Happy 4th of July from your friends at the Overlook Hotel.
Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Fritz Lang (upper right), & crew on the set of Metropolis (1927, Fritz Lang) (via)
Cary Grant receiving an Academy Honorary Award in 1970 (online here)
"Years ago, when Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon were getting divorced, a perhaps apocryphal story appeared in the scandal sheets: As an example of Grant’s supposed irrationality, Cannon cited to the judge Cary’s yearly habit of sitting in front of his television and sardonically abusing all the participants. This item, true or not, must have amused nearly everyone in Hollywood, since nearly everyone in Hollywood does pretty much the same thing.
The funny thing is that from all accounts, when the Academy Awards began in 1939, they were conducted in a similar spirit of irreverence, something that has practically disappeared from the event itself. “They used to have it down at the old Coconut Grove,” Jimmy Stewart told me in the late 70s. “You’d have dinner and alawta drinks - the whole thing was…it was just…it was a party. Nobody took it all that seriously. I mean, it was swell if ya won because your friends were givin’ it to you, but it didn’t mean anything at the bawx office or anything. It was just alawta friends gettin’ together and tellin’ some jokes and gettin’ loaded and givin’ out some little prizes. My gawsh, it was..there was no pressure or anything like that.”
Cary Grant corroborated this to me: ”It was a private affair, you see - no television, no radio, even - just a group of friends giving each other a party. Because, you know, there is something a little embarrassing about all these wealthy people publicly congratulating each other. When it began, we kidded ourselves: ‘All right, Freddie March,’ we’d say, ‘we know you’re making a million dollars - now come up and get your little medal for it!’”
-excerpted from Peter Bogdanovich’s Who the Hell’s In It
Cary Grant in None but the Lonely Heart (1944, dir. Clifford Odets)
"When Grant was awarded his honorary Oscar, he requested that a clip from None but the Lonely Heart be included in his film composite. Gregory Peck, who was going to leave the scene out of the assemblage, says: ‘…Cary cried on the screen, and he wanted that in. I didn’t think it was one of his greatest moments. But he insisted. He said, ‘Well, I didn’t do much of that kind of emotion, but I think that was rather good.’
Grant: ‘I thought the picture showed a successful bit of acting. I was usually cast as a well-dressed, sophisticated chap.This time I was an embittered cockney. In many ways the part seemed to fit my nature better than the light-hearted fellows I was used to playing.’”
Ennio Morricone - The Ecstasy Of Gold (The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Vocals: Edda Dell’Orso
“’How does a film-maker make sure his music is heard? Let me give you an example. If someone has not been invited to a party, but wants to go, what does he do?’ [Ennio] Morricone acts out some noisy Italian bonhomie: ‘Hello everybody, hello.’
'He doesn’t do this. He knocks at the door, asks for permission to come in, enters the house and then starts meeting people. The music in a film must enter politely, very slowly. The composer does not have to write music at the actual moment a character enters a room - it might be too much. So there is this slow, delicate entry, with a simple sound that allows the film-maker to lower the other, naturalistic sounds.
The human ear can distinguish no more than two sounds of different quality at the same time. Some very nice music doesn’t work because of that: if it is too strong, it can become an element that disturbs the film, rather than giving something to it. Yet in some cases the music must be very, very strong, when it is necessary to give a particular dynamic to the storytelling course of the film, rather than, say, a person’s feelings.”
-excerpted from Guardian Morricone profile, “Screen Saver” (via)
"On a microscopic piece of sand that floats through space is a fragment of a man’s life. Left to rust is the place he lived in and the machines he used. Without use, they will disintegrate from the wind and the sand and the years that act upon them. All of Mr. Corry’s machines - including the one made in his image, kept alive by love, but now obsolete - in the Twilight Zone."
-Rod Serling, “The Lonely”, The Twilight Zone (1959)
It’s that time again - ride out your hangover with the New Year’s Eve/Day Syfy TZ marathon (schedule here)
Ella Fitzgerald - What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
Richard Rodney Bennett - Overture and Kidnapping (Murder on the Orient Express: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
“I felt very strongly that the opening of the film, the main titles, should give one the sense of excitement and anticipation that one felt at the theatre, as a child, before the curtain went up. I remember saying to [Orient Express director] Sidney Lumet, ‘No one’s frightened by Agatha Christie, in 1974. We have to give them the feeling that they’re about to see a terrific entertainment.’
There was a certain amount of moaning from train aficionados over the fact that the sounds of the train were minimal because of all this music, and a loud cry from Bernard Herrmann [regarding including a waltz in the film]—‘Bennett got it all wrong! This is the TRAIN OF DEATH!’”
-Bennett, on his score for Murder on the Orient Express