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Mike Gold: Hogan’s Weirdos

We could spend the rest of this year debating which American teevee show has been the weirdest, but Hogan’s Heroes has got to make the top 10 list.

The high-concept: Hogan’s Heroes is the story of a group of Allied prisoners-of-war who operate a highly effective spy and sabotage operation from a bunker beneath their prison building during World War II. Okay, that’s kinda weird. It’s also kinda in bad taste. Its weirdness is abetted by several additional factors, not the least of which is… there’s some truth behind the laughs.

There really was a WWII Pow named Robert Hogan who did time in a place called Stalag 13. He was Lt. Robert Steadham Hogan, a B24 pilot who was shot down on January 19, 1945 in while on a mission over Yugoslavia. Because he was an officer, Hogan was incarcerated in the Oflag 13 camp outside of Nuremberg because
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Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood

Banished by Josef Goebbels and threatened by the Reich, the creative core of the German film industry found itself in sunny Los Angeles, many not speaking English but determined to carry on as writers, directors and actors. More than simply surviving, they made a profound impact on Hollywood moviemaking. Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 2009 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 117 min. / Street Date April 12, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Cinematography Joan Churchill, Emil Fischhaber Film Editor Anny Lowery Meza Original Music Peter Melnick Written, Produced and Directed by Karen Thomas

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood is the perfect docu to introduce people to the way film and world history are intertwined... and also to generate interest in older movies and classic cinema. Instead of a story about the making of movies, it's about a fascinating group of filmmakers forced to abandon
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Legendary Bergman on TCM: From Hollywood Career-Ruining Scandal to 3 Oscars and Another Bergman

Ingrid Bergman ca. early 1940s. Ingrid Bergman movies on TCM: From the artificial 'Gaslight' to the magisterial 'Autumn Sonata' Two days ago, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series highlighted the film career of Greta Garbo. Today, Aug. 28, '15, TCM is focusing on another Swedish actress, three-time Academy Award winner Ingrid Bergman, who would have turned 100 years old tomorrow. TCM has likely aired most of Bergman's Hollywood films, and at least some of her early Swedish work. As a result, today's only premiere is Fielder Cook's little-seen and little-remembered From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1973), about two bored kids (Sally Prager, Johnny Doran) who run away from home and end up at New York City's Metropolitan Museum. Obviously, this is no A Night at the Museum – and that's a major plus. Bergman plays an elderly art lover who takes an interest in them; her
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Marx Bros. Wreak Havoc on TCM Today

Groucho Marx in 'Duck Soup.' Groucho Marx movies: 'Duck Soup,' 'The Story of Mankind' and romancing Margaret Dumont on TCM Grouch Marx, the bespectacled, (painted) mustached, cigar-chomping Marx brother, is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 14, '15. Marx Brothers fans will be delighted, as TCM is presenting no less than 11 of their comedies, in addition to a brotherly reunion in the 1957 all-star fantasy The Story of Mankind. Non-Marx Brothers fans should be delighted as well – as long as they're fans of Kay Francis, Thelma Todd, Ann Miller, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Allan Jones, affectionate, long-tongued giraffes, and/or that great, scene-stealing dowager, Margaret Dumont. Right now, TCM is showing Robert Florey and Joseph Santley's The Cocoanuts (1929), an early talkie notable as the first movie featuring the four Marx BrothersGroucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo. Based on their hit Broadway
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Early Black Film Actor Has His Day

Rex Ingram in 'The Thief of Bagdad' 1940 with tiny Sabu. Actor Rex Ingram movies on TCM: Early black film performer in 'Cabin in the Sky,' 'Anna Lucasta' It's somewhat unusual for two well-known film celebrities, whether past or present, to share the same name.* One such rarity is – or rather, are – the two movie people known as Rex Ingram;† one an Irish-born white director, the other an Illinois-born black actor. Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” continues today, Aug. 11, '15, with a day dedicated to the latter. Right now, TCM is showing Cabin in the Sky (1943), an all-black musical adaptation of the Faust tale that is notable as the first full-fledged feature film directed by another Illinois-born movie person, Vincente Minnelli. Also worth mentioning, the movie marked Lena Horne's first important appearance in a mainstream motion picture.§ A financial disappointment on the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Several of Grant's Best Films Tonight on TCM

Cary Grant movies: 'An Affair to Remember' does justice to its title (photo: Cary Grant ca. late 1940s) Cary Grant excelled at playing Cary Grant. This evening, fans of the charming, sophisticated, debonair actor -- not to be confused with the Bristol-born Archibald Leach -- can rejoice, as no less than eight Cary Grant movies are being shown on Turner Classic Movies, including a handful of his most successful and best-remembered star vehicles from the late '30s to the late '50s. (See also: "Cary Grant Classic Movies" and "Cary Grant and Randolph Scott: Gay Lovers?") The evening begins with what may well be Cary Grant's best-known film, An Affair to Remember. This 1957 romantic comedy-melodrama is unusual in that it's an even more successful remake of a previous critical and box-office hit -- the Academy Award-nominated 1939 release Love Affair -- and that it was directed
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Brash Blonde vs. Sweet Blonde (Long Before Titanic): Farrell Has Her 'Summer' Day

Glenda Farrell: Actress has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day Scene-stealer Glenda Farrell is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 29, 2013. A reliable — and very busy — Warner Bros. contract player in the ’30s, the sharp, energetic, fast-talking blonde actress was featured in more than fifty films at the studio from 1931 to 1939. Note: This particular Glenda Farrell has nothing in common with the One Tree Hill character played by Amber Wallace in the television series. The Glenda Farrell / One Tree Hill name connection seems to have been a mere coincidence. (Photo: Glenda Farrell as Torchy Blane in Smart Blonde.) Back to Warners’ Glenda Farrell: TCM is currently showing Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939), one of the seven B movies starring Farrell as intrepid reporter Torchy Blane. Major suspense: Will Torchy win the election? She should. No city would ever go bankrupt with Torchy at the helm. Glenda Farrell
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

TCM Celebrates Oscar Nominee Blyth's 85th Birthday

Ann Blyth movies: TCM schedule on August 16, 2013 (photo: ‘Our Very Own’ stars Ann Blyth and Farley Granger) See previous post: "Ann Blyth Today: Light Singing and Heavy Drama on TCM." 3:00 Am One Minute To Zero (1952). Director: Tay Garnett. Cast: Robert Mitchum, Ann Blyth, William Talman. Bw-106 mins. 5:00 Am All The Brothers Were Valiant (1953). Director: Richard Thorpe. Cast: Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger, Ann Blyth. C-95 mins. 6:45 Am The King’S Thief (1955). Director: Robert Z. Leonard. Cast: Ann Blyth, Edmund Purdom, David Niven. C-79 mins. Letterbox Format. 8:15 Am Rose Marie (1954). Director: Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Ann Blyth, Howard Keel, Fernando Lamas. C-104 mins. Letterbox Format. 10:00 Am The Great Caruso (1951). Director: Richard Thorpe. Cast: Mario Lanza, Ann Blyth, Dorothy Kirsten, Jarmila Novotna, Richard Hageman, Carl Benton Reid, Eduard Franz, Ludwig Donath, Alan Napier, Pál Jávor, Carl Milletaire, Shepard Menken, Vincent Renno, Nestor Paiva, Peter Price, Mario Siletti, Angela Clarke,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Sexy Garbo, Wrathful Censors, the End of Stardom, and Brutal Murder: Novarro

Ramon Novarro and Greta Garbo in ‘Mata Hari’: The wrath of the censors (See previous post: "Ramon Novarro in One of the Best Silent Movies.") George Fitzmaurice’s romantic spy melodrama Mata Hari (1931) was well received by critics and enthusiastically embraced by moviegoers. The Greta Garbo / Ramon Novarro combo — the first time Novarro took second billing since becoming a star — turned Mata Hari into a major worldwide blockbuster, with $2.22 million in worldwide rentals. The film became Garbo’s biggest international success to date, and Novarro’s highest-grossing picture after Ben-Hur. (Photo: Ramon Novarro and Greta Garbo in Mata Hari.) Among MGM’s 1932 releases — Mata Hari opened on December 31, 1931 — only W.S. Van Dyke’s Tarzan, the Ape Man, featuring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan, and Edmund Goulding’s all-star Best Picture Academy Award winner Grand Hotel (also with Garbo, in addition to Joan Crawford, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, and
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

From Freedom Fighter to Blacklisted 'Subversive'; Henreid Takes a Last Bow Tonight

Paul Henreid in ‘Casablanca’: Freedom Fighter on screen, Blacklisted ‘Subversive’ off screen Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of July 2013, Paul Henreid, bids you farewell this evening. TCM left the most popular, if not exactly the best, for last: Casablanca, Michael Curtiz’s 1943 Best Picture Oscar-winning drama, is showing at 7 p.m. Pt tonight. (Photo: Paul Henreid sings "La Marseillaise" in Casablanca.) One of the best-remembered movies of the studio era, Casablanca — not set in a Spanish or Mexican White House — features Paul Henreid as Czechoslovakian underground leader Victor Laszlo, Ingrid Bergman’s husband but not her True Love. That’s Humphrey Bogart, owner of a cafe in the titular Moroccan city. Henreid’s anti-Nazi hero is generally considered one of least interesting elements in Casablanca, but Alt Film Guide contributor Dan Schneider thinks otherwise. In any case, Victor Laszlo feels like a character made to order for Paul Henreid,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Three-Time Academy Award Nominee Turns 91 Today

Eleanor Parker: Palm Springs resident turns 91 today Eleanor Parker turns 91 today. The three-time Oscar nominee (Caged, 1950; Detective Story, 1951; Interrupted Melody, 1955) and Palm Springs resident is Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of June 2013. Earlier this month, TCM showed a few dozen Eleanor Parker movies, from her days at Warner Bros. in the ’40s to her later career as a top Hollywood supporting player. (Photo: Publicity shot of Eleanor Parker in An American Dream.) Missing from TCM’s movie series, however, was not only Eleanor Parker’s biggest box-office it — The Sound of Music, in which she steals the show from both Julie Andrews and the Alps — but also what according to several sources is her very first movie role: a bit part in Raoul Walsh’s They Died with Their Boots On, a 1941 Western starring Errol Flynn as a dashingly handsome and all-around-good-guy-ish General George Armstrong Custer. Olivia de Havilland
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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