6 items from 2013
Why most films of Hollywood's golden age chose to brush race issues under the carpet
I have to wonder what the motivation is for re-releasing Gone With The Wind just a couple months before 12 Years A Slave, its polar opposite among films dealing with the peculiar institution of American slavery. Are they looking to generate coattail ticket receipts from the controversy attending Steve McQueen's harrowing and violent epic? Do they think some retirement-home demographic of faded southern belles and elderly white racists will emerge, stooped and wrinkled, to reclaim it one last time?
Who knows? But it's interesting, now that a movie is on the market that lingers in detail on the pain, violence, sexual abuse, squalor and pure evil of slavery, to remind ourselves how they dealt with it in the Golden Age of Hollywood (also the Golden Age of Jim Crow). Of course, they typically dealt with »
- John Patterson
’Iron Man’ 2008: The Air Force as ’rock stars’ (See previous post: "The American Military at the Movies: The Pentagon-Hollywood Complex.") Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. are connected to the Pentagon by way of the Air Force-aided Iron Man (2008), and so is Dakota Fanning "at the side of top-gunner Tom Cruise" in Steven Spielberg’s Army-aided 2005 remake of War of the Worlds. (Image: Iron Man 2008.) Oscar winners and/or nominees Jennifer Jones, Paul Newman, Fred Astaire, Faye Dunaway, Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn, and once again William Holden (not to mention O.J. Simpson, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, and Robert Wagner) are all in thanks to John Guillermin’s 1974 blockbuster and Best Picture Academy Award nominee The Towering Inferno. "The Navy lent helicopters," Nick Turse explains, "and the studio [20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.] said thanks in the form of an acknowledgment in the credits." Regarding Paramount’s Jon Favreau-directed Iron Man, Air Force master »
- Andre Soares
Feature James Clayton 18 Oct 2013 - 06:39
The arrival of Sly-and-Arnie thriller Escape Plan leaves James pondering the living conditions in other Hollywood film prisons...
"Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?" asks Captain Clarence Oveur (Peter Graves) in Airplane!, the classic Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker spoof from 1980. Joey doesn't respond to that question or Oveur's other teasers - "Do you like films about gladiators?" and "Have you ever seen a grown man naked?" - but I think we can safely assume that the kid has never done time in a cell in Turkey.
Employing our Sherlock-style deduction skills, we take the wholesome pre-pubescent All-American boy's claim "I've never been on a plane before!" as conclusive. Unless Joey is delusional, a severe amnesiac or a chronic liar, he has not had a Midnight Express experience.
Still, that was over 30 years ago and in that time Joey has undoubtedly grown »
Glenda Farrell: Actress has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day Scene-stealer Glenda Farrell is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 29, 2013. A reliable — and very busy — Warner Bros. contract player in the ’30s, the sharp, energetic, fast-talking blonde actress was featured in more than fifty films at the studio from 1931 to 1939. Note: This particular Glenda Farrell has nothing in common with the One Tree Hill character played by Amber Wallace in the television series. The Glenda Farrell / One Tree Hill name connection seems to have been a mere coincidence. (Photo: Glenda Farrell as Torchy Blane in Smart Blonde.) Back to Warners’ Glenda Farrell: TCM is currently showing Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939), one of the seven B movies starring Farrell as intrepid reporter Torchy Blane. Major suspense: Will Torchy win the election? She should. No city would ever go bankrupt with Torchy at the helm. Glenda Farrell »
- Andre Soares
Whether you think of Warner Bros. as the studio that gave you talking pictures, Bugs Bunny, Bogart, or Batman, you have to acknowledge the studio's place at the forefront of Hollywood history. Indeed, it'll be hard to avoid acknowledging it this year, as the studio will be spending 2013 celebrating its 90th birthday. The celebration kicks off with the release of two massive boxed sets of 50-plus discs each, both entitled the "Best of Warner Bros." -- a 100-film set of DVDs and a 50-film set of Blu-rays. Both sets encompass the studio's milestones of the entire sound film era, which Warners itself kicked off in 1927 with the release of "The Jazz Singer." (The sets go all the way up to the 2010 classic-to-be "Inception.") As familiar as these movies are, there's still plenty you may not know about the legendary movie studio, from who the actual Warner Brothers were, to the stars the studio minted, »
- Gary Susman
At the risk of stating the obvious and redundant, there are a lot of directors out there and so this series could merrily run for years, but in the interests of avoiding modern-centricity (yes, it’s a word. I know it is because I thought of it just now) let’s tuck into the resumé of Howard Hawks, who covered an astonishing amount of ground during his 44-year career, not only navigating the stylistic transition to sound, but moving from genre to genre while still delivering some of the best-regarded films of those genres.
Crime films, screwball comedies, westerns, melodrama – a truly versatile director who has left a CV peppered with bona fide classics. If you’re not sure, let me show you…………..
We have to start here. Not necessarily because it is his best film (though if it is not, it cannot be far off) but »
- Dave Roper
6 items from 2013
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