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From Robinson's Toyboy to Intrepid Drug Smuggler: Fairbanks Jr on TCM

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ca. 1935. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was never as popular as his father, silent film superstar Douglas Fairbanks, who starred in one action-adventure blockbuster after another in the 1920s (The Mark of Zorro, Robin Hood, The Thief of Bagdad) and whose stardom dates back to the mid-1910s, when Fairbanks toplined a series of light, modern-day comedies in which he was cast as the embodiment of the enterprising, 20th century “all-American.” What this particular go-getter got was screen queen Mary Pickford as his wife and United Artists as his studio, which he co-founded with Pickford, D.W. Griffith, and Charles Chaplin. Now, although Jr. never had the following of Sr., he did enjoy a solid two-decade-plus movie career. In fact, he was one of the few children of major film stars – e.g., Jane Fonda, Liza Minnelli, Angelina Jolie, Michael Douglas, Jamie Lee Curtis – who had successful film careers of their own.
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Rare Black History Sample, Chinese Spider-Women, Capra Silent by Accident: Sfsff 2015 Highlights

African-American film 'Bert Williams: Lime Kiln Club Field Day.' With Williams and Odessa Warren Grey.* Rare, early 20th-century African-American film among San Francisco Silent Film Festival highlights Directed by Edwin Middleton and T. Hayes Hunter, the Biograph Company's Lime Kiln Club Field Day (1913) was the film I most looked forward to at the 2015 edition of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. One hundred years old, unfinished, and destined to be scrapped and tossed into the dust bin, it rose from the ashes. Starring entertainer Bert Williams – whose film appearances have virtually disappeared, but whose legacy lives on – Lime Kiln Club Field Day has become a rare example of African-American life in the first years of the 20th century. In the introduction to the film, the audience was treated to a treasure trove of Black memorabilia: sheet music, stills, promotional material, and newspaper clippings that survive. Details of the
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Brash Blonde vs. Sweet Blonde (Long Before Titanic): Farrell Has Her 'Summer' Day

Glenda Farrell: Actress has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day Scene-stealer Glenda Farrell is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 29, 2013. A reliable — and very busy — Warner Bros. contract player in the ’30s, the sharp, energetic, fast-talking blonde actress was featured in more than fifty films at the studio from 1931 to 1939. Note: This particular Glenda Farrell has nothing in common with the One Tree Hill character played by Amber Wallace in the television series. The Glenda Farrell / One Tree Hill name connection seems to have been a mere coincidence. (Photo: Glenda Farrell as Torchy Blane in Smart Blonde.) Back to Warners’ Glenda Farrell: TCM is currently showing Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939), one of the seven B movies starring Farrell as intrepid reporter Torchy Blane. Major suspense: Will Torchy win the election? She should. No city would ever go bankrupt with Torchy at the helm. Glenda Farrell
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2013 TCM Classic Film Festival Adds More Movies, Stars & Frank Capra’s The Donovan Affair (1929) To Lineup

The 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival continues to expand, with newly added appearances by legendary stars at screenings of some of their most memorable films, including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Marvin Kaplan, Barrie Chase, Polly Bergen,Coleen Gray, Theodore Bikel and Norman Lloyd, as well as producer Stanley Rubin, Clara Bow biographer David Stenn, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) film collections manager Katie Trainor and director Nicholas Ray’s widow, Susan Ray. In addition, TCM’s Essentials Jr. host and Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader will present screenings of Shane (1953) and The Ladykillers(1955).

And The Film Forum’s Bruce Goldstein will present a special screening of Frank Capra’s The Donovan Affair (1929), complete with live voice actors and sound effects to replace the film’s long-lost soundtrack.Mel Brooks is slated to talk about his comedy The Twelve Chairs (1970). Carl Reiner, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Marvin Kaplan
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Little Caesar Review: d: Mervyn LeRoy

Little Caesar (1931) Director: Mervyn LeRoy Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell, Sidney Blackmer, William Collier Jr., Ralph Ince, Stanley Fields, George E. Stone, Thomas E. Jackson Screenplay: Francis Edward Faragoh, Robert N. Lee; from a novel by W.R. Burnett Oscar Movies Edward G. Robinson, Little Caesar Little Caesar is a good example of a film that is historically important, but that has dated very poorly. Tony Gaudio's camera work is mediocre, Warner Bros. musical director Erno Rapee's spare soundtrack is garbled, and the acting is for the most part wooden. Even Edward G. Robinson, who became a star in this role, is good — but hardly great. What makes Little Caesar's pedestrianism all the more amazing is that just a few months later James Cagney would burst onto the screen with The Public Enemy, a film that holds up far better cinematically — both technically and aesthetically.
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Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean – review

He had the world at his paws, and earned $1,000 a week

The creature at the centre of this remarkable book is an enigma. We never really know what he is thinking, and in fact he may not think at all, in the ratiocinatory sense. Susan Orlean presents to us a being who is driven by instinct, operating by a set of large, simple affects – love, honour, bravery and above all loyalty. He remains faithful throughout his life to the companion with whom at an early age he found himself paired, and while he acknowledges and even shows affection towards others, in truth he loves only his best friend. "He had become," Orlean writes, "as familiar to me as a family member, and, as is often case with a family member, he also remained a mystery. He was at once ingenuous and impenetrable …"

And then there is the dog.

Lee Duncan,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Amoral Barbara Stanwyck/Baby Face, Kay Francis, Frank Capra: TCM Library of Congress Tribute

Silent All Quiet On The Western Front: TCM's Library of Congress Tribute [Photo: Kay Francis, Leslie Howard in British Agent.] Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 8:00 Pm The Constant Nymph (1943). A composer finds inspiration in his wife's romantic cousin. Dir: Edmund Goulding. Cast: Charles Boyer, Joan Fontaine, Alexis Smith. Bw-112 mins. 10:00 Pm Baby Face (1933). A beautiful schemer sleeps her way to the top of a banking empire. Dir: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook. Bw-76 mins. 11:30 Pm Two Heads On A Pillow (1934). Once-married attorneys face off during a heated divorce case. Dir: William Nigh. Cast: Neil Hamilton, Miriam Jordan, Henry Armetta. Bw-68 mins. 12:45 Am All Quiet On The Western Front (1930). Young German soldiers try to adjust to the horrors of World War I. Dir: Lewis Milestone. Cast: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray. Bw-134 mins. 3:15 Am : Will Rogers Winging Around Europe (1927). Bw-0 mins. 3:30 Am
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