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Hudson ON TCM ALL MONTH LONG in...June with "Rock Hudson on TCM...
In 1948, Rock Hudson needed 38 takes to get out his one line in his debut film, Fighter Squadron. A decade later he would find himself nominated for a Best Actor Oscar® and offered one of the most sought-after roles of the late 1950's. Almost thirty years later, after years of successful films, a hit television series and surprising move to the stage, he became the first celebrity to publicly acknowledge that he had contracted the HIV virus, giving AIDS a human face for millions of Americans.
Hudson was born Roy Scherer, though his legal surname became Fitzgerald when his stepfather adopted him. He always thought of himself as Roy, even at the height of his stardom. But if he didn't take his screen name seriously, he was committed enough to his career to keep his homosexuality hidden until just before his death. He even married briefly in the '50s, to his agent's secretary, Phyllis Gates, to maintain the proper heterosexual façade. But the strain still showed, as he smoked and drank excessively throughout most of his career, even asking for a cigarette as he was recovering from quadruple bypass surgery in the '80s.
Whatever his personal issues, Hudson had a golden touch on-screen, projecting an image of the all-American boy that easily fit into action films, high-octane romances and surprisingly sophisticated comedies. All of that was a dream come true for the Illinois boy who had attended the same high school as Ralph Bellamy, Charlton Heston and Ann-Margret. Young Roy Fitzgerald began dreaming about movie stardom while working as an usher at a local film theatre. Yet his memory was so poor that he couldn't even score a small role in a high school play.
After the war, Roy came to Hollywood and hung out at studio gates hoping to get noticed. Eventually he was, by famous (some would say infamous) Hollywood agent Henry Willson, the man who "invented" such beefcake stars as Guy Madison and Tab Hunter. Willson sent him for acting lessons, got his teeth capped and gave him a new name, inspired by the Rock of Gibraltar and the Hudson River. Then he got Hudson a contract at Universal Pictures, where he started honing his talents with supporting roles in films like the adult western Winchester '73 (1950) and post-war drama Bright Victory (1951). Hudson got top billing for the first time in the 1953 western The Lawless Breed and continued to thrive in undemanding roles designed to show off his chiseled profile and 6', 4" frame. Still, he was developing a following that helped him stand out from other contract players like Jeff Chandler and the young Clint Eastwood.
During those early years, Hudson worked twice with director Douglas Sirk, on Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952) and the ludicrous Taza, Son of Cochise (1954). Sirk was one of the first to realize that the camera was in love with Hudson. For his next film, a remake of the classic weeper Magnificent Obsession (1954), Sirk fought to cast Hudson as the millionaire playboy who discovers inner strength after his careless actions cause the death of a philanthropist and blind the man's widow. With Jane Wyman cast opposite him, Hudson scored his first major hit, shooting to stardom seemingly overnight. He and Sirk would reunite three more times, for All That Heaven Allows (1955), again with Wyman; Written on the Wind (1956), co-starring Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone; and The Tarnished Angels (1958), with Malone and Stack.
Following is the link to...
The Third Man (Rialto, R-1999). 50th Anniversary One Sheet (27" X 39"). Film Noir.
Starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee, Paul Horbiger, Ernst Deutsch, Siegfried Breuer, Erich Ponto and Wilfrid Hyde-White. Directed by Carol Reed.
An unrestored poster that appears virtually unused. Closer inspection may reveal one or two minor flaws, such as small pinholes, or light edge wear. Please see full-color, enlargeable image below for more details. Rolled, Very Fine/Near Mint.
[THIS POSTER SOLD FOR $18.00]
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Ex-boxer Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) earns an inconsequential living working for waterfront crime boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb). But when he unwittingly lures a rebellious dockworker to his death, Malloy suffers pangs of guilt. Through the love of Edie Doyle (Eva Marie Saint), the murdered man's sister, and the support of Father Barry (Karl Malden), a crime-fighting priest, Terry finds the moral courage to stand up to Friendly and his goons and accept the violent consequences of his decision.
Producer: Sam Spiegel
Director: Elia Kazan
Screenplay: Budd Schulberg, from articles by Malcolm Johnson
Cinematography: Boris Kaufman
Art Direction: Richard Day
Editing: Gene Milford
Original Music: Leonard Bernstein
Principal Cast: Marlon Brando (Terry Malloy), Karl Malden (Father Barry), Lee J. Cobb (Johnny Friendly), Rod Steiger (Charley "The Gent" Malloy), Pat Henning (Timothy J. "Kayo" Dugan), Leif Erickson (Glover, Crime Commission), James Westerfield (Big Mac).
Why ON THE WATERFRONT is Essential
"The finest thing ever done by an American film actor" was how director Elia Kazan has characterized the performance of Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront (1954), the classic tale of crime and corruption among unionized dock workers in New York and New Jersey. Brando plays Terry Malloy, a washed-up boxer turned longshoreman who witnesses a murder arranged by a union boss and agrees to testify before the Crime Commission.
Kazan, in developing the film from Malcolm Johnson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning articles, originally asked playwright Arthur Miller to write the screenplay. When Miller refused, reportedly because of Kazan’s testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee that had implicated others as Communist sympathizers, Kazan turned to novelist/screenwriter Budd Schulberg, who also had "named names" for the Committee. Brando later wrote in his autobiography, Songs My Mother Taught Me, that On the Waterfront "was really a metaphorical argument" by Kazan and Schulberg: "They made the film to justify finking on their friends. Evidently, as Terry Malloy, I represented the spirit of the brave, courageous man who defied evil."
Frank Sinatra, who had been Kazan’s original choice to play Terry, sued producer Sam Spiegel for breach of contract after Brando was cast instead, and retained bitter feelings for Brando that surfaced when the two co-starred a year later in Guys and Dolls (1955) - with Brando once again in a role that Sinatra coveted. Kazan had considered Grace Kelly and Rosemary Clooney for the role eventually filled by Saint in her film debut. Rod Steiger, who played Terry’s weasel-like brother, shares Brando’s famous "I coulda been a contender" scene in the taxicab. Steiger also felt a certain bitterness toward Brando because the latter bolted from the set when his portion of that scene was completed, leaving Steiger to play his close-ups to a stand-in.
On the Waterfront won eight Oscars - for Best Picture, Director (Kazan), Actor (Brando), Supporting Actress (Saint), Screenplay (Schulberg), Black-and-White Cinematography, Art Direction/Set Decoration and Editing. No less than three of the film’s supporting actors -Cobb, Steiger and Karl Malden, as a priest - were nominated, but the Oscar in that category went to Edmond O’Brien for The Barefoot Contessa. Leonard Bernstein also was nominated for the film’s score, his first. Kazan’s testimony for the HUAC remained a controversial issue in 1998, when he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Oscar.
by Roger Fristoe and Scott McGee
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