Today In Movie History: Marilyn Monroe Found Dead At 36

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MARILYN MONROE  1926 – 1962

On August 5th 1962, Marilyn Monroe passed away in her Brentwood home in Los Angeles.  She was only 36 years old.  The coroners office recorded her death as “barbiturate poisoning” from a probable suicide.  However many theories, including murder, have circulated about the circumstances surrounding her death and the timeline after her body was found.  CIA, Mafia, the Kennedy’s, and more are just some of the conspiracy theories people love to entertain.

In honor of her iconic career, you can stream the amazing documentary ‘The Legend of Marilyn Monroe‘ (1966) by clicking on any of these stunning photos.

This is a remarkable documentary about the life and career of 1950s sex symbol Marilyn Monroe, narrated by director John Huston (who worked with her on ‘The Misfits’). Included are interviews with friends, cast and crew who worked with her and others who knew her, clips from her films and some scenes that were cut from her earliest movies and not seen for many years.

TODAY in 1938: Orson Welles Panics

“Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin from the Intercontinental Radio News. At twenty minutes before eight, Central Time, Professor Farrell of the Mount Jennings Observatory, Chicago, Illinois, reports observing several explosions of incandescent gas, occurring at regular intervals on the planet Mars. The spectroscope indicates the gas to be hydrogen and moving towards the Earth with enormous velocity…”

Then…

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed…Someone’s crawling out of the hollow top…The whole field’s caught fire…It’s coming this way. About twenty yards to my right…”

People poured into the streets. Some went to church or rushed to spend their last hours with family.  People wrapped their faces with wet towels to protect against the poison gas the radio said was headed from New Jersey.  It was the end of the world.

We’re too smart and jaded these days to fall for such a story… Right?  Hmm, we’re not sure about that. Today we rely so heavily on media, both traditional and social, who knows if another mass hysteria of the public can be induced.

In honor of his legendary on-air performance, check out Orson Welle’s classic masterpiece ‘The Stranger’ starring Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, and himself.

Wilson of the War Crimes Commission is seeking Franz Kindler, mastermind of the Holocaust, who has effectively erased his identity. Wilson releases Kindler’s former comrade Meinike and follows him to Harper, Connecticut, where he is killed before he can identify Kindler. Now Wilson’s only clue is Kindler’s fascination with antique clocks; but though Kindler seems secure in his new identity, he feels his past closing in.

Hush And Eat Your Cookie, Luke

A little Star Wars humor for you… :)

Today In Movie History: Alfred Hitchcock Was Born

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born on this day in 1899 in Leytonstone, London, England.

In 1920, Hitch learned that Lasky were to open a studio in London and managed to secure a job as a title designer.  He designed the titles for all the movies made at the studio for the next two years.  In 1923, he got his first chance at directing when the director of ‘Always Tell Your Wife’ (1923) fell ill and Hitch completed the movie himself.  Impressed by his work, the studio gave him his first directing assignment on ‘Number 13′ (1922).  However, before it could be finished, the studio closed its British operation.  Hitch was then hired by Michael Balcon to work as an assistant director for the company later to be known as Gainsborough Pictures.  After several films for the company, Hitch was given the chance to direct a British/German project called ‘The Pleasure Garden’ (1925).  This is where Hitchcock’s career as a director finally began.  He went on to become one of the most widely known and influential directors in the history of world cinema with dozens of critically acclaimed, classic films.

On April 29th 1980 in Bel Air, California, Hitchcock died peacefully in his sleep due to renal failure.  (Source: IMDb)

In celebration of his birthday, you can instantly stream one of his masterpiece films ‘The Man Who Knew To Much’ (1934) starring Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre, Frank Vosper, Hugh Wakefield, Nova Pilbeam, Pierre Fresnay, Cicely Oates, D.A. Clarke-Smith, and George Curzon.

Click to watch this movie now!

Synopsis:

While on a quiet family vacation, Bob and Jill Lawrence come to learn the details of an assassination plot. The conspirators are willing to kill to keep their plans secret, and the Lawrences’ teenage daughter might just be the next target if they don’t act fast. Alfred Hitchcock weaves another masterful tapestry of intrigue in this tale of a vacation gone wrong, and a family’s worst nightmare brought to life.

Happy Birthday Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe would have been 86 years old today.  In honor of her birthday, check out the classic documentary ‘The Legend of Marilyn Monroe‘ (1966) by clicking on any of these stunning photos.

This is a remarkable documentary about the life and career of 1950s sex symbol Marilyn Monroe, narrated by director John Huston (who worked with her on ‘The Misfits’). Included are interviews with friends, cast and crew who worked with her and others who knew her, clips from her films and some scenes that were cut from her earliest movies and not seen for many years.

Tom Waits Narrates a Brief History of Artist John Baldessari

‘A Brief History Of John Baldessari’ is a roller coaster of a documentary commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) for a gala honoring influential artist John Baldessari and admirer, Clint Eastwood.

Famous for putting colored dots on people’s faces, the 80-year-old artist is filmed in his Venice Beach, California, art studio deadpanning one-liners to a wonderful narration by singer/songwriter Tom Waits.

In his trademark bourbon-soaked growl, Waits fires of a list of facts about Baldessari. And not just any old facts, but a careful selection of informative and strange facts that will make you chuckle and probably google more about the 6′ 7″ artist. But we did that for you.

The film, which debuted at the SXSW Festival earlier this year, was directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (‘Catfish’ and ‘Paranormal Activity 3′).

Check out the documentary and read on for more about John Baldessari:

“John Baldessari was born in National City, California, in 1931. He received a BA (1953) and MA (1957) from San Diego State College, continuing his studies at Otis Art Institute (1957–59) and Chouinard Art Institute. Synthesizing photomontage, painting, and language, Baldessari’s deadpan visual juxtapositions equate images with words and illuminate, confound, and challenge meaning. He upends commonly held expectations of how images function, often by drawing the viewer’s attention to minor details, absences, or the spaces between things. By placing colorful dots over faces, obscuring portions of scenes, or juxtaposing stock photographs with quixotic phrases, he injects humor and dissonance into vernacular imagery.” -PBS/Art21

Charlie Chaplin Was Born Today in 1889


Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on this day in 1889, in London, England.

In celebration, we bring you a clip from Chaplin’s first talking picture, ‘The Great Dictator’. This is where Chaplin drops out of his comedic character to address the audience directly denouncing dictatorship, greed, hate, and intolerance, in favor of liberty and human brotherhood. This truly is one of the most unforgettable and moving speeches in all of movie history.

‘The Great Dictator’ (1940), was an act of defiance against Nazism. It was filmed and released in the U.S. one year before entering into World War II. The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actor.

You can watch several more Charlie Chaplin films right here on BIGSTAR Movies! Click any one of the images below to start streaming now!

Betty Boop: Jazz Age Flapper and Sex Symbol

Betty Boop: Jazz Age Flapper and Sex Symbol

Inspired by actress Helen Kane, Betty Boop made her first appearance on August 9, 1930. She was made to be a jazz-induced flapper girl with more heart than brains in over a hundred animated films. As a symbol of the Depression era, she became one of the most well-known and popular cartoon characters in the world.

Betty Boop is also regarded as one of the first and most famous sex symbols on the animated screen. While other female characters at that time were merely clones on their male counterparts with eyelashes and high pitched voices, Betty Boop wore revealing dresses, high heels, a garter, and even showed cleavage. Her films were very daring since sexual behavior in film was considered taboo at the time. More daring was the portrayal of sexual harassment on the big screen. The lewd behavior of men [she encounters] is exposed in scenes where Betty is relentlessly pursued, tied up, and even threatened her job if she doesn’t submit to their sexual advances.

The sexual innuendos and Jazz Age attraction of Betty Boop were forced to tone down in 1934 due to decency guidelines of the Motion Picture Industry. She was made to be a fully dressed housewife and career girl to appeal to a more juvenile demographic. This new portrayal hurt her success and resulted in the decline of her series, and attempts to bring her into the new big band and swing era were met with little or no interest.

In the 1980′s advertising and marketing companies brought Betty Boop’s likeness back into the public eye. The subsequent merchandising success of her character in her original, sexier form has surpassed her exposure in films and comic strips, and has become popular worldwide once again.

Even though the animated cartoons of Betty Boop have enjoyed a much deserved rediscovery over the last 30 years, most audiences today are completely unaware of Betty’s place in the history of cinema, animation, and sex.

We have two amazing ‘Betty Boop Collections’ you can watch instantly on BIGSTAR Movies! Each featuring some of her most beloved classics with her ample moves and trademark sultry ways. Click an image to watch now…


Today in Movie History: Filmmaker Akira Kurosawa Was Born

Legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa was born on this day in 1910, in Toyko, Japan. Other than anime and Godzilla movies, Kurosawa’s samurai period epics are what most of the world associates with Japanese cinema. Regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, Kurosawa directed 30 films in a 57 year career. He died on September 6, 1998.

(Above photo: Akira Kurosawa, Francis Ford Copolla, & George Lucas)

Did you know…
-His film ‘Seven Samurai’ was remade as the American western ‘The Magnificent Seven’.
-His film ‘Yojimbo’ was remade as Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ starring Clint Eastwood, “the man with no name”.
-’Hidden Fortress’ was a obvious source of inspiration for George Lucas’ ‘Star Wars’ where a ragtag band tries to transport a princess to safety and eventually help her free her land.
-Lucas also used Kurosawa’s “wipe effect” to fade from one scene to another.
-Kurosawa’s influences can be seen in all films by Quentin Tarantino, and even some by Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Francis Ford Copolla.

Happy Birthday, Jerry Lewis!

Can you name the other famous person in this vintage photo?

Random fact: This was shot by Philippe Halsman for his photography series called “Jumpology”, where he captured many movie stars, politicians, royalty, entertainers, artists, and authors, all jumping for his camera.