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Academy Awards Film Series: From Class Distinctions to Incest - Adult Themes in First-Rate, Long-Thought-Lost Drama

'Sorrell and Son' with H.B. Warner and Alice Joyce. 'Sorrell and Son' 1927 movie: Long thought lost, surprisingly effective father-love melodrama stars a superlative H.B. Warner Partially shot on location in England and produced independently by director Herbert Brenon at Joseph M. Schenck's United Artists, the 1927 Sorrell and Son is a skillful melodrama about paternal devotion in the face of both personal and social adversity. This long-thought-lost version of Warwick Deeping's 1925 bestseller benefits greatly from the veteran Brenon's assured direction, deservedly shortlisted in the first year of the Academy Awards.* Crucial to the film's effectiveness, however, is the portrayal of its central character, a war-scarred Englishman who sacrifices it all for the happiness of his son. Luckily, the London-born H.B. Warner, best remembered for playing Jesus Christ in another 1927 release, Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings, is the embodiment of honesty, selflessness, and devotion. Less is
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Gay Rumors Dismissed, Troubled Relationship with Wilder: Brackett Diaries Interview with Editor Slide

'Sunset Blvd.': Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond. The Charles Brackett Diaries: Gay Rumors quashed, troubled Billy Wilder partnership discussed in Q&A with Anthony Slide See previous post: “Charles Brackett Diaries: Politics and Gossip During the Studio Era.” First of all, how did you become involved in this Charles Brackett project? And what did your editorial job entail? I discovered the diaries about six years ago when I was asked by Brackett's grandson, Jim Moore, to place a financial value on them during the process of his donating them to the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It was clear to me that these diaries had not only considerable financial worth, but also, and perhaps more importantly, they were primary resources in the study of Hollywood history. Happily, Charles Brackett's family (who own the copyright) gave permission for me to edit the diaries,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Top Screenwriting Team from the Golden Age of Hollywood: List of Movies and Academy Award nominations

Billy Wilder directed Sunset Blvd. with Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies Below is a list of movies on which Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder worked together as screenwriters, including efforts for which they did not receive screen credit. The Wilder-Brackett screenwriting partnership lasted from 1938 to 1949. During that time, they shared two Academy Awards for their work on The Lost Weekend (1945) and, with D.M. Marshman Jr., Sunset Blvd. (1950). More detailed information further below. Post-split years Billy Wilder would later join forces with screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond in movies such as the classic comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), the Best Picture Oscar winner The Apartment (1960), and One Two Three (1961), notable as James Cagney's last film (until a brief comeback in Milos Forman's Ragtime two decades later). Although some of these movies were quite well received, Wilder's later efforts – which also included The Seven Year Itch
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

'Sunset Blvd.': 15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About the Hollywood Classic

Long before the lurid "E! True Hollywood Story" series, there was "Sunset Boulevard" -- maybe the darkest, most cynical movie ever made about what Hollywood is really like.

Released 65 years ago this week (on August 10, 1950), director Billy Wilder's classic explored fame from the perspective of those who had it and lost it (like Gloria Swanson and her "waxwork" friends, playing lightly fictionalized versions of themselves) and those who never quite made it, like the struggling young screenwriter (William Holden) and the failed actress-turned-script reader played by Nancy Olson.

Even if you haven't seen "Sunset Boulevard," you may feel like you have, whether because of the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical it spawned, the movies that copied it (particularly "American Beauty," with its narration from beyond the grave), and the countless parodies of Swanson's final "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up" scene. In honor of the film's anniversary,
See full article at Moviefone »

The Top Father's Day Films Ever Made? Here Are Five Dads - Ranging from the Intellectual to the Pathological

'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

On TCM: Oscar Winner Colbert

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
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blu-ray Review: Billy Wilder’s ‘Sunset Boulevard’ Still Looks Great in Close-Up

Chicago – With her chin pointed high, eyes bulging, teeth gleaming and hands contorting as if performing a Transylvanian spell, screen actress Norma Desmond insists that she’s ready for her close-up. She descends her staircase and becomes fully engulfed in the gray haze of her delusions in one of the greatest and most unforgettable final scenes in cinema history.

This moment, like so many in Billy Wilder’s 1950 masterpiece, “Sunset Boulevard,” achieves a miraculous balancing act. It is darkly funny, deeply sad and richly unsettling. The same could be said of Gloria Swanson’s Oscar-nominated performance as Desmond, the aging icon of the silent era who dwells in a mansion fit for Miss Havisham and is doted upon by a solemn enabler named Max (Erich von Stroheim), who has dedicated his life to protecting his beloved diva from the world that has forgotten her. Not only did von Stroheim direct
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Sorrell And Son Review – H. B. Warner, Nils Asther, Anna Q. Nilsson d: Herbert Brenon

Sorrell And Son (1927) Direction: Herbert Brenon Cast: H. B. Warner, Nils Asther, Anna Q. Nilsson, Alice Joyce, Carmel Myers, Mary Nolan, Mickey McBan, Louis Wolheim, Norman Trevor, Lionel Belmore Screenplay: Elizabeth Meehan; from Warwick Deeping's novel Oscar Movies Recommended H. B. Warner, Alice Joyce, Sorrell and Son A skilled melodrama about paternal devotion in the face of both personal and social adversity, Sorrell and Son benefits greatly from Herbert Brenon's assured direction, which deservedly received a nomination in the first year of the Academy Awards. Crucial to the film's effectiveness, however, is the central performance of the war-scarred father who sacrifices it all for the happiness of his son. Luckily, stage and screen veteran H. B. Warner, perhaps best remembered for his portrayal of Jesus Christ in Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings, is the embodiment of honesty, selflessness, and devotion. Unlike many silent-era performers — even
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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