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The Beginning or the End

Stop! Don't touch that dial... if you like your atom-age propaganda straight up, MGM has the movie for you, an expensive 1946 docu-drama that became 'the official story' for the making of the bomb. The huge cast includes Brian Donlevy, Robert Walker, Tom Drake, Audrey Totter, Hume Cronyn, Hurd Hatfield, and Joseph Calleia. How trustworthy is the movie? It begins by showing footage of a time capsule being buried -- that supposedly contains the film we are watching. Think about that. Mom, Apple Pie, the Flag and God are enlisted to argume that we should stop worrying and love the fact that bombs are just peachy-keen dandy. The Beginning or the End DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1947 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 112 min. / Street Date September 22, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Brian Donlevy, Robert Walker, Tom Drake, Beverly Tyler, Audrey Totter, Hume Cronyn, Hurd Hatfield, Joseph Calleia, Godfrey Tearle, Victor Francen,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Hiroshima 70th Anniversary: Six Must-Watch Movies Remembering the A-Bomb Terror

'The Beginning or the End' 1947 with Robert Walker and Tom Drake. Hiroshima bombing 70th anniversary: Six movies dealing with the A-bomb terror Seventy years ago, on Aug. 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. Ultimately, anywhere between 70,000 and 140,000 people died – in addition to dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and most other living beings in that part of the world. Three days later, America dropped a second atomic bomb, this time over Nagasaki. Human deaths in this other city totaled anywhere between 40,000-80,000. For obvious reasons, the evisceration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been a quasi-taboo in American films. After all, in the last 75 years Hollywood's World War II movies, from John Farrow's Wake Island (1942) and Mervyn LeRoy's Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) to Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor (2001), almost invariably have presented a clear-cut vision
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

DVD Review: "Callaway Went Thataway" (1951) Starring Fred MacMurray, Dorothy McGuire And Howard Keel; Warner Archives Release

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

The Warner Archive has released the 1951 comedy Callaway Went Thataway. The film is a low-key but delightful tale that has more than a wisp of Frank Capra in its story line. The movie opens with a montage of scenes showing young boys and girls glued to their television sets as they watch the adventures of singing cowboy Smoky Callaway (Howard Keel). They don't realize they are actually viewing old "B" movies from the 1930s. Not that it matters. Callaway has found a new audience with a younger generation and they have made him America's favorite TV hero in these early days of the medium.(Since so many households did not have televisions in 1951, the film shows a common sight during this era: people crowded around department store windows to watch TV broadcasts). Network brass and sponsors immediately want to keep the gold train rolling by initiating more new films starring Smoky.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Italian Actress Virna Lisi Dies At 78

Italian Actress Virna Lisi Dies At 78
Rome – Italian actress Virna Lisi who played memorable roles in European and Hollywood films including 1965 comedy classic “How To Murder Your Wife,” with Jack Lemmon, in which she famously pops out of wedding cake wearing a bikini, and also a masterfully maleficent queen in Patrice Chereau’s “La Reine Margot,” died in Rome on Thursday. She was 78.

Lisi had been recently diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer, according to Italian press reports.

Born in Ancona 1936 as Virna Pieralisi, she began her film career as a teenager in 1953, initially thanks to her stunning looks. Her increasingly important parts in Italian postwar pics include 1957 drama “La Donna Del Giorno,” 1963 crimer “Il Delitto” Dupre, with Alain Delon, and Mario Monicelli’s 1965 Italo comedy classic “Casanova ’70’,” in which she co-starred with Marcello Mastroianni.

In 1965 Lisi was put under contract by Paramount. She debuted in Hollywood as a blue-eyed temptress opposite Jack Lemmon in
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Several of Grant's Best Films Tonight on TCM

Cary Grant movies: 'An Affair to Remember' does justice to its title (photo: Cary Grant ca. late 1940s) Cary Grant excelled at playing Cary Grant. This evening, fans of the charming, sophisticated, debonair actor -- not to be confused with the Bristol-born Archibald Leach -- can rejoice, as no less than eight Cary Grant movies are being shown on Turner Classic Movies, including a handful of his most successful and best-remembered star vehicles from the late '30s to the late '50s. (See also: "Cary Grant Classic Movies" and "Cary Grant and Randolph Scott: Gay Lovers?") The evening begins with what may well be Cary Grant's best-known film, An Affair to Remember. This 1957 romantic comedy-melodrama is unusual in that it's an even more successful remake of a previous critical and box-office hit -- the Academy Award-nominated 1939 release Love Affair -- and that it was directed
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

AFI Fest 2013 Announces Full Program

AFI Fest 2013 presented by Audi, a program of the American Film Institute, today announced the remaining sections and films that will screen in the festival’s World Cinema, American Independents, Breakthrough, Midnight, Cinema’s Legacy and Presentations programs. AFI Fest, which redefines Hollywood today as a place where icons and emerging artists bring audiences together to experience global cinema in the movie capital of the world, will take place November 7 through 14 at the historic Tcl Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

World Cinema showcases the most anticipated and prize-winning international films of the year, the American Independents section features work by U.S. filmmakers, Breakthrough highlights work discovered only through the blind submission process, Midnight’s selections tend toward the macabre and Cinema’s Legacy highlights restorations and classic films.

This year’s program includes the return of several filmmakers to AFI Fest
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

AFI Fest rounds out programme

  • ScreenDaily
AFI Fest rounds out programme
Festival top brass have announced the outstanding World Cinema, American Independents, Breakthrough, Midnight, Cinema’s Legacy and Presentations programmes.

The AFI Fest is scheduled to run from November 7-14 in Hollywood’s Tcl Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

The complete programme includes 119 films (83 features, 36 shorts), representing 43 countries. Twenty-seven films are directed or co-directed by women as are 10 documentaries.

For the fifth consecutive year, AFI Fest will offer free tickets to all screenings, however only the Cinepass Express will provide priority entry to all regular screenings. For the complete programme visit the official site.

World Cinema SelectionsBaby Blues Kasia Rosłaniec (Poland)Bethlehem Yuval Adler (Israel)Borgman Alex van Warmerdam (Neth-Bel-Den)Child’s Pose Călin Peter Netzer (Romania)Closed Curtain Jafar Panahi, Kamboziya Partovi (Iran)The Congress Ari Folman (Isr-Ger-Pol-Lux)An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker Danis Tanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina-France-Slovenia)Exhibition Joanna Hogg (UK)Gabrielle Louise Archambault (Canada
See full article at ScreenDaily »

AFI Fest Completes Lineup, Includes 15 Foreign Language Oscar Candidates

AFI Fest Completes Lineup, Includes 15 Foreign Language Oscar Candidates
The AFI Fest has unveiled the remainder of its lineup for the Nov. 7-14 event, encompassing 119 films representing 43 countries.

The fest, a program of the American Film Institute, will include the World Cinema, American Independents, Breakthrough, Midnight, Cinema’s Legacy and Presentations programs and include 83 features and 36 shorts. The lineup includes 27 films directed/co-directed by women, 10 documentaries and 14 films representing the work of 54 AFI alumni.

The fest has previously announced its galas, which include “Saving Mr. Banks” as its opening night film and “Inside Llewyn Davis” as the closing night title.

The films from AFI alums include “Breathe In” from writer-director Drake Doremus; “La Jaula de Oro” by producer-director-writer Diego Quemada-Diez; “We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place” from producer Brian Udovich and director Zeke Hawkins; and “Machsom” from director Bayard Outerbridge (AFI Class of 2012).

The fest will be held at the Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

All-American Dad at His Movie Best as the All-American Crook

Fred MacMurray movies: ‘Double Indemnity,’ ‘There’s Always Tomorrow’ Fred MacMurray is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" today, Thursday, August 7, 2013. Although perhaps best remembered as the insufferable All-American Dad on the long-running TV show My Three Sons and in several highly popular Disney movies from 1959 to 1967, e.g., The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Boy Voyage!, MacMurray was immeasurably more interesting as the All-American Jerk. (Photo: Fred MacMurray ca. 1940.) Someone once wrote that Fred MacMurray would have been an ideal choice to star in a biopic of disgraced Republican president Richard Nixon. Who knows, the (coincidentally Republican) MacMurray might have given Anthony Hopkins a run for his Best Actor Academy Award nomination. After all, MacMurray’s most admired movie performances are those in which he plays a scheming, conniving asshole: Billy Wilder’s classic film noir Double Indemnity (1944), in which he’s seduced by Barbara Stanwyck, and Wilder
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

From Swordfights in Paris to Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima: Parker Evening

Eleanor Parker today: Beautiful as ever in Scaramouche, Interrupted Melody Eleanor Parker, who turns 91 in ten days (June 26, 2013), can be seen at her most radiantly beautiful in several films Turner Classic Movies is showing this evening and tomorrow morning as part of their Star of the Month Eleanor Parker "tribute." Among them are the classic Scaramouche, the politically delicate Above and Beyond, and the biopic Interrupted Melody, which earned Parker her third and final Best Actress Academy Award nomination. (Photo: publicity shot of Eleanor Parker in Scaramouche.) The best of the lot is probably George Sidney’s balletic Scaramouche (1952), in which Eleanor Parker plays one of Stewart Granger’s love interests — the other one is Janet Leigh. A loose remake of Rex Ingram’s 1923 blockbuster, the George Sidney version features plenty of humor, romance, and adventure; vibrant colors (cinematography by Charles Rosher); an elaborately staged climactic swordfight; and tough dudes
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

DGA Awards vs. Academy Awards: Odd Men Out Jack Clayton, David Lean, Stanley Donen

Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi in Oscar nominee (but not DGA nominee) David Lean's Summertime DGA Awards vs. Academy Awards 1948-1952: Odd Men Out George Cukor, John Huston, Vincente Minnelli 1953 DGA (12) Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, Above and Beyond Walter Lang, Call Me Madam Daniel Mann, Come Back, Little Sheba Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Julius Caesar Henry Koster, The Robe Jean Negulesco, Titanic George Sidney, Young Bess DGA/AMPAS George Stevens, Shane Charles Walters, Lili Billy Wilder, Stalag 17 William Wyler, Roman Holiday Fred Zinnemann, From Here to Eternity   1954 DGA (16) Edward Dmytryk, The Caine Mutiny Alfred Hitchcock, Dial M for Murder Robert Wise, Executive Suite Anthony Mann, The Glenn Miller Story Samuel Fuller, Hell and High Water Henry King, King of Khyber Rifles Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, Knock on Wood Don Siegel, Riot in Cell Block 11 Stanley Donen, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers George Cukor, A Star Is Born Jean Negulesco,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Howard Keel Movie Schedule: Kismet, Lovely To Look At, Floods Of Fear

Howard Keel on TCM Pt.2: Rose Marie, Pagan Love Song, Callaway Went Thataway Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am Desperate Search (1953) A man fights to find his children after their plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. Dir: Joseph Lewis. Cast: Howard Keel, Jane Greer, Patricia Medina. Bw-71 mins. 7:15 Am Fast Company (1953) The heiress to a racing stable uncovers underhanded dealings. Dir: John Sturges. Cast: Howard Keel, Polly Bergen, Marjorie Main. Bw-68 mins. 8:30 Am Kismet (1955) In this Arabian Nights musical "king of the beggars" infiltrates high society when his daughter is wooed by a handsome prince. Dir: Vincente Minnelli. Cast: Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Dolores Gray. C-113 mins, Letterbox Format. 10:30 Am Rose Marie (1954) A trapper's daughter is torn between the Mountie who wants to civilize her and a dashing prospector. Dir: Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Ann Blyth, Howard Keel, Fernando Lamas, Bert Lahr, Marjorie Main.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Howard Keel on TCM: Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate

Jane Powell, Howard Keel, and fellow Seven Brides for Seven Brothers cast members Howard Keel, best remembered for MGM musicals such as Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, is Turner Classic Movies' next-to-last "Summer Under the Stars" star. On Tuesday, August 30, TCM will be presenting 14 Howard Keel movies, including one TCM premiere — Charles Crichton's British crime drama Floods of Fear. (TCM had initially announced another premiere, the 1948 British drama The Small Voice, starring Valerie Hobson and James Donald; instead, as per its website TCM will be showing — once again — the 1951 comedy Three Guys Named Mike, starring Jane Wyman.) [Howard Keel Movie Schedule.] Tall, baritone-voiced, and handsome, Howard Keel could at times be a quite effective actor, whether in comedies (Callaway Went Thataway, when not singing in Annie Get Your Gun, Calamity Jane and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) or in dramas (the Western Ride, Vaquero!, when not singing
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blu-Ray Review: ‘White Christmas’ Remains Holiday Favorite For Millions

Chicago – Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye was the #1 film of 1954 and has become an annual favorite for millions of families all the way back to the days before VHS. Paramount has released the musical charmer on Blu-ray with new special features along with a snowy 2-disc holiday DVD edition for those still waiting for Santa to bring them a Blu-ray player. Dream of a “White Christmas” in HD.

Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

First, a little history. The film “White Christmas” is not the origin of the song that gave it a title. It was reportedly sung before “Holiday Inn,” a 1942 film with Crosby, but that’s the film that made it popular (and, actually, a better flick than “White Christmas,” which is something of a remake of “Holiday Inn”). With its longing for home, the song took off during World War II and won the Oscar for Best Original Song.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Thin Red Lines, Black Metal and More New DVDs

  • IFC
A look at what's new on DVD today:

"The Thin Red Line" (1998)

Directed by Terrence Malick

Released by Criterion Collection

No, you won't be getting the hours of deleted Adrien Brody or George Clooney footage from Malick's World War II epic, but this Criterion version is most certainly an upgrade from the previous bare-bones DVD edition with 14 minutes of outtakes, new interviews with Sean Penn and composer Hans Zimmer, among others from the cast and crew, an audio commentary with cinematographer John Toll, production designer Jack Fisk and producer Grant Hill and more.

"7 Days" (2010)

Directed by Daniel Grou

Released by Mpi Home Video

French Canadian horror author Patrick Senécal adapts his own novel to celluloid about a doctor (Claude Legault) who intercepts the man (Remy Girard) who raped and murdered his young daughter and turns the tables on him in a cabin in the woods. With a résumé including TV series like "Vampire High,
See full article at IFC »

More Great Stocking Stuffers

'Billy Elliot,' Original London Cast, Decca BroadwayAfter a three-year wait, the London hit has reached New York and looks to repeat its effervescent success on Broadway. There will be no local cast recording, as the West End version is considered completely representative. Haydn Gwynne, imported for the New York production, is heard here, but the Billy — one of the initial three — is Liam Mower. The group number "Solidarity" is solid; so is "Expressing Yourself." The common wisdom has it that composer Elton John (Lee Hall is the lyricist) writes better when rocking, but he upends that canard on a bonus CD by turning "Electricity" into a superlative show tune.'The Gig,' Original York Theatre Company Cast, Jay RecordsThe musical comedy gods finally smile on Douglas J. Cohen's adaptation of Frank D. Gilroy's film tribute to male bonding and middle-age crises. This long-overdue recording is another step in establishing the tuner,
See full article at Backstage »

Are We Done Yet?

Are We Done Yet?
This review was written for the theatrical release of "Are We Done Yet?"

Mr. Cube builds his dream house in "Are We Done Yet?" which essentially takes the "Are We There Yet?" characters and grafts them into the basic plot line for the classic RKO comedy "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," in which Cary Grant played Mr. Blandings, a man who predated "Green Acres' " Oliver Douglas by a couple of decades.

While the refurbished version would never be taken as an improvement over the original, it makes for a generally inoffensive hour-and-a-half, and with a certifiably gonzo John C. McGinley providing the bulk of the laughs, it is definitely less obnoxious than those "Cheaper by the Dozen" remakes.

It also is better than the 2005 Ice Cube comedy that still managed to gross a highly respectable $82 million. Given the new film's pre-Easter weekend release strategy, it should play well with kids and home improvement fanatics, though others could find themselves relating to the title on more than one occasion.

The last time we saw Ice Cube's Nick Persons, he was trapped in an SUV with two kids traveling from Portland to Vancouver. Now fully domesticated, Nick, his bride, Suzanne (Nia Long), and her two growing children (Aleisha Allen, Philip Daniel Bolden) are finding his former bachelor pad a little cramped, and with twins on the way, bigger quarters are required sooner rather than later.

They find the sprawling house of their dreams in the rural Pacific Northwest (courtesy of British Columbia), which affords lots of fresh air and lakeside views. It also proves to be a major money pit, but Persons is so taken in by a local real estate agent's ("Scrubs" regular McGinley) slick sales pitch, he fails to notice all the telltale signs.

As it turns out, McGinley's ingratiating Chuck Mitchell Jr. wears a number of hats, including building inspector and contractor, and before Nick knows what has hit him, Chuck has moved his Airstream trailer into the Persons' yard to oversee the neverending renovations.

Directed by Steve Carr, who helmed Ice Cube's "Next Friday", and adapted by Hank Nelken ("Saving Silverman"), the picture delivers the requisite number of pratfalls, and the genial Ice Cube makes for a credibly hapless everyman, but the comedy still feels a little too safely soft around the edges. A little more inspiration could have made it something enjoyable instead of simply innocuous.

Visually, cinematographer Jack Green, a frequent Clint Eastwood collaborator, effectively captures all those unobstructed, picture-perfect vistas. Production designer Nina Ruscio rightfully lends the house a distinctive character of its own.

Should the Persons family return for another sequel, here's hoping they at least don't take another dip into the RKO vault and turn "Citizen Kane" into "Are We Rich Yet?"

ARE WE DONE YET?

Columbia Pictures

Revolution Studios presents an RKO Pictures/Cube Vision production

Credits:

Director: Steve Carr

Screenwriter: Hank Nelken

Based on characters created by: Steven Gary Banks, Claudio Grazioso

Based on the motion picture "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," screenplay by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank

Producers: Ted Hartley, Ice Cube, Matt Alvarez, Todd Garner

Executive producers: Heidi Santelli, Aaron Ray, Steve Carr, Derek Dauchy, Neil Machlis

Director of photography: Jack Green

Production designer: Nina Ruscio

Editor: Craig P. Herring

Music: Teddy Castellucci

Cast:

Nick Persons: Ice Cube

Suzanne Persons: Nia Long

Chuck Mitchell Jr.: John C. McGinley

Lindsey Persons: Aleisha Allen

Kevin Persons: Philip Daniel Bolden

Running time -- 92 minutes

MPAA rating: PG

Are We Done Yet?

Are We Done Yet?
Mr. Cube builds his dream house in Are We Done Yet? which essentially takes the Are We There Yet? characters and grafts them into the basic plot line for the classic RKO comedy Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, in which Cary Grant played Mr. Blandings, a man who predated "Green Acres' " Oliver Douglas by a couple of decades.

While the refurbished version would never be taken as an improvement over the original, it makes for a generally inoffensive hour-and-a-half, and with a certifiably gonzo John C. McGinley providing the bulk of the laughs, it is definitely less obnoxious than those Cheaper by the Dozen remakes.

It also is better than the 2005 Ice Cube comedy that still managed to gross a highly respectable $82 million. Given the new film's pre-Easter weekend release strategy, it should play well with kids and home improvement fanatics, though others could find themselves relating to the title on more than one occasion.

The last time we saw Ice Cube's Nick Persons, he was trapped in an SUV with two kids traveling from Portland to Vancouver. Now fully domesticated, Nick, his bride, Suzanne (Nia Long), and her two growing children (Aleisha Allen, Philip Daniel Bolden) are finding his former bachelor pad a little cramped, and with twins on the way, bigger quarters are required sooner rather than later.

They find the sprawling house of their dreams in the rural Pacific Northwest (courtesy of British Columbia), which affords lots of fresh air and lakeside views. It also proves to be a major money pit, but Persons is so taken in by a local real estate agent's (Scrubs regular McGinley) slick sales pitch, he fails to notice all the telltale signs.

As it turns out, McGinley's ingratiating Chuck Mitchell Jr. wears a number of hats, including building inspector and contractor, and before Nick knows what has hit him, Chuck has moved his Airstream trailer into the Persons' yard to oversee the neverending renovations.

Directed by Steve Carr, who helmed Ice Cube's Next Friday, and adapted by Hank Nelken (Saving Silverman), the picture delivers the requisite number of pratfalls, and the genial Ice Cube makes for a credibly hapless everyman, but the comedy still feels a little too safely soft around the edges. A little more inspiration could have made it something enjoyable instead of simply innocuous.

Visually, cinematographer Jack Green, a frequent Clint Eastwood collaborator, effectively captures all those unobstructed, picture-perfect vistas. Production designer Nina Ruscio rightfully lends the house a distinctive character of its own.

Should the Persons family return for another sequel, here's hoping they at least don't take another dip into the RKO vault and turn Citizen Kane into "Are We Rich Yet?"

ARE WE DONE YET?

Columbia Pictures

Revolution Studios presents an RKO Pictures/Cube Vision production

Credits:

Director: Steve Carr

Screenwriter: Hank Nelken

Based on characters created by: Steven Gary Banks, Claudio Grazioso

Based on the motion picture "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," screenplay by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank

Producers: Ted Hartley, Ice Cube, Matt Alvarez, Todd Garner

Executive producers: Heidi Santelli, Aaron Ray, Steve Carr, Derek Dauchy, Neil Machlis

Director of photography: Jack Green

Production designer: Nina Ruscio

Editor: Craig P. Herring

Music: Teddy Castellucci

Cast:

Nick Persons: Ice Cube

Suzanne Persons: Nia Long

Chuck Mitchell Jr.: John C. McGinley

Lindsey Persons: Aleisha Allen

Kevin Persons: Philip Daniel Bolden

Running time -- 92 minutes

MPAA rating: PG

See also

Credited With | External Sites