10 items from 2014
Who says that movie-making talent cannot run within the same family? In the film industry when one reaches the pinnacle of success in achieving the ultimate reward in the motion picture business–winning an Academy Award–it is considered an individual milestone for any actor’s big screen career. However, when one’s gene pool produces the capacity to draw Oscar’s attention their way in keeping the golden statuette “in the family” it is living proof that the thespian’s apple does not fall from the street.
Whether through the relationship of blood relatives or marital unions “Relative”-ly Speaking: The Top 10 Oscar-winning Family Combinations looks at ten famous family member combos that won an Oscar through the methods of acting or directing. Let’s take a look at the top ten familial tandem that pulled off such an achievement in winning the coveted Oscar as it stands proudly on the family mantle. »
- Frank Ochieng
A couple of weeks ago the invaluable New York movie poster store Posteritati unveiled their newest acquisitions: nearly 500 new posters including many superb, rare Czech designs and some stunning one-offs like this poster for a short film about Brian Eno. But one of the highlights for me was a small collection of posters by the German designer Isolde Monson-Baumgart, some of which I had never seen before.
I featured Baumgart’s sublime poster for The Earrings of Madame De... last year and have been looking for more work by her ever since. Baumgart, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 76, was one of the chief designers—under the late great Hans Hillmann—employed by the Neue Filmkunst, the arthouse distribution company founded by Walter Kirchner in 1953. Like many of her fellow designers who together revolutionized German film advertising in the 1960s, »
- Adrian Curry
The Supporting Actress Smackdown, 1941 Edition, hits these parts on Saturday May 31st (here's the full summer calendar). This month we'll be discussing Mary Astor in The Great Lie, Sara Allgood in How Green Was My Valley, Margaret Wycherly in Sergeant York, Teresa Wright and Patricia Collinge, both in The Little Foxes.
It's time to introduce our panel as we dive into that film year next week with little goodies strewn about the usual postings.
Remember You are part of the panel. So get your votes in by e-mailing Nathaniel with 1941 in the subject line and giving these supporting actresses their heart rankings (1 for awful to 5 for brilliant). Please only vote on the performances you've seen. The votes are averaged so it doesn't hurt a performance to be underseen. »
- NATHANIEL R
1. The term "gaslight." The Ingrid Bergman thriller "Gaslight" -- released 70 years ago this week, on May 4, 1944, wasn't the original use of the title. There was Patrick Hamilton's 1938 play "Gas Light," retitled "Angel Street" when it came to Broadway a couple years later. And there was a British film version in 1939, starring Anton Walbrook (later the cruel impresario in "The Red Shoes") and Diana Wynyard.
Still, the glossy 1944 MGM version remains the best-known telling of the tale, with the title an apparent reference to the flickering Victorian lamps that are part of Gregory's (Charles Boyer) scheme to make wife Paula (Bergman) think she's seeing things that aren't there, thus deliberately undermining her sanity in order to have her institutionalized so that he'll be free to ransack the ancestral home to find the missing family jewels.
This version of Hamilton's tale was so popular that it made the word "gaslight"into a verb, »
- Gary Susman
The annual "In Memoriam" segment honoring recently deceased talents had extra emotional punch at Sunday's 86th Academy Awards, for several reasons.
Introduced by Glenn Close, the tribute was bound to have impact through its spotlighting of unexpected deaths during the past year, such as those of "Capote" Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and "The Fast and the Furious" franchise star Paul Walker.
Presented without the audience applause that sometimes accompanies mentions of particularly beloved talents, the segment was set to John Barry's memorable theme music from "Somewhere in Time." That was an especially meaningful choice, since veteran fantasy writer Richard Matheson -- who died last June, and was included in the salute -- adapted that film's screenplay from his novel "Bid Time Return."
Shirley Temple dead at 85: Was one of the biggest domestic box office draws of the ’30s (photo: Shirley Temple in the late ’40s) Shirley Temple, one of the biggest box office draws of the 1930s in the United States, died Monday night, February 10, 2014, at her home in Woodside, near San Francisco. The cause of death wasn’t made public. Shirley Temple (born in Santa Monica on April 23, 1928) was 85. Shirley Temple became a star in 1934, following the release of Paramount’s Alexander Hall-directed comedy-tearjerker Little Miss Marker, in which Temple had the title role as a little girl who, left in the care of bookies, almost loses her childlike ways before coming around to regenerate Adolphe Menjou and his gang. That same year, Temple became a Fox contract player, and is credited with saving the studio — 20th Century Fox from 1935 on — from bankruptcy. Whether or not that’s true is a different story, »
- Andre Soares
Maximilian Schell movie director (photo: Maximilian Schell and Maria Schell) (See previous post: “Maximilian Schell Dies: Best Actor Oscar Winner for ‘Judgment at Nuremberg.’”) Maximilian Schell’s first film as a director was the 1970 (dubbed) German-language release First Love / Erste Liebe, adapted from Igor Turgenev’s novella, and starring Englishman John Moulder-Brown, Frenchwoman Dominique Sanda, and Schell in this tale about a doomed love affair in Czarist Russia. Italian Valentina Cortese and British Marius Goring provided support. Directed by a former Best Actor Oscar winner, First Love, a movie that could just as easily have been dubbed into Swedish or Swahili (or English), ended up nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. Three years later, nominated in that same category was Schell’s second feature film as a director, The Pedestrian / Der Fußgänger, in which a car accident forces a German businessman to delve deep into his past. »
- Andre Soares
‘Gone with the Wind’ actress Alicia Rhett dead at 98; was oldest surviving credited Gwtw cast member Gone with the Wind actress Alicia Rhett, the oldest surviving credited cast member of the 1939 Oscar-winning blockbuster, died on January 3, 2014, at the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community in Charleston, South Carolina, where Rhett had been living since August 2002. Alicia Rhett, born on February 1, 1915, in Savannah, Georgia, was 98. (Photo: Alicia Rhett as India Wilkes in Gone with the Wind.) In Gone with the Wind, the David O. Selznick production made in conjunction with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM head Louis B. Mayer was Selznick’s father-in-law), the stage-trained Alicia Rhett played India Wilkes, the embittered sister of Ashley Wilkes, whom Scarlett O’Hara loves — though Ashley eventually marries Melanie Hamilton (Rhett had auditioned for the role), while Scarlett ends up with Rhett Butler. Based on Margaret Mitchell’s bestseller, Gone with the Wind was (mostly) directed by Victor Fleming »
- Andre Soares
Oscar-nominated ‘Imitation of Life’ actress Juanita Moore has died Juanita Moore, Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee for the 1959 blockbuster Imitation of Life, died on New Year’s Day 2014 at her home in Los Angeles. According to various online sources, Juanita Moore (born on October 19, 1922) was 91; her step-grandson, actor Kirk Kahn, said she was 99. (Photo: Juanita Moore in the late ’50s. See also: Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner photos at the 50th anniversary screening of Imitation of Life at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.) Juanita Moore movies The Los Angeles-born Juanita Moore began her show business career as a chorus girl at New York City’s Cotton Club. According to the IMDb, Moore was an extra/bit player in a trio of films of the ’40s, including Vincente Minnelli’s all-black musical Cabin in the Sky (1942) and Elia Kazan’s socially conscious melodrama Pinky (1949), in which Jeanne Crain plays a (very, »
- Andre Soares
Reel-Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies who have left us in recent weeks. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in his or her own way. Frederic Back (1924-2013) - Animator who won two Oscars for his short films Crac! (watch below) and The Man Who Planted Trees. He was also nominated two other times, for All Nothing and The Mighty River. He died of cancer on December 24. (Lat) Joan Fontaine (1917-2013) - Actress who won an Oscar for her lead performance in Hitchcock's Suspicion and was nominated for Rebecca (below) and The Constant Nymph. The sister of fellow...
- Christopher Campbell
10 items from 2014
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