Thursday, January 28, 2016
Alfred Hitchcock's home away from home on the Universal Studios backlot was bungalow 5195. Whenever he had a long night of filming or needed to concentrate on a script, this would be the place to find him.
With the introduction of the studio tour, the prankish Sir Hitchcock couldn't resist playing a joke on the thousands of tourists who visited Universal Studios each day. He put his famous silhouette in the window to trick guests riding the tram into thinking he was busy inside the bungalow.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Abe Vigoda, famed character actor, has passed away at age 94. Mr. Vigoda had taken on a legendary status on the Internet, after false rumors of his demise had spread quickly on the then newly accessible information superhighway. He had made his name years before, however, taking on legendary roles in The Godfather and Barney Miller.
Mr. Vigoda got his start on Broadway, starring in numerous plays throughout the 1960’s. It was his breakout performance as Sal Tessio in The Godfather. He gained even greater fame in the show Barney Miller, in which he played the ever grumpy, one foot in the grave detective Phil Fish. It was undoubtedly Mr. Vigoda’s strong performance as an aging detective who possibly should have retired decades prior that led to the false reports of his death that would eventually surface. Abe had a marvelous sense of humor about the situation and often appeared on late night programs, allegedly to remind the world that he was still alive.
Mr. Vigoda stayed quite active up until the end, dying peacefully in his sleep. Many people had assumed he was immortal, certain to outlive us all. It was his larger than life persona that made us wish that were true. Mr. Vigoda will certainly be missed.
Prior to 1948, the larger Hollywood studios owned their own theater chains. Obviously, this arrangement meant that the studios could control which films would be seen by audiences. The federal government looked to breakup this situation and the case reached the Supreme Court in 1948.
The Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides and ended up siding with the government, which resulted in the "Paramount Decree". The studios divested themselves of their theater chains as quickly as possible. The Paramount Theater chain eventually became the ABC Television Network.
Monday, January 25, 2016
The sixth film to earn a Best Picture Oscar was Cavalcade, a Hollywood adaptation of a British play. The film essentially presents a slice of British life in turn of the century England through the eyes of an affluent Lndon couple.
While the film hasn't stood the test of time, it is notable for two reasons; one is the first inclusion of the word 'damn' in a Hayes Code Film. The second is that it starred a young Bonita Granville.
Miss Granville would grow up to become a co-owner of the DISNEYLAND Hotel along with her husband. The hotel's Bonita Tower (Since renamed the Frontier Tower) and Granville's Restaurant (Since renamed Steakhouse 55) would be named after her.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Do you have a bizarre film to promote? Why not use a picture of a dead-eyed man to advertise it! For 5 years, Tommy Wiseau advertised his strange film with a billboard on Highland Avenue in Hollywood. The billboard, which appears to be advertising some sort of vampire film, caught the eye of many industry folks who actually went to see the film. They quickly discovered that The Room billboard was much better than The Room movie.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
The fifth recipient of the Best Picture Oscar was 1932's Grand Hotel. Despite featuring a who's who of Hollywood legends- Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford and the Barrymores- the film is the only Best Picture winner to see none of its other nominees win.
Unlike the previous winner Cimarron, the film has held up nicely and is still seen as one of Hollywood's finest films. Greta Garbo's most famous line of dialogue- "I want to be alone" was spoken in this MGM Picture.
Monday, January 18, 2016
When George Kennedy appeared as the flustered Captain Ed Hocken in Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad, it was something he had been looking forward to for years.
He had originally been offered the part of McCrosky in Airplane! He had to decline due to his busy schedule filming the regular Airport movies and the role was given to Lloyd Bridges instead. (It probably didn't help that he would have burned bridges with Universal Studios had he chosen to make Airplane!)
Luckily for him, the Airport franchise had completely flamed out so he could take on any roles he chose without causing any problems for his career by the time he got the phone call for Naked Gun.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Friday, January 15, 2016
The production of 1963's Cleopatra was legendary for its excess. Twentieth Century Fox threw buckets of money away on unusable footage, garish costumes and wasted resources.
On an out of control production, even more bizarre expenditures were made, including air lifting chili from Beverly Hills, California to Rome, Italy for Elizabeth Taylor. Apparently when it comes to chili, only Chasen's of Beverly Hills will do.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
English actor Alan Rickman, best known for his roles as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films has died at age 69.
Mr. Rickman was born in Acton, London to a working class family and originally took up a career in graphic design. He decided to switch his career to acting and quickly found success. His role as Hans Gruber gave him worldwide fame and he firmly established his career from that point on. He would consistently gain work from that point on.
Mr. Rickman leaves behind a wife and legions of fans both young and old.
The Wonkatania boat in Willy Wonka's amazing chocolate room looked magical on the silver screen, piloted by an Oompa Loompa captain in the Chocolate River.
Except- the boat was actually on a track, operated from a central control room. The director of the film didn't tell the actor that the boat was not being operated by him, so that he would give a more realistic performance. The scene was difficult on the actors because the watery chocolate mixture had spoiled, making the set smell terrible.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
The 1989 classic Road House has been discussed here before, but one little known fact is that Annette Bening was originally cast in the role of the Doctor in the film.
When the budget for the film ballooned higher than expected, United Artists decided to choose someone who was already under contract with the studio. That's how Kelly Preston got the "coveted" role.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
The fourth film to win the Best Picture was Cimarron, a western that dramatized the Oklahoma land rush. Starring Irene Dunn and Richard Dix.
Despite the film's win, it barely made back its budget at the box office. It was the most expensive film made by RKO at the time, thus it had to earn an unheard of amount of money in order to become profitable. It eventually became profitable after a re-release. Today, however, the film is viewed as extremely dated. Many modern day reviewers feel that the film has not stood the test of time.
Monday, January 11, 2016
One of the more famous sights on the Universal Studios Tour is the world famous Bates Motel, used in Alfred Hitchcock's classic film Psycho. It has since been used in several other productions, though it was often disguised.
While the motel lets guests check in at any time, it is often harder to check out if you get on the bad side of the proprietor Norman Bates. Why, here he is now...
Sunday, January 10, 2016
David Bowie, the English singer, reknowned for his flamboyant stage act has passed away at age 69.
While Mr. Bowie is best known for his music, he did have a vibrant career in film, starring in Jim Henson's Labyrinth, and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. His vast catalog of songs have been used in over 400 films, too numerous to mention here.
Mr. Bowie passed away due to cancer, leaving behind his wife Iman, two children and his millions of fans worldwide.
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Friday, January 8, 2016
Big Ego + Crazy Cult + Big Budget = Battlefield Earth. It seemed as though any sane person could have seen that giving multi-millions to a crazy Scientologist to make a film based on a book written by a grifter would be a bad idea. Perhaps no sane person was involved in the making of this film.
Check it out here:
Thursday, January 7, 2016
When it comes to tacky movie musicals, they don't get any tackier than Can't Stop the Music. It was like producer Allan Carr put the 1970's into a blender and this was the result. Too bad the film was released in 1980.
Check it out here:
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Ever sat through an annoying, pointless short film at work or school? One of the most annoying and pointless series of shorts were those following the hapless Norman around his routine life. A total waste of time, Welcome Back, Norman rightly deserves its spot in the Blind Kiyomi Film Un-Preservation Registry.
Check it out here:
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
The next inductee is a bizarre film that meant to take advantage of the Batman craze of 1966- The Wild World of Batwoman. Somewhat offensive and definitely low quality, this film definitely deserves its place in the Blind Kiyomi Film Un-Preservation Registry.
Check it Out Here:
Monday, January 4, 2016
The grand daddy of big budget disasters was Twentieth Century Fox's Cleopatra. That's why it is the first inductee to Blind Kiyomi's Film Un-Preservation Registry.
Check it out here:
Sunday, January 3, 2016
Saturday, January 2, 2016
Friday, January 1, 2016
Other film registries aim to preserve legendary movies that have made their mark on the world. Old-style film stock is extremely brittle and gets fragile with age, so preserving these fine films is of utmost importance. Here at Blind Kiyomi, however, we'd like to focus on those films undeserving of preservation. In fact, the films we'll focus on are not just undeserving of preservation, they deserve UN-Preservation. Introducing- The Blind Kiyomi Film Un-Preservation Registry.
Each year, we'll induct five films in the following categories:
Low Budget/Low Quality
Short in Length and Quality
Hits All the Wrong Notes Musical
Big Ego, Big Budget, Big Disaster.
The only requirements are that the films be unrelentingly bad and at least ten years old. Interested in our inaugural inductees? Click Here! The Blind Kiyomi Film Un-Preservation Registry will be accessible from the right side panel under "Special Sections" or from a drop down under the Blind Kiyomi logo on the mobile site.