13 items from 2017
Ricardo Cortez in 'Ten Cents a Dance,' with Barbara Stanwyck. No matter how unthankful the role, whether hero or heel – or, not infrequently, a combination of both – Cortez left his bedroom-eyed, mellifluous-voiced imprint in his pre-Production Code talkies. Besides Barbara Stanwyck, during the 1920s and 1930s Cortez made love to and/or life difficult for, a whole array of leading ladies of that era, including Bebe Daniels, Gloria Swanson, Betty Compson, Betty Bronson, Greta Garbo, Florence Vidor, Claudette Colbert, Mary Astor, Kay Francis, Joan Crawford, Irene Dunne, Joan Blondell, and Loretta Young*. (See previous post: “Ricardo Cortez Q&A: From Latin Lover to Multiethnic Heel.”) Not long after the coming of sound, Ricardo Cortez was mostly relegated to playing subordinate roles to his leading ladies – e.g., Kay Francis, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert – or leads in “bottom half of the double bill” programmers at Warner Bros. or on loan to other studios. Would »
- Andre Soares
Ricardo Cortez biography 'The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez' – Paramount's 'Latin Lover' threat to a recalcitrant Rudolph Valentino, and a sly, seductive Sam Spade in the original film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's 'The Maltese Falcon.' 'The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez': Author Dan Van Neste remembers the silent era's 'Latin Lover' & the star of the original 'The Maltese Falcon' At odds with Famous Players-Lasky after the release of the 1922 critical and box office misfire The Young Rajah, Rudolph Valentino demands a fatter weekly paycheck and more control over his movie projects. The studio – a few years later to be reorganized under the name of its distribution arm, Paramount – balks. Valentino goes on a “one-man strike.” In 42nd Street-style, unknown 22-year-old Valentino look-alike contest winner Jacob Krantz of Manhattan steps in, shortly afterwards to become known worldwide as Latin Lover Ricardo Cortez of »
- Andre Soares
'Making Love': Groundbreaking romantic gay drama returns to the big screen As part of its Anniversary Classics series, Laemmle Theaters will be presenting Arthur Hiller's groundbreaking 1982 romantic drama Making Love, the first U.S. movie distributed by a major studio that focused on a romantic gay relationship. Michael Ontkean, Harry Hamlin, and Kate Jackson star. The 35th Anniversary Screening of Making Love will be held on Saturday, June 24 – it's Gay Pride month, after all – at 7:30 p.m. at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. The movie will be followed by a Q&A session with Harry Hamlin, screenwriter Barry Sandler, and author A. Scott Berg, who wrote the “story” on which the film is based. 'Making Love' & What lies beneath In this 20th Century Fox release – Sherry Lansing was the studio head at the time – Michael Ontkean plays a »
- Andre Soares
Diane Kruger atop the Majestic Hotel in Cannes Photo: Kering Women in Motion
She could be compared to a cross between Grace Kelly and Carole Lombard. Diane Kruger, 38, who won best actress at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, has gone from being a top model to respected actress in a relatively short time. She intersperses big budget outings such as Troy and Inglourious Basterds with European films among them Alice Winocour’s Disorder; as Marie Antoinette in Benoit Jacquot’s Farewell, My Queen and Fabienne Berthaud’s Sky, about a contemporary French woman who strikes out on her own in the American West. She was a mainstay for two seasons in the American remake of the Scandi-noir series The Bridge, transposed to the border between the Us and Mexico.
She speaks her native German for the first time in Cannes Competition entry In The Fade by German film-maker with Turkish roots Fatih Akin, »
- Richard Mowe
Chicago – An original voice, in an original conceptual movie, is a rare category of cinema art. Director and lead actor Pat Healy, working from a script from Mike Makowsky, has fashioned “Take Me,” a thriller about kidnapping and having the tables turned.
Healy is Ray, a kind of loser who stumbles upon a new business… providing kidnapping scenarios for willing clients. Business is bad – there is an hilarious opening with Ray trying to get a loan from a local bank – until a new client emerges (Taylor Schilling of ‘Orange is the New Black’), who wants more from the service than the faux kidnapper had ever provided. The film, rich with tones of darkness and redemption, is exquisitely fashioned by Pat Healy, in his first feature length film as a director.
Photo credit: The Orchard
Pat Healy has been a journeyman actor, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
One of cinema's early comediennes, Dorothy Devore: between 1918 and 1930, the Ft. Worth-born actress was seen in nearly 100 movies, both features and shorts. Among them were 'Salvation Sue,' 'Naughty Mary Brown' and 'Saving Sister Susie,' all with frequent partner Earle Rodney. 'Comediennes of the Silent Era' & film historian Anthony Slide at the American Cinematheque Film historian and author Anthony Slide, once described by Lillian Gish as “our preeminent historian of the silent film,” will attend the American Cinematheque's 2017 Retroformat program “Comediennes of the Silent Era” on Sat., May 6, at 7:30 p.m., at the Spielberg Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Slide will be signing copies of his book She Could Be Chaplin!: The Comedic Brilliance of Alice Howell (University Press of Mississippi), about the largely forgotten pioneering comedy actress of the 1910s and early 1920s. The book signing will take place at 6:30 p. »
- Andre Soares
This remake of a pre-Code classic adds amazing European locations, glorious Technicolor and entire armies on the move, yet doesn’t improve on the original. Producer David O. Selznick secured Rock Hudson to play opposite Jennifer Jones, but the chemistry is lacking. Why did the man spend twenty years trying to top Gone With the Wind?
Kl Studio Classics
1957 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 152 min. / Street Date April 18, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95
Production Designer: Alfred Junge
Art Direction: Mario Garbuglia
Original Music: Mario Nascimbene
Produced by David O. Selznick
Directed by Charles Vidor
What happens when a major Hollywood producer thinks he has all the answers? »
- Glenn Erickson
While he’s helmed short films in the past, actor Pat Healy makes his feature film directorial debut with the darkly comedic Take Me, an unconventional heist/crime caper of sorts that features Healy in the role of Ray, professional kidnapper, who gets more than he bargains for with his latest “victim,” Anna (Taylor Schilling).
Take Me recently premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, and Daily Dead chatted with Healy about the project. In our conversation, he discussed taking the reins as director, his approach to the material, collaborating with Schilling and Take Me producers Jay and Mark Duplass, and more.
It’s so great to speak with you today, Pat. Take Me was a lot of fun and as a movie fan, the one thing I want the most out of a film is just something that keeps you guessing and keeps you surprised. So I loved this. I »
- Heather Wixson
Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be, that controversial World War II farce/satire/dark comedy about a group of ham actors who go on a mission to save Polish resistance from the Gestapo – and, in the course of doing so, ridicule the Nazi war machine as well as Adolf Hitler himself – recently turned 75, and is one of those films that age like good wine.
“Shall we drink to a blitzkrieg?” seems precisely the kind of question you should not put into one of your actors’ mouth in a farcical comedy shot at the beginning of 1940s, when the Nazis were gradually turning Europe into a wasteland. “I prefer a slow encirclement” would be, then, a perfect illustration of a witty repartee every director making movies at that time ought to stay away from. Yet Ernst Lubitsch, that German virtuoso of sophisticated American comedy who taught millions of viewers how to use allusion, »
- The Film Stage
The upcoming mother-daughter comedy “Snatched” marks Goldie Hawn’s first film since 2002’s “The Banger Sisters.” To celebrate the end of Hawn’s 15-year sabbatical, the Quad will hold a retrospective of the Oscar winner’s films, a press release announced.
“No Hollywood actress in recent memory has come closer than Goldie Hawn to capturing the ebullience and whip-smart comic timing of the great screen comediennes of the ’30s and ’40s, a modern Joan Blondell or Carole Lombard,” the release states. “Though she won an Academy Award for one of her first roles (in 1969’s ‘Cactus Flower’), critics have tended to underestimate the depths of [Hawn’s] talent. The forthcoming film ‘Snatched’ marks her long-awaited return to the screen after a 15-year absence, and we’re celebrating the occasion with a greatest-hits retrospective, a veritable masterclass in the delicate art of cinematic comedy.”
It’s great that Hawn’s contributions to cinema are being recognized. However, while researching the Golden Goldies films as well as Hawn’s entire filmography, we noticed the actress has never worked with a female film director. From what we can tell, she has only collaborated with a woman director once, on a 2013 episode of the kids show “Phineas and Ferb.” Sue Perrotto co-directed the ep.
This is disappointing, but not a complete surprise. Last year Cosmopolitan published a story detailing how many big-name actors have never worked with a woman film director. Among them are Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, Ben Stiller, Matt Damon, Tom Cruise, and Tobey Maguire. And to be fair to them and Hawn, there are plenty of actresses who have never appeared in a woman-helmed film. Shailene Woodley, for example, has not appeared in a feature film directed by a woman
Still. We wish both male and female power players would follow Jessica Chastain’s lead. “I’m looking to work with a female filmmaker every year,” she told Variety. “That’s my goal. They’re not given the same opportunities so if I have any influence in choosing a film or a script or finding a director I’m absolutely going to make a difference. That doesn’t mean I’m excluding men — it means I need some balance in my life.”
And she’s achieving it; Chastain has worked with female directors like Kathryn Bigelow, Liv Ullmann, and Susanna White. Her most recent collaboration with a woman director is Niki Caro’s “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”
The Golden Goldies retrospective will be May 6–11 at the Quad in New York City. The featured films and their synopses are below, courtesy of Quad Cinema.
“Death Becomes Her”
Robert Zemeckis, 1992, 104m, U.S., 35mm
Sun May 7 & Mon May 8
When glamorous narcissist Meryl Streep steals her fiancé Bruce Willis, Hawn finds revenge in an elixir of youth (and immortality) supplied by a seductively devilish Isabella Rossellini. Rivalry escalates to murder as Hawn and Streep battle it out in the land of the undead in this cult black comedy about all-consuming vanity.
Hugh Wilson, 1996, U.S., 103m, 35mm
Mon May 8
Spite never sleeps in this gleefully vindictive comedy about getting even and the bonds of sisterhood. Hawn stars opposite Bette Midler and Diane Keaton as a once-acclaimed actress plagued by ageism and out for revenge against her ex-husband and his perky new muse. But acrimony eventually gives way to a new sense of liberation, culminating in an ever-endearing rendition of Lesley Gore’s anthem of female independence.
Garry Marshall, 1987, U.S., 106m, 35mm
Wed May 10
Wertmüller’s “Swept Away” reimagined as big studio farce, with Hawn’s shrill heiress mistreating blue-collar carpenter Kurt Russell, who then proceeds to enact romantic revenge after she’s afflicted with amnesia. Despite the retrograde sexual politics, the chemistry is palpable and the comic timing immaculate.
Howard Zieff, 1980, U.S., 109m, 35mm
Wed May 6 & Thur May 11
After husband Albert Brooks dies on their wedding night, spoiled rich girl Hawn is convinced by military recruiter Harry Dean Stanton to join the U.S. Army, where she comes up against a tough-as-nails C.O. Eileen Brennan. Both Hawn and Brennan were nominated for Academy Awards in this beloved box-office hit.
Jay Sandrich, 1980, USA, 100m, 35mm
Tue May 10 & Thu May 11
Hawn hits her comedic stride in this irresistible Neil Simon farce as a characteristically zany public defender torn between district attorney husband Charles Grodin and her ex, Chevy Chase, a writer charged with bank robbery. Things escalate towards a fever pitch when she decides to represent him in court.
Hal Ashby, 1975, U.S., 110m, Dcp
Mon May 8 & Wed May 11
The dream team of Ashby, screenwriter Robert Towne, and actor-producer Warren Beatty set their biting farce and undisputed ’70s classic on the eve of Nixon’s 1968 electoral landslide, with over-sexed, in-demand, and increasingly vexed hairdresser Beatty juggling frustrated girlfriend Hawn, taxing client Lee Grant, ex-girlfriend Julie Christie, and potential business partner Jack Warden as America lurches to the right.
Steven Spielberg, 1974, U.S., 110m, 35mm
Sat May 6 & Mon May 8
After losing their baby son to the state, small-time crooks Hawn and William Atherton snatch him right back and go on the run, with seemingly every law enforcement officer in Texas in hot pursuit. Spielberg’s first feature refines the technical mastery of Duel, but Hawn’s performance as an exasperated, manically determined mother gives this picture a more resonant pathos.
Jonathan Demme, 1984, U.S., 100m, 35mm
Sun May 7 & Thur May 10
When hubby Ed Harris ships off to fight WWII, housewife Hawn finds herself via a factory job — and a fling with hunky trumpet player Kurt Russell. Despite her contentious relationship with her director, Hawn displays her greatest emotional range here, and Demme’s deft touch for humanist comedy shines through. Featuring Christine Lahti, Fred Ward, and Holly Hunter.
Goldie Hawn Retrospective to Screen at the Quad Cinema in NYC was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
28 February 2017 6:55 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
UCLA Festival Of Preservation At The James Bridges Theater | 10899 Wilshire Blvd.
The UCLA Film and Television Archive’s annual Festival of Preservation returns to the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum this month for a multiweek showcase of the organization’s newly restored classics and rescued obscurities. And this year’s edition kicks off on Friday with an evening comprised of each, with Ernst Lubitsch’s beloved comedy Trouble in Paradise toplining a double bill alongside the previously elusive I Take This Woman, a romantic Western starring Gary Cooper and Carol Lombard. Not everything is as star-studded, but nearly every evening »
- Jordan Cronk
Ace director Donald Siegel uses superior direction to transform a so-so who-dunnit into a thrilling big screen spectacle, using the Grand Canyon as a backdrop for A multiple murder set in an Arizona mining town in decline. The cameraman focusing on the scenery and the hair-raising stuntwork — everything we see is real — is the great Burnett Guffey.
1959 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 80 min. / Street Date February 15, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store / 29.95
Cinematography: Burnett Guffey
Original Music: Daniele Amfitheatrof
Produced by Kendrick Sweet
Directed by Donald Siegel
A look at Donald Siegel’s filmography shows that between his standout ‘fifties titles — Riot in Cell Block 11, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Crime in the Streets, The Lineup, he suffered through his share of unrewarding cheapies, »
- Glenn Erickson
20 February 2017 11:13 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Mr. and Mrs. Smith is not the most brilliant comedy to hit the screen, nor is it the best directed, acted or produced. It may be disappointing to many of the followers of Norman Krasna, Alfred Hitchcock and Carole Lombard who expected extreme brilliance from that trio, but there's enough fun in it to send you home happy with your entertainment.
The main trouble with »
- THR Staff
13 items from 2017
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