A Letter to Three Wives (1949) - News Poster

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From Mad Method Actor to Humankind Advocate: One of the Greatest Film Actors of the 20th Century

From Mad Method Actor to Humankind Advocate: One of the Greatest Film Actors of the 20th Century
Updated: Following a couple of Julie London Westerns*, Turner Classic Movies will return to its July 2017 Star of the Month presentations. On July 27, Ronald Colman can be seen in five films from his later years: A Double Life, Random Harvest (1942), The Talk of the Town (1942), The Late George Apley (1947), and The Story of Mankind (1957). The first three titles are among the most important in Colman's long film career. George Cukor's A Double Life earned him his one and only Best Actor Oscar; Mervyn LeRoy's Random Harvest earned him his second Best Actor Oscar nomination; George Stevens' The Talk of the Town was shortlisted for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. All three feature Ronald Colman at his very best. The early 21st century motto of international trendsetters, from Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro and Turkey's Recep Erdogan to Russia's Vladimir Putin and the United States' Donald Trump, seems to be, The world is reality TV and reality TV
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Damien Chazelle’s DGA Victory Solidifies ‘La La Land’s’ Date With Oscar

Damien Chazelle’s DGA Victory Solidifies ‘La La Land’s’ Date With Oscar
You can count on one hand the number of filmmakers that have won the Directors Guild award for feature filmmaking, yet lost the best director Oscar when nominated: Rob Marshall (“Chicago”), Ang Lee (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), Francis Ford Coppola (“The Godfather”), Anthony Harvey (“The Lion in Winter”) and Robert Rossen* (“All the King’s Men”).

Ben Affleck (“Argo”), Ron Howard (“Apollo 13”) and Steven Spielberg (“The Color Purple”), meanwhile, share their own bizarre place in film awards history as guild winners that didn’t even secure a nomination from the Academy. But throughout the course of 68 years, 60 DGA winners have gone on to claim the Oscar.

So that’s some solid math in “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle’s favor. Already the youngest DGA winner in the category, he’s now poised to become the youngest best director Oscar winner as well.

Why is the DGA prize such a predictive precursor?
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oscars: How Often Is There a Split Between Best Picture and Best Director?

La La Land’ and ‘Moonlight’ (Courtesy: Dale Robinette; David Bornfriend/A24)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

Nothing is certain at the Oscars, and that absolutely applies to the best picture and best director categories. While it is common for films to win both of these trophies in a given year, sometimes they can go to two different works. There’s a chance that La La Land and Moonlight could split these categories at the upcoming ceremony — but how often does that happen?

Both of these films are considered frontrunners in both the best picture and best director category at the upcoming Oscars. This site’s namesake, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, lists La La Land — written and directed by Damien Chazelle — and Moonlight — written and directed by Barry Jenkins — as the top two contenders in both categories in his latest check-in on the race. The two films have been
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Scott Reviews Samuel Fuller’s Fixed Bayonets! [Masters of Cinema Blu-ray Review]

I’m noticing more and more a theme in postwar (especially American) cinema concerning pacifists turning towards violence. A character will introduce him- or herself as someone unable and morally opposed to weapons in general or harming another human being specifically, only to be put in a situation in which violence is presented as the only way out. We’ve covered (at least) two such films on this very website – Shane and Violent Saturday – and, having just seen it, I can add the considerably odd Frank Sinatra vehicle Suddenly to this list.

It’s not hard to see why American filmmakers and moviegoers would be interested in this subject at this time. Many of them had recently returned from war, where they did awful things for a greater good; those who didn’t go to war themselves certainly knew somebody who had. On a much larger scale, the use of
See full article at CriterionCast »

Alejandro G. Inarritu Makes History With Directing Oscar Win for ‘The Revenant’

Alejandro G. Inarritu Makes History With Directing Oscar Win for ‘The Revenant’
The Revenant” director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has won the best director Academy Award — marking only the third back-to-back Oscar win for any director.

“Gracias a la Academia — Thanks to the Academy,” the Mexican native began his acceptance. “I can’t believe this is happening. It’s amazing to receive this award tonight. It’s much more beautiful for me to share it with all the talented and crazy cast and colleagues and crew members that made this film possible.”

Inarritu, who won last year for “Birdman,” topped Lenny Abrahamson for “Room,” Tom McCarthy for “Spotlight,” Adam McKay for “The Big Short” and George Miller for “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

The 52-year-old has joined directing icons John Ford and Joseph L. Mankiewicz as the only helmers to win in consecutive years. Ford won for “Grapes of Wrath” and “How Green Was My Valley” in 1940-41, while Mankiewicz won for “A Letter to Three Wives
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu wins Best Director Oscar for 'The Revenant'

As predicted, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("The Revenant") won Best Director at the Oscars on Sunday. He was Gold Derby's frontrunner with odds of 2/9 to prevail, just one year after winning for "Birdman." The last time someone won back-to-back Oscars for Best Director was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who prevailed for "A Letter to Three Wives" (1949) and "All About Eve" (1950). Prior to that, John Ford had won two of his record four Oscars consecutively for helming "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) and "How Green Was My Valley" (1941). -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions Our official odds are derived from the predictions of 28 Expert film journalists along with our seven in-house Editors who cover awards year-round, the Top 24 Users who got the top scores predicting last year's Oscars, the All-Star Users who did the be...
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13 Oscar Records That Could Be Broken Sunday Night

  • The Wrap
13 Oscar Records That Could Be Broken Sunday Night
Every Academy Awards show provides a little slice of history, but more Oscar records than usual could hang in the balance on Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre. Here are some of the landmarks that could conceivably be reached by the time the final envelope is opened: If Alejandro G. Inarritu wins Best Director for “The Revenant,” he’ll be the third director to win that award in consecutive years, after John Ford for “The Grapes of Wrath” and “How Green Was My Valley” (1940-41) and Joseph L. Mankiewicz for “A Letter to Three Wives” and “All About Eve” (1949-50). If “The.
See full article at The Wrap »

Oscar predictions: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will win Best Director for 'The Revenant'

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("The Revenant") is the frontrunner with odds of 1/4 to win Best Director at the Oscars on Sunday, just one year after winning for "Birdman." The last time someone won back-to-back Oscars for Best Director was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who prevailed for "A Letter to Three Wives" (1949) and "All About Eve" (1950). Prior to that, John Ford had won two of his record four Oscars consecutively for helming "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) and "How Green Was My Valley" (1941). -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions Our official odds are derived from the predictions of 27 Expert film journalists along with our seven in-house Editors who cover awards year-round, the Top 24 Users who got the top scores predicting last year's Oscars, the All-Star Users who did the best for the past two years combined and t...'
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The DGA to Iñárritu... Again

Wide open race, people. Following The Big Short's win at PGA, Spotlight's ensemble prize at SAG, comes the Director's Guild Award for... The Revenant.

Getty Images

Bonafide three-way race for Best Picture which is not common. Whoever wins we'll know that it was close -- unless a sweep reveals otherwise. Hell, Oscar's Best Director competition is also fierce though the advantage goes to Iñárritu at this point.

Trivia!

Incidentally, this prize for Alejandro González Iñárritu is his second consecutive from his guild. Though several directors have won twice, a consecutive win has never happened before at the DGA. It has happened at the Oscars, though, and twice at that: John Ford won two in a row for The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and How Green Was My Valley (1941). And not quite a decade later Joseph L Mankiewicz pulled off the same trick with A Letter To Three Wives (1949) and All
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Alejandro G. Inarritu’s ‘Revenant’ DGA Win Keeps Oscar Guessing Game Going

Alejandro G. Inarritu’s ‘Revenant’ DGA Win Keeps Oscar Guessing Game Going
The only thing Alejandro G. Inarritu really had going against him heading into this year’s Directors Guild of America awards ceremony was that he just won a year ago for “Birdman.” Apparently, that wasn’t enough.

The “Revenant” director became the first filmmaker to ever win back-to-back DGA honors for feature filmmaking Saturday night, and really, beyond the simple unlikely nature of that prospect, it’s difficult to call it a shock. After all, it’s not a hard sell to the guild’s 13,000 members that production on “The Revenant” was no walk in the park. That’s certainly been the overbearing linchpin of the film’s campaign these last several weeks, a narrative that is helping to propel Leonardo DiCaprio to his first Oscar. But moreover, voters in this group, they know very well what it takes to pull off a project like this. So they voted accordingly.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oscar nominations: 'The Revenant' leads with 12, followed by 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (10) and 'The Martian' (7)

Oscar nominations: 'The Revenant' leads with 12, followed by 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (10) and 'The Martian' (7)
Nominations were announced Thursday morning for the 88th annual Academy Awards, and "The Revenant" unexpectedly leads with a whopping 12 nominations including Best Picture, Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Best Supporting Actor (Tom Hardy). (Click here for the complete list of nominations.) -Break- Inarritu won the directing prize last year for "Birdman," so if he wins again for "The Revenant," as he recently did at the Golden Globes, he will be the first to win back-to-back Oscars since Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1949 ("A Letter to Three Wives") and 1950 ("All About Eve"). His nominated cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, previously won for "Gravity" (2013) and "Birdman" (2014), so he may become the first in his field to win three in a row. Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions...
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Alejandro G. Inarritu ('The Revenant'): Will he be first director since 1950 to win back-to-back Oscars?

Alejandro G. Inarritu ('The Revenant'): Will he be first director since 1950 to win back-to-back Oscars?
The last time someone won back-to-back Oscars for Best Director was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who prevailed for "A Letter to Three Wives" (1949) and "All About Eve" (1950). Prior to that, John Ford had won two of his record four Oscars consecutively for helming "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) and "How Green Was My Valley" (1941). Now, Oscar's reigning directing champ, Alejandro G. Inarritu ("Birdman"), has a heck of a chance of pulling off a repeat victory this year thanks to his visual masterpiece "The Revenant." Will Inarritu be the first helmer in 65 years to pull off a double-director Oscar whammy? -Break- Photo Gallery: Best Picture Oscar Contenders 2015 Due out on Christmas day, "The Revenant" is the true story of frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) who hunts down the man (Tom Hardy) who left him for dead after a bear attack in the Dakota Territory of 1823. Inar...'
See full article at Gold Derby »

Scott Reviews Samuel Fuller’s Pickup on South Street [Masters of Cinema Blu-ray Review]

In so many of the discussions (recorded and written) that accompany Masters of Cinema’s new Blu-ray edition of Pickup on South Street, the critic finds some way to make apologies for the fact that not all of the film was shot on the streets. In fact, very little was. Then as now, New York is an unpredictable animal, difficult to harness in a medium that so predicated on reliability that the entire industry surrounding it moved across the country just to ensure the sun would always be out. But studio-set production is not antithetical to Samuel Fuller’s “whole thing.” He’s not the gritty realist perhaps even he’d like to be, even viewing his films in the context of the times. Fuller is more like a political cartoonist without a punchline. He has cleverness to spare, but no jokes. More importantly, his style of expression is dependent
See full article at CriterionCast »

Nasty Politics and Eyebrow-Raising Gossip During Hollywood's Golden Age: Brackett's Must-Read Diaries

Charles Brackett ca. 1945: Hollywood diarist and Billy Wilder's co-screenwriter (1936–1949) and producer (1945–1949). Q&A with 'Charles Brackett Diaries' editor Anthony Slide: Billy Wilder's screenwriter-producer partner in his own words Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He is renowned for classics such as The Major and the Minor, Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Witness for the Prosecution, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. The fact that Wilder was not the sole creator of these movies is all but irrelevant to graduates from the Auteur School of Film History. Wilder directed, co-wrote, and at times produced his films. That should suffice. For auteurists, perhaps. But not for those interested in the whole story. That's one key reason why the Charles Brackett diaries are such a great read. Through Brackett's vantage point, they offer a welcome – and unique – glimpse into the collaborative efforts that resulted in
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

MGM's Lioness, the Epitome of Hollywood Superstardom, Has Her Day on TCM

Joan Crawford Movie Star Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and The Taxi Dancer (1927), and check her out in the more easily accessible The Unknown (1927) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928). By the early '30s, Joan Crawford had become a first-rate film actress, far more naturalistic than
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Scott Reviews Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s A Letter to Three Wives [Masters of Cinema Blu-ray Review]

Like so many great American films of the era, A Letter to Three Wives has a touch of trash at its core. Writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz crafts well-rounded characters, thoughtful explorations of class via small-town postwar America, and snappy dialogue to spare. But this is still a story that really kicks off when three women receive a letter from another claiming to have run off with one of their husbands, timed to a daylong excursion where she knows they can’t do a damned thing about it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all.

The bulk of the movie takes place in flashback, as each woman reflects on the more tumultuous moments in their relationships, and why each husband would be motivated to abandon ship for the highly-desirable Addie Ross. Addie seems to have gotten around often enough to have gotten around to those same husbands in some capacity.
See full article at CriterionCast »

The Top Father's Day Films Ever Made? Here Are Five Dads - Ranging from the Intellectual to the Pathological

'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are
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Pitt Former TV Co-Star Kallsen Dead at 48, Emmy Nominee Meadows dead at 95, Oscar nominee Mankiewicz dead at 93

Brad Pitt 'Glory Days' costar Nicholas Kallsen Brad Pitt 'Glory Days' costar Nicholas Kallsen dead at 48 Nicholas Kallsen, who was featured opposite Brad Pitt in the short-lived television series Glory Days, has died at age 48 in Thailand according to online reports. Their source is one of Rupert Murdoch's rags, citing a Facebook posting by one of the actor's friends. The cause of death was purportedly – no specific source was provided – a drug overdose.* Aired on Fox in July 1990, Glory Days told the story of four high-school friends whose paths take different directions after graduation. Besides Nicholas Kallsen and Brad Pitt, the show also featured Spike Alexander and Evan Mirand. Glory Days lasted a mere six episodes – two of which directed by former Happy Days actor Anson Williams – before its cancellation. Roommates Nicholas Kallsen and Brad Pitt vying for same 'Thelma & Louise' role? The Murdoch tabloid also
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Movie Poster of the Week: The Films of Joseph L. Mankiewicz

  • MUBI
Above: German poster by Rolf Goetze for The Barefoot Contessa (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, USA, 1954). 

Some twenty-two years ago, just a couple of months before Joseph L. Mankiewicz passed away at the age of 83, New York’s Film Forum held a retrospective of his work. The one thing I knew about Mankiewicz back then was that Andrew Sarris had consigned him to The American Cinema’s circle of hell that was “Less Than Meet the Eye.” “The cinema of Joseph L. Mankiewicz is a cinema of intelligence without inspiration” he argued. Needless to say I went rather reluctantly to see his films, but by the end of the series I was a convert to his special brand of literate, sophisticated and genuinely moving cinema.

As a sidebar to the New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is hosting a new retrospective of Mankiewicz’s films that runs
See full article at MUBI »

‘Somewhere in the Night’ finds adequate balance somewhere between mystery and compelling drama

Somewhere in the Night

Written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Directed by Howard Dimsdale and Joseph L. Mankiewizc

USA, 1946

A man (John Hodiak) wakes up in a military hospital, cognizant of the fact that he has been in battle for the United States but entirely oblivious of who he is or where he lives. Only a few cryptic pieces of paper in his pocket inform him of his name George Taylor; that a woman now hates him; and that a good pal of his, Larry Cravat, wants to meet him in Los Angeles transfer a significant amount of saved up funds through a bank account. Thus begins George’s vertiginous journey into the City of Angels, where the clues as to his true identity sometimes add up whilst other times stir further confusion. By all accounts, there are some people who view the name Larry Cravat as either a threat, as in the case of Lt.
See full article at SoundOnSight »
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