IMPEACH TRUMP.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday through Monday Sale!

A special "Black Friday" sale is going on now of a limited number of selected books on my Etsy site.  The following paperback books will be half-price through Monday, November 30th.

Myths of the Modern Man
The Current Rate of Exchange
Beside the Still Waters
Meet Me in Nuthatch

All three of my mystery series:
    Cadmium Yellow, Blood Red
    Speak Out Before You Die
    Dismount and Murder


And my book on the career of Ann Blyth - Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. will be ten dollars off - selling for this limited period at $15.

You may pay by credit card, PayPal, or check on the Etsy website.  If you wish a signed copy, please leave instructions when you check out.

My Etsy site is called Lynch Twins Publishing - and you can find it at this link.  Print books at only this site are eligible, and there is a very limited number being offered, so make your purchase early before they run out.  Only a few copies are available.

Thanks, and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turkeys and Starlets - Happy Thanksgiving




Thanksgiving brought out some weird impulses from Hollywood studio publicity departments. We often see among classic film blogs examples of this "art" this time of year. Here is a gallery of examples below -- and I am inevitably reminded of the prescient wisdom of young Teresa Wright, who had stipulated in her contract that she should not be required to pose in a publicity photo, "... looking insinuatingly at a turkey for Thanksgiving." We discussed her unique contract in this previous post.



And now, for a Thanksgiving roll call:


Judy Garland as a male Pilgrim.  She looks like she is befriending this bird, rather than stalking it.


Bette Davis as a female Pilgrim, who appears to be employing this turkey as a draft animal to pull the kiddie wagon full of bounty from the fields.  Or the prop department.


Barbara Bates, as a sexy Pilgrim who appears to be dressing up the turkey because they are going out on a date to have Thanksgiving dinner at the Mocambo.


Marilyn Monroe as a cutie pie sexy Pilgrim who does not appear particularly threatening to that turkey.  



Doris Day, with no cutie pie Pilgrim nonsense, appears ready to get down to business.  I can't think of a more grim publicity photo for Thanksgiving, and I suppose for that reason it just makes me laugh more than the others.  It's as if Alfred Hitchcock directed the photo shoot.

Ann Blyth managed to get a more dignified and pleasant-looking Thanksgiving photo shoot here at my other bog.

Though there could have been an ax hidden somewhere among the props, I suppose.

Recently, I had to stop my car only about a mile from my home to let a flock of wild turkeys half-fly, half-stumble across the road.  Doris Day was not chasing them, so I'm pretty sure they got away.

To all our American readers: Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jerome Cowan


Jerome Cowan died in January 1972 at 74 years of age -- right at the beginning of the so-called nostalgia craze of the 1970s.  But this isn't an obituary, it's about what happened after.  One wonders what Cowan, and so many other character actors would have thought about our present-day familiarity with them and their work, and how beloved they are now to old movie fans.

This post is part of the What a Character Blogathon hosted by Aurora at Once Upon a Screen, Kellee at Outspoken and Freckled, and Paula at Paula's Cinema Club



Without that 1970s sudden sentimental interest in movies and pop culture of the first half of the 20th century, principally the 1930s through the 1950s, we might not have so many classic films released on VHS and DVD, nor the experiment of the cable channel American Movie Classics, or the enduring magic that is Turner Classic Movies.  It has preserved our society’s longtime reverence for the great stars, of course, where Clark Gable and Judy Garland, James Cagney and Greta Garbo, et. al., still share a crowded pedestal.

But the real achievement in this fad-turned-big business of classic movie nostalgia is the celebrating of so many wonderful character actors.  So many years after their careers ended -- most of them, like Cowan, worked until they died -- have reached parity with the stars they supported.  We pay them homage they never received by anyone in the heyday of their careers.   What would Jerome Cowan and the others feted in this single blogathon think of that?

Mr. Cowan played a variety of roles, but still had his specialty of stuffy lawyers, like in Miracle on 34th Street where he—now famous for it—plays John Payne’s courtroom adversary. 




He also played the prosecuting attorney in The Unfaithful (1947), which we covered here.  He could be silly, like the fake psychic he played in Claudia and David (1946), covered here.  Or even smarmy, like the creepy married man who makes a play for Barbara Stanwyck in My Reputation (1946) here.  He was the dead partner Humphrey Bogart avenged in The Maltese Falcon (1941).



But he started in films with a really different role, an angry young man, a fanatic, an outsider, a killer.  In Beloved Enemy (1936), discussed here, set in Ireland during The Troubles, he plays Brian Aherne’s comrade, a man of action and few words.  He is young here, rugged, and somewhat mysterious.  There is pain and mistrust in his eyes.  When Aherne is viewed by their gang as being a turncoat, Jerome Cowan gets the job of assassin, and aims for his friend from a rooftop, and pulls the trigger.



In that mysterious caste system created in Hollywood, he would likely never have gotten to play a lead, yet there is promise in this first performance of something dark and exciting, something more than just the stuffy lawyer or pompous businessman he would play so many times in decades to come.  But there were twists on the man with the pencil-thin mustache and the glint in his eye.  He was smart, or befuddled.  He was a phony, or helplessly sincere.  Only the suit was the same.

Like most character actors, he endured because he had achieved that strange combination of being familiar, and yet able to play many nuances, from sinister, to comic and still be recognizable.  Cowan was not a “man of a thousand faces.”  He was a man in a crowd of a thousand faces.  But we could always pick him out.

He worked almost up until the end of his life, having appeared in a couple TV show guest spots, a western and a sitcom, only months before his death in the previous year of 1971.  Maybe they were fun to do, and maybe they paid the bills.  

But if he were with us today, how amazed he would be at how famous he's become.

Please have a look at more of the great blogs participating in the What A Character Blogathon.

*****************************************
"Lynch’s book is organized and well-written – and has plenty of amusing observations – but when it comes to describing Blyth’s movies, Lynch’s writing sparkles." - Ruth Kerr, Silver Screenings

"Jacqueline T. Lynch creates a poignant and thoroughly-researched mosaic of memories of a fine, upstanding human being who also happens to be a legendary entertainer." - Deborah Thomas, Java's Journey

"One of the great strengths of Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is that Lynch not only gives an excellent overview of Blyth's career -- she offers detailed analyses of each of Blyth's roles -- but she puts them in the context of the larger issues of the day."- Amanda Garrett, Old Hollywood Films

"Jacqueline's book will hopefully cause many more people to take a look at this multitalented woman whose career encompassed just about every possible aspect of 20th Century entertainment." - Laura Grieve, Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

"Jacqueline T. Lynch’s Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is an extremely well researched undertaking that is a must for all Blyth fans." - Annette Bochenek, Hometowns to Hollywood



Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. 
by Jacqueline T. Lynch

The first book on the career of actress Ann Blyth. Multitalented and remarkably versatile, Blyth began on radio as a child, appeared on Broadway at the age of twelve in Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine, and enjoyed a long and diverse career in films, theatre, television, and concerts. A sensitive dramatic actress, the youngest at the time to be nominated for her role in Mildred Pierce (1945), she also displayed a gift for comedy, and was especially endeared to fans for her expressive and exquisite lyric soprano, which was showcased in many film and stage musicals. Still a popular guest at film festivals, lovely Ms. Blyth remains a treasure of the Hollywood's golden age.


The eBook and paperback are available from Amazon and CreateSpace, which is the printer.  You can also order it from my Etsy shop. It is also available at the Broadside Bookshop, 247 Main Street, Northampton, Massachusetts.

If you wish a signed copy, then email me at JacquelineTLynch@gmail.com and I'll get back to you with the details.


**************************
My new syndicated column SILVER SCREEN, GOLDEN YEARS, on classic film is up at Go60  or check with your local paper.



Thursday, November 19, 2015

Talk and book signing, and the upcoming blogathon

Today, November 19th, I'll be speaking at the Wilbraham Senior Center, 45B Post Office Park, Wilbraham, Massachusetts at 1:30 p.m. on my book Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. I'll bring some movie memorabilia from Ann's career, and will have books available for sale and signing.  I'm looking forward to meeting all the Ann Blyth fans at the book club!

********************

This Saturday we join the WHAT A CHARACTER blogathon hosted by Aurora at Once Upon a Screen, Kellee at Outspoken and Freckled, and Paula at Paula's Cinema Club.  As you know, the event was postponed in the wake of last week's tragedy in Paris. The blogathon has been rescheduled for this weekend. 

I will be posting on Jerome Cowan.  Hope you can stop by, and check out the other swell blogs.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Vive La France!

The What a Character blogathon has been postponed until next weekend.  

Until we meet again, in prayer and remembrance for those murdered in Paris, for the peace and comfort of their loved ones...and for solidarity with all those who stand courageously against terrorist pigs...

Vive La France...


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Updates

On next Thursday, November 19th, I'll be speaking at the Wilbraham Senior Center, 45B Post Office Park, Wilbraham, Massachusetts at 1:30 p.m. on my book Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. I'll bring some movie memorabilia from Ann's career, and will have books available for sale and signing. I'm looking forward to meeting all the Ann Blyth fans at the book club!

********************

This Saturday we join the WHAT A CHARACTER blogathon hosted by Aurora at Once Upon a Screen, Kellee at Outspoken and Freckled, and Paula at Paula's Cinema Club.  I will be posting on Jerome Cowan.  Hope you can stop by, and check out the other swell blogs.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

ZaSu Pitts - Photoplay portrait



Here is another portrait photo from Stars of the Photoplay, a 1930 "class album" type book that gives us brief bios of the current stars in the silent-cum-talkie era, along with some stunning portrait photos.

The photographer here is Elmer Fryer.  The bio,of course, explains the spelling of her unusual name. Interesting is the comment that the director Eric Von Stroheim declared her "one of the greatest tragediennes of the day."

We most often think of the zany ZaSu as one of the top comediennes of her day.  The soulful photo reveals perhaps a trace of her depth as an emotional actress and as a person.  Mr. Stroheim gave her a chance in his epic Greed (1924), and she impressed her very surprised colleagues and movie critics.

But if she came to be best known to us as the beloved bumbler, that would probably be okay with her.  She appeared on Broadway in 1940s, made the rounds on television in the 1950s, and worked pretty much until she died in the early 1960s.   She is thirty-six in this photo.  How perceptive the photographer was, to direct our attention to her luminous eyes, in which we may see the spark of mirth, but also an enigmatic pensiveness. 

*****************************************
"Lynch’s book is organized and well-written – and has plenty of amusing observations – but when it comes to describing Blyth’s movies, Lynch’s writing sparkles." - Ruth Kerr, Silver Screenings

"Jacqueline T. Lynch creates a poignant and thoroughly-researched mosaic of memories of a fine, upstanding human being who also happens to be a legendary entertainer." - Deborah Thomas, Java's Journey

"One of the great strengths of Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is that Lynch not only gives an excellent overview of Blyth's career -- she offers detailed analyses of each of Blyth's roles -- but she puts them in the context of the larger issues of the day."- Amanda Garrett, Old Hollywood Films

"Jacqueline's book will hopefully cause many more people to take a look at this multitalented woman whose career encompassed just about every possible aspect of 20th Century entertainment." - Laura Grieve, Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

"Jacqueline T. Lynch’s Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is an extremely well researched undertaking that is a must for all Blyth fans." - Annette Bochenek, Hometowns to Hollywood



Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. 
by Jacqueline T. Lynch

The first book on the career of actress Ann Blyth. Multitalented and remarkably versatile, Blyth began on radio as a child, appeared on Broadway at the age of twelve in Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine, and enjoyed a long and diverse career in films, theatre, television, and concerts. A sensitive dramatic actress, the youngest at the time to be nominated for her role in Mildred Pierce (1945), she also displayed a gift for comedy, and was especially endeared to fans for her expressive and exquisite lyric soprano, which was showcased in many film and stage musicals. Still a popular guest at film festivals, lovely Ms. Blyth remains a treasure of the Hollywood's golden age.


The eBook and paperback are available from Amazon and CreateSpace, which is the printer.  You can also order it from my Etsy shop. It is also available at the Broadside Bookshop, 247 Main Street, Northampton, Massachusetts.

If you wish a signed copy, then email me at JacquelineTLynch@gmail.com and I'll get back to you with the details.


**************************
My new syndicated column SILVER SCREEN, GOLDEN YEARS, on classic film is up at   or check with your local paper.