June 15, 2011


Today's IMDb Hit List spurred me to two film-related discoveries you might want to check out - one for residents of Los Angeles, and one for anyone with a computer.

First, I just found out today about the Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Memorabilia Collection. It appears that Reynolds has been collecting bits of classic Hollywood for decades now, with the hopes of turning it into a museum. Bizarrely, despite featuring over 5,000 props, costumes, and even whole sets from some of history's biggest hits, no investors were interested and the collection is instead headed for auction. Now, again, let me emphasize that this is not obscure ephemera - the collection contains, among other things, Charlie Chaplin's bowler hat, Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and Marilyn Monroe's famous white dress from The Seven Year Itch! There are rumors that her insistence on having her son manage the collection destroyed many potential deals, but that's neither here nor there. Starting this Saturday, these pieces of movie history can go home with whoever ponies up the most cash. "But," you protest, "I am but a shallow-pocketed cinephile who sits around reading second-rate movie blogs! I cannot afford such decadence!" Of course not. But luckily for you, the collection will be open to the public at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills, today through Friday. You can find details here and here. I happen to work nearby, so you better believe that I'll be sneaking over on my lunch break!

For non-Angelenos, here's something everybody can enjoy. NPR has a neat piece about the "secret musical life" of Jack Lemmon, who apparently was never very far from a piano. The article briefly mentions that he released an album of jazz and standards called A Twist of Lemmon in 1959. Intrigued, I hopped on Amazon and found that the 25-track album is available for download! Even if you're just mildly curious, you can check out a preview of each track. It's pretty surprising to discover that the man who played perpetually flustered and nebbish characters is quite the crooner, and a pretty slick pianist as well. I wasn't even totally convinced it was him, until his very recognizable voice crept through in bits. Download one or download em all at Amazon.

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