Gene Tierney in Laura (1944, dir. Otto Preminger)
That was Laura. But she’s only a dream.
Billie Holiday - Good Morning Heartache
Paul Newman, Robert Redford, & director George Roy Hill on the set of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) (via)
“I first met Paul Newman in 1968, when George Roy Hill, the director of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, introduced us in New York City. When the studio didn’t want me for the film — it wanted somebody as well known as Paul — he stood up for me. I don’t know how many people would have done that; they would have listened to their agents or the studio powers.
…Both of us were fundamentally American actors, with the qualities and virtues that characterize American actors: irreverence, playing on the other’s flaws for fun, one-upmanship — but always with an underlying affection. Those were also at the core of our relationship off the screen.
Paul was very engaged at work. He was there. He liked a lot of rehearsal. But he was fun too. Whenever he’d make a mistake on set, he would enjoy it more than anybody. I’d look at him, and he’d look at me, and I’d say, “You’re not fooling anybody. You’re not staring at me intensely; you’ve lost your line.” And he’d roar with laughter…We played lots of pranks on each other. I used to race cars, and after he took this rare Porsche I owned for a drive, he began to get into racing. He had incredible reflexes, and he got really good, but he talked so much about it that I got sick of it. So I had a beaten-up Porsche shell delivered to his porch for his 50th birthday. He never said anything, but not long after, I found a crate of molten metal delivered to the living room of my (rented) house. It dented the floor. I then had it turned into a really ugly sculpture and dropped into his garden. To this day, neither one of us has ever mentioned it.”
William V. Ranous as Bottom and Florence Turner as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1909, dir. Charles Kent, J. Stuart Blackton)
What visions have I seen! Methought I was enamour’d of an ass.
Frank Sinatra - I’m a Fool to Want You
A paean to Ava Gardner, this song was recorded after the break-up of their tempestuous marriage.
“To the question ‘Is cinema an art?’ my answer is, ‘What does it matter?’ You can make films or you can cultivate a garden. Both have as much claim to be called art as a poem by Verlaine or a painting by Delacroix. If your film or your garden is a good one it means that as a practitioner of cinema or gardening you are entitled to consider yourself an artist. The pastry-cook who makes a good cake is an artist. The ploughman with an old-fashioned plough creates a work of art when he ploughs a furrow. Art is not a calling in itself but the way in which one exercises a calling, and also the way in which one performs any human activity. I will give you my definition of art: art is ‘making’. The art of poetry is the art of making poetry. The art of love is the art of making love.
My father [painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir] never talked to me about art. He could not bear the word. If his children chose to go in for painting, acting or music, they were free to do so, but they must never be pushed. The urge to paint a picture must be so powerful that it could not be resisted. My father said of Mozart, whom he worshipped, ‘He wrote music because he could not prevent himself,’ to which he added, ‘It was like wanting to pee.’ He considered that the mode of expression was unimportant. If Mozart had not made music he would have written poems or planted gardens.”
-Jean Renoir, My Life And My Films (photo by Raymond Voinquel, 1931)
Humphrey Bogart & Katharine Hepburn at a press reception at Claridges (London 1951, via popperfoto)
“That woman is sensational. I’ll tell you frankly, she used to irritate the bejeepers out of me with all that ‘mahvelous’ talk. But when I got to know her I found out she’s one helluva dame.”
-Bogart on Hepburn
Paul Dukas - The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, symphonic scherzo for orchestra (1897)
Most famously used as the score to “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” sequence in Fantasia (1940).
Olivia Hussey in Romeo & Juliet (1968, dir. Franco Zeffirelli)
“[At the first audition, Franco Zeffirelli] came into the dressing room and he walked past all the girls, and there were a lot of girls who were sharing the same white dress. You know, we were taking it off to put it on for the next one who goes in. It was like a cattle call. And he came into the dressing room, and he came right over to me, pulled his comb out of his jacket and he put my hair in a middle-parting, and he put me in front of the mirror and he said, ‘What do you think of that?’ I said, ‘I look ridiculous.’
And he said, ‘You don’t understand anything. This is a classic look.’ And he said, ‘That’s how I want you to test, with your hair like that.’ And then he said, ‘How do you think Juliet should be?’ And I said, ‘Long blond hair and blue eyes.’ He said, ‘You understand nothing.’
…[Zeffirelli] said she needs to be like a young girl of fourteen who’s found love for the first time. She has to be a spitfire—full of passion and full of the emotions a fourteen-year-old feels. And just—’So basically Olivia, be yourself,’ you know? And that’s how it was…Franco said, ‘I really don’t want it to be lost in the dialogue. I really want to make it a classic film that appeals to young people in fifty years from today.’ I think the whole vibe of Romeo and Juliet was that they were two beautiful, young people who found love for the first time and were willing to die for it. And that’s something that’s ageless. I mean to this day—I think if Paramount re-released Romeo and Juliet, even in this jaded world of today, I think a lot of people would go see it again on the big screen and be moved all over again.”
-Olivia Hussey (2008)
Alfred Newman - How The West Was Won: Main Title (via How The West Was Won: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
“If I had not gone into Monty Python, I probably would have stuck to my original plan to graduate and become a chartered accountant, perhaps a barrister lawyer, and gotten a nice house in the suburbs, with a nice wife and kids, and gotten a country club membership, and then I would have killed myself.”
-John Cleese, 1997 (via)