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Olivia de Havilland Turns 100: How ‘Gone With the Wind’s’ True Rebel Fought the Studio System and Won

July 1 marks the 100th birthday of Olivia de Havilland, an actress who made Hollywood history in more ways than one. She is best remembered as Melanie in the 1939 “Gone With the Wind,” as well as her roles opposite Errol Flynn, including “The Adventures of Robin Hood”; she’s also one of the few to have won two leading-actress Oscars.

But her influence on the movie industry goes far beyond that: She helped bring an end to the studio system, thanks to her landmark lawsuit against Warner Bros. in 1944.

The actress had made her film debut in 1935, at age 19, in a version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that starred James Cagney and Mickey Rooney. Eventually WB signed her to a seven-year contract, which was the standard for studios when they wanted to hold onto actors.

The studio suspended her seven or eight times for refusing to play certain roles. When de Havilland’s contract expired,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Olivia @ 100: The Heiress

We're counting down to Olivia de Havilland's historic 100th birthday (July 1st!). Team Experience will be looking at highlights and curiosities from her career. Here's Tim...

Olivia de Havilland is more than a living link to the Golden Age of Hollywood, more than a gorgeous movie star, more than a two-time Oscar winner. She's one of the most significant figures in the history of the American film industry: the woman who broke the back of the studio contract system when she successfully sued Warner Bros. for career independence in 1943. As Hollywood's first independent movie star since the silent era, de Havilland was suddenly in a position to make all of her own creative decisions, leading to a string of challenging dramatic roles that didn't simply trade on her good looks and holy innocent persona.

Both of de Havilland's Oscar wins came about thanks to this period of chasing her own projects,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Exploitation Sequel Don’T Look In The Basement 2 Locks Release, Reveals Trailer

Exploitation classic gets a darker sequel. Director S.F.Brownrigg’s 1973 psycho thriller Don’T Look In The Basement (aka The Forgotten) is considered one of the weirdest and most effective of the early ’70s downmarket indie offerings and with good reason. It’s a violent, cheap and scary riff on The Snake Pit with the inmates taking over…

The post Exploitation Sequel Don’T Look In The Basement 2 Locks Release, Reveals Trailer appeared first on Shock Till You Drop.
See full article at shocktillyoudrop »

Fox Celebrates its Centennial with 100 Digital Releases

  • Comicmix
Los Angeles, Calif. (October 2, 2015) – In 1915 William Fox founded Fox Film Corporation and forever changed the course of cinema. Over the next century the studio would develop some of the most innovative and ground-breaking advancements in the history of cinema; the introduction of Movietone, the implementation of color in partnership with Eastman Kodak, the development of the wide format in 70mm and many more. Now in honor of the 100th anniversary of the studio, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will celebrate by releasing some of their most iconic films that represent a decade of innovation.

Starting today, five classic films from the studio will be made available digitally for the first time ever – Sunrise (1927), Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), Man Hunt (1941), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Flight of the Phoenix (1965). Throughout the rest of the year a total of 100 digital releases will follow from Fox’s extensive catalog, including 10 films
See full article at Comicmix »

Progressive social activist, 'The Sound of Music' Broadway Star, and Oscar-Nominated Actor Bikel Dead at 91

Theodore Bikel. Theodore Bikel dead at 91: Oscar-nominated actor and folk singer best known for stage musicals 'The Sound of Music,' 'Fiddler on the Roof' Folk singer, social and union activist, and stage, film, and television actor Theodore Bikel, best remembered for starring in the Broadway musical The Sound of Music and, throughout the U.S., in Fiddler on the Roof, died Monday morning (July 20, '15) of "natural causes" at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. The Austrian-born Bikel – as Theodore Meir Bikel on May 2, 1924, in Vienna, to Yiddish-speaking Eastern European parents – was 91. Fled Hitler Thanks to his well-connected Zionist father, six months after the German annexation of Austria in March 1938 ("they were greeted with jubilation by the local populace," he would recall in 2012), the 14-year-old Bikel and his family fled to Palestine, at the time a British protectorate. While there, the teenager began acting on stage,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Last Surviving Gwtw Star and 2-Time Oscar Winner Has Turned 99: As a Plus, She Made U.S. Labor Law History

Olivia de Havilland picture U.S. labor history-making 'Gone with the Wind' star and two-time Best Actress winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 (This Olivia de Havilland article is currently being revised and expanded.) Two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland, the only surviving major Gone with the Wind cast member and oldest surviving Oscar winner, is turning 99 years old today, July 1.[1] Also known for her widely publicized feud with sister Joan Fontaine and for her eight movies with Errol Flynn, de Havilland should be remembered as well for having made Hollywood labor history. This particular history has nothing to do with de Havilland's films, her two Oscars, Gone with the Wind, Joan Fontaine, or Errol Flynn. Instead, history was made as a result of a legal fight: after winning a lawsuit against Warner Bros. in the mid-'40s, Olivia de Havilland put an end to treacherous
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Starmaker Allégret: From Gay Romance with 'Uncle' (and Nobel Winner) Gide to Simon's Movie Mentor

Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (photo: Marc Allégret) (See previous post: "Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.") Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical and financial success of the 1934 romantic drama Lac aux Dames, directed by her self-appointed mentor – and alleged lover – Marc Allégret.[1] The son of an evangelical missionary, Marc Allégret (born on December 22, 1900, in Basel, Switzerland) was to have become a lawyer. At age 16, his life took a different path as a result of his romantic involvement – and elopement to London – with his mentor and later "adoptive uncle" André Gide (1947 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), more than 30 years his senior and married to Madeleine Rondeaux for more than two decades. In various forms – including a threesome with painter Théo Van Rysselberghe's daughter Elisabeth – the Allégret-Gide relationship remained steady until the late '20s and their trip to
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Happy New Year to the Oldest Living Oscar Peeps

I normally publish this list on Luise Rainer's birthday but having lost her just as 2014 ended after a year already marked by the loss of several screen giants including Mickey Rooney, Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine, we needed some positivity to kick off the new calendar!

Olivia de Havilland, two time best actress. She's still defiantly with us!

This semi-annual list of living Oscar-vets was never intended to be a morbid countdown list as a stray commenter or three has complained. Not at all! It's a way for us to honor people while they're still conscious of our appreciation for their indelible contributions to our favorite artform. Your assignment: pick six players here and during the year, rent a key film from each so that they can receive your telepathic waves of appreciation in 2015! (That's only 1 film every other month. You can do it!)

So our very best wishes
See full article at FilmExperience »

Death, Illness, Art and Oil: 87th Academy Awards' Documentary Short Semi-Finalists

Best Documentary Short Films Oscar 2015: Illness and death are top subjects (photo: 'White Earth' by J. Christian Jensen) Eight films — most of them featuring illness and/or death as their focus — remain in the running for the 2015 Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced. Of those eight semi-finalists, three to five titles will be shortlisted for the 87th Academy Awards. (Scroll down to vote in our Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar 2015 poll.) The remaining eight Oscar 2015 contenders are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their directors and, in parentheses, their production companies: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, directed by Ellen Goosenberg Kent (Perry Films) Joanna, directed by Aneta Kopacz (Wajda Studio). Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace, directed by Jeff Dupre (Show of Force) The Lion's Mouth Opens, directed by Lucy Walker (Tree Tree Tree) One Child,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

2014 Cannes Film Festival Predictions: Main Competition, Un Certain Regard & Special Screenings

  • ioncinema
With only hours ago before the official selection for the Main Competition is announced, we’ve narrowed our final predictions to the following titles that we’re crystal-balling as the films that will be included on Thierry Fremaux’s highly anticipated list. Despite an obvious drought of Asian auteurs (we’re thinking the rumored frontrunner Takashi Miike won’t be included in tomorrow’s list) who’s to say there won’t be some definite surprises, like Jia Zhang-ke’s A Touch of Sin last year.

Several hopefuls appear not to be ready in time, including Malick, Hsou-hsien, Cristi Puiu, and Innarritu, to name a few. But there does appear to be a high quantity of exciting titles from some of cinema’s leading auteurs. We’re still a bit tentative about whether Xavier Dolan’s latest, Mommy, will get a main competition slot—instead, we’re predicting another surprise,
See full article at ioncinema »

Reviews: Criterion's "Riot In Cell Block 11" (1954) And "The 400 Blows" (1959)

  • CinemaRetro
Blu-ray/DVD Review

Riot In Cell Block 11” (Don Siegel)

The 400 Blows” (Francois Truffaut)

(The Criterion Collection)

Two Gems From The 50s

By Raymond Benson

Two new releases from The Criterion Collection spotlight low-budget filmmaking in the 1950s—American and European—and couldn’t be more stylistically and thematically diverse. And yet, there is a personal stamp on the pictures that is very similar. Both films also tackle social problems with brutal frankness and feature anti-heroes as protagonists.

Riot in Cell Block 11 was produced by longtime Hollywood independent producer Walter Wanger (he was also responsible for two earlier Criterion releases, Stagecoach and Foreign Correspondent) as a hard-hitting, gritty, realistic picture depicting the inequities and maltreatment prisoners receive in American prisons. Wanger had a personal reason to make a film like that. He had barely missed spending some time in one. He’d caught his wife with another man,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

100 of the Oldest Living Screen Stars of Note

With the back-to-back departures of Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine I've been really bummed about losing great artists from Hollywood's Golden Age. The Golden Age is roughly considered to be from Hollywood's 1930s through the 1950s. I still hadn't recovered from the loss of Eleanor Parker, an underappreciated actress I had honestly planned a retrospective of but never got around to.

This morning in my movie grief I inadvertently killed dozens of people off on twitter by claiming there were only six stars of the Golden Age still living. So consider this list my penance. In the past I've published a semi-annual list of all living Oscar-vets in any capacity. It ws never meant to be a morbid countdown list but a way for us to honor people while they're still theoretically conscious of our appreciation for their indelible contributions. So though I normally publish such a list on Ms.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Blu-ray Review: ‘Mud’ Has the Feel of a Modern American Classic

Chicago – Maybe it’s the indeterminate time period that doesn’t rely on modern pop culture references or technology. Maybe it’s the sense that we’re watching a great Young Adult novel turned into a film. Maybe it’s the timeless themes of rebellion, love, and loss. Whatever it is, “Mud” already feels like a classic.

It’s a film, as proven by its incredible word-of-mouth success at the box office and Ridiculous 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, that everybody likes and many love. That word-of-mouth should continue on Blu-ray and DVD as more and more people watch a film that already feels like it will hold up for decades.

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Some have complained about overwriting in “Mud,” an argument that I understand but with which I don’t really agree. Yes, there’s a lot going on here and the final act gets a bit clunky in its narrative but
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Forget Hitchcock's Vertigo: Tonight the Greatest Movie About Obsessive Desire

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
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blu-ray, DVD, VOD Release: Mud

  • Disc Dish
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 6, 2013

Price: DVD $19.98, Blu-ray $24.99

Studio: Lionsgate

Matthew McConaughey is a mystery man in Mud.

Matthew McConaughey (Bernie) stars as the title character in the 2012 drama-adventure film Mud.

Mud tells the tale of two boys, Ellis (Tye Sheridan, The Tree of Life) and his best friend Neckbone (newcomer Jacob Lofland), who find a mysterious man named Mud (McConaughey) hiding out on a deserted island in the Mississippi. Mud tells the boys fantastic stories about his life, including how he once killed a man in Texas and now vengeful bounty hunters are after him. He says he is planning to meet and escape with the love of his life, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon, Water for Elephants), who is waiting for him in town. Skeptical but intrigued, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. But it isn’t long until Mud’s tall-tales come to life and their small town
See full article at Disc Dish »

Mud Blu-ray and DVD Debut August 6th

  • MovieWeb
Mud Blu-ray and DVD Debut August 6th
Sure to become "a newly minted American classic" (The Wall Street Journal), Mud arrives on Blu-ray Disc (plus Digital UltraViolet), DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet), and Video on Demand and Pay-Per-View August 6 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Mud will also be available on Est July 16, three weeks prior to the Blu-ray, DVD and Video on Demand release. Starring Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike, Killer Joe) in his "finest performance to date, Oscar-worthy at every level" (Hitfix) as the titular character, Mud features an all-star cast that includes Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life), Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down, The Right Stuff), Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, HBO's Boardwalk Empire), Joe Don Baker (Walking Tall, Fletch), Ray McKinnon (TV's Sons of Anarchy, The Blind Side), Primetime Emmy nominee Sarah Paulson (HBO's Game Change, TV's American Horror Story), newcomer Jacob Lofland and Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon (Best Actress, Walk the Line, 2005).

Mud is a timeless adventure about two boys,
See full article at MovieWeb »

TCM Offers Ultimate Studio Tour With 2013 Edition Of 31 Days Of Oscar; The Academy Awards February 24th

As the Academy celebrates 85 years of great films at the Oscars on February 24th, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is set to take movie fans on the ultimate studio tour with the 2013 edition of 31 Days Of Oscar®. Under the theme Oscar by Studio, the network will present a slate of more than 350 movies grouped according to the studios that produced or released them. And as always, every film presented during 31 Days Of Oscar is an Academy Award® nominee or winner, making this annual event one of the most anticipated on any movie lover’s calendar.

As part of the network’s month-long celebration, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has graciously provided the original Academy Awards® radio broadcasts from 1930-1952. Specially chosen clips from the radio archives will be featured throughout TCM’s 31 Days Of Oscar website.

Hollywood was built upon the studio system, which saw nearly ever aspect
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

A Force to Be Reckoned With: Kier-La Janisse and Her 'House of Psychotic Women'

Let's face it, Kier-La Janisse is a force to be reckoned with.

Over the past 15 years, she has created the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival (Vancouver, BC, 1999–2005); founded the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies as well as the Blue Sunshine Psychotronic Film Center, Montreal's coolest micro-cinema (2010–2012); and programmed for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Austin, TX, 2003–2007). That's in addition to working for the Fantasia International Film Festival (Montreal, QC), being the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (Ashley Fester, 2004), writing A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (published by Fab Press) and contributing articles for Filmmaker magazine, Fangoria and Rue Morgue, among others. And this extensive list is only the tip of the iceberg that is this woman's achievements.

I first met Kier-La in 2009 when she generously agreed to contribute to my Bloody Breasts documentary webseries by letting me interview her amid the craziness that is the Fantasia Film Festival – she
See full article at Planet Fury »

Feinberg: A Personal Remembrance of Film Legend Celeste Holm, Firecracker to the End

Feinberg: A Personal Remembrance of Film Legend Celeste Holm, Firecracker to the End
I was very saddened to learn this morning of the death of Celeste Holm, the Oscar-winning actress who starred in numerous classics of Hollywood's Golden Age -- among them Elia Kazan's best picture Oscar winner Gentlemen's Agreement (1947), Anatole Litvak's The Snake Pit (1948), Henry Koster's Come to the Stable (1949), Joseph L. Mankiewicz's A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and best picture Oscar winner All About Eve (1950), and Charles Walters's The Tender Trap (1955) and High Society (1956) -- and who I was honored to count as a friend over the last decade of her life. I first met

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

The Forgotten: Cracking Up

  • MUBI
Above: Gregory La Cava (seated, right) directs Joel McCrea, Claudette Colbert and a blonde Joan Bennett.

New artistic director Chris Fujiwara's Gregory La Cava retrospective at Edinburgh International Film Festival (six films, followed by six films at Edinburgh Filmhouse after the Festival) has brought to light several obscure titles from the great Hollywood director. For instance, I heard several of the lucky few crammed into the sweaty confines of Filmhouse 3 declare the silent comedy Feel My Pulse (1928) to be their favorite experience of the fest. But Private Worlds (1935), the penultimate film shown, is pretty fascinating too.

For one thing, it demonstrates La Cava's ability to work outside the screwball comedy genre for which he was most celebrated (although the film is far from humorless). The cast, which includes Claudette Colbert, Charles Boyer, Joel McCrea and Joan Bennett, could certainly have filled out a romantic comedy to perfection (Colbert and
See full article at MUBI »
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