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Scott’s TCM Fest Dispatch, Part One: Silliness

This is my seventh TCM Classic Film Festival. At a certain point, some things become routine – one learns to expect the exhaustion at the dawn of day three (of four), the constant negotiation between personal viewing whims and rare presentations, the way plots and aesthetic choices start to run together, and the suspicion that explaining the draw of such an event to those not immediately inclined to attend it may come across a touch insane. Film festivals are innately demanding experiences, but between the pleasure of its programming, the consolidation of the venues, and the brevity of most of its films’ running times, few make it so easy to watch four, five, six movies in a day. You tell your coworkers on Monday what you did all weekend, and it starts to not make a lot of sense. But somehow, in the midst of it all, the point of it couldn’t be clearer.
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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 »

Key Largo

Bogie and Bacall are back, but with Edward G. Robinson's oily gangster breathing down their necks -- "Nyah!" Excellent direction (John Huston) and great performances (Claire Trevor) have made this one an eternal classic. We want subtitles for whatever Eddie whispered in Betty's ear... A most-requested, or demanded, HD release from Warners. Key Largo Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1948 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 100 min. / Street Date February 23, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Claire Trevor, Thomas Gomez, Harry Lewis, John Rodney, Marc Lawrence, Dan Seymour, Monte Blue, William Haade, Jay Silverheels, Rodd Redwing. Cinematography Karl Freund Film Editor Rudi Fehr Original Music Max Steiner Written by Richard Brooks, John Huston from the play by Maxwell Anderson Produced by Jerry Wald Directed by John Huston

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

I'd guess that Key Largo became a classic the moment it hit the screen,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Fiery Red-Head Hayward Is TCM's Star of the Month

Susan Hayward. Susan Hayward movies: TCM Star of the Month Fiery redhead Susan Hayward it Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month in Sept. 2015. The five-time Best Actress Oscar nominee – like Ida Lupino, a would-be Bette Davis that only sporadically landed roles to match the verve of her thespian prowess – was initially a minor Warner Bros. contract player who went on to become a Paramount second lead in the early '40s, a Universal leading lady in the late '40s, and a 20th Century Fox star in the early '50s. TCM will be presenting only three Susan Hayward premieres, all from her Fox era. Unfortunately, her Paramount and Universal work – e.g., Among the Living, Sis Hopkins, And Now Tomorrow, The Saxon Charm – which remains mostly unavailable (in quality prints), will remain unavailable this month. Highlights of the evening include: Adam Had Four Sons (1941), a sentimental but surprisingly
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Legendary Bergman on TCM: From Hollywood Career-Ruining Scandal to 3 Oscars and Another Bergman

Ingrid Bergman ca. early 1940s. Ingrid Bergman movies on TCM: From the artificial 'Gaslight' to the magisterial 'Autumn Sonata' Two days ago, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series highlighted the film career of Greta Garbo. Today, Aug. 28, '15, TCM is focusing on another Swedish actress, three-time Academy Award winner Ingrid Bergman, who would have turned 100 years old tomorrow. TCM has likely aired most of Bergman's Hollywood films, and at least some of her early Swedish work. As a result, today's only premiere is Fielder Cook's little-seen and little-remembered From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1973), about two bored kids (Sally Prager, Johnny Doran) who run away from home and end up at New York City's Metropolitan Museum. Obviously, this is no A Night at the Museum – and that's a major plus. Bergman plays an elderly art lover who takes an interest in them; her
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

MGM's Lioness, the Epitome of Hollywood Superstardom, Has Her Day on TCM

Joan Crawford Movie Star Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and The Taxi Dancer (1927), and check her out in the more easily accessible The Unknown (1927) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928). By the early '30s, Joan Crawford had become a first-rate film actress, far more naturalistic than
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oscar Film Series: Death and Music in Melodrama Saved by Crawford

'Humoresque': Joan Crawford and John Garfield. 'Humoresque' 1946: Saved by Joan Crawford Directed by Jean Negulesco from a screenplay by Clifford Odets and Zachary Gold (loosely based on a Fannie Hurst short story), Humoresque always frustrates me because its first 25 minutes are excruciatingly boring – until Joan Crawford finally makes her appearance during a party scene. Crawford plays Helen Wright, a rich society lush in love with a tough-guy violin player, Paul Boray (John Garfield), who happens to be in love with his music. Fine support is offered by Paul's parents, played by Ruth Nelson and the fabulous chameleon-like J. Carroll Naish. Oscar Levant is the sarcastic, wisecracking piano player, who plays his part to the verge of annoyance. (Spoilers ahead.) Something wrong with that woman The Humoresque scenes between Paul and his mother are particularly intriguing, as the mother conveys her objections to Helen by lamenting, "There's something wrong with a woman like that!
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,
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Forget Hitchcock's Vertigo: Tonight the Greatest Movie About Obsessive Desire

Joan Fontaine movies: ‘This Above All,’ ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman’ (photo: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine in ‘Suspicion’ publicity image) (See previous post: “Joan Fontaine Today.”) Also tonight on Turner Classic Movies, Joan Fontaine can be seen in today’s lone TCM premiere, the flag-waving 20th Century Fox release The Above All (1942), with Fontaine as an aristocratic (but socially conscious) English Rose named Prudence Cathaway (Fontaine was born to British parents in Japan) and Fox’s top male star, Tyrone Power, as her Awol romantic interest. This Above All was directed by Anatole Litvak, who would guide Olivia de Havilland in the major box-office hit The Snake Pit (1948), which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nod. In Max Ophüls’ darkly romantic Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), Fontaine delivers not only what is probably the greatest performance of her career, but also one of the greatest movie performances ever. Letter from an Unknown Woman
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Bogart and the Stuff That Both Dreams and Nightmares Are Made Of

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
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

From Freedom Fighter to Blacklisted 'Subversive'; Henreid Takes a Last Bow Tonight

Paul Henreid in ‘Casablanca’: Freedom Fighter on screen, Blacklisted ‘Subversive’ off screen Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of July 2013, Paul Henreid, bids you farewell this evening. TCM left the most popular, if not exactly the best, for last: Casablanca, Michael Curtiz’s 1943 Best Picture Oscar-winning drama, is showing at 7 p.m. Pt tonight. (Photo: Paul Henreid sings "La Marseillaise" in Casablanca.) One of the best-remembered movies of the studio era, Casablanca — not set in a Spanish or Mexican White House — features Paul Henreid as Czechoslovakian underground leader Victor Laszlo, Ingrid Bergman’s husband but not her True Love. That’s Humphrey Bogart, owner of a cafe in the titular Moroccan city. Henreid’s anti-Nazi hero is generally considered one of least interesting elements in Casablanca, but Alt Film Guide contributor Dan Schneider thinks otherwise. In any case, Victor Laszlo feels like a character made to order for Paul Henreid,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Three-Time Academy Award Nominee Turns 91 Today

Eleanor Parker: Palm Springs resident turns 91 today Eleanor Parker turns 91 today. The three-time Oscar nominee (Caged, 1950; Detective Story, 1951; Interrupted Melody, 1955) and Palm Springs resident is Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of June 2013. Earlier this month, TCM showed a few dozen Eleanor Parker movies, from her days at Warner Bros. in the ’40s to her later career as a top Hollywood supporting player. (Photo: Publicity shot of Eleanor Parker in An American Dream.) Missing from TCM’s movie series, however, was not only Eleanor Parker’s biggest box-office it — The Sound of Music, in which she steals the show from both Julie Andrews and the Alps — but also what according to several sources is her very first movie role: a bit part in Raoul Walsh’s They Died with Their Boots On, a 1941 Western starring Errol Flynn as a dashingly handsome and all-around-good-guy-ish General George Armstrong Custer. Olivia de Havilland
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Thirty Most Anticipated Films of 2012: #1-10

2012 is shaping out to be a banner year for Hollywood blockbusters. Between the amount of buzz that The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises alone are generating over the past year alone makes one feel that these heavyweights are exhausting their stay. It’s hard to believe that in a year filled with high budgets and wide adaptations, that there is room for anything else. Yet this year is also a frontrunner for many beloved cult filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers and Steven Soderbergh. In a way, one can imagine that this year is turning out to be a David and Goliath type of battle. Who will reign supreme? Will the victors be the fanboys or the mass audience? Shall the conquerors be those who bleed cinema or those who bleed green? You decide by checking out the list below. In no particular order, here are ten
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Re-Premiere Of John Ford’s Upstream & The New Zealand Project

On Tuesday morning, Wamg was invited to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ special press preview of John Ford’s Upstream (1927), one of 75 films recently found in the New Zealand Film Archive and repatriated to the U.S. with the cooperation of the National Film Preservation Foundation.

The 1927 silent film, that was thought lost for decades, had it’s re-premiere Wednesday night, September 1, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Many of the VIP’s on hand included Silent Film Historians and those involved with the restoration, as well as the general public.

Having seen the film on Tuesday, I must say the transfer is absolutely beautiful. I was so impressed by the special care taken with the film’s clarity and how vibrant the tinting is on the multiple color frames throughout. The smoky special effects combined with the subtle transitions made me forget I was
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

M’Liss – Mary Pickford, Thomas Meighan

M’Liss (1918) Direction: Marshall Neilan Screenplay: Frances Marion; from Bret Harte’s story Cast: Mary Pickford, Thomas Meighan, Theodore Roberts, Tully Marshall, Charles Ogle, Monte Blue, Winifred Greenwood Mary Pickford, Thomas Meighan in M’Liss Directed by Marshall Neilan and written by Frances Marion – two frequent Mary Pickford collaborators — M’Liss is one of Pickford’s very best films. In this comedy-drama, Pickford plays a spirited and unruly mountain girl, that’s the M’Liss of the title, who falls in love with the new schoolteacher (Thomas Meighan) — who is later falsely accused of murder. Pickford, by then already a superstar, gives a sterling performance; she is ably supported by (future star) Thomas Meighan as the schoolteacher, as well as a fine collection of character actors including [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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