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5 items from 2017


The Forgotten: Stanley Donen's "Arabesque" (1966)

5 September 2017 7:34 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

In a sense, Arabesque (1966) is a sort of warmed-over rehash of Donen's earlier Charade (1963), which was a really nifty mock-Hitchcockian comedy thriller with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. The later film stars Gregory Peck, who's no Grant, and Sophia Loren, who isn't Hepburn but is Loren—which ain't nothing.Donen was reputedly highly unhappy with the script, despite being the movie's producer, and his cinematographer Christopher Challis records him saying that their only hope was to present the story in as stylish and eccentric a manner as possible: this, for the most part, they do. (A pretty-well identical tale is told of Sidney J. Furie and The Ipcress File, and the result is similar in each case: a pop-art expressionist fairyland London in which everyone is or might be a spy or double or treble agent.)The opening scene, in which George Coulouris is murdered at the optician with poisoned eyedrops, »

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From Lollobrigida to Gidget: Romance and Heartache in Italy

23 June 2017 11:01 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Here's a brief look – to be expanded – at Turner Classic Movies' June 2017 European Vacation Movie Series this evening, June 23. Tonight's destination of choice is Italy. Starring Suzanne Pleshette and Troy Donahue as the opposite of Ugly Americans who find romance and heartbreak in the Italian capital, Delmer Daves' Rome Adventure (1962) was one of the key romantic movies of the 1960s. Angie Dickinson and Rossano Brazzi co-star. In all, Rome Adventure is the sort of movie that should please fans of Daves' Technicolor melodramas like A Summer Place, Parrish, and Susan Slade. Fans of his poetic Westerns – e.g., 3:10 to Yuma, The Hanging Tree – may (or may not) be disappointed with this particular Daves effort. As an aside, Rome Adventure was, for whatever reason, a sizable hit in … Brazil. Who knows, maybe that's why Rome Adventure co-star Brazzi would find himself playing a Brazilian – a macho, traditionalist coffee plantation owner, »

- Andre Soares

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Drive-In Dust Offs: Hospital Massacre aka X-ray (1981)

13 May 2017 12:14 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

So you’re wading through piles of slasher films from the ‘80s, keen on discovering a lost gem far removed from the normal gang in the woods or high school sis-boom-bah stab and gab. You’re thinking maybe a different setting will yield a fresh take, already tired tropes blurring your vision and making the distinction between a hockey mask and a fencing one harder by the day. Well…have you tried the hospital yet? Most folks are terrified of the antiseptic halls and robotic empathy doled out by uncaring staff. (Yes, yes, they also save lives, I know. I’m trying to set a mood, dammit.) And if you do decide to enter the medical field, I strongly suggest you pay a visit to Hospital Massacre (1981), Israeli King of Schlock Boaz Davidson’s wild attempt at a horror comedy, where some of the humor is even intentional.

First released »

- Scott Drebit

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How to Steal a Million

5 May 2017 12:56 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

William Wyler’s 1960s screwball heist comedy is a squeaky-clean high fashion vehicle for stars Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole — who of course aren’t really crooks despite pulling off a major art theft. It’s lush, beautiful to look at and directed with verve by Wyler; with some funny jabs at the art world from screenwriter Harry Kurnitz.

How to Steal a Million

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1966 / Color / 1:35 widescreen / 123 min. / Street Date April 11, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store / 29.95

Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Peter O’Toole, Charles Boyer, Eli Wallach, Hugh Griffith, Fernand Gravey, Marcel Dalio, Jacques Marin. .

Cinematography: Charles Lang

Film Editor: Robert Swink

Original Music: John Williams

Production design: Alexander Trauner

Written by Harry Kurnitz story by George Bradshaw

Produced by Fred Kohlmar

Directed by William Wyler

 

There’s no denying that Audrey Hepburn had a fairly incredible run of hits in the 1960s: The Nun’s Story, »

- Glenn Erickson

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Jonathan Demme, ‘Silence of the Lambs’ Director, Dies at 73

26 April 2017 8:10 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme died Wednesday in New York of cancer complications, his publicist told Variety. He was 73 years old.

Demme is best known for directing “The Silence of the Lambs,” the 1991 horror-thriller that was a box office smash, a critical triumph, and introduced moviegoers to Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter, a charismatic serial with a yen for Chianti, fava beans, and cannibalism. The story of a novice FBI analyst (Jodie Foster) on the trail of a murderer became only the third film in history to win Academy Awards in all the top five categories ( picture, actor, actress, director, and adapted screenplay), joining the ranks of “It Happened One Night” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

Though he had his greatest success terrifying audiences, most of Demme’s work was looser and quirkier. In particular, he showed a great humanism and an empathy for outsiders in the likes of “Melvin and Howard, »

- Brent Lang and Carmel Dagan

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5 items from 2017


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