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Bob Hope on Blu-ray

You pick up a lot of baggage when you live to be 100, a sentiment confirmed by the long, long movie career of Bob Hope. His unofficial status as the preeminent entertainer of the 20th century is open to debate but he was without a doubt that era’s most conspicuous comedian. Marlon Brando’s infamous dismissal, “He’ll go to the opening of a market to receive an award”, was mean-spirited but it had the sting of truth; for over eighty years Hope was everywhere, for better or worse.

Living up to his nickname, “Rapid Robert”, the 31-year old Hope shot out of the gate in 1934 with a series of quick-on-their feet comic shorts revolving around his unique presence as a leading man and comical sidekick rolled into one. It wasn’t long before he was starring in pleasantly prosaic musicals like The Big Broadcast of 1938 and handsomely mounted
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Forbidden Hollywood Volume 10

Woo hoo! The pre-Code marvels return for one last go-round -- tales of sin and moral turpitude but also serious pictures about social issues that the Production Code effectively swept from Hollywood screens -- financial crimes and ethnic bigotry. Forbidden Hollywood Volume 10 Guilty Hands, The Mouthpiece, Secrets of the French Police, The Match King, Ever in My Heart DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1932-1934 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 63, 62, 78, 85, 70 min. / Street Date October 27, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 40.99 Starring Lionel Barrymore, Kay Francis, Madge Evans; Warren William, Sidney Fox, Aline McMahon; Frank Morgan, Gwili Andre, Gregory Ratoff Rochelle Hudson; Warren William, Lili Damita, Glenda Farrell, Claire Dodd; Barbara Stanwyck, Otto Kruger, Ralph Bellamy, Ruth Donnelly. Cinematography Merritt B. Gerstad, Barney McGill; Alfred Gilks; Robert Kurrie; Written by Bayard Veiller; Joseph Jackson, Earl Baldwin, Frank J. Collins; Samuel Ornitz, Robert Tasker; Houston Branch, Sidney Sutherland, Einar Thorvaldson; Bertram Millhauser, Beulah Marie Dix.
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Thomas' Popular TV Costar, Mother of Oscar-Nominated Actress Dead at 97

Marjorie Lord actress ca. early 1950s. Actress Marjorie Lord dead at 97: Best remembered for TV series 'Make Room for Daddy' Stage, film, and television actress Marjorie Lord, best remembered as Danny Thomas' second wife in Make Room for Daddy, died Nov. 28, '15, at her home in Beverly Hills. Lord (born Marjorie Wollenberg on July 26, 1918, in San Francisco) was 97. Marjorie Lord movies After moving with her family to New York, Marjorie Lord made her Broadway debut at age 17 in Zoe Akins' Pulitzer Prize-winning adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel The Old Maid (1935). Lord replaced Margaret Anderson in the role of Tina, played by Jane Bryan – as Bette Davis' out-of-wedlock daughter – in Warner Bros.' 1939 movie version directed by Edmund Goulding. Hollywood offers ensued, resulting in film appearances in a string of low-budget movies in the late 1930s and throughout much of the 1940s, initially (and
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Cummings' Ten-Year Death Anniversary: From Minor Lloyd Leading Lady to Tony Award Winner (Revised and Expanded)

Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major London stage star. Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned more than six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., died ten years ago on Nov. 23. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received performances – is all but forgotten.
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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
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Two-Time Best Actress Oscar Winner Shines on TCM Today: Was Last-Minute Replacement for Crawford in Key Davis Movie of the '60s

Olivia de Havilland on Turner Classic Movies: Your chance to watch 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' for the 384th time Olivia de Havilland is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 2, '15. The two-time Best Actress Oscar winner (To Each His Own, 1946; The Heiress, 1949) whose steely determination helped to change the way studios handled their contract players turned 99 last July 1. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any de Havilland movie rarities, e.g., Universal's cool thriller The Dark Mirror (1946), the Paramount comedy The Well-Groomed Bride (1947), or Terence Young's British-made That Lady (1955), with de Havilland as eye-patch-wearing Spanish princess Ana de Mendoza. On the other hand, you'll be able to catch for the 384th time a demure Olivia de Havilland being romanced by a dashing Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood, as TCM shows this 1938 period adventure classic just about every month. But who's complaining? One the
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Film Noir and Western Leading Lady Audrey Long, Widow of The Saint Author Charteris, Dead at 92

Audrey Long, actress in B film noirs and Westerns, and widow of author Leslie Charteris, dead at 92 (photo: Audrey Long publicity shot ca. late '40s) Actress Audrey Long, a leading lady in mostly B crime dramas and Westerns of the '40s and early '50s, and the widow of The Saint creator Leslie Charteris, died "after a long illness" on September 19, 2014, in Virginia Water, Surrey, England. Long was 92. Her death was first reported by Ian Dickerson on the website LeslieCharteris.com. Born on April 14 (some sources claim April 12), 1922, in Orlando, Florida, Audrey Long was the daughter of an English-born Episcopal minister, who later became a U.S. Navy Chaplain. Her early years were spent moving about North America, in addition to some time in Honolulu. According to Dickerson's Audrey Long tribute on the Leslie Charteris site, following acting lessons with coach Dorothea Johnson, whose pupils had also included
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Don't Let the U.S. Government Shut Down! Quality Halloween Movies in October, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Cat and the Canary’ 1939: Paulette Goddard / Bob Hope haunted house comedy among Halloween 2013 movies at Packard Theater There’s much to recommend among the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus and State Theater screenings in Culpeper, Virginia, in October 2013, including the until recently super-rare Bob Hope / Paulette Goddard haunted house comedy The Cat and the Canary (1939). And that’s one more reason to hope that the Republican Party’s foaming-at-the-mouth extremists (and their voters and supporters), ever bent on destroying the economic and sociopolitical fabric of the United States (and of the rest of the world), will not succeed in shutting down the federal government and thus potentially wreak havoc throughout the U.S. and beyond. (Photo: Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard in The Cat and the Canary.) Screening on Thursday, October 31, at the Packard Theater, Elliott Nugent’s The Cat and the Canary is a remake of Paul Leni
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Scene-Stealing Supporting Player Is Star for a Day

Mary Boland movies: Scene-stealing actress has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day on TCM Turner Classic Movies will dedicate the next 24 hours, Sunday, August 4, 2013, not to Lana Turner, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Esther Williams, or Bette DavisTCM’s frequent Warner Bros., MGM, and/or Rko stars — but to the marvelous scene-stealer Mary Boland. A stage actress who was featured in a handful of movies in the 1910s, Boland came into her own as a stellar film supporting player in the early ’30s, initially at Paramount and later at most other Hollywood studios. First, the bad news: TCM’s "Summer Under the Stars" Mary Boland Day will feature only two movies from Boland’s Paramount period: the 1935 Best Picture Academy Award nominee Ruggles of Red Gap, which TCM has shown before, and one TCM premiere. So, no rarities like Secrets of a Secretary, Mama Loves Papa, Melody in Spring,
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Gatsby Opening Weekend B.O.: Ahead or Behind Titanic?

Leonardo DiCaprio The Great Gatsby movie box office: DiCaprio’s second biggest opening ever — but trailing Titanic in ticket sales The Great Gatsby movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel earned $50.08m at the North American box office this past weekend, including $3.25 million from late Thursday night showings, according to weekend box-office actuals found at Box Office Mojo. Despite mostly poor reviews — The Great Gatsby has a 32% approval rating and 5.6/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes‘ top critics — the Baz Luhrmann-directed take on the love story between Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan’s Daisy Buchanan far surpassed the expectations of both distributor Warner Bros. and box-office pundits. In fact, The Great Gatsby trailed only Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man 3, which collected $72.52 million at the domestic box office this past weekend. (Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby.) Partly thanks to 3D surcharges and a strong female contingent of ticket-buyers,
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Gatsby to Become DiCaprio's Second Biggest Debut Weekend Ever?

Leonardo DiCaprio The Great Gatsby movie weekend box office: DiCaprio’s second biggest opening ever? (Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby, with Carey Mulligan) Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic 1920s novel. A risky move? Well, if so, it has clearly paid off. Although The Great Gatsby will not top the North American box office this weekend, it’ll land in a remarkably (and surprisingly) strong second slot. (Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby movie adaptation, with Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan.) Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man 3 will easily lead the domestic box-office charge with approximately $65-70m, after plummeting 71% on Friday, compared to the previous week. True, opening-day Friday also included the box-office take from Thursday late night showings, but, for comparison’s sake, The Avengers was down 64% during that same time frame.
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Luhrmann's Glitzy Gatsby Adaptation Way Overperforming at Us/Canada box office?

The Great Gatsby 2013 movie box office: Way overperforming? (Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby) The Great Gatsby 2013 movie adaptation directed by Baz Luhrmann, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan will not top the North American box office this weekend. That’s the not-so-good news. But then again, no one was expecting The Great Gatsby to soar past Robert Downey Jr’s special-effects-laden Iron Man 3. True, both movies are in 3D, but … maybe if Jay Gatsby’s hair gel were capable of blowing up all of New England or something, then it’d have had a chance. (Updated The Great Gatsby weekend box office estimate.) Now, the (really) good news: The Great Gatsby, with the assistance of 3D surcharges and a large percentage of female ticket-buyers, may open north of $50m at 3,525 North American locations, according to early, rough estimates found at Deadline.com. As per Deadline’s "sources,
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The Great Gatsby to open Cannes 2013

Director Baz Luhrmann hails 'great honour' for his 3D film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan

Baz Luhrmann's much-anticipated 3D take on The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald's romantic tale of the gilded jazz age, is to open the Cannes film festival.

The fourth adaptation of Fitzgerald's 1925 novel to hit the big screen stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role of Jay Gatsby, Spider-Man's Tobey Maguire as his wide-eyed confidant Nick Carraway and Britain's Carey Mulligan as manipulative socialite Daisy Buchanan. The drama, Luhrmann's follow-up to the poorly-received Australia, will open the 66th Festival de Cannes out-of-competition on 15 May.

"It is a great honour for all those who have worked on The Great Gatsby to open the Cannes film festival," Luhrmann said in a statement. "We are thrilled to return to a country, place and festival that has always been so close to our hearts, not only because my first film,
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Daily Briefing. Cinema Scope 50

  • MUBI
Yesterday was all about the Cannes lineup, so we've got quite a bit of news to catch up with today. First and foremost, Cinema Scope has relaunched its site with a healthy selection of pieces from Issue 50, which cinephiles lucky enough to be holding a print copy have been talking about for weeks now. Editor Mark Peranson: "So to commemorate 50 issues, I came up with the silly (not stupid) idea of deciding on the best 50 filmmakers currently working under the age of 50 (or the top, or the greatest — I've spent far too much time pondering this silly adjective). I'm anticipating heaps of criticism for this in the blogosphere, but I hope this leads to a little discussion outside of the pages of this magazine, and provides a snapshot of where cinema finds itself today."

20 of those 50 pieces are online. You'll find, for example, Raya Martin on Carlos Reygadas (and
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby Photo

Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, The Great Gatsby The first official The Great Gatsby pictures became available online a few days ago. Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, and Isla Fisher star in this latest big-screen version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's most famous novel. Moulin Rouge's Baz Luhrmann, who became major world news after injuring his head a week or so ago, directs. Set shortly after the end of World War I, The Great Gatsby is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway (Maguire), a returning war veteran who becomes part of the upper-class universe of Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio). There have been (at least) three previous The Great Gatsby adaptations for the big screen. A 1926 silent version is now lost. Only the trailer remains. Directed by future Oscar nominee Herbert Brenon, the silent starred future Oscar winner Warner Baxter as Jay Gatsby and Lois Wilson
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Lon Chaney Movie Schedule: The Phantom Of The Opera, Tell It To The Marines, Mr. Wu

Lon Chaney on TCM: He Who Gets Slapped, The Unknown, Mr. Wu Get ready for more extreme perversity in West of Zanzibar (1928), as Chaney abuses both Warner Baxter and Mary Nolan, while the great-looking Mr. Wu (1927) offers Chaney as a Chinese creep about to destroy the life of lovely Renée Adorée — one of the best and prettiest actresses of the 1920s. Adorée — who was just as effective in her few early talkies — died of tuberculosis in 1933. Also worth mentioning, the great John Arnold was Mr. Wu's cinematographer. I'm no fan of Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), or The Phantom of the Opera (1925), but Chaney's work in them — especially in Hunchback — is quite remarkable. I mean, his performances aren't necessarily great, but they're certainly unforgettable. Chaney's leading ladies — all of whom are in love with younger, better-looking men — are Loretta Young (Laugh, Clown, Laugh), Patsy Ruth Miller
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New York's "Essential Pre-Code" Series: Week 2

  • MUBI
Each year New York residents can look forward to two essential series programmed at the Film Forum, noirs and pre-Coders (that is, films made before the strict enforcing of the Motion Picture Production Code). These near-annual retrospective traditions are refreshed and re-varied and re-repeated for neophytes and cinephiles alike, giving all the chance to see and see again great film on film. Many titles in this year's Essential Pre-Code series, running an epic July 15 - August 11, are old favorites and some ache to be new discoveries; all in all there are far too many racy, slipshod, patter-filled celluloid splendors to be covered by one critic alone. Faced with such a bounty, I've enlisted the kind help of some friends and colleagues, asking them to sent in short pieces on their favorites in an incomplete but also in-progress survey and guide to one of the summer's most sought-after series. In this entry: what's playing Friday,
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Paulette Goddard Movie Schedule: An Ideal Husband, The Women

Paulette Goddard, Modern Times Paulette Goddard on TCM Part I: Modern Times, Reap The Wild Wind I've never watched Alexander Korda's British-made An Ideal Husband, a 1948 adaptation (by Lajos Biro) of Oscar Wilde's play, but it should be at least worth a look. The respectable cast includes Michael Wilding, Diana Wynyard, C. Aubrey Smith, Hugh Williams, Constance Collier, and Glynis Johns. George Cukor's film version of Clare Boothe Luce's hilarious The Women ("officially" adapted by Anita Loos and Jane Murfin) is definitely worth numerous looks; once or twice or even three times isn't/aren't enough to catch the machine-gun dialogue spewed forth by the likes of Goddard, Rosalind Russell, Joan Crawford, Mary Boland, Phyllis Povah, Lucile Watson, et al. A big hit at the time, The Women actually ended up in the red because of its high cost. Norma Shearer, aka The Widow Thalberg, was the nominal star; curiously,
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Olivia de Havilland TCM Schedule: To Each His Own, The Charge Of The Light Brigade

Olivia de Havilland on TCM: The Heiress, The Snake Pit Schedule (Pt) and synopses from the TCM website: 3:00 Am Charge Of The Light Brigade, The (1936) Two brothers love the same woman at a perilous Indian outpost. Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, David Niven. Dir: Michael Curtiz. Bw-116 mins. 5:00 Am Dodge City (1939) A soldier of fortune takes on the corrupt boss of a Western town. Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan. Dir: Michael Curtiz. C-104 mins. 7:00 Am Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The (1939) Elizabeth I’s love for the Earl of Essex threatens to destroy her kingdom. Cast: Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland. Dir: Michael Curtiz. Bw-106 mins. 9:00 Am Male Animal, The (1942) A college professor fights censorship and an amorous football player who’s after his wife. Cast: Henry Fonda, Olivia de Havilland, Jack Carson. Dir: Elliott Nugent. Bw-101 mins. 11:
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Robert Stack TCM Schedule

Robert Stack on TCM: The Tarnished Angels, The Mortal Storm Schedule (Pt) and synopses from the TCM website: 3:00 Am Date With Judy, A (1948) A teenager thinks her grandfather is involved with a fiery Latin singer. Cast: Wallace Beery, Jane Powell, Elizabeth Taylor. Dir: Richard Thorpe. C-113 mins. 5:00 Am Fighter Squadron (1948) A dedicated flyer pushes himself and those around him during a perilous World War II campaign. Cast: Edmond O’Brien, Robert Stack, Rock Hudson. Dir: Raoul Walsh. C-95 mins. 6:45 Am My Outlaw Brother (1951) A ranger tries to pry his brother from the Mexican bandit gang he’s joined. Cast: Mickey Rooney, Wanda Hendrix, Robert Stack. Dir: Elliott Nugent. Bw-82 mins. 8:15 Am Bwana Devil (1952) A British railway engineer in Kenya tries to capture the lions attacking his workers. Cast: Robert Stack, Barbara Britton, Nigel Bruce. Dir: Arch Oboler. C-79 mins. 9:45 Am Iron Glove, The (1954) [...]
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