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29 July 2014

Getting a handle on scandal

Marilyn Monroe photo courtesy:
"It is the public scandal that offends; to sin in secret is no sin at all."
That may have been true when French playwright Molière offered his opinion in the 17th century.
That, however, was before today's "reality" shows on TV, which more and more seem to involve "contestants" in some state of undress or out-and-out nude (either looking for a wild berry lunch or poking a dead animal with a stick).  A popular ABC network TV drama even slices right through the dramatic nuance and titles itself Scandal.
That's scandalous, right?  Well, probably, but what's going on on television these days has nothing on what has gone on in Hollywood -- at least partially behind the scenes -- for decades.
I don't often jump up on a soapbox in this space, but I have two things to say about driving scandalous material like a revved-up speedboat to get ratings or for quick profit:
No. 1:  How dare them, and harumph!
No. 2:  Don't miss "Hollywood's Hot Movie Scandals," just one of my new Movie Memories presentations available for booking starting now.
You may think the juicy exploits of fictional scandalous folks on TV and the latest almost-non outfit flaunted about by hiney-slinging young semi-singers are bad.  Well, you'd be right about that.  And by the way, don't sue me, Miley Cyrus.  Of course I wasn't referring to you.
"Hollywood's Hot Movie Scandals" dives right into real dirt; turning over some rocks and turning the spotlight on questions like:
Was Marilyn Monroe married to the mob?  Did screen goddess Lana Turner kill a guy?  What about silent film star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle?  What really happened at a party in San Francisco where a young woman died?
And, perhaps you didn't know that the great Ingrid Bergman was once denounced on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
We'll cover all of that and more in "Hollywood's Hot Movie Scandals."
And since it's hot, the newest Movie Memories presentation deserves a special hot offer.  So here it is:  The first 10 groups that book "Hollywood's Hot Movie Scandals" between now and Aug. 15 will get a $25 discount. 
Hurry, though, you must book by Aug. 15 to take advantage of this special offer.  And please remember that this offer is limited to the first 10 bookingsSo call 214-364-7364 today!
By the way, check out our other new presentations, "Big Screen Dysfunctional Families," "Marlon Brando:  The Man Behind the Icon" and others, by clicking on the Presentations link here or above.

Sandra Bullock turns the big 5-0


The first time I met and interviewed Sandra Bullock she offered me a cookie.  And not just any cookie.
"Would you like a biscotti?" And she didn't say it like a prissy movie star who was too good for an Oreo or a Fig Newton, either.  Somehow when Bullock offered the twice-baked elongated Italian bread-like cookie, it was like she had just baked them in her own oven, which just happened to be in the house next door to mine.  And yours and everyone else in the U.S. of A.
Ms. Bullock, now an Oscar-winner for her tumbling, lost-in-space turn in Gravity last year, has had one of those birthdays with a zero in it.  In the old days -- say, oh, 10 years ago -- that might be it for a leading lady.
Meryl Streep, Bullock and others have shattered that glass ceiling to smithereens, though. recently posted a photo essay tribute to Bullock's hits and misses over her substantial career.  Click this link to take a visual trip through Bullock's hits and misses.
Oddly enough, though, the CNN folks left out Speed, the runaway 1994 hit that propelled America's cinematic sweetheart to fame.
If I remember correctly, my interview with Ms. Bullock for Speed is also where I enjoyed my first biscotti.

Trivial trivia, or games people play


Rico (Edward G. Robinson) is gunning for trouble in "Little Caesar." (
What better way to while away a little time, perhaps when the boss is away on one of those extended lunches, than with trivial pursuits, especially when they bring back classic movie memories.
That's why we've come up with the Movie Memories Movie Quote Quiz.  Check out our Movie Memories Facebook page ( or Twitter page (@moviememories1) every weekday for a snapply little cinematic brain teaser.  They range from the rediculously easy like "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" from Gone With the Wind to classic quotes that present a little more of a challenge.
On Tuesday (July 29), for instance, former Dallas Morning News film critic Philip Wuntch remembered that it was Edward G. Robinson as "Rico" Bandello who said, "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?" in the gangster classic Little Caesar (1930).
So, when you can spare a minute, give our little Movie Quote Quiz a try.  It's fun.  You might know more than you think you know.  To be fair, though, we ask that you work from memory only, and don't peek at the answer.  And, perhaps most importantly, no wagering.  Good luck!