7 items from 2013
Blu-ray Release Date: Nov. 12, 2013
Price: Blu-ray $Tba
Studio: Twilight Time
This 1943 movie version of Charlotte Brontë’s passionate Victorian novel Jane Eyre is directed by Robert Stevenson (Old Yeller, Mary Poppins), written by Stevenson, John Houseman, and Aldous Huxley, and stars Joan Fontaine (Letter from an Unknown Woman) and Orson Welles (The Stranger).
Like the novel, the drama-romance details Jane’s dramatic journey from the brutality of a school for impoverished children, following as she goes out into the world, becomes a governess at the mysterious Thornfield Hall, and breaks taboos by falling in love with her mercurial master, the brooding Edward Rochester.
The film features stunning cinematography by George Barnes (Rebecca) and an outstanding score by the incomparable Bernard Herrmann (which can be heard on this Twilight Time release as an isolated track).
Sixty years ago this week, on September 16, 1953, The Earrings of Madame de... premiered in Paris, which is as good an excuse as any to celebrate the various ways in which Max Ophüls’ masterpiece has been promoted over the years.
Since it is one of the most gorgeous and luxurious films ever made—Ophüls’ camera never seems to stop gliding and waltzing through the most opulent of settings—it is interesting how simple two of the most striking posters for the film are. The 1961 German poster and the 1959 Polish poster, both notably designed by women, are both in black and white (as is the film, gloriously so, but it was still unusual for posters of the period to be monochrome) and both pare the film down to a woman and her jewelry. In fact, they not only focus on the eponymous socialite but they isolate her in details. The German poster, »
- Adrian Curry
Joan Fontaine movies: ‘This Above All,’ ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman’ (photo: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine in ‘Suspicion’ publicity image) (See previous post: “Joan Fontaine Today.”) Also tonight on Turner Classic Movies, Joan Fontaine can be seen in today’s lone TCM premiere, the flag-waving 20th Century Fox release The Above All (1942), with Fontaine as an aristocratic (but socially conscious) English Rose named Prudence Cathaway (Fontaine was born to British parents in Japan) and Fox’s top male star, Tyrone Power, as her Awol romantic interest. This Above All was directed by Anatole Litvak, who would guide Olivia de Havilland in the major box-office hit The Snake Pit (1948), which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nod. In Max Ophüls’ darkly romantic Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), Fontaine delivers not only what is probably the greatest performance of her career, but also one of the greatest movie performances ever. Letter from an Unknown Woman »
- Andre Soares
Oscar winners Olivia de Havilland and Luise Rainer among movie stars of the 1930s still alive With the passing of Deanna Durbin this past April, only a handful of movie stars of the 1930s remain on Planet Earth. Below is a (I believe) full list of surviving Hollywood "movie stars of the 1930s," in addition to a handful of secondary players, chiefly those who achieved stardom in the ensuing decade. Note: There’s only one male performer on the list — and curiously, four of the five child actresses listed below were born in April. (Please scroll down to check out the list of Oscar winners at the 75th Academy Awards, held on March 23, 2003, as seen in the picture above. Click on the photo to enlarge it. © A.M.P.A.S.) Two-time Oscar winner and London resident Luise Rainer (The Great Ziegfeld, The Good Earth, The Great Waltz), 103 last January »
- Andre Soares
Directed by Max Ophüls
USA, 86 min – 1948.
“Have you ever shuffled faces like cards, hoping to find one that lies somewhere, just over the edge of your memory?”
In 1900s Vienna, a former concert pianist and notorious womanizer, Stefan Brand (Louis Jourdan) returns home to find a mysterious letter. Stefan tells his manservant, John (Art Smith) to pack up, as he wants to avoid a morning duel with Johann Stauffer (Marcel Journet). When Stefan begins to read this letter, the duel escapes his mind. The letter details the unrequited love of Lisa Berndle (Joan Fontaine), a young woman who fell in love with Stefan, and had his son, without Stefan’s knowledge. The contents of Lisa’s letter spark Stefan to question the value of his life and his decision to run away from the duel.
- Karen Bacellar
Feature Aliya Whiteley 13 Mar 2013 - 06:59
Aliya salutes one of Hollywood's most suave and talented actors - the great Louis Jourdan...
Traditionally Hollywood works in boxes. It finds a box, and then it places an actor in it. The box of the French lover has been filled by quite a few stars over the years: Charles Boyer, Maurice Chevalier, Yves Montand, Pepe Le Pew, Alain Delon, and even Gerard Depardieu for one moment in the madly entertaining Green Card.
Louis Jourdan was the most classically handsome of these actors (yes, even more debonair than the skunk). He had a smile that the camera loved and a way of cocking his head and crossing his legs that exuded style. Most well known for Vincent Minnelli’s chocolate-box love affair with France, Gigi, he brought a sense of humour to the film that kept it fresh, but it was a retread of his standard role. »
★★★★★ Leading American film critic Andrew Sarris once nominated 1953's Madame de... as his candidate for 'the greatest film of all time' - high praise indeed. Meanwhile, his principal critical detractor, Pauline Kael, called Ophüls' film "perfection", marking one of the few times the pair actually agreed on something. Most of the disquiet emanated from the auteur theory - which Sarris championed and Kael loathed - but both considered director Ophüls the most flawless of craftsman, with the exquisite design and frictionless elegance to make the heart sing and weep in equal measure, seen in such works as Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) and La Ronde (1950).
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
7 items from 2013
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