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 Posted:   Oct 19, 2020 - 1:40 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE, a woman (Agnes Moorehead) takes her four beautiful daughters (Rhonda Fleming, Teresa Brewer, Cynthia Bell, and Kay Bell) to Dawson City in the Yukon Territory during the Gold Rush to find their fortune.

Rhonda Fleming and Agnes Moorehead in THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE

This was Fleming’s second 3-D film, which was the first film musical in 3-D. Fleming did not sing in the film, and no soundtrack was released. A song titled "Once More" was apparently dropped. It would have been a duet by Rhonda Fleming and Gene Barry at a campfire during a sled trip. Leo Shuken and Sidney Cutner provided the background score.

Lewis R. Foster directed and co-wrote the film. Three-Dimensional films were already on the way out by the time the film was released. It played many of its engagements in 2D, and grossed a below-average $1.6 million.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2020 - 2:12 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

JIVARO was Rhonda Fleming’s third 3-D production in a row. Although the film was shot in three dimensions, it was released only in 2D. The story found Fleming portraying “Alice Parker,” a gorgeous American who arrives in Brazilian headhunter country, seeking her fiancé “Jerry Russell” (Richard Denning), who is trying to finance an expedition to the Valley of the Winds, where a treasure of Indian gold is reportedly buried. Alice pays “Rio Galdes” (Fernando Lamas) to transport her to Jerry, a two-day trip, and along the way, talks excitedly about the plantation she believes Jerry has bought.

Fernando Lamas and Rhonda Fleming in JIVARO

Edward Ludwig directed the 1954 film, which had an unreleased score by Gregory Stone. JIVARO grossed a below-average $1.6 million.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2020 - 3:04 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In TENNESSEE’S PARTNER, set in a California mining town, a gold miner (Ronald Reagan), a saloon gambler (John Payne), and a cat-house madam (Rhonda Fleming) strike an odd alliance revolving around a gold mine claim.

Coleen Gray, John Payne, and Rhonda Fleming in TENNESSEE’S PARTNER

At one point in this film, John Payne slaps Rhonda Fleming and then tells her "Big girls don't cry." This inspired songwriter Bob Gaudio to write the song "Big Girls Don't Cry," which became a hit for his group The Four Seasons.

TENNESSEE’S PARTNER was Rhonda Flemings third film with John Payne and her fourth and last with Ronald Reagan. Allan Dwan directed the 1955 film. Louis Forbes provided the unreleased score. The film was a median performer at the box office, with a $3.1 million gross.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2020 - 3:31 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

It all becomes SLIGHTLY SCARLET when urban wheeler-dealer “Ben Grace” (John Payne) gets involved in organized crime, corrupt city politics and graft while falling in love with “June Lyons” (Rhonda Fleming), the fiancée of the newly elected mayor (Kent Taylor). The film was Fleming’s fourth and final one with John Payne.

Rhonda Fleming and Arlene Dahl in SLIGHTLY SCARLET

Kurt Neumann was originally hired as director for SLIGHTLY SCARLET, but producer Benedict Bogeaus fired him days before the start of production. Allan Dwan directed the film, his second and last with Rhonda Fleming. Louis Forbes provided the unreleased score for the 1956 film, which grossed a modest $2.8 million.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2020 - 3:48 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS, a serial killer has been murdering beautiful women in New York. When ailing media mogul “Amos Kyne” (Robert Warwick) receives word about the murder, he calls to his sickbed his three key staff members: New York Sentinel editor “John Day Griffith” (Thomas Mitchell), newspaper photographer “Harry Kritzer” (James Craig), and Kyne wire services head “Mark Loving” (George Sanders). Amos also summons his favorite employee, former Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and novelist “Ed Mobley” (Dana Andrews), who now headlines a television program on Amos’ local station.

After chastising the men for failing to pick up on the story earlier, Amos instructs them to label the murderer “The Lipstick Killer” and make the case front-page news. After the editors leave, Amos confides to Mobley that he has made two big mistakes in his life: spoiling his only son, “Walter” (Vincent Price), and not convincing Ed to take over his business. Rhonda Fleming plays Walter’s discontented wife, “Dorothy,” in the film.

Rhonda Fleming, Sally Forrest, and Ida Lupino in WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS

Fritz Lang directed the 1956 film, which had an unreleased score by Herschel Burke Gilbert.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2020 - 9:38 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

ODONGO was an African adventure set in Kenya. In the film, white trader of exotic animals “Steve Stratton” (Macdonald Carey) is mentoring and caring for African boy “Odongo” (Juma) but is annoyed by his new female replacement veterinarian “Pamela Muir” (Rhonda Fleming) and must deal with a disgruntled former employee.

Rhonda Fleming and Macdonald Carey in ODONGO

Columbia studio boss Harry Cohn persuaded Rhonda Fleming to make the film by offering her an African trip and her choice of leading man from contract players Macdonald Carey and Jack Lemmon. She opted for the more experienced Carey, and added in a 1994 interview, "I think Jack owes me for not [having to make] ODONGO." John Gilling wrote and directed the 1956 film, which has an unreleased score by George Melachrino.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2020 - 10:16 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Kirk Douglas’ second film with Burt Lancaster was GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL, in which Douglas played Doc Holliday to Lancaster’s Wyatt Earp. Rhonda Fleming played the beautiful female gambler “Laura Denbow.”


Director John Sturges shot the Texas sequences of the film in Tucson, Arizona while the Kansas sequences were filmed near Phoenix. The Arizona sequences were filmed at the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood, although the gunfight itself was shot in Tucson. Dimitri Tiomkin’s score for the 1957 film was released by La-La Land in 2013. The film was the eighth-highest grossing picture of the year, with a take of $13.4 million, undoubtedly due to the pairing of its two top stars.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2020 - 10:36 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

GUN GLORY finds infamous gambler and gunfighter “Tom Early” (Stewart Granger, in his first western) returning to the town where he left his wife and son (Steve Rowland) years before, only to find that his wife has died. Rhonda Fleming plays store clerk “Jo,” who ultimately takes a liking to Early.

Steve Rowland and Rhonda Fleming in GUN GLORY

Roy Rowland directed GUN GLORY, marking the first time he directed his son Steve in a film. The 1957 film had an unreleased score by Jeff Alexander. The film scored average grosses of $3.2 million.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2020 - 10:59 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

After a year's seclusion in Maraneck State Hospital in New England, twenty-six-year-old “Charlotte Bronn” (Jean Simmons) is ready to return HOME BEFORE DARK. Her husband “Arnold” (Dan O'Herlihy) is warned by “Dr. Collins” (Ed Prentiss) that many patients come back within a year, because they return to the same situation that precipitated the breakdown. Collins worries that Charlotte holds a deep resentment towards her stepsister, “Joan Carlisle” (Rhonda Fleming), who lives with them.

Jean Simmons and Rhonda Fleming in HOME BEFORE DARK

The harsh winter in Marblehead, Massachusetts proved to be a problem when filming location scenes outdoors. Equipment had to be de-iced quite often, and Rhonda Fleming took frequent breaks, complaining that her tongue was freezing.

Mervyn LeRoy directed the 1958 film. Because of the musicians’ strike, the film had a stock music score. The film took in moderate grosses of $3.5 million.

 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 10:31 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

ALIAS JESSE JAMES reteamed Bob Hope and Rhonda Fleming for another comic romp. Hope stars as “Milford Farnsworth,” who sells an insurance policy to Jesse James (Wendell Corey) and has to get it back or keep him alive. The beneficiary of James’ policy is his fiancée, saloon singer “Cora Lee Collins” (Fleming). Jesse has a plan to pass off Milford’s body for his, but in the end Milford is saved (without his knowledge) by guest appearances of a posse of Hollywood’s cowboys--James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon, Ward Bond as Major Seth Adams from Wagon Train, Gary Cooper as Will Kane from HIGH NOON, Hugh O’Brian as Wyatt Earp, Fess Parker as Davy Crockett, and Roy Rogers, as well as Jay Silverheels as Tonto, Gail Davis as Annie Oakley, Jack Lambert as Snake Brice, Mike Mazurki as Dirty Dog Tough, Iron Eyes Cody, James Burke, Scatman Crothers as a train porter and Bing Crosby, dressed in Western clothes.

Bob Hope and Rhonda Fleming in ALIAS JESSE JAMES

This was the last period film made by Bob Hope. The rest of his films were contemporary comedies. It also marked the final feature film appearances of Ward Bond and James Arness, who spent the rest of their screen careers in television.

Norman Z. McLeod directed the 1959 film, which had an unreleased score by Joseph J. Lilley. Hope and Fleming have a song together, “Ain't-a-Hankerin” (music by Arthur Altman, lyrics by Bud Burtson). ALIAS JESSE JAMES just edged into the top 50 films of the year, with a $5 million gross.

 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 12:00 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

“Hank Whirling” (Victor Mature), the owner of the Whirling Circus, tries to keep his financially troubled circus on the road, despite the efforts of a murderous saboteur who has decided that the show must not go on. Bank head “Jonathan Nelson” (Charles Watts) grants Whirling a loan, with the provision that meticulous accountant “Randy Sherman” (Red Buttons) and shrewd publicist “Helen Harrison” (Rhonda Fleming) accompany THE BIG CIRCUS on tour to protect and maximize the bank’s investment.

Rhonda Fleming in THE BIG CIRCUS

Joseph Newman directed this 1959 Irwin Allen production. The film’s score, by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter, was released on a rare Todd Records LP, but has never been re-issued on CD. THE BIG CIRCUS pulled them in, and its $7.7 million gross placed it solidly in the top 40 films of the year.

 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 12:48 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Rhonda Fleming co-starred with both Dana Andrews and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. for the second and last time in 1960’s THE CROWDED SKY. The airborne soap opera addressed a real-life problem--the need for better air traffic control as more and more planes took to the skies in the late 1950s. Zimbalist played an airline captain, with a mid-air collision in his past, who is the husband of a philandering wife played by Fleming.

Rhonda Fleming and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. in THE CROWDED SKY

Rhonda Fleming, who is second billed, has no scenes with any of the cast members in the main set, the commercial jet. Her sporadic role, as the manipulating wife of Efrem Zimbalist Jr., mostly occurs in Zimbalist's flashback sequences as he's flying his jet. Also: her and Zimbalist's swimwear-clad bodies shown in the poster artwork, embraced and kissing in a manner similar to the famous scene in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953), also derives from a flashback sequence.

Joseph Pevney directed the film, which had an unreleased score by Leonard Rosenman. The film generated middling grosses of $2.5 million.

 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 4:23 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1960, Rhonda Fleming went to Italy to make the sword and sandal film THE REVOLT OF THE SLAVES. Set during the later years of the Roman Empire, the film found Fleming playing “Fabiola,” the daughter of a wealthy patrician, who falls in love with Christian slave “Vibio” (Lang Jeffries).

Lang Jeffries, Rhonda Fleming, and Antonio Casas in THE REVOLT OF THE SLAVES

Nunzio Malasomma directed the film, which had its U.S. release in 1961. Angelo Francesco Lavagnino’s score has not had a release.

 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 9:08 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1958, Rhonda Fleming again displayed her singing talent when she recorded her only LP, entitled simply “Rhonda” (reissued in 2009 on CD ). In this album, which was released by Columbia Records, she blended then-current songs like "Around the World" with standards such as "Love Me or Leave Me" and "I've Got You Under My Skin". Conductor-arranger Frank Comstock provided the musical direction.

In 1960, Rhonda Fleming described herself as "semi-retired", having made money in real estate investments. That year she toured her nightclub act in Las Vegas and Palm Springs.

Fleming appeared periodically on television during the 1960s. In 1964 she made a cameo feature film appearance, as herself, in Jerry Lewis’ THE PATSY. When a famous comedy star dies in a spectacular plane crash, his producer (Everett Sloane), publicist (Keenan Wynn), secretary (Ina Balin), writer (Phil Harris), director (Peter Lorre), and valet (John Carradine) are reluctant to disband their well-oiled franchise. Figuring that if any of them had died, their boss would have simply found a replacement, they decide to replace their boss, confident their experience and industry savvy can make anyone a star, even bumbling bellboy “Stanley Belt” (Jerry Lewis).

The film was directed and co-written by Lewis. David Raksin’s score for the film has not had a release.

 Posted:   Oct 21, 2020 - 7:35 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

RUN FOR YOUR WIFE was an Italian-French co-production, but was shot entirely in the U.S. In the film, “Riccardo” (Ugo Tognazzi), a 40-year-old bachelor working for an Italian shoe company, goes to America on a four-day business trip. In New York City he meets his old friend “Carlo” (Carlo Mazzone) who suggests that he marry a rich widow and then divorce her for a younger woman. He sets out cross America looking for such a woman. In the process, he meets “Jenny” (Juliet Prowse) in Miami; the wealthy “Nita” (Rhonda Fleming) who flies him to her Texas ranch; the stewardess “Louise” (Graziella Granata); and “Nicole” (Marina Vlady), a divorcee with children. Disillusioned with these choices, he returns to Italy and his fiancée of 13 years.

Gian Luigi Polidoro directed the 1965 film, which had its U.S, release the following year. Nino Oliviero’s score was released on an RCA Victor LP, but has never been re-issued on CD.

 Posted:   Oct 21, 2020 - 12:38 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

For the U.S. market (and probably for foreign markets as well), Universal combined excerpts from the television series "Laredo" and "The Virginian," (including We've Lost a Train, an episode from "The Virginian" telecast on NBC on 21 April 1965) into the theatrical feature BACKTRACK which opened in New York in May 1969.

While Doug McClure’s character from “The Virginian” was still called “Trampas” in this compilation film, James Drury’s character was renamed “Ramrod.” Rhonda Fleming had played a character called “Carmelita Flanagan” in the “We’ve Lost a Train” episode. Earl Bellamy directed the feature, which was scored by Jack Marshall.

 Posted:   Oct 21, 2020 - 4:14 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1976, Rhonda Fleming was one of nearly 70 long-time Hollywood stars and character actors who guest starred in walk-on roles in the show business comedy WON TON TON, THE DOG WHO SAVED HOLLYWOOD. The picture, which proved to be the final film for a dozen of the guest stars, was the story of a dog who became a star in 1924 Hollywood. Spoofing herself, Fleming played a character named “Rhoda Flaming.” Michael Winner directed the film. Neal Hefti's score was released by Kritzerland in 2014.

 Posted:   Oct 21, 2020 - 10:14 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Leonard B. Stern, the executive producer of the spy spoof television series “Get Smart,” had been thinking about a feature film version of the series as far back as 1966, after the series’ first season of production. But that idea never came to fruition.

In 1978, Stern had an idea for a two-hour telefilm to be broadcast in oversea markets, which would then be aired domestically to possibly resuscitate the series. Instead, Stern opted to turn the project into a feature film. Talks to do the film between Stern’s Talent Associates and Columbia Pictures ended when budget and scheduling could not be agreed upon. It was later reported that the film, under the working title “The Return of Maxwell Smart” with a $2.5 million budget, was set to begin principal photography in July 1978 with Stern directing in a deal through Universal Pictures. However, principal photography was delayed until January 1979, by which time Barbara Feldon (who played “Agent 99” in the series) had dropped out of the project.

By November 1978, the budget had increased to $6 million. By June 1979, the film’s budget had grown to $8 million, and it was hoped that if the initial film succeeded, it would launch a series with one film a year.

It was reported that the show’s original concept would be expanded to satirize the James Bond franchise, and the larger budget would accommodate the changes. The original “Chief” in the series, Ed Platt, had died in 1974. Eugene Roche, who was cast as “Chief,” was replaced by Dana Elcar due to illness.

In the film, now titled THE NUDE BOMB, “Maxwell Smart” (Don Adams) is recalled to duty to help fight “Norman Saint Sauvage” (Vittorio Gassman), a KAOS leader who threatens to detonate a weapon that destroys clothing. Replacing Barbara Feldon was Sylvia Kristel as “Agent 34.” Assisting Sauvage is “Nino Salvatori Sebastiani” (also Vittorio Gassman), a one-armed, one-legged, eye-patched KAOS operative. Rhonda Fleming co-stars as Sebastiani’s former wife, a fashion designer named “Edith Von Secondberg.”

Rhonda Fleming in THE NUDE BOMB

Location shooting began with skiing sequences filmed at Snowbird, Utah, while Los Angeles International Airport stood in for the Innesbruck, Austria, airport. A chase sequence during a Universal Studios Tour was filmed using an actual tour tram. Most of the film was shot on Universal Studio sound stages.

Clive Donner directed the 1980 film, which has an unreleased score by Lalo Schifrin. Although the film was disliked by the critics, it found favor with audiences, landing in the top 40 films of the year with a $19 million gross.

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