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From Lollobrigida to Gidget: Romance and Heartache in Italy

Here's a brief look – to be expanded – at Turner Classic Movies' June 2017 European Vacation Movie Series this evening, June 23. Tonight's destination of choice is Italy. Starring Suzanne Pleshette and Troy Donahue as the opposite of Ugly Americans who find romance and heartbreak in the Italian capital, Delmer Daves' Rome Adventure (1962) was one of the key romantic movies of the 1960s. Angie Dickinson and Rossano Brazzi co-star. In all, Rome Adventure is the sort of movie that should please fans of Daves' Technicolor melodramas like A Summer Place, Parrish, and Susan Slade. Fans of his poetic Westerns – e.g., 3:10 to Yuma, The Hanging Tree – may (or may not) be disappointed with this particular Daves effort. As an aside, Rome Adventure was, for whatever reason, a sizable hit in … Brazil. Who knows, maybe that's why Rome Adventure co-star Brazzi would find himself playing a Brazilian – a macho, traditionalist coffee plantation owner,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Giveaway – Win Born Free on Dual Format

Thanks to Eureka Entertainment, we have three copies of Born Free to give away on Dual Format (Blu-ray and DVD). Read on for a synopsis and details of how to enter…

When game warden George Adamson (Bill Travers) is forced to kill a menacing lion and lioness, he and his wife Joy (Virginia McKenna) adopt their three cubs. Two are sent off to zoos, but the third is kept – a female they name Elsa – to which they have become particularly attached. When Elsa becomes a full grown lioness, the Adamsons realise that she must be set free and taught to survive on her own. A year later the Adamsons return to the savanna and are surprised by a very special welcome from their old friend.

Born Free, James Hill’s adaptation of Joy Adamson’s best-selling book starring Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, is released in a definitive Dual-format (Blu-ray
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Virginia McKenna’s Born Free review: a roaring old time in the land of the lions

The star of the heartrending wildlife classic Born Free goes back to Kenya 50 years after she filmed there and recalls things weren’t quite all that they seemed

There was a programme the other day about reintroducing jaguars to the wild, and one of the striking things about it was the lengths conservationists went to keep the cats away from all human contact. It was different in the 1960s, when Joy and George Adamson brought up an orphaned lion they called Elsa, who lived pretty much like a big moggie, rolling around getting cuddled and tickled by her human foster parents. She was released, accompanied by many tears, and a rousing John Barry score in the famous film about it, Born Free. And of course, when the couple came back to Kenya the follow year, Elsa bounded out of the bush to show off her own cubs to them. You
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Smallest Show On Earth: In Memory Of The Bijou (1957) And The Alger (1940-2015)

The delightful British comedy The Smallest Show on Earth headlines a great Saturday matinee offering from the UCLA Film and Television Archive on June 25 as their excellent series “Marquee Movies: Movies on Moviegoing” wraps up. So it seemed like a perfect time to resurrect my review of the movie, which celebrates the collective experience of seeing cinema in a darkened, and in this case dilapidated old auditorium, alongside my appreciation of my own hometown movie house, the Alger, which opened in 1940 and closed last year, one more victim of economics and the move toward digital distribution and exhibition.

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“You mean to tell me my uncle actually charged people to go in there? And people actually paid?” –Matt Spenser (Bill Travers) upon first seeing the condition of the Bijou Kinema, in The Smallest Show on Earth

In Basil Dearden’s charming and wistful 1957 British comedy The Smallest Show on Earth (also
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Born Free

Do you love movies about cute animals? The original pet-lion-in-Africa romp is actually a well balanced nature film about the separation between wild animals and those raised by humans. Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers winningly play the Adamsons, game wardens that dedicate themselves to the well-being of Elsa, the lioness they raise from infancy. Born Free Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1966 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 96 min. / Ship Date December 8, 2015 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Geoffrey Keen, Peter Lukoye, Omar Chambati Cinematography Kenneth Talbot Film Editor Don Decon Original Music John Barry Written by Lester Cole from the novel by Joy Adamson Produced by Sam Jaffe, Paul B. Radin Directed by James Hill

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Savant normally becomes sullen and anti-social around overly committed animal lovers, I suppose because I think the world gets a little out of balance when people seriously consider their domestic
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Top Father's Day Films Ever Made? Here Are Five Dads - Ranging from the Intellectual to the Pathological

'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

On TCM: Oscar Winner Colbert

Claudette Colbert movies on Turner Classic Movies: From ‘The Smiling Lieutenant’ to TCM premiere ‘Skylark’ (photo: Claudette Colbert and Maurice Chevalier in ‘The Smiling Lieutenant’) Claudette Colbert, the studio era’s perky, independent-minded — and French-born — "all-American" girlfriend (and later all-American wife and mother), is Turner Classic Movies’ star of the day today, August 18, 2014, as TCM continues with its "Summer Under the Stars" film series. Colbert, a surprise Best Actress Academy Award winner for Frank Capra’s 1934 comedy It Happened One Night, was one Paramount’s biggest box office draws for more than decade and Hollywood’s top-paid female star of 1938, with reported earnings of $426,944 — or about $7.21 million in 2014 dollars. (See also: TCM’s Claudette Colbert day in 2011.) Right now, TCM is showing Ernst Lubitsch’s light (but ultimately bittersweet) romantic comedy-musical The Smiling Lieutenant (1931), a Best Picture Academy Award nominee starring Maurice Chevalier as a French-accented Central European lieutenant in
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Beast of Burden: Top 10 Human-Animal Combinations in the Movies

It can be such a beautiful happening when the natural forces of humanity and the wild kingdom can get together and establish a sense of harmony in motion pictures. Also, it can be a compelling yet regrettable conflict as well when man and beast decide to collide in the interest of big screen entertainment. Whatever the case may be certainly does not matter because the concept of beasts of all species (rather it be of the four-legged or two-legged variety) collectively clashing or cooperating sends a special message about triumph, tragedy and just plain tenderness.

In Beast of Burden: Top 10 Human-Animal Combinations in the Movies we will look at some of the best selections where man and animal co-exist whether it be in calmness or chaos. There is no doubt that one can come up with numerous top ten lists detailing their ideal man-animal themes in cinema. The struggle for
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Legacy of European Colonialism Revisited in Sprawling Documentary Presentation

Dutch Colonialism and its long-lasting consequences are the topics of the documentary ’Empire’ at the Redcat (photo: ’Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism’) Mixing personal narratives, investigative journalism, video art, and split/multiple screens, Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill’s transmedia documentary Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism — the lengthy title gives you a pretty good idea of what the film is about — will have its West Coast Premiere on Monday, November 11, 2013, at 8:30 p.m. at downtown Los Angeles’ Redcat. Both Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill are expected to attend the screening. Previously shown at the 2013 New York Film Festival, Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism was filmed in more than half a dozen countries over the course of three years. According to the Redcat press release, the Dutch-American filmmakers (Jongsma is Dutch; O’Neill is American) "traveled 140,000 kilometers through Asia, Africa, Oceania and
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

From Swordfights in Paris to Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima: Parker Evening

Eleanor Parker today: Beautiful as ever in Scaramouche, Interrupted Melody Eleanor Parker, who turns 91 in ten days (June 26, 2013), can be seen at her most radiantly beautiful in several films Turner Classic Movies is showing this evening and tomorrow morning as part of their Star of the Month Eleanor Parker "tribute." Among them are the classic Scaramouche, the politically delicate Above and Beyond, and the biopic Interrupted Melody, which earned Parker her third and final Best Actress Academy Award nomination. (Photo: publicity shot of Eleanor Parker in Scaramouche.) The best of the lot is probably George Sidney’s balletic Scaramouche (1952), in which Eleanor Parker plays one of Stewart Granger’s love interests — the other one is Janet Leigh. A loose remake of Rex Ingram’s 1923 blockbuster, the George Sidney version features plenty of humor, romance, and adventure; vibrant colors (cinematography by Charles Rosher); an elaborately staged climactic swordfight; and tough dudes
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Lookout, London! Gorgo is Marching to Blu-ray!

Seeing as how we may very well be just a few short months away from a new boom in giant monster cinema, it should come as no surprise to see more and more classic kaiju flicks like Gorgo getting the hi-def treatment.

Britain’s answer to Godzilla, Gorgo first stomped her way onto the big screen back in 1971. The final directorial effort from Eugene Lourie (The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The Colossus of New York, and The Giant Behemoth) starred Bill Travers, William Sylvester, and Vincent Winter and featured top-notch special effects by two-time Oscar winner Tom Howard.

Though the MGM production would prove a one-off, the ear-wiggling reptilian titan managed to spawn a 23-issue comic book by Charleton Comics and remains one of the most respected giant monster movie offerings from the golden age of creature features.

A volcanic eruption in the North Atlantic brings to the surface a 65-foot prehistoric monster.
See full article at Dread Central »

Richard Morant obituary

Actor best known as the doctor in Poldark

The dark good looks of the actor Richard Morant, who has died of an aneurism aged 66, were familiar to television viewers over several decades. For a while, he was cast in young romantic lead roles before settling down as a character actor.

He found plenty of drama as the dashing doctor Dwight Enys, who commits himself to tending to the poor in the 1970s BBC's serialisation of Winston Graham's Poldark novels.

While Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis) is marrying his servant, Demelza (Angharad Rees), after losing his fiancee to his cousin, the doctor is himself setting pulses racing amid the wilds of 18th-century Cornwall. Although Morant handed over the role to Michael Cadman after just one series (1975-76), his was a memorable portrayal of a character who has an affair with a married actress – resulting in her husband murdering her – and falls for an heiress.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

John Gielgud, Charles Laughton The Barretts Of Wimpole Street: Father's Day Movies

John Gielgud, Jennifer Jones, The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1957) Top Father's Day Movies In The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Charles Laughton and John Gielgud play the, ahem, doting fathers in, respectively, the 1934 and 1957 versions. Laughton's performance as the domineering Edward Moulton-Barrett is by far the better of the two; yet, Gielgud is the one who makes Moulton-Barrett's incestuous attraction to his daughter Elizabeth Barrett (Jennifer Jones) much more clear. Sidney Franklin directed both versions. Norma Shearer and Fredric March were the lovers in the 1934 movie; Bill Travers courted Jennifer Jones in the remake. In my view, both films are of [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Whites, Harry and Paul and The Born Free Legacy | TV review

The comedy's one thing, but this show needs to take the cooking to the next level, writes Tim Dowling

The very idea of a new sitcom on BBC2 makes my heart sink a little – all that British comic talent ploughing through a script in search of a gag – but it's probably best to start with low expectations. That way, when a programme like Whites comes along, one may be pleasantly surprised.

Given that it's set in the chaotic, high-pressure world of the restaurant kitchen, Whites is a surprisingly even-tempered thing. It stars Alan Davies as a self-absorbed executive chef at a country house hotel (he looks the part; in fact he looks exactly like Marco Pierre White), Darren Boyd as his demoralised sous chef and The It Crowd's Katherine Parkinson as the catty front-of-house. There's a clumsy kitchen worker who spills things all the time, but there's also a creepy,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

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