Watch on the Rhine (1943) - News Poster


10 Days Until Oscar. Stage to Screen Roles

Paul Lukas and Bette Davis in "Watch on the Rhine"

It's ten days until Oscar and soon this post may be obsolete! To date, unless I've miscounted, ten actors have won the leading Oscar for reprising a role they won praise for first on the Broadway stage. Soon there could be 11 depending on how well Denzel Washington fares on Oscar night for Fences.

Actors Who Won Lead Oscars Reprising Their Broadway Roles

They are...

George Arliss for Disraeli (1929/30)

Arliss had played this role in the Broadway production in 1911

Paul Lukas for Watch on the Rhine (1943)

He previously played this role from 1941 through early 1942 on Broadway -- the transfer to the screen was mighty quick!

Jose Ferrer for Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

He won the Tony for this iconic role in 1947. Later in 1990 Gerard Depardieu would also be nominated for playing the same role -- and Steve Martin arguably should have been
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Forgotten Actress Bruce on TCM: Career Went from Dawn of Talkies to L.A.'s Punk Rock Scene

Virginia Bruce: MGM actress ca. 1935. Virginia Bruce movies on TCM: Actress was the cherry on 'The Great Ziegfeld' wedding cake Unfortunately, Turner Classic Movies has chosen not to feature any non-Hollywood stars – or any out-and-out silent film stars – in its 2015 “Summer Under the Stars” series.* On the other hand, TCM has come up with several unusual inclusions, e.g., Lee J. Cobb, Warren Oates, Mae Clarke, and today, Aug. 25, Virginia Bruce. A second-rank MGM leading lady in the 1930s, the Minneapolis-born Virginia Bruce is little remembered today despite her more than 70 feature films in a career that spanned two decades, from the dawn of the talkie era to the dawn of the TV era, in addition to a handful of comebacks going all the way to 1981 – the dawn of the personal computer era. Career highlights were few and not all that bright. Examples range from playing the
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What I Did This Weekend: Dorothy Arzner’s Women’s Films About Women

What a treat I gave myself. I went to the Billy Wilder Theater to see Director Dorothy Arzner’s films “The Wild Party” (1929, Paramount) and “Anybody’s Woman” (1930, Paramount) as restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, in cooperation with Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures.

And as good as these two films were (fantastic!), the audience was just as good. I saw our old friend Alan Howard with his friends David Ansen and Mary Corey, my best friend during our oh-so-long-ago freshman year at Brandeis. A perfect segue into the film “The Wild PartyClara Bow’s first sound feature. I had never seen Clara Bow before, nor had I seen a Dorothy Arzner film. And I had only seen Mary Corey once since we both left Brandeis after our freshman year and went our separate ways.

It somehow never occurred to me that Dorothy Arzner would have a particular point of view as a woman; but she certainly did. Lesbian herself, she made women’s films about women and men who were always slightly slighted by her, but with a loving touch. These were the opening films to the Dorothy Arzner Retrospective held in the Billy Wilder Theater of the Armand Hammer Museum. Alison Anders will present August 30th’s film “The Red Kimon” and “Old Ironsides” . The series runs until September 18. Do yourself a favor and catch at least one of these historic films by a historic director…an anomaly perhaps still yet to be surpassed.

"The Wild Party" (1929)

In “The Wild PartyClara Bow plays Stella is an inveterate partier at an all-girl college. She is tough – when drunken men molest her and her friends and even kidnap her to rape her – she fights. When a favorite classmate is implicated in a scandal, Stella heroically defends her friend's reputation at the expense of her own. Rich with pre-Code delights (including furtive, "innocent" bed-hopping with college professors), one may easily detect the film's insistence on the supremacy of female friendships.

Clara Bow, the “It” Girl, in my mind was a live Betty Boop; what the “it” meant in her nickname was not clear though I knew it had something to do with sexy. Actually, her breakthrough film was entitled “It”. She is a wonderful comedian and her expressive eyes and face rule the screen; she was America’s first sex symbol. She won a photo beauty contest which launched her movie career that would eventually number 58 films, from 1922 to 1933.

Paramount Famous Lasky Corp. Producer: E. Lloyd Sheldon. Director: Dorothy Arzner. Screenwriter: E. Lloyd Sheldon. Based on a story by Warner Fabian. Cinematographer: Victor Milner. Editor: Otto Lovering. With: Clara Bow, Fredric March, Marceline Day, Shirley O’Hara, Adrienne Doré. 35mm, b/w, 77 min.

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the Myra Reinhard Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Jodie Foster, in cooperation with Universal Studios.

"Anybody's Woman" (1930)

“Anybody’s Woman” holds lots of surprises including the title itself. The cheesy out-of-work chorine Pansy Gray (Ruth Chatterton) accepts an irresponsible marriage proposal from Neil Dunlap (Clive Brook), an intoxicated but elegant upper crust attorney, and winds up in high society, to the horror of her newfound "family." Reforming her dissolute husband and striving to be an honest social success, Pansy is compromised by the flirtations of several men, including Neil's most important client, for which she is denounced as a seductress.

As David described Clive Brook as stiff and Mary defended his acting because the role called for such a stiff actor, Kevin Thomas was introduced to David and joined our little group; the talk veered into other directions and so did I. But I want to say that Paul Lukas, the Hungarian born actor held a very special place in this film; elegant but vulgar, open and mysterious, he was able to play the thin line of a slightly compromised but sincere character. He went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor for “Watch on the Rhine” in 1948.

Ruth Chatterton herself began as a chorus girl at age 14 so her role must have felt very natural to her. She became a Broadway star with "Daddy Long Legs" in 1914 and appeared in various shows before moving to Hollywood in 1925. As her film career faded in the late 1930s, she returned to the stage in revivals, and radio and TV performances, including "Hamlet." In the 1950s, she began a successful writing career. She was nominted twice for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She had no children.

Paramount Publix Corp. Director: Dorothy Arzner. Screenwriter: Zoë Akins, Doris Anderson. Cinematographer: Charles Lang. Editor: Jane Loring. With: Ruth Chatterton, Clive Brook, Paul Lukas. 35mm, b/w, 80 min.

Read about this film series in the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.

The UCLA Film Archive is pleased to commemorate the indispensable career of director Dorothy Arzner (1897-1979) as part of a year-long commemoration of our own 50th Anniversary. This retrospective features six Archive restorations of Arzner's work, which have helped to spur scholarship into and retrospectives of the director's remarkable achievements. The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television is also proud to claim Arzner as a former professor. A remarkable and nearly unique figure in American film history, Arzner forged a career characterized by an individual worldview, and a strong, recognizable voice. She was also, not incidentally, the sole female director in the studio era to sustain a directing career, working in that capacity for nearly two decades and helming 20 features—conspicuously, still a record in Hollywood. Distinguished as a storyteller with penetrating insight into women's perspectives and experiences, Arzner herself emphatically made the point that only a woman could offer such authority and authenticity. At a time when the marginalization of women directors in the American film establishment is still actively debated, we celebrate Dorothy Arzner, and the Archive's long association with her legacy.

Special thanks to: Peggy Alexander, Curator—Performing Arts Special Collections, UCLA Library; Gayle Nachlis, Kirsten Schaffer—Women in Film, Los Angeles.
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After Rooney's Death, Who Is Earliest Surviving Best Actor Academy Award Nominee?

Mickey Rooney was earliest surviving Best Actor Oscar nominee (photo: Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy in ‘Boys Town’) (See previous post: “Mickey Rooney Dead at 93: MGM’s Andy Hardy Series’ Hero and Judy Garland Frequent Co-Star Had Longest Film Career Ever?”) Mickey Rooney was the earliest surviving Best Actor Academy Award nominee — Babes in Arms, 1939; The Human Comedy, 1943 — and the last surviving male acting Oscar nominee of the 1930s. Rooney lost the Best Actor Oscar to two considerably more “prestigious” — albeit less popular — stars: Robert Donat for Sam Wood’s Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) and Paul Lukas for Herman Shumlin’s Watch on the Rhine (1943). Following Mickey Rooney’s death, there are only two acting Academy Award nominees from the ’30s still alive: two-time Best Actress winner Luise Rainer, 104 (for Robert Z. Leonard’s The Great Ziegfeld, 1936, and Sidney Franklin’s The Good Earth, 1937), and Best Supporting Actress nominee Olivia de Havilland,
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Photo Blast from the Past: Lillian Hellman

Today, we're featuring Lillian Hellman, circa 1984. Hellman was an American author of plays, screenplays, and memoirs and throughout her life, was linked with many left-wing political causes. Hellman's drama, The Children's Hour, premiered on Broadway on November 24, 1934, and ran for 691 performances. It depicts a false accusation of lesbianism by a schoolgirl against two of her teachers. In December 1936, her play Days to Come closed its Broadway run after just seven performances. In it, she portrayed a labor dispute in a small Ohio town during which the characters try to balance the competing claims of owners and workers, both represented as valid. Her play The Little Foxes opened on Broadway on February 13, 1939, and ran for 410 performances. Her play Watch on the Rhine opened on Broadway on April 1, 1941, and ran for 378 performances. It won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. In April 1944, Hellman's The Searching Wind opened on Broadway. Her third World War II project,
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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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Two-Time Oscar Winner Rolls Her Big Eyes Tonight

Bette Davis’ eyes keep ‘Watch on the RhineBette Davis’ eyes are watching everything and everyone on Turner Classic Movies this evening, as TCM continues with its "Summer Under the Stars" film series: today, August 14, 2013, belongs to two-time Oscar winner Bette Davis’ eyes, cigarettes, and clipped tones. Right now, TCM is showing the Herman Shumlin-directed Watch on the Rhine (1943), an earnest — too much so, in fact — melodrama featuring Nazis, anti-Nazis, and lofty political speeches. (See “Bette Davis Movies: TCM schedule.”) As a prestigious and timely Warner Bros. release, Watch on the Rhine was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award and earned Paul Lukas the year’s Best Actor Oscar. Bette Davis has a subordinate role and — for once during her years as Warners’ Reigning Queen — subordinate billing as well. As so often happens when Davis tried to play a sympathetic character, she’s not very good; Lukas, however,
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Rooney Goes from All-American Small Town Boy to Criminal Suspect

Mickey Rooney movies on TCM: Music and murder (photo: Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland ca. 1940) Mickey Rooney is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 13, 2013. According to the IMDb, Mickey Rooney, who turns 93 next September 23, has been featured in more than 250 movies — in shorts and features, in Hollywood and international productions, in cameos and starring roles, in bit parts and second leads. You name it, Rooney has done it: comedies, dramas, thrillers, musicals, biopics, war movies, horse movies, horror movies. (Mickey Rooney: TCM movie schedule.) Mickey Rooney in a horror movie? Yes, in about a dozen of those. Scarier than World War Z, The Conjuring, The Exorcist, and Alien combined were A Family Affair (on TCM earlier today) and ensuing Andy Hardy movies. Creepy stuff. Nearly as frightening are Rooney’s musicals with Judy Garland, one of which TCM presented earlier this morning, Strike Up the Band (1940). Another,
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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,
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Fey-Poehler Combo Helps Globes Reach Six-Year Audience High

Golden Globes 2013: Best TV ratings in six years The Golden Globes 2013 telecast, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as smartly and tightly dressed co-hostesses, boasted the Golden Globes ceremony’s best television ratings in six years. That seems to indicate that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were bigger TV attractions than Ricky Gervais. (Photo: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, probably making fun of James Cameron — by way of Kathryn Bigelow — at the Golden Globes 2013 ceremony. © HFPA.) Broadcast last Sunday evening on NBC, the 70th Golden Globes lured an estimated 19.7m viewers in the United States, up 17% from last year. In recent years, Golden Globes 2013 trailed only the 2007 ceremony, which was watched by slightly more than 20m viewers — on a (less audience-friendly) Monday. This year’s Golden Globes were also a relative hit with the 18-49 demographic, up 28% from last year and averaging a 6.4 rating, according to data found at Variety.
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Casablanca: Movie Classic or Movie Farce?

Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of the 1943 Best Picture Oscar winner, Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, and Conrad Veidt. Not only is Casablanca still regarded as one of the greatest American movies ever made, it features one of the most beloved romantic songs ever written ("As Time Goes By"), and one of the most-quoted, iconic movie lines of all-time ("Play it again, Sam"). To be named Best Picture of 1943, Casablanca had to overcome some formidable competition. The other nominees that year were: For Whom the Bell Tolls, Heaven Can Wait, The Human Comedy, In Which We Serve, Madame Curie, The More the Merrier, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Song of Bernadette, and Watch on the Rhine. But despite the accolades, there are some gaps in this movie's pedigree. For one, "As Time Goes By" not only didn't win the Academy Award for Best Song,
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Turner Classic Movies celebrates 70 years of 'Casablanca' with re-release

  • Hitfix
Turner Classic Movies celebrates 70 years of 'Casablanca' with re-release
While "The Godfather" is busy celebrating its 40th anniversary this year (and got a re-release courtesy of Cinemark Theatres), another American celluloid treasure will be turning 70 and getting it's own fresh look on screens later this month. Michael Curtiz's undeniable classic, "Casablanca," premiered in November of 1942 before being released into theaters in early 1943. The film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for Best Actor (Humphrey Bogart, who lost to Paul Lukas in "Watch on the Rhine"), Best Supporting Actor (Claude Rains, who lost to Charles Coburn in "The More the...
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How 'Casablanca' beat nine other nominees to win best picture at the 1943 Oscars

How 'Casablanca' beat nine other nominees to win best picture at the 1943 Oscars
Before this year, the last time there were 10 best picture nominees at the Oscars was in 1943, when "Casablanca" won. On the Rotten Tomatoes ranking of all of the best picture winners at the Oscars, this year's champ, "The Hurt Locker," sits at No. 13 just above "Casablanca." In the run-up to the Oscars, "The Hurt Locker" won over the New York Film Critics Circle while "Up in the Air" was the choice of the National Board of Review and "Avatar" was the Golden Globe pick for best drama pic. Back in 1943, there was also disagreement over the year's best picture as three films took the precursor awards: "Watch on the Rhine" won...
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