Category Archives: Books and Authors

James Ellroy: ‘Perfidia’ Update

We’re waiting to buy a used copy for the Daily Mirror library, so I haven’t read James Ellroy’s “Perfidia,” but I thought it would be interesting to see how it’s doing. “Perfidia” has yet to penetrate the New York Times … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 33

Waldo Lydecker, played by Clifton Webb in the film version of “Laura.”  In the novel, Waldo is considerably taller and much heavier. In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 32

  In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering look at the making of the film, which was released in … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 31

In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering look at the making of the film, which was released in Los … Continue reading

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Sept. 17, 1944

Sept. 17, 1944 Bestsellers: “Green Dolphin Street,” “Leave Her to Heaven,” “History of Rome Hanks,” “Strange Fruit,” “I Never Left Home,” “The Time for Decision,” “Yankee From Olympus,” “Anna and the King of Siam” and “Invasion!” Louella Parsons says: All … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 30

New York critic, columnist and radio pundit Alexander Woollcott makes an endorsement for Pullman in 1940. Courtesy of the Illinois Digital Archives. In Vera Caspary’s novel “Laura,” New York columnist Waldo Lydecker endorses the Byron pen, renamed the “Wallace Flow-Rite … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 29

The famous portrait of Laura Hunt in “Laura” by the fictional artist Stuart Jacoby. For the film, a large photo of Gene Tierney was heavily retouched to appear to be a painting. In case you just tuned in, I’m using … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 28

Detective Mark McPherson, played by Dana Andrews in the film version of “Laura.” In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a … Continue reading

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‘Most Books Are Never Fact-Checked’

We are shocked! Shocked! That books aren’t fact-checked! Yes, I mean you, “Hollywood Babylon” and “Severed,” who live on the lowest rungs of the literary ladder. But that goes for you too, “The Fixers,” “Full Service” and “City of Nets.” … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 27

  Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney) and Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price) in “Laura.” In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering … Continue reading

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Sept. 3, 1944

“Green Dolphin Street” wins MGM’s annual novel award. The movie was released in 1947, starring Lana Turner and Van Heflin, directed by Victor Saville with a script by Samson Raphaelson. Sept. 3, 1944 Louella Parsons is pushed off Page 1 … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 26

  An unidentified actress appears as Diane Redfern in “Laura.” In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering look at … Continue reading

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RIP Chuck Bowden

Sad to read that Chuck Bowden died Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M. We overlapped at the local newspapers in Tucson in the early 1980s and for a few years he lived around the corner from me, between Broadway and Sixth … Continue reading

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James Ellroy and ‘Perfidia’: A First Look

  Following on its exclusive that James Ellroy was scripting a remake of “Laura,” The Hollywood Reporter posted an excerpt of Chapter 2 from Ellroy’s upcoming novel “Perfidia.” It’s a brief selection, and it may not reflect the entire book, … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 25

Ann Treadwell (played by Judith Anderson) is questioned by Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) in “Laura.” In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” … Continue reading

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James Ellroy and the Remake of ‘Laura’: Doomed From the Start

  Imagine my surprise yesterday when the Hollywood Reporter announced that my onetime friend James Ellroy would be doing a remake of “Laura,” the subject of a meandering series of posts over the last few weeks. Perhaps my little project … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 24

  Dorothy Adams as Bessie Clary, Laura Hunt’s maid, in “Laura.” In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” to take a meandering look … Continue reading

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Aug. 27, 1944

Aug. 27, 1944 Hollywood’s divorces and nightclub battles always manage to get on the front pages. It’s just too bad the public doesn’t get an equal chance to learn about the topic of conversation that really interests the stars. Go … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 23

  Lee Tung Foo, left, and Clifton Webb as Waldo Lydecker in a scene from “Laura.” In case you just tuned in, I’m using Louella Parsons’ May 15, 1944, item on Rouben Mamoulian being replaced as the director of “Laura” … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 22

“Antique Shop,” Third Avenue near 57th Street, New York, Oct. 8, 1936, by Berenice Abbott, part of the Federal Art Project, via the New York Public Library. ”From where I stood, the shop looked like a dark cavern. The antique … Continue reading

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