13 items from 2013
Today, you say Black Swan and images of a crazed Natalie Portman come to mind, but there was an earlier film by that name, a swashbuckler that has been forgotten by many. The first Black Swan is a 1942 adventure starring Tyrone Power and Maureen O’Hara based on Rafael Sabatini’s novel. Having already succeeded with adaptations of Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk, this seemed a natural followup for 20th Century Fox.
Out on Blu-ray from 20th Century Home Entertainment, The Black Swan tells the story of the infamous Captain Morgan (Laird Cregar), attempting to lead a more virtuous life. He is appointed as Governor of Jamaica, charged with ridding the waters of his former brigands. No one trusts the notorious former pirate, complicating his work although he’s successful using his personal relationships to convince Captain Jamie Waring (Power) and Tom Blue (Thomas Mitchell) to end their criminal work. »
- Robert Greenberger
As promised last week, here’s the list of my favorite Christmas movies, starting with all my very favorite-est…
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). Directed by Frank Capra, who declared it his favorite of all his films and showed it every Christmas at his home, it stars James Stewart as “everyman” George Bailey, Donna Reed as his wife Mary Hatch Bailey, Lionel Barrymore as the banker Mr. Potter, and a veritable Who’s Who of notable character actors, including Beulah Bondi as Ma Bailey, Thomas Mitchell as Uncle Billy, Ward Bond as Bert the cop, Frank Faylen as Ernie the cab driver, Gloria Grahame as Violet the “bad” girl, Sheldon Leonard as Nick the bartender, and Harry Travers in the pivotal role of the angel Clarence Odbody. The story of an ordinary man who lives an ordinary life, driven to despair of having his dreams crushed once and for all »
- Mindy Newell
What if George Bailey (James Stewart) took that job Potter offered him? He would have become The Wolf of Bedford Falls. Frank Capra's timeless classic It's a Wonderful Life gets a Martin Scorsese makeover in this new trailer tailored after The Wolf of Wall Street. Check out this updated version just in time for the holidays, from comedian Owne Weber.
It's a Wonderful Life was released January 7th, 1947 and stars James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond. The film is directed by Frank Capra.
The Wolf of Wall Street comes to theaters December 25th, 2013 and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill, Cristin Milioti, Jon Bernthal, Ethan Suplee, Jon Favreau. The film is directed by Martin Scorsese. »
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ sequel could get killed by Paramount (photo: James Stewart and Donna Reed in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’) What would the world be like if any one individual human being had never been born? In most cases, the world would quite possibly be an infinitely better place, but the overwhelming majority of (delusional) humans want to feel good about themselves and their place on our overpopulated, fast-rotting planet. Hence movies such as Frank Capra’s 1946 sentimental fantasy drama It’s a Wonderful Life, released the year after the end of World War II — which reportedly left about 60 million human beings dead (plus countless other non-humans), in addition to millions more maimed, homeless, and/or psychologically destroyed. Starring James Stewart as Small Town America family man George Bailey, who almost kills himself but is prevented from doing so by an angel with way too much time in his hands, »
- Andre Soares
On the list of the most loved films of all time, the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life has to rank pretty high, even after 67 years. Now a sequel is being made to the timeless classic. The decision to revisit the treasured film is sure to divide fan opinion.
Every year, millions of people sit down in front of their TV sets or computers to rewatch the beloved classic It’s a Wonderful Life. Nearly seven decades after it was first released, the movie is still a fan favorite. Few films have stood the test of time the way Frank Capra’s cherished Christmas film has. Therefore, the decision to make a sequel to the film is rather daring. While many may see it as a nice homage to the longevity of the original, others will surely condemn the filmmakers for daring to disrespect their much-loved classic.
Karolyn Grimes will appear in the sequel. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
The follow-up, entitled It's a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story, follows the unlikeable grandson of James Stewart's George Bailey. Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey's daughter Zuzu in the original, will play an angel who shows the grandson, also named George Bailey, how life would be better if he had never been born. Karolyn Grimes delivered the famous line "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings" in It's a Wonderful Life, which followed George Bailey's near-suicide attempt on Christmas Eve, before his guardian angel intervened.
Hummingbird's Bob Farnsworth and Martha Bolton wrote the screenplay, with Farnsworth also producing alongside Star Partners' Allen J. Schwalb. The producers are hoping to get the sequel in theaters by Christmas 2015. Here's what Bob Farnsworth had to say about the story. »
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has unveiled the first three movies in the lineup for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, including the recently restored Gone with the Wind (1939) and a presentation of The Wizard of Oz (1939) in its stunning new IMAX 3D format. Set to take place in Hollywood April 10-13, the fifth-annual edition of the festival will also include a screening of the Harold Lloyd comedy classic Why Worry? (1923), with legendary silent-film composer Carl Davis conducting the live world premiere performance of his new original score. Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz are each celebrating their 75th anniversaries in 2014.
Passes for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival are set to go on sale to the public Thursday, Nov. 14, at noon (Et). Passes can be purchased exclusively through the official festival website: http://www.tcm.com/festival. Descriptions for the first three films on the festival slate are included below. »
- Melissa Thompson
Hattie McDaniel Oscar speech (photo: Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel and Fay Bainter) The 1940 Academy Awards ceremony was held on February 29 at the Ambassador Hotel’s Cocoanut Grove in downtown Los Angeles. Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the David O. Selznick production Gone with the Wind received eight competitive awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Victor Fleming), Best Actress (Vivien Leigh), and Best Supporting Actress for Hattie McDaniel, the first black individual to take home an Oscar. Fay Bainter, the previous year’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for Jezebel, presented the acting awards in the supporting categories — plaques, not statuettes*, back in those days. First, Thomas Mitchell was named the Best Supporting Actor winner for his performance as a drunken doctor in John Ford’s Western Stagecoach. After Mitchell finished his brief speech, Bainter introduced the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award winner by heralding the virtues of the United States: I’m »
- Andre Soares
Hattie McDaniel as Mammy in ‘Gone with the Wind’: TCM schedule on August 20, 2013 (photo: Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel in ‘Gone with the Wind’) See previous post: “Hattie McDaniel: Oscar Winner Makes History.” 3:00 Am Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943). Director: David Butler. Cast: Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan, Eddie Cantor, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, John Garfield, Ida Lupino, Ann Sheridan, Dinah Shore, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson, Alan Hale, George Tobias, Edward Everett Horton, S.Z. Sakall, Hattie McDaniel, Ruth Donnelly, Don Wilson, Spike Jones, Henry Armetta, Leah Baird, Willie Best, Monte Blue, James Burke, David Butler, Stanley Clements, William Desmond, Ralph Dunn, Frank Faylen, James Flavin, Creighton Hale, Sam Harris, Paul Harvey, Mark Hellinger, Brandon Hurst, Charles Irwin, Noble Johnson, Mike Mazurki, Fred Kelsey, Frank Mayo, Joyce Reynolds, Mary Treen, Doodles Weaver. Bw-127 mins. 5:15 Am Janie (1944). Director: Michael Curtiz. Cast: Joyce Reynolds, Robert Hutton, »
- Andre Soares
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 »
- Andre Soares
Paul Henreid: Hollow Triumph aka The Scar tonight Turner Classic Movies’ Paul Henreid film series continues this Tuesday evening, July 16, 2013. Of tonight’s movies, the most interesting offering is Hollow Triumph / The Scar, a 1948 B thriller adapted by Daniel Fuchs (Panic in the Streets, Love Me or Leave Me) from Murray Forbes’ novel, and in which the gentlemanly Henreid was cast against type: a crook who, in an attempt to escape from other (and more dangerous) crooks, impersonates a psychiatrist with a scar on his chin. Joan Bennett, mostly wasted in a non-role, is Henreid’s leading lady. (See also: “One Paul Henreid, Two Cigarettes, Four Bette Davis-es.”) The thriller’s director is Hungarian import Steve Sekely, whose Hollywood career consisted chiefly of minor B fare. In fact, though hardly a great effort, Hollow Triumph was probably the apex of Sekely’s cinematic output in terms of prestige »
- Andre Soares
After a season premiere full of incredible performances, the bar was raised especially high for the June 11 contestants of ‘America’s Got Talent.’ So these acts upped the ante — and the emotion.
There’s almost too much talent on America’s Got Talent! The June 11 episode of the hit reality show brought a variety of performances, from unbelievable singers, to circus acts, to sassy kid ballroom dancers. The backgrounds behind some of these contestants were astonishing — and let’s just say there were a few tears in our eyes during some of them.
Top 5 Performances From June 11 Episode
5. Sam Johnson: The Handstand Man
In the most death-defying stunt of the night, Sam stuns the »
- HL Intern
Son of a bitch! George Brent and other Warner Bros. stars forget their lines (photo: George Brent ca. 1940) The Warner Bros. outtakes from the studio’s 1939 and 1940 productions (see below) feature a whole array of movie stars and supporting players not getting things quite right while the cameras were rolling. Perhaps the biggest "star" — i.e., the one featured the most — in the montage is George Brent, who curses right and left after not getting his lines right in several scenes. But not to worry; "son of a bitch" is the strongest exclamation we get to hear. (I’m assuming stronger fare is to be found in the outtakes’ outtakes.) Besides George Brent, the Warner Bros. bloopers montage has Paul Muni joking around while forgetting his lines during the making of We Are Not Alone; Miriam Hopkins having her dramatic moment in The Old Maid ruined by a young maid »
- Andre Soares
13 items from 2013
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