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Jan Maxwell dead: Tony Awards record holder dies at 61

Jan Maxwell dead: Tony Awards record holder dies at 61
Jan Maxwell, a beloved mainstay of New York City theater, died on Feb. 11 at the age of 61. Over the course of her illustrious career, in which she appeared in 13 Broadway and numerous Off-Broadway productions, Maxwell earned five Tony Award nominations for her work in both musicals and plays, comedies and dramas, displaying a near-unparalleled mastery of both genres.

Maxwell first appeared on the Great White Way in the original production of “City of Angels” as an understudy, swing, and replacement. Her first bid at the Tony Awards came over a decade later for her featured role in the musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in 2005, for which she won her first Drama Desk Award. She went on to earn Tony nominations for her performances in the play “Coram Boy” (2007) and in revivals of “Lend Me a Tenor” (2010) and “The Royal Family” (2010), taking home her second Drama Desk for the latter.

Her
See full article at Gold Derby »

Ron Perlman Talks About His Early Career, Taking on Makeup-Heavy Roles Like ‘Hellboy’

Ron Perlman Talks About His Early Career, Taking on Makeup-Heavy Roles Like ‘Hellboy’
Hollywood has long recognized Ron Perlman for being unrecognizable. Some of his most iconic roles — including “Hellboy,” “Quest of Fire” and the late-1980s CBS series “Beauty and the Beast” — required extensive, transformative makeup and prosthetics. The actor is returning to television, a medium he describes as “the one area where the storytelling is really rich, really deep and really human,” to join the Crackle drama “Startup” in the series’ second season, which premieres Sept. 28. Perlman’s initial break in the industry came not from television or film, but in the Tommy Tune-directed stage musical “Sunset,” which led to his first mention in Variety on Oct. 5, 1977.

What was it like auditioning for Tommy Tune?

I was wired early in my career for failure. So anytime anyone liked what I did, much less actually hired me, it was a shock. Tommy Tune was a singular validation that I had never experienced before.

What
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ron Perlman Talks About His Early Career, Taking on Makeup-Heavy Roles Like ‘Hellboy’

Ron Perlman Talks About His Early Career, Taking on Makeup-Heavy Roles Like ‘Hellboy’
Hollywood has long recognized Ron Perlman for being unrecognizable. Some of his most iconic roles — including “Hellboy,” “Quest of Fire” and the late-1980s CBS series “Beauty and the Beast” — required extensive, transformative makeup and prosthetics. The actor is returning to television, a medium he describes as “the one area where the storytelling is really rich, really deep and really human,” to join the Crackle drama “Startup” in the series’ second season, which premieres Sept. 28. Perlman’s initial break in the industry came not from television or film, but in the Tommy Tune-directed stage musical “Sunset,” which led to his first mention in Variety on Oct. 5, 1977.

What was it like auditioning for Tommy Tune?

I was wired early in my career for failure. So anytime anyone liked what I did, much less actually hired me, it was a shock. Tommy Tune was a singular validation that I had never experienced before.

What
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Shalako

It’s 007 in the saddle! Sean Connery didn’t become a career cowboy but his one stint as a Louis L’Amour hero is a diverting change of pace. And we couldn’t resist the pairing of two of moviedom’s most attractive actors — Connery and Brigitte Bardot.

Shalako

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1968 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 113 min. / Street Date July 11, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Sean Connery, Brigitte Bardot, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Peter van Eyck, Honor Blackman, Woody Strode, Eric Sykes, Alexander Knox, Valerie French, Julián Mateos, Don ‘Red’ Barry.

Cinematography: Ted Moore

Film Editor: Bill Blunden

Original Music: Robert Farnon

Written by J.J. Griffith, Hal Hopper, Scot Finch, Clarke Reynolds from the novel by Louis L’Amour

Produced by Euan Lloyd

Directed by Edward Dmytryk

It’s true, after five consecutive James Bond movies, we weren’t exactly ready to see Sean Connery as an American cowboy hero.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

TCM's Pride Month Series Continues with Movies Somehow Connected to Lgbt Talent

Turner Classic Movies continues with its Gay Hollywood presentations tonight and tomorrow morning, June 8–9. Seven movies will be shown about, featuring, directed, or produced by the following: Cole Porter, Lorenz Hart, Farley Granger, John Dall, Edmund Goulding, W. Somerset Maughan, Clifton Webb, Montgomery Clift, Raymond Burr, Charles Walters, DeWitt Bodeen, and Harriet Parsons. (One assumes that it's a mere coincidence that gay rumor subjects Cary Grant and Tyrone Power are also featured.) Night and Day (1946), which could also be considered part of TCM's homage to birthday girl Alexis Smith, who would have turned 96 today, is a Cole Porter biopic starring Cary Grant as a posh, heterosexualized version of Porter. As the warning goes, any similaries to real-life people and/or events found in Night and Day are a mere coincidence. The same goes for Words and Music (1948), a highly fictionalized version of the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical partnership.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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 »

Official Trailer for 'Burden' Documentary About the Artist Chris Burden

"I'm not about death, I didn't want to die, but I wanted to come close." Magnolia has debuted an official trailer for a documentary titled Burden, telling the story of artist Chris Burden, who made his place in art history in 1971 with dangerous performances. The film features Burden himself, as well as Jonathan Gold, Marina Abramovic, Frank Gehry, Alexis Smith, and Brian Sewell. The description says the doc examines "the artist’s works and private life with an innovative mix of still-potent videos of his 70s performances, personal videos and audio recordings, friends fellow students and colleagues, critics’ comments and latter day footage at his Topanga Canyon studio, all peppered with his thoughts and musings through the years." This definitely looks fascinating, and I'm intrigued to learn more about Burden and his motivations for this. Here's the trailer (+ poster) for Richard Dewey & Tomothy Marrinan's doc Burden, from YouTube: Chris Burdern
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Mary Pickford: America's first screen megastar

Her natural acting style made her the world’s pre-eminent silent cinema actor, but Pickford, born Gladys Smith, also became a producer and an early film mogul

The first thing to know about America’s sweetheart is that she was Canadian. It’s not so remarkable for a young actor to move to the States to seek work on Broadway, and eventually an undreamt-of place called Hollywood, nor for that person to change their name as soon as they find success. But the career of Mary Pickford, born Gladys Smith in Toronto in 1892, has been so often misrepresented that it is best to begin with the facts of the case, and not secondhand impressions.

Mary Pickford was an actor of great, unrivalled skill, a producer and a businesswoman. She emerged from poverty and a broken family to become a star who was loved by millions but also powerful behind the scenes.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Mary Pickford: America's first screen megastar

Her natural acting style made her the world’s pre-eminent silent cinema actor, but Pickford, born Gladys Smith, also became a producer and an early film mogul

The first thing to know about America’s sweetheart is that she was Canadian. It’s not so remarkable for a young actor to move to the States to seek work on Broadway, and eventually an undreamt-of place called Hollywood, nor for that person to change their name as soon as they find success. But the career of Mary Pickford, born Gladys Smith in Toronto in 1892, has been so often misrepresented that it is best to begin with the facts of the case, and not secondhand impressions.

Mary Pickford was an actor of great, unrivalled skill, a producer and a businesswoman. She emerged from poverty and a broken family to become a star who was loved by millions but also powerful behind the scenes.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Suspicion

Alfred Hitchcock assembles all the right elements for this respected mystery thriller. Joan Fontaine is concerned that her new hubby Cary Grant plans to murder her. But Hitch wasn't able to use the twist ending that attracted him to the story in the first place! Suspicion Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1941 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 99 min. / Street Date , 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Joan Fontaine, Cary Grant, Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce, Dame May Whitty, Auriol Lee, Leo G. Carroll Cinematography Harry Stradling Art Direction Van Nest Polglase Film Editor William Hamilton Original Music Franz Waxman Written by Samson Raphaelson, Joan Harrison, Alma Reville from the novel Before the Fact by Francis Iles (Anthony Berkeley) Produced and Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Some movies don't get better as time goes on. Alfred Hitchcock got himself painted into a corner on this one, perhaps not realizing that in America,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Oberon Later Years: From Empress to Duchess, Shah of Iran Mexican House Connection

Merle Oberon films: From empress to duchess in 'Hotel.' Merle Oberon films: From starring to supporting roles Turner Classic Movies' Merle Oberon month comes to an end tonight, March 25, '16, with six movies: Désirée, Hotel, Deep in My Heart, Affectionately Yours, Berlin Express, and Night Song. Oberon's presence alone would have sufficed to make them all worth a look, but they have other qualities to recommend them as well. 'Désirée': First supporting role in two decades Directed by Henry Koster, best remembered for his Deanna Durbin musicals and the 1947 fantasy comedy The Bishop's Wife, Désirée (1954) is a sumptuous production that, thanks to its big-name cast, became a major box office hit upon its release. Marlon Brando is laughably miscast as Napoleon Bonaparte, while Jean Simmons plays the title role, the Corsican Conqueror's one-time fiancée Désirée Clary (later Queen of Sweden and Norway). In a supporting role – her
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Superficial 'News,' Mineo-Dean Bromance-Romance and Davis' fading 'Star': 31 Days of Oscar

'Broadcast News' with Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter: Glib TV news watch. '31 Days of Oscar': 'Broadcast News' slick but superficial critics pleaser (See previous post: “Phony 'A Beautiful Mind,' Unfairly Neglected 'Swing Shift': '31 Days of Oscar'.”) Heralded for its wit and incisiveness, James L. Brooks' multiple Oscar-nominated Broadcast News is everything the largely forgotten Swing Shift isn't: belabored, artificial, superficial. That's very disappointing considering Brooks' highly addictive Mary Tyler Moore television series (and its enjoyable spin-offs, Phyllis and Rhoda), but totally expected considering that three of screenwriter-director Brooks' five other feature films were Terms of Endearment, As Good as It Gets, and Spanglish. (I've yet to check out I'll Do Anything and the box office cataclysm How Do You Know starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson.) Having said that, Albert Brooks (no relation to James L.; or to Mel Brooks
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

‘The Turning Point’ starts strong but doesn’t fully recognize the good things it has going for it

The Turning Point

Written by Warren Duff and Horace McCoy (story)

Directed by William Dieterle

U.S.A., 1952

It is with much hoopla and media coverage that district attorney John Conroy (Edmond O’Brien) is tasked with bringing a decisive end to the alarming crime wave and corruption that has swept Los Angeles in recent years. One crime syndicate has been singled out, an organization so foul that a palpable fear has stricken law enforcement and the public, a fear for their very lives as well as a fear towards knowing the truth as to how its nefarious influence has seeped into the city’s fine institutions. Old friend and current hard-nosed newspaper reporter Jerry McKibbon (William Holden) has a knack for sniffing out trouble and good news stories, the two of which often go hand in hand. His presence irks John’s assistant and current main squeeze Amanda Waycross
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Ann Carter, Former 1940s Child Actress, Dies at 77

Ann Carter, Former 1940s Child Actress, Dies at 77
Ann Carter, who was a tiny Veronica Lake lookalike, with similarly flowing blonde hair, when she appeared in two prominent supernatural-themed films of the 1940s, “Cat People” sequel “Curse of the Cat People” and Lake starrer “I Married a Witch,” before polio ended her career, died Jan. 27 in North Bend, Wash., after long bout with ovarian cancer. She was 77.

Carter made 18 films, beginning with a trio of roles, the first two uncredited, in 1941 and 1942: “Last of the Duanes”; “I Married a Witch,” the delightful comedic fantasy in which she briefly played the daughter of Lake and Fredric March; and Norway-set WWII pic “Commandos Strike at Dawn,” starring Paul Muni, for which she was appropriately Nordic-looking.

The 1944 Val Lewton horror film “Curse of the Cat People” was essentially focused on Carter’s character, and she had a substantial role as a child who befriends the dead first wife of her father.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sundance 2014 Has Rare Double Winner; Jolie Executive-Produced Film Wins Top Award

Whiplash’: Sundance Film Festival Awards’ rare double winner (photo: Miles Teller in ‘Whiplash’) Directed by Damien Chazelle — and acquired for domestic distribution by Sony Pictures ClassicsWhiplash won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award. The story of a young, ambitious 19-year-old drummer (played by 26-year-old Miles Teller) under the tutelage of a ruthless teacher (J.K. Simmons), Whiplash also features Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Chris Mulkey, and Damon Gupton. Whiplash‘s double Sundance Film Festival win is quite rare. Previous such instances in Sundance’s three-decade history include Tony Bui’s Three Seasons in 1999, Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s Quinceañera in 2006, Lee DanielsPrecious in 2009, and Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station last year. Of these, Precious is — somewhat surprisingly — the only Sundance double winner to have succeeded both at the domestic box office and during awards season,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Top 15 Movies of This Past Year: Do Audiences Really Want Original, Quality Stories?

Top box office movies of 2013: If you make original, quality films… (photo: Sandra Bullock has two movies among the top 15 box office hits of 2013; Bullock is seen here in ‘The Heat,’ with Melissa McCarthy) (See previous post: “2013 Box Office Record? History is Remade If a Few ‘Minor Details’ Ignored.”) As further evidence that moviegoers want original, quality entertainment, below you’ll find a list of the top 15 movies at the domestic box office in 2013 — nine of which are sequels or reboots (ten if you include Oz the Great and Powerful), and more than half of which are 3D releases. Disney and Warner Bros. were the two top studios in 2013. Disney has five movies among the top 15; Warners has three. With the exception of the sleeper blockbuster Gravity, which, however dumbed down, targeted a more mature audience, every single one of the titles below were aimed either at teenagers/very,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Tough Dame Totter Dead at 95: One of the Last Surviving Stars of Hollywood Noirs

Femme fatale Audrey Totter: Film noir actress and MGM leading lady dead at 95 (photo: Audrey Totter ca. 1947) Audrey Totter, film noir femme fatale and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player best remembered for the mystery crime drama Lady in the Lake and, at Rko, the hard-hitting boxing drama The Set-Up, died after suffering a stroke and congestive heart failure on Thursday, December 12, 2013, at West Hills Hospital in Los Angeles County. Reportedly a resident at the Motion Picture and Television Home in Woodland Hills, Audrey Totter would have turned 96 on Dec. 20. Born in Joliet, Illinois, Audrey Totter began her show business career on radio. She landed an MGM contract in the mid-’40s, playing bit roles in several of the studio’s productions, e.g., the Clark Gable-Greer Garson pairing Adventure (1945), the Hedy Lamarr-Robert Walker-June Allyson threesome Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945), and, as an adventurous hitchhiker riding with John Garfield,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Julie Andrews' Rival in The Sound Of Music, 3-Time Oscar Nominee Has Died

Eleanor Parker dead at 91: ‘The Sound of Music’ actress, three-time Best Actress Oscar nominee (photo: Eleanor Parker ca. 1945) Eleanor Parker, one of the best and most beautiful actresses of the studio era, a three-time Best Actress Academy Award nominee, and one of the stars of the 1965 blockbuster and Best Picture Oscar winner The Sound of Music, died today, December 9, 2013, of complications from pneumonia at a medical facility near her home in the Southern Californian desert town of Palm Springs. Eleanor Parker was 91. “I’m primarily a character actress,” Parker told the Toronto Star in 1988. “I’ve portrayed so many diverse individuals on the screen that my own personality never emerged.” At one point, wildly imaginative publicists called her The Woman of a Thousand Faces — an absurd label, when you think of Man of a Thousand Faces Lon Chaney. Eleanor Parker never altered her appearance the way Chaney did — her
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Victim Star Wrote Caustic, Opinionated Letters Re: Redgrave, Attenborough, Gielgud and More

Dirk Bogarde: ‘Victim’ star took no prisoners in his letters to Dilys Powell Letters exchanged between film critic Dilys Powell and actor Dirk Bogarde — one of the most popular and respected British performers of the twentieth century, and the star of seminal movies such as Victim, The Servant, Darling, and Death in Venice — reveals that Bogarde was considerably more caustic and opinionated in his letters than in his (quite bland) autobiographies. (Photo: Dirk Bogarde ca. 1970.) As found in Dirk Bogarde’s letters acquired a few years ago by the British Library, among the victims of the Victim star (sorry) were Academy Award winner Vanessa Redgrave (Julia), a "ninny" who was “so utterly beastly to [Steaming director Joseph Losey] that he finally threw his script at her face”; and veteran stage and screen actor — and Academy Award winner — John Gielgud (Arthur), who couldn’t "understand half of Shakespeare" despite being renowned for his stage roles in Macbeth,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Rewind: ‘The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane’ Review (1976)

Stars: Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith, Mort Shuman, Scott Jacoby | Written by Laird Koenig | Directed by Nicolas Gessner

Based on a novel by Laird Koenig and directed by Nicolas Gessner, The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane is a strange film, and one that I’ve been meaning to watch for quite some time. Released in 1976 and starring a 14 year old Jodie Foster, the film is macabre, dark, unsettling and even more importantly, underrated. I rarely hear people talk about this film. Now maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places for discussions about it, but I haven’t heard anyone really mention their feelings about it in the past.

The film follows the character of Rynn (Foster), a 13 year old girl who lives in a large secluded house in a small American seaside town. She keeps to herself, doesn’t venture to town for groceries and doesn’t go to school.
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »
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