5 items from 2013
A mathematical formula is only useful if it confirms what the observer knows to be empirically true, like two plus two is four. Applying that logic to something more complex, if I told you that I had a system that could quantify and rank the biggest movie stars of all time, you would be immediately skeptical if my calculations insisted the top 3 were Emilio Estevez, Burt Reynolds, and George Raft. All three actors were stars, of course, but clearly, my movie-star algorithm has a few kinks.
So when Forbes magazine announced that Tim Tebow is the Most Influential Athlete in America, »
- Jeff Labrecque
With the words, "I never play over twenty-eight," Mae West supposedly ruled herself out of consideration for the role of Norma Desmond in Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd. It's hard to work out why she was considered, since she had no associating with silent cinema, but perhaps at that stage the character was pre-Code rather than pre-sound. At any rate, Gloria Swanson took the role and enjoyed a renaissance, in the process obscuring the fact that she had enjoyed some brief success in early talkies (including one co-written by Wilder).
Maybe West just seemed like someone who wouldn't be shy about playing love scenes with a younger man. Much, much younger. She got her chance to prove this in Myra Breckinridge (1970), at the age of at least seventy-six. It's a moronic adaptation of Gore Vidal, directed by a British actor whose big idea was to make the whole thing a dream sequence. »
- David Cairns
Patty Andrews: Last Surviving member of The Andrews Sisters dead at 94 Patty Andrews, the lead vocalist and last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters musical trio, died of "natural causes" earlier today at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge, in the San Fernando Valley. Andrews, who was also the youngest sister, was 94. (Photo: The Andrews Sisters: Laverne Andrews, Patty Andrews, Maxene Andrews.) Born in Minnesota into a Greek-Norwegian family, the Andrews Sisters began their show business career in the early ’30s, while both Maxene and Patty were still teenagers. Their first big hit came out in 1938: the English version of the Yiddish song "Bei Mir Bistu Shein" (aka "Bei mir bist du schön"), with lyrics — "To me, you’re grand" — by Sammy Cahn and Saul Chaplin. (The song made into the movies that same year, but Warner Bros. star Priscilla Lane is the one singing it in Love, »
- Andre Soares
Whether you think of Warner Bros. as the studio that gave you talking pictures, Bugs Bunny, Bogart, or Batman, you have to acknowledge the studio's place at the forefront of Hollywood history. Indeed, it'll be hard to avoid acknowledging it this year, as the studio will be spending 2013 celebrating its 90th birthday. The celebration kicks off with the release of two massive boxed sets of 50-plus discs each, both entitled the "Best of Warner Bros." -- a 100-film set of DVDs and a 50-film set of Blu-rays. Both sets encompass the studio's milestones of the entire sound film era, which Warners itself kicked off in 1927 with the release of "The Jazz Singer." (The sets go all the way up to the 2010 classic-to-be "Inception.") As familiar as these movies are, there's still plenty you may not know about the legendary movie studio, from who the actual Warner Brothers were, to the stars the studio minted, »
- Gary Susman
At the risk of stating the obvious and redundant, there are a lot of directors out there and so this series could merrily run for years, but in the interests of avoiding modern-centricity (yes, it’s a word. I know it is because I thought of it just now) let’s tuck into the resumé of Howard Hawks, who covered an astonishing amount of ground during his 44-year career, not only navigating the stylistic transition to sound, but moving from genre to genre while still delivering some of the best-regarded films of those genres.
Crime films, screwball comedies, westerns, melodrama – a truly versatile director who has left a CV peppered with bona fide classics. If you’re not sure, let me show you…………..
We have to start here. Not necessarily because it is his best film (though if it is not, it cannot be far off) but »
- Dave Roper
5 items from 2013
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