Friday, November 19, 2021

Fun Finds: Hollywood Studio Magazine, April 1987

Today's Fun Find was generously donated to me by a loyal reader who, taking note of my struggles to post as regularly as I would like, scanned and submitted this entire magazine so that I, and you in turn, could enjoy its contents! A vivid color photo of Loretta Young adorns the cover. We heartily thank the good Samaritan who provided this material for us. And now, let's take a peek inside!

Loretta Young was still alive at the time of this publication (she lived until the year 2000), so I don't think anyone was going to find this particular copy of HSM on her coffee table at home...!

The early-to-mid 1980s marked a big return to glamour, which had slid to the wayside in the 1970s. But at this time, as the 1990s were on the horizon (and grunge was threatening to settle in), there was a question as to the future of elegance.

I wouldn't count myself as a particular "fan" of Young's but I did think she had some wonderful looks along the way during her popular anthology TV series (with it's famed entrances each week.)

I didn't know that youngest sibling Georgianna was actually a half-sibling! (And I've always chuckled at the nickname "Gretch the Wretch!")

The author of this article tries to shimmy in every conceivable bit of gossip possible, which I admire (ha!) I also love that he points out the fact that Louise Tracy was not Catholic, but Episcopalian, so it was unlikely that she was the one who never gave in to a divorce from her famous hubby Spencer.

She seemed to work her legendary religious beliefs to fit whatever way she wanted them to...

I was living with my grandmother when Christmas Eve aired. She was thrilled about it. Otherwise, at that time, I likely wouldn't have watched it. That's one good-looking TV family she conjured up! (Hunky Charles Frank was also in it.) I had no idea about all this with her son, Chris. Eeeek!! And I would love to get a look at Dark Mansions. I'd probably enjoy it.

Um, I looked up Virginia Hill and I found ONE photo in which she was pretty. Otherwise, nah... not leading lady material for that time.

One of my favorite things about HSM is its customary inclusion of then-current candid photos of classic stars out and about at events. For whatever reason, Marjorie Reynolds is a star that I know, literally, nothing about...! She had a busy career from the 1920s to the early-1960s and yet I have never seen her in anything....! LOL (She's a party guest in Gone with the Wind, 1939, but I'm not counting that.) Columnist Lee Graham nearly always winds up in one or more of the pics himself.

I'll be sharing a few extra details of that Lauren Bacall stage appearance at the end of this post. We dearly love reading all those "Whatever Became of....?" books and have most of them. But the name Korla Pandit (and his or her "turban!") intrigued me.

I just had to look this person up and this is what I found. Turns out he was an early TV sensation, playing the piano and the organ while staring exotically into the camera! During the duration of his 15-minute program, which ran for 900 shows, he never once uttered a word! In a later version of his program, he began speaking on spiritual matters. The inset is from his hey-day, the main photo is from an appearance in Ed Wood (1994.) After his death at 77 in 1998, it was discovered that he was not Indian, but actually African-American (born John Redd), having circumvented segregation policies of his era by adopting a different nationality for decades.

Another example of the great candid shots of stars from the past that I've come to rely on from this publication. Ann Blyth does look terrific!

File Donna Summer and Jane Seymour under "Pairs I Never Expected to See Together." We all know that Juliet Mills was a successful cougar when it came to landing Maxwell Caulfield, but don't be misled into thinking that Ginger Rogers followed suit. The man with her is George Pan Andreas, a Grecian-born actor who helped found the West Coast Academy of Dramatic Arts and, through some conneciton unknown to me, was Rogers' godson. 

I have to echo the headline here. Gifted young actor De Wilde was indeed taken from us far too soon.

De Wilde was not, as this article says, driving at 3:25am. He was driving in a rainstorm at 3:25pm after having visited his wife in the hospital. When the camper rolled on its side, he was pinned and suffered multiple broken bones, passing away within four hours. Close friend Gram Parsons wrote a song which included reference to this crash.

I loved seeing all the pictures in this section of female stars bedecked in the finery of old Hollywood. Smith and Wyman (who I didn't even recognize right away!) were in about a half-dozen of the same movies, which surprised me.

I was SO into Dynasty at this time. It served as a forerunner those days when it came to glitz on TV. They always talk about Joan Collins' shoulder pads, but you ought to take a look at Cybill Shepherd's from Moonlighting some time...! We love Ann Sothern (and Carole Lombard, too.) Fun to see an early Bette Davis being pressed into service as a glamour girl.

Hedy Lamarr was, of course, considered one of the movies' all-time great beauties. That's quite a get-up on Marion Davies!

I've yet to see Mrs. Parkington (1944) and never realized that redheaded Greer Garson went for a dark brunette look in that one. That Lana Turner photo looks like a John Engstead portrait. He was one of the TOP photographers when it came to diffusing the image and bringing out gauzy glamour in his subjects.

Great shot of Deborah Kerr. Norma Shearer's look is terrific, too. Was this in her "hey-day" though or near the end of her reign? Love Errol Flynn and am always happy to see him.

This was a sensational color pinup of the aforementioned Miss Loretta Young.

Another color pin-up, this time of Judy Garland and frequent costar Mickey Rooney. "Hey! Let's put on a show!"

This page precedes an article on some of the lesser-known actresses who worked at Columbia Pictures. Rita was one of the their greatest stars, but we're about to learn a little about some of the others...

The primary reason that my magazine donor held onto this publication all these years (yes, 1987 was, now, 34 years ago!) was because it featured a favorite actress of his, Jeff Donnell. The unusually-named star is the first one profiled in this article. Studio head Harry Cohn was one of the most hated men in town, but he's fascinating to read about. If you ever see the book King Cohn for sale, I suggest giving it a try.,

It's really due to his own interest in her that I was able to take note of who she was and learn to spot her in things. She had an innate charm that came through in practically any role she played. Incredibly, she died of a heart attack only one year after this interview at age 66. She was still appearing as The Quartermaine's housekeeper Stella on General Hospital at that time. (The character was written off as having won the lottery and resigned.)

Evelyn Keyes lived to be 91, passing away of uterine cancer in 2008. Janet Blair passed away the year before that at 85 of complications from pneumonia.

I dearly loved the human dynamo Ann Miller. She died of lung cancer in 2004 at age 80. Jinx Falkenburg is really known more for her modeling and her work on radio and TV with her husband Tex McCrary than for the movies. She died in 2003 at age 84. There are no credits beyond 1977 for Marguerite Chapman, so I don't guess her comeback came to fruition, though she was reportedly in the running to play Old Rose in Titanic (1997.) By then her health had deteriorated and she passed away in 1999 at age 81. Dusty Anderson was chiefly a model rather than an actress. She practically retired after marrying noted director Jean Negulesco and lived until 2007. She was 88 or 90, depending on the source.

Janis Carter didn't work on-screen after 1955, but was active in local theatre. She died of a heart attack in 1994 at age 80. many of you will recall Marcia Mae Jones for her work with Shirley Temple in Heidi (1937) and The Little Princess (1939), not to mention These Three (1936.) She continued to act on TV up to the early-1980s, passing away in 2007 at age 83. 

Leslie Brooks (not pictured) only acted for about a decade and had a really elegant look. She lived to be 88, passing away in 2011. Most of us recall Gloria Henry as the mother of Dennis the Menace. Remarkably, she worked sporadically until 2012, passing away just this last April, one day after her 98th birthday! Audrey Long passed away in 2014 at age 92. Adele Jergens lived until 2002, when pneumonia claimed her at age 85.

Ann Savage's performance in Detour (1945) has assured her a lasting following. She died in 2008 following a series of strokes at age 87. Remarkably, she'd just made a return to movies the year before in the art film My Winnipeg. (She may not have minded a pinch from Charles Coburn, but she whacked Tom Neal across the face once when he put his tongue in her ear!) I had never heard of Lynn Merrick, but like most of these ladies she lived a long life, passing away in 2007 at age 87. Carole Mathews segued from movies to a prolific career as a TV guest star. She died in 2014 of heart failure at age 94. Mary Castle really did resemble Rita Hayworth. She's one of the few of these gals to die before the age of eighty, passing away of lung cancer in 1998 at age 67. She'd been plagued by an alcohol problem in the 1950s.

The letters section of this magazine included a thank you from one man whose Joan Crawford collection had been featured. Now we see part of a massive Johnny Mathis collection from a fan. I always enjoy Johnny's opening theme for The Best of Everything (1959.)

I wonder what ever happened to all those Marilyn Monroe paintings...!

Needless to say, the blurb at the top of this page made me think of Chuckles the Clown from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, though in that case the third line was "A little seltzer down your pants!" Ha ha!

God knows I adored Jon-Erik Hexum myself.

Only Sissy Spacek of the actresses mentioned for Crimes of the Heart (1986) wound up Oscar-nominated (losing to Marlee Matlin in Children of a Lesser God), but unmentioned Tess Harper was nominated for Supporting Actress that year as well. (The little gold man went to Dianne Wiest for Hannah and Her Sisters.) 

Finally, this pinup of Hedy Lamarr. She was heralded for her beauty (and was no dummy, as it turned out), but her acting never set the world on fire.


This concludes the magazine proper, and I do thank again our friend who worked hard on providing it to me! But I had to revisit that story near the beginning on Lauren Bacall's failed tour of Sweet Bird of Youth. I hadn't been aware of it and the columnist made it sound like an unmitigated disaster. The production opened in London's West End in 1985, 26 years after its initial debut on Broadway. At that time Bacall's costar was Michael Beck (of Xanadu, 1980.) Destined for L.A., it first toured Australia where it got rave reviews:

They seemed to like her pretty well down under!

By this point, Colin Friels was her costar.

Somehow by the time the show reached L.A. and she had Mark Soper (of The World According to Garp, 1982) as her leading man, the wheels had come off, apparently. (L.A. review here.) I do like this photo of her. The two-time Tony-winner didn't get to return to Broadway with this as hoped, but she did act on the Great White Way in a couple of benefit concerts and one last time in 1999 with Waiting in the Wings, running for 186 performances.

Oh, and I've posted this photo before, but just in case anyone has forgotten, the adult Brandon De Wilde may not have exceeded 5'9", but to paraphrase Mae West, let's forget about the 5 feet and concentrate on the 9 inches! Ha ha ha! Till next time...

Friday, November 12, 2021

"Savage" Boulevard

My last post around Halloween focused on some shockers that I have enjoyed watching many times over the years. I didn't intend to dive back into that genre right away, but the mention of Savage Intruder (1970), which I had never seen, left me little choice. I had to see what in the world was going on in this late-stage installment of the "psycho biddy" or "horror hag" trend of the 1960s, in which once glamorous leading ladies were put through all sorts of hell on the big screen for the salivating pleasure of curious viewers. This time it was Miriam Hopkins' turn to be paraded out for a series of scares.

Hopkins was not quite the household name that Davis, Crawford and de Havilland were, but she did have a substantial movie career. She starred in the first three-strip Technicolor film Becky Sharp (1935), for which she was Oscar-nominated (losing to Bette Davis in Dangerous) and enjoyed starring in classics like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Trouble in Paradise (1932), Design for Living (1933), These Three (1936) and quite a few others. Her early-'30s efforts were notable for pushing the envelope in a variety of ways until the Hays Code began to shape what Hollywood could offer. Thus, she was perfect for her role in this campy exercise in decay, which fed off (better) projects from Sunset Boulevard (1950) to Psycho (1960.)

The film kicks off with a montage of Old Hollywood (including moments from, of all things, Singin' in the Rain, 1952!) and flashing pics of Ms. Hopkins from her days as a star so that contemporary viewers are sure to know who they're about to see.

Exemplifying Tinseltown's degradation, we're shown up close shots of the dilapidated HOLLYWOOD sign as it appeared at that time. It had by this time fallen into shocking disrepair (and would only get worse over the next few years.)

Exposed nails and broken pieces give us a glimpse of the erosion of the sign (and the place.)

At the foot of the sign, we find one of a series of middle-aged women who've been slaughtered by a deranged serial killer!

And now we meet one more potential victim. On her way home from a local bar, this tired soul is trudging home (followed by a figure in white slacks and a hat.)

The gal (Dorothy Kingston) settles in for one more beer (in the bathroom?) before a club-wielding manic konks her on the head!

Then, in an apparent effort to save time and manpower, the culprit plugs in an electric knife (Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!) and proceeds to take her apart...!

Next we find one of those famed tour buses of movie star homes driven by Joe Besser. (Besser had a long, busy career as a comedian in movies and on TV, but is often recalled as a replacement for Shemp Howard in mid-1950s The Three Stooges shorts.)

Hanging off the back is one David Garfield, an aimless hippie. He hops off the bus at the gate of this mansion. (In real life, this place had been the estate of silent film star Norma Talmadge.)

The inside of the mansion is chock full of figurines and statuary, a recurring motif throughout Savage Intruder. In the portrait is Hopkins during the 1930s...

...and here is Hopkins in 1970! Having herself a drink or five, she's fussing around in preparation for a party.

Sashaying about in a tulle party gown, she startles even herself when she realizes how much vodka she's put away.

Note all the statues in the home, who serve as silent observers of all the goings-on (and provide an audience for the now-faded star, who's mostly holed up in her mansion.)

The place provides a great setting for this tale of Old Hollywood gone to seed.

And right on cue, Hopkins takes a tumble down the stairs, flipping her wig and, more importantly, breaking her leg!

We soon meet her staff; live-in personal secretary Gale Sondergaard, live-in maid Florence Lake and her attorney, Lester Matthews.

Matthews orders any pills and liquor to be kept from Hopkins during her recovery. He also orders a nurse from a registry to come and care for her since she'll be in a wheelchair.

Cue the arrival of Garfield. A skeptical Lake offers her disdain for the young people of today, yet assumes he's a legitimate representative from the agency and doesn't check for any proof. He even gives the ludicrous name "Laurel Anhardy" or some such...!

For reasons unknown, Garfield wears a horrible wig for these scenes. Reference is made to him needing a haircut but his hair is no shorter once the wig is finally ditched. It's bizarre. Also, there seems to be a continuity or editing issue since he was already seen arriving at the mansion BEFORE Hopkins had her fall, yet here he is, ready to assume nursing duties?

Anyway, Sondergaard is no more diligent about looking into his qualifications than Lake was. It's just assumed that he is the nurse! I did love the hourglass prop on her desk, though. Most film buffs know that she was the original choice for the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (1939) until they opted to make the character scary rather than glamorously menacing (a la the Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937.)

Hopkins is horrified when she sees who has been assigned to her recovery.

But after a period of being wheeled around the grounds by him, she starts to loosen up. He even insults her while picking her up to place her on a chaise, referring to her as "Fatty Arbuckle" and she merely cackles.

Garfield is revealed to be a heroin addict and during one trip he experiences a hallucinogenic flashback to his childhood when he walked in on his mother in the midst of a crazed orgy. I would truly love to know who selected her partners for this and why!

Garfield has developed an association with another staff member of Hopkins', Virginia Wing. One night, they slink into a section of the house that's been closed down ever since Hopkins' husband died.

They're startled to find a pair of mannequins that closely resemble Hopkins in her prime, each bearing a costume from one of her long-ago film triumphs.

Here, he confesses his mother's sordid past while simultaneously seducing Wing.

The next day (back in that awful wig again!) he is entertaining Hopkins with pratfalls from her wheelchair.

His funny guy routine must be working because soon she invites him to join her on her bed. She tells him to say "something lovely" to her and when he asks, "like what?," she plants a big kiss on him and presumably more...!

The next morning, Hopkins is markedly brighter and more bushy-tailed as she watches Garfield swimming in the newly-reopened pool. (I didn't even bother trying to capture that. It's very brief and not worth the trouble... He ain't all that. LOL) Sondergaard isn't as enthusiastic about the guy's presence as her boss is.

The rejuvenated Hopkins has declared that she wants rid of all her old clothes in exchange for new ones, she wants to throw a dinner party and she even plans to come back to the public eye, either on TV or in the Hollywood Christmas Parade. This sequence is capped off with Hopkins crooning croaking "Taking a Chance on Love!"

Under the, um, vocals, we see that Garfield is getting a whole new wardrobe himself, including a huge fur coat all his own.

Both of them now outfitted in their new duds, Hopkins treats Garfield to a viewing of one of her old hits (in reality, her own film Wise Girl from 1937.)

Garfield is still seeing Wing on the side. While at a psychedelic hangout of his, he encourages her to take a pill to make her less of "a pain." Still photos of their lovemaking segue into the next scene...

No. No one's making pizza...

Garfield is giving his employer a vigorous massage! She regales him with the plot line of one of her old pictures opposite George Brent.

When she begins picking on him over his manners with the big dinner party coming up that evening, his massage goes from vigorous to violent, causing her to call a halt to it. Here, Ms. Hopkins does something that no other "horror hag" that I'm aware of ever dared...

She gets up from the massage table and allows the camera to capture most of one, then the other pendulous 68 year-old breast! She soon forgives him and they begin kissing again.

At the glitzy dinner, you'll never guess who's in attendance! Right there in the pale blue - Poseidon's Underworld's favorite extra, Leoda Richards. The woman was in everything!

It's not exactly a wild and woolly shindig. This man is asleep! Sondergaard does wear some fun earrings at least.

Nothing says "elegant" like Jell-O for dessert...!

This poor soul had to fight for face time with a silver urn and another person's head, then finally got to emerge but with a feather arrangement behind her that gave off a showgirl effect! But what's fun is that this is silent film comedienne Minta Durfee. Durfee was the wife of Fatty Arbuckle and despite their separation she stood by him throughout his trial and defended him ever after. She enjoyed a long career as a bit player prior to her death in 1975.

After being informed by Sondergaard that Garfield is having an affair with the mistress of the house, Wing is understandably furious. He denies it, but she knows he's lying. She then reveals to him that she is knocked up!

After a scuffle with Garfield, Wing runs back to Sondergaard and turns in her resignation.

"I (Don't) Enjoy Being a Girl!"

Next we're treated to another Garfield flashback.

Mom is still having her fun with (apparently) half the neighborhood.

This time, though, it ends abruptly!

Hopkins has witnessed Garfield's confrontation with Wing over their romance and her pregnancy and she is NOT happy.

He manages to draw her out of her snit, however, by taking her on a drive, punctuated by a "little drink." Since she's been dry ever since falling and breaking her leg, this sounds pretty good.

That night Hopkins is enjoying a trip down memory lane (actually Sunset Strip!) when Garfield suggests they go to a party.

The party, however, is hardly the soiree she had in mind! It's at the hippie hangout, filled to the brim with spaced-out revelers. Having been offered every drug under the sun, she lets them know that the only trips she takes are to Europe!

This gaggle of partygoers is portrayed by something called The Synergy Trust, presumably a group of improvisational performers. It's your typically whacked-out, groovy '60s scene.

Back at the mansion, Sondergaard is awakened from her comfortable night's sleep.

Oh lawd... the gang's all here!

Garfield and Hopkins have invited the inhabitants of the bar to come to the mansion to continue the revelry!

Suddenly, Hopkins realizes that Garfield is nowhere to be found! She passes out before she can find out where he's gone.

During all the shenanigans, Sondergaard uses the opportunity to search Garfield's room. Why be alarmed by a shit-ton of Satanic memorabilia or the odd stolen piece of silver...?!

Soon enough, she's discovered by Garfield, who informs her that he is there to stay as he satisfies all of his employer's needs.

Now we have a ringside seat at the Santa Claus Lane Parade, an actual occurrence. Fans of Tinseltown, especially those who've been there, will surely love the period shots of the street and its storefronts.

Spliced in is Ms. Hopkins, atop a huge float and waving to her fans/subjects below as Queen of the Parade.

Speaking of queens, get a load of the two "gals" on the far left.

A thoroughly sloshed Hopkins gives an interview to a reporter and makes a perfect fool of herself (though the scene is a scream to witness as a hammy Hopkins rails against hoodlums and queers and the place going "daahhhwwnheeeell" while a sudden southern accent pops up!)

The stately Sondergaard informs her employer that she was quite drunk on TV the night before. Hopkins tries to take comfort in the fact that at least she didn't fall off the float!

Lake bemoans the fact that so much trouble seems to have come at the same time as Garfield. Note the placement of the figures on either side.

Hopkins invites Garfield in and begins offering up some more inducements to him. But it turns out she is testing him. And he fails... She orders him to get out! (But, as you can imagine, he doesn't.)

Later, after he has tried to tempt her with vodka bottles strewn about her room, he punches her out (!) and injects vodka into her system with a syringe! Then he forces her to imbibe more and to begin singing loudly.

Sondergaard, unaware of exactly what is happening, can only listen to the caterwauling in disgust. (Note Hermes pointing the way upstairs.)

Garfield has installed himself as the man of the house, condescendingly ordering Lake around.

Sensing disaster, Sondergaard calls Matthews to come over, but his wife Reza Royce will have none of it. She'd just been slighted by Hopkins at that fancy dinner of hers not long ago.

Garfield keeps Hopkins under the influence so that she can't prevent him from sponging off of her.

This great shot of her in despair reminded me of Gloria Swanson amid the ruins of the Roxy Theatre.

Sondergaard and Lake are virtually powerless against the manipulative young man.

...and the killings are far from over either! All under the watchful eye of the statues.

This mannequin, which does resemble a young Hopkins, figures into the plot line, though I won't divulge any more of it as I don't like to spoil.

As I've noted along the way, the cast of Savage Intruder is dotted with notable old school performers. Royce is yet one more. As a young lady, she'd worked in some silent movies before marrying no less than Josef Von Sternberg! The union only lasted three years. She became a frequent TV performer in the 1950s and acted in such horror movies as House of Wax (1950) and The Bat (1959.) She retired in 1976, passing away in 1980 of a heart attack at age 77.

English-born Matthews began working in movies in 1931, keeping very busy in supporting parts for decades after. He also was a very frequent TV actor, recurring on The Ann Sothern Show and The Beverly Hillbillies. Some of the films in which he appeared are The Raven (1935), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), The Three Musketeers (1939), Now, Voyager (1942), Niagra (1953) and many others. He died in 1975 at the age of 75.

Wing had begun appearing as a guest on television in the early-'60s. Needless to say, opportunities at that time for an Asian actress tended to be limited. In this, her movie debut, there are at least two references to her ethnicity that would set today's tongues a-wagging, though it's something of an advancement that generally the relationship between Garfield and her raises no eyebrows. She continued to work on TV and in movies mostly in character parts, but worked on two short films just last year. She is 84 now.

Lake was the child of Vaudevillians and performed with them as a youth. By 1929 she was acting in movies, often as a high-voiced scatterbrain, particularly in a series of comic shorts in which she played the feather-brained mother of a family by the name of Kennedy (from 1931-1948.) Her younger brother was Arthur Lake, who found his own success in a series of Blondie movies. Always in demand, she worked up until 1977, passing away in 1980 at the age of 75.

Sondergaard was a stage actress from the late-1920s who made her film debut in Anthony Adverse (1936.) For her trouble, she was granted the Academy Award, the first one offered for Supporting Actress. She continued steadily in a wide variety of parts until the Hollywood Blacklist of the late 1940s ended her movie career (her husband had been named one of the Hollywood Ten.) Two decades later, she resumed her screen career on TV and in this film. She was a wondrously articulate performer whose voice could always be understood. Clearly averse to any sort of cosmetic augmentation, she was an elegant and bright person (you can watch a 1980 interview with her here.) She retired in 1982 and passed away in 1985 at age 86, following a series of strokes.

Examples of Ms. Sondergaard in her hey-day.

I haven't mentioned it yet, but you may have guessed. David Garfield was John David Garfield, the son of far more notable actor John Garfield. Heretofore having played mostly bit roles like "Police Surgeon" and "Ticket Seller" in movies, this was a big leap in terms of role prominence. His voice was very much like his father, and he was quite a bit taller than his dad, but the overall screen charisma just wasn't there. Soon after this, he was back to parts like "Party Guest" and "Customer."

His famous father was, like Sondergaard, greatly affected by the blacklist and died of a heart attack at age 39 as a result of the stress and trauma of it. When film roles of any sort petered out, the younger Garfield segued into film editing (with All the Right Moves, 1983, and The Karate Kid II, 1986, among his credits.) Sadly, he passed away from a heart attack as well at only age 51 in 1994.

Hopkins had enjoyed great success in the early-1930s, but her popularity began to slip a bit by the time the 1940s dawned. She'd been Margaret Mitchell's choice to play Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939) and did test for it, but it was not to be. By the time she did The Old Maid (1939), costar Bette Davis had eclipsed her in terms of star power and billing. First, she'd seen Davis win an Oscar over her. Then she witnessed Davis win another Oscar for Jezebel (1938), a part Hopkins had created on Broadway! Add in the murmurings that Davis had enjoyed an affair with Hopkins' husband, director Anatole Litvak, and the two were dead set enemies. The were paired again in Old Acquaintance (1943) wherein Hopkins drove Davis mad, but the chemistry was captivating.

Like Davis, Hopkins was a chain smoker and it did take its toll on her beauty (as well as her teeth.) But she retained her palpable on-screen energy. She departed films for 6 years, doing some Broadway, until returning in 1949 to a supporting role in The Heiress while also embarking on a prolific career in the new medium of live television.

But by the time Davis had scored in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) and Hush, Hush... Sweet Charlotte (1964), there was no way Hopkins wasn't going to throw her hat into the ring as well. She attacked her role in Savage Intruder with gusto. There are even times when Hopkins brings Davis to mind in her performance. Unfortunately, the movie suffers from continuity issues and a lack of overall vision, though it's quite watchable nonetheless. One minute it's stylish and grand looking, the next it appears cheap-jack and disjointed!

Despite Hopkins' and Sondergaard's best efforts, Savage Intruder never even got a proper release. It was generally held back from circulation until 1974 when it came out as "Hollywood Horror House." By that time, Ms. Hopkins was no longer with us. Having been diagnosed with heart trouble, she defied doctors' orders and flew to a gala event and a screening of her classic hit The Story of Temple Drake (1933) in 1972, perishing in her hotel room soon after. She was 69.

This tacky lobby card from a foreign (Mexican?) release uses the movie's original title. It also, hilariously, depicts a scene not to be found in the movie with scantily-clad Wing running around with her nipples out...!

Most of the time Hopkins' name is mentioned these days, it's in regard to her combative relationship with Davis. (The two were "in" on the joke when it came to their feud, not that it wasn't based on some degree of reality!) Before her death, Davis went on a talk show tour and delighted in bringing up compatibility issues with Joan Crawford, Faye Dunaway and Miriam Hopkins. And remember, Davis' chief (and duplicitous) antagonist in Hush, Hush... was named "Miriam!"


Savage Intruder can be seen here.