Gone With the Wind (1939): 75th Anniversary at the Pickwick Theatre!

WHAT: Gone With the Wind (1939): 75th anniversary film screening.
WHEN: December 4, 2014    7:00 PM (Doors will open at 6:00 PM)
WHERE: Pickwick Theatre, Park Ridge, IL
WHO: Organist Jay Warren will perform prelude music between 6:30-7:00 PM.
“Those Were the Days” (90.9 FM) radio host Steve Darnall will be a special guest in the lobby before the show.
HOW MUCH: Admission is $7/$5 for seniors 60+
WHAT ELSE: We will raffle off a giant GWTW gift basket including the 75th anniversary blu-ray. (Raffle tickets are $1 each/5 for $4.)
We will also make an announcement about the second half of Season 2. We will resume in March 2015.
NOTE: There will be a 10+ minute intermission during the feature.
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Seventy-five years after its release, Gone With the Wind remains the most popular movie ever made. Although three directors worked on the production, GWTW was largely the result of one man’s vision: producer David O. Selznick. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Margaret Mitchell, this is Hollywood studio moviemaking at its zenith. Set against the epic backdrop of the American Civil War, the story follows the passions of Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), a free-spirited Southern beauty captivated by two men: Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), the gentleman she can’t have– and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), the roguish admirer whom she’ll eventually marry. When her Southern way of life begins to crumble, Scarlett fights to save her beloved Tara and forge her own destiny. A winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture– as well as two honorary Oscars– GWTW is filled with images, in all their Technicolor glory, that have become indelible in popular culture. The supporting cast includes Olivia de Havilland as Melanie and Hattie McDaniel (Best Supporting Actress) as the housemaid Mammy. The instantly recognizable film score was composed by Max Steiner.

Though Gone With the Wind had a recent national release in late September, the Pickwick Theatre showing is the only one in the Chicago area that will honor the actual premiere (December 1939). Those who have patiently awaited our long-delayed screening will be rewarded when we present the film in a historic movie palace. Films like GWTW need to be seen in a theatre like the Pickwick– not in a little cineplex or, even worse, on a TV or tablet. Only the big screen can best capture scenes depicting the pageantry of the Old South– or the burning of Atlanta. If this is your first time seeing GWTW, then this is the only way to see it.

A great many view GWTW as the greatest motion picture ever made. Others see it as a 3 1/2 hour soap opera. But regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, it is an undeniable must-see film. Whether it’s Vivien Leigh’s Academy Award-winning peformance or William Cameron Menzies’ unifying production design, there is something in it to be admired; the film is composed of grand elements. For these reasons, we proudly present this celebration of Gone With the Wind. We invite you to return with us to Tara for the conclusion of our “Films of 1939″ series.

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An Evening to Remember: A Salute to Donnie Dunagan

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A record turnout of 614 theatregoers attended the 75th anniversary screening of Son of Frankenstein (1939) on October 30, 2014– an evening made unforgettable by the presence of Donnie Dunagan. Donnie signed autographs in the lobby before and after the feature presentation. Though the film ended around 10:30, the demand to meet him was so great that he was still signing and meeting with fans well past midnight!

The evening began with a costume contest for the kids. A lottery system brought six contestants to the stage where they were judged by movie hostess Allison and two other assistants: Allie & Elizabeth. The prizes included Universal monster figures, Dracula/Frankenstein lunch boxes, and other items– some of which were designed to get a laugh. The top three winners also received a movie pass to the Pickwick Theatre as well as a ticket to the upcoming Dec. 3 holiday concert sponsored by the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra.

After a 5-minute video that introduced Donnie– “FrankenDonnie”– Donnie Dunagan took the stage and answered a wide variety of questions from program host Matthew C. Hoffman. Though 80 years old, Donnie had the energy and stage presence of a man half his age. Passing on the available chair, Donnie stood the entire length of the interview and engaged his audience with wonderful stories of working with the likes of Boris Karloff and Walt Disney.

In addition to his days in Hollywood as a child star, Donnie also talked about his career in the military. Donnie had spent twenty-five years in the Marine Corps and served two stints in Vietnam where he was wounded multiple times. He has received the Purple Heart three times as well as other decorations. Near the end of the interview, Matthew surprised Donnie by bringing out the Marine Corps Honor Guard. They had been waiting behind stage.  Donnie was visibly moved when Captain James Stenger and First Lieutenant Leroy Um of the 9th Marine District at Great Lakes presented him with a letter of recognition for his many years of service. The major returned the salute of the younger men as though not a day had passed since his retirement in 1977.

The highlight of the evening was seeing 600+ people on their feet giving the Marines on stage–past and present– a standing ovation. Organist Jay Warren began playing the Marine Hymn while Donnie was led offstage.

Donnie was surprised to be honored 37 years after leaving the service. But this recognition from the Marines is a testament to the man himself– that after all these years, a country remains grateful to him. There is a saying in the Marines: once a Marine, always a Marine.

Shortly after 8:40 PM, the feature presentation began. Donnie received more applause from the audience when his character in Son of Frankenstein, Peter von Frankenstein, appeared onscreen for the first time.

The audience was universally grateful and appreciative afterward. These were people who truly understood the value of what they had just seen. This was a memorable evening for the community of Park Ridge. It was perhaps the last time they would ever see any star from the 1930s, but more than that, it was a salute to a fascinating man who has had an unbelievable life. Though the evening ran late on a school night, those kids who were paying attention would’ve learned more about life from listening to the words of Donnie Dunagan than from anyone else. Every story was a treasure.

Donnie Dunagan is not someone who promotes what he has done in life. This is the reason he has not written an autobiography. But he is a hero and a patriot, and we were honored to have had him for an evening. Without any doubt, this was the most rewarding show we’ve ever presented at the Pickwick Theatre Classic Film Series.

Thank you to all those who supported us.

Donnie met many fans on this night, including fellow Marines and their families.

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(Above photos courtesy of Elizabeth Ishoo Photography)

Elizabeth Rye and program host Matthew Hoffman with Dana & Donnie Dunagan.
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(Photo courtesy of Sara Fenwick, f-Stop Photos)

Visit our Photo Archive for additional pictures!

For more about the event, visit the 9th Marine Corps District website for an article. Click Here!

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Return to Castle Frankenstein: Son of Frankenstein at 75

“Well, Hellllll-lo!” ~Peter von Frankenstein (Donnie Dunagan)

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WHAT: Son of Frankenstein (1939) 75th anniversary screening
WHEN: October 30, 2014 at 7:30 PM
WHERE: Pickwick Theatre, Park Ridge, IL
WHO: Donnie Dunagan (“Peter von Frankenstein”) will be our honored guest.
HOW MUCH: General Admission: $7/$5 seniors (60+)/Autographs: $20
WHAT ELSE: We will have a costume contest for children 12 and under. Also, Jay Warren will be performing Halloween “prelude music” on the theatre’s Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ starting at 7:00 PM.

Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone), the son of the late doctor, returns home to an inhospitable reception. The village of Frankenstein, it would appear, is haunted, but it doesn’t take a Sherlock to know it’s more than a ghost.  Wolf soon meets the “grave robber” Ygor (Bela Lugosi) and discovers an old terror lying dormant. Consumed by the monster mania of his family’s past, Wolf sets out to restore the comatosed Monster (Boris Karloff) and vindicate his father. Lionel Atwill lends a hand as the suspicious Inspector Krogh. With Josephine Hutchinson and Donnie Dunagan.

Son of Frankenstein (1939) is the last great Frankenstein film from Universal. It’s also the last time Boris Karloff portrayed the Frankenstein monster in the series. It contains what is arguably Bela Lugosi’s finest performance as the broken-necked Ygor. Additionally, the film benefits from the masterful direction of Rowland V. Lee, the bizarre, Expressionistic sets of Jack Otterson, and the atmospheric musical score by Frank Skinner. For all these reasons and more, the film itself is worth coming out for. But our showing will have one added attraction– the presence of the last surviving cast member from the film: Donnie Dunagan.

There are almost no opportunities these days to see a star from Hollywood’s Golden Age of the 1930s, but that will change on October 30 when we welcome Donnie Dunagan to our stage. In addition to playing a third generation Frankenstein (and the last surviving Frankenstein from that universe), Donnie worked for Walt Disney and provided the voice of young “Bambi” in the 1942 animated classic. Ten years after his film career ended, Donnie entered the Marine Corps and became a decorated soldier during the Vietnam War. While serving as a career Marine, however, Donnie remained silent about his earlier career in Hollywood.  In 1977, he “retired on wounds,” having attained the rank of Major. In 2004, Donnie reemerged into the public spotlight and has since made numerous personal appearances. Fans everywhere have embraced this once “lost” Hollywood player.

Donnie will be meeting with fans and signing autographs before and after the show. After our costume contest, Donnie will be interviewed onstage by program host Matthew Hoffman. Besides his vivid memories of working on Son of Frankenstein, Donnie has a wealth of knowledge about many stars from Hollywood’s greatest era. This will be a rare opportunity for fans in the Chicagoland area to experience living history from a great storyteller.

As author/historian Tom Weaver introduced him in his excellent Video Watchdog interview from October 2004: “Now meet the real Don Dunagan– career Marine, champion boxer, combat officer, counterintelligence agent, Green Bay Packer, mathematician, physicist and American Mensa Society member…”

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Boris Karloff signed this picture to Donnie…
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And here is one from Basil Rathbone, Donnie’s onscreen dad…
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Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi star in their greatest teaming…
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Son of Frankenstein was originally planned to be shot in Technicolor…

Donnie Dunagan Visits the Pickwick Theatre on October 30!

He’s Still Alive!!!   He’s Still Alive!!!

Donnie Dunagan, Co-Star in Universal’s 1939 movie “Son Of Frankenstein”, is coming to a Theatre near you!

Born in 1934 to Irish parents fleeing for their lives to America, Donnie Dunagan has had a tremendous impact on his adopted country. Arriving in Houston, then San Antonio, after being born at Sea on a tramp steamer, the little child grew to be a fascinating man.

During the Great Depression in our country, a common entertainment was a talent contest in a small town. Entered in such a contest (Donnie was all of 4 years old!) to win a grand prize of $100, Donnie was spotted by a talent scout for RKO Studios, and his movie career began.

Donnie has many films to his credit, and was a popular child star of the Golden Era of Hollywood. Universal’s “Son of Frankenstein,”  “Tower of London”, and Walt Disney’s “Bambi” (Donnie was the face model for Bambi, and the voice actor for the young deer) are some of his films.

Tragedy struck Donnie’s home life, and Donnie was eventually placed in an orphanage for his young life. Truly, from Rags to Riches to Rags!

Academics and Football were his Savior.

Leaving the orphanage at age 14, Donnie worked and supported himself in a boarding house while attending High School. Determined to be a doctor, but with no funds or adults to help him attend college, he became a star athlete in order to hopefully obtain a scholarship. Donnie’s plan worked, and although he was awarded a scholarship, he was too young at 16 to attend college until the following year.

Our country was still involved in the Korean War at that time, and when it was his turn to report for a draft physical, Donnie’s career with the United States Marine Corps began, with a question from a tall Marine recruiter, who asked “…Son, haven’t I seen you play football? You know, the Marines have a football team…..”, and so, 25 years later, from private to Major, Donnie loved the Corps as home. A Medal of Honor Nominee, with the Navy Cross, 3 Purple Hearts, Two Silver Stars, Three Bronze Stars, Navy Commendation Medal, are among his acheivements for Valor.

Other chapters were included in Donnie’s life as well.

OSS trained Cold War Counter Intellligence Agent, DOD, DIA CIA.

Business Owner.

Rancher.

Between these times, Donnie Graduated from Oxford University in England with a PhD in Mathematical Physics.

Today Donnie is retired and travels to share his adventures with Fans Everywhere.

                                                                     — Official Press Release for Donnie Dunagan

Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, and Donnie Dunagan during the making of Son of Frankenstein.
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Coming Soon: Son of Frankenstein (1939)!

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(Video courtesy of Robert Harrison.)

The Golden Screening

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The line stretched down the block for our showing of Goldfinger!

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A record turnout of 461 patrons came out for our 50th Anniversary screening of Goldfinger on September 18, 2014. (The film had originally premiered in London on September 17, 1964, but was released in the U.K. on September 18.) Colin Clark of The Ian Fleming Foundation was our special guest and provided the memorabilia seen in the lobby. The main attraction was the Jet Star model plane used in the making of Goldfinger. (Special precautions had to be taken given the extreme value of this prop.)

It was wonderful to have a part of film history on display. In an age where everything is done on a computer, it’s interesting for fans to see a tangible piece of movie magic. (The Jet Star was cleverly used in the film. It was painted differently on each side, and with the simple trick of a reverse camera angle, the plane appeared in a second sequence later in the movie.)  In addition to the jet, Colin brought with him one of the gold bricks used in the Fort Knox set. (These were actually made out of lead.) Though hundreds of these were undoutedly made, we like to believe ours was the one thrown at Oddjob in the movie!

After the prize giveaway, which included an Aston Martin collectible car, Colin was introduced on stage and spoke about the history of the jet and how it came into the possession of The Ian Fleming Foundation. The prop originally had been given to an executive of Lockheed Martin after the film’s production, but it surfaced years later in an antique shop where it was acquired. The Foundation, in fact, owns several Bond props and vehicles, many of which are currently stored in a warehouse in Kankakee, IL.

Colin Clark and his wife Kelly representing The Ian Fleming Foundation. With them is the Jet Star model used in the making of Goldfinger.
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From its very first image of the famous gun barrel sequence, it was clearly evident– based on the audience reaction– that Goldfinger holds up as well today as it did fifty years ago. The crowd applauded, cheered, and laughed at all the appropriate moments. It’s a film that fans love and respect. Our screening offered a unique perspective, though; this was perhaps one of the few theatrical screenings in its half-century history where the first shot of the jet itself received applause!

We are extremely grateful to all those who helped us with this event, including Colin Clark, our house organist Jay Warren, and our golden Bond girls: Allison, Shannon, Monica, and Elizabeth.

For more about the work of The Ian Fleming Foundation and their role in preserving the James Bond legacy, Click Here!

Film Historian Matthew Hoffman with movie hostess Allison…
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Colin Clark discusses the Jet Star– and some Bond trivia!
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The lobby afterward…
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Striking a Bond pose after the show with one of our Bond girls, Elizabeth.
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Season 2: Opening Night Preview!

You can see movies anywhere, but there’s only one place where it becomes an event…

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What: 1964’s Goldfinger (DCP digital restoration)
When: September 18, 2014 * 007:30 PM
Where: Pickwick Theatre, 5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, IL
Who: Ian Fleming Foundation (represented by Colin Clark) will be our guests;
Organist Jay Warren will perform prelude music beginning at 7:00 PM.
Why: We will be honoring this legendary film’s 50th anniversary.
(Originally released in September 1964.)
We’ll also have a prop used in the film on display in our lobby.
How much: Admission is only $7; $5 for seniors.

Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe), the greediest of tycoons, plans on cornering the gold market and blowing up the world economy by way of Fort Knox– “Operation Grand Slam,” he calls it. And there’s only one man who can stop him: Bond, James Bond (Sean Connery). But 007 will have to duck Oddjob’s hat trick and talk his way out of a laser castration in order to do it. “The hotter the danger, the cooler he takes it!” Production designer Ken Adams’ ‘cathedral of gold’ within Fort Knox is one of the many highlights in what many regard as the greatest Bond movie ever made. (Director Guy Hamilton even makes golf look interesting!) A gold-plated classic with style, sophistication, and plenty of action, this was the film that kicked off a cultural phenonmenon which is still going strong today. With Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore (the man-hating pilot who gets ‘turned around’ by Bond’s charm), Harold Sakata, Shirley Eaton, and Bernard Lee. Screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn and based on the novel by Ian Fleming. Music by John Barry with unforgettable title song performed by Shirley Bassey.

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Shirley Eaton’s golden girl became one of the most iconic images of ’60s cinema.
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A Pickwick Theatre exclusive! The JetStar jet model, used in the making of Goldfinger, will be on display before our show! (photo courtesy of the Ian Fleming Foundation)
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On Thursday night, one lucky theatregoer will win an Aston Martin DB5… well, sort of.
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Goldfinger: 50th Anniversary Screening!

The Pickwick Theatre Classic Film Series is back in action! Join us on Sept. 18 when we kick off our second season with a 50th anniversary screening of 1964’s Goldfinger.

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Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery, turns 50!
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Rare Audio Recording Discovered

The following is a video I made a few years ago. I used a rare audio recording of King Kong co-director Ernest B. Schoedsack, which was in my possession. Anything related to the original King Kong is of great interest to me, so I thought I’d share this with you on our website. It’s a wonderful piece of cinema history, and I hope you will enjoy listening to it. (NOTE: For better image quality, please adjust the resolution under Settings.) ~M.H.

“Searching For My Father, Tyrone Power”: A Review of Romina Power’s Biography

“Try for beauty and truth in all you attempt.” ~ Tyrone Power, Sr., to his son, Tyrone Power III

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Searching For My Father, Tyrone Power, written by his elder daughter, Romina Power, is a work of love that his fans will certainly love. Before the publication of Romina’s memoir/biography, there had only been a couple books on Power that did him any justice. The first was The Films of Tyrone Power by Dennis Belafonte and Alvin H. Marill. Released in 1979, this mostly pictorial record was another in the series of “The Films of…” which Citadel Press published. The second book– also released in 1979– was Fred Lawrence Guiles’ exceptional Tyrone Power: The Last Idol. Since the late ’70s, however, the only major work on Power has been Romina Power’s biography which has had two manifestations. It was first published in Italy several years ago. Unfortunately, unless you read Italian, the book was not available to many fans on this side of the ocean.

However, in May of 2014, the English-language version of Searching For My Father finally made its American debut at the Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge, IL. Limited to a 1,000 copies, this was a first edition available only at centennial events honoring Tyrone Power. Considering that Power himself was an avid collector of first edition books, this was a nice homage to him. (The mass market version is expected to be out by the end of 2014.) Though it took years to see the light of day in this country, I can tell you that it’s been worth the wait. This is a beautifully written and compiled book for the global fans of Tyrone Power.

Though I had been fortunate to see excerpts of the book prior to its release, it wasn’t until weeks after the May 1 event at the Pickwick Theatre that I was able to read the entire book. From the very beginning, the reader is pulled in emotionally. Romina writes of hearing her father’s voice for the first time. Since she had grown up in Italy, she had only seen her father’s films with his voice dubbed. But when Romina bought a record album of him reading the poems of Lord Byron, she was struck not only by the sound of his voice, but by the message he seemed to be conveying to her through the expanse of time. The poem was My Daughter. Though it was Byron addressing his own daughter, Allegra, the words seemed to speak to Romina and to her own sense of loss of not having her father in her life. She was only seven when he died. Romina immediately shared this recording with her younger sister, Taryn. This would be the first of many discoveries and revelations for them. The book is Romina’s decades-long search to find out who her father was through the people who knew him best.

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Though Tyrone Power lived only 44 years, his life touched so many others. He was a worldwide movie star, but over the decades, Hollywood has forgotten him; many years have passed since his death in 1958. So many people from that era have since passed on. Fortunately, Romina Power took the initiative to find out what she could before it was too late. Many of the most important characters from her father’s life were interviewed back in the 1970s and 1980s when names like Henry Fonda were still with us. It’s no easy task by any biographer to try and present a total picture of someone, but what Romina has created is a stunning mosaic made up of many pieces. Each has their own value and points to a larger picture.

The book is structured around dozens of interviews with those who knew him– close friends like Watson Webb or Cesar Romero– and family members like Tyrone’s sister, Anne. It is not your typical, linear biography due to Romina’s jumps in time, but the narrative cross-cutting is chronological and follows the arc of her father’s life and career. What unfolds is a fascinating record and oral history that is a piece of invaluable research. Mixed into the biography is family history in which Romina talks about her acting heritage. There are also her own accounts of visiting places like Ireland, the home of her ancestors on her father’s side, and her poignant and difficult trip to Spain. It is here where her father had died so many years earlier while making Solomon and Sheba. These almost poetic impressions and evocations of place are important to the tone of the book; they give it an intimacy other biographies lack. As readers, we never forget that this is a daughter’s search to understand the father she never really knew.

Power served with distinction as a U.S. Marine during World War II.
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There are recurring traits and themes– most notably Tyrone’s humor and generosity. He was a very giving person, and reading this book I couldn’t help but wish I had known him. Tyrone comes across as someone who was genuinely good– by no means perfect as none of us are, but someone who was able to make time for another despite the demands of his profession.  The characteristics that were so attractive onscreen, which had made him a hero to millions, inspired confidence in those around him off-screen. “His smile conveyed that everything would be okay.”

There are many examples of Tyrone making time for others. Whether it was going to a friend’s synagogue in order to read a passage from Scripture or helping a studio security guard pay for his wife’s operation, these are little-known incidents that reveal the quality of his character. There was a fundamental decency about Tyrone Power. There are so many stories of this generosity that I’m sure most people were never aware of until now.

Make-up test for Nightmare Alley (1947), widely considered to be Power’s finest performance.
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Romina Power is an artist who finds expression through many forms, whether it’s singing or painting or writing. This expression manifests throughout the 320+ pages. She never inserts herself into the interviews, instead allowing the subject to unfold their recollections uninterrupted, but her reactions and how she describes them afterward are heartfelt. There are surprises here, both good and bad. It is a story that is sad and haunting, but also uplifting as we feel Tyrone’s presence– not as a distant memory or as shadows on a movie screen– but as a real presence in the lives of those who knew and loved him.

One of the many strengths of Romina’s book is her inclusion of letters her father had written reflecting his concerns and passions. Many are from his war years and contain thoughts of home. An example that stands out to this reader is one he wrote as a U.S. Marine during World War II. His description of Yokohama, Japan, in the aftermath of its defeat is especially vivid. Tyrone’s humanity comes through in all these letters whether they’re about the war or directed towards a loved one. Additionally, Romina includes a fascinating and revealing “novel” that Power had started between flying missions but which he never finished. In the excerpt that she includes, Tyrone takes on a character named “Fred,” perhaps to obscure the autobiographical nature of his own story. (The Fred Guiles biography also recounts this novel while providing commentary on what Tyrone was saying about himself. Here, Romina includes more of the unbroken text.)

The Black Rose (1950)
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Tyrone Power was a seeker not unlike the character he portrayed in The Razor’s Edge (1946)– a seeker of knowledge and of meaning in life. His intelligence is another trait that recurs throughout the book. We see this in the passionate letters he would write. They harken back to those Tyrone Power, Sr., had written to his wife, Patia, which are also included. A form of expression that seems antiquated in this impersonal age of texting and emails, these articulate letters depict a more literate time when people knew how to write and express themselves. With Tyrone, they reveal someone trying to understand the world and his place in it.

Tyrone Power’s interest in philosophy and religion and his own views on life (which he expressed in an article in 1945) are elaborated. But unlike today’s “stars,” Tyrone never tried to foist his views onto others. He never professed to be an expert on anything political and never used his status as a star to get on a soapbox. But quietly, he was continually searching. It’s also noteworthy to see the kinds of books that influenced his outlook. One in particular was Kahlil Gibran’s 1923 book The Prophet.

Mississippi Gambler (1953)
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Tyrone’s life and the choices he made were also shaped by his relationships. There were many women in his life. It was said by one of those interviewed that Tyrone was “in love with the idea of being in love.” He always needed to have someone in his life, going from one relationship immediately into the next. This led to a great deal of personal turmoil when it became apparent that neither was compatible with the other for the long-term. Despite these frustrations and entanglements, Power never became a bitter man. He never directed anger in the direction of others. There was a lot he kept bottled inside.

We gain a sense of who these women were in his life. In fairness to his three wives– as well as to those he knew in-between– we don’t have the full picture of who they were as individuals, although his first wife, Annabella, seemed to be the most open about her years with Tyrone. There are moments in the telling when its easy to make snap judgments on them, such as when something is said that puts one of them in a negative light. But it’s important to understand that there is another side we’re not seeing completely. It’s evident that these women who were closest to him– Annabella, Linda Christian, and Debbie Minardos– all clearly loved him and were important to him during each stage of his life.

Portrait of Tyrone done by Claire Trevor…
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Remote impressions of her childhood seem to be all that is left for Romina. She recalls a home and a garden where she played, but her father was an elusive figure in these recollections. In her adult consciousness, she reached back into pre-memory, but her father was always just out of reach. He was blocked out perhaps by the trauma of losing him and only attainable in dreams, appearing to his daughter as a figure in white. This sense of loss is deeply moving. It’s the underlying theme that brings a soul to the book. Despite this gap in her personal timeline, there is a degree of solace for Romina- of acceptance of what was taken from her. There is a final realization and understanding that Tyrone still lives through her, through her sister Taryn, and through their brother Ty– as well as through all the people he has touched then and now.

Tyrone Power was a complex man who had to reconcile his public self with his private life. Despite this complexity, you feel closer to understanding who Tyrone Power was when you read Searching For My Father. The reader makes these discoveries with Romina. This is her personal journey towards truth, and in this day when other biographers rely on sensationalism to sell copies, truth can be an elusive thing. Romina’s intent is to tell a sincere story and leave as accurate a record as possible of a man who was more than a movie legend.

~M.H.

Linda Christian, Tyrone, and Romina…
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Romina Power, internationally famous singer/actress/writer…
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