Just a thought

The Incomparable Carole Lombard

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Barbara Stanwyck said Carole Lombard was “…so alive, modern, frank, and natural that she stands out like a beacon on a lightship in this odd place called Hollywood.” My father agreed. I first learned of my father’s romance with Carole as I was doing research for my book. She had just lost her great love […]

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Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

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Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) is the quintessential Robert Riskin film and one of my favorites. Written with warmth and humor, not to mention romance, it’s steeped in my father’s philosophy that we should all help each other and especially those in need — the so-called “little people,” an expression my father never would […]

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Meet John Doe

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Meet John Doe – which airs December 8th on Turner Classic Movies – represents a departure from usual Riskin-Capra films in several respects. John Doe was made after my father had gone on vacation to Europe in 1939. On his trip, he had seen first-hand evidence of the euphoria Hitler had created in Germany and the […]

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You Can’t Take It With You.

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“Pulitzer Prize plays do not grow on bushes, a circumstance which is bound to complicate their grafting to the cinema.” Frank Nugent, New York Times, 1938. The fact that You Can’t Take It With You, the George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart madcap smash hit, was made into a film at all by Columbia Pictures was […]

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Will Our Democracy Still Be Bright?

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This week I was surprised and moved to discover in my mother’s papers, a speech she had given at a rally in late October 1944 in Rochester, New York for the reelection of President Roosevelt. She was encouraging women to get out and vote, especially when “so many of our men are overseas.” Her words are eloquent […]

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The Eternal King Kong and Ann Darrow

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It may never have occurred to the creators of King Kong – producers and directors Merion C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, and screenwriter Ruth Rose – nor to my mother, Fay Wray, the damsel in distress in the iconic 1933 movie, that the giant ape would still be captivating, and capturing, New York audiences 85 […]