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1-20 of 33 items from 2012   « Prev | Next »


Blu-ray Review: Criterion Releases Controversial ‘Heaven’s Gate’

14 December 2012 6:57 AM, PST | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – Michael Cimino’s “Heaven’s Gate” remains one of the most controversial films of the modern age. Some would go as far as to say that the film’s financial failure in 1980 ushered in an era of studio control in that decade that killed the American auteur movement of the ’60s and ’70s that so redefined the form. It’s not much of a stretch given the historical reputation of a movie that got out of control in the hands of a director who couldn’t manage his own vision. Or is history wrong? Is it an underappreciated classic? Check out the gorgeous new Criterion Blu-ray and decide for yourself.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

The truth is that “Heaven’s Gate” is nowhere near the disaster that the history books would have you believe. It’s also not exactly the artistic success that its studio wanted in 1980 from the director of the Oscar-winning “The Deer Hunter. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Blu-ray Review: Stunning Restorations in ‘Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection’

26 November 2012 10:55 AM, PST | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – Seeing Kim Novak’s first appearance in “Vertigo,” that stunning shot of a green dress in a sea of black suits at Ernie’s, is something that every movie fan should experience in HD. And now they can on one of the fifteen discs included in the glorious “Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection,” the Blu-ray release of 2012.

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Spanning four decades of the career of arguably the best filmmaker of all time, this is a glorious Blu-ray release, the kind of set that serves as a centerpiece for a true movie fan’s entire collection. You may have heard that early editions of this set included a few notable problems (bad color mixes on some films and font issues on others) but those have been corrected and to this Hitchcock fan’s eyes, the films have never looked better.

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection was released on »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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100 + Greatest Horror Movies (pt.4) 75-51

25 October 2012 6:15 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Throughout the month of October, Editor-in-Chief and resident Horror expert Ricky D, will be posting a list of his favorite Horror films of all time. The list will be posted in six parts. Click here to see every entry.

As with all lists, this is personal and nobody will agree with every choice – and if you do, that would be incredibly disturbing. It was almost impossible for me to rank them in order, but I tried and eventually gave up.

****

Special Mention:

American Psycho

Directed by Mary Harrron

Written by Mary Harron

2000, USA

Bret Easton Ellis’s dark and violent satire of America in the 1980s was brought to the big screen by director Mary Harron. Initially slapped with the MPAA’s kiss of death (an Nc-17 rating), American Psycho was later re-edited and reduced to a more commercially dependable “R”. Perhaps the film works best as a slick satire about misogyny, »

- Ricky

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10 great Alfred Hitchcock movies: 'North by Northwest,' 'Psycho,' 'Vertigo' and more

20 October 2012 11:00 AM, PDT | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

"Saboteur" (1942): Basically a spy story, this fast-paced effort culminates in one of director Hitchcock's most memorable endings, putting heroic Robert Cummings and not-so-heroic Norman Lloyd atop the Statue of Liberty.

"Shadow of a Doubt" (1943): Joseph Cotten is wonderfully creepy as an apparent bon vivant suspected of murder by a young relative (Teresa Wright).

"Strangers on a Train" (1951): Two travelers (Farley Granger, Robert Walker) make a pact to get rid of someone for the other person in a tale that's been retold in numerous variations.

"Rear Window" (1954): The production design is a star of this great thriller that keeps a light touch, as an apartment dweller (James Stewart) waylaid by a broken leg thinks he spies a neighbor (Raymond Burr) committing murder.

"To Catch a Thief" (1955): Romantic sparks between Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, lovely French Riviera locales, and a fanciful cat-burglar story add up to viewing enjoyment. »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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My favourite Hitchcock: Shadow of a Doubt

15 August 2012 2:15 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

As the My favourite Hitchcock series continues, we asked members of the guardian.co.uk/film community to tell us about their preferred films from the master of suspense. Today's contribution is from Dallas King, who blogs about film at Championship Celluloid

Alfred Hitchcock has exploited our fear of heights and made us afraid to take a shower, but in his own personal favourite film he was at his most manipulative, making us afraid of our own family.

The horror genre has travelled from the gothic castles of Transylvania in Dracula to the threat from outer space in The Thing from Another World and Invasion of the Body Snatchers until Hitchcock brought it back inside the home with Psycho in 1960.

Yet it could be argued that it had been hiding there all along, behind closed doors, since Shadow of a Doubt in 1943.

Young Charlie (played by Teresa Wright) lives with »

- Guardian readers

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My favourite Hitchcock: Under Capricorn

14 August 2012 3:04 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

As the My Favourite Hitchcock series continues, we asked members of the guardian.co.uk/film community to tell us about their preferred films from the master of suspense. Today's contribution is from Joe Walsh, who writes about film at Little White Lies, CineVue and New Empress. Follow Joe on Twitter

Historical romances are not what audiences traditionally associate with Alfred Hitchcock. Yet in 1949, after returning from America, this was the story he decided to tell – although it almost never saw the light of day. If Under Capricorn is not Hitch's crowning glory, it is undeniably his most underrated film.

The story opens as the new governor of New South Wales arrives in Australia with his dandy relative Charles Adare, played with a deliciously camp swagger by Michael Wilding. In an attempt to find his fortune, Adare meets the roguish Sam Flusky (Joseph Cotten). He is married to Charles's childhood friend Lady Henrietta, »

- Guardian readers

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‘Heaven’s Gate’ Comes Back With Venice Presentation and Likely Criterion Release

26 July 2012 7:00 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

In the long, sordid history of Hollywood studios, few stories carry quite as much horror as the production of Heaven’s Gate. This could easily turn into its own article, so let’s give the shorter version: Director Michael Cimino had just won Best Director for his hard-nosed Vietnam classic, The Deer Hunter, and was finally enabled with the sort of clout that could let him make a long-delayed passion project.

Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Jeff Bridges, Isabelle Huppert, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Joseph Cotten, Terry O’Quinn, and even a young Willem Dafoe all signed for Heaven’s Gate, who all partook in a shoot that lasted nearly a year, collected about 220 hours of footage, cost tens of millions of dollars, killed a lot of horses, bankrupted United Artists, and resulted in a movie nobody went to see. (Despite a four-minute scene wherein characters roller skate while someone, also on roller skates, »

- jpraup@gmail.com (thefilmstage.com)

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The ‘Blue Velvet’ Project, #140

18 July 2012 11:28 AM, PDT | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

“I’m gonna let them find you on their own,” Jeffrey quietly says to himself, invoking Frank, who will appear again in a few minutes. Turning away from the camera, his ear might actually hear the song on the soundtrack, Ketty Lester’s version of “Love Letters,” released as a single in 1961:

The song was written in 1945 by Victor Young and Edward Heyman, and appeared in the film Love Letters, which starred Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten. Adapted by none other than Ayn Rand (“People should be able to build what they want to build, when they want to build it, how they want to build it,” Lynch said in 2001) from the novel Pity My Simplicity, the trailer suggests Freud Gone Wild: “Buried within these bleak, forbidding walls were haunting memories, memories of violence and disaster.” Of her adaptation of the film, Rand wrote to a friend:

You want »

- Nicholas Rombes

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Movies This Week: July 13 - 19, 2012

13 July 2012 11:30 AM, PDT | Slackerwood | See recent Slackerwood news »

The crowds have amassed in San Diego for the largest annual gathering of comic and film fans known as Comic-Con. I envy our pals who make the trek where once-in-a-lifetime magic happens, including musical performances from The Guild cast members or the appearance of the filmmakers and the entire cast of Firefly and Serenity -- more precisely, Ut graduate Felicia Day (The Guild, Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog), Joss Whedon, and Nathan Fillion. Reports have already come out of San Diego of Whedon and Day dancing with fans.

Fellow fans can experience Comic-Con 2012 through the coverage from Spill.com and Film School Rejects. I'm loving the weekly videos from Ain't It Cool News Harry Knowles's basement, and this week Harry shares his Comic-Com film panel preview.

Meanwhile in Austin, I'm really looking forward to a guilty pleasure of Blue Starlite's double feature on Saturday at 9 pm, of my all-time favorite Richard Linklater movie, »

- Debbie Cerda

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In Memory of Ernest Borgnine, 5 Living 90+ Year-Old Oscar Winners and Why They Rule

9 July 2012 10:59 AM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

I hate when legends pass away, and yesterday delivered us a toughy: Ernest Borgnine, who won the Best Actor Oscar for 1955's Marty (delivered by Miss Grace Kelly!) and charmed us on McHale's Navy, died at 95. Now the oldest living Best Actor is the noble and towering Sidney Poitier, who was born over 10 years after Borgnine. While our octagenarian Oscar winners deserve the utmost reverence, there's something downright superhuman about the nonagenarian awardees, if I do say so myself. Today, in honor of Borgnine, we're toasting five such winners who are alive, kicking, and ruling. Just start applauding now and don't stop until the end of the post.

1. Luise Rainer (aged 102)

Won: Best Actress (twice) for 1936's The Great Ziegfeld and 1937's The Good Earth

Why She Rules: Rainer is a German-Austrian actress who walked away with her first Oscar -- a Best Actress win in the first year Best »

- virtel

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The inventor of modern horror

16 June 2012 7:15 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The director's most powerful and abiding images can be traced back to his early work in silent movies, as the forthcoming season at London's British Film Institute makes clear

Cary Grant runs through a desolate cornfield, pursued by a crop duster overhead. Ingrid Bergman risks her life to go into a wine cellar, looking for a secret. Eva Marie Saint clambers over the faces of the American presidents at Mount Rushmore. Tippi Hedren is pecked at by mysteriously aggressive gulls. James Stewart watches helplessly from a window as Grace Kelly creeps into a murderer's apartment. Kim Novak drives through San Francisco in a trance-like state wearing a grey suit. Janet Leigh takes a shower at the Bates Motel and never comes out.

These movie images could only belong to one director: Alfred Hitchcock, who from the end of June until October is being celebrated in a definitive season at the British Film Institute in London. »

- Bee Wilson

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Olivia de Havilland: Back at Warner Bros.

5 June 2012 8:01 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Two-Time Oscar Winner: Olivia de Havilland vs. Warner Bros. Pt.3 [Olivia de Havilland picture: Irwin Allen's The Swarm.] Olivia de Havilland‘s second marriage was to journalist Pierre Galante in 1955. De Havilland moved to Paris, making only sporadic movie appearances (The Ambassador’s Daughter, Libel, The Proud Rebel, Light in the Piazza). None of those made much of an impact, whether with critics or at the box office, though Robert Aldrich’s over-the-top 1964 thriller Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte was a box-office hit. Co-starring de Havilland’s fellow Warner Bros. contract player Bette Davis, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte had de Havilland playing against type. Also in 1964, Walter Grauman’s Lady in a Cage gave de Havilland a good chance to display her acting skills as an invalid stuck in an elevator while terrorized by hoodlum James Caan and pals. In the ’70s, de Havilland made only a handful of films — Pope Joan, Airport ’77, The Swarm, The Fifth Musketeer — all in supporting roles. »

- Andre Soares

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Happy Birthday, Marilyn Monroe! Here are Her 5 Most Underrated Screen Moments

1 June 2012 6:49 AM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

Marilyn Monroe, born June 1, 1926

I spend a lot of time resenting popular opinion about female icons. For instance, I don't think Madonna is just a "business-smart chameleon": She's cooler than Michael Jackson, cannier than Prince, smarter than Elvis, and her very essence was more meaningful than most poet laureates' magnum opuses. So there. I don't think Grace Kelly was just a "living fairytale": She was a killer screen star with astonishing charisma in three Hitchcock movies -- and Mogambo. I reserve my strongest feelings for the woman who would've turned 86 today, Marilyn Monroe, since her continued pop culture presence is shallower and lamer than any icon before or since. Based on how popular she remains and how unpopular most of her filmography is, you'd think the reason her legacy lives on is because people figure one historical blonde has to be most famous, and it may as well »

- virtel

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Friday Noir: ‘The Third Man’ is morally ambiguous but unquestionably great

25 May 2012 10:09 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The Third Man

Directed by Carol Reed

Written by Graham Green

U.K, U.S.A., 1949

*This review will avoid some of the story’s major details

In the years immediately following the second World War, many of Europe’s countries were left in a pile of rubble, their economies destroyed, and their people still reeling from the all too real nightmare they had endured for 6 long years. Even some of Europe’s most historic, near-mythic cities had been the victim of intensive bombing or urban warfare, or both in the worst cases. Among said cities which were forced to endure a period of strenuous recovery was Austria’s capital, Vienna. Vienna was in an even greater political quagmire than Berlin. While the latter was occupied by two of WWII’s victorious nations, Vienna had four adoptive fathers, the British, the French, the United States and the Soviet Union. What greater setting, »

- Edgar Chaput

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Patricia Medina obituary

3 May 2012 6:47 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A spirited damsel in distress and a familiar face in postwar Hollywood films

Although the actor Patricia Medina, who has died aged 92, had a cut-glass English accent, her voluptuous Latin looks often prevented her from playing English characters. As her name suggests, she was half-Spanish, born in Liverpool, the daughter of a Spanish father – a lawyer and former opera singer – and an English mother.

Medina, who appeared in more than 50 feature films, many of them costume dramas, was seldom called upon to display much acting ability, though she was an unusually spirited damsel in distress. However, she used the one chance she had to work with a director of magnitude, Orson Welles, in Mr Arkadin (also known as Confidential Report, 1955), to show what she was capable of. As Mily, in this breathless, globetrotting film, she is an earthy nightclub dancer who attempts to seduce the amnesiac billionaire Welles. It was »

- Ronald Bergan

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Hollywood Actress Patricia Medina Dead at 92

2 May 2012 7:58 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

I remember her fondly as the villainess Lucretia in the outrageous Toho Sci-fi adventure Latitude Zero but Patricia Medina was an actress with a solid career and an impressive number of memorable credits who worked with Orson Welles (Mr. Arkadin) , Vincent Price (twice – Moss Rose and The Three Musketeers), Abbott and Costello (A&C In The Foreign Legion), Francis the Talking Mule (Francis), and the Three Stooges (Snow White And The Three Stooges). Voluptuous and exotic-looking with a deep sultry voice, the British-born Medina began her film career in 1937 and was married to actors Richard Greene and Joseph Cotton. Patricia Medina was 92

The La Times writes:

Patricia Medina, a British-born actress whose Hollywood career as a leading lady in the 1950s spanned the talking mule comedy “Francis” and Orson Welles‘ crime-thriller “Mr. Arkadin,” has died. She was 92.

Medina, the widow of actor Joseph Cotten, died Saturday at Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles, »

- Tom Stockman

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Actress Patricia Medina Dead At 92

2 May 2012 12:06 PM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Patricia Medina has died after a long battle with ill health at the age of 92.

She died at Barlow Respiratory Hospital on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

The British-born beauty began her acting career in England in the late 1930s and moved to Hollywood after marrying The Adventures of Robin Hood TV star Richard Greene.

Medina became a big star following leading roles opposite Fernando Lamas in Sangaree, Glenn Ford in Plunder of the Sun and Alan Ladd in Botany Bay.

Her additional film credits include Mr. Arkadin, Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion, Phantom of the Rue Morgue, Fortunes of Captain Blood, Lady in the Iron Mask, and The Lady and the Bandit.

In 1960, the actress married Citizen Kane star Joseph Cotten and two years later she made her Broadway debut opposite her new husband in Calculated Risk. »

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Patricia Medina: '50s film star dead at 92

2 May 2012 11:53 AM, PDT | Pop2it | See recent Pop2it news »

Patricia Medina, a British-born actress who entertained audiences in everything from "Francis" (the talking mule) to the Orson Welles crime thriller "Mr. Arkadin," is dead at 92.

The widow of frequent Welles co-star Joseph Cotten, Medina died Saturday in Los Angeles, close friend Meredith Silverbach tells the L.A. Times.

"She was a stunning woman," says Silverbach. "In her youth, they called her 'the most beautiful face in England.'"

Medina got her start in Hollywood with MGM, playing leads in movies like "Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion," "Plunder of the Sun" with Glenn Ford and "Phantom of the Rue Morgue" with Karl Malden. In 1960, she married Cotten -- then a widower -- and the two went on to star in several stage productions together.

"At myriad parties and industry events they were inseparable, among the most popular couples in town," wrote Upi reporter Vernon Scott in 2000. "They represented »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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Blood of the Vines: Touch Of Evil

26 April 2012 5:23 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Randy is touched. 

Orson Welles wrote, directed and co-starred in Touch of Evil in 1958, at the end of what might be considered film noir’s golden era.  It was right at the end of Welles’ golden era, too.  He had been packing on the pounds by this point in his career, and was also drinking too much.  In fact, the most exercise he got in the whole decade was a three-minute-twenty-second tracking shot

Welles’ massive girth in Touch of Evil is actually more the result of padding and makeup than actual weight gain, but it wouldn’t be long before he’d be doing his own stunts.  As spokesman for Paul Masson wines a decade or so later, he didn’t need the help of the makeup department to look like a guy who could put an all-you-can-eat buffet out of business.

Break out the Paul Masson for a “Cheers” to the lineup! »

- admin

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5 Things You May Not Know About 'The Third Man'

25 April 2012 7:03 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Thirty-six years ago today, on April 25th, 1976, filmmaker Carol Reed passed away. One of the greatest directors ever to come out of the U.K., Reed started out as an actor, but gained fame as a writer-director in the late 1930s and 1940s, thanks to films like "Night Train To Munich," and the outstanding "Odd Man Out" and "The Fallen Idol." Later, he'd also find success with films like "Trapeze," "Our Man In Havana," "The Agony and the Ecstasy" and "Oliver!," for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director, beating out Stanley Kubrick's "2001" and Gillo Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers."

But Reed's undisputed masterpiece is "The Third Man," a 1949 film noir based on a screenplay by the great British writer Graham Greene. The film involves a writer of Westerns, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten), who comes to post-war Vienna after being promised a job by his childhood friend Harry Lime. »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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