18 items from 2015
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
With 23 feature films to his credit, by 1939, Alfred Hitchcock was the most famous director in England. And with his celebrity and his reputation for quality motion pictures, he had attained a degree of creative control unmatched in the British film industry at the time. When it comes to Jamaica Inn, for more than three decades the last film he would fully shoot in his native land, this reputation and this independence would be thoroughly tested. Available now on a stunning new Blu-ray from Cohen Film Collection, which greatly improves the murky visuals and distorted sound marring all previous home video versions, Jamaica Inn had the renowned Charles Laughton as supervising star and producer. Predictably, he and Hitchcock did not always see eye to eye as they jockeyed for authority on set. The result is a contentious »
- Jeremy Carr
Cohen Media Group beautifully restores Alfred Hitchcock’s 1939 title Jamaica Inn. A title worthy of reconsideration, considered by many to be an inferior work from the master of suspense, even from the director himself, it’s a definite gem, particularly for fans of Charles Laughton. The actor, whose production company basically commandeered the production, gives a swarthy, deliciously overwrought performance. It’s a standout in a career already filled with such distinction. The film also serves as the film debut of the beautiful Maureen O’Hara, here playing a glorified damsel in distress.
The narrative is relatively simple, set around 1800 as young Irish lass Mary (O’Hara) makes a surprise visit to the Cornish coast to visit her Aunt Patience (Marie Ney) following the death of her mother. Patience lives with Mary’s uncle Joss (Leslie Banks, who vies with Laughton for greatest scene chewer), a man that provides the »
- Nicholas Bell
'The Letter' 1940, with Bette Davis 'The Letter' 1940 movie: Bette Davis superb in masterful studio era production Directed by William Wyler and adapted by Howard Koch from W. Somerset Maugham's 1927 play, The Letter is one of the very best films made during the Golden Age of the Hollywood studios. Wyler's unsparing, tough-as-nails handling of the potentially melodramatic proceedings; Bette Davis' complex portrayal of a passionate woman who also happens to be a self-absorbed, calculating murderess; and Tony Gaudio's atmospheric black-and-white cinematography are only a few of the flawless elements found in this classic tale of deceit. 'The Letter': 'U' for 'Unfaithful' The Letter begins in the dark of night, as a series of gunshots are heard in a Malayan rubber plantation. Leslie Crosbie (Bette Davis) walks out the door of her house firing shots at (barely seen on camera) local playboy Jeff Hammond, who falls dead on the ground. »
- Andre Soares
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
The 1973 classic supernatural horror Don’t Look Now starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie is getting a remake courtesy of StudioCanal. According to THR Alex Heineman and Andrew Rona have signed on to produce but no writer or director has been attached as yet.
The original movie – which still stands today as one of the best horror movies ever made – was directed by Nicholas Roeg and based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier, who also wrote Rebecca and The Birds, both famously adapted for the big screen by legendary director Alfred Hitchcock. Sutherland and Christie play a grieving couple desperate to move on after the tragic death of their young daughter. The couple come in contact with a nun who claims to be receiving messages from the afterlife and tries to reconnect the parents with their deceased daughter.
- Gavin Logan
Just a week ago, it was announced that James Wan would be producing a remake of ’80s frightener The Entity, and now another reboot of a classic horror film is in the works. StudioCanal is moving to develop a remake of Nicolas Roeg’s 1973 thriller Don’t Look Now, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman of The Picture Company are on board as producers. They’re the team behind Liam Neeson actioners Non-Stop and Unknown, as well as The Gunman and upcoming thriller Home Invasion. The pair’s espionage thriller The Tracking of a Russian Spy rolls cameras this fall, and they’re also working with Disney on Robin Hood project Nottingham and Hood.
Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie starred in Roeg’s original film, which followed a married couple grieving the accidental death of their young daughter. While in Venice, the couple come into contact with two Catholic nuns, »
- Isaac Feldberg
We're getting to a point in Hollywood where no movie really seems safe from the remake possibilities - and that seems to be especially true for the horror genre. As such, we now have news that yet another scary classic is getting redone, with reports saying that a new version of Don't Look Now is currently in development. The Hollywood Reporter has the news on this re-do, noting that the project is in the works from the folks over at Studio Canal. As of now, the project doesn't have any filmmakers attached, but evidently that is part of the strategy. Evidently the conpany wants to find the remake a studio home before they seek out writers to pen the movie. Based on the short story of the same name by Daphne du Maurier (the famed author behind Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Rebecca), Don't Look Now tells the story of »
The 1973 landmark horror film Don't Look Now is getting a remake. StudioCanal and The Picture Company’s Alex Heineman and Andrew Rona are shopping around a remake of Nicolas Roeg’s brilliant and deeply unsettling classic. Based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca), the original film starred Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie as a married couple on an extended trip to Venice after the tragic loss of their daughter. When they happen upon a pair of blind sisters, one of whom claims to be clairvoyant and warns of impending doom, they are subject to a series of terrifying events in the winding backroads of the crumbling city. [caption id="attachment_451117" align="alignright" width="344"] Image via British Lion Films[/caption] No writer is currently attached to the project. Per THR, StudioCanal and the producers are taking the same route they did with their remake of Escape from New York - find the studio first »
- Haleigh Foutch
For the first time since 1987 (Diane Kurys's A Man in Love), a female director will open the Cannes Film Festival: Emmanuelle Bercot's La Tête haute. Above: Josh Karp has written a book on Orson Welles's last film, The Other Side of the Wind, and has penned an article for Vanity Fair that traces the history of this infamous lost and found movie:"The story behind the making of The Other Side of the Wind begins at Schwab’s drugstore, the Hollywood soda fountain where: Charlie Chaplin played pinball, F. Scott Fitzgerald had his first heart attack, and, according to some versions of the story, Lana Turner was discovered while cutting school to grab a Coke."More on Orson Welles: David Bordwell writes on his personal history with the filmmaker (and his hometown) occasioned by a retrospective in Madison, Wisconsin: "So I had good luck coming here »
Seventy-five years ago, Alfred Hitchcock changed the face of American film -- and made it a lot creepier.
Having already directed two dozen features in England, the filmmaker moved to Hollywood and made his first feature there, the glossy psychological thriller "Rebecca," released 75 years ago this month (April 12, 1940). The movie, about an unnamed young woman (Joan Fontaine) who marries a brooding aristocrat (Laurence Olivier) and moves into a spooky mansion still haunted by her husband's late wife (the Rebecca of the title), won the Oscar for Best Picture and launched Hitchcock's four-decade reign as Hollywood's leading director of movies that sent chills down your spine.
Today, of course, Hitchcock movies are recognized as their own genre, films whose suspense and horrors have not only kept generations of moviegoers on the edge of their seats but also became the templates that taught all thriller and chiller directors who followed how to do the same. »
- Gary Susman
Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, and Tom Stockman
The Birds screens at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Ave.- at Manchester – Maplewood, Mo 63143) Thursday, April 2nd at 7pm. It is a benefit for Helping Kids Together (more details about this event can be found Here)
This gives us a perfect excuse to re-run this top ten list from March of 2012. Alfred Hitchcock directed 54 feature films between 1925 and 1976, and here, according to We Are Movie Geeks, are his ten best:
Frenzy, Hitchcock’s next to last feature film from 1972, represented a homecoming of sorts since it was the first film completely shot in his native England since his silents and early ” talkies ” in the 1930’s. By dipping into the then somewhat new territory of serial killers, he took full advantage of the new cinema freedoms and truly earned his ‘ R ‘ MPAA rating. Perhaps ole’ ” Hitch ” wanted to give those young up-and-coming »
- Movie Geeks
One of the most anticipated genre films of the year has to be Guillermo del Toro's take on romantic gothic horror with "Crimson Peak," a spin on classic films of the genre like "Jane Eyre," "Rebecca," and "The Innocents".
Though it's not debuting until mid-October, the filmmaker reportedly is almost finished crafting the film and apparently has a version ready that's good enough to show off.
Two of the few who have gotten to see this early version have been horror author Stephen King and his son and author in his own right Joe Hill. The pair have posted their reactions on social media which you can see below:
— Joe Hill (@joe_hill) March 15, 2015
Remember that list I tweeted the other day, the 13 most beautiful horror films. Crimson Peak is the most beautiful of all. »
- Garth Franklin
Teresa Wright: Later years (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon.") Teresa Wright and Robert Anderson were divorced in 1978. They would remain friends in the ensuing years. Wright spent most of the last decade of her life in Connecticut, making only sporadic public appearances. In 1998, she could be seen with her grandson, film producer Jonah Smith, at New York's Yankee Stadium, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch. Wright also became involved in the Greater New York chapter of the Als Association. (The Pride of the Yankees subject, Lou Gehrig, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1941.) The week she turned 82 in October 2000, Wright attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Somewhere in Time, where she posed for pictures with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In March 2003, she was a guest at the 75th Academy Awards, in the segment showcasing Oscar-winning actors of the past. Two years later, »
- Andre Soares
Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock heroine (image: Joseph Cotten about to strangle Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt') (See preceding article: "Teresa Wright Movies: Actress Made Oscar History.") After scoring with The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, and The Pride of the Yankees, Teresa Wright was loaned to Universal – once initial choices Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland became unavailable – to play the small-town heroine in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. (Check out video below: Teresa Wright reminiscing about the making of Shadow of a Doubt.) Co-written by Thornton Wilder, whose Our Town had provided Wright with her first chance on Broadway and who had suggested her to Hitchcock; Meet Me in St. Louis and Junior Miss author Sally Benson; and Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, Shadow of a Doubt was based on "Uncle Charlie," a story outline by Gordon McDonell – itself based on actual events. »
- Andre Soares
This article contains a spoiler for the ending of Interstellar.
In case you missed it, the Oscars were this past weekend and Birdman was the big winner. The Academy’s choice to award Alejandro González Iñárritu's fever dream was a genuine shock, with Boyhood the running favourite for many months. Nonetheless, some things never change, and in that vein it's certainly a non-surprise the Academy also hardly noticed the most ambitious blockbuster of 2014: the Christopher Nolan space epic, Interstellar. Indeed, I use the phrase "non-surprise", because how could it be a winner when it was only nominated for the bare minimum of five Oscars in technical categories that are reserved as consolation prizes?
This is by all means par for the course with a film that has »
The Oscars are less than 96 hours away, so you only have a limited amount of time to brag about your insane knowledge of Academy Awards history. Ready for a brutal 21-question foray into Oscar's grisly past? Let's roll. (We give you the questions on the first page. Jot down your responses, then check the answers, along with the accompanying questions, on the next page. The videos embedded here aren't related to the questions. They're just fun!) 1. What ‘90s Best Actor winner gave the shortest onscreen performance ever nominated (and therefore awarded) in that category? This is measured by total minutes and seconds spent onscreen. 2. The first (and so far only) black female nominee in the Best Original Screenplay category was a co-writer of what biopic released in the 1970s? 3. From 1937 to 1945, the Academy guaranteed nominations in one particular category to any studio that submitted a qualifiable entry. What was the category? »
- Louis Virtel
Criterion brings British auteur Nicolas Roeg’s most famous title to the fold, 1973’s enigmatic Don’t Look Now, a title that has influenced generations of filmmakers since its successful reception, and marks the director’s fifth title to be included in the illustrious collection. A refracted dreamscape of symbols and motifs, the film is a brooding jigsaw puzzle that doesn’t insist on answering all your questions, and happens to feature an unforgettable finale that’s lost none of its affect (despite providing iconic fodder for famed parodies, ranging from memorable bits in “Spaced” to “Absolutely Fabulous”).
After the drowning of their preadolescent daughter, Christine, in the backyard of their estate, John and Laura Baxter (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie) take off for Venice, where John accepts a job to restore some mosaics in one of the city’s many dilapidated churches. However, once there, the couple is introduced »
- Nicholas Bell
The Philadelphia Story, 1940.
Directed by George Cukor.
Set to remarry, Tracy Lord (Hepburn) has to contend with her ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a reporter on the snoop (James Stewart) as she tries to go through with her upper-class wedding – with their intention to spoil it.
Romance is in the air. The arrow of cupid has struck and, as Robson and Jerome covered, this Saturday night is at the movies. You may believe a Subway and Titanic is a romantic night in. I would argue it’s not*. In fact, an alternative is to head down to the BFI and watch a re-mastered copy of The Philadelphia Story. Not only will this extraordinary comedy give you a superior sense of cinematic taste, but it also features the genius pairing of Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart – and that’s in addition to the feisty Katharine Hepburn, »
- Simon Columb
18 items from 2015
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