My Man Godfrey (1936) - News Poster

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Good Evening, Mr. Ross

Steve Ross I Remember Him Well: The Songs of Alan Jay Lerner Birdland Jazz Club, NYC Monday, January 22, 2018

Lerner who?

Getting serious for a moment, this is the fact around which we will orbit: What really constitutes American culture? Literature and architecture and painting -- yes, certainly. But what particularly animates our hearts is song -- and, in particular, the living energy of the American musical theater. In that buoyant realm, there’s no greater literate master than lyricist and writer Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986). The open-and-shut-case evidence for this assertion is his CV: On A Clear Day, Brigadoon, Gigi, Paint Your Wagon, An American In Paris (story and screen play), Camelot, and -- most famously, My Fair Lady.

Watching our black and white TV, as a child I noticed my parents (and the studio audience) were delighted by a singer I’d never heard of. I could not understand the big to-do about him.
See full article at CultureCatch »

The 100 Greatest Comedies of All-Time, According to BBC’s Critics Poll

After polling critics from around the world for the greatest American films of all-time, BBC has now forged ahead in the attempt to get a consensus on the best comedies of all-time. After polling 253 film critics, including 118 women and 135 men, from 52 countries and six continents a simple, the list of the 100 greatest is now here.

Featuring canonical classics such as Some Like It Hot, Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall, Duck Soup, Playtime, and more in the top 10, there’s some interesting observations looking at the rest of the list. Toni Erdmann is the most recent inclusion, while the highest Wes Anderson pick is The Royal Tenenbaums. There’s also a healthy dose of Chaplin and Lubitsch with four films each, and the recently departed Jerry Lewis has a pair of inclusions.

Check out the list below (and my ballot) and see more on their official site.

100. (tie) The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese,
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘The Last Tycoon’ Review: Amazon’s Newest Drama is ‘Downton Abbey’ for Fans of Old Hollywood

‘The Last Tycoon’ Review: Amazon’s Newest Drama is ‘Downton Abbey’ for Fans of Old Hollywood
The era of prestige television dramas has ushered in a mentality that a high-stakes period piece, in order to be an artistic success, must have a raw intensity to justify a full series’ existence. Ostensibly, “The Last Tycoon” offers the perfect opportunity for just that, a cutthroat look at life in Old Hollywood as a nation reels from the effects of the Great Depression and hurtles toward World War II.

Instead, the latest interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished 1941 novel is more akin to the high melodrama that characterized many of the most popular dramas of that era. The result is a glossy look at the time period that, despite leaning on some familiar emotional and story territory, still makes for an engaging, enjoyable viewing experience.

At the heart of “The Last Tycoon” is Monroe Stahr (Matt Bomer), a dapper and charming Hollywood jack-of-all-trades of the fictional Brady-American studio,
See full article at Indiewire »

Lgbt Pride Month: TCM Showcases Gay and Lesbian Actors and Directors

Considering everything that's been happening on the planet in the last several months, you'd have thought we're already in November or December – of 2117. But no. It's only June. 2017. And in some parts of the world, that's the month of brides, fathers, graduates, gays, and climate change denial. Beginning this evening, Thursday, June 1, Turner Classic Movies will be focusing on one of these June groups: Lgbt people, specifically those in the American film industry. Following the presentation of about 10 movies featuring Frank Morgan, who would have turned 127 years old today, TCM will set its cinematic sights on the likes of William Haines, James Whale, George Cukor, Mitchell Leisen, Dorothy Arzner, Patsy Kelly, and Ramon Novarro. In addition to, whether or not intentionally, Claudette Colbert, Colin Clive, Katharine Hepburn, Douglass Montgomery (a.k.a. Kent Douglass), Marjorie Main, and Billie Burke, among others. But this is ridiculous! Why should TCM present a
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

On This Day: Globes for two goddesses. Plus a non-jolly green giant

On this day in history as it relates to showbiz...

1892  One of Old Hollywood's most undersung but talented 1930s directors Gregory La Cava is born. Classics include Stage Door and My Man Godfrey

1913 Famed abolitionist and American hero Harriet Tubman dies of pneumonia. So glad she's getting biopic treatment soon. And twice over!

1938 The 10th annual Oscars are held with The Life of Emile Zzzzzola winning Best Picture and Louise Rainer taking her consecutive Best Actress prize but the most enduring anecdote was of course the theft of Alice Brady's Oscar for In Old Chicago.

1958 Sharon Stone is born in Pennysylvania

The 1959 Golden Globes (and more) are after the jump...
See full article at FilmExperience »

Gabriel Over the White House (revisited)

Gabriel Over the White House

DVD-r

The Warner Archive Collection

1933 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 86, 102 min. / Street Date October 20, 2009 / available through the Warner Archive Collection / 17.99

Starring: Walter Huston, Karen Morley, Franchot Tone, Arthur Byron, Dickie Moore, C. Henry Gordon, David Landau, Samuel S. Hinds, Jean Parker, Mischa Auer.

Cinematography: Bert Glennon

Film Editor: Basil Wrangell

Original Music: Dr. William Axt

Written by: Carey Wilson, from a book by T. F. Tweed

Produced by: William Randolph Hearst, Walter Wanger

Directed by Gregory La Cava

A Review Revisit.

The unique political fantasy Gabriel Over the White House has become painfully topical lately. This is an update of a 2009 review. To my knowledge nothing has changed with the product — I saw a re-promotion of Twilight Time’s 1984 disc and thought, Gabriel is twice as relevant and at least as scary.

Unstable times in America have produced some pretty strange political-religious message pictures.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Top Ten Funny Ladies of the Movies

The recent box office success of The Boss firmly establishes Melissa McCarthy as the current queen of movie comedies (Amy Schumer could be a new contender after an impressive debut last Summer with Trainwreck), but let us think back about those other funny ladies of filmdom. So while we’re enjoying the female reboot/re-imagining of Ghostbusters and those Bad Moms, here’s a top ten list that will hopefully inspire lots of laughter and cause you to search out some classic comedies. It’s tough to narrow them down to ten, but we’ll do our best, beginning with… 10. Eve Arden The droll Ms. Arden represents the comic sidekicks who will attempt to puncture the pomposity of the leading ladies with a well-placed wisecrack (see also the great Thelma Ritter in Rear Window). Her career began in the early 1930’s with great bit roles in Stage Door and Dancing Lady.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Shane Black Talks 'Doc Savage' and 'The Predator'

Director Shane Black certainly has a lot on his plate these days. Not only is his latest film, The Nice Guys, set to hit theater soon, but he already has two big properties ready to follow that one up. The first is The Predator, a film that's set to revitalize the long-dormant franchise. Also on the horizon is a film chronicling the adventures of the decades-old pulp hero, Doc Savage.

Here's what Black had to say about The Predator when asked if the sort of "macho" culture that it came out of was still relevant in todays' world.

"I think that the only thing that the 1980s macho context really has to add is that back then, the actors tended to be more… I think more 'men,' and less 'boys.' For instance, back in the day, the ones who filled my head as I grew up: Lee Marvin,
See full article at LRM Online »

Best Picture and Better Picture: Movies That Should Have Won the Oscar but Didn’t

  • Cinelinx
The best picture doesn’t always win Best Picture. Sometimes the best film of the year gets robbed. Cinelinx looks at the movies which should have won Best Picture but didn’t.

Whenever the Best Picture winner is announced at the Oscars, sometimes we say, “Yeah, that deserved to win,” but then again, sometimes we say, “Huh? Are they kidding me?!” There are a lot of backstage politics and extenuating factors in Hollywood that can determine which film wins the big trophy. The worthiest film doesn’t always take the statue home. Going back over the 88-year history of the Academy Awards, we look at which films didn’t really deserve to win and the ones which rightfully should have won.

The Best Pictures and the Better Pictures:

1927-8: The Winner-Wings

What should have won: Sunrise (Sunrise was given a special award for Artistic Quality of Production, but it
See full article at Cinelinx »

Day of the Dead List: Top 10 Most Piercingly Horrific Movie Screams

Top Ten Scream Queens: Barbara Steele, who both emitted screams and made others do same, is in a category of her own. Top Ten Scream Queens Halloween is over until next year, but the equally bewitching Day of the Dead is just around the corner. So, dead or alive, here's my revised and expanded list of cinema's Top Ten Scream Queens. This highly personal compilation is based on how memorable – as opposed to how loud or how frequent – were the screams. That's the key reason you won't find listed below actresses featured in gory slasher films. After all, the screams – and just about everything else in such movies – are as meaningless as their plots. You also won't find any screaming guys (i.e., Scream Kings) on the list below even though I've got absolutely nothing against guys who scream in horror, whether in movies or in life. There are
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

'Sunset Blvd.': 15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About the Hollywood Classic

Long before the lurid "E! True Hollywood Story" series, there was "Sunset Boulevard" -- maybe the darkest, most cynical movie ever made about what Hollywood is really like.

Released 65 years ago this week (on August 10, 1950), director Billy Wilder's classic explored fame from the perspective of those who had it and lost it (like Gloria Swanson and her "waxwork" friends, playing lightly fictionalized versions of themselves) and those who never quite made it, like the struggling young screenwriter (William Holden) and the failed actress-turned-script reader played by Nancy Olson.

Even if you haven't seen "Sunset Boulevard," you may feel like you have, whether because of the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical it spawned, the movies that copied it (particularly "American Beauty," with its narration from beyond the grave), and the countless parodies of Swanson's final "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up" scene. In honor of the film's anniversary,
See full article at Moviefone »

‘The Assassin,’ ‘Irrational Man’ To Bookend Hk Summer Festival

Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “The Assassin” will play as the opening of next month’s Cine Fan Summer International Film Festival (Siff), a popular spin off event of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man” will close the festival that runs Aug 11-25.

In between, the Siff will play a further 30 films, including “Wild City,” the return to Hong Kong of top local director Ringo lam, who has not made a Hong Kong film for over 10 years.

Contemporary Japanese films screening include “Love & Peace,” by Sono Sion, “Yakuza Apocalypse,” by Miike Takashi, “Prophecy,” by Nikamura Yoshihiro and “Flying Colors,” directed by Doi Nobuhiro.

Classics include a restored version of “A Touch of Zen,” by King Hu, “The Double Life of Veronique,” directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski, and “Love Letter,” by Iwai Shunji.

The festival is also screening a six title Hollywood 1930s retrospective: “Trouble in Paradise,” “It Happened One Night,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Top Ten Tuesday – The Best Substitutes for Downton Abbey

By rights I should hate the English. Seriously, my background is almost entirely Scots and Irish. I grew up hearing about the troubles the English gave to the Scots and Irish, both in school and from my parents.

Yet I do not, I love the English. How can I hate a country that gave us not only Monty Python but also Benny Hill and the Carry On Films? How can I bear any ill will to a country that gave us writers of the caliber of Ramsey Campbell, Brian Aldiss, Michael Moorcock and J. G Ballard? How can anyone hate a country that not only prizes eccentric behavior but encourages it? Take Mr. Kim Newman for instance, a brilliant writer whose work appears regularly in Video WatchDog and Videoscope Mr. Newman dresses himself, has his hair and mustache styled and speaks in the manner of someone from the 19th Century!
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

See Reddit users’ favorite movie from each year

Throughout the summer, an admin on the r/movies subreddit has been leading Reddit users in a poll of the best movies from every year for the last 100 years called 100 Years of Yearly Cinema. The poll concluded three days ago, and the list of every movie from 1914 to 2013 has been published today.

Users were asked to nominate films from a given year and up-vote their favorite nominees. The full list includes the outright winner along with the first two runners-up from each year. The list is mostly a predictable assortment of IMDb favorites and certified classics, but a few surprise gems have also risen to the top of the crust, including the early experimental documentary Man With a Movie Camera in 1929, Abel Gance’s J’Accuse! in 1919, the Fred Astaire film Top Hat over Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in 1935, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing over John Ford’s
See full article at SoundOnSight »

We introduce the new show 'Ask Drew' and we need your help to make it work

  • Hitfix
We introduce the new show 'Ask Drew' and we need your help to make it work
The video team here at HitFix constantly impresses me with not only the volume of work that they produce, but also the quality. We've gotten very lucky with the people we've hired, and they make any of our collaborations both easy and fun. Last week, they approached me about a new ongoing feature that they wanted to do, and tomorrow, we're going to shoot the first episode of "Ask Drew," which is exactly what it sounds like. I am constantly asked questions via e-mail and Twitter and in our comments section, and I feel like I never fully answer all of them, something that makes me feel terrible. I am grateful for each and every reader of the work we do here at HitFix, and if I can answer something, I try to. To that end, we are going to try something a little different here starting tomorrow. I want
See full article at Hitfix »

'American Hustle' almost set wrong kind of Oscar record with 0 wins, 10 losses

'American Hustle' almost set wrong kind of Oscar record with 0 wins, 10 losses
Sure, "American Hustle" was the 15th film ever to reap acting bids across all four categories. But it lost all those races at Sunday's Oscars, as well as six more.  That brought its total losses to 10. And its wins? A big fat Zero.  While that is a dubious achievement, it is not one for the record books. Both "The Turning Point" (1977) and "The Color Purple" (1985) went 0 for 11.  David O. Russell lost both his bids -- for director and original screenplay. And his cast, leads Christian Bale and Amy Adams as well as featured players Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, all stayed in their seats.  Of the 14 films to contend across the board for acting, all but two won at least one of these races. The exceptions: "My Man Godfrey" (1936) and "Sunset Boulevard" (1950). Like "Hustle," "My Man Godfrey" lost all six of its Oscar races; "Sunset" won t...
See full article at Gold Derby »

The Most Likely Oscar Scenario for ‘American Hustle’

By Terence Johnson

Managing Editor

American Hustle earned itself a place alongside some great films in Oscar history when it managed to nab four acting nominations in the four acting categories. Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence all find themselves in competition once again, but many are predicting American Hustle to go home empty handed. However, odds are that a film with four acting nominations, never mind the 10 overall nominations including Picture, Director and Screenplay. So what is most likely for American Hustle to pick up acting wise?

In the 86 year history of the Academy Awards, there have been 15 films that have managed the all four acting nominations feat. Below are the films and listed beside are the acting awards each of them won.

1936: My Man Godfrey – 0 wins

1942: Mrs. Miniver – Best Actress (Greer Garson), Best Supporting Actress (Teresa Wright) [Best Picture Winner]

1943: For Whom the Bell Tolls
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Guy Lodge's DVDs and downloads

Vintage film fans should tackle the daunting delights of the Internet Archive; and Saw director James Wan turns out a copybook horror chiller in The Conjuring

The expanding network of online streaming services means there are more ways than ever before for busy/idle/agoraphobic film lovers to see recent releases, but fans of vintage cinema are still rather poorly served. Most outlets offer a small, often arbitrary selection of older standards that are useful for beginners; those in search of more niche classics, however, are still reliant on DVD. Here's where the warren-like world of online archiving comes into play. You'd be amazed how many gems are lurking, albeit in grainy and segmented form, on YouTube, but if that seems too great an affront to cinema, the long-serving, simply named Internet Archive (archive.org/movies) is a better bet.

A non-profit-making Us site run much like an online library,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Aff 2013: Vintage Austin Double Feature

Austin Film Festival may be well behind us, but I am still thinking about some older Texas films at the fest that I stumbled upon almost accidentally. As I was planning my schedule for the Sunday of the fest on Saturday night, I noticed some oddly named films at the Rollins with descriptions that included "Texas independent film." I ended up skipping My Man Godfrey (which I can watch any time) to see what this screening was about.

All I knew about Invasion of the Aluminum People (1980) and Speed of Light (1981) were that apparently Jonathan Demme liked them, since he was going to "present" them. I assumed "presenting" meant he would do a nice intro, then scoot, as is typical at many such events.

The theater was about halfway full and I was one of the younger audience members. Later I would learn that many people in the audience had
See full article at Slackerwood »

Aff 2013 Dispatch: I'm Dating You Not, Drones

After the bleak shorts I attended on Saturday, I decided a light romance was what I needed Sunday afternoon. I went to the screening of My Man Godfrey (1936) at the Paramount, introduced by Shane Black, and then drove over to the Rollins. 

Director Guillermo Fernández Groizard was there to introduce his film I'm Dating You Not, filmed in Madrid.  The fast-paced comedy stars his wife Virginia Rodríguez as Paula, a woman whose coworker Roberto (Dario Frias) is besotted with her. 

The director told us before the movie began that the budget for this work was in the hundred-thousands (!!), but I'm Dating You Not has the look of something with a larger budget. Rodríguez and Frias have a great will-they/won't-they chemistry and the script by Pablo Flores is silly without being stupid. The Spanish film was a perfect remedy.

In another vein entirely, I was able to view Rick Rosenthal's excellent thriller Drones.
See full article at Slackerwood »
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