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Cortez Part IV: Leading Ladies and Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Wife

Cortez Part IV: Leading Ladies and Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Wife
Ricardo Cortez in 'Ten Cents a Dance,' with Barbara Stanwyck. No matter how unthankful the role, whether hero or heel – or, not infrequently, a combination of both – Cortez left his bedroom-eyed, mellifluous-voiced imprint in his pre-Production Code talkies. Besides Barbara Stanwyck, during the 1920s and 1930s Cortez made love to and/or life difficult for, a whole array of leading ladies of that era, including Bebe Daniels, Gloria Swanson, Betty Compson, Betty Bronson, Greta Garbo, Florence Vidor, Claudette Colbert, Mary Astor, Kay Francis, Joan Crawford, Irene Dunne, Joan Blondell, and Loretta Young*. (See previous post: “Ricardo Cortez Q&A: From Latin Lover to Multiethnic Heel.”) Not long after the coming of sound, Ricardo Cortez was mostly relegated to playing subordinate roles to his leading ladies – e.g., Kay Francis, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert – or leads in “bottom half of the double bill” programmers at Warner Bros. or on loan to other studios. Would
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TCM's Pride Month Series Continues with Movies Somehow Connected to Lgbt Talent

Turner Classic Movies continues with its Gay Hollywood presentations tonight and tomorrow morning, June 8–9. Seven movies will be shown about, featuring, directed, or produced by the following: Cole Porter, Lorenz Hart, Farley Granger, John Dall, Edmund Goulding, W. Somerset Maughan, Clifton Webb, Montgomery Clift, Raymond Burr, Charles Walters, DeWitt Bodeen, and Harriet Parsons. (One assumes that it's a mere coincidence that gay rumor subjects Cary Grant and Tyrone Power are also featured.) Night and Day (1946), which could also be considered part of TCM's homage to birthday girl Alexis Smith, who would have turned 96 today, is a Cole Porter biopic starring Cary Grant as a posh, heterosexualized version of Porter. As the warning goes, any similaries to real-life people and/or events found in Night and Day are a mere coincidence. The same goes for Words and Music (1948), a highly fictionalized version of the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical partnership.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Lgbt Pride Month: TCM Showcases Gay and Lesbian Actors and Directors

Considering everything that's been happening on the planet in the last several months, you'd have thought we're already in November or December – of 2117. But no. It's only June. 2017. And in some parts of the world, that's the month of brides, fathers, graduates, gays, and climate change denial. Beginning this evening, Thursday, June 1, Turner Classic Movies will be focusing on one of these June groups: Lgbt people, specifically those in the American film industry. Following the presentation of about 10 movies featuring Frank Morgan, who would have turned 127 years old today, TCM will set its cinematic sights on the likes of William Haines, James Whale, George Cukor, Mitchell Leisen, Dorothy Arzner, Patsy Kelly, and Ramon Novarro. In addition to, whether or not intentionally, Claudette Colbert, Colin Clive, Katharine Hepburn, Douglass Montgomery (a.k.a. Kent Douglass), Marjorie Main, and Billie Burke, among others. But this is ridiculous! Why should TCM present a
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Latest 'Hur' Remake Gets a Loud, Bombastic Trailer for the Fast and Furious Crowd

'Ben-Hur' 2016 with Jack Huston: Chariot race to the death. 'Ben-Hur' 2016 trailer: 'Gladiator' meets 'Fast Seven' meets 'Star Wars' meets… Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have released the trailer for their 2016 Ben-Hur remake (or reboot or readaptation) – a.k.a. Fast and Furious A.D., as one wag called it in an online comment. Instead of grandiose spectacle featuring at its core a “human” story with Christian overtones, this chariot-and-sandals epic is being sold as Gladiator meets Fast Seven meets Spartacus: Blood and Sand meets Star Wars – with Morgan Freeman's Sheik Ilderim as the Roman Empire's dreadlocked version of Alec Guinness' Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi. Say what you will, the trailer-makers sure know their target audience. And that's not the same crowd that would go check out what's usually referred to in the U.S. media as “faith” (i.e., Christian) movies. One assumes that particular audience segment will be getting
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Grandiose Christian Epic Became Biggest Worldwide Box Office Hit Until Gwtw

Ramon Novarro: 'Ben-Hur' 1925 star. 'Ben-Hur' on TCM: Ramon Novarro in most satisfying version of the semi-biblical epic Christmas 2015 is just around the corner. That's surely the reason Turner Classic Movies presented Fred Niblo's Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ last night, Dec. 20, '15, featuring Carl Davis' magnificent score. Starring Ramon Novarro, the 1925 version of Ben-Hur became not only the most expensive movie production,[1] but also the biggest worldwide box office hit up to that time.[2] Equally important, that was probably the first instance when the international market came to the rescue of a Hollywood mega-production,[3] saving not only Ben-Hur from a fate worse than getting trampled by a runaway chariot, but also the newly formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which could have been financially strangled at birth had the epic based on Gen. Lew Wallace's bestseller been a commercial bomb. The convoluted making of 'Ben-Hur,' as described
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Rare Black History Sample, Chinese Spider-Women, Capra Silent by Accident: Sfsff 2015 Highlights

African-American film 'Bert Williams: Lime Kiln Club Field Day.' With Williams and Odessa Warren Grey.* Rare, early 20th-century African-American film among San Francisco Silent Film Festival highlights Directed by Edwin Middleton and T. Hayes Hunter, the Biograph Company's Lime Kiln Club Field Day (1913) was the film I most looked forward to at the 2015 edition of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. One hundred years old, unfinished, and destined to be scrapped and tossed into the dust bin, it rose from the ashes. Starring entertainer Bert Williams – whose film appearances have virtually disappeared, but whose legacy lives on – Lime Kiln Club Field Day has become a rare example of African-American life in the first years of the 20th century. In the introduction to the film, the audience was treated to a treasure trove of Black memorabilia: sheet music, stills, promotional material, and newspaper clippings that survive. Details of the
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 »

One of the Loveliest Movie Stars Ever on TCM

Jeanne Crain: From Pinky to Margie Jeanne Crain, one of the most charming Hollywood actresses of the ’40s and ’50s, is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" featured player on Monday, August 26, 2013. Since Jeanne Crain was a top 20th Century Fox star for about a decade — a favorite of Fox mogul Darryl F. Zanuck — TCM will be showing quite a few films from the Fox library. And that’s great news. (Photo: Jeanne Crain ca. 1950.) (See also: “Jeanne Crain Movies: TCM’s ‘Summer Under the Stars’ Schedule.”) Now, my first recommendation is actually an MGM release. That’s Russell Rouse’s 1956 psychological Western The Fastest Gun Alive, an unusual movie in that the hero turns out to be a "coward" at heart: quick-on-the-trigger gunslinger Glenn Ford is reluctant to face an evil challenger (Broderick Crawford) in a small Western town. But why? Jeanne Crain is his serious-minded wife
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Gregory Peck from ‘Duel in the Sun’ to ‘How the West Was Won’: TCM schedule (Pt) on August 15 (photo: Gregory Peck in ‘Duel in the Sun’) See previous post: “Gregory Peck Movies: Memorable Miscasting Tonight on Turner Classic Movies.” 3:00 Am Days Of Glory (1944). Director: Jacques Tourneur. Cast: Gregory Peck, Lowell Gilmore, Maria Palmer. Bw-86 mins. 4:30 Am Pork Chop Hill (1959). Director: Lewis Milestone. Cast: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn. Bw-98 mins. Letterbox Format. 6:15 Am The Valley Of Decision (1945). Director: Tay Garnett. Cast: Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp. Bw-119 mins. 8:15 Am Spellbound (1945). Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming, Bill Goodwin, Norman Lloyd, Steve Geray, John Emery, Donald Curtis, Art Baker, Wallace Ford, Regis Toomey, Paul Harvey, Jean Acker, Irving Bacon, Jacqueline deWit, Edward Fielding, Matt Moore, Addison Richards, Erskine Sanford, Constance Purdy. Bw-111 mins. 10:15 Am Designing Woman (1957). Director: Vincente Minnelli.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Once a Star Always a Star: Turner's Scandals on TCM

Lana Turner movies: Scandal and more scandal Lana Turner is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, Saturday, August 10, 2013. I’m a little — or rather, a lot — late in the game posting this article, but there are still three Lana Turner movies left. You can see Turner get herself embroiled in scandal right now, in Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life (1959), both the director and the star’s biggest box-office hit. More scandal follows in Mark Robson’s Peyton Place (1957), the movie that earned Lana Turner her one and only Academy Award nomination. And wrapping things up is George Sidney’s lively The Three Musketeers (1948), with Turner as the ruthless, heartless, remorseless — but quite elegant — Lady de Winter. Based on Fannie Hurst’s novel and a remake of John M. Stahl’s 1934 melodrama about mother love, class disparities, racism, and good cooking, Imitation of Life was shown on
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Sexy Garbo, Wrathful Censors, the End of Stardom, and Brutal Murder: Novarro

Ramon Novarro and Greta Garbo in ‘Mata Hari’: The wrath of the censors (See previous post: "Ramon Novarro in One of the Best Silent Movies.") George Fitzmaurice’s romantic spy melodrama Mata Hari (1931) was well received by critics and enthusiastically embraced by moviegoers. The Greta Garbo / Ramon Novarro combo — the first time Novarro took second billing since becoming a star — turned Mata Hari into a major worldwide blockbuster, with $2.22 million in worldwide rentals. The film became Garbo’s biggest international success to date, and Novarro’s highest-grossing picture after Ben-Hur. (Photo: Ramon Novarro and Greta Garbo in Mata Hari.) Among MGM’s 1932 releases — Mata Hari opened on December 31, 1931 — only W.S. Van Dyke’s Tarzan, the Ape Man, featuring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan, and Edmund Goulding’s all-star Best Picture Academy Award winner Grand Hotel (also with Garbo, in addition to Joan Crawford, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, and
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Chance to Check Out Heston Directing Self in 'Man" Remake

Charlton Heston movies: ‘A Man for All Seasons’ remake, ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ (photo: Charlton Heston as Ben-Hur) (See previous post: “Charlton Heston: Moses Minus Staff Plus Chariot Equals Ben-Hur.”) I’ve yet to watch Irving Rapper’s melo Bad for Each Other (1954), co-starring the sultry Lizabeth Scott — always a good enough reason to check out any movie, regardless of plot or leading man. A major curiosity is the 1988 made-for-tv version of A Man for All Seasons, with Charlton Heston in the Oscar-winning Paul Scofield role (Sir Thomas More) and on Fred Zinnemann’s director’s chair. Vanessa Redgrave, who plays Thomas More’s wife in the TV movie (Wendy Hiller in the original) had a cameo as Anne Boleyn in the 1966 film. According to the IMDb, Robert Bolt, who wrote the Oscar-winning 1966 movie (and the original play), is credited for the 1988 version’s screenplay as well. Also of note,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Watch Heston Play the Same Character in Different Costumes

Charlton Heston: Moses has his ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day Charlton Heston is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star on Monday, August 5, 2013. TCM will be presenting one Heston movie premiere: Guy Green’s Hawaiian-set family drama Diamond Head (1963), in which Heston plays a pineapple grower, U.S. Senate candidate, and total control freak at odds with his strong-willed younger sister, the lovely Yvette Mimieux. Also in the Diamond Head cast: France Nuyen, Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winner George Chakiris (West Side Story), The Time Tunnel‘s James Darren, and veteran Aline MacMahon (Gold Diggers of 1933, Five Star Final) in one of her last movie roles. And last but not least, silent film star Billie Dove reportedly has a bit role in the film. (Photo: Charlton Heston ca. 1955.) (Charlton Heston movies: TCM schedule.) Now, with the exception of Orson WellesTouch of Evil, in which Charlton Heston
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Jazz Singer – Blu-ray

Blu-ray Review

The Jazz Singer

Directed by: Alan Crosland

Cast: Al Jolson, May McAvoy, Warner Oland

Running Time: 1 hr 37 mins

Rating: Nr

Due Out: January 8, 2013

Plot: Jakie Rabinowitz (Al Jolson) is the son of a Jewish Cantor who must defy his father in order to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz singer.

Who’S It For? Are you desperate to see where film came from? Then you should be required by law to see this film. Plus, you’ll see the roots for every father/son story Hollywood has recreated, and plenty of Jewish guilt.

Message from Warner Bros.

The Jazz Singer, the first feature-length film with completely synchronized dialogue and musical sequences, will mark another milestone January 8 when Warner Home Video releases the Blu-ray commencing the 2013 year-long 90thAnniversary of Warner Bros. Studios.

Official WB Shop Link: http://bit.ly/YZ0P8Z Images: http://warnervideo.com/art Like
See full article at Scorecard Review »

See also

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