13 items from 2017
“All the films in this book share an air of disreputability… I have tried to avoid using the word art about the movies in this book, not just because I didn’t want to inflate my claims for them, but because the word is used far too often to shut down discussion rather than open it up. If something has been acclaimed as art, it’s not just beyond criticism but often seen as above the mere mortals for whom its presumably been made. It’s a sealed artifact that offers no way in. It is as much a lie to claim we can be moved only by what has been given the imprimatur of art as it would be to deny that there are, in these scruffy movies, the very things we expect from art: avenues into human emotion and psychology, or into the character and texture of the time the films were made, »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Ronald Colman: Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month in two major 1930s classics Updated: Turner Classic Movies' July 2017 Star of the Month is Ronald Colman, one of the finest performers of the studio era. On Thursday night, TCM presented five Colman star vehicles that should be popping up again in the not-too-distant future: A Tale of Two Cities, The Prisoner of Zenda, Kismet, Lucky Partners, and My Life with Caroline. The first two movies are among not only Colman's best, but also among Hollywood's best during its so-called Golden Age. Based on Charles Dickens' classic novel, Jack Conway's Academy Award-nominated A Tale of Two Cities (1936) is a rare Hollywood production indeed: it manages to effectively condense its sprawling source, it boasts first-rate production values, and it features a phenomenal central performance. Ah, it also shows its star without his trademark mustache – about as famous at the time as Clark Gable's. Perhaps »
- Andre Soares
Ava, a Life in Movies, a new biography by Kendra Bean and Anthony Uzarowski, delves into the late screen siren’s colorful life, on and offscreen. (Read her 1990 People obituary here.) From her wild affair and marriage with Sinatra to her other rocky romances — and her regrets late in life — here are some of the most fascinating details about the woman who won the hearts of movie audiences and some of Hollywood’s most famous leading men.
She was divorced »
- Ale Russian
In 1963, Blake Edwards was set to direct The Pink Panther with a cast that consisted of David Niven, Ava Gardner and Peter Ustinov — all big stars at the time. The movie was a comedy about a French detective obsessed with catching a jewel thief — not realizing that the thief was sleeping and collaborating with the detective’s wife the whole time. What looked like a debacle — Gardner and Ustinov backing out of the film just days before production — ended up changing film history and Edwards’ career, not to mention the career of Ustinov’s replacement, Peter Sellers. […] »
- Jim Hemphill
Yet another puzzle picture, that came out on DVD back with the first wave of Wac films in 2010. An expensive romance with Albert Finney and Yvette Mimieux, it was filmed in Europe, co-written by Ray Bradbury and bears the music of Michel Legrand, including an exceedingly well known pop song. Yet it sat on a shelf for three years, only to make a humiliating world debut on TV — on CBS’s Late Nite Movie. It was clearly one of those Productions From Hell, where nothing went right.
1969 originally / Color / 1:85 enhanced widescreen / 90 min. / Street Date May 28, 2010 (not a mistake) / available through the WBshop / 17.99
Cinematography: Vilmos Zsigmond
Original Music: Michel Legrand
- Glenn Erickson
The New York Observer has laid off longtime film critic Rex Reed, in addition to several other members of its entertainment staff, in the latest cutbacks to the newspaper since owner Jared Kushner divested from the paper after the 2016 presidential election.
Reed was notified of the decision last week, he said, concluding a career at the paper that lasted more than 25 years. His last reviews, for “Alien: Covenant” and “Wakefield,” ran May 19. Reed’s editor at the Observer did not return a request for comment.
“The shocking truth is that the Observer has been going down the drain financially for quite some time,” Reed said via email, adding that he felt the future of the paper was thrown into doubt after investment banker Arthur Carter sold it to 25-year-old Kushner in 2006. The young mogul left the paper after his father-in-law, Donald J. Trump, was elected President of the United States last fall. »
- Eric Kohn
From big blockbusters to smaller-budget films and hit TV series, Ian McShane has done it all throughout his six-decade career in film, television and theater. During a recent interview with Vulture, the “American Gods” actor explained what is like to make a blockbuster.
“Oh God. God. It’s a just a … You can’t … You have to be patient, but they go on forever, you know, just go on forever. Johnny [Depp]’s a great guy, I love Johnny, he’s a great guy, but at one point when you’re shooting those [‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ movies], you go [rolls eyes],” the English actor said.
He continued, “I remember I was doing a movie with Ava Gardner, at Pinewood, back in 1969, called ‘Tam-Lin,’ directed by Roddy McDowall, and at the same time, Billy Wilder was shooting his ‘Sherlock Holmes’ movie there. He’d been there about 20 weeks. »
- Yoselin Acevedo
A military coup in the U.S.? General Burt Lancaster’s scheme would be flawless if not for true blue Marine Kirk Douglas, who snitches to the White House. Now Burt’s whole expensive clandestine army might go to waste – Sad! John Frankenheimer and Rod Serling are behind this nifty paranoid conspiracy thriller.
1964 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 118 min. / Street Date May 8, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99
Starring: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Martin Balsam, Andrew Duggan, John Houseman, Hugh Marlowe, Whit Bissell, George Macready, Richard Anderson, Malcolm Atterbury, William Challee, Colette Jackson, John Larkin, Kent McCord, Tyler McVey, Jack Mullaney, Fredd Wayne, Ferris Webster.
Cinematography: Ellsworth Fredericks
Film Editor: Ferris Webster
Original Music: Jerry Goldsmith
Produced by Edward Lewis
Directed by John Frankenheimer »
- Glenn Erickson
Sixty-one years ago today, Grace Kelly, then 26, wed Monaco’s Prince Rainier in what remains one of the most fairytale weddings of all time.
“It was such an incredible affair, and it’s left such a mark on people,” the couple’s only son and heir, Prince Albert, told People. “What it has meant for people has been incredible. For us, it was – and you’ll have to ask my sisters – for us it was our parents getting married. »
- Peter Mikelbank
While the current crop of female movie stars is nothing short of extraordinary, we’ll always have a place for the classic women of cinema. These are the women who go way back to the 40s, 50s, and even early 60s. We’re talking names like Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Vivian Leigh, Ava Gardner, and the list goes on and on. Beauty back then wasn’t looked at in the same way as it is today. And it certainly wasn’t displayed in ways it is today. Back then it was way more subtle. It might have been a wink or a certain facial
Looking Back at the True Beauty of 20 Star Actresses From Another Time Period »
- Nat Berman
Lyric Dean McLean was born on Sunday in Los Angeles, and joins her big sister, 4-year-old Ava Jaymes.
"Rochelle got to name Ava after Ava Gardner because she loves old Hollywood, then she took my middle name, James, but spelled it differently," explains the 39-year-old boy bander. "So, I got to pick this time. I mean, lyrics… Backstreet Boys… it’s pretty cool, right?"
Weighing 8 lbs., 3 oz, Lyric's middle name, Dean, stemmed from Rochelle's middle name, DeAnna.
The singer had not-so-secretly been wishing for another daughter before the couple found out the happy news last year.
"I got my wish!" he admits. "All my friends were like, 'It's a boy,' and I was like, 'I don't want »
Judy Garland was just 16 when she starred in her breakout role, 1939’s The Wizard of Oz. At just 4 feet, 11½ inches, Garland had a cute, girl-next-door charm helped set her apart from her glamorous contemporaries like Elizabeth Taylor and Ava Gardner. But with success would come the need to maintain her youthful looks and thin frame — pressures from Hollywood studio MGM that would fuel the legendary songstress’ drug abuse and eventually lead to her death.
Now, more than four decades after an accidental drug overdose took her life at age 47, a new memoir about the late star pulls back the curtain on Garland’s demons. »
- Dave Quinn
1954 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 130 min. / Street Date December 13, 2016 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95
Cinematography: Jack Cardiff
Original Music: Mario Nascimbene
Written, Produced and Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
As a teenager, many of my first and strongest movie impressions came not from the movies, but from certain critics. I memorized Robin Wood’s analysis before getting a look at Hitchcock’s Psycho. Raymond Durgnat introduced me to Georges Franju and Luis Buñuel, and I first learned to appreciate a number of great movies including The Barefoot Contessa from Richard Corliss, a terrific critic who championed writers over director-auteurs.
The Barefoot Contessa is a classically structured story, in that it could work as a novel; it’s told from several points of view. »
- Glenn Erickson
13 items from 2017
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