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If you can believe it, possibly the most praised-to-the-rafters movie in all of history, "Citizen Kane," did not win Best Picture at the 1942 Academy Awards. Nor did it win Best Actor or Best Director for 25-year-old wunderkind Orson Welles.
"What a Crime," you shout, but there was some heavy competish that night, including Alfred Hitchcock's "Suspicion," John Huston's "The Maltese Falcon," and big winner "How Green Was My Valley," John Ford's Welsh family saga par excellence. The only trophy "Kane" took home that night was for Best Original Screenplay, which Welles shared with Herman J. Mankiewicz (nicknamed Mank), and neither of them were there to accept it.
Nearly 70-years later, Welles could have grabbed Rosebud and sledded down the hill with a sack full of cash because according to Entertainment Weekly his Oscar statuette just sold at auction for a staggering $861,000 dollars yesterday. How green was my valley indeed. »
- Max Evry
This week we have a welcome rerelease of Meet Me in St Louis, which opened in America 67 years ago this month. It was the first truly great movie from the Freed unit, the MGM department specialising in musicals and headed since 1940 by Arthur Freed, who wrote some of the best songs of the 1920s and 30s and produced several of the finest films of the 20th century.
Freed acquired Sally Benson's series of New Yorker stories about the delightful middle-class Smith family proudly living in 1903 St Louis and looking forward to the following year's World's Fair but not to a proposed move to New York. He assembled the writers, composers, designers and cast, including the virtually unknown Vincente Minnelli, and told studio boss Louis B Mayer: "I want to make this into the most delightful piece of Americana ever." He achieved his aim with a movie that defines perfection, »
- Philip French
We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.
Few genres have stood the test of time quite like the mystery. From the early days of literature, the concept of intrigue and the unknowable has piqued the interest of men and women alike.
Even one of the most famed detectives of literature, Sherlock Holmes, has graduated from the written word to the silver screen. In honor of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy we’re counting down the Top 7 most memorable crime-solving movies.
7. Seven (1995)
Reason: Anybody who’s actually seen this movie knows why this one makes the cut. Pun absolutely intended. I just have four words for you… “What’s in the box? »
- Calhoun Kersten
A new theater bearing the Warner Bros. studio name will open in February 2012 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. In addition to providing the grant to fund the theater's renovation, Warners will also partner with the Smithsonian Institute to present four public film festivals throughout the coming year. Following a gala opening in February, the new theater will present a tribute to Humphrey Bogart, with screenings of his iconic films including "Casablanca," "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Big Sleep." In June, the Museum of Natural History will feature a celebration of Clint Eastwood's work, »
Beginning a series looking at obscure pre-Code Hollywood films, made between the advent of sound and the strict enforcement of the Production Code. Some of these movies are rightly celebrated and frequently screened: Baby Face (1933), Red Headed Woman (1932), even to some extent Bed of Roses (1933). But others are trapped in copyright limbo or locked in vaults by studios too blind to exploit their holdings. That's the kind we're going to look at.
Tay Garnett was a typical tough-guy director, working in every genre but with a feeling for exotic climes (usually reproduced on the backlot). His reputation—that of a seventh-rate Howard Hawks, maybe—has never been hugely prestigious, and despite his frequently working on the screenplays of Hawks' films, and even making cameo appearances, the notion of Garnett as auteur never really took hold. Maybe, just maybe, this is partly due to the scarcity of some of his most interesting work. »
Black and Blue Films have released the first trailer for Elfie Hopkins which stars Jaime Winstone in the titlular role of a quirky “wanna-be” detective whose appetite for a real-life case is matched by the appetites of a new family, The Gammons, played by Rupert Evans (Hellboy) and Kate Magowan (Primeval), who move into the village.
Ray Winstone (father of Jaime) plays the local butcher in the film directed by Ryan Andrews, who also wrote the screenplay. The film also stars Aneurin Barnard (Ironclad), Kimberley Nixon (Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, Easy Virtue), Will Payne and Kate Magowan.
Elfie Hopkins is a thriller inspired by the dark and glamorous worlds of films such as The Lost Boys and Brick. Set in the sleepy hunting village, it is the story of twenty-two year old slacker and “wanna-be” detective, Elfie Hopkins.
Elfie is a stoner and an animal lover in a village populated with hunters. »
Alrighty, kids! What would a Saturday night be without a little cannibalism? I say little because we just scored the teaser trailer for the hungry new UK import Elfie Hopkins. Dig it!
Set in a sleepy hunting village, Elfie Hopkins is the story of a 22-year-old slacker and “wanna-be” detective. Elfie is a stoner and an animal lover in a village populated with hunters. Haunted by the death of her mother and surrounded by her broken father and alcoholic step-mother, Elfie seeks solace and inspiration from the old school detectives in The Maltese Falcon and Chinatown. She entertains herself, along with her geeky best friend, Dylan, by investigating the villagers and upsetting everyone with their imaginative allegations. Elfie’s mundane existence is thrown for a spin with the arrival of a family of trendy city dwellers, »
- Uncle Creepy
(Wim Wenders, 1982, Studiocanal, 12)
Modelling his career on Dashiell Hammett's, Joe Gores first worked as a private detective in San Francisco before turning to crime fiction. In 1975 he wrote Hammett, an ingenious, well-researched thriller set in 1928, when his hero was beginning to make his way as an innovative novelist. Francis Ford Coppola announced a film version by Nicolas Roeg, a task taken over by Wim Wenders, who worked on it for four years with four writers, two designers and two cinematographers.
Wenders virtually disowned what became Coppola's picture rather than his. But it's a stylish, entertaining movie, starring Frederic Forrest (a dead ringer for Hammett, bar the height) as a drinking, smoking, coughing and typewriter-bashing writer lured back into detection by an old Pinkerton associate (Peter Boyle) and stumbling into the plot of The Maltese Falcon.
A neo-noir classic, it looks like a series of Black Mask covers drawn by Edward Hopper, »
- Wim Wenders, Philip French
If, over the last 10 months, you’ve sometimes felt that sitting through 2011’s movies has been somewhat akin to sitting through TV’s summer reruns, that’s because you have been sitting through reruns. Well, reruns Hollywood style.
According to a Box Office Mojo story earlier this year, 2011 will end as a record year for sequels, prequels, and spin-offs. I don’t know if Mojo included remakes in that calculation, but whether they did or didn’t, remakes have certainly added to that oppressive déjà vu feeling which seems to roll into the multiplex every couple of weeks.
And we’re not even considering the familiar-feeling clones and knock-offs. “Oh, yippee, another superhero flick! Another The Hangover wannabe!” It’s like that Twilight Zone where Dennis Weaver is damned to relive the same bad dream over and over; the people take different parts in each cycle, but it’s still the same nightmare. »
- Bill Mesce
Oh, for the good old days! For the days when critics like me were hated for being too highbrow. Back in those ancient and quaint times, the surest way to get your readers pissed off at you was to pan a popular movie. If you did, it let everyone know that you were an uptight, pointy-headed art- house prig who wasn’t on the side of The People, who didn’t enjoy the honest fun of down- and-dirty lowbrow Hollywood schlock. To be honest, I still get that kind of complaint all the time. But in the everyone’s-a-rebel perversity of the Internet era, »
- Owen Gleiberman
Vertigo is slated to publish the graphic novel adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Swedish series has sold tens of millions of copies in dozens of languages. There are already Swedish movies based on the books, and the first of the American films is to be released later this year.
Why do we need a graphic novel?
The books are terrific. They take you inside the lives of computer hackers, crusading journalists and evil authority figures, with a glimpse of Swedish social mores and political intrigue. Larsson is an ardent feminist, a refreshing perspective on the bestseller lists.
Why do we need a graphic novel? What will it show us that we didn »
- Martha Thomases
In Elfie Hopkins Jaime Winstone plays the titlular role of a quirky “wanna-be” detective whose appetite for a real-life case is matched by the appetites of a new family, The Gammons, played by Rupert Evans (Hellboy) and Kate Magowan (Primeval), who move into the village. Ray Winstone (father of Jaime) plays the local butcher in the film directed by Ryan Andrews, who also wrote the screenplay. The film also stars Aneurin Barnard (Ironclad), Kimberley Nixon (Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, Easy Virtue), Will Payne and Kate Magowan.
Elfie Hopkins is a thriller inspired by the dark and glamorous worlds of films such as The Lost Boys and Brick. Set in the sleepy hunting village, it is the story of twenty-two year old slacker and “wanna-be” detective, Elfie Hopkins. »
Fans of hard-boiled detective novels – and the movies they’re made into – worship at the altar of Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye, The Big Sleep) and Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man), but unless you’re seriously into noir, the name Ross MacDonald is often skipped. MacDonald wrote a series of highly praised private eye yarns featuring a SoCal detective named Lew Archer.
Two of Archer’s eight adventures were filmed (with Archer’s name changed to Lew Harper, for whatever reason) as Harper in 1966 and The Drowning Pool in 1975, both starring Paul Newman as the gumshoe. Now, Deadline reports that The Matrix and Sherlock Holmes super-producer Joel Silver is reviving the series with Warner Bros., staring with the eighth novel of the series, The Galton Case.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
Just in time for Afm we have some new stills, artwork, and even a trailer for the latest cannibal-next-door flick out of the UK, Ryan Andrews' Elfie Hopkins, which stars Jaime Winstone, Ray Winstone, Aneurin Barnard, and Kimberley Nixon. Dig it!
Check out the trailer by clicking on the source link below.
Set in a sleepy hunting village, Elfie Hopkins is the story of a 22-year-old slacker and “wanna-be” detective. Elfie is a stoner and an animal lover in a village populated with hunters. Haunted by the death of her mother and surrounded by her broken father and alcoholic step-mother, Elfie seeks solace and inspiration from the old school detectives in The Maltese Falcon and Chinatown. She entertains herself, along with her geeky best friend, Dylan, by investigating the villagers and upsetting everyone with their imaginative allegations. Elfie’s mundane existence is thrown for a spin with the »
- Uncle Creepy
Directed by Wim Wenders.
Synopsis: When and old detective friend shows up at his door, pulp fiction writer Dashiell Hammett gets involved in a world of gangsters and double-crossers that he thought he had left behind.
Hammett is a curiosity. It's a 1982 take on the Film Noir genre, based on a fictionalised story about Dashiell Hammett, the writer of pulp detective novels such as The Maltese Falcon. It seems to have slipped into obscurity since then however, and only now is getting a proper UK DVD release with, bizarrely, no sign of a Blu-ray in sight.
Hammett apes the great detective films of classic Hollywood, particularly Hammett's own most famous work, The Maltese Falcon, but also the likes of The Big Sleep. The novel twist of Hammett is that it's the writer doing the detective work. »
You could leave your hat on but we don't want you to, as Clip joint moves up a headgear to find the best hat action scenes
Sometimes, as Freud pointed out, a cigar is just a cigar. But a hat is rarely just that – at least not in the movies. The artistic use of everyday objects as signifiers goes back at least as far as Homer, and probably to cave paintings. And the humble hat, due to its inevitable association with the human head, comes with immense symbolic potency. Classic Hollywood was brim-full of them – Humphrey Bogart was presumably born in a fedora – but let's not forget the more recent fashions. Arguably the most headgear-centric film of all time is Miller's Crossing: a movie with more metaphorically significant hats than you could shake a schtick at.
The hat can be used as a shorthand for good or evil. It »
When it comes to writing a hard-boiled detective story, few are better than Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon). As for adapting those stories to the screen, few do it as expertly as Billy Ray (State of Play). Ray has been tapped to pen the current Warner Bros. adaptation of Hammett’s novel The Thin Man, starring Johnny Depp as Nick Charles, a retired private eye who maintains his drinking habit. Although Jerry Stahl (Bad Boys II) and David Koepp (Spider-Man) were initially on board for the script, director Rob Marshall decided to go in another direction and Ray landed the job. Personally, I think Marshall made the right choice. The Thin Man is more of a light-hearted murder mystery than Hammett’s other works, as the plot revolves around a married couple solving crimes while bantering back and forth. Though Depp can easily portray a wise-cracking, alcoholic, the equally witty »
- Dave Trumbore
He's already flying through the skies on a regular basis as Iron Man, and is due to appear in a second Sherlock Holmes film for director Guy Ritchie next year. But Robert Downey Jr reportedly wants a third high-profile Hollywood franchise and is eyeing a starring turn as the detective Perry Mason in the first big-screen outing for the unflappable Los Angeles defence lawyer since 1937.
Variety reports that Downey Jr and his wife, producer Susan Downey, are putting the project together at their production company, Team Downey, as a potential starring vehicle for the actor. The film looks likely to be a period piece set in 1930s La, a fertile era and location for Hollywood over the years. Erle Stanley Gardner wrote more than 80 novels featuring Mason between 1933 and his »
- Ben Child
Hit List is a handful of items that we find noteworthy, shared with you daily on our homepage. Enjoy!
Alone Together: Love and Loneliness in the Films of Vincente Minnelli from MovingImageSource.us
A Look at Back at the Upright Citizens Brigade NYMag.com
Watch a 5 Year-Old’s Lego Version if Star Wars from Wired.com
Have an item you’d like to see featured on Hit List? Submit it here. »
- Heather Campbell
Among the few things I'm truly optimistic about, it's remakes. Odd, I know, and this isn't to say I find many remakes to be any good at all. But the potential for great film adaptations of other films is high, and so while I am in fact quite cynical about Hollywood's remake abilities and intentions, I can still be hopeful that this or that redo might be the next The Departed or Scarface or His Girl Friday or The Maltese Falcon. Or Let Me In, which had it's redundancies yet at the same time translated Let the Right One In to Americanese with perfect new context and subtext. Of course, it also failed to do much more theatrically than the original. So what's the point of continuing to immediately turnaround hot...
- Christopher Campbell
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