2 items from 2010
"He's a chin." Such was Josef von Sternberg's summation of Clive Brook, delivered when Marlene Dietrich asked what her leading man in Shanghai Express(1932) was like. Since Brook had already given a sympathetic and subtle performance for Sternberg in Underworld (1927), and since he was one of the few actors who actually liked Sternberg, this remark should perhaps be taken less as an insult, and more as a statement of intent: in Shanghai Express, Sternberg reduces his chum to a chin, rigid and inexpressive.
The real Brook was different, as his sole film as director attests. On Approval (1944) climaxed Brook's acting career (he returned to the screen in 1963 for John Huston, in The List of Adrian Messenger: the rest is silence) and serves as a definitive rebuttal to Sternberg's put-down, as it's a gay, wildly creative, consistently funny comedy. Being based on a play that was then fifty years »
Michael Redgrave in the "The Ventriloquist's Dummy" segment in Dead of Night (top); Gene Tierney in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Dragonwyck (middle); Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson in Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca (bottom) Turner Classic Movies' horror/mystery/suspense Halloween marathon kicks off this evening with a showing of the 1945 British classic Dead of Night, which, 65 years later, remains one of the best efforts in the psychological-horror genre. Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti ("Christmas Party" and "The Ventriloquist's Dummy"), Charles Crichton ("Golfing Story"), Basil Dearden ("Hearse Driver" and "Linking Narrative"), and Robert Hamer ("The Haunted Mirror"), Dead of Night stars a number of top players of British film and stage, among them Mervyn Johns, Roland Culver, Basil Radford, Sally Ann Howes, and, best of all, Michael Redgrave as an unbalanced ventriloquist. Also this evening, Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca, a sumptuous David O. Selznick production starring a flawless Joan Fontaine as "I" de »
- Andre Soares
2 items from 2010
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