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7 items from 2013


Top 15 Movies of This Past Year: Do Audiences Really Want Original, Quality Stories?

30 December 2013 5:47 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Top box office movies of 2013: If you make original, quality films… (photo: Sandra Bullock has two movies among the top 15 box office hits of 2013; Bullock is seen here in ‘The Heat,’ with Melissa McCarthy) (See previous post: “2013 Box Office Record? History is Remade If a Few ‘Minor Details’ Ignored.”) As further evidence that moviegoers want original, quality entertainment, below you’ll find a list of the top 15 movies at the domestic box office in 2013 — nine of which are sequels or reboots (ten if you include Oz the Great and Powerful), and more than half of which are 3D releases. Disney and Warner Bros. were the two top studios in 2013. Disney has five movies among the top 15; Warners has three. With the exception of the sleeper blockbuster Gravity, which, however dumbed down, targeted a more mature audience, every single one of the titles below were aimed either at teenagers/very, »

- Zac Gille

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Why Forgotten? Remembering Five-Time Best Actress Nominee

12 September 2013 2:20 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

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. »

- Andre Soares

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Esther Williams obituary

7 June 2013 4:02 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Swimmer who found movie fame in a string of MGM musicals

Esther Williams, "Hollywood's Mermaid", who has died aged 91, swam her way through more than a dozen splashy MGM musicals in the 1940s and early 50s. While smiling at the camera, she was able to do a combination of crawl, breast and backstroke, and was forever blowing bubbles under water, seemingly having an inexhaustible supply of air.

Like the starlets Lana Turner, Kathryn Grayson and Donna Reed before her, she started out for MGM in a Hardy Family picture, Andy Hardy's Double Life (1942) – though one that allowed her to swim with Mickey Rooney. After being billed 19th in A Guy Named Joe (1943), she shot to stardom in her third film, Bathing Beauty (1944).

It started out as an average Red Skelton vehicle, first called Mr Co-Ed, then Sing and Swim, but Esther's superb figure and pretty features were heightened by Technicolor »

- Ronald Bergan

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Esther Williams obituary

6 June 2013 3:14 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Swimmer who found movie fame in a string of MGM musicals

Esther Williams, "Hollywood's Mermaid", who has died aged 91, swam her way through more than a dozen splashy MGM musicals in the 1940s and early 50s. While smiling at the camera, she was able to do a combination of crawl, breast and backstroke, and was forever blowing bubbles under water, seemingly having an inexhaustible supply of air.

Like the starlets Lana Turner, Kathryn Grayson and Donna Reed before her, she started out for MGM in a Hardy Family picture, Andy Hardy's Double Life (1942) – though one that allowed her to swim with Mickey Rooney. After being billed 19th in A Guy Named Joe (1943), she shot to stardom in her third film, Bathing Beauty (1944).

Continue reading »

- Ronald Bergan

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The Top-Paid Female Star: Durbin Pt.5

4 May 2013 9:31 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Deanna Durbin: Highest-paid actress in the world [See previous post: "Deanna Durbin in the '40s: From Wholesome Musicals to Film Noir Sex Worker."] Despite several missteps in the handling of her career, David Shipman states that Deanna Durbin was Hollywood’s (and the world’s) highest-paid actress in both 1945 and 1947. In 1946, Durbin’s earnings of $323,477 trailed only Bette Davis’ $328,000 at Warner Bros. Those are impressive rankings (and wages), but ironically Durbin’s high earnings ultimately harmed her career. By the mid-’40s, her domestic box-office allure was beginning to fade, a situation surely worsened by World War II closing off most of Hollywood’s top international markets. As a result, Universal, since 1947 a new entity known as Universal-International, was unwilling to spend extra money in their star’s already costly vehicles. That’s a similar predicament to the one faced by silent-era superstar John Gilbert at MGM in the early ’30s: the studio had to pay Gilbert an exorbitant salary that made his movies much »

- Andre Soares

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Adrift at Universal Pictures in the '40s: Durbin Pt.3

4 May 2013 5:47 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

‘The Deanna Durbin Unit’ (photo: Robert Cummings, Deanna Durbin, and Charles Laughton in It Started with Eve) [See previous post: "Deanna Durbin Movies Save Universal."] Deanna Durbin and Henry Koster, who has been credited with helping to mold Durbin’s screen persona, collaborated on five movies. Besides Three Smart Girls, there was the inevitable sequel, Three Smart Girls Grow Up (1939), in addition to One Hundred Men and a Girl, after which Durbin’s salary was reportedly doubled to $3,000 per week, plus a $10,000 bonus per film; the Cinderella-like First Love (1939), in which, following worldwide publicity, Durbin gets kissed on screen for the first time (Robert Stack was the kisser); Spring Parade (1940), with a Viennese setting and Robert Cummings as her leading man; and It Started with Eve (1941), a light, well-received romantic comedy co-starring Cummings and Charles Laughton. (Universal would also release the 1964 remake, I’d Rather Be Rich, starring Sandra Dee in the Robert Cummings role, Robert Goulet in the Deanna Durbin part, »

- Andre Soares

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Take Me Out To The Ball Game at The Hi-Pointe This Saturday Morning

9 April 2013 8:24 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

“Oh, Miss Higgins! You’re the prettiest manager in baseball!”

Celebrate two of America’s great pastimes, Baseball and the Hollywood Musical, this Saturday morning at St. Louis’ fabulous Hi-Pointe Theater this weekend as part of their Classic Film Series. It’s  Saturday, April 13th at 10:30am at the Hi-Pointe located at 1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117. Admission is only $5.

In Take Me Out To The Ball Game, set in the first decade of the 20th century, Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly play Dennis Ryan and Eddie O’Brien, two best friends who play with the Brooklyn Wolves baseball club in the summer, then work the vaudeville circuit during the off-season (I guess ball players weren’t paid one hundred years ago what they are today). Their carefree lives are shaken up when go-getter Esther Williams inherits their franchise and takes over as an active, controversial, manager who annoys »

- Tom Stockman

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7 items from 2013


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