If Burt Lancaster was starring in a new movie, my parents had me put on pajamas on under my street clothes and get in the back seat of the car with my little sister because we were going to the drive-in movies.
He won his Best Actor for his performance as the con man who realizes he could do much bigger business if he turned his grifter skills up a different street and became a preacher. He's a fire and brimstone Bible-thumper condemning the very things he digs -- cheap booze and even cheaper dames.
Did you know that Burt Lancaster was involved with Kiss of the Spider Woman, another film that won the Oscar for Best Actor? I saw that fine political prison drama several times in theatrical release. It moved me to my soul. The first time I saw Kiss of the Spider Woman, I noticed that Burt Lancaster was thanked in the closing credits. I assumed he was a producer and had contributed financially to the independent film project. I got the answer when I asked a cast member about this Best Picture of 1985 Oscar nominee.
Ten years after my VH1 talk show, I was working on Good Day New York. The weekday morning news program airs on New York's Channel 5, the Fox affiliate. I had the great opportunity and privilege to present a Burt Lancaster co-star as my live guest in the studio. Besides having Sweet Smell of Success to his credits, Tony Curtis also starred in Spartacus with Jean Simmons and Kirk Douglas and -- of course -- the classic Billy Wilder gender bender comedy with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, Some Like It Hot.
The chance to interview Tony Curtis live was like getting a fabulous Christmas Day gift.
Lancaster received four Best Actor Oscar nominations in his career. He wasn't nominated for Sweet Smell of Success. Tony Curtis never received an Oscar nomination in his career. He should've been nominated for Sweet Smell of Success.
Burt Lancaster movies are spotlighted Wednesday nights this month on TCM.
Some classic movie trivia. Some classic movie stars. I hope you enjoyed them.