Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
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8 items from 2011


Samuel-Novarro House for Sale: MGM Star Ramon Novarro Architectural Landmark First Owner

3 November 2011 1:26 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Ramon Novarro swimming in his Los Feliz Hills house Lloyd Wright's Samuel-Novarro House is back in the market, as per Curbed Los Angeles. Located in the Los Feliz Hills, the eastern section of the Hollywood Hills, the house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's son Lloyd Wright in the late 1920s. In order to pay for Wright's services, personal secretary Louis Samuel embezzled money from the financial holdings of his boss, Hollywood star Ramon Novarro (photo), to gamble in the stock market. Novarro had had such confidence in Samuel that he had given his former dance classmate/intimate companion power of attorney over his financial affairs. The market crash in late 1929 and the extended bear market that followed wiped out Samuel's investments. As I wrote in Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro, upon discovering he didn't have enough funds to buy a new car, "the star who had »

- Andre Soares

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Barbara Kent Dead at 103: Last Adult Hollywood Silent Film Performer

20 October 2011 7:36 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Barbara Kent, a minor leading lady during the transition from silent to sound films, died October 13 in Palm Desert, in Southern California. A resident of the local Marrakesh Country Club, Kent was either 103 or 104. No cause of death was given. Barbara Kent was never a star. Not even close. In fact, most of her 35 movies were probably forgotten the week after their release. Paradoxically, Kent has become one of the most important performers of the silent era. No, not because she was Harold Lloyd's leading lady in his first talkie, Welcome Danger (1929). Or because of her career highlight: romancing Glen Tryon in Paul Fejos' naturalistic drama Lonesome (1928), frequently compared to F. W. Murnau's Sunrise. Barbara Kent has taken an importance incommensurate to her actual movie career because she was the very last individual to have had notable adult leads in American silent films. Everybody else, from Lillian Gish to Joan Crawford, »

- Andre Soares

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Silent All Quiet On The Western Front: TCM Library of Congress Tribute

28 September 2011 6:51 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Joan Fontaine-Charles Boyer in Rare The Constant Nymph on TCM. [Photo: Miriam Jordan, Neil Hamilton in Two Heads on a Pillow.] Besides the Edmund Goulding-directed Joan Fontaine-Charles Boyer-Alexis Smith movie The Constant Nymph, other Library of Congress Film Archive entries on Turner Classic Movies tonight include Two Heads on a Pillow (1934), a B comedy directed by William Nigh, an important late silent-era director (Lon Chaney's Mr. Wu, Ramon Novarro's Across to Singapore) later stuck with second-rate fare. Apparently a sort of Adam's Rib predecessor, Two Heads on a Pillow features former silent-era leading man Neil Hamilton (Batman's Commissioner Gordon) and minor leading lady Miriam Jordan as once-married attorneys involved in a divorce case. It's probably worth watching even if only because of its cast, which also includes silent-era veterans Betty Blythe (the title role in the now-lost The Queen of Sheba) and Claire McDowell (Ramon Novarro's leprosy-stricken mom in Ben-Hur, »

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Alexander Payne’s The Descendants Closing Night Gala Selection For 2011 New York Film Festival

17 August 2011 10:30 AM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Press Release:

New York, August 17, 2011 -The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Alexander Payne.s The Descendants will be the Closing Night Gala selection for the 49th New York Film Festival (September 30-October 16). Nyff.s main slate of 27 feature films was also announced as well as a return to the festival stage of audience favorite, On Cinema (previously titled The Cinema Inside Me), featuring an in-depth, illustrated conversation with Alexander Payne

The 2011 edition of Nyff will also feature a unique blend of programming to complement the main-slate of films, including: the Masterworks programs, additional titles added to the previously announced Ben-hur, Nicholas Ray.s We Can.T Go Home Again and Velvet Bullets and Steel Kisses: Celebrating the Nikkatsu Centennial, as well as Views from the Avant-Garde, and several special event screenings, all of which will be announced in more detail shortly.

.In many of the films in this year.s Festival, »

- Michelle McCue

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John Garfield on TCM: Humoresque, The Breaking Point, We Were Strangers

4 August 2011 3:28 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

John Garfield, Joan Crawford, Humoresque John Garfield is Turner Classic Movies' "Summer Under the Stars" star on Friday, August 5. TCM will be presenting twelve John Garfield movies, in addition to the 2003 documentary The John Garfield Story. There will be no TCM premieres — but don't blame TCM for that. Garfield was a Warner Bros. star and Warners' movies belong to the Time Warner library; in other words, his films are always available. In fact, I believe the only John Garfield movie that has never been shown on TCM is 20th Century Fox's 1950 drama Under My Skin. [John Garfield Movie Schedule.] Much like Warners' James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, and Errol Flynn, Garfield was a tough guy at a tough studio. Come to think of it, even Warners' women were tough: Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon, Glenda Farrell, and, off screen, Olivia de Havilland and Joan Leslie (both of »

- Andre Soares

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Debbie Reynolds Auctions Movie Memorabilia: From Ben-hur to My Fair Lady

16 June 2011 1:22 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Marion Davies Monumental Painting by Federico Beltrán Masses Rudolph Valentino's Travis Banton-designed matador outfit from Blood and Sand; Mary Pickford's period hat from the 1924 historical drama Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall; the charioteer helmet worn by Francis X. Bushman in the 1925 version of Ben-Hur, filmdom's biggest worldwide blockbuster until Gone with the Wind; a blue suit and signature hat from the Harold Lloyd estate; Douglas Fairbanks' costumes from the 1929 version of The Taming of the Shrew; Greta Garbo's green velvet dress from Anna Karenina; Marilyn Monroe's 'subway' dress from The Seven Year Itch; Audrey Hepburn's Cecil Beaton-designed dress from My Fair [...] »

- Andre Soares

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Rudolph Valentino Birthday Celebration at Hollywood Heritage Museum

31 March 2011 11:32 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Rudolph Valentino, Blood and Sand Hollywood Heritage will celebrate Rudolph Valentino's birthday on Wednesday, May 11. The event will include screenings of the abridged version of Blood and Sand (1922) and the short Rudolph Valentino and His 88 American Beauties; rare photographs and artifacts on display in the lobby of the Hollywood Heritage Museum; and the presence of Donna Hill, author of Rudolph Valentino, The Silent Idol: His Life in Photographs. In addition to Blood and Sand, directed by Fred Niblo (Ben-Hur) and co-starring Nita Naldi (photo) and Martha Mansfield, Valentino starred in a number of major hits of the 1920s, among them Rex Ingram's epoch-making The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Beyond the Rocks, Monsieur Beaucaire, The Eagle, and Son of the Sheik. Born on May 6 in Castelanetta, Italy, Valentino died unexpectedly in 1926 at the age of 31. According to the Hollywood Heritage press release, in Rudolph Valentino, [...] »

- Andre Soares

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Rex Ingram: The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, The Magician, The Garden Of Allah

18 March 2011 5:18 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Rex Ingram directing Scaramouche (top); Henri Matisse, Rex Ingram (middle); Rex Ingram, the actor-director, with off-screen girlfriend Rosita Garcia in Baroud (bottom) Rex Ingram Part I In Beyond Paradise, I wrote that "Ingram's unquestionable talent was matched only by his arrogance, fiery temperament, and lack of respect for authority." Indeed, those qualities were his undoing. A couple of years after his falling out with June Mathis and Rudolph Valentino, Ingram was heartbroken when he was passed over for the job of directing Goldwyn Pictures' monumental Ben-Hur, which was to be shot in Italy under Mathis' supervision. After two more years had gone by, both Mathis and her chosen director, Charles Brabin, were fired from the out-of-control project. But instead of replacing Brabin with Ingram, the top brass at Metro-Goldwyn opted for the more malleable Fred Niblo. (Ironically, Ingram's own discovery, Ramon Novarro, landed the role of Judah Ben-Hur after leading »

- Andre Soares

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8 items from 2011


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