Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Happy Birthday: Burt Lancaster!
At the age of 9, Lancaster met Nick Cravat, with whom he worked with throughout his life. Together they formed the acrobat duo "Lang and Cravat" and joined the Kay Brothers circus. Unfortunately, in 1939, an injury would force Lancaster to give up the profession. He would later be reunited with Cravat in nine films: The Flame and the Arrow, The Crimson Pirate, Run Silent Run Deep, The Scalphunters, Airport, Valdez Is Coming, Ulzana's Raid, The Midnight Man and The Island of Dr. Moreau. He then found temporary work, first as a salesman for Marshall Fields, and then as a singing waiter in restaurants, until 1942.
The United States having then entered World War II, Lancaster joined the United States Army and performed with the Army's Twenty-First Special Services Division, one of the military groups organized to follow the troops on the ground and provide USO entertainment to keep up morale. He served with General Mark Clark's Fifth Army in Italy from 1943–1945.
TCM is celebrating Burt Lancaster's Birthday today with the movies listed below:
Jim Thorpe--All American (1951) .The famous Native American athlete fights prejudice in his pursuit of sports stardom. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Phyllis Thaxter, Charles Bickford. Dir: Michael Curtiz.
Vengeance Valley (1951) . An honest rancher tries to block his evil brother's plots while keeping them from their father. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Robert Walker, Joanne Dru. Dir: Richard Thorpe.
From Here To Eternity (1953). Enlisted men in Hawaii fight for love and honor on the eve of World War II. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra.
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) . Dramatization of the legendary battle between Wyatt Earp and the Clanton Gang. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Jo Van Fleet. Dir: John Sturges.
Sweet Smell Of Success (1957) . A crooked press agent stoops to new depths to help an egotistical columnist break up his sister's romance. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Martin Milner. Dir: Alexander Mackendrick.
Birdman Of Alcatraz (1962) . True story of Robert Stroud, the prison lifer who became an expert on birds. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Telly Savalas, Thelma Ritter. Dir: John Frankenheimer.
Seven Days In May (1964). An American military officer discovers his superiors are planning a military coup. Cast: Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Fredric March and Ava Gardner. Dir: John Frankenheimer.