Renée Adorée.

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Renee Adoree was born Jeanne de la Fontein in Lille, in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France on 30 September 1898.
Renee had what one could call a normal childhood. Her background is, perhaps, one of the most difficult to find information on any actress in existence. What we do know that her interest in acting surfaced during her teen years with minor stage productions in France.
By 1920, Renee had gained the notice of American producers and came to New York. Her first film before US audiences was The Strongest that same year.
That was to be it until 1921 when she appeared in Made In Heaven. Renee wondered if she had made the right move by going into motion pictures because of two minor roles in as many films.
Finally MGM saw fit to put her in more films in 1922. Movies such as West Of Chicago, Daydreams, Mixed Faces, and Monte Cristo saw her with meatier roles than she had had previously. Renee was, finally, hitting her stride.
Better roles to be sure, but still she was not of first class caliber yet. All that changed in 1925 when she starred as Melisande with John Gilbert in The Big Parade. The picture made stars out of Renee, Gilbert, and Karl Dane.
Based on the films success, Renee was put in another production that same year in Excuse Me. It lacked the drama the previous picture but was well-received. In a plot written by Elinor Glyn, Renee starred as Suzette in Man and Maid (1925).
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This was Renee’s most provocative role yet and she was fast becoming one of the sexiest actresses on the screen. In 1927, Renee starred as Nang Ping in Mr. Wu along with her sister Mira. The film was a hit with co-stars Ralph Forbes and Lon Chaney, but it was Renee’s character which carried the film.
After several more films, her career was slowing down. She appeared in a bit part in Show People later that year. The following year she had an uncredited bit role in His Glorious Night.
Re-discovered by First National Pictures after being released by MGM, she appeared in The Spieler (1928) where she was a struggling carnival manager trying to overcome the dishonesty that went on in her organization. Ill with tuberculosis, she retired.
Less than a week after her 35th birthday, Renee died in Tujunga, California on October 5, 1933.
– IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson
via Renée Adorée – Biography – IMDb.

Before Bond, Sean Connery Finished Third in Mr. Universe Competition, 1953.

Sean Connery began bodybuilding at the age of 18, and from 1951 trained heavily with Ellington, a former gym instructor in the British army.
While his official website claims he was third in the 1950 Mr. Universe contest, most sources place him in the 1953 competition, either third in the Junior class or failing to place in the Tall Man classification.
Connery stated that he was soon deterred from bodybuilding when he found that the Americans frequently beat him in competitions because of sheer muscle size and, unlike Connery, refused to participate in athletic activity which could make them lose muscle mass.
In his early 20s after he had returned to Edinburgh from a three-year stint in the Royal Navy, Connery had worked through a succession of dead end jobs and had enrolled at a gym on the Royal Mile when he was selected by the college for life classes.
Connery was one of a group of models from a weightlifting club. He followed one of his friends who had started modelling at the college and had then got his friends involved.
Former art student John Houston, one of a talented group of students, told The Times: “It was a paid job and most of them stayed for six months or a year.
They would be involved in day classes twice a week, holding the same pose and working from 9.30am until 4.00pm.I vaguely remember drawing Connery, but he made no great impression.
Soon afterwards, Connery moved to London to pursue the acting career in which he would be cast as James Bond in Dr No, which was released in 1962.
Source: Before He Was Bond, Sean Connery Once Finished Third in Mr. Universe Competition in 1953 ~ vintage everyday

Dennis Hopper, 24 October 1982.

When the actor and director came to London to promote his film The Last Movie,
Philip French spoke to him and Jane Bown caught the moment on camera.
Photograph: Jane Bown/The Observer
This article, entitled At long last – the Last Movie by Philip French, was published in the Observer on 24 October 1982.
Dennis Hopper has been in London to introduce The Last Movie, the picture he directed and starred in.
It won the first prize at the 1971 Venice Festival and was then withdrawn from distribution by Universal Studios after being panned by American critics.
After a legal battle lasting several years, Hopper gained possession of his film, and can now show what is perhaps the best-known unseen picture of the past 20 years wherever he wishes. It opens at the ICA on Thursday.
Hopper’s appearance belies his reputation as the Hollywood outsider who carried on rebelling both with and without a cause after the death of his friend James Dean. “Maybe I once did try living up to people’s preconceptions of Dennis Hopper after a few drinks,” he remarks, taking another sip of Perrier, the strongest thing he touches now.
The young of present day America, as conformist as the Eisenhower years against which he first rebelled, tend to see him “as something BC – you know, before computers.
”He’s a lean, clean-shaven man in a green rugby shirt, with neatly trimmed greying hair peeping from under the beige fedora he wears indoors and out.
A pair of large sad grey eyes look very directly at you as he talks of a career that goes back 30 years.
Continue reading via Source: Observer picture archive: Dennis Hopper, 24 October 1982 | From the Observer | The Guardian

Disney and the Myth of Lemming Suicide 1958.

lemmingLemmings do not commit mass suicide. It’s a myth, but it’s remarkable how many people believe it. Ask a few.
“It’s a complete urban legend,” said state wildlife biologist Thomas McDonough. “I think it blew out of proportion based on a Disney documentary in the ’50s, and that brought it to the mainstream.”
Lemmings are a kind of short tailed vole, a mouse-like rodent that favors tundra and open grasslands.
Three kinds are found in Alaska, including the collared lemming, the only rodent that turns white in winter.
In 1958 Walt Disney produced “White Wilderness,” part of the studio’s “True Life Adventure” series. “White Wilderness” featured a segment on lemmings, detailing their strange compulsion to commit mass suicide.
According to a 1983 investigation by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation producer Brian Vallee, the lemming scenes were faked.
The lemmings supposedly committing mass suicide by leaping into the ocean were actually thrown off a cliff by the Disney filmmakers.
The epic “lemming migration” was staged using careful editing, tight camera angles and a few dozen lemmings running on snow covered lazy-Susan style turntable.
“White Wilderness” was filmed in Alberta, Canada, a landlocked province, and not on location in lemmings’ natural habitat.
There are about 20 lemming species found in the circumpolar north – but evidently not in that area of Alberta. So the Disney people bought lemmings from Inuit children a couple provinces away in Manitoba and staged the whole sequence.
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In the lemming segment, the little rodents assemble for a mass migration, scamper across the tundra and ford a tiny stream as narrator Winston Hibbler explains that,
“A kind of compulsion seizes each tiny rodent and, carried along by an unreasoning hysteria, each falls into step for a march that will take them to a strange destiny.”
That destiny is to jump into the ocean. As they approach the “sea,” (actually a river -more tight cropping) Hibbler continues, “They’ve become victims of an obsession — a one-track thought: Move on! Move on!”
The “pack of lemmings” reaches the final precipice. “This is the last chance to turn back,” Hibbler states. “Yet over they go, casting themselves out bodily into space.”
via Lemming Suicide Myth, Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The Story of the Universal Classic Monsters.

The Inner Sanctum Mysteries of radio were adapted to film in the 1940s

The Inner Sanctum was a popular radio program which portrayed mysteries, often in a camp production, and was often hosted by a horror movie star.

Many of the actors famous for portraying Universal’s Classic Monsters appeared on the program, as hosts and as stars in the production. Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney and others joined stars like Frank Sinatra, Richard Widmark, Orson Welles, and Burgess Meredith.

Over 500 episodes were broadcast, each announced by the signature sound of a creaking door slowly opening before the voice over began.

In the 1940s six films were produced by Universal Studios under the Inner Sanctum series, all of which featured Lon Chaney.

The first of the series, Calling Doctor Death, was filmed in just three weeks on the Universal lot, and all six of the series were low-budget attempts to cash in on Chaney’s popularity as the ‘Wolf Man’, as well as the popularity of the radio series and the books on which the former was based.

Marketed as “An Inner Sanctum Mystery” the six films were made in just under two years, with the result of further damaging Lon Chaney’s career as suited for only the types of horror films being made on the Universal lot.

Although the title was E. A. Poe’s and his name figured prominently in the publicity, there was little of his story in the script.

Source: The Story of the Universal Classic Monsters

Cult Horror Flicks invade Paris.

golem13-monstres-paris-2When the worst nightmares from cult horror movies invade the streets of Paris!
A nice series of photographs created by Golem13 for Halloween, which features the famous monsters of cinema in different places of the capital, from Alien to Jason through Shining, Chucky or The Ring.

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See more Images via When famous horror movies invade Paris | Ufunk.net.