Libeled Lady (1936) - News Poster

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Oscar history: Best Picture winners chosen by preferential ballot (1934-1945) include classic films

Oscar history: Best Picture winners chosen by preferential ballot (1934-1945) include classic films
In 2009 — when the Academy Awards went to 10 Best Picture nominees for the first time since 1943 — the preferential system of voting, which had been used from 1934 to 1945, was reintroduced. The academy did so as it believed this “best allows the collective judgment of all voting members to be most accurately represented.”

We have detailed how the preferential voting system works at the Oscars in the modern era. So, let’s take a look back at those dozen years early in the history of the academy when it first used this complicated counting to determine the Best Picture winner rather than a simple popular vote. (At the bottom of this post, be sure to vote for the film that you think will take the top Oscar this year.)

See Best Picture Gallery: Every winner of the top Academy Award

1934

This seventh ceremony marked the first time that the Oscars eligibility period was the calendar year.
See full article at Gold Derby »

1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month

1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month
Ronald Colman: Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month in two major 1930s classics Updated: Turner Classic Movies' July 2017 Star of the Month is Ronald Colman, one of the finest performers of the studio era. On Thursday night, TCM presented five Colman star vehicles that should be popping up again in the not-too-distant future: A Tale of Two Cities, The Prisoner of Zenda, Kismet, Lucky Partners, and My Life with Caroline. The first two movies are among not only Colman's best, but also among Hollywood's best during its so-called Golden Age. Based on Charles Dickens' classic novel, Jack Conway's Academy Award-nominated A Tale of Two Cities (1936) is a rare Hollywood production indeed: it manages to effectively condense its sprawling source, it boasts first-rate production values, and it features a phenomenal central performance. Ah, it also shows its star without his trademark mustache – about as famous at the time as Clark Gable's. Perhaps
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Hattie McDaniel: Hollywood’s Beloved, Controversial Trailblazer

Hattie McDaniel: Hollywood’s Beloved, Controversial Trailblazer
June 10 would have been the birthday of Hattie McDaniel, the memorable Oscar winner for “Gone With the Wind” and a Hollywood trailblazer who is remembered with both affection and a little ambivalence.

She was born in Wichita, Kans., in 1895, the youngest of 13 children of two former slaves. Five years later, the family moved to Colorado, where she made her debut on the relatively new medium of radio. She is credited as being the first black woman to sing on the radio, thanks to her gig at age 17 in Denver. She sometimes performed as “Hi-Hat Hattie” and continued singing and doing comedy on radio, in nightclubs and in vaudeville.

She came to Hollywood while in her 30s and appeared uncredited in several works. But the studios took notice with her small but fun role in 1933’s “I’m No Angel,” playing one of Mae West’s maids.

McDaniel was first mentioned
See full article at Variety - Film News »

It’s official, the best Oscar year ever is… – watch Jump Cut #4

This week’s Jump Cut is all about determining the best year ever in cinema.

“But how can you figure that out?!” you shout at whatever device you’re reading this on. “Film is too subjective an art form for you to make overarching statements like that!”

That’s a very good point, but you’re overlooking two things: 1) the Oscar best picture nominations, and 2) film ratings on the Internet Movie Database. Both obviously have degrees of subjectivity, but that’s levelled off somewhat with each institution’s sheer number of voters or raters.

So, to work out what year was the best ever for cinema, we’ve taken all the films nominated for each year’s Best Picture Oscar, and then worked out their average IMDb rating. I’ll just point out that these were the ratings as of the week of the 88th Academy Awards on 22nd February
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Some Oscar Surprises Still Puzzle Awards-Watchers

Some Oscar Surprises Still Puzzle Awards-Watchers
Carping at surprise best picture contenders is a favorite indoor sport among many Oscar mavens. (Confidently handicapping the field and getting picks wrong is their second favorite.)

Some controversies have legs that lasted decades. 1968 outrage over the muscled-out “2001: A Space Odyssey” may even be greater now that the Kubrick epic’s legendary status is sealed. Jaws still drop to discover “North by Northwest” was edged out by “The Nun’s Story” and “African Queen” was pushed aside for “Quo Vadis.”

“Huh?” moments — as in, “They named ‘Ivanhoe’ instead of ‘Singin’ in the Rain?’ ” — are legion, although that bizarre turn of events in 1952, when Robert Taylor’s medieval muddle knocked out Gene Kelly’s timeless tuner, remains a low-water mark for many veteran Oscar watchers.

For instance, fluff like 1935’s “Naughty Marietta” routinely contended with enduring classics. When “Three Smart Girls” (1936) is given a shot at the top trophy, no
See full article at Variety - Film News »

One of Top Box-Office Draws of the '40s Has Died: Esther Williams

Esther Williams: Swimwear-garbed star of MGM Technicolor musicals dead at 91 Esther Williams, known for her swimming skills and ability to smile and keep her makeup and coiffure intact underwater in several MGM Technicolor aqua-musicals of the ’40s and ’50s, died in her sleep earlier today at her Beverly Hills home. Williams, who in recent decades launched a successful swimwear line, was 91. (Photo: Esther Williams publicity shot ca. 1945.) Born on August 8, 1921, in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, Esther Williams began honing her swimming skills at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Following several victories in swimming competitions, she looked forward to taking part in the 1940 Olympics. World War II, however, interfered. In the early ’40s, she was reportedly discovered by an MGM scout while appearing as a "bathing beauty" at the World’s Fair in San Francisco. The swimming champion would write in her 1999 autobiography The Million Dollar Mermaid that
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

TCM Classic Film Festival 2013

This is my second year in a row reviewing The TCM Classic Film Festival, which is quickly becoming one of the largest, most important, and most fun fests in Los Angeles. Like last year, I ran from screening to screening, giddy with excitement and wired from the constant stream of images.

The festival ran from Thursday through Sunday. I was only able to attend the last two days, but over the course of the weekend I managed to watch ten feature films and a 90-minute program of Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Usually, when I go to things like this I try to watch as many film noir and pre-code movies as I can. On Saturday, I was determined to make variety my theme of the day, and TCM made this easy for me. At any given time, there were five or six movies playing — everything from silent films and early classics to musicals,
See full article at Planet Fury »

Warner Bros. considering Netflix-style streaming service

  • Cinelinx
A marketing survey has revealed that Warner Brothers is considering starting their own online movie streaming service that would compete directly with companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus.

Warner Brothers is considering launching an online streaming service to compete with providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus. Called Warner Archive Streaming, the service would primarily offer classic movies, cartoons, and TV shows from its extensive catalog, rather than new releases. If successful, the service could catapult Warner Brothers as a major player in the booming online video streaming business.

Details of the plan emerged after Warner recently asked their consumers to participate in an online survey about the service. According to a source with intimate knowledge of the survey, Warner measured interest in a streaming service that would offer many of its older titles not readily available on DVD or Blu-ray. Warner currently has a program called Warner Archive,
See full article at Cinelinx »

Myrna Loy Q&A: Author Emily Leider

Myrna Loy Myrna Loy Biography: Intro You've written books on Mae West and Rudolph Valentino. Why Myrna Loy? Shortest answer: I saw her on Libeled Lady on TCM one night, and said to myself, "She is so delightful. Has there been a book on her?" Longer answer: My previous book was on Valentino, who "discovered" Myrna when she was a Prologue dancer at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre and gave her the first screen test she ever had. I liked the link. The subtitle of your Myrna Loy book is "The Only Good Girl in Hollywood." How was Loy a "Good Girl"? Or was she? The title comes from something said about Myrna by John Ford when she was starting out as a silent-film actress and kept getting assigned roles as an exotic vixen. Ford said, "Wouldn't you know? The one they have playing tramps is the only good girl in Hollywood.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Myrna Loy Biography

Myrna Loy biography: The Only Good Girl in Hollywood Many believe that Myrna Loy is the best American actress never to have been nominated for an Academy Award. Despite having played leads and supporting roles in more than 100 movies (in addition to a few dozen bit parts during the silent era), Loy was invariably bypassed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But that's the Oscar and the Academy's loss. For starters, Loy was a delightful light comedienne in movies such as W.S. Van Dyke's The Thin Man and Jack Conway's Libeled Lady. One of the greatest — and most beautifully politically incorrect — dialogue exchanges in movies can be heard in Rouben Mamoulian's 1932 musical Love Me Tonight: Jeanette MacDonald: "Don't you think of anything but men, dear?" Myrna Loy: "Oh yes, schoolboys." Loy could be a remarkable dramatic actress as well, as can
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Kay Francis, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow: Packard Campus Screenings

William Powell, Kay Francis, Jewel Robbery Kay Francis, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow, John Barrymore, and Mary Astor are some of the stars featured in September at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virg. [Packard Campus Movie Schedule.] Kay Francis and William Powell can be seen together in Jewel Robbery (1932), a charming pre-Code comedy directed by, of all people, William Dieterle. Dieterle would become closely associated with some of Warner Bros.' most tedious biopics, usually starring Paul Muni. The year of 1932 was a good one for the Francis-Powell combo, who also starred in Tay Garnett's highly successful — and quite moving — melodrama One Way Passage. William Powell can also be seen in another charming comedy, Libeled Lady (1936), co-starring Powell's frequent screen partner Myrna Loy, in addition to Spencer Tracy and future Powell fiancee Jean Harlow. Deftly directed by the underrated Jack Conway, Libeled Lady went on to receive a
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

James Stewart on TCM: The Stratton Story, No Highway In The Sky

James Stewart remains one of the most beloved film actors in Hollywood history. Well, at least in the United States, where Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington are considered the apex of studio-era filmmaking. Stewart's shy, naive, wholesome, aw-shucksy boy-next-door (later man-next-door) manner continues to endear him to millions whose idea of shyness, naiveté, wholesomeness, and boy-next-doorishness has nothing to do with mine. In fact, I wonder if anyone anywhere, whether in the United States or elsewhere, has ever lived next door to a "boy" who acted, sounded, romanced, and punched — lest we confuse shyness with softness — like Stewart. I'm glad I haven't. Today, Turner Classic Movies has been presenting several James Stewart movies as part of its "Summer Under the Stars" film series. Right now, TCM is showing John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), considered by many the director's best post-The Searchers effort.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Lucille Ball Movie Schedule: Easy To Wed, The Big Street, Panama Lady

Lucille Ball, Easy to Wed Lucille Ball Centennial on TCM: Stage Door, Best Foot Forward Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am Du Barry Was A Lady (1943) A night club employee dreams he's Louis Xv, and the star he idolizes is his lady love. Dir: Roy Del Ruth. Cast: Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly. C-101 mins. 8:00 Am Panama Lady (1939) An oil man forces a cabaret singer to work for him after she tries to rob him. Dir: Jack Hively. Cast: Lucille Ball, Allan Lane, Steffi Duna. Bw-65 mins. 9:30 Am Without Love (1945) A World War II housing shortage inspires a widow to propose a marriage of convenience with an inventor. Dir: Harold S. Bucquet. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball. Bw-111 mins. 11:30 Am Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949) An inept secretary goes to work for a bogus real estate firm thinking it's for real.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Jean Harlow in Hollywood – Interview with Author Mark Vieira

One of MGM's brightest stars of the 1930s, Jean Harlow died of uremic poisoning in 1937. At the time, the 26-year-old actress had been playing opposite Clark Gable in what turned out to be her last film, Saratoga. Perhaps because she died so young, Harlow has remained a well-known film personality from that era. Her MGM vehicles — Dinner at 8, Bombshell, China Seas, Wife vs. Secretary, Libeled Lady — are often shown on Turner Classic Movies; David Stenn has written a well-regarded biography; and now comes Mark Vieira and Darrell Rooney's Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital 1928-1937 (Angel City Press, 2011). Celebrating Jean Harlow's centenary (she was born on March 3, 1911), Harlow in Hollywood is a both a written and a (stunning) visual chronicle of Jean Harlow's career, as Vieira and Rooney cover Harlow's ascendancy from movie extra and bit player in the late 1920s [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Jean Harlow on TCM: The Public Enemy, Libeled Lady, Bombshell

William Powell, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy in Jack Conway's Libeled Lady Turner Classic Movies' Jean Harlow film series continues this evening with four of Harlow's MGM vehicles — Bombshell, Personal Property, Reckless, and Libeled Lady — and one supporting appearance in Warner Bros.' The Public Enemy. Harlow really doesn't have much to do in The Public Enemy (1931). She looks about as out of place in this otherwise solid William A. Wellman crime drama as she is in Frank Capra's melodrama Platinum Blonde, released that same year. James Cagney, however, looks anything but out of place as a sociopathic gangster. Cagney, in fact, was so right for that particular role that early on in the production he exchanged gangsters with fellow player Edward Woods. In Victor Fleming's Bombshell, Harlow, known as the Blonde Bombshell, stars in a send-up of her own Hollywood stardom (and Clara Bow's as well). Personally,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Jean Harlow @ 100

  • MUBI
"MGM writer Harry Ruskin recalled: 'The day "the baby" died there wasn't one sound in the commissary for three hours... not one goddamn sound.'" That's from Dina-Marie Kulzer's overview of a life cut short in 1937 by kidney failure. Jean Harlow was all of 26, but she'd appeared in 36 films and — a first for any movie actress — on the cover of Life. She would have turned 100 today and to celebrate, the Kitty Packard Pictorial is hosting a rich and varied blogathon running through Sunday. Do go and explore.

By the way, out this week from Warner Home Video and TCM's new series of four-title DVD packages is TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Jean Harlow, featuring Dinner at Eight (1933), Libeled Lady (1936), China Seas (1935) and Wife Vs Secretary (1936). TCM also wants Angelenos to know that on Sunday, Darrell Rooney and Mark A Vieira, authors of Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital,
See full article at MUBI »

Vintage Best Picture Oscar Posters Exhibition

Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Dark Victory, Four Daughters, Citizen Kane, The More the Merrier, The Talk of the Town, A Star Is Born, Love Affair, Stagecoach, Libeled Lady, The Awful Truth, and Casablanca are among the 80 Best Picture nominees represented in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ new exhibition "The More the Merrier: Posters from the Ten Best Picture Nominees, 1936 – 1943," currently being held the Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery in Beverly Hills. Admission is free. The Academy’s poster exhibition focuses on the eight consecutive years during which there were ten annual Best Picture Oscar nominees, an homage of sorts to the 2010 renewal of that old [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Kristen Johnston Headlines Watkins' 'So Help Me God' Off-Broadway

  • TheImproper.com
Actress Kristen Johnston, best known for her comedy role in the hit TV sitcom ‘Third Rock from the Sun,” will take the lead in the Mint Theatre Company production of So Help Me God!, which previews Off-Broadway starting today (Nov. 18). Johnston (The Women) stars as Lily, a demanding lead actress and struggling stage diva, who is determined to remain in the spotlight. Anna Chlumsky (”My Girl,” Fabulous Life of a Size Zero) is her ambitious, yet naïve understudy, who is just as determined to replace her. The late writer Maurine Dallas Watkins wrote Chicago (the basis for the Kander and Ebb musical), as well as the screenplays “Libeled Lady” and “Roxie Hart.”
See full article at TheImproper.com »

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