An American Tragedy (1931) - News Poster


TCM's Pride Month Series Continues with Movies Somehow Connected to Lgbt Talent

Turner Classic Movies continues with its Gay Hollywood presentations tonight and tomorrow morning, June 8–9. Seven movies will be shown about, featuring, directed, or produced by the following: Cole Porter, Lorenz Hart, Farley Granger, John Dall, Edmund Goulding, W. Somerset Maughan, Clifton Webb, Montgomery Clift, Raymond Burr, Charles Walters, DeWitt Bodeen, and Harriet Parsons. (One assumes that it's a mere coincidence that gay rumor subjects Cary Grant and Tyrone Power are also featured.) Night and Day (1946), which could also be considered part of TCM's homage to birthday girl Alexis Smith, who would have turned 96 today, is a Cole Porter biopic starring Cary Grant as a posh, heterosexualized version of Porter. As the warning goes, any similaries to real-life people and/or events found in Night and Day are a mere coincidence. The same goes for Words and Music (1948), a highly fictionalized version of the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical partnership.
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TCM Remembers Lovely and Talented Brunette of Studio Era

Frances Dee movies: From 'An American Tragedy' to 'Four Faces West' Frances Dee began her film career at the dawn of the sound era, going from extra to leading lady within a matter of months. Her rapid ascencion came about thanks to Maurice Chevalier, who got her as his romantic interested in Ludwig Berger's 1930 romantic comedy Playboy of Paris. Despite her dark(-haired) good looks and pleasant personality, Dee's Hollywood career never quite progressed to major – or even moderate – stardom. But she was to remain a busy leading lady for about 15 years. Tonight, Turner Classic Movies is showing seven Frances Dee films, ranging from heavy dramas to Westerns. Unfortunately missing is one of Dee's most curious efforts, the raunchy pre-Coder Blood Money, which possibly features her most unusual – and most effective – performance. Having said that, William A. Wellman's Love Is a Racket is a worthwhile subsitute, though the
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Rushes. Orson Welles on Netflix, Malick Speaks, Michael Mann on "Heat" & "Collateral," Classic Takedowns

  • MUBI
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveriesNEWSJohn Huston, Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich on the set of The Other Side of the WindWe're still holding our breath, but it looks like we may all get to see Orson Welles' beleaguered film project The Other Side of the Wind, to be released in some fashion by Netflix.The Tribeca Film Festival, running April 17 - 30, has announced its full lineup. Robert Osborne, Turner Classic Movies host and defacto representative in the United States for the appreciation of older films, has died at the age of 84. With his passing, the number of venerable, welcoming advocates for classic cinema is dropping precariously low.Recommended VIEWINGThe proof is the pudding: Director Terrence Malick actually participated in a public, recorded conversation! He was at SXSW to promote his new film, Austin-set Song to Song, and took place in a discussion with Richard Linklater
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Oscar Winner Went All the Way from Wyler to Coppola in Film Career Spanning Half a Century

Teresa Wright and Matt Damon in 'The Rainmaker' Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright vs. Samuel Goldwyn: Nasty Falling Out.") "I'd rather have luck than brains!" Teresa Wright was quoted as saying in the early 1950s. That's understandable, considering her post-Samuel Goldwyn choice of movie roles, some of which may have seemed promising on paper.[1] Wright was Marlon Brando's first Hollywood leading lady, but that didn't help her to bounce back following the very public spat with her former boss. After all, The Men was released before Elia Kazan's film version of A Streetcar Named Desire turned Brando into a major international star. Chances are that good film offers were scarce. After Wright's brief 1950 comeback, for the third time in less than a decade she would be gone from the big screen for more than a year.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Join The Academy on Sept 9th for Young Frankenstein 40th Anniversary Screening

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a 40th anniversary screening of “Young Frankenstein” with special guests Mel Brooks, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr and executive producer Michael Gruskoff on Tuesday, September 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Film historian Leonard Maltin will introduce the comedy classic and host a live onstage discussion with Brooks, Leachman, Garr and Gruskoff.

Young Frankenstein,” Brooks’s 1974 homage to the Golden Age of monster movies, features a large ensemble cast including Leachman, Garr, Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars and Gene Hackman. It earned Oscar® nominations for Adapted Screenplay (Wilder, Brooks) and Sound (Richard Portman, Gene Cantamessa).

Additional Academy events coming up in September at the Bing Theater in Los Angeles are listed below, with details at

“Let There Be Fright: William Castle Scare Classics”

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‘Machinal’ Theater Review: Rebecca Hall Wins by Losing It in Her Broadway Debut

  • The Wrap
If Theodore Dreiser had been a woman and that woman wrote the novel “An American Tragedy” as a play, you’d have Sophie Treadwell’s 1928 drama, “Machinal.” Or something very much like it. “Machinal,” which opened Thursday in a Roundabout Theater revival at the American Airlines Theater, is receiving its first Broadway revival. The original 1928 production is notable for providing a very young Clark Gable with his Broadway debut. This 2014 staging is notable for giving Rebecca Hall her stunning Broadway debut and proving that “Machinal” is an arresting and not some old chestnut that deserves to be cracked open only.
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A Place in the Sun – review

George Stevens's meticulously observed 1951 version of Theodore Dreiser's massive 1925 novel An American Tragedy is back in cinemas to accompany the BFI South Bank's retrospective of Montgomery Clift, who plays the small-town social climber opposite Elizabeth Taylor as the beguiling upper-class object of his ascent. Clift competed with his close friend Marlon Brando for the title of finest actor of his postwar generation, and he chose to work with the best directors around (Hawks, Stevens, Zinnemann, Huston, Wyler, Hitchcock, Mankiewicz), invariably playing outsiders in conflict with their surroundings, looking for a home, a dream, a place in the sun but never finding it. He died in 1966 at the age of 45, destroyed by alcohol, drugs, a terrible car accident and guilt over his homosexuality. Clift's sensitive face and eyes revealed his inner torment, and his best performance, perhaps, was as the tormented peacetime soldier in From Here to Eternity, one
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Forgotten Pre-Codes: Her Man (1930)

  • MUBI
Beginning a series looking at obscure pre-Code Hollywood films, made between the advent of sound and the strict enforcement of the Production Code. Some of these movies are rightly celebrated and frequently screened: Baby Face (1933), Red Headed Woman (1932), even to some extent Bed of Roses (1933). But others are trapped in copyright limbo or locked in vaults by studios too blind to exploit their holdings. That's the kind we're going to look at.

Tay Garnett was a typical tough-guy director, working in every genre but with a feeling for exotic climes (usually reproduced on the backlot). His reputation—that of a seventh-rate Howard Hawks, maybe—has never been hugely prestigious, and despite his frequently working on the screenplays of Hawks' films, and even making cameo appearances, the notion of Garnett as auteur never really took hold. Maybe, just maybe, this is partly due to the scarcity of some of his most interesting work.
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Montgomery Clift on TCM: A Place In The Sun, The Heiress, Raintree County

Montgomery Clift could have become a much bigger star had he turned down fewer roles in major classics (Sunset Blvd., reportedly Shane, East of Eden) and accepted fewer roles in major duds (The Big Lift, Lonelyhearts, The Defector). Clift has been a relatively frequent presence on Turner Classic Movies, but those unfamiliar with his work will be able to check him out — and compare him to fellow "'50s rebels" Marlon Brando and James Dean — on Saturday, August 20, as TCM will be presenting 11 Montgomery Clift movies as part of its "Summer Under the Stars" series. The one TCM premiere is the spy thriller The Defector (1966), which also happens to be Clift's last movie. [Montgomery Clift Movie Schedule.] My favorite Montgomery Clift performance is his quietly ambitious George Eastman in George Stevens' A Place in the Sun (1951). Though Marlon Brando's Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire (also 1951) is much better remembered today,
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A career in clips

The actor Elizabeth Taylor has died aged 79. Here we look back over her work, from early roles in National Velvet and Little Women to her defining appearances opposite Richard Burton

News: Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79

Gallery: A career in pictures

It's difficult to think of a better argument for the separate-but-equal value of the terms "actor" and "film star" than the career of Elizabeth Taylor. If that reads as a slight on her ability, it shouldn't. Taylor was a sporadically marvellous performer, one who rarely superseded her director or material but who could, with those factors working in her favour, surpass some of her more gifted peers' capacity for reckless emotional danger.

She was the rare actor who was as interesting on a bad day as on a good one, and not just for her mesmeric physical beauty: like any great film star, she was as compelled by her own screen presence as we were,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Obituary: Saluting Elizabeth Taylor, 1932-2011

Elizabeth Taylor, 1932-2011

Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor died early this morning in Los Angeles of complications from congestive heart failure. She was 79 years old.

Certainly there was much about the glamorous Ms. Taylor outside of her motion picture work that could prompt her “legendary” status, namely her eight marriages, tabloid-saturated romances and tireless philanthropic work in combating the AIDS virus.

But the legend of the gorgeous, violet-eyed Ms. Taylor was created in the movies, which is where it will endure.

So many memorable performances in so many unforgettable filims. Here are a bunch of our favorites…

National Velvet, 1944

National Velvet (1944)

Everyone’s favorite equestrian endeavor introduced much of the world to its fresh-faced, rising star, a violet-eyed 11-year-old who quickly proved that she wasn’t horsing around. And don’t forget she won a special children’s Oscar for her performance!

Available on DVD from MGM/Fox

Little Women (1949)

MGM bleached Ms.
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Match Point Review d: Woody Allen

Match Point (2005) Direction and screenplay: Woody Allen Cast: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox, Penelope Wilton Oscar Movies Recommended Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Match Point If Alfred Hitchcock were to direct a screenplay written by Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and Stanislaw Lem, and based on Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, the result would be something like Woody Allen's latest opus, Match Point. A dark fable about the vagaries of chance in a godless world, Allen's straightforward, aesthetically old-fashioned crime drama belies a hauntingly complex turn-of-the-millennium sensibility. Set in London, the basic plot of Match Point replicates certain key elements found in Dreiser's An American Tragedy: After experiencing the joys of wealth and high social standing (read: power), an ambitious petit bourgeois resorts to whatever it takes to maintain his newfound status. Between the lines of its critique of class inequality and materialism, Match Point dissects
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Golden Age of American Talkies: 1931

The Smiling Lieutenant (Ernst Lubitsch) City Lights (Charlie Chaplin) Tabu (F.W. Murnau & Robert Flaherty) Street Scene (King Vidor) Dishonored (Josef von Sternberg) The Champ (King Vidor) The Struggle (D.W. Griffith) The Criminal Code (Howard Hawks) Arrowsmith (John Ford) An American Tragedy (Josef von Sternberg) The Skin Game (Alfred Hitchcock) Private Lives (Sidney Franklin) Wicked (Allan Dwan) Bad Girl (Frank Borzage) Chances (Allan Dwan) The Miracle Woman (Frank Capra) Girls About Town (George Cukor) Frankenstein (James Whale) The Public Enemy (William Wellman) Seas Beneath (John Ford) The Yellow Ticket (Raoul Walsh) Tarnished Lady (George Cukor) The Guardsman (Sidney Franklin) Dirigible
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Standing Witness

  • IFC
In the nearly two decades that I've been writing film reviews, I can't recall another week that saw the release of three movies that are guaranteed to wind up on my year-end Ten Best list. The movies are vampire love story "Thirst" and the documentaries "The Cove," about an aquatic conservationist's attempts to stop the slaughter of dolphins, and "Severe Clear," an autobiographical account of one Marine's experiences in Iraq. Beyond their dramatic merits, all three demonstrate a front-and-center mastery of technique. They use image and sound not just for the usual, so-called "classical" purposes (to define the characters and advance the story) but to encourage the audience to think about filmmaking's ability to express states of mind.

The latest provocation from South Korean director Park Chan-Wook (director of the critically divisive "Vengeance" trilogy: "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance," "Oldboy" and "Lady Vengeance"), "Thirst" is, in no particular order, a horror movie,
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Playing it Straight

While Sean Penn’s recent Best Actor Oscar win for Milk helped bring Harvey Milk’s message to a wide audience — both from the increased visibility of the film and from Penn’s moving acceptance speech — the occasion marked another instance of a Hollywood tradition: a gay character played by a heterosexual actor.

Penn, like Tom Hanks (Philadelphia [1993]) and William Hurt (Kiss of the Spider Woman [1985]) before him, was praised for his “bravery” for taking on the role and even — eek! — kissing another man.

Gay actors, on the other hand, get no such credit for playing gay roles; let’s not forget the year that Rupert Everett’s hilarious supporting turn in My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) was ignored by the Academy, with the implication that queer thespians need merely show up to play queer characters, with no actual acting involved. (To add insult to injury, that same year saw
See full article at The Backlot »

Unkillable Classics: Dracula (1931)

Unkillable Classics

By Troy Brownfield

You may recall that I opened the new Unkillable Classics column with a discussion of Frankenstein. It’s almost a given now that installment two should cover the other big Universal release of 1931, that other standard-bearer of the horror genre that’s forever linked to that first film. The film for today is, of course, Dracula.

Like Frankenstein, I discovered this film for myself via the local broadcast outlet that carried the “thriller” package weeks. By that time, there were already plenty of other Dracula associations that I could make from pop culture. I fondly recall an issue of the Super Friends comic from DC (in fact, it was issue #10 from 1978, making me about five upon its release) where the heroes crossed paths with a group of characters that resembled the classic movie monsters. It turned out that these “monsters” were in fact the super
See full article at Fangoria »

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