Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Media: The stupid return to target Target and a man writes a really dull, boring book

It's that time of the year, where the salmon swim upstream and the stupid come out to do stupid things.

Check Twitter (we don't work for Elon Musk, we'll call it Twitter) and you'll find that shuts ins are gearing up for attacks.  Not Target though.  They believe they've done their duty there with last year's actions.  The stupid intimidated Target into dropping Pride merchandise.  Of course, it didn't take much to intimidate Target.

Include them in the stupid.  Everyone who broke down displays and/or tossed and tore clothing should have been arrested and barred from the store.  Not only did the stupid post video on Twitter incriminating themselves last year, Target also has cameras in their stores.  In fact, a Target store prosecuted a customer who bent/broke a vinyl album in this same period.  

But they were too scared of the overweight Dollar Store shoppers.  Afraid they'd lost the non-customers as customers.  They bragged about in June last year.  How they went into the "overpriced" Target that they avoid -- they all noted they avoided it -- and tore down displays.  

No arrests got made.

And Target proved so pathetic that they refused to prosecute.  So now this will happen to other stores.  And Target is so pathetic that they've announced approximately half their stores will not carry Pride merchandise this June.  

So the bullies claim the victory that Target handed them. 

And they're still not satisfied.

They post video of themselves on Twitter pissing on the Pride flag.

They like to note that Pride "is a sin."

Strange how you don't see these same mentally incompetent going after Lee Greenwood, right?  "And I'm proud to be an American . . ."  That's what he sings, right?  If God's against pride, then he's against that song.  Guess the knuckle draggers better start calling country music stations and telling never to play that song again.  Same with James Brown's "Say It Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud Pt. 2" or how about those bumper stickers with "Proud Parent of a US Marine"?  

These uneducated hate merchants pretend that they really feel pride is a sin . . . as long as it just has to do with gay people.  Interestingly enough though, they weren't doing Pride events in Biblical times so clearly the Bible's talking about something else.  

But then simple-minded fools rarely learn how to read well -- and, no, being able to read words alone does not make you a good reader.  You need to be able to comprehend them as well, to put them into context and to be able to debate meaning and intent.

Otherwise, a stuffed pillow how more knowledge than you.

A stuffed pillow did not write WITH LOVE, MOMMIE DEAREST: THE MAKING OF AN UNINTENTIONAL CAMP CLASSIC but it appears a puffed Cheeto did.  It's name?  A. Ashley Hoff.

The book fails on every level.  It's not even able to be entertaining because a self-righteous pig authored it.

Know going in, that the man hates women.  He pretends otherwise.  But any woman with actual power is dismissed and/or attacked.  For the latter see his portrayals of Joan Crawford -- the Mommie Dearest of the title -- and Faye Dunaway who played her in the film MOMMIE DEAREST.

Hoff stakes his reputation on . . .  We were going to say the book Christina Crawford wrote about her mother (MOMMIE DEAREST) but he honestly doesn't seem familiar with the book.

That may be the least of his problems.

But he stakes his reputation -- inflated as "Hollywood historian" by some publications.  Calling, for example, Jeanine Basinger a Hollywood historian?  No problem.  That's what she is.  That's what the late Robert Osborne was.  Though Ben Mankiewicz's work is more TV and podcast, we would also have no problem calling him a Hollywood historian or, in fact, any of the TCM hosts.


His only other book covered the TV game show MATCH GAME.  And, as he demonstrates repeatedly in the pages of his MOMMIE DEAREST book, history is not his specialty.

He complains about director Frank Perry (and the screenwriters) having Joan come home from being dropped by the MGM studio and ripping apart her rose garden.  He  notes that she had gone on to sign with WARNER BROTHERS.  Huff claims in the book that she was dropped by MGM but that same day she was signed by WARNER BROTHERS.  That would certainly be a fast turnaround.  Fired by MGM in the late afternoon and signed by WB before the end of the work day.  

But that's not what happened.

After 18 years, Crawford requested to be released from her contract with MGM, which was terminated by mutual consent on June 29, 1943. In lieu of the last film remaining under her contract, MGM bought her out for $100,000.

First off, she asked to be let go and that was granted on June 29, 1943,  Second, she signed with WB on July 1, 1943.  

He can't get anything right.  And he's huffing about the scene insisting that some people don't believe Christina's claims about the rose garden being chopped down due to the film because Joan was signed on the same day.

Again, she wasn't.

More to the point, the film has the infamous, "Tina, bring me the axe!"  It's not in the book.  In Christina's book, Christina and her ghost writer insist Joan asked for a saw.  

Again, he's unfamiliar with the book.  

More to the point, people doubt that happening because the US entered WWII in December of 1941.  Immediately after, Joan had all her flower gardens removed and replaced with victory gardens. There was no rose garden or any flower garden at Joan's home in 1943.  

He's unaware of that critique although it's one of the most famous.

Equally true, though Christina claims she began washing dishes at the age of four, it's highly doubtful that at the age of four she would be there.    And where is actor Philip Terry during this late night attack on the rose garden in 1943?  Joan married him in 1942 and they separated in 1945.  Where was Philip?

And in the book and in the film, we have adopted son Christopher present.  In October of 1978, Christopher was 35.  Even by our limited math skills, that means he was born in 1943 (or November or December of 1942).

Can someone explain why an infant is portrayed in the book and in the film chopping down a rose garden?  

The incident never made sense and was attacked from the start.

One of those noting that none Christina's claims made sense was Myrna Loy -- Joan's friend of fifty years.

So naturally, Huff attacks her.  

He wants you to believe she had no idea what happened at home.

But when bitter Helen Hayes -- notorious for attacking every female actress from Katharine Hepburn to Lucille Ball to Bette Davis -- wants to vouch for the abuse, Huff believes those claims.

But Myrna knows nothing?  Myrna knew Christina better than most.  She knew her as a bratty child and she knew her as a bratty adult.  As an adult, the two of them worked together on the play BAREFOOT IN THE PARK.  Briefly.  It was 1965 and Christina was a replacement who would not follow direction.  No one wanted to stand up to her so Myrna called Neil Simon to come and see what Christina was doing to the role.  She was fired on the spot.

He is convinced that Joan beat Christina and Christopher.  Somehow, she miraculously changed when the twins came along Cathy and Cindy (no, they weren't really twins).  That makes sense to him.  She's older, drinking more, her career is in danger each year but she's no longer beating children?

It's amazing how many lies and how much stupidity is in his book.

Christopher was put into bed, strapped in nightly.  

No one ever asks why.

It was because in Joan's time, parents thought masturbation was a sickness or worse.  And Christopher touched himself and later ended up strapped in each night as a result.

In the book he's written, Huff repeatedly gets things wrong.  That includes dialogue from the movie he supposedly loves.  And supposedly knows. 

But he clearly doesn't know the movie and he clearly doesn't know how to do research.

Christina Crawford, unlike her mother, had a brief acting career that was a total flop.  In fact, Gloria Monty told us both what a failure Christina was on THE SECRET STORM in the sixties.  A failure, rude and unable to work well the rest of the cast.  Why do we bring that up?

In her book, and in the film, Christina whines that Joan Crawford took over Christina's part when Christina was hospitalized.  The film mocks Joan, in fact.  Per Gloria, Joan brought in viewers.  Everyone wanted to see legendary film star Joan Crawford fill in for her daughter.  Joan took the role to save her daughter's job -- Gloria confirmed that to us, that only when she (Gloria) said that they'd have to let Christina go did Joan volunteer to fill in.

That's not in the movie or the book.

In the movie, Belita Moreno plays Belinda Rosenberg.  Twice in his bad book, Huff says she's a soap opera director.  

Uh, no, that role is based on Gloria Monty.  Did we get it wrong, we wondered, because we knew Gloria and we knew she was the model for the character?

We pulled up MOMMIE DEAREST on PARAMOUNT+.  Nope, we're not wrong.

Moreno's Belinda Rosenberg, in the hospital scene with Joan, introduces herself as the producer of the soap opera Christina is on.  Not the director.

Has Huff actually watched MOMMIE DEAREST?

He twice says Belinda Rosenberg was a "soap opera director."  No, that's not in the film.

Huff feels Christina has told the truth in her book.  He knows nothing about her or about Joan Crawford.  If he did, so many claims made by Christiana in her book would stick out.

Do we think Joan Crawford beat Christina?  We don't know but we're more inclined to side with Joan since Christina has far too many factual errors and was refuted in real time by people that Huff ignores.  Nor does he help himself out with who he chooses to attack and who he chooses to embrace.  

He thinks the sun rises and sets on Tracy Hotchner.  We wonder what street corner he sees her standing under because we have no respect for her.

She calls herself an actress and it is true that she was in LITTLE BIG MAN in 1970.  She played "flirtatious girl" and if you sit through the credits, you will discover that she's the 39th billed performer.  It's also true that she appeared in the Joan Rivers directed film RABBIT TEST (1978).  She played the demanding role of "woman in crowd"  where she was the 47th billed performer.  (That may be 48th.  We really don't care to recount.)  So she was an extra.  She wasn't an actress.  She also claims she was a writer.  She co-created the TV flop BIG SHAMUS LITTLE SHAMUS.  She didn't write a single episode but got screen credit for all three as a co-creator.  Other than that?  MOMMIE DEAREST.  If you're a fan of the film (we're honestly not), that may be news to you.  That's because for years she did not have a co-writing credit.  She slept with Frank Yablas, a producer on the film (we'll come back to that), and she says she wrote the first draft and 80% of the script was by her.  She didn't get that credit in real time.  Or during the 80s.  After she married Frank Yablas in the 90s, she got that credit retroactively.

Did she earn it for writing?  If she did, she's pretty damn pathetic.  Women  have had to struggle to get credit in the entertainment industry and if she did indeed write some or even 80% of the script and let the man she was sleeping with take away her credit, she harmed all women.

The main reason we don't care for her is because she's a snob and she has nothing to be snobbish about.  A failure of multiple decades, she has a hissy fit that Lee Harman claims credit for talking Faye Dunaway into portraying Joan Crawford -- and Huff goes along with the snobbery.  He, she wants you to know, was just Faye's make up man. 

Yes, he was Faye's make up artist in the TV movie Evita and the mini-series THE DISAPPEARANCE OF AIMEE,  the films THE CHAMP, EYES OF LAURA MARS, NETWORK, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR and CHINATOWN.  And those are before MOMMIE DEAREST.  After, he'd do her make up for the TV movie BEVERLY HILLS MADAM and the TV mini-series CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, and the films SUPERGIRL, THE WICKED LADY and THE TEMP.   In all, he worked on her makeup form 1974 to 1993.

Clearly, Faye trusted his judgment.

And failed actress and writer Hotchner is a snob and an idiot.  Your trusted team is who you take advice from if you're an actor or an actress.  You spend more time speaking with makeup and hair on a film than you do with a director.  Lee thought Faye looked like Joan Crawford.  It's really rude to insult hair and make up but for someone pretending to know about films -- Hotchner and Huff -- it's also very stupid.

Take Huff's portrayal of Kathryn Blondell.

If you're in the industry, you know Blondell and you know that she's an award winning hairstylist.

If you only encounter her in Huff's bad book, she's 'just' the woman who did Goldie Hawn's hair in PRIVATE BENJAMIN.  And she has no experience with wigs.

She had a lot of experience with wigs.  And before MOMMIE DEAREST, she did Goldie's hair a lot -- SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES, PRIVATE BENJAMIN, LOVERS & LIARS, THE DUCHESS AND THE DIRT WATER FOX and SHAMPOO.  And she didn't just work on Goldie's films before MOMMIE DEAREST, she also did the hair for HAROLD & MAUDE, THE GETAWAY, THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT, THE TURNING POINT, THE MANCHU EAGLE MURDER CAPER MYSTERY, WINTER KILLS, CHAPTER TWO and many more.  But, by all means, Huff, lie and present her as someone with only one film credit.  

And why, why, why did Faye not want to use Joan's hairstylist!!!!!  Vivienne Walker did Joan's hair in the 40s and 50s!!!!!  And this was a film being made in the 1980s. And Vivienne was at least 67 years old.  Times had changed.  

That also goes to the issue of costumes.  Faye and Irene Sharaff did not get along!!!!

This is supposed to be an indictment of Faye Dunaway.  But who did get along with Sharaff after the end of the long term, exclusive contracts with a studio?

Answer: No one.

She played queen bee and diva on Willie Wyler's FUNNY GIRL -- upsetting both Wyler and Barbra Streisand.  On the following Streisand film both Barbra and director Gene Kelly would confront Sharaff over her ridiculous gowns that included one for a dancing scene that Barbra would have repeatedly tripped over.  Sharaff was a diva and a control junkie.  Her not liking Faye Dunaway only matters to the uninformed.

Which is Huff repeatedly who wants to suggest that Faye isn't this or that -- then why even bring it up?

One time it's to tell you that she's not a thief.  Shooting on the beach, she was wearing jewelry that the production had borrowed from FRANIS KLEIN ESTATE JEWELS.  And it disappeared!!!!!  A fifty-thousand dollar broach disappeared. Huff wants you to know that no one accused Faye of stealing it (nor should they have) and that it added to the cost of the film.

Uh, no, it did not.

He knows nothing about film.  If a production borrows jewelry, costumes, whatever, and it turns up missing?  That's why they take out insurance.  

Huff knows nothing about films.  (We pray -- pray -- that Michael Musto did his cover blurb before he read this bad book.)

WITH LOVE, MOMMIE DEAREST: THE MAKING OF AN UNINTENTIONAL CAMP CLASSIC was written by a moron and is it the worst kind of book in the world: Boring.

It's about all we can expect from the stupid this time of year.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }