George Hurrell is more than "just a photographer". His work always seemed to me to go beyond the subject at hand. More into the depth of its character- and that after all is what makes Hurrell a fine artist.
|Leading lady Susan Hayward and John Wayne still having something to laugh about on the set of The Conqueror.|
10 August, 1945
Had another of your wonderful letters the other day, and as usual, was so happy to hear from you. Your letters are NEVER boring, my dear friend. You should know that by now. Sometimes you have more to tell me, than at others.... but no matter what it is, I always like to hear it.
By the way, I hear we have some new neighbors out our way. The other night I saw Eddie Bracken, who is out here doing a show, and he tells me that he bought the place just up the street, across fro [sic] Coopers. getting to quite a 'tony' neighborhood.
There is not a great deal to reoprt [sic] from out here. Of course, the thought in everyone's mind, and the subject of all conversation these days is the new bomb. And it is not just the immediate effect that it is going to have on the Japs, and the war in general...... but the effect it is going to have on us all, for the rest of our lives. For as surely as I sit here writing to you tgis [sic] morning..... our whole lives have changed. They are no more tha [sic] same, than they were the day the first horseless carriage appeared. Speculation is high, as to just how long the world will last, now that they have released this force. They are well on the way to destroying it all, of course you know that. The only question everyone asks is, "How much more time do we have.... how many years?"
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be able to see some of the pictures that were taken just after the first one was dropped. Even if I were allowed to tell you what it was like, I doubt whether I could. It actually defies description. There are no words in our poor vocabulary, at present, to draw an adequate picture of it. The human mind cannot grasp it, at present. Watty, it is simply staggering. One can only look at it, and say, "My God!".
Now, with Russia in the thing out here too, it looks as though it won't be so long after all. I must say that up to this point, I didn't have too optimistic an outlook on this whole thing. But this has changed the picture entirely. It just cannot be humanly possible for anyone, or anything to hold out very long. The question is, of course.... how many do they have? Can they get enough? Surely, they don't need many... but how many?
With us too, it's particularly in mind, for we know that they must be around here someplace. Where none of us know.... but they are here someplace. Just let them be careful, that's all I have to say.Well, so much for that. It is something that is out of our hands, and we can't do a damn thing one way or another.... but sit and wait.Your parties sound like great fun, and I do wish I could be there. That's a charming business about the Mac's pool. Can't they do anything about guards, or anything like that? What a graceful scene that must have been at the D. Selznicks..... but I believe we talked about that before.The pictures of Arrowhead, I thought were wonderful, and I can understand after looking at them, how you would like to go back again. I could use a bit of that duty, myself. Also a Sunday at your pool. What I wouldn't give for some of that!You probably know by this time that Annabella is coming out to the coast with her mother, and they are going to open the house again. I think it is the only sensible thing to do. She will have Anne, and the baby with her... and Annie, and I'm sure they will be happy. It will be like a dream for her mother. Thank God we have a place like that for them to come. She certainly deserves it after what she has been through for the past five years. Drop in on them, and do all you can. But, then, I know you will.Saw Hank again the other day. We had a visit for about an hour. He is looking ver [sic] well, and is just 'sweating-out' his orders. I guess he and I will be in this thing 'til the last dog's hung. There certainly is a big rush for the gates though. I have heard of so many who are getting out.Don't believe there is much other news, dear friend. Take good care of yourself, anf [sic] do let me hear from you soon. Let me know what picture you do next.My love to Ma, when you write, and my best...Always, Tyrone (signed)
|David Selznick and Vivien Leigh both won Oscars for GWTW for resp. Best Film and Best Actress.|
January 7, 1939
Mr. Ed Sullivan
621 North Alta Drive
Beverly Hills, California
Vivien Leigh is by no means cast as Scarlett. There are three other possibilities. But should we decide on Miss Leigh for the role, I think the following answers your question:
- Scarlett O'Hara's parents were French and Irish. Identically, Miss Leigh's parents are French and Irish.
- A large part of the South prides itself on its English ancestry, and an English girl might presumably, therefore, be as acceptable in the role as a Northern girl.
- Experts insist that the real Southern accent, as opposed to the Hollywood conception of a Southern accent, is basically English. There is a much closer relationship between the English accent and the Southern accent than there is between the Southern accent and the Northern accent, as students will tell you, and as we have found through experience.
- I think it would be ungrateful on the part of Americans, particularly Americans in the film and theatrical worlds, to feel bad about such a selection in view of the English public's warm reception of American actors' portrayals of the most important and best-beloved characters in English history and fiction, ranging all the way from Wallace Beery in "Treasure Island", to Fredric March as Browning in "The Barretts", to Gary Cooper in "Bengal Lancer".
- And, finally, let me call your attention to the most successful performances in the American Theatre in many, many years-- those, respectively, of the American Helen Hayes as "Queen Victoria" and the British Raymond Massey as "Abraham Lincoln".
I feel that there are days when we should all do everything within our power to help cement British-American relationships and mutual sympathies, rather than to indulge in thoughtless, half-baked and silly criticisms. As I have said, Miss Leigh is not set for the role, but if she gets it Miss Leigh seems to us to be the best qualified from the standpoints of physical resemblance to Miss Mitchell's Scarlett, and- more importantly- ability to give the right performance in one of the most trying roles ever written. And this after a two-year search.
Ed SullivanAnd if she gets the role, I like to think that you'll be in there rooting for her.Cordially and sincerely yours,dos:bbP.S. Incidentally, just where do the carpers think the name "Georgia" came from, but from England? I suppose they'd also object to George Washington being played by an Englishman!D.O.S.
|George Cukor and Marilyn Monroe on the set of Something's Got to Give (above), and Marilyn with co-star Cyd Charisse in a scene from the film (below).|
Kirk Douglas and Stanley Kubrick on the set of their second and last film together, Spartacus (1960).
Burt Lancaster, Fredric March and Kirk Douglas-- powerhouse acting in Seven Days in May.
|The only photo I could find of Tallulah Bankhead and Billie Holiday together. December 1951, here the two women are photographed with jazz trombonist Dickie Wells.|
Dear Miss Bankhead:
I thought I was a friend of yours. That's why there's nothing in my book that was unfriendly to you, unkind or libelous. Because I didn't want to drag you, I tried six times last month to talk to you on the damn phone, and tell you about the book just as a matter of courtesy. That bitch you have who impersonates you kept telling me to call back and when I did, it was the same deal until I gave up. But while I was working out of town, you didn't mind talking to Doubleday and suggesting behind my damned back that I had flipped and/or made up those little mentions of you in my book. Baby, Cliff Allen and Billy Heywood are still around. My maid who was with me at the Strand isn't dead either. There are plenty of others around who remember how you carried on so you almost got me fired out of the place. And if you want to get shitty, we can make it a big shitty party. We can all get funky together!
I don't know whether you've got one of those damn lawyers telling you what to do or not. But I'm writing this to give you a chance to answer back quick and apologize to me and to Doubleday. Read my book over again. I understand they sent you a duplicate manuscript. There's nothing in it to hurt you. If you think so, let's talk about it like I wanted to last month. It's going to press right now so there is no time for monkeying around. Straighten up and fly right, Banky. Nobody's trying to drag you.
March 5, 1959
Mr. Geoffrey Shurlock,Motion Picture Association of America8480 Beverly Boulevard,Hollywood 48, California.Dear Geoff:For your information and, I am sure, interested reaction the Legion on March 12 rated the United Artists film SOME LIKE IT HOT, starring Marilyn Monroe, as B (Morally Objectionable in Part for All), with the following objection noted:¨This film, though it purports to be a comedy, contains screen material elements that are judged to be seriously offensive to Christian and traditional standards of morality and decency. Furthermore, its treatment dwells almost without relief on gross suggestiveness in costuming, dialogue and situations. ¨Since the initiation of the triple A method of classifying films in December 1957, this film has given the Legion the greatest cause for concern in its evaluation of Code Seal pictures. As you can well imagine, it bordered on condemnation. The subject matter of ¨transvestism¨ naturally leads to complications; in this film there seemed to us to be clear inferences of homosexuality and lesbianism. The dialogue was not only ¨double entendre¨ but outright smut. The offense in costuming was obvious.In the present atmosphere of our society, which seems to be calling for censorship and controls, this picture will only add fuel to the fire.I thought that you would be sincerely interested in our observations. Perhaps they might act as a stop gap in future decisions with which you are faced.With best personal wishes to yourself and the staff, I remainCordially Yours,(signed)
Very Rev. Msgr. Thomas F. Little
March 18, 1959
Very Rev. Msgr. T. F. LittleNational Legion of Decency453 Madison AvenueNew York 22, N.Y.In reply to yours of March 5th, we have been scanning very carefully the trade paper reviews of SOME LIKE IT HOT. To date we have received eight such reports, including two from Martin Quigley´s publications.Not a single reviewer has been in the slightest way critical of this film, or questioned either its morality or its taste. So far there is simply no adverse reaction at all; nothing but praise for it as a hilariously funny movie.I am not suggesting, of course, that there are not dangers connected with a story of this type. But girls dressed as men, and occasionally men dressed as women for proper plot purposes, has been standard theatrical fare as far back as AS YOU LIKE IT and TWELFTH NIGHT, and perhaps further. The classic example of a man masquerading in woman´s clothes without offense is CHARLEY´S AUNT, which has been a hilarious hit for three-quarters of a century.It seems to boil down to the fact that if this material is handled properly it can and will be accepted. Of course, if it is handled improperly it could be enormously objectionable. But as indicated, eight reviewers to date have seen this film and their consensus without reservation is that it has been treated acceptably.We can only trust that the general public will be of the same mind, and that the alarm the Legion very understandably expressed may prove in the long run to be no worry at all. At any rate, that is the hope we are nourishing.
With kindest regards from the staff,
Very sincerely yours,
GEOFFREY M. SHURLOCK