Archive for September, 2017

Marilyn and Robert Mitchum

This wonderful colour plate is from the 1954  F.Maurice Speed Film Review Annual NVS0459   Of Course this is a publicity still from River of No Return 1954 which starred these two and a young Tommy Rettig in that beautifully photographed film in very wide ‘CINEMASCOPE’  –  a format that I loved when viewed in the cinema. It doesn’t or certainly didn’t fit well with the Television screens though – and some were scanned to reshow which effectively meant cutting the ends of the screen off or focusing on the person talking on the screen but that was not wholly saticfactory. Tommy Rettig later that year appeared in another Cinemascope production this time ‘The Egyptian’ starring Victor Mature, Jean Simmons and Edmund Purdom.

Later in his film career, he appeared in 116 episodes of Lassie for Television. In fact he started making these from 1954 and this went right through to 1957. He played Jeff Miller in the series.

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Vera Miles – Some early details of her life and career

Vera Miles (Born August 23, 1929)

It was her 88th Birthday last month.

Vera Miles

This picture is taken from The Searchers which gave Vera Miles a really good part among some great film actors of the era – John Wayne and Ward Bond to name but two.

Vera Miles also appeared in a few of the finest films ever made: The Searchers, Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) and Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962).

A few facts we have come across :-

She was born on a farm near Boise City, Oklahoma, one of four children of Tom Ralston, a preacher-electrician, and his wife.

Then she moved with her family north to Kansas

Her father went off to Alaska, leaving his family behind, She  attended school in Pratt and Wichita, Kansas, and later worked at a pasteboard factory.She was crowned “Miss Kansas”, and then was placed third at the “Miss America” pageant in Atlantic City.

At the “Miss America” pageant, she was signed by RKO to a $125-a-week contract and brought to Hollywood in 1948, Howard Hughes then sent her to acting school. She then met and married  Robert J. Miles, Jr., a driver for Howard Hughes. When Hughes learned about it, he was very angry.  Hughes negotiated a deal that then sent her to 20th Century-Fox,  In 1949 She was dropped by 20th Century-Fox after only six months. In 1957 Bob Miles recalled: “After that, things got tough. I lost my job. Debts started to mount up. For a while, I went back to college, hoping to become a lawyer.  Our two daughters came along, and with more mouths to feed, things got even tougher.”  On 9 April 1950 her daughter Debra Lynn was born in Los Angeles, and later her daughter Kelley Frances  born in Los Angeles on 5 November 1952 . She will later become a TV actress and composer.

Vera Miles - On Set

Feb 1955 films Tarzan’s Hidden Jungle opposite Gordon Scott in Hollywood.  October 1955 columnist Louella Parsons writes: “What a compliment to blonde fast-zooming Vera Miles that she is the first actress ever to be put under personal contract by Alfred Hitchcock. November 1955 sees Vera get a trip to London for 23 Paces to Baker Street. “P.S. Gordon Scott who will be in London at the same time with the Tarzan and the Lost Safari company.”

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Ivanhoe 1952 – A much better picture

I knew that somewhere I had seen a large and clearer pictures of Paddy Ryan’s impressive and very dangerous stunt dive in the 1952 film Ivanhoe. As below :-

Stunt Dive in Ivanhoe 1952



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