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From Mad Method Actor to Humankind Advocate: One of the Greatest Film Actors of the 20th Century

From Mad Method Actor to Humankind Advocate: One of the Greatest Film Actors of the 20th Century
Updated: Following a couple of Julie London Westerns*, Turner Classic Movies will return to its July 2017 Star of the Month presentations. On July 27, Ronald Colman can be seen in five films from his later years: A Double Life, Random Harvest (1942), The Talk of the Town (1942), The Late George Apley (1947), and The Story of Mankind (1957). The first three titles are among the most important in Colman's long film career. George Cukor's A Double Life earned him his one and only Best Actor Oscar; Mervyn LeRoy's Random Harvest earned him his second Best Actor Oscar nomination; George Stevens' The Talk of the Town was shortlisted for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. All three feature Ronald Colman at his very best. The early 21st century motto of international trendsetters, from Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro and Turkey's Recep Erdogan to Russia's Vladimir Putin and the United States' Donald Trump, seems to be, The world is reality TV and reality TV
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The Forgotten: George Archainbaud's "Hotel Haywire" (1937)

Really, I mean Preston Sturges' Hotel Haywire, because nobody's too interested in George Archainbaud, a Paramount contract director who had been directing for 20 years without helming a really memorable film (Thirteen Women, an uncomfortably racist pre-Code with Myrna Loy, is as exciting as it gets, and even that one is remembered chiefly for featuring the girl who threw herself off the Hollywood sign), He would continue for another 20, moving from B-westerns into TV westerns, without making anything else of particular note.Sturges wrote the script as part of his plan to get a long-term contract at Paramount. To particularly appeal to the suits there, he filled the story with roles for Paramount stars such as Mary Boland, Charles Ruggles, Fred MacMurray and Burns & Allen, none of whom were necessarily famous enough to carry a movie, but whose combined star-power might make an attractive investment for studio or future ticket-buyers.
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W.C. Fields Comedy Essentials Collection

He's back and he's funnier than ever. The mischievous, cagey entertainer William Claude Dukenfield starred in some of the best comedies ever. This five-disc DVD set contains eighteen of his best, all the way from Million Dollar Legs in 1932 to Never Give a Sucker an Even Break in 1941. And we get to see all sides of W.C's talent -- he was a top-rank juggler, of just about anything. W.C. Fields Comedy Essentials Collection DVD Universal Studios Home Entertainment 1932-1941 / B&W / 1:37 Academy 1316 minutes (21 hours, 46 min) Street Date October 13, 2015 / 99.98 Starring Larson E. Whipsnade, T. Frothinghill Bellows, Egbert Sousé, Eustace P. McGargle, Harold Bissonette, Professor Quail, Augustus Winterbottom, Mr. Stubbins, Sam Bisbee, Ambrose Wolfinger, Cuthbert J. Twillie, Humpty-Dumpty. Written by Charles Bogle, Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Otis Criblecoblis

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

In the late 1960s there were these things called Head Shops, see, where various hippie consumer goods were sold.
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Full AFI Festival Lineup And Schedule Unveiled

The American Film Institute announced today the films that will screen in the World Cinema, Breakthrough, Midnight, Shorts and Cinema’s Legacy programs at AFI Fest 2015 presented by Audi.

AFI Fest will take place November 5 – 12, 2015, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings, Galas and events will be held at the historic Tcl Chinese Theatre, the Tcl Chinese 6 Theatres, Dolby Theatre, the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian, the El Capitan Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt.

World Cinema showcases the most acclaimed international films of the year; Breakthrough highlights true discoveries of the programming process; Midnight selections will grip audiences with terror; and Cinema’s Legacy highlights classic movies and films about cinema. World Cinema and Breakthrough selections are among the films eligible for Audience Awards. Shorts selections are eligible for the Grand Jury Prize, which qualifies the winner for Academy Award®consideration. This year’s Shorts jury features filmmaker Janicza Bravo,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

AFI Fest Completes Lineup, Includes 10 Foreign-Language Oscar Contenders

The American Film Institute has completed its AFI Fest lineup: 127 films from 45 countries will screen from Nov. 5 to 12.

The festival includes 38 films directed/co-directed by women, 17 documentaries and 10 official foreign-language Oscar contenders, including Argentina’s entry “The Clan,” Hungary’s “Son of Saul” and Romania’s “Aferim!” along with Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Dheepan.” The screenings and events will take place at the Tcl Chinese Theatre, Tcl Chinese 6 Theatres, Dolby Theatre, Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian, El Capitan Theatre and Hollywood Roosevelt.

AFI has already announced a trio of world premieres: the opening night film, Angelina Pitt Jolie’s “By the Sea,” on Nov. 5; the Will Smith drama “Concussion” on Nov. 10; and the closing night film, Adam McKay’s “The Big Short” on Nov. 12. It’s also scheduled galas for Michael Moore’s documentary “Where to Invade Next” on Nov. 7 and the Chilean miners drama “The 33” on Nov.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Two-Time Oscar Winner Cooper on TCM: Pro-War 'York' and Eastwood-Narrated Doc

Gary Cooper movies on TCM: Cooper at his best and at his weakest Gary Cooper is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 30, '15. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any Cooper movie premiere – despite the fact that most of his Paramount movies of the '20s and '30s remain unavailable. This evening's features are Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Sergeant York (1941), and Love in the Afternoon (1957). Mr. Deeds Goes to Town solidified Gary Cooper's stardom and helped to make Jean Arthur Columbia's top female star. The film is a tad overlong and, like every Frank Capra movie, it's also highly sentimental. What saves it from the Hell of Good Intentions is the acting of the two leads – Cooper and Arthur are both excellent – and of several supporting players. Directed by Howard Hawks, the jingoistic, pro-war Sergeant York was a huge box office hit, eventually earning Academy Award nominations in several categories,
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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
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Rare Silent Film Actor Who Had Long Talkie Career Is TCM's Star of the Day

Adolphe Menjou movies today (This article is currently being revised.) Despite countless stories to the contrary, numerous silent film performers managed to survive the coming of sound. Adolphe Menjou, however, is a special case in that he not only remained a leading man in the early sound era, but smoothly made the transition to top supporting player in mid-decade, a position he would continue to hold for the quarter of a century. Menjou is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Day today, Aug. 3, as part of TCM's "Summer Under the Stars" 2015 series. Right now, TCM is showing William A. Wellman's A Star Is Born, the "original" version of the story about a small-town girl (Janet Gaynor) who becomes a Hollywood star, while her husband (Fredric March) boozes his way into oblivion. In typical Hollywood originality (not that things are any different elsewhere), this 1937 version of the story – produced by
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Last Surviving Gwtw Star and 2-Time Oscar Winner Has Turned 99: As a Plus, She Made U.S. Labor Law History

Olivia de Havilland picture U.S. labor history-making 'Gone with the Wind' star and two-time Best Actress winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 (This Olivia de Havilland article is currently being revised and expanded.) Two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland, the only surviving major Gone with the Wind cast member and oldest surviving Oscar winner, is turning 99 years old today, July 1.[1] Also known for her widely publicized feud with sister Joan Fontaine and for her eight movies with Errol Flynn, de Havilland should be remembered as well for having made Hollywood labor history. This particular history has nothing to do with de Havilland's films, her two Oscars, Gone with the Wind, Joan Fontaine, or Errol Flynn. Instead, history was made as a result of a legal fight: after winning a lawsuit against Warner Bros. in the mid-'40s, Olivia de Havilland put an end to treacherous
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Three 1930s Capra Classics Tonight: TCM's Jean Arthur Mini-Festival

Jean Arthur films on TCM include three Frank Capra classics Five Jean Arthur films will be shown this evening, Monday, January 5, 2015, on Turner Classic Movies, including three directed by Frank Capra, the man who helped to turn Arthur into a major Hollywood star. They are the following: Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; George Stevens' The More the Merrier; and Frank Borzage's History Is Made at Night. One the most effective performers of the studio era, Jean Arthur -- whose film career began inauspiciously in 1923 -- was Columbia Pictures' biggest female star from the mid-'30s to the mid-'40s, when Rita Hayworth came to prominence and, coincidentally, Arthur's Columbia contract expired. Today, she's best known for her trio of films directed by Frank Capra, Columbia's top director of the 1930s. Jean Arthur-Frank Capra
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Sullivan’s Travels Blu-ray Review

Director: Preston Sturges

Starring: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn, Porter Hall, Byron Foulger

Running Time: 90 Minutes

Certificate: PG

Extras: Audio commentary by Terry Jones, Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer, Kevin Jackson on Sullivan’s Travels, The Preston Sturges Stock Company, Safeguarding Military Information,

Going back in film over 70 years, it is amazing to find features that still resonate today. Sullivan’S Travels is a film with both a brave and important message which can still speak to filmmakers and film audiences today. The message it contains is brave, as it challenges those that wish to tackle suffering, but have never suffered themselves, and asks “What is suffering and what is happiness?”

Joel McCrea plays the titular Sullivan, a film director celebrated for his delightful comedies that certainly fill out the picture houses. However, this is just not enough for Sullivan,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

The Forgotten: Sharps and Flats (1928)

  • MUBI
Probably the single most influential piece of film criticism in my life is Manny Farber's piece on Preston Sturges, and in particular his paean to the Sturges stock company ~

"They all appear to be too perfectly adjusted to life to require minds, and, in place of hearts, they seem to contain an old scratch sheet, a glob of tobacco juice, or a brown banana. The reason their faces--each of which is a succulent worm's festival, bulbous with sheer living--seem to have nothing in common with the rest of the human race is precisely because they are so eternally, agelessly human, oversocialized to the point where any normal animal component has vanished. They seem to be made up not of features but a collage of spare parts, most of them as useless as the vermiform appendix."

There are things I don't love about Farber—his insistence upon virility as a
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McDaniel TCM Schedule Includes Her Biggest Personal Hits

Hattie McDaniel as Mammy in ‘Gone with the Wind’: TCM schedule on August 20, 2013 (photo: Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel in ‘Gone with the Wind’) See previous post: “Hattie McDaniel: Oscar Winner Makes History.” 3:00 Am Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943). Director: David Butler. Cast: Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan, Eddie Cantor, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, John Garfield, Ida Lupino, Ann Sheridan, Dinah Shore, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson, Alan Hale, George Tobias, Edward Everett Horton, S.Z. Sakall, Hattie McDaniel, Ruth Donnelly, Don Wilson, Spike Jones, Henry Armetta, Leah Baird, Willie Best, Monte Blue, James Burke, David Butler, Stanley Clements, William Desmond, Ralph Dunn, Frank Faylen, James Flavin, Creighton Hale, Sam Harris, Paul Harvey, Mark Hellinger, Brandon Hurst, Charles Irwin, Noble Johnson, Mike Mazurki, Fred Kelsey, Frank Mayo, Joyce Reynolds, Mary Treen, Doodles Weaver. Bw-127 mins. 5:15 Am Janie (1944). Director: Michael Curtiz. Cast: Joyce Reynolds, Robert Hutton,
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Dangerous Davis Schedule

Bette Davis movies: TCM schedule on August 14 (photo: Bette Davis in ‘Dangerous,’ with Franchot Tone) See previous post: “Bette Davis Eyes: They’re Watching You Tonight.” 3:00 Am Parachute Jumper (1933). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bette Davis, Frank McHugh, Claire Dodd, Harold Huber, Leo Carrillo, Thomas E. Jackson, Lyle Talbot, Leon Ames, Stanley Blystone, Reginald Barlow, George Chandler, Walter Brennan, Pat O’Malley, Paul Panzer, Nat Pendleton, Dewey Robinson, Tom Wilson, Sheila Terry. Bw-72 mins. 4:30 Am The Girl From 10th Avenue (1935). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Bette Davis, Ian Hunter, Colin Clive, Alison Skipworth, John Eldredge, Phillip Reed, Katharine Alexander, Helen Jerome Eddy, Bill Elliott, Edward McWade, André Cheron, Wedgwood Nowell, John Quillan, Mary Treen. Bw-69 mins. 6:00 Am Dangerous (1935). Director: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Bette Davis, Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay, Alison Skipworth, John Eldredge, Dick Foran, Walter Walker, Richard Carle, George Irving, Pierre Watkin, Douglas Wood,
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Dd-Day on Friday: Don't Miss One of the Most Exuberant Performers in Movie History

Doris Day movies: TCM’s ‘Summer Under the Stars 2013′ lineup continues (photo: Doris Day in ‘Calamity Jane’ publicity shot) Doris Day, who turned 89 last April 3, is Turner Classic Movies’ 2013 “Summer Under the Stars” star on Friday, August 2. (Doris Day, by the way, still looks great. Check out "Doris Day Today.") Doris Day movies, of course, are frequently shown on TCM. Why? Well, TCM is owned by the megaconglomerate Time Warner, which also happens to own (among myriad other things) the Warner Bros. film library, which includes not only the Doris Day movies made at Warners from 1948 to 1955, but also Day’s MGM films as well (and the overwhelming majority of MGM releases up to 1986). My point: Don’t expect any Doris Day movie rarity on Friday — in fact, I don’t think such a thing exists. Doris Day is ‘Calamity Jane’ If you haven’t watched David Butler’s musical
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One Henreid, a Couple of Cigarettes, and Four Davises

Paul Henreid: From lighting two cigarettes and blowing smoke onto Bette Davis’ face to lighting two cigarettes while directing twin Bette Davises Paul Henreid is back as Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of July 2013. TCM will be showing four movies featuring Henreid (Now, Voyager; Deception; The Madwoman of Chaillot; The Spanish Main) and one directed by him (Dead Ringer). (Photo: Paul Henreid lights two cigarettes on the set of Dead Ringer, while Bette Davis remembers the good old days.) (See also: “Paul Henreid Actor.”) Irving Rapper’s Now, Voyager (1942) was one of Bette Davis’ biggest hits, and it remains one of the best-remembered romantic movies of the studio era — a favorite among numerous women and some gay men. But why? Personally, I find Now, Voyager a major bore, made (barely) watchable only by a few of the supporting performances (Claude Rains, Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee
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Cinecon 2011 Movie Schedule: East Side, West Side; Practically Yours; Stronger Than Death

Claudette Colbert, Alla Nazimova, Marion Davies, Charles Boyer: Cinecon 2011 Thursday September 1 (photo: Alla Nazimova) 7:00 Hollywood Rhythm (1934) 7:10 Welcoming Remarks 7:15 Hollywood Story (1951) 77 min. Richard Conte, Julie Adams, Richard Egan. Dir: William Castle. 8:35 Q & A with Julie Adams 9:10 Blazing Days (1927) 60 min. Fred Humes. Dir: William Wyler. 10:20 In The Sweet Pie And Pie (1941) 18 min 10:40 She Had To Eat (1937) 75 min. Jack Haley, Rochelle Hudson, Eugene Pallette. Friday September 2 9:00 Signing Off (1936) 9:20 Moon Over Her Shoulder (1941) 68 min. Dan Dailey, Lynn Bari, John Sutton, Alan Mowbray. 10:40 The Active Life Of Dolly Of The Dailies (1914) 15 min. Mary Fuller. 10:55 Stronger Than Death (1920) 80 min. Alla Nazimova, Charles Bryant. Dir: Herbert Blaché, Charles Bryant, Robert Z. Leonard. 12:15 Lunch Break 1:45 Open Track (1916) 2:00 On The Night Stage (1915) 60 min. William S. Hart, Rhea Mitchell. Dir: Reginald Barker. 3:15 50 Miles From Broadway (1929) 23 min 3:45 Cinerama Adventure (2002). Dir: David Strohmaier. 5:18 Discussion
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Lucille Ball Centennial on TCM: Stage Door, Best Foot Forward

Unlike Robert Taylor, who would have turned 100 today, or Ginger Rogers, whose centennial was last July 16, Lucille Ball is actually going to be remembered on the occasion of what would have been her 100th birthday this Saturday, August 6. Turner Classic Movies' "Summer Under the Stars" series continues with 14 Lucille Ball movies. All of them have been shown before on TCM. [Lucille Ball Movie Schedule.] As an actress working mostly at Rko (1935-42) and at MGM (1943-46), Lucille Ball has been a TCM regular, as the Time Warner library encompasses films made at those two studios. On Saturday, TCM will also show the United Artists' release Lured, a crime drama directed by Douglas Sirk, and co-starring George Sanders, and two comedies Ball made during her tenure at Columbia in the late '40s: Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949), co-starring William Holden, and The Fuller Brush Girl (1950), a reboot of The Fuller Brush Man (1948), which starred Red Skelton.
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Robert Michael Morris is “Running Wilde” Again

Virtually very wannabe actor dreams of moving to Hollywood, going out on their very first audition and so knocking the reading out of the park, that they not only get the role, but they are cast as a series regular.

But everyone knows that only happens on television and not in real life. Especially when are sixty-something, are better known for your theater and writing work, and only became an actor because you’d been teaching about it for so long, you decided you needed some practical experience.

But that is exactly what happened to Robert Michael Morris whose first audition was in 2005 for Lisa Kudrow and her new sitcom The Comeback. One could argue that Morris’ luck ran out there as The Comeback only lasted for thirteen episodes, but even though those thirteen episodes were then the extent of his television resume, Morris went on to play parts on Will & Grace,
See full article at The Backlot »

High School Musical 3's Ryan Evans still a coded gay character

Actor Lucas Grabeel plays HSM's "Ryan"

Photo credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Once upon a time in Hollywood, there was the Hays Code, a set of rules that major motion picture studios were forced to follow. The code forbade, among other things, nudity, crude language, mockery of religion and “lustful kissing.” Also not allowed were references to “sex perversion,” including homosexuality.

Did that mean there were no gay characters in movies? Heck, no. They were just “coded.” The persnickety and purse-lipped Franklin Pangborn, constantly exasperated by the foibles of W.C. Fields, or the fey Edward Everett Horton, forever complicating romantic matters between Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, were never identified as gay men. But they didn’t have to be — the audience saw their demeanor, their behavior, the way they spoke, acted, and dressed, and their queerness was forthrightly implied if never directly named.

Franklin Pangborn (left) and Edward Everett Horton
See full article at The Backlot »

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