Tuesday, 22 December 2015

RIP Kenneth Partridge, Interior Designer


A man who always had a tale to tell. We had mutual friends in Elisabeth Welch and Dinah Sheridan, and I can imagine Ken right now, "gas-bagging" up there about the goings on in some of those big houses he worked on. I would love to tell the story in full of when Ken was in Larry Parne's office and a would-be pop singer walked in and asked for an audition. Larry asked him to get on his knees, and when he'd done he asked Ken, "Do you want me to do you too?" The pop singer became a household name and is still with us, so I daren't say more...or about the "very straight" Hollywood actor, forty years his junior, who paid Ken in kind for a little interior designing.
 
It was Ken who arranged for me to have visitation rights to go and see Pete Sutcliffe, when Pete said he wanted to see me, ten years ago. I almost went through with it, but then thought of what my reaction might be to a man who had once been my friend, five years before going on his killing spree. Even though my wife could have been one of his or one of a copycat's victims, I never thought in a million years that when the police took our statements and finally caught him that he would have been someone that I'd known. And the irony was that when they first published his picture in the press, it was on my wife's birthday. Our story is to be published next year.
 
And Ken can be in it, now. My little tribute to a dear friend.
 
 
 

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Chanson: A Gay Love Story During The German Occupation: Screenplay


The screenplay, provisional title "Chanson: A Gay Love Story During The German Occupation of Paris", is now copyrighted and registered with The US Screenwriters Guild and InkTip.com.

The title is somewhat long-winded. This is because (I am told) to use just the word "Chanson" would confuse American and other non-French producers...inasmuch as "La Mome" became "La Vie En Rose".

The story is a true one, ironically centered around the rue Lancry area of Paris, where the recent attacks took place. This is where my godfather lived with his German lieutenant lover during the war. We spent many hours in the bars and restaurants here, including Le Carillon, talking about the horrors back then, not a patch on what happened a few weeks ago when several acquaintances of ours lost their lives.

For being in love, my godfather suffered the ultimate in homophobia--he was sent to prison after the Liberation, though he and Jurgen were eventually reunited in London. They visited America together--my godfather was a singer-songwriter-dancer--they met many big names in Hollywood and they once stayed with Lucille Ball.

Lovely people! But life was not always a bed of roses for them.

More can be found at www.davidbretindependent.com and (for producers only) at InkTip.com

Rudolph Valentino: The Screenplay At InkTip.com


There's been an awful lot of piffle written about Rudolph Valentino over the years. He supposedly couldn't keep his hands off any woman with a pulse--if you believe some of the wildest accusations, that he even got his own sister-in-law pregnant. I suppose he was thinking, back then, "If the world thinks that I slipped it inside Ada, they won't call me abnormal by saying that I actually slipped it inside André, or Ramon--well, it was vice-versa!" And anyone seeing how tremendously ugly that child was would not want to say that someone as handsome as Valentino had fathered him!
 
One dipstick once said, and publicly, that Valentino could not have been gay because there are no pictures of him having sex with men! This brought the ribald comment from a very dear friend, "Well, there are no pictures of him with his cock stuck inside a pussy, either!"
 
Valentino was gay, of this there was no doubt. Indeed, I would be worried if someone actually wrote that he was straight and was taken seriously for a single second. One of the biggest defenders of his sexuality in America is a gay man attempting to pass himself off as straight, and emerging only slightly to the left of Liberace. Two authors have stuck to their guns and written persistently that Rudy was as gay as a pink chaplain but Butch as John Wayne: myself and Chaw Mank, who knew him. To date, our books are the only ones to have hit the six-figure mark, so it is not hard (no pun intended) to discern what the book-buying public believes.
 
Chaw Mank's book was optioned for the Ken Russell film of 1977 with Rudolph Nureyev. My own has been optioned for a film which should see the light of day in 2017, if I'm lucky. These things are notoriously tetchy, and anything can happen. What I'm aiming for is part-control over the casting of Valentino. Two actors--one famous, one completely unknown--have put their names forward and have written to say they are wholly unfazed at the idea of two men kissing on the screen. One group interested in the project goes with this, while another wants to find its own Rudy. In fact, there is NO kissing in the script (registered with Ink.Tip) and definitely no sex scenes. I don't find them necessary to convey man-on-man love by way of all the anal stuff, which is what homophobes think that gay men do all the time. Because homophobes in general are either thus to hide their own homosexuality, or just plain vindictive, this is how their brains work. But, enough of that.
 
Having spoken to people and even had friends who KNEW Valentino, the first thing they recalled was not his looks, talent, and who he may or may not have wanted to poke, but his tremendous wit. My great regret is that when I twice met André Daven in the 1970s, I was less interested in Valentino than I was in Joséphine Baker. Indeed, we never spoke about Rudy. Daven directed the Champs-Elysées Theatre and had been responsible for "La revue Négre", which took up the first half of Damia's recitals. I knew Damia very well--she's interviewed in my new Piaf book--and Damia knew Valentino very well. He stayed with her on occasion when visiting Paris. It was she who taught him to dance the apache, and she dedicated two of her most famous songs to his memory.
 
So, though the Valentino Screenplay is currently being considered for the next level, any producers out there are more than welcome to put in a bid. The more the merrier, as we say! Oh, and there's the stageplay too--depicted above--written ten years ago, but which has little in common with the screenplay other than the title. 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

22 Years On:The Monster From Wath-on-Dearne


O.B. The initials stand for "Old Bastard", and his elder brother--his entire family loathed him--said he should have been called O.C.

He was everything: thief, embezzler, bankrupt, child-beater, rapist, serial adulterer, psychotic, homophobe, racist, anti-Semitic. You name it, he did it. He did it while married to my mother, and never stopped doing when he married again. His new family did not even know one half of it. 

An example of his evil. We lived at a pub, and someone in Australia sent a money order and asked him if he would buy a dying old lady two bottles of brandy, and deliver them. O.B. cashed the order and pocketed the cash, saying, "If she's dying, she won't need the brandy."

Even Pete Sutcliffe, who we knew back then, wanted to "do" him for the horrendous way he treated my mother. I wish he had. Pete would have been in jail for a worthwhile cause instead of killing all those women...and my mother and I would have fought his corner.

To get away from him, in the days when you made your bed and lay on it, my mother killed herself.

It's 22 years today since he snuffed it...a truly joyous day for us and his other victims. 

I made a pact with Marlene Dietrich. The idea was that I had O.B., and she had someone too that she wished would die. So, whichever of them died first, Marlene and I would buy the champagne and get pissed. Sadly, she died in May 1992. My dear godmother, however, kept up the pact. We were in Paris with Barbara when O.B. dropped dead, Jacqueline sent the champers around to the hotel, and we toasted his journey to hell in plastic cups in the foyer of Marlene's apartment.

Today, again, we celebrate his death...even though it came thirty years too late...and the fact that I no longer legally bear the Old Bastard's name!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Greta Garbo Divine Star: Polish Language Edition




Miłość nad rozlewiskiem. Część 2. Kolekcja powieści Małgorzaty Kalicińskiej. Tom 6

£8.19

Dodatkowe informacje:
Autor: David Bret
Stron: 532
Format: 16.5x24 cm
ISBN: 978-83-8069-178-0
EAN: 9788380691780
Rok wydania: 2015
Wydawnictwo: PRóSZYńSKI MEDIA
Oprawa: oprawa twarda
Gatunek: BIOGRAFIE, WSPOMNIENIA


Zadaj pytanie o produkt

Greta Garbo

David Bret


Wybitna biografia największej aktorki wszech czasów.  Greta Garbo była wielką zagadką. Zjawiła się znikąd i zawojowała Hollywood. Przetrwała przejście od filmów niemych do udźwiękowionych, osiągając niespotykane sukcesy - cały świat obserwował jej fenomen z podziwem i zdumieniem. Boska Greta to artystka niepowtarzalna - żadnej aktorce nie udało się osiągnąć podobnych sukcesów i sławy i zapewne żadnej się to już nie uda. Z jej gry przeziera taka głębia emocji, że publiczność widzi na wskroś jej duszę. Dla wielbicieli wielkiej aktorki Greta Garbo nie umarła - w 1941 roku zniknęła, skryła się w obłoku tajemnicy. W swojej najnowszej, elektryzującej biografii mistrz pióra David Bret mierzy się z wielką zagadką najsłynniejszej aktorki w dziejach kina i jej legendą. David Bret - autor wielu biografii, skupiający się głownie na życiu prywatnym gwiazd. Wśród ponad dwudziestu książek Davida Breta znalazły się publikacje poświęcone takim postaciom jak Maria Callas, Joan Crawford, Edith Piaf, Barbra Streisand, Freddie Mercury, Elvis Presley czy Rudolf Valentino. Autor wydanej w Polsce bestsellerowej biografii `Elizabeth Taylor. Dama, kochanka, legenda

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Ted Robledo & Dorothy Squires 6 December 1979



6 December 1970, a date which connects me to two undisputed legends. On this date my great friend Dorothy Squires hired the London Palladium and gave what many consider the greatest performance of her career. Also on this day, the great Chilean footballer Ted Robledo died, aged 42, believed by many to have been the victim of homophobia.
Dot hated homophobes just as much as I did, and also believed that the only good homophobe was a dead one.
I knew Dot very well. We spent almost twenty years together and it was she who encouraged me to take my first script to a publisher--with her backing, my own career took off and I tip my hat to her every single day.
For several years, I lived in Ted's house. His bed frame was in the bedroom when we moved in, and we kept it and bought a new mattress. He had etched his name on it, and today it would have been worth a fortune. OB, my father--the biggest homophobe of them all, even worse than some I have to put up with today, therefore it was a day of great rejoicing when he snuffed it--sold it to a scrapyard while I was living in Germany. Ted visited his old house a few times, and it was curious to hear a great Chilean footballer speaking with a Yorkshire accent. He was a lovely man.
 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Edith Piaf: Find Me A New Way To Die!

The Untold Story:


Edith Piaf. My exclusive interviews with our mutual friends and acquaintances: Marlene Dietrich, Barbara, Damia, Peggy Lee, Louis Dupont, Madame Leclerc, Claude Sounac, Michel Emer, Charles Aznavour, Simone Berteaut, Serge Reggiani, Irene Bevan, Dorothy Squires, Fernando Lumbruso, Sylvie Galthier, Manouche, Charles Dumont, Catherine Jan, Roger Normand, Jacqueline Danno, Simone Margantin, Elisabeth Welch!