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4 items from 2011

Forgotten Pre-Codes: "Sing and Like It" (1934)

8 December 2011 6:04 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Part of a series by David Cairns on forgotten pre-Code films. 

"Crime must not pay" is one of the most debilitating rules the Hays Code imposed on Hollywood. It's relatively easy for a filmmaker to work around crazy bans on words ("pregnant"), body parts (gone, all those extreme-longshot buttocks) or gestures (Frank McHugh raises a finger in Parachute Jumper), but when a philosophical ideal is given the weight of narrative law, cinema is forced back into the nursery. The filmmakers operating under this draconian blue pencil developed devious skills to bypass rulings and imply rather than say the unsayable, and it arguably helped their craft, but at the same time, certain kinds of stories just become impossible to tell honestly.

And certain kinds of fun were ruled out too, like much of what happens in Sing and Like It, directed by the lightly likable William A. Seiter, who clocked up well over a hundred films, »

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TCM To Present World Television Premiere Of Stanley Kubrick.s Rarely Seen First Film, Fear And Desire

5 December 2011 5:54 AM, PST | | See recent news »

Allegorical War Drama Highlights TCM.s Dec. 14 Salute

to The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is set to make movie history this December when it presents the world television premiere of Fear and Desire (1953), the rarely seen debut film by legendary director Stanley Kubrick. Premiering Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. (Et), the allegorical war drama from the director of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and The Shining (1980) will be the centerpiece of an extraordinary 24-hour marathon honoring the preservation efforts of the Motion Picture Department at George Eastman House. TCM host Robert Osborne will be joined by Jared Case, Head of Cataloguing and Access at George Eastman House, to present 15 cinematic rarities from one of the country.s leading moving-image archives.

TCM.s Dec. 14 salute to the Motion Picture Collection at George Eastman House will begin at 6:15 a.m. (Et) with The Blue Bird »

- Michelle McCue

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Carole Lombard Movie Schedule: Mr. And Mrs. Smith, Vigil In The Night, In Name Only

28 August 2011 3:54 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Carole Lombard on TCM: My Man Godfrey, Nothing Sacred, The Racketeer Mitchell Leisen's Hands Across the Table (1935) would have been more enjoyable had Carole Lombard ended up with Ralph Bellamy instead of Fred MacMurray. In fact, MacMurray's obnoxious Average Joe portrayal — who comes across as the Average Jerk instead — all but destroys the film. His character should have gone to, once again, Melvyn Douglas, Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant, Brian Aherne, Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Edward G. Robinson, Bela Lugosi, Ginger Rogers, May Robson, or just about anyone else in Hollywood at that time. I haven't watched Vigil in the Night (1940), a melodrama about two sisters/nurses that isn't considered one of George Stevens' best. The cast, however, is good: in addition to Lombard, there are Brian Aherne and Anne Shirley. Vigil in the Night is also of interest in that it's one of Lombard's rare post-1935 non-comedic roles. »

- Andre Soares

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dvd watch: Classic Comedies...Imported!

13 April 2011 9:30 PM, PDT | Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy | See recent Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy news »

ZaSu Pitts and Thelma Todd, Hal Roach’s distaff comedy duo. I never thought I would own copies of rare Hal Roach comedies of the 1920s and 30s in a series of meticulously-produced DVDs…and I certainly never expected the source to be a German film archive! Filmmuseum of Munich has crafted two notable collections of silent and sound comedies, one featuring Roach’s female comedy stars (Anita Garvin & Marion Byron, from the silent period, and Thelma Todd with partners ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly, from the sound era) and the other spotlighting long-neglected comedian Max Davidson. The Davidson two-reelers are rare,… »

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