12 items from 2010
As inflatable stars arrive in Manhattan ready for their Macy’s close-up, one of the biggest stars in the history of film won’t be at the parade — she’ll be at the IFC Center. Tonight, Stranger Than Fiction will feature its penultimate screening, Marlene, a revival of the 1984 documentary about the reclusive film star Marlene Dietrich, directed by Maximilian Schell, an actor who appeared with Dietrich in Judgment at Nuremberg.
Presented by John Walter, the director of How to Draw A Bunny and Theater of War, Marlene is partly the story of Dietrich and partly the story of Schell’s dogged pursuit of a reluctant subject. Despite their friendship, the notoriously private star turned down his interview requests over and over again. After much pleading, Dietrich finally agreed to an interview but with one non-negotiable condition — Schell could not record her face.
I recently spoke with Walter… Read the »
- Mary Anderson Casavant
Now that we've recalled the five times that costars were nominated against each other for lead actress at the Oscars, let's check out how often it has occurred among actors. Turns out it has happened much more frequently — 10 times, in fact. Here are nine of the double-ups: Clark Gable and Charles Laughton in "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935), Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster in "From Here to Eternity" (1953), Maximilian Schell and Spencer Tracy in "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961), Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole in "Becket" (1964), Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman in "Midnight Cowboy" (1969), Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier in "Sleuth" (1972), Peter Finch and William Holden in "Network" (1976), Tom »
Hollywood has been home to more dreamers and schemers than any other town in the world. It's also been home to its share of geniuses. But there have been damn few visionaries. To my mind, Hollywood's greatest visionary was Stanley Kramer, the writer, director and producer whose "Inherit the Wind" celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
I was lucky enough to grow up during some of Stanley's greatest years, and when I saw "Inherit" in the theater for the first time in 1960, it changed my life. I knew then that I wanted to be a lawyer. (Two years later, when I saw "Dr. No," the first James Bond movie, I decided I wanted to be a secret agent.)
I was an impressionable kid. What I learned about the evils of racism, the threat of nuclear war and the danger of religious intolerance, I learned in theaters watching Kramer movies with »
- By David Robb
Chicago – The former Rosa Dolores Alverio, better known to audiences as Rita Moreno, has had a glorious and tempestuous journey through life and show business. One of her most notable roles is as Anita, the fiery friend of Maria in the film version of “West Side Story,” in which Moreno stops the show with the song “America.”
Moreno is also famous in show business lore for having swept the quartet of major awards, winning the Oscar (for Best Supporting Actress in West Side Story), the Tony (for “The Ritz”), the Grammy (for “The Electric Company” soundtrack) and the Emmy (twice, for Variety and Drama). Her other bling includes the Golden Globe (also for West Side Story) and two presidential citations.
Not bad for a little girl who moved from Puerto Rico to New York City when she was five years old. After getting her early training in dance, Moreno cut »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Chicago – Many great films have been made about the changing of eras and the passing of power from one generation to another. But few are as masterfully conceived and as lovingly detailed as Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti’s 1963 classic “The Leopard.” Gorgeously restored on Blu-Ray, this near-masterpiece was sliced and diced by Hollywood for American audiences, but is now presented in its original three-hour running time.
As one of the founders of Italian neorealism, Visconti is well known for his depictions of upper-class life, which are somewhat inspired by his own upbringing in one of Italy’s wealthiest families. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s 1958 novel of “The Leopard,” published a few months after the author’s death, was an ideal fit for Visconti’s stylistic and thematic obsessions. The story centers on members of the Sicilian aristocracy during the Risorgimento (Italian unification) of the early 1860s. The aristocracy’s delicate »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Tom Hanks was often likened to a 'new Jimmy Stewart' during his peak years. I never thought the tag quite fit because, though Hanks is a likeable "everyman" lead, he doesn't have the same range. Hanks, unlike Stewart, rarely tests the darkness at the edges and when he did in Road to Perdition it was one of his flattest portraits. In comparison, can anyone watch Vertigo and not come away fully aware of how comfortable Jimmy Stewart was burrowing into the skin of rather squirm-inducing psyches? The following lineup only includes lead or huge supporting roles and no voice work. (I'm not sure how one would categorize The Polar Express. How would one?)
So... sorry, Woody. You'll make it up at the box office this weekend with Toy Story 3 [my review] playing everywhere. Rest assured that you're still one of his most iconic roles.
Because the posters have to be »
- NATHANIEL R
No 85 Judy Garland (1922-69)
She narrowly missed being "born in a trunk" on tour because her vaudevillian parents had gone off the road to manage a cinema with music hall acts in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. From taking the stage at the age of two, she remained in showbusiness up to her sudden death at 47 of an accidental drug overdose combined with illiberal use of alcohol while fulfilling nightclub engagements in London.
When she was four, her father had to relocate to Pennsylvania after importuning young male members of his staff. After working in a second-rate singing act with her older sisters and changing her name from Frances Gumm to Judy Garland, she was taken to Hollywood at the age of 13 by her fiercely ambitious mother (whom she later called "the real Wicked Witch of the West").
The biggest studio in town, MGM, added her to its roster of juvenile performers raised on the premises, »
- Philip French
- Ryan Adams
Today it seems that films about the Holocaust and events surrounding it abound. Almost with a bizarre regularity they reach the big screen in twos or threes. They are made by major Hollywood studios and independents; they feature known and unknown actors. Most attempt to dramatize "true" events. It is hard to imagine there was a time when it was not so. For many years after the end of World War II and the truth became known about the Final Solution it was a subject most filmmakers avoided. The horrors of the Holocaust were still too raw; the images seen in newsreels not yet ready to be placed on the big screen. Several Holocaust films that were made and had a profound impact, including The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) and The Garden »
- Abraham H. Foxman
Thanks to reader Andy and just a heads up for anyone visiting NYC this spring. Bam in Brooklyn, which often houses great film series and retrospectives, is celebrating Montgomery Clift staring March 11th. They're calling it "That's Montgomery Clift, Honey!" after the Clash song "The Right Profile" a rather irreverent song about the car crash and addictions that derailed his life which you can listen to if you must...
But irreverent references, or not. They're showing 11 of the 17 pictures he made before his death at 45 and that's cause for celebration. Notably missing are Judgment at Nuremberg --probably because it's a supporting role and he was always the star -- and, strangely, two of his three pairings with Bff Elizabeth Taylor (Raintree County and Suddenly Last Summer).
If you've been reading Tfe for any length of time you know that he's my favorite actor. Find out why. And find out why »
- NATHANIEL R
The IMDb250. A list of the top 250 films, as ranked by the users of the biggest movie internet site on the web. The list has been much maligned, particularly recently. It is however based upon the ratings provided by the users of The Internet Movie Database, which number into the millions. As such, it’s a perfect representation of the opinions of the movie masses, and arguably the most comprehensive ranking system on the internet. If you have a real interest in film, chances are you’re a regular visitor to IMDb.com.
It’s because of this that we at HeyUGuys (and in this case, we, is myself and Gary) have decided to set ourselves a project. To watch and review all 250 movies on the list! We’ve frozen the list as of 1st January this year (See below), as it is always ever changing. It’s not as simple as it sounds, »
- Barry Steele
No 79: Montgomery Clift 1920-66
Like Marlon Brando, his close friend, fellow maverick and chief rival for the title of greatest American actor of his generation, the tall, lean Clift was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His father was an overbearing, right-wing banker and stockbroker of considerably fluctuating fortunes; his ambitious mother, an illegitimate child adopted at birth, was obsessed with establishing her membership of a distinguished patrician family from the south. Along with his twin sister and elder brother, Clift was privately educated.
At the age of 15, Monty, as everyone called him, made his Broadway debut and for the next decade was constantly employed there, usually playing handsome, sensitive sons, though with the possible exception of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth (directed in 1942 by Elia Kazan) none of the plays he appeared in entered the classic repertoire. For years, he rejected Hollywood offers until accepting the role »
- Philip French
12 items from 2010
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