The Reckless Moment (1949) - News Poster


Foreplays #8: Germaine Dulac’s "The Smiling Madame Beudet"

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Foreplays is a column that explores under-known short films by renowned directors. Germaine Dulac's The Smiling Madame Beudet (1923) is free to watch below. As the calendar hanging on one of the walls repeatedly reminds us, the action of Germaine Dulac’s The Smiling Madame Beudet (1923) comprises only two days. On the 29th of April, Madame Beudet spends the evening alone at home, and decides to kill her husband. She puts bullets in the empty gun that he frequently uses to perform a parody of suicide. On the 30th of April, Madame tries to undo what she arranged the night before, but is unsuccessful. Not knowing that the gun is loaded, Monsieur Beudet begins performing his fake suicide but, at the last moment, instead points the gun at his wife. This shot, however, also fails. The Smiling Madame Beudet tells the story of this failed act of “double murder.”***When
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Letter from an Unknown Woman

This devastating romantic melodrama is Max Ophüls’ best American picture — perhaps because it seems so European? It’s probably Joan Fontaine’s finest hour as well, and Louis Jourdan comes across as a great actor in a part perfect for his screen personality. The theme could be called, ‘No regrets,’ but also, ‘Everything is to be regretted.’

Letter from an Unknown Woman


Olive Signature

1948 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 87 min. / Street Date December 5, 2017 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98

Starring: Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Mady Christians, Marcel Journet, Art Smith, Carol Yorke, Howard Freeman, John Good, Leo B. Pessin, Erskine Sanford, Otto Waldis, Sonja Bryden.

Cinematography: Franz Planer

Film Editor: Ted J. Kent

Original Music: Daniele Amfitheatrof

Written by Howard Koch from a story by Stefan Zweig

Produced by John Houseman

Directed by Max Ophüls

A young woman’s romantic nature goes beyond all limits, probing the nature of True Love.
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Remembering Unusual Post-wwii Novel That Led to 2 Movie Adaptations: One 'Straight,' One 'Gay'

Remembering Unusual Post-wwii Novel That Led to 2 Movie Adaptations: One 'Straight,' One 'Gay'
Crime novel The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding. While her husband is away during World War II, housewife Lucia Holley – the sort of “Everywoman” who looks great in a two-piece bathing suit – does whatever it takes to protect the feeling of “normality” in her bourgeois, suburban household. The Blank Wall is a classic depiction of an attempted cover-up being much more serious than the actual crime. Sound bites: Remembering the classic crime novel 'The Blank Wall' and its two movie adaptations – 'The Reckless Moment' & 'The Deep End' Crime novel writer Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (1889–1955) is not a name familiar to many, and yet Raymond Chandler described her as “the top suspense writer of them all. She doesn't pour it on and make you feel irritated. Her characters are wonderful; and she has a sort of inner calm which I find very attractive.” Holding has been identified as “The Godmother of Noir” and, more
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Woman on the Run

What in the world -- an A + top-rank film noir gem hiding under the radar, and rescued (most literally) by the Film Noir Foundation. Ann Sheridan and Dennis O'Keefe trade dialogue as good as any in a film from 1950 -- it's a thriller with a cynical worldview yet a sentimental personal outlook. Woman on the Run Blu-ray + DVD Flicker Alley / FIlm Noir Foundation 1950 / B&W / 1:37 Academy / 79 min. / Street Date May 17, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Ann Sheridan, Dennis O'Keefe, Robert Keith, John Qualen, Frank Jenks, Ross Elliott, Jane Liddell, Joan Fulton, J. Farrell MacDonald, Steven Geray, Victor Sen Yung, Reiko Sato. Cinematography Hal Mohr Art Direction Boris Leven Film Editor Otto Ludwig Original Music Arthur Lange, Emil Newman Written by Alan Campbell, Norman Foster, Sylvia Tate Produced by Howard Welsch, Ann Sheridan Directed by Norman Foster

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Amazing! Just when one thinks one won't see another top-rank film noir, the
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William Schallert, Character Actor and Former SAG President, Dies at 93

William Schallert, Character Actor and Former SAG President, Dies at 93
William Schallert, the veteran character actor and former SAG president, died Sunday at the age of 93, TheWrap has confirmed. Schallert’s prolific career — which included almost 400 screen credits — dates back to the 1940s, when he landed a series of small roles in films like “Mighty Joe Young,” “The Reckless Moment,” and “Perfect Strangers.” He would go on to work steadily for the next 60 years, including guest roles on classic TV shows like “The Lone Ranger,” “Get Smart,” and “The Wild, Wild West.” Also Read: Ian Sander, 'Ghost Whisperer' Producer, Dies at 68 One of Schallert’s most iconic roles came when he.
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Father of the Bride

This is one of Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor's best, written and directed by the classy MGM team of director Vincente Minnelli and writers Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett. It inspired a decade's worth of TV family sitcoms and set the benchmark for weddings for generations. Great fun and solid sentiment without mugging or exaggeration. Father of the Bride Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1950 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 93 min. / Street Date May 10, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Spencer Tracy, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Bennett, Don Taylor, Billie Burke, Moroni Olsen, Melville Cooper, Leo G. Carroll, Rusty Tamblyn, Tom Irish, Frank Cady, Carleton Carpenter. Cinematography John Alton Film Editor Ferris Webster Original Music Adolph Deutsch Written by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett from the novel by Edward Streeter Produced by Pandro S. Berman Directed by Vincente Minnelli

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

There's almost no point in reviewing Father of the Bride, as one doesn't need insights,
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This is a Great film noir. A straying husband's 'innocent' dalliance wrecks lives and puts his marriage in jeopardy. Been there, done that?   Dick Powell and Lizabeth Scott are menaced by Raymond Burr, while wife Jane Wyatt is kept in the dark. Andre de Toth's direction puts everyone through the wringer, with a very adult look at the realities of the American marriage contract, circa 1948. Pitfall Blu-ray Kino Lorber Studio Classics 1948 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 86 min. / Street Date November 17, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt, Raymond Burr, John Litel, Byron Barr, Jimmy Hunt. Cinematography Harry Wild Art Direction Arthur Lonergan Film Editor Walter Thompson Written by Karl Kamb from the novel by Jay Dratler Produced by Samuel Bischoff Directed by André De Toth

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Is 'domestic noir' even a category? I think so. Some of the creepiest late- '40s noir pictures take intrigue,
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Criterion’s February Line-Up, Roger Deakins, Jonathan Rosenbaum & Danny Boyle Talks, and More

Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.

The Criterion Collection have revealed their February 2016 line-up (click titles for more information):

On The Cinephiliacs, Peter Labuza talks with Jonathan Rosenbaum about his career and Out 1.

Watch Roger Deakins talk Sicario and more in a recent talk, and read our interview with him:

David Bordwell discusses the women crime writers of the 1940s and 1950s:

You might say that Double Indemnity and Out of the Past are quintessentially 1940s-1950s films, and I’d agree. But so too are works based on women writers. The list of Highsmith adaptations, starting with Strangers on a Train (1951), is too long to recite here, but let’s remember that
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NYC Weekend Watch: ‘Out 1,’ Noir, Akerman, ‘Strange Days,’ ‘Johnny Guitar’ & More

Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.


This is the final weekend for marathon screenings of Out 1. We highly recommend taking the plunge.

Museum of the Moving Image

“Lonely Places: Film Noir and the American Landscape” highlights a different atmosphere of the noir picture, and it makes its case with some great films. Out of the Past shows on Friday; Saturday
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Film Society of Lincoln Center Announces 'Todd Haynes: The Other Side of Dreams' Event

Film Society of Lincoln Center Announces 'Todd Haynes: The Other Side of Dreams' Event
Read More: 13 Things We Learned at Todd Haynes' Masterclass On the heels of lauded screenings for festival and critical favorite "Carol," the Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that it will celebrate the oeuvre of director Todd Haynes with "Todd: Haynes: The Other Side of Dreams." The special series will screen each of Haynes' features alongside a film that influenced it, with Haynes selecting the accompanying films himself. "Carol" will serve as the opening film, matched with "A Place in the Sun" and "Lovers and Lollipops." Other pairings include "Dottie Gets Spanked" with "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, "Far from Heaven" with "The Reckless Moment" and "Mildred Pierce" with "Klute."The event will also feature a 20th anniversary celebration of Killer Films, the legendary production company co-founded by Haynes' frequent producer Christine Vachon....
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Movie Poster of the Week: Rita Hayworth and The Bicycle Thieves

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It had been so long since I last saw Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves—the last time being long before I started to become involved with movie posters—that I had forgotten that Antonio Ricci’s job at the start of the film, the job he so desperately needs a bicycle for, is pasting up movie posters.Researching De Sica posters to coincide with the current month-long restrospective at New York’s Film Forum I discovered that De Sica’s most famous film centers—as does the Shawshank Redemption, coincidentally—on a poster of Rita Hayworth. I had hoped that it would be a poster by Anselmo Ballester, who painted Hayworth gloriously many times, but the signature on the top right of the poster is clearly that of one T. Corbella. Tito Corbella (1885-1966) was an artist known for his sensuous portraits of Italian divas since the 1910s. Dave Kehr
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What Maisie Knew – review

Maisie goes to Manhattan in this fine modern-day adaptation of Henry James's novel of irresponsible parenting

Henry James famously failed in his attempts to become a popular playwright in the 1890s and apparently never thought, like his friend Joseph Conrad, to engage with the new medium of the cinema. But starting some 30 years after his death, his fiction has reached a larger audience as a source of screenplays. Immediately after the second world war The Aspern Papers, shot in Hollywood on stylised Venetian sets, became the underrated The Lost Moment (the only film directed by the actor Martin Gabel) and was followed by William Wyler's highly regarded The Heiress (a version of Washington Square). Since then there have been a dozen or more James movies, adapting such complex books as The Golden Bowl, The Portrait of a Lady and The Wings of the Dove, and "the Master" has
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Interview: Directors David Siegel, Scott McGehee of ‘What Maisie Knew’

Chicago – The story of “What Maisie Knew” may be unusual, but the reflection of the subject matter fits perfectly within the patterns of contemporary family culture. Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel create a scenerio in which a custody battle for a little girl named Maisie becomes more about the parent’s egos than her care.

What Maisie Knew” is amazingly based on a novel by Henry James (“The Turn of the Screw,” “The Bostonians”) written in 1897. Two screenwriters adapted the story into contemporary times 18 years ago, and the co-directors McGehee and Siegel brought it up to date in the post technological age. They worked with a stellar cast, including Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan and Alexander Skarsgard, plus a child actor named Onata Aprile, who brings Maisie to life with heartbreaking sensitivity.

Julianne Moore and Onata Aprile in ‘What Maisie Knew

Photo credit: Millennium Entertainment

Scott McGehee and David Siegel
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The Noteworthy: La Furia Umana, The Best of Sarris, and Fassbinder in America


Above: Cinetract 2: Revolution Is in the Eye of the Beholder, a video essay by David Phelps. The video is part of a new issue of one of our very favorite—and one of the best—film magazines in the world, La Furia Umana, which is now out. Each issue is focused on dossiers on particular directors, and this issue includes essential articles on Leo McCarey, Paul Vecchiali, Jean-Claude Rousseau and José Luis Guerín. In the McCarey dossier are pieces by our very own Daniel Kasman—on the Cary Grant & Ginger Rogers vs. the Nazis film, Once Upon a Honeymoon—and Ted Fendt on McCarey's Charley Chase comedy shorts. But don't ignore the depth and variety of articles outside this center, which include searing video pieces by Notebook regulars David Phelps—on Lang, Vertov and protest—and Gina Telaroli on Joan Bennett, Max Ophüls, The Reckless Moment and the reflections of American presidents.
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Daily Briefing. Max Ophüls @TCM

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At the Parallax View, Sean Axmaker sends out a DVR alert to TCM viewers in the Us — this happens tonight:

The evening of Max Ophüls in Hollywood is followed by two of his greatest French films, La Ronde (1950) and The Earrings of Madame de… (1954), but while they are well represented in superb DVD editions stateside, the four American films showing Monday night — Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), The Reckless Moment (1949), Caught (1949) and the rarity The Exile (1947), his Hollywood debut — have still not been released on DVD in the Us.

The films of Ophüls haunt the space between the idealism of unconditional love and the reality of social barriers and fickle lovers. Yet his greatest films are anything but cynical; ironic certainly, but also melancholy, sad and wistful, and always respectful of the dignity of those who love well if not too wisely. His fluid, elegantly choreographed camerawork and intimate yet
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Carole Lombard, Merle Oberon, Mary Pickford & Rare Movies: George Eastman House Website

Robert Ryan, Caught (top); Joan Bennett, James Mason, The Reckless Moment (bottom) Located in Rochester, NY, the George Eastman House has been preserving movies for decades. Additionally, the Eastman House screens new and old movies at their Dryden Theatre. This week, blizzards notwithstanding, Rochester denizens will be offered two dark 1949 Max Ophüls dramas, Caught, starring James Mason, Robert Ryan, and Barbara Bel Geddes, and the absurd but engrossing The Reckless Moment, which pairs up Mason with Joan Bennett. Also scheduled are David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986), Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Cannes Film Festival winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), and Jacques Audiard's Read My Lips (2001). But in case you don't live in or near Rochester, you can catch several restored film presentations — mostly shorts and curiosities — at the Eastman House website. Among those are a 1944 Red Cross promo featuring Ingrid Bergman; the (quite entertaining) 1934 [...]
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Tiff Cinematheque To Screen Several Criterion Films This Summer

To celebrate its 20th Anniversary, it appears as though the Tiff Cinematheque is set to pull out all the stops.

According to Criterion, the Tiff, formerly known as the Cinematheque Ontario, will be bringing out a rather superb and cartoonishly awesome summer schedule, that will include films ranging from Kurosawa pieces, to films from Pier Paolo Pasolini. Other films include a month long series dedicated to James Mason, Eric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales, a tribute to Robin Wood, and most interesting, a retrospective on the works of one Catherine Breillat.

Personally, while the Kurosawa, Pasolini, and Rohmer collections sound amazing, the Breillat series is ultimately the collective that I am most interested in. Ranging from films like the brilliant Fat Girl, to the superb and underrated Anatomy of Hell, these are some of the most interesting and under seen pieces of cinema of recent memory, and are more than
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Bigger Than Life Criterion Blu-ray Review

Nicholas Ray is considered one of the great directors for a number of great noir and western films, but a number of his works have remained unreleased on home video. His best known film is easily Rebel without a Cause, but movies like On Dangerous Ground, They Live by Night, In a Lonely Place and Johnny Guitar have attracted cineaste and cultists (Guitar is fascinating in that it stars Joan Crawford in a very purple western). For many, the only word on Bigger Than Life was that it was raved about it in his A Personal Journey Though American Movies with Martin Scorsese. But - at the time in the mid-90’s - a great number of the films he talked about were unavailable, including Bigger than Life. But this James Mason film about Cortisone addiction is well worth discovering with Criterion’s lush Blu-ray release. My review of Bigger than Life after the jump.
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