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1-20 of 72 items from 2016   « Prev | Next »


Silk Stockings

23 July 2016 11:09 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

It's in glorious Technicolor Metrocolor, CinemaScope and StereoPhonic Sound! Fred Astaire's final MGM musical gives him Cyd Charisse and a Cole Porter score, plus some nice Hermes Pan choreography. The script and Rouben Mamoulian's direction aren't the best, but the combined magic of the musical and dancing talent saves the day. Silk Stockings Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1957 / Color / 2:40 widescreen / 117 min. / Street Date July 12, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Janis Paige, Peter Lorre, George Tobias, Jules Munshin, Joseph Buloff, Wim Sonneveld Cinematography Robert Bronner Art Direction Randall Duell, William A. Horning Film Editor Harold F. Kress Original Music Cole Porter Written by Abe Burrows, Leonard Gershe, George S. Kaufman, Leueen MacGrath, and Leonard Spigelgass Produced by Arthur Freed Directed by Rouben Mamoulian

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

On the Town?  The Pajama Game?  Damn Yankees?   The Warner Archive Collection's next musical up for the »

- Glenn Erickson

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Cleveland According to Movies and Television

19 July 2016 12:24 PM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Our perception of the Forest City having only seen it on screen.

All this week, Cleveland, Ohio, is being overrun with politicians, their supporters, and protestors of their platforms as the Republican National Convention is being held at the Quicken Loans Arena through Thursday. To help get a better sense of this “Cleve-Land,” as Howard the Duck calls it, we’re looking to entertainment, specifically movies and television, for what it can tell us about this city. If there’s anything we miss or misunderstand, blame Hollywood.

Cleveland Rocks

It’s the Rock and Roll Capital of the World, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so it’s not surprising that, to an outsider, Cleveland primarily looks like a city where music reigns. You could make a nice concert with all the fictional bands based there, including Cherry Bomb from Howard the Duck, The Barbusters from Light of Day, the »

- Christopher Campbell

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Hollywood publicist David Horowitz dead at 86

18 July 2016 12:20 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The publicist who worked with Barbra Streisand, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and advised Bill Clinton and Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin has died at his Los Angeles home. He was 86.

David Horowitz’s wife Lynn confirmed on Monday that the longtime publicist, awards campaign specialist and Civil Rights activist died on July 17.

Horowitz was born on July 21, 1929, in New York City. The family relocated to Miami and then Los Angeles, where he attended UCLA as a pre-med student before finding his way into advertising.

He served as an account executive at The Goodman Organization, handling Warner Bros, United Artists, and American International Pictures. As a unit publicist he worked on Billy Wilder’s Irma La Douce and The Fortune Cookie.

Horowitz’ in-house roles of note included president of corporate entertainment, president of the film division and president of the TV division at Rogers & Cowan. He went to Warner Bros in the 1970s, first as the »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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David Horowitz, Beloved Hollywood Publicist, Dies at 86

18 July 2016 10:49 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Long-time publicist David Horowitz died in his Los Angeles home on Sunday at the age of 86. Horowitz’s wife, Lynn Horowitz, confirmed the news on Monday. In addition to the entertainment industry, Horowitz also occasionally worked in politics, where he made his reputation as the publicist who twice revitalized Bill Clinton’s public image during his presidential campaign. Some of Horowitz’s posts included president of corporate entertainment, president of the film division and president of the TV division at Rogers & Cowan; advertising and publicity VP with Kirk Douglas‘ Bryna Productions; unit publicist for several Billy Wilder pictures including “Irma La Douce” and. »

- Reid Nakamura

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Night and Fog

17 July 2016 11:28 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

The first and most powerful Holocaust reassessment extends the horror with the assertion that, in 1955, its reality is already fading from the world memory. Alain Resnais uses the form of the art movie and his own essay-film innovations to communicate the yawning wound in the human consciousness. Night and Fog Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 197 1955 / Color & B&W / 1:33 flat full frame / 32 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date July 19, 2016 / 39.95 Narrator Michel Bouquet Cinematography Ghislain Cloquet, Sacha Vierny Assistant Directors André Heinreich, Jean-Charles Lauthe, Chris Marker Film Editor Alain Resnais Original Music Hanns Eisler Written by Jean Cayrol Produced by Anatole Dauman, Samy Halfon, Philippe Lifchitz Directed by Alain Resnais

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Although I review more than my share of grim shows about the Holocaust, I don't think I have an unusually morbid curiosity; subjects like the Shoah and The Bomb are important problems difficult to fully understand. »

- Glenn Erickson

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‘The Bfg’ Flops: Has Steven Spielberg Lost His Blockbuster Touch?

3 July 2016 11:29 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

In 1975, Steven Spielberg ushered in the modern blockbuster era when “Jaws” terrified audiences and smashed box office records.

It was a time when American directors were offering up smaller, more intimate looks at crime, politics and society, such as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Dog Day Afternoon,” two of the year’s other big hits. But Spielberg went in the opposite direction. He was a maximalist. His work promised spectacle, of the kind that needed to be enjoyed on the big screen.

Over the ensuing decades, no director has maintained a firmer grasp of popular tastes. “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”  and “Jurassic Park” were popcorn movie totems for a generation of film lovers and Spielberg became synonymous with summer blockbuster season.

“If you ask anyone across the country or around the world to name a director, he’s at the top of the list, »

- Brent Lang

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Michael Cimino, ‘Deer Hunter’ and ‘Heaven’s Gate’ Director, Dies at 77

2 July 2016 1:37 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Michael Cimino, who won Oscars as director and a producer of “The Deer Hunter” before “Heaven’s Gate” destroyed his career and sped up the demise of 60-year-old United Artists, has died. He was believed to be 77.

Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux tweeted the news Saturday, writing that he died in peace surrounded by those close to him and the two women who loved him. “We loved him too,” wrote Fremaux.

Michael Cimino est mort, en paix, entouré des siens et de ces deux femmes qui l'aimaient. Nous l'aimions aussi. pic.twitter.com/emPv4nj5cZ

— Thierry Fremaux (@Thierryfremaux) July 2, 2016

His birthday is usually cited as Feb. 3, 1939, though many facts about Cimino’s life, including his birthdate, were shrouded in conflicting information. 

Cimino directed eight films in his career. His first film was 1974’s “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”; his second was the 1978 Vietnam War masterpiece “The Deer Hunter,” which won five Academy Awards, »

- Tim Gray

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First Trailer For Andrea Arnold’s Cannes Winner ‘American Honey’

21 June 2016 6:06 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Following up Wuthering Heights early this decade, Fish Tank director Andrea Arnold is finally back with American Honey, which picked up the Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (and we also named it one of the best of the festival). Starring newcomer Sasha Lane, as well as Shia Labeouf and Riley Keough, it follows teenager who gets caught up with a traveling magazine sales crew as she ventures through the Midwest. Shot once again by Robbie Ryan, it looks like a vibrant drama judging by the first trailer, which A24 has released today.

We said in our review, “European directors have often faltered when crossing the Atlantic. Billy Wilder and Wim Wenders found things to say where Paolo Sorrentino could not. American Honey is certainly the former. Based on a 2007 article from the New York Times, it’s a backwater American road movie directed by an Englishwoman, »

- Jordan Raup

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BBC Commissions Agatha Christie Drama ‘The Witness for the Prosecution’

20 June 2016 7:44 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The BBC has commissioned a TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s crime drama “The Witness for the Prosecution” from writer Sarah Phelps, who also adapted Christie’s “And Then There Were None” and J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy.”

The two-parter will be directed by Julian Jarrold (“The Crown,” “Appropriate Adult”) and is produced by Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Prods., and co-produced by Acorn Media Enterprises and A+E Studios. Streaming platform Acorn TV will air the show in the U.S. Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Prods also produced “And Then There Were None,” which garnered an audience of more than 8 million for the BBC and aired on Lifetime in the U.S.

“The Witness for the Prosecution” is set in 1920s London. “A murder, brutal and bloodthirsty, has stained the plush carpets of a handsome London townhouse,” the BBC said in a statement. “The victim is the »

- Leo Barraclough

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BBC Plans New Christie's "Witness" Mini-Series

20 June 2016 7:03 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

BBC One has ordered a new two-part TV mini-series adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic "Witness For The Prosecution" which Mammoth Screen, Acorn Media Enterprises/Acorn TV and A+E Studios will produce.

Adapted by Sarah Phelps ("And Then There Were None") and directed by Julian Jarrold ("The Girl"), the work was first published as a short story in 1925 and later became a stage play and the famed 1957 Billy Wilder-directed film starring Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich.

The story is set in 1920s London where a brutal murder of a glamorous young heiress where all the evidence points to Leonard Vole, a young man to whom the heiress left her fortune. He maintains that his partner, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine, can prove his innocence.

Source: Deadline »

- Garth Franklin

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15 years ago today: ‘Atlantis: The Lost Empire’ and ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ premiered

15 June 2016 11:30 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

15 years ago today, Disney and Angelina Jolie both gave us new movies. It was on June 15, 2001 that Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider opened in theaters. The two films topped the box office that weekend, with Lara Croft holding the top spot. The Disney Renaissance had ended, and Atlantis didn’t live up to the quality of films the House of Mouse was putting out in the ’90s like Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. Atlantis didn’t get much praise from critics upon its release, and it hasn’t amassed as strong a fandom as films in the pantheon of Disney greats have. Though it does have a cult favorite status among Disney movies, and some critics praised it for being a unique departure from typical Disney animated features, with its sci-fi influences and look based on the visual style of Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. Lara Croft has remained a memorable item on Angelina Jolie’s resume — it’s the movie that really established her as a Hollywood star. At the time of its release, it was the highest-grossing video game adaptation. Another movie based on the Tomb Raider game series is set to star Ex Machina actress Alicia Vikander. Other notable June 15 happenings in pop culture history: • 1960: Billy Wilder’s The Apartment premiered. • 1963: The Sound of Music closed on Broadway after 1,443 performances. • 1966: Elvis Presley movie Paradise, Hawaiian Style opened in U.S. theaters. • 1983: The fifth and final season finale of Taxi aired. • 1988: Kevin Costner’s sports rom-com movie Bill Durham was released. • 1990: Dick Tracy opened in theaters. • 1994: The Lion King started playing in Los Angeles’ El Capitan Theatre and New York’s Radio City Music Hall, ahead of a wide release later that month. • 2005: Batman Begins opened in theaters. • 2007: Bob Barker hosted The Price is Right for the final time, ending his 35-year tenure on the show. • 2008: At the 62nd Tony Awards, In the Heights (from Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda) won Best Musical. »

- Emily Rome

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Watch: 5-Minute Video Essay On The Language Of Faces In Film

12 June 2016 10:39 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

“We didn’t need dialogue, we had faces,” quips Norma Desmond in Billy Wilder‘s “Sunset Boulevard.” And the starlet is right: Before dialogue-heavy independent films were the toast of the town, directors like Carl Theodor Dreyer and his “The Passion Of Joan Of Arc” and D.W. Griffith‘s obsession with Lillian Gish‘s angelic face were examples of cinema’s paramount shots. Close-ups add […]

The post Watch: 5-Minute Video Essay On The Language Of Faces In Film appeared first on The Playlist. »

- Samantha Vacca

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Marquee Movie: Matinee

11 June 2016 8:30 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

“We used to go to the movies.  Now we want the movies to come to us, on our televisions, tablets and phones, as streams running into an increasingly unnavigable ocean of media.  The dispersal of movie watching across technologies and contexts follows the multiplexing of movie theaters, itself a fragmenting of the single screen theater where movie love was first concentrated and consecrated.  (But even in the “good old days,” movies were often only part of an evening’s entertainment that came complete with vaudeville acts and bank nights).  For all this, moviegoing still means what it always meant, joining a community, forming an audience and participating in a collective dream.” –

From the UCLA Film and Television Archive’s programming notes for its current series, “Marquee Movies: Movies on Moviegoing”

Currently under way at the Billy Wilder Theater inside the Armand Hammer Museum in Westwood, the UCLA Film and Television Archive’s far-reaching and fascinating series “Marquee Movies: Movies on Moviegoing” takes sharp aim at an overview of how the movies themselves have portrayed the act of going out to see movies during these years of seismic change in the way we see them. What’s best about the collection of films curated for the series is its scope, which sweeps along from the anything-goes exhibition of the silent era, on through an examination of the opulent era of grandiose movie palaces and post-war audience predilection for exploitation pictures, and straight into an era—ours—of a certain nostalgia for the ways we used to exclusively gather in dark places to watch visions jump out at us from the big screen. (That nostalgia, as it turns out, is often colored by a rear-view perspective on the times which contextualizes it and sometimes gives it a bitter tinge.) As the program notes for the Marquee Movies series puts it, whether you’re an American moviegoer or one from France, Italy, Argentina or Taiwan, “the current sense of loss at the passing of an exhibition era takes its place in the ongoing history of cultural and industrial transformation reflected in these films.”

The series took its inaugural bow last Friday night with a rare 35mm screening of Matinee (1993), director Joe Dante and screenwriter Charlie Haas’s vividly imagined tribute to movie love during a time in Us history which lazy writers frequently like to describe as “the point when America lost its innocence” or some other such silliness. For Americans, and for a whole lot of other people the world over, those days in 1962 during what would come to be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis felt more like days when something a whole lot more tangible than “innocence” was about to be lost, what with the Us and Russia being on the brink of nuclear confrontation and all. The movie lays down this undercurrent of fear and uncertainty as the foundation which tints its main action, that of the arrival of exploitation movie impresario Laurence Woolsey (John Goodman, channeling producer and gimmick maestro William Castle) to Key West, Florida, to promote his latest shock show, Mant!, on the very weekend that American troops set to sea, ready to fire on Russian missile installments a mere 90 miles away in Cuba.

Woolsey’s hardly worried that his potential audience will be distracted the specter of annihilation; in fact, he’s energized by it, convinced that the free-floating anxiety will translate into box office dollars contributed by nervous kids and adults looking for a safe and scary good time, a disposal cinematic depository for all their worst fears. And it certainly doesn’t matter that Woolsey’s movie is a corny sci-fi absurdity-- all the better for his particular brand of enhancements. Mant!, a lovingly sculpted mash-up of 1950s hits like The Fly and Them!, benefits from “Atomo-vision,” which incorporates variants of Castle innovations like Emergo and Percepto, as well as “Rumble-rama,” a very crude precursor to Universal’s Oscar-winning Sensurround system. The movie’s Saturday afternoon screening is where Dante and Haas really let loose their tickled and twisted imaginations, with the help of Woolsey’s theatrical enhancements.

Leading up to the fearful and farcical unleashing of Mant!, Dante stages a beautifully understated sequence that moved me to tears when I saw it with my daughters last Friday night at the Billy Wilder Theater. Matinee is seen primarily through the eyes of young Gene Loomis (Simon Fenton), a military kid whose dad is among those waiting it out on nuclear-armed boats pointed in the direction of Cuba. Gene is a monster-movie nerd (and a clear stand-in for Dante, Haas and just about anybody—like me—whose primary biblical text was provided not by that fella in the burning bush but instead by Forrest J. Ackerman within the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland), and he manages to worm his way into Woolsey’s good graces as the producer prepares the local theater to show his picture. At one point he walks down the street in the company of the larger-than-life producer, who starts talking about his inspirations and why he makes the sort of movies he does:

“A zillion years ago, a guy’s living in a cave,” Woolsey expounds. “He goes out one day—Bam! He gets chased by a mammoth. Now, he’s scared to death, but he gets away. And when it’s all over with, he feels great.”

Gene, eager to believe but also to understand, responds quizzically-- “Well, yeah, ‘cause he’s still living.”

“Yeah, but he knows he is, and he feels it,” Woolsey counters. “So he goes home, back to the cave. First thing he does, he does a drawing of a mammoth.” (At this point the brick wall which the two of them are passing becomes a blank screen onto which Woolsey conjures an animated behemoth that entrances Gene and us.) Woolsey continues:

“He thinks, ‘People are coming to see this. Let’s make it good. Let’s make the teeth real long and the eyes real mean.’ Boom! The first monster movie. That’s probably why I still do it. You make the teeth as big as you want, then you kill it off, everything’s okay, the lights come up,” Woolsey concludes, ending his illustrative fantasy with a sigh.

But that’s not all, folks. At this point, Dante cuts to a Steadicam shot as it moves into the lobby hall of that Key West theater, past posters of Hatari!, Lonely are the Brave, Six Black Horses and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. The tracking shot continues up the stairs, letting us get a really close look at the worn, perhaps pungent carpet, most likely the same rug that was laid down when the theater opened 30 or so years earlier, into the snack bar area, then glides over to the closed swinging doors leading into the auditorium, while Woolsey continues:

“You see, the people come into your cave with the 200-year-old carpet, the guy tears your ticket in half—it’s too late to turn back now. The water fountain’s all booby-trapped and ready, the stuff laid out on the candy counter. Then you come over here to where it’s dark-- there could be anything in there—and you say, ‘Here I am. What have you got for me?’”

Forget nostalgia for a style of moviegoing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more compact, evocative and heartfelt tribute to the space in which we used to see movies than those couple of minutes in Matinee. The shot and the narration work so vividly together that I swear I could whiff the must underlying that carpet, papered over lovingly with the smell of popcorn wafting through the confined space of that tiny snack bar, just as if I was a kid again myself, wandering into the friendly confines of the Alger Theater in Lakeview, Oregon (More on that place next week.)

Dante’s movie is a romp, no doubt, but its nostalgia is a heartier variety than what we usually get, and it leaves us with an undercurrent of uneasiness that is unusual for a genre most enough content to look back through amber. Woolsey’s words resonate for every youngster who has searched for reasons to explain their attraction to the scary side of cinema and memories of the places where those images were first encountered, but in Matinee there’s another terror with which to contend, one not so easily held at bay.

Of course the real world monster of the movie— the bomb— was also, during that weekend in 1962 and in Matinee’s representation of the missile crisis, “killed off,” making “everything okay.” But Dante makes us understand that while calm has been momentarily restored, something deeper has been forever disturbed. The movie acknowledges the societal disarray which was already under way in Vietnam, and the American South, and only months away from spilling out from Dallas and onto the greater American landscape in a way so much less containable than even the radiative effects of a single cataclysmic event. That awareness leaves Matinee with a sorrowful aftertaste that is hard to shake. The movie’s last image, of our two main characters gathered on the beach, greeting helicopters that are flying home from having hovered at the precipice of nuclear destruction, is one of relief for familial unity restored—Gene is, after all, getting his dad back. But it’s also one of foreboding. Dante leaves us with an extreme close-up of a copter looming into frame, absent even the context of the sky, bearing down on us like a real-life mutant creature, an eerie bellwether of political and societal chaos yet to come as a stout companion to the movie’s general air of celebratory remembrance.

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The “Marquee Movies” series has already seen Matinee (last Friday night), Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) paired with Polish director Wojciech Marczewski’s 1990 Escape from Liberty Island (last Saturday night), and Ettore Scola’s masterful Splendor (1989), which screened last Sunday night.

But there’s plenty more to come. Sunday, June 12, the archive series unveils a double bill of Lloyd Bacon’s Footlight Parade (1933) with the less well-known This Way, Please (1937), a terrific tale of a star-struck movie theater usherette with dreams of singing and dancing just like the stars she idolizes, starring Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers, Betty Grable, Jim Jordan, Marian Jordan and the brilliantly grizzled Ned Sparks.

Wednesday, June 15, you can see Uruguay’s  A Useful Life (2010), in which a movie theater manager in Montevideo faces up the fact that the days of his beloved movie theater are numbered, paired up with Luc Moullet’s droll account of the feud between the French film journals Cahiers du Cinema and Positif, entitled The Seats of the Alcazar (1989).

One of my favorites, Tsai Ming-liang’s haunting Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003) gets a rare projection at the Wilder on Sunday, June 19, along with Lisandsro Alonzo’s Fantasma (2006), described by the archive as “a hypnotic commentary on cinematic rituals and presence.”

Friday, June 24, you can see, if you dare, Lamberto Bava’s gory meta-horror film Demons (1985) and then stay for Bigas Luna’s similarly twisted treatise on the movies and voyeurism, 1987’s Anguish.

Saturday afternoon, June 25, “Marquee Movies” presents a rare screening of Gregory La Cava’s hilarious slapstick spoof of rural moviegoing, His Nibs (1921), paired up with what I consider, alongside Matinee and Goodbye, Dragon Inn, one of the real jewels of the series, Basil Dearden’s marvelously funny The Smallest Show on Earth (1957), all about what happens when a newlywed couple inherits a rundown cinema populated by a staff of eccentrics that include Margaret Rutherford and Peter Sellers. (More on that one next week.)

And the series concludes on Sunday, June 26, with a screening of the original 174-minute director’s cut of Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso (1988).

(Each program also features a variety of moviegoing-oriented shorts, trailers and other surprises. Click the individual links for details and show times.)

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(Next week: My review of The Smallest Show on Earth and a remembrance of my own hometown movie theater, which closed in 2015.)

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Later this year Matinee will be released by Universal in the U.S. (details to come)  and by Arrow Films in the UK (with a nifty assortment of extras).

»

- Dennis Cozzalio

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Put George Lucas and Steven Spielberg in Charge, and the AFI Gets an Incredible Tribute to John Williams

10 June 2016 2:07 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Composer John Williams is the rare craftsman to be honored with an AFI Achievement Award, and the AFI should do it more often. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas maneuvered the AFI tribute (held June 9 at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre) toward excellence and maximum cooperation on all fronts, and the 44th annual event proved one of the most satisfying in years.

How can you lose when the honoree composed the world’s most hummable and instantly identifiable themes —including “Star Wars,” the Richard DonnerSuperman,” Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and 27 Spielberg movies over 43 years, from “Jaws” (1975), “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977) and “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) to “Jurassic Park” (1993), “Schindler’s List” (1993) and “Saving Private Ryan” (1998). (Williams plans to score Spielberg’s Indiana Jones movie and “Ready Player One” and possibly “Star Wars 8.”) All told, the 84-year-old composer has more than 150 credits across seven decades.

“Somehow he’s composed the music of our lives, »

- Anne Thompson

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Happy 15th Birthday, ‘Moulin Rouge!’

1 June 2016 6:00 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

It was 15 years ago today that Moulin Rouge! opened in theaters across the U.S. The opening followed a world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and New York and Los Angeles premieres the month prior. Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman made us all swoon with their charm and their palpable chemistry in the heartfelt, old-fashioned, tragic love story of Christian and Satine (very old-fashioned, in a sense — director Baz Luhrmann has said he drew from the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice in writing the film). The spectacular spectacular of Moulin Rogue! didn’t win over everybody — Luhrmann’s glitzy, dazzling style has been quite divisive over the years. But the film caught the attention of Oscars voters — it was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including wins for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. Beyond the technical categories, the film earned Kidman her first Oscar nomination, and with a Best Picture nomination, »

- Emily Rome

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Andrew Dominik’s 10 Favorite Films

27 May 2016 11:40 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Across his three features this century, Andrew Dominik has explored masculine ideals (and the lack thereof) with an uncompromising vision. While earning the most acclaim for his stunning western The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, his follow-up Killing Them Softly is also distinctive in its laser-focused fury, getting the impressive distinction of an “F” CinemaScore to cement it as something truly special. His long-gestating next feature, Blonde, is hopefully still happening (the last we heard, Netflix may back it and shooting could begin as early as this year), but as we wait for confirmation, today we’re looking at his favorite films of all-time.

Courtesy of his Sight & Sound ballot, it’s a primarily American-focused line-up with classics from Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Billy Wilder, and David Lynch (x2). Perhaps most interesting is his favorite Alfred Hitchcock film, one of the man’s last five features: Marnie, »

- Jordan Raup

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Woman on the Run

23 May 2016 9:35 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

What in the world -- an A + top-rank film noir gem hiding under the radar, and rescued (most literally) by the Film Noir Foundation. Ann Sheridan and Dennis O'Keefe trade dialogue as good as any in a film from 1950 -- it's a thriller with a cynical worldview yet a sentimental personal outlook. Woman on the Run Blu-ray + DVD Flicker Alley / FIlm Noir Foundation 1950 / B&W / 1:37 Academy / 79 min. / Street Date May 17, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Ann Sheridan, Dennis O'Keefe, Robert Keith, John Qualen, Frank Jenks, Ross Elliott, Jane Liddell, Joan Fulton, J. Farrell MacDonald, Steven Geray, Victor Sen Yung, Reiko Sato. Cinematography Hal Mohr Art Direction Boris Leven Film Editor Otto Ludwig Original Music Arthur Lange, Emil Newman Written by Alan Campbell, Norman Foster, Sylvia Tate Produced by Howard Welsch, Ann Sheridan Directed by Norman Foster

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Amazing! Just when one thinks one won't see another top-rank film noir, the »

- Glenn Erickson

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The King and Four Queens

23 May 2016 9:32 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Clark Gable is still sufficiently frisky in this late career western to attract four well-chosen frontier women -- who in this case happen to be a quartet of robbers' wives, sitting on a rumored mountain of ill-gotten gains. Raoul Walsh abets the comedy-drama, as Gable's fox-in-a-henhouse tries to determine which hen can lead him to the promised golden eggs. The King and Four Queens Blu-ray Olive Films 1956 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 86 min. / Street Date May 24, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Clark Gable, Eleanor Parker, Jo Van Fleet, Jean Willes, Barbara Nichols, Sara Shane, Roy Roberts, Arthur Shields, Jay C. Flippen. Cinematography Lucien Ballard Production Design Wiard Ihnen Film Editor Howard Bretherton Original Music Alex North Written by Richard Alan Simmons, Margaret Fitts from her story Produced by David Hempstead Directed by Raoul Walsh

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Olive's latest dip into MGM's United Artists holdings brings up the cheerful, not particularly »

- Glenn Erickson

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The Best Films of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

23 May 2016 10:29 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

After nearly two weeks of viewing some of the best that cinema will have to offer this year, the 69th Cannes Film Festival has concluded. With Ken Loach‘s I, Daniel Blake taking the top jury prize of Palme d’Or (full list of winners here), we’ve set out to wrap up our experience with our 10 favorite films from the festival, which extends to the Un Certain Regard and Directors’ Fortnight side bars.

It should be noted that The Nice Guys, which screened out of competition, was among our favorites of the festival (review here), but, considering it’s now in wide release, we’ve elected to give room to other titles. Check out our top 13 films below, followed by the rest of the reviews and all of our features. One can also return in the coming months as we learn of distribution news for all of the mentioned films. »

- The Film Stage

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Watch: First Clip and Full Cannes Press Conference For Andrea Arnold’s ‘American Honey’

15 May 2016 3:42 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

With it being around five years since her last feature, a striking update on Wuthering Heights, we’ve been looking forward to Andrea Arnold‘s follow-up for quite some time. She finally returned this year with American Honey, the director’s first feature in the U.S., and judging from the Cannes response it looks to be a rousing success. With A24 set to release the film this fall (no specified date yet), those looking for an early glimpse will be pleased with the first clip, along with the full 40-minute Cannes press conference featuring much of the cast as well as Arnold.

We said in our review, “European directors have often faltered when crossing the Atlantic. Billy Wilder and Wim Wenders found things to say where Paolo Sorrentino could not. American Honey is certainly the former. Based on a 2007 article from the New York Times, it’s a backwater »

- Jordan Raup

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