6 items from 2013
The Pordenone Silent Film Festival holds a special place in the calendar. Now in its 32nd year, Pordenone remains the most important festival of silent cinema, the mother ship in a sense for the encouraging plethora of smaller silent film events (San Francisco, Bonn, Tromso, etc.) that have cropped up in recent years. Attracting an esoteric crowd of archivists, scholars, conservationists and programmers, Pordenone has long been a catalyst for early film research and, thanks to scholarships offered to young applicants who attend as part of the festival’s Collegium, a way of encouraging and disseminating interest in the field. This year’s edition (which ran Oct. 5-12) saw more international attention than usual thanks to the extraordinary discovery, in the city of Pordenone itself, of Orson Welles’ lost 1938 silent lark, “Too Much Johnson.”
Preceded in Welles’ cinematic career only by his short “The Hearts of Age,” made when he »
- Jay Weissberg
Hattie McDaniel as Mammy in ‘Gone with the Wind’: TCM schedule on August 20, 2013 (photo: Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel in ‘Gone with the Wind’) See previous post: “Hattie McDaniel: Oscar Winner Makes History.” 3:00 Am Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943). Director: David Butler. Cast: Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan, Eddie Cantor, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, John Garfield, Ida Lupino, Ann Sheridan, Dinah Shore, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson, Alan Hale, George Tobias, Edward Everett Horton, S.Z. Sakall, Hattie McDaniel, Ruth Donnelly, Don Wilson, Spike Jones, Henry Armetta, Leah Baird, Willie Best, Monte Blue, James Burke, David Butler, Stanley Clements, William Desmond, Ralph Dunn, Frank Faylen, James Flavin, Creighton Hale, Sam Harris, Paul Harvey, Mark Hellinger, Brandon Hurst, Charles Irwin, Noble Johnson, Mike Mazurki, Fred Kelsey, Frank Mayo, Joyce Reynolds, Mary Treen, Doodles Weaver. Bw-127 mins. 5:15 Am Janie (1944). Director: Michael Curtiz. Cast: Joyce Reynolds, Robert Hutton, »
- Andre Soares
A 1938 Orson Welles film has been discovered in a warehouse in Italy.
The silent film was originally intended to be used in conjunction with Welles’ stage adaptation of an 1894 play by William Gillette. The Mercury Theatre planned to show the three short films as prologues to each act of the play.
The nitrate print of the film - left unfinished by the Mercury Theatre and never shown in public - was given by Cinemazero to one of Italy’s major film archives, the Cineteca del Friuli in nearby Gemona, and transferred from there to George Eastman House in order to be preserved.
According to published sources, until now the only known print of Too Much Johnson had burnt »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Fred MacMurray movies: ‘Double Indemnity,’ ‘There’s Always Tomorrow’ Fred MacMurray is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" today, Thursday, August 7, 2013. Although perhaps best remembered as the insufferable All-American Dad on the long-running TV show My Three Sons and in several highly popular Disney movies from 1959 to 1967, e.g., The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Boy Voyage!, MacMurray was immeasurably more interesting as the All-American Jerk. (Photo: Fred MacMurray ca. 1940.) Someone once wrote that Fred MacMurray would have been an ideal choice to star in a biopic of disgraced Republican president Richard Nixon. Who knows, the (coincidentally Republican) MacMurray might have given Anthony Hopkins a run for his Best Actor Academy Award nomination. After all, MacMurray’s most admired movie performances are those in which he plays a scheming, conniving asshole: Billy Wilder’s classic film noir Double Indemnity (1944), in which he’s seduced by Barbara Stanwyck, and Wilder »
- Andre Soares
A long lost, never-before-seen film that was written and directed by 20-year-old wunderkind Orson Welles three years before the premiere of Citizen Kane has been unearthed in Italy and restored for a premiere in October. Too Much Johnson (1938), a screwball marital farce that starred Joseph Cotten, Arlene Francis and Ruth Ford, was done by Welles’ famed Mercury Theatre as a companion piece for a planned multimedia stage adaptation of the 19th century play by William Gillette. The silent work, filmed in three acts and about an hour in length, was never finished or seen publicly,
- Mike Barnes
The restored film will premiere October 9 at Pordenone, Italy’s silent film fest Le Giornate del Cinema Muto. U.S. premiere is set for October 16 at the George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y.
The silent film was originally meant to be shown as part of the Welles’ stage adaptation of an 1894 William Gillette play, and the Mercury Theater planned to show the three short films as prologues to each act of the play. The three-part slapstick comedy, which starred Joseph Cotten, was originally planed to be screened with music and live sound effects, but was never finished.
The film was found in a warehouse by the staff of Pordenone arthouse Cinemazero.
Other Mercury Theater actors that appear in the film include Eustace Wyatt, »
- Pat Saperstein
6 items from 2013
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