14 items from 2015
(Region B) It's just like the film industry, I tell ya! Director Jules Dassin teams with writer A.I. Bezzerides for one of filmdom's strongest slams at the free market system. Trucker Richard Conte fights back when cheated and robbed by Lee J. Cobb's racketeering produce czar. Thieves' Highway Region B Blu-ray + Pal DVD Arrow Video (UK) 1949 / B&W / 1:37 Academy / 94 min. / Street Date October 20, 2015 / Available at Amazon UK / £14.99 Starring Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Lawrence, Jack Oakie, Millard Mitchell, Joseph Pevney, Morris Carnovsky Cinematography Norbert Brodine Art Direction Chester Gore, Lyle Wheeler Film Editor Nick DeMaggio Original Music Alfred Newman Written by A.I. Bezzerides from his novel Thieves' Market Produced by Robert Bassler Directed by Jules Dassin
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Did Jules Dassin initiate his string of studio produced films noirs, each of which has a strong element of social criticism, if not outright condemnation of 'the system? »
- Glenn Erickson
Stars: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Lawrence, Jack Oakie, Millard Mitchell, Joseph Pevney, Morris Carnovsky, Tamara Shayne | Written by A.I. Bezzerides | Directed by Jules Dassin
Jules Dassin’s Thieves’ Highway was released at a time when Noir was going strong, and fits the mould of what is expected of the genre. In truth though, it is something much different and much more human, providing the audience with an insight into the dirty tricks of market life controlled by mobsters.
In this Arrow Academy release we are introduced to A.I. Bezzerides world of crooks and fall guys where the nice guy is normally the fall guy. In this case Richard Conte plays Nick Garcos a soldier returning from the war to find his father crippled by mobster Mike Figlia (Lee J. Cobb) in a deal gone wrong. Looking for revenge Garcos sources some apples, taking them to the »
- Paul Metcalf
Director William Friedkin's 1973 classic The Exorcist is still considered by many to be the scariest movie of all time. Back in 2013, Morgan Creek Productions was shopping a potential miniseries based on The Exorcist, written by Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four), but we never heard anything about that project moving forward. Last week, Deadline reported that Morgan Creek is looking to sell off their entire film catalog, although the company would keep remake rights for five movies in their 78-film catalog, one of which being The Exorcist, with CEO Jim Robinson revealing that ideas are being "tossed around" for a remake of classic. As it turns out, that isn't the case, with the official Twitter account for Morgan Creek revealing today that they, "will never attempt to remake The Exorcist."
Shortly after the news broke last week, director William Friedkin revealed that he doesn't believe Morgan Creek even owns the rights to the original Exorcist, »
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
Riding in Cars with Cops: Watts’ Thriller Offers Low Yield Excitement
Jon Watts continues in the B-grade vein showcased in his 2014 Eli Roth starring debut, Clown (which wasn’t released in theaters stateside). Starring a couple notable genre stalwarts and featuring a pair of surprisingly varied child characters eliciting the film’s greatest moments of tension thanks entirely to their naiveté, Cop Car reaches its dramatic simmer early on only to evaporate well before its inevitable finale. Though this scenario could have easily played for over-the-top kicks, especially with signature star Kevin Bacon in the villainous lead, Watts and his co-scribe Christopher D. Ford stick to the straight and narrow bits, and the film feels like it would have been a cheapie, knock-off noir from several decades past, a vehicle headlined by someone like Lee J. Cobb.
- Nicholas Bell
Arrow Films & Video have announced its line-up of new Blu-ray releases for October 2015, and once again there are some gems in the list. Chief amongst them are Clive Barker’s first three Hellraiser films in a limited-edition “Scarlet Box”, and a remastered box-set of films directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Kiju Yoshida.
You can check out the full list of films and their special features below, as well as the release dates of the Blu-ray’s with some available in both the UK and Us.
Stephen King was once quoted as saying: “I have seen the future of horror… his name is Clive Barker.” That future became reality when, in 1987, Barker unleashed his directorial debut Hellraiser – launching a hit franchise and creating an instant horror icon in the formidable figure of Pinhead. Barker’s original Hellraiser, based on his novella The Hellbound Heart, follows Kirsty »
- Scott J. Davis
Robert Drasnin, composer of “The Kremlin Letter” and many classic TV shows including “Twilight Zone,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and “Mission: Impossible,” died Wednesday, May 13, at Providence Tarzana Medical Center. He was 87. Death was due to complications from a recent fall.
Drasnin, whose credits also include scores for “The Wild Wild West,” “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour,” “Lost in Space,” “Police Story” and “Hawaii Five-0,” served as director of music for CBS Television from 1977 to 1991.
He was born Nov. 17, 1927, in Charleston, W.Va., but lived in Southern California from 1938. He majored in music at UCLA, receiving his B.A. in 1949, and was soon on the road playing saxophone, clarinet and flute for bandleaders Skinnay Ennis and Les Brown.
After Army service during the Korean War, he returned to UCLA as a graduate student and became associate conductor of the UCLA Symphony. During the 1950s he also played with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra »
- Jon Burlingame
Lawyers in motion pictures have been portrayed as one of two extremes, devils or angels, almost since celluloid was invented. The first film dealing specifically with a law firm and attorneys, 1933’s Counsellor at Law, starring John Barrymore, portrayed its J.D.s as upstanding citizens, as did the early Perry Mason films of the same period. This quickly changed, however, with many attorneys portrayed as being capable of the same brand of skullduggery as their shifty clients. With that in mind, we bring you a list of the good, the bad and the ugly of lawyers in movies. Enjoy, and please refrain from suing us if you feel otherwise...
1. Devil’s Advocate (1997)
Keanu Reeves plays Kevin Lomax, a hot-shot young Florida lawyer who is all about climbing the ladder. When he gets an offer he can’t refuse from a high-powered New York firm, led by the legendary John Milton »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Last night's episode of Inside Amy Schumer pushed the show's gutsy, bawdy brilliance to a new level of sustained excellence. "12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer" took over the whole episode, and it offered a pretty brutal send-up of the kinds of misogynistic vitriol famous women face. It's also an excellent re-creation of its source material: This is an incredibly specific parody, with staging, costuming, and props exactly mimicking the 1957 classic. Right down to the switchblades! Well, almost. The cross-fade from the courtroom into the jury room is a perfect match ... The title design, too. Jeff Goldblum's tie-with-a-polo-shirt outfit looks familiar. As do Kumail Nanjiani's suspenders and body language. Same for Henry Zebrowski. The guy just wants to go to the Blake Shelton concert! Er ... baseball game. Let's take a quick poll. Nick Dipaolo absolutely nails Lee J. Cobb's look and mannerisms. Switchblades, dildos ... Has the »
- Margaret Lyons
We know that "Inside Amy Schumer" can do great parodies, and it can do biting social commentary, and that it has a gift for hiding the latter inside the former. That's been apparent throughout its run, and early in the Comedy Central sketch show's great third season, which has featured a dead-on "Friday Night Lights" parody that was really about rape culture, as well as last week's "One Direction" spoof about women who don't need makeup. Tonight's remarkable episode (it airs, like usual, at 10:30) takes both sides of the show to an extreme. Titled "12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer," it's an episode-length parody of Reginald Rose's classic play "12 Angry Men" (and particularly of the staging of the 1957 Sidney Lumet film version) in which the jurors — played by Jeff Goldblum (the foreman), John Hawkes (the crusading hold-out) and Paul Giamatti and Nick Dipaolo (the two bullying loud mouths), among »
- Alan Sepinwall
Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson on the Oscars' Red Carpet Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson at the Academy Awards Eli Wallach and wife Anne Jackson are seen above arriving at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, held on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The 95-year-old Wallach had received an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in November 2010. See also: "Doris Day Inexplicably Snubbed by Academy," "Maureen O'Hara Honorary Oscar," "Honorary Oscars: Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo Among Rare Women Recipients," and "Hayao Miyazaki Getting Honorary Oscar." Delayed film debut The Actors Studio-trained Eli Wallach was to have made his film debut in Fred Zinnemann's Academy Award-winning 1953 blockbuster From Here to Eternity. Ultimately, however, Frank Sinatra – then a has-been following a string of box office duds – was cast for a pittance, getting beaten to a pulp by a pre-stardom Ernest Borgnine. For his bloodied efforts, Sinatra went on »
- D. Zhea
Otto Preminger’s 1960 film Exodus, which stars Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Ralph Richardson and Lee J. Cobb, celebrates it’s 55th anniversary this year. The Royale Laemmle Theater in Los Angeles will be holding a special one-night-only showing of the 280-minute film on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 7:00 pm. Prior to the screening, actress Eva Marie Saint is scheduled to partake in a Q & A and discussion on the making of the film.
From the press release:
Exodus, based on the best-selling novel by Leon Uris about the founding of the state of Israel, was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1960 and won the Oscar for Ernest Gold's majestic, memorable score. Otto Preminger's lavish production, with a screenplay by formerly blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, was filmed on location with an all-star cast headed by Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Sal Mineo, Jill Haworth, Peter Lawford, Ralph Richardson, and Lee J. Cobb. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Mention The Exorcist in a conversation and most horror fans will declare it the scariest film of all time. While that declaration is well deserved (it’s an absolutely perfect film in every capacity), a film that is quite often overlooked when it comes to the legacy of that film, is the third film in the series, The Exorcist III (1990). While wisely ignoring the events of The Exorcist II: The Heretic (rightfully so, most of us try to act like that one doesn’t exist whatsoever), The Exorcist III did what very few sequels were able to do and it did it with an intense amount of fervor: it rose to the challenge of not only being as good as the original, but in my opinion (and feel free to call bullshit on this, it won’t change my mind), it actual improves on the original in some ways, giving a solid, »
- Jerry Smith
It’s December. And you know what that means? It means for every popcorn blockbuster, we get about three Oscar bait movies that are made solely to appease that body of somewhat stodgy Academy voters. Don’t get me wrong – a good portion of the Best Picture winners in history are still some of the greatest films ever made – “The Godfather” (Parts I and II), “Schindler’s List,” etc. But what about those historically good movies that got the nomination, but didn’t take home the prize? What about those popular movies that carried fan support, but lost out to a smaller, most of the time better, film? Well, here they are. This list focuses on those films that may or may not have been produced as Oscar bait, but earned the recognition of “Best Picture nominee,” only to walk away without the big prize. As usual, not in order of worst to best. »
- Joshua Gaul
14 items from 2015
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