6 items from 2016
How could England have won the war without him? Horatio Smith sneaks about in Nazi Germany, liberating concentration camp inmates right under the noses of the Gestapo. Leslie Howard directed and stars in this wartime escapist spy thriller, as a witty professor too passive to be suspected as the mystery spy.
1941 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 121 min. / Street Date November 15, 2016 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98
Cinematography Mutz Greenbaum
Film Editor Douglas Myers
Original Music John Greenwood
Directed by Leslie Howard
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
I like movies »
- Glenn Erickson
Shortly before 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the cathedral of cinema known as the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, Harry Knowles asked his congregation to rise and swear an oath. No, the irrepressibly zealous film critic, website editor, and ecumenical movie geek was not requiring his acolytes to pledge their undying loyalty to him. Rather, he was insisting they publicly swear not to prematurely reveal on social media any significant plot details of “A Cure for Wellness,” the upcoming 20th Century Fox release having its world premiere at Butt-Numb-a-Thon, Knowles’ annual 24-hour-plus cavalcade of new, classic, and (sometimes justifiably) obscure motion pictures.
Director Gore Verbinski and lead player Dane DeHaan were on-hand to monitor audience reaction for “Wellness,” which is set to open theatrically Feb. 17, and to savor Knowles’ characteristically hyperbolic description of their film — a twisty and creepy thriller about strange doings at a health spa near the Swiss »
- Joe Leydon
We all love a good movie, but what is it that makes a good movie great? It’s of course the ability to become an instant classic. Each classic film has it’s own iconic scene, the moment that everyone remembers happening. It’s scenes like Thelma and Louise continuing to drive when they run out of road, the wobbly water in Jurassic Park and Jamie Lee Curtis hiding in the wardrobe in Halloween. They’re the movie events that are so fantastic that they deserve celebrating.
Prolific studio Warner Bros understand this and have recently re-packaged several of their classic catalogue titles. The new look highlights what the studio believe to be each film’s most iconic moment. We have now had a look at whether they got it right or not. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
About the film: Unquestionably one »
- Kat Hughes
July 1 marks the 100th birthday of Olivia de Havilland, an actress who made Hollywood history in more ways than one. She is best remembered as Melanie in the 1939 “Gone With the Wind,” as well as her roles opposite Errol Flynn, including “The Adventures of Robin Hood”; she’s also one of the few to have won two leading-actress Oscars.
But her influence on the movie industry goes far beyond that: She helped bring an end to the studio system, thanks to her landmark lawsuit against Warner Bros. in 1944.
The actress had made her film debut in 1935, at age 19, in a version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that starred James Cagney and Mickey Rooney. Eventually WB signed her to a seven-year contract, which was the standard for studios when they wanted to hold onto actors.
The studio suspended her seven or eight times for refusing to play certain roles. When de Havilland’s contract expired, »
- Tim Gray
Each week, the fine folks at Fandor add a number of films to their Criterion Picks area, which will then be available to subscribers for the following twelve days. This week, the Criterion Picks focus on eight films from the Criterion Collection that were later remade.
Don’t have a Fandor subscription? They offer a free trial membership.
A cult classic of gooey greatness, The Blob follows the havoc wreaked on a small town by an outer-space monster with neither soul nor vertebrae, with Steve McQueen playing the rebel teen who tries to warn the residents about the jellylike invader.
- Ryan Gallagher
Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, and Ingrid Bergman: The 'Notorious' British (Hitchcock, Grant) and Swedish (Bergman) talent. British actors and directors in Hollywood; Hollywood actors and directors in Britain: Anthony Slide's 'A Special Relationship.' 'A Special Relationship' Q&A: Britain in Hollywood and Hollywood in Britain First of all, what made you think of a book on “the special relationship” between the American and British film industries – particularly on the British side? I was aware of a couple of books on the British in Hollywood, but I wanted to move beyond that somewhat limited discussion and document the whole British/American relationship as it applied to filmmaking. Growing up in England, I had always been interested in the history of the British cinema, but generally my writing on film history has been concentrated on America. I suppose to a certain extent I wanted to go back into my archives, »
- Andre Soares
6 items from 2016
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