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Crypt of Curiosities: A Look Back at Universal’s Horror Films Featuring Rondo Hatton’s “The Creeper”

  • DailyDead
In the mid ’40s, the Universal Monsters were in a tough spot. Up until then, the ’40s had been a nonstop flow of sequels and one-offs, with an avalanche of Invisible Men, Draculas (Draculi?), and the odd Frozen Ghost here and there releasing at a steady clip. But this high release rate had made them stale, and by the time 1946 came around, the studio was in desperate need of a new, recognizable monster.

Enter Rondo Hatton. A journalist-turned-b-movie-bit-player, Hatton had been afflicted with acromegaly for most of his adult life, which enlarged his jaw and pronounced his forehead over the years. This distinctive appearance led to him being cast as nameless goons up until the ’40s, when he got his big, career-defining role as The Creeper.

Curiously, The Creeper’s first appearance wasn’t in a horror film at all. It was in The Pearl of Death (1944), one of the
See full article at DailyDead »

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 »

Oscar History-Making Actress Has Her Day on TCM

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.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Wright Was Earliest Surviving Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winner

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.[1] 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.[2] 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,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Forget Hitchcock's Vertigo: Tonight the Greatest Movie About Obsessive Desire

Joan Fontaine movies: ‘This Above All,’ ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman’ (photo: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine in ‘Suspicion’ publicity image) (See previous post: “Joan Fontaine Today.”) Also tonight on Turner Classic Movies, Joan Fontaine can be seen in today’s lone TCM premiere, the flag-waving 20th Century Fox release The Above All (1942), with Fontaine as an aristocratic (but socially conscious) English Rose named Prudence Cathaway (Fontaine was born to British parents in Japan) and Fox’s top male star, Tyrone Power, as her Awol romantic interest. This Above All was directed by Anatole Litvak, who would guide Olivia de Havilland in the major box-office hit The Snake Pit (1948), which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nod. In Max Ophüls’ darkly romantic Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), Fontaine delivers not only what is probably the greatest performance of her career, but also one of the greatest movie performances ever. Letter from an Unknown Woman
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oscars 2013: how politics won the Academy's votes

From the abolition of slavery to the 'war on terror', this year's Academy Awards are dominated by heavyweight political films

Follow our live coverage of the Oscars 2013 red carpet

Early in 1927, Louis B Mayer, the head of MGM studios and soon to be the highest-paid executive in the world, met a handful of fellow conservative thinkers to create an elite Hollywood organisation with the grandiose title of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The aim was to deter the development of unions, or at least to control and arbitrate their operations. The academy, and the awards set up the following year as an expression of the good taste of its members (of whom there are now 6,000), began in politics and continue to be influenced by it.

Twenty years later, MGM went for three years without winning an Oscar and Mayer was fired by the company's ultimate boss in
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Il Cinema Ritrovato 2012 #4

Above: Max Ophüls' Komedie om geld. Image courtesy of Cineteca di Bologna.

The 26th edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato is over—like the end of a dream. If you are lucky enough, and not so fond of sleeping and eating, and also have little social bonds that allow you the minimum of lingering with fellow cinephiles, then you would be able to see only 10 percent of the films shown at the festival. As much as it's a festival of discovery and cinephilia, it’s also a festival of guilt and regrets since you ineluctably miss many things.

Il Cinema Ritrovato is a miniature of life that among all the beautiful things you have to choose, and every decision grants you a piece of the truth. But all the images, all the pieces of this broken mirror in which we see ourselves is as valid as what the person next to me,
See full article at MUBI »

Hitchcock restored

The BFI's restoration of Alfred Hitchcock's first film, about the tangled love lives of two chorus girls, introduces us to a Hitchcock we didn't know

Until last night no one had seen more than an approximation of Alfred Hitchcock's first film since it made his name 87 years ago. Unveiled at Wilton's Music Hall with a new score by recent Ram graduate Daniel Patrick Cohen, the BFI's restoration of The Pleasure Garden (1925) makes clear that the 26-year-old Hitchcock, as the Sunday Herald's critic Walter Mycroft wrote on its release, "definitely arrived in one stride". Its themes of voyeurism, manipulation, and delusion are instantly familiar from his better-known later work.

Wilton's, itself appealingly unrestored, provided an apt setting. A Victorian venue in Jack-the-Ripper territory, of the kind that was being displaced by cinemas when Hitchcock was working in nearby Blomfield Street, it is also not unlike the Pleasure Garden of the title,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Miles Mander: the true pioneer of sound films

Although known for his silent movies, Miles Mander was a pioneer of the 'phonofilm', paving the way for directors such as Alfred Hitchcock

The BFI's restoration of the 1928 silent The First Born, with Stephen Horne's new score performed live, was one of the big events of the BFI London film festival. Full of surprises, including two racy "making eyes" scenes that had the Queen Elizabeth Hall audience all aflutter, it lives up to Michael Powell's description of the "fluent, expressive, visual story-telling" of late silent cinema that had been cut short by the introduction of synchronised sound. Directed by Miles Mander – a black-sheep Old Harrovian with a background in boxing promotion, aviation and sheep farming – it's a topical tale of a hypocritical, philandering politician who exploits his wife to mop up the women's vote. It was released just after the 1929 "Flapper Election", which brought women under 30 into the franchise for the first time,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Close up: cinema trashes theatre, theatre gets uppity

That was the week in which Roland Emmerich applied his delicate style to the Bard and our writers fessed up to their favourite films

The big story

Roland Emmerich likes to destroy things. We in the film world know this: we've watched him blow the planet up for years. Let's face it, it's why we love him. But the theatre world is less familiar with his style, and this week they have been traumatised by the unleashing of his new film Anonymous, with which, in characteristic fashion, Emmerich attempts to completely obliterate the reputation of William Shakespeare.

Arguably the most inspired response to the German director's waste-laying ways came from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, who this week took to graffitting road signs to make their point. A very sophisticated one, we should point out - if Shakespeare was "anonymous", see, then he doesn't exist. Emmerich is no doubt pulling together
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

55th BFI London Film Festival - Day 9 Video Highlights

Following the premiere of The Ides of March on Wednesday, George Clooney returned to the 55th BFI London Film Festival yesterday for the Centrepiece Gala - the European premiere of The Descendants from writer-director Alexander Payne (Sideways), with Clooney and Payne joined on the red carpet by actress Shailene Woodley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and producer Jim Burke (Cedar Rapids). Other highlights from Day 9 included the Archive Gala of Miles Mander's (The Flying Doctor) silent British classic The First Born, along with a masterclass with four-time Academy Award-nominated composer Alexandre Desplat, whose credits include The Queen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The King's Speech and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2.

Check out a summary of the day's key events courtesy of the BFI's latest Vodcast...

"The Descendants synopsis: "Set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

London film festival puts spotlight on forgotten figures of UK cinema

The BFI restoration team has given new life to The First Born, a silent film co-written by Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville

Why don't we know more about our own silent film history? Is it a lack of interest or a lack of pride? Last month it was announced that a few reels of film by respected British director Graham Cutts had been found in an archive in New Zealand. But while the story was reported widely, it was as a "lost Hitchcock" discovery. It's true that Hitchcock worked on The White Shadow (1923) as a young man, but by overstating his influence we risk casting his peers into oblivion.

The Archive Gala strand of the London film festival was conceived for just such a purpose: to give the floor to some forgotten figures from our cinematic history, while recognising the work of the BFI restoration team. Two years ago, it was
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

BFI London Film Festival 2011. Lineup Announced

  • MUBI
The BFI London Film Festival revealed the lineup for its 55th edition today, a total of 204 feature films and 110 shorts screening between October 12 and 27: "In addition to our previously announced opening and closing night films, Fernando Meirelles's 360 and Terence Davies's The Deep Blue Sea, Gala highlights include George Clooney's The Ides of March, Alexander Payne's The Descendants, Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin and David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method. This year's Archive Gala title is the BFI National Archive's restoration of Miles Mander's The First Born with a new score by Stephen Horne."

Nine strands make up the festival: Galas & Special Screenings, Films on the Square (sample highlight: Bruno Dumont's Outside Satan), New British Cinema (Simon Pummell's Shock Head Soul), French Revolutions (Gérald Hustache-Mathieu's Nobody Else But You), Cinema Europa (Rúnar Rúnarsson's Volcano), World Cinema (Sivaroj Kongsakul's Eternity), Experimenta (featuring,
See full article at MUBI »

Lottery Funded Films Headline This Year’s BFI London Film Festival

9 new British films funded by the Lottery Film Fund

selected for the BFI London Film Festival

including the Opening and Closing night Galas

London - Wednesday 7 September 2011. This year.s 55th BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express, will showcase 9 new British feature films funded by the UK Film Council.s Film Fund, now with the BFI, including the Opening and Closing night UK Gala premieres of Fernando Meirelles. 360, written by Peter Morgan, and Terence Davies. The Deep Blue Sea.

The line-up of British films which have been developed and/or production funded by the Film Fund at the BFI London Film festival also includes:

Shame, directed by Steve McQueen and co-written with Abi Morgan; We Need To Talk About Kevin, directed by Lynne Ramsay and co-written with Rory Stewart Kinnear; Wuthering Heights, directed by Andrea Arnold and co-written with Olivia Hetreed; Trishna, written and directed by Michael Winterbottom; A Dangerous Method,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

55th London Film Festival Programme

The programme for the 55th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express launched today by Artistic Director Sandra Hebron, celebrates the imagination and excellence of international filmmaking from both established and emerging talent. Over 16 days the Festival will screen a total of 204 fiction and documentary features, including 13 World Premieres, 18 International Premieres and 22 European Premieres . There will also be screenings of 110 live action and animated shorts. Many of the films will be presented by their directors, cast members and crew, some of whom will also take part in career interviews, masterclasses, and other special events. The 55th BFI London Film Festival will run from 12-27 October.

Special Screenings

Opening the festival is Fernando Meirelles’ 360, written by Peter Morgan, and starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Rachel Weisz. Weisz is also the star of Terence Davies’ closing night film, The Deep Blue Sea, alongside a cast which includes Simon Russell Beale and Tom Hiddleston.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

55th BFI London Film Festival Programme Announced

  • HeyUGuys
From the 12th to the 27th of October the 55th BFI London Film Festival brings its annual box of delights to the capital. Earlier today the full programme was announced, and it look like being another fine year.

We already know that Fernando Meirelles’ latest 360 will open proceedings on the 12th and fifteen days later Terence DaviesThe Deep Blue Sea will bring the festival to a close but there are many more great films to come and see in London this October.

There was a familiar feeling creeping across the audience this morning that a lot of the films had, like last year, already played elsewhere but this is only a small consideration when you consider the scope of the festival’s remit. To bring a vital, fresh and horizon-expanding series of features, shorts and documentaries is no easy task, and while the more well known films have played
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Full Line-Up For The 55th BFI London Film Festival Revealed

I have just literally walked out of a special launch event for the 55th BFI London Film Festival, held this morning at the massive Odeon cinemas in London’s Leicester Square. This year’s festival runs from 12th October until the 27th October and we’re especially excited because this is the very first year that The Hollywood News will have properly covered the whole event, despite the many years that we have been online.

This morning’s launch event was introduced by BFI Chief Executve Amanda Nevill and Artistic Director Sandra Hebron, who actually bows out of the role after this year. Following the introductions the capacity auditorium, made up of fellow journalists, actors, actresses, filmmakers and other industry folk, we were treated to a 30 minute reel showcasing 36 of the 300 films and short films playing at the festival, which is once again sponsored primarily by American Express. We already
See full article at The Hollywood News »

London film festival 2011 lineup announced

BFI festival announces full schedule that includes Terence Davies's The Deep Blue Sea, Steve McQueen's Shame and Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights among high-profile international films

Britain's biggest cinema extravaganza, the BFI London film festival, has announced its lineup and as has become customary, is offering the pick of the international festival circuit to British-based filmgoers.

Ballasting the lineup are a slew of films by major British directors, including the Rattigan adaptation The Deep Blue Sea from Terence Davies; Michael Winterbottom's India-set reworking of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Trishna; Lynne Ramsay's film of the Lionel Shriver novel We Need to Talk About Kevin, Steve McQueen's sex-addiction drama Shame, and Andrea Arnold's version of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights.

The festival has also picked up a number of high-profile international films that have impressed critics at other festivals. The Kid With the Bike, directed by the Dardenne brothers,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

BFI London Film Festival Full Line-Up Announced

Artistic director Sandra Hebron has announced the line-up for the 55th BFI London Film Festival this morning where they will screen “a total of 204 fiction and documentary features, including 13 World Premieres, 18 International Premieres and 22 European Premieres” plus “110 live action and animated shorts”.

We are already knew Fernando Meirelles’ adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s erotic drama play 360 written by Peter Morgan and starring Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Rachel Weisz would open the festival and that The Deep Blue Sea, which incidentally is another adaptation of a play (Terence Rattigan’s) and also stars Rachel Weisz, will close it. Of Time and City’s Terrence Davies directed that movie which also stars Tom Hiddleston and Simon Russell Beale.

Now we know the in-between stuff from the Gala & Special Screenings and there’s a wide selection of extremely interesting films;

George Clooney is bringing his political thriller The Ides of March that
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

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