Addresses, addresses…

March 1, 2007

Hi all. 

E.J. here; my brother Tony writes most of the posts but he’s shamed me into participating more often.  It’s probably not as clear as I’d like, but the TMD site has almost 47,000 entries now, which is a testament to sick obsession I’ve had for 20+ years.  I continue to dig them up with the help of friends.  Two new favorite sites are young but great; Big Time Listings and The Real Estalker that both follow celebrity moves. 

I know I’m a curmudgeon, but here’s something that pisses me off.  The whole David & Victoria Beckham moving to L.A. thing and all the press about where they’re going to live.  All the mansions she’s looked at.  The agents she’s gone through.   The money she wants to spend.  She actually walks around in a model strut with her boney shoulders trailing her cadaverous hips by about a foot, all the time.  And how does she keep her cheeks sucked into her mouth without a break?

That being said, I still have the list of most of the mansions that Boney Beckham looked at during her L.A. visit.  A lot of pretty well-known spots.   209 Copa de Oro, a John Byers house that’s been home to a bunch like Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow and Telly Savalas.   461 Faring Road, the Irene Dunne house.   651 Faring Road, the Wendy Finerman house.   1015 Roxbury, a storied address home to Betty Grable, Diane Keaton and Madonna, among others.   215 Strada Corta, the old Bob Newhart house that Deidre Hall is selling.  And about a dozen more.

But, honestly, who cares?  I don’t care where they live.  If some soccer team is stupid enough to pay him $20MM a year to play soccer thinking that enough incremental seats will be sold to pay that salary, terrific.  But, again, who cares?  He plays soccer.  I’m sure he’s a wonderful soccer player, but big deal.  That he’s playing will excite 6 people in L.A. who watch soccer (I know it’s more, but really, be honest, who cares?) and might come to a game just because Beckham is playing.  And her? The sound you hear is someone hurling.  I swear to God she gets moist when she sees a camera.  She freezes into that shoulders back hips to the side suck in the cheeks look disinterested model thing.  It’s kind of scary.  I think she’s repellent, but that’s just me.  And the scientology thing?  I won’t capitalize a hobby.  Just my opinion, but it seems to me to be the most ridiculous organization I’ve ever encountered.  I have to wonder what kind of person would listen to a pseudo-religion based upon aliens coming to the planet and burning everyone in volcanos so we have to pay the church to get the bad karma engrams out of our body to reach a state of clear and only wear the blue shirts.  Did you know that they tell you what kind of blue shirts you can wear when you first join and begin the brainwashing fun?  They do.  Unless you’re celebrity like, say, Tom, and you can afford to just pay the $300,000 and congrats you’ve achieved clear everything’s good have a great life but if you leave the church we’ll tell bad stories about you.  If you’re a good boy – read “mindless” – you get to move from light blue polo to darker blue button-down.  Anyway, apparently the Beckhams are really interested in the goofball club because of their close friends Tom and Katie.  Don’t get me started.  Referral enough.  To summarize, I don’t care where the Beckhams live.  I wish they’d stay in England.

E.J.

  

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L.A. Videos

February 22, 2007

If you scroll down the page, you’ll see that we’ve added the WordPress video applet, which points to vodpod.com.  Very easy to implement.  I began by adding the trailer for Scott Michael’s DVD.  To see a longer clip, head to findadeathI’ll warn you – as Scott does on his site – that the content is often adult.

I’ve also added vids posted at turnhere.com.  I spied that site about a year ago, when they must have just been starting out.  They have since updated it.  I am impressed with the controlled manner in which they have proceeded.  They have only a limited number of generally well thought out and directed shorts.  About 30 altogether, representing towns and neighborhoods all over LA.

Their films are virtual tours.  And, like The Movieland Directory, they include maps – in this case Google – with addresses.  A very nice touch.

If you’re traveling to Los Angeles, in the flesh or virtual, the films at turnhere are highly recommended.


Que Sera Sera! Ray Evans: 1915-2007

February 20, 2007

Oscar-winning songwriter Ray Evans passed away Thursday, the 15th.  In a nice touch, the LA Times online obit has several of his hits to listen to.  The Movieland Directory listing we have is on Angelo Drive in Beverly Hills.


Site Down

February 5, 2007

The site is down for the third time in a month, after running without a hiccup since May.  We haven’t changed anything.  Whatever is going on is causing problems for other sites – including some used to administer our host’s business – on our shared server, so our host has taken us down.  The folks at our host, uplinkearth, tell us the problem is with us.  So, we’ll debug.  In the meantime, we apolgize for the inconvenience.


Wallace Reid: The Life and Death of a Hollywood Idol

January 27, 2007

My next book is due out within a few weeks. It’s the first full-length biography of Wallace Reid, who was the biggest star in the movies until his tragic death in 1923. His death was caused by a morphine addiction that was caused by his studio – Lasky – giving him too much morphine after an accident on the way to a remote filming location in northern California. Wally went from well-adjusted star loved the world over to a broken-down addict in a padded cell in 2 years. His death rocked the foundations of Hollywood and caused the creation of the Hays Office to control movie content and the birth of the studio system. But the story is more about a wonderful man killed by his studio owners. You can find it at McFarland Publishers and at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Jean Harlow Death House

January 27, 2007

 The death of Jean Harlow is one of the great Hollywood stories, with accusations that her Mother’s Christian Science beliefs led directly to her death and that it could have been prevented. Worse, her murdered ex-husband Paul Bern was accused of causing the death after a wedding night beating allegedly inflicted on Jean. Also untrue. Both are unfortunately not the case. Jean likely suffered most of her life a kidney ailment that eventually led to her death. A doctor’s misdiagnosis led to accidently allowing the disease to progress past the point of cure and she tragically died at her house at 512 North Palm Drive in Beverly Hills. The house is going on the market for $4,300,000. For a beautiful look inside and outside of the house you can go to www.512northpalm.com. It hasn’t changed much since Jean lived there with the exception of a second floor addition added in the 1950’s over the right side of the house. Note that Rita Hayworth and others in The Movieland Directory lived in this home.


Hollywoodland Review

September 8, 2006

Went, last night, to see Hollywoodland using the aforementioned complimentary tix from John Anderson.  First of all, I think it’s pretty cool that – as far as I know – EJ’s book on Eddie Mannix, Howard Strickling, and the MGM PR team is the only one of its kind.  The Superman story is Chapter Six, I believe.

If you enjoy Movieland history – which you do because you’re reading this – and you have some appreciation for the nastier aspects of fame and LA and the movies, then…you’re going to like this movie.  Adrien Brody’s (main) character is a tormented and likeable private dick, Louis Simo.  His life is “Story #1”  Ben Affleck does a great job as George Reeves.  Obviously, he looks the part.  The last decade of his life and career, including his relationship with Toni Mannix and all that entails are “Story #2”.  The last night of Reeve’s life acts as the catalyst and touchpoint throughout.

Beyond the sophisticated allegory about fame that gets draped on this film, the movie is ostensibly a mystery, opening with the buzz of police investigating Reeve’s Benedict Canyon home the night of Reeve’s death – as Leonore Lemmon and the party guests smoke cigarettes on the couch.  There’s a tremendous amount of smoking in this movie!  If you’ve read anything about this incident, the first thing you wonder is, “Are they going to get their facts straight?”.  Largely…they do.

The down-on-his-luck Detective Simo pursues the case for money and fame and perhaps to settle something with his demons.  That pursuit in the present kicks off the retrospective Reeve’s story, beginning the night he meets Toni Mannix while out trying to make a break for himself being “seen” at Ciro’s.  The movie transitions continuously – and easily, I thought – between the past and the present.

Diane Lane and Bob Hoskins are wonderful as Toni and Eddie Mannix.  Beyond her obvious physical charms, Lane’s Toni Mannix is a curiously engaging adultress.  She receives and delivers some great lines, and the makeup ages her gracefully over the seven or eight years of the movie.  Always attractive, never a dowager, but subtly creased enough that when Reeve’s dumps her for the younger Leonore Lemmon – a wonderful living room scene where Lane skewers Affleck – it has some real bite.   Hoskin’s Mannix comes off as the thinking man’s Al Capone.  Beyond the workmanlike approach he takes to the grim realities of his job at MGM, his relationship with Toni is almost loving…in a workmanlike way.  if the average moviegoer didn’t know scenes such as Reeves, Toni, Eddie and Eddie’s mistress out to dinner were real, (and they are) I wonder if they’d believe it.  (That’s a funny little scene, BTW).

Everyone knows the ending to this one…Reeves dies.  The manner in which the stories here are threaded and pulled together is very elegant.  Good acting.  Good script.  Good directing and editing.  Altogether, a very well executed and engaging mystery.