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More 4th of July Escapism: Small-Town Iowa and Declaration of Independence Musicals

More 4th of July Escapism: Small-Town Iowa and Declaration of Independence Musicals
(See previous post: Fourth of July Movies: Escapism During a Weird Year.) On the evening of the Fourth of July, besides fireworks, fire hazards, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, if you're watching TCM in the U.S. and Canada, there's the following: Peter H. Hunt's 1776 (1972), a largely forgotten film musical based on the Broadway hit with music by Sherman Edwards. William Daniels, who was recently on TCM talking about 1776 and a couple of other movies (A Thousand Clowns, Dodsworth), has one of the key roles as John Adams. Howard Da Silva, blacklisted for over a decade after being named a communist during the House Un-American Committee hearings of the early 1950s (Robert Taylor was one who mentioned him in his testimony), plays Benjamin Franklin. Ken Howard is Thomas Jefferson, a role he would reprise in John Huston's 1976 short Independence. (In the short, Pat Hingle was cast as John Adams; Eli Wallach was Benjamin Franklin.) Warner
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TCM Remembers WB Actress Who Would Become Broadway Star

Canadian-born actress Alexis Smith (born 1921) would have turned 96 years old today, June 8. Turner Classic Movies is celebrating her birthday by presenting nine of her movies, mostly during her time as a Warner Bros. contract player. In addition to Michael Curtiz's box office hit Night and Day, a highly fictionalized Cole Porter biopic starring Cary Grant as a heterosexual version of the famed gay composer. Night and Day is being shown as part of TCM's Gay Pride Month celebration. Alexis Smith died on June 9, 1993, the day after she turned 72. After her film career petered out in the 1950s, she went on to receive acclaim on the Broadway stage, making sporadic film appearances all the way to the year of her death. Smith's last film appearance was in a minor supporting role in Martin Scorsese's overly genteel period drama The Age of Innocence (1993), starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Judy by the Numbers: "I Don't Care"

Though nobody foresaw it at the time, 1948 was a major turning point in what would be Judy Garland’s last few years at MGM. After the one-two Freed Unit punch of Easter Parade and Words and Music at the beginning of 1948, Judy was supposed to head straight into her third Arthur Freed film,The Barkleys of Broadway. With Fred Astaire coaxed out of retirement, the duo of Astaire and Garland looked to be a new box office guarantee. Unfortunately, what wasn’t a guarantee was Judy’s health. After two months of rehearsal, Judy backed out of The Barkleys of Broadway, to be replaced by Ginger Rogers. This decision sounded the death knell for her partnership with Arthur Freed, the producer who had created the Judy Garland formula. Judy was too tired, too thin, and too weak to go on filming, until another producer from her past swooped back into the picture: Joe Pasternak.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood

Banished by Josef Goebbels and threatened by the Reich, the creative core of the German film industry found itself in sunny Los Angeles, many not speaking English but determined to carry on as writers, directors and actors. More than simply surviving, they made a profound impact on Hollywood moviemaking. Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 2009 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 117 min. / Street Date April 12, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Cinematography Joan Churchill, Emil Fischhaber Film Editor Anny Lowery Meza Original Music Peter Melnick Written, Produced and Directed by Karen Thomas

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood is the perfect docu to introduce people to the way film and world history are intertwined... and also to generate interest in older movies and classic cinema. Instead of a story about the making of movies, it's about a fascinating group of filmmakers forced to abandon
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Her Majesty, Love

It's the final Hollywood film by the legendary Ziegfeld star Marilyn Miller, and it's also a terrific talkie feature debut for W.C. Fields -- with one of his dazzling juggling bits. But the real star is director William Dieterle, whose moving camera and creative edits rescue the talkie musical from dreary operetta staging. Her Majesty, Love DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1931 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 75 min. / Street Date January 19, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Marilyn Miller, Ben Lyon, W.C. Fields, Leon Errol, Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin, Clarence Wilson, Ruth Hall, Virginia Sale, Oscar Apfel. Cinematography Robert Kurrie Film Editor Ralph Dawson Songs Walter Jurmann, Al Dubin Written by Robert Lord, Arthur Caesar from story by Rudolph Bernauer, Rudolf Österreicher Directed by William Dieterle

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

The Warner Archive Collection has been kind to fans of early talkies. We've been able to discover dramatic actresses like Jeanne Eagels
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Help Barbara Stanwyck Celebrate Christmas In Connecticut Saturday at The Hi-Pointe

“Maybe scarlet fever. It’s a better color for Christmas!”

Christmas In Connecticut screens this Saturday morning, December 5th at 10:30am at The Hi-Pointe Theater (1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117) as part of their Classic Film Series.

In Christmas In Connecticut (1945) Barbara Stanwyck stars as a magazine columnist who writes about life on her farm house when in fact she lives in a NY apartment. She must come up with a plan when she learns that her publisher and a war hero will spend Christmas with her. Christmas In Connecticut is an entertaining little screwball comedy, thanks mostly to its fine cast. In a big departure from her previous role as a femme fatale in Double Indemnity, Stanwyck displays a nice comedic flair. Dennis Morgan is smooth as the affable war hero while Sidney Greenstreet is well cast as the publisher. However, S.Z. Sakall steals the film as a
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Top Screenwriting Team from the Golden Age of Hollywood: List of Movies and Academy Award nominations

Billy Wilder directed Sunset Blvd. with Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies Below is a list of movies on which Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder worked together as screenwriters, including efforts for which they did not receive screen credit. The Wilder-Brackett screenwriting partnership lasted from 1938 to 1949. During that time, they shared two Academy Awards for their work on The Lost Weekend (1945) and, with D.M. Marshman Jr., Sunset Blvd. (1950). More detailed information further below. Post-split years Billy Wilder would later join forces with screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond in movies such as the classic comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), the Best Picture Oscar winner The Apartment (1960), and One Two Three (1961), notable as James Cagney's last film (until a brief comeback in Milos Forman's Ragtime two decades later). Although some of these movies were quite well received, Wilder's later efforts – which also included The Seven Year Itch
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Two-Time Oscar Winner Cooper on TCM: Pro-War 'York' and Eastwood-Narrated Doc

Gary Cooper movies on TCM: Cooper at his best and at his weakest Gary Cooper is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 30, '15. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any Cooper movie premiere – despite the fact that most of his Paramount movies of the '20s and '30s remain unavailable. This evening's features are Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Sergeant York (1941), and Love in the Afternoon (1957). Mr. Deeds Goes to Town solidified Gary Cooper's stardom and helped to make Jean Arthur Columbia's top female star. The film is a tad overlong and, like every Frank Capra movie, it's also highly sentimental. What saves it from the Hell of Good Intentions is the acting of the two leads – Cooper and Arthur are both excellent – and of several supporting players. Directed by Howard Hawks, the jingoistic, pro-war Sergeant York was a huge box office hit, eventually earning Academy Award nominations in several categories,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Legendary Bergman on TCM: From Hollywood Career-Ruining Scandal to 3 Oscars and Another Bergman

Ingrid Bergman ca. early 1940s. Ingrid Bergman movies on TCM: From the artificial 'Gaslight' to the magisterial 'Autumn Sonata' Two days ago, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series highlighted the film career of Greta Garbo. Today, Aug. 28, '15, TCM is focusing on another Swedish actress, three-time Academy Award winner Ingrid Bergman, who would have turned 100 years old tomorrow. TCM has likely aired most of Bergman's Hollywood films, and at least some of her early Swedish work. As a result, today's only premiere is Fielder Cook's little-seen and little-remembered From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1973), about two bored kids (Sally Prager, Johnny Doran) who run away from home and end up at New York City's Metropolitan Museum. Obviously, this is no A Night at the Museum – and that's a major plus. Bergman plays an elderly art lover who takes an interest in them; her
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Wright and Goldwyn Have an Ugly Parting of the Ways; Brando (More or Less) Comes to the Rescue

Teresa Wright-Samuel Goldwyn association comes to a nasty end (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Film.") Whether or not because she was aware that Enchantment wasn't going to be the hit she needed – or perhaps some other disagreement with Samuel Goldwyn or personal issue with husband Niven BuschTeresa Wright, claiming illness, refused to go to New York City to promote the film. (Top image: Teresa Wright in a publicity shot for The Men.) Goldwyn had previously announced that Wright, whose contract still had another four and half years to run, was to star in a film version of J.D. Salinger's 1948 short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut." Instead, he unceremoniously – and quite publicly – fired her.[1] The Goldwyn organization issued a statement, explaining that besides refusing the assignment to travel to New York to help generate pre-opening publicity for Enchantment,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

TCM Celebrates Oscar Nominee Blyth's 85th Birthday

Ann Blyth movies: TCM schedule on August 16, 2013 (photo: ‘Our Very Own’ stars Ann Blyth and Farley Granger) See previous post: "Ann Blyth Today: Light Singing and Heavy Drama on TCM." 3:00 Am One Minute To Zero (1952). Director: Tay Garnett. Cast: Robert Mitchum, Ann Blyth, William Talman. Bw-106 mins. 5:00 Am All The Brothers Were Valiant (1953). Director: Richard Thorpe. Cast: Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger, Ann Blyth. C-95 mins. 6:45 Am The King’S Thief (1955). Director: Robert Z. Leonard. Cast: Ann Blyth, Edmund Purdom, David Niven. C-79 mins. Letterbox Format. 8:15 Am Rose Marie (1954). Director: Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Ann Blyth, Howard Keel, Fernando Lamas. C-104 mins. Letterbox Format. 10:00 Am The Great Caruso (1951). Director: Richard Thorpe. Cast: Mario Lanza, Ann Blyth, Dorothy Kirsten, Jarmila Novotna, Richard Hageman, Carl Benton Reid, Eduard Franz, Ludwig Donath, Alan Napier, Pál Jávor, Carl Milletaire, Shepard Menken, Vincent Renno, Nestor Paiva, Peter Price, Mario Siletti, Angela Clarke,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Dd-Day on Friday: Don't Miss One of the Most Exuberant Performers in Movie History

Doris Day movies: TCM’s ‘Summer Under the Stars 2013′ lineup continues (photo: Doris Day in ‘Calamity Jane’ publicity shot) Doris Day, who turned 89 last April 3, is Turner Classic Movies’ 2013 “Summer Under the Stars” star on Friday, August 2. (Doris Day, by the way, still looks great. Check out "Doris Day Today.") Doris Day movies, of course, are frequently shown on TCM. Why? Well, TCM is owned by the megaconglomerate Time Warner, which also happens to own (among myriad other things) the Warner Bros. film library, which includes not only the Doris Day movies made at Warners from 1948 to 1955, but also Day’s MGM films as well (and the overwhelming majority of MGM releases up to 1986). My point: Don’t expect any Doris Day movie rarity on Friday — in fact, I don’t think such a thing exists. Doris Day is ‘Calamity Jane’ If you haven’t watched David Butler’s musical
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

From Freedom Fighter to Blacklisted 'Subversive'; Henreid Takes a Last Bow Tonight

Paul Henreid in ‘Casablanca’: Freedom Fighter on screen, Blacklisted ‘Subversive’ off screen Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of July 2013, Paul Henreid, bids you farewell this evening. TCM left the most popular, if not exactly the best, for last: Casablanca, Michael Curtiz’s 1943 Best Picture Oscar-winning drama, is showing at 7 p.m. Pt tonight. (Photo: Paul Henreid sings "La Marseillaise" in Casablanca.) One of the best-remembered movies of the studio era, Casablanca — not set in a Spanish or Mexican White House — features Paul Henreid as Czechoslovakian underground leader Victor Laszlo, Ingrid Bergman’s husband but not her True Love. That’s Humphrey Bogart, owner of a cafe in the titular Moroccan city. Henreid’s anti-Nazi hero is generally considered one of least interesting elements in Casablanca, but Alt Film Guide contributor Dan Schneider thinks otherwise. In any case, Victor Laszlo feels like a character made to order for Paul Henreid,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Henreid Tonight: From the Afterlife to the Apocalypse

Paul Henreid: From Eleanor Parker to ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ (photo: Paul Henreid and Eleanor Parker in ‘Between Two Worlds’) Paul Henreid returns this evening, as Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of July 2013. In Of Human Bondage (1946), he stars in the old Leslie Howard role: a clubfooted medical student who falls for a ruthless waitress (Eleanor Parker, in the old Bette Davis role). Next on TCM, Henreid and Eleanor Parker are reunited in Between Two Worlds (1944), in which passengers aboard an ocean liner wonder where they are and where the hell (or heaven or purgatory) they’re going. Hollywood Canteen (1944) is a near-plotless, all-star showcase for Warner Bros.’ talent, a World War II morale-boosting follow-up to that studio’s Thank Your Lucky Stars, released the previous year. Last of the Buccaneers (1950) and Pirates of Tripoli (1955) are B pirate movies. The former is an uninspired affair,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Three-Time Academy Award Nominee Turns 91 Today

Eleanor Parker: Palm Springs resident turns 91 today Eleanor Parker turns 91 today. The three-time Oscar nominee (Caged, 1950; Detective Story, 1951; Interrupted Melody, 1955) and Palm Springs resident is Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of June 2013. Earlier this month, TCM showed a few dozen Eleanor Parker movies, from her days at Warner Bros. in the ’40s to her later career as a top Hollywood supporting player. (Photo: Publicity shot of Eleanor Parker in An American Dream.) Missing from TCM’s movie series, however, was not only Eleanor Parker’s biggest box-office it — The Sound of Music, in which she steals the show from both Julie Andrews and the Alps — but also what according to several sources is her very first movie role: a bit part in Raoul Walsh’s They Died with Their Boots On, a 1941 Western starring Errol Flynn as a dashingly handsome and all-around-good-guy-ish General George Armstrong Custer. Olivia de Havilland
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

This Month TCM Pays Homage to Beautiful, Talented, and Unjustly Forgotten Oscar Nominee

Eleanor Parker Now on TCM Palms Springs area resident Eleanor Parker, who turns 91 next June 26, is Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of June. One of the best actresses of Hollywood’s studio era, Parker isn’t nearly as well-remembered today as she should be despite three Best Actress Academy Award nominations (Caged, 1950; Detective Story, 1951; Interrupted Melody, 1955), a number of box-office and/or critical hits, and a key role in one of the biggest blockbusters of all time (The Sound of Music). Hopefully, the 34 Eleanor Parker movies TCM will be showing each Monday this month — beginning tonight — will help to introduce the actress to a broader 21st-century audience. Eleanor Parker movies "When I am spotted somewhere it means that my characterizations haven’t covered up Eleanor Parker the person. I prefer it the other way around," Parker once said. In fact, the title of Doug McClelland’s 1989 Eleanor Parker bio,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Casablanca Sequel to Be Based on Howard Koch Treatment

  • MovieWeb
Casablanca Sequel to Be Based on Howard Koch Treatment
In this day and age of remakes and sequels, hardly anything is sacred anymore, with classics such as Raging Bull and Scarface getting new versions. Today, we have word that Warner Bros. is considering moving ahead with a sequel to Casablanca, based on a treatment written more than 30 years ago by screenwriter Howard Koch.

Warner Bros. had originally planned to make a sequel entitled Brazzaville shortly after Casablanca's release, where it was revealed that Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Captain Renault (Claude Rains) were actually secret Allied agents. The project never moved forward. Now, Peter Koch, the son of Casablanca writer Howard Koch, is working on a new version that centers on the child of Rick and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), set 20 years after the original film. Here's what the producer had to say about this follow-up's story.

"After leaving Casablanca for America, Ilsa learned she was pregnant. She gave birth
See full article at MovieWeb »

Doris Day Movies on TCM: On Moonlight Bay

Doris Day is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month of April 2012. TCM's Doris Day homage begins this evening with eight movies released at the start of Day's career at Warner Bros. In addition to Day's presence, what those movies have in common is the following: little plot, lots of music, and Old Hollywood's fluff-producing machinery at work. If that's your thing, don't miss them! Of those, the better one is probably Roy Del Ruth's On Moonlight Bay (1951, photo). Though nothing at all like Del Ruth's crackling Warner Bros. movies of the early '30s — e.g., The Maltese Falcon, Beauty and the Boss, Blessed Event — this musical comedy set in a small American town prior to World War I offers some genuine nostalgia, great songs, and charming performances, including those of the two good-looking leads, Day and Gordon MacRae. On Moonlight Bay was popular enough to merit a sequel,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blu-ray Review: ‘Casablanca: 70th Anniversary Edition’ Worth Remembering

Chicago – Every seasoned movie lover can attest to having a favorite shot in Michael Curtiz’s 1942 classic “Casablanca,” a picture practically overflowing with indelible imagery. The first appearance of freedom fighter-turned-café owner Rick (Humphrey Bogart) decked out in a white tux, the tearful letter that turns to literal tears in a rainstorm, the final walk through the fog…all unforgettable.

Yet the shot that remains closest to my heart is the one that lingers on the face of Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), as she becomes hopelessly lost in the evocative notes and lyrics of a song from her past. No actress embodies earthy sensuality and misty-eyed passion quite like Bergman, who was at the peak of her luminous beauty at age 26. Her trancelike state of nostalgic longing never fails to mesmerize me, as her eyes convey what words could only feebly articulate.

Blu-ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

Unlike other landmarks of cinema history, “Casablanca
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »
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