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Anne Jeffreys Dies: ‘General Hospital’, ‘Topper’ Actress Was 94

Anne Jeffreys, an actress whose career spanned the Nelson Eddy and Janette MacDonald era through a decades-long run into the 2000s as General Hospital‘s snobbiest socialite, has died. She was 94. “God bless the beautiful + talented Anne Jeffreys,” tweeted General Hospital actress Jacklyn Zeman. “We will always remember you with love + appreciation.” Jeffreys’ death was first reported last night by George Pennacchio of Los Angeles’ Kabc. Additional details were not…
See full article at Deadline TV »

The Phantom Of The Opera – 1943 Version with Claude Rains Saturday Morning at The Hi-Pointe

“They’ve poisoned your mind against me. That’s why you’re afraid!”

The Phantom Of The Opera (1943) plays on the big screen at St. Louis’ fabulous Hi-Pointe Theater this weekend as part of their Classic Film Series. It’s Saturday, October 8th at 10:30am at the Hi-Pointe located at 1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117. Admission is only and the film will be introduced by Kmox Movie Reviewer Harry Hamm

1943’s Phantom Of The Opera is often criticized for straying too much from the original story, and for having too much focus on the opera. Monster kids have always felt that it’s too much Opera and not enough Phantom, but the heart of the story remains true to the classic story. A phantom (Claude Rains) stalks the Paris Opera House, and is attempting to get an opera starlet (Susanna Foster) into the spotlight. He murders and creates destruction to get his way.
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Modesty Blaise

Joseph Losey doesn't normally make trendy, lighthearted genre films, and in this SuperSpy epic we find out why -- an impressive production and great music don't compensate for a lack of pace and dynamism, not to mention a narrow sense of humor. Yet it's a lounge classic, and a perverse favorite of spy movie fans. Modesty Blaise Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1966 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 119 min. / Street Date August 23, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp, Dirk Bogarde, Harry Andrews, Michael Craig, Clive Revill, Alexander Knox, Rossella Falk, Scilla Gabel, Tina Marquand Cinematography Jack Hildyard Production Designer Richard MacDonald, Jack Shampan Film Editor Reginald Beck Original Music John Dankworth Written by Evan Jones from a novel by Peter O'Donnell and a comic strip by Jim Holdaway Produced by Joseph Janni Directed by Joseph Losey

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

When I first reviewed a DVD of Modesty Blaise fourteen years ago,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Co-Stars Who Should Have Worked Together More Than Once

  • Cinelinx
Sometimes actors are cast in a movie together and instantly display great onscreen chemistry. You look at them and think, “These two should work together again. They make a good team.” Sometimes they do reunite and it leads to a series of great screen collaborations, but sometimes they don’t and we’re left wishing the pair would have made more films together.

Back in the days of the old ‘Studio System,’ movies studio execs would look for actors who had good on-screen chemistry and repeatedly cast them together in films. This was called “packaging”, and it lead to the frequent teaming of people like Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers; William Powell & Myrna Loy; Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall; Boris Karloff & Bela Lugosi; Bob Hope & Bing Crosby; Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland; Nelson Eddy & Jeannette MacDonald; etc., etc.

The ‘Studio System’ is long gone and so is “packaging”. It’s a pity
See full article at Cinelinx »

How Sound Film Technology Evolved in the Last Century: Interview with Former UCLA Film Preservationist Gitt

Hal Roach looks on as technicians install Vitaphone equipment in his studio screening room, ca. 1928. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) 'A Century of Sound': Q&A with former UCLA Preservation Officer Robert Gitt about the evolution of film sound technology Long before multi-track Dolby stereo and digital sound technology, there were the Kinetophone and the Vitaphone systems – not to mention organ and piano players at movie houses. Much of that is discussed in A Century of Sound, which chronicles the evolution of film sound from the late 19th century to the mid-1970s. A Century of Sound has been split into two parts, with a third installment currently in the planning stages. They are: Vol. 1, “The Beginning, 1876-1932,” which came out on DVD in 2007. Vol. 2, “The Sound of Movies: 1933-1975,” which came out on Blu-ray in 2015. The third installment will bring the presentation into the 21st century.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Cummings Pt.3: Gender-Bending from Joan of Arc to Comic Farce, Liberal Supporter of Political Refugees

'Saint Joan': Constance Cummings as the George Bernard Shaw heroine. Constance Cummings on stage: From sex-change farce and Emma Bovary to Juliet and 'Saint Joan' (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Frank Capra, Mae West and Columbia Lawsuit.”) In the mid-1930s, Constance Cummings landed the title roles in two of husband Benn W. Levy's stage adaptations: Levy and Hubert Griffith's Young Madame Conti (1936), starring Cummings as a demimondaine who falls in love with a villainous character. She ends up killing him – or does she? Adapted from Bruno Frank's German-language original, Young Madame Conti was presented on both sides of the Atlantic; on Broadway, it had a brief run in spring 1937 at the Music Box Theatre. Based on the Gustave Flaubert novel, the Theatre Guild-produced Madame Bovary (1937) was staged in late fall at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre. Referring to the London production of Young Madame Conti, The
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

‘Phantom of the Opera’ (1943), a visual feast with the great Claude Rains, is hurt by a laborious script

The Phantom of the Opera

Written by John Jacoby, Samuel Hofffenstein, Eric Taylor

Directed by Arthur Lubin

U.S.A., 1943

It comes as a surprise to no one when stating that Hollywood is not averse to remaking movies. It is an old practice that goes back many decades, all the way back to the earliest days of the studio system. Great stories, apparently, bear retelling with more modern casts and more modern filmmaking techniques. In some cases, it is an issue of actually modernizing the setting, whereas in others instances the studio believes that audiences crave a new version of a familiar classic even though it was a period piece to begin with. Among several early attempts at refurbishing highly regarded motion pictures was 1943’s Phantom of the Opera, released not quite 20 years after the terrifying original and about 15 years after said original was itself the subject of tinkering to
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Rare Silent Film Actor Who Had Long Talkie Career Is TCM's Star of the Day

Adolphe Menjou movies today (This article is currently being revised.) Despite countless stories to the contrary, numerous silent film performers managed to survive the coming of sound. Adolphe Menjou, however, is a special case in that he not only remained a leading man in the early sound era, but smoothly made the transition to top supporting player in mid-decade, a position he would continue to hold for the quarter of a century. Menjou is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Day today, Aug. 3, as part of TCM's "Summer Under the Stars" 2015 series. Right now, TCM is showing William A. Wellman's A Star Is Born, the "original" version of the story about a small-town girl (Janet Gaynor) who becomes a Hollywood star, while her husband (Fredric March) boozes his way into oblivion. In typical Hollywood originality (not that things are any different elsewhere), this 1937 version of the story – produced by
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Stan Irwin, Las Vegas Producer, Personal Manager for Johnny Carson, Dies at 94

Stan Irwin, Las Vegas Producer, Personal Manager for Johnny Carson, Dies at 94
Stan Irwin, producer and the personal manager for many celebrities, especially Johnny Carson, died Wednesday, January 21. He was 94.

Irwin was entertainment director and VP-general manager for the entire Del-Webb Gambling/Entertainment Corporation, which included the Fremont and other downtown casinos, during its heyday, bringing in the likes of Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Frank Sinatra and many other top names of the 1950s and 1960s. Irwin was responsible for bringing Johnny Carson to the Sahara in Las Vegas, where he broke all the records in the Congo Showroom. Others he brought to Sahara for their first Vegas stints included Bolger, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jeannette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Marlene Dietrich, Dan Dailey, George Burns, Paul Anka, Bobby Darin, Eleanor Powell, Eydie Gorme/Steve Lawrence, Connie Francis, Brenda Lee, Eve Arden, Bob Newhart, Maury Wills and Shari Lewis.

Irwin guilded the careers of Don Rickles, Buddy Hackett, Buddy Rich, Keely Smith and Louis Prima.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

The 'Jeanette MacDonald' of Central European Cinema Dead at 101

Marta Eggerth: Operetta and film star — a sort of Jeanette MacDonald of Central European cinema — dead at 101 Marta Eggerth, an international star in film and stage operettas who frequently performed opposite husband Jan Kiepura, died on December 26, 2013, at her home in Rye, New York. The Budapest-born Eggerth had turned 101 last April 17. (Photo: Marta Eggerth ca. 1935.) Although best known for her roles in stage musicals such as the Max Reinhardt-directed 1927 Hamburg production of Die Fledermaus, and various incarnations of Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow, Marta Eggerth was featured in nearly 40 films. The vast majority of those were produced in Austria and Germany in the 1930s, as the Nazis ascended to power. Marta Eggerth films Marta Eggerth films, which frequently made use of her coloratura soprano voice, include Max Neufeld’s drama Eine Nacht im Grandhotel ("A Night at the Grand Hotel," 1931); the Victor Janson-directed musicals Once There Was a Waltz
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One of Earliest Surviving Oscar Nominees Turns 85 Today

Ann Blyth today: Light songs and heavy drama on TCM Ann Blyth, a 1940s Universal leading lady best remembered for her Oscar-nominated performance as Joan Crawford’s cute-but-sociopathic teenage daughter in Warner Bros.Mildred Pierce, is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star on Friday, August 16, 2013. Note: Today, Ann Blyth, one of the earliest surviving Oscar nominees in the acting categories, turns 85 years old. (See: “Ann Blyth Movies: TCM Schedule.”) (Photo: Ann Blyth ca. 1955.) First, the good news: Ann Blyth is a likable, talented actress and singer, and it’s great that TCM is dedicating a whole day to her movies. The bad news: As mentioned above, Ann Blyth was mostly (1944-1952) a Universal star; TCM is presenting only one of Blyth’s Universal movies, Brute Force (1947), which has been shown before. In other words, not a chance of finally having the opportunity to catch Ann Blyth in B
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 »

Slim Whitman obituary

Yodelling country singer best known for Rose Marie and Indian Love Call

The singer Slim Whitman, who has died aged 90, was a noteworthy figure in country music, since, although he was hugely popular outside the Us, for most of his career he was almost forgotten in his own country. In the 1970s, two decades after his American heyday, he still commanded enough of a following in the UK to be voted the No 1 international star in a music poll – four times.

Much of the reason for his success outside the Us was his high, clear, strong singing and almost operatic yodelling, characteristics that several generations in Britain, Australia and South Africa have assimilated into their notions and fantasies of the old west of America. One of Whitman's chief models was Wilf Carter, a Nova Scotian yodeller and singer of cowboy songs who was popular throughout north America in the 30s
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Maria Callas Was To Star In "The Guns Of Navarone"

  • CinemaRetro
If not for a last minute change, legendary opera star Maria Callas would have been the female lead in The Guns of Navarone.

Opera superstar Maria Callas was set to make her movie debut in Carl Foreman’s iconic war film The Guns Of Navarone, according to a new book, The Making Of The Guns Of Navarone launched this weekend at the Bradford Widescreen Film Festival (April 26-29) by Scottish film historian Brian Hannan.

The singer had scandalised the world by her affair with Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who would later marry Jackie Kennedy, widow of assassinated president John F Kennedy. Callas was first choice for the role of the older female Greek partisan. Producer Carl Foreman promised ‘mucho love scenes’ with star Gregory Peck.

Commented Hannan, ‘At the time, Maria Callas was the most famous woman in the world, a fiery mixture of Princess Diana and Madonna, the
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Universal Announces First Wave of Individual Classic Monsters on Blu-ray, Including The Mummy and The Invisible Man

After their boxed set of classic horror titles were released last year, Universal has announced that they are splitting up the set and selling the movies as individual Blu-rays. The first wave will be released on June 4th, and includes The Mummy, Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Phantom of the Opera, and The Invisible Man. Continue reading for a look at the cover art and a list of bonus features for each title:

Creature From the Black Lagoon: “ Perfectly blending Universal’s classic monster heritage with the science-fiction explosion of the 1950s, Creature from the Black Lagoon tells the mythical story of a dangerous half-human, half-fish creature lurking in the depths of the Amazon. After discovering a unique prehistoric claw fossil on an expedition deep in the jungle, archeologists investigate its origins which lead them directly to a mysterious creature. Led by marine life specialist David Reed (Richard Carlson
See full article at DailyDead »

99-Year-Old Opera Star Who Had Key Role in 1944 Best Picture Oscar Winner Has Died

Dead at 99: Opera star and Crosby's ex-girlfriend in 1944 Best Picture Oscar winner Risë Stevens, the Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano that moviegoers remember as Nelson Eddy's romantic partner in Roy Del Ruth's 1941 musical The Chocolate Soldier and as Bing Crosby's ex-girlfriend in Leo McCarey's 1944 Oscar-winning blockbuster Going My Way, died on Wednesday, March 20, at her Manhattan home. The former singer was 99 years old. (Pictured above: Stevens in her most famous operatic role, that of Bizet's anti-heroine Carmen.) Born in The Bronx, New York City, Stevens sang at the Metropolitan from 1938 to 1961; among her most popular roles were Dalila in Camille Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila, Mignon in Ambroise Thomas' opera of the same name, and most notable of all, the lead in Bizet's Carmen. After leaving the stage, she became an arts administrator with the Met and president of the Mannes College of Music.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Exploiting the Celebrity Factor: The Tabloids' Cash Cows Stewart, Pattinson

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson rumors and gossip: Tabloid ‘news’ equals profits Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have been used as grist for the planet’s countless rumor mills since Catharine Hardwicke’s Twilight became the worldwide sleeper hit of 2008. Following the Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders "scandal" in late summer 2012, "news" reports about Stewart and Pattinson breaking up, getting back together again, dating others, etc., have become not just daily, but, in the age of instant online "reports," second-ly occurrences. Now, who has the most to gain from the barrage of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson gossip articles? The above drawing — sent to me by a follower on Twitter — makes it clear. Besides the tabloid publications themselves, Summit Entertainment and, within the last year or so, its sibling/parent company Lionsgate Pictures, have had the most to gain. Really, would the Twilight movies have been so tremendously successful without the possibility (or reality,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Check Out Our Review and Image Gallery for Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection on Blu-Ray

One thing we always make time for here at Dread Central is honoring the masters, and we wanted to take a moment to point out our recent review of Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection on Blu-ray along with the overflowing image gallery Universal provided to us as a supplement.

Click Here to read our review of Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection (as you can imagine, it earned pretty high marks), and enjoy perusing the exclusive photos below.

From the Prior Press Release:

Digitally restored from high resolution film elements in perfect high-definition picture and perfect high-definition sound for the first time ever, Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection brings together the very best of Universal’s legendary monsters—imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror that launched a uniquely American movie genre. This definitive collection features eight films on Blu-ray, a collectible 48-page book featuring behind-the-scenes photographs, original posters,
See full article at Dread Central »

Trailer Debut for Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection on Blu-ray

Today's the day that Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection debuts on Blu-ray, and in honor of the occasion, Universal has released a trailer for the collection. See Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr., Claude Rains, and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that made them famous!

From the Press Release:

Digitally restored from high resolution film elements in perfect high-definition picture and perfect high-definition sound for the first time ever, Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection brings together the very best of Universal’s legendary monsters—imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror that launched a uniquely American movie genre. This definitive collection features eight films on Blu-ray, a collectible 48-page book featuring behind-the-scenes photographs, original posters, correspondence, and much more.

Each iconic film is accompanied by an array of bonus features that tell the fascinating story of its creation and history, including behind-the-scenes documentaries, filmmaker commentaries, interviews, storyboards,
See full article at Dread Central »

New Trailer for the Universal Classic Monsters Blu-ray Collection

  • DailyDead
One of the biggest Blu-ray releases of the year is now available and Universal has shared a new trailer that shows off their updated classics. For those that missed our previous story, we’ve included details on the Universal Classic Monsters Blu-ray collection and another video that shows the restoration work done on Dracula:

For the first time ever, eight of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces of the horror genre are available together on Blu-ray as Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection debuts on October 2, 2012 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Digitally restored from high resolution film elements in perfect high-definition picture and perfect high-definition sound for the first time ever, Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection brings together the very best of Universal’s legendary monsters—imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror that launched a uniquely American movie genre. This definitive collection features eight films on Blu-ray, a
See full article at DailyDead »
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