The Snake Pit (1948)
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,
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,
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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
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
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,
“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,
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.
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.
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
Price: DVD $19.98, Blu-ray $24.99
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
Mud is a timeless adventure about two boys,
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