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8 items from 2010

For Your Eyebrows Only: the 007 regulars

21 December 2010 9:22 AM, PST | Shadowlocked | See recent Shadowlocked news »

Despite Daniel Craig successfully taking over the role of James Bond in Casino Royale (2006), Eon Productions has now put the immortal series on a backburner because of a potential take-over of MGM. Whether another Bond film will be produced under the partnership remains to be seen, and even if the series kick-starts once more, there’s no guarantee that Craig will return as the world’s most famous secret agent.

The past 40 years has seen a number of actors who have contributed to more than one film. So with this imposed hiatus, it's worth taking a look at those performers who have been in the most 007 movies.

Making her debut in the first 007 outing Dr No (1962), the durable Canadian actress Lois Maxwell made 14 appearances as Secretary Jane Moneypenny, forever flirting with 007 when he returns home from another world-saving assignment. Ian Fleming always regarded Maxwell, who died in 2007, as the perfect Moneypenny because, »

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Old Ass Movies: Laura (1944)

5 December 2010 4:41 PM, PST | | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Every Sunday, Film School Rejects presents a film that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. This week, Old Ass Movies presents the story of a murdered woman loved by everyone, a police detective with a silver leg, and the twists that no one saw coming. Laura (1944) Directed by: Otto Preminger Otto Preminger has a stranger public persona than may be deserved. For more modern audiences, he might be best recognized as “that other guy who played Mr. Freeze on the Batman TV series.” For older generations, he has an even shot at being remembered either for his directorial talent or for getting stripper Gypsy Rose Lee pregnant due to his estranged, open marriage. However, the man whom Noel Coward once called a bully had an incredible skill for storytelling, and that’s the aspect of his life that should be celebrated most on his birthday (one he shares with »

- Cole Abaius

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30 Greatest Gay Actors: #21: Clifton Webb

17 November 2010 11:21 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

A remarkable character actor, Clifton Webb was a familiar presence in American movies of the 1940s and 1950s, a leading New York ballroom dancer, and a respected actor in stage roles both straight drama and musical comedy. In his mid-fifties actor/director Otto Preminger chose him over the objections of 20th Century Fox to star as the elegant but evil radio columnist Waldo Lydecker in the 1944 film noir Laura. His performance won him wide acclaim, and Webb was signed to a long-term contract with Fox. Clifton Webb’s deliciously eccentric, snobbish performance, as both a criric and Laura’s mentor is worth the price of admission alone. Patterned after real-life New York drama critic Alexander Woollcott, Webb’s dialogue is quotable from start to finish.

For the next decade and half, he would be a Hollywood star, a remarkable feat considering that he was not particularly handsome nor leading-man material. »

- Staff

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Shadows of Film Noir: Laura (1944)

18 June 2010 7:00 PM, PDT | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

For this edition Shadows of Film Noir, we take a look at Otto Preminger's Laura, produced by Twentieth Century Fox in 1944. It was a glossy, high-class production that was well regarded, and it was a hit, even though it was not one of the year's top grossers. It won an Oscar for its black-and-white cinematography, and received nominations for directing, screenplay, art direction, and supporting actor. Since then, it has come to be known as one of Preminger's greatest films, along with Anatomy of a Murder (1959). It's an odd combination of class and back-alley emotions, all coming together in a bizarre, brilliant way.

What It's About

Police detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) is investigating the murder of Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney), a beautiful advertising executive. His first stop is powerful newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb), who first appears in his bathtub, perched at his typewriter (which rests on »

- Jeffrey M. Anderson

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Review: 'Cinema Pride Collection'

13 June 2010 8:09 AM, PDT | | See recent Comicmix news »

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has collected ten films from their vault and colorfully packaged them in the just released Cinema Pride Collection , celebrating homosexuality on the silver screen. As a straight man, I find the movies a sometimes accurate window into a lifestyle not my own, and at other times, I cringe at the horrible stereotyping that goes on.

Gays in the cinema started off as stock sissy characters that knowing audiences recognized queerness through characterization. It wasn’t until 1936’ My Man Godfrey before any touching was allowed and even then, the briefest of beard strokes. Gays continued to be see in parts that never acknowledged their sexual identity although they were trotted out now and then as the villain such as Clifton Webb's murderous Waldo Lydecker in Laura.

If the movies touched on homosexuality at all, it was to imply that all male environments, notably the military, »

- Robert Greenberger

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Oscar-Nominated Cara Williams: Laura Academy Screening

2 June 2010 6:10 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Cara Williams, a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee for Stanley Kramer’s The Defiant Ones (1958), which starred Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis, is seen in the picture above. Williams attended a screening of Otto Preminger’s classic 1944 film noir Laura, which stars Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, and Judith Anderson. Laura was shown as the part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ "Oscar Noir" series at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on Monday, May 24, 2010. Cara Williams was married (1952-1960) to John Drew Barrymore, son [...] »

- Zhea D.

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Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb: Otto Preminger’s Laura Screening

21 May 2010 7:11 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Clifton Webb, Gene Tierney, Laura Starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, and Clifton Webb, Otto Preminger’s classic film noir Laura (1944), one of the best in the genre, will be screened as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ series “Oscar Noir: 1940s Writing Nominees from Hollywood’s Dark Side” on Monday, May 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Laura will be introduced by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Scott Frank (Out of Sight, Minority Report). Based on the novel by Vera Caspary, Laura earned four Academy Award nominations: Screenplay (Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein and Betty Reinhardt), Actor in a Supporting Role (Clifton Webb), [...] »

- Andre Soares

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'The Three Musketeers': Do We Really Need Another Feather in the Hat?

28 February 2010 3:33 PM, PST | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

As a general rule, I just can't get into 17th century swashbuckling movies. It surprises me in some ways; I'm interested in swords and the rich costumes from an aesthetic viewpoint, but all the classic weaponry and elaborate getups aren't enough to overcome my disdain for the foppish characters who seem to populate these films. Give me Clifton Webb's dandy in Laura, or Daniel Day-Lewis as the pompous and self conscious Edwardian "gentleman" in A Room With a View; or even the sometimes dandy/sometimes fop-psycho Patrick Bateman, but don't ask me to find the fun in The Three Musketeers' frocked and feathered Charlie Sheen. Knights in shining armor? Yes please. Celtic warriors in kilts? Rock. Oversized feather hats? Just doesn't have the same badass ring to it.

Call it a duel: Paul W.S. Anderson wants to modernize the story in his 3-D version, while keeping "...eye-popping action, »

- Alison Nastasi

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