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Tennessee Attempts to Inherit the Wind Again

By Alex Simon

The Tennessee state House voted Wednesday to adopt the Holy Bible as the official state book. The chamber approved the measure 55-38. It is sponsored by Republican Rep. Jerry Sexton, a former pastor, who argued that his proposal reflects the Bible's historical, cultural and economic impact in Tennessee. In addition to the measure ignoring serious constitutional issues, it brings to mind a legendary legal case held in Tennessee nearly a century ago.

The Scopes “Monkey Trial” was held in the small town of Dayton, Tn. in 1925. A substitute high school teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school. The trial drew intense international publicity, as two of the nation’s most high-profile attorneys, William Jennings Bryan (prosecution) and Clarence Darrow (defense), argued the case, one of the earliest examples of Fundamentalist vs. Modernist
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The Best of “Movie Poster of the Day,” Part 8

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Above: Italian poster for Confidential Agent (Herman Shumlin, USA, 1945). Artist: Luigi Martinati (1893-1984).

The most popular poster I’ve posted on Tumblr in the past three months—and actually the second most “liked” poster I’ve posted in the three years I’ve been doing this—was this Italian design by the great Luigi Martinati for a lesser known Lauren Bacall vehicle, but one in which the late star was unusually front and center. (You can see more of Bacall’s posters here.)

The rest of the top twenty are a wild variety of old (three for films from the 1920s, no less) and new (two 2014 releases). I was especially pleased to see Dorothea Fischer-Nosbisch’s superb 1967 design for a Festival of Young German Film get such attention. A lot of other design greats are featured: Saul Bass, the Stenberg brothers, Macario Gomez, Karl Oskar Blase and Josef Fenneker. And
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Movie Poster of the Week: The Illustrated Lauren Bacall

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An Italian To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks, USA, 1944). Art by Luigi Martinati.

Lauren Bacall, who left us last week after an astonishing 70 years of making movies, was one of the most beautiful women ever to grace a movie screen and the first golden age Hollywood star I ever fell for. With her unmistakeable features—those eyebrows, those lips—she must have been one of the easiest stars to capture in an illustration and thus a gift to poster artists. For most of her career, however, while she was never less than a star, she was rarely a leading lady, playing co-star to her great love Humphrey Bogart in four of her first five movies, then to Charles Boyer, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Gregory Peck and so on. As a result, she rarely appeared solo in posters and is often dwarfed by her male co-stars.
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After Rooney's Death, Who Is Earliest Surviving Best Actor Academy Award Nominee?

Mickey Rooney was earliest surviving Best Actor Oscar nominee (photo: Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy in ‘Boys Town’) (See previous post: “Mickey Rooney Dead at 93: MGM’s Andy Hardy Series’ Hero and Judy Garland Frequent Co-Star Had Longest Film Career Ever?”) Mickey Rooney was the earliest surviving Best Actor Academy Award nominee — Babes in Arms, 1939; The Human Comedy, 1943 — and the last surviving male acting Oscar nominee of the 1930s. Rooney lost the Best Actor Oscar to two considerably more “prestigious” — albeit less popular — stars: Robert Donat for Sam Wood’s Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) and Paul Lukas for Herman Shumlin’s Watch on the Rhine (1943). Following Mickey Rooney’s death, there are only two acting Academy Award nominees from the ’30s still alive: two-time Best Actress winner Luise Rainer, 104 (for Robert Z. Leonard’s The Great Ziegfeld, 1936, and Sidney Franklin’s The Good Earth, 1937), and Best Supporting Actress nominee Olivia de Havilland,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Dangerous Davis Schedule

Bette Davis movies: TCM schedule on August 14 (photo: Bette Davis in ‘Dangerous,’ with Franchot Tone) See previous post: “Bette Davis Eyes: They’re Watching You Tonight.” 3:00 Am Parachute Jumper (1933). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bette Davis, Frank McHugh, Claire Dodd, Harold Huber, Leo Carrillo, Thomas E. Jackson, Lyle Talbot, Leon Ames, Stanley Blystone, Reginald Barlow, George Chandler, Walter Brennan, Pat O’Malley, Paul Panzer, Nat Pendleton, Dewey Robinson, Tom Wilson, Sheila Terry. Bw-72 mins. 4:30 Am The Girl From 10th Avenue (1935). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Bette Davis, Ian Hunter, Colin Clive, Alison Skipworth, John Eldredge, Phillip Reed, Katharine Alexander, Helen Jerome Eddy, Bill Elliott, Edward McWade, André Cheron, Wedgwood Nowell, John Quillan, Mary Treen. Bw-69 mins. 6:00 Am Dangerous (1935). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Bette Davis, Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay, Alison Skipworth, John Eldredge, Dick Foran, Walter Walker, Richard Carle, George Irving, Pierre Watkin, Douglas Wood,
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Two-Time Oscar Winner Rolls Her Big Eyes Tonight

Bette Davis’ eyes keep ‘Watch on the RhineBette Davis’ eyes are watching everything and everyone on Turner Classic Movies this evening, as TCM continues with its "Summer Under the Stars" film series: today, August 14, 2013, belongs to two-time Oscar winner Bette Davis’ eyes, cigarettes, and clipped tones. Right now, TCM is showing the Herman Shumlin-directed Watch on the Rhine (1943), an earnest — too much so, in fact — melodrama featuring Nazis, anti-Nazis, and lofty political speeches. (See “Bette Davis Movies: TCM schedule.”) As a prestigious and timely Warner Bros. release, Watch on the Rhine was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award and earned Paul Lukas the year’s Best Actor Oscar. Bette Davis has a subordinate role and — for once during her years as Warners’ Reigning Queen — subordinate billing as well. As so often happens when Davis tried to play a sympathetic character, she’s not very good; Lukas, however,
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Cineaste, DVDs, More

Tuesday, DVD roundup day, is a fine day for taking a look at the new Summer 2011 issue of Cineaste, particularly since, among the online samplings this time around, DVD reviews outnumber all other types of articles combined.

To begin, Darragh O'Donoghue on Harun Farocki's Still Life (1997): "Five aphoristic essays on 17th-century Dutch still-life painting, of about three minutes each, bracket four documentary sequences of photographers creating modern still lifes for magazine advertisements. These two levels, though defined by opposites — stasis/motion, tell/show — are linked by visual motifs and rhymes, just as the modern products echo the subjects of the paintings. The documentary sequences have no commentary, mostly last ten to fifteen minutes, and take their cue from Farocki's earlier An Image (Ein bild, 1983). In that short, he recorded the shooting of a German Playboy centerfold spread, from the building of sets and the arrangement of props (including
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Lauren Bacall TCM Schedule: Sex And The Single Girl, Young Man With A Horn

Lauren Bacall on TCM: To Have And Have Not, The Big Sleep Schedule (Pt) and synopses from the TCM website: 3:00 Am Confidential Agent (1945) A Spanish spy and an American heiress battle fascists in England. Cast: Charles Boyer, Lauren Bacall, Peter Lorre. Dir: Herman Shumlin. Bw-118 mins. 5:00 Am Dark Passage (1947) A man falsely accused of his wife’s murder escapes to search for the real killer. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Agnes Moorehead. Dir: Delmer Daves. Bw-106 mins. 7:00 Am Blood Alley (1955) An American sailor breaks out of a Chinese jail and dodges Communist agents on the road to Hong Kong. Cast: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Paul Fix. Dir: William A. Wellman. C-115 mins. 9:00 Am Cobweb, The (1955) Inmates and staff at a posh asylum clash over love and lunacy. Cast: Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Gloria Grahame. Dir: Vincente Minnelli. C-124 mins. 11:30 Am Key Largo (1948) A [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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