12 items from 2014
Veterans Day movies on TCM: From 'The Sullivans' to 'Patton' (photo: George C. Scott in 'Patton') This evening, Turner Classic Movies is presenting five war or war-related films in celebration of Veterans Day. For those outside the United States, Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, which takes place in late May. (Scroll down to check out TCM's Veterans Day movie schedule.) It's good to be aware that in the last century alone, the U.S. has been involved in more than a dozen armed conflicts, from World War I to the invasion of Iraq, not including direct or indirect military interventions in countries as disparate as Iran, Guatemala, and Chile. As to be expected in a society that reveres people in uniform, American war movies have almost invariably glorified American soldiers even in those rare instances when they have dared to criticize the military establishment. »
- Andre Soares
Fearless editor Jette has indulged my love for classic film by allowing me to look into older movies which have Texas connections -- mostly through the people involved in making them. We'll call this new column The Stars at Night (thanks to my sister for the title idea). For my first selection, I chose a Joan Blondell film. Blondell's family lived in Texas during her teenage years -- she was even crowned Miss Dallas once upon a time.
The beautiful blonde with big eyes and a wry delivery tended to be placed in supporting roles during the half-century of her career. I hoped that with her top credit in 1932's Three on a Match, Blondell would have a larger role here... but no such luck. The melodrama includes such notables as Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart, along with Blondell, in the cast. However, it is early enough in their careers »
- Elizabeth Stoddard
When Sophia Loren is thrown a tribute like Nov. 12’s scheduled gala at AFI Fest, attendees can get an intoxicating glimpse of classic-era Euro cinema glamour, of which Loren remains one of the last living representatives. (At this year’s Cannes fest, the octogenarian knocked ’em dead in timeless style.)
Film fans recall a half-century’s worth of skillful performances in every genre. Looking both forward and back, AFI will screen a restored print of Oscar-nominated “Marriage Italian Style,” as well as a new version of Jean Cocteau’s “Human Voice,” helmed by son Edoardo Ponti.
As for the lady herself, after competitive and honorary Oscars, a record 10 David Di Donatello awards, five Golden Globes and threescore trophies and tributes, you’d think it would all be old hat by now. “Never enough. Never enough,” she burbles. “I feel very important when they give me an award. I like it, »
- Bob Verini
Women presidents at the Academy: Cheryl Boone Isaacs is only the third one (photo: Angelina Jolie, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Brad Pitt) (See previous post: "Honorary Award Non-Winners: Too Late for Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich.") Wrapping up this four-part "Honorary Oscars Bypass Women" article, let it be noted that in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 85-year history there have been only two women presidents: two-time Oscar-winning actress Bette Davis (for two months in 1941, before the Dangerous and Jezebel star was forced to resign) and screenwriter Fay Kanin (1979-1983), whose best-known screen credit is the 1958 Doris Day-Clark Gable comedy Teacher's Pet. Additionally, following some top-level restructuring in April 2011, the Academy created the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, with the CEO post currently held by a woman, former Film Independent executive director and sometime actress Dawn Hudson. The COO post is held »
- Andre Soares
Honorary Oscars 2014: Hayao Miyazaki, Jean-Claude Carrière, and Maureen O’Hara; Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award goes to Harry Belafonte One good thing about the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards — an expedient way to remove the time-consuming presentation of the (nearly) annual Honorary Oscar from the TV ratings-obsessed, increasingly youth-oriented Oscar show — is that each year up to four individuals can be named Honorary Oscar recipients, thus giving a better chance for the Academy to honor film industry veterans while they’re still on Planet Earth. (See at the bottom of this post a partial list of those who have gone to the Great Beyond, without having ever received a single Oscar statuette.) In 2014, the Academy’s Board of Governors has selected a formidable trio of honorees: Japanese artist and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, 73; French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, 82; and Irish-born Hollywood actress Maureen O’Hara, »
- Andre Soares
Claudette Colbert movies on Turner Classic Movies: From ‘The Smiling Lieutenant’ to TCM premiere ‘Skylark’ (photo: Claudette Colbert and Maurice Chevalier in ‘The Smiling Lieutenant’) Claudette Colbert, the studio era’s perky, independent-minded — and French-born — "all-American" girlfriend (and later all-American wife and mother), is Turner Classic Movies’ star of the day today, August 18, 2014, as TCM continues with its "Summer Under the Stars" film series. Colbert, a surprise Best Actress Academy Award winner for Frank Capra’s 1934 comedy It Happened One Night, was one Paramount’s biggest box office draws for more than decade and Hollywood’s top-paid female star of 1938, with reported earnings of $426,944 — or about $7.21 million in 2014 dollars. (See also: TCM’s Claudette Colbert day in 2011.) Right now, TCM is showing Ernst Lubitsch’s light (but ultimately bittersweet) romantic comedy-musical The Smiling Lieutenant (1931), a Best Picture Academy Award nominee starring Maurice Chevalier as a French-accented Central European lieutenant in »
- Andre Soares
James Garner movies on TCM: ‘Grand Prix,’ ‘Victor Victoria’ among highlights (photo: James Garner ca. 1960) James Garner, whose film and television career spanned more than five decades, died of "natural causes" at age 86 on July 19, 2014, in the Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood. On Monday, July 28, Turner Classic Movies will present an all-day marathon of James Garner movies (see below) as a tribute to the Oscar-nominated star of Murphy’s Romance and Emmy-winning star of the television series The Rockford Files. Among the highlights in TCM’s James Garner film lineup is John Frankenheimer’s Monaco-set Grand Prix (1966), an all-star, race-car drama featuring Garner as a Formula One driver who has an affair with the wife (Jessica Walter) of his former teammate (Brian Bedford). Among the other Grand Prix drivers facing their own personal issues are Yves Montand and Antonio Sabato, while Akira Kurosawa’s (male) muse Toshiro Mifune plays a »
- Andre Soares
Terrorizing tykes. Corruptible kids. Menacing mop-tops. Problematic pubescent. However one might want to use their alliterative labeling when it comes to troubled young people and the trauma they cause (or the trauma that gravitates to them) in the world of cinema it is always fascinating to see the suspense, aggravation and psychological ramifications behind such happenings.
Kid Power, Kid Sour: Top 10 Misguided Youngsters in Film looks to examine some of the young people involved in such disturbing dilemmas within various facets in cinema. So let us check out a selection of these impressionable violators (in some cases victims) and contemplate their predicaments at hand, shall we?
1.) Rhonda Penmark from The Bad Seed (1956)
In playing the little pig-tailed sociopath Rhonda Penmark in Mervyn LeRoy’s Oscar-nominated film The Bad Seed, child actress Patty McCormack received an Academy Award nomination as the kid killer without a conscious. Spoiled and devious to a fault, »
- Frank Ochieng
The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “Pre-Code: Hollywood before the censors” — Mike Mashon and James Bell at Sight and Sound go longform to celebrate the sexy, gangster-y glory of a storytelling system before the ethical handcuffs were slapped on. “Even when prostitution isn’t obviously suggested, the pursuit of other vices could bring women characters low. Among the rawest of all the pre-Code pictures, Mervyn LeRoy’s Three on a Match (1932), about the varying fortunes of three women (Ann Dvorak, Joan Blondell and Bette Davis), crams a roll-call of forbidden themes into little more than an hour: infidelity, alcoholism, child abuse, gangsterism, undressing, drug use… The magnificent Dvorak steals the show as the lawyer’s tragic wife who sinks into a life of vice and crime.” “Adam Sandler’s Bad New Movie Made Me Cry Like Nothing Else Before »
- Scott Beggs
By Mark Pinkert
* * *
Is the thirst for power more consuming than the thirst for money? Money is vanilla, everyone wants it. But only the true gangster craves pure authority and clout–power for its own sake. And when that guy comes along, he’ll do whatever it takes to get it. This is true for Caesar Enrico “Rico” Bandello (Edward G. Robinson) in Little Caesar (1931), directed by Mervyn LeRoy. In the beginning of the film, Rico sees a newspaper article about a Chicago gangster, Pete Montana (Ralph Ince), and then decides to head east to pursue that same power and recognition. “I could do all the things that this fella does and more,” he says to his partner, Joe Massara (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.). Massara agrees that he wants to head east to Chicago, but for him it’s the “money, girls, and clothes” and the chance to purse a career in dancing. »
- Mark Pinkert
The 86th Annual Academy Awards will honor the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, a best picture nominee in 1939, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. In addition, ABC has released a new promo featuring Academy Awards host Ellen DeGeneres being played off by the orchestra.
"We are delighted to celebrate the birthday of one of the most beloved movies of all time at this year's Oscars."
The Wizard of Oz received six Oscar nominations, winning two for Original Score and Song.
Oscars for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The telecast, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, also will be televised live »
Woody Allen Golden Globes 2014 tribute: Diane Keaton remembers ‘friend’ (photo: Woody Allen directing Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’) Accepting from presenter Emma Stone the 2014 Cecil B. DeMille Award for absentee Woody Allen, Diane Keaton (Sleeper, Love and Death, Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan, Manhattan Murder Mystery) was a likable presence at the January 12, 2014, Golden Globes ceremony, but her reminiscences about Allen were clearly PG-rated, going on about their "friendship" as if the two had always been just pals. Was that lullaby she sang moving or would Woody Allen have been right in yelling, "get the hook and get her off the god damn stage"? You decide. Now, in all fairness, Diane Keaton’s Woody Allen tribute wasn’t all PG-rated treacle, as she was twice bleeped by the censors. Apparently, NBC — and the ludicrous FCC — believe television audiences should be treated as if we were all three-year-olds. (See also: “Golden Globes »
- Andre Soares
12 items from 2014
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