Mildred Pierce (1945) - News Poster

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Foreign Films Are a Treasure Trove of Acting Gems in Crowded Awards Season

Foreign Films Are a Treasure Trove of Acting Gems in Crowded Awards Season
On Oct. 20, 16 films were released theatrically in the U.K., a box office battle that, among other things, pitted an action movie (“Geostorm”) against an art film (“I Am Not a Witch”), a doc (“Dina”), a satire (“The Death of Stalin”), a teen romp (“Access All Areas”) and a horror pic (“Happy Death Day”). This situation is worth noting since the U.K. release schedule alone seems to have reached critical mass. According to British writer-researcher Stephen Follows, the U.K. released some 821 films theatrically last year, almost 100 more than the 736 released in the U.S.

“This means that if you saw a new movie every morning and every afternoon on every single day of the year, you would still miss 91 new movies,” Follows notes dryly on his blog.

Add to this the rapacious acquisitions made by Netflix and Amazon Studios and the chances of even getting audiences in the door start to dwindle even more. An
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Best Of The Best – The Greatest Composers And The Scores That Made Them Great

Author: Dave Roper

With Actors, Directors, Actresses and Screenwriters under our collective belt and Cinematographers still to come, we presently turn our eye towards Composers, whose music lends so much to the films they work on.

As with the other lists, credit is given for not merely one or two sterling scores, but rather a consistently excellent body of work with specific stand-out films. To be blunt, this is a trickier prospect than it at first appears. Just because a film is terrific or well-loved doesn’t necessarily mean that the score is itself a standout. We begin with perhaps the most obvious and celebrated film composer of them all…..

John WilliamsStar Wars

Goodness me. The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Long Goodbye, Catch Me If You Can, Star Wars, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Superman, Et, Born on the Fourth of July,
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Shakespeare in Love > Saving Private Ryan (your periodic reminder)

On this day in movie history...

1617 Though the exact date of her death is unknown, Pocahontas's funeral was held on this day. She died on a ship with husband John Rolfe (played by Christian Bale in The New World but he wasn't a character in Disney's Pocahontas because that woulda been hella depressing). She was only 21 or 22

1880 "Bronco Billy" Anderson, the original movie cowboy star (he made hundreds of silent shorts) is born

1941 The Sea Wolf starring Edward G Robinson and Ida Lupino is released. Director Michael Curtiz is warming up for his rather incredible peak decade (Captain of the Clouds, Yankee Doodle DandyCasablancaMildred Pierce and more are next)

1949 Slavoj Zizek of The Perverts Guide to Cinema (2006) is born

1956 The 1955 Oscars. Marty becomes both the shortest film to ever win Best Picture and the first indie to do so.

1958 Gary Oldman is born...
See full article at FilmExperience »

Performer of the Week: Jessica Lange

Performer of the Week: Jessica Lange
The Performer | Jessica Lange

The Show | Feud: Bette and Joan

The Episode | “Pilot” (March 5, 2017)

The Performance | Were Joan Crawford alive today, we have to think that she would have been satisfied — dare we say pleased? — with Lange’s casting in Feud. Not only has the Ryan Murphy fave won the second Oscar that always eluded Crawford, but she plays the Hollywood legend with an empathy that never fails to remind us that, behind the leading lady, there was a flesh-and-blood woman as damaged as she was determined.

In the anthology series’ first episode, Lange comes out just as Crawford would
See full article at TVLine.com »

Feud: Why Joan Crawford and Bette Davis’ Rivalry Began Long Before Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Feud: Why Joan Crawford and Bette Davis’ Rivalry Began Long Before Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Ryan Murphy’s new FX series Feud chronicles the bitter rivalry between screen legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as they film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, but the tension between the actresses actually started long before they filmed their 1962 thriller.

Their decades-long feud — which is dissected in the upcoming issue of People — stemmed from their very early days as they navigated the brutal Hollywood system.

The 1930s

When Davis moved from Broadway to Hollywood in 1930 at age 22, a then-25-year-old Crawford was already a sought-after star. Davis was the first to win an Oscar (for 1935’s Dangerous) but lost
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Feud: Bette and Joan Premiere Recap: Did the Drama Put Stars in Your Eyes?

Feud: Bette and Joan Premiere Recap: Did the Drama Put Stars in Your Eyes?
And you thought there was no love lost between Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie!

With the debut Sunday of his new FX anthology series Feud, Ryan Murphy drew back the curtain on the rivalry between Bette and Joan, with (as you well know) Susan Sarandon as Davis and Jessica Lange as Crawford. The reviews, including TVLine’s, have been good. But did you, too, find the drama as intoxicating as a flask of 100-proof vodka? Let’s go over the events of the pilot, then you can weigh in in the poll below.

Related2017 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back?
See full article at TVLine.com »

Why Did Joan Crawford and Bette Davis 'Feud'? Here’s Everything You Need to Know Before Watching!

Why Did Joan Crawford and Bette Davis 'Feud'? Here’s Everything You Need to Know Before Watching!
Hell hath no fury like two Hollywood actresses scorned!

That's the exact premise behind season one of FX's newest anthology series, Feud: Bette and Joan, which premieres this Sunday, March 5. The limited series, which heralds from the mind of executive producer Ryan Murphy, stars A-list actresses Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, respectively, and fixates on the bitter, lifelong rivalry between them.

But before you tune in, we've crafted the ultimate Feud cheat sheet to break down all the real-life drama!

Watch: Susan Sarandon & Jessica Lange in Character as Bette Davis & Joan Crawford

Getty Images

Who Is Joan Crawford? Born Lucille Fay LeSueur in 1904, Crawford (Lange) became one of Hollywood's most prominent movie stars and one of the highest paid women in the United States during the late 1920s and early 1930s. However, by the end of the 1930s, her films began losing money and she was labeled "Box Office Poison." She made
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's Mildred Pierce Stuns

What exactly is Mildred Pierce? Is it a drama? A film noir? A proto-feminist declaration? You could argue that the Hollywood watermark is all of the above. Directed by Micaael Curtiz and starring the indomitable Joan CrawfordMildred Pierce is freshly out on Blu-ray and DVD this week from the Criterion Collection.  The film opens in typical noir style: dramatic lighting and murder. Crawford's Mildred is on the precipice of a dock in California, about to throw herself off when she's interrupted by a strolling police officer. We then go back to the beginning to see how she got there. Mildred's got a cheating, out-of-work husband whom she clearly does not need. Self sufficient, she's already baking and selling pies and cakes out of her kitchen to support...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

David Reviews Michael Curtiz’s Mildred Pierce [Criterion Collection Blu-Ray Review]

With the new release of Mildred Pierce, the Criterion Collection appears to be solidifying a trend over the past couple years of providing a showcase for some of the greatest female actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Since late 2014, stars like Claudette Colbert (It Happened One Night, The Palm Beach Story), Rita Hayworth (Gilda, Only Angels Have Wings) and Rosalind Russell (His Girl Friday) have made their first appearances in the Collection, in what can be considered career-defining roles. These additions seem to be addressing a notable blind spot for Criterion. As impressive as their reach has been in bringing many of the most iconic women from the past hundred years of world cinema to the forefront, the continuing absence of silver screen legends like Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Greta Garbo and Elizabeth Taylor, just to name a few, seems like a lingering oversight, a problem yet to be
See full article at CriterionCast »

Ryan Murphy, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon Talk Hollywood Ageism, Sexism and Inspirations for ‘Feud’

Ryan Murphy, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon Talk Hollywood Ageism, Sexism and Inspirations for ‘Feud’
As a kid growing up in Indiana in the 1970s, Ryan Murphy only ever penned two fan letters.

One was to actor Ron Palillo, better known as Horshack from “Welcome Back, Kotter.” He never wrote back. The other was to Bette Davis. She did write back.

The legendary actress’ response wasn’t gushy, which made it feel all the more authentic. “She didn’t write ‘Love, Bette Davis, Xoxoxo.’ It was like ‘Thanks for the letter. You’re sweet. Bette Davis,” Murphy recalled Tuesday during a luncheon panel session devoted to his latest FX series, “Feud,” which bows March 5.

Murphy’s first letter to Davis led to a running correspondence which eventually led to a meeting in Los Angeles about a month before the screen legend died in 1989. Nearly 30 years later, the prolific writer-director-producer is at the helm of the limited series that tells the story of Davis and Joan Crawford’s frenemy relationship during the making
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Sudden Fear

Joan Crawford controls every aspect of this glamorous, Oscar nominated noir about a murderous marriage double-cross. Good acting enlivens a by-the-book, gimmick-laden plot, with every moment designed to flatter the star.

Sudden Fear

Blu-ray

The Cohen Film Collection

1952 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 110 min. / Street Date December 13, 2016 / 34.99

Starring Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame, Bruce Bennett, Virginia Huston, Touch Connors, Bess Flowers, Taylor Holmes, Lewis Martin, Arthur Space.

Cinematography Charles Lang

Film Editor Leon Barsha

Art Director Boris Leven

Original Music Elmer Bernstein

Written by Lenore Coffee, Robert Smith from a novel by Edna Sherry

Produced by Joseph Kaufman

Directed by David Miller

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

The Joan Crawford movie Sudden Fear is an efficient and stylish thriller. Although it’s technically film noir, its story of a two-way murder frame-up is sublimated to the actress’s overpowering personality. It’s the first movie where Crawford was able to
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Richard Linklater’s ‘Before’ Trilogy Finally Comes to Criterion This February, Plus Pedro Almodóvar and Kirsten Johnson Titles

Richard Linklater’s ‘Before’ Trilogy Finally Comes to Criterion This February, Plus Pedro Almodóvar and Kirsten Johnson Titles
While we celebrate Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Punch Drunk Love” coming to The Criterion Collection today, more amazing news arrives in the form of February new additions, which just so happens to include a box set that is bound to cause some major swooning from Richard Linklater fans.

The director’s seminal “Before” Trilogy, which includes “Before Sunrise” (1995), “Before Sunset” (2004) and “Before Midnight” (2013), will finally join the Criterion library, which cinephiles expected would happen sooner than later after “Boyhood” joined the collection in October. Rumors started swirling last summer about a potential box set, and now Criterion has confirmed the release.

Read More: ‘Before’ Trilogy: Beautiful Video Shows Parallel Emotion From All Three of Linklater’s Films

The “Before” Trilogy Criterion set includes restored 2K digital transfers of the first two installments and a 2K digital master of “Before Midnight,” all approved by director Richard Linklater. Behind-the-scenes content includes “Dream is Destiny,
See full article at Indiewire »

Greer Garson, Peter Finch, Zoolander, and more...

1916 Happy Centennial to Best Actor winner Peter Finch (Network), one of only two posthumous acting winners in Oscar history. The other is Heath Ledger. (Curiously they were both Australian)

1924 Marcello Mastroianni (La Dolce Vita, 8½) is born in Italy. Becomes one of the all time great movie stars by his mid 30s. His career spans over 50 years of cinema.

1933 Greer Garson weds Edward Snelson, first of three husbands, though the cohabitation is brief. Ten years later she famously marries her screen son in Mrs Miniver.

1934 ...And God Created Brigitte Bardot in Paris

1945 Mildred Pierce opens. Joan Crawford will win Best Actress for this fabulous noir melodrama

1949 Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis first film together My Friend Irma

1950 American indie icon John Sayles is born in New York. Among his most famous films: Return of the Secaucus 7, Passion Fish, and Lone Star

1951 Franchot Tone marries Barbara Payton, his third wife, a disastrous marriage for both.
See full article at FilmExperience »

The Truculent Cinema of Robert Aldrich

  • MUBI
The quintessential shot in Robert Aldrich’s filmography is that of a close-up, held for a smidgen longer than the normal length one would think appropriate for such a shot. The face the camera is focusing on is usually a signifier of the most central element in Aldrich’s films: tension. Whether it’s melodrama (Autumn Leaves, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?), war pictures (Too Late the Hero, Attack!), or Westerns, both sober and jocular (Ulzana’s Raid and 4 For Texas, respectively), ideological and external forces wrestle within the psyche that defines Aldrich’s cinema. Metrograph's all-35mm retrospective in New York offers us the opportunity to survey the oeuvre of the auteur who hammered out his cinematic legacy with the vigor of an undoubtedly indignant and irreverent artist. Too Late the Hero (1970)Consistency across genre and modes of filmmaking marks Aldrich as one of the last great studio auteurs,
See full article at MUBI »

Joy | Review

Success is the Best Revenge: Russell’s Embellished Portrait of the Miracle Mop

Director David O. Russell has been often praised for the depictions of women throughout his filmography, beginning with an unforgettable Alberta Watson in his debut Spanking the Monkey (1994). Amy Adams, who starred in The Fighter (2010) and American Hustle (2013), publicly thanked the director for his generous roles for actresses, and he’s finally anchored a film around the perspective of a woman with Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence in their third collaboration together (she won her Oscar for his 2012 title The Silver Linings Playbook). You wouldn’t know it up front, though the opening credits announce a dedication to spirited women everywhere, basing this on one perseverant woman in particular, but Russell is relaying the (exaggerated) story of Joy Mangano, the person behind the invention of the Miracle Mop. Recalibrated for Russell’s particular flavor of odd, broken
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Watch: 37-Minute Documentary 'Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of'

Sure, you’ve seen a bevy of his films—everything from “Casablanca” to “Mildred Pierce” to “Angels With Dirty Faces” and “The Adventures Of Robin Hood”—but what do you really know about Hungarian American director Michael Curtiz? He is, indeed, perhaps the greatest director you’ve never heard of and you’ve unknowingly gone on for years captivated by Erroll Flynn, James Cagney, and Humphrey Bogart without taking a second to learn about the man behind the camera. Read More: Watch: 35-Minute Documentary 'Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic' With Steven Spielberg, William Friedkin, More In this terrific 37-minute short documentary, Gary Leva explores what we don’t know about Curtiz, who made over 160 (!!) films in his brilliant, decade-spanning career. From humble beginnings in 1888, Curtiz worked his way up in show business, starting out as an actor and eventually making films in his native Austria-Hungary and Berlin. Curtiz’s work in America is unparalleled.
See full article at The Playlist »

Top 5 Films about Killer Kids

Sure, children are our future. But what if they turn out to be our demise? Whether kids are compelled to murder through the extremity of a situation or because they are seemingly rotten to the core, the idea that precious innocence can be twisted into something hideously unrecognizable continues to be a terrifying trope of the horror genre. Here is a list of movies where creepy little hands commit unspeakable deeds.

5. The Bad Seed

Written by John Lee Mahin, Maxwell Anderson, and William March

Written by Mervyn LeRoy

USA, 1956

The Bad Seed’s Rhonda (Patty McCormack) is a pig-tailed little girl who threatens, hurts, and murders anyone who hinders her from getting every whim. Although the film skirts around this truth for too long, it is clear from the beginning that she is the culprit of any pain being inflicted. The movie contains lengthy intervals where almost nothing happens, but
See full article at SoundOnSight »

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
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Daily | Passages | Harris, Mark, Bhargava

In today's roundup, we catch up with remembrances of costume designer Julie Harris, who worked with Richard Lester on his Beatles movies, A Hard Day’s Night (1964) and Help! (1965), and won an Oscar for her work on John Schlesinger’s Darling (1965); Anne Meara, remembered for her comedic turns with Jerry Stiller and as the mother of Ben Stiller; director Prashant Bhargava; photographer Mary Ellen Mark; noir actor Wally Cassell; Mildred Pierce star John Compton; Betsy Palmer, known to most as the mother of Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th movies; Gill Dennis, co-writer of the screenplay for the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line; and composer Robert Drasnin. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Daily | Passages | Harris, Mark, Bhargava

In today's roundup, we catch up with remembrances of costume designer Julie Harris, who worked with Richard Lester on his Beatles movies, A Hard Day’s Night (1964) and Help! (1965), and won an Oscar for her work on John Schlesinger’s Darling (1965); Anne Meara, remembered for her comedic turns with Jerry Stiller and as the mother of Ben Stiller; director Prashant Bhargava; photographer Mary Ellen Mark; noir actor Wally Cassell; Mildred Pierce star John Compton; Betsy Palmer, known to most as the mother of Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th movies; Gill Dennis, co-writer of the screenplay for the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line; and composer Robert Drasnin. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »
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