This is really quite something, like a porthole through time, a silent home movie taken at Roddy McDowell’s, (Planet Of The Apes, Buck Rogers, Fright Night) beach house back in 1965 featuring an all star cast of the golden age of Hollywood, a by-gone era of bona fide talent never to be repeated.
We stole this from investigative journalist and author Mark Ebner, but as it turns out it’s one of a sizable collection of similar home movies which you can find on YouTube. This film features Kirk Douglas Lauren Bacall, Paul Newman, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Janice Rule, George Axelrod, Adolph Green, Betty Comden and Phyllis Newman all socialising, conversing and soaking up the sun at MacDowell’s Malibu beach house.
The individual who uploaded these amazing videos is known only as soapbxprod and claims that they were given to him personally by McDowell who loved to capture his friends on film in private moments and was also an avid collector of other people’s home movies. It’s understood that McDowall had purchased Errol Flynn’s home movies and the prints of his own directorial debut Tam-Lin (1970) starring Ava Gardner, and transferred them all to tape for longer-lasting archival storage.
The video below was taken at Rock Hudson’s beach house also in 1965 and features yet more stars and familar faces from Hollywood. We could easily throw in a joke about the films failure to capture some of the scandalous and depraved behaviour most of these stars were also equally famous for, but why cheapen the moment.