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Desert-Set Adventure Movie Filled with Unsavory Characters Dares to Posit Ancient Philosophical Question

Desert-Set Adventure Movie Filled with Unsavory Characters Dares to Posit Ancient Philosophical Question
Desert Nights with John Gilbert and Mary Nolan: Enjoyable Sahara-set adventure – which happened to be Gilbert's last silent film – dares to ask the age-old philosophical question, “Is there honor among thieves?” John Gilbert late silent adventure 'Desert Nights' asks a question for the ages: Is there honor among thieves? The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release Desert Nights arrived in theaters at the tail end of the silent era. By 1929, audiences wanted lots of singing and dancing – talkies! And they might have been impatient to hear John Gilbert's speaking voice. I can't tell whether sound would have improved it or not, but Desert Nights has a lot of title cards filled with dialogue. Directed by the prolific William Nigh,[1] the film tells the story of diamond thieves who get stranded in the Sahara and almost die of thirst. (At first, Desert Nights' was appropriately titled Thirst.) Cinematographer James Wong Howe perfectly captures the hot, dry
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Oscar Winner and Queen of MGM on TCM: Still Relevant Adult Themes

Norma Shearer: The Boss' wife was cast in 'The Divorcee.' Norma Shearer movies on TCM: Early talkies and Best Actress Oscar Note: This Norma Shearer article is currently being revised and expanded. Please Check back later. Norma Shearer, one of the top stars in Hollywood history and known as the Queen of MGM back in the 1930s, is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month of Nov. 2015. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that even though its parent company, Time Warner, owns most of Shearer's movies, TCM isn't airing any premieres. So, if you were expecting to check out a very young Norma Shearer in The Devil's Circus, Upstage, or After Midnight, you're out of luck. (I've seen all three; they're all worth a look.) It's a crime that, music score or no, restored print or no, TCM/Time Warner don't make available for viewing the
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Dracula Performer Dead at 104; Uncle Founded Universal Studios

Dracula’ 1931 actress Carla Laemmle dead at 104 (photo: Carla Laemmle ca. 1930) Carla Laemmle, a bit player in a handful of silent movies and at the dawn of the sound era — e.g., the horror classics The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and Dracula (1931) — and a niece of Universal Studios co-founder Carl Laemmle, died on June 12, 2014, at her Los Angeles home. Laemmle, who had reportedly been in good health, was 104 years old. Born Rebekah Isabelle Laemmle on October 20, 1909, in Chicago, Carla Laemmle was less known for her movie work than for having survived most of her contemporaries and for her family connection to the Universal mogul — her father, Joseph Laemmle, was Carl’s brother. ‘Dracula’ actress was a member of Carl Laemmle’s ‘very large faemmle’ "Uncle Carl Laemmle, Has a very large faemmle," once half-joked poet Ogden Nash, in reference to Laemmle’s penchant for hiring family members. As Laemmle’s niece,
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Trailers from Hell Goes 'Singin' In The Rain'

Trailers from Hell Goes 'Singin' In The Rain'
Today on Trailers from Hell, John Landis takes on that iconic 1952 musical, "Singin' In The Rain." Close to perfection. Directors Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly assemble a peerless cast and crew to satirize and celebrate Hollywood. Set at the moment when sound came to motion pictures and turned the industry upside down (sending more than a few actors to the unemployment line), 1952's "Singin' In The Rain" seamlessly integrates its songs into its storyline, but even without those buoyant musical numbers it would still be one of the funniest movies ever made, thanks to Comdon and Green's ingenious screenplay. Co-stars Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor (in a sidekick role intended for Oscar Levant), and especially Jean Hagen, as the overbearing star with the voice to match, were never better. The title song had appeared previously in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 and 1940's Little Nelly Kelly. Recycling never looked so good.
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Singin’ in the Rain

Close to perfection. Directors Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly assemble a peerless cast and crew to satirize and celebrate Hollywood. Set at the moment when sound came to motion pictures and turned the industry upside down (sending more than a few actors to the unemployment line), 1952′s Singin’ In The Rain seamlessly integrates its songs into its storyline, but even without those buoyant musical numbers it would still be one of the funniest movies ever made, thanks to Comdon and Green’s ingenious screenplay. Co-stars Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor (in a sidekick role intended for Oscar Levant), and especially Jean Hagen, as the overbearing star with the voice to match, were never better. The title song had appeared previously in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 and 1940′s Little Nelly Kelly. Recycling never looked so good.

The post Singin’ in the Rain appeared first on Trailers From Hell.
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Library of Congress' Packard Campus: Rare Double Screening of Box Office Cataclysm

Screwball comedy movies, rare screenings of epic box office disaster: Library of Congress’ Packard Theater in April 2014 (photo: Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in ‘The Awful Truth’) In April 2014, the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Virginia, will celebrate Hollywood screwball comedy movies, from the Marx Brothers’ antics to Peter Bogdanovich’s early ’70s homage What’s Up, Doc?, a box office blockbuster starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal. Additionally, the Packard Theater will present a couple of rarities, including an epoch-making box office disaster that led to the demise of a major studio. Among Packard’s April 2014 screwball comedies are the following: Leo McCarey’s Duck Soup (Saturday, April 5) — actually more zany, wacky, and totally insane than merely "screwball" — in which Groucho Marx stars as the recently (un)elected dictator of Freedonia, abetted by siblings Harpo Marx and Chico Marx, in addition to Groucho’s perennial foil,
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Top 10 musicals

Musicals have been tap dancing their way into moviegoers' hearts since the invention of cinema sound itself. From Oliver! to Singin' in the Rain, here are the Guardian and Observer critics' picks of the 10 best

• Top 10 documentaries

• Top 10 movie adaptations

• Top 10 animated movies

• Top 10 silent movies

• Top 10 sports movies

• Top 10 film noir

• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s

10. Oliver!

Historically, the British musical has been intertwined with British music, drawing on music hall in the 1940s and the pop charts in the 50s – low-budget films of provincial interest and nothing to trouble the bosses at MGM. In the late 60s, however, the genre enjoyed a brief, high-profile heyday, and between Tommy Steele in Half a Sixpence (1967) and Richard Attenborough's star-studded Oh! What A Lovely War (1969) came the biggest of them all: Oliver! (1968), Carol Reed's adaptation of Lionel Bart's 1960 stage hit and the recipient of six Academy awards.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

'Singin' in the Rain' 60th Anniversary: 25 Things You Didn't Know About Hollywood's Greatest Musical

In a year when the Best Picture Oscar went to a comedy about Hollywood's turbulent transition from silence to sound, "Singin' in the Rain" suddenly seems timely again. The beloved musical, which marks the 60th anniversary of its release in U.S. theaters in April, is not only fondly remembered for its exuberantly athletic song-and-dance numbers, but also for its witty dramatization of the birth of Hollywood's sound era. If you haven't seen it, imagine 2011's "The Artist" with spoken dialogue and without the heroic dog. But of course, you have seen it, even if you don't realize it. The title number, featuring a soaked but joyful Gene Kelly, is one of the most iconic (and most frequently parodied) sequences in film history. The film's impact on popular culture is enormous, from making stars out of Debbie Reynolds and Cyd Charisse to influencing directors as far-flung as Jacques Demy and Stanley Kubrick.
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Debbie Reynolds on TCM: The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Singing Nun

Pert, pretty, multi-talented, actress-singer-dancer-Hollywood collector Debbie Reynolds is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Day on Friday, August 18, as TCM continues its "Summer Under the Stars" series. TCM is presenting 13 Debbie Reynolds movies. [Debbie Reynolds Movie Schedule.] Fans of Gene Kelly's Singin' in the Rain (1952) will be able to watch the romantic comedy-musical for the 118th time. I'm not one of them; in fact, I much prefer Kelly and Stanley Donen's On the Town (1949), and I'd say that George Sidney's Show Boat (1951) and Donen's Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) are my favorite musicals of the 1950s. But fan or no, there's much to enjoy in Singin' in the Rain, including Reynolds and Donald O'Connor's performances, several great songs from the 1920s, and Jean Hagen's high-pitched mix of Norma Talmadge, (the British) Mabel Poulton, and Corinne Griffith. The iconic "Singin' in the Rain" number is one of my least favorite
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Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel

Ann Dvorak The name Ann Dvorak wouldn't ring even a faint bell for most people around at the beginning of the 21st century. Most people, I said — but definitely not everyone. [Ann Dvorak Movie Schedule on Turner Classic Movies.] A while back, author James Robert Parish heard a loud gong when I told him during lunch at a West Hollywood restaurant that I had been working on a q&a with collector-turned-biographer Christina Rice (right), who has been writing Ann Dvorak's life story. "I love Ann Dvorak! I still remember her in I Was an American Spy, when the Japanese villains stick a hose down her throat. I never forgot that!" I haven't watched I Was an American Spy (it will be on TCM at 11 p.m. tonight), but I remember being impressed by Ann Dvorak's work in Mervyn LeRoy's hard-hitting 1932 melodrama Three on a Match, in which she plays a beautiful woman whose life is destroyed by ambition,
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