6 items from 2013
Jeanne Crain: Lighthearted movies vs. real life tragedies (photo: Madeleine Carroll and Jeanne Crain in ‘The Fan’) (See also: "Jeanne Crain: From ‘Pinky’ Inanity to ‘Margie’ Magic.") Unlike her characters in Margie, Home in Indiana, State Fair, Centennial Summer, The Fan, and Cheaper by the Dozen (and its sequel, Belles on Their Toes), or even in the more complex A Letter to Three Wives and People Will Talk, Jeanne Crain didn’t find a romantic Happy Ending in real life. In the mid-’50s, Crain accused her husband, former minor actor Paul Brooks aka Paul Brinkman, of infidelity, of living off her earnings, and of brutally beating her. The couple reportedly were never divorced because of their Catholic faith. (And at least in the ’60s, unlike the humanistic, progressive-thinking Margie, Crain was a “conservative” Republican who supported Richard Nixon.) In the early ’90s, she lost two of her »
- Andre Soares
The show's authenticity is hotly debated – I used to dress up as a Viking so I've got an idea, but I also know it's not cut and dried
Between 1994 and 1998, my dad and I dressed up as Vikings on the weekends.
The interest was mostly driven by my dad, who worked days as a geologist but spent almost all his free time feeding his fascinating but time-consuming hobby in an effort to "get closer to history". He bent his own bows, brewed his own mead and sewed his own Viking shoes (you can see pictures here). As members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (Sca for short), we'd camp out with 2,000 other people in a Pennsylvania field, living out of a Viking-style tent that folded up as easily as a camp bed. Later, my dad joined the Longship Trading Company, an amateur group dedicated to sailing and maintaining modern-built Viking longships. »
- Erica Stratton
From SneakPeekTV.Com, take a look at the original 1953 science fiction feature "Invaders From Mars", directed by William Cameron Menzies, based on a story treatment by John Tucker Battle who was inspired by a dream recounted by his wife.
"...late one night, young 'David MacLean' (Hunt) is awakened by a thunderstorm. From his bedroom window he sees a large flying saucer descend and disappear into the sandpit area behind his home. After rushing to tell his parents, his scientist father (Leif Erickson) goes to investigate David's claim.
"When his father returns much later in the morning, David notices an unusual red puncture along the hairline on the back of his father's neck; his father is now behaving in a cold and hostile manner. David soon begins to realize something is »
- Michael Stevens
The Two Kerrs: John and Deborah in Tea and Sympathy play and movie [Please see previous article: "John Kerr Has Died: (Possibly) Gay Adolescent in play and movie versions of Tea and Sympathy."] Playwright Robert Anderson's psychological drama Tea and Sympathy is notable for a number of reasons: it marked Hollywood/British cinema star Deborah Kerr's Broadway debut (coincidentally, on her 32nd birthday, Sept. 30); one of the play's key characters (the one played by English Rose Kerr) turns out to be a sympathetic adulteress; and Anderson's play tackles homosexuality, a topic that, despite Elia Kazan's movie version of A Streetcar Named Desire (Kazan also directed the play), remained taboo throughout the 1950s. Also worth mentioning is that Tea and Sympathy shows that the last sixty years haven't necessarily led to a major lessening in cultural or social prejudices, as the narrative would still be considered quite daring in the early 21st century -- even if for not the same reasons. (Above movie still: The two Kerrs, John and Deborah, »
- Andre Soares
Directed by John Rawlins
USA, 86 min – 1942.
Part of a series of exotic pictures released by Universal in the 1940s (the others of which include Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and White Savage), Arabian Nights places the Hollywood spin on the classic tale of Scheherazade and her murderous husband. The name of the source material’s heroine – Scheherazade – is kept the same, while others are changed. The tale is twisted, so that there seems to be very little of the original myth and of the original Scheherazade. What is left are some names, supposed exotic places (“Arabia”), a brother’s feud, and humorous references to the stories of Aladdin and Sinbad. Arabian Nights becomes a campy adventure film to take war-minded audiences away to a far off place, for a while. It works.
Universal’s Arabian Nights begins with a frame »
- Karen Bacellar
The Western was a movie staple for decades. It seemed the genre that would never die, feeding the fantasies of one generation after another of young boys who galloped around their backyards, playgrounds, and brick streets on broomsticks, banging away with their Mattel cap pistols. Something about a man on a horse set against the boundless wastes of Monument Valley, the crackle of saddle leather, two men facing off in a dusty street under the noon sun connected with the free spirit in every kid.
The American movie – a celluloid telling that was more than a skit – was born in a Western: Edwin S. Porter’s 11- minute The Great Train Robbery (1903). Thereafter, Westerns grew longer, they grew more complex. The West – hostile, endless, civilization barely maintaining a toehold against the elements, hostile natives, and robber barons – proved an infinitely plastic setting. In a place with no law, and where »
- Bill Mesce
6 items from 2013
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