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Produced in the midst of the great depression, director Lloyd Bacon’s pre-code crowd-pleaser doesn’t ignore the grim cloud hanging over the country. The film’s dramatic elements could easily have tipped over to tragedy but Bacon’s choreographer (and unofficial co-director) Busby Berkeley devised a series of phantasmagorical dance sequences (including the 20 minute finale) that transported the downcast ticket-buyers of 1933 to a happier place (at least for 89 minutes). Starring Warner Baxter, Dick Powell and a dazzling Ginger Rogers. »
- Charlie Largent
One of the greatest newspaper pictures ever (can there be many more in our future?), Howard Hawks’ gender-bending remake of The Front Page stands as a comedy classic. Its improvisational-sounding overlapping dialog still impresses as modernistic. Such stars as Ginger Rogers, Jean Arthur, Irene Dunne, Carole Lombard and Claudette Colbert turned down Rosalind Russell’s revamped Hildy Parks role. Cary Grant’s surprised reaction to one of Russell’s unexpected ad-libs was directed directly to Hawks: “Is she going to do that?”. And it’s in the movie. Unfortunately all we could find was a textless trailer on this one. »
- TFH Team
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
In a letter to Alexander Woollcott, Jerome Kern wrote that "Irving Berlin has no place in American Music… He is American Music." What better person to present the art of Irving Berlin than venerable singer and pianist Steve Ross, who presented this great American composer's work in a sterling evening entitled C'mon and Hear: An Irving Berlin July 4th Celebration, at the historical Birdland Jazz Club on Manhattan’s West 44th Street, where he shared the stage with seasoned bassist Jered Egan.
Steve deeply understands the art behind Berlin's voluminous body of work, in a manner unique to himself. His renderings of both well-known, lesser known, and even obscure Berlin songs are historically astute and performed in an exceedingly skillful manner which is at once serious and at the same time carefree. The word »
- Jay Reisberg
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
It’s 1930s America as seen in the movies, through music, and the evasions of newsreels. Franklin Delano Roosevelt preaches prosperity while James Cagney slugs out the decade as a smart-tongued everyman — in a dozen different roles. Director Philippe Mora investigates what was then a new kind of revisionist info-tainment formula: applying old film footage to new purposes.
The Sprocket Vault
1975 / B&W / 1:33 flat full frame / 106 min. / Street Date ?, 2017 / available through The Sprocket Vault / 14.99 (also available in Blu-ray)
Film Editor: Jeremy Thomas
Directed by Philippe Mora
Years before he was briefly sidetracked into sequels for The Howling, Philippe Mora was an accomplished artist and documentary filmmaker. Backed by producers Sanford Lieberson and David Puttnam, his 1974 documentary Swastika pulled a controversial switch on the usual historical fare about »
- Glenn Erickson
Mary Tyler Moore‘s family, friends and A-list admirers gathered over the weekend to pay tribute to the late actress in an intimate memorial ceremony, People has learned.
Oprah Winfrey, Dick Van Dyke, Valerie Harper, Bernadette Peters, Julia Louis-Dreyfus were among those who gathered at the home of director James L. Brooks on Sunday, where they shared memories and honored Moore’s life.
The groundbreaking actress passed away at the age of 80 in January surrounded by her loving husband and close friends, after being on a ventilator and hospitalized with pneumonia due to complications from her decades-long battle with diabetes. »
- Julie Jordan and Mike Miller
Before Barack Obama‘s post-presidency leather jacket, there was his tuxedo jacket. And he liked it so much, he wore it all eight years of his presidency.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama revealed this tidbit during an appearance at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on Tuesday, noting that while the dresses and accessories she wore for state dinners were meticulously photographed and scrutinized, her husband got away with wearing the same outfit year in and year out.
- Tierney McAfee
Thanks to grass-root actions including last winter’s women’s march, there’s been an increased focus on exploring women’s intellect. But a scan of programming choices across the television dial suggests that we also care about their brawn.
From NBC’s “Blindspot”to AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” recent years have seen plenty of heroines who can handle a roundhouse kick or brandish a katana while still landing piercing dialogue and saving the day while picking up a paramour or two.
“Blindspot” and “Supergirl” executive producer Sarah Schechter would like to see even more shows like them because “diversity and representation is so important so that people can feel inspired.” Among Schechter and producing partner Greg Berlanti’s latest projects is the upcoming CW series “Black Lightning” which follows a retired superhero who gets back in the game on the insistence of his teenage daughter.
- Whitney Friedlander
“I won’t be ig-nored, Dan,” said Alex Forest (Glenn Close) to her illicit lover Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) in Fatal Attraction. And so said a large enough number of disconcerted people who were fed up with being ig-nored by the political elite gathered around the Potomac basin to swing the Electoral College vote in favor of Donald Trump. Go fuck yourselves, they said. Bend over, said Trump.
It’s been one lie after another, one alternative fact after another, and one tweet after another since the inauguration, all to assuage the ego of the malignant narcissist who sits in the oval office. His sickophants trip over each other in their eagerness to obfuscate the truth and stay in their own bubbles of power. Erstwhile enemies, thugs, and bullies are welcomed and coddled and credit is taken where it is not due. Everything is upside down and inside out. And »
- Mindy Newell
Frances Dee movies: From 'An American Tragedy' to 'Four Faces West' Frances Dee began her film career at the dawn of the sound era, going from extra to leading lady within a matter of months. Her rapid ascencion came about thanks to Maurice Chevalier, who got her as his romantic interested in Ludwig Berger's 1930 romantic comedy Playboy of Paris. Despite her dark(-haired) good looks and pleasant personality, Dee's Hollywood career never quite progressed to major – or even moderate – stardom. But she was to remain a busy leading lady for about 15 years. Tonight, Turner Classic Movies is showing seven Frances Dee films, ranging from heavy dramas to Westerns. Unfortunately missing is one of Dee's most curious efforts, the raunchy pre-Coder Blood Money, which possibly features her most unusual – and most effective – performance. Having said that, William A. Wellman's Love Is a Racket is a worthwhile subsitute, though the »
- Andre Soares
Jason from Mnpp here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" - this Wednesday marks 118 years since the birth of the dancing legend Fred Astaire, light as air, and so let's tackle (with as much grace as we can muster) his greatest film opposite his greatest co-star, 1935's Top Hat with Ginger Rogers. The story, as much as is there one is a case of mistaken identities - Jerry (Astaire) tap dances his way into the heart of Dale (Rogers) while she thinks he's somebody else, yadda yadda, they bicker and they dance and they make eternal movie magic.
Previously The monkey won! Last week's King Kong competition ping-ponged between the ape and the blonde but in the end twas the Beast that finally killed the Beauty this go-round with 55% of your vote. Said Edward L:
"I call this a tie. Kong is the mightiest film character...but all he wants is Ann, »
How did a film like Cover Girl slip away? When it was shown at the TCM Classic Film Festival in 2012, it was considered something of a discovery, with Robert Osborne frequently singling it out in pre-festival interviews and publicity as a must-see, which makes me feel a little better about having not heard of it at all before seeing it a few months prior at the New Beverly. But the film was immensely popular in its day. Its success instantly pulled Gene Kelly out of limbo at MGM, where he’d been assigned to a series of B-movies and rarely allowed to dance his own choreography, when he was even allowed to dance at all.
Columbia Pictures was not interested in placing such limitations on him. The film’s producer, composer Arthur Schwartz, must have known how lucky they were, because they gave Kelly immense control over its production, especially his dance numbers. »
- Scott Nye
“Am I decent?” They said that Ginger Rogers gave Fred Astaire sex appeal, but the teaming of Astaire and Rita Hayworth is something else. Columbia’s 1941 release is a weak service comedy until the dancing starts, at which point it becomes one of the better musicals of the year – and the breakout vehicle for Ms. Hayworth.
You’ll Never Get Rich
1941 / B&W/ 1:37 flat full frame / 89 min. / Street Date April 18, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95
Cinematography: Philip Tannura
Art Direction: Lionel Banks
Film Editor: Otto Meyer
Original Music: Cole Porter
Produced by Samuel Bischoff
Produced and Directed by Sidney Lanfield
Freed from his Rko contract in 1939, Fred Astaire never signed another long-term deal. He instead jumped from studio to »
- Glenn Erickson
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s singing and dancing talents in La La Land not only impressed their fans, but the film went on to earn 6 Academy Awards® including Best Director for writer-director Damien Chazelle and a record-breaking 7 Golden Globe® Awards. Ryan and Emma worked countless hours with choreographer Mandy Moore to get them into dancing mode. She explains to CineMovie how she transforms actors into Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
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- firstname.lastname@example.org (Super User)
It’s not exactly remarkable that cinema has been around long enough to chart the rise of modern psychology. The first century of film covers society’s entire 20th, a hundred-year span rife with innovation in a great many fields. But as art is keen on investigating the psyche, it’s little surprise that cinema would try to keep pace in some way with the study and expression of it. From the psychological thriller to the psychodrama to most horror films, the study of the mind onscreen sometimes unfolds perfectly naturally, and other times feels like a stiff lecture from somebody who read a really fascinating article in Time the month before. Look no further than Psycho for an example of both, but look to three films that played at the TCM Classic Film Festival for some pretty wild takes.
Based on a novel by a prominent psychologist (once president »
- Scott Nye
The 1930s – more films about women, more films about working life. And often the two overlapped. You watch a film made today, it’s brutally clear that the people who made it rarely have to be anywhere In the ‘30s, at the height of the studio system, the entire creative force behind a picture worked 9-5 on the studio lot, just like anyone else. They had a workplace. And while many made a great deal more money than the characters they were depicting, they knew what it was to hold a job. That mindset, that constant awareness of money and office work and routine, bleeds into the pictures of the period.
Take a film like Rafter Romance, which played at TCM Classic Film Festival Friday morning. Ginger Rogers and Norman Foster star as two broke strangers living in the same apartment building (and they say people knew their neighbors back »
- Scott Nye
Collin is at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival in Hollywood, CA; come inside and check it out!
It’s hardly 9 Am in Hollywood when a young man from TCM taps the microphone at the legendary Egyptian Theatre; his thick Georgia accent stands out in Los Angeles (TCM's headquarters are in Atlanta). The theatre is packed for the first showing of the morning. Everyone’s elbows are rubbing against one another and our knees are pressed against the seats in front of us - but where else can we see a 35mm print of Ginger Rogers (before she was The Ginger Rogers) in the 1933 screwball comedy Rafter Romance?
The TCM rep (whose name I forgot to write down) introduces legendary film critic Leonard Maltin, and like that The South of the United States and Southern California meet for the love of celluloid (a little later Australia’s own Alicia Malone would also introduce a film, »
- email@example.com (Collin Llewellyn)
“It’s the most wonderful time/Of the year…” – Andy Williams
Well, yes and no. There is, after all, still about a week and a half to go before we can put the long national, annual nightmare of the tax season behind us. But it’s also film festival season, which for me specifically means the onset of the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival, the eighth iteration of what has become a perennial moviegoing event. More and more people flock to Hollywood Boulevard each year from all reaches of the country, and from other countries, to revel in the history of Hollywood and international filmmaking, celebrate their favorite stars (including, this year, beloved TCM host Robert Osborne, who died earlier this year and whose presence has been missed at the festival for the past two sessions) and enjoy a long-weekend-sized bout of nostalgia for the movie culture being referred to when »
- Dennis Cozzalio
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