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The Most Visible Star: Marilyn Monroe’s Acting Talent

The actress is mostly remembered for her good looks, but what about her impressive performances?

In Richard Dyer’s book Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society, he writes that Marilyn Monroe was “the most visible star”: an actress whose life was put on display, and remains so over 50 years after her death. She is one of the most iconic Hollywood stars of all time, her face instantly recognizable to even those who have never seen any of her movies. She is a symbol of beauty, glamor, cinema, femininity, blondness, sexuality, and tragedy. While the world speculates about her personal life — who was she romantically involved with? How did she die? What was she really like? — her career as an actress is overshadowed by her fame.

While she may not have been the greatest actress of all time, she certainly had her fair share of talent and intelligence, and always worked incredibly hard to bring her
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Never-Before-Seen Footage of Marilyn Monroe Uncovered

Never-Before-Seen Footage of Marilyn Monroe Uncovered
The scene from “Seven Year Itch” in which Marilyn Monroe’s white cocktail dress gets buffeted up to her waist is one of the most iconic in film history, but now, thanks to some old home-shot footage of the scene being filmed, you can see the moment and the events surrounding it in a different light.

On Sept. 15, 1954, director Billy Wilder and Monroe were scheduled to shoot the scene on a New York sidewalk, however, the crowd of journalists and onlookers, including Monroe’s then husband Joe Dimaggio who famously hated the dress and rowed with the actress after shooting, grew so great and rowdy, that they were forced to re-shoot the actual scene on the 20th Century Fox lot. Also among the crowd that day was a man named Jules Schulback who followed Monroe and captured the scene on film. Schulback’s illuminating footage has been edited down to
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Bad Girl

All sing the praises of Frank Borzage, a gentle director fully committed to the idea of romance in an imperfect world. Sally Eilers and James Dunn make a go of marriage, despite their personal flaws and difficulties with communication. It’s hard to believe that films of this vintage portray behaviors as sensitive as this.

Bad Girl

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1931 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 90 min. / Street Date December 13, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring James Dunn, Sally Eilers, Minna Gombell, Sarah Padden, William Pawley, Billy Watson.

Cinematography Chester A. Lyons

Film Editor Margaret Clancey

Written by Viña Delmar, Brian Marlow, Edwin J. Burke

Directed by Frank Borzage

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Directors don’t come any more romantic than Frank Borzage. It is said that he was one of several Fox directors, including John Ford, who were heavily influenced by F.W. Murnau, whose Sunrise was a massive hit in
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Top Ten Funny Ladies of the Movies

The recent box office success of The Boss firmly establishes Melissa McCarthy as the current queen of movie comedies (Amy Schumer could be a new contender after an impressive debut last Summer with Trainwreck), but let us think back about those other funny ladies of filmdom. So while we’re enjoying the female reboot/re-imagining of Ghostbusters and those Bad Moms, here’s a top ten list that will hopefully inspire lots of laughter and cause you to search out some classic comedies. It’s tough to narrow them down to ten, but we’ll do our best, beginning with… 10. Eve Arden The droll Ms. Arden represents the comic sidekicks who will attempt to puncture the pomposity of the leading ladies with a well-placed wisecrack (see also the great Thelma Ritter in Rear Window). Her career began in the early 1930’s with great bit roles in Stage Door and Dancing Lady.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

The Definitive Romantic Comedies: 30-21

We’ve reached the near mid-point of this Definitive List; 20 down, 30 to go. As we move forward, the story of “boy meets girl” becomes more complicated, as plenty of stumbling blocks stand in the way: lack of experience, insecurity, unsupportive parents, and, as in most cases, ego. So, when we watch all these films, what do we learn? Hundreds of romantic comedies end happily, but none end in the same way. Perhaps there’s a method to the madness, but the more we tread through these highlights, the more it’s clear that to make an impact, you have to change the game or perfect the existing one.

#30. Bull Durham (1988)

Baseball movies had worn out their welcome a bit in the mid-80s and audiences weren’t clamoring for a romantic comedy based around the national pastime. Enter writer/director Ron Shelton, who decided to write a film based on
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Top Screenwriting Team from the Golden Age of Hollywood: List of Movies and Academy Award nominations

Billy Wilder directed Sunset Blvd. with Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies Below is a list of movies on which Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder worked together as screenwriters, including efforts for which they did not receive screen credit. The Wilder-Brackett screenwriting partnership lasted from 1938 to 1949. During that time, they shared two Academy Awards for their work on The Lost Weekend (1945) and, with D.M. Marshman Jr., Sunset Blvd. (1950). More detailed information further below. Post-split years Billy Wilder would later join forces with screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond in movies such as the classic comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), the Best Picture Oscar winner The Apartment (1960), and One Two Three (1961), notable as James Cagney's last film (until a brief comeback in Milos Forman's Ragtime two decades later). Although some of these movies were quite well received, Wilder's later efforts – which also included The Seven Year Itch
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

On this day in pop culture history: Marilyn Monroe’s iconic ‘flying skirt’ moment

  • Hitfix
On this day in pop culture history: Marilyn Monroe’s iconic ‘flying skirt’ moment
Sixty-one years ago today, this iconic image was born: Marilyn Monroe, laughing as the skirt of her white cocktail dress is blown up by the air from a subway vent. Monroe had her famous skirt moment on the set of “The Seven Year Itch” for a scene with Tom Ewell filmed on Sept. 15, 1954. Her husband, baseball player Joe Dimaggio, was reportedly infuriated by the scene, and the couple divorced shortly afterward. The iconic photo of the “flying skirt” moment was taken by Monroe's friend Sam Shaw. Other notable Sept. 15 happenings in pop culture history: • 1949: “The Lone Ranger” premiered on ABC. • 1956: Elvis Presley started a five-week run at No.1 on the U.S. charts with “Don't Be Cruel.” • 1961: A band from Hawthorne, Calif. called The Pendletones had their first recording session at Hite Morgan’s studio in Los Angeles. The band later changed their name to The Beach Boys.
See full article at Hitfix »

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
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Movie Review – The Seven Year Itch (1955)

The Seven Year Itch, 1955.

Directed by Billy Wilder.

Starring Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell.

Synopsis:

Married man, Sherman, has to contend with the gorgeous woman upstairs when his family are away over the summer.

That shot. A train whirrs past beneath the vent and wind blows her dress up as she struggles to hold it down. She doesn’t move away from the revealing situation and instead tells he male companion, “isn’t it delicious?”. Her white, pleated dress design and platinum blonde hair means that this is Marilyn Monroe. A crowd had gathered, between 52nd and 53rd Street in New York City. Billy Wilder is in production of The Seven Year Itch, and photographer Sam Shaw is snapping the icon of the 1950’s. This became the moment that became a 26ft tall statue by Seward Johnson in Chicago, California and New Jersey, in Forever Marilyn. It is also the unforgettable,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

New on Video: ‘Kiss Me, Stupid’

Kiss Me, Stupid

Written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond

Directed by Billy Wilder

USA, 1964

How good was Billy Wilder? So good that this film, Kiss Me, Stupid—largely entertaining, frequently witty, beautifully shot, and with at least two noteworthy performances—probably wouldn’t figure in most lists of his top 10 movies. Yet it is a good Billy Wilder film, if not a great one.

Starting in Las Vegas, we are introduced to Dino, a womanizer, a drunk, an accomplished singer, and a clever jokester. Dean Martin, in a bit of curiously inspired and rather daring casting, plays the rapscallion; not surprisingly, he does so very well. On his way to Los Angeles, he stops in Climax, Nevada (with all the sexual innuendo built into this film, the town’s name almost seems the least obvious). There he encounters Orville (Ray Walston), a nebbish piano teacher and amateur songwriter who
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘Mommy’ Review: Xavier Dolan’s Latest Wavers Between Powerful and Exasperating

  • The Wrap
‘Mommy’ Review: Xavier Dolan’s Latest Wavers Between Powerful and Exasperating
It’s hard not to empathize with this troubled teen and his equally mercurial mother, but the writer-director undercuts his characters by wallowing in classist squalor

The artist shows us the world and demands that we face its injustices and explore our own role in perpetuating them. The brat, meanwhile, sulks in his room and grumbles, “The world sucks, man.”

Writer-director Xavier Dolan wears both hats in his latest film, “Mommy,” which wavers between gritty, poignant drama and a wallow in how much it sucks to be poor and to wear unattractive clothes. (It’s the same kind of classist
See full article at The Wrap »

A Year with Kate: Adam's Rib (1949)

Episode 26 of 52: In which Tracy and Hepburn's best comedy shows that love, life, and law are a circus.

How are we already halfway through this series? How are we already halfway through this year? 2014 is going by faster than KHep’s dialog in Morning Glory. (See what I did there?) We’ve already covered one debut, an Oscar win, a masterpiece, a massive failure, an equally massive comeback, cinema chemistry history, racist history, communist history, and some odd miscellany, and we haven’t even gotten to the bulk of Kate’s Oscar nominations yet. Plus, in yet another moment of perfect symmetry, the 26th film is the pinnacle Tracy/Hepburn collaboration and a major milestone in Kate's career: Adam's Rib.

A woebegone wife attempts to shoot her husband when she finds him in the arms of his mistress. It’s the stuff that Law & Order episodes are made of.
See full article at FilmExperience »

The Definitive Romantic Comedies: 30-21

We’ve reached the near mid-point of this Definitive List; 20 down, 30 to go. As we move forward, the story of “boy meets girl” becomes more complicated, as plenty of stumbling blocks stand in the way: lack of experience, insecurity, unsupportive parents, and, as in most cases, ego. So, when we watch all these films, what do we learn? Hundreds of romantic comedies end happily, but none end in the same way. Perhaps there’s a method to the madness, but the more we tread through these highlights, the more it’s clear that to make an impact, you have to change the game or perfect the existing one.

#30. Bull Durham (1988)

Baseball movies had worn out their welcome a bit in the mid-80s and audiences weren’t clamoring for a romantic comedy based around the national pastime. Enter writer/director Ron Shelton, who decided to write a film based on
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Digital Download: 'Galaxy Quest,' 'Drug War,' 'Thor,' & More

These days you can watch any movie you desire online. Yet there's still one thing the magical wonders of instant streaming haven't solved for indecisive movie-lovers: what the heck to watch! Moviefone is here to recommend the best streaming movies from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant and new digital releases from iTunes and Vudu each week in Moviefone's Digital Download.

This week's Digital Download picks range from a psycho killer mannequin shop owner and a seductive new neighbor, to a Chinese meth lord and the has-been cast of a sci-fi TV show. Check out our suggestions below, and happy streaming!

Comedy: 'Galaxy Quest' (1999)

This space parody stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman as burnt-out actors from a cancelled cult sc-fi show. But when aliens in distress pick up signals of the show's reruns and believe it to be real, the actors have to do their best to play real heroes.
See full article at Moviefone »

Carson Interviews, Wilder Movies Tonight

Billy Wilder movies, Johnny Carson interviews tonight on TCM Billy Wilder is Turner Classic Movies’ Director of the Evening tonight, July 8, 2013. But before Wilder Evening begins, TCM will be presenting a series of brief interviews from The Tonight Show, back in the old Johnny Carson days — or rather, nights. The Carson interviewees this evening are Doris Day, Charlton Heston, Tony Curtis, Chevy Chase, and Steve Martin. (See also: Doris Day today.) (Photo: Billy Wilder.) As for Billy Wilder, TCM will be showing the following: Some Like It Hot (1959), The Fortune Cookie (1966), The Spirit of St. Louis (1958), and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Of course, all of those have been shown before and are widely available. Some Like It Hot vs. The Major and the Minor: Subversive and subversiver Some Like It Hot is perhaps Billy Wilder’s best-known film. This broad comedy featuring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Remember Marilyn Monroe's Best Film Roles

Remember Marilyn Monroe's Best Film Roles
Los Angeles — There is the well-honed Marilyn Monroe screen persona – the breathy, girlish voice, the glamorous curves and the flirty sex appeal – and then there are the films that allowed her to stretch, or at least allowed her to try. A devout Method actress, Monroe took her craft seriously, dug deep in search of motivation and worked harder than her effortless screen presence would suggest. For a while, that is, until her demons took over.

On the 50th anniversary of her death, here's a look at five of her most memorable film performances, the ones that stand out over her prolific but sadly short career:

_ "Some Like It Hot" (1959): This was the first title that came to mind when I began pondering this list. Maybe because it's the best film she was ever in – the Billy Wilder classic is listed as the greatest comedy ever by the American Film Institute – but also,
See full article at Huffington Post »

Review: Forever Marilyn

  • Comicmix
Given her enduring appeal fifty years after her death, it can easily be argued that Marilyn Monroe was the signature pop culture icon of the 20th Century and her allure is lasting well into the next century. Last year, I read Max Allan Collins’ take on Marilyn’s death before watching Michelle Williams portray her in My Week with Marilyn. Her career has become the spine for the NBC series Smash. Her image is found in commercials, artwork, music videos, calendars, and on and on. While her appeal and persona don’t grab me, I respect her impact on America and the world.

Out this week form 20th Century Home Entertainment, in time for the morbid memorial, is the seven-disc Blu-ray set Forever Marilyn. Included in the set are the recently released Blu-ray editions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), River of No Return (1954), There’s No
See full article at Comicmix »

Forever Marilyn Collection – Blu-ray Review

  • HeyUGuys
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Hollywood legend’s passing, the Forever Marilyn Collection is a four disc set showcasing some of the most treasured cinematic moments of Marilyn Monroe’s career with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like It Hot.

From some of Monroe’s earlier films playing the iconic sex symbol that she was known for, to the film where she broke out of her limitations and began showing a stronger talent that she fought to be recognised, this collection really captures the beauty of a star who will forever be remembered.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Directed by Howard Hawks, the collection opens with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes which follows best friends Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw (Monroe and Jane Russell) as two showgirls who set a course for love on board a luxury liner sailing to France. Pursued by a
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Marilyn Monroe: proto-feminist?

As the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death approaches, Lois Banner argues in this extract from her new book that the star – complex and powerful – had many qualities associated with the women's movement

In one of the most famous photos of the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe stands on a subway grate, trying to hold her skirt down as a gust of wind blows it up, exposing her underpants. The photo was taken in New York on 15 September, 1954, in a photoshoot during the filming of The Seven Year Itch.

Marilyn is a vision in white, suggesting innocence and purity. Yet she exudes sexuality and transcends it; poses for the male gaze and confronts it. The photoshoot was a publicity stunt, one of the greatest in the history of film. Its time and location were published in New York newspapers; it attracted a crowd of 100 male photographers and 1,500 male spectators, even
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Films Of Billy Wilder: A Retrospective

"I want to thank three persons,” said Michel Hazanavicius, accepting the 2012 Best Picture Oscar for “The Artist.” “I want to thank Billy Wilder, I want to thank Billy Wilder and I want to thank Billy Wilder.” He wasn’t the first director to namecheck Wilder in an acceptance speech. In 1994, Fernando Trueba, accepting the Foreign Language Film Oscar for "Belle Epoque" quipped, "I would like to believe in God in order to thank him. But I just believe in Billy Wilder... so, thank you Mr. Wilder." Wilder reportedly called the next day "Fernando? It's God."

So just what exactly was it that inspired these men to expend some of the most valuable seconds of speechifying airtime they'll ever know, to tip their hats to Wilder? And can we bottle it?

Born in a region of Austria/Hungary that is now part of Poland, Wilder's story feels like an archetype of
See full article at The Playlist »
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