The Major and the Minor (1942) - News Poster


"Mauvaise Graine": Billy Wilder's Swift and Satisfying Directorial Debut

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Mubi is exclusively showing Billy Wilder and Alexander Esway's Mauvaise Graine a.k.a. Bad Seed (1934) in the United States and most countries around the world from August 18 - September 16, 2016.In light of his illustrious Hollywood career to follow, Billy Wilder’s obscure directorial debut, Mauvaise Graine (1934), may seem like a mere curiosity. Making the film as he was passing through France by way of Germany en route to America, Wilder regarded the work with little adoration. For him, the experience was one rife with difficulty; it wasn’t fun, there was tremendous pressure, and he simply wasn’t accustomed to have such sweeping control over a production. But the writing was on the wall by 1933, and Wilder, like so many others, was keen to get out of Berlin while the getting was good. Arriving first in Paris, he met other film professionals seeking refuge from the burgeoning Nazi party,
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Nasty Politics and Eyebrow-Raising Gossip During Hollywood's Golden Age: Brackett's Must-Read Diaries

Charles Brackett ca. 1945: Hollywood diarist and Billy Wilder's co-screenwriter (1936–1949) and producer (1945–1949). Q&A with 'Charles Brackett Diaries' editor Anthony Slide: Billy Wilder's screenwriter-producer partner in his own words Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He is renowned for classics such as The Major and the Minor, Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Witness for the Prosecution, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. The fact that Wilder was not the sole creator of these movies is all but irrelevant to graduates from the Auteur School of Film History. Wilder directed, co-wrote, and at times produced his films. That should suffice. For auteurists, perhaps. But not for those interested in the whole story. That's one key reason why the Charles Brackett diaries are such a great read. Through Brackett's vantage point, they offer a welcome – and unique – glimpse into the collaborative efforts that resulted in
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Top Screenwriting Team from the Golden Age of Hollywood: List of Movies and Academy Award nominations

Billy Wilder directed Sunset Blvd. with Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies Below is a list of movies on which Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder worked together as screenwriters, including efforts for which they did not receive screen credit. The Wilder-Brackett screenwriting partnership lasted from 1938 to 1949. During that time, they shared two Academy Awards for their work on The Lost Weekend (1945) and, with D.M. Marshman Jr., Sunset Blvd. (1950). More detailed information further below. Post-split years Billy Wilder would later join forces with screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond in movies such as the classic comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), the Best Picture Oscar winner The Apartment (1960), and One Two Three (1961), notable as James Cagney's last film (until a brief comeback in Milos Forman's Ragtime two decades later). Although some of these movies were quite well received, Wilder's later efforts – which also included The Seven Year Itch
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Throwback Thursday: Ginger Rogers, Billy Wilder And Superman

The 1942 comedy The Major and the Minor is notable today as the Hollywood directing debut of Billy Wilder, who wrote the film with his longtime partner Charles Brackett. They would go on to make such classics as The Lost Weekend and Sunset Blvd., but in 1942 Wilder’s name wasn’t a selling point: it was all about Ginger and, to a lesser degree, leading man Ray Milland. In its first-run engagement at the two Paramount Theatres in L.A., the downtown branch added a second feature from B-movie specialists William Pine and William Thomas (known as the Two Dollar Bills), while both venues featured—and advertised—the latest of Paramount’s Superman cartoons, a testament to the appeal of...

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See full article at Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy »

Library of Congress' Packard Campus: Rare Double Screening of Box Office Cataclysm

Screwball comedy movies, rare screenings of epic box office disaster: Library of Congress’ Packard Theater in April 2014 (photo: Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in ‘The Awful Truth’) In April 2014, the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Virginia, will celebrate Hollywood screwball comedy movies, from the Marx Brothers’ antics to Peter Bogdanovich’s early ’70s homage What’s Up, Doc?, a box office blockbuster starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal. Additionally, the Packard Theater will present a couple of rarities, including an epoch-making box office disaster that led to the demise of a major studio. Among Packard’s April 2014 screwball comedies are the following: Leo McCarey’s Duck Soup (Saturday, April 5) — actually more zany, wacky, and totally insane than merely "screwball" — in which Groucho Marx stars as the recently (un)elected dictator of Freedonia, abetted by siblings Harpo Marx and Chico Marx, in addition to Groucho’s perennial foil,
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Woman Mostly Left Out: Efa's Male-Oriented Lifetime Achievement Award Track Record

European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award: Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau, Judi Dench are the only three female recipients to date (photo: European movies’ Lifetime Achievement Award-less actress Danielle Darrieux) (See previous post: "Catherine Deneuve: Only the Third Woman to Receive European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award.") As mentioned in the previous post, French film icon Catherine Deneuve is only the third woman to receive the European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award since the organization’s first awards ceremony in 1988. Deneuve’s predecessors are The LoversJeanne Moreau (1997) and Notes on a Scandal‘s Judi Dench (2008). In that regard, the European Film Academy is as male-oriented as the Beverly Hills-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. More on that below. Male recipients of the European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award are the following: Ingmar Bergman, Marcello Mastroianni, Federico Fellini, Andrzej Wajda, Alexandre Trauner, Billy Wilder,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Check Out the 'Daughter' of Marilyn and Ava: Morphing Montage

Women in Film: Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, and dozens of movie actresses in curious morphing montage A few dozen top international female movie stars, most of them Hollywood celebrities, are seen in the Women in Film morphing montage below created by Philip Scott Johnson. The faces belong to actresses from the 1910s to the early 21st century. (Image: The ‘Daughter’ of Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner — who sort of looks like a cross between Eleanor Parker and Cyd Charisse as well — in the Women in Film morphing montage.) Just as interesting as trying to identify each of the famous faces is stopping the video while the morphing is going on, so you get Daughter of Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner, or Daughter of Audrey Hepburn and Dorothy Dandridge, or Daughter of Michelle Pfeiffer and Sigourney Weaver. Some of those Daughters are quite pretty; others look like they’ve just landed on this planet.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Carson Interviews, Wilder Movies Tonight

Billy Wilder movies, Johnny Carson interviews tonight on TCM Billy Wilder is Turner Classic Movies’ Director of the Evening tonight, July 8, 2013. But before Wilder Evening begins, TCM will be presenting a series of brief interviews from The Tonight Show, back in the old Johnny Carson days — or rather, nights. The Carson interviewees this evening are Doris Day, Charlton Heston, Tony Curtis, Chevy Chase, and Steve Martin. (See also: Doris Day today.) (Photo: Billy Wilder.) As for Billy Wilder, TCM will be showing the following: Some Like It Hot (1959), The Fortune Cookie (1966), The Spirit of St. Louis (1958), and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Of course, all of those have been shown before and are widely available. Some Like It Hot vs. The Major and the Minor: Subversive and subversiver Some Like It Hot is perhaps Billy Wilder’s best-known film. This broad comedy featuring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis
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Viennale 2012 Mubi Coverage Roundup

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Below you will find our total coverage of the 2012 Vienna International Film festival by Daniel Kasman.

The Major and the Minor

On Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen: Siegfried and Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge (both 1924), and Ministry of Fear (1944)

American Genres

On Fritz Lang's Man Hunt (1941), John Ford's Donovan's Reef (1963), John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), and Tony Scott's Unstoppable (2010)

 The Unseen Guerrilla

On Fritz Lang's An American Guerrilla in the Philippines (1950)

James Benning's the war

On James Benning's the war
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The Films Of Billy Wilder: A Retrospective

"I want to thank three persons,” said Michel Hazanavicius, accepting the 2012 Best Picture Oscar for “The Artist.” “I want to thank Billy Wilder, I want to thank Billy Wilder and I want to thank Billy Wilder.” He wasn’t the first director to namecheck Wilder in an acceptance speech. In 1994, Fernando Trueba, accepting the Foreign Language Film Oscar for "Belle Epoque" quipped, "I would like to believe in God in order to thank him. But I just believe in Billy Wilder... so, thank you Mr. Wilder." Wilder reportedly called the next day "Fernando? It's God."

So just what exactly was it that inspired these men to expend some of the most valuable seconds of speechifying airtime they'll ever know, to tip their hats to Wilder? And can we bottle it?

Born in a region of Austria/Hungary that is now part of Poland, Wilder's story feels like an archetype of
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Former Child Star Roe Dies

Former Child Star Roe Dies
Former child star Raymond Roe has died at the age of 84.

The actor, who shot to fame as a youngster on Broadway, passed away on 2 July in San Leandro, California after suffering complications following surgery.

Roe began his career as a child star on the New York stage and enjoyed roles in productions such as Our Town and Life With Father before moving to California to kickstart his film career.

His big screen debut came in 1939's Back Door to Heaven and he went on to star in films including The Major and the Minor with Ginger Rogers, June Bride with Bette Davis, and The West Point Story alongside James Cagney.

Roe retired from Hollywood in his later years and served as a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff, according to

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, two sons and a daughter.

Ginger Rogers’ Tender Comrade, Once Upon A Honeymoon TCM Schedule

Patricia Collinge, Kim Hunter, Ginger Rogers Tender Comrade Ginger RogersKitty Foyle, The Major And The Minor on TCM Photo: Ginger Rogers and James Stewart at the 1941 Academy Awards ceremony. Rogers won for Kitty Foyle, Stewart for The Philadelphia Story. Schedule and synopsis from the TCM website: 5:00pm [Romance] Kitty Foyle (1940) A girl from the wrong side of the tracks endures scandal and heartbreak when she falls for a high-society boy. Cast: Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, James Craig, Eduardo Ciannelli Dir: Sam Wood Bw-108 mins. 7:00pm [Comedy] Tom, Dick And Harry (1941) A girl accepts three wedding proposals at once and dreams of marriage to each man. Cast: Ginger Rogers, George Murphy, Alan Marshal, Burgess Meredith Dir: Garson Kanin Bw-87 mins. 8:30pm [Comedy] Major and [...]
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Ginger Rogers’ Kitty Foyle, The Major And The Minor on TCM

Ginger Rogers‘ last Star of the Month evening begins tonight at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Turner Classic Movies. [Ginger Rogers Schedule] Among the Rogers classics on TCM’s schedule are two of the actress’ most important vehicles: Sam Wood’s romantic melodrama Kitty Foyle (1940, right), which earned Rogers a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of a working-class young woman who falls for a high-society type (Dennis Morgan), and Billy Wilder’s The Major and the Minor (1942), considered by some to be Rogers’ best film. In The Major and the Minor, Rogers plays a woman who disguises herself as a little girl so as to travel half-fare on her way back home from New York. On the train, she’s befriended by army [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Frankie Thomas Dies

Frankie Thomas Dies
American actor Frankie Thomas died in a Los Angeles hospital last Thursday of respiratory failure. He was 85. Thomas cut his acting teeth on the Broadway, New York City, stage in the 1930s before making the move to Hollywood. He starred in a number of films including A Dog Of Flanders and The Major And The Minor, but he is best known for his lead role in 1950s US TV series Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. His co-star Jan Merlin says, "Frankie looked like the all-American boy. Everyone in the room knew immediately this was the guy we were going to get." Thomas turned his back on acting when the show closed in 1955 and pursued a career as a TV, radio and novel writer. He was buried on Tuesday dressed in his space cadet costume.

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