17 items from 2015
'The Audition' poster with Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Martin Scorsese short 'The Audition' pulled from Venice Film Festival No major international film festival is worth its mainstream U.S. media salt unless there's at least one screening featuring the latest work of a major Hollywood name. The Venice Film Festival is surely no exception, especially as it's the year's final internationally renowned European movie fest, held shortly before the fall – i.e., awards – movie season begins. Well, one work by a top Hollywood name will no longer be available at Venice: The Audition, a short film directed by and featuring veteran Martin Scorsese, has been pulled out. "We have just been informed by the production that due to unexpected technical problems the film could not be here in time," festival organizers said in a statement earlier today, Sat., Aug. 29, '15. According to The Hollywood Reporter, »
- Anna Robinson
Ingrid Bergman ca. early 1940s. Ingrid Bergman movies on TCM: From the artificial 'Gaslight' to the magisterial 'Autumn Sonata' Two days ago, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series highlighted the film career of Greta Garbo. Today, Aug. 28, '15, TCM is focusing on another Swedish actress, three-time Academy Award winner Ingrid Bergman, who would have turned 100 years old tomorrow. TCM has likely aired most of Bergman's Hollywood films, and at least some of her early Swedish work. As a result, today's only premiere is Fielder Cook's little-seen and little-remembered From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1973), about two bored kids (Sally Prager, Johnny Doran) who run away from home and end up at New York City's Metropolitan Museum. Obviously, this is no A Night at the Museum – and that's a major plus. Bergman plays an elderly art lover who takes an interest in them; her »
- Andre Soares
Ahead of American Ultra's arrival in UK cinemas, here's our pick of the 25 finest, sneakiest secret agents in film...
Operatives. Spies. Moles. Infiltrators. Secret agents go by many names. In fact, Britain's national security agency doesn't even call them agents - they're covert human intelligence sources, or simply “officers".
Whatever we choose to call them, secret agents lead necessarily furtive and obscure lives - so obscure that most of what we know about them is defined by what we've seen and read in books and movies.
During the Cold War, the image of the secret agent as a well-groomed sophisticate in a suit proliferated all over the world, and even in the high-tech landscape of the 21st century, that image still stands - just look at such movies as Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and, of course, the Bond franchise. But secret agents can come in many other guises, »
Virginia Bruce: MGM actress ca. 1935. Virginia Bruce movies on TCM: Actress was the cherry on 'The Great Ziegfeld' wedding cake Unfortunately, Turner Classic Movies has chosen not to feature any non-Hollywood stars – or any out-and-out silent film stars – in its 2015 “Summer Under the Stars” series.* On the other hand, TCM has come up with several unusual inclusions, e.g., Lee J. Cobb, Warren Oates, Mae Clarke, and today, Aug. 25, Virginia Bruce. A second-rank MGM leading lady in the 1930s, the Minneapolis-born Virginia Bruce is little remembered today despite her more than 70 feature films in a career that spanned two decades, from the dawn of the talkie era to the dawn of the TV era, in addition to a handful of comebacks going all the way to 1981 – the dawn of the personal computer era. Career highlights were few and not all that bright. Examples range from playing the »
- Andre Soares
★★★★☆ "Only two kinds of creature get fun in the desert. Bedouins and gods", the exquisitely cynical diplomat Mr. Dryden (Claude Rains) tells T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) in David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962), "and you're neither." He could have added a third category of desert tourists: directors. The desert is a supremely photogenic location and filmmakers as diverse as Bernardo Bertolucci, George Lucas and Anthony Minghella have all basked on the shifting sands and now Brit-born Abu Nowar joins their ranks with Theeb (2014). It's 1916 and the world is at war but that feels very remote to Theeb (Jacir Eid), a young Bedouin who lives with his brother Hussein (Hussein Salameh) and his tribe.
- CineVue UK
Read More: 9 Cult Films That Deserve a Television Prequel Series "Michael Rennie was ill / The day the Earth stood still / But he told us where we stand. / And Flash Gordon was there / In silver underwear, / Claude Rains was the Invisible Man. / Then something went wrong / For Fay Wray and King Kong, / They got caught in a celluloid jam. / Then at a deadly pace, / It came from Outer Space, / And this is how the message ran..." The opening lines to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" reference American low-budget productions in the horror-sci-fi genre that were made between the 1930s and 1950s. Michael Rennie starred as an alien visitor in "The Day the Earth Stood Still;" Flash Gordon, who originated as a comic strip hero in the 1934, became a film franchise by the end of the decade; Claude Rains had a breakthrough performance as the titular Invisible Man in 1933 and Fay Wray portrayed the equally. »
- Sara Itkis
Robert Mitchum ca. late 1940s. Robert Mitchum movies 'The Yakuza,' 'Ryan's Daughter' on TCM Today, Aug. 12, '15, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series is highlighting the career of Robert Mitchum. Two of the films being shown this evening are The Yakuza and Ryan's Daughter. The former is one of the disappointingly few TCM premieres this month. (See TCM's Robert Mitchum movie schedule further below.) Despite his film noir background, Robert Mitchum was a somewhat unusual choice to star in The Yakuza (1975), a crime thriller set in the Japanese underworld. Ryan's Daughter or no, Mitchum hadn't been a box office draw in quite some time; in the mid-'70s, one would have expected a Warner Bros. release directed by Sydney Pollack – who had recently handled the likes of Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, and Robert Redford – to star someone like Jack Nicholson or Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman. »
- Andre Soares
Olivia de Havilland on Turner Classic Movies: Your chance to watch 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' for the 384th time Olivia de Havilland is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 2, '15. The two-time Best Actress Oscar winner (To Each His Own, 1946; The Heiress, 1949) whose steely determination helped to change the way studios handled their contract players turned 99 last July 1. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any de Havilland movie rarities, e.g., Universal's cool thriller The Dark Mirror (1946), the Paramount comedy The Well-Groomed Bride (1947), or Terence Young's British-made That Lady (1955), with de Havilland as eye-patch-wearing Spanish princess Ana de Mendoza. On the other hand, you'll be able to catch for the 384th time a demure Olivia de Havilland being romanced by a dashing Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood, as TCM shows this 1938 period adventure classic just about every month. But who's complaining? One the »
- Andre Soares
Olivia de Havilland picture U.S. labor history-making 'Gone with the Wind' star and two-time Best Actress winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 (This Olivia de Havilland article is currently being revised and expanded.) Two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland, the only surviving major Gone with the Wind cast member and oldest surviving Oscar winner, is turning 99 years old today, July 1. Also known for her widely publicized feud with sister Joan Fontaine and for her eight movies with Errol Flynn, de Havilland should be remembered as well for having made Hollywood labor history. This particular history has nothing to do with de Havilland's films, her two Oscars, Gone with the Wind, Joan Fontaine, or Errol Flynn. Instead, history was made as a result of a legal fight: after winning a lawsuit against Warner Bros. in the mid-'40s, Olivia de Havilland put an end to treacherous »
- Andre Soares
'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl': Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow. 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' review: Mostly an enjoyable romp (Oscar Movie Series) Pirate movies were a Hollywood staple for about three decades, from the mid-'20s (The Sea Hawk, The Black Pirate) to the mid-to-late '50s (Moonfleet, The Buccaneer), when the genre, by then mostly relegated to B films, began to die down. Sporadic resurrections in the '80s and '90s turned out to be critical and commercial bombs (Pirates, Cutthroat Island), something that didn't bode well for the Walt Disney Company's $140 million-budgeted film "adaptation" of one of their theme-park rides. But Neptune's mood has apparently improved with the arrival of the new century. He smiled – grinned would be a more appropriate word – on the Gore Verbinski-directed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, »
- Andre Soares
Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major British stage star Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Born on May 15, 1910, actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned about six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., would have turned 105 this year. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received stage performances – is all but forgotten. »
- Andre Soares
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
The Invisible Man is one of H G Wells’ more perverse little daydreams. Whereas The Time Machine dreamed of an agrarian future (if you get past what dwells below) and The War Of The Worlds was one of our first intergalactic space yarns, there is something a little more disturbing about a man who can not be seen.
It certainly made for one of the best genre movies of the 1930s when director James Whale (Frankenstein, Bride Of Frankenstein) introduced Hollywood to Claude Rains with the 1933 camp classic. Now, it is finding new life with a unique version at Sony Pictures Entertainment where the film will be produced under the Red Wagon Entertainment Banner by Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick. Lucas Wisendanger and Nicki Cortese are also serving as executive producers on the project. »
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Under the Warner Brothers banner, Errol Flynn leaps, bounds and rouses hearts to the tune of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s winning score and the direction of taskmaster Michael Curtiz. Following on the coattails of Captain Blood (1935) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), it’s easy to dismiss The Sea Hawk (1940) as just a studio swashbuckler, another outing of a tried and true formula that Bosley Crowther called, “an overdressed ‘spectacle’ film which derives much more from the sword than the pen.” Admittedly, this loose adaptation owes more to the seafaring adventures of Sir Francis Drake than the original Rafael Sabatini novel of the same name, but it owes even more to the politics surrounding its production. On closer examination, the film stands as a testament not only to Flynn in his booming »
- Diana Drumm
Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock heroine (image: Joseph Cotten about to strangle Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt') (See preceding article: "Teresa Wright Movies: Actress Made Oscar History.") After scoring with The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, and The Pride of the Yankees, Teresa Wright was loaned to Universal – once initial choices Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland became unavailable – to play the small-town heroine in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. (Check out video below: Teresa Wright reminiscing about the making of Shadow of a Doubt.) Co-written by Thornton Wilder, whose Our Town had provided Wright with her first chance on Broadway and who had suggested her to Hitchcock; Meet Me in St. Louis and Junior Miss author Sally Benson; and Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, Shadow of a Doubt was based on "Uncle Charlie," a story outline by Gordon McDonell – itself based on actual events. »
- Andre Soares
“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine”
Casablanca Screens at The Hi-Pointe Theater in St. Louis Saturday morning February 14th at 10:30am
Casablanca was the last movie that the Tivoli showed in the 35mm format (about 2 years ago) – and now you’ll have the chance to see it presented in a sharp digital presentation when it plays this Saturday morning at The Hi-Pointe as part of their monthly Classic Film Series.
I there was ever a film deserved to be considered a classic then Casablanca is it, Even if you haven’t seen it before you’ll recognize much of the dialogue; it is probably the most quoted, and misquoted, film of all time. Humphrey Bogart is excellent in this career defining role as bar owner Rick Blaine who has come into possession of two “letters of transit” which »
- Tom Stockman
Jean Arthur films on TCM include three Frank Capra classics Five Jean Arthur films will be shown this evening, Monday, January 5, 2015, on Turner Classic Movies, including three directed by Frank Capra, the man who helped to turn Arthur into a major Hollywood star. They are the following: Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; George Stevens' The More the Merrier; and Frank Borzage's History Is Made at Night. One the most effective performers of the studio era, Jean Arthur -- whose film career began inauspiciously in 1923 -- was Columbia Pictures' biggest female star from the mid-'30s to the mid-'40s, when Rita Hayworth came to prominence and, coincidentally, Arthur's Columbia contract expired. Today, she's best known for her trio of films directed by Frank Capra, Columbia's top director of the 1930s. Jean Arthur-Frank Capra »
- Andre Soares
17 items from 2015
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