Mathew Brady Photographs Lincoln – The New York Times


50 Years since the filming of “Slaves” near Shreveport, Louisiana

Great post!

Stephen Boyd Blog

The threat that terrifies more than whipping or torture of any kind is the threat of being sent down river – Harriet Beecher Stowe


Fifty years ago in the later summer of 1968, a few months after the assassination of Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tennessee, a small film group gathered in Shreveport, Louisiana to start on what was considered at the time a civil rights project to portray slavery as it really was in the deepest part of the South.

It was August and the heat was sweltering. Two thousand locals in the Shreveport area – some of which were related to the actual slaves who had been part of the Witherspoon plantation more than 100 years ago  – turned up to be cast as extra or actors.

The site chosen by the producers, the old Witherspoon Plantation 20 miles south of Shreveport just past a read sign which…

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Is there any truth to the rumor that ants eat cows, people and crops?

Ask an Entomologist

If you’ve never read the short story Leiningen Versus the Ants by Carl Stephenson, it’s a read I highly recommend. It’s an interesting story about a plantation owner who has to defend his employees, his farm, and himself from a swarm of marauding ants. It’s considered a classic piece of American literature, and it’s been referenced in every peice of popular culture from MacGyver to Indiana Jones.

So what’s the deal with this story? Is it plausible? Do ants really eat cows, people, and crops?

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A is for ALDO RAY


I recently facinated viewed gruff speaking Aldo Ray in  pseudo noir picture NIGHTFALL (1957) Directed by Jacques Tourneur . The way this fellow moved with economy of motion, stood tall, and what was so important in pictures of that day is that he wore his clothes well. Ray never actually played football but he was a Navy frogman during World War two seeing action at Okinawa.  He went along to an audition with his brother Guido for a 1951 football film  SATURDAYS HERO.  Turned out that Director  David Miller was more interested in  him than his brother because of his raspy voice.  Ray got the role of a cynical college football player opposite  John Derek and Donna Reed in the Columbia Pictures production plus a exclusive contract inspite of having no acting experience. He was to appear in several films under his birth name of  Aldo DaRe.

Aldo Ray’s career…

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The Cinderella with the Husky Voice Owns Bogart in DEAD RECKONING (1947)

Once upon a screen...

Rip Murdock is ready for a fight when he walks into the Sanctuary Club in Gulf City. He couldn’t have done better if he’d thrown the first punch.   She catches him right between the eyes, the “Cinderella with the husky voice” who sits on a bar stool near him and asks for a Ramos Gin Fizz. We get a full introduction to Lizabeth Scott as Coral Chandler – starting from her legs and on up to a face made for close-ups – and we know Rip hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell.1

It was a twist of fate that led Captain Warren “Rip” Murdock to the Sanctuary Club that night. Two days before he’d been on a train to Washington with his buddy, Sergeant Johnny Drake who was to receive the Congressional Medal. Without warning Drake had jumped off the train and disappeared in Philadelphia causing Murdock to make…

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Fresh takes on retro pop culture

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

Being a blog for the observations of actor, author, comedian, critic, director, humorist, journalist, master of ceremonies, performance artist, playwright, producer, publicist, public speaker, songwriter, and variety booker Trav S.D.

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