Saturday, July 21, 2018

The 3rd Annual Hollywood Auction This Sunday

Tomorrow night, beginning at 8pm EST, Silverbanks Pictures will be hosting its third annual Hollywood Auction on eBay. For those of you who are not regular readers of Silver Scenes, Silverbanks Pictures is my sister and my home-based business, specializing in classic movie photos and other memorabilia.  This auction, our biggest of the year, will feature over 250 candids, stills, and publicity photos from the 1920s-1970s. 

We have a motley assortment of images this time around which include some rare candids of celebrities such as Betty Grable, Joan Crawford, and Cornel Wilde. The selection always changes and we never know what we will end up purchasing and later offering to the public via auction - but I think this year has some real gems hidden in the mix. 

If you would like to view all of the items going up on auction click here, other you can preview a small sample of what will be available to bid on simply by scrolling down below. 


Honor Blackman, Mervyn LeRoy, and Jean Seberg posing with Maria Cisternas after a publicity luncheon promoting "Moment to Moment"( 1966 )

Jill St. John is presenting an award to two unknown men in this 1960s publicity shot

John Fosythe and Lana Turner gaze into each other's eyes in this scene from "Madame X" ( 1966 )

William Eythe and Anne Baxter looking resplendent in a publicity photo for Lubitsch's "A Royal Scandal" ( 1946 )

Dorothy Lamour, for once, not pictured in a sarong!

James Stewart always had a passion for aviation. Here, he is talking with aviator Ben Howard and his wife Maxine "Mike", who was also an aviatrix. 

This looks like a scene from "The Third Man" but it's actually from "Journey into Fear" ( 1942 ). In case you didn't recognize him, that's Joseph Cotten pictured. 

A happy college foursome. Pictured are Bonita Granville, William Holden, Ezra Stone, and Judith Barrett. Stone was famous for being the voice of Henry Aldrich on radio and later, in the 1960s, he directed "The Addams Family" television series. 

Jack Carson, Janis Paige, Martha Vickers, and Dennis Morgan in "The Time, the Place, and the Girl" ( 1946 )

Joan Crawford is giving a big schmootz to a soldier before he heads off for Army training. 

The Searchers ( 1956 ) 

Susan Strasberg and Henry Fonda in "Stage Struck" ( 1958 )
Betty Grable with her two adorable girls, pictured off the set in 1955. 

Look how young Preston Foster looks here!

Jane Powell and Vic Damone looking great in Technicolor

Josef von Sternberg's The Last Command ( 1928 ) with Emil Jannings

That's Nelson Eddy singing with Jo Stafford ( egads, it's not Jeanette MacDonald! )

You'd never guess who this lovely woman is - it's the Madonna. She had only a brief appearance in "Ben-Hur" ( 1959 )

The Academy Award winning set design for "How Green Was My Valley" was created by Nathan Juran, who later became a director of Ray Harryhausen films. 

Roddy MacDowall and Lassie ( aka Pal ) in "Lassie Come Home" ( 1943 )

Lana Turner and Anthony Quinn talk behind the scenes during the making of "Portrait in Black" ( 1960 )

Bette Davis with Isreal Chas de Cruz and Frank Lloyd in the 1940s

Van Johnson and Sonja Henie went to the Ice Capades and ended up with the stars of the show asking for THIER autograph!
Dorothy Provine in London in the mid-1960s

Diana Lynn, looking pretty in this publicity photo for "The Kentuckian"

Chester Morris, on the RKO set, walking with a big grin on his face

Mickey Rooney as Huckleberry Finn ( 1939 )

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

Get a look at this pretty gentleman! He seems to be in shock wearing such a frock. If you look beneath the soot on his face you'll recognize this actor, who appeared in many, many, many movies...this film being a bit later in his career. 

As always, if you are not familiar with the rules to the Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie game or the prize, click here!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Nugget Reviews - 25

The Private Eyes ( 1980 )   14k 

Scotland Yard detectives, Inspector Winship and Dr. Tart, are hired to investigate the death of Lord and Lady Morley at their English mansion. One by one all of their suspects die off, leaving Winship and Tart to face the real killer. Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Trisha Noble, Bernard Fox. The Private Eye Partners. Directed by Lang Elliott.

Don Knotts and Tim Conway were teamed up for the first time in Disney's 1975 comedy The Apple Dumpling Gang and really "clicked" together. Knotts, who always played the sidekick to Andy on The Andy Griffith Show, did a wonderful job of switching to the straight man and allowing Conway to take the laughs. The Private Eyes is a bit on the wacky side but it has its moments of humor, especially in the running gags throughout the film. 


Blonde Fever ( 1944 ) 14k

A happily married couple who own a restaurant outside Reno finds their marriage on the rocks when a blonde bombshell who was hired as a waitress begins to split them apart. Mary Astor, Philip Dorn, Gloria Grahame, Marshall Thompson. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. Directed by Richard Whorf.

Gloria Grahame was making her film debut - along with Marshall Thompson - in this light-hearted comedy from MGM. With their performances, both of them steal the show from the pros Mary Astor and Philip Dorn. The story, which was based on a play, was tight and the film had its moments, but overall, it is quite forgettable and not up to MGM's usual standards when it comes to comedies. However, the great character actor Felix Bressart is in the movie, and his presence alone makes it worth watching!


Five Little Peppers and How They Grew ( 1939 ) 14k

The wealthy Mr. King wishes to buy out the poor Pepper family's 50% share in a copper mine he owns but once he gets to know the family better and comes to love them, he changes his mind and invites them to live with him in his mansion. Edith Fellows, Charles Peck, Tommy Bond, Clarence Kolb. Columbia Pictures. Directed by Charles Barton. 

This first entry in what was to become a four-film series about Margaret Sidney's Pepper family, is very unassuming and quite entertaining. It packs in quite a bit of plot in its 58-minute runtime. There is some youthful romance between the rich Mr. King's grandson Jaspar and Polly Pepper, a good deal of drama during a family bout with measles, and innocent humor from the children's activities - especially from Dorothy Ann Seese who was quite a scene-stealer. 


The Golden Blade ( 1953 ) Elect.

The young Harun enters Baghdad seeking information about the group of men who ransacked his tribe and murdered his father. In a quaint bazaar he purchases a magic sword and discovers that Fate has led him to aid the princess Khairuzan in order to discover the group he is after. Rock Hudson, Piper Laurie, Steven Geray, George MacReady. Universal Pictures. Directed by Nathan Juran. 

"Out of Bagdad's mystic past thunders the adventure of all ages!" So proclaims the poster to The Golden Blade. The screenwriter was banking on audiences ignorance of "Bagdad's mystic past" and decided to mix medieval and Mongolian ( ?) elements into the screenplay, making the film a pastiche of styles. Nathan Juran, an art director who would later direct the Ray Harryhausen classics The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and First Men in the Moon was just learning the ropes at this time so the film is rather bland in spots but not bad for a Sunday afternoon's viewing. 


The Pink Jungle ( 1968 ) 14k

A photographer and his model get stranded in the South American jungle when their pilot takes off without them. There, they meet an adventurer who talks them into buying a treasure map and hunting for diamonds with him. James Garner, Eva Renzi, George Kennedy, Nigel Green. Universal Pictures. Directed by Delbert Mann.  

The Pink Jungle is one of many fun adventure films that were released in the mid-late 1960s and it plays out like an American version of That Man from Rio with non-stop action and comedy. Oddly enough, it is little known today despite its great cast and witty script. James Garner was ideal for parts like this and should have made more similarly themed films. Eva Renzi, a real fashion model, and George Kennedy were also perfect. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

From the Archives: Watusi ( 1959 )

What wild beast could be lurking in the African bush? George Montgomery ( the "Great White Hunter" ) is on a safari with Taina Elg and David Farrar and a bevy of native carriers when they encounter a dangerous animal in MGM's Watusi ( 1959 ). This film gave the studio an opportunity to reuse footage - lots of it - from King Solomon's Mines ( 1950 ). 

From the Archives is our latest series of posts where we share photos from the Silverbanks Pictures collection. Some of these may have been sold in the past, and others may still be available for purchase at our eBay store :

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Johnny Tremain ( 1957 )

George Stevens and Frank Capra were two directors who really knew how to capture onscreen the essence of what being an American is all about. They made films about the love of one's hometown, one's family, about freedom and about helping one's neighbor. But when it comes to making films about American history, it is Walt Disney who deserves the accolades. His films sparked that pride we feel in being American and the thrill you get when you hear a stirring tale of American patriotism. 

Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, he brought many tales from American history textbooks to the motion picture screen - most of which were first adapted for television production, such as The Swamp Fox, Elfego Baca, Davy Crockett, and Johnny Tremain

Johnny Tremain was filmed as a two-part series for the Disney TV show, each segment lasting 40 minutes. Even though most people across the States had black-and-white television sets, Disney wanted the film to be shot in Technicolor so it could be issued in theatres as well. Since the production was so good, it ended up being released in theatres first - on July 4, 1957 - and then airing on television shortly after. 

Based upon Esther Forbe's 1943 novel of the same name, Johnny Tremain tells the story of an apprentice silversmith who comes to learn the true meaning of liberty and having "the rights of free men" through an encounter with some of America's founding fathers. The young lad finds himself wrongfully imprisoned for stealing a silver cup from a nobleman. He is touched when one of Boston's finest lawyers takes his case without fee, representing him solely for the sake of justice. It is then that he discovers that throughout Boston men are uniting throughout the city to fight against tyranny and injustice from the British. He joins these men, known as the Sons of Liberty, and helps take part in the Boston Tea Party and in the colonist's stand against British soldiers at Lexington Green. 
Actor Hal Stalmaster was a relative newcomer when Disney cast him as the lead character in Johnny Tremain. He has the same winsome ways about him as another Disney child-actor, Bobby Driscoll, but unfortunately, he only did a handful of other television productions ( including three episodes of The Swamp Fox ) before he retired from acting. Also in the cast is Richard Beymer, Whit Bissell, Sebastian Cabot, Jeff York ( as James Otis ), Luana Patten, Rusty Lane ( as Samuel Adams ) and Walter Sande ( as Paul Revere ). 

"Johnny Tremain is about the nameless, unsung patriots whose hunger for freedom made possible the independence that is enjoyed in America today." - Walt Disney

Walt Disney never watered down or changed the storylines of his films to make them more appealing to children. He knew that children would find them interesting if they could only relate to the main character and rightly so. Johnny Tremain unfolds at a slow pace but it is quite engrossing in spite of this and much of the credit for its entertainment can be attributed to the fine performances of all the actors and to director Robert Stevenson. This old British pro was making his debut with Disney studio and would go on to make 18 films for Disney over the next 20 years. 
Also contributing much to the production of Johnny Tremain was Peter Ellenshaw's beautiful matte paintings. These matte shots saved the studio unnecessary expenses and added a particularly charming touch to the film, making the scenes of historic Boston seem like a living painting. One scene in particular really stands out, that of the Liberty Tree in Old Boston aglow with lanterns hanging on its boughs. If you want to see a similar tree in person, complete with the lanterns, simply take a trip to Disney World, where within Liberty Square a 100-year old Liberty Tree proudly stands holding 13 lanterns to represent the original 13 colonies. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hollywood Home Tour: Dick Powell & June Allyson

After the Hollywood Home Tour bus broke down last season due to mechanical errors, the tour was canceled until further notice, but I'm happy to report it has been repaired and is ready to set off once again. Our bus driver, Al, will tell you more about where the Greyhound will be heading this summer.....

"Welcome, passengers! We are in for an exciting tour this season for not only will we be driving by the homes of some of the most famous movie stars, we'll also trek to the outskirts of Hollywood to see some of the ranches and larger estates of the stars. In a few moments, we will be heading west of Los Angeles to drive by one of these larger spreads, the 68-acre estate of crooner Dick Powell and his wife June Allyson, affectionately known as 'Junie'. 

"This estate is often called Amber Hills and is an enormous 12,000 square-feet in size. It was built in the early-1940s and has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a library, its own private lake, tennis courts, and acres of land for horses to roam. 

3100 Mandeville Canyon Road
"Here it is now, folks, coming up on your left. These are just the front gates, the driveway is a quarter of a mile long before you reach the house. It overlooks a canyon and Robert Taylor's equally large spread, which we'll be driving by soon as well. 

"Dick Powell is a hands-on kind of guy and he likes to remodel parts of the house, take apart the furniture to refinish it, or chop down the trees on the property for firewood. He often uses the workshop on the property. 

"June Allyson recalled that Dick Powell had driven her to the property and asked if it was too remote for her, 'Heavens, no', she replied, 'It's a nice community. How many people live here?' Powell's response, 'Just you and I, Junie. It's our 68 acres.'

Up-to-date Info: In 1962, Dick Powell and June moved to the Marie Antionette Apartments when effects from his lung cancer was getting the best of him. In the 1970s, the exterior of the house was used at the Harts property in the "Hart to Hart" television series. On June 25, 2018, the property went up on the market again - with a price tag of $35 million.  

Thursday, June 28, 2018

From the Archives: Moon Pilot ( 1962 )

Tom Tryon, actor and author, dons a space suit as he poses at Cape Canaveral for this 1962 publicity photo for Moon Pilot, Walt Disney's comedy about an astronaut who falls in love with a beautiful alien ( Dany Saval ).

From the Archives is our latest series of posts where we share photos from the Silverbanks Pictures collection. Some of these may have been sold in the past, and others may still be available for purchase at our eBay store :
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