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Written by Jo Eisinger
Directed by Jules Dassin
Harry Fabian is probably the best at what he does, even if he is never very successful. Richard Widmark’s character in Night and the City, out now on a gorgeous new Criterion Collection Blu-ray, is a low-level con who works wherever he can, however he can, doing whatever he can to make a buck. He enters Jules Dassin’s 1950 film noir classic on the run; he will always be on the run: always hustling, always running. Sincere though his half-baked plans may be, he is perpetually—pathetically—down on his luck. He has the ambition, there’s no doubt about that, and as he shrewdly stumbles past one obstacle after another, it becomes almost humorous in the way he manages to charm his way through life, always just by the skin of his teeth. He cooks »
- Jeremy Carr
Robert Evans: The Kid Is Alright
I interviewed legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans in 2002 for Venice Magazine, in conjunction with the release of the documentary "The Kid Stays in the Picture," adapted from his iconic autobiography and audiobook. Our chat took place at Woodland, Evans' storied estate in Beverly Hills, in his equally famous screening room, which mysteriously burned down a couple years later. Evans was still physically frail, having recently survived a series of strokes, but his mind, his wit and his charm were sharp as ever, with near total recall for people, places and stories. Many, many stories. Here are a few of them.
It’s a widely-held belief that the years 1967-76 represent the “golden age” of American cinema. Just look at a few of these titles: Rosemary’s Baby, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major British stage star Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Born on May 15, 1910, actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned about six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., would have turned 105 this year. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received stage performances – is all but forgotten. »
- Andre Soares
Thanks to Paul Feig, wackiness abounded Wednesday night at Las Vegas’ CinemaCon as the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation honored Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox, with its Pioneer of the Year honor.
“I love Jim Gianopulos deeply and non-erotically,” Feig said. “Anywhere you go, you hear ‘Jim’s the best.'”
Feig dug up a 2-year-old video that was played for Fox employees at a town hall meeting showing Gianopulos botching an array of other jobs at the studio — security gate guard, gardener, sound mixer and human resources director dealing with the Gina and Beth characters from Feig’s movie “The Heat.”
The real Gina and Beth — Jamie Denbo and Jessica Chaffin — weren’t done by a long shot, commandeering the podium from Feig for an X-rated 10 minutes that scored with the audience. “Is that your wife? You never talk about her,” Denbo told Gianopulos. »
- Dave McNary
Written by Jules Furthman
Directed by Edmund Goulding
A carny cons his way up to high society through cold-reading and (un)timely circumstance. Based on that one-liner, who would you cast? If you say Tyrone Power, I’d say that my friend Stan Carlisle is on his way (The name Stan Carlisle being a con-industry handshake of sorts, informing one con-artist that he’s stepping in on another man’s con, or at least according to Eddie “The Czar of Noir” Muller’s introduction of this film at Tcmff). In Nightmare Alley, Tyrone Power, the 20th Century Fox matinee idol, plays a lowlife con man, who lies and cheats his way from a podunk carnival to becoming a spiritualist amongst the more gullible of Chicago’s upper crust. His character is also the namesake of the above con slang.
And any which way, yes, Tyrone Power »
- Diana Drumm
Teresa Wright-Samuel Goldwyn association comes to a nasty end (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Film.") Whether or not because she was aware that Enchantment wasn't going to be the hit she needed – or perhaps some other disagreement with Samuel Goldwyn or personal issue with husband Niven Busch – Teresa Wright, claiming illness, refused to go to New York City to promote the film. (Top image: Teresa Wright in a publicity shot for The Men.) Goldwyn had previously announced that Wright, whose contract still had another four and half years to run, was to star in a film version of J.D. Salinger's 1948 short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut." Instead, he unceremoniously – and quite publicly – fired her. The Goldwyn organization issued a statement, explaining that besides refusing the assignment to travel to New York to help generate pre-opening publicity for Enchantment, »
- Andre Soares
Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (photo: Marc Allégret) (See previous post: "Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.") Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical and financial success of the 1934 romantic drama Lac aux Dames, directed by her self-appointed mentor – and alleged lover – Marc Allégret. The son of an evangelical missionary, Marc Allégret (born on December 22, 1900, in Basel, Switzerland) was to have become a lawyer. At age 16, his life took a different path as a result of his romantic involvement – and elopement to London – with his mentor and later "adoptive uncle" André Gide (1947 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), more than 30 years his senior and married to Madeleine Rondeaux for more than two decades. In various forms – including a threesome with painter Théo Van Rysselberghe's daughter Elisabeth – the Allégret-Gide relationship remained steady until the late '20s and their trip to »
- Andre Soares
Paris– Abderrahmane Sissako’s Oscar-nominated “Timbuktu” has taken another kudo in France: Its producer Sylvie Pialat won the Toscan du Plantier Award, Gaul’s equivalent to the PGA’s Darryl F. Zanuck award, at a Paris ceremony on Feb. 16.
Pialat, who produced “Timbuktu” via her Paris-based company Les Films du Worso, was named producer of the year for the second consecutive year.
In 2014, she nabbed the Toscan du Plantier kudo after producing Alain Guiraudie’s drama thriller “Stranger by the Lake,” which premiered at Un Certain Regard and earned Guiraudie a best director prize.
Both Sissako and Pialat will be traveling to Los Angeles this weekend to attend the Academy Awards.
“Timbuktu” marks the first Mauritanian film to compete for a foreign-language Oscar. »
- Elsa Keslassy
There’s no greater drama produced in Hollywood than the rise and fall of top executives at the handful of conglomerates that rule the entertainment business.
Last week, industryites took in a double feature. Less than 30 minutes after word spread on the morning of Feb. 5 that Amy Pascal was out after 19 years atop Sony Pictures Entertainment, Disney confirmed the long-expected promotion of Tom Staggs to chief operating officer, making him the heir apparent to Bob Iger as CEO of the world’s largest media company.
High-level executive shakeups are a constant in the industry. While the developments at Sony and Disney are polar opposite in nature — with one executive descending, the other ascending — they are sure to trigger a domino effect that alters the corporate order.
Management shuffles always bring a large dose of disruption, uncertainty and anxiety, as well as opportunity, as the executive chessboard gets realigned and some players rise while others fall. »
- Brent Lang and Cynthia Littleton
Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (photo: Jean Gabin and Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine') (See previous post: "'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.") In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century-Fox from another French import, Annabella (later Tyrone Power's wife), Simone Simon returned to France. Once there, she reestablished herself as an actress to be reckoned with in Jean Renoir's La Bête Humaine. An updated version of Émile Zola's 1890 novel, La Bête Humaine is enveloped in a dark, brooding atmosphere not uncommon in pre-World War II French films. Known for their "poetic realism," examples from that era include Renoir's own The Lower Depths (1936), Julien Duvivier's La Belle Équipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937), and particularly Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938) and Daybreak (1939). This thematic and »
- Andre Soares
'Cat People' 1942 actress Simone Simon Remembered: Starred in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie classic (photo: Simone Simon in 'Cat People') Pert, pouty, pretty Simone Simon is best remembered for her starring roles in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie Cat People (1942) and in Jean Renoir's French film noir La Bête Humaine (1938). Long before Brigitte Bardot, Mamie Van Doren, Ann-Margret, and (for a few years) Jane Fonda became known as cinema's Sex Kittens, Simone Simon exuded feline charm in a film career that spanned a quarter of a century. From the early '30s to the mid-'50s, she seduced men young and old on both sides of the Atlantic – at times, with fatal results. During that period, Simon was featured in nearly 40 movies in France, Italy, Germany, Britain, and Hollywood. Besides Jean Renoir, in her native country she worked for the likes of Jacqueline Audry »
- Andre Soares
20th Century Fox has revealed that the Michael Keaton starring film, Birdman (which is nominated for 9 Academy awards), is coming to blu-ray in just a couple weeks. So if you missed out on it during it's limited run in theaters, you'll soon get your chance to see what all the commotion's about. Come inside for all the details on the blu-ray!
Birdman will hit blu-ray with it's (admittedly light) special features on February 17th, but you can catch it on digital download right now:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Regency Enterprises invite audiences to take flight with a New Regency / M Productions / Le Grisbi production, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) – winner of two Golden Globes® Awards and 9 Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture, the critically-acclaimed film soars onto Blu-ray™ and DVD February 17 and is now available on Digital HD™. “Daring, devastating, and howlingly funny »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Maison)
"The Lego Movie" took home the Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures for producer Dan Lin while "Life Itself" won the Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures for producers Garrett Basch, Steve James, and Zak Piper.
Meanwhile, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, and James W. Skotchdopole took the Oscar glitter away from Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" when "Birdman" was awarded the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures.
In TV land, NBC was the big winner of the evening with two of their shows taking home trophies for Competition Television ("The Voice") and Live Entertainment & Talk Television ("The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon »
It was a big weekend for “Birdman,” which moved into front-runner status with its SAG win, combined with the Darryl F. Zanuck award for best picture from the Producers Guild of America on Saturday night.
The winner of the SAG ensemble trophy has matched the Oscar best picture winner just nine times in 19 years, and last year “American Hustle” won the SAG cast award and was shut out at the Oscars. “Argo” won both awards two years ago.
Fox Searchlight-New Regency’s »
- Dave McNary
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
The Golden Globe Awards, Critics’ Choice Awards and Hollywood Film Awards, like the many other awards ceremonies that took place this season prior to Saturday night, were fine and dandy, but their winners were chosen by foreign journalists, film critics and an unnamed committee, respectively. They were not chosen by people who actually make movies, like those who are represented in the Academy. The people who work in the business tend to reveal their leanings at the various guild awards that precede the Oscars. And the first of those — the 26th Annual Producers Guild of America Awards — took place in Century City on Saturday night.
And that is why it is big news that the PGA awarded its Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures to Birdman, not Boyhood, which had previously won just about everything for which it was eligible. »
- Anjelica Oswald
The red carpet at the Shrine Auditorium will launch around 3 p.m. following toasting ceremonies with Champagne Taittinger, the official champagne of the SAG Awards for the past 15 years.
The SAG Awards website will live stream the red carpet.
Happy show day!! Just hours until the 21st Annual #sagawards! pic.twitter.com/KUg42wBURc
— SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) January 25, 2015
The no-host ceremonies will launch at 5 p.m. Pt with a live broadcast on TBS and TNT with the usual “I’m an actor” intro, followed by the presentation of five film and eight TV awards.
Presenters include Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Kevin Costner, Ethan Hawke, SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard, Rashida Jones, Michael Keaton, Lorelei Linklater, Matthew McConaughey, Edward Norton, Julia Roberts and Emma Stone. »
- Dave McNary
While last year brought a surprise tie between big hitters 12 Years A Slave and Gravity, this year the Producers Guild was firmly in Birdman’s court. Given that the award has often been a strong pointer for the Best Picture prize at the Academy Awards, throws something of a spanner in Boyhood’s march to Oscar glory.There were welcome awards for titles such as Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself and fellow Oscar snubbee (is that even a word? We’re making it one!) The Lego Movie.In terms of smaller screen achievements, Breaking Bad still managed to keep winning awards from the hands of Team True Detective, with Orange Is The New Black and Fargo also picking up statuettes.Here is the full list of winners...The Darryl F. Zanuck Award For Outstanding Producer Of Theatrical Motion PicturesBirdman American SniperBoyhoodFoxcatcher Gone GirlThe Grand Budapest HotelThe Imitation Game NightcrawlerThe Theory »
Last night the Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced this year’s winning motion picture, television, and new media productions at the 26th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. The Jerry Seinfeld-created web series, “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” won the Producers Guild Award for Outstanding Digital Series. The television program “Breaking Bad” and its producers Melissa Bernstein, Sam Catlin, Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Mark Johnson, Stewart Lyons, Michelle MacLaren, George Mastras, Diane Mercer, Thomas Schnauz, and Moira Walley-Beckett won the Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama. Closing the evening, the film Birdman and its producers Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, and James W. Skotchdopole won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. This category is one of the most eagerly-anticipated of season, as it is widely considered a strong »
- Josh Abraham
During the cocktail reception before Saturday night’s Producers Guild Awards began I ran into Oscar-nominated Screenwriter (and Director) Dan Gilroy and wife Rene Russo, there supporting one of the ten PGA Darryl F. Zanuck Best Picture nominees, Nightcrawler. Russo, admittedly not a staple at this type of awards-season banquet, asked me if they were going to serve food at this event. “Yes,” I replied, “it’s a dinner.” “So what do you think will win, Boyhood or Birdman?” she wondered. That was an interesting and somewhat surprising way to distill what has been thought to be a wide open race to Oscar until Boyhood basically cleaned up on the critics circuit, capping its run with Golden Globe and Critics Choice Movie Award wins, while Birdman scored for Michael Keaton but actually lost to Fox Searchlight stablemate The Grand Budapest Hotel in both respective comedy categories. But now with the »
- Pete Hammond
During the cocktail reception before Saturday night’s Producers Guild Awards began I ran into Oscar-nominated Screenwriter (and Director) Dan Gilroy and wife Rene Russo, there supporting one of the ten PGA Darryl F. Zanuck Best Picture nominees, Nightcrawler. Russo, admittedly not a staple at this type of awards-season banquet, asked me if they were going to serve food at this event. “Yes,” I replied, “it’s a dinner.” “So what do you think will win, Boyhood or »
- Pete Hammond
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