Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Please Mister Postman the Marvelettes, Beatles, Mel Blanc, George and Gracie

Please Mister Postman
the Marvelettes, the Beatles,
Mel Blanc, George and Gracie

There must be some word today
From my boyfriend so far away
Please Mister Postman, look and see
If there's a letter, a letter for me ....

The song came out long before email and internet, conference video calling such
Mel Blanc 1976
as Skype. Then the only ones who did that kind of thing were pretty much The Jetsons.

May 30, 1908 is the anniversary of Mel Blanc's birth. He's a famous voice actor and comedian who worked at Warner Brothers. He provided many character voices, including those for Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam and Foghorn Leghorn.

He had his own show and was a cast member on some early radio shows including the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show in the 1940s where he played the Happy Postman. Early in the episode, Gracie would answer the door. "Hello, Mr. Postman!" I often think of the song when I hear her greet him.

Blanc was a popular guest on other TV and radio shows. He is great on the Jack Benny Christmas special episodes.

What is the background of Please Mr. Postman? Who are some of the artists who've sung it? August 21, 1961, The Marvelettes released a single of Please Mr. Postman. Their album of the same name came out on November 20, 1961.

I've been standin' here waitin' Mister Postman
So patiently
For just a card, or just a letter
Sayin' he's returnin' home to me...

December 6, 1961 they released Twistin' Postman to follow up the success the group had with Please Mr. Postman and to take advantage of Chubby Checker's The Twist dance craze.

November 30, 1963, The Beatles released their LP, With the Beatles. This included their version of Please Mister Postman. 

Another Beatles hit that was along letter writing lines was P.S. I Love You, written by Paul McCartney. An early single, its B side was Love Me Do. It was included on their 1963 LP Please Please Me.

The album also included Till There Was You by Meredith Willson, a song some might recognize from the musical The Music Man.

Meredith Willson was bandleader and a regular character actor on Burns and Allen radio show during World War II. He wrote the song for his 1957 musical play The Music Man. It also appeared in the 1962 movie version with Shirley Jones, Robert Preston and a young Ron Howard.

A few of us had an event where we were using sealing wax on cards and letters. The latest I can recall hearing, from artsy friends and those sending out wedding invitations using sealing wax is that there have been some problems. I'd be interested to hear your experiences.

What people do now is hand deliver the cards to one another. You can also use it to adorn a piece of art or create a certificate, an award. Sending it through the mail may risk ruining your masterpiece or jamming a machine.

On one show, because of the postwar housing shortage, Gracie decides to take in a veteran and his family. Meredith Willson wants to start a vaudeville act with George. 
So many days you passed me by
See the tears standin' in my eyes
You didn't stop to make me feel better
By leavin' me a card or a letter ....

November 8, 1974 The Carpenters released their single, Please Mr. Postman. The flip side was This Masquerade.  

This Masquerade was written by Leon Russell. His version is part of the soundtrack for director William Friedkin's 2006 psychological thriller film Bug. It also appeared in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness.

Both songs were hits for The Carpenters but Please Mr. Postman was one of their biggest hits ever worldwide. Their official music video was shot at Disneyworld and includes appearances by Disney characters.

Later I'll talk more about it, but recently we watched a documentary, 20 Feet from Stardom. The documentary pays homage to the backup singers who do not get the recognition they deserve. I adore backup singers, they add so much to the sound and the entire show. 

The program includes "Darlene Love, the uncredited lead voice on some of Phil Spector's most memorable productions of the 1960s." Also you'll enjoy Lisa Fischer and Merry Clayton. Some amazing singing on this documentary. It's available to stream or get on DVD. 
Karen and Richard Carpenter in Studio

The show spoke primarily about female backup singers. Gladys Knight's famous Pips weren't included as I recall. Sting, Bette Midler and Mick Jagger are interviewed. The show sparked a lively discussion amongst friends as to whether Dawn (Telma Hopkins, Joyce Vincent) started out as backup singers for Tony Orlando. Telma Hopkins went on to a favorite 1980s show, Bosom Buddies.

In February 2013 it was announced that the USPS would stop mail deliveries on Saturdays beginning in August. On April 10, 2014 the United States Post Office backed off on stopping Saturday mail deliveries. Apparently Congress would not allow the change. There is still a possibility that we may lose our Saturday mail deliveries.
So Mister postman look and see
Is there a letter in your bag for me
I been waiting a long long time
Since I heard from that boyfriend of mine...

Related Pages of Interest:

She fell for The Leader of the Pack in 1964, Dramatic song performance The Shangri-Las' Number One hit

Paul Henreid Directs Bette Davis Ray Charles and Alfred Hitchcock?

Did Bette Davis teach Paul Henreid to light 2 cigarettes at once or did Gracie Allen

Mel Blanc photo flickr image used under Creative Commons from Mblumber
Excerpts from Please Mr. Postman throughout (Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Brian Holland and Robert Bateman are usually shown as the song's writers. As with many hit songs, the song gets reworked.)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Top 10 TV British Comedies on Amazon Prime

Top 10 TV British Comedies on Amazon Prime
These BritComs are included to stream for free and binge watch with your Amazon Prime subscription*

1) The Vicar of Dibley
Vicar of Dibley
Instant Video selections

Starring Dawn French, Gary Waldhorn, James Fleet, John Bluthal, Liz Smith, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Emma Chambers and no, no, no, yes it's the one and only Trevor Peacock

Written by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer

2) Good Neighbors aka The Good Life

Stars Richard Briers Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington.

The show originally ran 1975-1978 and was created by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey. 

This is the team that brought us Brush Strokes, Ever Decreasing Circles and Mulberry which ended before we could see the ending that the writers had in mind.

Larbey created A Fine Romance and As Time Goes By.

Ruth Jones (Nessa) and James Corden (Smithy) Gavin & Stacey
at a BBC Radio Wales roadshow
Ben Salter, December 2008
3) Gavin and Stacey

Stars Mathew Horne, Joanna Page, James Corden, Ruth Jones, Larry Lamb, Alison Steadman, Rob Brydon, Melanie Walters

4) As Time Goes By

You must remember this.... Stars Dame Judi Dench, Geoffrey Palmer, Moira
As Time Goes By
Brooker, Philip Bretherton, Jenny Funnell. Yes, Jean did get a gorillagram on this show.

5) Coupling

Stars Gina Bellman, Sarah Alexander, Kate Isitt, Ben Miles, Richard Coyle, Richard Mylan

6) Blackadder aka Black Adder (S1)

Another Richard Curtis show, starring Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie with some great guest stars. 

The original show ran 1983 – 1989. Amazon also has some of the specials including their more recent Christmas Special.
A Bit of Fry & Laurie
7) A Bit of Fry & Laurie (S1)

Starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. Before he was Dr. House MD. Again some great guest stars.  Ran 1989-1995.

8) Fawlty Towers (S1)

Starring John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth. Written by Cleese and Booth.  Indulge in some Waldorf salad while you watch this show which ran 1975-1979.

9) Doc Martin (S1)

Starring Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Ian McNeice, Joe Absolom, Selina Cadell, Jessica Ransom, Annabelle Apsion and Eileen Atkins. 

Stephanie Cole and Katherine Parkinson in early seasons. 

10) Absolutely Fabulous (S1)

Starring Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, June Whitfield, Jane Horrocks. The original series ran 1992-1996.

British Comedies that can be streamed via Amazon Prime by renting or purchasing to own. Most are also on DVD:
Little Britain

To the Manor Born
Red Dwarf

No Job for a Lady
Last Tango in Halifax
Yes, Prime Minister
The Office UK version 
Concerts, Appearances by stars such as Eddie Izzard
Beatles movies such as A Hard Day's Night

Some British Comedy Series available on DVD. Not yet streaming
-- Make sure it is viewable, available in your region, some only region 2, etc. Cool if you have Amazon Prime because you usually get free two day shipping. We ordered something and that is always helpful.
Are You Being Served?
William and Mary
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Only Fools and Horses
Keeping Up Appearances
A Fine Romance
No, Honestly
Waiting for God
Mr. Bean
My Hero
Jeeves and Wooster (Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie)
Carry On Laughing 
Peep Show
Last of the Summer Wine

Doesn't really fit as a Britcom, but:
All Creatures Great and Small

Join Amazon Prime (Free Month; One Year Membership) Streaming Movies & TV Shipping Discounts and more - Watch Over 40,000 Movies, HBO shows & specials, Wide selection of new/old movies, foreign films and documentaries compared to other streaming video sites and the yearly price is about the same.

Q: Which are your favorite British comedies?

* As of the date of this post.

(S1) : Season one is included in Amazon Prime, later seasons can be rented or purchased for a fee per episode

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Towel Day Don't Panic

Happy Towel Day
In honor of Douglas Adams May 25

Created as a homage to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
42 (the answer to life, universe and everything) Julian Hammer
Do you have your towel with you at all times? Don't panic.
Some bookstores are staging readathons. Why not have a spontaneous Flash read-a-thon if there isn't one near you?

Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity,
checking in on Fred MacMurray

Marilyn Monroe in a towel 8x10 Photo

Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe worked together
in a 1952 film called Monkey Business. Ginger Rogers costarred.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rod Serling Conference: 50 Years of Twilight Zone

Rod Serling The Twilight Zone
Cool Tv Promo 24x36 Poster
The Twilight Zone television show premiered on October first, 1959.

Celebrating 50 Years of The Twilight Zone is an interdisciplinary conference dedicated to the works of Rod Serling. It took place this October 2-3, 2013 at New York's Ithaca College.

The college is just 50 miles north of Serling's hometown of Binghamton. It's also
very close to the family cottage on Cayuga Lake where, ­in an Airstream trailer behind the house, some of the most memorable Serling scripts in television history were crafted.

In 2013 the "semi-annual" conference was held in Los Angeles for the first time in hopes of attracting a wider audience. It was held in early November.

Ithaca College is home to the Rod Serling Archives, and Serling taught at the college from 1967 - 1975. You can follow the Serling Conference on Twitter.

There's a very good episode of the PBS series, American Masters that focuses on Serling. As a fan of both The Twilight Zone and old radio, I discovered these Twilight Zone Radio Dramas, and you may want to check them out. Some are available on iTunes. Let me know if you know of a good web site for the original tv series.

So what was your favorite episode and why??

Photo is from Ithaca College web site

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hitchcock Dial M for Murder 1954 2014- 60 years

Dial M for Murder 60th Anniversary 2014

Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder
1954 Lobby Card
The Hitchcock classic Dial M for Murder was released May 29, 1954. In the psychological thriller Tony (Ray Milland) is plotting to kill his beautiful and wealthy wife, Margot (Grace Kelly) who's having an affair with Mark (Robert Cummings).

The world premiere was held
May 18, 1954 in Philadelphia, Grace Kelly's hometown. The New York premiere was May 28, 1954. 

As noted about all articles on old movies, this one will have spoilers. Created in the early 1950s, during the height of the 3-D movie craze the studio pushed Hitchcock into making a film in 3-D. He didn't want to do it. Touches in the film proper that you may notice include important scenes with a pair of scissors and a finger that is dialing a phone.

Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder 1954, Lobby Card

Most people saw a flat print (a 2-D version) of the film. Legend has it that in 1954 Philadelphia, they showed the movie in 3-D twice, the premiere showing and one more time. 

Audience response was negative and the theater requested a 2-D print from Warner Brothers. Occasionally theaters show the 3-D version on the big screen. 

In The Analysis of Film, Raymond Bellour talks about what may be essentially
Old phone
rotary dial
galaxy s4, iPhone etc cases

One example of
cell phone case
game play with the title and the letter M in this and other Hitchcock films. Comparing it to Suspicion and its Anagrams game where Joan Fontaine's character spells out MURDER "when she imagines she is the object of a death wish on the part of her husband."  

Dial M for Murder resonates like a pun. Margot begins with an M, as does Melanie (The Birds) and Marion (Psycho). Bellour suggests the director's motivation for these M names may have begun "in a cultural fantasy arising from the ferment of his Catholic upbringing: M as in Mary the Holy Virgin."

Hitchcock uses different motifs in his movies and relationships with women in his films can be complicated. Paul Gordon has written a book titled Dial "M" for Mother: A Freudian Hitchcock. I'm not sure Grace Kelly actually wore a green outfit in the film. Green costumes tended to be significant in his films, the color green in a shot at all in a Hitchcock movie has been analyzed by some film historians. Sometimes the colors we see in a lobby card doesn't actually match what was on screen.

Grace Kelly gives Alfred Hitchcock a trim
original clipping magazine photo
The movie was adapted from a successful stage play by Frederick Knott. The play is still performed today. It is a single setting in the stage play is the living-room of a flat in London. 

Hitchcock did his best to have most of the action take place within this setting to heighten the tension. 

Grace Kelly's character kills in self-defense. She then finds herself accused of her attacker's murder. I read that Cary Grant wanted to play the husband Tony 
Wendice, a role that went to Ray Milland. Studio execs thought the public wouldn't find him believable as a man plotting to have his wife murdered. 

Hitchcock's cameo in Dial M for Murder
In a class reunion photo

It's not unusual to have premieres in stars' hometowns. My Favorite Wife had its general release on May 17, 1940.  Its premiere was held May second in Louisville, KY, the hometown of star Irene Dunne. 

You may recall that Suspicion, the Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman film Hitchcock made in 1941, had its ending changed so that Grant's character was not a wife-killer.

Dial M for Murder Stream instantly, get on DVD, blu-ray.

Kelly wears a beautiful iconic red dress in this color picture. Costume designer Moss Mabry worked with Academy Award winning art director Edward Carrere to make this movie visually stunning. 

Dial M for Murder lobby cards
Mabry was also responsible for the red jacket worn by James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, 1955. Edward Carrere (along with John Truscott and John W. Brown) won the Best Art Direction-Set Decoration Academy Award in 1967 for Camelot. Carrere was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Dial M for Murder.

A Hitchcock film like Lifeboat, where all the action happens to a group of people floating at sea on a lifeboat shows how the environment can add greatly to the tension felt by the characters and in turn by the audience. Some critics and fans note some similarity in plot between this movie and Strangers on a Train.

This was the first time that Alfred Hitchcock worked with Grace Kelly. The next time, she'd be his leading lady with James Stewart in the movie Rear Window, a
Dial M For Murder
promo Photograph HQ
film also featuring Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr. Hitchcock waited until Kelly was available to begin work on the movie.

Kelly also worked with him on To Catch a Thief, co-starring Cary Grant. It was around this time that Grace Kelly met her future husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco. She would soon marry and leave Hollywood behind to become Princess Grace of Monaco. 

Grace Kelly won an Oscar, Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in The Country Girl, 1954. Ray Milland won the Best Actor in a Leading Role Academy Award for his work in The Lost Weekend, 1945.  

This year Grace of Monaco with Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth is being released. Have you seen it or are you planning to see it? What did you think? Roger Ashton-Griffiths plays Alfred Hitchcock.

In 1998, Dial M for Murder had a modern remake, A Perfect Murder with Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen.

How many Hitchcock movie remakes can you think of? Film Historian Leonard Maltin talked about Dial M for Murder.

Links to Related Pages of Interest:

Grace Kelly brings a new pet to Monaco, a gift from Cary Grant

Alfred Hitchcock Blue Food Dinner parties: the practical joke so nice, he played it twice 

In May it's time to celebrate Vertigo with Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak

Grace Kelly Costume Barbie, Princess Grace Wedding Dress, To Catch a Thief dresses Edith Head

There Really Was a Hollywood (Autobiography) Actress Janet Leigh (Marion Crane in the movie Psycho) has written more than one book. She also wrote Psycho: Behind the Scenes of the Classic Thriller and a number of novels. If Steven Spielberg's Jaws made us afraid to go into the water, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho made us afraid to take a shower! As Tallulah Bankhead and William Bendix may have been thinking as they drifted along in Lifeboat, "We're gonna need a bigger boat."

The Analysis of Film, by Raymond Bellour  

Dial "M" for Mother: A Freudian Hitchcock, by Paul Gordon

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Edna Millay John Barrymore Margaret Mead Shrek Greenwich Village Narrow House

The Narrowest house in New York City

Edna St. Vincent Millay home
 75½ Bedford St
Greenwich Village
New York City, New York
75 1/2 Bedford Street, the
narrowest house in New York City. Three stories and only 9 1/2 feet wide, sometimes called the Millay House after the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay who lived there in the 1920s. They say it's like living in a double decker bus.

Located in Greenwich Village, the Cherry Lane Theatre district, an area where artists, writers, musicians and actors were very creative back in the '20s. New York in the 1920s video info at end.

Millay was one of my mother's favorite poets, she collected her books. Reading about this house has always been of extra interest. Not long ago the house was on the market and the list of other former occupants I saw made it particularly fascinating. What luminaries lived there?

It's a skinny house. Former tenants or owners we now hear listed often include actors John Barrymore and Cary Grant, anthropologist Margaret Mead and cartoonist/author William Steig. 

There are many travel books, sometimes older can be better for getting fact vs legend. People have been able to take Sidewalk Tours of the area since at least the 1930s. Live in a small space? The house is a lesson in space saving ideas, storage solutions such as placing a small refrigerator under the stairs. 

Can you have pieces of furniture that perform more than one function? The stove consists of burners in a row, placed in a former fireplace. There are no closets. The house has no side walls of its own and is 33 feet long.

Regina Kellerman, an architectural historian and preservationist wrote The Architecture of the Greenwich Village Waterfront. Her research related to the streets and buildings of Greenwich Village. Kellerman was executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP). The New York Public Library has her papers and manuscripts in their archive.

The house apparently first appeared on tax records in 1873. In 1880, 75 1/2 was occupied by Martha Banta, a confectioner. In the Very late 1800s and early 1900s it was a family home and/or business for various people and families. It was a cobbler shop, a candle shop.

Edna St. Vincent Millay and Eugen Boissevain
in front of house
75-1/2 Bedford Street, New York
US Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs division

In 1923 Eugen Boissevain, the husband of Edna St. Vincent Millay, "rented the Bedford Street house for a year and ten months $200, a month a princely sum to a young woman who earlier in the year was deeply in debt and staying with friends to economize."
-- Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford  

Millay and her husband remodeled the home, adding a skylight and the Dutch gabling on the front and back. 

According to the plaque on the front of the building, Edna St. Vincent Millay lived there from 1923-1924 and wrote The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. 

This along with just about everything else pertaining to the house, is disputed
Mr. Skinner's Skinny House

Children's book
inspired by the house.
Ann McGovern, Mort Gerberg

both by scholars, those who study the history of the area and the house itself. We know that Ms. Millay worked on the book elsewhere. Did she also work on it here? Depends on who you ask. We also see that she lived there through the middle of 1925. 

The book, Savage Beauty talks more about Millay and Boissevain in the house. An earlier book of Milford's on Zelda Fitzgerald was also very popular.

Later Millay and Boissevain moved to a 700-acre farm in Austerlitz, New York, Steepletop. The Poet and Her Book, Jean Gould's 1969 biography, quotes Edna St. Vincent Millay as saying that she wanted more nature than she heard from the ''noisy chirping of urchin sparrows'' in the Village. 

Much of the history of this house, small as it is, shows families and roommates staying there to economize just as people do today.

From a short article from The New York Herald-Journal July 17, 1935: The real entrance is the rear door by the way of Cherry Lane Garden. Most of the interior is light green the bedrooms buff and the beds are regular size.

The Villager online quotes Ms. Kellerman's research as showing that the house was occupied in the 1930's by the cartoonist William Steig, his wife and sister-in-law, the anthropologist Margaret Mead. Steig created the character of the big green ogre, Shrek. You can find his books on Kindle and in paper form. A fun gift idea for yourself or someone else would be to compare the books to the movie versions of Shrek.

Coming of Age in Samoa: A Psychological Study of Primitive Youth for Western Civilization (1928) is said to have launched Margaret Mead's career as an anthropologist.

In the summer of 1939, the St. Petersburg Times had an article about some young ladies, recently graduated from college, living in the house. They were giving sidewalk tours of the area."Sidewalk tours service" says their sign. The article says they're living in "Miss Millay's former home."

For John Barrymore, I found a couple of former residences. He lived on the top floor at 132 West 4th St. He made a garden that was so heavy with topsoil in his rooftop apartment that it made the building structurally unsound and he was asked to leave. But he supposedly left the garden behind.

Barrymore's films include the title role in the silent Don Juan in 1926. He played Captain Ahab in the early talkie, Moby Dick in 1930.

simplehuman Slim Open Can,
Brushed Stainless Steel, 50-Liter/ 13-Gallon

We like this brand because they look good & come in different sizes.
Get one that's closed to keep little ones' fingers and curious pets out.
An article about some of the authors who lived in Greenwich Village discussed Herman Melville, for 20 years a customs inspector on the village water front. "He shamed his wife to tears by continuing to write even after critics and writers had disdained his novels Moby Dick (1851) and Mardi (1849). 'Herman has taken to writing poetry,' Mrs. Melville wrote to her mother. 'You need not tell anyone, for you know how such things get around.'"

In the fall of 1947, New York University threatened to take over many of the buildings in the Washington Park area, "to build the largest law center in the world -- occupying two sides of the square and knocking out a whole row of the red brick Victorian treasures." John Barrymore is quoted as saying about living in the area, "When the locust blossoms come to the courtyard it's like living in Paris in the twelfth century."

The book, Haunted Greenwich Village: Bohemian Banshees, Spooky Sites and Gonzo Ghosts by Tom Ogden suggests that Barrymore lived at 132 Waverly place and that the residence has been haunted by Mr. Barrymore's ghost.

Somewhere along the line the story that Cary Grant had visited the house morphed to his having slept there to his having lived there. Just like with Mr. Barrymore, it all went from a legend/rumor to being reported and written as e-fact

In the early 1920s, Cary Grant (rather a young performer named Archie Leach from Bristol, England) was in New York City working as an acrobat and stilt walker on Coney Island.  He sold hand-painted neckties in NYC, including in Greenwich Village. He was trying to earn a living and trying to lose some of his accent since apparently some Americans couldn't understand what he was saying.

Short filler pieces about the house in the late 1950s and early 1960s were listing both Millay and John Barrymore as having been a resident of the house but I didn't see anything suggesting Cary Grant's having lived in or even having visited the house until much more recently. 

In 1964 a New York Times article noted that the interior had 3 bedrooms and five gas-burning fireplaces.

William Steig illustrated a version of the story, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. The 1948 film version of this story starred Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. 

Writer and poet Ann McGovern lived in the house in the 1980s. In honor of the house, she wrote Mr. Skinner's Skinny House. Among her many awards and honors for children's literature, McGovern won the 2010 Herman Melville Literary Award, given for major contributions to the world of maritime literature.

Looking to get your kids to read more, enjoy learning? She's also famous for writing children's books such as Stone Soup and an array or biographical, historical and animal books. These include If You Lived In Colonial Times, Runaway Slave: The Story of Harriet Tubman and Shark Lady: True Adventures of Eugenie Clark.

In the 2000s the house was cleaned up and sold again. Approximately 900 square feet total, to get from room to room you climb stairs. Contemporary news videos give added information. 

The Walter Cronkite New York in the 1920s documentary from 1961 identifies many of the people you'll see in the following video.

New York in the 1920s.

What we see in the video:
Toward the end we see Charlie Chaplin, as himself, doing his "dance of the rolls on forks"  that he did in The Gold Rush. Earlier in the video we see Eugene O'Neill his wife Agnes Boulton and their infant daughter, Oona O'Neill. Oona grows up to marry Charlie Chaplin in 1943 when she is 18. Granddaughter, Oona Chaplin was on the HBO series, Game of Thrones.

Hear Ziegfeld stars Fannie Brice sing, I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling and Helen Morgan sing My Bill.

Gertrude Lawrence, HG Wells, Rebecca West.
Tenors John McCormack and Enrico Caruso who mugs for the camera; Ignacy Paderewski, Russian actor Constantin Stanislavski, Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cather, H.L. Mencken, Heywood Hale Broun, George Jean Nathan, club owner Texas Guinan.
Noel Coward with actress Hope Williams (an early mentor of Katharine Hepburn), the play is The Vortex. The literary and dramatic/theatre situation in the city at the time is covered. Prohibition is discussed briefly.

Stanley Walker, longtime editor of The Herald Tribune

Alfred A. Knopf, the publisher is interviewed as is playwright and actor Marc Connelly.

Marc Connelly, actor and playwright who collaborated with George S. Kaufman and then received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for The Green Pastures in 1930.
Talks about the Algonquin Round Table including Alexander Woollcott, Edna Ferber, George Kaufman, Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross (founder of The New Yorker), Robert Benchley and more. He tells us that there's some speculation about Harold Ross' head of hair. Maybe that jungle picture Chang was filmed in it.

At the first Academy Awards Chang was nominated for the Unique and Artistic Production award. The winner was Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans with Janet Gaynor, George O'Brien Margaret Livingston. It was presented to William Fox for Fox Film Corporation. They also gave the award for Outstanding Picture to Wings with Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Richard Arlen and Gary Cooper. 

Per the Academy, the next year, they dropped the Unique and Artistic Production award, and decided retroactively that the award won by Wings was the highest honor that could be awarded.

George Gershwin is seen and heard rehearsing a musical number, Strike Up the Band, with comic team Clark and McCullough.

From the section on Greenwich Village:
Poet and novelist Elinor Morton Wylie
Theodore Dreiser Dreiser's best known novels include Sister Carrie (1900) and An American Tragedy (1925).
Writers Sherwood Anderson and Willa Cather

The Village Belle, Edna St. Vincent Millay. "The wit of her conversation was as sharp as the pathos of her poetry," says literary critic Edmund Wilson


The Architecture of the Greenwich Village Waterfront, Regina M. Kellerman

Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford 

The Poet and Her Book, Jean Gould

TheVillager.com, Various real estate web sites and archives

Related Information:

Visit 84 Charing Cross Road the New York locations connected with the book and 1987 film of the same name. You can visit these locations, much like you can visit other city spots made memorable in films. 

How many movies featured the Empire State Building? Some of the most famous include Love Affair with Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer 1939, An Affair to Remember Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr 1957. Sleepless in Seattle with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan 1993, Love Affair with Warren Beatty, Annette Bening and Katharine Hepburn in her last feature film 1994.
Evenings With Cary Grant: Recollections in His Own Words and by Those Who Knew Him Best by Nancy Nelson

Damned in Paradise: The life of John Barrymore

Good Night, Sweet Prince: The Life and Times of John Barrymore  

Do I Look Skinny In This House?: How to Feel Great In Your Home Using Design Psychology by Kelli Ellis 

Animated and Cartoon Characters on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: Shrek has a star

Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties

Margaret Mead: Her Life, Her Letters

Chaplin's Girl: The Life and Loves of Virginia Cherrill  by Miranda Seymour