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You can tell it’s film noir — even the cabin cruiser has Venetian blinds. Ernest Hemingway’s favorite film adaptation of his work is this uncompromised story of a good man taking a criminal course on the high seas. John Garfield is again ‘one man alone’ against the system, and the moral quicksand all but swallows up Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter and Wallace Ford.
The Criterion Collection 889
1950 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 97 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date August 8, 2017 / 39.95
Starring: John Garfield, Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter, Juano Hernandez, Wallace Ford, Edmon Ryan, Ralph Dumke, Guy Thomajan, William Campbell, Sherry Jackson, Donna Jo Boyce, Victor Sen Yung, Peter Brocco, John Doucette.
Cinematography: Ted D. McCord
Film Editor: Alan Crosland Jr.
Produced by Jerry Wald
Directed by Michael Curtiz
- Glenn Erickson
(See previous post: Fourth of July Movies: Escapism During a Weird Year.) On the evening of the Fourth of July, besides fireworks, fire hazards, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, if you're watching TCM in the U.S. and Canada, there's the following: Peter H. Hunt's 1776 (1972), a largely forgotten film musical based on the Broadway hit with music by Sherman Edwards. William Daniels, who was recently on TCM talking about 1776 and a couple of other movies (A Thousand Clowns, Dodsworth), has one of the key roles as John Adams. Howard Da Silva, blacklisted for over a decade after being named a communist during the House Un-American Committee hearings of the early 1950s (Robert Taylor was one who mentioned him in his testimony), plays Benjamin Franklin. Ken Howard is Thomas Jefferson, a role he would reprise in John Huston's 1976 short Independence. (In the short, Pat Hingle was cast as John Adams; Eli Wallach was Benjamin Franklin.) Warner »
- Andre Soares
Raoul Walsh’s most muscular gangster pic with an all-time great James Cagney as Cody Jarrett, the psychotic killer that only a mother could love. She’s the underappreciated Margaret Wycherly, brilliant as the most monstrous mom since Agrippina. But she doesn’t get much attention in the trailer. »
- TFH Team
The United States is “my country, right or wrong,” of course, and I consider myself a patriotic person, but I’ve never felt that patriotism meant blind fealty to the idea of America’s rightful dominance over global politics or culture, and certainly not to its alleged preferred status on God’s short list of favored nations, or that allegiance to said country was a license to justify or rationalize every instance of misguided, foolish, narrow-minded domestic or foreign policy.
In 2012, when this piece was first posted, it seemed like a good moment to throw the country’s history and contradictions into some sort of quick relief, and the most expedient way of doing that for me was to look at the way the United States (and the philosophies at its core) were reflected in the movies, and not just the ones which approached the country head-on as a subject. »
- Dennis Cozzalio
(See previous post: “Gay Pride Movie Series Comes to a Close: From Heterosexual Angst to Indonesian Coup.”) Ken Russell's Valentino (1977) is notable for starring ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev as silent era icon Rudolph Valentino, whose sexual orientation, despite countless gay rumors, seems to have been, according to the available evidence, heterosexual. (Valentino's supposed affair with fellow “Latin Lover” Ramon Novarro has no basis in reality.) The female cast is also impressive: Veteran Leslie Caron (Lili, Gigi) as stage and screen star Alla Nazimova, ex-The Mamas & the Papas singer Michelle Phillips as Valentino wife and Nazimova protégée Natacha Rambova, Felicity Kendal as screenwriter/producer June Mathis (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse), and Carol Kane – lately of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fame. Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972) is notable as one of the greatest musicals ever made. As a 1930s Cabaret presenter – and the Spirit of Germany – Joel Grey was the year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner. Liza Minnelli »
- Andre Soares
It’s 1930s America as seen in the movies, through music, and the evasions of newsreels. Franklin Delano Roosevelt preaches prosperity while James Cagney slugs out the decade as a smart-tongued everyman — in a dozen different roles. Director Philippe Mora investigates what was then a new kind of revisionist info-tainment formula: applying old film footage to new purposes.
The Sprocket Vault
1975 / B&W / 1:33 flat full frame / 106 min. / Street Date ?, 2017 / available through The Sprocket Vault / 14.99 (also available in Blu-ray)
Film Editor: Jeremy Thomas
Directed by Philippe Mora
Years before he was briefly sidetracked into sequels for The Howling, Philippe Mora was an accomplished artist and documentary filmmaker. Backed by producers Sanford Lieberson and David Puttnam, his 1974 documentary Swastika pulled a controversial switch on the usual historical fare about »
- Glenn Erickson
By Dean Brierly
For a film director with such an iconic resume, there’s a surprising scarcity of scholarly books devoted to Robert Wise, the man who directed such classics as "West Side Story" (1961), "The Haunting" (1963), “The Sound of Music” (1965), “The Curse of the Cat People” (1944), “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951), “The Sand Pebbles” (1966) and many other critical and commercial successes. To say nothing of his stature as the man who edited “Citizen Kane” (1941) and “The Magnificent Ambersons” (1942) before taking up decades-long residence in the director’s chair.
Wise brought a self-effacing approach to directing, one that never drew attention to itself. He may have had the most “invisible” style of all the major directors from Hollywood’s Golden Era, which no doubt helps explain why he never had the auteur imprimatur conferred upon him by French critics who swooned over Welles’ baroque visuals, Douglas Sirk’s melodramatic excess, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Considering everything that's been happening on the planet in the last several months, you'd have thought we're already in November or December – of 2117. But no. It's only June. 2017. And in some parts of the world, that's the month of brides, fathers, graduates, gays, and climate change denial. Beginning this evening, Thursday, June 1, Turner Classic Movies will be focusing on one of these June groups: Lgbt people, specifically those in the American film industry. Following the presentation of about 10 movies featuring Frank Morgan, who would have turned 127 years old today, TCM will set its cinematic sights on the likes of William Haines, James Whale, George Cukor, Mitchell Leisen, Dorothy Arzner, Patsy Kelly, and Ramon Novarro. In addition to, whether or not intentionally, Claudette Colbert, Colin Clive, Katharine Hepburn, Douglass Montgomery (a.k.a. Kent Douglass), Marjorie Main, and Billie Burke, among others. But this is ridiculous! Why should TCM present a »
- Andre Soares
Some like their comedy hot and some like it cold. Billy Wilder opted to step on the joke accelerator to see what top speed looked like. One of the most finely tuned comedies ever made, this political satire crams five hours’ worth of wit and sight gags into 115 minutes. The retirement-age James Cagney practically blows a fuse rattling through Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond’s high-pressure speeches, without slurring so much as a single syllable.
One, Two, Three
Kl Studio Classics
1961 / B&W / 2:35 widescreen / 115 min. / Street Date May 30, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95
Cinematography Daniel L. Fapp
Art Direction Alexander Trauner
Film Editor Daniel Mandell
Original Music André Previn
Produced and Directed by Billy Wilder
- Glenn Erickson
“Am I decent?” They said that Ginger Rogers gave Fred Astaire sex appeal, but the teaming of Astaire and Rita Hayworth is something else. Columbia’s 1941 release is a weak service comedy until the dancing starts, at which point it becomes one of the better musicals of the year – and the breakout vehicle for Ms. Hayworth.
You’ll Never Get Rich
1941 / B&W/ 1:37 flat full frame / 89 min. / Street Date April 18, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95
Cinematography: Philip Tannura
Art Direction: Lionel Banks
Film Editor: Otto Meyer
Original Music: Cole Porter
Produced by Samuel Bischoff
Produced and Directed by Sidney Lanfield
Freed from his Rko contract in 1939, Fred Astaire never signed another long-term deal. He instead jumped from studio to »
- Glenn Erickson
Mr. White, Mr. Orange, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Pink, Mr. Brown: They all reunited for the 25th anniversary retrospective screening of “Reservoir Dogs” at the Tribeca Film Festival April 28. Cast members Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi and writer-director-actor Quentin Tarantino all got together to reminisce after the 1992 movie screened to a packed house at the Beacon Theater. Here are seven fun facts they revealed.
1. Tom Waits auditioned.
Tarantino let this tidbit slip as he discussed the casting process. “We had the casting director from ‘L.A. Law,'” the director recalled. “A lot of really wild people came in and read the parts. Tom Waits came in and read. I had Tom Waits read the Madonna speech, just so I could hear Tom Waits say those lines. And actually, other than Harvey, he gave me one of the first profound compliments on the script. No one had ever »
- Gordon Cox
On this very gay day (4/24) in history as it relates to showbiz...
1873 Silent film director Robert Wiene, best known for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) born in Breslau (Note: other online sources disagree with the IMDb on this birthdate but it's always fun to think about Caligari)
1931 The Public Enemy starring James Cagney and Jean Harlow was enjoying its opening weekend at movie theaters. It was a big hit, ending in the top ten of its year. Variety claimed it was "low brow material" attempting to be high brow by its craftsmanship. If only critics knew in the moment -- they almost »
- NATHANIEL R
Lisa Paulsen is stepping down as president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation after 27 years running the charity. She will continue to work full time for the organization, but is shifting her focus to bolstering development initiatives and strengthening ties to the creative community.
“I’m going to be laser focused,” Paulsen said in an interview with Variety on Wednesday, shortly after telling her staff. “I’m not stepping back. I’m just devoting all my energy and all my attention to fund development.”
The Entertainment Industry Foundation has a rich legacy in Hollywood. It traces its origins back to 1942 and its list of founders include Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Gene Kelly, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and Jack Warner. However, the non-profit had entered a sleepy phase when Paulsen joined. The group was a $1 million effort, but Paulsen was able to bolster its fundraising. During her tenure, the group raised »
- Brent Lang
Christian movies: Starring Nicolas Cage, the widely panned 2014 apocalyptic thriller 'Left Behind' was a box office bomb – unlike (relatively) recent popular 'faith movies' such as 'Heaven Is for Real,' 'Son of God' and 'War Room.' A thought on the New Christian American Cinema: Tired of the blatant propaganda found in 'mainstream' Christian movies Two films that might be called “Christian movies” opened last week, and I decided that I wouldn't watch them, write about them, or review them – at least directly. I'm not even going to mention their titles here because I don't promote propaganda films, and that's what this recent advent of Christian movies has become: propaganda. After all, since nearly all American cinema is Christian cinema, the New Christian American Cinema is in fact pure propaganda – not cinema. Worse yet, it bores me. So, here's the thing about what we've come to call »
- Tim Cogshell
Author: Stefan Pape
Back in January we were fortunate enough to spend a weekend in Paris, interviewing some of the biggest names in French cinema (Isabelle Huppert Ftw) – but none were quite as enjoyable to meet than Guillaume Gallienne. “Do you have a spare fag?” he asked when I walked in – in a near-perfect English accent I had perceived to be a piss-take, mimicking my dialect ahead of our time together. But it wasn’t, for Gallienne is a classically trained theatre act-or – part of La Comédie Francaise – who even spent time living in Britain. His English, at times, was even better than mine.
“I was in England between the ages 13-16, I took my O-Levels there in a boarding school in Hampshire,” he said. “I had English nannies before when I was young. One of them forbid me from running in the rain. Very strange. She found it very common, »
- Stefan Pape
Dashing Errol Flynn triumphs in this lavish, fast-paced version of the Robin Hood legend, a winner of three Academy Awards in ravishing Technicolor.
Doing many stunts himself, Flynn is at his athletic, romantic best in a role originally intended for James Cagney. Olivia de Havilland (as Maid Marian), consummate screen villains Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains and a boisterous who’s who of character actors co-star. Welcome to Sherwood!
The competition closes at midnight on Sunday, March 26th. UK readers only please. To enter, use one of the following methods…
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This competition is promoted by Fetch Publicity. By entering you agree to the terms and conditions, which you can read here. »
- Gary Collinson
My Little Chickadee, White Heat, and Raging Bull constitute the three-film series sponsored by The Mildred Kemper Art Museum next week at The Tivoli Theater (6350 Delmar in the University City Loop). This ties into the museum’s current exhibit “Rosalyn Drexler: Who Does She Think She Is?” These are Free screenings!
A kiss. A punch. A body braced for impact. The paintings of Rosalyn Drexler exude uncanny stillness, anticipation and, frequently, the dread of imminent violence. Moments of intimacy and conflict are frozen, sliced and readied for examination — excerpts from narratives whose conclusions can only be guessed. From Feb. 10 to April 17, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis will present “Rosalyn Drexler: Who Does She Think She Is?”, the first full-career retrospective for the multi-talented artist. Surveying six decades of work, the exhibition features major paintings and collages alongside rarely seen early sculptures. »
- Tom Stockman
Manhunt movies have taken a shift over the years. Gone are the days of prohibition gangster heroism, liberating the common folk from the great depression with free flowing liquor. Times have changed and as Patriots Day shows us, heroes come in many forms and are often right under our noses.
Patriots Day exposes the stories of the everyday heroes involved in the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers following the devastating Boston Marathon attack in 2013. To celebrate the release of Peter Berg’s latest ‘based on true events’ film we’ve pulled together a list of the best manhunt movies currently at large.
The exhausting hunt for Osama bin Laden was something the world was certainly aware of, but the cloak and dagger operation kept things under wraps until the evening of 1st May 2011 when in a seemingly sudden move, at least to the general population, bin Laden »
- The Hollywood News
"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...
The United States may have entered World War II late, but American studios didn’t wait nearly as long to start making propaganda. Hollywood produced a number of pro-Allied films before the American entry into the war, from A Yankee in the Raf to the comparatively subtle Sergeant York. Though this ruffled some feathers in Washington, the debate became moot in December of 1941.
Captains of the Clouds falls right on the cusp, shot before Pearl Harbor but released in February of 1942. The film, directed by Michael Curtiz, was intended to drum up support for the Canadian war effort. The first major Hollywood production to be shot north of the border, it’s a technicolor extravaganza starring James Cagney and the Royal Canadian Air Force.
It also received two Oscar nominations. Sol Polito was recognized in the Best Cinematography »
- Daniel Walber
Richard Schickel, the longtime film critic for Time magazine who also wrote 37 books, mostly on film, and directed a number of documentaries on film subjects, died on Saturday in Los Angeles of complications from a series of strokes, his family told the Los Angeles Times. He was 84.
“He was one of the fathers of American film criticism,” his daughter, writer Erika Schickel, told the Times. “He had a singular voice. When he wrote or spoke, he had an old-fashioned way of turning a phrase. He was blunt and succinct both on the page and in life.”
He wrote and/or directed more than 30 documentaries, mostly for television.
Schickel shared a 1977 Emmy nomination for the documentary “Life Goes to the Movies” and received two nominations in 1987 for the documentary “Minnelli on Minnelli: Liza Remembers Vincente,” which he directed.
Schickel wrote film reviews for Life magazine from 1965 until the magazine folded in »
- Carmel Dagan
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