David Bruce: The Funniest People in Movies — Gays and Lesbians, Gifts, Husbands and Wives

Gays and Lesbians

• Due to TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the heterosexual Alyson Hannigan became a gay icon because she played Willow Rosenberg, a character who had a positive same-sex relationship with the character Tara Maclay, played by Amber Benson. However, in an alternate universe the gay icon may be Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played Buffy. In the movie Cruel Intentions, Sarah played a character who had some lesbian scenes, and in fact, her character’s lesbian kiss with the character played by Selma Blair won an award for Best Screen Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards. Shortly afterward, Sarah filmed the movie Scoobie-Doo, in which her character, Daphne, exchanges bodies with the character Fred, then kisses the character played by Linda Cardellini. For a while, Sarah was excited that her second on-screen, same-sex kiss might win for her a second award for Best Screen Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards, but unfortunately, that scene ended up on the cutting-room floor, disappointing lesbians and straight men everywhere.

• Michael Thomas Ford once attended a screening of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? in a New York theater filled with gay men. As the movie was shown on the screen, half of the audience recited Bette Davis’ lines from memory, while the other half recited Joan Crawford’s lines from memory.

Gifts

• One of Marlene Dietrich’s heroes was Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin. As an entertainer of GIs in Europe during World War II, Ms. Dietrich knew that Mr. Fleming’s discovery had saved the lives of thousands of soldiers. When she had the chance five years after the war, she invited him to dinner. After dinner, Mr. Fleming gave Ms. Dietrich a gift — a small glass jar containing the very first penicillin culture.

• Canadian figure skater Toller Cranston once did a movie with Artur Rubinstein, after which Mr. Rubinstein gave him five gallons of a very expensive Guerlain men’s cologne in a cut-glass decanter. It was impossible to use that much cologne in the regular way — so Mr. Cranston took a bath in it.

Husbands and Wives

• Celebrities sometimes must have long-distance relationships with loved ones because of their work. When actress Halle Berry was making the TV movie Solomon and Sheba in Africa, she was separated from her then-husband, baseball player David Justice, by an ocean. For the first month they were apart, their long-distance telephone bill was $4,500. In October of 1995, Mr. Justice won the World Series for his team — the Braves — by hitting a home run. Ms. Berry was watching the game on TV — 3,000 miles away because she was making a movie.

• Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise courted another dancer, Caroline George, but he got off to a bad start with her family. They were conservative, and so being a male ballet dancer was bad, in their opinion. In addition, he showed up with long hair (a no-no) that had been dyed red (another no-no) for his role in the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Finally, he tried to show off his knowledge of the wines of Europe, then discovered that her family didn’t drink. Still, all ended well. He and Caroline (aka Carrie) married and had children.

• Ilka Chase was once married briefly to the much-married actor Louis Calhern. After her divorce, she sent a box of calling cards engraved “Mrs. Louis Calhern” to Julia Hoyt, Mr. Calhern’s next wife, with the note, “Dear Julia: I hope these reach you in time.”

• Actor Robert Morley’s wife once tried to bluff her way into a hotel dining room that had been reserved for General Motors. She told the hotel staff, “The General is a good friend of mine. He will be delighted to see me.” (The bluff didn’t work.)

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

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https://www.amazon.com/Funniest-People-Movies-250-Anecdotes-ebook/dp/B002G20398

Music Recommendation: Waterfahl — “Romance”

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC

Music: “Romance”

Album: SHARP FLATS

Artist: Waterfahl

Artist Location: Oxford, UK

Info:

“Waterfahl from Oxford, UK, play Nordicana — bluesy Americana with Scandinavian roots.

“Core members are Hanne Fahl on vocals, harmonica and percussion and Finn Fahl on guitars.”

Price: £1 (GBP) for song; £7 (GBP) for 11-track album

Genre: Pop.

Links:

SHARP FLATS

https://waterfahl.bandcamp.com/album/sharp-flats

Waterfahl on Bandcamp

https://waterfahl.bandcamp.com

Gas, grass or, sassafras — t r e f o l o g y

When I travel abroad, in order to deter theft, I always make sure to have several different wallets on me at all times. *** One in each pocket of my clothes. *** It’s like a shell game for pick-pockets. *** In one pocket there is a wallet with all my money & credit cards in […]

Gas, grass or, sassafras — t r e f o l o g y

David Bruce: The Funniest People in Movies — Food, Gambling

Food

• Movie star Mario Lanza insisted for one of his movies that the crew and extras be served the same meals that the stars were served instead of the simple meal of a slice of prosciutto and a hard roll that they had been eating. The movie studio charged Mr. Lanza for the extra cost. He said, “At least, I don’t have to sit around choking on my food because everyone is watching me eat.”

• People in Russia and in the former USSR had it rough — even famous figure skaters had trouble getting food. Figure skater Alexander Zhulin remembers watching a movie about a prison, and he says that “all I could concentrate on was the prisoners were eating all this wonderful food.”

• When Allen Ludden and Betty White moved to California, actor Pat O’Brien, their new neighbor, wasted no time in introducing himself. Carrying a cup of sugar, he walked over to their house and said, “I thought I’d save you the trip next door to borrow this.”

• Famous insult comedian Groucho Marx once went to a restaurant, where he saw a woman seated by herself. He asked her, “Are you alone?” When she answered yes, Groucho told her, “Then there must be something terribly wrong with you.”

• George Lucas, the writer and director of American Graffiti and Star Wars, likes his privacy. He once was recognized in a restaurant — that was the last time he ate there.

Friends

• Movie writer-director-actor Kevin Smith met Bryan Johnson when they were teenagers hanging out at the local community center. Bryan had just broken up with his high-school girlfriend, and Kevin asked him, “Can I have her?” This made Bryan laugh, and they became friends. Bryan plays obnoxious comic-book fan Steve-Dave in several of Kevin’s movies, including Mallrats and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

• The young Audrey Hepburn was once asked to wear a padded bra for an advertisement. At first she didn’t want to, but Frederic Mullally (her press agent) convinced her to do the ad. Mr. Mullally saved a copy of Ms. Hepburn’s ad and inscribed it, “Audrey Hepburn — and friends.”

Gambling

• Chico Marx loved to gamble and so he never saved a dime of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he made and thus had to be supported in his old age by his thriftier brothers, Groucho and Harpo. One day, Salwyn Shufro (Groucho’s financial advisor) asked Chico to guess how much money he had lost through gambling. Chico replied that he could tell exactly how much money he had gambled away, then asked how much money Groucho had in the bank. The reply came back: “Approximately $750,000.” Chico smiled, then said, “That’s how much money I’ve lost gambling.”

• Paul Newman played the role of pool shark “Fast Eddie” in the movie The Hustler. Ever since the movie came out, people have challenged him to compete in games of pool — for money. Often, someone says to him, “Hey, we don’t have to play for much — what do you want to play for?” When that happens, Mr. Newman looks the person straight in the eyes and replies, “How about your house?” The would-be hustler then backs down, and Mr. Newman is able to keep his money in his own pocket instead of transferring it to the hustler’s pocket.

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

****

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Music Recommendation: Irene Peña — I Won’t Budge”

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC

Music: “I Won’t Budge”

Single: Big Stir Single No. 118​​.​​5

Artist: Irene Peña 

Record Company: Big Stir Records

Record Company Location: Burbank, California

Info:

“It’s been ten years since the release of her debut album NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU, and singer-songwriter Irene Peña remains on the scene, delivering a re-issue of ‘I Won’t Budge,’ a story of sheer stubbornness tied with a neat little bow of jangly pop sensibility. It’s not far off from the dedication with which Peña has conducted her career in the decade since. She started as she meant to go on, and now it’s time to celebrate: the re-release is out on February 28th replete with new artwork and accompanying storytelling from the artist herself. And it’s just the start.”

“Big Stir Records presents the finest music from the global pop rock scene on CD, vinyl, and digital downloads. Based in California and featuring artists from the US, UK, Sweden, and Germany, BSR also curates a weekly Digital Singles Series, hosts live shows in the US and UK, and publishes Big Stir Magazine. Pop outside the box with Big Stir!”

Price: $1 (USD) for song

Genre: Pop

Links:

“I Won’t Budge”

https://bigstirrecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-wont-budge-big-stir-single-no-118-5

Big Stir Records

https://bigstirrecords.bandcamp.com

David Bruce: The Funniest People in Movies — Food

Food

• Throughout his movie career, Mario Lanza gained and (usually) lost weight very quickly. In some of his movies, he seems to gain and lose weight between scenes. Sometimes, a thin Mario will walk into a building, but inside the building a fat Mario is acting. For one movie, the movie studio had Mario’s costumes made in three different sizes: normal, big, and obese. Of course, the movie studio tried to keep his weight under control, but he outfoxed them by doing such things as ordering from room service three different meals using three different names so he could eat as much as he wanted.

• It’s not a good idea to ignore the Marx Brothers. On one occasion, after producer Irving Thalberg had excused himself for a minute from a story conference with the Marx Brothers and then did not return, the Marx Brothers shoved file cabinets against Mr. Thalberg’s door so that he couldn’t enter his office. Another time, Mr. Thalberg left a meeting with the Marx Brothers in order to talk to someone else. When he returned, the Marx Brothers were sitting naked in his office, roasting potatoes in his fireplace. Mr. Thalberg laughed, then ordered butter to be brought to his office for the potatoes.

• Food can be hard to come by early in a career, even when someone becomes a major success later. Working as a model in Chicago, Halle Berry shared a one-bedroom apartment with many roommates. Most of whatever money they had went to pay the rent, leaving little for food. The women made do by going to bars that served free appetizers such as barbequed chicken wings. And when Ms. Berry moved to New York City to become an actress, she spent some nights sleeping in a homeless shelter.

• Comedian Joe E. Brown was born and grew up near Toledo, Ohio. While growing up, he was poor and sometimes hungry. His father was a honest house painter, which apparently was not a good thing to be in the winter. Mr. Brown remembers one winter when meat for the family’s supper depended on his father coming home each day with a rabbit he had hunted. The family used to eat lard sandwiches — lard spread on bread and sprinkled with salt.

• Movie stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon lived very close to each other as they grew up in Boston. Matt’s mother taught him how to cook — a fact that was not lost on other mothers. In fact, Ben’s mother tried to convince him to help out more around the house by telling him that Matt cooked twice a week for his family. Ben jokes, “I first knew him as a guy who was setting a really bad precedent in the neighborhood.”

• Thelma Todd was an attractive platinum-blonde comedian who appeared in 1930s movies with ZaSu Pitts and the Marx Brothers. Her boss, Hal Roach, wanted her to stay attractive, so her contract included a clause stating that she had to keep her weight to within five pounds of what it was when she signed her contract — otherwise, she would be fired. This was known as the “potato clause.”

• Laurel and Hardy created the most massive pie fight in history in their movie short Battle of the Century. To make the short, they bought one day’s production of the Los Angeles Pie Company — a total of 4,000 pies. The short used every pie. (Comedians need special skills. Silent film comedian Fatty Arbuckle was ambidextrous, and using either hand, he could hit a target 10 feet away with a pie.)

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

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Music Recommendation: Sallie Mae / Storeetellers — “Dirty Blues”

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC

Music: “Dirty Blues”

Album: THE ROYAL BAEBY

Artist: Sallie Mae / Storeetellers

Artist Location: California

Info: The second date is so much harder to get than the first.

THE ROYAL BAEBY is Storeetellers’ first full-length album. 

All songs written and arranged by Storeetellers

Mayra Cortez – Guitar and Vocals 
Richelle Banas – Drums and Vocals 
Lucia Mota – Bass and Vocals 
Briana Harley – Guitar and Vocals 

The video is of another song by the Storeetellers. America de la Torre wrote about the video, “My freind halana is in this but honestly this is the gayest thing ive seen.”

Note by Bruce: “If America de la Torre means this in a good way, she’s right.”

Price: $1 (USD) for song; $10 (USD) for 12-track album

Genre: Pop Punk, Punkpopabilly

Links:

Sallie Mae on Bandcamp

https://salliemay.bandcamp.com

THE ROYAL BAEBY

https://salliemay.bandcamp.com/album/the-royal-baeby