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She won Oscars for her Scarlett O'Hara and Blanche DuBois, yet Vivien Leigh – born 100 years ago this month – was always subject to Hollywood's impossible demands on its female stars
Every great Hollywood star is both an actor and the embodiment of a myth. Film transforms them, turning their selves, their presence, their talents, into an individual archetypal narrative, one seen both in their movies but also in the public knowledge of their private lives: wounded Monroe; malleable Audrey Hepburn; James Stewart, the irascible, increasingly neurotic all-American guy. Vivien Leigh is one of Britain's few genuine women "movie stars"; her myth is memorable and dark, her life a rise and fall story, centred on the consequences of what was then called her "manic depression" – around her vulnerability, her promiscuity, her ageing. Her films themselves similarly want to tell us stories about suffering and resilience, about surviving and about being punished for doing so. »
- Michael Newton
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 18, 2014
Price: DVD/Blu-ray Combo $39.95
Enemy spies are on the movie in London in Foreign Correspondent.
In 1940, Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho) made his official transition from the British film industry to Hollywood. And it was quite a year: his first two American movies, the romantic drama Rebecca and Foreign Correspondent, were both nominated for the best picture Oscar.
Though Rebecca prevailed, Foreign Correspondent is the more quintessential Hitch film. A full-throttle espionage thriller, starring Joel McCrea (Bird of Paradise) as a green Yank reporter sent to Europe to get the scoop on the imminent war, its wall-to-wall witty repartee, head-spinning plot twists, and brilliantly mounted suspense set pieces, including an ocean plane crash climax with astonishing special effects.
Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo release »
Criterion has announced their February 2014 titles and among them is the lone Wes Anderson film that was previously missing from the collection (edit: aside from Moonrise Kingdom and yes, this is Criterion's first animated film, post laserdisc era), Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was previously released by Fox Searchlight, but is now getting the full Criterion treatment. Here's a look at the features: New digital master, approved by director Wes Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-hd Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray Audio commentary featuring Anderson Storyboard animatics for the entire film Footage of the actors voicing their characters, puppet construction, stop-motion setups, and the recording of the score Interviews with cast and crew Puppet animation tests Photo gallery of puppets, props, and sets Animated awards acceptance speeches Audio recording of author Roald Dahl reading the book on which the film is based Gallery of Dahl's original manuscripts Discussion and analysis of the »
- Brad Brevet
After a vibrant introduction by Quentin Tarantino, Dern took the stage to be honored with a special tribute at Monday's screening.
Bruce Dern received a standing ovation when took the stage at AFI Fest on Monday night to share a handful of funny and endearing stories from his five decades of acting.
Dern also dished out strong praise for Payne, who gave him the lead role in Nebraska, »
- Rebecca Ford
Vivien Leigh biography, movies, and photo exhibit among centenary celebrations (photo: Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier as Emma Hamilton and Lord Nelson in ‘That Hamilton Woman’) [See previous post: "Vivien Leigh Turns 100: Centenary of One of the Greatest Movie Stars."] From November 30, 2013, to July 20, 2014, London’s National Portrait Gallery will be hosting a Vivien Leigh photo exhibit, tracing her life and career. The exhibit will be a joint celebration of both Leigh’s centenary and the 75th anniversary of Gone with the Wind. (Scroll down to check out a classy Vivien Leigh video homage. See also: “‘Gone with the Wind’ article.”) Additionally, the British Film Institute is hosting a lengthy Vivien Leigh and Gone with the Wind celebration, screening all of Leigh’s post-1936 movies, from Fire Over England to Ship of Fools — and including The Deep Blue Sea ("a digital copy of the only surviving 35mm print we were able to locate; the condition is variable"). I should add that Terence Davies recently »
- Andre Soares
Well, fiddle-dee-dee: Today is Vivien Leigh‘s 100th birthday, and if that doesn’t make you arch your meticulously crafted brow and seek out the kindness of strangers, we have nothing in common. Leigh is not only one of the most spellbinding and striking movie stars we’ve ever had, but her legendary commitment to character shined in both Gone With the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire, two films that earned the Academy Award for Best Actress. In the age of biopics like My Week With Marilyn and the upcoming Grace of Monaco, one must wonder why we don’t crave more historical re-inspection of Leigh, once billed as “the outstanding actress of her generation.” (That said: I thought Julia Ormand did a wonderful job in a bit role as Leigh in the aformentioned Marilyn film.)
To celebrate the centennial of Leigh’s birth in British India, here are »
- Louis Virtel
It’s hard to believe there’s anything left to say about Psycho, the most renowned horror movie of all time, but here’s a thought worth revisiting: We are all in it. (Violin shriek.)
Alfred Hitchcock‘s notorious thriller is a methodically paced freakshow that takes its time shifting from one slightly off-kilter protagonist’s point of view to another, then another, and then another. Which character ends up mattering most? The one we’re never allowed to meet, of course. Rebecca flashbacks, anyone?
We begin the film rooting for, yet judging the runaway secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) who has stolen money from her odious boss. Would we do that? Maybe not, but we care about the boss-screwing machinations of 9 to 5 and love Lily Tomlin‘s revenge fantasy (right?!), so the arc feels righteous and valid. After 45 minutes behind Marion’s tense glance, we switch to the perspective »
- Louis Virtel
I enjoyed watching Lewis Allen's 1944 haunted house feature The Uninvited for the first time on Criterion Blu-ray as much as I raised my eyebrows. Considered one of the first supernatural films to take the idea of ghosts seriously rather than as a punchline, it undoubtedly has an effective level of atmosphere and while it successfully takes its ghost story seriously, it also knows to balance any tension with some humorous beats and moments of romance. That said, I wasn't really buying the romance angle and making this a tale of cohabitating siblings also seemed a little... weird to me. We're introduced to Rick Fitzgerald (Ray Milland) and his sister Pamela (Ruth Hussey) on holiday in Cornwall, England where they stumble upon a cliffside house. After their dog chases a squirrel through an open window, they ultimately barge in to fetch him, realizing the house has been empty for some time. »
- Brad Brevet
The Witches, 1966.
Directed by Cyril Frankel.
Returning home to England following a harrowing and life threatening encounter with the occult in Africa, schoolteacher Gwen Mayfield takes up the position of headmistress in a quaint English village.
In a distinctly English fashion, Hammer’s 1966 film The Witches drew the curtain on Joan Fontaine’s film career, a tidy link to her earlier starring role in the English born “Master of Suspense” Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 classic Rebecca.
It is not without the resemblance of irony that The Witches is compared to The Wicker Man of which director Robin Hardy’s “Final Cut” has only just received a theatrical and home entertainment release courtesy of Studio Canal; the folks behind this latest Hammer re-release.
In equal ironic measure, The Wicker Man was of course always intended to be the antithesis of Hammer, »
- Gary Collinson
Since the end of the 1990s, lovers of animal attack films have been subjected to copious amounts of uninspired Nu Image, Syfy Channel and Syfy Channel-like dreck like Silent Predators (1999), Maneater (2007) Croc (2007), Grizzly Rage (2007) and a stunning amount of terrible shark attack films to name a few that barely scratch the surface of a massive list.
These movies fail miserably to capture the intensity of the unforgettable films they are imitating and the recent wave seems to carry with it the intent of giving the Revolt of Nature horror film a bad name. »
- Terek Puckett
To mark the release of The Witches on October 21st we’ve been given three copies to give away on Blu-ray.
Following the releases of the fully restored Hammer classics, The Devil Rides Out, The Mummy’S Shroud and Rasputin The Mad Monk last year, Studiocanal are delighted to announce the release of The Witches fully restored just in time for Halloween! This new restoration will have 2 screenings at the 57th BFI London Film Festival on October 11th and 16th, and will be out on DVD/Blu-ray Double play on October 21st.
Originally released in 1966, The Witches is an unforgettably chilling pastoral horror from legendary British production company Hammer. Adapted for the screen by Nigel Kneale (The Quatermass Experiment) it also stars Joan Fontaine (Rebecca, Suspicion) in her last major film role.
Gwen Mayfield, an English schoolteacher working as a missionary in Africa, suddenly finds herself being victimised by a tribe of local witch doctors. »
Chicago – Director Robert Rodriguez continues his “grindhouse” cinematic ways with his latest film, “Machete Kills.” This sequel to 2010’s “Machete,” the film is a gleeful celebration of 1970s exploitation films, villains played by familiar celebrities and the indestructible hero named Machete, portrayed by Danny Trejo.
Director Robert Rodriguez is a venerable do-it-yourself filmmaker. He broke through twenty years ago with his 16mm film classic, “El Mariachi,” and has followed that debut with a series of stylish comic book films like “Desperado” (1995), “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996) “Sin City” (2005) and the four “Spy Kids” movies. The character of Machete first appeared as a fake 1970s-style trailer in “Grindhouse” (2007), which also featured Rodriguez’s film “Planet Terror.” Another Sin City movie is scheduled for 2014, subtitled “A Dame to Kill For.”
Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com
Alexa Vega is »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The story is based on "Rebecca" and "The Birds" author Daphne du Maurier's 1936 gothic novel. Philippa Lowthorpe ("Call The Midwife") helms the project from a script by Emma Frost ("The White Queen").
Set in Cornwall around the 1820s, Brown Findlay plays the young Mary Yellan who is sent to live with her aunt (Joanne Whalley) at the eerie, isolated Jamaica Inn. She arrives to find her once carefree aunt is firmly under the heel of her domineering new husband Joss (Sean Harris).
She soon realises something strange is going on as the inn is never open to the public, and learns Joss is a member of a gang of murderous shipwreckers. She also falls for Joss' younger brother, a petty thief named Jem (Matthew McNulty).
- Garth Franklin
Laurence Olivier was the greatest British actor of his time, primus inter pares of the trio who dominated our theatre from the early 1930s to the 1980s. His superiority to his chief rivals, Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, resides in the role he played in the creation of the National Theatre and in the way he came to embody for the public at large a sense of national greatness. His most magnificent and emblematic performances were as Henry V and as Archie Rice in John Osborne's The Entertainer. The former was the warrior king in the patriotic second world war movie that captured the Churchillian spirit of Britain at her finest hour. The latter was the second-rate music hall comedian, full of imperial bluster and bad faith, who symbolised in the aftermath of the Suez debacle a nation that had, »
- Philip French
Blu-ray Release Date: Nov. 12, 2013
Price: Blu-ray $Tba
Studio: Twilight Time
This 1943 movie version of Charlotte Brontë’s passionate Victorian novel Jane Eyre is directed by Robert Stevenson (Old Yeller, Mary Poppins), written by Stevenson, John Houseman, and Aldous Huxley, and stars Joan Fontaine (Letter from an Unknown Woman) and Orson Welles (The Stranger).
Like the novel, the drama-romance details Jane’s dramatic journey from the brutality of a school for impoverished children, following as she goes out into the world, becomes a governess at the mysterious Thornfield Hall, and breaks taboos by falling in love with her mercurial master, the brooding Edward Rochester.
The film features stunning cinematography by George Barnes (Rebecca) and an outstanding score by the incomparable Bernard Herrmann (which can be heard on this Twilight Time release as an isolated track).
Glenn here. Can I talk a little bit more about Alfred Hitchcock? After all, he was born on this day 114 years ago and it's pretty astounding that his works are still being mimicked, adapted and homaged to this day. So few classic directors can be spoken about in this day and age and still have new and interesting things to be said. My personal favourite is Psycho (1960), but then I've always had a softer spot for his more pulpy work. Think of others like The Birds (1963) and The 39 Steps (1935) for instance. He's known for refined, classy, adult thrillers, the likes of which are barely made today, but it was his embrace of genre that continues to impress me the most. He supposedly hated horror movies and wanted to go about reinventing them. It's hard to deny he succeeded.
Several sequels followed, including Psycho II, which is actually quite impressive if »
- Glenn Dunks
It's August 13th, which means it's not only the anniversary of the day that Pope Paschal II succeeded Pope Urban, it's also the anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock's birth. The director is known for making a cameo in nearly every movie he directed, and in honor of his birthday, we thought we'd take a look at the supercut that features all of them. While many of them are fairly straightforward, such as when he misses the bus in North by Northwest, the cameos were trickier in movies like Rope, Dial M for Murder, and Lifeboat where the action all takes place in confined quarters. And for anyone who is unfamiliar with the work of the "master of suspense," take a look at our guide to being conversant in Hitchcock to find out which of the director's movies should be on your Must List.
Link | Posted 8/13/2013 by Mandy
- Mandy McAdoo
Historian Philip Ziegler listened to taped interviews with Olivier before penning the book which has him talking condescendingly about some of old Hollywood's brightest stars.
The biography reveals the 'Hamlet' actor's deep. »
- Anita Agarwal
Joan Fontaine movies: ‘This Above All,’ ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman’ (photo: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine in ‘Suspicion’ publicity image) (See previous post: “Joan Fontaine Today.”) Also tonight on Turner Classic Movies, Joan Fontaine can be seen in today’s lone TCM premiere, the flag-waving 20th Century Fox release The Above All (1942), with Fontaine as an aristocratic (but socially conscious) English Rose named Prudence Cathaway (Fontaine was born to British parents in Japan) and Fox’s top male star, Tyrone Power, as her Awol romantic interest. This Above All was directed by Anatole Litvak, who would guide Olivia de Havilland in the major box-office hit The Snake Pit (1948), which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nod. In Max Ophüls’ darkly romantic Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), Fontaine delivers not only what is probably the greatest performance of her career, but also one of the greatest movie performances ever. Letter from an Unknown Woman »
- Andre Soares
Joan Fontaine today: One of the best actresses of the studio era has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day Joan Fontaine, one of the few surviving stars of the 1930s, is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, Tuesday, August 6, 2013. I’m posting this a little late in the game: TCM has already shown six Joan Fontaine movies, including the first-rate medieval adventure Ivanhoe and the curious marital drama The Bigamist, directed by and co-starring Ida Lupino, and written by Collier Young — husband of both Fontaine and Lupino (at different times). Anyhow, TCM has quite a few more Joan Fontaine movies in store. (Photo: Joan Fontaine publicity shot ca. 1950.) (TCM schedule: Joan Fontaine movies.) As far as I’m concerned, Joan Fontaine was one of the best actresses of the studio era. She didn’t star in nearly as many movies as sister Olivia de Havilland, perhaps because »
- Andre Soares
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