5 items from 2016
One of the best-remembered dramas of the '70s gives us controversial actresses, a lavish production and a story by the even more controversial Lillian Hellman. Director Fred Zinnemann makes it into a suspenseful, deeply affecting experience. Julia Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1977 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 118 min. / Ship Date April 12, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Maximilian Schell, Hal Holbrook, Meryl Streep, Rosemary Murphy, Dora Doll, Elisabeth Mortensen, John Glover, Lisa Pelikan, Susan Jones, Cathleen Nesbitt, Maurice Denham. Cinematography Douglas Slocombe Film Editor Walter Murch Original Music Georges Delerue Written by Alvin Sargent based on the story by Lillian Hellman Produced by Richard Roth Directed by Fred Zinnemann
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Fred Zinnemann was a cinema activist from way back, a filmmaker of uncompromising convictions. His most frequent theme is anti-fascism, although he began with a very Soviet-styled pro-union film in Mexico, Redes. »
- Glenn Erickson
Actress and singer Shannon Bolin Kaye died March 25 in New York City at the age of 99.
Bolin played the middle-age, Midwestern wife in the original Broadway production and subsequent film adaptation of “Damn Yankees,” to whom the young baseball player Joe Hardy longs to return. She also played one of the two bickering Corlick sisters in the Denny’s commercials that ran from the late 1980s to the 1990s. A mezzo-soprano on the concert stage with her own radio programs in Washington, D.C., during the 1940s and later a contralto in television operas and on the concert stage, she also made her mark on the Broadway stage and in regional productions.
She was known for playing warm, maternal women — except in the Puccini opera “Suor Angelica,” in which she memorably played the mean princess.
When George Abbott cast her as Meg in the stage production of “Damn Yankees,” she rejected »
- Carmel Dagan
Last year HitFix threw down a 21-question quiz for Oscar fanatics, and this year we're at it again. Join us for an ultimate Oscar test featuring three tiers of difficulty: hard, harder, and hardest. Get out a notepad! The answers are on the next page. (Please note that the term "actor" can mean a man or a woman, and that any listed year refers to the time of the movie's release, not the year of the ceremony.) Hard 1. What's the highest-grossing of this year's eight Best Picture nominees? 2. Jennifer Jason Leigh just received her first Oscar nomination for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. Only two performances in Quentin Tarantino's filmography have earned Academy Awards. Who performed those roles? 3. Which of this year's Best Picture nominees stars a character named Joy? 4. Who's the only person in history to win both an acting Oscar and a songwriting Oscar? 5. Name one »
- Louis Virtel
Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. The Little Foxes is playing on Mubi in the Us February 15 through March 15, 2016.William Wyler and Bette Davis had a good thing going by the time of The Little Foxes (1941). Wyler had three (of his eventually 12) Academy Award nominations and he had directed the star in two Oscar-worthy performances of her own: Jezebel (1938), for which she won, and The Letter (1940), for which she didn’t. Though it would grow increasingly contentious, their association was nonetheless mutually productive, and while Davis may have been reluctant to take on the role played to great acclaim by Tallulah Bankhead in Lillian Hellman’s stage version of The Little Foxes, the resulting feature film trumped the trepidation. Set in the indistinct though suitably decrepit “Deep South” circa 1900, the backdrop is just vague enough to be regionally collective but just specific enough to be wholly unique. »
- Jeremy Carr
William Cameron Menzies. William Cameron Menzies movies on TCM: Murderous Joan Fontaine, deadly Nazi Communists Best known as an art director/production designer, William Cameron Menzies was a jack-of-all-trades. It seems like the only things Menzies didn't do was act and tap dance in front of the camera. He designed and/or wrote, directed, produced, etc., dozens of films – titles ranged from The Thief of Bagdad to Invaders from Mars – from the late 1910s all the way to the mid-1950s. Among Menzies' most notable efforts as an art director/production designer are: Ernst Lubitsch's first Hollywood movie, the Mary Pickford star vehicle Rosita (1923). Herbert Brenon's British-set father-son drama Sorrell and Son (1927). David O. Selznick's mammoth production of Gone with the Wind, which earned Menzies an Honorary Oscar. The Sam Wood movies Our Town (1940), Kings Row (1942), and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943). H.C. Potter's Mr. Lucky »
- Andre Soares
5 items from 2016
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