Alfred Hitchcock & Tippi Hedren on the set of Marnie (1964, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
“To be the object of somebody’s obsession is a really awful feeling when you can’t return it.”
-Hedren, on working with Hitchcock
Catherine Deneuve on the set of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964, dir Jacques Demy)
Clint Eastwood on the set of The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly (1966, dir. Sergio Leone) (photo by Angelo Novi)
On the most important lesson he learned from his work on Sergio Leone’s westerns:
“Never trust anyone on an Italian movie. I know about these things. Stay away from special effects and explosives.”
Boris Karloff relaxes on the set of Bride of Frankenstein (1935, dir. James Whale) (via)
“The monster was the best friend I ever had. Certainly I was typed. But what is typing? It’s a trademark, a means by which the public recognizes you. Actors work all their lives to achieve that. I got mine with just one picture. It was a blessing.”
…there’s a dedicated tech crew - behind-the-scenes shot of the Warner Bros. electrical department & the mechanism they built to produce the spinning fountain in Busby Berkeley’s Footlight Parade “By a Waterfall” routine.
Caption on the back of the photo (circa 1923):
The question is: can they make Buster Keaton laugh? Not if he is awake. Buster has never been known to laugh although he has made millions roar. Here are three of Buster Keaton’s scenario staff and his director Eddie Cline trying to “laugh” Keaton into a story.
Keaton once said, “I developed the ‘Stone Face’ thing quite naturally. Even as a small kid, I happened to be the type of comic that couldn’t laugh at his own material. I soon learned at an awful early age that when I laughed the audience didn’t. So, by the time I got into pictures, that was a natural way of working.”
Rita Hayworth posing for publicity stills for Salome (1953, dir. William Dieterle)
“Why should I mind? I like having my picture taken and being a glamorous person. Sometimes when I find myself getting impatient, I just remember the times I cried my eyes out because nobody wanted to take my picture at the Trocadero.”
Peter Sellers and Stanley Kubrick on the set of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964, dir. Stanley Kubrick) (via The Stanley Kubrick Archives)
“I love Peter. I think he’s a great actor, but I am never any good on this sort of thing. I’m terribly inhibited about discussing an artist like Peter, but I’ll cautiously torture out a statement - I’m peculiar about this, but it’s a very personal relationship you have with an actor.
He’s the hardest worker I know. I’d come into the [Dr. Strangelove] studio at seven o’clock in the morning and there would be Peter Sellers. Waiting, ready. Full of ideas. When you are inspired and professionally accomplished as Peter, the only limit to the importance of your work is your willingness to take chances. I believe Peter will take the most incredible chances with a characterization, and he is receptive to comic ideas most of his contemporaries would think unfunny and meaningless. This has, in my view, made his best work absolutely unique and important.”
-Kubrick on Sellers, quoted in Peter Sellers: The Mask Behind the Mask
Fritz Lang, actress Gerda Maurus & crew on the set of Woman in the Moon (1929, dir. Fritz Lang), which included a giant backdrop painting of a lunar landscape (click to enlarge) (via)
Tony Curtis & Jack Lemmon on the set of Some Like It Hot (1959, dir. Billy Wilder)
“We hung out a lot. After we made Some Like It Hot, we’d meet at parties, with movie people, dinner and dancing. And I’d always walk up to Jack’s table, tap him on the shoulder, and say, ‘Would you like to dance?’ And he’d get up and we’d waltz through the dance floor. It was too good.”
-Tony Curtis, excerpted from Dallas News interview, July 2002
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.”
Max Schreck relaxing between takes & creeping everyone out on the set of Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror(1922, dir. F.W. Murnau) (via)
During the filming of Nosferatu, Schreck reportedly stayed in character at all times, even when the cameras weren’t rolling, and the cast and crew never saw him out of full makeup and costume. While this immersive approach to acting is commonplace now, it was unusual back then and his appearance & behavior led to wild rumors that Schreck actually was a vampire. If this photo is indicative of Schreck’s demeanor around the set of Nosferatu, the crew’s wariness was entirely understandable.