The Perils of Pauline (1947) - News Poster

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The Final Years of King Baggot – From the ‘King of the Movies’ to Bit Player

The King Baggot Tribute will take place Wednesday September 28th at 7pm at Lee Auditorium inside the Missouri History Museum (Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri). The 1913 silent film Ivanhoe will be accompanied by The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra and there will be a 40-minute illustrated lecture on the life and career of King Baggot by We Are Movie Geeks’ Tom Stockman. A Facebook invite for the event can be found Here

Here’s a look at the final phase of King Baggot’s career.

King Baggot, the first ‘King of the Movies’ died July 11th, 1948 penniless and mostly forgotten at age 68. A St. Louis native, Baggot was at one time Hollywood’s most popular star, known is his heyday as “The Most Photographed Man in the World” and “More Famous Than the Man in the Moon”. Yet even in his hometown, Baggot had faded into obscurity.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Jane Got A Gun review

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Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor star in new western Jane Got A Gun. Here's our review...

Maybe it's just my experience, but it might tell you something about how rare female-fronted Westerns are that some of my older relatives have asked me if Jane Got A Gun is related to Calamity Jane. As has been reflected in the vast majority of the genre throughout its cinematic history, men are the agents of frontier mythology and the American dream to such a great extent that women's options are next to non-existent.

In this case, the eponymous Jane (Natalie Portman) is quietly devastated when her husband Bill 'Ham' Hammond (Noah Emmerich) rides home after an altercation with the fearsome Bishop boys (led by Ewan McGregor), riddled with bullets and barely alive. Worse still, the gang are following Ham back to Jane, with whom they also have history, and the
See full article at Den of Geek »

Kael Vs. Kane: Pauline Kael, Orson Welles and the Authorship of Citizen Kane

Part I.

In 1963, Film Quarterly published an essay entitled “Circles and Squares.” It addressed the French auteur theory, introduced to America by The Village Voice’s Andrew Sarris. Auteurism holds that a film’s primary creator is its director; Sarris’s “Notes on the Auteur Theory” further distinguished auteurs as filmmakers with distinct, recurring styles. Challenging him was a California-based writer named Pauline Kael.

Kael attacked Sarris’s obsession with trivial links between filmmaker’s movies, whether repeated shots or thematic preoccupations. This led critics to overpraise directors’ lesser films, as when Jacques Rivette declared Howard HawksMonkey Business a masterpiece. “It is an insult to an artist to praise his bad work along with his good; it indicates that you are incapable of judging either,” Kael wrote.

She criticized auteurist preoccupation with Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock, claiming critics “work embarrassingly hard trying to give some semblance of intellectual respectability to mindless,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

From the ‘King of the Movies’ to Bit Player – the Final Years of King Baggot

The King Baggot Tribute will take place Friday, November 14th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium beginning at 7pm as part of this year’s St. Louis Intenational FIlm Festival. The program will consist a rare 35mm screening of the 1913 epic Ivanhoe starring King Baggot with live music accompaniment by the Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra. Ivanhoe will be followed by an illustrated lecture on the life and films of King Baggot presented by Tom Stockman, editor here at We Are Movie Geeks. After that will screen the influential silent western Tumbleweeds (1925), considered to be one of King Baggot’s finest achievements as a director. Tumbleweeds will feature live piano accompaniment by Matt Pace.

Here’s a look at the final phase of King Baggot’s career.

King Baggot, the first ‘King of the Movies’ died July 11th, 1948 penniless and mostly forgotten at age 68. A St. Louis native, Baggot
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

A Century Ago Remembered: From Wwi to Chaplin Comedy

San Francisco Silent Film Festival – Silent Autumn 2014: From The Great War to Charles Chaplin and Pearl White (image: Charles Chaplin in 'A Film Johnnie') Imagine, if you will, that you can go back one hundred years in time, when people were enjoying a new and pervasive art form: motion pictures. In 1914, the movies had already been around for a while, in peep shows, nickelodeons, and small screening rooms. But now movie theaters were springing up in every community large and small, where families could flock together and watch flickering images in comfort, with live musical accompaniment. On September 20, such was the experience provided by the 2014 San Francisco Silent Film Festival – Silent Autumn: "A Night at the Cinema in 1914." For a history buff like me, this was second best to getting into a time machine. True, the programs consisted mostly of films from the British Film Institute, but the variety content of newsreels,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Forgotten: "Das Geheimschloss" (1914)

  • MUBI
I was first attracted to Das Geheimschloss, a.k.a. Miss Clever Versus the Black Hand, because of an intriguing coincidence concerning its year of production. It's the third episode in a serial chronicling the exploits of intrepid lady detective Miss Clever. Not much is known about the show, even the director being anonymous. But the villains share their name, The Black Hand, with the Serbian nationalist group whose assassination of Duke Franz Fedinand of Austro-Hungary that same year triggered the First World War.

The movie itself is not overtly political. Miss Clever, when first encountered, seems quite bohemian, with her exotic dress and elephant sculptures, but this is probably to contrast with the first of many disguises she slips into, as a telephone operator at a bank whose chairman has received a threatening letter. Today we might wish the criminals every success in their enterprise, but in 1914 a more
See full article at MUBI »

Hutton Pt.2: From Morgan's Creek to Mature Leading Lady

Betty Hutton movies (photo: Betty Hutton in The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, with Eddie Bracken) [See previous post: "Betty Hutton Bio: The Blonde Bombshell."] Buddy DeSylva did as promised. Betty Hutton was given a key supporting role in Victor Schertzinger’s 1942 musical comedy The Fleet’s In, starring Dorothy Lamour, William Holden, and Eddie Bracken. “Her facial grimaces, body twists and man-pummeling gymnastics take wonderfully to the screen,” enthused Pm magazine. (Hutton would have a cameo, as Hetty Button, in the 1952 remake Sailor Beware, starring Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Corinne Calvet.) The following year, Betty Hutton landed the second female lead in Happy Go Lucky (1943), singing Jimmy McHugh and Frank Loesser’s "Murder, He Says," and stealing the show from fellow Broadway import Mary Martin and former Warner Bros. crooner Dick Powell. She also got co-star billing opposite Bob Hope in Sidney Lanfield’s musical comedy Let’s Face It. Additionally, Paramount’s hugely successful all-star war-effort
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Remembering the Blonde Blitz: One of Hollywood's Top Stars of the '40s

Betty Hutton bio: The Blonde Bombshell Energetic, electric, exuberant, effusive, brassy, spunky, hyper, manic — these are all qualities that could (and most likely have been) used to describe Betty Hutton, a top 1940s Paramount star also known as "The Blonde Bombshell," "The Blonde Blitz," and/or "The Incendiary Blonde." (Photo: Betty Hutton ca. 1945-1950.) Throughout the years, Betty Hutton’s fiery blondeness entertained some, while turning off others and leaving others yet exhausted. She seemed to be perennially in hyperkinetic mode, whether playing 1910s film serial heroine Pearl White in The Perils of Pauline or fretting about (possibly) being pregnant — without knowing which of several happy sailors is the baby’s father — in Preston SturgesThe Miracle of Morgan’s Creek. But she "wasn’t all just a zany comedian," as Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne recently remarked. "The thing about Betty Hutton was she could also sing a song and break your heart,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): How Pittsburgh landed 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): How Pittsburgh landed 'The Dark Knight Rises'
Move over, Wilmington. Pittsburgh has declared itself the new Hollywood of the East. Although people have been making movies in the Steel City practically since the video camera was invented, the city’s film industry really took off when Pennsylvania introduced a tax credit program for filmmakers about 10 years ago. Since then, Pittsburgh has seen a steady increase of film work — culminating this year, when five major studio movies shot in southwestern Pa hit theaters, including The Dark Knight Rises and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. A murder story starring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, a new TV show starring Chloe Sevigny,
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

Contraband (2012) – The Review

It’s been over twenty years since Al Pacino as Michael Corleone uttered, “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in! “in The Godfather Part III, but this bit of plot motivation is still a major device in most action/crime thrillers for the lead character. In the new film Contraband, the guy who thinks he’s out of the life is Chris Faraday played by an actor who had a few run-ins with the law during his teen years, Mark Wahlberg. Chris had a reputation as an expert smuggler many years ago (he brags about being able to bring in a pricey sports car), but now he’s legit with a home security business, a beautiful wife, Kate (Kate Beckinsale) and two adorable young sons down in New Orleans. Uh-oh, it seems that Kate’s nere’do well kid brother Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) has
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Margaret Field Dies: Sally Field Mother, The Man From Planet X Star

Margaret Field, best remembered for the 1951 sci-fier The Man From Planet X, died at her Malibu home on Sunday, Nov. 6, the day her daughter Sally Field turned 65. Margaret Field, who had been diagnosed with cancer six years ago, was 89. Directed by cult B-movie director Edgar G. Ulmer, The Man From Planet X turned out to be the highlight of Field's film career. The story revolves around a mysterious journalist (Robert Clarke) who may or may not be an alien with ties to a spaceship that has landed near an observatory on a remote Scottish island. Most of Field's previous movie appearances had been uncredited bit parts, chiefly in Paramount productions such as The Perils of Pauline, Night Has a Thousand Eyes, and Samson and Delilah. Her parts got bigger following The Man from Planet X, but they remained subpar roles in mostly B movies. Among those were Philip Ford's
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

A Roommate to avoid. In more ways than one

This latest, unwanted addition to the 'stalker thriller' genre might already have the 2012 Razzies sewn up

The competition for worst movie of the year is at its fiercest, oddly, in the first months of the year – that post-Christmas graveyard of shelved and botched movies, a dumping ground for backfired investments and projects. Disgraced, orphaned and despised, spring releases run headlong for the shadows in shame, like cockroaches, oblivion their only destination, a Golden Razzie their only acclamation.

So step up, The Roommate – a wan, college-based nightmare about getting dormitoried up with a complete stranger who turns out to be a jealous, possibly bi-curious, certainly bi-furious psychopath – now a sterling contender for that worst picture Razzie in 2012. In addition to being an airless and sinewless exercise in how not to manufacture suspense, delineate relationships or surprise an audience even once, Roommates shows the bottoming out of a trend that goes back
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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