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Hangover Square

No, it’s not a the-day-after sequel to The Lost Weekend, but a class-act mystery-horror from 20th-Fox, at a time when the studio wasn’t keen on scare shows. John Brahm directs the ill-fated Laird Cregar as a mad musician . . . or, at least a musician driven mad by a perfidious femme fatale, Darryl Zanuck’s top glamour girl Linda Darnell.

Hangover Square

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1945 /B&W / 1:37 Academy / 77 min. / Street Date November 21, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Laird Cregar, Linda Darnell, George Sanders, Faye Marlowe, Glenn Langan, Alan Napier.

Cinematography: Joseph Lashelle

Film Editor: Harry Reynolds

Original Music: Bernard Herrmann

Written by Barré Lyndon

Produced by Robert Bassler

Directed by John Brahm

Here’s a serious quality upgrade for horror fans. Although technically a period murder thriller, as a horror film John Brahm’s tense Hangover Square betters its precursor The Lodger in almost every department. We don
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Forgotten: J. Walter Ruben's "Ace of Aces" (1933)

John Monk Saunders is a good example of the screenwriter-as-auteur in the sense that he had a tone (mordant, tragic) and a set of concerns (Wwi aerial combat and its effects) that were consistent throughout his work, almost to the point of claustrophobia. Saunders was an airman himself, and like his characters, he just couldn't leave it behind. A recurring theme of his work is that war is not only traumatic, but addictive. Ace of Aces is a typical work: Saunders would achieve greater glory with William A. Wellman (Wings, 1927), Howard Hawks (The Dawn Patrol, 1930) and, best of all, with William Dieterle and The Last Flight in 1931. Ace of Aces is a relatively minor-league outing. Though director J. Walter Ruben delivers a few elaborate tracking shots, the film belongs mainly to the writer and the Rko effects team—Vernon L. Walker, who worked on Citizen Kane and King Kong, stitches
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Forbidden Hollywood Volume 9

Depraved convicts ! Crazy Manhattan gin parties! Society dames poaching other women's husbands! A flimflam artist scamming the uptown sophisticates! All these forbidden attractions are here and more -- including Bette Davis's epochal seduction line about impulsive kissing versus good hair care. It's a 9th collection of racy pre-Code wonders. Forbidden Hollywood Volume 9 Big City Blues, Hell's Highway, The Cabin in the Cotton, When Ladies Meet, I Sell Anything DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1932-1934 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 63, 62, 78, 85, 70 min. / Street Date October 27, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 40.99 Starring Joan Blondell, Eric Linden, Humphrey Bogart; Richard Dix, Tom Brown; Richard Barthelmess, Bette Davis, Dorothy Jordan, Berton Churchill; Ann Harding, Robert Montgomery, Myrna Loy, Alice Brady, Frank Morgan; Pat O' Brien, Ann Dvorak, Claire Dodd, Roscoe Karns. Cinematography James Van Trees; Edward Cronjager; Barney McGill; Ray June Written by Lillie Hayward, Ward Morehouse, from his play; Samuel Ornitz, Robert Tasker, Rowland Brown
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Cummings Pt.2: Working with Capra and West, Fighting Columbia in Court

Constance Cummings in 'Night After Night.' Constance Cummings: Working with Frank Capra and Mae West (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Actress Went from Harold Lloyd to Eugene O'Neill.”) Back at Columbia, Harry Cohn didn't do a very good job at making Constance Cummings feel important. By the end of 1932, Columbia and its sweet ingenue found themselves in court, fighting bitterly over stipulations in her contract. According to the actress and lawyer's daughter, Columbia had failed to notify her that they were picking up her option. Therefore, she was a free agent, able to offer her services wherever she pleased. Harry Cohn felt otherwise, claiming that his contract player had waived such a notice. The battle would spill over into 1933. On the positive side, in addition to Movie Crazy 1932 provided Cummings with three other notable Hollywood movies: Washington Merry-Go-Round, American Madness, and Night After Night. 'Washington Merry-Go-Round
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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 »

The Films of Val Lewton: ‘The Ghost Ship’ and ‘Curse of the Cat People’

After The Seventh Victim‘s disappointing returns, Val Lewton and Rko clashed over their next project. Lewton wanted a comedy, provisionally titled The Amorous Ghost, as a change of pace; studio boss Sid Rogell, Lewton’s bete noir, insisted on a sequel to Cat People, which Lewton resisted. Then Rko suggested a Universal-style monster rally, They Creep By Night, reuniting villains from past Lewton pictures. Charles Koerner rescued Lewton from this absurd prospect by pitching a maritime thriller. “Call it The Ghost Ship,” Koerner ordered. Lewton also scored a big, though past-his-prime star in Richard Dix, an Oscar nominee for Cimarron (1931).

The result is equal parts The Sea Wolf and M, with a dash of Edgar Allan Poe. Tom Miriam signs on as third officer on the ill-starred freighter Altair, ruled by Captain Stone (Richard Dix). At first Stone merely seems strict, but his homilies about authority take on a
See full article at SoundOnSight »

"Forbidden Planet" Screening And Tribute, Omaha, October 23

  • CinemaRetro
Cinema Retro has received the following press release:

"Film historian Bruce Crawford has announced the film to be presented at his 37th Tribute to Classic Films will be the science fiction masterpiece, "Forbidden Planet”. The film will be screened on Friday, October 23th. 2015 at the beautiful Joslyn Art Museum 2200 Dodge St. Omaha, Nebraska. Often considered one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, it inspired several films and television series such as Star Trek. “Forbidden Planet” stars Walter Pidgeon, Leslie Nielsen and Anne Francis. But the character that became one of the most successful in the film was Robby the Robot who is still today one of the most recognizable robot creations in film history. The evening's special guest will be actor, author and producer Robert Dix who portrayed crewman Grey in the film. Dix is also the son of legendary silent era star Richard Dix. Also, as with other Classic Film Tributes,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

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 »

Movie History Catalina Island Style

A long time ago, sometime around 1912, a director by the name of D.W. Griffith packed up his filmmaking wares and took his crew, including favored cinematographer Billy Bitzer and star Mae Marsh, across the water to a relatively mysterious island off the Southern California coast to shoot a short film. The project, Man’s Genesis, subtitled A Psychological Comedy Founded upon the Darwinian Theory of the Evolution of Man (Is that Woody Allen I hear whimpering with envy?), isn’t one for which Griffith is well remembered, in the hearts of either academics or those given to silent-era nostalgia. (One comment on IMDb suggests that no one would ever mistake Griffith’s simple tale of a landmark of human development—man discovers his ability to craft and use tools in order to achieve a specific goal-- for “a serious work of speculative anthropology” and wonders “what the director and his
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

DVD Discovery: Man of Conquest

I’m a sucker for any vintage movie I know little about. That’s why I perked up when I noticed that Olive Films is releasing Republic Pictures’ 1939 movie Man of Conquest on DVD and Blu-ray today. Richard Dix stars as Sam Houston in this ambitious production from the quintessential B-movie factory, which was on in its fourth year of existence. It was Republic’s most expensive production to date and even warranted sending its stars to Houston, Texas for a gala premiere. But the production was fraught with problems. The script was in development for several years and filming went over-budget, almost unheard-of for this most efficient of movie studios. The finished film doesn’t...

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See full article at Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy »

Every Best Picture Oscar Winner, Ranked From Worst to Best

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."

The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later.
See full article at Moviefone »

This & That: Ant Man, Early Emmys, List Mania

Elisabeth Bergner, who started in German silents went on to a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Escape Me Never (1935)Schweigen a fine collection of 1920s and 1930s postcards of film actors. I loved looking at it despite my Richard Dix aversion. And this postcard left makes me desperate to see Escape Me Never, one of the 30s Best Actress nominations I still haven't seen

Cinema Blend profiles the 5 pilots from Amazon Studios including Hand of God with Dana Delany and Ron Perlman

E! Online Neil Patrick Harris responds to rumors that he and David Burtka are breaking up. It ain't so.

Pret-a-Reporter Inside Madonna's 56th birthday bash

THR Cinematography Gordon Willis who died earlier this summer, was memorialized in Hollywood this weekend

List Mania

Rope of Silicon every death in a Quentin Tarantino movie thus far

Cinema Enthusiast has been investigating 1992 cinema. Loves Howards End, The Player, Batman Returns
See full article at FilmExperience »

Why Forgotten? Remembering Five-Time Best Actress Nominee

Irene Dunne movies: Five-time Best Actress Academy Award nominee starred in now-forgotten originals of well-remembered remakes In his August 2007 Bright Lights article "The Elusive Pleasures of Irene Dunne," Dan Callahan explained that "the reasons for Irene Dunne’s continuing, undeserved obscurity are fairly well known. Nearly all of her best films from the thirties and forties were remade and the originals were suppressed and didn’t play on television. She did some of her most distinctive work for John Stahl at Universal, and non-horror Universal films are rarely shown now. Practically all of her movies need to be restored; even her most popular effort, The Awful Truth (1937), looks grainy and blotchy on its DVD transfer, to say nothing of things like Stahl’s When Tomorrow Comes (1939), or Rouben Mamoulian’s High, Wide, and Handsome (1937), two key Dunne films that have languished and deteriorated in a sort of television/video purgatory.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Scene-Stealing Supporting Player Is Star for a Day

Mary Boland movies: Scene-stealing actress has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day on TCM Turner Classic Movies will dedicate the next 24 hours, Sunday, August 4, 2013, not to Lana Turner, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Esther Williams, or Bette DavisTCM’s frequent Warner Bros., MGM, and/or Rko stars — but to the marvelous scene-stealer Mary Boland. A stage actress who was featured in a handful of movies in the 1910s, Boland came into her own as a stellar film supporting player in the early ’30s, initially at Paramount and later at most other Hollywood studios. First, the bad news: TCM’s "Summer Under the Stars" Mary Boland Day will feature only two movies from Boland’s Paramount period: the 1935 Best Picture Academy Award nominee Ruggles of Red Gap, which TCM has shown before, and one TCM premiere. So, no rarities like Secrets of a Secretary, Mama Loves Papa, Melody in Spring,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Ann Rutherford: Gone With The Wind Actress Dies

Ann Rutherford, best remembered as Scarlett O’Hara’s younger sister Carreen in Gone with the Wind, died earlier this evening at her home in Beverly Hills according to Rutherford’s friend, actress Anne Jeffreys. Rutherford, who had been suffering from heart problems, was 94 as per the Los Angeles Times obit (as per most other sources, she was 91). [Recent Ann Rutherford photos, Ann Rutherford and Marsha Hunt.]

In 2010, Rutherford told the Times that MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer was unwilling to loan her out for "a nothing part" such as Carreen in son-in-law David O. Selznick’s mammoth adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel. Mayer changed his mind when Rutherford burst into tears.

Gone with the Wind ultimately became the biggest blockbuster ever. To this day, the Civil War romantic drama has sold more tickets than any other movie in North America. (Possibly, around the world, relative to population.) Gwtw also won eight Oscars, in addition to two special awards.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Stars Appearing At Chiller Theatre Convention This Weekend, New Jersey

  • CinemaRetro
Five of the original actors from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, including the elusive Charlie himself, Peter Ostrum are appearing this weekend at the Chiller Theatre convention at the  Parsippany Hilton in New Jersey. Also appearing during the weekend event: Ernest Borgnine, Hal Holbrook, Loni Anderson and Gary Busey.  For James Bond fans, there is Britt Ekland and Maud Adams from Man With the Golden Gun and from Live and Let Die, Richard Dix, who played the CIA agent murdered at a New Orleans funeral procession. For more info click here
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Miriam Seegar, 103, Dies: One of the Last Surviving Silent Film Performers

Miriam Seegar, one of the last surviving adult performers to have been featured in silent films, died of "age-related causes" on Sunday, Jan. 2, at her home in Pasadena. She was 103. Born on Sept. 1, 1907, in Greentown, Ind., Seegar began her film career in England. After replacing Sylvia Sidney in the play Crime in the West End, she landed roles in three British silent films, most notably the female lead in When Knights Were Bold (1929), directed by her future husband, Tim Whelan. In Hollywood, Seegar played in two movies opposite Richard Dix, then a highly popular leading man: the silent The Love Doctor (1929) and in Reginald Barker's early talkie Seven Keys to Baldpate (1929), a humorous mystery-thriller that is perhaps her best-known film. Among Seegar's other film credits were Victor Schertzinger's Fashions in Love with Adolphe Menjou (1929); the Fox Movietone Follies of 1930; What a Man (1930), [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Forgotten: Socko!

  • MUBI
Above: Richard Dix in Hell's Highway.

Rowland Brown (born with the appealing first name of Chauncey), was an interesting, almost unique filmmaker of the early thirties, who made three films. In those days, when it was a matter of principle that directors should not write, nor writers direct, and that writers, in Preston Sturges' words, "should work in teams, like piano movers," Brown was an honest-to-God hyphenate, writing and directing three two-fisted pre-code thrillers, Quick Millions, Hell's Highwayand Blood Money.

There was Chaplin, of course, a living exception to nearly every industrial practice of the age, but Brown's entire directing career occurred during the lull between City Lights and Modern Times. Brown wrote (albeit sometimes with collaborators) and directed, and his films have a strong sense of their maker's personality: tough, even brutish, with a hard-bitten and cynical sense of humor, and a frankness about human nature and sexual foibles,
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In or Around New York City? Then You Can Experience The Return of William Castle!

If someone were to ask us to name our top ten directors of all time, the name William Castle would sit firmly somewhere within the top five. The man was not only a true showman but also an absolute genius. If we have one regret in our tenure here at Dread Central, it is that we weren't around during Castle's heyday of insane gimmicks. The man was without question the godfather of viral marketing, and it's taken the rest of the industry decades to catch up. If you live somewhere within the Tri-State Region, we have the info on an event that you do Not want to miss!

From the Press Release

The Return Of William Castle, a 15-film festival of horror and exploitation classics by the director and master showman, complete with their original gimmicks (Emergo!, Percepto!, Illusion-o!, and others – including one created exclusively for Film Forum), will run
See full article at Dread Central »

Norma Shearer’s Riptide, Katharine Hepburn’s Song Of Love, John Ford, Cary Grant: Warner Archives

The Norma Shearer-Robert Montgomery-Herbert Marshall melodrama Riptide (1934); a remastered version of None But the Lonely Heart (1944), which earned Cary Grant his second and last Best Actor Academy Award nomination and veteran stage player Ethel Barrymore her only Oscar; and the biopic Song of Love (1947), starring Katharine Hepburn (as Clara Wieck), Paul Henreid (as Robert Schumann), and Robert Walker (as Johannes Brahms) are among the seven latest additions to the Warner Archives’ DVDs. The other four movies are: Between Two Worlds (1944), the worlds being those of the living and the dead, with John Garfield, Paul Henreid, and Eleanor Parker; John Ford‘s Flesh (1932), starring Wallace Beery, Ricardo Cortez, and Karen Morley; the film noir Crack-Up (1946), with Pat O’Brien and Claire Trevor; and The Conquerors (1932), Rko’s attempt to repeat the success of its Oscar-winning Cimarron, starring the earlier film’s leading man, Richard Dix, and Ann Harding.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »
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