9 items from 2016
The Alliance of Women Film Journalists (Awfj) debuts the first in its countdown of the most fascinating, inspiring and singular fictional female characters who have appeared in movies as selected by the Awfj membership. The project, Awfj’s Wonder Women, commemorates the 10th anniversary of the organization’s founding.
Numbers 55-44 as voted by the Awfj membership are Olivia Evans from “Boyhood,” Elle Reid from “Grandma,” Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games” series, Mammy from “Gone with the Wind,” Jean Harrington/Lady Eve Sidwich from “The Lady Eve,” Laine Hanson from “The Contender,” Ada McGrath from “The Piano,” Tess McGill from “Working Girl,” Jane Craig from “Broadcast News,” Lucy Honeychurch from “A Room with a View,” Sally Bowles from “I Am a Camera/Cabaret” and The Bride from “Kill Bill: Vols. 1 & 2.”
The Wonder Women list appends Awfj’s Top 100 Films list, published in June 2007, in response to AFI’s 100 Years. »
- Michelle McCue
Summer’s in full swing with big family gatherings and social events. It’s the perfect time for some raunchy laughs at the multiplex. Eleven years ago (no, really!) R-rated movie comedies made a big, big comeback when Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were Wedding Crashers. Four years later, the lead up to nuptials ignited a comic trilogy with The Hangover. Then the ladies got in on the act just two years later with Bridesmaids. This weekend’s new flick doles out a bit from all those entrees in the funny flick buffet, expanding on a comedy staple (or main course in the food analogy), namely the comic team. This doesn’t quite harken back to Stan and Ollie or Bud and Lou, rather the inspiration may be a bit over twenty years ago to Harry and Lloyd, those Dumb & Dumber dudes, continuing through Harold and Kumar, on to various unions of Rogen, »
- Jim Batts
Relatively few films from Fox Pictures (before they became Twentieth Century Fox) are readily available: Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans is the big one. The modest caper Black Sheep wouldn't be high on the list for reissue: stars Edmund Lowe and Claire Trevor aren't too well-remembered, though he's in Dinner at Eight and she's in Stagecoach. Despite a large cast of supporting players, rotund character man Eugene Pallette is the only other really familiar figure, though founding Keystone Kop Ford Sterling has a good bit as a ship's detective.We're on a transatlantic liner, see, and there are warnings posted about professional gamblers: The Lady Eve territory, before Sturges thought of it. Lowe is such a gambler, but he's a swell guy really. Trevor plays an actress, which is no stretch, and the two have real chemistry. He has a debonair manner and a mellifluous voice—and a drunk scene, »
I find it impossible to believe anyone called Hobart Henley could ever be a great film director, but on the other hand, I also find it impossible to dislike a film director called Hobart Henley. It's too much fun reading his name in a credits sequence.Henley had been an actor, which seems to account for his preposterous, alliterative name, except it seems that really was his name, not a stage contrivance. He directed numerous silent films from the teens on, all of them obscure, but his late-career outpouring of a few cute pre-Codes is better remembered. Night World (1932) is enjoyable, and Roadhouse Nights (1930) is remarkable for being the only official adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest (unofficial source material for Yojimbo, A Fistful of Dollars, Last Man Standing...), only you wouldn't know it because it reached the screen as a Jimmy Durante musical. The only thing it has »
- David Cairns
David here. There are many things about The Lady Eve we could discuss to celebrate its 75th anniversary today - it is, after all, one of Hollywood’s most perfect films - but there’s one particular delight that we’re treated to right off the bat.
Warner Bros. employed Leon Schlesinger’s animation studio - the masterminds behind the Looney Tunes cartoon - to craft the genius opening credits sequence starring the cheeriest snake you’ll ever meet. Even in these halcyon days where the credits came at the film’s beginning, the brevity of them meant you rarely got much beyond an ornate border. Here, though, the snake winding his way across the screen is practically a fully rounded character in himself - just witness his pure joy as he shakes his maraca, and his venomous indignity as he’s conked on the head.
With this minute and a half of introductory magic, »
Sturges’s screwball comedies play with big ideas and serious themes. So what makes them some of the funniest films ever made?
It was a sprint worthy of his greatest farces: between 1937 and 1944, Preston Sturges made some of the funniest films Hollywood ever produced, including The Great McGinty, The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, The Palm Beach Story, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, and Hail the Conquering Hero. Then suddenly, as if his frantic, frenzied comedies had exhausted not only himself but his form, Sturges ran out of steam. Blending the comical and serious, farcical and cerebral, high and low, Sturges found catalytic energy in mixing formulas like a madcap scientist; as if he had released actual kinetic energy, he went ricocheting through Hollywood cinema, until he fell to earth with a thud. Happily, the BFI season celebrating Sturges offers audiences the chance to rediscover golden-era Hollywood’s minister of misrule. »
- Sarah Churchwell
The Lady Eve, 1941.
Directed by Preston Sturges.
A con-woman, and her family, have their eyes on a rich man who joins their cruise ship. But love is in the air…
We know Eve. The temptress seducing Adam to take a bite out of the apple in the Garden of Eden. Preston Sturges The Lady Eve, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda, takes this temptress and places her in America, whereby an affluent and naïve chap is the Adam to the money-hungry Eve. The Lady Eve takes some of the memorable screwball comedy clichés of the era, including some pratfalls from the silent comedians, and mixes it together as a sprightly concoction of romance and wealth amongst the elite members of society.
He is the son of a successful ale merchant, travelling back from South America to New York after researching snakes. She is »
- Simon Columb
“I need him like the ax needs the turkey!”
The Lady Eve screens this Saturday morning, February 13th at The Hi-Pointe Theater (1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117) as part of their Classic Film Series.
Barbara Stanwyck should have been court-ordered to keep a safe distance from any future cast member of My Three Sons. In Double Indemnity she cons the future Pa Douglas (Fred McMurray) into a deadly scheme. In the 1941 Preston Sturges comedy The Lady Eve, she messes with William Demarest, Uncle Charley himself, by whisking gullible Henry Fonda from under his protective glare.
Fonda plays the young heir to the Pike’s Pale Ale brewery fortune, who prefers spending his time chasing snakes in South America while his guardian Muggsy (Demarest) looks on. On a boat for home, young Pike catches the eye of Jean Harrington (Stanwyck) who sets out to scam the boy but winds up falling in love with him instead. »
- Tom Stockman
Let’s end the year with a celebration of the funniest comedy scripts ever written. The Writer’s Guild of America has chosen the 101 best laugh-getting screenplays. Keep in mind that this is all about the writing, not the cast or the director.
1.Annie Hall (1977)
2. Some Like it Hot (1959)
3. Groundhog Day (1993)
4. Airplane! (1980)
5. Tootsie (1982)
6. Young Frankenstein (1974)
8. Blazing Saddles (1974)
9. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
10. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
11. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
12. The Producers (1967)
13. The Big Lebowski (1998)
14. Ghostbusters (1984)
15. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
16. Bridesmaids (2011)
17. Duck Soup (1933)
18. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
19. The Jerk (1979)
20. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
21. His Girl Friday (1940)
22. The Princess Bride (1987)
23. Raising Arizona (1987)
24. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
25. Caddyshack (1980)
26. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
27. The Graduate (1967)
28. The Apartment (1960)
30. The Hangover (2009)
31. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
32. The Lady Eve »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
9 items from 2016
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