Hello to everyone who has been following this blog for many years - I'm still blogging, I'm just moving over to https://www.claireheffer.com/blog - please continue to follow and let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been kind enough to visit over the years. May the lists continue...

Tuesday 28 November 2017


TRIVIA: At 9 minutes and 32 seconds, Gloria Grahame's performance in this movie became the shortest to ever win an Oscar. She held the record until 1976, when Beatrice Straight won for her 5 minute performance in Network (1976).

The character of Shields is regarded as a mixture of producer David O. SelznickOrson Welles and producer Val Lewton. Georgia, the alcoholic daughter of an iconic actor, is very clearly based on Diana Barrymore. Bartlow, the college professor turned best-selling author turned screenwriter, is thought to be based on Paul Green, a UNC professor who followed a similar career track. Gilbert Roland's appearance as "Gaucho" is seen as a self-parody; the Mexican-born actor, once a star in silent dramas, had just appeared as "The Cisco Kid" in a string of "B" westerns.

To somewhat soften the depiction of Shields, Vincente Minnelli cut a scene in which he accepts the Best Picture Oscar® for the film whose idea he had stolen from his best friend. In the scene, Shields devotes most of his speech to his late father, then makes only a brief mention of his friend at the end.

Vincente Minnelli was so impressed by Ned Glass' performance as the wardrobe man, he kept expanding his role. After two days of shooting, he still needed a close-up of Glass, but the next day the actor did not show up. Having failed to do a thorough background check before shooting started, MGM had hired Glass without realizing he had been blacklisted. The night before his final shot, studio security had called to inform him he would not be allowed on the lot. After a hasty conference with studio executives, MGM decided they would rather ignore the blacklist than pay the $20,000 to $30,000 it would require to re-shoot the key scene.

Concerned about Lana Turner's insecurities and talk of her limited acting abilities, Vincente Minnelli got her through her first scene by telling her that every retake was the result of somebody else's problem. Through gentle coaching he got a strong performance out of her while also keeping her confidence intact.

Kirk Douglas was highly interested in Lana Turner during the shooting, but he could not do anything because of the Fernando Lamas' presence, Lana Turner's boyfriend.

Lana Turner plays an actress whose career started as a movie extra. Turner started her own career as an extra in A Star Is Born (1937).

The motto under the SHIELDS Pictures Inc coat-of-arms is "NON SANS DROIT". This was the same motto used by Shakespeare and means "Not without right".

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

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