Hollywood has had it’s fair share of romantic couples who graced the silver screen with their immaculate presence and larger than life personalities, but the world was about to be conquered when Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, two unparalleled individuals who were already at the top of their zenith, created a sizzling on-screen partnership that has now made motion picture history.

Both stars are legendary figures, and while they made nine movies together, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn endured successful solo careers, appearing in a wide array of blockbusters alongside the greatest stars Hollywood has ever produced.

Tracy and Hepburn welcomed audiences into their idyllic lifestyles that they created for themselves on-screen, and the wonderful Margaret Perry, the instrumental force behind The Great Katharine Hepburn blog, has invited fans to join her in honoring Katharine Hepburn with previous blogathons, but now it is my turn to shine the spotlight on both stars who continue to enthrall millions worldwide with their ingenious trail of artistry that they left behind.

With Margaret Perry’s blessing and full approval, it is with great pleasure that I am hosting this blogathon dedicated to both Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, two of my personal favorites from Hollywood’s constellation of stars.

Many of you might be wondering why I am hosting this blogathon in October? Well, the answer is simple. I couldn’t wait for the birth dates, death dates or other prominent dates of either stars, but both Kate and Spence are special enough to be honored on any day of the year.



1. This blogathon is not just restricted to the nine films that Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn made together. Bloggers are welcome to write about any film that either Katharine or Spencer appeared in, or any topic relating to either Tracy or Hepburn.

2. Since I am generous, I am allowing no more than two duplicates. Both Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn had an illustrious career that consisted of a long resume of acting credits, so there is no reason why everybody should write about the same topic. I only ask that you send me your posts during the days of the blogathon.

3. When: The blogathon will be held on October 15th, to October 18th, so please send me your articles on any of these dates.

4. To express your interest in participating in the blogathon, leave a comment on my blog, along with the name and URL of your blog, and the subject you wish to cover, or you can always register by email at: For those of you who wish to register by email, please be sure to include the name and URL of your blog, and the topic you wish to cover. Once you get confirmation, please spread the word about this blogathon by advertising the event on your blog. Below are a few banners, so grab yourself a banner, and let’s all open to the window to Spencer and Kate’s genius.

picmonkey_image (2)

picmonkey_image (3)

picmonkey_image (4)

picmonkey_image (6)

picmonkey_image (7)

picmonkey_image (5)


In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood: The complete filmography of Katharine Hepburn.

Thoughts All Sorts: Rooster Cogburn ( 1975 )

Maddy Loves Her Classic Films: Adam’s Rib ( 1949 )

Love Letters To Old Hollywood: Woman Of The Year ( 1942  ) & Holiday ( 1938 )

The Shelly Blog: Early Spencer Tracy romantic comedies.

The Midnight Drive-In: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner ( 1967 )

Real Weegie Midget Reviews: On Golden Pond ( 1981 )

A Shroud Of Thoughts: Bad Day At Black Rock ( 1955 )

The Dream Book Blog: Long Day’s Journey Into Night ( 1962 )

The Stop Button: Desk Set ( 1957 )

Cinema Cities: Pat and Mike ( 1952 )

In The Vintage Kitchen: Katharine Hepburn Vintage Dinner & The Philadelphia Story ( 1940 )

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: Holiday ( 1938 ) & Woman Of The Year ( 1942 )

Taking Up Room: Boys Town ( 1938 ), Pat and Mike ( 1952 ) , The Spencer Tracy Legacy, hosted by Katharine Hepburn ( 1986 ) & Men Of Boys Town ( 1941 )

Moon In Gemini: Father Of The Bride ( 1950 )

Sat In Your Lap: San Francisco ( 1936 ) & Adam’s Rib ( 1949 )

Wolffian Classic Movies Digest: Keeper Of The Flame ( 1943 )

Old Hollywood Films: Kate & Spence Literary Classics: Little Women ( 1933 ) and Captains Courageous ( 1937 )

Life With Books & Movies: On Golden Pond ( 1981 )

Cinematic Scribblings: The Lion In Winter ( 1968 )

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies: TBD, but at this stage a top ten list.

Lauren Champkin: Father Of The Bride ( 1950 )

The Hitless Wonder Movie Blog: State Of The Union ( 1948 )

DB Movies Blog: The Philadelphia Story ( 1940 )

The Flapper Dame: Test Pilot ( 1938 )

Le Cinema Dreams: Spencer Tracy in “The Actress” ( 1953 )

Finding Franchot: Quality Street ( 1937 )

Christina Wehner: The African Queen ( 1951 )

I Found It At The Movies: Bad Day At Black Rock ( 1955 )

Critica Retro: The Spencer Tracy Legacy, hosted by Katharine Hepburn.

Classic Movie Treasures: Without Love ( 1945 )

Goose Pimply All Over: Desk Set ( 1957 )

Linda Sandahl: Captain’s Courageous ( 1937 )

The Divine Miss Hepburn: Bringing Up Baby ( 1938 )

Karavansara: The Iron Petticoat ( 1956 )

Blogferatu: Suddenly Last Summer ( 1959 )

Movies Screen Life: Summertime ( 1955 ) & State Of The Union ( 1948 )

Second Sight Cinema: Stage Door ( 1937 )

Silver Screenings: Dear Katharine Hepburn. Katharine Hepburn tribute post.

Anybody Got A Match: 20,000 Years In Sing Sing ( 1932 )

Silver Screen Modes: Katharine Hepburn & Walter Plunkett, a working relationship.

Movies Meet Their Match: A Delicate Balance ( 1973 )

Cinema Monolith: The Seventh Cross ( 1944 )

Classic Stars: A Review: Kate and Kathy: From aunt and niece to mother-daughter duo.

Charlene’s Mostly Classic Movie Reviews: Inherit The Wind ( 1960 )

Prince Of Hollywood: Morning Glory ( 1933 )

The Story Enthusiast: Sylvia Scarlett ( 1935 )

The Wonderful World Of Cinema: Libeled Lady ( 1936 )

Liza Trevino: Bringing Up Baby ( 1938 )

Diary Of A Movie Maniac: Love Among The Ruins ( 1975 )

Vinnieh Movie Reviews: The African Queen ( 1951 ) & Broken Lance ( 1954 )

The Blonde Screwball: Morning Glory ( 1933 )

Hometowns To Hollywood: Spencer Tracy’s early years and hometown.



Flynn, Errol (Charge of the Light Brigade, The)_04

Today is a big day for Hollywood living legend, Dame Olivia de Havilland, who is celebrating her 101st birthday in Paris. To celebrate the special occasion, Laura from Phyllis Loves Classic Movies and myself from In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood are hosting the Second Annual Olivia de Havilland Blogathon, which commences today and continues on until Monday July 3rd.

During the course of the next few days several notable bloggers from the classic film blogasphere are joining us to pay tribute to this unparalleled actress who conquered the world with her ingenious trail of artistry.

It is in honor for both of us to be hosting this blogathon again, and as always we look forward to reading your entries. A big thank you to those of you who are taking the time to participate.

Olivia and Errol Banner 4


Maddy Loves Her Classic Movies: Dodge City ( 1939 )

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies: My journey with Olivia.

Taking Up Room: Gone With The Wind ( 1939 )

Love Letters To Old Hollywood: Cry Wolf ( 1947 )

Musings Of A Classic Film Addict: Dodge City ( 1939 )

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: The Strawberry Blonde ( 1941 )

The Stop Button: The Adventures Of Robin Hood ( 1938 )

Hamlette’s Soliloquy: Santa Fe Trail ( 1940 )

The Wonderful World Of Cinema: Top ten Olivia de Havilland movies.

Life With Books & Movies: To Each His Own ( 1946 )

The Dream Book Blog: The Heiress ( 1949 )

Critica Retro: It’s Love I’m After ( 1937 )

Sat In Your Lap: It’s Love I’m After ( 1937 )

Sat In Your Lap: Gentleman Jim ( 1942 )

Real Weedgie Midget Reviews: The Swarm ( 1978 )

Old Hollywood Films: Captain Blood ( 1935 )

Movies Meet Their Match: The Adventures Of Robin Hood ( 1938 )



After months of eagerly awaiting for this event to arrive, I am euphoric to say that the Judy Garland Blogathon has now arrived, and will be continuing through to Judy’s birthday on June 10th.

During the course of the next few days a plethora of bloggers will be paying tribute to Judy Garland and her illustrious career by writing about all facets of her life. A big thank you to all participants. I look forward to reading all the entries.

judy blogathon banner 1

Before I delve into things further, I must say that I have been suffering from a continuous bout of violent migraine attacks for the past week, and after consulting with the doctor for the second time in the past week today, I am being sent to the emergency ward at the hospital very soon. However, my brother Jarrahn has got access to my blog, and will be relieving me during my absence. As Jarrahn will be in charge of things while I’m away, he will be adding today’s entries onto the roster as they come in, and will be thanking you all individually. I should be back tomorrow for day two of the blogathon. Until then, happy Judy blogging to everyone.



Caftan Woman: Thoroughbred’s Don’t Cry ( 1937 )

Thoughts All Sorts: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas song from Meet Me In St Louis

Maddy Loves Her Classic Films: The Clock ( 1945 )

Taking Up Room: A Portrait In Art and Anecdote book 

The Stop Button: The Wizard of Oz ( 1939 )

Love Letters to Old Hollywood: A Star is Born ( 1954 )

Big V Riot Squad: Judy Garlands first movie The Big Review ( 1929 )

Taking up Room: Mick and Joots

Reel Weedgie Midget Reviews: Life With Judy Garland: Me and my Shadows ( 2001 )

The Flapper Dame: A Star is Born ( 1954 )

Katy Rochelle: For me and my Gal ( 1942 )

Silver Scenes: Listen Darling ( 1938 )

Critica Retro: Judy and Liza

Chars Movie Reviews: Meet Me in St Louis ( 1944 )

Wolffian Classic Movies Digest: Judy Garland a vaudevillian legend of the screen

Life’s Daily Lessons Movie Blog: The Pirate ( 1948 )

Taking Up Room: Judy’s homes

The Dream Book Blog: Judy and Marlene Dietrich

Love letters to old Hollywood: Gay Puree ( 1962 )

I found it at the Movies: Easter Parade ( 1948 )

Christina Wehner: Girl Crazy ( 1943 )

Champagne for Lunch: The Harvey Girls ( 1946 )

LA Explorer: Presenting Lily Mars ( 1943 )

The Wonderful World of Cinema: A Child is Waiting ( 1963 )





I’m proud to announce that for the third consecutive year the blogathon that is dedicated to the illustrious theatrical family known as the Barrymore’s is back.


Two years ago when this event first commenced, a constellation of bloggers coalesced together to pay tribute to the Barrymore siblings, and made it a triumphant success. Last year the blogathon was well received, and this year I’m hoping for even better results.


 Anyone that knows me would know that I’m a Barrymore enthusiast. I have always marveled over the talents of this prominent theatrical family who have graced the stage and screen with their versatile acting ability and unique artistry that has been showcased since before the birth of cinema and right up to the present day.

Ethel Barrymore was born on August 15th, 1879, so in commemoration of what would have been her 137th Birthday, I’m paying tribute to Ethel and her family by hosting my third blogathon dedicated to the Barrymore’s.


1. Bloggers are enabled to write about any film or subject relating to any member of the Barrymore family. The Barrymore’s are a long linage of show business personalities, so it’s only fair that I include the whole family, starting from Louisa Lane Drew, and continuing on to the present day with Drew Barrymore.

To get your juices flowing, here is a list of the Barrymore’s that bloggers are allowed to write about or write about films that star any of these names:

Ethel Barrymore, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Drew Barrymore, Louisa Lane Drew, John Drew Barrymore ( John’s son ), Georgina Drew, Maurice Barrymore, Sidney Drew, John Drew, Diana Barrymore or Ethel’s children, Samuel, Ethel and John.

2. Due to the diversity of the subject matter, I will be allowing no more than two duplicate entries. There are a wide range of topics or films to go around, and remember, you can write about any member of this illustrious family.

3. To express your interest in participating in the blogathon, please leave a comment on my blog along with the name and URL of your blog, and the topic you choose to write about, or if you wish to register by email, my email is: Once you get confirmation, please spread the word about this blogathon by advertising the event on your blog. Below are a few banners, so grab yourself a banner, and get ready to join the Barrymore party.

trilogy banner

trilogy banner 3

trilogy banner 1

trilogy banner 4

download (22)


In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood: Grand Hotel ( 1932 )

The Wonderful World Of Cinema: Dinner At Eight ( 1933 )

Thoughts All Sorts: Never Been Kissed ( 1999 )

Taking Up Room: Lionel Barrymore on the radio, Ever After ( 1998 ) & Marie Antoinette ( 1938 )

Caftan Woman: Ah Wilderness ( 1935 )

Charlene’s Mostly Classic Movie Reviews: Twentieth Century ( 1934 )

Love Letters To Old Hollywood: You Can’t Take It With You ( 1938 )

Musings Of A Classic Film Addict: Svengali ( 1931 )

Real Weedgie Midget Reviews: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial ( 1982 )

Vintage Ink Stand: Young At Heart ( 1955 )

Sat In Your Lap: The Great Man Votes ( 1939 )

The Midnight Drive In: Firestarter ( 1984 )

Critica Retro: A Free Soul ( 1931 )

The Stop Button: Captain’s Courageous ( 1937 )

Wolffian Classic Movies Digest: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial ( 1982 )

I Found It At The Movies: Charlie’s Angel’s ( 2000 )

A Shround Of Thoughts: Key Largo ( 1948 )

 Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: Captain’s Courageous ( 1937 ), Maytime ( 1937, and Just For You ( 1952 )

Old Hollywood Films: The Paradine Case ( 1947 )

Anybody Got A Match: The Spiral Staircase ( 1946 )

Christina Wehner: The Spiral Staircase ( 1946 ) & Counseller At Law ( 1933 )

Movies Meet Their Match: Ever After ( 2004 )

The Dream Book Blog: Lionel Barrymore in The Show ( 1927 ) & The Devil Doll ( 1936 )



Olivia de Havilland, the critically acclaimed actress who first rose to super stardom when she played cousin Melanie in the 1939 blockbuster epic, Gone With The Wind, celebrated her 100th centenary on July 1st last year.

For the memorable occasion, Laura from Phyllis Loves Classic Movies, and myself from my blog, In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood, hosted the Olivia de Havilland Centenary Blogathon, which proved to be a success. On the days of the event a myriad of bloggers coalesced to honor Miss. de Havilland, and her illustrious body of work.

As of 2017, Olivia de Havilland is one of the last stars who hold the key to the golden age of Hollywood. It is for this reason that Laura and myself have decided to make the blogathon an annual event. As a bonus we’re adding Olivia’s frequent co-star, Errol Flynn to the blogathon.



1. Bloggers are welcome to write about any topic pertaining to either Olivia de Havilland or Errol Flynn. If you have a subject in mind, but your not sure if its worthy for the blogathon, ask Laura or myself, and we’ll clarify it with you.

2. Due to Olivia and Errol’s extensive body of work and a diverse range of topics, we’re allowing no more than two duplicate entries. If there is a topic you really want to cover, act fast. It’s first in best dressed.

3. When: The Blogathon will be held on July 1st – 3rd, 2017, so you can post on any of those dates.

4. To express your interest in participating in the blogathon, leave a comment on my blog or on Laura’s blog along with the name and URL of your blog, and the subject you wish to cover, or you can always register by email at: or by contacting Laura at For those of you who wish to register by email, please be sure to include the name and URL of your blog, and the topic you wish to cover. Once you get confirmation, please spread the word about this blogathon by advertising the event on your blog. Below are a few banners, so please help yourself to a banner, and advertise the event on your blog.

Olivia and Errol Banner 4

Olivia and Errol Banner 1

Olivia and Errol Banner 3

Olivia and Errol Banner 2

Olivia and Errol Banner 5


In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood: Olivia de Havilland and Bette Davis.

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies: My Journey with Olivia, and “Never Say Goodbye” ( 1946 )

The Dream Book Blog: The Heiress ( 1949 )

Musings Of A Classic Film Addict: Dodge City ( 1939 )

Maddy Loves Her Classic Films:  Dodge City ( 1939 )

Charlene’s Mostly Classic Movie Reviews: The Snake Pit ( 1948 )

Real Weedgie Midget Reviews: The Swarm ( 1978 )

Pop Culture Reverie: Light In The Piazza ( 1962 )

Love Letters To Old Hollywood: Cry Wolf ( 1947 )

Old Hollywood Films: Captain Blood ( 1935 )

Life With Books & Movies: To Each His Own ( 1946 )

Critica Retro: It’s Love I’m After ( 1937 )

Sat In Your Lap: It’s Love I’m After ( 1937 ) & Gentleman Jim ( 1942 )

The Stop Button: The Adventures of Robin Hood ( 1938 )

The Wonderful World Of Cinema: Top ten Olivia de Havilland movies.

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: The Strawberry Blonde ( 1941 )


“You’re Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big.”

” I *am* big. It’s the *pictures* that got small.”


A quintessential star with a personified urbane appearance, William Holden will forever be immortalized as the consummate actor whose successful career transcended his alcohol fueled personal life.


When one thinks about William Holden, the image of him as Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard is eternally etched in the memories of a plethora of people worldwide, but while this is the role that he is best remembered for, Holden endured a meritorious tenure in motion pictures, and appeared in many critically acclaimed productions along the way. His first claim to fame came in 1939, when he secured the pivotal role as Joe Bonaparte in Golden Boy, which starred his close friend and mentor, Barbara Stanwyck.

Although, Holden was still relatively unknown at the time that Golden Boy was released, it didn’t take long for him to make his ascent to super-stardom. During the 1940’s, he was a welcoming presence in an array of notable films that featured stars who were placed in the top ranks of the movie industry. A large majority of these films were a commercial success, and Holden was often praised for his performance, but they never led to any immediate distinction. However, they did pave the way for future prosperity, and greater achievements that would plant William Holden in a reputable position among Hollywood’s constellation of stars.


When William Holden did come into prominence, it came in droves. In 1950, Holden reached his zenith when he was cast in the Academy Award winning film, Sunset Boulevard, which starred, Gloria Swanson in the role of Norma Desmond, a faded silent movie star who dreams of making her comeback, and hires Holden’s character, Joe Gillis, a fruitless screenwriter to revise her script.


The story of how the film first came to life can by quite fascinating, especially for movie enthusiasts who are interested in learning about the pioneering days of cinema. The street name itself is a glorified landmark in Hollywood, and to have a famous road commemorate a motion picture holds its own distinction, but there is much more intrigue to the background than what the title may suggest.


Sunset Boulevard, the famous palm tree lined street in Hollywood, plays an integral part in cinematic history. The road which stretches twenty two miles in length, and that traces the arc of the mountains that form the northern boundary of the Los Angeles Basin, has been widely used in films since the birth of motion pictures, and it is known today for being the destination of the towns first movie studio that opened there in 1911.

“There once was a time in this business when I had the eyes of the whole world! But that wasn’t good enough for them, oh no! They had to have the ears of the whole world too. So they opened their big mouths and out came talk. Talk! TALK!”

Adorning a large area of the street are opulent, majestic mansions with incongruous architecture, and a rather distinct appearance. These homes were built for film makers and actors when the Hollywood Star System was first introduced. Towards the end of the 1940’s, some of these luxurious abodes were still occupied by former members of the motion picture community, who were now living reclusive from the rest of the world.

“Without me, there wouldn’t be any Paramount studio.”

To many people, the ghostly ambiance that surrounded these homes were fascinating. Director, Billy Wilder, who originally hailed from Berlin was interested in American culture, and later admitted that the countries films enhanced his passion. Wilder, who was a resident of Los Angeles often drove past these houses, and wondered what type of lives the occupants were leading now that their Hollywood glory days were over.


Imagining the kind of lives that were being led by former movie stars drew great inspiration. How were these iconic legends from the bygone days of cinema spending their time? And why did they want to lead a reclusive lifestyle alone in a collateral mansion?. These were some of the questions that constantly resurfaced. Billy Wilder saw potential in this story, and started picturing a perfect scenario for a movie. After slowly piecing together different plot points, he came up with an intriguing idea that revolved around a silent film actress who lost her box-office appeal when her successful career was eclipsed.


There were a myriad of ways that a disillusioned star could be portrayed, but Wilder wanted it more realistic, and decided that the character of Norma Desmond should emulate the personalities of a plethora of real-life silent film stars in their twilight years. Some of the traits depicted in Sunset Boulevard mirrored the reclusive years of Mary Pickford, and the mental disorders that affected Clara Bow and Mae Murray. However, many sources state that Norma Desmond was based on the decline of Norma Talmadge, while a few film historians believe that Norma Desmond’s name is a combination of Mabel Normand and Norman Desmond Taylor, because these two stars served as the main source of inspiration for the character, but whatever the truth, the character known as Norma Desmond was inspired by a conglomerate of movie folk.

Annex - Holden, William (Sunset Boulevard)_NRFPT_01

A lot of work went into conceptualizing the character of Norma Desmond, but the developmental stage of delving into the history of the character, and mapping out a story proved to be more difficult. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett began working on a script in 1948, and in August of that year they hired D.M. Marshman Jr., a former writer from Life magazine to expand on the story-line. By the time filming commenced in early May 1949, only the first third of the script was completed. At this point in time Wilder did not know how the film was going to end, but as production on Sunset Boulevard progressed, Wilder had conjured up the perfect finale.

oh ha

The casting aspects of the film were not as complicated. However, some suggest that finding the perfect Norma Desmond was an arduous battle, but according to Charles Brackett, he and Wilder never endured any problems. Gloria Swanson was the only actress they ever considered for the role, and in Brackett’s opinion, she was the one actress who could fulfill the demands and perfectly execute the role of a disillusioned silent star with a formidable existence. On the other hand, Billy Wilder expressed his recollections of the casting process, and stated that he had initially wanted Mae West and Marlon Brando for the leads, but never approached either star with the offer. He also said that Pola Negri was being favored for a while, but her heavy Polish accent made him detour away from that idea, and instead he approached Norma Shearer, Mary Pickford and Greta Garbo, who all declined the part.

th (30)

One of the most common myths is that Billy Wilder consulted with George Cukor for his advice, and it was Cukor who suggested that they hire Gloria Swanson. Noted for her exotic beauty, and her extravagant lifestyle, Swanson shared many similarities with Norma Desmond. Like Desmond, Swanson had also lived in a colossal Italianate palace on Sunset Boulevard for a large part of her life, and like Desmond, her transition into talking pictures was not smooth and successful. However, their lives weren’t always parallel. While Norma Desmond renounces her decline, Swanson accepted the fact that her career was floundering, and when she realized that her tenure in motion pictures was about to be dimmed, she relocated to New York, where she secured work on television, radio, and the New York stage.


The last thing that Gloria Swanson had expected was making a Hollywood comeback. At this point in her career she was prominently established in New York, and she was a revered member of the entertainment circuit. Even though she thought that making a return was out of the question, she was eager to learn about the role, and was absorbed in the prospects of portraying a character, who she felt was identical to her in many ways.

th (31)

William Holden wasn’t the first actor in mind to play Joe Gillis. Initially the role was assigned to Montgomery Clift, who was going to receive $5,000 per week for a guaranteed twelve weeks, though problems arose just before filming commenced when Clift withdrew from the project, stating that he thought the role was too close to the one he had played in The Heiress. He was after something more convincing, and refused to play a character who was having an affair with an older woman. In response to Clift, Wilder replied, “If he’s any kind of actor, he could be convincing making love to any woman.”.

“She was the greatest of them all. You wouldn’t know, you’re too young. In one week she received 17,000 fan letters. Men bribed her hairdresser to get a lock of her hair. There was a maharajah who came all the way from India to beg one of her silk stockings. Later he strangled himself with it!”

At the last minute, Wilder and Brackett were forced to select another Paramount player, who they thought would be compatible for the role. The only star that really impressed them was William Holden, an underappreciated individual who was yearning to be recognized. As an actor, Holden had displayed great potential since making his starring debut in 1939’s, Golden Boy, and in the years that followed he had appeared in a string of moderately successful films that did nothing to augment his appeal.


Upon hearing that he was being closely considered for the role, Holden displayed a spectrum of happy emotions. This was a film that spelled success, and Holden knew that this part would help him endure a much needed career Resurrection. What he didn’t know is that his salary would be $39,000 less than what Montgomery Clift would have received, but at this stage of his life, Holden’s primary focus was to attain the role of Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard.


Sunset Boulevard also reunited Gloria Swanson with Erich Von Stroheim, a prolific film director of the 1920’s, who had directed Swanson in an array of successful productions during her prime. Stroheim was cast in the role of Max, Norma’s faithful servant who will never admit to Norma that she is now a fading obscure star of the past. Stroheim received an Academy Award nomination for ‘Best Supporting Actor’, but lost to George Sanders who attained the award that year for his performance in All About Eve. 

Sunset Boulevard-09

Joining the stellar cast of lead players was Nancy Olson, who portrayed Betty Schaefer, an aspiring screen writer, who witnesses potential in Joe, and wants to work on a script with him. Prior to Sunset Boulevard, Olson had only appeared in two pictures, one of them being an uncredited part in Portrait Of Jennie ( 1948 ). Despite the fact that Olson was still only an amateur, she exhibited enough prowess to prove that she was more than capable of taking on a notable role in a picture that was set to be a staple.



Directed by Billy Wilder, and produced by Charles Brackett, Sunset Boulevard is a chilling tale of unrequited love and jealously, which lead to tragic consequences. Set in one of Hollywood’s famous locales, the story revolves around Joe Gillis ( William Holden ), a struggling screenwriter, who unexpectedly lands in the driveway of an incongruous and atmospheric mansion when his car gets a flat Tyre. Occupying the decaying residence is Max Von Mayerling ( Erich Von Stroheim ), and Norma Desmond ( Gloria Swanson ), a faded silent movie star whose career was extinguished many years earlier. Embittered with her current existence, Norma plans to make her motion picture comeback by playing the lead character in her proposed production titled, Salome, a film in which she has written the script for.

What Joe Gillis didn’t realize is that he selected the wrong driveway to pull into. Instead of a quick visit inside the dwelling to call for help regarding his current situation, Joe finds himself in a complex entanglement when Norma hires him to edit her script. At first it seems like a plan for Joe who is heavily in debt, but the deal comes at a high price. If Joe is going to work on her script, he is required to move into the mansion. Reluctantly, he accepts the offer, a decision that proves to be disastrous when Joe discovers that he is being swept into an enigmatical love triangle, which is fueled by jealousy, irrational psychotic behavior, and danger.


 Sunset Boulevard is a sordid account of Hollywood, and the torture associated with being a star. The film examines the demons that control one prominent individual whose career has gone to wreckage. Norma Desmond was a star of the highest magnitude. She had churned out film after film to mounting success. The studios loved her, and audiences worshiped her, but just when she thought that she had it all, talking pictures were introduced, and Norma Desmond made a hasty descent to debris.

Title Sunset Blvd (1950)

Making a transition into talking pictures was difficult for a large majority of stars from the silent screen. Some actors had a smooth run, but others struggled to cope with the sudden transformation, and were left to face the harsh realities of life. The abrupt change didn’t register with Norma Desmond. She was convinced that she was the only star of all, and when the convoluted particles began to control her mind, she was sent on a downward spiral.

Annex - Swanson, Gloria (Sunset Boulevard)_06

Sunset Boulevard paints a clear picture of what can happen when your mind has been emotionally destroyed by tragic events of the past. Even though the film is fictionalized, many of Norma’s traits resembled the characteristics of other stars from the bygone era. Loneliness and seclusion are common factors. A multitude of silent film actors were living as a recluse by the time the 1940’s and 1950’s progressed. In Norma Desmond’s case, the only interaction she got with the outside world is when she played bridge at her mansion with other Hollywood luminaries, like, Buster Keaton, and Hedda Hopper, who made cameo appearances as themselves, or when Norma visited Paramount Studios to consult with Cecil B. Demille, who also played himself. Apart from that, the only person who broke Norma’s solitary and trifling existence was her butler, past directer, and ex husband, Max, who continues to support Norma, and encourages her to turn a blind eye on the fact that her public has forgotten her by sending her fan letters.


The stellar array of stars worked well under Billy Wilder’s masterful direction. In a part that was tailor made for her, Gloria Swanson received an Academy Award nomination for her towering portrayal of Norma Desmond. Playing the part of a former Hollywood luminary whose once recognizable name is in clouds was no easy feat, but Swanson’s performance took high precedence. She graced the screen with her immaculate presence, theatrical delivery, a gamut of emotions, and memorable dialogue. To serve as a great counterpart to Desmond, William Holden’s character, Joe Gillis epitomizes the working class man who is fighting for a dollar, but realizes that he will never be on the same pedestal that Norma Desmond once was.

gloria swanson & william holden 1950 - sunset boulevard

An as accompaniment, Sunset Boulevard features some of the best cinematography ever seen in a motion picture. John F. Seitz, who had been employed as a cinematographer and inventor since 1916, is the mastermind behind the films dark shadowy themes, and being no stranger to Film Noir, he applied some unique effects that enhances the ghostly ambiance that surrounded the production. Edith Head, who was well revered in Hollywood for her prolific work as a costume designer created the gowns in the film. Since Head was well versed in fashion, she suggested that Norma Desmond should be sporting the contemporary attire of the day, so she created costumes that mirrored the Dior style of the 1940’s. However, some changes were applied to personalize and reflect Norma Desmond’s taste. In her autobiography, Swanson stated that the costumes were a “trifle outdated and a trifle exotic”. On the other hand, Edith Head later recalled that her work on Sunset Boulevard was the “most challenging of my career”.


In Sunset Boulevard, hopes are crushed, and dreams are buried, but Norma Desmond continues to embody positiveness, and believes that one day she will make a comeback.



“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.”


A consummate actress and musician, who enchanted millions with her golden voice, and indelible flair for comic artistry, Doris Day epitomized superstar success, and embodied all the ideals of the perfect role model.


Doris Day may have called Hollywood her home for many years. She was highly revered in the film industry, and she had immortalized several classics during her tenure as an actress, but, first and foremost, the legend born, Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff had another interest that was of greater importance than her distinguished status as a movie star. She was passionate about animals, and instead of keeping in the spotlight, she enthusiastically embarked on a new career that would have her caring for the welfare of those four-legged creatures with the same degree of exhilaration that she approached stardom with many years earlier.


Many people have often wondered why Doris Day, the quintessential star of motion pictures would abandon Hollywood to pursue a career as an animal activist? The truth is that this is something that seemed to motivate Day. She had always wanted to get to the core of her strong adoration for her beloved companions. The actress’s lifelong passion for animals can be dated back to her teenage years when Day was a victim of a car accident in 1937, which left her confined to her bed for months. Distraught at the prospects that her dreams of becoming a professional dancer may be curtailed, Doris spent these torturous months in darkness. The only thing that had the power to cheer Day up was her dog, Tiny, who was always present during that difficult time. Doris later recalled the incident in her autobiography and stated, “He never left my side, understood my moods and gave me the kind of companionship that only a dog can bestow… It was during this time that I began a lifelong love affair with dogs, a sentiment known only to dog lovers – and cat lovers, too. Their affection and caring is a relief from tensions and anxiety.” From that moment on, Doris Day instilled the notion that all creatures must be protected.


Although it would be many years before Doris Day would form her own animal foundation, she never forgot about her passion, and she always inhabited the aspiration that one day she would change the lives of all creatures, big, and small. During her years as an actress, Day’s passion was clearly apparent, and in all most all of her movies her character owns a pet. She was also notorious when it came to the way the animals were being handled and used in the films, but while she was generally happy with the way they were treated, she had enough authority to pull rank whenever she witnessed something that was not up to her standards.

“I’ve never met an animal I didn’t like, and I can’t say the same thing about people.”
( Doris Day )

Luckily for Doris, the motion picture industry has strict regulations for the hiring of animals in filmed entertainment. However, one famous case almost sparked a war between Doris and the production company while she was in Morocco filming Alfred Hitchcock’s, The Man Who Knew Too Much. Day, who always modeled civility, and who was known for being easily accessible, was appalled when she noticed the deplorable condition the animals were in. Disheartened with Hitchcock, and the fellow crew members for allowing the animals to be malnourished, Day refused to continue working on the film unless the animal welfare measures were drastically improved. At this stage of her career, Day was at the pinnacle of her fame, and the production company couldn’t afford to lose an esteemed star, so they went ahead and complied with her requirements, while Doris oversaw the feeding and care of these animals. Doris later stated, “By the time our photography was finished, I had succeeded in fattening up the animals used in the picture.”


As the 1960’s progressed, Sexual Liberation in the United States was beginning to take charge. The films being made displayed a strong emphasis on sex, and audiences were detouring away from Doris Day films. With her popularity waning, Day only appeared in a few more motion pictures before retreating to the television medium, but when she realized that she will no longer be at the top of her zenith, Day ventured into the animal territory, which was an uncharted landscape at the time.


The animal world was a far cry from the bright lights of Hollywood, and all that glamour that was associated with being a star. After retiring from acting in 1973, Doris was free to devote her time to animal welfare activism. However, she did return to the television medium in 1985, when she hosted, Doris Day’s Best Friends, but even then the focal importance of the show relied solely on the animals, and to give Day the chance to address the subject of animal welfare to the public eye.

“I’m going to do as much as I can for the animal world, and I’ll never stop.”

The show was a commercial success. Viewers were enthused to see Doris Day step out of semi-retirement to host her own television program. They were even more elated to see some of Day’s real life friends, including, Rock Hudson, Howard Keele, and Kaye Ballard, among others make guest appearances. Despite the worldwide publicity that it received, Doris Day’s Best Friends was cancelled after twenty-six episodes. This occasion marked the final time that Doris Day’s presence would showcase television screens.


Doris Day, and Rock Hudson.

For Doris Day, helping and rescuing animals was her pursuit of happiness. She knew right from the start that saving the lives of helpless dogs and cats, and bringing them joy and comfort would be more rewarding than the recognition she achieved as a motion picture actress. In 1971, Day became a co-founder of Actors and Others for Animals, an organization that eliminates pet overpopulation, and protection for pet companions.

read to dog

Actors and Others for Animals was initially conceived by actor, Richard Basehart and his wife, Diana. Basehart, who shared the same passion as Day, made it his mission to make sure that all pets are properly cared for. Since its establishment in 1971, this organization has become one of California’s leading animal care facilities.

full doris day

Despite the fact that Doris Day was miles away from Hollywood soil, and was now permanently established in Carmel, where her primary endeavor was her beloved pets, and the care and nurturing of animals, the challenge became quite overwhelming. Because of her work, Day was prominently featured in news articles and entertainment magazines, which gave readers great insight into the actress’ life now, and what it was like to live in an 11 acre property in Carmel that was surrounded by dogs. For many pet owners this became their invitation. Doris found that her home was becoming a refuge for stray and abandoned pets. People were dropping their dogs and cats over her property gates at night, and each morning Day was greeted to a deluge of unwanted pets, who were in need of homes. Even though the task was quite perplexing, she got all the animals the veterinary care they required, and found them loving homes.


This was a common occurrence for Doris, and even though she welcomed every pet she received, and always found them homes, she realized that the possibilities of encountering turbulence was imminent. She wanted to make a difference in the lives of the animals, and the best way to do this was to open up her own foundation.


In 1978, Doris Day founded the Doris Day Pet Foundation, which is now known as, The Doris Day Animal Foundation. Focusing on animal rescue, and spay/neuter, the organization continues to maintain a caring interest in animal health and welfare, while making it their mission to place all animals in a compatible environment with people who love them.


The Doris Day Animal Foundation were rescuing a large number of animals a year. More lives were being saved, and more pets were being adopted into loving families, but Doris was still not satisfied with her efforts, and felt that a lot more could be done. She wanted to get to the core of homeless pet overpopulation. The key to addressing this issue was through spay/neuter. As a result, she set up a grassroots campaign, and in 1987, she formed The Doris Day Animal League, another nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting animals through policy initiatives, education, and corporate engagement.


As time progresses, Doris Day continues to be actively involved in helping animals from all walks of life. In 1995, she created the annual event known as, World Spay Day, and in the most recent years she formed, The Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center, which is located at, Cleveland Amory’s Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas. In addition to her foundation work, and her other animal engagements, Doris, who is now 95 years of age finds joy in taking care of her many four-legged friends at her Carmel estate. She has often been quoted as saying, “Maybe I might make a movie just to take a rest.”