When Movies Were Movies


Your Host, Dave Smith


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Welcome, my name is Dave Smith. For several years I served as a local movie host in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. I've designed this site primarily for those who are interested in the "Golden Age" of motion pictures--the 1930's and 1940's. Additionally there will be information on films from other years, including current films. Particular attention will be given to actors, actresses, directors, and other film artists from my native state of Indiana.

Please note that my book, "Hoosiers in Hollywood" is now sold out. Due to budget constrictions, The Indiana Historical Society Press has informed me they will not be able to print a second edition. However, the Indianapolis Public Library bought 60 copies.  Therefore most branch libraries in Indianapolis should have a copy. There are some used copies available on amazon.com. .  Click on the site menu below for more information about this book. I am currently available for my "Hoosiers in Hollywood" power point presentation. The presentation is from 45 to 60 minutes long and is accompanied by many wonderful photos of Hoosiers who have contributed to the art of motion pictures. If you would like to book me for your social club or assisted living center, you may contact me at...celluloidsam@yahoo.com.

Silents Please!
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Hoosiers in Hollywood Book


 Hoosiers in Hollywood  

is now sold out.  You can buy used copies at... amazon.com:

Here is what Leonard Maltin says about my book...

"Spanning 596 pages in an oversized format, and nicely printed on coated paper stock,  'Hoosiers in Hollywood' is clearly a labor of love for its author. Smith's biographical sketches are well-written and researched.  Wherever possible he has included quotes about their roots. Marjorie Main once said of Ma Kettle, 'I don't think I could have ever played that role if I hadn't lived on a farm in Indiana.'

I doubt if there's a detail he's overlooked, and his appendices cover such unclassifiable contributors to the movie world as industry czar Will Hays and agent-turned-mogul Jules Stein.

'Hoosiers in Hollywood is an entertaining, attractive, and surprisingly interesting coffee table book.


Sitting Pretty:The Life and Times of Clifton Webb

By Clifton Webb with David L. Smith

Foreword by Robert Wagner

Interviews with Wagner, Jill St. John, Richard Zanuck, Bob Newhart, Victoria Price and others.

This is the first and only biography of Clifton Webb.  Six chapters are in his own words!

Publication date: July, 2011 by The University Press of Mississippi.

This is an autobiography/biography.  It is the first ever written on Clifton Webb who was one of the top moneymakers in the history of Twentieth Century-Fox.

More than any other male movie star, the refined Clifton Webb (1889-1966) caused the movie-going public to change its image of a leading man. In a day when leading men were supposed to be strong, virile, and brave, Clifton Webb projected an image of flip, acerbic arrogance. He was able to play everything from a decadent columnist (Laura) to a fertile father (Cheaper by the Dozen and The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker), delivering lines in an urbanely clipped, acidly dry manner with impeccable timing. Sitting Pretty is his remarkable story.

Long before his film career began, Webb was a child actor. He later sang grand opera and then became a suavely effete song-and-dance man in numerous Broadway musicals and revues.

Webb began to write his autobiography but said he eventually had gotten "bogged down" in the process. However, he did complete six chapters and left a hefty collection of notes that he intended to use in the proposed book. His writing is as witty and sophisticated as his onscreen persona. Those six chapters, his voluminous notes, and personal research by the coauthor provide thirteen chapters that present an intimate view of an amazingly talented man's life and times.

Scott Eyman, author of Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille and Lion of Hollywood: The Life of Louis B. Mayer says...

"Clifton Webb was the unlikeliest of movie stars, but a movie star he was, and reading the completed chapters of his autobiography is a tremendous pleasure.  The voice is unmistakably that of Waldo Lydecker, of Elliott Templeton, of Clifton Webb.  David Smith has performed a heroic feat of archeology in rescuing and completing this delightful book about a delightful man."

Leonard Maltin says...

"...an unusual entry in the publisher's Hollywood Legends series.  The text is based on Webb's unfinished autobiography, which Smith completed by examining extensive notes the actor left behind.  It features a ringing endorsement by Richard D. Zanuck, Darryl F.'s son, who grew up knowing Webb as an extended member of his family as well as two of the best biographers working today, David Stenn and Scott Eyman.  Robert Wagner says the book reads as if it were written by Elliot Templeton, the character he played so beautifully in The Razor's Edge."



Just published by Arcadia! 

Available at Barnes and Noble and amazon.com.


This is a history of Indianapolis television from 1949 when the first TV station signed on, to the present. It is available at any Barnes and Noble bookstore as well as on amazon.com. This book is loaded with photos. If you lived in Indianapolis anytime from 1949 to 2012, you will recognize many of your favorite local television personalities! Names like...Stan Wood, Bob Hardy, Harlow Hickenlooper, Captain Starr, Curley Myers, Ann Wagner, Dick Lingle, Frances Farmer, Vince Leonard, Gilbert Forbes, Richard Hickox, Janie, Cowboy Bob, Selwin, Sammy Terry, Mike Ahern, Howard Caldwell, Jim Wilson, Tom Carnegie, Don Hein, George Willeford, Don Melvoin, Dick Summers, Jimmy Mack, Jane Pauley, David Letterman, Faith Levitt, Janet Langhart, Barbara Boyd, Rolland Smith, Debbie Drake and many, many more!



CONTACT ME AT celluloidsam@yahoo.com


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All contents of this website 2000-2013 by David L. Smith

"When Movies Were Movies" and "Hoosiers in Hollywood" are  registered trademarks, fully protected under U.S. and International law. Use without permission is strictly prohibited.


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