Monthly Archives: June 2012
As if you didn’t know…. Psycho was Alfred Hitchcocks 1960 low budget (made for less than $1 million), black and white thriller starring Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins and a old creepy house. Inspired by the Ed Gein murders in the late 50’s and the book of the same name, Hitchcock made what was first thought of as a low budget one-off into a classic.
“Psycho” was covertly referred to as “Production 9401″ or “Wimpy” — the name Wimpy coming from cameraman, Rex Wimpy, who appeared on clapboards, production sheets, and studio stills. Cast and crew (Hitch borrowed his same crew from his TV series, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”) were forced to raise their right hand and sworn not to utter a word about the film. Hitchcock even guardedly withheld the climactic ending from the cast all the way up until it was actually shot
The racy-for-the-time Janet Leigh bra scenes had a definite meaning within the film. Prior to swiping the 40K for her lover, her bra is white– symbolizing innocence. After the robbery, the bra is black– symbolizing her crossing over to the dark side.
A young Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, the role that dogged him for the rest of his acting career. When asked decades later if he would have turned down the role in retrospect, he noted that he’d absolutely do it all over again.
The Bates’ house in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film “Psycho” was modeled after Edward Hopper’s 1925 oil painting “House by the Railroad”
Everywhere you turn is some kind of crap advertising, selling you something you don’t need, and muddying up the landscape. But every now and again some agency will go outside the norm and come up with something truly inspired – or at least unique. If you have to see a billboard for a movie, it’s better to have one that sprays blood all over the cars parked under it (Kill Bill) or giant car sized cardboard boxes left in the trash with no other information (Mini Cooper). With the advent of large scale printing we’ll probably be seeing more of these and they’ll undoubtedly become passe and a blight, but for now, these are pretty damn cool and pretty damn creative.
Paul Leonard Newman (January 26, 1925 – September 26, 2008) Paul Newman was one busy man and one cool son-of-a-bitch. Actor, director, race car driver, activist and salad dressing mogul (over $330 million to charity) – Paul didn’t sit still for long. Starting in 1956 with a small role in The Silver Chalice, it wasn’t ’til 1958 that he hit the big, big time with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – which he was nominated for best actor. The Hustler followed in ’61 (another nomination). The later ’60’s brought Cool Hand Luke (67) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (69). The 70’s was The Sting (73) and Slapshot (77). Things slowed down a bit for Paul in the 80’s and 90’s, taking supporting roles in the Coen Brothers Hudsucker Proxy and Sam Mendes’ Road to Perdition – focusing more on his charitable side and turning the brand Newmans Own into a huge business and continuing to drive race cars – what a guy. He also won his only Oscar in 1986 for Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money, reprising his Hustler role of pool shark, Fast Eddie Felson opposite Tom Cruise (of all people). Married for 50 years to Joanne Woodward, with 5 daughters (no small feat), Paul died in 2008 of lung cancer, leaving a legacy of great films, millions to charity and a strong family.
It’s common that famous people tend to bump into other famous people, but sometimes it’s hard to figure what exactly put these folks in the same room. Elvis and Nixon (Elvis offered his services as a drug expert and informer to the President), Michael Jackson and Benny Hill, David Bowie and Bing Crosby or Debby Harry and Andre the Giant. Ah, to be a fly-on-the wall for some of these meetings.
Irving Klaw (November 9, 1910 – September 3, 1966) Irving was an American photographer and film maker who operated a small mail-order business selling cheesecake photos and films from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. He started business as a distributor of movie stills and photos of the 40’s most famous stars. All the while he would got numerous requests for fetish, “Damsel-in-Distress” shots. Irving always willing to please, started shooting light bondage and spanking shots, along with his sister Paula, using mostly Burlesque dancers like the famous Blaze Starr, the wonderfully named Baby Lake and the beautiful Tempest Storm. Irving and Paula went to great pains to never shot any actual nudity or sex acts as this would land them firmly in prison.
In the 50’s Irving would turn his attentions to film and find his most famous model – Bettie Page. Irving made 3 films, Varietease (1954) Teaserama (1955), and Buxom Beautease (1956). Also during this period, Klaw set up weekend home-movie sessions where he produced scores of silent 8mm and 16mm black-and-white film loops. These featured striptease acts and an assortment of fetishistic subjects based on special requests from his clientele. Titles such as Riding the Human Pony Girl, Bondage in Leather Harness, and Booted Amazon Fights Again depicted women in skimpy lingerie and high heels engaging in elaborate bondage, cat-fights, and spanking. Still photos taken during the movie sessions were also sold at the store and in the biannual mail-order catalog Cartoon and Model Parade.
The Kefauver Hearings in 1957 effectively shut Irving down, lableing him as a degenerate pornographer. Irving closed shop and burned about 80% of his negatives. Paula saved as many as she could, and these are the photos available today. Irving died in 1966. Paula is still alive and kicking.