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Four Faces West

Westerns are all about values: good and bad, law and lawlessness, etc. Joel McCrea and Frances Dee’s ‘bad man’ saga isn’t faith based, exactly, but it’s great for humanitarian values, the simple notion that the good in people should be encouraged. And one important detail may make it unique. Hint: John Milius might be strongly prejudiced against this picture.

Four Faces West

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1948 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 89 min. / Street Date December 19, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Joel McCrea, Frances Dee, Charles Bickford, Joseph Calleia, William Conrad.

Cinematography: Russell Harlan

Film Editor: Edward Mann

Original Music: Paul Sawtell

Written by C. Graham Baker, Teddi Sherman, William & Milarde Brent from the novel Pasó por aquí by Eugene Manlove Rhodes

Produced by Vernon E. Clark, Harry Sherman

Directed by Alfred E. Green

Faith-based westerns exist, but much more numerous are lightly inspirational sagebrush pictures that deal
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1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month

1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month
Ronald Colman: Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month in two major 1930s classics Updated: Turner Classic Movies' July 2017 Star of the Month is Ronald Colman, one of the finest performers of the studio era. On Thursday night, TCM presented five Colman star vehicles that should be popping up again in the not-too-distant future: A Tale of Two Cities, The Prisoner of Zenda, Kismet, Lucky Partners, and My Life with Caroline. The first two movies are among not only Colman's best, but also among Hollywood's best during its so-called Golden Age. Based on Charles Dickens' classic novel, Jack Conway's Academy Award-nominated A Tale of Two Cities (1936) is a rare Hollywood production indeed: it manages to effectively condense its sprawling source, it boasts first-rate production values, and it features a phenomenal central performance. Ah, it also shows its star without his trademark mustache – about as famous at the time as Clark Gable's. Perhaps
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

TCM's Pride Month Series Continues with Movies Somehow Connected to Lgbt Talent

Turner Classic Movies continues with its Gay Hollywood presentations tonight and tomorrow morning, June 8–9. Seven movies will be shown about, featuring, directed, or produced by the following: Cole Porter, Lorenz Hart, Farley Granger, John Dall, Edmund Goulding, W. Somerset Maughan, Clifton Webb, Montgomery Clift, Raymond Burr, Charles Walters, DeWitt Bodeen, and Harriet Parsons. (One assumes that it's a mere coincidence that gay rumor subjects Cary Grant and Tyrone Power are also featured.) Night and Day (1946), which could also be considered part of TCM's homage to birthday girl Alexis Smith, who would have turned 96 today, is a Cole Porter biopic starring Cary Grant as a posh, heterosexualized version of Porter. As the warning goes, any similaries to real-life people and/or events found in Night and Day are a mere coincidence. The same goes for Words and Music (1948), a highly fictionalized version of the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical partnership.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

TCM Remembers Lovely and Talented Brunette of Studio Era

Frances Dee movies: From 'An American Tragedy' to 'Four Faces West' Frances Dee began her film career at the dawn of the sound era, going from extra to leading lady within a matter of months. Her rapid ascencion came about thanks to Maurice Chevalier, who got her as his romantic interested in Ludwig Berger's 1930 romantic comedy Playboy of Paris. Despite her dark(-haired) good looks and pleasant personality, Dee's Hollywood career never quite progressed to major – or even moderate – stardom. But she was to remain a busy leading lady for about 15 years. Tonight, Turner Classic Movies is showing seven Frances Dee films, ranging from heavy dramas to Westerns. Unfortunately missing is one of Dee's most curious efforts, the raunchy pre-Coder Blood Money, which possibly features her most unusual – and most effective – performance. Having said that, William A. Wellman's Love Is a Racket is a worthwhile subsitute, though the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Ride the High Country

Before he became the flag bearer for cinema violence, Sam Peckinpah made his reputation with this unique western, a marvelous rumination on ethics, morality and personal responsibility. MGM all but threw it away in the summer of 1962 but it immediately became a critical favorite.

Ride the High Country

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1962 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 92 min. / Street Date April 4, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Mariette Hartley, Ron Starr, Edgar Buchanan, R.G. Armstrong, Jenie Jackson, James Drury, L.Q. Jones, John Anderson, John Davis Chandler, Warren Oates.

Cinematography Lucien Ballard

Art Direction Leroy Coleman, George W. Davis

Film Editor Frank Santillo

Original Music George Bassman

Written by N.B. Stone Jr.

Produced by Richard E. Lyons

Directed by Sam Peckinpah

MGM’s western Ride the High Country put Sam Peckinpah on the map with critics and the foreign cinema literati — although it didn’t do big box office when new,
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The Private Affairs of Bel Ami

Cad, bounder, dastard... look those words up in an old casting directory and you'll probably find a picture of George Sanders. Albert Lewin's best movie is a class-act period piece with terrific acting from Sanders, Angela Lansbury, Ann Dvorak, John Carradine, Warren William and many more, and a powerful '40s picture that most people haven't discovered, now handsomely restored. The Private Affairs of Bel Ami Blu-ray Olive Films 1947 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 112 min. / Street Date May 24, 2016 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.95 Starring George Sanders, Angela Lansbury, Ann Dvorak, John Carradine, Warren William, Susan Douglas, Albert Bassermann, Frances Dee, Marie Wilson, Katherine Emery, Richard Fraser. Cinematography Russell Metty Film Editor Joseph Albrecht Original Music Darius Milhaud Assistant Director Robert Aldrich Production Design Gordon Wiles Written by from the novel by Guy de Maupassant Produced by David L. Loew Written Directed by Albert Lewin

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
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Cummings' Ten-Year Death Anniversary: From Minor Lloyd Leading Lady to Tony Award Winner (Revised and Expanded)

Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major London stage star. Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned more than six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., died ten years ago on Nov. 23. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received performances – is all but forgotten.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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 »

Hepburn Day on TCM: Love, Danger and Drag

Katharine Hepburn movies. Katharine Hepburn movies: Woman in drag, in love, in danger In case you're suffering from insomnia, you might want to spend your night and early morning watching Turner Classic Movies' "Summer Under the Stars" series. Four-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Katharine Hepburn is TCM's star today, Aug. 7, '15. (See TCM's Katharine Hepburn movie schedule further below.) Whether you find Hepburn's voice as melodious as a singing nightingale or as grating as nails on a chalkboard, you may want to check out the 1933 version of Little Women. Directed by George Cukor, this cozy – and more than a bit schmaltzy – version of Louisa May Alcott's novel was a major box office success, helping to solidify Hepburn's Hollywood stardom the year after her film debut opposite John Barrymore and David Manners in Cukor's A Bill of Divorcement. They don't make 'em like they used to Also, the 1933 Little Women
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Wright Minibio Pt.2: Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Movie

Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock heroine (image: Joseph Cotten about to strangle Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt') (See preceding article: "Teresa Wright Movies: Actress Made Oscar History.") After scoring with The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, and The Pride of the Yankees, Teresa Wright was loaned to Universal – once initial choices Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland became unavailable – to play the small-town heroine in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. (Check out video below: Teresa Wright reminiscing about the making of Shadow of a Doubt.) Co-written by Thornton Wilder, whose Our Town had provided Wright with her first chance on Broadway and who had suggested her to Hitchcock; Meet Me in St. Louis and Junior Miss author Sally Benson; and Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, Shadow of a Doubt was based on "Uncle Charlie," a story outline by Gordon McDonell – itself based on actual events.
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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
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Top 100 Horror Movies: How Truly Horrific Are They?

Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman,
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Gwtw Screen Legend Would Have Turned 100 Years Old Today

Vivien Leigh: Legendary ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ star would have turned 100 today Vivien Leigh was perhaps the greatest film star that hardly ever was. What I mean is that following her starring role in the 1939 Civil War blockbuster Gone with the Wind, Leigh was featured in a mere eight* movies over the course of the next 25 years. The theater world’s gain — she was kept busy on the London stage — was the film world’s loss. But even if Leigh had starred in only two movies — Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire — that would have been enough to make her a screen legend; one who would have turned 100 years old today, November 5, 2013. (Photo: Vivien Leigh ca. 1940.) Vivien Leigh (born Vivian Mary Hartley to British parents in Darjeeling, India) began her film career in the mid-’30s, playing bit roles in British
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On This Day in Horror Movie History September 15th

On this day in 1904 horror actor Tom Conway was born. The son of English expatriates the Conways returned to Britain after the Russian Revolution in 1917. Known for his leading roles in Rko productions Conways legacy amongst genre fans is due to his memorable performances in Val Lewtons psychological horror films of the early 1940s. He starred as Doctor Louis Judd in the Cat People (1942) and the same character in the lesser known The Seventh Victim (1943). Yet he also played the lead alongside James Ellison and Frances Dee in I Walked With a Zombie (1943).
See full article at Best-Horror-Movies.com »

Dangerous Davis Schedule

Bette Davis movies: TCM schedule on August 14 (photo: Bette Davis in ‘Dangerous,’ with Franchot Tone) See previous post: “Bette Davis Eyes: They’re Watching You Tonight.” 3:00 Am Parachute Jumper (1933). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bette Davis, Frank McHugh, Claire Dodd, Harold Huber, Leo Carrillo, Thomas E. Jackson, Lyle Talbot, Leon Ames, Stanley Blystone, Reginald Barlow, George Chandler, Walter Brennan, Pat O’Malley, Paul Panzer, Nat Pendleton, Dewey Robinson, Tom Wilson, Sheila Terry. Bw-72 mins. 4:30 Am The Girl From 10th Avenue (1935). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Bette Davis, Ian Hunter, Colin Clive, Alison Skipworth, John Eldredge, Phillip Reed, Katharine Alexander, Helen Jerome Eddy, Bill Elliott, Edward McWade, André Cheron, Wedgwood Nowell, John Quillan, Mary Treen. Bw-69 mins. 6:00 Am Dangerous (1935). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Bette Davis, Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay, Alison Skipworth, John Eldredge, Dick Foran, Walter Walker, Richard Carle, George Irving, Pierre Watkin, Douglas Wood,
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Theatre Review: A Chorus Line

Cast: John Partridge, Scarlett Strallen, Leigh Zimmerman, Gary Wood, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Vicki Lee Taylor, Gary Watson, Jon Tsouras, Adam Salter, Alexzandra Sarmiento, Michael Steedon, Alastair Postlethwaite, Andy Rees, Rebecca Herszenhorn, James T Lane, Marc Leslie, Daisy Maywood, Alice Jane Murray, Harry Francis, Katy Hards, Simon Hardwick, Lucy Jane Adcock, Georgie Ashford, Ed Currie, Frances Dee, Segun Fawole

Synposis: The ups and downs of Broadway auditions are in the spotlight as seventeen young dancers hopeful of a spot in the chorus of a Broadway show tell us their stories.

In an era of TV talent shows a back to basics approach to the story of auditions is a refreshing change of pace. A Chorus Line is a musical that strips bare all of the spectacle and focuses on a stage and its’ inhabitants. It’s strongest asset is also however it’s downfall; the show announced last month it was to
See full article at The Hollywood News »

William Wyler: Oscar Actors Director

William Wyler was one of the greatest film directors Hollywood — or any other film industry — has ever produced. Today, Wyler lacks the following of Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Frank Capra, or even Howard Hawks most likely because, unlike Hitchcock, Ford, or Capra (and to a lesser extent Hawks), Wyler never focused on a particular genre, while his films were hardly as male-centered as those of the aforementioned four directors. Dumb but true: Films about women and their issues tend to be perceived as inferior to those about men — especially tough men — and their issues. The German-born Wyler (1902, in Alsace, now part of France) immigrated to the United States in his late teens. Following a stint at Universal's New York office, he moved to Hollywood and by the mid-'20s was directing Western shorts. His ascent was quick; by 1929 Wyler was directing Universal's top female star, Laura La Plante in the
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Robert Pattinson/Bel Ami Brazilian Trailer

Bel Ami movie: Robert Pattinson The Bel Ami movie trailer was released a week ago. Now comes the Brazilian Bel Ami trailer (scroll down), which happens to be the (classy) English-language trailer with Portuguese subtitles. The text below is an expanded version of the article posted at the time of the original trailer's release. In the trailer, we get to watch Robert Pattinson play a radically different character from his lovestruck vampire in the Twilight movies. Instead of having sex with Breaking Dawn's virginal Kristen Stewart, in Bel Ami Pattinson keeps himself busy with the more mature Kristin Scott Thomas and a whole array of other females of varying ages, shapes, and civil and social statuses. Two veterans of the British stage, Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, directed this latest film adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's novel about Georges Duroy, an impoverished but ambitious ex-soldier who uses his drive,
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Charles Dubin obituary

Director of a string of successful TV series, including 44 episodes of M*A*S*H

There is an episode in the television series M*A*S*H in which a congressional aide comes to Korea to expose Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Loretta Swit) as a communist sympathiser. Under pressure to reveal the names of those she knew as communists, she refuses. The episode, called Are You Now, Margaret?, broadcast in 1979, was directed by Charles Dubin, who has died aged 92.

This would not be especially significant but for the fact that Dubin had found himself in a similar position in 1958, when he was subpoenaed to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Dubin denied that he was a communist and refused 22 times to say whether he had ever been one, citing constitutional protections against self-incrimination. As a result, he was blacklisted for four years, during which time he was forced to take work directing commercials.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Charles Dubin obituary

Director of a string of successful TV series, including 44 episodes of M*A*S*H

There is an episode in the television series M*A*S*H in which a congressional aide comes to Korea to expose Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Loretta Swit) as a communist sympathiser. Under pressure to reveal the names of those she knew as communists, she refuses. The episode, called Are You Now, Margaret?, broadcast in 1979, was directed by Charles Dubin, who has died aged 92.

This would not be especially significant but for the fact that Dubin had found himself in a similar position in 1958, when he was subpoenaed to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Dubin denied that he was a communist and refused 22 times to say whether he had ever been one, citing constitutional protections against self-incrimination. As a result, he was blacklisted for four years, during which time he was forced to take work directing commercials.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »
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