Barbara Pepper - News Poster

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Norma Shearer films Note: This article is being revised and expanded. Please check back later. Turner Classic Movies' Norma Shearer month comes to a close this evening, Nov. 24, '15, with the presentation of the last six films of Shearer's two-decade-plus career. Two of these are remarkably good; one is schizophrenic, a confused mix of high comedy and low drama; while the other three aren't the greatest. Yet all six are worth a look even if only because of Norma Shearer herself – though, really, they all have more to offer than just their top star. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke, the no-expense-spared Marie Antoinette (1938) – $2.9 million, making it one of the most expensive movies ever made up to that time – stars the Canadian-born Queen of MGM as the Austrian-born Queen of France. This was Shearer's first film in two years (following Romeo and Juliet) and her first release following husband Irving G.
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Queen of MGM: Fighting Revolutionaries, Nazis, and Joan Crawford

Norma Shearer films Note: This article is being revised and expanded. Please check back later. Turner Classic Movies' Norma Shearer month comes to a close this evening, Nov. 24, '15, with the presentation of the last six films of Shearer's two-decade-plus career. Two of these are remarkably good; one is schizophrenic, a confused mix of high comedy and low drama; while the other three aren't the greatest. Yet all six are worth a look even if only because of Norma Shearer herself – though, really, they all have more to offer than just their top star. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke, the no-expense-spared Marie Antoinette (1938) – $2.9 million, making it one of the most expensive movies ever made up to that time – stars the Canadian-born Queen of MGM as the Austrian-born Queen of France. This was Shearer's first film in two years (following Romeo and Juliet) and her first release following husband Irving G.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

MGM's Lioness, the Epitome of Hollywood Superstardom, Has Her Day on TCM

Joan Crawford Movie Star Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and The Taxi Dancer (1927), and check her out in the more easily accessible The Unknown (1927) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928). By the early '30s, Joan Crawford had become a first-rate film actress, far more naturalistic than
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Class Disparities and Prostitution Tackled in Early Female Director's Drama

Pioneering woman director Lois Weber socially conscious drama 'Shoes' among Library of Congress' Packard Theater movies (photo: Mary MacLaren in 'Shoes') In February 2015, National Film Registry titles will be showcased at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus Theater – aka the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation – in Culpeper, Virginia. These range from pioneering woman director Lois Weber's socially conscious 1916 drama Shoes to Robert Zemeckis' 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future. Another Packard Theater highlight next month is Sam Peckinpah's ultra-violent Western The Wild Bunch (1969), starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine. Also, Howard Hawks' "anti-High Noon" Western Rio Bravo (1959), toplining John Wayne and Dean Martin. And George Cukor's costly remake of A Star Is Born (1954), featuring Academy Award nominees Judy Garland and James Mason in the old Janet Gaynor and Fredric March roles. There's more: Jeff Bridges delivers a colorful performance in
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Rex Harrison hat on TCM: ‘My Fair Lady,’ ‘Anna and the King of SiamRex Harrison is Turner Classic Movies’ final "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 31, 2013. TCM is currently showing George Cukor’s lavish My Fair Lady (1964), an Academy Award-winning musical that has (in my humble opinion) unfairly lost quite a bit of its prestige in the last several decades. Rex Harrison, invariably a major ham whether playing Saladin, the King of Siam, Julius Caesar, the ghost of a dead sea captain, or Richard Burton’s lover, is for once flawlessly cast as Professor Henry Higgins, who on stage transformed Julie Andrews from cockney duckling to diction-master swan and who in the movie version does the same for Audrey Hepburn. Harrison, by the way, was the year’s Best Actor Oscar winner. (See also: "Audrey Hepburn vs. Julie Andrews: Biggest Oscar Snubs.") Following My Fair Lady, Rex Harrison
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McDaniel TCM Schedule Includes Her Biggest Personal Hits

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,
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Forget Hitchcock's Vertigo: Tonight the Greatest Movie About Obsessive Desire

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
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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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Green Acres: A New Musical in the Works

There was talk of a new Green Acres TV series a few years back but that project seems to have stalled. Now, there's talk of bringing the community of Hooterville to Broadway in a new musical.

Green Acres debuted in 1965 on CBS as a spin-off of The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction. The sitcom follows NY lawyer Oliver Douglas (Eddie Albert) as he moves to live his life-long fantasy of being a farmer. His glamorous and bubble-headed wife Lisa (Eva Gabor) is dragged unwillingly from her sophisticated life to live in a ramshackle farm in Hooterville. The bizarre small town is populated by a wide variety of eccentric characters like dim-witted farmhand Eb Dawson (Tom Lester), oily salesman Mr. Haney (Pat Buttram), scatterbrained county agent Hank Kimball (Alvy Moore), elderly farmers Fred and Doris Ziffel (Hank Patterson and Barbara Pepper, later Fran Ryan) and their "son," Arnold
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Green Acres: Original Series Director Wants to Continue Classic Sitcom

It's been over three decades since Green Acres went off the air. Is it time to go back to country life in Hooterville?

Green Acres debuted on September 15, 1965 on CBS as a spin-off of The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction. The sitcom followed New York attorney Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert) as he lived out his life-long fantasy of being a farmer. His glamorous and ditzy wife Lisa (Eva Gabor) was dragged unwillingly from her sophisticated life to live in a ramshackle farm in Hooterville. The bizarre small town was populated by a wide variety of eccentric characters like dimwitted farmhand Eb Dawson (Tom Lester), oily salesman Mr. Haney (Pat Buttram), scatterbrained county agent Hank Kimball (Alvy Moore), elderly farmers Fred and Doris Ziffel (Hank Patterson and Barbara Pepper, later Fran Ryan) and their "son," Arnold the pig.

Like Hillbillies and Junction, Acres became incredibly popular and the show ran for 170 episodes.
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

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