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Smackdown '44: Agnes, Aline, Angela, Ethel, and Jennifer Jones

Presenting the Supporting Actresses of '44. A low class maid, a French baroness, a patriotic nurse, a weary shop-owner and a "Chinese" village woman battled it out for Oscar gold. We're here to re-judge that contest. 

The Nominees 

from left to right: Barrymore, Jones, Lansbury, MacMahon, Moorehead

Oscar was still besotted with recent nominees Jennifer Jones & Agnes Moorehead (both on their quick second nominations) but joining the party were two veterans who'd never been honored (Ethel Barrymore & Aline MacMahon) and one very fresh face who would go on to an enviably long cross-platform showbiz career, now in its 73rd year (!) -- Angela Lansbury in her film debut! 

Notable supporting roles for women that the Academy passed over in 1944 were Mary Astor (Meet Me in St Louis), Shirley Temple (Since You Went Away), Dame May Whitty (Gaslight), and Joseph Hull & Jean Adair (Arsenic & Old Lace). Can you think of any others?
See full article at FilmExperience »

The 1944 Smackdown is coming. Watch these five movies!

Travel back in time with us to 1944 for the next Smackdown in just 19 days!

Get to watching and e-mail us your votes with "44 Smackdown" as subject ranking each performance on a scale of 1 to 5 hearts. Your votes are due by Friday, November 3rd. The Smackdown hits Sunday, November 5th.

Ethel Barrymore, None but the Lonely Heart Jennifer Jones, Since You Went Away Angela Lansbury, Gaslight [watch on Amazon or iTunes or rent DVD on Netflix] Aline MacMahon, Dragon Seed [watch on Amazon or iTunes or rent DVD on Netflix] Agnes Moorehead, Mrs Parkington [watch on iTunes]

Those five films received 24 Oscar nominations between them with Gaslight and Since You Went Away both nominated for Best Picture as well. Since You Went Away is a getting a new Blu-Ray/DVD edition in late November. Not in time for the Smackdown alas but something to look forward to.

Previous Smackdowns

 1941, 1948, 1952, 1954, 1963, 1964, 1968, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1980,

 1984, 1989, 1995, 2003 and 2016  (prior to those events 30+

Smackdowns  were hosted @ StinkyLulu's old site)
See full article at FilmExperience »

Coming Soon to the Smackdown

Hey all. You voted earlier this year on which years you'd most like to see covered on the Supporting Actress Smackdown. The next four regular Smackdowns (excluding the one in February for the new nominees of course) are drawn from your top five most requested years. 

October 1st "Supporting Actress Smackdown 1985"

Panelists: Tba; Nominees: Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey in The Color Purple, Meg Tilly in Agnes of God, Anjelica Huston in Prizzi's Honor, and Amy Madigan in Twice in a Lifetime

November 5th "Supporting Actress Smackdown 1944"

Panelists: Tba; Nominees: Ethel Barrymore in None but the Lonely Heart, Jennifer Jones in Since You Went Away, Angela Lansbury in Gaslight, Aline MacMahon in Dragon Seed, and Agnes Moorehead in Mrs Parkington.

Get to watching those 9 movies and the Smackdowns will feel even more festive for you! And yes this means that September's 'year of the month' (that thing where we very
See full article at FilmExperience »

Marlene Dietrich Retrospective Screening at the Metrograph in NYC

Marlene Dietrich in “Shanghai Express”: mptvimages.com/IMDb

If you’re a fan of actress, camp icon, and anti-fascist Marlene Dietrich or want to learn more about her, you’re in luck. The Metrograph theater in New York City is hosting “Marlene,” a retrospective featuring 19 of Dietrich’s films. The festivities kicked off May 23 and will continue until July 8.

Marie Magdalene “Marlene” Dietrich was born in Berlin in 1901. Dietrich began her career as a vaudeville performer in Weimar Germany. She moved to Hollywood and eventually became a revered film actress, “bisexual sex symbol, willful camp icon, [and] paragon of feminine glamour” — “comfortable in top hat and tails, ballgown, or gorilla suit.” But the actress did not forget about what was happening back home in Germany; Dietrich became involved in the fight against fascism during WWII. She “used her likeness to fundraise for Jewish refugees escaping Nazi Germany and performed on Uso tours, earning her the Metal of Freedom and Légion d’honneur by the French government,” the press release details. Dietrich died in 1992 at the age of 90.

The “Marlene” retrospective will feature Dietrich’s seven films with director Josef von Sternberg: “The Blue Angel,” “Morocco,” “Blonde Venus,” “Dishonored,” “Shanghai Express,” “The Devil Is A Woman,” and “The Scarlet Empress.” The actress’ collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock (“Stage Fright”), Orson Welles (“Touch of Evil”), and Billy Wilder (“A Foreign Affair”) are among the other films screening at the Metrograph. A documentary about Dietrich, Maximilian Schell’s “Marlene,” will also screen. All of the films, besides “Marlene,” will be shown in 35mm.

Head over to The Metrograph’s site for showtimes and more information. The featured films and their synopses are below, courtesy of the Metrograph.

Angel

1937 / 91min / 35mm

Director: Ernst Lubitsch

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Melvyn Douglas

While English statesman Herbert Marshall worries over international affairs, his glamorous wife (Dietrich) concerns herself with, well, international affairs, beginning a tryst with a dashing stranger (Melvyn Douglas) who she only allows to know her as “Angel.” Dietrich’s last film on her Paramount contract is a spry, surprising love triangle, one of the least-known of Lubitsch’s essential works from his Midas touch period.

Blonde Venus

1932 / 93min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant

A.k.a “The One with the Gorilla Suit,” which Dietrich dons to perform her big number “Hot Voodoo.” It’s all for a good cause: she’s an ex-nightclub chanteuse who’s gone back to work to pay for husband Herbert Marshall’s radium poisoning treatments, though she later allows herself to become the plaything of Cary Grant’s dashing young millionaire, earning only contempt for her sacrifice.

Der Blaue Engel

1930 / 106min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Emil Jannings, Kurt Gerron, Rosa Valetti

Mild-mannered, uptight schoolteacher Emil Jannings lives a faultlessly law-abiding, by-the-book existence, but it’s all over when he gets a glimpse of Dietrich’s nightclub chanteuse Lola-Lola, and is immediately ready to ruin himself for her amusement. The first collaboration between Dietrich and von Sternberg made her an international star, and linked her forever to her seductive, world-weary delivery of the song “Falling in Love Again.” We’re showing the German-language version, preceded by a four-minute-long Dietrich screen test.

Desire

1936 / 95min / 35mm

Director: Frank Borzage

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, John Halliday, William Frawley

Dietrich and Gary Cooper reunite in this delightful urbane comedy by Borzage, a master of romantic delirium, here working somewhat after the style of producer Ernst Lubitsch. La Dietrich’s stylish jewel thief stashes a clutch of pearls in the pocket of an upstanding American businessman, and while trying to get back the goods she can’t help but notice the big lug isn’t half bad-looking. An excuse to recall the following lines from the 1936 Times review: “Lubitsch, the Gay Emancipator, has freed Dietrich from von Sternberg’s artistic bondage.” Those were the days.

Destry Rides Again

1939 / 94min / 35mm

Director: George Marshall

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger

Jimmy Stewart, still in his rangy, impossibly-good-looking phase, is a marshal who sets out to clean up the wide-open town of Bottleneck without firing a shot in this charming Western musical comedy. The local roughnecks present him one kind of challenge; Dietrich’s saloon singer Frenchy, belting out her rowdy standard “The Boys in the Back Room,” quite another.

The Devil Is A Woman

1935 / 80min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Lionel Atwill, Edward Everett Horton

Dietrich and von Sternberg’s final collaboration, and an apotheosis of sorts. In Spain in the early years of the 20th century, Lionel Atwill’s loyal suitor Pasqualito and the revolutionary Cesar Romero are teased into a frenzy by legendary coquette Concha (Guess who?). The coolly scrolling camera and baroque compositions are courtesy of an uncredited Lucien Ballard and Von Sternberg himself, doing double duty as cinematographer.

Dishonored

1931 / 91min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Victor McLaglen

Dietrich plays X-27, a Mata Hari-esque spy for the Austrian Secret Service tasked with using a bevy of costume changes (Russian peasant, feathered helmet, leather jumpsuit) to gather information on the Russians during World War I. Outrageous plotting, high chiaroscuro style, and the star’s earthy sensuality mark this unforgettable pre-code treasure, beloved by Godard and Fassbinder both. Says Victor McLaglen: “the more you cheat and the more you lie, the more exciting you become.”

A Foreign Affair

1948 / 116min / 35mm

Director: Billy Wilder

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Jean Arthur, John Lund, Millard Mitchell

Against the backdrop of a ruined postwar Berlin, another conflict is just heating up, as Dietrich’s cabaret singer with rumored Nazi ties vies with Jean Arthur’s Iowa congresswoman-on-a-fact-finding-mission for the affection of American officer John Lund. Wilder’s penultimate collaboration with co-writer Charles Brackett is a black comic delight full of crackling, piquant dialogue, and Dietrich’s knowing slow-burn has never been better.

Judgment At Nuremberg

1961 / 186min / 35mm

Director: Stanley Kramer

Cast: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, William Shatner

Dietrich’s last truly substantial screen appearance came as part of the ensemble for Kramer’s courtroom drama, playing the widow of a German general executed by the Allies who’s befriended by investigating judge Spencer Tracy in this fictionalized retelling of the events of a 1947 military tribunal addressing war crimes by civilians under the Third Reich. Rounding out the all-star cast are Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Judy Garland, William Shatner, and Maximilian Schell, who would win the Academy Award for Best Actor, and later directed a portrait of Dietrich.

The Lady Is Willing

1942 / 92min / 35mm

Director: Mitchell Leisen

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Fred MacMurray, Aline MacMahon, Stanley Ridges

Leisen, considered a comic talent on-par with Lubitsch during the screwball era, lends characteristic sparkle to this mid-career attempt at reconfiguring Dietrich’s very 1930s star persona to fit the needs of the 1940s women’s picture; here she plays a glamor-gal diva whose life changes when she discovers a baby on Eighth Avenue and decides to adopt, passing through melodramatic coincidences and a vale of tears before falling into the arms of Fred MacMurray.

Lola

1981 / 113min / 35mm

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Armin Mueller-stahl, Mario Adorf, Matthias Fuchs

Dietrich had for all purposes retired from the screen by the time that Fassbinder began his frontal assault on West German popular culture, but her image and her unlikely combination of cool irony and torrid emotion left a profound mark on his films. Lola, the candy-colored, late-1950s-set capstone of his “Brd Trilogy” in particular draws heavily from The Blue Angel, with bordello singer Barbara Sukowa torn between Mario Adorf’s sugar daddy and Armin Mueller-Stahl’s incoming building commissioner in boomtown Coburg.

Marlene

1984 / 94min / Digital

Director: Maximilian Schell

More than twenty years after Schell had co-starred with Dietrich in Judgment at Nuremberg, during which period she’d retired to a life of very private seclusion, he tried to get her to participate in a documentary about her life. She finally gave in — sort of. Dietrich offered only her memories and her famous voice, refusing to appear on camera, but necessity became a boon to the resulting film, a sort of guided tour of Dietrich’s life and work, which simultaneously reveals much and deepens her mystery.

Morocco

1930 / 92min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Adolphe Menjou

After The Blue Angel, shot in Germany, was a hit, von Sternberg was given full run of the Paramount backlot, where he would conjure up all manner of exotic destinations out of thin air. First stop: North Africa, where French legionnaire Gary Cooper competes with sugar daddy Adolphe Menjou for the favors of Dietrich’s cabaret star Amy Jolly, who in one scene famously rocks a men’s tailcoat and plants a smooch on a female fan.

Rancho Notorious

1952 / 89min / 35mm

Director: Fritz Lang

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy, Mel Ferrer, William Frawley

Teutons Lang and Dietrich team up in a Technicolor wild west of deliberate, garish artifice in this singularly claustrophobic oater, in which a revenge-mad Burt Kennedy goes looking for his fiancée’s killers at a hideaway inn run by Dietrich, and discovers dangerous, unbidden desires instead. As the chant of the film’s recurring, persecutorial Brechtian ballad goes: “Hate, murder, and revenge.”

The Scarlet Empress

1934 / 104min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe, Louise Dresser

Have ever a screen persona and a historical personage found such a hand-in-glove-fit as did Dietrich and Empress Catherine the Great of Russia? While the Motion Picture Production Code was preparing to chasten American movies, Dietrich and von Sternberg got together to throw one last lavish S & M orgy, a flamboyant film of 18th century palace intrigues and ludicrously lapidary décor.

Shanghai Express

1932 / 82min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong

“It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily,” proclaims Marlene Dietrich with the disdain of an empress, though in fact she’s a high-class courtesan, re-encountering former lover Clive Brook on an express train rolling through civil war-wracked China. The fourth of Dietrich and von Sternberg’s collaborations is a riot of delirious chinoiserie artifice and sculpted shadowplay — Dietrich’s co-star Anna May Wong was never again shot so caressingly.

The Song Of Songs

1933 / 90min / 35mm

Director: Rouben Mamoulian

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Brian Aherne, Lionel Atwill

So often the instrument of corruption, Mamoulian’s film allows Dietrich to be the corrupted one, playing a country girl, Lily, who comes to big-city Berlin and quickly becomes the model and muse of sculptor Brian Aherne. Lionel Atwill’s preening decadent Baron von Merzbach admires Lily’s nude form in marble, and decides to bring the original home with him, where she slips into the role of the cynical sophisticate, though her heart remains with the artist.

Stage Fright

1950 / 110min / 35mm

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman, Michael Wilding, Richard Todd, Alastair Sim

Hitchcock’s last film in his native England until 1972’s Frenzy is an audaciously-structured thriller, making use of an extended flashback and a whiplash narrative about-face. Acting student Jane Wyman tries to save beau Robert Todd from taking the fall for a murder committed by stage star Dietrich, who shows her hypnotic charm in a show-stopper performance of “I’m the Laziest Gal in Town.”

Touch Of Evil

1958 / 95min / 35mm

Director: Orson Welles

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles

It’s not the size of the part, but what you do with it. Playing a brothel keeper in a seedy border town in Welles’s magnificently baroque late noir, Dietrich only has a clutch of lines, but they’re the ones you remember, whether her famous requiem for crooked cop Hank Quinlan, or her reading of his “fortune”: “Your future’s all used up.” Bold and self-evidently brilliant, you could use Touch of Evil to explain the concept of great cinema to a visiting Martian.

Marlene Dietrich Retrospective Screening at the Metrograph in NYC was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Wright and Goldwyn Have an Ugly Parting of the Ways; Brando (More or Less) Comes to the Rescue

Teresa Wright-Samuel Goldwyn association comes to a nasty end (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Film.") Whether or not because she was aware that Enchantment wasn't going to be the hit she needed – or perhaps some other disagreement with Samuel Goldwyn or personal issue with husband Niven BuschTeresa Wright, claiming illness, refused to go to New York City to promote the film. (Top image: Teresa Wright in a publicity shot for The Men.) Goldwyn had previously announced that Wright, whose contract still had another four and half years to run, was to star in a film version of J.D. Salinger's 1948 short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut." Instead, he unceremoniously – and quite publicly – fired her.[1] The Goldwyn organization issued a statement, explaining that besides refusing the assignment to travel to New York to help generate pre-opening publicity for Enchantment,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

'Art and the theory of art': "The Man from Laramie" and the Anthony Mann Western

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Anthony Mann

As much as any other filmmaker who found a niche in a given genre, in the 10 Westerns Anthony Mann directed from 1950 to 1958 he carved out a place in film history as one who not only reveled in the conventions of that particular form, but also as one who imbued in it a distinct aesthetic and narrative approach. In doing so, Mann created Westerns that were simultaneously about the making of the West as a historical phenomenon, as well as about the making of its own developing cinematic genus. At the same time, he also established the traits that would define his auteur status, formal devices that lend his work the qualities of a director who enjoyed, understood, and readily exploited and manipulated a type of film's essential features.

Though he made several fine pictures outside the Western, Mann as an American auteur is most notably recognized for his work in this field,
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On TCM: Conservative Actress Young in Audacious Movies

Loretta Young films as TCM celebrates her 102nd birthday (photo: Loretta Young ca. 1935) Loretta Young would have turned 102 years old today. Turner Classic Movies is celebrating the birthday of the Salt Lake City-born, Academy Award-winning actress today, January 6, 2015, with no less than ten Loretta Young films, most of them released by Warner Bros. in the early '30s. Young, who began her film career in a bit part in the 1927 Colleen Moore star vehicle Her Wild Oat, remained a Warners contract player from the late '20s up until 1933. (See also: "Loretta Young Movies.") Now, ten Loretta Young films on one day may sound like a lot, but one should remember that most Warner Bros. -- in fact, most Hollywood -- releases of the late '20s and early '30s were either B Movies or programmers. The latter were relatively short (usually 60 to 75 minutes) feature films starring A (or B+) performers,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Gardner, Crawford Among Academy's Career Achievement Award Non-Winners

Honorary Award: Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth among dozens of women bypassed by the Academy (photo: Honorary Award non-winner Gloria Swanson in 'Sunset Blvd.') (See previous post: "Honorary Oscars: Doris Day, Danielle Darrieux Snubbed.") Part three of this four-part article about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Honorary Award bypassing women basically consists of a long, long — and for the most part quite prestigious — list of deceased women who, some way or other, left their mark on the film world. Some of the names found below are still well known; others were huge in their day, but are now all but forgotten. Yet, just because most people (and the media) suffer from long-term — and even medium-term — memory loss, that doesn't mean these women were any less deserving of an Honorary Oscar. So, among the distinguished female film professionals in Hollywood and elsewhere who have passed away without
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

A Destitute Waif

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Visage...

Voice...

Vitaphone...

In Dimitri Kirsanoff's Menilmontant a destitute waif, betrayed and abandoned by the man who seduced her, sits on a park bench with her newborn infant. Beside her is an old man eating a sandwich. This wordless exchange is one of the greatest moments ever committed to film. Nadia Sibirskaia’s face reveals all of life’s cruel mysteries as she gazes upon a crust of bread.

The persistence of hope is the dark angel that underlies despair, and here it taunts her mercilessly. A whole series of fluctuations of expression and movement in reaction to anguish, physical pain involving hesitation, dignity, ravenous hunger, survival, self-contempt, modesty, boundless gratitude. All articulated with absolute clarity without hitting notes (without touching the keys). Chaplin could have played either the old man on the bench (his mustache is a sensory device!) or Nadia. And it would have been masterful and deeply affecting,
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From Mexican to German: Watch Beery Deliver Various Phony Accents

Wallace Beery from Pancho Villa to Long John Silver: TCM schedule (Pt) on August 17, 2013 (photo: Fay Wray, Wallace Beery as Pancho Villa in ‘Viva Villa!’) See previous post: “Wallace Beery: Best Actor Oscar Winner — and Runner-Up.” 3:00 Am The Last Of The Mohicans (1920). Director: Maurice Tourneur. Cast: Barbara Bedford, Albert Roscoe, Wallace Beery, Lillian Hall, Henry Woodward, James Gordon, George Hackathorne, Nelson McDowell, Harry Lorraine, Theodore Lorch, Jack McDonald, Sydney Deane, Boris Karloff. Bw-76 mins. 4:30 Am The Big House (1930). Director: George W. Hill. Cast: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Robert Montgomery, Leila Hyams, George F. Marion, J.C. Nugent, DeWitt Jennings, Matthew Betz, Claire McDowell, Robert Emmett O’Connor, Tom Wilson, Eddie Foyer, Roscoe Ates, Fletcher Norton, Noah Beery Jr, Chris-Pin Martin, Eddie Lambert, Harry Wilson. Bw-87 mins. 6:00 Am Bad Man Of Brimstone (1937). Director: J. Walter Ruben. Cast: Wallace Beery, Virginia Bruce, Dennis O’Keefe. Bw-89 mins.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

All-American Dad at His Movie Best as the All-American Crook

Fred MacMurray movies: ‘Double Indemnity,’ ‘There’s Always Tomorrow’ Fred MacMurray is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" today, Thursday, August 7, 2013. Although perhaps best remembered as the insufferable All-American Dad on the long-running TV show My Three Sons and in several highly popular Disney movies from 1959 to 1967, e.g., The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Boy Voyage!, MacMurray was immeasurably more interesting as the All-American Jerk. (Photo: Fred MacMurray ca. 1940.) Someone once wrote that Fred MacMurray would have been an ideal choice to star in a biopic of disgraced Republican president Richard Nixon. Who knows, the (coincidentally Republican) MacMurray might have given Anthony Hopkins a run for his Best Actor Academy Award nomination. After all, MacMurray’s most admired movie performances are those in which he plays a scheming, conniving asshole: Billy Wilder’s classic film noir Double Indemnity (1944), in which he’s seduced by Barbara Stanwyck, and Wilder
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Chance to Check Out Heston Directing Self in 'Man" Remake

Charlton Heston movies: ‘A Man for All Seasons’ remake, ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ (photo: Charlton Heston as Ben-Hur) (See previous post: “Charlton Heston: Moses Minus Staff Plus Chariot Equals Ben-Hur.”) I’ve yet to watch Irving Rapper’s melo Bad for Each Other (1954), co-starring the sultry Lizabeth Scott — always a good enough reason to check out any movie, regardless of plot or leading man. A major curiosity is the 1988 made-for-tv version of A Man for All Seasons, with Charlton Heston in the Oscar-winning Paul Scofield role (Sir Thomas More) and on Fred Zinnemann’s director’s chair. Vanessa Redgrave, who plays Thomas More’s wife in the TV movie (Wendy Hiller in the original) had a cameo as Anne Boleyn in the 1966 film. According to the IMDb, Robert Bolt, who wrote the Oscar-winning 1966 movie (and the original play), is credited for the 1988 version’s screenplay as well. Also of note,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Watch Heston Play the Same Character in Different Costumes

Charlton Heston: Moses has his ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day Charlton Heston is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star on Monday, August 5, 2013. TCM will be presenting one Heston movie premiere: Guy Green’s Hawaiian-set family drama Diamond Head (1963), in which Heston plays a pineapple grower, U.S. Senate candidate, and total control freak at odds with his strong-willed younger sister, the lovely Yvette Mimieux. Also in the Diamond Head cast: France Nuyen, Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winner George Chakiris (West Side Story), The Time Tunnel‘s James Darren, and veteran Aline MacMahon (Gold Diggers of 1933, Five Star Final) in one of her last movie roles. And last but not least, silent film star Billie Dove reportedly has a bit role in the film. (Photo: Charlton Heston ca. 1955.) (Charlton Heston movies: TCM schedule.) Now, with the exception of Orson WellesTouch of Evil, in which Charlton Heston
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Wac's 4th-Year Anniversary Releases Include Star Vehicles for Reynolds, Garfield, Barthelmess

Warner Archive Collection 4th anniversary DVD / Blu-ray releases The Warner Archive Collection (aka Wac), which currently has a DVD / Blu-ray library consisting of approximately 1,500 titles, has just turned four. In celebration of its fourth anniversary, Wac is releasing with movies featuring the likes of Jane Powell, Eleanor Parker, and many more stars and filmmakers of yesteryear. (Pictured above: Greer Garson, Debbie Reynolds, Ricardo Montalban in the sentimental 1966 comedy / drama with music The Singing Nun.) For starters, Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds play siblings in Richard Thorpe's Athena (1954), whose supporting cast includes Edmund Purdom, Vic Damone, frequent Jerry Lewis foil Kathleen Freeman, Citizen Kane's Ray Collins, Tyrone Power's then-wife Linda Christian, former Mr. Universe and future Hercules Steve Reeves, veteran Louis Calhern, not to mention numerology, astrology, and vegetarianism. As per Wac's newsletter, the score by Hugh Martin and Martin Blane "gets a first ever Stereophonic Sound remix for this disc,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Is Dinesh D'Souza's Anti-Obama Movie Truly Ahead of Michael Moore, Al Gore Docs in North America?

2016 movie still trailing Michael Moore, Al Gore 2016 Obama's America, Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's anti-Obama documentary, has surpassed the concert movie Katy Perry: Part of Me to become the second highest-grossing non-fiction film released in North America in 2012. By Sunday evening, D'Souza and Sullivan's right-wing doc -- current cume according to the web site Box Office Mojo stands at an estimated $27.66 million (as of Wed., September 13) -- should have also surpassed the nature doc Chimpanzee ($28.97 million) to become the year's top documentary in the United States and Canada. Worldwide, 2016 -- a 100% domestic sleeper hit like, say, the Tyler Perry movies (which have no audience overseas) -- remains behind both Chimpanzee (another domestic-only release) and Katy Perry: Part of Me. (Please scroll down for more details about the box-office performances of non-fiction films worldwide both in 2012 and "all-time.") As per numerous box-office reports, as the sixth biggest non-fiction film ever (or rather,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Daily Briefing. A Pulitzer, "Pizza" and Cannes Shorts

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Congratulations to Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. The judges have cited "his smart, inventive film criticism, distinguished by pinpoint prose and an easy traverse between the art house and the big-screen box office." And the Globe's collected his nominated reviews. "Journalism's highest honor has only been bestowed upon a film critic a few times," notes Eugene Hernandez of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. "Previous recipients include Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal in 2005, Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post in 2003 and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times in 1975. 'I was just doing my job and this is what happened,' Morris offered modestly during an emotional newsroom speech that was recorded and edited for the Globe website."

In other news. Nick Catucci for Artinfo: "When we say that Abel Ferrara's Pizza Connection — a web serial for Vice now in
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Amoral Barbara Stanwyck/Baby Face, Kay Francis, Frank Capra: TCM Library of Congress Tribute

Silent All Quiet On The Western Front: TCM's Library of Congress Tribute [Photo: Kay Francis, Leslie Howard in British Agent.] Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 8:00 Pm The Constant Nymph (1943). A composer finds inspiration in his wife's romantic cousin. Dir: Edmund Goulding. Cast: Charles Boyer, Joan Fontaine, Alexis Smith. Bw-112 mins. 10:00 Pm Baby Face (1933). A beautiful schemer sleeps her way to the top of a banking empire. Dir: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook. Bw-76 mins. 11:30 Pm Two Heads On A Pillow (1934). Once-married attorneys face off during a heated divorce case. Dir: William Nigh. Cast: Neil Hamilton, Miriam Jordan, Henry Armetta. Bw-68 mins. 12:45 Am All Quiet On The Western Front (1930). Young German soldiers try to adjust to the horrors of World War I. Dir: Lewis Milestone. Cast: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray. Bw-134 mins. 3:15 Am : Will Rogers Winging Around Europe (1927). Bw-0 mins. 3:30 Am
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Ronald Reagan, Freaks And Geeks: Packard Campus Schedule

Ronald Reagan, Knute Rockne: All American Kay Francis, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow: Packard Campus Movies Thursday, September 1 (7:30 p.m.) The Wanderers (Orion, 1979) Set against the urban jungle of 1963 New York's gangland subculture, this coming of age teenage movie is set around the Italian gang the Wanderers. Directed by Philip Kaufman. With Ken Wahl, John Friedrich and Karen Allen. Action drama. Rated R. Color, 117 min. Thursday, September 8 (7:30 p.m.) Mildred Pierce (Warner Bros., 1945) A housewife-turned-waitress finds success in business but loses control of her ungrateful teenaged daughter. Directed by Michael Curtiz. With Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott and Ann Blyth. Drama. Black & White, 111 min. Selected for the National Film Registry in 1996. Friday, September 9 (7:30 p.m.) Pre-code Drama Double Feature Jewel Robbery (Warner Bros., 1932) A wealthy, married woman becomes captivated by a debonair jewel thief. Directed by William Dieterle. With Kay Francis and William Powell. Comedy,
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Marlene Dietrich Movie Schedule: Stage Fright, Rancho Notorious, Kismet

Marlene Dietrich on TCM Pt.2: A Foreign Affair, The Blue Angel Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am The Monte Carlo Story (1957) Two compulsive gamblers fall in love on the French Riviera. Dir: Samuel A. Taylor. Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Vittorio De Sica, Arthur O'Connell. C-101 mins, Letterbox Format. 7:45 Am Knight Without Armour (1937) A British spy tries to get a countess out of the new Soviet Union. Dir: Jacques Feyder. Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Robert Donat, Irene Van Brugh. Bw-107 mins. 9:45 Am The Lady Is Willing (1942) A Broadway star has to find a husband so she can adopt an abandoned child. Dir: Mitchell Leisen. Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Fred MacMurray, Aline MacMahon. Bw-91 mins. 11:30 Am Kismet (1944) In the classic Arabian Nights tale king of the beggars enters high society to help his daughter marry a handsome prince. Dir: William Dieterle. Cast: Ronald Colman, Marlene Dietrich, James Craig.
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Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes

Joan Blondell. Those who have heard the name will most likely picture either a blowsy, older woman playing the worldwise but warm-hearted saloon owner in the late 1960s television series Here Come the Brides, or a lively, fast-talking, no-nonsense, and unconventionally sexy gold digger in numerous Pre-Code Warner Bros. comedies and musicals of the early 1930s. Matthew Kennedy's Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes (University Press of Mississippi, 2007) seeks to rectify that cultural memory lapse. Not that Blondell doesn't deserve to be remembered for Here Come the Brides or, say, Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade, Havana Widows, and Broadway Bad. It's just that her other work — from her immensely touching performance as a sexually liberated woman in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to her invariably welcome (if brief) appearances in films as varied as The Blue Veil, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, and Grease — should be remembered as well.
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