Saturday, August 29, 2009

Swimming with Marion

Like stepping back in time...

Want to swim with Marion, Charlie, Harold, and Greta? While they, and the fabulous beach cottage of Marion Davies, may be long gone, the original Venetian marble saltwater pool and the 7,000-square-foot guesthouse, the only building from the original estate, are still around. And, happily, they have been renovated and are open to the public!

According to the article on

"Reservations to swim in the mansion’s original pool sell out within minutes each day. Rooms for private parties in the new two-story pool house, with sweeping views of California’s once storied Gold Coast, are booked until early next year."

There is also a photo gallery accompanying the story; there's only a few photos of the pool, more of vintage beach gear that's on display. Nonetheless, I may have to change my vacation plans and head for California, instead!

ETA: Here is the link to the Annenberg Community Beach House, with some photos and a brief history of the pool/guest house.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fun Fact

Here's a fun fact, courtesy of Mental Floss magazine (via Twitter):

Charlie Chaplin once entered in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest in a theater in San Francisco...and lost.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Virginia Davis McGhee

I saw on that Virginia Davis McGhee has died.

I saw her in Pordenone back in 1992, when the Alice shorts were featured throughout the festival. They were wonderful, and she was a very gracious lady, sharing stories with the audience.

What an experience she had, not only being in a brand-new medium but in a form that was decades of its time!

God rest, Mrs. McGhee.

ETA 10-25-09: Here is a story on her passing from the LA Times.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

More DVD Reviews

I kept meaning to post these in July, but as usual real life (and work) interfered:

The first is a link to a review of a "Becoming Charley Chase," a four-disc collection from VCI Entertainment "that traces the early career of one of the most creative and influential comedians of the era."

The second is a surprise to me; I was not aware that Bardelys the Magnificent had been found, "rediscovered only two years ago in a private collection in France." The double-feature (also including Monte Cristo) is available from Flicker Alley.

Finally, the Times reviews the recently-released boxed set from Kino featuring John Barrymore.

I never fail to comment on how wonderful it is that the Times includes silents in their reviews; what I love the most, though, is their comment, "In a season that has already seen some major additions to the tiny, precious pool of silent films available on DVD..." That's exactly it: A tiny, precious pool that lovers of silent film are so happy to have.