Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sunsets and Literature


photoMA31367462-0002How can anyone describe something as spectacular as a sunset?   Nothing can take the place of a photograph, can it?  Augusta J. Evans (1835-1909) creates a credible word picture of a sunset on page 116 of ST. ELMO, and the twilight that follows sets the eerie stage for the entrance of the Byronic protagonist “St. Elmo Murray.”.

The sun went down in a wintry sky; the solemn red light burning on the funeral pyre of the day streamed through the undraped windows, flushed the fretted facade of the Taj Mahal, glowed on the marble floor, and warmed and brightened the serene, lovely face of the earnest young student.  As the flame faded in the West, where two stars leaped from the pearly ashes, the fine print of Edna’s book grew dim, and she turned the page to catch the mellow, silvery radiance of the full moon, which shinning low in…

View original post 122 more words


Happy Birthday, John Gilbert!

"Cameo Kirby" (Fox, 1923)

“Cameo Kirby” (Fox, 1923)

Turner Classic Movies is featuring John Gilbert’s films today in honor of his birthday.  He made about 100 films, and some of the best withstood the sands of time.

Below are some of my favorite photos of my favorite star.

This photo of John Gilbert was taken by MGM photographer Ruth Harriet Louise.

This photo of John Gilbert was taken by MGM photographer Ruth Harriet Louise.

cropped-mw.jpg“The Merry Widow” book cover from the MGM 1925 film

JGinspiration 001_2


"La Boheme" (MGM, 1927)

“La Boheme” (MGM, 1927)

John Gilbert in CAMEO KIRBY (Fox, 1923)

ConteCristoIDontKnowI’ve had this photo of John Gilbert for several years.  His name is on the front beneath the image with no mention of a studio or a photographer.  The back of the photo is blank.  I think this was a publicity shot (for MONTE CRISTO (1922) perhaps?).

Rudolph Valentino, Won’t You Teach Me to Tango?

Français : Le Cheik (Rudolph Valentino) et son...

Français : Le Cheik (Rudolph Valentino) et son ami Raoul (Adolphe Menjou) dans le film Le Cheik (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rudolph Valentino was “The Great Lover of the Silver Screen” until John Gilbert inherited that moniker after Valentino’s premature death. Valentino was an Italian immigrant, who slept on a park bench in Central Park when he arrived in NYC.  Before he went from rags to riches, he was best known for his dancing skills.

I’ve seen several of his films.  Despite his Italian background, he was cast as an Arab in THE SHEIK and in The SON OF THE SHEIK.  I haven’t seen BEYOND THE ROCKS, based  on a book written by Elinor Glyn, but love I his performance in BLOOD AND SAND, which earned a remake starring Tyrone PowerTHE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE is not my favorite Valentino film, but it does contain my favorite scene:  Valentino doing the tango.  (The tango made him a star.)  I could watch that scene over and over.  And I have!

Valentino was larger than life.  How tragic that he died so young!

English: movie poster for 1922 film Blood and Sand

English: movie poster for 1922 film Blood and Sand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Poster for 1921 film "The Sheik&...

English: Poster for 1921 film “The Sheik” starring Rudolph Valentino Français : Affiche du film Le Cheik avec Rudolph Valentino (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Son of the Sheik (1926) film poster.

English: Son of the Sheik (1926) film poster. (Photo credit: *Wikipedia)

New Biography: “JOHN GILBERT: The Last of the Silent Film Stars”

Two book-length biographies have been written about John Gilbert.  Leatrice Gilbert Fountain wrote the first, DARK STAR, in 1985.

Now Eve Golden has published JOHN GILBERT: THE LAST OF THE SILENT FILM STARS.  Visit her Web site,, and for a description of the book and pricing information.  The book is drawing a lot of attention.  It was featured in the April 2013 edition of the magazine VANITY FAIR.

John Gilbert and Renee Adoree in “The Big Parade”


THE BIG PARADE (MGM, 1925) John Gilbert‘s best-known film, is a realistic portrayal of WWI.  It was the biggest box office hit ever until GONE WITH THE WIND.  Renee Adoree was John Gilbert’s co-star.  She starred with him in more films than any of his leading ladies.  The photo above depicts the famous chewing gum scene that Gilbert and Adoree ad-libbed.  The scene inspired the Blatz company to use it to advertise their chewing gum.


2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Forget Fabio

This photo of John Gilbert was taken by MGM photographer Ruth Harriet Louise.

This photo of John Gilbert was taken by MGM photographer Ruth Harriet Louise.

Is it any wonder that the protagonist in THE PRINCE IN THE TOWER: A Modern Gothic Romance is a John Gilbert look-alike?  John Gilbert should replace Fabio on the cover of romance novels.