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Cortez Part IV: Leading Ladies and Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Wife

Cortez Part IV: Leading Ladies and Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Wife
Ricardo Cortez in 'Ten Cents a Dance,' with Barbara Stanwyck. No matter how unthankful the role, whether hero or heel – or, not infrequently, a combination of both – Cortez left his bedroom-eyed, mellifluous-voiced imprint in his pre-Production Code talkies. Besides Barbara Stanwyck, during the 1920s and 1930s Cortez made love to and/or life difficult for, a whole array of leading ladies of that era, including Bebe Daniels, Gloria Swanson, Betty Compson, Betty Bronson, Greta Garbo, Florence Vidor, Claudette Colbert, Mary Astor, Kay Francis, Joan Crawford, Irene Dunne, Joan Blondell, and Loretta Young*. (See previous post: “Ricardo Cortez Q&A: From Latin Lover to Multiethnic Heel.”) Not long after the coming of sound, Ricardo Cortez was mostly relegated to playing subordinate roles to his leading ladies – e.g., Kay Francis, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert – or leads in “bottom half of the double bill” programmers at Warner Bros. or on loan to other studios. Would
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Cummings Pt.2: Working with Capra and West, Fighting Columbia in Court

Constance Cummings in 'Night After Night.' Constance Cummings: Working with Frank Capra and Mae West (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Actress Went from Harold Lloyd to Eugene O'Neill.”) Back at Columbia, Harry Cohn didn't do a very good job at making Constance Cummings feel important. By the end of 1932, Columbia and its sweet ingenue found themselves in court, fighting bitterly over stipulations in her contract. According to the actress and lawyer's daughter, Columbia had failed to notify her that they were picking up her option. Therefore, she was a free agent, able to offer her services wherever she pleased. Harry Cohn felt otherwise, claiming that his contract player had waived such a notice. The battle would spill over into 1933. On the positive side, in addition to Movie Crazy 1932 provided Cummings with three other notable Hollywood movies: Washington Merry-Go-Round, American Madness, and Night After Night. 'Washington Merry-Go-Round
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oscar History-Making Actress Has Her Day on TCM

Teresa Wright ca. 1945. Teresa Wright movies on TCM: 'The Little Foxes,' 'The Pride of the Yankees' Pretty, talented Teresa Wright made a relatively small number of movies: 28 in all, over the course of more than half a century. Most of her films have already been shown on Turner Classic Movies, so it's more than a little disappointing that TCM will not be presenting Teresa Wright rarities such as The Imperfect Lady and The Trouble with Women – two 1947 releases co-starring Ray Milland – on Aug. 4, '15, a "Summer Under the Stars" day dedicated to the only performer to date to have been shortlisted for Academy Awards for their first three film roles. TCM's Teresa Wright day would also have benefited from a presentation of The Search for Bridey Murphy (1956), an unusual entry – parapsychology, reincarnation – in the Wright movie canon and/or Roseland (1977), a little-remembered entry in James Ivory's canon.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Top Father's Day Films Ever Made? Here Are Five Dads - Ranging from the Intellectual to the Pathological

'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Wright Was Earliest Surviving Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winner

Teresa Wright: Later years (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon.") Teresa Wright and Robert Anderson were divorced in 1978. They would remain friends in the ensuing years.[1] Wright spent most of the last decade of her life in Connecticut, making only sporadic public appearances. In 1998, she could be seen with her grandson, film producer Jonah Smith, at New York's Yankee Stadium, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch.[2] Wright also became involved in the Greater New York chapter of the Als Association. (The Pride of the Yankees subject, Lou Gehrig, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1941.) The week she turned 82 in October 2000, Wright attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Somewhere in Time, where she posed for pictures with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In March 2003, she was a guest at the 75th Academy Awards, in the segment showcasing Oscar-winning actors of the past. Two years later,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Code Red Seeing Blu with Shakma, Neon Maniacs, Andy Milligan Titles, and Director's Cut of Sweet Sixteen

Code Red has been going “code blue” of late, releasing the likes of Nail Gun Massacre and Just Before Dawn on Blu-ray. We now know of seven more forthcoming Blu horror titles from the 70s, 80s, and 90s they have in the works to further empty your wallets in the coming year.

We haven’t come across any official word from Code Red regarding these newest offerings so it may be that Blu-ray.com let the proverbial cat out of the bag by listing these titles for future release the other day. In any event, here are the details:

First up, for the first time ever, a director’s cut of Jim “Forced Entry” Sotos’ 1983 chiller Sweet Sixteen, starring the all-star cast of Aleisha Shirley, Don Stroud, Bo Hopkins, Dana Kimmell, Patrick Macnee, Susan Strasberg, Larry Storch, Henry Wilcoxon, and Michael Pataki.

Sweet Sixteen (1983) - When Melissa Morgan (Aleisha Shirley), a gorgeous big city girl,
See full article at Dread Central »

From Swordfights in Paris to Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima: Parker Evening

Eleanor Parker today: Beautiful as ever in Scaramouche, Interrupted Melody Eleanor Parker, who turns 91 in ten days (June 26, 2013), can be seen at her most radiantly beautiful in several films Turner Classic Movies is showing this evening and tomorrow morning as part of their Star of the Month Eleanor Parker "tribute." Among them are the classic Scaramouche, the politically delicate Above and Beyond, and the biopic Interrupted Melody, which earned Parker her third and final Best Actress Academy Award nomination. (Photo: publicity shot of Eleanor Parker in Scaramouche.) The best of the lot is probably George Sidney’s balletic Scaramouche (1952), in which Eleanor Parker plays one of Stewart Granger’s love interests — the other one is Janet Leigh. A loose remake of Rex Ingram’s 1923 blockbuster, the George Sidney version features plenty of humor, romance, and adventure; vibrant colors (cinematography by Charles Rosher); an elaborately staged climactic swordfight; and tough dudes
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Review: Demille's "Cleopatra" (1934) UK Dual Blu-ray/DVD Release

  • CinemaRetro
(Note: This review pertains to the UK Region 2 Pal format release available on www.amazon.co.uk)

By Adrian Smith

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Cecil B. DeMille will always be remembered for his lavish historical epics like The Ten Commandments (1923 and again in 1956), Sign of the Cross (1932) and Samson and Delilah (1949). However, with over one hundred and sixty credits as either director or producer, he also worked in plenty of other genres. Following two flops, This Day and Age (1933) and Four Frightened People (1934), Paramount head Adolph Zukor insisted he try to replicate the success of Sign of the Cross with another visual spectacle. DeMille agreed and cast Claudette Colbert in the lead role of Cleopatra (she had already starred in both Sign of the Cross and Four Frightened People and was about to win the Oscar for It Happened one Night (1934)).

The plot focuses on Cleopatra's
See full article at CinemaRetro »

TCM Classic Film Festival Continues To Expand In Final Weeks Before April 12 Opening

Latest Additions Include Star-Studded Appearances, Noted Film Historians,

An Opening-Night Poolside Screening of High Society (1956)

And a Vanity Fair Showcase of Architecture in Film

Complete Schedule for 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival

Now Available at http://www.tcm.com/festival

With just over two weeks left before opening day, the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival continues to expand its already-packed slate with new events and live appearances:

On opening night of the festival, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will be the site of a poolside screening of the lavish Cole Porter musical High Society (1956), starring Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Actresses Maud Adams and Eunice Gayson will attend a 50th Anniversary screening of the James Bond classic Dr. No (1962) and participate in a conversation about being “Bond Girls.” Filmmaker Mel Brooks will be on hand to introduce his brilliant parody Young Frankenstein (1974). Filmmaker John Carpenter will introduce his favorite film, the
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Claudette Colbert Q&A Pt.1: 'The Claudette Colbert Business'

Henry Wilcoxon, Claudette Colbert in Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra Claudette Colbert: James Robert Parish Discusses the Legendary Paramount Star – Introduction You've been planning for some time a biography of Claudette Colbert. How did you become interested in Colbert's life story? As a very young teenager, I saw several of Claudette Colbert's films on TV and was fascinated by her verve, throaty voice, attractiveness, and acting versatility — whether drama, comedy, or just a "personality" performance. Later, I saw several of her stage vehicles: In pre-Broadway tryout, on Broadway, and on tour, ranging from The Marriage-Go-Round in 1958 to Aren't We All in 1985. On stage, she proved just how superior a (light) comedienne she was, and her energy/presence was truly captivating — no matter how slight the play. Over these years, I became very intrigued with what made her "tick." Would you say there's something that distinguishes Claudette Colbert from
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Greta Garbo, Hedy Lamarr, Claudette Colbert, Alla Nazimova: “Ornament and the Enchantress” Film Series

Alla Nazimova, Salome (top); Greta Garbo, Ramon Novarro, Mata Hari (bottom) Alla Nazimova’s Salome, Claudette Colbert’s Cleopatra, Hedy Lamarr’s Delilah, and Greta Garbo’s Mata Hari are the four temptresses featured in the "Ornament and the Enchantress" film series presented by Los Angeles’ J. Paul Getty Museum. Charles Bryant’s Salome (1923); Cecil B. DeMille’s Cleopatra (1934), co-starring Warren William and Henry Wilcoxon; DeMille’s Samson and Delilah (1949), co-starring Victor Mature; and George Fitzmaurice’s Mata Hari (1931), co-starring Ramon Novarro, will be screened at the Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center June 26-27. "Ornament and the Enchantress" will serve as a complement [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

DVD Playhouse: April 2009

DVD Playhouse—April 2009

By

Allen Gardner

Milk (Universal) Sean Penn deservedly captured his second Best Actor Oscar (and Dustin Lance Black a statuette for his original screenplay) in director Gus Van Sant’s portrait of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to hold public office in the U.S. Alternately heartbreaking, infuriating and very funny, a film that both captures a bygone era and is still very timely. Fine support from Josh Brolin, Victor Garber, James Franco and Emile Hirsch. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Three featurettes. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS 5.1 surround.

Slumdog Millionaire (20th Century Fox) The Best Picture of 2008 is a kinetic, clever audience-pleaser about a determined lad (Dev Patel) from the slums of Mumbai, who has his chance at literal and financial redemption as a contestant on India’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Best Director Danny Boyle dazzles
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Uni taps library for latest DVD set

Uni taps library for latest DVD set
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is going back to its studio parent's roots for a new DVD line.

The Universal Backlot Series will consist of historic films from the studio's library. The first batch of films, coming April 7, includes a 75th anniversary edition of Cecil B. DeMille's "Cleopatra" and six saucy classics from Hollywood's notorious pre-Production Code era.

"Cleopatra," nominated for five Academy Awards, ranks as one of DeMille's most lavish historical epics. The 1934 production stars Claudette Colbert as the cunning queen of the Nile, Warren William as Julius Caesar and Henry Wilcoxon as Marc Antony.

The six films in what Universal is billing as the "Pre-Code Hollywood Collection" are "The Cheat," with Tallulah Bankhead as a woman willing to do anything to pay off her gambling debt; "Merrily We Go to Hell," with Fredric March as an abusive alcoholic; "Hot Saturday," with Cary Grant; "Torch Singer," with Claudette Colbert; "Murder at the Vanities,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

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