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15 items from 2013


Tough Dame Totter Dead at 95: One of the Last Surviving Stars of Hollywood Noirs

15 December 2013 1:12 AM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Femme fatale Audrey Totter: Film noir actress and MGM leading lady dead at 95 (photo: Audrey Totter ca. 1947) Audrey Totter, film noir femme fatale and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player best remembered for the mystery crime drama Lady in the Lake and, at Rko, the hard-hitting boxing drama The Set-Up, died after suffering a stroke and congestive heart failure on Thursday, December 12, 2013, at West Hills Hospital in Los Angeles County. Reportedly a resident at the Motion Picture and Television Home in Woodland Hills, Audrey Totter would have turned 96 on Dec. 20. Born in Joliet, Illinois, Audrey Totter began her show business career on radio. She landed an MGM contract in the mid-’40s, playing bit roles in several of the studio’s productions, e.g., the Clark Gable-Greer Garson pairing Adventure (1945), the Hedy Lamarr-Robert Walker-June Allyson threesome Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945), and, as an adventurous hitchhiker riding with John Garfield, »

- Andre Soares

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Gwtw Screen Legend Would Have Turned 100 Years Old Today

5 November 2013 7:53 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Vivien Leigh: Legendary ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ star would have turned 100 today Vivien Leigh was perhaps the greatest film star that hardly ever was. What I mean is that following her starring role in the 1939 Civil War blockbuster Gone with the Wind, Leigh was featured in a mere eight* movies over the course of the next 25 years. The theater world’s gain — she was kept busy on the London stage — was the film world’s loss. But even if Leigh had starred in only two movies — Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire — that would have been enough to make her a screen legend; one who would have turned 100 years old today, November 5, 2013. (Photo: Vivien Leigh ca. 1940.) Vivien Leigh (born Vivian Mary Hartley to British parents in Darjeeling, India) began her film career in the mid-’30s, playing bit roles in British »

- Andre Soares

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Thn HalloweenFest Day 30: Suspiria

30 October 2013 8:30 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

‘Hell is behind that door! You’re going to meet death now… the living dead!’

Director: Dario Argento

Cast: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Joan Bennett

Plot: Suzy’s the new girl at a prestigious European ballet school, however her arrival coincides with the gruesome murder of one of the dancers. Determined to investigate the increasingly horrific events, she starts to believe a coven of witches is responsible…

The first time I saw Suspiria (1977) I was a little hesitant: dodgy dubbing, a slightly cheesy European look and acting that’s definitely on the wrong side of hammy. But by the time the opening sequence had ended in a blood splattered saturnalia of nastiness I realised I was, in fact, watching pure horror genius. Suspiria is the celluloid nasty you just can’t get out of your head. The vivid and garish colour palette of bright reds, blues and greens, »

- Claire Joanne Huxham

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‘The Scar’ accomplishes what little it can with a hollow script

4 October 2013 7:45 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The Scar 

Written by Daniel Fuchs

Directed by Steve Sekely

USA, 1948

It can be quite strange how an original idea conjured up at the outset of a new project can go awry. A clever concept is one thing, but building a cohesive, interesting story around it is a much taller challenge. A good, imaginative story, when mishandled by creative team members not on the same page, can sour very quickly, the fate nearly suffered by the 1948 noir The Scar, also known as Hollow Triumph in the United Kingdom upon its theatrical release.

John Muller (Paul Henreid), a brilliant man who studied psychology and all ailments afflicting the mind, has been released from prison after serving a term for practicing without a license with a job opportunity at a medical supplies company. From the moment he walks out of the prison’s walls, John concocts a heist that will land himself »

- Edgar Chaput

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15 August 2013 5:59 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Gregory Peck from ‘Duel in the Sun’ to ‘How the West Was Won’: TCM schedule (Pt) on August 15 (photo: Gregory Peck in ‘Duel in the Sun’) See previous post: “Gregory Peck Movies: Memorable Miscasting Tonight on Turner Classic Movies.” 3:00 Am Days Of Glory (1944). Director: Jacques Tourneur. Cast: Gregory Peck, Lowell Gilmore, Maria Palmer. Bw-86 mins. 4:30 Am Pork Chop Hill (1959). Director: Lewis Milestone. Cast: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn. Bw-98 mins. Letterbox Format. 6:15 Am The Valley Of Decision (1945). Director: Tay Garnett. Cast: Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp. Bw-119 mins. 8:15 Am Spellbound (1945). Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming, Bill Goodwin, Norman Lloyd, Steve Geray, John Emery, Donald Curtis, Art Baker, Wallace Ford, Regis Toomey, Paul Harvey, Jean Acker, Irving Bacon, Jacqueline deWit, Edward Fielding, Matt Moore, Addison Richards, Erskine Sanford, Constance Purdy. Bw-111 mins. 10:15 Am Designing Woman (1957). Director: Vincente Minnelli. »

- Andre Soares

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Watch Peck at His Worst: Unforgettable

15 August 2013 5:58 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Gregory Peck movies: Memorable miscasting in David O. Selznick’s Western Gregory Peck is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 15, 2013. TCM is currently showing Raoul Walsh’s good-looking but not too exciting Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), with Peck in the title role and Virginia Mayo as his leading lady. (See “Gregory Peck in ‘Duel in the Sun’: TCM movie schedule.”) (Photo: Gregory Peck ca. 1950.) Next in line is Zoltan Korda’s crime melodrama The Macomber Affair (1947), based on a story by Ernest Hemingway about a troubled married couple and their safari guide. This is another good-looking film — black-and-white cinematography by veteran Karl Struss, whose credits ranged from the 1920 Gloria Swanson melo Something to Think About to Charles Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. Unfortunately, the psychology, the romance, and some of the acting found in The Macomber Affair is — at best — superficial. Joan Bennett and Gregory Peck look great, »

- Andre Soares

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All-American Dad at His Movie Best as the All-American Crook

7 August 2013 5:30 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Fred MacMurray movies: ‘Double Indemnity,’ ‘There’s Always Tomorrow’ Fred MacMurray is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" today, Thursday, August 7, 2013. Although perhaps best remembered as the insufferable All-American Dad on the long-running TV show My Three Sons and in several highly popular Disney movies from 1959 to 1967, e.g., The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Boy Voyage!, MacMurray was immeasurably more interesting as the All-American Jerk. (Photo: Fred MacMurray ca. 1940.) Someone once wrote that Fred MacMurray would have been an ideal choice to star in a biopic of disgraced Republican president Richard Nixon. Who knows, the (coincidentally Republican) MacMurray might have given Anthony Hopkins a run for his Best Actor Academy Award nomination. After all, MacMurray’s most admired movie performances are those in which he plays a scheming, conniving asshole: Billy Wilder’s classic film noir Double Indemnity (1944), in which he’s seduced by Barbara Stanwyck, and Wilder »

- Andre Soares

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Sirk Offers Gaudy Social Commentaries: You'll Laugh, You'll Cry, You'll Remember

31 July 2013 8:02 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Douglas Sirk movies: ‘Imitation of Life,’ ‘Written on the Wind’ (photo: Lana Turner, Juanita Moore, Karin Dicker in ‘Imitation of Life’) Douglas Sirk is Turner Classic Movies’ Director of the Evening. The German-born (April 26, 1897, in Hamburg) filmmaker has developed a cult following in recent decades after his "women’s pictures" were reappraised by some critics as works of profound social criticism filled with auteuristic touches. Why it would take years (or decades) for people to realize the obvious is a little mind-boggling, until you remember that movies about women and their issues have been, for the most part, relegated to the sidelines. A stupid prejudice that continues to this very day. My statement, by the way, has nothing to do with yikesy political correctness; if you don’t believe me, just check out the Best Picture Academy Award winners or Palme d’Or winners or Golden Lion winners or Golden »

- Andre Soares

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Dracula Actress Turns 103; Grandson Directed Different Kind of Vampire Movie (Think Twilight)

29 July 2013 1:14 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Lupita Tovar turns 103: Actress starred in Spanish-language ‘Dracula’ and in the first Mexican talkie, ‘Santa’ (photo: Lupita Tovar in ‘Santa’) Mexican actress Lupita Tovar, best remembered for the Spanish-language version of Dracula and for starring in the first Mexican talkie, Santa, turned 103 years old on Sunday, July 27, 2013. Tovar was born in 1910 in the city of Oaxaca, the capital of the Mexican state of the same name. In an interview with author Michael G. Ankerich (Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips) published on Ankerich’s site Close-ups and Long Shots, Tovar recalled her brief foray as a silent film actress at Fox (several years before it became 20th Century Fox): "Silent films were wonderful because you didn’t have to worry about your dialogue. You could say whatever you felt. We had music on the set all the time. It was absolutely wonderful." Unfortunately for Tovar, whose English was quite poor, »

- Andre Soares

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Casablanca Hero Goes Villainous in Film Noir The Scar

16 July 2013 7:39 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Paul Henreid: Hollow Triumph aka The Scar tonight Turner Classic Movies’ Paul Henreid film series continues this Tuesday evening, July 16, 2013. Of tonight’s movies, the most interesting offering is Hollow Triumph / The Scar, a 1948 B thriller adapted by Daniel Fuchs (Panic in the Streets, Love Me or Leave Me) from Murray Forbes’ novel, and in which the gentlemanly Henreid was cast against type: a crook who, in an attempt to escape from other (and more dangerous) crooks, impersonates a psychiatrist with a scar on his chin. Joan Bennett, mostly wasted in a non-role, is Henreid’s leading lady. (See also: “One Paul Henreid, Two Cigarettes, Four Bette Davis-es.”) The thriller’s director is Hungarian import Steve Sekely, whose Hollywood career consisted chiefly of minor B fare. In fact, though hardly a great effort, Hollow Triumph was probably the apex of Sekely’s cinematic output in terms of prestige »

- Andre Soares

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Tonight: Casablanca Hero Goes from Schumann to Ziegfeld to Vegas

2 July 2013 7:13 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Paul Henreid: Actor was ‘dependable’ leading man to Hollywood actresses Paul Henreid, best known as the man who wins Ingrid Bergman’s body but not her heart in Casablanca, is Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of July 2013. TCM will be showing a couple of dozen movies featuring Henreid, who, though never a top star, was a "dependable" — i.e., unexciting but available — leading man to a number of top Hollywood actresses of the ’40s, among them Bette Davis, Ida Lupino, Olivia de Havilland, Eleanor Parker, Joan Bennett, and Katharine Hepburn. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of Paul Henreid movies to be shown on Turner Classic Movies in July consists of Warner Bros. productions that are frequently broadcast all year long, no matter who is TCM’s Star of the Month. Just as unfortunately, TCM will not present any of Henreid’s little-seen supporting performances of the ’30s, e. »

- Andre Soares

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Film Review: ‘Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie’

9 June 2013 7:08 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Exactly the sort of figure presaged by “Network,” Morton Downey Jr., with his unique blend of bullying, liberal-baiting politics and Barnum-like eye for the human circus, turned his latenight New York talkshow into syndicated TV’s most attention-getting sideshow. Now Downey’s brief but influential moment in the spotlight is the subject of “Evocateur,” an entertaining, affectionate docu created by three self-professed fanboys, which proves as nostalgic for the host himself as for a bygone broadcast era, before the reality-tv explosion allowed the inmates to fully take over the asylum. Solid reviews and fest pedigree should draw the Downey faithful and assorted other media gadflies to this day-and-date Magnolia release.

As New York and New Jersey high schoolers in the 1980s, co-directors Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger never actually made it to a taping of “The Morton Downey Jr. Show,” but various friends and friends of friends did, »

- Scott Foundas

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Criterion Collection: Ministry of Fear | Blu-ray Review

19 March 2013 8:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Fritz Lang aficionados can rejoice this month with Criterion’s release of his 1944 title, Ministry of Fear, the first time it sees a DVD transfer. Long regarded as a minor entry in Lang’s prestigious filmography, the last of a successive trio of anti-Nazi themed films from the German émigré is finally available for rediscovery. Though it may never escape its current status in the pantheon of its director’s legacy, it certainly stands out as an oddly constructed creature, a fussy war time noir whose sinister narrative is occluded by a stagnant paranoia that stirs the proceedings into a twisty nightmare.

Stephen Neale (Ray Milland) has just been released from Embridge Asylum in England while World War II rages on. He’s been put away for two years and insistently plans on traveling directly to London, even though it’s being bombed continuously. On the way there, he innocently stops at a village fair, »

- Nicholas Bell

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Clip joint: The top five 'meet cutes'

23 January 2013 9:36 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A 'meet cute' is a plot device enabling the first meeting of a film's romantic lead characters. The rest, dear viewer, is history

Each week one reader offers up five of their favourite film clips on a subject of their choosing – and we ask you to tell us what other movie scenes should have been included. This week's is from john Carvill, who previously wrote a clip joint on taking the train.

If you've got an idea for a future clip joint, email adam.boult@guardian.co.uk.

The 'meet cute' is Hollywood screenwriters' name for a standard plot device in which a couple meet in a way that's charming, ironic, or just generally amusing.

Golden age film-makers such as Billy Wilder used to stockpile ideas for meet cutes, and Wilder was sufficiently adept at dreaming them up that he talked his way out of studio objections to his idea »

- Guardian readers

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Lynne Ramsay, Andrzej Zulawski & Yorgos Lanthimos: Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2014

8 January 2013 2:00 PM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

11. Zama – Dir. Lucretia Martel

Why This Makes Top 10: At number eleven we have Argentinean filmmaker Lucretia Martel’s latest film, her first since 2008’s The Headless Woman (a film that critics were slow to warm to, but ended up being on many a best end of year list in 2008/2009). Previous titles include her stunning debut, 2001’s La Cienega, along with 2004’s The Holy Girl. Her latest is a period piece based on the novel by Antonio de Benedetto and will be produced by Lita Stantic, El Deseo (the Almodovar Bros’ company), as well as a still to be named French producer. Martel is one of the most prolific names to come out the New Argentinean Wave and this looks to be a massively mounted period piece we’re eager to get a look at.

The Gist: Written in 1956, Zama is an existential novel about Don Diego de Zama, a »

- Nicholas Bell

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

15 items from 2013


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