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You Should Be Dancing

“I never really thought of myself as a sex goddess,” said the glamorously beautiful Rita Hayworth, as quoted in Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown, “I felt I was more a comedian who could dance.” And dance she did.

Rita as Gilda.

Rita as Gilda.

Hayworth performed an erotic Dance of the Seven Veils in Salome (1953), a mesmerizing strip-tease, taking off only her over-the-elbow length black satin evening gloves to “Put the Blame on Mame,” in Gilda (1946), and an equally captivating nightclub act in An Affair in Trinidad (1952).

While some of Hayworth’s well-known handsome leading men included Orson Welles, whom was her second husband, Glenn Ford, who appeared with her in five movies, Cary Grant, Victor Mature, Tyrone Power, Robert Mitchum, and the list goes on, her dancing partners were among Hollywood’s biggest and best musical talents.

She co-starred with Fred Astaire in You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) and You Were Never Lovelier (1942).  She kicked up her heels to “The Show Must Go On” with newcomer Gene Kelly in Cover Girl (1944) and later took a turn around the dance floor with Frank Sinatra to “The Lady is a Tramp” in Pal Joey (1957).

But Rita never danced to the Bee Gees – until now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz3CPzdCDws

Eat your heart out, John Travolta.

© 2013 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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Hear Ye Hear Ye: Talking About the Stars

Book CoverYesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of chatting with Betty Jo Tucker, movie critic extraordinaire and the editor/lead critic of ReelTalk Movie Reviews, and her co-host James Colt Harrison, also an author of thousands of reviews and articles about Hollywood, on Betty Jo’s radio program “Movie Addict Headquarters.”

My book Hollywood or Bust was the central point of our conversation, and I was peppered with lots of questions.  Where did the idea come from?  What was the biggest challenge in writing the book?  How did you decide on the themes in the book?  What are your favorite quotes in the book?

Oh, there are so many.  I like the first quote in the book from Hilary Swank: “I’m just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream.”  I think that sets the tone of the book because Hollywood and the movies, even life itself, are all about dreams.

On the loss of privacy that comes with fame, I like Jennifer Aniston’s quote: “When someone follows you all the way to the shop and watches you buy a roll of toilet paper, you know your life has changed.”  The lesson here is to be careful for what you wish.

Betty Jo had her favorite quotes, too.  She pointed out how touched she was by Charlie Chaplin saying, “I was loved by crowds, but I didn’t have a single close friend. I felt like the loneliest man alive,” and she played a few minutes of music Chaplin had composed for Modern Times.  Afterwards she noted, “There he is making everyone else laugh, but he has such feeling.”  And, then we moved on to more amusing topics.

James shared a story relating a chance meeting between Clark Gable and William Faulkner on the MGM lot where they were both working in the 1930s.  Clark Gable knew who William Faulkner was, but Faulkner couldn’t return the compliment.  Ah, writers.  What would the movies be without them?

As screenwriter Joe Eszterhas noted: “Screenplays are a bitch to write.  One man wrote War and Peace.  Thirty-five screenwriters wrote The Flintstones.” Ah, Hollywood.

© 2013 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

Here’s the link for your listening pleasure:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/movieaddictheadquarters/2013/07/30/hollywood-or-bust

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Thank you, Betty Jo Tucker

Betty Jo Tucker is a movie critic extraordinaire, currently serving as editor/lead critic of ReelTalk Movie Reviews and hosting “Movie Addict Headquarters” on BlogTalkRadio. An author herself of Confessions of a Movie Addict and Susan Saradon: A True Maverick, she took time out of her busy schedule to review Hollywood or Bust.  Her review, posted on authorsden.com, is reposted below.

 Hollywood or Bust Book Review

By Betty Jo Tucker

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013

Happiness for movie fans like me is reading “Hollywood or Bust” by Susan Marg! I love all the quips, quotes, and off-the-cuff remarks from some of my favorite actors and actresses that are included in this fascinating anthology. So, of course, I found Marg’s revealing, star-studded book impossible to put down once I started it.

___________________________

As someone who has had a longstanding love affair with the cinema for over fifty years, I was surprised to find so many delicious surprises in Hollywood or Bust. For example, why did Mel Brooks start out as a drummer? What did Sandra Bullock learn from directing a film? How does Harrison Ford define a movie star? What did Elizabeth Taylor have in common with the critics?  Why did Michael Caine want to win an Oscar?  And that’s just the tip of the show-biz iceberg.

The complete title of this entertaining read is Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making It Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown.And “dish” they do – from the price they pay for stardom and what they think about acting as a career to their feelings about each other as well as about directors, writers, studio executives, agents, and the Oscar. According to Marg, their observations “are caustic, critical and cynical on the one hand — but they are also eye opening, amusing, inspiring, and in some cases, even endearing.” Most of all — to me — they are extremely readable.

Marg calls herself a writer, a reader, a television watcher, a moviegoer, a theater attendee, and a museum visitor. She is also the author of Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis and the Complete Chapel Guide, published by Harper Collins.

Hollywood or Bust is published by Cowgirl Jane Press, and here’s the link to the book’s website: www.HollywoodOrBustTheBook.com.

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News Flash and Splash

Book CoverCowgirl Jane Press

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUST ANNOUNCED:

BEACH BOOK FESTIVAL AWARDS HOLLYWOOD OR BUST.

The 2013 Beach Book Festival announced winners on June 10.  Hollywood or BustMovie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown placed first in the category Compilations/Anthologies.

Comprised of over five hundred quips, quotes, and off-the-cuff remarks from actors, directors, writers, and others involved in the business, Hollywood or Bust conveys what insiders think about themselves, their lives, their fame, their careers, each other, and the town itself. Even among those who have made it opinions vary as to whether or not the road trip down the yellow brick road to fame and fortune is worth the heartache and hard work.

Author Susan Marg is thrilled with the award.  “The Beach Book Festival seemed like a natural competition for my book.  Hollywood or Bust is a fun, summer read, filled with wit and whimsy.”  She further adds, “I won’t be going to the rewards ceremony, however, as it takes place in New York.”

Hollywood or Bust, ISBN 978-0-578-11882-6, is a 182-page paperback book consisting of seven chapters and twenty original photographs.  Topics cover dreams of success to attending the Oscars.  It lists for $14.95.

###

Susan Marg is the author of Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide, published by HarperCollins.  Since she has moved her field of focus from the City of Lights to the City of Angels, her interest in popular culture has only intensified.

 

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Pop Quiz #1: They Said What?

Book CoverLet’s see how well you know your movie stars past and present.  Identify the speaker of the quotes below.  It’s multiple choice – how hard can it be?

Answers can be found in Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown (the page number on which the quote can be found follows the quote) or on my Hollywood or Bust website.

Let me know how you did.

1. I don’t use any particular method.  I’m from the let’s pretend school of acting. (page 59)

A. Harrison Ford

B. Robert Pattinson

C. William Shatner

D. Paris Hilton

E. Hugh Grant

2. I’ve always had confidence.  Before I was famous, that confidence got me into trouble.  After I got famous, it just got me into more trouble.  (page 43)

A. Don Johnson

B. Sean Penn

C. Bruce Willis

D. Clark Gable

E. Eddie Murphy

3. The secret of having a personal life is not answering too many questions about it.  (page 38)

A. Lindsay Lohan

B. Rock Hudson

C. Bill Clinton

D. Joan Collins

E. Barbra Streisand

4. I am not a demon.  I am a lizard, a shark, a heat-seeking panther.  I want to be Bob Denver on acid playing the accordion. (page 119)

A. Charlie Sheen

B. Dennis Hopper

C. Quentin Tarantino

D. Will Smith

E. Nicolas Cage

5. I’m very fond of doing movies where men fight over me. (page 64)

A. Angelica Huston

B. Elizabeth Taylor

C. Kerry Washington

D. Megan Fox

E. Marlene Dietrich

6. The only thing I have a problem with is being labeled. (page 91)

A. Elvis Presley

B. Johnny Depp

C. Peter Dinklage

D. Bela Lugosi

E. Esther Williams

7. I want to do something gritty, something real funny, a real smelly part. (page 83)

A. Gwyneth Paltrow

B. Meryl Streep

C. Joan Crawford

D. Hugh Grant

E. Meg Ryan

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Bon Anniversaire, Julia Child

I don’t know anyone, at least of my foodie friends, who didn’t want to rush home to make bouef bourguignon after watching Meryl Streep play Julia Child in Julie and Julia. Not many actually gave it a try, as far as I know, not having been invited for dinner, but it’s not too late to crank up the oven to 450 degrees and break out the beef, bacon, and Beaujolais, young and full-bodied.  Her recipes are all over the Internet and her many cookbooks are still in print.

Photo by: WorthThe Whisk

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birthday of the popular chef and television personality, this past August restaurants nationwide took part in a Julia Child Restaurant Week.  I offer some of her thoughts on cooking right (if not light), dining out, and eating well.

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”

“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.”

“This is Julia Child.  Bon appetit.”

© 2012 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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“Very fine hamburger.”  Julia Child with Dave Letterman:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHX0pv8_JOE