Rick’s Journal    —    MY FILM CAREER


One of my prime reasons for wanting to go to New York the first time was to see Richard Hart on stage.  He was appearing in Goodbye, My Fancy with Ruth Hussey.  I had been more than impressed by him in MGM’s version of Elizabeth Goudge’s novel Green Dolphin Street.  He was dashing and talented, and he was believable as dull, self-centered, good-hearted William, the center of two women’s worlds.  A new star was alight in the screen’s sky.  But he would make only two more films and die of a heart attack at thirty-five.  I would come to a re-evaluation of Green Dolphin Street as a botch of a lengthy but intriguing novel.

At the time I am recalling, though, Richard Hart was my latest discovery, and he was back on Broadway where, before his first film, he had achieved solid success playing the witch boy in Dark of the Moon.  And after his current play, I was sanding at the stage door with my Playbill.  I told him that I had come all the way to New York to see him.  He was unimpressed and was really interested only in the small attractive young woman on his arm.  But he signed my program and thanked me.

I watched them walk to the end of the theater alley and turn right; and I was still at the stage door when lovely Ruth Hussey appeared.  She signed my Playbill, too.  She was alone and looked tired through her prettiness.  She made an effort, though, and thanked me.

Finally Conrad Nagel, also in the cast, signed for me, too.  I told him that my mother had played hooky from school to see him in the silent film Three Weeks.  I fear he did not appreciate the comment of which I was so proud.   With a sigh he said, “That was a LONG time ago.”  Like Richard Hart, he too had a very attractive young woman on his arm,  But he did graciously sign my program.

Until then,
See you at the movies,



An important article for film buffs:  Nick Bilton, “That’s All Folks!” in Collector’s 23rd Annual Special Edition, 2017 of Vanity Fair.  Beginning on p.140.  This is a meaningful article for anyone interested in the past and/or the future of Hollywood moviemaking or interested in any aspect of film.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *


…and especially in good books.


“Eliot Ness?  You mean like Robert Stack?”
“So it’s not like the movies?”   –   “Is anything?”

That first quotation from Casey Daniels’ paranormal mystery Graveyard Shift has to do with television, but  quotable cinematic goodies dot the pages throughout the latest comic but scary and suspenseful adventures of sleuth Pepper Martin.

“Crawling inside the house was another story.  /  I got in, and not gracefully, and found myself in a back room that was obviously used as a sort of den.  My flashlight app revealed a flat-screen TV in one corner,a couch across from it, and movie posters on the walls:  Road to Perdition, Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco. /   I pictured Dean in there watching hour after hour of endless gangster movies, feeding his obsession day and night.”

Another entry:  “With the door fully open and Caleb standing back, I toed the doorway, totally stunned and feeling like Dorothy must have when she plunked down into a Technicolor Oz.”

Yet another entry and the finest of all:  “…I knew something was up as soon as my knuckles hit the front door.  /  It swung open. / I might not have a big brain, but I’m nobody’s fool and I’d seen plenty of horror movies.  /  I knew this was not a good sign, but just like all those heroines in all those horror movies, I went in, anyway.”  (Hear!  Hear!)

Graveyard Shift by Casey Daniels.  Great Britain and USA, Severn House, 2017


Until then,
See you at the movies,