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Elizabeth Taylor's jewels have just fetched a record-setting $115 million. Chances are Orson Welles' Oscar for his 1941 classic Citizen Kane won't be sold for even one hundredth of that amount next December 20. Still, Welles' golden statuette is bound to its anonymous seller much more than the $1 price tag stipulated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to all post-1950 golden statuettes.
Considered one of the masterworks of world cinema, Citizen Kane lost the Best Picture Oscar of 1941 to John Ford's family/labor relations drama How Green Was My Valley. Welles the director also lost the Oscar in that category to Ford — who by then already had two Best Director statuettes at home (for The Informer, 1935, and The Grapes of Wrath, 1940). Welles and co-screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (brother of All About Eve writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz) did, however, take home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. »
- Andre Soares
Throughout November, Sos staffers will be discussing the movies that made them into film fanatics.
(click here for the full list)
Directed by Billy Wilder
1950 – USA
You must remember this. For me the love affair with movies began with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and a world of smoke, cynicism and smouldering looks. I discovered a copy of Joe Hyams’ biography, Bogart and Bacall, while I was working at my local library around 1980. Obsessing over Hollywood’s most famous May-December romance soon led me to the black and white movies of the 40s, and many late nights watching Hawks, Huston, Curtiz and Billy Wilder.
I don’t know exactly when I first saw Wilder’s Sunset Blvd., but it was about 30 years ago and I have revisited it regularly. The film was significant because for the first time I felt a »
Now that television talent contests are gussied up to Vegas standards, it's less easy to appreciate the discreet glamour that was the speciality of Ray Aghayan, who has died aged 83. But for 60 years, he guaranteed that difficult divas would arrive on screens and stages projecting perfection. Glamour was so much his habitat that he supervised over a dozen Oscar shows.
His initial diva, he remembered, was even more terrifying than Barbra Streisand: Princess Fawzia of Egypt, first wife of the last Shah of Iran, a woman of movie appearance and wilfulness. Aghayan came from an Armenian family in Tehran, and his widowed mother, Yasmine, designed clothes for the ruling Pahlavi family; the boy, starstruck by Hollywood, was certain he, too, could create, and the amused Fawzia summoned him via her ladies in waiting. She explained to him that she had to wear mourning dress, »
- Veronica Horwell
Now that television talent contests are gussied up to Vegas standards, it's less easy to appreciate the discreet glamour that was the speciality of Ray Aghayan, who has died aged 83. But for 60 years, he guaranteed that difficult divas would arrive on screens and stages projecting perfection. Glamour was so much his habitat, he supervised over a dozen Oscar shows.
His initial diva, he remembered, was even more terrifying than Barbra Streisand: Princess Fawzia of Egypt, first wife of the last Shah of Iran, a woman of movie appearance and wilfulness. Aghayan came from an Armenian family in Tehran, and his widowed mother, Yasmine, designed clothes for the ruling Pahlavi family; the boy, starstruck by Hollywood, was certain he, too, could create, and the amused Fawzia summoned him via her ladies in waiting. She »
- Veronica Horwell
Plenty of actresses have played Marilyn Monroe, including Mira Sorvino (“Norma Jean & Marilyn”), Charlotte Sullivan (“The Kennedys”), Poppy Montgomery (“Blonde”), Abby Elliott (on “SNL”) and Marilyn herself, who turned her breathy voice, seductive strut and come-hither glances into a kind of reality show, long before the term had been invented. The latest actress to try out Marilyn’s curves is Michelle Williams in the new film “My Week With Marilyn, »
- WSJ Staff
Marilyn Monroe aka Norma Jeane Dougherty in 1946 Marilyn Monroe pictures taken during her first photo shoot — when she was still known as Norma Jeane Dougherty — will be auctioned following a Florida bankruptcy judge's ruling a few days ago. Proceeds from the selling of Monroe's images and their copyrights will help to settle the debts of photographer Joseph Jasgur. Julien's Auctions will handle the proceedings in their "Icons & Idols" auction, to be held December 2-4 in Beverly Hills. According to Julien's Auctions chief Darren Julien, the Marilyn Monroe photos have been locked up for more than two decades as a result of court battles. Julien added that Jasgur was hired by the Blue Book modeling agency to shoot Norma Jeane, then 19 years old, about a year or two (depending on the source) before her film debut. It's unclear how much the images and copyrights will fetch. (Note: In a signed release for the photos, »
- Andre Soares
Nicole Scherzinger continued her second-act transformation from bargain-pop-diva to reality-tv-Queen-in-waiting on last night’s episode of Conan. It all started because the X Factor judge was wearing a dress that was, shall we say, a bit skimp-tastic. “It’s like it’s painted on,” said Conan, “You look fantastic. You may suffocate.” Nicole agreed: “I feel like a sausage!” she said, and boy oh boy I bet that bread is happy, amiright? Anyhow, after a couple minutes of casual banter about The X Factor, Conan’s eyes undeniably trended downwards towards the chesticular region. “Focus, Conan,” Nicole commanded. »
- Darren Franich
People sometimes quote lines from movies and TV shows.
Have you noticed?
Some of these phrases were repeated over and over again by their original source, hammering it into our brains. Sometimes they were only said a single time, yet became unforgettable. But however they found their way into the world, they've since found immortality by being repeated by countless people in an endless number of situations.
They've entered the catch-phrase pantheon.
But this got me thinking: what's the best catch-phrase of all time? What's the single phrase that is the most functional? The most original? The most clever?
Naturally, that's for you, our readers, to decide. What's the one phrase that makes you smile the widest or laugh the loudest when you use it or hear it used?
But first, one request. This is for posterity, so we should probably exclude catch-phrase nominations that are too "of the moment. »
- Brent Hartinger
Subtlety and character lift this hilarious comedy above the rest
We get so many American TV shows here in the UK but sadly Saturday Night Live has never been one of them. Over 35 years the show has become a Us institution and a breeding ground for comedy stars, a talent line which Hollywood began exploiting in the late 1970s when SNL players included Chevy Chase, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Later names to emerge and forge Hollywood careers include Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell and Tina Fey.
Successful films such as The Blues Brothers and Wayne's World began life as SNL sketches, although it must also be mentioned that so did movie disasters including A Night at the Roxbury, Coneheads and, most recently, MacGruber. American audiences can identify with both the original sketch and the comic performer in the title role. When many of these films arrive on British screens, »
- Jason Solomons
Today: The Flying Monkey answers all your questions, including what classic movie comedies he thinks everyone should see!
Have an entertainment-related question? Contact me here (and be sure and include your city and state and/or country!)
Q: By random chance, I found the movie Some Like It Hot at the library, and after seeing the two guys in drag and Marilyn Monroe on the cover, I decided that it was going to be awesome and checked it out immediately. I was right: this movie should be required watching for all young gay men out there! I am not familiar with many black and white classics, and perhaps that's why I love it that much more. It's not only hysterical, but also one of the most quotable films that I have seen to date, plus it ends with a gay joke! To think, a black and white movie from my »
- Brent Hartinger
Witchfinder General will play at the Vincentennial Vincent Price Film Festival in a 35mm print at 7:00pm tonight, Thursday, May 26th at Brown Hall on the campus of Washington University. Admission is free.
It’s likely that Vincent Price never delivered a better performance than the one he gave in Witchfinder General (1968), the fact-based story of infamous witchhunter Matthew Hopkins and the barbaric acts he practiced in mid-17th century England. Price completely jettisoned his usual campy theatrics in favor of an appropriately low-key, sinister, and menacing depiction of a purely evil man who hides behind a mask of religious allegiance. Price plays Hopkins as an unmerciful fiend with a genteel manner and an appetite for torture, especially burning. The movie is cruel in its violence but also intelligent and effective and Price is relatively restrained in a complex role as a man who whose mission is to achieve »
- Tom Stockman
Champagne For Caesar will play at the Vincentennial Vincent Price Film Festival in a 35mm print at 7:00pm tonight, Tuesday, May 24th at Brown Hall on the campus of Washington University followed by The Baron Of Arizona at 9:15. With introductions and a post-film discussion of .Champagne for Caesar. by Washington U. film & media lecturer Hunter Vaughan. Admission is free.
Many works of fiction have been said to be ahead of their time. In the world of motions pictures few are more prophetic than the 1950 comedy classic Champagne For Caesar. By that year, mind you, quiz shows were popular on radio and that young upstart television, but by the end of the decade these programs would inspire a national craze ( and a scandal later depicted in Robert Redford’s film Quiz Show ). Caesar foreshadows all this while showcasing some delightful performances by actors generally not known for big screen comedies. »
- Tom Stockman
Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, and Tom Stockman
Born in St. Louis on May 27, 1911, iconic actor Vincent Price retained a special fondness for his place of origin, and that love is now reciprocated with Vincentennial, a celebration of his 100th birthday in his hometown. Price was not only a notable St. Louisan but one of the 20th century.s most remarkable men. To do full justice to the range of his accomplishments, Vincentennial features not only a 10-day film festival but also a pair of exhibits, a stage production, two publications, and illuminating discussions by Price experts and film historians. We decided to do a special edition of Top Ten Tuesday here at We Are Movie Geeks in honor of the many great films that Vincent Price starred in, and after we had assembled the list we realized that all ten of these films will be showing at the »
- Movie Geeks
Bette Davis is one of my favourite actresses of all time, and with good reason. She could play a variety of difficult and powerful roles, though her greatest successes came from her willingness to play unsympathetic characters. She set a new standard for women on film, won two Academy Awards and is often referred to as “The First Lady of the American Screen”. She didn’t win an Oscar for her performance in All About Eve, but she should have. Released in 1950, and written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the film was based on the 1946 short story The Wisdom of Eve, by Mary Orr and featured Davis in the lead role as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star. The film was praised by critics at the time of its release, and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times wrote, “veteran actress Margo Channing in All About Eve »
Making her Broadway debut Sunday in the second rialto revival of the 1946 comedy "Born Yesterday," Nina Arianda wowed the critics. The original production of this Garson Kanin laffer starring Judy Holliday as the quintessential dumb blonde who proves to be one smart cookie debuted a year before the Tony Awards were created. In 1950, Holliday recreated her role for the film version and won the Best Actress Oscar over strong competition including Bette Davis ("All About Eve") and Gloria Swanson ("Sunset Boulevard"). And the 1989 Broadway remounting earned a Best Play Actress bid for Madeline Kahn; she lost to Pauline Collins ("Shirley Valentine"). While New York Times reviewer Charles Isherwood expressed reservations about the 65-year-old play, he was enthusiastic about this newcomer: "With her luscious pout and sweep of peroxide curls Ms. Arianda banishes Holliday’s pop-eyed, chirpy naïveté to evoke the surly molls of »
Passover is continuing and today begins the Easter weekend, starting with the solemnity of Good Friday and ending with the chocolate-filled fun of Easter Sunday. If you’re looking for something to do between church services and Easter egg hunts, how about a movie? You know we’re all about the movies at Disc Dish.
Hollywood has put out lots of films related to the Easter and Passover season over the years, not to mention cartoons and TV specials. But instead of giving a top 10, we’ve compiled what we feel are the best films in a number of different categories. We’ve got a recommendation for everyone — well, everyone but slasher horror fans.
Classic: The Ten Commandments
Your weekly fix of great movies made before you were born that you should check out before you die. All this month, Old Ass Movies will be celebrating the 103rd anniversary of Bette Davis‘s birthday. The iconic film star acted in far too many movies to care to count, but it seems as though she’s been reduced to a pair of eyes in popular culture. She’s the subject of a 80s pop tune, not the star that she should be recognized for being, and that needs fixing. This week’s movie is an ensemble where Davis proved once again how to stand out even in a distinguished crowd. She plays the famous stage star Margo Channing who is getting on in years at the ancient age of forty. But this isn’t her story, and it’s also not the story of Eve – a young woman who slinks her way into Channing’s world »
- Cole Abaius
One Angry Man
One thing I suspect about director Sidney Lumet: He liked his drama super-sized, Empire State Building big. No 800 lbs gorillas in the room please, make it King Kong. Give them 16 tons of drama. Lumet wanted grunting, sweating, lunging, screaming, gargantuan desperate drama like the kind you get in Dog Day Afternoon, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and Serpico. Never mind 12 Angry Men. How about 1 Angry Man, Sidney Lumet, and in the case of Network -- arguably his best film -- one angry fictional man named Howard Beale (Peter Finch). Network eventually gets around to naming Beale the “mad prophet of the airwaves” but it’s also a self descriptive tag. The movie is mad as hell and prophetic, »
- NATHANIEL R
Club TCM to Offer Celebrities, Expert Panels, Exhibits, Music and More During 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival Exclusive Gathering Spot for Festival Passholders to Feature Appearances by Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, Leslie Caron, Marni Nixon, Marge Champion, Debbie Allen, Peter Guber and Brett Ratner
Legendary stars, fascinating presentations, panel discussions, live music and special exhibits are just a few of the exciting experiences on tap for Club TCM, the central gathering spot for the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. Located in the Blossom Room at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the site of the very first Academy Awards® ceremony, Club TCM will be open throughout the festival, giving passholders a place to relax, meet new friends and mingle with special guests. Among those scheduled to appear are Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, Leslie Caron, Marni Nixon, Marge Champion, Debbie Allen, Peter Guber, Brett Ratner and graphic artist Michael Schwab, as well »
- Melissa Thompson
On May 31, Warner Home Video will release the DVD of the 2007 movie Never Apologize, a film of actor Malcolm McDowell’s (A Clockwork Orange) one-man stage show tribute to his great friend and mentor, British director Lindsay Anderson.
McDowell worked with Anderson on a number of projects over the years, including the seminal British movies If… (1968), O Lucky Man (1973) and Britannia Hospital (1982), as well as such theatre plays as the West End production of Holiday in 1987.
In Never Apologize, directed by Mike Kaplan, McDowell delivers an oral history of his partnership with Anderson, which gives him an opportunity to flex his acting muscles (included are his amusing impersonations of Anderson as well as fellow actors Rachel Roberts, Arthur’s John Gielgud and even All About Eve’s Bette Davis) and create a ‘live biography’ of one of post-war Britain’s most important directors. »
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