A Real American Character: The Life of Walter Brennan

“Walter Brennan became an archetype, not a stereotype,” which explains author Carl Rollyson’s title “A Real American Character.” Brennan was best known for playing old coots, seguing from starring as a loveable drunks in To Have and Have Not (1944) to becoming America’s “grandpappy” in The Real McCoys. But underneath that was a man in love…


The Lake Update for February 2016

Honestly, now through April involves me ticking down the hours till the TCM Classic Film Festival. Remember how you felt as a kid about Christmas? Well, that’s how I feel about the upcoming festival. But, that’s no reason to lay down on the job of telling you about classic films!


Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed

Often used as the poster child for the pitfalls of Hollywood, Jeanne Eagels has a tragic story commonly associated with the blondes of Tinsel Town; considering Eagels’ prolific career on the stage and in the early decades of Hollywood, she might be the origin of the stigma. Authors Tara Hanks and Eric Woodward have the…


Carnal Knowledge (1971)

The 1970s were a confusing time, particularly for cinema. The dark clouds of the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam had rolled away (the former) or were in their death throes (the latter), and Women’s Liberation and the Cold War were heating up. Cinema grappled with a lot and the movies during this time period generally focused on angry…