Happy Birthday to Bradford Dillman April 14

Bradford Dillman in a scene from the film ‘Circle Of Deception’, 1960. (Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images)

Untroubled good looks, faraway poise & self-control, with a sartyrial smile and brushed-aside sophistication  – that’s Bradford Dillman

Bradford Dillman is one of those ubiquitous & versatile actors who you find popping up just about everywhere, and whenever I either see him in the credits or think about some of his performances, I am immediately happified by his presence in my mind and on screen.  It’s this familiarity that signposts for me whatever upcoming diversion I’m in store for, will be something memorable indeed.

He’s been cast as a saint, a psychopath, elite ivy league intellectuals with an edge, unconventional scientists, military figures, droll and prickly individualists, clueless bureaucrats, or drunken malcontents and he’s got a sort of cool that is wholly appealing.

Bradford Dillman was omni-present starting out on the stage, and major motion pictures at the end of the 50s and by the 1960s he began his foray into popular episodic television series and appeared in a slew of unique made for television movies throughout the 1970s and 80s, with the addition of major motion picture releases through to the 90s. His work, intersecting many different genres from melodramas,historical dramas, thrillers, science fiction and horror.

There are a few actors of the 1960s & 70s decades that cause that same sense of blissed out flutters in my heart — that is of course if you’re as nostalgic about those days of classic cinema and television as I am. I get that feeling when I see actors like Stuart Whitman, Dean Stockwell, Roy Thinnes, Scott Marlow, Warren Oates, James Coburn, Lee Grant David Janssen, Michael Parks, Barbara Parkins, Joanna Pettet ,Joan Hackett , Sheree North,  Diana Sands, Piper Laurie, Susan Oliver and Diane Baker.  I have a fanciful worship for the actors who were busy working in those decades, who weren’t Hollywood starlets or male heart throbs yet they possessed a realness, likability, a certain individual knack and raw sex-appeal.

Bradford Dillman was born in San Francisco in 1930 to a prominent local family. During the war he was sent to The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. At Hotchkiss, senior year he played Hamlet. At Yale he studied English Literature and performed in amateur theatrical productions and worked at the Playhouse in Connecticut. Dillman served in the US Marines in Korea (1951-1953) and made a pact that he’d give himself five years to succeed as an actor before he called it quits. Lucky for us, he didn’t wind up in finance the way he father wanted him to.

Actor Bradford Dillman (Photo by  John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Dillman enrolled and studied at the Actors Studio, he spent several seasons apprenticing with the Sharon Connecticut Playhouse before making his professional acting debut in an adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarecrow” in 1953 with fellow Studio students Eli Wallach and James Dean. Dillman referred to Dean as ‘a wacky kid’ but ‘very gifted’.

He only appeared in two shows in October 1962 of The Fun Couple in 1957 with Dyan Cannon and Jane Fonda before the play closed in New York only after two days.

We lost Bradford Dillman last year in January 2018. I was so saddened to hear the news. And I missed the chance to tribute his work then, but now that his birthday is here, I feel like celebrating his life rather than mourning his death, so it’s just as well.

Bradford Dillman wrote an autobiography called Are You Anybody? An Actor’s Life, published in 1997 with a (foreword by Suzy Parker) in which he downplays the prolific contribution he made to film and television and acting in general. Though Dillman didn’t always hold a high opinion of some of the work he was involved in, appearing in such a vast assortment of projects, he always came across as upbeat and invested in the role.

“Bradford Dillman sounded like a distinguished, phony, theatrical name, so I kept it.”

[about his career] “I’m not bitter, though. I’ve had a wonderful life. I married the most beautiful woman in the world. Together we raised six children, each remarkable in his or her own way and every one a responsible citizen. I was fortunate to work in a profession where I looked forward to going to work every day. I was rewarded with modest success. The work sent me to places all over the world I’d never been able to afford visiting otherwise. I keep busy and I’m happy. And there are a few good films out there that I might be remembered for.”

Continue reading “Happy Birthday to Bradford Dillman April 14”

Step Right Up! It’s The William Castle Blogathon: The Last Gasp!!!

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No ballyhoo, gimmickry, shenanigans, hucksters or PT Barnum Hoopla– just one huge wave of gratitude washing over us as we conclude this incredible week. There have been a lot of words to sum up William Castle’s legacy here but somehow I’m speechless and humbled by all the amazing efforts, dedication, witty nuggets of facts hidden deep deep within the back story of the thing, all the heartwarming camaraderie, sense of community, mutual admiration, fair play, unique approach and prolific vision that each of you brought to the event just sort of blows my mind.

When I first dreamt up this blogathon honoring Mr. Castle, I never imagined in my wildest fancies that it could be this spectacular! And that’s because of all of you…

It just makes me feel such satisfaction to see how much of yourselves you put into each feature. How humorous, informative and unique you approached your version of Castle’s style and body of work. All I can seem to say is THANK YOU Goregirl ( I couldn’t have done this without you my brilliant & cheeky friend) and THANK YOU all… I am delighted and honored and really really proud that everyone had such a grand time… With tremendous gratitude your MonsterGirl- Joey

JUST A REMINDER THAT WE’RE EVER GRATEFUL TO DAVID ARRATE AND WENDY CHRISTENSEN FOR FOR THEIR INCREDIBLE BANNERS WHICH MADE THIS WHOLE SHINDIG A SMASHING SUCCESS

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Maybe we can scare up Mr Castle himself with all the love we’ve been showing him-now concentrate and let’s see if we can communicate with his spirit-Sshhh I think I hear some chains Rattl-O-a go-go!

This is the last gasp of air we’ll all be able to settle down from the week’s excitement! No more buzzers under your seats, or skeletons in the cellar. No more Ballyhoo and Fanfare… at least until the next time… You’ve all been so swell, I feel all tingly inside… uh oh. Nah it’s just the warm glow of appreciation to so many wonderful and brilliant bloggers who turned out to help Terri and I celebrate the greatest showman of em all… I hope you all had fun. I know we did. And please, keep William Castle in your hearts and every once in a while dust off one of his fabulous motion pictures and make a night of it with the entire family. He lived to entertain you, I hope we did the same…

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Today-the last day: Goregirl features: Vinnie from Tales of the Easily Distracted, Jenna Berry of Classic Movie Night, Sam at Wonders in the Dark, Kristen from Journeys in Classic Film,Toby Roan from 50 Westerns from the 50s &

(Me)-Joey The Last Drive InBack Story: What Ever Happened to William Castle’s Baby? (Rosemary’s Baby)

Here at The Last Drive In I’ll be featuring the fabulous Dorian from Tales of the Easily Distracted – with a zany romp: The Spirit is Willing (1967)

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Fritzi (Gwen) from Movies Silently  is going to wow us (silently from the projection booth of course) with, After the Silents: Chills! Thrills! William Castle Special!

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Then Jeff Kuykendall of Midnight Only  is going to be all creepy crawly with his feature on Bug (1975)

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William Castle at Bug

David Arrate of My Kind of Story –is going to dazzle us with Its a Small World Malcolm Shanks’

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Classic Film and TV Cafe  A William Castle Double Feature: The Tingler and Mr. Sardonicus- An Undertaker Is Standing By In Case You Die Of Fright!

Misty of Cinema Schminema  is going to thrill us with Project X (1968)

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and finally The Nitrate Diva -is getting all mysterious noir on us with Castle’s Betrayed aka When Strangers Marry (1944)

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Lindsey at The Motion Pictures wants to show appreciation for some of her fellow bloggers with ‘recommended reading’

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A little something for your Nightmare’s from The Phantom Erik  Episode 048: The Tingler (1959 Podcast

With Love to you Mr. William Castle-From all of us and your ever lovin’ MonsterGirl- Joey! Good Night-

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And the Spine-Tinglers Are:

Monday, July 29th:

Aurora at Once upon a screen… The Night Walker (’64)

Rich at Wide Screen World: Top 5 William Castle Gimmicks

Le at Critica Retro: Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven (’48) ‘Live Dreaming’

Furious Cinema: William Castle: Mad as Hell Movie Showman

Lindsey at The Motion Pictures: Favorite Things About… House on Haunted Hill

Forgotten Films: Macabre (’58)

Barry at Cinematic Catharsis: 13 Ghosts (’60)

Joey at The Last Drive In: House on Haunted Hill (’59) ‘Only the ghosts in this house are glad we’re here’

Goregirl’s Dungeon: Fun with GIFS: The William Castle Edition

Tuesday, July 30th:

David Arrate of My Kind of Story  It’s a Small World (1950) ‘Image Gallery’

The Last Drive In William Castle’s Villains & Victims! Scream-O Vision…

Ivan of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear & Radio Spirits: The Whistler, Mark of the Whistler, Voice of The Whistler

Heather Drain at Mondo Heather: 13 Frightened Girls! (1963) & Hullabaloo & Horror: A Tribute to William Castle

Lindsey at The Motion Pictures: Matinee (1993) A Cinematic Love Letter to the films of William Castle

Karen at Shadows and Satin: Mysterious Intruder (1946)

Kristina at Speakeasy: The Houston Story (1956)

Ray at Weird Flix: Slaves of Babylon (1953)

The Metzinger Sisters at Silver Scenes: Busy Bodies: Promoting Castle’s Camp” & The Films of William Castle!

Ivan G. Shreve at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear: The Chance of a Lifetime (1943) {Boston Blackie}

Goregirl’s Dungeon:The Women of Castle

Wednesday, July 31st:

Brian Schuck at Films From Beyond The Time Barrier:Strait-Jacket (1964) ‘Mommie Dearest please put down that axe!”

Joey that’s me at The Last Drive In: Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949)

Rob Silvera at The Midnight Monster Show: Double feature Homicidal (1961) & House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Lindsey at The Motion Pictures: Macabre (1958)

Goregirl’s Duneon Goregirl’s Dungeon on YouTube: Alex North & Vic Mizzy

Thursday, August 1st:

Steve Habrat at Anti Film School: Mr Sardonicus (1961)

Classic Movie Hub: The Busy Body (1967)

John LarRue at The Droid You’re Looking For: William Castle Gimmick Infographic

Paul Lambertson at Lasso the Movies: The Tingler (1959)

Goregirl’s Dungeon: Favourite Five Series: William Castle

David Arrate at My Kind of Story/Images Masterson of Kansas (1954)

Lindsey at The Motion Pictures: Tribute to “The King of the Corn” William Castle

Scenes From The Morgue: Showcase of newspaper ads for William Castle films

Stacia at She Blogged By Night: Let’s Kill Uncle (1966)

Ruth- R.A Kerr at Silver Screenings: The Old Dark House (1963)

Ivan G. Shreve at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear: I Saw What You Did (1965)

Ray at Weird Flix: The Saracen Blade (1954)

Friday, August 2nd:

Toby Roan at 50 Westerns: The Law vs Billy the Kid (1954)

Misty Layne at Cinema Schminema: Project X (1968)

Jenna Berry at Classic Movie Night: Ghost Story/Circle of Fear

Classic Film and TV Cafe A William Castle Double Feature: The Tingler and Mr. Sardonicus- An Undertaker Is Standing By In Case You Die Of Fright!

Kristen at Journeys in ClassicFilm: Spine-Tingler: The William Castle Story

Joey at The Last Drive In: Back Story: What Ever Happened to William Castle’s Baby? (Rosemary’s Baby)

Jeff Kuykendall at Midnight Only: Bug (1975)

LIndsey The Motion Pictures: ‘Recommended Reading-William Caslte Blogathon’

Gwen Kramer at Movies Silently: After the Silents: Chills! Thrills! William Castle Special!

David Arrate at My Kind of Story-Images: ‘It’s a small world Malcolm Shanks part one’

The Nitrate Diva: Betrayed aka When Strangers Marry (1944)

Dorian Tenore Bartilucci at Tales of the Easily Distracted: The Spirit is Willing (1967) William Castle in Duo-Vision! The Spirit is Willing and ZOTZ!

Vinnie Bartilucci at Tales of the Easily Distracted: ZOTZ! (1962 William Castle in Duo-Vision! The Spirit is Willing and ZOTZ!

Sam at Wonders in the Dark: Krzysztof Komeda’s Score, Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

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Bug ’75 banner courtesy of Jeff Kuykendall – Midnight Only

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