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Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93

Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93
Dina Merrill, a beautiful, blonde actress with an aristocratic bearing known as much for her wealthy origins, philanthropy, and marriage to actor Cliff Robertson as for her work in film and television, died on Monday at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 93.

Her son, Stanley H. Rumbough, told the New York Times that Merrill had Lewy Body dementia.

Her parents were Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, and her second husband, Wall Street’s E.F. Hutton.

In 1983, on the occasion of Merrill’s musical comedy debut in a revival of Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 musical ”On Your Toes,” the New York Times gushed, “Long regarded as the essence of chic, the epitome of class and such a persuasive purveyor of charm and charity that she could have a rightful claim to fame as an eloquent spokesman — and fund-raiser — for a slew of worthy causes, Miss Merrill
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93

Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93
Dina Merrill, a beautiful, blonde actress with an aristocratic bearing known as much for her wealthy origins, philanthropy, and marriage to actor Cliff Robertson as for her work in film and television, died on Monday at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 93.

Her son, Stanley H. Rumbough, told the New York Times that Merrill had Lewy Body dementia.

Her parents were Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, and her second husband, Wall Street’s E.F. Hutton.

In 1983, on the occasion of Merrill’s musical comedy debut in a revival of Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 musical ”On Your Toes,” the New York Times gushed, “Long regarded as the essence of chic, the epitome of class and such a persuasive purveyor of charm and charity that she could have a rightful claim to fame as an eloquent spokesman — and fund-raiser — for a slew of worthy causes, Miss Merrill has evoked instant recognition and elegant associations
See full article at Variety - TV News »

The Top Ten Funny Ladies of the Movies

The recent box office success of The Boss firmly establishes Melissa McCarthy as the current queen of movie comedies (Amy Schumer could be a new contender after an impressive debut last Summer with Trainwreck), but let us think back about those other funny ladies of filmdom. So while we’re enjoying the female reboot/re-imagining of Ghostbusters and those Bad Moms, here’s a top ten list that will hopefully inspire lots of laughter and cause you to search out some classic comedies. It’s tough to narrow them down to ten, but we’ll do our best, beginning with… 10. Eve Arden The droll Ms. Arden represents the comic sidekicks who will attempt to puncture the pomposity of the leading ladies with a well-placed wisecrack (see also the great Thelma Ritter in Rear Window). Her career began in the early 1930’s with great bit roles in Stage Door and Dancing Lady.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Anastasia

That scarlet woman Ingrid is back from exile, and hypocritical Hollywood is not complaining -- Anatole Litvak and Arthur Laurents make an intriguing romantic-psychological mystery of a bogus Romanoff Duchess who surfaces in 1928 Paris to claim the crown fortune. Good roles for Yul Brynner and Helen Hayes as well. It's a strange intersection of scandal, history and swindlers that may have found the real item... and maybe not. Anastasia Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1956 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 105 min. / Ship Date March 15, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brynner, Helen Hayes, Akim Tamiroff, Martita Hunt, Felix Aylmer, Sacha Pitoeff, Ivan Desny, Natalie Schafer, Karel Stepanek Cinematography Jack Hildyard Art Direction Andrej Andrejew, Bill Andrews Film Editor Bert Bates Original Music Alfred Newman Written by Arthur Laurents from a play by Marcelle Maurette Produced by Buddy Adler Directed by Anatole Litvak

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

The cleverly written and
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

What’s new on Amazon November 2015

New on Amazon November 2015 will be the fascinating original series The Man in the High Castle on Prime Video (pictured), while Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation is a blockbuster available for purchase on Amazon Instant Video. Piv: New In November 2015 — Available for Streaming on Prime Instant Video Available November 1 Desk Set The Enemy Below The Craft Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights The Newton Boys Available November 5 Tell Awakenings The Adventures of Milo and Otis The Mask of Zorro Seven Years in Tibet The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Available November 7 The Yes Men Are Revolting Available November 10 Prince Wolf Hall Available … Continue reading →

The post What’s new on Amazon November 2015 appeared first on Channel Guide Magazine.
See full article at ChannelGuideMag »

The Stars at Night: Desk Set

  • Slackerwood
By the 1950s, Texas-raised actress Joan Blondell (see earlier column) must have resigned herself to filling supporting roles in film. In 1952, the former Miss Dallas received her lone Oscar nomination for her work as supporting actress in The Blue Veil. Five years later, she appears as Katherine Hepburn's wisecracking best friend, Peg Costello, in Desk Set. Her character may not be the focus of the comedy, but Blondell helps make the movie memorable.

I chose Desk Set for this month's column as a sort of counterbalance to the hoopla surrounding the 2014 film The Imitation Game (Marcie's review). This movie is a more humorous take on the early days of computing machines, and actually includes more than one woman in its plot -- whereas the British biopic ignores the many women who worked at Bletchley Park.

In the 1957 film, four reference librarians work for the fictional Federal Broadcasting Company, answering
See full article at Slackerwood »

Farewell to Hepburn Tomorrow

Don't cry just yet, Kate the Great fans. While it's true that there is only one wrap-up episode left Tomorrow in Anne Marie's mammoth undertaking "A Year with Kate"* in which she reviewed every performance in Katharine Hepburn's fascinating career, we have exciting news. We're making it into a book! Details are not yet concrete but if you would like to be included in updates about pre-order and other 'Don't Miss It' news, please fill out this form at our Facebook page!

Anne Marie's last episodes airs tomorrow Wednesday December 31st. But until then... take a peak at any you missed. Some chapters will be substantially rewritten for the book.

1930s: A Bill of DivorcementChristopher StrongMorning GloryLittle WomenSpitfireThe Little MinisterBreak of HeartsAlice AdamsSylvia ScarlettMary of ScotlandA Woman RebelsQuality StreetStage DoorBringing Up BabyHoliday,

1940s: Philadelphia Story,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Suddenly, last Icymi posting....

August isn't an ideal month for blogging. People are vacationing or otherwise desperate to make use of the last stretch of summer (Turns out most people's idea of summer fun does not include hanging out online reading articles about the Oscars and Liz Taylor classics) and everyone is sick of current movies too as the summer blockbusters begin to blur together and everyone waits for the movies to get serious again since August is usually reserved for the riskier or less stellar blockbuster wannabes. So if you've been in & out, here's a handful of highlights from the past two weeks you might have missed.

Scotty vs. Judy - it's your last day to vote on this Vertigo poll

10 Best Movie Trees - as inspired by Groot. "I am Groot"

What Makes Sandra Bullock Special? - Matthew figures it out as Forbes named her Highest Paid actress

Lauren Bacall Essentials -
See full article at FilmExperience »

A Year with Kate: Desk Set (1957)

Episode 32 of 52: In which Katharine Hepburn plays a woman named Bunny who starts a battle of wits with Spencer Tracy's computer. That's actually the plot.

Desk Set is a strange movie that feels both dated and ahead of its time. Its office setting, midcentury style, and technophobic slant are all signs of 1950s comedy. But in tone it stands apart. The 1930s screwball comedies and the 1940s battles of the sexes had given way to two subgenres in the 1950s: sex comedies (typically starring Marilyn Monroe), or romantic comedies (typically starring Doris Day or alternately Audrey Hepburn, depending on the ratio of laughs to romance).However, Desk Set fits into neither category comfortably. Nor is this second-to-last Tracy/Hepburn collaboration a throwback to their 40s battles.

So, where does Desk Set fit? Considering the flirty bickering over lunch, the playful bantering over dinner, the details about food, the major character revelations during holidays,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy Movie in Development

Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy Movie in Development
The love affair between Hollywood icons Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy may be headed for the big screen.

Independent producers Permut Presentations and Reunion Pictures have developed “Tracy and Hepburn” with David Rambo writing the script. Story would follow the relationship between the two — from their meeting at MGM before making “Woman of the Year” in 1942 to Tracy’s death in 1967 after they worked on “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

Tracy died 17 days after shooting wrapped on “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Hepburn won her second of four Oscars for the performance.

Tracy remained married throughout the affair, which was kept private with both maintaining separate residences. Hepburn began speaking about the affair in the early 1980s.

Producers are David Permut, John Dayton and Lisa Richardson. Exec producers are Permut Presentation’s Chris Mangano, Reunion PicturesTom Rowe and Matthew O’Connor.

Richardson told Variety that plans are
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Fox Brings a New Stellar Collection of Classics to Blu-ray

Fox has been doing its part to bring classic films into the modern era with its line of Blu-ray releases aimed at honoring some of the most memorable and cherished features of the 20th century by letting movie lovers choose which titles get the HD treatment next. This time around, Fox offers us a delightful selection of eight films, some which are well known and others which border on the obscure side, but all of which ought to be seen by discerning cinephiles. The titles include the lauded Desk Set (starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn), the Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge musical Carmen Jones, the 1935 adaptation of Jack London’s Call of the Wild starring Clark Gable, the supernatural romance The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, the swashbuckler adventure The Black Swan, the John Wayne flicks The Undefeated and North to Alaska, and Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda in the Western gangster flick Jesse James.
See full article at JustPressPlay »

20th Century Fox Digs Deep Into the Past and Restores Eight Studio Classics for Blu-ray

Most home video releases are mass produced and marketed by faceless conglomerates interested only in separating you from your hard-earned cash. If you look closely though you’ll find smaller labels who love movies as much as you do and show it by delivering quality Blu-rays and DVDs of beloved films and cult classics, often loaded with special features, new transfers, and more. But yes, they still want your cash, too. Before you accuse me of selling out and featuring a major studio in a column dedicated to smaller labels, please understand that they paid me very well. That’s not true. Instead let me point out that these releases come via 20th Century Fox’s Studio Classics line, which is both a small division and in this instance one very receptive to the desires of fans. They launched a program called Voice Your Choice earlier this year where film lovers got the chance to vote on
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

R.I.P. Shirley Mitchell

  • Deadline TV
Shirley Mitchell, who played Lucy Ricardo’s friend Marion Strong on the classic CBS sitcom I Love Lucy, died Monday. She was 94. Remembered as Lucy’s friend with the funny laugh, Mitchell appeared in three episodes of I Love Lucy after joining the cast in 1953. She was believed to be the last recurring adult cast member following the deaths of Doris Singleton in 2012 and Peggy Rea in 2011. Mitchell appeared on numerous TV shows in the 1950s and ’60s including Bachelor Father starring John Forsythe, Please Don’t Eat The Daisies as neighbor Marge Thornton, Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies. She also appeared as Clara Appleby, the wife of henpecked husband George Appleby (Red Skelton) on The Red Skelton Hour. In 1972, she voiced Laurie Holiday on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series The Roman Holidays and last year voiced Betty White in Betty White & The Huntsman. On the film side, Mitchell appeared
See full article at Deadline TV »

Last Night’s “Supernatural”: “Ding Dong, Bitch”

  • The Backlot
Photos credit: Diyah Pera/CW Network

Last night Supernatural took a break from the angels and demons and did a very fun little screwball caper around the Men of Letters headquarters. Things kicked off with the discovery of a ridiculously antiquated computer straight from that Tracy/Hepburn film Desk Set. It had the vacuum tubes and the blinking lights. All it needed was a set of punch cards for an operating system.

Dean calls in their cute lesbian hacker pal Charlie (Felicia Day) to try and get the thing working again. She uses her Surface Rt to troubleshoot. (That loud thud you heard was a product placement.) In the course of repairs, Dean knocks over what looks like either a relic borrowed from Warehouse 13… or the actual Bottle City of Candor. Whatever it is, the busted bottle releases Dorothy and the Wicked Witch who had been trapped within for seventy five years.
See full article at The Backlot »

Delia Ephron on her New Essay Collection, Coping With Nora’s Death and Dogs

  • The Wrap
Delia Ephron on her New Essay Collection, Coping With Nora’s Death and Dogs
For Delia Ephron, the screenwriter, essayist and novelist behind films like “You’ve Got Mail” and books like “The Lion Is In,” writing is a form of therapy. That’s not a surprise, given that her parents were screenwriters Phoebe and Henry Ephron (“Desk Set”) and her sister was none other than the late, great Nora Ephron, who routinely cooked up romantic comedy confections like “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle.” So when her sister died in 2012 at the age of 71 from cancer, and the world mourned her talent, Delia Ephron retreated from the flood of encomiums and obituaries.
See full article at The Wrap »

'Carmen Jones' Coming To Blu-Ray DVD 12/3

So a few months ago I reported that Carmen Jones, 20th Century Fox's 1954 film with Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte (with Pearl Bailey and a very, very young Diahann Carroll as well), directed by the great Otto Preminger, was finally coming out on blu-ray DVD.Fox Home Video ran, a few months ago, an online contest in which they asked film lovers to vote for their favorite Fox film, two from each decade, from the 1930's to the 1960's, that they would most like to see released on blu-ray, and Carmen Jones (as well as the Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn comedy Desk Set) won hands down, as the 1950's picks.So Fox has announced that they will be releasing the films on...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Psych Season 7 Premiere Giveaway

It’s that time again Psych-Os. The seventh season of Psych kicks off tonight with the conclusion of last season’s cliffhanger. If there was any doubt about where we were headed last season, yes, Henry is in a very bad way, and the result leads to a very new perspective for Shawn.

While a lot of shows on cable networks, even some of the best, seem to struggle if they make past a handful of seasons, Psych is still going strong. Not simply, “as funny as ever,” but actually continuing to develop and grow, it’s pushing itself to new heights. The continuation of “Santa BarbaraTown” (or however they expect that to be written) is just the beginning. The season will also feature a 100th-episode spectacular that includes a reunion of some of the cast of Clue, and we will be seeing “Psych: The Musical.”

Also, don
See full article at AreYouScreening »

'Psych' Season 7 Prize Pack Giveaway: A Psych-o Must Have

  • BuddyTV
'Psych' Season 7 Prize Pack Giveaway: A Psych-o Must Have
If you remember correctly, at the end of Psych season 6, Henry was shot by an old friend and we were left without any hints as to if he lives or dies. As if that's not enough to get you excited for the February 27 Psych season 7 premiere, we also have landmark 100th episode that is clue themed, a musical episode, several guest star appearances and lots more fun. 

BuddyTV wants to add to your excitement with a giveaway! Fellow Psych-o's, read on to find out how easy it is to enter to win the Psych Desk Set pack. 
See full article at BuddyTV »

Your Vote Counts! 20th Century Fox Brings Classic Films to Blu-ray

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is letting you decide what classic films they will release on Blu-ray for the first time.

That’s right, your vote counts. Fans vote for their favorite classic titles through the “Voice Your Choice” campaign.

Click Here To Vote

Here is an portion the news release:

Los Angeles (January 15, 2013) – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced today its partnership with the ultimate film discussion website, Home Theater Forum, for a one-of-a-kind campaign, Voice Your Choice, allowing film enthusiasts to decide which classic films they would like to see digitally restored and transferred to Blu-ray for the very first time. The program celebrates Fox’s most notable films from the 1930’s thru the 1960’s featuring performances by famous actors such as Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, John Wayne and more. Throughout the campaign, fans will also have the opportunity to write in and submit additional titles.
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Nora Ephron obituary

"Everybody dies. There’s nothing you can do about it. Whether or not you eat six almonds a day. Whether or not you believe in God," wrote Nora Ephron in her book I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections.

It's a typically acidic and witty observation from the author and filmmaker, who died in New York on June 26, aged 71, after suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia.

Ephron brought the same spiritedness to her screenplays, giving strength and depth to female characters so that they were the equal of their male counterparts in romantic comedy hits including When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless In Seattle.

Born in Manhattan on May 19, 1941 - although she would be brought up across the country in California - Ephron was also born into the business. Her parents, Henry and Phoebe, were successful Hollywood writers who penned film scripts including Carousel, There's No Business Like Showbusiness and Desk Set,
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »
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