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More 4th of July Escapism: Small-Town Iowa and Declaration of Independence Musicals

More 4th of July Escapism: Small-Town Iowa and Declaration of Independence Musicals
(See previous post: Fourth of July Movies: Escapism During a Weird Year.) On the evening of the Fourth of July, besides fireworks, fire hazards, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, if you're watching TCM in the U.S. and Canada, there's the following: Peter H. Hunt's 1776 (1972), a largely forgotten film musical based on the Broadway hit with music by Sherman Edwards. William Daniels, who was recently on TCM talking about 1776 and a couple of other movies (A Thousand Clowns, Dodsworth), has one of the key roles as John Adams. Howard Da Silva, blacklisted for over a decade after being named a communist during the House Un-American Committee hearings of the early 1950s (Robert Taylor was one who mentioned him in his testimony), plays Benjamin Franklin. Ken Howard is Thomas Jefferson, a role he would reprise in John Huston's 1976 short Independence. (In the short, Pat Hingle was cast as John Adams; Eli Wallach was Benjamin Franklin.) Warner
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

TCM's Pride Month Series Continues with Movies Somehow Connected to Lgbt Talent

Turner Classic Movies continues with its Gay Hollywood presentations tonight and tomorrow morning, June 8–9. Seven movies will be shown about, featuring, directed, or produced by the following: Cole Porter, Lorenz Hart, Farley Granger, John Dall, Edmund Goulding, W. Somerset Maughan, Clifton Webb, Montgomery Clift, Raymond Burr, Charles Walters, DeWitt Bodeen, and Harriet Parsons. (One assumes that it's a mere coincidence that gay rumor subjects Cary Grant and Tyrone Power are also featured.) Night and Day (1946), which could also be considered part of TCM's homage to birthday girl Alexis Smith, who would have turned 96 today, is a Cole Porter biopic starring Cary Grant as a posh, heterosexualized version of Porter. As the warning goes, any similaries to real-life people and/or events found in Night and Day are a mere coincidence. The same goes for Words and Music (1948), a highly fictionalized version of the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical partnership.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Remembering Actress Gray: Underappreciated Film Noir Heroine

Coleen Gray actress ca. 1950. Coleen Gray: Actress in early Stanley Kubrick film noir, destroyer of men in cult horror 'classic' Actress Coleen Gray, best known as the leading lady in Stanley Kubrick's film noir The Killing and – as far as B horror movie aficionados are concerned – for playing the title role in The Leech Woman, died at age 92 in Aug. 2015. This two-part article, which focuses on Gray's film career, is a revised and expanded version of the original post published at the time of her death. Born Doris Bernice Jensen on Oct. 23, 1922, in Staplehurst, Nebraska, at a young age she moved with her parents, strict Lutheran Danish farmers, to Minnesota. After getting a degree from St. Paul's Hamline University, she relocated to Southern California to be with her then fiancé, an army private. At first, she eked out a living as a waitress at a La Jolla hotel
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Remembering Actress Gray: Underappreciated Film Noir Heroine

Coleen Gray actress ca. 1950. Coleen Gray: Actress in early Stanley Kubrick film noir, destroyer of men in cult horror 'classic' Actress Coleen Gray, best known as the leading lady in Stanley Kubrick's film noir The Killing and – as far as B horror movie aficionados are concerned – for playing the title role in The Leech Woman, died at age 92 in Aug. 2015. This two-part article, which focuses on Gray's film career, is a revised and expanded version of the original post published at the time of her death. Born Doris Bernice Jensen on Oct. 23, 1922, in Staplehurst, Nebraska, at a young age she moved with her parents, strict Lutheran Danish farmers, to Minnesota. After getting a degree from St. Paul's Hamline University, she relocated to Southern California to be with her then fiancé, an army private. At first, she eked out a living as a waitress at a La Jolla hotel
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blue Boy the Hog at The Hi-Pointe Saturday Morning – State Fair

“Biggest boar in the world, I bet!”

The Missouri State Fair has been in Sedalia since 1901. I’ve lived in Missouri all of my life, but have never attended even though I grew up with a pet hog named Blue Boy! I made that last part up but, I did once judge a pickle-canning contest. Okay, I made that up too, but Iowa seems to have the most all-American State Fair and you can attend it vicariously this Saturday morning when the 1945 classic musical State Fair screens at St. Louis’ Hi-Pointe Theater as part of their Classic Film Series.

State Fair is the story of an average all-American family on the way to their state fair, with games and rides, cotton candy and candied apples, contests for baking, livestock, etc., and a lot of fun and angst too. The music by Rodgers and Hammerstein is just great, including the Oscar-winning song,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: All 51 Miss Golden Globes Are Five Degrees (or Less) from Sosie Bacon

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: All 51 Miss Golden Globes Are Five Degrees (or Less) from Sosie Bacon
Sosie Bacon may only be 21, but she has a lot going for her. On top of being 2014's Miss Golden Globe, through her father Kevin Bacon, she is connected to nearly everyone in Hollywood - including every other previous Miss Golden Globe, most of whom are also the daughters (or sons) of industry power players. And while some have a connection through their famous parents, others, such as Laura Dern (who happens to have famous parents), are also connected through their own work. Don't believe us? Here's how you get from young Ms. Bacon to all of her famous predecessors,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Lots of Rooney Flicks Today

Mickey Rooney movie schedule (Pt): TCM on August 13 See previous post: “Mickey Rooney Movies: Music and Murder.” Photo: Mickey Rooney ca. 1940. 3:00 Am Death On The Diamond (1934). Director: Edward Sedgwick. Cast: Robert Young, Madge Evans, Nat Pendleton, Mickey Rooney. Bw-71 mins. 4:15 Am A Midsummer Night’S Dream (1935). Director: Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle. Cast: James Cagney, Dick Powell, Olivia de Havilland, Ross Alexander, Anita Louise, Mickey Rooney, Joe E. Brown, Victor Jory, Ian Hunter, Verree Teasdale, Jean Muir, Frank McHugh, Grant Mitchell, Hobart Cavanaugh, Dewey Robinson, Hugh Herbert, Arthur Treacher, Otis Harlan, Helen Westcott, Fred Sale, Billy Barty, Rags Ragland. Bw-143 mins. 6:45 Am A Family Affair (1936). Director: George B. Seitz. Cast: Mickey Rooney, Lionel Barrymore, Cecilia Parker, Eric Linden. Bw-69 mins. 8:00 Am Boys Town (1938). Director: Norman Taurog. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Henry Hull, Leslie Fenton, Gene Reynolds, Edward Norris, Addison Richards, Minor Watson, Jonathan Hale,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Slim Durbin and Marvelous Rendition of 'Last Rose of Summer'

Deanna Durbin: Ephemeral fame (photo: Deanna Durbin in 1981) [See previous post: "Deanna Durbin: 'Sweet Monster.'"] Unlike Greta Garbo, whose mystique remained basically intact following her retirement in 1941, Deanna Durbin’s popularity faded away much like that of the vast majority of celebrities who were removed — or who chose to remove themselves — from public view. Despite the advent of home video and classic-movie cable channels, Durbin remains virtually unknown to the vast majority of those who weren’t around in her heyday in the ’30s and ’40s. Yet, although relatively few in number, she continues to have her ardent fans. There are a handful of websites devoted to Deanna Durbin and her film and recording careers, chiefly among them the appropriately titled "Deanna Durbin Devotees." Fade Out Charles David, Deanna Durbin’s husband of 48 years, died in March 1999, at the age of 92; Institut Pasteur medical researcher Peter H. David is their only son. Durbin also had a daughter,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Top-Paid Female Star: Durbin Pt.5

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
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: One Touch of Venus

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 18, 2013

Price: DVD $19.95, Blu-ray $29.95

Studio: Olive Films

Ava Gardner pulls the goddess routine on Robert Walker in One Touch of Venus.

Ava Gardner is at her most beautiful as the goddess Venus in the 1948 fantastical musical romantic comedy One Touch of Venus.

When a long-lost statue of Venus turns out to be the genuine goddess herself on an earthly assignment, a hapless department store clerk (Robert Walker) suddenly becomes the object of a furious employer, a jealous fiancée (Olga San Juan) and the lovesick Venus (Gardner) in this heavenly musical comedy of mistaken identity based on the successful Broadway musical.

Also starring Dick Haymes and Eve Arden, the much-loved movie is directed by comedy-musical veteran William A. Seiter (You Were Never Lovelier) with a screenplay by Harry Kurnitz (A Shot in the Dark) and Frank Tashlin (Rock-a-bye Baby).

Previously available on DVD from Lionsgate but out
See full article at Disc Dish »

R.I.P. Patty Andrews

Patty Andrews, last surviving member of the Andrews sisters, has died. She was 94 and died today at her home in Northridge, CA. The phenomenally popular singing trio that entertained U.S. troops during World War II even announced the war’s end in 1945 to 5,000 G.I.’s while they were performing at a show in Italy. Laverne (top), Patty (center), and Maxene (bottom) also appeared in movies and on TV. A signature song “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy From Company B” was featured in the 1941 Abbott & Costello film Buck Privates. They appeared in more than a dozen features, including another Abbott & Costello film In the Navy, and the 1947 Bob Hope-Bing Crosby-Dorothy Lamour vehicle Road to Rio. With Crosby they also performed the hit “Don’t Fence Me In” and several other tunes. They also sang with the big bands of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Bob Crosby,
See full article at Deadline TV »

Tony Martin obituary

American entertainer and singer popular in the 1940s and 50s

The American entertainer Tony Martin, who has died aged 98, was once described as a singing tuxedo. Although he was rather a stiff actor, he was handsome and charming, with a winning, dimpled smile. What mattered most, however, was his mellifluous baritone voice, which he used softly in ballads such as To Each His Own and I Get Ideas, and powerfully in Begin the Beguine and There's No Tomorrow, all hit records in the 1940s and 50s.

He was one of the top crooners of the period with Vic Damone, Andy Williams and Dick Haymes, all of them just below Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra in esteem and popularity. According to Mel Tormé: "Tony Martin was technically the greatest singer of them all, as well as being the classiest guy around, both as an entertainer and a person."

He was
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Mill Creek 50 Movie Packs Discount Code And Giveaway

If you’ve hunted around for movie bargains, you’ve probably seen some of Mill Creek Entertainment’s 50-Movie Packs on DVD. Apart from other great releases by Mill Creek, these packs are phenomenal boons to cinephiles looking to collect older titles.

There are three new packs available, and I want to not only let you in on a discount code, but I have one of the packs available for you to win.

I know a lot of people may be quick to overlook these packs, and not every movie included stands out as a major value, but there are some great titles in each of them, and fans of the genres will be pleasantly surprised by what they get out of the deal. I have to admit that there is something about seeing a 50-movie pack, especially when it doesn’t cost a couple of hundred dollars, or more,
See full article at AreYouScreening »

Andrew Embiricos: Rita Hayworth Grandson Dies of Apparent Suicide

Andrew Embiricos, grandson of Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly Khan, was found dead of an apparent suicide at his West 17th Street apartment in Chelsea, New York City, on Sunday, Dec. 4. Embiricos was 25. Andrew Ali Aga Khan Embiricos was the son of economist and shipping heir Basil Embiricos and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. He was also the nephew of Prince Karim, Aga Khan IV. As such, Embiricos was purportedly a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed. His body, lying face up in bed with a bag over his head, was found Sunday evening by a friend, Aaron Edwards, who then called 911. An autopsy is to be performed. Because the handsome Embiricos had appeared in amateur gay sex video clips on X-Tube, New York and gay tabloids have gone on to claim that his death wasn't actually suicide, but an experimentation with autoerotic asphyxiation gone wrong. Those are the same sensational
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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