Posts Tagged ‘Miriam Hopkins’

Peggy Shannon at Hollywood Forever

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013






By Allan R. Ellenberger


On Broadway, she was a Ziegfeld Follies girl and successful ingénue, enough so to have Hollywood take notice.  Once considered the successor to Clara Bow, the titian-haired Peggy Shannon, a pretty actress whose appearances in major roles gave her the potential for stardom, ended her life in heartbreaking loneliness.


Peggy Shannon was born Winona Sammon on January 10, 1910 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. As a child, her interest in music led her to study the piano and violin. She hoped to be a teacher until Madge Evans came to Pine Bluff on a tour promoting her line of hats. “I was only about 10 and knew then I wanted to be in show business,” Peggy recalled.


In 1924, her mother Nancy took her and her sister Carole to visit their aunt in New York, who happened to live in the same building as Goldie Glough, the secretary of Florenz Ziegfeld, who was preparing a new Follies show. Goldie told Will Page, a press agent for Ziegfeld, about Peggy’s beauty and he had her pose for publicity pictures with Ziegfeld.


“It was just a stunt, but I didn’t know it then,” Peggy later recalled. “They took me to Ziegfeld’s New Amsterdam offices and photographed me, curls, silk gingham dress and all, with Mr. Wayburn and Mr. Ziegfeld. The next day newspapers carried the story form Ziegfeld’s office that he had signed an Arkansas newcomer. They said I could be in the chorus for a while, more to justify their story than became they wanted me.”


She appeared in The Ziegfeld Follies of 1924, along with Will Rogers, Lupino Lane and Mary Nolan (also buried at Hollywood Forever). After one season, Earl Carroll hired her for his Vanities of 1925. She kept busy during this time, modeling during the day, then after appearing in the Vanities she joined the floor shows at Texas Guinan’s.


In 1926 Peggy married actor Alan Davis. The following year Earl Carroll put her in the ingénue lead in What Anne Brought Home opposite William Hanly and Mayo Methot. For the next three years she appeared in comedic roles for William Brady, a noted producer who planned to make her a star.


That would all change when B.P. Schulberg, the head of production at Paramount saw her in Napi on Broadway and signed her to a contract. It was during this time that Paramount was recruiting many Broadway actors for film, including Sylvia Sidney, Claudette Colbert and Miriam Hopkins.



Within four days of her arrival in Hollywood, Clara Bow had her second nervous breakdown. Peggy was summoned into Schulberg’s office and was told she would replace Bow in her next picture, The Secret Call (1931) opposite Richard Arlen. “The interview was very brief,” Peggy said of her meeting with Schulberg. “He sent me away telling me I had many things to do as production started the next morning.”


She read the script and was impressed by it and somewhat staggered by the realization that the role was the most important in the film, and the longest. That meant learning hundreds of speeches. But she discovered that films were different from the stage. “I didn’t have to learn the entire role at one time,” she said. “I could study it every night and keep ahead of production.”


Peggy admitted that the assignment frightened her. “Frankly, I was scared,” she said. “I expected to be taken out of the cast any minute. I couldn’t believe that such a wonderful break had come to me. I kept thinking, ‘That’s some other girl with the same name. It really can’t be me. And if it is me, I’d better keep my enthusiasm under control.’”


Paramount’s advertisement for The Secret Call called Peggy “The new Clara Bow,” “The successor of the ‘It’ girl,” “Greatest find of the year” and “Clara Bow’s redheaded rival.” The film did well at the box-office however the reviews were lukewarm. The New York Times reported that Peggy would “be remembered as the young lady who succeeded Clara Bow, when that actress became indisposed. Miss Shannon is attractive, but The Secret Call does not present many situations calling for much more than a gentle stroll through its various scenes.”


Peggy made four more films for Paramount and a few independent films, including False Faces (1932) in which she had some good scenes with Lowell Sherman. Leaving Paramount, she signed a contract with Fox in February 1932 and appeared as a nightclub singer in The Painted Woman (1932), opposite Spencer Tracy. She was billed as Tracy’s first romantic lead. The New York Sun reported that Peggy was “improving” but Fox executives disagreed and dropped her option.



She worked as an independent in such films as Girl Missing (1933), directed by Robert Florey and Turn Back the Clock (1933) with Lee Tracy. Peggy’s career was beginning to lag and second rate films followed such as Fury of the Jungle (1933), The Back Page (1934) and The Fighting Lady (1935).


In late 1934, Peggy decided to return to Broadway in Page Miss Glory with newcomer, James Stewart. “James Stewart and Peggy Shannon are amusing as one of the bums and his fiancée,” wrote the New York Evening Post.


Then it was back to Hollywood and Universal where Lowell Sherman directed her in the lavish production of Night Life of the Gods (1935). Next it was off to Warner Brothers in the Perry Mason who-done-it, The Case of the Lucky Legs (1935). Still not happy, Peggy returned once again to the stage to do The Light Behind the Shadow. Unfortunately Peggy was replaced early in production, reportedly due to a tooth infection but rumors were that it was due to her drinking, a habit she was quickly developing.


After another failure on Broadway, Peggy reported to Republic for a film with Marian Marsh. Then it was Girls on Probation (1938) for Warner Brothers. The film co-starred Ronald Reagan and was notable as Susan Hayward’s first film.


In mid-1938, Peggy and a female companion were involved in a car accident with another driver receiving lacerations on her nose and cuts on her legs. It was rumored that alcohol was involved. Friends in the business tried to help giving her small roles but in some cases her drinking would get in the way. One of her last films was Café Hostess (1940) for Columbia.


In 1940, Peggy decided to end her fourteen year marriage to Alan Davis. She declared that he struck her on one occasion at the home of actress Wynne Gibson, who testified for her friend that he struck her “over something very inconsequential.” She added that because of her husband’s disinclination to work she had to support him as well as herself during their marriage. “He was just lazy—he played all the time,” she told the judge.


Several months later, in October 1940, Peggy married cameraman, Albert “Al” Roberts in Mexico. They set up housekeeping at 4318 Irvine Street in North Hollywood, along with their German Sheppard, Spec. By now, Peggy was forgotten by the studios and seldom received offers, causing her to drink even more.



In early May 1941, Roberts and his friend Elmer Fryer left for a few days on a fishing trip. When they returned on Sunday, May 11, Roberts found Peggy slumped dead across the kitchen table with her head on her arms; she was barefoot and clad in a sun suit. A cigarette, burned to the tip of her fingers, was in her right hand. Three glasses and a soft-drink bottle found in the sink were turned over to the Coroner to check for traces of poison. Peggy Shannon was 31. She was laid to rest at Hollywood Cemetery a few days later without much fanfare.



Roberts was devastated by Peggy’s death. He was afraid that someone might think he had something to do with her death. In a conversation with Detective William Burris, Roberts said, “Bill, you’ve got something on your mind. You don’t suspect me of Peggy’s death do you?” Burris assured him that was not the case and he was merely awaiting the report of the autopsy.


“Well, Bill,” Roberts told him, “if you have anything on your mind, get it off, because you won’t see me again.” Burris asked what he meant and Roberts told him that he was going to commit suicide. “I told him not to be like that,” Burris said, “that he had had one too many.”


Three weeks after Peggy’s death, in the early morning hours of Memorial Day, May 30, 1941, Roberts took Spec to visit Peggy’s grave at Hollywood Cemetery. Afterward he returned to his home on Irvine Street and wrote three notes: one to ‘those concerned’ and two to his sister Phoebe, who lived in Glendale.


At about dawn he called his sister and said he was going to kill himself. “Al, don’t do it,” she screamed into the phone. Suddenly she heard a shot and then, the barking of the dog. When police reached the house, Roberts was dead. A rifle was found near the body. In one hand he still grasped the telephone receiver. His body rested on the same chair where he had found Peggy’s body; like her, his head had fallen forward on the table. Two empty liquor bottles and two soft drink bottles were on the table. Nearby Spec lay whimpering.


This home, at 4318 Irvine Street in Valley Village (formerly North Hollywood), is where

actress Peggy Shannon died and her husband, Albert Roberts committed suicide.

(PLEASE NOTE: This is private property. Please DO NOT disturb the residents)


In his note Roberts wrote:


“It happens that I am very much in love with my wife, Peggy Shannon. In this spot she passed away. So in reverence to her you will find me in the same spot. No one will ever understand, as it should be. Why don’t you all try a little bit harder—it wouldn’t hurt, I can truthfully say for both of us. Adios amigos. Al Roberts.”


In a note to his sister, he expressed bitterness against those who he said, had feigned fondness for his wife during her lifetime. Although he doesn’t name them, it sounds like he could be referring to family members:


“To Phoebe. If you have to ship the stuff to China do it. They can never prove what I have done with it. Spec and I went out to the cemetery around 1 a.m. They talk so much about her flowers for Memorial Day. Well, they have never been near the grave. Mrs. Ross and I put on fresh flowers as much as we could, but them dirty leeches, they wouldn’t take her a pansy but they would take her clothes and say they love her more than life. But you stress that, honey. You know how Peg supported them. Any denials just ask them to prove how they lived all these years. Al.”


In a second note to his sister, Roberts expressed concern for his dog, Spec.


“You take Spec,” he wrote, “and ship him to Johnny. If you don’t I will never forgive you. I promised him that. All five have said they could not be bothered with him. I know Johnny and he will be great pals. Peggy has said so time and again. So, please, take him, ‘our child’ and send him on. He certainly is entitled to that. With love Al. P.S. Hey, bury me in my gray suit. Al.”


The following day, the coroner released the results from Peggy’s autopsy. Her death was apparently caused by a combination of low vitality, run-down condition and a heart attack. “A chemical analysis has not yet been completed by the Coroner,” a police representative said, “but examination so far shows no traces of poison or any bruises or marks.”


Ironically, Albert Roberts’s body was not laid next to Peggy’s, but was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale. Whether it was the decision of his family or Peggy’s to not have them be together, is not known.


A few weeks after Peggy’s death, her mother hired  private detectives and attorneys to investigate deeper into her daughter’s death. Nothing apparently came of their search.



Peggy Shannon’s grave at Hollywood Forever is near the southern border of Section 5 in plot 31, grave 4. Her pink tombstone is inscribed “That Red-Headed Girl, Peggy Shannon.” Her mother and sister are buried nearby.



Miriam Hopkins and Darth Vader

Thursday, December 8th, 2011


Miriam Hopkins and Darth Vader



What is the connection between Miriam Hopkins and Darth Vader of Star Wars?



Hurray for Google! The majority of answers were correct. In 1936, Miriam went to England and appeared in a film for Alexander Korda called Men Are Not Gods. Her costars were Gertrude Lawrence and Sebastian Shaw. They were involved in a love triangle with both women in love with him. In the film Shaw was married to Lawrence and had a clandestine affair with Miriam.


Shaw continued to do occasional films but mostly was seen on stage and television. In 1983, George Lucas chose him to play the unmasked and dying, Darth Vader. He was credited as Anakin Skywalker, and was also seen as his spirit in a vision to his son, Luke.



Miriam day-dreams of Darth Vader 





Happy Birthday Miriam Hopkins!

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011





October 18, 1902, Savannah, Georgia



Why a Biography on Miriam Hopkins?

Friday, July 22nd, 2011


 By Allan R. Ellenberger


I’m often asked, “Why a biography on Miriam Hopkins?” I confess that I get this question mostly from people who are not fans of the actress. They can’t understand why anyone would be interested. On the other hand, those who are fans seem thrilled that one is being prepared. It’s scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.


A few reasons why Miriam Hopkins would make a good biographical subject:


  • Hopkins appeared in 35 films, 2 shorts, 18 Broadway plays, 20 plus summer stock plays and road tours, 20 television programs and multiple radio plays and appearances.


  • Hopkins made her first film, Fast and Loose (1930) during the day while performing on the Broadway stage in Lysistrata in the evenings.


  • Hopkins appeared in the very first Technicolor film, Becky Sharp (1935).


  • Hopkins starred in the first produced play written by Tennessee Williams, Battle of Angels (1941).


  • Hopkins appeared in a silent short film in 1928 with Humphrey Bogart.


  • Hopkins had a love-hate relationship with her mother.


  • Hopkins did not have contact with her father for more than twenty years — not until she became a Hollywood star.


  • Hopkins was indirectly descended from Revolutionary figures, Arthur Middleton and John Dickinson.


  • Hopkins was Margaret Mitchell’s choice to play Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).


  • Hopkins was nominated for an Academy Award (Becky Sharp) and a Golden Globe (The Heiress).


  • Hopkins bought and remodeled John Gilbert’s house after his death and sold it ten years later to David O. Selznick.


  • Hopkins costars include: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Maurice Chevalier, George Raft, Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Lionel Barrymore, Kay Francis, Bing Crosby, Fay Wray, Joel McCrea, Edward G. Robinson, Merle Oberon, Gertrude Lawrence, Rex Harrison, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Olivia De Havilland, Gene Tierney, Laurence Olivier, Jennifer Jones, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, Marlon Brando, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Sally Field and of course, Bette Davis.


  • Hopkins was directed four times by William Wyler, three times by Ernst Lubitsch and twice by Rouben Mamoulian.


  • Hopkins was married four times and had numerous lovers.


  • Hopkins lived on Washington Square in New York during the late 1920s, the same place as her character in The Heiress (1949).


  • Hopkins was seriously interested in astrology and numerology.


  • Hopkins adopted a child as a single parent.


  • Hopkins was involved in political causes during her Hollywood years.


  • Hopkins was an authority at scene stealing.


  • Hopkins preferred writers, directors and intellectuals as friends and not Hollywood types.


  • Hopkins had an extensive book collection in her homes and was a voracious reader.


  • Hopkins actions were followed closely by the FBI for more than 15 years.


  • Hopkins never revealed her first marriage to her son

(he read about it in his mothers obituary)


  • Hopkins died nine days before her 70th birthday.


  • Hopkins feuded with Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, Errol Flynn and numerous others and pissed off half of Hollywood.


What’s not interesting about that?



Hopkins vs Davis

Saturday, November 6th, 2010


“Old Loathing” starring Miriam Hopkins and Bette Davis



By Allan R. Ellenberger


As many are aware, I have been working on a biography of actress Miriam Hopkins, on-and-off for several years. I was stalled for several months because of personal duties, my nine-to-five job and this blog, which takes an enormous amount of time, but I love it. With any luck I’m on track with Hopkins now and I’m sure some have noticed I have cut back on blog entries recently, which I have to until Hopkins is completed, so please understand and have patience.


Most of my research is completed (except for some last minute library and archive work), although there are a few people I would like to interview, such as: Dick Van Patten, and his sister Joyce, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field, Leticia Roman, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Clint Eastwood and Sylvia Miles, among others; many I have tried to contact with no success (So if anyone has entry to any of the above people, please contact me here or at  I have been so fortunate to interview more than forty people including family members, costars of film and stage, personal friends, producers, and film historians. Such people as the late Kitty Carlisle and Doris Eaton; Dickie Jones, Andrew Prine, Lizabeth Scott and Olivia de Havilland have been gracious enough to help.


The challenge has been to present the real Miriam Hopkins and not just the personality that most people are familiar with as being difficult and hard to work with. Yes, that was part of her persona but as with most people, there is much more to her than that. Bette Davis was so vocal about her dislike of Hopkins that, because she is such an iconic and beloved actress, she virtually turned people that have never seen a Hopkins film, except perhaps for the two they made together. Bette would always claim how difficult Miriam was but yet had that reputation herself. In fact, in one interview, when comparing Debra Winger and her alleged reputation, to herself, said that “all good actresses are difficult.” Bette admitted that Hopkins was a good actress – and she was – however her reputation has overshadowed that over the years.


With all their differences, Davis and Hopkins had more in common than either one would dare to admit. They could be “over the top” in their performances if not guided by good directors. However, both were great actresses and felt they had to fight to get what they deserved. As well as being “difficult” and stealing scenes, Hopkins had more to fight for than Davis – at least that was her perception. Warner’s was Davis’ studio and of course they would favor her. When Jezebel was made, Warner’s tricked Hopkins out of her share to the rights of the film (she played the role on Broadway) letting her think she would play it and instead, gave the part to Davis who won an Academy Award. I could go on (and will in the book).


Of course Hopkins battled with other costars during her career; except for Davis, all were men. Hopkins was sometimes difficult to work with, there is no arguing that, however so was Davis and her fans (of which I am one) need to accept that. She also had a sensitive side and might show compassion to those who couldn’t help themselves. In any event, don’t judge Hopkins too harshly, at least until you know the entire truth, which hopefully I will be able to expound on with some success. I hope to be completed by September 2011 – at least that is my goal.


If anyone has information about, or perhaps knows someone who knew Miriam Hopkins, or even knew her themselves, please contact me.



Michael Hopkins Obituary

Thursday, October 7th, 2010


Michael Hopkins; adopted son of actress, Miriam Hopkins, dead at age 78




By Allan R. Ellenberger


Michael Hopkins, the adopted son of actress Miriam Hopkins, died on Tuesday morning in a convalescent home in Riverside, California. He was 78.


In 1932, Miriam Hopkins became one of the first people in Hollywood to adopt a child – and was a single mother at the time. Miriam had just divorced her second husband, writer Austin Parker, and surprised everyone when she stopped off in Chicago on her way to New York and visited the Cradle Society, an adoption agency in suburban Evanston.


Requesting a tour of the institution, she examined all the children and studied their records of what was known of their parents. Finally, she happened upon a tow-headed, blue-eyed baby boy and immediately fell in love. The boy was known as Baby Wilson. “He’s healthy and cute,” said a representative from the orphanage.


Discovery of her plan to adopt a child and the resulting publicity annoyed Miriam and after adoption papers were signed she left the court declaring that she did not want to talk about it, or anything else for that matter.


“I hate all this publicity over a simple thing,” she told reporters. When asked why she wanted to adopt a baby, she said: “I don’t have to give any reasons. It is just a fact and we will live wherever I happen to be working.”


When Miriam returned the following week to pick up Michael, she had her friend, Dorothy Parker with her. Because Michael had blonde hair and blue eyes and closely resembled his adoptive mother, rumors arose that possibly Michael was her biological son.



Michael standing next to a portrait of himself as a child (Courtesy Hopkins family)


“I was adopted in Chicago from the Cradle Society,” Michael said. “There was someone who wrote about a controversy that she went there to adopt a child that looked very much like her – blond hair and blue eyes, because at the time she was not married.”


Michael never knew for certain if the rumors were true – Miriam never said and he wasn’t interested in finding out. He also wasn’t told he was adopted until his late teens. “I didn’t find out that I was adopted until I had to go into the service and I needed my birth certificate,” Michael recalled. “She never mentioned that I was adopted. And no one ever said anything to me while I was growing up even though everyone in Hollywood knew it.”


Even though Michael grew up in Hollywood, he was rarely exposed to the Hollywood scene. Miriam bought John Gilberts house on Tower Road in Beverly Hills and had it remodeled. That is where Michael spent most of his childhood. “Tower place was nice because it had the amenities – a tennis court and swimming pool,” Michael recalled. Later in his life he returned to the place he grew up and was disappointed because it had been razed and was replaced by another house.


Because the house was located in the hills and was accessed by a winding road, Michael never learned how to ride a bicycle. Miriam was afraid he would ride down the winding road and somehow careen off the edge of a cliff.


Miriam’s neighbors on Tower Road were, Charles Boyer, Edgar Bergen and Sabu. Once, Michael and his best friend, Bob Potter, the son of director H. C. Potter (and Michael’s godfather) found some trouble at John Barrymore’s home, which had several buildings with many glass windows. Temptation took over one day and they took turns seeing who could break the most glass.


Miriam’s third husband, Anatole Litvak was the one who most treated Michael like a son. He was also a very dominate personality, but he gave Michael attention while Miriam’s other suitors didn’t. When Litvak was around it was more of a father son relationship.



Michael with Anatole Litvak (Courtesy Hopkins family)


However, being single during much of Michael’s youth, Miriam took responsibility for being both mother and father. She persuaded Bill Tilden to provide tennis instructions and Jose Iturbi, piano lessons. Because Michael was interested in planes, she arranged for Igor Sikorsky to instruct him on flying.


Regardless, Michael was treated well and educated in a series of private schools beginning with Arizona Desert School  in Tucson, Arizona shortly after Miriam’s divorce from Litvak. His first day there, Miriam was helping him to get settled with his roommate. When she left the room Michael’s roommate asked, “Your mother’s a movie star, isn’t she?”


“Yes,” Michael replied.


“Is she a good actress?”


“I don’t know,” Michael said. “She thinks she is.”


Michael’s schooling continued at Riverdale High School and Valley Forge Military Academy and culminated in four years at Lawrenceville. In his youth, Michael dated Elizabeth Montgomery and Irving Berlin’s daughter, Linda.


After school, he enlisted in the military service during the Korean War. It was during this time, while stationed in Morocco, that he met and married his wife, Christiane Carreno. While they were dating, Michael had not told Chris who his mother was. One evening they went to a Moroccan theater where The Mating Game, starring Miriam and Gene Tierney was showing. Michael pointed to Miriam on the screen and said, “See that lady there? That’s my mother.”


Chris looked at him and replied, “Yeah, and that girl over there is my sister.” So was her introduction to her mother-in-law.  Michael and Chris were married in Morocco without Miriam’s presence.


Michael made a career in the Air Force and as is usual in the military, was assigned to several bases over the world during the next ten years. In 1955, they had a son they named Thomas, and who became the apple of his grandmother’s eye. In 1966 Michael was assigned permanently to March Air Force Base in Riverside, California where they made their home.


Every other weekend, Michael, Chris and Tom would travel to Beverly Hills where they were expected to attend Miriam’s Sunday afternoon gatherings. It was there that they met William Saroyan, Edward G. Robinson, Tennessee Williams, Loretta Young, Shelly Winters and all of Miriam’s friends.



Chris holding Tom, Michael, Miriam and Miriam’s mother, Ellen (Courtesy Hopkins family)


In 1972 Miriam died at age 69 and Michael took his mother’s ashes to her hometown cemetery in Bainbridge, Georgia, and had them interred next to those of her mother.


In recent years Michael suffered from Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 11 at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Riverside, with interment at Riverside National Cemetery. Michael is survived by his wife Christiane and son Thomas.



Miriam Hopkins on moving to Hollywood

Sunday, September 12th, 2010


Miriam Hopkins on moving to Hollywood



“I didn’t want to go to Hollywood. I had no desire to go. But I was under contract. And when I signed a two-year contract with Paramount, through Walter Wanger, he said: ‘You won’t have to go because I have the studio, you’ll make any films here (New York), you know.’ But they decided to close the Astoria studio. So with the equipment, the cameras, the electrical light bulbs and so forth, I was shipped to California. I had to go.”



Miriam Hopkins on TCM

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009


Miriam Hopkins on Turner Classic Movies


Miriam Hopkins-lounging


“Summer Under the Stars” on TCM

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Miriam Hopkins


NOTE: Times in BLUE are Eastern and Times in RED are Pacific


6 a.m. The Chase (1966) 3 a.m.
8:15 a.m. The Richest Girl in the World (1934) 5:15 a.m.
9:45 a.m. Wise Girl (1937) 6:45 a.m.
11 a.m. Woman Chases Man (1937) 8 a.m.
12:15 p.m. The Old Maid (1939) 9:15 a.m.
2 p.m. Old Acquaintance (1943) 11 a.m.
4 p.m. Virginia City (1940) 1 p.m.
6 p.m. The Heiress (1949) 3 p.m.
8 p.m. The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) 5 p.m.
9:45 p.m. Trouble in Paradise (1932) 6:45 p.m.
11:15 p.m. Design for Living (1933) 8:15 p.m.
1 a.m. Barbary Coast (1935) 10 p.m.
2:45 a.m. These Three (1936) 11:45 p.m.
4:30 a.m. Lady with Red Hair (1940) 1:30 a.m.



 Click here to check out entertainment writer, Andre Soares’ narrative of Miriam Hopkins and the films being shown on TCM at the Alternative Film Guide



The Story of Temple Drake

Saturday, June 6th, 2009


The Story of Temple Drake


The Story of Temple Drake


The following is an unsourced review of the film,
The Story of Temple Drake (1933)


Those who are supposed to know about the motion picture business were pretty sure that Paramount would never be able to get a version of “Sanctuary” that would get past the censors. Yet Paramount did it and though the story is deodorized and generally spring-cleaned, it still carries the punch and wallop that it packed as a novel.


Miriam Hopkins, who is actually far too lovely for just one woman, has the role of the little southern girl and Jack La Rue bagged the role that George Raft turned down. William Gargan, who has certainly found his ideal working conditions in Hollywood, plays the man “who is too good to be married to anyone like me.” And, once more, he does a grand job with it.


“Sanctuary,” by William Faulkner, was labeled one of the most sensational stories ever written. Though much of the caustic characterizations must, of necessity, be lost on the way to the screen, there is still enough left to make this production one of the cinematic thrills of the season.


Miriam Hopkins bit off a large mouthful… and your reviewer certainly never thought that any real sympathy could be secured for the characters of Mr. Faulkner’s novel — they rang too strange and false — yet that is just what Miriam does. And she deserves your praise and attention.


We think you’d better go to see it.


Someone has downloaded the entire film onto the You Tube web site. If you haven’t seen the film, here is a chance to enjoy a classic pre-code film that is not available on DVD. NOTE: The film is broken up into approximately 10 minute segments.  Part 1 is below.







Miriam Hopkins Biography…

Friday, January 9th, 2009


Miriam Hopkins


Miriam Hopkins


As most of you know, I am currently working on a biography of Miriam Hopkins. I was recently interviewed by Andre Soares from the web site, Alternative Film Guide about the controversial actress. Click HERE to read PART ONE of the interview – and HERE for PART TWO. Let us know your thoughts. Enjoy!