Anita EkbergLinda Lawson - Night Tide - 1961Invisible Man - Claude Rains 1932

Josef von Sternberg, 1931

Josef von Sternberg

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren

Kay Francis

Kay Francis - Stolen Holiday

Stolen Holiday - Released Feb 6, 1937. Directed by Michael Curtiz

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

Rod Serling

Rod Serling

Clara Bow and Joyce Compton 1929

Clara Bow and Joyce Compton 1929

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren

More Sophia Loren

Tyrone Power - 1938

Tyrone Power

Wallace Berry

The Champ 1931 - Wallace Berry

Jesse Scott, Wallace Berry and Jackie Cooper - on the set of The Champ, 1931

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

Boy on a Dolphin - 1957

Sophia Loren at Sea

Probably the first "big Hollywood film" of Loren's career, Boy on a Dolphin has been roaming around television for many decades as a washed-out color movie with the question hanging in the air of whether decent film elements still existed for what had been a major production effort from 20th Century Fox back in 1957. Apparently the answer is yes, with a blu-ray restored version now coming Fall of 2016.

Boy on a Dolphin - Sophia Loren - 1957 - Blu-ray - Amazon

Buster Keaton - The Goat, 1921

Buster KeatonBuster Keaton the Goat Telephone Call to a horse

The Goat - Released May 15, 1921. Directed by Buster Keaton and Malcolm St. Clair

The story line to this brief (23 minute) Keaton film is almost non-existent, except for the travails of Keaton trying to make it through the day as unexpected events and circumstances has him on the run from the police (he's mistaken for an escaped murderer which causes bystanders to suddenly flee from his presence, much to Keaton's bewilderment) and there's his rather complicated relationship with a girl (Virginia Fox) whose father happens to be the chief of police. These comedy routines are elaborated upon and expanded in his later short film Cops (1922). This rendition of the character that acts like a magnet for police enforcement is just as calamitous, though, as the 1922 version. Mal St. Clair figures in The Goat as the tall and dark policeman who relentlessly pursues him.

Buster Keaton - the Goat 1921Buster Keaton - the Goat 1921Buster Keaton - the Goat 1921

Janet Leigh and Jimmy Stewart

Janet Leigh and Jimmy Stewart

More Janet Leigh

White Zombie - 1932

White Zombie 1932Madge Bellamy - White Zombie 1932White Zombie 1932White Zombie 1932

White Zombie - Rleased August 4, 1932. Directed by Victor Halperin

Influential and imaginative (though primitive) zombie film which impacted everything that came after* which has "zombie" in the title. Made on a $50,000 production budget that used rented sets from various Universal films, Bela Lugosi is the main draw here along with silent movie star Madge Bellamy.

Lugosi's character (named Murdere Legendre) runs a local Haitian grain mill staffed with zombie workers, and his main coterie of mind-controlled slaves are formerly politically powerful men on the island who through one way or another have been brought under Legendre's control (they walk about stiffly with a look of vacancy in their eyes, following commands like robots).

Robert Frazer (as plantation owner Charles Beaumont) is in love (or at least what he calls 'love') with Madge Bellamy's character of Madeline Short Parker, an engaged young woman, with fiancee' in tow, who shows up on the island to take advantage of Beaumont's offer of a spectacular wedding on his estate. This was all a lure to get the woman within Beaumont's reach, as he is soon pleading with her to turn her affections from Neil Parker (John Harron) to him. She won't cooperate, so Beaumont goes to Legendre to supply a means to bring the girl under his command. Legendre is delighted to be of assistance, creating zombies seems to be his chief hobby, and he provides a liquid vial which when consumed by Madeline will make her more pliable. To Beaumont's distress, though, this renders the girl an emotionless slave. To even further confuse his original plan, Legendre is able to feed Beaumont some of this mysterious drug, too, and Beaumont is soon fighting a crippling battle to keep himself from becoming another member of Legendre's zombie corps.

Halperin's direction makes the most of the movie sets (he also moves the camera around in creative ways) and while the story isn't exactly detailed, Lugosi and Madge Bellamy perform their duties as occultic menace and languid slave perfectly well, with an almost faery tale sense of drama as the story shuffles along to the climax on a cliff above the sea. Frazer plays Beaumont as a love-slave to the woman of his affections (not that she wanted the power) and his threatening efforts are completely eclipsed by Legendre's pure evil intent, the resulting contrast (and Beaumont's remorse) making him a sympathetic character.

Halperin's film doesn't really develop the accidental metaphors of slavery, zombies and addiction getting all jammed up next to each other, but it is there on screen all the same, and with a certain pathos if one remembers how Lugosi battled a morphine addiction rather famously in his later career. Here, though, Lugosi is a monster 'drug pusher' who must be stopped (a local priest named Dr. Bruner played by Joseph Cawthorn is the key to his defeat).

Overtones of Lugosi's Dracula show up in White Zombie (Dracula was released in Feb of 1931) but as masterful as Legendre's power over his zombie army is, Lugosi doesn't play Legendre as an aristocratic monster ala' Dracula, but as an occasionally hunching, scheming and gleeful maniac, despite the fact the Halperin Brothers have Lugosi in a tux in some scenes and he employs his elegant hand gestures as additional weapons in his arsenal.

Madge Bellamy - White Zombie 1932Madge Bellamy - White Zombie 1932White Zombie 1932White Zombie 1932White Zombie 1932White Zombie 1932

*Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur must have screened this film a few times before commencing on that other seminal zombie film from classic Hollywood I Walked with a Zombie of 1943.

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Starring Miss Barbara Stanwyck [Illustrated with 310 Photographs] -

Sophia Loren: A Life in Pictures - 192 Pages -

Harlow in Hollywood

Amazon: Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital, 1928-1937


List of all films

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow - My Life : Sophia Loren - Book