12 items from 2015
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published November 1, 2012.
Fifty years ago this month, Marilyn Monroe passed away from a suspected accidental drug overdose (although conspiracy geeks love to contemplate more nefarious scenarios). The commemoratives are already showing up on magazine and newspaper entertainment pages, cable channels have announced their Marilyn film fests and documentary tributes. There’s little of worth I can add either in academic consideration or aesthetic appreciation to all the testimonials as well as the previous fifty years of ruminating in print and on film re: the lasting appeal of La Monroe. I can only wonder, with a sort of melancholy amazement, over the fact we’re still talking about her all these years later.
That persistent hold she has on popular culture is a fascinating study in itself. Her career had already been faltering when she died, she’s been gone a half-century, yet there »
- Bill Mesce
Most of us love the Trumbo-Douglas-Kubrick thinking man's leftist gladiator epic, and after several iffy disc presentations this exacting digital restoration follows through on the photochemical reconstruction done 25 years ago. It looks incredibly good, almost too good to be a Blu-ray. Kirk contributes a new featurette interview, telling us that this is the show he'll be remembered for. Spartacus Blu-ray + Digital HD Universal Studios Home Entertainment 1960 / Color / 2:20 widescreen / 197 min. / Street Date October 6, 2015 / 19.98 Starring Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Jean Simmons, Peter Ustinov, Tony Curtis, Woody Strode, John Gavin, Nina Foch, Herbert Lom, Charles McGraw, John Ireland, Nick Dennis, John Dall, Herbert Lom, Joanna Barnes, Harold J. Stone, Peter Brocco, John Hoyt, Richard Farnsworth, George Kennedy. Cinematography by Russell Metty Music by Alex North Edited by Robert Lawrence Produced by Kirk Douglas and Edward Lewis Screenplay by Dalton Trumbo Based on the novel by Howard Fast Produced by »
- Glenn Erickson
August 5 marks the anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death in 1962. Few Hollywood stars have created such a powerful legacy based on such a small, brief output: starring roles in 11 films, released during a nine-year period.
Fox ran an ad in Daily Variety in 1952, the year Monroe starred in “Don’t Bother to Knock,” proclaiming her “a new star.” Studios often took out ads to promote contract players and 20th Century Fox was building her career, so the promo wasn’t unusual. However, in her case, the words sound more factual than hype.
Her big breakthrough occurred in 1953, when she starred in “Niagara,” “How to Marry a Millionaire” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” all for Fox. From that point until her death, at age 36, she was the hottest thing in Hollywood.
- Tim Gray
The Misfits, 1961.
Directed by John Huston.
Roslyn – wounded, shivering and cynical after her divorce – meets experienced cowboy Gay and move in with him. Harm to innocent creatures is a recurring theme as Roslyn becomes increasingly distressed by the masculine aspects of Gay’s lifestyle, and is evident when Gay’s friend Perce is injured in a brutal rodeo.
Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift and Clark Gable seem to exist in an era, whereby Hollywood is all glitz and glamour. Studio stars dress impeccably and look perfect. The iconic Monroe of Some Like it Hot; the cheeky charm of Gable in Gone with the Wind; the boyish sincerity of Clift in From Here to Eternity. The extended run of The Misfits at the BFI puts all three together in a different dusty landscape, at a point whereby their stars were beginning to fall and tragically, »
- Simon Columb
This week, Neil Calloway looks at why soccer movies tend to bomb at the box office…
The timing could not have been better; name recognition could not have been higher, it was the perfect time to release a film about an organisation that dominated the headlines for the past few weeks. It doesn’t always work out like that, though, and United Passions, the film telling the story of FIFA, made a miserly $918 dollars during its opening weekend. That’s not a typo. That’s nine hundred and eighteen dollars. Turns out there is such a thing as bad publicity.
In fairness, the film was only released on ten screens, but a screen average of just over $90 does not bode well for a film that cost somewhere between $25 and $32 million dollars, with FIFA itself putting up around $17 million of the budget. On a limited release elsewhere in the world (as well as FIFA, »
- Neil Calloway
“If I’m going to be alone, I want to be by myself.” This reissue of what became the last film for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe (Something’s Got to Give was unfinished) looks even starker and more jarringly isolated today than it did in 1961. Monroe plays the newly divorced waif who meets up with Gable’s grizzled cowboy in Reno. Together, they head off to a ramshackle Nevada cabin to “just live” for a while, teaming up with Montgomery Clift’s damaged rodeo rider who accompanies them on the film’s almost unbearably bleak mustang round-up. The shoot was troubled; Monroe and Clift seem to be falling apart before our very eyes, John Huston directs through a fog of bitterness and booze, and Arthur Miller »
- Mark Kermode
As The Misfits gets a rerelease, we take a look back at the short but unforgettable career of the dazzling star
Given her status, it’s easy to forget that Marilyn Monroe’s career lasted for just 15 years, a brief moment in film history. While her legacy persists, the focus on her looks and much-copied style often overshadows her fine work as an actor.
This week’s rerelease of The Misfits, Monroe’s last finished film, is a tragic reminder of her talent, as she plays a divorcee who strikes up a relationship with an ageing cowboy, played by Clark Gable. It serves as a necessary reminder that she wasn’t always playing a dizzy blonde, something that’s often forgotten. Here’s our pick of her career highlights:
Continue reading »
- Benjamin Lee
The Human Rights Watch Film Festival is on in New York and the Voice's Alan Scherstuhl recommends Joey Boink's Burden of Peace, Andreas Dalsgaard's Life Is Sacred, Hajooj Kuka's Beats of the Antonov, François Verster's The Dream of Shahrazad, Ayat Najafi's No Land's Song, Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe's (T)Error and Laurent Bécue-Renard's Of Men and War. Also: Joe Dante in Los Angeles, New Filipino Cinema in San Francisco, the Chicago African Diaspora Film Festival, Masters of Iranian Cinema in Bristol, John Huston's The Misfits in London and Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway in Berlin. » - David Hudson »
★★★★★ During the powerful final sequence of John Huston's The Misfits (1961), there is a moment that cuts through the fog of the film's legend and rips straight through the heart. Marilyn Monroe is standing in a barren expanse of land in which horses are being rounded-up. As a thrashing horse is pulled violently to the ground, she doubles over and lets out a piercing scream. It's a long shot, with the use of deep focus ingratiating her into the landscape; just another lonely figure howling into the abyss. It's a picture so precariously balanced on the edge of poetry and sentiment, of defiance and self-pity.
- CineVue UK
UK box office top ten and analysis for the weekend of Friday 5th June to Sunday 7th June 2015…
Melissa McCarthy’s latest collaboration with director Paul Feig, the action comedy Spy, has topped the UK box office chart in its opening weekend, with the film earning £2,557,824, including £198k in previews. That’s pretty much on par with 2013’s The Heat, which debuted with £2.5 million, but less than the £3.44 million opening for Bridesmaids back in 2001.
Elsewhere in the chart, horror prequel Insidious: Chapter 3 pulled in £1,440,299 to take third place (matching the opening of the first movie but half that of Chapter 2’s £2.88 million debut), while Secret Cinema’s screenings of The Empire Strikes Back earned £304,115 to claim eighth, followed by Bollywood comedy-drama Dil Dhadakne Do with £212,719 in ninth.
Number one this time last year: 22 Jump Street
1. Spy, £2,557,824 weekend (New)
2. San Andreas, £1,794,747 weekend; £8,334,562 total (2 weeks)
3. Insidious: Chapter 3, £1,440,299 weekend (New)
4. Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Gary Collinson
Quite a few, apparently, from the identity of her birth father, to the nature of her fatal overdose at age 36 -- was it suicide, accident, or murder? In 2012, on the 50th anniversary of her death, Moviefone previously published "25 Things You Didn't Know About Marilyn Monroe." Turns out that list barely scratched the surface. Here, then, are 25 more.
1. Monroe's birth certificate from 1926 lists her birth name as Norma Jeane Mortenson. The last name was a misspelling of the surname of her mother's second husband, Martin Mortensen, who separated from Gladys before she became pregnant. Soon after, she reverted to her first married name, Baker, and gave that name to her daughter.
2. Gladys later told Norma Jeane that her father was Gladys' boss, Charles Gifford, who looked like »
- Gary Susman
Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson on the Oscars' Red Carpet Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson at the Academy Awards Eli Wallach and wife Anne Jackson are seen above arriving at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, held on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The 95-year-old Wallach had received an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in November 2010. See also: "Doris Day Inexplicably Snubbed by Academy," "Maureen O'Hara Honorary Oscar," "Honorary Oscars: Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo Among Rare Women Recipients," and "Hayao Miyazaki Getting Honorary Oscar." Delayed film debut The Actors Studio-trained Eli Wallach was to have made his film debut in Fred Zinnemann's Academy Award-winning 1953 blockbuster From Here to Eternity. Ultimately, however, Frank Sinatra – then a has-been following a string of box office duds – was cast for a pittance, getting beaten to a pulp by a pre-stardom Ernest Borgnine. For his bloodied efforts, Sinatra went on »
- D. Zhea
12 items from 2015
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