Tag Archives: Books and Authors

Just in Time for Christmas — Amazon Price Checker

Here’s a fun toy I just discovered. CamelCamelCamel.com tracks price fluctuations on Amazon (in case you haven’t noticed – and I hadn’t –  the hardcover price of James Ellroy’s “Perfidia” has been dropping slightly every day). Handy for the holidays, … Continue reading

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Shadowing Marlowe: Another Good Story Ruined

Someone asked me what I thought of this article in our hometown paper and when I got done laughing I pulled out Frank MacShane’s “Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler” and “The Life of Raymond Chandler.” You guessed it.

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Coming Attractions: Mark A. Vieira on George Hurrell

Mark A. Vieira, a photographer, historian and author of several books, will take part in a public discussion of Hollywood photographer George Hurrell on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. at USC’s Doheny Library marking the opening of an exhibit of … Continue reading

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James Ellroy: ‘Perfidia’ Online

Google Books is offering a extensive preview of James Ellroy’s “Perfidia,” for those who may be curious about it.  Amazon is also offering a preview. I have to say I’m not reassured by the first lines, ostensibly a radio broadcast … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 35

The film of “Laura” makes heavy use of David Raksin’s now-famous theme song. The tune running through Vera Caspary’s novel is “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” from the musical “Roberta.” This copy of the sheet music is for sale on … Continue reading

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‘Laura’ — The Making of a Film Noir Classic, Part 34

The opening lines of Vera Caspary’s “Laura,” as narrated by newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker. 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 … Continue reading

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1944 in Print — Hollywood News and Gossip by Louella Parsons, Sept. 24, 1944

Sept. 24, 1944 Louella Parsons says:  Why is young Van Johnson the idol of the bobby sox brigade and at this moment crowding Frank Sinatra and Alan Ladd for top honors? Van isn’t handsome,he hasn’t a striking physique and he … Continue reading

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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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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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