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From Silent Film Icon and His Women to Nazi Era's Frightening 'Common Folk': Lgbt Pride Movie Series (Final)

From Silent Film Icon and His Women to Nazi Era's Frightening 'Common Folk': Lgbt Pride Movie Series (Final)
(See previous post: “Gay Pride Movie Series Comes to a Close: From Heterosexual Angst to Indonesian Coup.”) Ken Russell's Valentino (1977) is notable for starring ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev as silent era icon Rudolph Valentino, whose sexual orientation, despite countless gay rumors, seems to have been, according to the available evidence, heterosexual. (Valentino's supposed affair with fellow “Latin LoverRamon Novarro has no basis in reality.) The female cast is also impressive: Veteran Leslie Caron (Lili, Gigi) as stage and screen star Alla Nazimova, ex-The Mamas & the Papas singer Michelle Phillips as Valentino wife and Nazimova protégée Natacha Rambova, Felicity Kendal as screenwriter/producer June Mathis (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse), and Carol Kane – lately of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fame. Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972) is notable as one of the greatest musicals ever made. As a 1930s Cabaret presenter – and the Spirit of Germany – Joel Grey was the year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner. Liza Minnelli
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

No Highway in the Sky

No Highway in the Sky

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1951 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 99 min. / Street Date February 7, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring : James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Glynis Johns, Jack Hawkins, Janette Scott, Niall MacGinnis, Kenneth More, Ronald Squire, Elizabeth Allan, Jill Clifford, Felix Aylmer, Dora Bryan, Maurice Denham, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Bessie Love, Karel Stepanek.

Cinematography: Georges Périnal

Film Editor: Manuel del Campo

Original Music: Malcolm Arnold

Written by: R.C. Sherriff, Oscar Millard, Alec Coppel from the novel by Nevil Shute

Produced by: Louis D. Lighton

Directed by Henry Koster

A few years back, whenever a desired title came up on list for a Fox, Columbia or Warners’ Mod (made-on-demand) DVD, my first reaction was disappointment: we really want to see our favorites released in the better disc format, Blu-ray. But things have changed. As Mod announcements thin out, we have seen an explosion of library titles remastered in HD.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Cummings Pt.3: Gender-Bending from Joan of Arc to Comic Farce, Liberal Supporter of Political Refugees

'Saint Joan': Constance Cummings as the George Bernard Shaw heroine. Constance Cummings on stage: From sex-change farce and Emma Bovary to Juliet and 'Saint Joan' (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Frank Capra, Mae West and Columbia Lawsuit.”) In the mid-1930s, Constance Cummings landed the title roles in two of husband Benn W. Levy's stage adaptations: Levy and Hubert Griffith's Young Madame Conti (1936), starring Cummings as a demimondaine who falls in love with a villainous character. She ends up killing him – or does she? Adapted from Bruno Frank's German-language original, Young Madame Conti was presented on both sides of the Atlantic; on Broadway, it had a brief run in spring 1937 at the Music Box Theatre. Based on the Gustave Flaubert novel, the Theatre Guild-produced Madame Bovary (1937) was staged in late fall at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre. Referring to the London production of Young Madame Conti, The
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Reboot of Classic Christie Mega-Bestseller to Be Directed by Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker

'And Then There Were None' movie with Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, June Duprez, Louis Hayward and Roland Young. 'And Then There Were None' movie remake to be directed by Oscar nominee Morten Tyldum One of the best-known Agatha Christie novels, And Then There Were None will be getting another big-screen transfer. 20th Century Fox has acquired the movie rights to the literary suspense thriller first published in the U.K. (as Ten Little Niggers) in 1939. Morten Tyldum, this year's Best Director Academy Award nominee for The Imitation Game, is reportedly set to direct. The source for this story is Deadline.com, which adds that Tyldum himself “helped hone the pitch” for the acquisition while Eric Heisserer (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010, The Thing 2011) will handle the screenplay adaptation. And Then There Were None is supposed to have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, thus holding the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Strain Season 2 Episode 5 Review – ‘Quick and Painless’

Martin Carr reviews the fifth episode of The Strain season 2…

After Season One’s endless exposition, The Strain is finally playing out like a hybrid espionage thriller. Ephraim Goodweather is heading the charge into uncharted territory, with Corey Stoll going full on Agent 47. While his mad as a mongoose missus pursues their son across Red Hook aided by her arachnid progeny. Here’s hoping she catches up to him real soon and passes on some motherly love.

Elsewhere there is a real sense of independent factions splintering off from the group. Whether those collectives contain one or more people is academic. Now more than ever the real agendas are dictating the course of events, making things more engaging all round. While those final minutes open up a narrative door guaranteed to scorch some arses in the near future.

However, The Strain remains compelling because of its focus on the human interest elements of this story.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Every Best Picture Oscar Winner, Ranked From Worst to Best

  • Moviefone
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."

The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later.
See full article at Moviefone »

Terence Rattigan On Film: The Browning Version

  • SoundOnSight
I. The Rattigan Version

After his first dramatic success, The Winslow Boy, Terence Rattigan conceived a double bill of one-act plays in 1946. Producers dismissed the project, even Rattigan’s collaborator Hugh “Binkie” Beaumont. Actor John Gielgud agreed. “They’ve seen me in so much first rate stuff,” Gielgud asked Rattigan; “Do you really think they will like me in anything second rate?” Rattigan insisted he wasn’t “content writing a play to please an audience today, but to write a play that will be remembered in fifty years’ time.”

Ultimately, Rattigan paired a brooding character study, The Browning Version, with a light farce, Harlequinade. Entitled Playbill, the show was finally produced by Stephen Mitchell in September 1948, starring Eric Portman, and became a runaway hit. While Harlequinade faded into a footnote, the first half proved an instant classic. Harold Hobson wrote that “Mr. Portman’s playing and Mr. Rattigan’s writing
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Barbara Hicks obituary

Stage and screen actor known for playing battle-axe aunts, village gossips and servants

When Mel Brooks visited the film set of Up at the Villa (2000), in which his wife, Anne Bancroft, was starring, he proclaimed Barbara Hicks, who has died aged 89, the funniest woman he had ever met. This stalwart character actor, always lodged some way down any cast list as if to prove the truth of Stanislavski's dictum that there are no small parts, only small actors, was a fund of stories, many of them unprintable. And Hicks, though slight of build, with a long face and asymmetrical features, was certainly not a small actor.

As another admirer, Alan Bennett, once told her wistfully: "When you go, Barbara, there'll be a terrible hole in Spotlight." And so there is, for since first appearing on television in 1962 playing Miss Print, a comedy sidekick to Richard Hearne's popular Mr Pastry,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Barbara Hicks obituary

Stage and screen actor known for playing battle-axe aunts, village gossips and servants

When Mel Brooks visited the film set of Up at the Villa (2000), in which his wife, Anne Bancroft, was starring, he proclaimed Barbara Hicks, who has died aged 89, the funniest woman he had ever met. This stalwart character actor, always lodged some way down any cast list as if to prove the truth of Stanislavski's dictum that there are no small parts, only small actors, was a fund of stories, many of them unprintable. And Hicks, though slight of build, with a long face and asymmetrical features, was certainly not a small actor.

As another admirer, Alan Bennett, once told her wistfully: "When you go, Barbara, there'll be a terrible hole in Spotlight." And so there is, for since first appearing on television in 1962 playing Miss Print, a comedy sidekick to Richard Hearne's popular Mr Pastry,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Remembering Trevor Howard

  • Den of Geek
Feature Aliya Whiteley 26 Sep 2013 - 07:13

An acting great British of the post-war era, Trevor Howard's the subject of a new movie box set. Aliya looks at its five classic films...

It's difficult to describe Trevor Howard. I could start by saying he was a great leading man of British post-war cinema, but that leaves out his supporting turns in films like The Third Man, and his character performances, such as Captain Bligh in Mutiny On The Bounty (1962), or Sir Henry At Rawlinson End (1980). He could be called an upper-class gentleman, but in Sons And Lovers (1960) he played a Nottinghamshire miner perfectly.

I could talk about how he wasn't traditionally handsome, but the look in his eyes when he falls passionately for Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) contains a male beauty that continues to define cinematic love today. Or maybe I could mention how perfectly he inhabited the role of
See full article at Den of Geek »

Rex Harrison hat on TCM: ‘My Fair Lady,’ ‘Anna and the King of SiamRex Harrison is Turner Classic Movies’ final "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 31, 2013. TCM is currently showing George Cukor’s lavish My Fair Lady (1964), an Academy Award-winning musical that has (in my humble opinion) unfairly lost quite a bit of its prestige in the last several decades. Rex Harrison, invariably a major ham whether playing Saladin, the King of Siam, Julius Caesar, the ghost of a dead sea captain, or Richard Burton’s lover, is for once flawlessly cast as Professor Henry Higgins, who on stage transformed Julie Andrews from cockney duckling to diction-master swan and who in the movie version does the same for Audrey Hepburn. Harrison, by the way, was the year’s Best Actor Oscar winner. (See also: "Audrey Hepburn vs. Julie Andrews: Biggest Oscar Snubs.") Following My Fair Lady, Rex Harrison
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

An Oscar Winner Has His Day Supporting a Brilliant Woodward and a Heavily Made-Up Hoffman

Martin Balsam: Oscar winner has ‘Summer Under the Stars’ Day on Turner Classic Movies Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winner Martin Balsam (A Thousand Clowns) is Turner Classic Movies’ unusual (and welcome) "Summer Under the Stars" featured player today, August 27, 2013. Right now, TCM is showing Sidney Lumet’s The Anderson Tapes (1971), a box-office flop starring Sean Connery in his (just about) post-James Bond, pre-movie legend days. (Photo: Martin Balsam ca. early ’60s.) Next, is Joseph Sargent’s thriller The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974). Written by Peter Stone (Father Goose, Arabesque) from John Godey’s novel, the film revolves around the hijacking of a subway car in New York City. Passengers are held for ransom while police lieutenant Walter Matthau tries to handle the situation. Now considered a classic (just about every pre-1999 movie is considered a "classic" these days), The Taking of Pelham One Two Three was
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blu-ray Release: On the Double

  • Disc Dish
Blu-ray Release Date: Aug. 20, 2013

Price: Blu-ray $24.95

Studio: Olive Films

Danny Kaye and Dana Wynter gun for bedroom fun in On the Double.

The 1961 comedy classic On the Double stars Danny Kaye (White Christmas) in a dual role wherein he portrays both a Brit and an American.

The wacky World War II comedy finds Kaye initially playing a timid American soldier who bears a striking resemblance to a famous British Colonel. The top military brass decides to use the poor chap as a pawn and they recruit him to impersonate the legendary Colonel, who has been targeted by a team of Nazi assassins.

Directed by Melville Shavelson, On the Double co-stars Dana Wynter (TV’s Wagon Train) as the Colonel’s suspicious wife, sexy Diana Dors (Theater of Blood) as the Colonel’s personal driver and mistress and Wilfrid Hyde White (My Fair Lady) as the officer overseeing the mission.

Olive Films
See full article at Disc Dish »

Peter Cushing: A centenary celebration

For the fans of this wonderful man, which I proudly count myself as one; 26 May 2013 marks the centenary of horror legend Peter Cushing. One of the most versatile actors to grace the big screen, Cushing never gave a single bad performance throughout his 50-year career. A dedicated perfectionist, who believed in giving nothing less than his best effort, Cushing’s 100% commitment always lifted a bad film. The movie may fail him but he would never fail his public.

Cushing began his acting career in repertory theatre and with his legendary one-way ticket to Hollywood, made his film debut in 1939. After a couple of productive years in the States, he worked his way back to England following the outbreak of World War 2. Marrying actress Helen Beck, he worked on stage but struggled to find good roles until he became a member of the RSC under Laurence Oliver. As British TV’s first big star,
See full article at Shadowlocked »

My favourite Hitchcock: The Lady Vanishes

On top of a mesmerising plot, perfect casting and the greatest comic duo in British cinema, this comedy thriller derives special urgency from the troubled times in which it was made

Hitchcock and railways go together like a locomotive and tender. He loved them, they figure significantly in his work and never more so than in The Lady Vanishes. Much of what happens could only take place on a railway line – passengers delayed together by an avalanche; classes compartmentalised; strangers trapped together as they're transported across a continent; an engine driver killed in crossfire; a carriage disconnected and shunted on to a branch line; an intrepid hero struggling from one carriage to another outside a fast-moving train as other locomotives rush by; clues in the form of a name traced in the steam on a window, and the label on a tea packet briefly adhering to another window; and above
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Blu-ray Review: Rich, Brilliant Restoration of ‘My Fair Lady’

  • HollywoodChicago.com
Chicago – One of the clear observations in re-connecting with the 1964 Oscar-winning Best Picture “My Fair Lady,” is that essentially it’s a timeless musical. It lives in a universe of George Bernard Shaw, adapted from his original play “Pygmalion,” and comes to life through the music and lyrics of Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner.

Blu-ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

Audrey Hepburn stars as Eliza Doolittle, a controversial choice at the time, since Eliza was brought to the stage by the legendary Julie Andrews, but she creates a captivating, sprightly character that handles all the complex emotions of the character’s transition. Rex Harrison revives from the stage the role he is best known for, that of Professor Henry Higgins. Hepburn and Harrison have fine chemistry, and carry the glorious rendering of the film by iconic director George Cukor with heart and bearing.

Eliza is a street urchin, barely making ends meet as
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

A League of Their Own – and they're welcome to it | Martin Kelner

Sky has learned from the Teletubbies, which appeals to toddlers mainly because of the noise, the colour and the constant repetition

It is a big responsibility, this column, knowing one is just a sarcastic jibe, a harsh judgment, away from ruining careers. In the spring of 2010, for instance, when Sky launched its sports/comedy panel show A League Of Their Own, and I suggested it was not funny, and that its host, James Corden, was way too pleased with himself, I worried I might be responsible for snuffing the show out at birth, putting dozens of people out of work.

I cannot find the original piece, but I bet I even put "comedy" in quotes as my particularly hilarious satirical boot to the solar plexus. I visualised the commissioning people at Sky reading the piece, being forced to look back at the show, and exclaiming: "By jove!" (To be honest,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

New DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Week of Nov 15, 2011

This week, Syfy’s Being Human: The Complete First Season takes center stage in New DVD & Blu-ray releases. There are also several hits for nostalgic fans looking to make the upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray. Classics like My Fair Lady, West Side Story and Looney Tunes all get a Blu-ray release. Gaming and Anime fans will want to check out Assassins Creed: Lineage and Bleach the Movie: Fade to Black respectively. What blu-rays and dvds are you watching this week? Being Human: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] Starring Sam Huntington, Sam Witwer West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno My Fair Lady [Blu-ray] Starring Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Gladys Cooper Evil Dead 2 [Blu-ray] Starring Bruce Campbell, Dan Hicks, Ted Raimi Larry Crowne [Blu-ray] Starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Sarah Mahoney, Roxana Ortega, Randall...

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See full article at BuzzFocus.com »

Richard Gordon obituary

Canny film producer known for his horror and sci-fi classics

The producer Richard Gordon, who has died aged 85, was involved with several offbeat classics of horror and science-fiction cinema. These included Arthur Crabtree's Fiend Without a Face (1958), which climaxes with a still-astonishing siege of a power station by disembodied, tentacled, malicious human brains, and Antony Balch's Horror Hospital (1973), a lively and perverse mad-scientist satire featuring Michael Gough and Robin Askwith.

It may be that Gordon and his brother, Alex, so closely associated that many reference sources mistakenly say they were twins, were the first people to take the now-common route from movie-crazed kid to industry professional, later the path of film-makers as different as Jean-Luc Godard and Steven Spielberg. As schoolboys, the Gordons founded a film society, then wrote for fan magazines and performed menial roles on low-budget productions, always motivated by a boundless enthusiasm for the films
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The troubled heart of British postwar cinema

Decades of rainy-Sunday screenings have blinded us to the true nature of postwar British cinema – freedom, naughtiness and a very black humour indeed

It begins with a parrot and a gaucho band. We're in South America – or a tiny patch of it, conjured some 60 years ago on a sound stage in London. The customers wear fur wraps and hair cream. The Atlantic stands, suspiciously immobile, beyond the window. And here is Alec Guinness, a British robber in rich retirement, sitting at a table, grinning a complacent grin and declaring his attachment to the Latin high life in that thin, high, gurgling voice. He is a prototypical Ronnie Biggs – and he's prepared to put his money where his mouth is.

When a conspicuously privileged middle-aged woman stops to talk, Guinness presses a roll of banknotes into her outstretched hands – a donation for the "victims of the revolution". A waiter receives a similarly thick wad of beneficence.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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