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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2007

12 items from 2015


Cummings Pt.2: Working with Capra and West, Fighting Columbia in Court

5 November 2015 12:05 AM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Constance Cummings in 'Night After Night.' Constance Cummings: Working with Frank Capra and Mae West (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Actress Went from Harold Lloyd to Eugene O'Neill.”) Back at Columbia, Harry Cohn didn't do a very good job at making Constance Cummings feel important. By the end of 1932, Columbia and its sweet ingenue found themselves in court, fighting bitterly over stipulations in her contract. According to the actress and lawyer's daughter, Columbia had failed to notify her that they were picking up her option. Therefore, she was a free agent, able to offer her services wherever she pleased. Harry Cohn felt otherwise, claiming that his contract player had waived such a notice. The battle would spill over into 1933. On the positive side, in addition to Movie Crazy 1932 provided Cummings with three other notable Hollywood movies: Washington Merry-Go-Round, American Madness, and Night After Night. 'Washington Merry-Go-Round »

- Andre Soares

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Day of the Dead List: Top 10 Most Piercingly Horrific Movie Screams

1 November 2015 8:19 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Top Ten Scream Queens: Barbara Steele, who both emitted screams and made others do same, is in a category of her own. Top Ten Scream Queens Halloween is over until next year, but the equally bewitching Day of the Dead is just around the corner. So, dead or alive, here's my revised and expanded list of cinema's Top Ten Scream Queens. This highly personal compilation is based on how memorable – as opposed to how loud or how frequent – were the screams. That's the key reason you won't find listed below actresses featured in gory slasher films. After all, the screams – and just about everything else in such movies – are as meaningless as their plots. You also won't find any screaming guys (i.e., Scream Kings) on the list below even though I've got absolutely nothing against guys who scream in horror, whether in movies or in life. There are »

- Andre Soares

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For Halloween: Orphan

31 October 2015 12:16 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Halloween doesn’t have to be over once the last trick-or-treater has crept back into the shadows of the night. You may still be possessed by the spirit of the holiday and in desperate need of some real scares. In an effort to address that need and help you find a choice that goes beyond the usual iconography of the season, I’ve picked three titles that may not immediately jump to mind when it comes to autumn-tinged chills and terror. They are not self-consciously seasonal choices, like John Carpenter’s Halloween or Michael Dougherty’s 2007 anthology Trick ‘R Treat, both excellent choices for cinematic fear on the pumpkin circuit. Two of them rely more on mood, creeping dread, an insinuating style and, dare I say, even a poetic approach to storytelling than the usual Samhain-appropriate fare. And one has an inexplicably bad reputation in the halls of conventional wisdom, »

- Dennis Cozzalio

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Stephen King Week: Heather Looks Back at Salem’S Lot

30 October 2015 3:38 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

You’ll enjoy Mr. Barlow. And he’ll enjoy you.

Based on the Stephen King novel, Salem’s Lot is a three-hour-long miniseries that originally aired back in 1979, with director Tobe Hooper’s slow burn storytelling approach immersing viewers intricately into the world of a sleepy little town in Maine by paying attention to the atmosphere and tension King so cleverly established in his original story. From the guy who gave us The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Salem’s Lot proved Hooper was an assured filmmaker who could still deliver shocking and jarring horror while using a more subtle directorial methodology.

At the start of Salem’s Lot, we meet writer Ben Mears (David Soul), who is returning home to the small town to write his second novel (in reality, it was also King's sophomore novel) based on the infamous Marsten House that he grew up fearing as a kid. »

- Heather Wixson

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A Unique Superstar: 20th Century Icon Garbo on TCM

26 August 2015 5:00 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Greta Garbo movie 'The Kiss.' Greta Garbo movies on TCM Greta Garbo, a rarity among silent era movie stars, is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” performer today, Aug. 26, '15. Now, why would Garbo be considered a silent era rarity? Well, certainly not because she easily made the transition to sound, remaining a major star for another decade. Think Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, William Powell, Fay Wray, Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, John Barrymore, Warner Baxter, Janet Gaynor, Constance Bennett, etc. And so much for all the stories about actors with foreign accents being unable to maintain their Hollywood stardom following the advent of sound motion pictures. A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer star, Garbo was no major exception to the supposed rule. Mexican Ramon Novarro, another MGM star, also made an easy transition to sound, and so did fellow Mexicans Lupe Velez and Dolores del Rio, in addition to the very British »

- Andre Soares

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From Robinson's Toyboy to Intrepid Drug Smuggler: Fairbanks Jr on TCM

15 August 2015 11:31 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ca. 1935. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was never as popular as his father, silent film superstar Douglas Fairbanks, who starred in one action-adventure blockbuster after another in the 1920s (The Mark of Zorro, Robin Hood, The Thief of Bagdad) and whose stardom dates back to the mid-1910s, when Fairbanks toplined a series of light, modern-day comedies in which he was cast as the embodiment of the enterprising, 20th century “all-American.” What this particular go-getter got was screen queen Mary Pickford as his wife and United Artists as his studio, which he co-founded with Pickford, D.W. Griffith, and Charles Chaplin. Now, although Jr. never had the following of Sr., he did enjoy a solid two-decade-plus movie career. In fact, he was one of the few children of major film stars – e.g., Jane Fonda, Liza Minnelli, Angelina Jolie, Michael Douglas, Jamie Lee Curtis – who had successful film careers of their own. »

- Andre Soares

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Oscar-Nominated Film Series: 'Devil' Movie Questions Definition of Madness

10 May 2015 9:51 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

'The Devil Strikes at Night,' with Mario Adorf as World War II era serial killer Bruno Lüdke 'The Devil Strikes at Night' movie review: Serial killing vs. mass murder in unsubtle but intriguing World War II political drama After more than a decade in Hollywood, German director Robert Siodmak (Academy Award nominated for the 1946 film noir The Killers) resumed his European career in the mid-1950s. In 1957, he directed The Devil Strikes at Night / Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam, an intriguing, well-crafted crime drama about the pursuit of a serial killer – and its political consequences – during the last months of the mass-murderous Nazi regime. Inspired by real events, The Devil Strikes at Night begins as war-scarred Hamburg is deeply shaken by the horrific murder of a waitress. Through the Homicide Bureau, inspector Axel Kersten (Claus Holm) begins an investigation that leads him to a mentally disabled laborer, »

- Andre Soares

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Every Best Picture Oscar Winner, Ranked From Worst to Best

6 May 2015 6:00 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."

The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »

- Gary Susman

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‘The Dark Mirror’ is a neat, if sometimes shaky, depiction of rival sisters

10 April 2015 3:00 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The Dark Mirror

Written by Nunnally Johnson

Directed by Robert Siodmak

U.S.A., 1946

A doctor is found murdered in his own condo one morning by the cleaning lady, a knife plunged into his heart. The police, led by the lively Lt. Stevenson (Thomas Mitchell), learn very soon of a possible suspect…or suspects. The recently departed had in fact proposed to a lovely looking girl named Terry Collins (Olivia de Havilland), presently the prime suspect in the investigation, that is, until Stevenson discovers the existence of her twin sister Ruth (de Havilland as well). Neither will reveal very much about who was where and doing what on the night of the murder, putting Stevenson in quite the pickle. Enter psychiatrist Scott Elliot (Lew Ayres), who has dedicated his academic and professional life to the study of twin siblings. He accepts to assist Stevenson by having private sessions with each sister individually. »

- Edgar Chaput

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Wright Was Earliest Surviving Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winner

15 March 2015 12:05 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Teresa Wright: Later years (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon.") Teresa Wright and Robert Anderson were divorced in 1978. They would remain friends in the ensuing years.[1] Wright spent most of the last decade of her life in Connecticut, making only sporadic public appearances. In 1998, she could be seen with her grandson, film producer Jonah Smith, at New York's Yankee Stadium, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch.[2] Wright also became involved in the Greater New York chapter of the Als Association. (The Pride of the Yankees subject, Lou Gehrig, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1941.) The week she turned 82 in October 2000, Wright attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Somewhere in Time, where she posed for pictures with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In March 2003, she was a guest at the 75th Academy Awards, in the segment showcasing Oscar-winning actors of the past. Two years later, »

- Andre Soares

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Wright and Goldwyn Have an Ugly Parting of the Ways; Brando (More or Less) Comes to the Rescue

11 March 2015 2:07 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Teresa Wright-Samuel Goldwyn association comes to a nasty end (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Film.") Whether or not because she was aware that Enchantment wasn't going to be the hit she needed – or perhaps some other disagreement with Samuel Goldwyn or personal issue with husband Niven BuschTeresa Wright, claiming illness, refused to go to New York City to promote the film. (Top image: Teresa Wright in a publicity shot for The Men.) Goldwyn had previously announced that Wright, whose contract still had another four and half years to run, was to star in a film version of J.D. Salinger's 1948 short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut." Instead, he unceremoniously – and quite publicly – fired her.[1] The Goldwyn organization issued a statement, explaining that besides refusing the assignment to travel to New York to help generate pre-opening publicity for Enchantment, »

- Andre Soares

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Remembering Actress Wright: Made Oscar History in Unmatched Feat to This Day

4 March 2015 9:02 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Teresa Wright movies: Actress made Oscar history Teresa Wright, best remembered for her Oscar-winning performance in the World War II melodrama Mrs. Miniver and for her deceptively fragile, small-town heroine in Alfred Hitchcock's mystery-drama Shadow of a Doubt, died at age 86 ten years ago – on March 6, 2005. Throughout her nearly six-decade show business career, Wright was featured in nearly 30 films, dozens of television series and made-for-tv movies, and a whole array of stage productions. On the big screen, she played opposite some of the most important stars of the '40s and '50s. It's a long list, including Bette Davis, Greer Garson, Gary Cooper, Myrna Loy, Ray Milland, Fredric March, Jean Simmons, Marlon Brando, Dana Andrews, Lew Ayres, Cornel Wilde, Robert Mitchum, Spencer Tracy, Joseph Cotten, and David Niven. Also of note, Teresa Wright made Oscar history in the early '40s, when she was nominated for each of her first three movie roles. »

- Andre Soares

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2007

12 items from 2015


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