20 items from 2015
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
Debbie Reynolds ca. early 1950s. Debbie Reynolds movies: Oscar nominee for 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown,' sweetness and light in phony 'The Singing Nun' Debbie Reynolds is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 23, '15. An MGM contract player from 1950 to 1959, Reynolds' movies can be seen just about every week on TCM. The only premiere on Debbie Reynolds Day is Jerry Paris' lively marital comedy How Sweet It Is (1968), costarring James Garner. This evening, TCM is showing Divorce American Style, The Catered Affair, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and The Singing Nun. 'Divorce American Style,' 'The Catered Affair' Directed by the recently deceased Bud Yorkin, Divorce American Style (1967) is notable for its cast – Reynolds, Dick Van Dyke, Jean Simmons, Jason Robards, Van Johnson, Lee Grant – and for the fact that it earned Norman Lear (screenplay) and Robert Kaufman (story) a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award nomination. »
- Andre Soares
I don't keep a running list of all the people I have or haven't interviewed over the last 17 years. I think my first official Ain't It Cool interview was either with Brad Bird or maybe Neil Gaiman. Or was it Kevin Spacey? I have memories of many of the interviews I've done. Specific questions or reactions. But as many things as I remember, I'll bet I've forgotten five times more things, simply because of the sheer volume of all of the interviews I've done. There are people I know I've never spoken with, though, because if I had, those memories would not fade. And one of the people that I have always wanted to meet and talk to about their work was Lily Tomlin. I say "was" because as of last Friday, she is no longer on my "to do" list. We sat down to talk about her new film, »
- Drew McWeeny
Patricia Neal ca. 1950. Patricia Neal movies: 'The Day the Earth Stood Still,' 'A Face in the Crowd' Back in 1949, few would have predicted that Gary Cooper's leading lady in King Vidor's The Fountainhead would go on to win a Best Actress Academy Award 15 years later. Patricia Neal was one of those performers – e.g., Jean Arthur, Anne Bancroft – whose film career didn't start out all that well, but who, by way of Broadway, managed to both revive and magnify their Hollywood stardom. As part of its “Summer Under the Stars” series, Turner Classic Movies is dedicating Sunday, Aug. 16, '15, to Patricia Neal. This evening, TCM is showing three of her best-known films, in addition to one TCM premiere and an unusual latter-day entry. 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' Robert Wise was hardly a genre director. A former editor (Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons »
- Andre Soares
A trash-talking French granny gradually warms to the world, thanks to the mellowing effects of marijuana in “Paulette.” Mind you, the bitter old spinster never smokes the stuff herself, but instead becomes the neighborhood’s unlikeliest new dealer in this French box office sensation, which finally arrives Stateside fully two years after the death of its leading lady, Bernadette Lafont. While the film is too simple-minded to take seriously, the pleasure of seeing an upstanding actress like Lafont (a New Wave fixture who made nine films with Claude Chabrol) deliver such a surprising role at the end of her career should work in any language — though the right American audience would sooner see it sans subtitles, and ideally with someone like Julie Andrews or Anne Bancroft in the role.
Following a home-movie opening-credits sequence that recalls happier days in Paulette’s life, the script immediately makes clear that the once-happy »
- Peter Debruge
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
By Mike Thomas
Today we have the honor to speak with a very versatile performer. Fearless, she is adept in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes. She’s done shocking films, like Circus of the Dead, as well as cerebral projects like her Award-Winning Phoenix Song. We are honored to talk to Kristin West.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us.
Mh: You have such an innocent face. How did you get connected with horror?
Kristin: Many of my opportunities have been in horror and as my mother always says, “Walk through the open door.” As to having an “innocent face,” I’ve been told that before and it always makes me chuckle. I’ve been called angel-faced, baby-faced, and cherubic—but then some find my eyes a bit sinister. I like playing with that.
Mh: What drew you to horror? »
- Mike Thomas
'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' poster. With Daniel Radcliffe. Rupert Grint. Emma Watson. 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' quiz question: Does state-of-the-art CGI equal movie magic? (Oscar Movie Series) Alfonso Cuarón seems like an odd choice for director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third installment in the Harry Potter movie series. That is, if one thinks only of Cuarón's pre-Harry Potter sleeper hit, the François Truffaut-esque Y tu mamá también, while ignoring two of his earlier efforts, the critically acclaimed A Little Princess and the moderately respected Great Expectations. This time around, working with a reported $130 million budget (approx. $163 million in 2015), state-of-the-art special effects, and the Harry Potter franchise, Cuarón surely could do no wrong. At the box office, that is. For although Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is stylistically superior to Chris Columbus' previous work in the series, »
- Andre Soares
By Alex Simon
There are few rituals in life more chaotic, confounding and magical than the wedding. Appropriately, marriages have provided the backdrop for many a story spun through the ages. Whether it’s sending out multitudes of wedding invitations, choosing the right dress, or whether to seat Aunt Mabel next to her second or fifth ex-husband at the reception, weddings both in life and on film are almost always guaranteed to bring forth a surge of emotions. Below are a few of our favorite cinematic nuptials:
1. The Searchers (1956)
John Ford’s western masterpiece is full of many iconic moments, not the least of which is one of the screen’s greatest knock-down, drag-out fights between Jeffrey Hunter and Ken Curtis for the hand of comely Vera Miles. Martin Scorsese loved this scene so much, he paid homage by having his characters watch it in Mean Streets (1973).
- The Hollywood Interview.com
By the end of the 2000s, getting number one at the American box office was a valuable marketing commodity. As such, studios pumped more and more money into making sure they at least had a great opening weekend for their product.
The consequence of this was that it was harder and harder for smaller and quirkier films to take a brief spot in the sun. Certainly towards the second half of the decade, it seems that the number one movie each week was pre-ordinained in a marketing meeting somewhere.
Still, there were some films that have since fallen out of public view that clawed their way to number one. How many of these do you remember?
January 2000, one week
Based on Marc Behm's book of the same name, »
Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic Bale at the Oscars Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic on the Academy Awards' Red Carpet Eventual Best Supporting Actor winner Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic Bale are seen above on the Red Carpet of the 83rd Academy Awards, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Welsh-born Bale took home the Oscar statuette for his performance as a boxer turned coach and junkie in David O. Russell's boxing drama and sleeper hit The Fighter. His co-stars were Mark Wahlberg (who also co-produced the film), Best Supporting Actress winner Melissa Leo, and Best Supporting Actress nominee Amy Adams. Christian Bale movies The Fighter was Christian Bale's first Academy Award nomination. Among his other movie credits are: The Dark Knight (2008). Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Christian Bale. Heath Ledger. Maggie Gyllenhaal. Aaron Eckhart. The Prestige (2006). Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Hugh Jackman. »
- D. Zhea
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. 1977 is the greatest year in film history. I'm positive. Why? It's the year that made you believe giant blockbusters could bring you state-of-the-art science fiction, modern (and enduring) takes on romance, compelling heroes, and a shrewd understanding of real people. It's the year that put us in touch with our most superheroic and most sentimental qualities, and that range alone is worth honoring. '77 is the year that gave us "Star Wars." I could go on about why that's a great movie, or we could just understand that every sci-fi blockbuster since "Star Wars" has had to deal with belittling comparisons to the greatness of "Star Wars." Sure, there've been other blockbusters with grandeur and special effects galore, but did they have C3PO's charisma? »
- Louis Virtel
“Oh no, Mrs. Robinson. I think, I think you’re the most attractive of all my parents’ friends. I mean that!”
The Graduate will screen at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium Friday April 17th at 7:30pm.
The Graduate (1967), director Mike Nichols’ second feature after he debuted with Who’S Afraid Of Virginia Wolf? (1966), is still a delightful classic and a nostalgic piece of its time, to say the least. Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman, 30 years old at the time, convincingly playing someone a decade his junior) is fresh out of college, and comes back to his rich parents’ house in a California suburb. Bored and undecided about what to do with his life, Benjamin is seduced by a friend of the family, middle-aged Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft, who was actually only 36). When Mrs. Robinson’s daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross) shows up, Benjamin is forced to take her on a date. »
- Tom Stockman
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. 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. 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
Human beings and their affectionate vibes are something special. After all, we as individuals are going to love who we feel are worth loving. However, society demands that the protocol of loving should be straight-forward and “natural”. The rule of thumb: stick to your own kind! Whether it is being loyal to your own kind racially or culturally or either with your own age range the expectation of romance is defined…do not make waves and keep things safe and mainstream!
Well, human beings can be also unpredictable and live for going against the grain especially certain characters and personalities in the movies. Love and romance make for great film fodder but when the notion of such on-screen amorous activities takes its theme to a whole new challenging level then the gloves are off!
In Stop in the Name of Love: Top Ten Forbidden Romances in the Movies we will »
- Frank Ochieng
Teresa Wright and Matt Damon in 'The Rainmaker' Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright vs. Samuel Goldwyn: Nasty Falling Out.") "I'd rather have luck than brains!" Teresa Wright was quoted as saying in the early 1950s. That's understandable, considering her post-Samuel Goldwyn choice of movie roles, some of which may have seemed promising on paper. Wright was Marlon Brando's first Hollywood leading lady, but that didn't help her to bounce back following the very public spat with her former boss. After all, The Men was released before Elia Kazan's film version of A Streetcar Named Desire turned Brando into a major international star. Chances are that good film offers were scarce. After Wright's brief 1950 comeback, for the third time in less than a decade she would be gone from the big screen for more than a year. »
- Andre Soares
How do you solve a problem like Maria? For the producers of The Sound of Music, which hit theaters fifty years ago this week, the solution turned out to be Julie Andrews. Other actresses were considered for the part of the free-spirited nanny whose effervescence overcomes not only the grumpiness of Captain von Trapp but also the tyranny of the Nazis. Among those rumored to have been in the running for the role were Grace Kelly, Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn and Anne Bancroft. But in the end, even the producers who wanted a bigger, more marquee-friendly name agreed that Maria should be played by Andrews. »
- Drew Mackie, @drewgmackie
The Oscars sum up Hollywood quite tidily: The most popular people get together to find out who has been selected as being especially notable, and then everyone claps. If you're the type who likes attention - and let's face it, most who excel in Hollywood do - getting that moment onstage is a dream come true. Every now and then, however, an Oscar winner isn't present to receive his or her statuette. It's Hollywood heresy - the thought that someone would have somewhere more important to be than onstage, receiving applause. But it happens, and when it does, there's usually a good story behind it. »
- Drew Mackie, @drewgmackie
The Oscars are less than 96 hours away, so you only have a limited amount of time to brag about your insane knowledge of Academy Awards history. Ready for a brutal 21-question foray into Oscar's grisly past? Let's roll. (We give you the questions on the first page. Jot down your responses, then check the answers, along with the accompanying questions, on the next page. The videos embedded here aren't related to the questions. They're just fun!) 1. What ‘90s Best Actor winner gave the shortest onscreen performance ever nominated (and therefore awarded) in that category? This is measured by total minutes and seconds spent onscreen. 2. The first (and so far only) black female nominee in the Best Original Screenplay category was a co-writer of what biopic released in the 1970s? 3. From 1937 to 1945, the Academy guaranteed nominations in one particular category to any studio that submitted a qualifiable entry. What was the category? »
- Louis Virtel
30. Apollo 13 (1995)
Lost to: Braveheart
In 1995, director Ron Howard brought a true life story of hope in the face of peril and started sweeping up awards. He won the Directors Guild Award. He won the Producers Guild Award. He won the Screen Actors Guild Ensemble Award. He lost the Golden Globe Drama to “Sense and Sensibility,” though he was nominated. Nothing could beat “Apollo 13.” Oscar night came and the Academy decided to hand the award to Mel Gibson’s historical epic about William Wallace, whose only precursor award was a surprise directing win at the Golden Globes. I’m not saying “Apollo 13″ is a greater film than “Braveheart.” It’s just proof that even the mighty may fall if a charismatic actor/director is at the helm.
29. L.A. Confidential (1997)
Lost to: Titanic
- Joshua Gaul
20 items from 2015
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