Sunday, June 19, 2011

Backstage Moments...

Allan 'Whitey' Snyder and Marilyn Monroe on The Seven Year Itch

I routinely scour the Internet for pictures to go along with my my blog posts here and, in the process, I've come upon many interesting photos that I haven't used. I thought it might be fun to post a few of those taken on movie sets along with a little bit of movie lore (and other "extras").
Wilder, Marilyn & a $4.6 mil. dress

Above, Marilyn Monroe's makeup artist, Allan 'Whitey' Snyder, prepares her for a famous scene in The Seven Year Itch (1955). Marilyn was basking in the early glow of international fame when she began work on the Billy Wilder comedy in 1954. Her popularity had been firmly established with her co-starring turns in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and How to Marry a Millionaire (1954) and, at the time she started on her first film with Wilder, she was newly married to baseball superstar Joe DiMaggio. Legend has it that Joe stood on the sidelines watching as Wilder shot - and re-shot - takes of Marilyn's famous subway grate scene. Filming took place on the streets of New York and a crowd had gathered to watch. The slugger reportedly stormed off the set, incensed by the cheers and whistles of onlookers that erupted each time Marilyn's skirt blew skyward.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Location, Location, Location: Catalina Island

Norma Shearer, Paulette Goddard and Charlie Chaplin off Catalina, 1934

A Film Location and Celebrity Haunt Since the Early 20th Century

Santa Catalina, one of California's Channel Islands, is just 26 miles SSW of Los Angeles. Once called Pimu, it's been inhabited for more than 7,000 years and has weathered the Spanish conquest, an influx of otter hunters and infestation by smugglers over its long history. It is best known today as a playground for those with money and celebrity and was once a popular location for filming Hollywood movies.