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Scott’s TCM Fest Dispatch, Part Two: Economics

The 1930s – more films about women, more films about working life. And often the two overlapped. You watch a film made today, it’s brutally clear that the people who made it rarely have to be anywhere In the ‘30s, at the height of the studio system, the entire creative force behind a picture worked 9-5 on the studio lot, just like anyone else. They had a workplace. And while many made a great deal more money than the characters they were depicting, they knew what it was to hold a job. That mindset, that constant awareness of money and office work and routine, bleeds into the pictures of the period.

Take a film like Rafter Romance, which played at TCM Classic Film Festival Friday morning. Ginger Rogers and Norman Foster star as two broke strangers living in the same apartment building (and they say people knew their neighbors back
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Film Review: ‘It’s a Wonderful Life in Concert’ at Chicago Symphony Center

Chicago – The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Cso) has come up with the perfect celebration for the pre-holiday weekend, presenting Frank Capra’s classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life in Concert.” On Dec. 10th and 11th, 2016. The Cso will accompany the soundtrack on a restored version of the film.

Rating: 5.0/5.0

This is “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Iawl) as you’ve never seen it before, restored to a brilliant print and with the original Dimitri Tiomkin soundtrack score enhanced by the majesty of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The film is projected above the orchestra, and with each symphonic moment in the story, the musicians and choral singers take over the music live. Iawl had many variations of themes in the soundtrack, so besides the Tiomkin original score, there are snippets of WW2 songs “Over There” and “This is the Army, Mr. Jones,” along with the holiday songs “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

The Reality of ‘The Southerner’ and Absurdity of ‘Death by Hanging’

As a supplement to our Recommended Discs weekly feature, Peter Labuza regularly highlights notable recent home-video releases with expanded reviews. See this week’s selections below.

After a decade of the Dust Bowl destroying crops while rich land owners exploited every little farmer there was, making a film that naively bought into the American dream would seem foolish for any filmmaker. But Jean Renoir could only see hope in the plains, having fled his home to exchange the dreams of Fascism for the dreams of celluloid. While Renoir struggled in Hollywood during the war period, his break came as he went north to Millerton Lake to make The Southerner in 1945. The resulting film follows doe-eyed Zachary Scott, exuding his common-day presence, as Sam Tucker. Tucker, gullible for the promises that hard work means a better life, moves his family from a proto-Days of Heaven cotton-picking existence to a farm of one’s own,
See full article at The Film Stage »

The Southerner

Looking to discover a top-quality film that honors lasting values? Jean Renoir gives Zachary Scott and Betty Field as Texas sharecroppers trying to survive a rough first year. It's beautifully written by Hugo Butler, with given realistic, earthy touches not found in Hollywood pix. And the transfer is a new UCLA restoration. With two impressive short subjects in equal good quality. The Southerner Blu-ray Kino Classics 1945 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 92 min. / Street Date February 9, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Betty Field, Beulah Bondi, Carol Naish, Norman Lloyd, Zachary Scott, Percy Kilbride, Charles Kemper, Blanche Yurka, Estelle Taylor, Paul Harvey, Noreen Nash, Nestor Paiva, Almira Sessions. Cinematography Lucien Andriot Film Editor Gregg C. Tallas Production Designer Eugène Lourié Assistant Director Robert Aldrich Original Music Werner Janssen Written by Hugo Butler, Jean Renoir from a novel by George Sessions Perry Produced by Robert Hakim, David L. Loew Directed by Jean Renoir
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Holiday Cheer from TCM and Disney

I’m happy to host another evening of Walt Disney entertainment on Turner Classic Movies this Thursday night beginning at 8pm Est/5pm Pst and continuing into the wee hours. As always there is a mix of vintage cartoons shorts, TV shows, and feature films with a particular emphasis on Christmas and winter settings. We begin with one of Walt Disney’s loveliest yet least-known features, So Dear to My Heart (1949), starring Bobby Driscoll, Luana Patten, Beulah Bondi, Burl Ives, and Harry Carey, Sr. It’s a charming film that evokes Walt Disney’s youth in the early 20th century as seen through rose-colored glasses. In fact, one might say...

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See full article at Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy »

Latin Lovers | DVD Review

Prolific Hollywood director Mervyn LeRoy continued an impressive output of work during the collapse of the studio system of the 1950s, churning out twelve titles that decade and starting his own production company associated with Warner Bros. Though his career would taper off in the mid-to-late 60s, he was known for a helming a wide variety of genres. However, his later career would see a return to musical inclinations, though not all of them have withstood the tests of time. One such obscure item in his filmography is 1953’s Latin Lovers, an ‘exotic’ romantic pseudo-musical comedy of rich people’s errors starring one of LeRoy’s most famous credited ‘discoveries,’ Lana Turner. Here, she’s swathed in decadent black and white numbers as a woman of impressive and independent financial means, victim to a shared paranoia of the historically sensitive wealthy American in that she believes men only want her for her money.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

The Academy’s Fall Lineup Includes Guillermo del Toro And Jay and Mark Duplass

© 2015 Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced its fall programming slate, beginning with “This Is Duplass: An Evening with Jay and Mark” and “In the Labyrinth: A Conversation with Guillermo del Toro” hosted by Academy Museum Director Kerry Brougher.

Other events to be presented from October through early December include a conversation with Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien, a screening of Fellini’s “Amarcord,” a look back at the first days of Disneyland with “Hollywood Home Movies,” a new restoration of 1943’s “Heaven Can Wait,” an Academy Film Scholars Lecture highlighting prolific director Lois Weber, and an anniversary screening of the holiday classic “Remember the Night.”

This Is Duplass: An Evening With Jay And Mark Tuesday, October 6, at 7:30 p.m. Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills Jay and Mark Duplass will take the stage to discuss their smart, off-center and comedic cinematic style,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

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 »

Oscar-Nominated Film Series: First 'Pirates of the Caribbean' One of Most Enjoyable Summer Blockbusters of Early 21st Century

'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl': Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow. 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' review: Mostly an enjoyable romp (Oscar Movie Series) Pirate movies were a Hollywood staple for about three decades, from the mid-'20s (The Sea Hawk, The Black Pirate) to the mid-to-late '50s (Moonfleet, The Buccaneer), when the genre, by then mostly relegated to B films, began to die down. Sporadic resurrections in the '80s and '90s turned out to be critical and commercial bombs (Pirates, Cutthroat Island), something that didn't bode well for the Walt Disney Company's $140 million-budgeted film "adaptation" of one of their theme-park rides. But Neptune's mood has apparently improved with the arrival of the new century. He smiled – grinned would be a more appropriate word – on the Gore Verbinski-directed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Do audiences want quality movies? L.A. Earthquake Flick to Pass Domestic $100M Mark Today

'San Andreas' movie with Dwayne Johnson. 'San Andreas' movie box office: $100 million domestic milestone today As the old saying (sort of) goes: If you build it, they will come. Warner Bros. built a gigantic video game, called it San Andreas, and They have come to check out Dwayne Johnson perform miraculous deeds not seen since ... George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road, released two weeks earlier. Embraced by moviegoers, hungry for quality, original storylines and well-delineated characters – and with the assistance of 3D surcharges – the San Andreas movie debuted with $54.58 million from 3,777 theaters on its first weekend out (May 29-31) in North America. Down a perfectly acceptable 52 percent on its second weekend (June 5-7), the special effects-laden actioner collected an extra $25.83 million, trailing only the Melissa McCarthy-Jason Statham comedy Spy, (with $29.08 million) as found at Box Office Mojo.* And that's how this original movie – it's not officially a remake,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Criterion Collection: Make Way For Tomorrow | Blu-Ray Review

One can’t ignore a certain irony that Leo McCarey, director of one of the most irrefutably sorrowful motion pictures with 1937’s Make Way For Tomorrow, was actually well renowned for his comedic ventures, like that same year’s The Awful Truth or the most beloved of the Marx Brothers films with Duck Soup (1933). In the decades since its release, the film has recently come to be recognized for its influence on several filmmakers, including Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story (1953) and Ira SachsLove is Strange (2014). Filmed during the Great Depression, yet without specific references to the significant economic downturn, the film has a timeless resonance that feels particularly fitting for our contemporary existence.

Though not cemented in Western culture, there’s a particular tendency for this depiction to transpire within the landscape of white, capitalistic peoples and their insistence on stuffing their elders into nursing home facilities. The film
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Wright Was Earliest Surviving Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winner

Teresa Wright: Later years (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon.") Teresa Wright and Robert Anderson were divorced in 1978. They would remain friends in the ensuing years.[1] Wright spent most of the last decade of her life in Connecticut, making only sporadic public appearances. In 1998, she could be seen with her grandson, film producer Jonah Smith, at New York's Yankee Stadium, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch.[2] Wright also became involved in the Greater New York chapter of the Als Association. (The Pride of the Yankees subject, Lou Gehrig, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1941.) The week she turned 82 in October 2000, Wright attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Somewhere in Time, where she posed for pictures with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In March 2003, she was a guest at the 75th Academy Awards, in the segment showcasing Oscar-winning actors of the past. Two years later,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Criterion announces its May Blu-ray line-up

Criterion has announced six new Blu-ray releases as part of its May line-up of the digitally remastered Criterion Collection. Two of the most notable releases are Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight and Bette Midler-starrer The Rose, which are scheduled for release on May 19th.

The full line-up, with technical specifications and artworks, are listed below:

The Rose

Bette Midler exploded onto the screen with her take-no-prisoners performance in this quintessential film about fame and addiction from director Mark Rydell. Midler is the rock-and-roll singer Mary Rose Foster (known as the Rose to her legions of fans), whose romantic relationships and mental health are continuously imperiled by the demands of life on the road. Incisively scripted by Bo Goldman and beautifully shot by Vilmos Zsigmond (with assistance on the dazzling concert scenes by a host of other world-class cinematographers, including Conrad L. Hall, László Kovács, Owen Roizman, and Haskell Wexler), this
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Fassbinder, Costa-Gavras and Charlie Chaplin to Hit Criterion Collection in May

  • Indiewire
Fassbinder, Costa-Gavras and Charlie Chaplin to Hit Criterion Collection in May
A dazzling lineup of six dramas has been assembled for the Criterion Collection's May 2015 slate. Along with works from classic filmmakers and actors, special features in the set (Blu-ray only) include interviews with Peter Bogdanovich, Bernardo Bertolucci, Wim Wenders and many more. Booking individual titles begins in mid-April, and Criterion will release the films for general purchase in mid-May. Synopses below are courtesy of Criterion. "Make Way for Tomorrow" "Make Way for Tomorrow," by Leo McCarey ("An Affair to Remember"), is one of the great unsung Hollywood masterpieces, an enormously moving Depression-era depiction of the frustrations of family, aging, and the generation gap. Beulah Bondi ("It's a Wonderful Life") and Victor Moore ("Swing Time") headline a cast of incomparable character actors, starring as an elderly couple who must move in with their grown children after the bank takes their home, yet end up separated and...
See full article at Indiewire »

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 »

If We Had Oscar Ballots... a 1941 Extra

Tomorrow when the Supporting Actress Smackdown 1941 hits, we'll just be discussing the five nominees (24 more hours to get your ballots in for the reader's section of the vote!). As it should be. But for the first time in a Smackdown I polled my fellow panelists as to who they would have nominated if, uh, they'd have been alive in 1941 and if, uh, they'd been AMPAS members.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde lust after Lana Turner & Ingrid Bergman. And so does our panel.

Angelica and I didn't vote (I haven't seen enough 1941 pictures, I confess) but our other three panelists have recommendations for you outside the Oscar shortlist. In fact, all three of them only co-signed 2 of Oscar's 5 choices... different ones mostly so the Smackdown should be interesting (I'm not telling you which as the critiques come tomorrow!). So here are some For Your Considerations for your rental queues or your
See full article at FilmExperience »

If You Could be Adopted by a Mother in the Movies, Who Would It Be?

If You Could be Adopted by a Mother in the Movies, Who Would It Be?
My mother would have preferred a mother more like Beulah Bondi in "It’s a Wonderful Life." My daughters would have preferred a mother more like Susan Sarandon in "Little Women" or Natasha Richardson in "The Parent Trap." Much as I love Barbara Stanwyck in "Stella Dallas" and Claudia McNeil in "Raisin in the Sun," I would have preferred a mother more like Frances McDormand in "Almost Famous" or like Marcia Gay Harden in "Whip It" than the one I had and loved and was more like Debbie Reynolds in Albert Brooks’ "Mother." I’ve been reading Richard Corliss’ "Mom in the Movies," a sprightly survey of cinemamas, as though it were a catalogue of mail-order moms. Read more here.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Mindy Newell: Every Time A Bell Rings

  • Comicmix
As promised last week, here’s the list of my favorite Christmas movies, starting with all my very favorite-est…

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). Directed by Frank Capra, who declared it his favorite of all his films and showed it every Christmas at his home, it stars James Stewart as “everyman” George Bailey, Donna Reed as his wife Mary Hatch Bailey, Lionel Barrymore as the banker Mr. Potter, and a veritable Who’s Who of notable character actors, including Beulah Bondi as Ma Bailey, Thomas Mitchell as Uncle Billy, Ward Bond as Bert the cop, Frank Faylen as Ernie the cab driver, Gloria Grahame as Violet the “bad” girl, Sheldon Leonard as Nick the bartender, and Harry Travers in the pivotal role of the angel Clarence Odbody. The story of an ordinary man who lives an ordinary life, driven to despair of having his dreams crushed once and for all
See full article at Comicmix »

NBC to Re-Air The Sound of Music Live

  • Vulture
NBC to Re-Air The Sound of Music Live
The drama, the joy, the laughter: Can we all agree to live-tweet The Sound of Music Live again this weekend? NBC might be planning to stage live musicals "again and again and again,” but they'll also be playing the ones they've already aired a whole bunch, starting with a Sound of Music Live rerun Saturday, December 14 at 8 .m. Variety points out that the encore showing will preempt It's A Wonderful Life, which is too bad. We've been saving up our Beulah Bondi zingers all year long.
See full article at Vulture »

It's a Wonderful Life Trailer Gets The Wolf of Wall Street Makeover

It's a Wonderful Life Trailer Gets The Wolf of Wall Street Makeover
What if George Bailey (James Stewart) took that job Potter offered him? He would have become The Wolf of Bedford Falls. Frank Capra's timeless classic It's a Wonderful Life gets a Martin Scorsese makeover in this new trailer tailored after The Wolf of Wall Street. Check out this updated version just in time for the holidays, from comedian Owne Weber.

It's a Wonderful Life was released January 7th, 1947 and stars James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond. The film is directed by Frank Capra.

The Wolf of Wall Street comes to theaters December 25th, 2013 and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill, Cristin Milioti, Jon Bernthal, Ethan Suplee, Jon Favreau. The film is directed by Martin Scorsese.
See full article at MovieWeb »
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