13 items from 2015
Joan Crawford Movie Star Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and The Taxi Dancer (1927), and check her out in the more easily accessible The Unknown (1927) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928). By the early '30s, Joan Crawford had become a first-rate film actress, far more naturalistic than »
- Andre Soares
Michael Caine young. Michael Caine movies: From Irwin Allen bombs to Woody Allen classic It's hard to believe that Michael Caine has been around making movies for nearly six decades. No wonder he's had time to appear – in roles big and small and tiny – in more than 120 films, ranging from unwatchable stuff like the Sylvester Stallone soccer flick Victory and Michael Ritchie's adventure flick The Island to Brian G. Hutton's X, Y and Zee, Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Sleuth (a duel of wits and acting styles with Laurence Olivier), and Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men. (See TCM's Michael Caine movie schedule further below.) Throughout his long, long career, Caine has played heroes and villains and everything in between. Sometimes, in his worst vehicles, he has floundered along with everybody else. At other times, he was the best element in otherwise disappointing fare, e.g., Philip Kaufman's Quills. »
- Andre Soares
Teresa Wright ca. 1945. Teresa Wright movies on TCM: 'The Little Foxes,' 'The Pride of the Yankees' Pretty, talented Teresa Wright made a relatively small number of movies: 28 in all, over the course of more than half a century. Most of her films have already been shown on Turner Classic Movies, so it's more than a little disappointing that TCM will not be presenting Teresa Wright rarities such as The Imperfect Lady and The Trouble with Women – two 1947 releases co-starring Ray Milland – on Aug. 4, '15, a "Summer Under the Stars" day dedicated to the only performer to date to have been shortlisted for Academy Awards for their first three film roles. TCM's Teresa Wright day would also have benefited from a presentation of The Search for Bridey Murphy (1956), an unusual entry – parapsychology, reincarnation – in the Wright movie canon and/or Roseland (1977), a little-remembered entry in James Ivory's canon. »
- Andre Soares
Ron Moody as Fagin in 'Oliver!' based on Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist.' Ron Moody as Fagin in Dickens musical 'Oliver!': Box office and critical hit (See previous post: "Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' Actor, Academy Award Nominee Dead at 91.") Although British made, Oliver! turned out to be an elephantine release along the lines of – exclamation point or no – Gypsy, Star!, Hello Dolly!, and other Hollywood mega-musicals from the mid'-50s to the early '70s. But however bloated and conventional the final result, and a cast whose best-known name was that of director Carol Reed's nephew, Oliver Reed, Oliver! found countless fans. The mostly British production became a huge financial and critical success in the U.S. at a time when star-studded mega-musicals had become perilous – at times downright disastrous – ventures. Upon the American release of Oliver! in Dec. 1968, frequently acerbic The »
- Andre Soares
When it comes to opening numbers in movie musicals nothing beats Oklahoma!’s “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning.” Cowboy Curly (Gordon MacRae) rides his horse across the plains, a huge blue sky behind him, singing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s rousing ode to nature and hope.
Filmed in breathtaking widescreen, 1955’s Oklahoma! was the first Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical to be made into a movie, and the first musical to use song and dance to help explore the inner lives of its characters rather than as a mere diversion.
The story takes place in 1907 in the Oklahoma territory and finds cowboy Curly wooing the beautiful Laurey (played by a 20-year-old Shirley Jones in her film debut). Laurey, meanwhile, uses brutish farmhand Jud (Rod Steiger) to make Curly jealous. »
- Ingrid Randoja - Cineplex Magazine
Shirley Jones, who played matriarchal Shirley Partridge on 1970s sitcom “The Partridge Family,” paid tribute to her TV daughter Suzanne Crough on Tuesday, calling her “my sweet TV baby” and asking, “Dear God take care of my baby.” “Suzanne Crough … my sweet TV baby for 5 years … only 52 …never a sick day … two adorable children … a devoted husband …everything to live for … just fell asleep at the dining room table and left us forever,” Jones told TheWrap in a statement Tuesday, adding, “Dear God take care of my baby.” As reported earlier, Crough died suddenly »
- Tim Kenneally
The former actress died Monday at her home in Laughlin, Nev. The cause of death is unknown at this time, but the AP reports an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
Crough is best known for playing tambourine-shaking daughter Tracy in “The Partridge Family” from 1970-74. She also had roles in ’70s TV shows including “Mulligan’s Stew” and “Wonder Woman.” Most recently, she and several “Partridge Family” co-stars reunited on the “Today” show in 2010.
Crough co-starred alongside Brian Forster, Danny Bonaduce, David Cassidy, Susan Dey and Shirley Jones in the popular show about a performing family who traveled in a brightly painted bus. Dave Madden, who played Reuben Kincaid, died in 2014.
She is survived by two daughters, Samantha and Alexandra.
- Seth Kelley
Suzanne Crough, who played younger daughter Tracy Partridge on the 1970s sitcom “The Partridge Family,” died Monday. She was 52. According to TMZ, Crough died suddenly at her Nevada home. A cause of death is not yet known. “The Partridge Family,” which aired on ABC from 1970 to 1974, followed a family, led by a widowed mother, that embarks on a music career. Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Susan Dey and Danny Bonaduce also starred on the series. See photos: Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2015 Crough left acting behind decades ago, with her last credit on IMDb being the 1980 television movie “Children »
- Tim Kenneally
In 2013, I attended an introduction of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver by writer/director Paul Schrader at The Royal Theatre in Toronto. In his opening remarks Schrader explained the process of writing a ‘lonely man’ film during a paranoid depressive state he was going through. Since then, I’ve realized that I have a fondness for ‘lonely man’ character films. Films like Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, David Fincher’s Fight Club, Spike Jonze’s Her, andthe Coen brothers’ A Serious Man fit neatly into this category. Each of these movies has their own version of a disenfranchised soul searching for an identity in the world. They resent society because of their isolation from it and they try various ways of connecting with to find a purpose in it. I am also highly aware of the lack of ‘lonely woman’ films or rather a good enough variety of »
- Jacqueline Valencia
Teresa Wright: Later years (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon.") Teresa Wright and Robert Anderson were divorced in 1978. They would remain friends in the ensuing years. Wright spent most of the last decade of her life in Connecticut, making only sporadic public appearances. In 1998, she could be seen with her grandson, film producer Jonah Smith, at New York's Yankee Stadium, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch. Wright also became involved in the Greater New York chapter of the Als Association. (The Pride of the Yankees subject, Lou Gehrig, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1941.) The week she turned 82 in October 2000, Wright attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Somewhere in Time, where she posed for pictures with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In March 2003, she was a guest at the 75th Academy Awards, in the segment showcasing Oscar-winning actors of the past. Two years later, »
- Andre Soares
How do you solve a problem like Maria? For the producers of The Sound of Music, which hit theaters fifty years ago this week, the solution turned out to be Julie Andrews. Other actresses were considered for the part of the free-spirited nanny whose effervescence overcomes not only the grumpiness of Captain von Trapp but also the tyranny of the Nazis. Among those rumored to have been in the running for the role were Grace Kelly, Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn and Anne Bancroft. But in the end, even the producers who wanted a bigger, more marquee-friendly name agreed that Maria should be played by Andrews. »
- Drew Mackie, @drewgmackie
Variety called it a “Cinderella” story: Teenager with the voice of an angel meets famous producers, and a star is born. Shirley Jones would go on to become a music maven, a leading lady — and an Oscar winner.
How did you meet Rodgers and Hammerstein?
I was very young; I had just graduated high school and was on my way to become a veterinarian. Animals were the light of my life. But I was born singing — it was a gift. I had studied some acting and dancing at the Pittsburgh Playhouse during the summer. So I went to an audition in New York with my parents on vacation. A pianist I’d worked with at the playhouse told me a casting director for Rodgers and Hammerstein was having open auditions. I didn’t even know who Rodgers and Hammerstein were — I was that green.
I take it the audition went well. »
- Debra Birnbaum
Hollywood will come alive with The Sound of Music (1965) this spring as the beloved, Oscar®-winning classic returns to the big screen to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a gala opening-night screening on Thursday, March 26 at the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival. Legendary stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer will join Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne at the world-famous Tcl Chinese Theater IMAX to introduce the beautifully restored film and kick off the sixth annual festival, which will run March 26-29, 2015, in Hollywood.
The film is being presented in collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox, in celebration of their Golden 50th Anniversary Blu-ray release arriving on March 10, 2015.
The Sound of Music is the story of the Von Trapp family, whose lives are forever changed by the arrival of Maria, the warmhearted young governess who brings joy and music to the Captain (Plummer) and his children. The film earned Andrews her second »
- Melissa Thompson
13 items from 2015
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