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8 items from 2008

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Casablanca’ is a Blu-Ray Gift Set For the Ages

22 December 2008 9:13 AM, PST | | See recent news »

Chicago – An edition of The Hollywood Reporter in January of 1942 announced that Warner Brothers was moving forward with a film called “Casablanca” and that it would star Ann Sheridan, Ronald Reagan and Dennis Morgan. A month later, Reagan and Morgan were out, Humphrey Bogart was in, and it wasn’t long before someone suggested Ingrid Bergman instead of the American Ann Sheridan for the role of Ilsa. It was the beginning of much more than just a beautiful friendship.

Of course, if that cast had made it in front of the camera, it’s not likely that the story of Rick, Ilsa, and the beginning of a beautiful friendship would have nearly the same resonance over six decades after its release as it does now. The iconic performances by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are such a part of the fabric of movie history that they’re instantly recognizable around the world. »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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Casablanca Ultimate Collector’s Edition DVD Review -- Chris reviews the latest Casablanca DVD and tells you if it’s worth the upgrade

17 December 2008 | | See recent news »

The classic Hollywood film Casablanca is a timeless movie masterpiece; one of a handful of great must see films. Sure it’s sometimes sappy and ultimately sentimental, but it’s Hollywood filmmaking at its finest, with a great cast working from an exciting script in the hands of one of the best directors of the era, Michael Curtiz. The film is an accurate reflection on how Americans want to see themselves, namely fiercely independent while holding onto strong moral beliefs and always selflessly doing the ‘right thing’ in the end. This sentiment is embodied in the film’s leading character, Richard "Rick" Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart as the cynical expatriate saloonkeeper in Vichy-controlled Casablanca during World War Two. Despite the unassuming appearance, Rick is actually a heroic fighter of fascists, smartly dressed in a white »

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Fate of Mary Pickford's Oscar in court's hands

30 November 2008 10:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The fate of Mary Pickford's 1930 Oscar for best actress soon will be in the hands of a Los Angeles jury as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences heads to court Monday to stop the sale of the statuette.

The Oscar was awarded to "America's sweetheart" for her performance in 1929's "Coquette," the first best actress honor given for a performance in a "talkie." The statuette is in possession of the estate of Beverly Rogers, the second wife of Charles "Buddy" Rogers, who was married to Pickford for 40 years until her death in 1979.

When Buddy Rogers died in 1999, Beverly Rogers inherited his estate, which included the 1930 Oscar as well as an honorary Academy Award given to Pickford in 1976 and Buddy Rogers' 1986 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

At the center of the dispute is a handwritten will ordering that the 1930 statuette be auctioned off, with proceeds donated to charity »

- By Leslie Simmons

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Veteran’s Day: 16 Of The Best World War II Movies

11 November 2008 12:27 PM, PST | | See recent Screen Rant news »

It’s Veteran’s Day today - the day we remember and honor soldiers and sailors that serve and have served in the military in defense of the United States of America and other countries.

I thought it would be appropriate to put together a list of classic war movies to commemorate the holiday…


This is by no means a complete list, just some of my favorites and those that came to mind - feel free to add your favorites and nudge my memory over any obvious ones I may have forgotten in the comments below.

Casablanca (1942) - Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman, a classic if there ever was one: Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II,  an American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications - and woe unto anyone who thinks of doing a remake of this film!

Flying Tigers (1942) - John Wayne »

- Vic Holtreman

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Philip French's Screen legends: No 33: Ingrid Bergman 1915-82

18 October 2008 4:01 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

No 33: Ingrid Bergman 1915-82

She was born in Stockholm 10 years after Greta Garbo. Both lost their fathers when they were in their early teens, but Bergman had a theatrical training her fellow Swede was denied. She came to international stardom in the early 1940s, when Garbo left Hollywood to live a reclusive life. Garbo had a luminous, androgynous beauty. Bergman had a fresh-faced, open-air radiance. Garbo's career was a brief European prologue, 15 years of MGM productions, and a 48-year, teasing retirement. Bergman's career unfolded in four chapters of energetic professional activity, from her mid-teens to her death.

In the first chapter she became a local star. The second chapter began with her being signed up by Hollywood tycoon David O Selznick, who brought her to the States for a remake of her big Swedish success, Intermezzo (1939). Over the next decade she played opposite Bogart, Tracy, Cooper, Boyer, Crosby, »

- Philip French

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Saddle Up, Swashbuckler

26 August 2008 1:16 AM, PDT | | See recent New York Post news »

Best remembered for swashbuckling epics such as "The Adventures of Robin Hood," Australian-born star Errol Flynn also graced eight popular sagebrush sagas at the peak of his stardom.

"Virginia City" (1940), the centerpiece of the four titles collected in "The Errol Flynn Warner Bros. Westerns Collection" (out today), is a follow-up to Flynn's enormously popular Technicolor Western debut "Dodge City," which was also directed by the studio's top director, Michael Curtiz ("Casablanca," "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "Mildred Pierce").

Like Flynn's other 1940 Western ("Santa Fe Trail, »


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Madonna To Star In Casablanca Remake?

30 March 2008 3:52 PM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Pop superstar Madonna wants to relaunch her acting career with a remake of 1942 classic Casablanca.

The Evita star is reportedly keen to modernise the Oscar-winning romantic drama, which originally starred Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, and possibly set the film in Iraq.

But the planned project has been met by stiff opposition among Hollywood executives, according to British newspaper The Mail On Sunday.

A studio source says, "She is still determined to make it in the movies. She and her representatives have been touting around a project which is a remake of Casablanca. The reception has been lukewarm to say the least. No one can understand why she wants to redo what many people consider the greatest film of all time.

"Madonna is talking about taking the Ingrid Bergman role for herself, even though Bergman was in her 20s when she played Ilsa (Lund) and Madonna is nearly 50.

"She wants to update the story and maybe set it in a modern war zone such as Iraq. There is no script yet. Madonna and her people are testing the waters to see if this is the right vehicle for her and if a major studio will get behind the project."

A spokesperson for Madonna has so far refused to comment on the reports.

Madonna's last big-screen outing, in 2002's Swept Away, was panned by critics and she has since moved behind the camera to direct forthcoming movie Filth and Wisdom. »

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Clandestine mistress of Bogart dies

9 February 2008 4:16 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Casablanca star carried on a 17-year affair with the woman known as 'Bacall's worst nightmare'

Verita Bouvaire Thompson, the hard-drinking mistress and long-time companion of Humphrey Bogart who described herself as 'Bacall's worst nightmare', has died aged 89.

Thompson died of natural causes in New Orleans, the city she had made her home in the 1990s. Her 17-year affair with Bogart first came to light in 1982 in her book Bogie and Me: A Love Story, a memoir in which she described the close relationship the couple struck up two years before the star met his famous fourth wife, Lauren Bacall, on the set of the 1944 film To Have and Have Not

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- Vanessa Thorpe, arts and media correspondent

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