Monday, November 29, 2010
By now, most of you heard that Leslie Nielsen died. One of the all-time great comedic performers. But you may not have heard about Irvin Kershner's death. Kershner was an old-hand when he took the reigns of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK in the early 80s. This is without doubt the greatest film in the Star Wars franchise.
And for those with a keen eye, you'll recognize that Empire is also a terrific Noir -- a jaded hero, double crosses, and the bad guys win. Not surprising since Kershner also directed the classic STAKEOUT ON DOPE STREET in the '50s about some hooligans who find a heroin stash.
For more go here.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
INFAMOUS some time back and have moved onto new books, I'm still kind of obsessed with the "Machine Gun" Kelly story and some of the side characters who've been lost to history.
Last week, I just stumbled across more images of my favorite character in the tale -- 12-year-old Geraline Arnold. Many readers have written me about Geraline, saying there was no way she was real. Most people think I based her on the Tatum O'Neal character from Paper Moon.
While there are a lot of similarities, Geraline was certainly a real person and did in fact play the biggest role in sending Public Enemy #1 to Alcatraz. As you may recall, she was the daughter of Luther and Flossie Mae Arnold, a couple of Dust Bowl farmers picked up by Kathryn Kelly after the Urschel ransom drop.
I've uploaded a few more rare photos of the players -- including a great shot of Kathryn playing the piano in the Big House and Kathryn and her family during the trial in Oklahoma City.
Speaking of Oklahoma City, I just returned from OK City recently for a fund raiser for the Trinity School. As always, I had a terrific time. I've never been treated better in any city and I look forward to many more returns for future books. More soon and happy Thanksgiving -- Ace
Photo of letter sent by George and Kathryn Kelly during the first Urschel kidnapping trial in 1933.
Photo of Kathryn -- seated second from left -- between her sister-in-law, mother and stepfather -- Boss Shannon. The man standing is their elderly attorney -- one of the only people who'd take their case.
Photo of Kathryn after being sentenced to the Big House. I wonder what tune she's playing. Below is another shot of Geraline Arnold. A pretty smart 12-year-old. My favorite character in the Kelly story.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Master a genre in just a handful of films
Playing out like a guns-blazing origin story for every jailhouse drama and prison-break thriller out there, the heist movie is a thread you can pick all the way back to Hollywood’s golden age. Filled with tough guys, grasping palookas, dime-a-dance dames, double-crossing fences and shady masterminds, they cut us adrift in murky worlds where good and bad are often interchangeable. Thanks to minds as devious and elastic as Goldfinger, Gruber and Cobb, great caper movies have given us a few pointers on honing the ultimate raid. Should you ever decide to take down the Bank of England - and we’re not recommending it – here’s our ten-step homework guide to mastering this most noir-tinged of genres and avoiding common pitfalls…CLICK HERE!!!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
story today on mtv.com about the second episode.
Monday, November 1, 2010
For regular readers, you're pretty much used to my obsession with old Hollywood. I find the history and the characters absolutely fascinating. One of the best experiences of my career as a novelist was working on DEVIL'S GARDEN. The research into Roscoe Arbuckle and the early days of Paramount was not only an insight into the early days of the film business, but also how we as a culture have become consumed by Hollywood.
Tonight is the first part of MOGULS & MOVIE STARTS -- "Peepshow Pioneers" -- on TCM. Really looking forward to this . . . for more check out this story on the documentary or the amazing Moguls & Movie Stars site from Turner Classic Movies.
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