12 items from 2013
"Scarface" co-star Steven Bauer recalled a decade ago that, during the 1983 premiere for the over-the-top epic of the rise and fall of a violent, foul-mouthed, cocaine kingpin, Martin Scorsese turned to him and said, "You guys are great -- but be prepared, because they're going to hate it in Hollywood" Bauer said he asked why, and that Scorsese replied, "Because it's about them."
Thirty years after the release of "Scarface" (on December 9, 1983), Brian De Palma's glitzy, coke-fueled tale of Cuban immigrant druglord Tony Montana now seems like a landmark of '80s cinema. It provided major early career breaks for a number of stars, from Michelle Pfeiffer to Bauer to F. Murray Abraham, as well as for screenwriter Oliver Stone. Along with fellow gangster Michael Corleone of the "Godfather" trilogy, Tony Montana is the role Al Pacino is most likely to be remembered for. And of course, the movie »
- Gary Susman
Odd List Simon Brew 15 Nov 2013 - 07:08
Lots of films are dedicated to, or in memory of someone. But it's not always clear why. We've been finding out...
Back when Breaking Bad returned for its final batch of episodes in August 2013, it had a dedication at the end of it. The card read 'Dedicated to our friend Kevin Cordasco'. As it turned out, Kevin Cordasco was a 16-year old who had been battling cancer for seven years, who had met both Bryan Cranston and Vince Gilligan. Cordasco died before he could ever get to see the episode dedicated to him.
I found this such a moving story, that it got me wondering about the dedications that appear on films, and what the story behind them was. After all, the dedications are there for a reason. What I uncovered was some funny stories, mainly extremely sad ones, and some extremely moving dedications. »
Film's golden era was tarnished by appeasement
Nazi Germany loved movies, and their leader was, as in so much else, fanatical about them. In his private cinema at the Reich Chancellery Hitler watched a movie every night, then gave his invited guests the benefit of his opinion on it. He loved Laurel and Hardy, for instance, noting how their comedy Block-Heads contained "a lot of very nice ideas and clever jokes". Yet he regarded movies as something more than entertainment; he saw in their power to seduce and bewitch a vital instrument of persuasion. His propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, saw it, too. After watching It Happened One Night, he wrote in his diary: "A funny, lively American film from which we can learn a lot. The Americans are so natural. Far superior to us."
If this eye-opening study of Hollywood and the Nazi elite is to be believed, that superiority was purely a technical one. »
- Anthony Quinn
• More from Why I love …
Reading on mobile? Click to view
It begins with a necessary disclaimer:
"It all happened in the 'dark ages' of the newspaper game – when to a reporter 'getting that story' justified anything short of murder. Incidentally, you will see in this picture no resemblance to the men and women of the press of today. Ready? Well, once upon a time …"
Once upon a time, Howard Hawks directed the first shot of the first scene of His Girl Friday, which is almost the-Copacabana-in-Goodfellas-esque in its beautiful glide through a clacking, clattering, hot-metal newsroom. There are men in gambler's eye-shades and waistcoats, there are hurtling secretaries and there are cries of "Copy boy!"
There is a switchboard, »
- Martin Pengelly
Written by Ben Hecht
Directed by Otto Preminger
To those paying attention, film history teaches that groups of like-minded artists enjoy working together. The better the result of their initial project, the higher the likelihood the same team shall reconvene to produce one, two, or more films, hopefully of equal or superior quality. Some time ago in this column, Otto Preminger’s 1944 Laura was reviewed, a brilliant picture about a detective falling in love with a believed-to-be-deceased woman based on her stunning portrait, starring Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney as the lovers in question. Six years following said sumptuous collaboration, the same director-actors partnership brought audiences Where the Sidewalk Ends, an equally bittersweet tale of misguided love.
- Edgar Chaput
Joan Fontaine today: One of the best actresses of the studio era has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day Joan Fontaine, one of the few surviving stars of the 1930s, is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, Tuesday, August 6, 2013. I’m posting this a little late in the game: TCM has already shown six Joan Fontaine movies, including the first-rate medieval adventure Ivanhoe and the curious marital drama The Bigamist, directed by and co-starring Ida Lupino, and written by Collier Young — husband of both Fontaine and Lupino (at different times). Anyhow, TCM has quite a few more Joan Fontaine movies in store. (Photo: Joan Fontaine publicity shot ca. 1950.) (TCM schedule: Joan Fontaine movies.) As far as I’m concerned, Joan Fontaine was one of the best actresses of the studio era. She didn’t star in nearly as many movies as sister Olivia de Havilland, perhaps because »
- Andre Soares
Lynda Obst is a 63-year-old movie producer who continues to pay her dues as a writer and cockeyed optimist. She was a New York Times journalist once; she published a novel, Dirty Dreams, in 1990; and she came up with one of the supreme insolent titles of our time. In 1996, she wrote a wry memoir on making it in Hollywood called Hello, He Lied. Uttered in the confines of Los Angeles that title was home-run funny, hauntingly terse, and offering the brazen promise that cynicism trumps philosophy. Lynda, you can hear her best friends telling her, that title says it all. Another thing it whispered was: no need to read this book. The title is the quickest coverage anyone could hope for, and generally movie people avoid books as if they were used needles.
Hello, He Lied »
- David Thomson, Bernard Porter
The Alluring Art of Margaret Brundage, by Stephen D. Korshak and J David Spurlock, Vanguard Publishing, retail: $39.95 hardcover, Amazon $16.59 softcover / $28.61 hardcover.
Generally speaking, when I’m reading a biography of a spectacularly talented popular culture artist I rarely encounter a lot of references to the Industrial Workers of the World. In the interest of full disclosure, I was a member of the Iww and I still fully sympathize with the heritage and the goals of the Wobblies. So there.
Irrespective of her personal history, Margaret Brundage’s pulp illustrations – mostly for Weird Tales – speak for themselves. They were spectacularly sensual, evoking the most base emotions in the true pulp tradition. That she was a woman made her work all the more unusual: back then, commercial illustration was very much an old boy’s club, and generally old W.A.S.P. boys at that. Then again, it is likely a »
- Mike Gold
“Walter, you’re wonderful, in a loathsome sort of way”
Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell star in one of the fastest-talking screwball comedies–make that movies–ever made. His Girl Friday is a clever script teeming with fab dialogue, delivered by a top-notch cast, and captured by one of the best directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age; Howard Hawks. You can see His Girl Friday this Saturday morning (May 10th) at St. Louis’ fabulous Hi-Pointe Theater as part of their Classic Film Series. It’s Saturday, May 10th at 10:30am at the Hi-Pointe located at 1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117.
Admission is only $5.
The second screen version of the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur play The Front Page, His Girl Friday changed hard-driving newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson from a man to a woman, transforming the story into a scintillating battle of the sexes. Rosalind Russell plays Hildy, about to foresake »
- Tom Stockman
Three Takes is a new column dedicated to the art of short-form criticism. Each week, three writers—Calum Marsh, Fernando F. Croce, and Joseph Jon Lanthier—offer stylized capsules which engage, in brief, with classic and contemporary films.
Design For Living (1933)
“It’s true we have a gentlemen’s agreement,” susurrates a suggestively bed-strewn Miriam Hopkins, “but unfortunately I am no gentlemen.” Indeed: never before or since has the fulcrum of a three-way so iconically longed or been longed for, soaking up desire like a sponge. Design for Living, of course, has enjoyed a now 80-year legacy on the promise of its barely muffled libertine sensibility, that same vague aura of licentiousness in which nearly every remotely racy pre-Code comic romance is anachronistically steeped. Design for Living certainly makes use of the luxury of candor—sex as a subject is plainly on the table here, explicated without »
- Calum Marsh
As she arrives for the Oscars, the producer of The Master and Zero Dark Thirty is no longer the mystery she was
Photographers should be able to recognise Megan Ellison as she arrives at the Oscars this Sunday. Dark-haired and a young-looking 27, the producer of two of the year's most contentious films – The Master and Zero Dark Thirty – is no longer the mystery she was a couple of years ago. Yet the most powerful new force in Hollywood may still go unnoticed.
"She's incredibly self-effacing," says JoAnne Sellar, another of The Master's producers, who has worked with that film's director, Paul Thomas Anderson, throughout his career. "If you ran into her on set, you'd assume she was someone's Pa."
For an industry fond of tales of secretive billionaires with extravagant superpowers, there is something strangely fitting about the rise of Ellison, the daughter of software tycoon Larry Ellison, third wealthiest man in America. »
- Danny Leigh
★★★★★ Legendary producer David Selznick was urged by financier John Hay 'Jock' Whitney to make a "cock-eyed comedy" when Whitney saw and fell in love with George La Cava's seminal screwball My Man Godfrey (1936). After being hired by Selznick against the backers' wishes, Ben Hecht wrote the majority of 1937 classic Nothing Sacred in four days, as he travelled on trains between New York and Los Angeles. This sense of haste is evident in the film's frantic frivolousness. While it may lack the tonal and structural elegance of the more famous screwball comedies of the 30s, it's a deliciously acerbic piece which excels in its brisk cynicism and absence of phony moralising.
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
12 items from 2013
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners