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From Mad Method Actor to Humankind Advocate: One of the Greatest Film Actors of the 20th Century

From Mad Method Actor to Humankind Advocate: One of the Greatest Film Actors of the 20th Century
Updated: Following a couple of Julie London Westerns*, Turner Classic Movies will return to its July 2017 Star of the Month presentations. On July 27, Ronald Colman can be seen in five films from his later years: A Double Life, Random Harvest (1942), The Talk of the Town (1942), The Late George Apley (1947), and The Story of Mankind (1957). The first three titles are among the most important in Colman's long film career. George Cukor's A Double Life earned him his one and only Best Actor Oscar; Mervyn LeRoy's Random Harvest earned him his second Best Actor Oscar nomination; George Stevens' The Talk of the Town was shortlisted for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. All three feature Ronald Colman at his very best. The early 21st century motto of international trendsetters, from Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro and Turkey's Recep Erdogan to Russia's Vladimir Putin and the United States' Donald Trump, seems to be, The world is reality TV and reality TV
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Night of the Demon (Rendez-vous avec la peur)

This French disc release of the Jacques Tourneur classic gets everything right — including both versions in picture perfect transfers. Devil debunker Dana Andrews locks horns with Niall MacGinnis, a necromancer “who has decoded the Old Book” and can summon a fire & brimstone monster from Hell, no election fraud necessary. Even fans that hate ghost stories love this one — it’s a truly creepy, intelligent highlight of the horror genre.

Night of the Demon

Region A + B Blu-ray + Pal DVD

Wild Side (Fr)

1957 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 95 & 82 min. / Street Date November 27, 2013 / Curse of the Demon, Rendez-vous avec la peur / Available from Amazon UK or Foreign Exchange Blu-ray

Starring: Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, Maurice Denham,

Athene Seyler

Cinematography: Ted Scaife

Production Designer: Ken Adam

Special Effects: George Blackwell, S.D. Onions, Wally Veevers

Film Editor Michael Gordon

Original Music: Clifton Parker

Written by Charles Bennett and Hal E. Chester

from the
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Drive-In Dust Offs: Night Of The Demon (1957)

My favorite thing about taking these weekly trips to the Drive-In is my own selfish thirst for discovery. I need to patch up the holes of missing films on my personal movie screen; there is still so much to see, and sometimes the holes are so big that they obscure the view. Every once in a while though, a film comes along that not only mends the tears in the fabric but strengthens the whole. Such is the case with Night of the Demon (1957), Jacques Tourneur’s masterpiece of shadowy menace and dread, and a new personal favorite.

Released in its native U.K. in December and then stateside in July of ’58 under the new title Curse of the Demon (where 13 minutes were trimmed from an already lean 95 minute running time), this Columbia Pictures production was fraught with anguish before it even appeared to audiences, most famously producer Hal E. Chester
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BFI National Archive Finds Lost Film 'Welcome Mr. Washington'

Read More: Lost Disney Animated Film From 1928 Discovered In BFI National Archive For her 90th birthday, British actress Peggy Cummins was able to see herself star in Leslie Hiscott's "Welcome Mr. Washington" for the first time in over five decades. The war-time starlet was discovered and brought to Hollywood by 20th Century Fox studio head Daryl Zanuck immediately after releasing the now rediscovered feature.  Rather fitting, the once lost film has also resurfaced in time for the 75th anniversary of the BFI National Archive. Unfortunately for classic cinema enthusiasts, the full-length version no longer exists, but a new re-released version, cut by the BFI in tandem with Paramount Studios, can now be enjoyed.  Peggy Cummins said of the discovery, "I am absolutely delighted to be able to see this early film of mine again. It was at a key stage in my career and it was very important to me.
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Oscar Winner Went All the Way from Wyler to Coppola in Film Career Spanning Half a Century

Teresa Wright and Matt Damon in 'The Rainmaker' Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright vs. Samuel Goldwyn: Nasty Falling Out.") "I'd rather have luck than brains!" Teresa Wright was quoted as saying in the early 1950s. That's understandable, considering her post-Samuel Goldwyn choice of movie roles, some of which may have seemed promising on paper.[1] Wright was Marlon Brando's first Hollywood leading lady, but that didn't help her to bounce back following the very public spat with her former boss. After all, The Men was released before Elia Kazan's film version of A Streetcar Named Desire turned Brando into a major international star. Chances are that good film offers were scarce. After Wright's brief 1950 comeback, for the third time in less than a decade she would be gone from the big screen for more than a year.
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Remembering Actress Simon Part 2 - Deadly Sex Kitten Romanced Real-Life James Bond 'Inspiration'

Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (photo: Jean Gabin and Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine') (See previous post: "'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.") In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century-Fox from another French import, Annabella (later Tyrone Power's wife), Simone Simon returned to France. Once there, she reestablished herself as an actress to be reckoned with in Jean Renoir's La Bête Humaine. An updated version of Émile Zola's 1890 novel, La Bête Humaine is enveloped in a dark, brooding atmosphere not uncommon in pre-World War II French films. Known for their "poetic realism," examples from that era include Renoir's own The Lower Depths (1936), Julien Duvivier's La Belle Équipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937), and particularly Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938) and Daybreak (1939).[11] This thematic and
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The Forgotten: Two by Mankiewicz

  • MUBI
The Late George Apley

"If I am remembered at all, it will be as the swine who rewrote Scott Fitzgerald," said Joseph L. Mankiewicz on numerous occasions, and though he does rate a mention in any Fitzgerald bio for his work revising Fitzgerald's screenplay of Three Comrades, he is also getting a sidebar retrospective, The Essential Iconoclast, at the New York Film Festival. Apart from including his several acknowledged classics, this also shines a light on some of the less celebrated movies in the distinguished Hollywood auteur's body of work.

In particular, The Late George Apley (1947) and Escape (1948) are seldom-screened dramas with suave English leading men, Ronald Colman and Mankiewicz favorite Rex Harrison, both supported by the delightful Peggy Cummins.

The Late George Apley supplements the emotion with a good portion of the wit Mankiewicz was so famous for. I spoke briefly on the telephone to co-star Cummins, best known
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Australian Actor Kerr Dead at 92: Best Known for Peter Weir Movies, British TV Series Doctor Who

Doctor Who’ actor Bill Kerr, also featured in Peter Weir’s ‘Gallipoli’ and ‘The Year of Living Dangerously,’ dead at 92 (photo: Bill Kerr and Patrick Troughton in ‘Doctor Who’) Australian actor Bill Kerr, best known internationally for a guest spot in the 1960s TV series Doctor Who, and for his supporting roles in the Peter Weir movies Gallipoli and The Year of Living Dangerously, died on August 28 (or 29, according to some sources), 2014, while watching the TV show Seinfeld at his home in Perth, West Australia. Kerr, whose exact cause of death is unclear, was 92. Born William Kerr on June 10, 1922, in Capetown, South Africa, to Australian vaudevillian parents touring the country, Bill Kerr grew up in Australia, where he became a popular television, stage, and film personality. His show business career began at an early age. “My mother took about 10 weeks off to have me, and when she returned to the
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If Spielberg Really Directs Montezuma, That Won't Be His First Movie Based on a Trumbo Script

‘Montezuma’: Steven Spielberg next movie (or at least a Spielberg movie some time in the future)? Will Steven Spielberg next tackle the life and times of Aztec king Montezuma, from a screenplay by none other than former Hollywood Ten member Dalton Trumbo? If so, that won’t be the first time that Spielberg has adapted a Trumbo screenplay (more on that below). Anyhow, following Lincoln, which earned Spielberg his seventh Best Director Academy Award nomination, the Jaws, E.T., Schindler’s List, and Saving Private Ryan filmmaker has had his name attached to — and then detached from — a couple of projects. First, there was Drew Goddard’s adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson’s novel Robopocalypse, which isn’t a RoboCop spin-off but a sci-fier about a smart robot who reaches the (perfectly logical) conclusion that the only way to save the planet is to get rid of human beings. Robopocalypse,
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Power women of the 1950s: Muriel and Betty Box

In her new book Rachel Cooke re-examines the 1950s through 10 women who pioneered in their careers. In this extract she tells the stories of sisters-in-law Muriel and Betty Box, two prominent women in the British film industry

Until recently, anyone who wanted to see the film To Dorothy a Son had to lock themselves deep in the bowels of the British Film Institute off Tottenham Court Road, London, and watch it on an old Steenbeck editing machine. A little-known comedy from 1954, To Dorothy is no one's idea of a classic. It has an infuriating star in Shelley Winters, a creaky screenplay by Peter Rogers (later the producer of the Carry On series) and a set that looks as if it is on loan from a local amateur dramatics society.

We are in the home of Tony (John Gregson) and his baby-faced wife, Dorothy (Peggy Cummins). Dorothy is heavily pregnant, and confined to bed.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

'The Story of Film: An Odyssey' links 'Citizen Kane' to 'Jaws'

If a network is going to trace the history of film, Turner Classic Movies is the most appropriate one.

It's about to reaffirm that, as it nears its 20th anniversary, with a series -- and series of movies -- that will run for most of the rest of the year. The initiative is built around "The Story of Film: An Odyssey," a 15-part documentary to be offered in weekly chapters Mondays starting Sept. 2.

Director-writer-narrator Mark Cousins' retrospective goes decade by decade through movie history, starting in the era of 1902's "A Trip to the Moon" and going up to such recent (in TCM terms) releases as 2000's "Gladiator." Besides being excerpted in the documentary, many of those features will be shown in full on Mondays and Tuesdays, introduced by TCM staple Robert Osborne.

"It does give a basic history of film," Osborne tells Zap2it of the documentary, "and
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

BFI unveils Gothic cinema season

  • ScreenDaily
The British Film Institute (BFI) is to launch a major project dedicated to Gothic cinema, which includes more than 150 films and around 1,000 screenings throughout the UK.

Running from August until January 2014, the Gothic project include the longest ever season at BFI’s Southbank venue in London, UK wide theatrical and DVD releases, an education programme, a new BFI Gothic book, a range of partnerships, special guests and commentators including project ambassador Sir Christopher Frayling.

Heather Stewart, creative director at the BFI, said: “Gothic has never been more potent or popular, reflecting the turbulent times we are living in, our deepest fears and hidden passions.

“The British discovered sex in vivid Technicolor through Gothic. With a new generation gripped by the post modern Gothic world of Twilight’s ‘vegetarian’ vampires, Harry Potter’s spells and El James’s 50 Shades, its meaning has mutated yet again. It’s now time to look back into the deep dark beating heart of
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Friday Noir: Bullets and mixed emotions are a flying in ‘Gun Crazy’

Gun Crazy (also known as Deadly is the Female)

Directed by Joseph H. Lewis

Written by MacKinlay Kantor, Dalton Trumbo and co.

U.S.A., 1950

An argument can be made that almost every movie made is, in some fashion or another, about obsession. Individuals are always obsessing over some things, namely their top interests. However stimulating and healthy some might be, several others carry the potential to be downright vile. The 1950, Joseph H. Lewis directed Gun Crazy, as the title suggests, is very clearly about an obsession, unsubtly so in fact. Loving guns might, might, make one a police officer, or a guard, or a marine, or any field in which guns are, let us say, put to good use, sort of. Being so fascinated with fire arms is a double-edged sword, mind you. The tool’s predominant utility is to kill, after all. With such dire consequences linked with the weapon,
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'Hitchcock': Anthony Hopkins Recalls Scariest Movie Scene

'Hitchcock': Anthony Hopkins Recalls Scariest Movie Scene
To play the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, one has to be familiar with what scares people. When MTV News sat down with Anthony Hopkins and the cast of the "Hitchcock," we asked them to share their scariest movie moments.

Hopkins, in particular, had a vivid memory of that exact moment. "There's a funny old movie, 1946. I was a young kid. It was called 'Moss Rose' with Victor Mature, Ethel Barrymore, and Peggy Cummins, and I'll never forget it in my life," he said.

Hopkins went on to describe one specific scene that he will always remember. "Peggy Cummins is the heroine, and she's wandering, going through the house, and she goes into this room and she's calling for her future sister-in-law," he said. "I'll always remember. She says, 'Audrey?' There's a fire flickering in the room. It cuts to Peggy Cummins' face, and she screams,
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Not Available On DVD – Baby Face Nelson

Director Don Siegel’s low-budget 1957 crime drama Baby Face Nelson is a fast -paced portrait of a cold-blooded, trigger-happy sociopath with a memorable mad-dog performance by Mickey Rooney in the title role and is a film that deserves to be rediscovered.

Baby Face Nelson (real name Lester Gillis) was a petty thief who gained much celebrity (and a spot on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list) when he joined John Dillinger’s gang in 1933. Baby Face Nelson opens with Nelson being approached to kill a union boss. He refuses, is framed for the murder anyway, sent to jail, escapes, and gets bloody revenge on the men who framed him. His loyal girlfriend Sue is with him when he robs a pharmacy and Nelson is shot. Sue drives him to a country hospital run by a crooked underworld doctor. It’s here that Nelson meets Dillinger and joins his crew. The
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Minnelli, Grey, Reynolds to Attend 2012 TCM Classic Movie Festival

Minnelli, Grey, Reynolds to Attend 2012 TCM Classic Movie Festival
Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Debbie Reynolds and "Baby Peggy" Diana Serra Cary will be attending the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival, scheduled to take place in Hollywood from April 12-15.  Film noir actresses Peggy Cummins, Rhonda Fleming and Marsha Hunt will also be on hand. This year's TCM Festival (which costs a pretty penny to attend) presents the North American premiere of a 75th anniversary restoration of Renoir's 1937 war drama "Grand Illusion," as well as a screening of the Douglas Fairbanks silent film, "The Thief of Bagdad," accompanied live by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. The festival will kick off with a gala (and world...
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Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Debbie Reynolds Set For TCM Classic Film Festival In April

Passes Now on Sale Now for Four-Day Festival,

Coming to Hollywood April 12-15, 2012

Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Debbie Reynolds and “Baby PeggyDiana Serra Cary, along with film noir leading ladies Peggy Cummins, Rhonda Fleming and Marsha Hunt are the latest stars scheduled to appear at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival.

Also announced today, the festival will feature the North American premiere of a new 75th anniversary restoration of Jean Renoir’s powerful Pow drama Grand Illusion (1937), widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. And the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra will provide a live musical accompaniment for a screening of the silent Douglas Fairbanks fantasy-adventure The Thief of Bagdad (1924).

Minnelli and Grey are slated to join TCM’s own Robert Osborne to kick off the four-day, star-studded event with a gala opening-night world premiere screening of the 40th anniversary restoration Cabaret (1971), the film for which the
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TCM Classic Film Festival To Celebrate 100th Anniversary Of Paramount Pictures

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has unveiled additional programming and events for the 2012 edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival, including a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Paramount Pictures. Robert Evans, longtime producer and former head of production for Paramount, is set to take part in the tribute, which will focus on the studio’s 1970s renaissance. In addition, the TCM Classic Film Festival is slated to include a look at The Noir Style, a tribute to legendary costume designer Travis Banton, a look at art deco in the movies, a collection of early cinematic rarities and much more.

TCM.s own Robert Osborne will once again serve as official host for the four-day, star-studded event, which will take pace Thursday, April 12 . Sunday, April 15, 2012, in Hollywood. Passes are on sale now through the official festival website:

The Paramount Renaissance

The TCM Classic Film Festival will
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Doctor Who And The Electrans

Some comments on my review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special 'A Christmas Carol' got me thinking about how it came to be that everyone's favourite Time Lord can never seem to get any 'action', romantically speaking. It's not been for want of attention or admirers; even back in the William Hartnell days, The Doctor was capable of flirting and even having a matrimonial 'near-miss' in the 1964 Who outing 'The Aztecs', so Matt Smith's Doctor is breaking no new ground in running away from connubial bliss with the 1957 version of Marilyn Monroe in 'A Christmas Carol'.

Can 47 years of sexual tension ever be released without killing the fundamental dynamic of the show? I've come to believe that it probably can't - which, if true, puts the Gallifreyan rogue at least neck-and-neck with Star Trek's Mr. Spock in terms of 'attractive unavailability'.

When the show
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DVD Review: Night of the Demon (1958)

Night Of The Demon (1958)

Stars: Dana Andrew, Peggy Cummins, Niall McGinley, Maurice Denham | Written by Charles Bennett, Hal E Chester | Directed by Jacques Tourneur

This of you who watched Mark Gatiss’ excellent three part documentary The History of Horror will have seen the nod he gave to Jacques Tourneur’s excellent movie Night of the Demon (Curse of the Demon in the Us), recently released on DVD.

The film deals with eminent parapsychologist Dr John Holden (Dana Andrews) who comes to England for a conference on the paranormal and finds himself embroiled in and victim to a demonic curse. The curse has been placed by Julian Karswell, who runs a demonic cult at risk of exposure at the conference.

It’s easy to see why this movie is held in such esteem; Martin Scorsese has listed it as one of his top horror films. Tourneur (Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie
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