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1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month

1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month
Ronald Colman: Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month in two major 1930s classics Updated: Turner Classic Movies' July 2017 Star of the Month is Ronald Colman, one of the finest performers of the studio era. On Thursday night, TCM presented five Colman star vehicles that should be popping up again in the not-too-distant future: A Tale of Two Cities, The Prisoner of Zenda, Kismet, Lucky Partners, and My Life with Caroline. The first two movies are among not only Colman's best, but also among Hollywood's best during its so-called Golden Age. Based on Charles Dickens' classic novel, Jack Conway's Academy Award-nominated A Tale of Two Cities (1936) is a rare Hollywood production indeed: it manages to effectively condense its sprawling source, it boasts first-rate production values, and it features a phenomenal central performance. Ah, it also shows its star without his trademark mustache – about as famous at the time as Clark Gable's. Perhaps
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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 »

Black films matter – how African American cinema fought back against Hollywood

The late 80s and 90s heralded a breakthrough led by Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and John Singleton’s Boyz N the Hood. At first, Hollywood embraced this wave of talent, then it ignored it. Now, in the wake of #OscarsSoWhite, black film is rising again

‘Black film properties may be to the 90s what the carphone was to the 80s; every studio executive has to have one,” wrote the New York Times magazine in the summer of 1991. It’s a comment that speaks volumes about both a cultural moment and its transience. The piece was titled They’ve Gotta Have Us, referring to Spike Lee’s 1986 breakthrough movie She’s Gotta Have It. The group portrait on the cover brought together an impressive collection of young, black film-makers – what has been labelled “the class of 91”. Lee was head boy, of course. By that time he was well
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Revisit Charles Lane's 'Sidewalk Stories' Twenty-Six Years Later (NYC)

For New Yorkers: This rare, contemporary, silent film, shot in beautiful black-and-white in downtown New York, screens at the Metrograph (7 Ludlow St in Manhattan) tomorrow, April 5, at 7pm. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Charles Lane, moderated by David Garza. Tickets are $15. It's a rare opportunity to see it on the big screen, so take advantage. *** It’s been a good few years for silent film, which has enjoyed some popularity with movies like "Blancanieves" and "The Artist," Michael Hazanavicius’ love letter to Old Hollywood that gained the adoration of critics and several Oscars statuettes. The movie’s charming sense of...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Two-Time Oscar Winner Cooper on TCM: Pro-War 'York' and Eastwood-Narrated Doc

Gary Cooper movies on TCM: Cooper at his best and at his weakest Gary Cooper is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 30, '15. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any Cooper movie premiere – despite the fact that most of his Paramount movies of the '20s and '30s remain unavailable. This evening's features are Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Sergeant York (1941), and Love in the Afternoon (1957). Mr. Deeds Goes to Town solidified Gary Cooper's stardom and helped to make Jean Arthur Columbia's top female star. The film is a tad overlong and, like every Frank Capra movie, it's also highly sentimental. What saves it from the Hell of Good Intentions is the acting of the two leads – Cooper and Arthur are both excellent – and of several supporting players. Directed by Howard Hawks, the jingoistic, pro-war Sergeant York was a huge box office hit, eventually earning Academy Award nominations in several categories,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Forgotten Actress Bruce on TCM: Career Went from Dawn of Talkies to L.A.'s Punk Rock Scene

Virginia Bruce: MGM actress ca. 1935. Virginia Bruce movies on TCM: Actress was the cherry on 'The Great Ziegfeld' wedding cake Unfortunately, Turner Classic Movies has chosen not to feature any non-Hollywood stars – or any out-and-out silent film stars – in its 2015 “Summer Under the Stars” series.* On the other hand, TCM has come up with several unusual inclusions, e.g., Lee J. Cobb, Warren Oates, Mae Clarke, and today, Aug. 25, Virginia Bruce. A second-rank MGM leading lady in the 1930s, the Minneapolis-born Virginia Bruce is little remembered today despite her more than 70 feature films in a career that spanned two decades, from the dawn of the talkie era to the dawn of the TV era, in addition to a handful of comebacks going all the way to 1981 – the dawn of the personal computer era. Career highlights were few and not all that bright. Examples range from playing the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Long Before Day-Lewis, Oscar-Nominated Actor Played Lincoln: TCM 'Stars' Series Continues

Raymond Massey ca. 1940. Raymond Massey movies: From Lincoln to Boris Karloff Though hardly remembered today, the Toronto-born Raymond Massey was a top supporting player – and sometime lead – in both British and American movies from the early '30s all the way to the early '60s. During that period, Massey was featured in nearly 50 films. Turner Classic Movies generally selects the same old MGM / Rko / Warner Bros. stars for its annual “Summer Under the Stars” series. For that reason, it's great to see someone like Raymond Massey – who was with Warners in the '40s – be the focus of a whole day: Sat., Aug. 8, '15. (See TCM's Raymond Massey movie schedule further below.) Admittedly, despite his prestige – his stage credits included the title role in the short-lived 1931 Broadway production of Hamlet – the quality of Massey's performances varied wildly. Sometimes he could be quite effective; most of the time, however, he was an unabashed scenery chewer,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Wright and Goldwyn Have an Ugly Parting of the Ways; Brando (More or Less) Comes to the Rescue

Teresa Wright-Samuel Goldwyn association comes to a nasty end (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Film.") Whether or not because she was aware that Enchantment wasn't going to be the hit she needed – or perhaps some other disagreement with Samuel Goldwyn or personal issue with husband Niven BuschTeresa Wright, claiming illness, refused to go to New York City to promote the film. (Top image: Teresa Wright in a publicity shot for The Men.) Goldwyn had previously announced that Wright, whose contract still had another four and half years to run, was to star in a film version of J.D. Salinger's 1948 short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut." Instead, he unceremoniously – and quite publicly – fired her.[1] The Goldwyn organization issued a statement, explaining that besides refusing the assignment to travel to New York to help generate pre-opening publicity for Enchantment,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

It’S A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – Criterion Review

Cast

Captain T. G. Culpeper Spencer Tracy J. Russell Finch Milton Berle Melville Crump Sid Caesar Benjy Benjamin Buddy Hackett Mrs. Marcus Ethel Merman Ding Bell Mickey Rooney Sylvester Marcus Dick Shawn Otto Meyer Phil Silvers J. Algernon Hawthorne Terry-Thomas Lennie Pike Jonathan Winters Monica Crump Edie Adams Emeline Finch Dorothy Provine Cabdriver Eddie “Rochester” Anderson Tyler Fitzgerald Jim Backus Man driving in the desert Jack Benny Union official Joe E. Brown Biplane pilot Ben Blue Police sergeant Alan Carney Detective Chick Chandler Mrs. Halliburton Barrie Chase Mayor Lloyd Corrigan Police chief William Demarest Sheriff of Crocket County Andy Devine Ginger Culpeper (voice) Selma Diamond Cabdriver Peter Falk Detective Normal Fell Colonel Wilberforce Paul Ford Deputy sheriff Stan Freberg Billie Sue Culpeper (voice) Louise Glenn Cabdriver Leo Gorcey Fire chief Sterling Holloway Mr. Dinckler Edward Everett Horton Irwin Marvin Kaplan Jimmy the Cook Buster Keaton Nervous motorist Don Knotts Airport
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

On TCM: Conservative Actress Young in Audacious Movies

Loretta Young films as TCM celebrates her 102nd birthday (photo: Loretta Young ca. 1935) Loretta Young would have turned 102 years old today. Turner Classic Movies is celebrating the birthday of the Salt Lake City-born, Academy Award-winning actress today, January 6, 2015, with no less than ten Loretta Young films, most of them released by Warner Bros. in the early '30s. Young, who began her film career in a bit part in the 1927 Colleen Moore star vehicle Her Wild Oat, remained a Warners contract player from the late '20s up until 1933. (See also: "Loretta Young Movies.") Now, ten Loretta Young films on one day may sound like a lot, but one should remember that most Warner Bros. -- in fact, most Hollywood -- releases of the late '20s and early '30s were either B Movies or programmers. The latter were relatively short (usually 60 to 75 minutes) feature films starring A (or B+) performers,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Three 1930s Capra Classics Tonight: TCM's Jean Arthur Mini-Festival

Jean Arthur films on TCM include three Frank Capra classics Five Jean Arthur films will be shown this evening, Monday, January 5, 2015, on Turner Classic Movies, including three directed by Frank Capra, the man who helped to turn Arthur into a major Hollywood star. They are the following: Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; George Stevens' The More the Merrier; and Frank Borzage's History Is Made at Night. One the most effective performers of the studio era, Jean Arthur -- whose film career began inauspiciously in 1923 -- was Columbia Pictures' biggest female star from the mid-'30s to the mid-'40s, when Rita Hayworth came to prominence and, coincidentally, Arthur's Columbia contract expired. Today, she's best known for her trio of films directed by Frank Capra, Columbia's top director of the 1930s. Jean Arthur-Frank Capra
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Watch Candid & Enlightening Q&A With 'Sidewalk Stories' Filmmaker Charles Lane

There are no absolutes; but one thing that is absolutely true is that good films will always eventually find an audience. Yes, sometimes it takes years. They might be rejected at first only, years later, to be discovered by an appreciative audience. And sometimes, for various reasons, they’re popular at first and get great reviews, but fall by the wayside, and are forgotten only to be rediscovered again years later for filmgoers looking for something different and of substance. The latter has been the case for Charles Lane’s wonderful silent dramedy "Sidewalks Stories," which I vividly recall seeing when it first came out in 1989, and thought it would signal the beginning...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Revisting Charles Lane's 'Sidewalk Stories' Twenty-Five Years Later

It’s been a good few years for silent film, which has enjoyed some popularity with movies like Blancanieves and The Artist, Michael Hazanavicius’s love letter to Old Hollywood that gained the adoration of critics and several Oscars statuettes. The movie’s charming sense of nostalgia was deemed an inspired, refreshing change of pace from the norm, a reminder that the image is paramount in what makes the storytelling of film work. Of course, The Artist is only one in a long line of modern films that have attempted to capture the magic of the silent era. In 1989, a similar movie, this time by a black filmmaker, was greeted by its own flurry of adoration and applause. Charles Lane’s...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

‘Duck Dynasty’ Flap Unleashes Media-Pundit Quackery

‘Duck Dynasty’ Flap Unleashes Media-Pundit Quackery
The flap over “Duck Dynasty” has unleashed a lot of silly geese, in the form of media pundits being asked to weigh in on the controversy. On Sunday, that was exemplified by two shows ostensibly devoted to analyzing media issues and shortcomings: CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and Fox News Channel’s Howard-come-lately alternative, “MediaBuzz.”

Robertson’s suspension by A&E over inflammatory remarks in an interview has served up a pre-holiday feast for cable news — tapping into, as “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter accurately put it, “the four-way stop of sex, religion, television and celebrity.”

Unfortunately, there are very few people who are authorities on all of those things, but hey, it’s just a few days before Christmas, so we’ll take whatever warm body we can find.

In the case of the Howard Kurtz-hosted “MediaBuzz,” that meant TheBlaze.com’s Amy Holmes, who spewed out a pretty
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Beautiful, Lighthearted Fox Star Suffered Many Real-Life Tragedies

Jeanne Crain: Lighthearted movies vs. real life tragedies (photo: Madeleine Carroll and Jeanne Crain in ‘The Fan’) (See also: "Jeanne Crain: From ‘Pinky’ Inanity to ‘MargieMagic.") Unlike her characters in Margie, Home in Indiana, State Fair, Centennial Summer, The Fan, and Cheaper by the Dozen (and its sequel, Belles on Their Toes), or even in the more complex A Letter to Three Wives and People Will Talk, Jeanne Crain didn’t find a romantic Happy Ending in real life. In the mid-’50s, Crain accused her husband, former minor actor Paul Brooks aka Paul Brinkman, of infidelity, of living off her earnings, and of brutally beating her. The couple reportedly were never divorced because of their Catholic faith. (And at least in the ’60s, unlike the humanistic, progressive-thinking Margie, Crain was a “conservative” Republican who supported Richard Nixon.) In the early ’90s, she lost two of her
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

All-American Dad at His Movie Best as the All-American Crook

Fred MacMurray movies: ‘Double Indemnity,’ ‘There’s Always Tomorrow’ Fred MacMurray is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" today, Thursday, August 7, 2013. Although perhaps best remembered as the insufferable All-American Dad on the long-running TV show My Three Sons and in several highly popular Disney movies from 1959 to 1967, e.g., The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Boy Voyage!, MacMurray was immeasurably more interesting as the All-American Jerk. (Photo: Fred MacMurray ca. 1940.) Someone once wrote that Fred MacMurray would have been an ideal choice to star in a biopic of disgraced Republican president Richard Nixon. Who knows, the (coincidentally Republican) MacMurray might have given Anthony Hopkins a run for his Best Actor Academy Award nomination. After all, MacMurray’s most admired movie performances are those in which he plays a scheming, conniving asshole: Billy Wilder’s classic film noir Double Indemnity (1944), in which he’s seduced by Barbara Stanwyck, and Wilder
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Scene-Stealing Supporting Player Is Star for a Day

Mary Boland movies: Scene-stealing actress has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day on TCM Turner Classic Movies will dedicate the next 24 hours, Sunday, August 4, 2013, not to Lana Turner, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Esther Williams, or Bette DavisTCM’s frequent Warner Bros., MGM, and/or Rko stars — but to the marvelous scene-stealer Mary Boland. A stage actress who was featured in a handful of movies in the 1910s, Boland came into her own as a stellar film supporting player in the early ’30s, initially at Paramount and later at most other Hollywood studios. First, the bad news: TCM’s "Summer Under the Stars" Mary Boland Day will feature only two movies from Boland’s Paramount period: the 1935 Best Picture Academy Award nominee Ruggles of Red Gap, which TCM has shown before, and one TCM premiere. So, no rarities like Secrets of a Secretary, Mama Loves Papa, Melody in Spring,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Tribeca 2013 Review: Revisting Charles Lane's 'Sidewalk Stories' Twenty Years Later

It’s been a good few years for silent film, which has enjoyed some popularity with movies like Blancanieves and The Artist, Michael Hazanavicius’s love letter to Old Hollywood that gained the adoration of critics and several Oscars statuettes. The movie’s charming sense of nostalgia was deemed an inspired, refreshing change of pace from the norm, a reminder that the image is paramount in what makes the storytelling of film work. Of course, The Artist is only one in a long line of modern films that have attempted to capture the magic of the silent era. In 1989, a similar movie, this time by a black filmmaker, was greeted by its own flurry of adoration and applause. Charles Lane’s...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

DVD Review: "Return Of The Beverly Hillbillies" (1981) Starring Buddy Ebsen, Nancy Kulp, Werner Klemperer, Imogene Coca And Donna Douglas

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

I have always been a great admirer of Paul Henning, the crooner-turned-tv producer/writer of some of the best-loved shows of the 1960s. It was Henning who gave a voice to rural audiences by creating such classic TV series as The Beverly Hillbilllies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. If you revisit any of them today, they remain far superior to most contemporary sitcoms. Henning not only created shows that have timeless appeal, but he also brainstormed the concept of interweaving characters and plot devices between the series- a stroke of genius that brought cross-promotion marketing to new levels. Henning also prided himself on making his country characters eccentric, but never idiotic. They were simple people living simple lives and if they seemed to exist in a time warp, they were all honest, admirable folks. It was always the sophisticated city slickers who would get their comeuppance at
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Colbert’s Advice To Republicans: Win More Voters By Focusing On White Male Patriarchy

Stephen Colbert is truly concerned about the changing demographics of the Republican Party and now, he's offering up a bit of advice: the key to regaining voters is backing white male patriarchy. New York City recently had a day where no murders were reported and according to Colbert, this is terrible for the Republican party. Getting tough on crime used to be a "key conservative issue" and without it, Republicans are at a loss for how to bring voters back to their side. "Declining street violence may seem like a good thing," says Colbert, but as Charles Lane, writer for The Washington Post, recently said, "Fear of street crime...converted many a white working-class Democrat into a Republican," but "safer streets have...blunted what was once a sharp wedge issue."
See full article at Mediaite - TV »
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