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Charles Brackett ca. 1945: Hollywood diarist and Billy Wilder's co-screenwriter (1936–1949) and producer (1945–1949). Q&A with 'Charles Brackett Diaries' editor Anthony Slide: Billy Wilder's screenwriter-producer partner in his own words Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He is renowned for classics such as The Major and the Minor, Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Witness for the Prosecution, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. The fact that Wilder was not the sole creator of these movies is all but irrelevant to graduates from the Auteur School of Film History. Wilder directed, co-wrote, and at times produced his films. That should suffice. For auteurists, perhaps. But not for those interested in the whole story. That's one key reason why the Charles Brackett diaries are such a great read. Through Brackett's vantage point, they offer a welcome – and unique – glimpse into the collaborative efforts that resulted in »
- Andre Soares
[Editor's Note: This post is presented in partnership with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand in support of Indie Film Month. Today's pick, "She's Funny That Way," is available now On Demand. Need help finding a movie to watch? Let TWC find the best fit for your mood here.] "All About Eve" (1950)What is probably regarded as both Bette Davis and Joseph Mankiewicz’s best film, "All About Eve" is a surprisingly immediate and bitingly funny portrait of the price that fame often demands. When aging Broadway star Margo Channing (Bette Davis) takes young and seemingly innocent aspiring actress Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) under her wing, the girl begins working to supplant her. After a period of success, Eve's deception is found out and she soon becomes trapped in a prison of her own making. A still-relevant tale of what it is like to be a woman on stage or on screen, "All About Eve" has reverence for the stage even »
Joan Crawford Movie Star Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and The Taxi Dancer (1927), and check her out in the more easily accessible The Unknown (1927) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928). By the early '30s, Joan Crawford had become a first-rate film actress, far more naturalistic than »
- Andre Soares
Toronto and Venice have unveiled their line-ups and speculation is abound as to which films will show up in Telluride. Once the three high profile fall film festivals are in the bag all the attention will move to New York and once that's over with we'll be knee-deep in the 2015 awards season. However, while Toronto, Venice and Telluride are less than a month away it's still early and we're still talking, for the most part, about dartboard style predictions, but it never hurts to get things set up in preparation for the coming months as today I open the doors to my first batch of Best Director predictions for the 2016 Oscars. The reason I've held off so long on releasing these Director predictions is because it's a really tough crop of names to sort. Several high profile names make the list including three past winners in my initial top five, »
- Brad Brevet
Robert Walker: Actor in MGM films of the '40s. Robert Walker: Actor who conveyed boy-next-door charms, psychoses At least on screen, I've always found the underrated actor Robert Walker to be everything his fellow – and more famous – MGM contract player James Stewart only pretended to be: shy, amiable, naive. The one thing that made Walker look less like an idealized “Average Joe” than Stewart was that the former did not have a vacuous look. Walker's intelligence shone clearly through his bright (in black and white) grey eyes. As part of its “Summer Under the Stars” programming, Turner Classic Movies is dedicating today, Aug. 9, '15, to Robert Walker, who was featured in 20 films between 1943 and his untimely death at age 32 in 1951. Time Warner (via Ted Turner) owns the pre-1986 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library (and almost got to buy the studio outright in 2009), so most of Walker's movies have »
- Andre Soares
Michael Caine young. Michael Caine movies: From Irwin Allen bombs to Woody Allen classic It's hard to believe that Michael Caine has been around making movies for nearly six decades. No wonder he's had time to appear – in roles big and small and tiny – in more than 120 films, ranging from unwatchable stuff like the Sylvester Stallone soccer flick Victory and Michael Ritchie's adventure flick The Island to Brian G. Hutton's X, Y and Zee, Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Sleuth (a duel of wits and acting styles with Laurence Olivier), and Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men. (See TCM's Michael Caine movie schedule further below.) Throughout his long, long career, Caine has played heroes and villains and everything in between. Sometimes, in his worst vehicles, he has floundered along with everybody else. At other times, he was the best element in otherwise disappointing fare, e.g., Philip Kaufman's Quills. »
- Andre Soares
Like so many great American films of the era, A Letter to Three Wives has a touch of trash at its core. Writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz crafts well-rounded characters, thoughtful explorations of class via small-town postwar America, and snappy dialogue to spare. But this is still a story that really kicks off when three women receive a letter from another claiming to have run off with one of their husbands, timed to a daylong excursion where she knows they can’t do a damned thing about it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all.
The bulk of the movie takes place in flashback, as each woman reflects on the more tumultuous moments in their relationships, and why each husband would be motivated to abandon ship for the highly-desirable Addie Ross. Addie seems to have gotten around often enough to have gotten around to those same husbands in some capacity. »
- Scott Nye
'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are »
- Andre Soares
'Being Julia' movie: Annette Bening and Shaun Evans 'Being Julia' movie review: Annette Bening showcase tells us a little about Avice A little Being Julia movie background: In Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1950 Oscar-winning classic All About Eve, Bette Davis plays Margo Channing, a major Broadway star who, despite her talent, wit, and some forty-odd years on this planet, falls prey to the youthful, ambitious wannabe Eve Harrington: sweet, soft-spoken Anne Baxter on the outside; ruthless, poisonous gargoyle on the inside.* More than a decade earlier, in 1937 to be exact, W. Somerset Maugham had written Theatre, a novel about West End diva Julia Lambert. In Maugham's tale, Julia, despite her talent, wit, and some forty-odd years on this planet, succumbs to her vanity when she falls madly in love with Tom Fennel, a handsome – and deceptively innocent-looking – American half her age. Through Tom's "special friendship" with the renowned Julia, an ambitious young actress, »
- Andre Soares
Anne Hathaway Red Dress at the 83rd Academy Awards Oscar host Anne Hathaway Wearing a blindingly bright red dress, Anne Hathaway, sporting a blindingly bright white smile, is pictured above at the 2011 Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Hathaway, a Best Actress nominee for Rachel Getting Married in early 2009, was this year's Oscar ceremony co-host alongside Best Actor nominee James Franco (127 Hours). More on that further below. Anne Hathaway movies Below is a partial list of Anne Hathaway films.* Her big-screen debut took place in 2001. Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass (2016). Director: James Bobin. Cast: Mia Wasikowska. Johnny Depp. Helena Bonham Carter. Sacha Baron Cohen. Anne Hathaway. The Interns (2015). Director: Nancy Meyers. Cast: Anne Hathaway. Robert De Niro. Interstellar (2014). Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Matthew McConaughey. Jessica Chastain. Anne Hathaway. Mackenzie Foy. Michael Caine. Matt Damon. Ellen Burstyn. Don Jon (2013). Les Misérables (2012). Director: Tom Hooper. »
- D. Zhea
This week saw a number of sad losses in the entertainment industry. The singers of both “Louie Louie” and “Stand by Me” passed away this week, as well as Oscar-nominated screenwriter Don Mankiewicz, who was nominated for I Want to Live! Mankiewicz was the son of Herman J. Mankiewicz (Citizen Kane) and the nephew of Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve), and the father of John Mankiewicz (House of Cards). He was 93.
But perhaps most shocking was the loss of cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, who died suddenly this week at just 59 years old. Lesnie won an Oscar for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and he subsequently filmed all five of the remaining Lotr films and Peter Jackson’s King Kong and The Lovely Bones. Some of his more interesting credits are his work on Babe and Babe: Pig in the City. Lesnie’s last film however »
- Brian Welk
Brad Pitt 'Glory Days' costar Nicholas Kallsen Brad Pitt 'Glory Days' costar Nicholas Kallsen dead at 48 Nicholas Kallsen, who was featured opposite Brad Pitt in the short-lived television series Glory Days, has died at age 48 in Thailand according to online reports. Their source is one of Rupert Murdoch's rags, citing a Facebook posting by one of the actor's friends. The cause of death was purportedly – no specific source was provided – a drug overdose.* Aired on Fox in July 1990, Glory Days told the story of four high-school friends whose paths take different directions after graduation. Besides Nicholas Kallsen and Brad Pitt, the show also featured Spike Alexander and Evan Mirand. Glory Days lasted a mere six episodes – two of which directed by former Happy Days actor Anson Williams – before its cancellation. Roommates Nicholas Kallsen and Brad Pitt vying for same 'Thelma & Louise' role? The Murdoch tabloid also »
- Andre Soares
Don Mankiewicz, a member of a family of Hollywood royalty who earned an Oscar nomination for the screenplay to Susan Hayward starrer “I Want to Live!” and also worked in television, died Saturday of congestive heart failure at his home in Monrovia, Calif. He was 93.
Mankiewicz penned the pilot episodes of both ABC medical drama “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” which starred Robert Young and and James Brolin and ran 1969-76, and NBC cop drama “Ironside,” which starred Raymond Burr as a wheelchair-bound police detective on special assignment in San Francisco and ran 1967–75.
Don Mankiewicz was a son of Herman J. Mankiewicz, who won the screenplay Oscar for “Citizen Kane” together with with Orson Welles, and a nephew of Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who won Oscars for writing and directing best picture winner “All About Eve” (1950).
- Variety Staff
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Don Mankiewicz has died at the age of 93, according to multiple media reports. The writer of 1931’s “I Want to Live!” died of congestive heart failure at his home in Monrovia, California, on Saturday according to his son, producer John Makiewicz, who counts “House M.D.” and “House of Cards” among his credits. The younger Mankiewicz confirmed his father’s death to The La Times. Also Read: Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2015 (Photos) Part of a legendary family, Mankiewicz’s father was Herman J. Mankiewicz, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Citizen Kane,” and his uncle Joseph L. Mankiewicz won Oscars for writing and directing “All About. »
- Linda Ge
Exclusive: Hollywood Classics to re-release banned 1930’s film.
Browning’s 1932 film about a travelling “freak show” circus was completed in 1931 but disastrous test screenings forced studio MGM to make extensive cuts .
The original version was considered too shocking and exploitative to be released, and no longer exists.
The final 59-minute cut was released to international audiences but was rejected by the BBFC in the UK until 1963 when it received an X-rating.
The film, whose cast was made up of carnival sideshow performers with real deformities, charts a love triangle between a wealthy dwarf, a gold-digging aerialist, and a strongman; a murder plot; and the vengeance dealt out by the dwarf and his fellow circus performers.
Eponymous characters include The Living Torso, Bearded Lady, Human Skeleton, Half Boy and Stork Woman.
While director and producer Browning was given considerable leeway by MGM »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
What do Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango In Paris, Elia Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and Viva Zapata!, Daniel Mann's The Teahouse Of The August Moon, Edward Dmytryk's The Young Lions, Gillo Pontecorvo's Burn!, Lewis Milestone's Mutiny On The Bounty, Guys And Dolls directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and One-Eyed Jacks have in common? Brando the movie star in Stevan Riley's documentary, Listen To Me Marlon, becomes Marlon, the man.
"Brando was himself fascinated by these same topics of truth and lies, of myth and fantasy and reality."
Hundreds of hours of Brando's audio recordings had gone unheard until Riley took his pick and put together this fascinating portrait. »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Just as babies must crawl before they walk, the proper education for cinephiles must begin with canonical classics like the Bette Davis-starring “All About Eve.” This year marks that film's 65th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than with a French TV special on the film’s director Joseph L. Mankiewicz? Running 103 minutes and released in 1983, the special covers Makiewicz’s entire filmography, spanning 1946’s “Dragonwyck” to 1973’s “Sleuth.” It’s rare to get a director to expound on the entirety of their career at this length, so take this opportunity to watch a master talk about his craft. And with Mankiewicz responsible for classic films such as "Guys And Dolls," "Suddenly, Last Summer" and more infamously worked on the fiasco "Cleopatra," this is definitely a must watch. Thanks to the time-traveling powers of the internet, you can now see the French TV documentary “All About Makiewicz” below. »
- Cain Rodriguez
Oscar 2015 winners (photo: Chris Pratt during Oscar 2015 rehearsals) The complete list of Oscar 2015 winners and nominees can be found below. See also: Oscar 2015 presenters and performers. Now, a little Oscar 2015 trivia. If you know a bit about the history of the Academy Awards, you'll have noticed several little curiosities about this year's nominations. For instance, there are quite a few first-time nominees in the acting and directing categories. In fact, nine of the nominated actors and three of the nominated directors are Oscar newcomers. Here's the list in the acting categories: Eddie Redmayne. Michael Keaton. Steve Carell. Benedict Cumberbatch. Felicity Jones. Rosamund Pike. J.K. Simmons. Emma Stone. Patricia Arquette. The three directors are: Morten Tyldum. Richard Linklater. Wes Anderson. Oscar 2015 comebacks Oscar 2015 also marks the Academy Awards' "comeback" of several performers and directors last nominated years ago. Marion Cotillard and Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress Oscars for, respectively, Olivier Dahan »
- Steve Montgomery
Justin Chang: We don’t always agree, Guy (no two critics ever should), but it’s safe to say we’ve been more simpatico than usual over the course of this very long and happily almost-over awards season. I think we would both argue, for example, that “Foxcatcher” was ridiculously worthy of an Oscar nomination for best picture, and that its failure to nab one seems all the more inexplicable given that Bennett Miller managed to crack the much more competitive directing race. Likewise, I don’t know anyone else who had almost precisely the same reaction and counter-reaction to “Birdman” as I did — an initial thrill that almost completely fell apart on second viewing.
Clearly the industry feels otherwise, if “Birdman’s” presumed Oscar-frontrunner status is to be believed — which I fear it is, even as some of us are still clinging desperately to the hope that “Boyhood” will prevail. »
- Justin Chang and Guy Lodge
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