Red River

some of the men of the cattle drive in Red River (1948) including Hank Worden in the vest and white shirt.  Hank was educated at Stanford and had 222 acting credits in his career, from an uncredited bit in Howard Hawks’ Barbary Coast (1935) through four episodes of the original Twin Peaks as an elderly bellhop at the Great Northern Hotel (1991-92).

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Red River

Nadine Groot is upset with Thomas Dunson’s behavior on the cattle drive and makes it known in a publicity still for Red River (1948).

Red River

John Wayne as Thomas Dunson is less than heroic in Red River (1948).

Red River

John Wayne and Coleen Gray as Fen in an autographed publicity photo for Red River (1948).  As Thomas Dunson prepares to take off, she asks him “What about the nights?”

Red River

Walter Brennan, John Wayne and Mickey Kuhn in Red River (1948).  Mickey was born in Waukegan, Illinois and turned 85 in Sept 2017.  Mickey had 32 acting credits in his career, from an uncredited bit in 1932 as a two year old, through three episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1957.  Mickey also had bit parts in Gone With the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire.

Red River

Montgomery Clift made his film debut in Red River (1948) but because of a lengthy post production, Monty’s second film, The Search, was the first to be released.

Red River

Howard Hawks gave Montgomery Clift a twig to chew on to give him something interesting during his scenes in Red River (1948).  He had a similar tactic for George Raft in Scarface (1932) who kept flipping a coin.

Red River

John Ireland as Cherry Valance in a publicity still for Red River (1948).  Howard Hawks did not like John’s behavior as filming began so he reduced the part, giving him only a minimum of screen time.

Red River

Joanne Dru out of costume as Tess Millay in a publicity photo for Red River (1948).

Red River

Thomas Dunson with his adopted son Matthew Garth and his man Friday Nadine Groot in a publicity still for Red River (1948)

A Song is Born

The back of this publicity still reads

Assisted by Danny Kaye the professors of classical music and a book of jazz. Benny Goodman tires to learn the intricacies of jazz in this scene from Samuel Goldwyn’s Technicolor comedy “A Song Is Born. ”  Seen are O.Z. Whitehead,  Danny, Hugh Hubert, J. Edward Bromber. Ludwig Stossel and Benny.  The film, which co-stars Danny and Virginia Mayo, is directed by Howard Hawks.

It must be a typo when Benny Goodman “tires to learn” and not “tries to learn” the intricacies of jazz.

And J. Edward Bromberg is misidentified as J. Edward Bromber.

 

A Song is Born


While A Song is Born (1948) is one of Howard Hawks’ four weak films, it is notable as his first film in color.  It was photographed by Gregg Toland who also photographed the original version, Ball of Fire (1942).  Check out the main Classic Hollywood and Beyond section for a great article on the great Toland.

http://howardhawks.com/gregg-toland-cinematographer-1904-1948/

A Song is Born

Virginia Mayo behind the scenes of A Song is Born (1948).  Virginia was one of the reasons for the weakness of the film.  Virginia was no match for Barbara Stanwyck as Sugarpuss O’Shea in the original Ball of Fire (1942).  The best Howard Hawks could do was to screen the original film and try to get Virginia to mimic Barbara.   Many other actresses would have brought more personality and spark to the role.

A Song is Born

unknown artist rendering of Benny Goodman, Danny Kaye and the other professors in A Song is Born (1948).  Despite their comic appearances, Howard Hawks said it was an altogether horrible experience.  Danny Kaye was going through an ugly divorce and stopped filming every day to meet with his psychiatrist, and Virginia Mayo was a poor choice for Sugarpuss O’Shea.

A Song is Born

Benny Goodman was nicknamed The King of Swing, helping to popularize the music trend that had been popular for a few years already by black musicians such as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Chick Webb and Fletcher Henderson.  Benny was born in Chicago and had 13 acting credits in his career from 1936 to A Song is Born in 1948, with a final acting gig on the tv series African Patrol (1958).