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Hooray for Hollywood

Well, hello there!  It wasn’t my intention to drop off the face of the earth for a month, but April was super busy with work, travel and focusing on other interests (okay, one all-consuming interest, the royal wedding!), and I hardly watched any movies at all.

I did spend several lovely days in Los Angeles with friends, however, and got my classic movie fix by visiting a few historic spots in Hollywood, among them Grauman’s Chinese theater and the Griffith Observatory, where part of Rebel Without a Cause was filmed.

I was surprised by just how thrilled I was visiting Grauman’s Chinese theater, putting my hands in Gary Cooper’s big handprints and swooning over Cary Grant’s cement signature.  It was cheesy and touristy, but also exciting to see footprints and signatures of so many of the stars I love most – Gregory Peck, Myrna Loy, Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Irene Dunne…so many!  For the record, Gary Cooper’s feet were enormous and John Wayne’s were surprisingly small. 

Another highlight of the trip was visiting  The Hollywood Museum.  I can’t recommend that place highly enough for classic movie buffs!  It’s absolutely jam-packed with great movie memorabilia, mostly from the Golden Age movies and actors we all love so much.

There were costumes worn by stars like Marilyn Monroe, Doris Day, Lana Turner, Lucille Ball, Clara Bow, Judy Garland and others, several cars including Cary Grant’s 1965 Rolls Royce and Jean Harlow’s 1932 Packard, and a vast collection of movie star autographs. Lots and lots of neat things. The Jean Harlow exhibit, commemorating the 100th anniversary of her birth, was especially interesting.

One of Doris Day’s costumes from Love Me or Leave Me
Jean Harlow’s 1932 Packard and a costume from Bombshell

I also had a celebrity spotting moment, when Sean Penn was on my flight into Los Angeles.  He was four rows in front of me on the plane, looking greasy-haired and disheveled, slouched down in the front row with his sock-clad feet up on the wall. It was pretty exciting!

Still, seeing a current actor in person was far less exciting to me than simply touching a piece of cement on which Cary Grant once stood.  Today’s stars just can’t compare to the old time greats.  For one thing, I doubt Cary would have slummed it on Southwest Airlines,  and I know darn well he wouldn’t have put his feet up on the wall!

Speaking of Cary, I recently bought his daughter Jennifer’s new book, Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, which looks absolutely lovely.  I can’t wait to read it.

Hope to see you around here a lot more this month than last!

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4 thoughts on “Hooray for Hollywood

  1. Sounds like a great trip. I’m curious about the new book on Cary Grant written by his daughter. You should write a review on that once you get through reading it.

    • It’s a really cool place! I wish I’d had more time to spend there — there are so many fascinating things to look at.

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