19 items from 2013
By Todd Garbarini
William Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973), based upon the novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty, is one of the greatest and most powerful American motion pictures ever made. With an impressive cast that includes Ellen Burstyn, Max Von Sydow, Jason Miller, Lee J. Cobb, Jack MacGowran and newcomer Linda Blair, The Exorcist had its origins in a 1949 case involving the purported demonic possession of a young Evangelical Lutheran boy in Cottage City, MD who is still alive to this day, is retired from Nasa, and claims to have no memory of the events that he experienced. Mr. Blatty, who read about the events at the time, thought about the story for years until he wrote the book circa 1969, some 20 years later, in the house of his ex-wife in Encino, CA.
Coming on the heels of my all-time favorite film, 1971’s Oscar-winning The French Connection, Mr. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Joanne Woodward took home the Oscar for her portrayal in The Three Faces of Eve, a still-terrifying and incredible portrait of a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder. While we’ve seen films dealing with multiple personality disorders, The Three Faces of Eve was one of the first to approach the material in a clinical, dramatic way. The disorder isn’t used to hype a serial killer or create some kind of flashy nonsense. The film is, instead, a brilliant study in psychiatry.
One of my five favorite actors of all-time, Lee J. Cobb, plays the psychiatrist looking delve deeper into Eve’s subconscious. Cobb, one of the last American Hollywood tough guy actors, is just as riveting as Woodward. He remains, nearly forty years after his death, an electrifying performer.
- Robert Ottone
Written and directed by Robert Rossen
Balancing plot and character must be a complex feat to pull off. It seems that, on a weekly basis, especially with the plethora of blogs and websites dedicated to film reviews, articles and podcasts discount various movies for their lack of character development, presenting overly convoluted plots and many similar faux pas. Carrying the precarious pressures of both screenwriting and directing can easily make the exercise of filmmaking all the more demanding, save perhaps for the few masters of both art forms (even then they would surely confess to experiencing some troubled waters). Robert Rossen, who would go on to direct All The King’s Men to Oscar victory in 1949, worked on a much smaller scale for 1947′s Johnny O’Clock.
Johnny O’Clock (Dick Powell) is an upper-lever employee at a local and legal gambling establishment operating under the »
- Edgar Chaput
Two longtime television colleagues are scrubbing in again as they launch a new series.
John C. McGinley worked with executive producer Bill Lawrence for nine seasons as the caustic Dr. Perry Cox on the hospital sitcom "Scrubs." Now the actor plays another slightly off-center mentor as Mr. Mansfield, the self-impressed boss of young bankers in "Ground Floor," a new comedy co-created by Lawrence that premieres with two episodes Thursday, Nov. 14, on TBS.
"When Billy called me up about this, I was just coming off '42,' " the perpetually busy McGinley tells Zap2it, "and I was happily reintegrating myself into doing films. I told him that having had one of the premium experiences of my life, doing the nine years on 'Scrubs' and playing such a damaged and delicious character, I was pretty gun-shy about going back in that pool. And Billy just broke it down for me »
“What an excellent day for an exorcism”.
Director: William Friedkin
Plot: Little Regan MacNeil begins to show signs of demon possession… there’s only one thing to do: call in the Exorcist!
It’s my honest opinion that the best horror movies are the ones that don’t merely exist to scare the s**t out of their audience through constant jump scares or gratuitous shots of blood and guts. No, the best horror movies (like so many we’ve previously discussed in this year’s Thn HalloweenFest) are the ones that have more to them then just gore and screaming blondes.
Take William Friedkin’s sublime 1973 effort, The Exorcist, easily one of the most engrossing and interesting horror films ever produced, as well as being one of the scariest. Based on the equally brilliant novel of »
- Matt Dennis
Gregory Peck from ‘Duel in the Sun’ to ‘How the West Was Won’: TCM schedule (Pt) on August 15 (photo: Gregory Peck in ‘Duel in the Sun’) See previous post: “Gregory Peck Movies: Memorable Miscasting Tonight on Turner Classic Movies.” 3:00 Am Days Of Glory (1944). Director: Jacques Tourneur. Cast: Gregory Peck, Lowell Gilmore, Maria Palmer. Bw-86 mins. 4:30 Am Pork Chop Hill (1959). Director: Lewis Milestone. Cast: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn. Bw-98 mins. Letterbox Format. 6:15 Am The Valley Of Decision (1945). Director: Tay Garnett. Cast: Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp. Bw-119 mins. 8:15 Am Spellbound (1945). Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming, Bill Goodwin, Norman Lloyd, Steve Geray, John Emery, Donald Curtis, Art Baker, Wallace Ford, Regis Toomey, Paul Harvey, Jean Acker, Irving Bacon, Jacqueline deWit, Edward Fielding, Matt Moore, Addison Richards, Erskine Sanford, Constance Purdy. Bw-111 mins. 10:15 Am Designing Woman (1957). Director: Vincente Minnelli. »
- Andre Soares
Morgan Creek and screenwriter Jeremy Slater are currently shopping a TV series based on The Exorcist, which is fitting since this year marks the 40th anniversary of director William Friedkin's horror classic.
No details regarding the story have been released, but the project has received interest from both broadcast and cable networks. Roy Lee (Bates Motel, The Ring) is on board to executive produce. The success of movie-to-tv adaptations such as A&E's Bates Motel and Hannibal, both of which were renewed for second seasons, may have been the springboard for a classic such as The Exorcist to move to the small screen.
Ironically enough, Morgan Creek developed a limited series based on The Exorcist last year with writer Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene), but this version written by Jeremy Slater is said to be completely different. The Exorcist, which starred Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, and Lee J. Cobb, »
Humphrey Bogart movies: ‘The Maltese Falcon,’ ‘High Sierra’ (Image: Most famous Humphrey Bogart quote: ‘The stuff that dreams are made of’ from ‘The Maltese Falcon’) (See previous post: “Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall Movies.”) Besides 1948, 1941 was another great year for Humphrey Bogart — one also featuring a movie with the word “Sierra” in the title. Indeed, that was when Bogart became a major star thanks to Raoul Walsh’s High Sierra and John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon. In the former, Bogart plays an ex-con who falls in love with top-billed Ida Lupino — though both are outacted by ingénue-with-a-heart-of-tin Joan Leslie. In the latter, Bogart plays Dashiel Hammett’s private detective Sam Spade, trying to discover the fate of the titular object; along the way, he is outacted by just about every other cast member, from Mary Astor’s is-she-for-real dame-in-distress to Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominee Sydney Greenstreet. John Huston »
- Andre Soares
Paul Henreid: From Eleanor Parker to ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ (photo: Paul Henreid and Eleanor Parker in ‘Between Two Worlds’) Paul Henreid returns this evening, as Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of July 2013. In Of Human Bondage (1946), he stars in the old Leslie Howard role: a clubfooted medical student who falls for a ruthless waitress (Eleanor Parker, in the old Bette Davis role). Next on TCM, Henreid and Eleanor Parker are reunited in Between Two Worlds (1944), in which passengers aboard an ocean liner wonder where they are and where the hell (or heaven or purgatory) they’re going. Hollywood Canteen (1944) is a near-plotless, all-star showcase for Warner Bros.’ talent, a World War II morale-boosting follow-up to that studio’s Thank Your Lucky Stars, released the previous year. Last of the Buccaneers (1950) and Pirates of Tripoli (1955) are B pirate movies. The former is an uninspired affair, »
- Andre Soares
When The Exorcist was first released in 1973, viewers were frightened out of their wits - and literally out of their seats. Now Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (Wbhe) will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Academy Award winning director William Friedkin's suspense masterpiece that haunted and intrigued the world, with a new Blu-ray release featuring the Extended Director's Cut and Theatrical Version with new special features and premiums ($49.99 Srp). Available October 8, just ahead of Halloween, this 40th Anniversary Edition will include two new featurettes: "Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist" and "Talk of the Devil," as well as an excerpt from Friedkin's book The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir.
A true cinema landmark, the theological thriller is one of the top ten box-office performers of all time. The Exorcist took 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and won two Oscars, for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as winning for Best Sound. »
10: Gentleman’s Agreement
Perhaps a bit tame by today’s standards, but Kazan’s message drama was an extremely important film in 1947, marking one of the first times that the word Jew was explicity used in a Hollywood picture. Kazan was known throughout his career as a champion of social causes, and Gentleman’s Agreement earned him the first of two Best Director wins (out of five such nominations). Agreement follows a respected gentile journalist (Gregory Peck) hired by a magazine publisher (Albert Dekker) to write a gutsy expose about anti-Semitism. In order to deliver a true, honest and powerful story, he decides to present himself as Jewish everywhere he goes. Gregory Peck gives unquestionably the second best performance of his career. His strong, steady portrayal earned him a Best Actor nomination (although not a win).
- Ricky D
9: Wild River
Set during the early 1930s when American »
Written by Richard Murphy
Directed by Elia Kazan
Elections are won and lost for a multitude of reasons, many of which are of public knowledge.. Even so, the tactics of certain politically oriented manoeuvres in campaigns are just as frequently a secret to the public eye, inviting constant speculation as to what is transpiring behind the well guarded curtain. In a reasonably fair and free democracy, public pressure will, in the event of an election, encourage politicians and their staff to venture down whatever avenue necessary to secure a term in office. Said avenues may not necessarily be kosher, nor morally justified, but then again, all seems fair in politics when the prize is power. Boomerang, directed by the much celebrated Elia Kazan, is another of the auteur’s many projects that took an unflinching look at the various errors of human ways, in this case »
- Edgar Chaput
‘Cursed productions’ are not exclusive to horror pictures. But, it’s typically horror films that garner the most attention for tumultuous circumstances surrounding their filming. At one point, people seemed to like the idea of those involved with horror movies being condemned for their participation in the devil’s work. But, these days, many people would, attribute a cursed production to nothing more than bad luck, negligence, unfortunate circumstances, or a combination of the above factors. Films from The Wizard of Oz to Superman have spawned rumors of a curse associated with their production. But, a lot of people argue that there is a slightly less fantastical explanation for films that endured a particularly turbulent shoot.
Despite the fact that people try to tell us that there is no such thing as a ‘cursed production’, we thought it would be interesting to reminisce on some of the most notorious ‘cursed productions’. As a disclaimer, »
- Tyler Doupe
One of the Most Amazing Silent Movies (or Movies of Any Era, Period) Ever Made Tops the List of Best of Movies Released in 1921 Rex Ingram’s The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Metro Pictures' film version of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez’s epic novel -- from a scenario by the immensely powerful writer-producer June Mathis -- catapulted Mathis’ protégé, the until then little known Rudolph Valentino (photo, left), to worldwide superstardom, as The Four Horsemen became one of the biggest box-office hits of the silent era. Ingram’s wife, the invariably excellent Alice Terry (right, dark-haired in real life; a light-haired in her many movies), played Valentino's love interest. Ninety-two years after its initial launch, the Four Horsemen remains a monumental achievement. Released by MGM, Vincente Minnelli's 1962 remake of this Metro Pictures production featured an all-star cast: Glenn Ford, Ingrid Thulin (dubbed by Angela Lansbury), Charles Boyer, Lee J. Cobb, »
- Andre Soares
Monkeyshines! week begins at Trailers from Hell with director John Landis introducing "Gorilla at Large," notable as one of three 3-D productions released by Twentieth Century Fox in the 1950s, and the only film of its kind where objects are thrown away from the camera.Talk about descriptive titles! This generic little indie is set in a Long Beach amusement park terrorized by an escaped gorilla. It benefits from an unusually good cast including Oscar nominee Lee J. Cobb (the same year he made On the Waterfront!) and contract player Anne Bancroft, who probably didn't include this one on her resume. George Barrows fills out the ape suit a year after playing the diving helmet-headed gorilla in "Robot Monster." »
- Trailers From Hell
Chicago – Few movies are as timeless as Elia Kazan’s amazing “On the Waterfront,” recently released in a Criterion Blu-ray edition that stands among the best classics-in-hd releases I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of them. With amazing special features, including an interview with the legendary Martin Scorsese about how the film influenced him, and not just one but three HD transfers (for the three aspect ratios in which the film had to be shot simultaneously), along with a movie that actually gets better with age, “On the Waterfront” is the best Blu-ray release of 2013 to date.
First, a word on aspect ratios (that is further detailed in an excellent visual essay on the first disc of the Blu-ray). “On the Waterfront” went into production at a time when studios were nervous about the encroachment of the television on the country’s entertainment dollar. And so widescreen was born. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The Exorcist, one of the scariest movies of all-time, is turning 40 years old. To celebrate, we caught up with the original film's heart and soul, Linda Blair, to chat about this terrifying anniversary that spans five films and a lot of green vomit and head twisting. This Sunday, in honor of The Exorcist's timeless take on possession, FEARnet is running "The Complete Exorcist" special, which includes back-to-back airings of The Exorcist, Exorcist II: The Heretic, The Exorcist III, Exorcist: The Beginning, and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. Be sure to check it out, but first, check in with our exclusive chat, which finds Regan looking back on Exorcist II: The Heretic, her history with the franchise, and what her dogs think of the movies (to learn more about Linda's WorldHeart Foundation, were you might discover a horror movie loving dog of your own, clickHere) The Exorcist 40th Anniversary: Its »
Directed by Felix E. Feist
Underestimation is arguably one of Man’s greatest flaws. Once an individual has settled into a false sense of security, or is perhaps convinced of his or her own superiority against all possible odds, the lone variable to disrupt that security shall always arrive with the worst possible timing. Anybody would be hard pressed to not admit to a time when that most unwise habits befell them. Even when weighing the opposition and potential variables, the factor that shall ultimately prove to be their undoing can easily be the least anticipated. In crime movies, the culprits frequently attempt to plan the perfect caper or murder, only to be undone by the simplest of clues left behind. The unexpected harbinger of doom could be a piece of evidence, just as it might be a person, »
- Edgar Chaput
Directed by Anthony Mann
Written by Reginald Rose
Anthony Mann directed more than 40 films but is mostly known for his remarkable collaborations with Jimmy Stewart during the 1950s. These five westerns aren’t as well-known as the genre legends but match them in quality and depth. In Winchester ’73 and The Naked Spur in particular, Mann finds a surprising darkness in Stewart that Hitchcock would later use to great effect in Vertigo. This intensity carries over into his 1958 picture Man of the West, which provides the stern Gary Cooper with the chance to flex his muscles. Although he spends much of the story quietly observing the action, it’s clear there’s anger lurking beneath the surface. Adapted from Will C. Brown’s novel The Border Jumpers, this spare production drops a small group of characters into the wasteland and asks them where they stand. The »
- Dan Heaton
19 items from 2013
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