Monday, May 10, 2021

Tonight's Movie: Battle Hymn (1957) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

BATTLE HYMN (1957) is a Korean War film starring Rock Hudson which was just released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.

Hudson plays Col. Dean Hess, a World War II veteran who's become a minister. Hess is haunted by the memory of having inadvertently bombed a German orphanage during the war.

Hess decides to go back into military service to train pilots for the Korean War. He unexpectedly finds an opportunity to assuage some of his guilt from the previous war when he works to provide a safe haven for a steadily growing number of Korean war orphans. As the enemy draws closer, Hess is able to arrange for transport planes to carry 400 orphans to safety.

This fact-based movie is a solid film with a good cast. It somewhat called to mind an earlier film set in Occupied Japan, THREE STRIPES IN THE SUN (1955), which portrays another U.S. military man coming to the aid of orphans. At times BATTLE HYMN plays just a little too much "by the numbers," never really doing the unexpected, but between the cast and the uplifting story, it's time well spent.

I'm a Hudson fan but I felt he starts out in this film just a little too wooden in his scenes as a conflicted clergyman. As the film goes on the character opens up more emotionally thanks to interactions with both his colleagues and the orphans, and Hudson's performance comes to feel more genuine; he has a couple of particularly moving scenes in the latter part of the film.

Dan Duryea plays Hess's rough-edged righthand man, Sgt. Herman, who soon finds himself just as involved with the orphans as his superior. There's fine supporting work from Jock Mahoney as a responsible major in Hess's unit; Don DeFore as brash Capt. Skidmore, who served alongside Hess during the previous war; James Edwards as a thoughtful fighter pilot; and Alan Hale (Jr.) as the mess cook.

Martha Hyer has a fairly thankless role as Hess's wife Mary, who is mostly relegated to reading letters from her husband. As a side note, it never fails to amaze me how men in '50s war films announce to their wives they're going back into the military without consulting her first -- STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND (1955) is another example -- leaving me wondering if that's the way things were then or if it's just the way movies were.

The supporting cast also includes Anna Kashfi, James Hong, Philip Ahn, and Carl Benton Reid.

This was one of several Hudson films directed by Douglas Sirk. Hudson also worked with cinematographer Russell Metty on numerous occasions. The script of this 108-minute film was by Charles Grayson and Vince Evans.

This Kino Lorber Blu-ray is a lovely widescreen CinemaScope print with excellent sound. Extras consist of the trailer, four more trailers for other films available from Kino Lorber, and a commentary track by Nick Pinkerton.

Rock Hudson fans can thank Kino Lorber for a number of Blu-ray releases with the actor, most recently the three-film Rock Hudson Collection; from that set I've reviewed SEMINOLE (1953) and THE GOLDEN BLADE (1953), with a review of BENGAL BRIGADE (1954) still to come

Additional Rock Hudson films available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber which have been reviewed here include BEND OF THE RIVER (1952), TAZA, SON OF COCHISE (1954), THE TARNISHED ANGELS (1957), BLINDFOLD (1966), and THE MIRROR CRACK'D (1980). A review of HORIZONS WEST (1952) is coming in the next few weeks.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Tonight's Movie: The Delicious Little Devil (1919) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

THE DELICIOUS LITTLE DEVIL (1919), starring Mae Murray and Rudolph Valentino, was a highlight of the 2019 Cinecon Festival in Hollywood.

I'm happy to say that this delightful romantic comedy is now available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber, and I found it as much of a joy on this viewing as I did at the festival.

Murray plays Mary McGuire, a hard-working Irish lass who loses her job as a hat-check girl. This is quite a problem, as Mary is the sole support of her mother and uncle (Richard Cummings), who live with her in a New York tenement apartment.

It's a bit complicated, but Mary ends up with a new job at a roadhouse, posing as Gloria, the runaway mistress of a duke (Bertram Grassby), and she becomes an exotic sensation dancing at the roadhouse each evening.

Wealthy young Jimmy (Valentino) wants to marry "Gloria," but his Irish contractor father (Edward Jobson) won't hear of his son marrying a woman with a "past."

Mary enjoys her success, especially earning the lofty sum of $100 a week, but in the end all she wants is for Jimmy to know that she's really the "good" girl he's looking for.

In short order the duke shows up at the roadhouse, who of course immediately realizes Mary is an imposter, and all manner of complications ensue. Meanwhile Mary's long-lost father Pat (Harry Rattenbury) also appears, and it just so happens that Pat knew Jimmy's father back in the day...

Murray is really a delight, particularly when she's awkwardly putting together dances on the spur of the moment, inspired by things she happens to observe around her...and what do you know, it works! She's charming, and her mournful pouts over her predicaments are also pretty funny,

The conclusion, with everything put to rights for Mary and handsome Jimmy, is just what the viewer hopes, with a real "Cinderella" ending.  The movie leaves the viewer smiling, feeling better than when it started.

Incidentally, I noted that this print is 77 minutes, whereas I mentioned in 2019 that the film was 63 minutes, the time listed at IMDb.  I didn't notice any footage which seemed unfamiliar, so I believe that 63-minute running time given for the Cinecon print was in error.

THE DELICIOUS LITTLE DEVIL was directed by Robert Z. Leonard and filmed by Allan Zeigler.

The score on the Kino Lorber disc was by Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum.

There are scratches along the sides of the frame which are particularly evident when the narrative cards are onscreen, but for a film which is over a century old, it looks quite good. Most of the film is a yellowish tint, while other scenes are tinted in a sepia tone.  

Blu-ray extras are a commentary track by Gaylyn Studlar; a trailer for Valentino's BLOOD AND SAND (1922); a newsreel of Valentino's funeral; and a remembrance of Valentino by Orson Welles.

It's absolutely wonderful that this film continues to bring viewers movie joy over a century after its release, and I recommend it.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Tonight's Movie: Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) - A Warner Archive Blu-ray Review

The trio of Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Melvyn Douglas star in MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE (1948), which will be released on Blu-ray by the Warner Archive later this month.

I've loved catching up with old favorites thanks to the Warner Archive's Blu-ray releases, which recently included another Grant film, ROOM FOR ONE MORE (1952). MR. BLANDINGS was another opportunity to revisit a film for the first time in a number of years.

Grant and Loy play Jim and Muriel Blandings, who are squeezed into a New York City apartment with their daughters Betsy (Connie Marshall) and Joan (Sharyn Moffett), not to mention their cook, Gussie (Louise Beavers).

(Why a homemaker in a tiny apartment needs a cook is beyond me, but such is life in 1940s movies...)

One fine day Jim and Muriel decide it's time to leave the big city behind and buy a more spacious home, and they fall in love with a decrepit old house in Connecticut. They buy it, little understanding that they are going to need to tear down the home and rebuilt from scratch, dig a well, and a million other increasingly expensive things that go with building a new house.

Hovering in the background as narrator is old family friend Bill (Douglas), an attorney who regularly tells Jim he's making mistakes, and whose attention to Muriel is starting to bother Jim.

That's pretty much the entire plot of the movie, but it's a lot of fun. As a young film viewer I think I found the movie a little edgier than I'd hoped -- the girls, in particular, spend the entire movie pouting, and Bill is a little too "present" in the Blandings home -- but watching it now gave me a lot of chuckles. Part of that might be because I've been through a home remodel myself!

The thing that gives me the greatest pleasure about the film is Myrna Loy, who is just a stitch, whether she's painstakingly describing the shades of paint she wants to an increasingly bewildered painter or protesting her innocence when it comes to an expensive change order regarding flagstones. I recall that Frank Capra described Jean Arthur's voice along the lines of being "a thousand tinkling bells," and surely that description applies to Loy, as well. Just listening to her in this film makes me chuckle.

Grant does a good job walking the line between being a man in love with his wife and the idea of a new house and someone completely exasperated with the problems which come his way before he and said wife can live in their new home.

Douglas also nails his slightly smarmy role; I use that adjective as he clearly enjoys the moment when a neighbor catches him alone in the house with Muriel, wearing a bathrobe. (There was a rainstorm involved...)The scene where Jim arrives home the following morning and Bill again walks in in his bathrobe, and Grant's slow double-take and burn as he stares at his friend, is perfectly played.

Bringing sunshine into every scene she's in is wonderful Louise Beavers as Gussie. I would have been happy to see more of her in the movie. The supporting cast also includes Reginald Denny as the Blandings' long-suffering architect, Lex Barker as a construction worker, Lurene Tuttle as Jim's secretary, and Tito Vuolo, Ian Wolfe, Harry Shannon, Nestor Paiva, Jason Robards (Sr.), Emory Parnell, and Don Brodie.

The movie was directed by H.C. Potter and crisply shot in black and white by James Wong Howe. The script of this 94-minute film is by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, based on the novel by Eric Hodgins.

The Warner Archive Blu-ray is a 4K scan of the original nitrate camera negative. It may not be absolutely perfect but it's very good, surely the best the film has yet looked for home viewing, and it sounds terrific.  I was quite pleased with it.

Extras carried over to the Blu-ray from the original DVD release are the Tex Avery Cartoon "THE HOUSE OF TOMORROW" (1949) and two radio productions, a Lux Radio Theater (1949) show with Grant and Irene Dunne, and a Screen Director's Playhouse (1950) version with Grant and Betsy Drake. I love the "alternate casting" we get to experience thanks to old time radio shows and appreciate the Warner Archive including these programs in several recent releases.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray. Warner Archive Blu-rays may be ordered from the Warner Archive Amazon Store or any online retailers where Blu-rays are sold.

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the internet...

...A few days ago I rewatched THE WALKING HILLS (1949), a Randolph Scott-Ella Raines film which I first watched and reviewed here over a decade ago, in 2010. Like some other films, it was a good illustration for me of the value of occasionally revisiting films I don't connect with strongly on first viewing. (A FOREIGN AFFAIR is another example.) Last time around there were certain things I liked about the movie but overall I found it somewhat baffling, with several unlikeable characters on a fool's quest, and then there was also the odd part about not getting medical care for a man who'd been shot... Watching it in a new context, including much greater familiarity with the work of the entire cast and the director, I found it an enjoyable and interesting study of how people act when motivated by stress and greed. And how 'bout that shovel fight?! Seen here in the film are Scott, Raines, William Bishop, and John Ireland.

...This November Julie Andrews will be honored with the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. The ceremony was postponed from April 2020.

...A new biography, THE REAL DIANA DORS by Anna Cale, will be released in the U.S. fall. Another biography of the British actress, DIANA DORS: HURRICANE IN MINK by David Bret, was released last year.

...There is hope for Hollywood's ArcLight theaters and the Cinerama Dome, which were announced last month to be permanently closed.

...New from the U.S. Postal Service: STAR WARS "droids" postage stamps.

...Raquel Stecher has a fun YouTube "unboxing" video up celebrating her recent Warner Archive sale "Mega Haul." Lots of great movie suggestions! (And I enjoyed the shout-out regarding JACKASS MAIL -- I need to upgrade my copy to the Warner Archive DVD!)

...Podcast of interest: Dick Dinman's DVD Classics Corner on the Air, discussing the recent Warner Archive Blu-ray release of SHOW BOAT (1951) with George Feltenstein, formerly of the Warner Archive. My enthusiastic review of the SHOW BOAT Blu-ray may be read here.

...Mick LaSalle's new book DREAM STATE: CALIFORNIA IN THE MOVIES, to be published in just a few days, is a "must" for me given the quality of his pre-Code histories COMPLICATED WOMEN and DANGEROUS MEN.

...The Los Angeles Times recently wrote about the proposed Chaplin Keaton Lloyd Alley in Hollywood. For more on this, I linked to a Hollywood Reporter story last June.

..."Coming soon" from Kino Lorber Studio Classics: MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRE (1946), starring Bob Hope and Joan Caulfield.

...Among other recent Kino Lorber announcements, I'm especially happy that a big favorite of mine, NO TIME FOR LOVE (1943), starring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray, will be released on Blu-ray August 3rd. It will have a commentary track by Nick Pinkerton. Colbert and MacMurray's THE BRIDE COMES HOME (1935) will be released on July 20th with a commentary by Lee Gambin, and Colbert's ARISE, MY LOVE (1940), a film with Ray Milland which I previously mentioned as "coming soon," has also now been announced for August 3rd, with a commentary track by Kat Ellinger.

...Glenn Erickson's latest CineSavant reviews of Warner Archive Blu-ray releases include BROADWAY MELODY OF 1940 (1940), which I recently reviewed, and THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME (1947), which I'll be reviewing in the near future. Glenn did a fantastic job comparing the edited version of THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME with the Blu-ray, which restores 15 long-missing minutes, and explains every restored cut.

...At Pre-Code.com, Danny has an audio interview with Bruce Goldstein of New York's Film Forum on -- what else?! -- Pre-Code cinema. I haven't had a chance to listen yet myself and look forward to it; in his preview Danny also mentions that Goldstein discusses one of my favorite film historians, William K. Everson.

...Attention Southern Californians: The New Beverly Cinema, the revival theater owned by director Quentin Tarantino, is set to reopen on June 1st.  (The accompanying photo was taken by me in 2014.)

...Notable Passings: Actress Olympia Dukakis has passed on at the age of 89. She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for MOONSTRUCK (1987). Her best-known films also included STEEL MAGNOLIAS (1989) and MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS (1995).

...For additional recent links of interest to classic film fans, please check out my May 1st roundup.

...Please note that next weekend there will not be an Around the Blogosphere column on May 15th since I will be traveling. The next link roundup column will appear on May 22nd.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Quick Preview of TCM in June

June is right around the corner, and here's a quick look at what's ahead next month on the Turner Classic Movies schedule.

I'm especially delighted to say that the one and only Cyd Charisse will be the June Star of the Month. Approximately 20 Charisse films will be featured on Tuesday evenings.

Even better, there are a couple real rarities on the schedule, TWILIGHT FOR THE GODS (1958) and THE MARK OF THE RENEGADE (1951). I'm especially excited about the latter film, which costars Ricardo Montalban, Gilbert Roland, and Andrea King.

The June Noir Alley schedule will feature POSSESSED (1947), WALK A CROOKED MILE (1948), THE BLUE GARDENIA (1953), and SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943).

SHADOW OF A DOUBT overlaps with "Hitchcock Binge-Watch Weekend" on June 26th and 27th, which sounds like a lot of fun! The Silent Sunday Nights franchise will be showing Hitchcock's THE LODGER (1927) on the 27th to fit into the theme.

I'm delighted to say that one of my favorite 20th Century-Fox musicals, MOON OVER MIAMI (1941), will be shown in prime time next month.

The June Spotlight theme is Juvenile Dilenquents. There are some fun titles on the schedule like HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL (1958) with Russ Tamblyn and HIGH SCHOOL HELLCATS (1958), which costars Tamblyn's SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954) dance partner, Nancy Kilgas.

TCM will also be showing a complete run of MGM's Andy Hardy films spread over two days in June, and Father's Day will be celebrated on June 20th.

Other June multifilm themes include Jane Austen, the beach, "deadly domiciles," ghosts, 1939 crime movies, and separate days celebrating weddings, honeymoons, and having babies.

I'm especially excited about a prime time tribute to actress Florence Rice on June 7th. That's certainly the kind of programming only found on TCM.

Additional filmmakers receiving multifilm tributes in June include Rosalind Russell, Paul Newman, Cary Grant, Dean Martin, Eleanor Parker, Janis Paige, Judy Garland, Ruth Hussey, Ralph Bellamy, Jane Russell, and Olivia de Havilland. The latter celebration begins on the evening of June 30th and runs overnight into Olivia's July 1st birthday.

I'll have a more detailed look at the June schedule at the end of this
month, which is currently featuring "Movie Roberts" as the "Stars of the Month."


Thursday, May 06, 2021

A Visit to Home of Peace Memorial Park

Last weekend we visited two cemeteries in East Los Angeles, starting with the Roman Catholic Calvary Cemetery. Photos from that visit may be found here.

Our second stop was at the nearby Home of Peace Memorial Park. This Jewish cemetery originated in Chavez Ravine in 1853, just a handful of years after the California Gold Rush began. Today Chavez Ravine is best known as the home of Dodger Stadium.


Early in the 20th Century the cemetery opened in its present location, and those buried at Chavez Ravine were relocated to Home of Peace over a period of several years. The death dates on some of the tombstones here were probably the oldest we have ever seen at a Southern California cemetery.


Above are two freestanding mausoleums belonging to the Warner family of Warner Bros.  Samuel, one of the four brothers who founded the movie studio, is interred with several other family members in the building on the left. He was married to Lina Basquette, the older half-sister of dancer Marge Champion, and was only 42 when he died just before the premiere of the studio's THE JAZZ SINGER (1927).  (Some sources say he was 40, which does not match the grave marker.)  Samuel and Lina's daughter Lita, born the year before her father's death, was raised by her uncle, Harry Warner.

Harry, another of the founding brothers, is in the building on the right; a closer look is below. Director Charles Vidor, who was married to Harry's daughter Doris, is also interred here. His films included the Rita Hayworth classics COVER GIRL (1944) and GILDA (1944).


The third of the four brothers, Jack, is buried with his wife Ann in a garden which has the name Warner on a low wall.  It's one of the prettiest spots at the cemetery.


The fourth founding brother, Albert, is interred in a Warner family mausoleum in Brooklyn, New York.


We were curious about the mausoleum below, and some research led us to learn an interesting slice of Los Angeles history. Moses Hamburger, who died in 1930 and is interred here, was the founder of a Los Angeles department store called Hamburger's, located at Broadway and 8th. The store was later bought out by the May Company department store chain. The May Company is now gone as well, but the building in Downtown Los Angeles still stands today.


Director Mark Sandrich made five of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' films: THE GAY DIVORCEE (1934), TOP HAT (1935), FOLLOW THE FLEET (1936), SHALL WE DANCE (1937), and CAREFREE (1938). His other films included HOLIDAY INN (1942) with Astaire and Bing Crosby. He sadly passed on at the early age of 44. His film credits distinctively used his signature, which was replicated on his tombstone.


Curly Howard of the Three Stooges, birth name Jerome, is at Home of Peace.


Curly's brother Shemp Howard is inside the Home of Peace mauseoleum. Brother Moe Howard is at Hillside Memorial Park, a beautiful Jewish cemetery in Culver City.


I was touched to visit the final resting place of director Kurt Neumann, who is buried with his wife. I've enjoyed a number of his films over the past year, including several Streamliners and SON OF ALI BABA (1952), a Tony Curtis film which brought me particular movie joy during our lockdown. His Westerns included BADMEN OF TOMBSTONE (1949) with Barry Sullivan and CATTLE DRIVE (1951), a Joel McCrea film I've enjoyed many times dating back to my childhood.


The Laemmle family of Universal Pictures has a gated room in the mausoleum.


This is the final resting place of Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Pictures. His son Carl Jr. is also interred here.


Louis B. Mayer, the one-time head of MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), is here, just below his sister, Ida Mayer Cummings. Ida was the mother of producer Jack Cummings (SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS) and the mother-in-law of director Roy Rowland.  (The mausoleum was unusually dark inside, which made photography challenging; click on any photo to enlarge it for a closer look.)


We also stumbled across the last resting place of MGM producer Harry Rapf not far from Louis B. Mayer.


Leo Forbstein was the musical director on dozens of Warner Bros. films, including many of the studio's greatest classics.


Composer Mack Gordon wrote classic songs including "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo," "Chattanooga Choo-Choo," "It Happened in Sun Valley," "You'll Never Know," and more.


My gratitude to all those named here for the joy their work has brought us.

Additional photo posts on the final resting places of historic Hollywood figures: A Visit to Forest Lawn Glendale, Part 1, A Visit to Forest Lawn Glendale, Part 2, A Visit to the Forest Lawn Museum, A Visit to Hollywood Forever Cemetery (2014), A Visit to Westwood Village Memorial Park - The Musicians, A Visit to Westwood Village Memorial Park - The Comedians, A Visit to Westwood Village Memorial Park - The Actors, A Visit to Westwood Village Memorial Park - Writers, Directors, and More, A Visit to Holy Cross Cemetery, Part 1, A Visit to Holy Cross Cemetery, Part 2, A Visit to Holy Cross Cemetery, Part 3, A Visit to Desert Memorial Park, Los Angeles National Cemetery, A Visit to Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, Part 1, A Visit to Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, Part 2, A Visit to Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, Part 3, A Visit to Forest Lawn Cathedral City, A Visit to Oakwood Memorial Park, A Visit to Hillside Memorial Park, Part 1, A Visit to Hillside Memorial Park, Part 2, A Visit to Hollywood Forever Cemetery (2019), A Visit to Woodlawn Cemetery, A Visit to Valley Oaks Memorial Park, A Visit to Valhalla Cemetery, A Visit to Pacific View Memorial ParkA Visit to Glen Haven Memorial ParkA Visit to Forest Lawn Glendale (2020), and A Visit to Calvary Cemetery.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

A Visit to Calvary Cemetery

Last weekend we spent a morning visiting Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles.


It's a mid-sized Roman Catholic cemetery, under 140 acres, which was founded in 1896.


We found the mausoleum architecture inspiring and impressive; I liked the way the steep, narrow entrance has the effect of pointing the visitor's eyes up toward the Cross and the heavens above.

The chapel, seen below, was especially lovely, with a European feel. Some well-known figures active in the Los Angeles Roman Catholic community, including the Doheny family and actress Irene Dunne, are interred in corridors just off of the chapel. More on that below.


We began our visit paying our respects to Joseph L. Musso, one of the founders of Musso & Frank Grill. The restaurant was established in 1919 and is still popular today; it has been closed due to Los Angeles County COVID restrictions but will reopen to the public later this week, on May 6th.


I find it rather fascinating how frequently we come across well-known names in Los Angeles cemeteries without setting out to look for them. One of several such names on this visit was director Richard Boleslawski, whose films included THEODORA GOES WILD (1936), starring Irene Dunne. Sadly, he was only 47 when he passed away.


Silent film actress Mabel Normand, who worked with many of the silent film era's greatest comedians, was only 37 when she died.  Other sources indicate her birth date was actually 1892.


There's a bit of a theme here insofar as John Hodiak passed on at the young age of 41. I was surprised to recently realize I've seen a majority of his films, and I hope to fill in the last gaps. I enjoy his work and, based on one of his last films, TRIAL (1955), I believe if he had lived longer he would have evolved into a fine character actor.


The multitalented Irene Dunne has always been a great favorite of mine. She could do it all -- comedy, drama, and singing in musicals. She was nominated for five Oscars, yet somehow never won. Retired from films as of the early '50s, she was also heavily involved in charitable endeavors for much of her life. She's interred alongside her husband.


Louis Cristillo was the birth name of comedian Lou Costello, who passed on at the age of 52. Musician Daniele Alberghetti was the father of singer-actress Anna Maria Alberghetti.


Edward Doheny was an oil tycoon whose life saw much turmoil, including involvement in the Teapot Dome scandal and the 1929 shooting death of his son, Edward Jr. (Ned), at the Greystone Mansion.

Doheny and his second wife, Carrie, were philanthropists who built USC's Doheny Memorial Library in honor of Ned. They also helped fund construction of St. Vincent de Paul Church, and after Edward's passing Carrie established the Doheny Eye Institute. The Dohenys donated the land for Doheny State Beach to the State of California.

The Dohenys are buried just to the right of the mausoleum chapel altar.


Multiple members of the Barrymore family are at Calvary Cemetery. Lionel Barrymore is in the mausoleum, just above an empty chamber which stands as a memorial to his brother John, who is buried in Philadelphia. (I was frankly appalled by how visitors have defaced some of the markers with lipstick...sigh.)


Ethel Barrymore is there as well, and John's third wife, Dolores Costello, is buried outside (scroll down).


Composer Jimmy McHugh wrote standards including "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," and "I'm in the Mood for Love."


Bryan Foy's career began in childhood, as one of the "Seven Little Foys" in his family's vaudeville act. He later directed shorts and produced memorable films including favorites such as HE WALKED BY NIGHT (1948) and CRIME WAVE (1954). He died in 1977 and is interred in an unmarked spot above his wife, Vivian.  


We also visited the final resting place of cinematographer Sol Polito, long associated with Warner Bros. He was one of the two Technicolor cinematographers who filmed THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) and worked on a great many other memorable films before his retirement in 1949.


Polish actress Pola Negri was best known for her work in silent films, including Ernst Lubitsch's SUMURUN (1920), but she also worked in sound films, including, notably, Disney's Hayley Mills film THE MOON-SPINNERS (1964).


Moving outside the mausoleum, this is the final resting place of producer-director Hal Roach Jr., who produced the Streamliners films I've been enjoying over the past year. He also directed Victor Mature and Carole Landis in ONE MILLION B.C. (1940).


Producer Hunt Stromberg worked in films for three decades, producing countless MGM classics including THE THIN MAN (1934), PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940), Jeanette MacDonald films, and many more. One of his final films before retirement was TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949) for United Artists.


The great MGM art director Cedric Gibbons worked on numerous Stromberg films, along with many others. There's a marvelous coffee table book on his career, MGM STYLE: CEDRIC GIBBONS AND THE ART OF THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD by Howard Gutner. I couldn't help but think that for someone who designed such glorious sets, his last resting place was surprisingly plain.


Finally, we come to the Costellos. Dolores Costello Barrymore, married to John Barrymore for nearly seven years, is buried alongside her parents, actors Maurice Costello and Mae Costello.


Dolores, who notably starred in Orson Welles' THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (1942), was the mother of John Drew Barrymore and the grandmother of Drew Barrymore.




As always with these cemetery visits, the day was a chance to reflect on the great enjoyment these people added to our lives through their work.  It's also an opportunity to better understand Los Angeles and its history.

While we were in East Los Angeles we also visited Home of Peace Memorial Park, a Jewish cemetery where several of Hollywood's most famous studio moguls are buried. I'll have photos from that visit here in the near future. (Update: Here is that post.)

Additional photo posts on the final resting places of historic Hollywood figures: A Visit to Forest Lawn Glendale, Part 1, A Visit to Forest Lawn Glendale, Part 2, A Visit to the Forest Lawn Museum, A Visit to Hollywood Forever Cemetery (2014), A Visit to Westwood Village Memorial Park - The Musicians, A Visit to Westwood Village Memorial Park - The Comedians, A Visit to Westwood Village Memorial Park - The Actors, A Visit to Westwood Village Memorial Park - Writers, Directors, and More, A Visit to Holy Cross Cemetery, Part 1, A Visit to Holy Cross Cemetery, Part 2, A Visit to Holy Cross Cemetery, Part 3, A Visit to Desert Memorial Park, Los Angeles National Cemetery, A Visit to Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, Part 1, A Visit to Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, Part 2, A Visit to Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, Part 3, A Visit to Forest Lawn Cathedral City, A Visit to Oakwood Memorial Park, A Visit to Hillside Memorial Park, Part 1, A Visit to Hillside Memorial Park, Part 2, A Visit to Hollywood Forever Cemetery (2019), A Visit to Woodlawn Cemetery, A Visit to Valley Oaks Memorial Park, A Visit to Valhalla Cemetery, A Visit to Pacific View Memorial Park, A Visit to Glen Haven Memorial Park, and A Visit to Forest Lawn Glendale (2020).

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