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1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month

1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month
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
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

TCM Remembers WB Actress Who Would Become Broadway Star

Canadian-born actress Alexis Smith (born 1921) would have turned 96 years old today, June 8. Turner Classic Movies is celebrating her birthday by presenting nine of her movies, mostly during her time as a Warner Bros. contract player. In addition to Michael Curtiz's box office hit Night and Day, a highly fictionalized Cole Porter biopic starring Cary Grant as a heterosexual version of the famed gay composer. Night and Day is being shown as part of TCM's Gay Pride Month celebration. Alexis Smith died on June 9, 1993, the day after she turned 72. After her film career petered out in the 1950s, she went on to receive acclaim on the Broadway stage, making sporadic film appearances all the way to the year of her death. Smith's last film appearance was in a minor supporting role in Martin Scorsese's overly genteel period drama The Age of Innocence (1993), starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Ox-Bow Incident

Leave it to director William Wellman to direct the most compelling social justice movie of the 1940s. Taken from a bestselling novel, it's a wrenching examination of the workings of a natural American phenomenon, the Lynch Mob. The Ox-Bow Incident Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1942 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 75 min. / Street Date July 12, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe, Harry Morgan, Jane Darwell, Matt Briggs, Harry Davenport, Frank Conroy, Marc Lawrence Cinematography Arthur Miller Art Direction James Basevi, Richard Day Film Editor Allen McNeil Original Music Cyril J. Mockridge Written and Produced by Lamar Trotti from a novel by Walter Van Tilburg Clark Directed by William A. Wellman

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

In the first scene of this grim feature, Henry Fonda stumbles out of a saloon street and throws up in the street. Apparently that was the reaction shared
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Will Women's Right to Vote Signal the End of the Family?: Socially Conscious Rarities

Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Dorothy Davenport becomes a judge and later State Governor in socially conscious thriller about U.S. women's voting rights. Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Will women's right to vote lead to the destruction of The American Family? Directed by and featuring the now all but forgotten Willis Robards, Mothers of Men – about women suffrage and political power – was a fast-paced, 64-minute buried treasure screened at the 2016 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held June 2–5. I thoroughly enjoyed being taken back in time by this 1917 socially conscious drama that dares to ask the question: “What will happen to the nation if all women have the right to vote?” One newspaper editor insists that women suffrage would mean the destruction of The Family. Women, after all, just did not have the capacity for making objective decisions due to their emotional composition. It
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oberon on TCM: Actress with Mystery Past Wears Men's Clothes, Fights Nazis

Merle Oberon movies: Mysterious star of British and American cinema. Merle Oberon on TCM: Donning men's clothes in 'A Song to Remember,' fighting hiccups in 'That Uncertain Feeling' Merle Oberon is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month of March 2016. The good news: the exquisite (and mysterious) Oberon, whose ancestry has been a matter of conjecture for decades, makes any movie worth a look. The bad news: TCM isn't offering any Oberon premieres despite the fact that a number of the actress' films – e.g., Temptation, Night in Paradise, Pardon My French, Interval – can be tough to find. This evening, March 18, TCM will be showing six Merle Oberon movies released during the first half of the 1940s. Never a top box office draw in the United States, Oberon was an important international star all the same, having worked with many of the top actors and filmmakers of the studio era.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

“You Can’T Take It With You” (Directed by Frank Capra; 1938) Sony Blu-ray Special Edition

  • CinemaRetro
“Can’T Buy Me Love”

By Raymond Benson

Frank Capra was a superstar Hollywood director in the 1930s. He had a string of critically-acclaimed and successful pictures after joining Columbia Pictures and elevating the studio from “poverty row” to a force that competed with the big leagues. Two of Capra’s Columbia movies won the Oscar for Best Picture, and Capra became the first filmmaker to win the Oscar for Best Director three times, all within five years. You Can’t Take it With You was Capra’s second Best Picture winner and his third Best Director achievement.

Sometimes his films have been called “Capra-corn,” because they are usually steeped in Americana, explore themes of social class inequality, feature casts of eccentric—but lovable—protagonists and greedy, heartless villains, and contain stories about the Everyman’s struggle against the Establishment. Capra was also one of the developers of the screwball comedy,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Norma Shearer films Note: This article is being revised and expanded. Please check back later. Turner Classic Movies' Norma Shearer month comes to a close this evening, Nov. 24, '15, with the presentation of the last six films of Shearer's two-decade-plus career. Two of these are remarkably good; one is schizophrenic, a confused mix of high comedy and low drama; while the other three aren't the greatest. Yet all six are worth a look even if only because of Norma Shearer herself – though, really, they all have more to offer than just their top star. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke, the no-expense-spared Marie Antoinette (1938) – $2.9 million, making it one of the most expensive movies ever made up to that time – stars the Canadian-born Queen of MGM as the Austrian-born Queen of France. This was Shearer's first film in two years (following Romeo and Juliet) and her first release following husband Irving G.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Queen of MGM: Fighting Revolutionaries, Nazis, and Joan Crawford

Norma Shearer films Note: This article is being revised and expanded. Please check back later. Turner Classic Movies' Norma Shearer month comes to a close this evening, Nov. 24, '15, with the presentation of the last six films of Shearer's two-decade-plus career. Two of these are remarkably good; one is schizophrenic, a confused mix of high comedy and low drama; while the other three aren't the greatest. Yet all six are worth a look even if only because of Norma Shearer herself – though, really, they all have more to offer than just their top star. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke, the no-expense-spared Marie Antoinette (1938) – $2.9 million, making it one of the most expensive movies ever made up to that time – stars the Canadian-born Queen of MGM as the Austrian-born Queen of France. This was Shearer's first film in two years (following Romeo and Juliet) and her first release following husband Irving G.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Two-Time Oscar Winner Cooper on TCM: Pro-War 'York' and Eastwood-Narrated Doc

Gary Cooper movies on TCM: Cooper at his best and at his weakest Gary Cooper is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 30, '15. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any Cooper movie premiere – despite the fact that most of his Paramount movies of the '20s and '30s remain unavailable. This evening's features are Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Sergeant York (1941), and Love in the Afternoon (1957). Mr. Deeds Goes to Town solidified Gary Cooper's stardom and helped to make Jean Arthur Columbia's top female star. The film is a tad overlong and, like every Frank Capra movie, it's also highly sentimental. What saves it from the Hell of Good Intentions is the acting of the two leads – Cooper and Arthur are both excellent – and of several supporting players. Directed by Howard Hawks, the jingoistic, pro-war Sergeant York was a huge box office hit, eventually earning Academy Award nominations in several categories,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Leigh Day on TCM: From Southern Belle in 'Controversial' Epic to Rape Victim in Code-Buster

Vivien Leigh ca. late 1940s. Vivien Leigh movies: now controversial 'Gone with the Wind,' little-seen '21 Days Together' on TCM Vivien Leigh is Turner Classic Movies' star today, Aug. 18, '15, as TCM's “Summer Under the Stars” series continues. Mostly a stage actress, Leigh was seen in only 19 films – in about 15 of which as a leading lady or star – in a movie career spanning three decades. Good for the relatively few who saw her on stage; bad for all those who have access to only a few performances of one of the most remarkable acting talents of the 20th century. This evening, TCM is showing three Vivien Leigh movies: Gone with the Wind (1939), 21 Days Together (1940), and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). Leigh won Best Actress Academy Awards for the first and the third title. The little-remembered film in-between is a TCM premiere. 'Gone with the Wind' Seemingly all
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Have Jurassic Dinosaurs Truly Kicked Marvel Superheroes Butt at Worldwide Box Office?

'Jurassic World' velociraptor kicks Iron Man ass at worldwide box office. 'Jurassic World' officially surpasses 'The Avengers' at worldwide box office Directed by Colin Trevorrow; starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Vincent D'Onofrio; and co-executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, Jurassic World has officially become the third biggest worldwide box office hit in history. The Jurassic Park sequel – or reboot, as it's basically the same story with a slightly different twist – has surpassed Marvel's Joss Whedon-directed all-star superhero flick The Avengers, which broke box office records back in 2012. Of course, "officially" just ain't what it used to be – like, in the days before The Fall. So you wisely ask, "But which movie has actually sold the most tickets?" After all, that's the true measure of a film's popularity. Well, that's a tough one to answer without the studios providing accurate, precise numbers. And that's not about to happen. It always
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Three 1930s Capra Classics Tonight: TCM's Jean Arthur Mini-Festival

Jean Arthur films on TCM include three Frank Capra classics Five Jean Arthur films will be shown this evening, Monday, January 5, 2015, on Turner Classic Movies, including three directed by Frank Capra, the man who helped to turn Arthur into a major Hollywood star. They are the following: Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; George Stevens' The More the Merrier; and Frank Borzage's History Is Made at Night. One the most effective performers of the studio era, Jean Arthur -- whose film career began inauspiciously in 1923 -- was Columbia Pictures' biggest female star from the mid-'30s to the mid-'40s, when Rita Hayworth came to prominence and, coincidentally, Arthur's Columbia contract expired. Today, she's best known for her trio of films directed by Frank Capra, Columbia's top director of the 1930s. Jean Arthur-Frank Capra
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Several of Grant's Best Films Tonight on TCM

Cary Grant movies: 'An Affair to Remember' does justice to its title (photo: Cary Grant ca. late 1940s) Cary Grant excelled at playing Cary Grant. This evening, fans of the charming, sophisticated, debonair actor -- not to be confused with the Bristol-born Archibald Leach -- can rejoice, as no less than eight Cary Grant movies are being shown on Turner Classic Movies, including a handful of his most successful and best-remembered star vehicles from the late '30s to the late '50s. (See also: "Cary Grant Classic Movies" and "Cary Grant and Randolph Scott: Gay Lovers?") The evening begins with what may well be Cary Grant's best-known film, An Affair to Remember. This 1957 romantic comedy-melodrama is unusual in that it's an even more successful remake of a previous critical and box-office hit -- the Academy Award-nominated 1939 release Love Affair -- and that it was directed
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

New on Video: ‘Foreign Correspondent’

Foreign Correspondent

Written by Charles Bennett and Joan Harrison

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

USA, 1940

As if his British films weren’t evidence enough of his talent, Alfred Hitchcock made quite the impression when he came to Hollywood in 1940. His first picture in the states, Rebecca, was nominated for Best Picture at the 1941 Academy Awards. So was his second, Foreign Correspondent, also released in 1940. While Rebecca would ultimately win, many – then and now – consider the achievement as belonging more to producer David O. Selznick than to the director. This is not without some justification. Though Rebecca bears more than a few notably Hitchcockian touches, between the two features, Foreign Correspondent looks and feels more appropriately like Hitchcock’s previous and later works. The Criterion Collection, recently very kind to Hitchcock on Blu-ray, now gives this latter feature a suitably well-rounded treatment, with a documentary on the film’s visual effects, an
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Oldest Surviving Credited Gwtw Performer Has Died

Gone with the Wind’ actress Alicia Rhett dead at 98; was oldest surviving credited Gwtw cast member Gone with the Wind actress Alicia Rhett, the oldest surviving credited cast member of the 1939 Oscar-winning blockbuster, died on January 3, 2014, at the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, South Carolina, where Rhett had been living since August 2002. Alicia Rhett, born on February 1, 1915, in Savannah, Georgia, was 98. (Photo: Alicia Rhett as India Wilkes in Gone with the Wind.) In Gone with the Wind, the David O. Selznick production made in conjunction with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM head Louis B. Mayer was Selznick’s father-in-law), the stage-trained Alicia Rhett played India Wilkes, the embittered sister of Ashley Wilkes, whom Scarlett O’Hara loves — though Ashley eventually marries Melanie Hamilton (Rhett had auditioned for the role), while Scarlett ends up with Rhett Butler. Based on Margaret Mitchell’s bestseller, Gone with the Wind was (mostly) directed by Victor Fleming
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

McDaniel TCM Schedule Includes Her Biggest Personal Hits

Hattie McDaniel as Mammy in ‘Gone with the Wind’: TCM schedule on August 20, 2013 (photo: Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel in ‘Gone with the Wind’) See previous post: “Hattie McDaniel: Oscar Winner Makes History.” 3:00 Am Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943). Director: David Butler. Cast: Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan, Eddie Cantor, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, John Garfield, Ida Lupino, Ann Sheridan, Dinah Shore, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson, Alan Hale, George Tobias, Edward Everett Horton, S.Z. Sakall, Hattie McDaniel, Ruth Donnelly, Don Wilson, Spike Jones, Henry Armetta, Leah Baird, Willie Best, Monte Blue, James Burke, David Butler, Stanley Clements, William Desmond, Ralph Dunn, Frank Faylen, James Flavin, Creighton Hale, Sam Harris, Paul Harvey, Mark Hellinger, Brandon Hurst, Charles Irwin, Noble Johnson, Mike Mazurki, Fred Kelsey, Frank Mayo, Joyce Reynolds, Mary Treen, Doodles Weaver. Bw-127 mins. 5:15 Am Janie (1944). Director: Michael Curtiz. Cast: Joyce Reynolds, Robert Hutton,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

My favourite Hitchcock: Foreign Correspondent

Hitchcock's breathless tale of an American pressman in a Europe on the brink of war was labelled a 'masterpiece of propaganda' by Josef Goebbels

It's always the same when you dilly dally in getting up to the buffet at a social function – most of the luxury dishes are gone. So being late to this party it was no surprise my favourite fare was already devoured: my all-time favourite film The 39 Steps, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, Strangers on a Train. But perhaps when the high-end items are out of the equation it allows you time to revisit some of the more humble fare, and when the chef is five-star, humble fare nourishes the mind and soul.

Foreign Correspondent is described variously as a lesser Hitchcock work, a shameless exercise in propaganda, a glorified B-movie and one of the greatest spy thrillers ever made. It is all of these and
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Ann Rutherford Bio: Titanic Old Rose Invitation

Gone With The Wind Actress Ann Rutherford Dies. [Photo: Ann Rutherford as Carreen O'Hara, Evelyn Keyes as Suellen O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.]

Ann Rutherford‘s most notable screen roles were in films made away from both MGM and Wallace Beery. She was a young woman who falls for trumpeter George Montgomery in Archie Mayo’s 20th Century Fox musical Orchestra Wives (1942), and became enmeshed with (possibly) amnesiac Tom Conway in Anthony Mann’s Rko thriller Two O’Clock Courage (1945).

Following a couple of minor supporting roles — in the Danny Kaye comedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) at Goldwyn and the Errol Flynn costumer The Adventures of Don Juan (1948) at Warner Bros. — and the female lead in the independently made cattle drama Operation Haylift (1950), opposite Bill Williams, Ann Rutherford retired from the screen. (Rutherford would later say that her Operation Haylift experience was anything but pleasant.)

She then turned to television, making regular television appearances in the ’50s (The Donna Reed Show, Playhouse 90,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

To honor the passing of the great songwriter Hugh Martin Friday at 96 years of age, a repost of a review of one of my 100 favorite movies, a member of my personal canon. (If you joined us after 2008 you can pretend it's a new essay!) Imagine giving the world such perfectly crafted enduring gifts as "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Trolley Song". R.I.P. Mr. Martin.

Meet Me in St. Louis "The Blossoming of Judy Garland"

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Directed by Vincente Minnelli; Written by Irving Brecher and Fred F Finklehoffe from the novel "5135 Kensington" by Sally Benson; Starring Judy Garland, Mary Astor, Leon Ames, Margaret O'Brien, Lucille Bremer, Harry Davenport, June Lockhart, Tom Drake and Marjorie Main; Production & Distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM); Released 11/28/1944

It's Summer 1903 in Missouri and the Smith family are buzzing about the World's Fair coming to their town the following spring. Teenage
See full article at FilmExperience »

Haunted Echoes and the Pain of Loss

2010 seems to be the year for horror wide releases and low budget rentals as Haunted Echoes makes a debut this March. Sean Young (Blade Runner), M. Emmett Walsh (My Best Friend's Wedding), David Starzyk (7th Heaven), and Juliet Landau (Ed Wood) star in this haunted tale of possession and child murder. Distributed through E1 Entertainment Haunted Echoes can be enjoyed on DVD March 9, 2010, with initial reviews for this flick mostly positive.

A synopsis for Haunted Echoes below:

"Guy and Laura have recently suffered a parent's worst nightmare: their eight-year-old daughter Kimberly was abducted from her bedroom and murdered. They move to a charming old house in need of repair, hoping the project will alleviate their pain but they soon find themselves haunted by a young female spirit; is it their daughter or another entity using the grieving couple for its own sinister purposes (Uhm)?"

Director: Harry Davenport.

Writer: Rachel Calendar.
See full article at 28 Days Later Analysis »
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