...I was really taken with the film HIGHWAY DRAGNET (1954) and especially its location at the Apple Valley Inn. Robby has a great post up at Dear Old Hollywood on the movie's locations. HIGHWAY DRAGNET stars Joan Bennett, Richard Conte, Wanda Hendrix, and Reed Hadley. It's available for streaming on Netflix.
...Here's an Architectural Digest spread on John Wayne's home in Newport Beach. It's interesting that both Wayne and his STAGECOACH (1939) costar Claire Trevor became very prominent and influential citizens of Orange County. I remember going on a Christmas cruise of Newport Harbor as a child and Wayne's boat being pointed out! When he passed on, Orange County Airport was renamed in his honor. Trevor married developer Milton Bren and they donated millions to the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine.
...My husband took our younger son to visit the USS Iowa at the Port of Los Angeles this weekend. They had a great time although my husband felt more work needed to be done to make the ship tour-ready. I hope to join them on a return trip at some point in the future.
...I loved this photo spread of candid set shots at 50 Westerns From the 50s.
...I used to shop at JCPenney quite often, especially when my children were little; now it's just a mess. More often than not I can't find what I need; I've started heading to Macy's first instead. This article in Slate dissects some of the company's issues, and there's more in the New York Times.
...I was quite surprised when my brief Tweet to Bret Baier, anchor of Special Report on Fox News Channel, was quoted by him last week in a video in which he responded to viewer questions. You can hear him refer to a comment from "LaurasMiscMovie" around the five-minute mark. I'm supposed to receive some kind of prize in the mail this week!
...If you don't subscribe to The Dark Pages and haven't yet read the special edition issue on the film NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947), you can now read Cliff's profile of Joan Blondell at Immortal Ephemera. I also appreciated Cliff's kind words at the end of his post. (And yes, I expect that at some point in the future my interview with Coleen Gray from the same issue will appear here at the blog!)
...A John Garfield Blogathon celebrating the actor's centennial is currently underway at They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To. The posts I've enjoyed included Deb on THE FALLEN SPARROW (1943) at Sidewalk Crossings, Ivan writing on FORCE OF EVIL (1948) at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear and DANGEROUSLY THEY LIVE (1941) by Dorian at Tales of the Easily Distracted. Be sure to check all the posts out, there's lot of good reading and interesting info on Garfield, his life and his films.
...Jessica pays tribute to Irene Dunne and I REMEMBER MAMA (1948) at Comet Over Hollywood. It's a wonderful performance in a delightful film, and I also highly recommend the book which inspired the film, MAMA'S BANK ACCOUNT by Kathryn Forbes. Dunne is seen here with Philip Dorn, Barbara Bel Geddes, and Steve Brown.
...I love WWII shorts, as I wrote about way back in 2007. I had no idea there was a TV documentary on the topic until I read Jacqueline's post on HOLLYWOOD COMMANDOS (1997) at Another Old Movie Blog. (Love her top photo with William Lundigan!) One of the movies I discussed back in 2007, SOLDIERS IN WHITE (1942), starred future producer William T. Orr; his son Gregory made the documentary.
...The Oscars ceremony one week ago appallingly turned its back on Hollywood history by omitting several significant names from its obituary reel, including Ann Rutherford, whose career included a supporting role in Hollywood's greatest film, GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), and Harry Carey Jr., whose family legacy reached back to the silents and whose work in the "John Ford Stock Company" included acting in another of the very greatest films ever made, THE SEARCHERS (1956). My tributes to Rutherford and Carey are here and here. Kim Morgan of Sunset Gun also paid tribute to Rutherford this week. Other notable actors who were left out of the memorial tribute were Andy Griffith and Tony Martin. And that, in a nutshell, is why I don't bother with the Oscars anymore. Why watch when I could be enjoying a classic film instead?
...Notable Passing: To date I've seen surprisingly few films starring Dale Robertson, who passed away in La Jolla last Wednesday at the age of 89. I've seen him in TAKE CARE OF MY LITTLE GIRL (1951) and TOP OF THE WORLD (1955), as well as a couple smaller roles. Obituaries were posted in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times, and here's Toby's tribute at 50 Westerns From the 50s.
Have a great week!