Saturday, December 19, 2009

On a Clear Day advertisement

Above is a newspaper ad from a return engagement of On a Clear Day in San Antonio, Texas.
A friend of mine clipped it from an old newspaper after I became a Barbra fan.
Notice the image of Barbra appears to be from the bathtub scene from What's Up, Doc? That's not Daisy Gamble's hair. Also notice Yves Montand's name is nowhere in sight. Instead co-stars Nicholson and Newhart get billing.
As much as I love this movie, it's hard to watch because of Yves Montand. Cruel yes, but it's the truth (well, my opinion anyway). Didn't Minnelli watch the dailies? Didn't anybody notice there was no chemistry between the two? I guess replacing Montand was out of the question. Too bad. Can you imagine if they did? I can visualize the headlines now: Streisand fires Montand! It would have been worth the bad press to get somebody else in there.

First Artists annual report

Cover of First Artists annual report to stockholders for 1977.
Tidbits from the report:
"This last fiscal year was the best of times for First Artists. In the past year, we have had in release one of the top twenty domestic film grossers of all time, A STAR IS BORN. STAR and Barbra Streisand's magic name produced the bulk of our earnings."
An interesting sidenote. First Artists was making development deals for television at the time. One of them is quite interesting.
"First Artists, in conjunction with ABC, is involved with the development of a comedy show called HOUSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR. The plot revolves around a duly elected President of the United States who happens to be black. It is a warm, contemporary, highly original show."

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Way We Were filming locations

Another scene at the Plaza Hotel.
Not much has changed in the background.

Hello, Dolly! at Grauman's Chinese

Greetings from Hollywood. Wish you were here.
Another vintage postcard from our family trips to California in the '70s.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Barbra Encounters of the Third Kind No. 4

My fourth Barbra concert, September 20, 2000 at the Staples Center in L.A. Since this was one of the "final four" I decided to go V.I.P. and got 7th row on the floor. And as the photos can attest to, it was worth it to be that close. The photos turned out amazingly well considering it was one of those disposable cameras. But I had good lighting, and as we all know, there's nothing without the light!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

With One More Look . . .

An ad for the TV special promoting A Star is Born.
This was a rare treat back then- a syndicated one-hour special going behind the scenes to the making of the movie. I remember is airing in January of February of 1977. I got to see it twice. While a lived close to San Antonio, the Austin TV channels were also available on UHF (before cable TV was even an option in our town). I remember finding it accidently on the Austin channel first just as it was beginning. Maybe a couple of weeks later, it was shown in the San Antonio market.
It's a great special. Too bad they didn't include it as a bonus feature on DVD. Maybe they are waiting for the Blu-Ray release.

The Main Event filming location Part 1

By the time The Main Event rolled around I was a die-hard fan. I couldn't wait for this film. After all, it had been 2 years since I had seen her in a new movie (If I could only complain about waiting 2 years between movies now!). And I just knew this movie would be a big hit. How could it not be? It was the reteaming of Barbra and Ryan. It had a great disco hit song that the radio was playing all the time.
I saw the film for the first time at the Brauntex theater in New Braunfels, Texas on opening night, June 22, 1979 with a couple of friends, Philip and Larry. The theater wasn't the greatest but we didn't have to drive all the way into San Antonio. After all, gas was now 75 cents a gallon and rising weekly. Not the greatest theater to see the movie in. Eventually relented and saw it at the much bigger and better theaters in San Antonio. Don't remember how many times I saw it, not as many as A Star is Born. Last time I saw it originally on a big screen was at a drive-in in Bryan, Texas on a double feature with The Way We Were!

Carol Burnett in A Star is Born

An old newspaper clipping from the newspaper's TV guide section, obviously sometime in 1977 (why didn't I put the date on the back of my clippings?).
Naturally, I just had to watch this episode. Of course we are going back over 30 years now but all I remember is that they were "glued" to each other in this position and talked back and forth, nothing else. Anybody else have memories?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mad about The Owl and the Pussycat

A few panels from Mad magazines satire of the film "The Owl and the Pussycat" or as they put it, The Foul and the Prissy Cats.

The first time I saw the film was on network TV (NBC, I believe). The film was censored obviously and on first viewing it was quite apparent. I remember the cuts being jumpy and her lips were moving but nothing was coming out a number of times.

During the summer of 1979 I took classes at Southwest Texas State at they were screening The Owl and the Pussycat in the student lounge. I was in for quite a shock! The film of course was uncensored and all I could remember was I felt like I was seeing the film for the first time. Too bad the DVD left out the "F" word in that one critical scene.

Mad magazine had already satirized Barbra's first 3 films in one shot with Alfred E. Newman as Barbra on the cover of that issue. They would go on to satirize, The Way We Were, Funny Lady, A Star is Born and Yentl. Don't know if they did any more after that point. I was getting too old for the magazine by then.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What's Up, Doc? at Grauman's Chinese

Vingate postcard of Grauman's Chinese theater showing What's Up, Doc?

How I would have loved to have seen it here!

Got this back in the '70s during one of our family vacations to California.

Funny Lady first time

Here's a newspaper ad promoting Funny Lady from a San Antonio newpaper- now in it's record 3rd week! I got it from my friend Larry who clipped it out of an old newspaper way back when, since I didn't become a Barbra fan until 1976. It's odd that the ad shows Barbra from the right profile. By that time it was well established she preferred being photographed on the left side. Pretty sure the images of both of them are flipped from the actual shot.
I did end up seeing it at this theater during the fall of '76 though. Before A Star is Born came out, this theater had a 3 week run of 3 of Barbra's movies. Best I recall the other two were Funny Girl and Hello, Dolly! At this time I hadn't seen Funny Lady, but I had the soundtrack album, so I just had to see the movie. Since I had just gotten my driver's license I was not allowed to drive into the big city yet, so I pleaded and begged with my parent's to drive me into San Antonio to see it. By the fall of '76 Funny Lady had played out all it's screenings, so my only choice was to see it now or wait a couple of more years before it would most probably air on network TV. My parents weren't the type to make a special drive to the next county over to see a movie. It almost took an act of Congress, but I got them to take me there.
The Northstar Cinema was a nice theater back then. I believe Funny Lady was an exclusive screening at this theater until moving over into the neightborhood and second-run theaters. Notice in the warning in the box: Management does not recommend PG films for younger children! Yep folks, that's how conservative San Antonio was back then! Needless to say, this theater doesn't exist anymore.


This is a rather amusing (or odd, depending on your perspective) greeting card I found back in the late '90s. The artist, Marty Ruiz, did a series of celebrity-animal cards. It's hard to tell in the scan, but the card has glitter glued to it. According to the note enclosed with the card, it is a one-of-kind miniature piece of art! With the Daisy Gamble look-alike wig and imitation Arnold Scassi outfit and the doggie Academy Award, was obviously inspired from Barbra's first Oscar.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

More A Star is Born - Sun Devil Stadium

Another shot of location shooting at Sun Devil Stadium for A Star is Born. Gary Busey is to the left. Don't know who the bearded men are, but considering they are on both sides of Barbra, I'd say they are important.

[one of the readers has informed me that the gentleman with the white beard and the white hat is the director, Frank Pierson]

September 27, 2000 VIP

V.I.P. ticketholders for the September 27, 2000 concert at Madison Square Garden (one of the "final four" concerts) were given this information sheet.

On Location with Hello, Dolly!

Yes Virginia, there really is a Vandergelder's Hay and Feed.
Garrison, New York stood in for a turn of the century Yonkers in Hello, Dolly! The town was gussied up for the movie, but a few remnants remain to this day (or at least until 2004 when this photo was taken). The etched glass in the doors for Vandergelder's still exist. The building has seen better days.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On the Hello, Dolly! backlot 1976

Part of the backlot at 20th Century Fox caught fire around 1976+/- burning part of the Hello, Dolly! set. The burned area in this shot appears to be around Irene Malloy's hat shop. Hope she had insurance.
I did a little more research and found the following in The Great Movie Musical Trivia Book:
On June 21, 1977, fire broke out on the still-standing Manhattan exterior set, wrapped around the studio buildings of the Twentieth Century-Fox lot. Reported to the Los Angeles County Fire Department at 4:51 p.m., the blaze consumed a three-building section of the set in about eighteen minutes. Nine Los Angeles County fire units and one Beverly Hills Fire Department unit quickly contained the flames, which were visible from the streets outside the studio gate at Pico Boulevard and Motor Avenue. There were no injuries.
"It looked worse than it was," said the Fox Vice President of Operations, Bernie Barron, to The Hollywood Reporter. "The bulk of the 'Dolly' street, a city landmark, remains intact." There were no companies shooting on the sets, or scheduled to do so, at the time of the fire.

On the Hello, Dolly! backlot 1971

This screen capture is from a featurette about the making of The Poseidon Adventure. That's Irwin Allen in the Rolls. The Hello, Dolly! set was close to it's original condition then.

Meet the Fockers Premiere Souveniers Part 4

This scanned image is sorta hard to make out. It's a table sign from the after party. It's made of glossy thick paper. It would be folded to make a triagular sign. Probably would look better folded up in a photo. FYI, this sign is from a table of moviegoers who's last name was Focker!

This ticket is kinda rare. It's for the pre-party. Barbra did not attend. :( Did you really think she would? Only makes sense. After all, according to Rona Barrett, Barbra fears her fans!

Meet the Fockers Premiere Souveniers Part 3

Tickets from the premiere have been published elsewhere, but this one is unique. It was one of the tickets given to Blythe Danner for her entourage.

Meet the Fockers Premiere Souveniers Part 2

Ticket holders were also given "complimentary" parking. Trust me, the cost was factored into the ticket prices. But it was all for a good cause.

Meet the Fockers Premiere Souveniers

One of the souveniors I collected at the premiere of Meet the Fockers. Too bad I didn't find this card until afterward. With Little Fockers coming out next summer, I'll have to try the phone number and see if it still works. Now don't YOU try this!

Rona Barrett

Who can't forget Rona Barrett's publications?
If you grew up during the '70s, she was the gossip queen of the decade. She had a number of publications and Barbra was on the cover many times. While Barbra isn't on the cover of this one, she is featured in one of the headlines- Why Barbra Streisand Fears Her Fans!
The "special book-length bonus" is too long to publish here. But I'm including a juicy excerpt. BTW, anybody know who that guy is on the cover? He looks familiar.
Sprawled regally in a deep mahogany chair, Barbra Streisand watched the endless parade of models showing her the latest in women's fashions at the exclusive San Francisco apparel shop.
Barbra sat very still-occasionally turning her critical eye from a model and nodding her approval of a particular dress to the shop's top saleswoman.
Suddenly-and seemingly out of nowhere-one of the store's stock clerk's popped into the middle of the parade and advanced toward Barbra-eager, obviously a bit nervous, and with autograph book in hand.
Instantly-almost instictively-Barbra sat erect in the chair, clutching its arms tightly. As the young man approached the star, Barbra's face assumed an emotionless gaze that stopped the stock clerk in his tracks.
"Uh. . . ." he hemmed-and-hawwed, "Miss Streisand . . . do you think . . . I mean, could I please have your autograph?" he asked, his voice a genuine symphony of apologetic sweetness.
"Puh-leez!" barbra snarled, her face no longer blank. "I'm shopping!"
Don't ya just love it. They don't write articles like that anymore!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Song Worksheet 2006

I picked this up from the Philadelphia concert in 2006. I'm guessing this is for the conductor. It lists the song and musical cues from the concert. It's dated from 8/22/2006 and the song lineup changed before first concert (of course the lineup changed slightly during the tour).
I don't remember what the final lineup was for each of the concerts (although I know there are people out there who do). But a couple of song changes pop out. I don't remember Gentle Rain or Love is a Bore ever being sung during the tour. Anybody out there remember?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Way We Were filming locations - Part 2

Looks like the Office of War Information has cleared out of their office. This shot is from the back lot at Warner Brothers in Burbank.
I still have misty watercolored memories of when I saw this premiere on network T.V. Best I recall, it was on the ABC Sunday night movie sometime after I saw A Star is Born in the theater, so I would guess the fall of 1977. Granted, I could do some research to get the exact dates and details but I'm just winging it here. I also remember when they repeated the movie again on network T.V. sometime during the first half of 1979. It was up against the network premiere of Rocky on another channel.
Another thing I remember is that the movie looked different on T.V. I was still not familiar with film aspect ratios and pan and scan on T.V. But even then I could tell I was missing something. I knew from seeing the film on the big screen that some images were not right. Both characters should be in the shot, but could fit the format of the T.V. screen. Even when the first videotapes came out the film was still cropped. Eventually the film was released on laserdisc in the widescreen format (which I still have).
And of course it is now available on DVD in all it's widescreen glory so you can see Barbra and Robert together again, and not in separate shots.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

I remember when I first saw this movie back in the early '80s. I tried not to squeal too much in the theater. It instantly become my favorite movies because of this scene. Look closely and you can see Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, Adam Ant and Blondie along with Barbra.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Animated Barbra

Barbra made an "animated" appearance on the September 27, 2009 episode of "American Dad". One of the plots focused on a $499 pay-per-view T.V. special called Barbra does Celine.
While it may look like her, the voice (and singing) was definately not hers.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

For Pete's Sake

My first memory of For Pete's Sake was from watching games shows during the day during the summer of 1974. I was always watching way too much television and I loved game shows. It seemed that at the end of the shows, they would give promotion consideration for this and that product and one of the items was for this movie. I don't remember which game show, it may have been more than one. I just remember multiple mentions, enough that I still retain it decades later (the power of advertising!). I remembered her name because I had previously seen The Way We Were at the theater. It was during this time that I became aware (although not necessarily a fan) of this actress.
The above screen shot showing Brooklyn was actually shot on the back lot at Warner Brother's studio. The background buildings still look the same. Granted, they look pretty bare when not dressed up for a shoot. It looks like they've made some modification in the foreground. The angle is a little bit off but the road doesn't quite line up and the sidewalk looks extended. But hey, that's Hollywood.

Auction 2009 Part 2

After winning two Academy Awards, ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, a Special Tony Award, a Peabody, an AFI Life Achievement Award and inducted as a Kennedy Center Honoree, you would think they could spell her name correctly!

Auction 2009 Part 1

This is a photo of Roz Kind at the auction preview October 16, 2009.
The auction has been well documented elsewhere on the internet. Can't think of anything else to add that hasn't already been reported.
However, after the auction on Sunday, I did hang around and talked to a couple who were friends with Darren Julien's parents. The only "exclusive" I can give you here is that Kenny Rogers was signed up for the auction. Don't know if he actually bought anything. Couldn't get any information on other celebrities registered.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Way We Were filming locations - Part 1

I remember the first time I saw The Way We Were. It was in Victoria, Texas with my sister and (now ex-) brother-in-law. I was still a little too young to get emotional at this movie. I remember enjoying it. I remember the theater was crowded and we had to slowly walk down the aisle to exit. I remember my sister was crying (well, had the sniffles) and I asked "Why are you crying?". Like I said, I was too young at the time.
But don't worry. This was a movie kept coming back to the theaters. I remember seeing it in 1977 during a return engagement at the local theater in New Bruanfels, after a successful run of A Star is Born. I cried my eyes out at each screening.
The screen shot is from the end of the movie across from the Plaza Hotel (get those hankies ready). The background buildings haven't changed much since the filming of the movie. But if you look closely, you'll see a new high-rise has popped up.

Interview with Mario Tosi (DP on The Main Event)

Mario Tosi, director of photography on The Main Event, attended a screening of the movie in Fort Lauderdale on October 6, 2009. It was part of a tribute to the cinematographer for the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival. Among the other movies he's worked on include Carrie, McArthur, The Besty and The Stuntman.
After the screening there was a Q & A session, with most of the questions focused on Barbra.
Following are "sound bites" for the event.
"O'Neal was a nice fellow"
"Selected by Zieff to shoot movie"
"Challenge with Barbra Streisand who was the biggest in the business at the time (referred to Hello, Dolly and A Star is Born) to light her. Shaky at start. She preferred to be filmed with a sky pan (huge, big light) on top of the lens- which made her totally flat, like a pancake."
He didn't want to film her that way. "You don't have to look that way". Her Greek nose was beautiful.
Was shaky the first two weeks until he slowly convinced her to use bounce lighting. Slowly added shadows. She slowly accepted lighting that way- soft light/ shadow.
"She looked pretty" Depended on him. Talented, insecure. Called at night.
She asked him to do Yentl. (I questioned him in more detail about that afterward. During filming of ME and afterward, they talked about it. Even visited her ranch to talk about it. By the time filming was in place, she went with a European film crew).
He would have loved to do A Star is Born- a big film. Main Event was a tiny comedy.
She's the most talented person in his career.
Needed to be a perfectionist on the set. Do it correctly, or you're fired. She wants the best.
Not in touch anymore. Hasn't been in touch with her in 13, 14 years.
Attended the same yoga place together.

Close Encounters of the Barbra Kind No. 23

Going, going gone.
Since I didn't have tickets for the Village Vanguard concert, I waited outside the backdoor entrance hoping for a quick glimpse of Barbra. And it was a quick glimpse for the small crowd that gathered that afternoon. Barbra's SUV drove up at 4:53 p.m. E.S.T. (yes, I checked the time).
She was whisked away against the screaming of the fans asking her to turn around. She briefly turned around and waved, then proceeded to the backdoor. The crowd let out a collective "ahhh" disappointed that she didn't turn around and wave longer. Sensing the crowd's disappointment, she turned around and waved again- for about a total amount of 5 seconds. We'll take that one more look at her- even if it is only 5 seconds.
These are the greatest shots, but it's all I got. The third photo would have been pretty good, if I hadn't shaked the camera! It happened so fast, then it was over.
By the time she left after the concert, the crowd had grown considerably. Barbra made a beeline to the SUV (what, no meet and greet with the fans?). Didn't catch a glimpse of her until she was in the car when the interior light was on. Once again, it happened so fast, then was over :(
(P.S., you have to enlarge the photos to really see Barbra)

Inside the Village Vanguard - Sept. 26, 2009

Above is a photo inside the Village Vanguard taken from the stage looking out at the audience on September 26, 2009 taken by me. Now before you ask me if I attended the concert, I should add that this photo was taken around 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 26th.
I knew that it would be highly unlikely for me to somehow get inside for the concert barring a miracle. So I settled for the next best thing. I attended, along with friends Robin and Kevin, the 11:00 p.m. jazz concert on the 25th. This was the closest I could get to the real thing.
As you can see it's a small venue. The entrance the the nightclub is that red space with the exit sign above. The stairs go directly up to street level at 7th Ave. If you look over to the right of that area you can see another exit sign. If you go through that space you will end up at another flight of stairs that will take you to the back entrance at Waverly Place.
I kept the flash off for this photo to more closely resemble the view Barbra had the night of the concert. You can't tell from this photo but another row of tables was to the left and some additional tables to the right.
While there we talked to the staff for details. Our hostess said that the Secret Service was there that day for a security sweep (turns out the Clintons attended the concert, which we had surmised). Among the changes that were made was the addition of extra lighting (for filming) and a couple of vintage Barbra photos added to the wall close to the stage (to the right of this photo).
So there you have it- close, but no cigar.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Close Encounters of the Barbra Kind No. 10

The National Democratic Gala, Kodak theater, Hollywood, CA - around 2:00 a.m. September 30, 2002.

Yes I know it's hard to tell, but it is Barbra. My digital camera decided focus on the forefront. Why don't these cameras come with a Barbra auto-focus feature?

That's her in black (well, O.K. everyone is in black). The man behind her is Dick Gephardt. James is to the right (the white hair is the giveaway).

One interesting feature about the gala was toward the beginning when David Foster introduced his new protoge- his first performance in public. The guy sounded nice- reminded me of Frank Sinatra. A few years later my friend Robin and I were discussing the trip. She informed me that the singer was Michael Buble! I had forgotten. I knew who Michael Buble but I didn't remember that's the guy I say. I remember him after the gala when everyone was leaving, he was just standing there by the side doors in the auditorium. No one was bothering him. He was just standing there. I debated going up and asking for a picture. I decided not to. Big mistake. Now you can't get near him.

Getting back Barbra, we got to see her arrive at the Kodak theater around 3:30 p.m. the day before (Sept. 29th). Robin and I were walking around the complex, trying to determine where Barbra would enter from. We talked to a security girl and she told us Barry Manilow was arriving at 3:00 and Barbra at 3:30! Sure enough, she arrived and was ushered in. So we got to see her coming and going.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On a Clear Day filming locations Part 1

I did see On A Clear Day in the theater as I child. I don't remember it very well. The only thing I can remember is the opening and ending number from that first experience.
I remember being in awe with the stop-motion photography of the flowers growing (it's still an impressive piece of photogaphy today). The only thing was I couldn't figure out how they did it. It sounds silly now, but as a child you weren't exposed to such wonders of special effects as children are now. I remember asking my mother during the song "How did they do that?" I simply did not have a clue. I must have asked a little too loudly. My mother shussed me and whispered that they took a photo of the flower every day over time.
On a Clear Day is still one of my favorite Barbra songs of all time. I know this sounds strange but during the title song at the end of the movie, I keep thinking it was filmed on a Friday evening at sunset. I can still remember after seeing the movie, I get a Friday evening feeling when I think of the song. Don't ask why- can't explain it.
As it turns out, after visiting the location the movie shot above was indeed filmed around sunset (the golden hour). Still don't know what day of the week it was filmed.
Wanting to capture the scene with the same lighting I visiting the site in the late afternoon to capture the same shadows. As it turned out, it was a cloudy afternooon! I was losing the light, and there's nothing without the light! And I even waited until Friday to get the shot. Again, don't ask why.
A number of changes about the location since 1970 (or really 1969 since that's when it was filmed).
Most notably, the statue is not there. It was a movie prop. Confused me for a while when I visited the site. Wasn't sure if I was in the right place. Now that I see the scene again, it is kinda ackward to have a huge statue right smack in front and so close to the building entrance.
The white globe light has been replaced with signage.
The steps have also been modified for handicapped accessibility at the front door. There's a large wheelchair ramp off camera to the right. Handrails have also been added.
FYI- this building is located at Exposition Park in Los Angeles. While the story of OACD takes place in NY it was actually filmed in California.

A Star is Born filming locations Part 2

Another shot of Esther Hoffman's apartment. This photo is from a recent trip to Hollywood.
I visited this apartment location a few years ago with some friends during one of the Barbra reunions. While this apartment is visible from the street, the complex is gated and locked. As luck would have it, while we were there the girl who lived there was leaving the complex. We told her about the location. She didn't have a clue. We were more than happy to explain the significance of the apartment she lived in. She probably thought we were nuts but let us in to get a closer look. We even talked her into opening her apartment door so we could see inside (I could tell from the movie that the interior shots were from a sound stage and one look inside confirmed my intuition.)
During my most current visit, I took along some screen shots from the television, so I could match up the camera angles. Time restraints prevented me from coming back later to more closely match up the lighting (and the shadows). While in the movie this scene takes place early in the mornng (7:00 a.m.?), this shot was actually filmed more toward the evening. I was there around noon time. (I'll try for a reshoot next time I'm there).
While taking photos this time around again a lady walked out of the apartment and out the gate. With camera and screen shots from the movie in hand, I told her about the movie significance about the apartment. Turns out her daughter lives there and neither one knew about it.
As you can tell, the balcony has been replaced with wood and bars cover the window (to keep Barbra fans from breaking in?).