat (and there really are no bad seats) come early and make your claim. Also, know that the line for the popcorn gets long fast as well. Advance tickets are still being sold at the box office or online. Those will stop being sold on the day of the show.

For more information please visit Park Ridge Classic Film.

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What:
Viva Las Vegas (1964)
Starring Elvis Presley & Ann-Margaret
When:
November 13, 2015
Feature at 7:30 p.m. (85 Minutes)
Where:
The Pickwick Theater
5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL

Admission:
Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8
Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6

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What does it take for the stars to align correctly and a box office hit to occur? The answer is one director born 1899 (Alfred Hitchcock – London England), one male lead born 1904 (Cary Grant – Bristol England) and one female lead born 1924 (Eva Marie Saint – Newark, New Jersey.) Released July 28, 1959 North By Northwest became an instant classic. With a screenplay by Ernest Lehman and a score by Bernard Herrman how could it go wrong? The answer – it couldn’t and it didn’t. And so, it has stood the test of time.

As with Hitchcock’s earlier successes there was a misunderstood man who must fight to prove who he is and in the end discovers that there’s more to himself than even he knew. It’s a classic tale of misunderstanding but with lots of monkey wrenches thrown in. when you’re in trouble shouldn’t it be a trouble worth being in trouble for?

Cary Grant’s character Roger O. Thornhill is an advertising executive who’s used to twisting the truth around to sell a product. In his world that is a normal practice but in the real world doing what he’s used to can have some very big consequences. He soon finds this out when he is misidentified as George Kaplan. Without knowing it, he is now seen as a government agent.

At first Thornhill denies being Kaplan and tries to prove his true identity. Unbelieved, the spies who’ve kidnapped him attempt to kill him. By luck he gets away and in order to get himself out of the hot-seat he sets out to prove himself and find out who exactly, ‘this cap Kaplan is.’ Caught again and escaping again he must take on the identity of Kaplan in order to survive. Soon one of the greatest adventures ever to come to the big screen ensues but I won’t tell you any more. You’ll have to come to the Pickwick and see what happens for yourself.

The only other thing I’ll tell you is there is a beautiful blond who’s not exactly who you think she is and that the chase involves some breathtakingly scenic views of our great United States.

Other Notable Film Facts:

  • Budget = $4,326,000

  • Box Office = $9.8 Million

  • 1st Film to use Kinetic Typography (Opening Credits)

Script by Ernest Lehman

Lehman had 25 screenplays to his credit in which he amassed many awards including 6 Writers Guild of America Awards, 2 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, a Golden Globe and an honorary Academy Award in 2001 for his varied and enduring works. Among these works where such classics as:

  • The King and I (1956)

  • North By Northwest (1959)

  • West Side Story (1961)

  • The Sound of Music (1965) & wrote the soundtrack

  • Hello Dolly! (1969) & produced

Score by Bernard Herrmann

Herrmann worked a great deal for two men, Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Wells. Starting with radio he regularly wrote scores for the Mercury Theater On The Air and was the one man Wells trusted when it came to what would become one of both men’s outstanding legacies, the 1938 radio drama – The War of the Worlds. For film Herrmann teamed up many times with Hitchcock and amassed quite the repertoire. Later he would work on several Ray Harryhausen films and in television he’d do the score for The Twilight Zone and Have Gun Will Travel. As of 2005 this versatile composer has two of his works (Psycho #4 & Vertigo #12) in the top 25 Greatest Film Scores by the American Film Institute.

  • Citizen Kane (1941) Salary $10,000

  • The Ghost And Mrs. Muir (1947)

  • The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1953)

  • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

  • Vertigo (1958)

  • The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

  • North By Northwest (1959)

  • Psycho (1960 & 1998) Salary $34,500 –1960 Version

  • Cape Fear (1962 & 1991)

  • Jason And The Argonauts (1963)

  • Taxi Driver (1976)

What:

North By Northwest (1959) Starring Cary Grant

 

Where:

The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave, Park Ridge, IL 60068

 

When:

September 17th, 2015

Live Organ music by Famed Organist Jay Warren at 7 PM

North By Northwest at 7:30 PM (136 Minutes)

Poster-Casablanca_13

In 1942 Hollywood released a hurriedly made movie meant to capitalize on another movie with a setting also taking place in South Africa. Algers had been a hit but now that Warners’ next film was ready they were no longer sure a success was possible. They knew they had a good cast but besides that they just didn’t know. The whole film’s production had been fraught with difficulties and so uncertainty hung in the air as they waited for the public’s response.

What Warners got was a huge surprise they have never stopped feeling blessed with. Casablanca was a hit with a capital H. The film’s earliest beginnings were steeped to the ceiling with doubts that it ever would be made. After all ~ it was based off a play that had never been produced. To say that Casablanca has a story to tell is a vast understatement. The making of this classic has its own lore.

What can I tell you that you don’t know? That all depends on how immersed in the movies or how much of a Casablanquiste you are.

Let’s start with the basics. It all began with a play written by Murray Burnett entitled Everyone Comes to Rick’s. The play was never produced but Warners bought it from Burnett for $20,000 in 1941. It wasn’t until May 25, 1942 that shooting began. What held it up? There was no screenplay but they were shopping for actors/actresses to play a part that they had trouble describing because there was no script and they were making the storyline up as they went along. That problem remained through the whole of shooting as no one knew the ending all the way to the final days of shooting. The big question? Who was Ilsa going to go with?

The legacy of Casablanca is very much like the earliest of Mack Sennett comedies where the cameras roll and whatever happens happens. The script was written day to day with the ink barely dry before being handed off to the actors only hours before shooting began for that day.

The norm on the set was confusion and arguments. People walked off and lines were rewritten by everyone. The characters evolved and without anyone knowing they created a masterpiece that to many film historians is #3 behind #1 Citizen Kane and #2 Gone With the Wind as the greatest film ever made.

Interesting Facts

Bogart was 43 ~ Bergman was 27

Henreid, Lorre & Veidt were all refugees of the Nazi party in real life.

The Film cost $878,000 and was 8% over budget.

Filming took 59 days and that was 11 days over schedule.

What: Early Valentines Day Showing of Casablanca
When: February 10, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Where: The Pickwick Theater ~ 5 S. Prospect Ave Park Ridge, Illinois
Admission: Regular $7, Seniors $5

Lilian GishLillian Gish – 1st Lady of the Silent Screen

Lillian started working with a famed director after being sponsored by a close friend. Her frail build but strong mind gave her parts that many women would have turned down. She often played a down trodden woman who’s man has taken advantage of her to the point of leaving her, oft times with a baby or young child to care for with no more means than her own willpower.

Lillian herself was no wallflower. She quickly got to know the business and soon became her own boss; picked her directors, leading men and scripts. She had complete control of her creative efforts and no one who knew her even thought for a moment that they could get around her, small though she was, and no one tried. She was too often right. Her ideas were sound and what she touched turned to gold.

She is quoted as saying, “Let’s pretend.” Lillian said those words and she lived by them almost her entire life so that a nation and those another continent away could live, love and follow her into that make believe world found only on the other side of a picture screen.

Her story began October 14, 1896 in Springfield Ohio. Born to a drifter father and a future actress she seemed destined to live a parallel life with that of her future screen persona. Nearly a year and a half later a sister named Dorothy was born. With their father often gone, money became tight and their mother took the suggestion of friends and went on the stage. At the age of five Lillian stepped out into the footlights and there before the public’s eyes a star was reaching higher and higher towards its eventual zenith.

For the next eleven years the sisters would always be on the road. They no longer had a home. They lived the world of the performer to fullest complete with the constant hassle of finding a job and times when their food ran out. Always they were together and always they took care of each other.

It wasn’t until 1912 that things began to look up for Lillian. It began with a chance meeting of an old friend. Nineteen-year-old Gladys Smith was working steadily and invited Lillian and Dorothy to follow her into the new medium known as motion pictures. In that world she was known as Mary Pickford and she was quite successful. Though she no longer worked for the Biograph studio, she brought the girls to her old boss, D. W. Griffith and suggested he hire them. That same day they made their first film, “An Unseen Enemy.” It truly was a family affair as their mother was granted a part as well.

From then on things moved upward. Lillian became Griffith’s biggest find thanks to Mary and Lillian remained with him loyally for a decade. Dorothy worked with her sister in the beginning and shared her own amount of success but it would be her older sister, Lillian who would become an international name.

In those days the world was in some ways a lot closer. We didn’t have radio at first and when we did it wasn’t for the masses. Television was just an idea in a lunatic scientist’s mind. Yet the movies had become wildly popular. They didn’t talk but they didn’t need to.

The silence of the movies was a blessing in so many ways. The actor or actress’s own body became the lighthouse into the character’s very soul. We could see in their eyes every emotion in the human psyche. What they thought, what they felt, all that could be portrayed in a single flick of the wrist. Pantomime has many forms beyond that of a circus performer and the men and women of the silent screen knew exactly what they were doing. Lillian was a top master of this delicate art form. In her eyes you saw the misery of a trapped soul and you saw the beginning flicker of knowledge when a person realizes they have the power to stand up and begin again. For that she became widely known as The First Lady of the Silent Screen.

Beyond the art form, silence of the screen was a blessing to the masses. With the change of the flickered dialogue on the screen any nation in the world could watch a film produced in any nation in the world. Stars quickly became known internationally over night. Lillian was known the world over. She once said that when the movie began to talk the world became a little quieter. No longer could we share our films across the world. Sound had shut us out.

By 1928 her style of acting had became antiquated for many by the emergence of the glamour girl and the It girl’s of the roaring twenties. Fragile was supplanted by self-reliant and Lillian gave up the screen for the stage of her youth. There she once again found success alongside other stars of the screen. However she never turned her back on the medium that had made her a household name. Often she returned to the screen in bit parts and supporting roles and the audience welcomed her returns with relish.

She made her last film The Whales of August in 1987. Lillian had accomplished what few had; she’d become an icon that has lasted more than a lifetime. She died in 1993 at the ripe old age of 97 but she is long from forgotten. How could she? She made over a hundred films and her career spanned a remarkable eight decades. While the academy awards were not in practice until after she’d partially retired, Hollywood knew how to reward one of its greatest stars. In 1984 the American Film Institute awarded her its Life Achievement Award, which she humbly accepted from the hands of Douglas Fairbanks Jr., the man she most closely viewed as family, the stepson of her best friend Mary Pickford. Lillian herself never married but nonetheless she had lived a charmed life once the movies caught up to her. Suitors were many but none stood high enough to her ambition. She was content to be who she was and for that, her fans can be grateful. Thank you Miss Lillian.

A List of Her Most Memorable Rolls:

 

  • The Birth of a Nation (1915)
  • Broken Blossoms (1919)
  • Way Down East (1920)
  • Orphans of a Storm (1922)
  • The Scarlet Letter (1926)
  • The Wind (1928)
  • The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Her name was Betty Joan Perske but the world will remember her as Lauren Bacall. She was born September 16, 1924 in the Bronx section of New York. Like many young girls she dreamed of her name in giant letters across the marquis of Broadway. To help that dream come true she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. It helped and she found herself performing on Broadway in minor rolls but she didn’t make it to the top.

To keep money coming in she exchanged lines on a script for curves in magazines and became a model. She had the looks and she used them well. Her big break came in March 1943 when her picture graced the glossy cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Mrs. Howard Hawks took one look at the woman and showed her husband. Her Hollywood producer-director husband agreed and in one month Bacall had a seven year contract from Warner Brother’s in her hot little hand.

Perhaps the studio sensed something but either way their pairing her with leading man Humphrey Bogart yielded pure magic in her screen debut, To Have and Have Not. The two were fire on the silver screen and the now famous and much quoted line, “If you want anything, all you have to do is whistle,” spelled it out. Her line, “It’s even better when you help,” to a returned kiss from Bogart informed viewers that they were witnesses to much more than film simply rolling from one reel to another.

The true reality was the 19-year-old Bacall and the 45-year-old Bogart were falling in love during the film’s shooting. By the following year they were married and together they would make three more films together. Each with a slightly different tone but each with the same smoky come hither look from Bacall that would earn her the name, “The Look.”

Over the years she made more movies but they were sporadic as the studio presented her with parts and pictures she refused to do. Eventually Warner Brother’s suspended and fined her. From there she moved on to 20th Century Fox and other studios. During the 50’s her career was in a slump but always Bogart stood beside her, loving and encouraging. She became content with simply being a supportive wife and caring for their two children, Stephen and Leslie. When he diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 1956 she devoted herself completely to him. He died the following year and for a time she went into depression.

She remarried in1961 to Jason Robards, Jr. and together they had a son (actor Sam Robards.) Unlike her marriage to Bogart, which was complicated but good, her marriage to Robards was stormy. No longer able to deal with Robards’ violent behavior when drunk she left and they were divorced in 1969.

At the end of the 60’s she returned to Broadway where she appeared in the successfully received play Cactus Flower. Then in 1970 her youthful dream came to fruition in the form of a play entitled Applause (a musical remake of the film All About Eve) for which she won the Tony. After an eight-year absence from the movies she returned in 1974 but she didn’t give up on appearing in plays. In 1981 she had another hit when the play, Woman of the Year, rose to the top. In movies she found another triumph when she was nominated for the first time for best supporting actress in the 1996 film The Mirror Has Two Faces. In 2009 she received an honorary academy award.

Miss Bacall made her last film in 2012. She died of old age 35 days before her 90th birthday on August 12, 2014.

 

A List of Her Most Memorable Rolls:

 

  • To Have and Have Not (1944)
  • Confidential Agent (1945)
  • The Big Sleep (1946)
  • Dark Passage (1947)
  • Key Largo (1948)
  • The Shootist (1976)
  • The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) – Academy Award Nomination (Best Supporting Actress)
  • The Forger (2012)

 

Sources:

The Film Encyclopedia by Ephraim Katz 4th Edition Ó 2001 Bacall, Lauren, pg. 73

Chicago Tribune Wednesday August 14, 2014, Section 1, Page 14

Chicago Tribune Thursday August 15, 2014, Section 4, Page 1,6

Clara Bow

Clara Bow was a flapper who knew how to get what she wanted.

What is It? It, is a sparkling personality. It, is a twinkle to the eye and enough energy to light up a city. Clara Bow was the, “It” girl. She had it all and more.

Clara’s life started in Brooklyn, New York where she lived day to day wondering where the next meal would come from. Her father was a waiter in Coney Island and her mother’s health was unstable. As a teen she read movie magazine’s and dreamed of leaving her poverty ridden home for the streets paved of gold.

Her dream became reality when at the age of 16 she entered a movie-fan magazine’s beauty contest and won. Her prize was a bit part in a movie. That was all she needed. One small role led to another and when the independent producer B. P. Schulberg went back to work for Paramount, Bow went with him.

Paramount’s publicity department took one look at the raven-haired twenty-year-old and began molding her into a star. Her hair was bobbed. Her lips were formed into the popular cupid bows and her seeming boundless energy set her on the road to success.

1927 was her best year. The movie It, made her a household name and Wings took the first Academy Award for Best Picture. Clara Bow had arrived. She was the “It” girl. She was the personality for rising stars to emulate.

Sadly her popularity began to wane with the advent of sound and in 1931, she married Rex Bell, a cowboy star. She left Hollywood behind to live on his ranch in Nevada. Bell became lieutenant governor of Nevada and Bow officially retired in 1933.

A List of Her Most Memorable Rolls:

Down to the Sea in Ships (1923)
Two Can Play (1926)
It (1927)
Children of Divorce (1927)
Wings (1927)

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