This is the first of a series of podcasts called "the British Are Coming." The series will cover the lives and careers of 4 great British film stars who left their mark on British and American Films in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
Merle Oberon, David Niven, Stewart Granger and the late great Stanley Baker were and remain filmatic forces to be reckoned with.
Talented, good looking, charming and unique they represented at least in terms of their public image the best of the British Empire.
Forging careers in the UK and Hollywood they reached levels of success that many British actors of today aspire to but are unlikely to achieve. But in true Classic film fashion they were also decidedly imperfect human beings who experienced many tears as well as laughter.
Merle Oberon, a child of the British Empire, was one of the most beautiful women that filmdom ever produced. She was a major film star of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
When she died in 1979 she appeared to have it all, a handsome husband 25 years her junior, wealth, fame, children and a respected film career. But Merle Oberon was a women full of mystery and anxiety who spent over 40 years covering up her past and denying her true identity.
Enjoy the telling of the story of Merle Oberon by Mrs Classic Film Fan an actress who chose never to look back.
NB: Check out the pictures, articles and other sources of information which informed this episode on the great MO, which will be put on the Classic Hollywood MTC Facebook page over the next few days.
Marlon Brando was a legend in his own lifetime. At the peak of his film career in the 1950s he created a series of film performances including the character Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront that not only defined him as an actor, but defined an era marked by the rise of the Stanislavsky and method schools of acting.
By the end of the 1950s Brando was at the top of his game, loved by actors, the studios and the public a like. His films minting millions of dollars.
This all changed with the making of two films that have since become cult classics, the psychological western One Eyed Jacks, Brando's only official directorial effort and the seafaring epic Mutiny on the Bounty which Brando virtually directed by default.
Brando's reported behaviour behind the scenes of both films would have a long lasting effect on the studios that commissioned both movies and his personal and professional career.
Enjoy the eventful story of One Eyed Jacks and the Brando Mutiny as told by Mrs Classic Film Fan.
The music "The Wild at Heart" is by Jonny Easton.
Have a great Easter break and look out for the next Classic Hollywood MTC episode in May.
Tony Curtis was one of the biggest film stars of the 1950s. Born in poverty and saddled with less than positive memories of his childhood, his good looks got him a lucrative Hollywood contract and the pick of Hollywood's most beautiful actresses, including Marilyn Monroe and Janet Leigh.
His talent gave him the will and determination to sustain a long career, which totalled over 100 Film and TV appearances and a successful second career as a respected master painter.
But despite his ever present smile and charm it was not all plain sailing. Troubled marriages, drugs, alcohol, family tragedy and resentment towards some in the Hollywood Establishment were also integral features of the Tony Curtis life experience.
Enjoy the Classic Hollywood MTC treatment of the life and career of the late great Tony Curtis. A man who was Not Just A Pretty Face.
The music is called Piano Improvisation which can be found on the Free Music Archive.
For those who want to know what fed the rise of the 2016 OscarsSoWhite scandal listen to this podcast about the life and career of the late great Hattie McDaniel.
This podcast, the first 2017 Classic Hollywood MTC episode and the 7th of all the Classic Hollywood MTC episodes, will seek to explain the talent, the struggle, the unimaginable success and the ever present controversy that surrounds Ms McDaniel.
As Mammy the forthright maid of Scarlett O'Hara Ms McDaniel earned her place in Hollywood eternity, by becoming one of the great stars of the most expensive and successful film ever made Gone with the Wind. She also became in life and in death a symbol of the challenges faced by black actors and entertainers in Hollywood prior, duing and post Word War II.
The music in the podcast is called Tenderness and can be found on www.bensound.com
This episode along with all the podcasts on Classic Hollywood MTC can be found on ITunes, Stitcher, Tune-in, Spreaker.com, Castbox and Player FM.
Listen, enjoy and have a Happy New Year.
Unless you have been living under a tadpole you will know that one of the last surviving Hollywood movie stars Kirk Douglas has just reached his 100th birthday and that the celebrations have been glorious.
Douglas seemed to specialise in anti-hero figures long before it became fashionable to do so. Ace in the Hole, the Bad and the Beautiful and the Detective showed that he was not afraid to explore people who were very damaged, but also very skilled at spreading huge swathes of that damage to others, through acts of cruelty, manipulation, cynicism and self-loathing. That usually meant that any character in his way was going to have a really, really, really bad time. It also meant that audiences never knew whether to love him or loathe him, but they all wanted to watch him.
He did play actual heroes from time to time-but unlike some of his competitors he could never find it in him to play them straight. This short homage to the great KD, is about his great sword and scandal epic Spartacus. Made fun of today because of its high levels of sentimentality, this film was not just about heaving chests in skimpy ancient togas who cried "I'm Spartacus". This was Douglas (with the considerable help of Stanley Kubrick and Douglas Trumbo) telling us at the peak of his creative powers where America, the UK, France and the rest of the West was at. Listen to the latest episode of Classic Hollywood MTC and learn about Spartacus the KD Way.
The music used in this episode is called "Memories" and can be found on Bensound.com.
At 100 years of age Olivia De Havilland is one of the last great movie stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. At the peak of her film career she appeared in some of the best films ever made, including Captain Blood, Robin Hood, They Died with their Boots On and the Charge of the Light Brigade with the devilishly handsome Errol Flynn and Gone with the Wind with Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel.
Not just a pretty face and risking her hard earned career she fought and won one of the most powerful Hollywood studios in a legal battle which resulted in the creation of the De Havilland law. A law that is still used today by actors and entertainers against unscrupulous agents, managers and corporate demi-gods. Her victory also allowed her to make even better films and in doing so become one of the most respected actresses of her generation winning 2 best actress Oscars.
Enjoy hearing about the eventful life and career of Olivia De Havilland who is "still on this side of heaven".
If you've enjoyed what you've heard do not forget to post a positive review and tell your friends about Classic Hollywood MTC. If you have any suggestions about movie stars of the classic era you would like CHMTC to cover drop Mrs TC an email on email@example.com. Have a good day!
Sammy Davis Junior was one of the greatest light entertainers America ever produced.
Singer, dancer, actor and impersonator he could do anything that the entertainment world could throw at him to the highest standard.
During a show business career of 60 years he experienced unimaginable success on the night club circuits of New York and La Vegas, having done the rounds of Vaudeville during his early years.
He made many notable Film, TV and Broadway appearances, reaching the peek of his fame as a member of the powerful Rat Pack led by one of his best friends Frank Sinatra.
But he was a scarred man, who throughout his life was deeply affected on a physical and emotional level by racial segregation and several high profile rejections. Although this fuelled his need for success it also fuelled his many weaknesses and excesses, which ultimately led to the decimation of his estate.
Enjoy this new episode of Classic Hollywood MTC on the rise and fall of the late, great Sammy Davis Junior and all who sailed with him.
In the 1950s Doris Day was one of the most famous women in the world. Unfairly remembered as the actress who played professional virgins, Doris's talent was such that she was able to tackle a broad range of movie roles, including classic appearances in Calamity Jane, the Man Who Knew To Much and Pillow Talk.
By the early 1960s with the coming of the Beatles and flower power her stardom was on the wane. Wanting to go out on top Doris was looking forward to a peaceful retirement. But instead her husband succumbed to heart failure leaving her with a financial legacy which was to result in one of the biggest courts cases in Californian history.
Please listen to another true tale about a Classic Hollywood movie star by Simone Higgins also known to family and friends as Mrs Tom Cruise.
In the 1950's Jeff Chandler was one of the biggest film stars created by Universal Studios.
His good looks, tanned complexion, melodic voice and silver hair made him the perfect hero for a wide variety of Universal adventure movies, including one of his most famous parts the Native American chief Cochise in Broken Arrow, a film which captured the heart of America.
A civil rights advocate, supporter of the state of Israel and ladies man, despite his active career and success Jeff is one of the least remembered of Universal's stars. Yet his life and career was as dramatic, successful and crammed full of incident as his movies.
This second episode of Classic Hollywood MTC by Simone Higgins also known as Mrs Tom Cruise explains the life, career and posthumous reputation of the late great Jeff Chandler, a man who found it difficult to be dull.
This is the first of a series of podcasts (delivered by Mrs Tom Cruise the nick name given by family and friends to Simone Higgins) on Hollywood stars and other ad hoc Classic Hollywood subjects which emerged during the peak of the big film studio era of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
The first subject is the late, great and tragic Dorothy Dandridge. For a short period in the 1950s Dorothy Dandridge an Africa-American singer, dancer and actress sometimes referred to as the 'Black Marilyn Monroe' reached a level of mainstream Night Club, Film and TV success that was unheard of for black entertainer.
The star of Otto Preminger's Carmen and Porgy and Bess was the first black performer to become a bona fide studio film star. The peaks and troughs of her shortlived personal and professional life were as dramatic as many of the movies she made.
Enjoy the story of Dorothy Dandridge as told by Mrs Tom Cruise.