9 items from 2015
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game, the upcoming The Emperor’s Children) is making her Broadway debut in Thérèse Raquin, and not since Donna Reed donned spectacles and pulled her hair back in a tight bun as a spinster librarian in It’s A Wonderful Life has so much effort gone into draining all the sex from a sexy star. It worked: Helen Edmundson’s new adaptation of the 1867 Émile Zola novel (and, six years later, play) of illicit passion and its consequences is Doa… »
Coleen Gray in 'The Sleeping City' with Richard Conte. Coleen Gray after Fox: B Westerns and films noirs (See previous post: “Coleen Gray Actress: From Red River to Film Noir 'Good Girls'.”) Regarding the demise of her Fox career (the year after her divorce from Rod Amateau), Coleen Gray would recall for Confessions of a Scream Queen author Matt Beckoff: I thought that was the end of the world and that I was a total failure. I was a mass of insecurity and depended on agents. … Whether it was an 'A' picture or a 'B' picture didn't bother me. It could be a Western movie, a sci-fi film. A job was a job. You did the best with the script that you had. Fox had dropped Gray at a time of dramatic upheavals in the American film industry: fast-dwindling box office receipts as a result of competition from television, »
- Andre Soares
Grr, argh. Sit, Ubu, sit. I made this! What’s the story behind the production company tags added onto our favourite TV shows?
Closing logos have evolved into a TV production company’s tiny stamp of individuality. They’re a single snippet of screen time not at the mercy of network notes, audience feedback or sponsorship concerns.
A closing tag doesn’t need to sell a show, tell a story, or lasso an audience back for the next episode. It’s simply a signature, a few seconds entirely belonging to the creatives, to do with what they will.
As such, closing logos are as self-indulgent or esoteric as the production company wills them. They’re perhaps the only place in television production where in-jokes, family photos, personal homages (or extended rants in the case of one comedy producer) and kid-drawn scribbles usually found taped to the fridge door are entirely welcome. »
Robert Walker: Actor in MGM films of the '40s. Robert Walker: Actor who conveyed boy-next-door charms, psychoses At least on screen, I've always found the underrated actor Robert Walker to be everything his fellow – and more famous – MGM contract player James Stewart only pretended to be: shy, amiable, naive. The one thing that made Walker look less like an idealized “Average Joe” than Stewart was that the former did not have a vacuous look. Walker's intelligence shone clearly through his bright (in black and white) grey eyes. As part of its “Summer Under the Stars” programming, Turner Classic Movies is dedicating today, Aug. 9, '15, to Robert Walker, who was featured in 20 films between 1943 and his untimely death at age 32 in 1951. Time Warner (via Ted Turner) owns the pre-1986 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library (and almost got to buy the studio outright in 2009), so most of Walker's movies have »
- Andre Soares
'The Beginning or the End' 1947 with Robert Walker and Tom Drake. Hiroshima bombing 70th anniversary: Six movies dealing with the A-bomb terror Seventy years ago, on Aug. 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. Ultimately, anywhere between 70,000 and 140,000 people died – in addition to dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and most other living beings in that part of the world. Three days later, America dropped a second atomic bomb, this time over Nagasaki. Human deaths in this other city totaled anywhere between 40,000-80,000. For obvious reasons, the evisceration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been a quasi-taboo in American films. After all, in the last 75 years Hollywood's World War II movies, from John Farrow's Wake Island (1942) and Mervyn LeRoy's Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) to Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor (2001), almost invariably have presented a clear-cut vision »
- Andre Soares
Coleen Gray ca. 1950. Coleen Gray dead at 92: Leading lady in early Stanley Kubrick film noir classic Actress Coleen Gray, best known for Stanley Kubrick's crime drama The Killing, has died. Her death was announced by Classic Images contributor Laura Wagner on Facebook's “Film Noir” group. Wagner's source was David Schecter, who had been friends with the actress for quite some time. Via private message, he has confirmed Gray's death of natural causes earlier today, Aug. 3, '15, at her home in Bel Air, on the Los Angeles Westside. Gray (born on Oct. 23, 1922, in Staplehurst, Nebraska) was 92. Coleen Gray movies As found on the IMDb, Coleen Gray made her film debut as an extra in the 20th Century Fox musical State Fair (1945), starring Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews. Her association with film noir began in 1947, with the release of Henry Hathaway's Kiss of Death (1947), notable for showing Richard Widmark »
- Andre Soares
'San Andreas' movie with Dwayne Johnson. 'San Andreas' movie box office: $100 million domestic milestone today As the old saying (sort of) goes: If you build it, they will come. Warner Bros. built a gigantic video game, called it San Andreas, and They have come to check out Dwayne Johnson perform miraculous deeds not seen since ... George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road, released two weeks earlier. Embraced by moviegoers, hungry for quality, original storylines and well-delineated characters – and with the assistance of 3D surcharges – the San Andreas movie debuted with $54.58 million from 3,777 theaters on its first weekend out (May 29-31) in North America. Down a perfectly acceptable 52 percent on its second weekend (June 5-7), the special effects-laden actioner collected an extra $25.83 million, trailing only the Melissa McCarthy-Jason Statham comedy Spy, (with $29.08 million) as found at Box Office Mojo.* And that's how this original movie – it's not officially a remake, »
- Zac Gille
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
Luis Buñuel movies on TCM tonight (photo: Catherine Deneuve in 'Belle de Jour') The city of Paris and iconoclastic writer-director Luis Buñuel are Turner Classic Movies' themes today and later this evening. TCM's focus on Luis Buñuel is particularly welcome, as he remains one of the most daring and most challenging filmmakers since the invention of film. Luis Buñuel is so remarkable, in fact, that you won't find any Hollywood hipster paying homage to him in his/her movies. Nor will you hear his name mentioned at the Academy Awards – no matter the Academy in question. And rest assured that most film critics working today have never even heard of him, let alone seen any of his movies. So, nowadays Luis Buñuel is un-hip, un-cool, and unfashionable. He's also unquestionably brilliant. These days everyone is worried about freedom of expression. The clash of civilizations. The West vs. The Other. »
- Andre Soares
9 items from 2015
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