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Ross Hunter and Back Street

Hello, Answering Ginger's question if this photo was from a magazine cover and it is not. I simply adore this color pose of Susan and I love Back Street. As we all know it came out in 1961 and I went to see it with my sister on the first day of the showing. It was playing at the Paramount Theater in downtown St. Paul. It was such a plush movie house with three balconies, unfortunately it is not there anymore. Everyone was eager to see another tearjerker with Susan Hayward and the line was a block long. We finally got a good seat. I was so pleased with Back Street, I wrote a letter to producer Ross Hunter and to my amazement he answered me signed the letter personally. I would like to share this letter with you, if I may. The letterhead was from Flower Drum Song. Here is what he wrote.
Dated February 14, 1962.

Dear Mr. Garcia;

I am just back from a location trip with my new picture IF A MAN ANSWERS, which stars Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin, Micheline Presle and Michael Wilding, and found your very nice letter.

I'm glad that you enjoyed Back Street and want to thank you for all the kind things you said about it and my other pictures. I'm sorry that I cannot reveal any of the cost figures on the costumes and jewelry, but as you probably were aware from seeing the picture we did not stint on anything. The picture is doing very well at the box office and we hope to make a considerable profit.

Thank you again for writing and please accept my best wishes.

Ross Hunter.

I thought it was so nice that he wrote back to me. I have a b/w 8x10 studio shot of Ross, John Gavin and Susan. Susan is wearing the black and white suit with a fur collar and hat to match that she wore when Paul takes her to see their new beautiful cottage in the country.
I heard and correct me if I am wrong, but is it true that the stars get to keep the costumes in any of Ross Hunters films? Ross Hunter passed away in 1996.
Thanks and Happy Collecting!!!!! Ray

Re: Ross Hunter and Back Street

HI Ray...That was so nice that Ross Hunter wrote back to you. There are some nice people in Hollywood, afterall, even though the people in my area, where I live now, think of ALL Hollywood people as being the scum of the earth! When I hear this, I simply have to shut my mouth and go my merry way, because after living there for over 35 years, I know better. There is good and bad in all walks of life, but some of 'the righteous' seem to put a lot of heat, when things go wrong, on Hollywood.

I really wanted to respond to your question about 'do the stars from Hunter pics get to keep their clothes'...I only know that it was reported, at the time that DORIS DAY was making PILLOW TALK, that she had said how wonderful it was to work in a picture where she got to keep the clothes she wanted. I know that LANA TURNER made the same kind of remarks when she did MADAME X. Other than that, I don't know if it was a 'done deal' for each pic...because I'm sure the costume designer (who would be JEAN LOUIS for these films..and Susan's BACK STREET) would have something to say about giving them to the actresses.
That would NOT just be a ROSS HUNTER decision. JEAN LOUIS did most all of the costumes for the HUNTER productions during that era.

Re: Ross Hunter and Back Street

Hello Errol. So good to hear from you and thanks for clarifing on my question. I am glad that you're back from your busy working schedule. Everything is going fine for me and I love retirement. I went to my nephew's graduation party yesterday and I'm tired today, hahaha. Must be getting old. Huh? W're going over to a friend's home today for Father's Day. I made my favorite margarita slush, that everyone loves.
It has lemonade, limeade, little sugar, 7-up if you like or water, and ofcourse tequila. It goes over good. Good to hear from you and keep in touch.
Take care and God bless.


Re: Ross Hunter and Back Street

HI Ray...As you can see, I am now..again, about a week behind on getting a reply back to you...from your reply.
I have just started rehearsals on HARVEY, which will be playing July/Aug run. It is an 88 round trip drive, each
day, to get to the rehearsals and the gas is killing me,
but I did want to do this show, so very bad. I will be playing Dr. Chumley, who..once he has Elwood and Harvey
in his hospital..wants to KEEP HARVEY. It was Cecil Kellaway who played the doctor in the James Stewart film

Our rehearsal schedule is short and so there has been no time to do much, other than learn lines, go to rehearsals..come home 'all hyped up'..and then have to be up half the night, before I can sleep. I am getting to bead about 3am each night and we only have Sunday off until we open on July 17th. It is now 2:30 am...so I am winding down and will go to bed after posting this.

This is the fastest I have ever seen three shows blocked at one time. (The other two shows, I am not in...LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS and BOLOXI BLUES) These three will be at the Neil Simon Heritage Theater. We blocked all of HARVEY in four nights and have our first run-thu..tomorrow night. TECH is this Thursday, so..again...I may be late getting over here
but will catch up with you..should you have anything that we might want to post and share.

All My Best to YOu...my Friend...