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1-20 of 36 items from 2013   « Prev | Next »

Joan Fontaine death leaves Hollywood mourning second star in as many days

16 December 2013 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Fontaine, who died aged 96 only hours after Peter O'Toole, was the prototype 'Hitchcock blonde' – attractive, malleable, neurotic

On a sad weekend for the film world, the news of the death of Lawrence of Arabia star Peter O'Toole was swiftly followed by that of the passing away of a leading light of an earlier generation: Joan Fontaine. Fontaine, perhaps best remembered as the prototype of the "Hitchcock blonde" – attractive, malleable, neurotic – died only a few hours after O'Toole, at the age of 96 on Sunday morning at home in Carmel in California.

Fontaine's most notable role was arguably that of the "second Mrs de Winter" in Rebecca, the 1940 adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's gothic novel that marked Alfred Hitchcock's Hollywood debut. he would go on to gain an Oscar nomination for the role in 1940 – and actually win the best actress award a year later for a second Hitchcock film, Suspicion. »

- Andrew Pulver

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Joan Fontaine obituary

16 December 2013 9:16 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Oscar-winning actor who played threatened heroines for Alfred Hitchcock in Rebecca and Suspicion

It was hard to cast the lead in Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1939. The female fans of the bestseller were very protective of the naive woman whom the widower Max de Winter marries and transports to his ancestral home of Manderley. None of the contenders – including Vivien Leigh, Anne Baxter and Loretta Young – felt right for the second Mrs de Winter, who was every lending-library reader's dream self.

To play opposite Laurence Olivier in the film, the producer David O Selznick suggested instead a 21-year-old actor with whom he was smitten: Joan Fontaine. The prolonged casting process made Fontaine anxious. Vulnerability was central to the part, and you can see that vulnerability, that inability to trust her own judgment, in every frame of the film. The performance brought Fontaine, who has died »

- Veronica Horwell

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Fade Out: Joan Fontaine (1917-2013)

16 December 2013 8:30 AM, PST | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

I was already in love with movies before someone showed me Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca at the tender age of nineteen, but something about it opened up a whole new world of cinema to me. You’d think it was the film’s acclaimed director or the mastery with which he brought Daphne Du Maurier’s gothic novel to the screen, but no, I can’t claim anything as respectable as that. Instead, it was the smiling woman pictured above who helped ease my way into black & white cinema. Joan Fontaine earned an Academy Award nomination, the first of three, for her performance as the second Mrs. de Winter, and she went on to win the Best Actress Oscar for her very next film, Hitchcock’s Suspicion. (She’s the only actor, male or female, to have ever won an Academy Award for one of his films.) I watched both in rapid succession before devouring several more »

- Rob Hunter

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Joan Fontaine Dies At 96

15 December 2013 10:46 PM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Not long after the loss of acting titan Peter O’Toole, we must now regretfully announce the death of Academy Award winning actress Joan Fontaine at the age of 96. Fontaine was best known for her work with Alfred Hitchcock, a partnership that saw her nominated for Best Actress for my presonal Hitchcock favourite, Rebecca, only to go on and win the next year, in 1942, for Hitchcock’s Suspicion. She would pick up another nomination in 1944 for her performance in The Constant Nymph. In 1956 she starred in Fritz Lang’s Beyond A Reasonable Doubt and took on another memorable role a decade later with The Witches, her last big screen appearance. The 60s, 70s, and 80s saw her turn her attention to TV work, with her final work being the 1994 TV movie, Good King Wenceslas.

Sister to Olivia de Havilland, Joan Fontaine was born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland, in Tokyo »

- Luke Ryan Baldock

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Joan Fontaine: 1917 - 2013

15 December 2013 6:43 PM, PST | IMDb News

Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine, the leading lady known for her string of roles as demure, well-mannered and often well-bred heroines in the 1940s, and the younger sister of actress Olivia de Havilland, died today at her home in Carmel, California; she was 96.

Known best for her back-to-back roles in two Alfred Hitchcock thrillers -- the 1940 Best Picture winner Rebecca and the 1941 film Suspicion, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar, making her the ony actor in a Hitchcock film to receive an Academy Award -- she and her sister were enshrined in Hollywood lore as intense rivals, and their rivalry reached a peak of sorts when Fontaine beat de Havilland for the 1941 Best Actress Oscar.

Born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland in 1917 in Tokyo, Japan, Fontaine suffered from recurring ailments throughout her childhood, resulting in her mother moving both her and Olivia to California. While her mother, stage actress Lillian Fontaine, desired for both her daughters to be actresses, it was only Olivia who initially pursued an acting career, as Fontaine returned to Japan for two years when she was 15 years old to live with her father, who divorced Lillian in 1919. Upon returning to the states, Fontaine found that Olivia was already becoming an established actress, and began to embark on her own career. Starting out in theater, Joan initially changed her name to Joan Burfield, then Joan Fontaine (so as to avoid confusion with her sister), and soon found herself in moderately noteworthy parts in such films as You Can't Beat Love (1937), A Damsel in Distress (1937, opposite Fred Astaire) and Gunga Din (1939, alongside Cary Grant, her future leading man in Suspicion). Though she garnered more notice in 1939 in the supporting part of naive newlywed Peggy Day in the classic comedy The Women, she was far eclipsed in fame and reputation by her sister, who had already starred along Errol Flynn in a number of romance adventures, and who received her first Oscar nomination for the blockbuster Gone With the Wind.

It was the same man who cast de Havilland in Gone With the Wind who would make Fontaine into a major star. Looking to follow up the monstrous success of Gone With the Wind with another noteworthy literary adapation, producer David O. Selnick snapped up the rights to the Daphne du Maurier bestseller Rebecca, in which an unnamed, demure heroine -- known only as "the second Mrs. de Winter" -- is taunted by the memory of her husband's first wife, the beautiful and seductive title character. Selznick brought director Alfred Hitchcock over for his first American production, cast matinee idol and rising star Laurence Olivier as moody, mysterious husband Maxim de Winter, and embarked on a Scarlett O'Hara-style talent search for his leading lady. Rejecting Loretta Young, Margaret Sullavan, Vivian Leigh (then Olivier's wife), and a then-unknown Anne Baxter along with hundreds of other actresses, Selznick decided on Fontaine, who though not an established star projected the right mix of beauty, insecurity, and tenacity needed for the part. Fontaine's insecurity, however, was heightened by Olivier's sometimes cruel treatment of her on set, as he had lobbied aggressively for Leigh to get the role, and Hitchcock capitalized on her inferiority complex to shape her performance. The resulting film, released in 1940, was an unqualified critical and financial success, catapulting Fontaine into the tier of top Hollywood leading ladies, establishing Hitchcock firmly in the United States, and nabbing the film 11 Academy Award nominations, includine ones for both Fontaine and Olivier; it would go on to win Best Picture.

Selznick, pleased with the combination of Hitchcock and Fontaine, signed the two on for a follow-up about a demure heiress who begins to suspect that her playboy husband is out to murder her for her money. Initially titled Before the Fact, it would later be retitled Suspicion, and Cary Grant was cast as the charming but caddish husband. Though the final ending of the film was tinkered with -- studio heads thought making Grant guilty would be bad for box office, and insisted on a twist to make him actually heroic -- it was another success, earning three Oscar nominations, including Fontaine's second Best Actress nod. It was at the 1941 Academy Awards that Fontaine, once considered the also-ran to her movie star sister, beat Olivia de Havilland for the Best Actress Oscar (de Havilland had been nominated for Hold Back the Dawn). In what became part of Hollywood and Academy Award legend, Fontaine coolly rejected her sister's efforts at congratulations, and What had always been a fractious relationship since childhood became officially estranged. Hollywood wags often reported that because de Havilland lost to her sister, she would retaliate by winning two Oscars -- in 1946 for To Each His Own and 1949 for The Heiress -- in order to top Fontaine. The two would officially stop speaking to one another in 1975.

Fontaine received a third Oscar nomination in 1943, for the music melodrama The Constant Nymph, and that same year essayed the title role in the commercially successful if moderately well-regarded version of Jane Eyre opposite Orson Welles. She remained a star throughout the 1940s, appearing in the comedy The Affairs of Susan (1945), the thriller Ivy (1947), and opposite Bing Crosby in The Emperor Waltz (1948). Fontaine also gave what many consider to be her best performance in 1948's Letters from an Unknown Woman, Max Ophuls' romantic drama opposite Louis Jourdan. In 1945 she divorced her first husband, actor Brian Aherne, and in 1946 married producer William Dozier, whom she would divorce in 1951. Two years later, she was embroiled in a bitter custody battle with him over their daughter, Debbie, and the ongoing lawsuit would prevent Fontaine from accepting the role of frustrated military wife Karen Holmes in the Oscar-winning drama From Here to Eternity -- Deborah Kerr was instead cast, and received an Oscar nomination for the part.

Though she continued to work throughout the 1950s, most notably in the lavish Technicolor adaptation of Ivanhoe (1952), Ida Lupino's film noir The Bigamist (1953), and in the pioneering if often campy racial drama Island in the Sun (1957), her work in both film and television lessened, and her last film appearance was in Hammer Films horror movie The Devil's Own (1966). Television work followed in the 1970s and 1980s, and Fontaine received a Daytime Emmy nomination for the soap opera Ryan's Hope. She published an autobiography, No Bed of Roses, in 1978, and after the television film Good King Wenceslas (1994), retired officially to her home in Carmel, California.

Fontaine is survived by her daughter, Debbie Dozier. »

- Mark Englehart

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Joan Fontaine Dies at Age 96

15 December 2013 6:23 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Hollywood Golden Age star Joan Fontaine has died of natural causes at her home in Carmel, California at age 96.  My favorite Fontaine role is the one she won an Oscar for, in Alfred Hitchcock's "Suspicion," opposite Cary Grant, along with her nominated breakthrough performance in Hitchcock's 1940  Daphne Du Maurier classic "Rebecca," opposite Laurence Olivier. In both parts this gorgeous Hollywood actress was able to persuade audiences that she was a real woman like the rest of us, not nearly as beautiful and confident as she should be. Fontaine's older sister was also her greatest rival, Hollywood star Olivia de Havilland, who lost the Oscar for "Hold Back the Dawn" to Fontaine in 1942. Fontaine was also nominated as Best Actress in 1943 for Edmund Goulding's "The Constant Nymph." »

- Anne Thompson

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31 Days of Horror: 100 Greatest Horror Films: Top 50

27 October 2013 10:07 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. Enjoy!


Special Mention:

Shock Corridor

Written and directed by Samuel Fuller

USA, 1963

Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose the killer at the local insane asylum. To solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum, »

- Ricky

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Revolt of Nature Horror Films: The Must-Sees

26 October 2013 10:14 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Writer Lee Gambin calls them Natural Horror films, other writers call them Revenge of Nature or Nature Run Amok films and writer Charles Derry considers them a type of Apocalyptic Cinema.

Of course we’re speaking of one of the great horror subgenres for which we’ll employ writer Kim Newman’s tag: The Revolt of Nature.

Since the end of the 1990s, lovers of animal attack films have been subjected to copious amounts of uninspired Nu Image, Syfy Channel and Syfy Channel-like dreck like Silent Predators (1999), Maneater (2007) Croc (2007), Grizzly Rage (2007) and a stunning amount of terrible shark attack films to name a few that barely scratch the surface of a massive list.

These movies fail miserably to capture the intensity of the unforgettable films they are imitating and the recent wave seems to carry with it the intent of giving the Revolt of Nature horror film a bad name. »

- Terek Puckett

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Jessica Brown Findlay Takes The Lead In BBC One’s Gothic Novel Adaptation

1 October 2013 9:52 AM, PDT | Boomtron | See recent Boomtron news »

There’s a future at BBC for former Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay, who has been chosen to headline its upcoming adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1936 gothic novel Jamaica Inn. It’s okay if you’ve never heard of the novel – I certainly haven’t – but it sounds like it could be an interesting story to tell. It might not be as enrapturing as Downton Abbey, but I wouldn’t expect it to be. This is a different breed, unlike what we’ve seen from Findlay in the past. I, for one, am I excited for this project, even though I’m not familiar with the source material.

According to Deadline, BBC One will air the adaptation in three parts, written by Emma Frost (The White Queen) and produced by Origin Pictures. Philippa Lowthorpe will direct the series, which takes place in 1820s Cornwall. Mary Yellan (Findlay) is our central character, »

- Brody Gibson

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Downton's Findlay Books Into "Jamaica Inn"

30 September 2013 10:45 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Jessica Brown Findlay ("Downton Abbey") is set to star in Origin Pictures' upcoming three-part mini-series adaptation of "Jamaica Inn" for UK's BBC One.

The story is based on "Rebecca" and "The Birds" author Daphne du Maurier's 1936 gothic novel. Philippa Lowthorpe ("Call The Midwife") helms the project from a script by Emma Frost ("The White Queen").

Set in Cornwall around the 1820s, Brown Findlay plays the young Mary Yellan who is sent to live with her aunt (Joanne Whalley) at the eerie, isolated Jamaica Inn. She arrives to find her once carefree aunt is firmly under the heel of her domineering new husband Joss (Sean Harris).

She soon realises something strange is going on as the inn is never open to the public, and learns Joss is a member of a gang of murderous shipwreckers. She also falls for Joss' younger brother, a petty thief named Jem (Matthew McNulty).

Ben Daniels »

- Garth Franklin

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Jamaica Inn

30 September 2013 10:17 AM, PDT | ScreenTerrier | See recent ScreenTerrier news »

Jessica Brown Findlay will star as Mary Yellan in a new BBC adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic novel Jamaica Inn, written by Emma Frost.

23 year old Jessica (represented by Troika) made her film debut in the coming-of-age drama Albatross. She played Lady Sybil Crawley in Downton Abbey, went on to star in Labyrinth, and has recently wrapped playing Rachel in Lone Sherfig's Posh. Jessica will next be seen playing the lead of Beverly Penn alongside an all-star cast in Winter's Tale for Warner Bros.

In Jamaica Inn she will star alongside Misfits and The Paradise star Matthew McNulty, who will play her love interest Jem Merlyn. They will be join by young cast member Charles Furness (represented by A&J Management) playing Thomas - newcomer Charles will soon be seen in the BBC's The Whale where he plays the lead role of Tom Nickerson.

Made for the »

- noreply@blogger.com (ScreenTerrier)

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'Downton' star Jessica Brown Findlay to lead 'Jamaica Inn' for BBC One

30 September 2013 3:46 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay is to lead the cast of new BBC One drama Jamaica Inn.

Matthew McNulty (Misfits), Sean Harris (Southcliffe) and Ben Daniels (House of Cards) will also star in the adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel, penned by The White Queen's Emma Frost.

"I love Daphne du Maurier's novels and it's been a lifelong dream to adapt Jamaica Inn," said Frost. "I hope I have done justice to this wonderful tale of morality, survival and desire.

"It has been a pleasure and a privilege to adapt it for the screen, and I'm tremendously excited to see how our talented cast and director bring the scripts to life."

Set in 1820s Cornwall, Jamaica Inn - which also stars Joanna Whalley (Gossip Girl) and Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter) - follows Brown Findlay's character Mary as she is drawn into a world of smuggling and romance. »

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Jessica Brown Findlay Checks Into BBC One’s ‘Jamaica Inn’

29 September 2013 4:01 PM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Former Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay will topline BBC One‘s three-part adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1936 gothic novel, Jamaica Inn. Emma Frost (The White Queen) wrote the adaptation that’s produced by Origin Pictures and directed by BAFTA winner Philippa Lowthorpe (Call The Midwife). Set in 1820s Cornwall, the story follows spirited Mary Yellan (Brown Findlay), a young woman sent to live with her aunt (Joanne Whalley) after the death of her mother. When Mary arrives at the eerie, isolated Jamaica Inn, she finds her once carefree aunt is now firmly under the spell of domineering husband Joss (Sean Harris). The inn, it turns out, is a front for a smuggling ring. As Mary attempts to navigate her new surroundings, she falls for bad boy Jem (Matthew McNulty) and begins questioning her own morals and loyalties until an ultimate test reveals her true self. Ben Daniels and Shirley Henderson also star. »

- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor

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'Project Runway' Season 12 finale: 'Scandal's' Kerry Washington passes judgment

6 September 2013 4:59 PM, PDT | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

It won't air for weeks, but for the "Project Runway" Season 12 finalists, it's all over except for the waiting.

The last eight designers in the reality show competition all presented their collections Friday (Sept. 6) at New York's Mercedz-Benz Fashion Week held in the middle of Lincoln Center.

Judge/host Heidi Klum introduced fellow judges Zac Posen and Nina Garcia, who were joined by "Scandal" star Kerry Washington. Alyssa Milano -- who will host Season 3 of "Project Runway All Stars" -- actress Paula Garces, rapper Bow Wow and 2012's Miss USA Nana Meriwether were also in attendance.

Wearing a bronze, one-shouldered gown, Klum, knowing that the fashion week theaters run on an extremely tight schedule, asked to "get the party started," but not before dragging mentor and host Tim Gunn onto the catwalk for a declaration of love.

"I'm rolling bandages in the back," Gunn said. "Just metaphorically."

Alexander Pope led »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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Thn Top Ten: Twistin’ The Fright Away!

27 August 2013 12:07 PM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

This week sees the arrival of head-twisting home-invasion horror You’Re Next. Don’t be fooled in believing Adam Wingard’s brilliant and brutal suspense-driven slasher is only full of the familiar run-of-the-mill stuff. The film is wholly original, fun and certainly boasts a number of surprises – a stand-out out turn from the stunning Sharni Vinson; gut-busting pitch-black humour and one hell of a twist in its tale. It’s given Thn some inspiration in putting together our own list of genre favourites that featured another monumental plot curve ball and making them long remembered.

Delve in deep, but beware… spoilers ahead and don’t forget to catch our review of You’Re Next by clicking the link!

The Tall Man (2011)

Pascal Laugier followed up his 2008 infamous, unflinching and brutal French hit Martyrs with his first English-language effort. The Tall Man was sold as a typical supernatural killer-on-the-loose flick. Children »

- Craig Hunter

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Thn Top Ten: Twistin’ The Fright Away!

27 August 2013 12:30 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

This week sees the arrival of head-twisting home-invasion horror You’Re Next. Don’t be fooled in believing Adam Wingard’s brilliant and brutal suspense-driven slasher is only full of the familiar run-of-the-mill stuff. The film is wholly original, fun and certainly boasts a number of surprises – a stand-out out turn from the stunning Sharni Vinson; gut-busting pitch-black humour and one hell of a twist in its tale. It’s given Thn some inspiration in putting together our own list of genre favourites that featured another monumental plot curve ball and making them long remembered.

Delve in deep, but beware… spoilers ahead and don’t forget to catch our review of You’Re Next by clicking the link!

The Tall Man (2011)

Pascal Laugier followed up his 2008 infamous, unflinching and brutal French hit Martyrs with his first English-language effort. The Tall Man was sold as a typical supernatural killer-on-the-loose flick. Children »

- Craig Hunter

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Giant rabbits, blood-thirsty sheep: 12 films where animals attack

22 August 2013 9:51 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Timur Bekmambetov's upcoming horror flick Squirrels has already been dubbed the new Sharknado across social media following the recent release of its trailer.

A new poster has followed today (August 22), featuring a squirrel nibbling on a severed human finger along with the tagline: "Hold onto your nuts".

We know we can't wait to see it, so in anticipation we look back at 12 other films where good animals go bad (or just where very bad ones attack). From bloodthirsty squirrels to giant, mutant rabbits - take a look at your peril below.

The Birds (1963)

Strange seagulls and other creepy winged creatures turn on a beautiful socialite (Tippi Hedren) in a small Northern California town in Alfred Hitchcock's atmospheric thriller, based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier.

Killer Bees! (2010)

Latin American killer bees descend upon a small rural Washington town, and it's up to Sheriff Lyndon Harris (C Thomas Howell »

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Fontaine Shines in Classic Movies of the '40s

6 August 2013 3:50 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Joan Fontaine today: One of the best actresses of the studio era has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day Joan Fontaine, one of the few surviving stars of the 1930s, is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, Tuesday, August 6, 2013. I’m posting this a little late in the game: TCM has already shown six Joan Fontaine movies, including the first-rate medieval adventure Ivanhoe and the curious marital drama The Bigamist, directed by and co-starring Ida Lupino, and written by Collier Young — husband of both Fontaine and Lupino (at different times). Anyhow, TCM has quite a few more Joan Fontaine movies in store. (Photo: Joan Fontaine publicity shot ca. 1950.) (TCM schedule: Joan Fontaine movies.) As far as I’m concerned, Joan Fontaine was one of the best actresses of the studio era. She didn’t star in nearly as many movies as sister Olivia de Havilland, perhaps because »

- Andre Soares

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The 10 great horror films of 1973 that weren't The Exorcist

22 April 2013 2:26 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Top 10 Aliya Whiteley 23 Apr 2013 - 07:43

The Exorcist celebrates its 40th birthday this year, which had Aliya wondering, what other horror films came out in 1973? Here are 10...

Some movies become so famous, so iconic, that they rise above the time and place from which they sprang. The Exorcist is one of those movies. It doesn’t need any explanation and it doesn’t seem to age. Whether you love it or hate it, it stands above other horror movies.

It’s too easy to view influential films as if they were made in a vacuum, but when we talk about The Exorcist as possibly the best horror movie ever made, it got me thinking – was it part of a great year for the horror genre? What else was out there in 1973? Were all the horror movies of that year along similar themes, or were they all still dealing in physical rather than psychological horror? »

- ryanlambie

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'The Birds': 25 Things You Didn't Know About Alfred Hitchcock's Terrifying Classic

25 March 2013 10:37 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Fifty years after its release (on March 28, 1963), we can't stop talking about Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." We're still terrified by it, perhaps because Hitchcock wisely avoided providing any explanation for the avian attacks on Bodega Bay. We're still fascinated by how it was made, especially because, at 83, star Tippi Hedren continues to hold forth on the pleasures and horrors of working with Hitchcock. Much of the story has been retold, in books (notably, Patrick McGilligan's "Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light") and in last year's HBO movie "The Girl." Still, as familiar as we think we are with the scary masterpiece, there's still plenty that remains a mystery -- how did Hitchcock wrangle all those birds? How did he mix live ones with pretend birds so seamlessly? And what really went on between him and Hedren? Read on to learn some of the secrets of "The Birds. »

- Gary Susman

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