11 items from 2012
Regarding legendary MGM bathing beauty Esther Williams, producer Joe Pasternak once famously quipped, "Wet, she's a star." So it goes with "Chasing Mavericks," a biopic that features not enough stirringly gorgeous surfing footage and way too many clunky biopic clichés in telling the story of surf legend Jay Moriarity. With a storyline as by-the-numbers as a square dance, the movie's one surprise comes with the closing credits — namely, that this trite "inspirational" movie is the product of two world-class filmmakers, Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted. After a prologue in which eight-year-old »
- Alonso Duralde
This month, Turner Classic Movies is putting a spotlight on politically themed films. A mere coincidence as the presidential election season reaches its peak? Not a chance.
In the TCM special "A Night at the Movies: Hollywood Goes to Washington," debuting Friday (Oct. 5), writer-producer-director Laurent Bouzereau -- whose documentaries about the making of films appear on the home-video releases of many classics, from "Lawrence of Arabia" to "Jaws" -- compiles scenes from numerous movies with political bents, from James Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" to Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in "All the President's Men."
"It's not so much to make a statement, but to really tie in with the political season, absolutely," Bouzereau confirms to Zap2it of the program's timing. "Some of the people I've interviewed say, 'Everything is political.' Costa-Gavras, the great director of movies like 'Z' and 'State of Siege,' »
American entertainer and singer popular in the 1940s and 50s
The American entertainer Tony Martin, who has died aged 98, was once described as a singing tuxedo. Although he was rather a stiff actor, he was handsome and charming, with a winning, dimpled smile. What mattered most, however, was his mellifluous baritone voice, which he used softly in ballads such as To Each His Own and I Get Ideas, and powerfully in Begin the Beguine and There's No Tomorrow, all hit records in the 1940s and 50s.
He was one of the top crooners of the period with Vic Damone, Andy Williams and Dick Haymes, all of them just below Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra in esteem and popularity. According to Mel Tormé: "Tony Martin was technically the greatest singer of them all, as well as being the classiest guy around, both as an entertainer and a person."
He was »
- Ronald Bergan
Will divorce from Katie Holmes – and the Scientology factor – hit the world's highest paid performer at the box office?
What do you get the multi-millionaire global superstar who has everything? It's a question Katie Holmes must have asked herself repeatedly during her five-year marriage to Tom Cruise. When it comes to birthday presents for middle-aged men, divorce papers certainly qualify as an unorthodox gift, ranking even lower than novelty socks on the desirability scale.
Holmes's timing is particularly acute, given that she filed for divorce from Cruise in the downtime between the release of his latest movie (Rock of Ages, in which the star has a rare comic outing as a priapic soft-metal god) and his 50th birthday – a milestone for anyone, not least an action hero whose image rests on performing daring physical feats without pulling a muscle, be it leaping between moving trains or jumping up and down on a chatshow sofa. »
- Ryan Gilbey
Hollywood actor best known for the Hardy family films and her role as Careen, Scarlett O'Hara's sister, in Gone With the Wind
Ann Rutherford, who has died aged 94, was adept at portraying pluck and persistence. As Polly Benedict, Andy Hardy's ever-faithful girlfriend, in 13 of the 15 Hardy family film series made between 1937 and 1946, she had to wait around for Mickey Rooney's accident-prone adolescent to return to her after some dalliance with another girl. Andy would seek advice on romance from his stern but wise and fair father, Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone). "Dad, can I talk to you man to man? Can a guy be in love with two girls at once?" Inevitably, Andy would realise, with hints from his dad, that Polly was his own true love.
The Hardy series, one of the most popular in screen history, was the archetypal idealisation of small-town America and apple-pie family values, with »
- Ronald Bergan
Ann Rutherford, best remembered as Scarlett O’Hara’s younger sister Carreen in Gone with the Wind, died earlier this evening at her home in Beverly Hills according to Rutherford’s friend, actress Anne Jeffreys. Rutherford, who had been suffering from heart problems, was 94 as per the Los Angeles Times obit (as per most other sources, she was 91). [Recent Ann Rutherford photos, Ann Rutherford and Marsha Hunt.]
In 2010, Rutherford told the Times that MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer was unwilling to loan her out for "a nothing part" such as Carreen in son-in-law David O. Selznick’s mammoth adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel. Mayer changed his mind when Rutherford burst into tears.
Gone with the Wind ultimately became the biggest blockbuster ever. To this day, the Civil War romantic drama has sold more tickets than any other movie in North America. (Possibly, around the world, relative to population.) Gwtw also won eight Oscars, in addition to two special awards. »
- Andre Soares
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has undertaken a unique expansion in film preservation. As the rise of digital technology drastically reduces the availability of film stock, the project accelerates the work of the Academy Film Archive to acquire and create new archival film masters and prints from at-risk elements. Under the banner “Film-to-Film,” the $2 million initiative, approved by the Academy.s Board of Governors, focuses largely on Academy Award®-winning and nominated films from across motion picture history, including works made as recently as the 1990s.
“This is a moment of great transition for our industry, and we are responding to the urgency of that moment,” said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO. “By increasing our preservation efforts now, we are building a vital pipeline of films and film elements that we will not only safeguard, but also make available for audiences well into the future.”
Until recently, the »
- Michelle McCue
The TCM Classic Film Festival is teaming up with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to showcase a unique slate of programming that taps into Academy archives and distinguished membership to illustrate this year.s overall festival theme of Style in the Movies.
AMPAS will exhibit Hollywood home movies, preserved by the Academy, featuring legendary stars and filmmakers, presented by Randy Haberkamp of AMPAS and Lynn Kirste of the Academy Film Archive with special guests Margaret O’Brien; Steve McQueen.s former wife Neile Adams McQueen Toffel; Henry Koster.s son, Robert Koster; and the daughter of Fred MacMurray, Kate MacMurray.
AMPAS will also present a discussion of how art directors use various items to aid in storytelling featuring members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Art Directors Branch as well an exhibit of sketches and behind-the-scenes photography that illustrate the work of costume »
- Michelle McCue
Sports Illustrated magazine unleashed the Kracken and busted out the hot models for their annual swimsuit issue. Lpga golfer Natalie Gulbis, soccer star Alex Morgan and former 'Dancing with the Stars'' contestant Natalie Coughlin posed nude with carefully applied bodypaint. The 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue hits newsstands, Si.com/Swimsuit, tablets and iPhones on Tuesday. Coughlin also posed for Emmy award-winning makeup artist Melanie Mills, currently in New York running Concept Fashion week's high fashion makeup looks. The three-time gold medalist was reimagined as the iconic Esther Williams in styling and makeup for her high fashion shoot. Coughlin represents a more realistic natural female physique, unlike the majority of their models who have augmented breasts. Kate Upton is the »
- April MacIntyre
Actor who cheerfully exploited Hollywood's conception of French glamour
In the 1950s, Denise Darcel, who has died aged 87, profited from Hollywood's "ooh-la-la" conception of young, shapely French womanhood, generally inviting the adjective "sultry" and playing characters called Fifi, Gigi and Lola. In fact, her entire acting career was spent in America, cheerfully exploiting that image.
She was born Denise Billecard in Paris, one of five daughters of a baker and his wife. After studying at the University of Dijon, she returned to Paris, where she won the title of "most beautiful girl in France". Making the most of the publicity, she built up a nightclub act as a dancer and singer.
In 1947, in Paris, she met and married an American army captain, who returned to the Us with her. The marriage lasted for less than a year. With her name changed to the easier-to-pronounce Darcel, she landed an uncredited spot »
- Ronald Bergan
The double Oscar winner (The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth) turns 102 today! She's the oldest living Oscar nominee or winner! Her most recent appearance was just four short months ago when she showed up for her star ceremony in Berlin. They now have a "Boulevard des Stars" much like Hollywood's walk of fame and as the only German Best Actress winner (Hollywood and the media who nicknamed her "The Viennese Teardrop" promoted her as Austrian for obvious reasons in the 1930s), she was a natural for inclusion.
happy birthday to you
happy birthday dear Luise,
happy birthday to you
.......and many more ♫
Odets and Rainer in Hollywood. Odets also romanced actress Frances Farmer (as seen in the Jessica Lange picture "Frances")Luise is on record as saying that she doesn't believe in the Oscar curse and her short-lived Hollywood career was her own doing.
"The Oscar jinx! There is no Oscar jinx. »
- NATHANIEL R
11 items from 2012
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