John Litel - News Poster

News

The Beginning or the End

Stop! Don't touch that dial... if you like your atom-age propaganda straight up, MGM has the movie for you, an expensive 1946 docu-drama that became 'the official story' for the making of the bomb. The huge cast includes Brian Donlevy, Robert Walker, Tom Drake, Audrey Totter, Hume Cronyn, Hurd Hatfield, and Joseph Calleia. How trustworthy is the movie? It begins by showing footage of a time capsule being buried -- that supposedly contains the film we are watching. Think about that. Mom, Apple Pie, the Flag and God are enlisted to argume that we should stop worrying and love the fact that bombs are just peachy-keen dandy. The Beginning or the End DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1947 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 112 min. / Street Date September 22, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Brian Donlevy, Robert Walker, Tom Drake, Beverly Tyler, Audrey Totter, Hume Cronyn, Hurd Hatfield, Joseph Calleia, Godfrey Tearle, Victor Francen,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Pitfall

This is a Great film noir. A straying husband's 'innocent' dalliance wrecks lives and puts his marriage in jeopardy. Been there, done that?   Dick Powell and Lizabeth Scott are menaced by Raymond Burr, while wife Jane Wyatt is kept in the dark. Andre de Toth's direction puts everyone through the wringer, with a very adult look at the realities of the American marriage contract, circa 1948. Pitfall Blu-ray Kino Lorber Studio Classics 1948 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 86 min. / Street Date November 17, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt, Raymond Burr, John Litel, Byron Barr, Jimmy Hunt. Cinematography Harry Wild Art Direction Arthur Lonergan Film Editor Walter Thompson Written by Karl Kamb from the novel by Jay Dratler Produced by Samuel Bischoff Directed by André De Toth

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Is 'domestic noir' even a category? I think so. Some of the creepiest late- '40s noir pictures take intrigue,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Walker on TCM: From Shy, Heterosexual Boy-Next-Door to Sly, Homosexual Sociopath

Robert Walker: Actor in MGM films of the '40s. Robert Walker: Actor who conveyed boy-next-door charms, psychoses At least on screen, I've always found the underrated actor Robert Walker to be everything his fellow – and more famous – MGM contract player James Stewart only pretended to be: shy, amiable, naive. The one thing that made Walker look less like an idealized “Average Joe” than Stewart was that the former did not have a vacuous look. Walker's intelligence shone clearly through his bright (in black and white) grey eyes. As part of its “Summer Under the Stars” programming, Turner Classic Movies is dedicating today, Aug. 9, '15, to Robert Walker, who was featured in 20 films between 1943 and his untimely death at age 32 in 1951. Time Warner (via Ted Turner) owns the pre-1986 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library (and almost got to buy the studio outright in 2009), so most of Walker's movies have
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 »

Last Surviving Gwtw Star and 2-Time Oscar Winner Has Turned 99: As a Plus, She Made U.S. Labor Law History

Olivia de Havilland picture U.S. labor history-making 'Gone with the Wind' star and two-time Best Actress winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 (This Olivia de Havilland article is currently being revised and expanded.) Two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland, the only surviving major Gone with the Wind cast member and oldest surviving Oscar winner, is turning 99 years old today, July 1.[1] Also known for her widely publicized feud with sister Joan Fontaine and for her eight movies with Errol Flynn, de Havilland should be remembered as well for having made Hollywood labor history. This particular history has nothing to do with de Havilland's films, her two Oscars, Gone with the Wind, Joan Fontaine, or Errol Flynn. Instead, history was made as a result of a legal fight: after winning a lawsuit against Warner Bros. in the mid-'40s, Olivia de Havilland put an end to treacherous
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Good and Bad War-Themed Movies on Veterans Day on TCM

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.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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 »

Dangerous Davis Schedule

Bette Davis movies: TCM schedule on August 14 (photo: Bette Davis in ‘Dangerous,’ with Franchot Tone) See previous post: “Bette Davis Eyes: They’re Watching You Tonight.” 3:00 Am Parachute Jumper (1933). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bette Davis, Frank McHugh, Claire Dodd, Harold Huber, Leo Carrillo, Thomas E. Jackson, Lyle Talbot, Leon Ames, Stanley Blystone, Reginald Barlow, George Chandler, Walter Brennan, Pat O’Malley, Paul Panzer, Nat Pendleton, Dewey Robinson, Tom Wilson, Sheila Terry. Bw-72 mins. 4:30 Am The Girl From 10th Avenue (1935). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Bette Davis, Ian Hunter, Colin Clive, Alison Skipworth, John Eldredge, Phillip Reed, Katharine Alexander, Helen Jerome Eddy, Bill Elliott, Edward McWade, André Cheron, Wedgwood Nowell, John Quillan, Mary Treen. Bw-69 mins. 6:00 Am Dangerous (1935). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Bette Davis, Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay, Alison Skipworth, John Eldredge, Dick Foran, Walter Walker, Richard Carle, George Irving, Pierre Watkin, Douglas Wood,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Bogart and the Stuff That Both Dreams and Nightmares Are Made Of

Humphrey Bogart movies: ‘The Maltese Falcon,’ ‘High Sierra’ (Image: Most famous Humphrey Bogart quote: ‘The stuff that dreams are made of’ from ‘The Maltese Falcon’) (See previous post: “Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall Movies.”) Besides 1948, 1941 was another great year for Humphrey Bogart — one also featuring a movie with the word “Sierra” in the title. Indeed, that was when Bogart became a major star thanks to Raoul Walsh’s High Sierra and John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon. In the former, Bogart plays an ex-con who falls in love with top-billed Ida Lupino — though both are outacted by ingénue-with-a-heart-of-tin Joan Leslie. In the latter, Bogart plays Dashiel Hammett’s private detective Sam Spade, trying to discover the fate of the titular object; along the way, he is outacted by just about every other cast member, from Mary Astor’s is-she-for-real dame-in-distress to Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominee Sydney Greenstreet. John Huston
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Three-Time Academy Award Nominee Turns 91 Today

Eleanor Parker: Palm Springs resident turns 91 today Eleanor Parker turns 91 today. The three-time Oscar nominee (Caged, 1950; Detective Story, 1951; Interrupted Melody, 1955) and Palm Springs resident is Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of June 2013. Earlier this month, TCM showed a few dozen Eleanor Parker movies, from her days at Warner Bros. in the ’40s to her later career as a top Hollywood supporting player. (Photo: Publicity shot of Eleanor Parker in An American Dream.) Missing from TCM’s movie series, however, was not only Eleanor Parker’s biggest box-office it — The Sound of Music, in which she steals the show from both Julie Andrews and the Alps — but also what according to several sources is her very first movie role: a bit part in Raoul Walsh’s They Died with Their Boots On, a 1941 Western starring Errol Flynn as a dashingly handsome and all-around-good-guy-ish General George Armstrong Custer. Olivia de Havilland
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

From Swordfights in Paris to Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima: Parker Evening

Eleanor Parker today: Beautiful as ever in Scaramouche, Interrupted Melody Eleanor Parker, who turns 91 in ten days (June 26, 2013), can be seen at her most radiantly beautiful in several films Turner Classic Movies is showing this evening and tomorrow morning as part of their Star of the Month Eleanor Parker "tribute." Among them are the classic Scaramouche, the politically delicate Above and Beyond, and the biopic Interrupted Melody, which earned Parker her third and final Best Actress Academy Award nomination. (Photo: publicity shot of Eleanor Parker in Scaramouche.) The best of the lot is probably George Sidney’s balletic Scaramouche (1952), in which Eleanor Parker plays one of Stewart Granger’s love interests — the other one is Janet Leigh. A loose remake of Rex Ingram’s 1923 blockbuster, the George Sidney version features plenty of humor, romance, and adventure; vibrant colors (cinematography by Charles Rosher); an elaborately staged climactic swordfight; and tough dudes
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Claudette Colbert Q&A Pt.3: Lesbian Rumors, Best Movies, The Two Mrs. Grenvilles

Claudette Colbert, John Litel, Paulette Goddard in Mark Sandrich's So Proudly We Hail! (third from the right) Claudette Colbert/James Robert Parish Q&A Pt.2: Since You Went Away, Cecil B. DeMille Movies, Midnight With her film stardom behind her, Claudette Colbert returned to the stage. What was that like for her? Did she miss Hollywood, or was she content with being back on Broadway? Colbert had always adored performing on the stage and wisely decided to return to Broadway where she knew her age would not rule out starring vehicles. The relocation to Manhattan (while her husband Dr. Joel Pressman remained in Los Angeles) suited her strong desire to participate in the chic New York social scene, and to enjoy life in the metropolis where she had grown up. In New York — out of the Hollywood media glare — she was much freer to live life on her own terms.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

See also

Credited With | External Sites