4 items from 2016
At high school and college track meets, Bruce Dern was known as the guy who came from behind to win the race. Most actors who started out in the 1950s and ’60s faded away long ago, but Dern continues to be a runner — and continues to work as an actor, including his Oscar-nominated performance in “Nebraska” and in last year’s “Hateful Eight.”
Dern, who turns 80 on Saturday, got his professional start by working with Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan, and his career is dotted with big names that he worked with: John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Roger Corman, Jane Fonda and Jack Nicholson, to name a few. He also had encounters with such diverse characters as notorious west coast mobster Mickey Cohen and noted pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Dern recently told Variety, “I’ve worked with six geniuses as directors: Kazan, Alfred Hitchcock, »
- Tim Gray
Clark Gable is still sufficiently frisky in this late career western to attract four well-chosen frontier women -- who in this case happen to be a quartet of robbers' wives, sitting on a rumored mountain of ill-gotten gains. Raoul Walsh abets the comedy-drama, as Gable's fox-in-a-henhouse tries to determine which hen can lead him to the promised golden eggs. The King and Four Queens Blu-ray Olive Films 1956 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 86 min. / Street Date May 24, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Clark Gable, Eleanor Parker, Jo Van Fleet, Jean Willes, Barbara Nichols, Sara Shane, Roy Roberts, Arthur Shields, Jay C. Flippen. Cinematography Lucien Ballard Production Design Wiard Ihnen Film Editor Howard Bretherton Original Music Alex North Written by Richard Alan Simmons, Margaret Fitts from her story Produced by David Hempstead Directed by Raoul Walsh
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Olive's latest dip into MGM's United Artists holdings brings up the cheerful, not particularly »
- Glenn Erickson
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 »
- Scott Nye
Looking to discover a top-quality film that honors lasting values? Jean Renoir gives Zachary Scott and Betty Field as Texas sharecroppers trying to survive a rough first year. It's beautifully written by Hugo Butler, with given realistic, earthy touches not found in Hollywood pix. And the transfer is a new UCLA restoration. With two impressive short subjects in equal good quality. The Southerner Blu-ray Kino Classics 1945 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 92 min. / Street Date February 9, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Betty Field, Beulah Bondi, Carol Naish, Norman Lloyd, Zachary Scott, Percy Kilbride, Charles Kemper, Blanche Yurka, Estelle Taylor, Paul Harvey, Noreen Nash, Nestor Paiva, Almira Sessions. Cinematography Lucien Andriot Film Editor Gregg C. Tallas Production Designer Eugène Lourié Assistant Director Robert Aldrich Original Music Werner Janssen Written by Hugo Butler, Jean Renoir from a novel by George Sessions Perry Produced by Robert Hakim, David L. Loew Directed by Jean Renoir »
- Glenn Erickson
4 items from 2016
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