El Cid (1961) - News Poster

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The Furniture: Desigining Slapstick with Herbet Lom and Inspector Clouseau

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Before we get started, let’s all share a brief moment of resentment that Judy Becker didn’t win a production design Emmy last night for Feud. Boo.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled episode of The Furniture. Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchačevič ze Schluderpacheru, the character actor otherwise known as Herbert Lom. He fled Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939 for Britain, where he would have a long career in both film and television. He appeared in three Best Production Design nominees: El Cid, Spartacus, and Gambit. I will be writing about none of them.

Instead, here’s some love for the design of the films for which he is remembered most widely. Lom played Police Commissioner Charles Dreyfus, the long-suffering boss of Inspector Clouseau,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Krakatoa East of Java

‘Things Blowing Up Good’ has been surefire entertainment since the beginning of cinema, but this ill-fated Cinerama extravaganza about the biggest explosion in recorded human history limps along despite some pretty darned impressive volcanic effects. It’s quite an entertaining spectacle, with various good performers in three soap opera plots, either overacting or loitering about with nothing to do. And don’t forget the from-left-field musical striptease.

Krakatoa East of Java

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1969 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 131 min. / Street Date September 12, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Maximilian Schell, Diane Baker, Brian Keith, Barbara Werle, Sal Mineo, Rossano Brazzi, John Leyton, J.D. Cannon, Jacqueline (Jacqui) Chan, Victoria Young, Marc Lawrence, Geoffrey Holder, Niall MacGinnis, Sumi Haru.

Cinematography: Manuel Berenguer

Film Editors: Walter Hannemann, Warren Low, Maurice Rootes

Production Design: Eugèné Lourié

Costumes: Laure Lourié

Special Effects: Eugèné Lourié, Alex Weldon, Francisco Prósper

Original Music: Frank De Vol

Written by Clifford Newton Gould,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Madrid Has a Cinematic Shooting Past

Since the late 1950s countless large and sometimes legendary Hollywood films have been shot in or near Madrid.

Samuel Bronston-produced blockbusters, Anthony Mann’s “The Fall of the Roman Empire” and Nicholas Ray’s “55 Days at Peking” partially shot near crag-strewn La Pedriza, 30 miles north of Madrid. Charlton Heston’s “El Cid” lensed in the castle of Manzanares El Real.

In 1960, Stanley Kubrick located “Spartacus” in Alcalá de Henares, Colmenar Viejo and Navacerrada, which also hosted Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Conan the Barbarian” in 1982.

Related

Film Madrid Energizes Shooting Support

In 1964, the medieval square of Chinchón, southeast of Madrid, hosted Henry Hathaway’s John Wayne-starrer “Circus World,” which also turned Madrid’s El Paseo de Coches in El Retiro Park into Paris’ Champs Elysées.

Denise O’Dell, one of Hollywood’s favorite Spain-based producers, who ran shingle Kanzaman before launching Babieka, co-produced 2006’s “Goya’s Ghosts”: Shoots included
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Feud': How Ryan Murphy's Hollywood-Diva Miniseries Rips Celebrity Apart

'Feud': How Ryan Murphy's Hollywood-Diva Miniseries Rips Celebrity Apart
Fame – it's a hell of a drug. Feud is like watching Robert De Niro and Al Pacino square off in Heat, except with two of Hollywood's living legends playing a couple of dead ones. In Ryan Murphy's new anthology series, Jessica Lange is Joan Crawford to Susan Sarandon's Bette Davis, a pair of toxic movie divas madly in hate with each other. As Davis famously snipped, "She has slept with every male star at MGM, except Lassie." This eight-episode fever dream celebrates how they basically invented the modern celebrity beef,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

The Pride and the Passion

Surround three international stars with several thousand extras in Franco's Spain and you've got yourself an instant historical adventure epic. Unfunny Cary Grant has a Big Gun, Spanish peasant guerilla (!) Frank Sinatra looks totally lost, and Sophia Loren conquers Hollywood by making with the sultry eyes and body moves. The Pride and the Passion Blu-ray Olive Films 1957 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 125 132 min. / Street Date August 16, 2016 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.95 Starring Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren, Theodore Bikel, John Wengraf, Jay Novello Cinematography Franz Planer Production Designer Rudolph Sternad Art Direction Fernando Carrere, Gil Parrondo Film Editors Ellsworth Hoagland, Frederic Knudtson Original Music George Antheil Written by Edna Anhalt & Edward Anhalt from the novel The Gun by C.S. Forester Produced and Directed by Stanley Kramer

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Successful producer Stanley Kramer graduated to directing in 1955; two years later he was helming this giant, rather ill-conceived big-star epic in Spain.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Vikings

Richard Fleischer's Viking saga is a great star showcase: for the grinning one-eyed Kirk Douglas, sullen one-handed Tony Curtis and the heavy-breathing, two-breasted Janet Leigh. Jack Cardiff gives us the fjords of Norway, lean and mean Viking ships, and a brain-bashing acrobatic castle assault designed to out-do Burt Lancaster. With Ernest Borgnine ("Ohhh-dinnnn!!"), James Donald and Alexander Knox. And as the old song goes, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got Frank Thring. The Vikings Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1958 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 114 min. / Street Date March 8, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Janet Leigh, James Donald, Alexander Knox, Maxine Audley, Frank Thring. Cinematography Jack Cardiff Production Designer Harper Goff Film Editor Hugo Williams Original Music Mario Nascimbene Written by Calder Willingham adapted by Dale Wasserman from a novel by Edison Marshall Produced by Jerry Bresler Directed by Richard Fleischer

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Movie Poster of the Week: The Character Posters of “Doctor Zhivago”

  • MUBI
Fifty years ago this week, on December 22, 1965, David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago had its world premiere at the Capitol Theatre in New York. Contrary to current practices, it was reviewed in The New York Times the following day. (In his first paragraph the redoubtable Bosley Crowther notably refers to it as “Robert Bolt’s dramatization of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago” rather than Lean’s, though he later mentions the “skillful direction of David Lean.” No auteurist, he.)The Capitol, which had stood on Broadway just north of Times Square since 1919, was one of New York’s first movie palaces, and was a flagship theater for MGM. It was the theater in which the Wizard of Oz had its first New York run and in 1964 it was converted for the presentation of Cinerama films. (It closed in 1968 not long after the premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey.) All of which
See full article at MUBI »

‘Game of Thrones’: More Spanish Locations for Season 6

‘Game of Thrones’: More Spanish Locations for Season 6
Madrid — HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has selected further spectacular locations in Spain for Season 6: the Bardenas badlands in Navarre, the castles of Santa Florentina and Zafra and Almeria’s Alcazaba.

These sites join the previously announced locations in Girona and Peñiscola.

A semi-desert expanse in south-east Navarre, the Bardenas boast spectacular, near-surreal, rock formations. The Castillo Santa Florentina is a homely and habitable castle, fitst built in the 11th century, just down the Mediterranean coast from Girona in Canet del Mar.

In contrast, the Castillo de Zafra in Guadalajara province, central Spain, looks from many angles like a seemingly impregnable fortress rearing up from a natural rock plinth. Almeria’s Alcazaba is by far the biggest of the castles, a massive fortified city-wall complex built in Moorish times.

Filming is set to take place later this year. Girona, in northern Catalonia near the French border, has imposing medieval city walls,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Spain’s Tax Authorities Confirm Broad-Based Eligibility For Tax Credits on International Shoots (Exclusive)

Spain’s Tax Authorities Confirm Broad-Based Eligibility For Tax Credits on International Shoots (Exclusive)
Madrid –Spain gave “Games of Thrones” the location for its Water Gardens of Dorne in Seville’s Alcazar Palace. Now it may have helped Spain gain clarity on new and attractively broad-based tax credits for international shoots in general.

After near six months of uncertainty, on June 2, Spain’s tax authorities issued a broad list of clarifications to multiple questions lodged by the unidentified line producer of an equally indeterminate foreign TV series which, the authorities said, was set to shoot a substantial part of a season in Spain. These shed light on what local spend in Spain could qualify for new Article 36.2 tax credits on international shoots.

One day later, HBO confirmed it would shoot portions of “Games of Thrones’” Season 6 on natural locations in Girona, in North-East Spain’s Catalonia, a city with imposing battlements, towers and churches, and in Peñiscola, a castle-topped town which stood in for
See full article at Variety - Film News »

HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’: Season Six Partly Shoots in Spain

HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’: Season Six Partly Shoots in Spain
Madrid – In a demonstration of the importance of location for the world’s big shoots, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is returning to Spain.

A portion of season six will shoot on several natural locations in Girona, a city located between Barcelona and the French border, and Peñiscola, a seaside resort on Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coast. Peter Welter Soler at Fresco Film Services will again provide production services. This filming of this portion of season six is set to take place later this year.

Catching up with near all of Europe, Spain introduced 15% of local spend tax credits for international shoots from January, though the fine print is being finalized between Spain’s tax authorities and production and big shoot service sector.

It was location not tax breaks which brought HBO to Spain last year to shoot portions of Season 5 in Andalusia with Seville’s Alcazar Palace doubling on
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Art and the theory of art': "The Man from Laramie" and the Anthony Mann Western

  • MUBI
Anthony Mann

As much as any other filmmaker who found a niche in a given genre, in the 10 Westerns Anthony Mann directed from 1950 to 1958 he carved out a place in film history as one who not only reveled in the conventions of that particular form, but also as one who imbued in it a distinct aesthetic and narrative approach. In doing so, Mann created Westerns that were simultaneously about the making of the West as a historical phenomenon, as well as about the making of its own developing cinematic genus. At the same time, he also established the traits that would define his auteur status, formal devices that lend his work the qualities of a director who enjoyed, understood, and readily exploited and manipulated a type of film's essential features.

Though he made several fine pictures outside the Western, Mann as an American auteur is most notably recognized for his work in this field,
See full article at MUBI »

AFI Fest Honoree Sophia Loren Talks Life and Loves

AFI Fest Honoree Sophia Loren Talks Life and Loves
When Sophia Loren is thrown a tribute like Nov. 12’s scheduled gala at AFI Fest, attendees can get an intoxicating glimpse of classic-era Euro cinema glamour, of which Loren remains one of the last living representatives. (At this year’s Cannes fest, the octogenarian knocked ’em dead in timeless style.)

Film fans recall a half-century’s worth of skillful performances in every genre. Looking both forward and back, AFI will screen a restored print of Oscar-nominated “Marriage Italian Style,” as well as a new version of Jean Cocteau’s “Human Voice,” helmed by son Edoardo Ponti.

As for the lady herself, after competitive and honorary Oscars, a record 10 David Di Donatello awards, five Golden Globes and threescore trophies and tributes, you’d think it would all be old hat by now. “Never enough. Never enough,” she burbles. “I feel very important when they give me an award. I like it,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

New on Video: ‘Men in War’

Men in War

Written by Philip Yordan

Directed by Anthony Mann

USA, 1957

Director Anthony Mann was a specialist at genre filmmaking. From early crime dramas like T-Men and Raw Deal, to historical epics like El Cid and The Fall of the Roman Empire, he seemed to have a knack for working within — and working with — the conventions of a given generic formula. His Westerns, especially, are among the best that that particular type of movie has to offer. And when he set his sights on the war film, his natural aptitude for genre would be as prominent as it was anywhere. Men in War, from 1957, his second war film of the decade (released two years after Strategic Air Command), contains much of what makes Mann a distinct filmmaker, and reveals much of what makes the war film its own unique form of motion picture.

Set in Korea, 1950, Men in War
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Cinema Retro Covers David McCallum At "The Great Escape" 50th Anniversary Screening, Omaha

  • CinemaRetro
David McCallum with event host Bruce Crawford. (Photo: Steve Gray)

By Jon Heitland

On any list of the best films based on World War II, The Great Escape, directed by John Sturges and based on the novel by Paul Brickhill, will always rank near the top. The compelling story of a group of British and American prisoners of war and how they outwitted their Nazi captors observes its 50th anniversary this year, and actor David McCallum, who plays Ashley-Pitt in the film, travelled to Omaha, Nebraska on November 9, 2013, to help celebrate the classic film. Proceeds went to the Nebraska Kidney Foundation, which was why McCallum took time from his busy television schedule to make an appearance. The evening event centered around a showing of the film at the large, concert-style theater at the prestigious Joslyn Museum, to an enthusiastic, full house crowd of 1000.

The Great Escape 50 year retrospective was another
See full article at CinemaRetro »

From the archive, 16 November 1961: The character of the epic: Charlton Heston talks to Wj Weatherby

Glistening in its uniquely statuesque way, Rome seemed to await only a hero's arrival

Rome in a hot autumn sun looked more like its legend than any visitor has a right to expect. Glistening in its uniquely statuesque way – a Hollywood epic setting sprung to life – the city seemed to await only a hero's arrival: an epic-sized hero who wouldn't be dwarfed or made to sound inflated like Mussolini. This made it a testing place in which to meet the present heavyweight champion of Hollywood epics, for what had happened to Mussolini beneath this lowering architecture might easily happen to him. Deflation of "Ben Hur", alias "Moses", alias "El Cid".

But against the flickering civic backcloth of Roman churches, squares, statues, columns, and courtyards – all of them flickering because they were only glimpsed from a speeding Cadillac – Charlton Heston sounded well aware of the dangers of appearing here on the wrong side of the cameras.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

El Cid: Spanish history has a right royal revamp

Anthony Mann jousts fast and loose with the lives of Spain's medieval masters – resulting in seriously sublime cinema

El Cid (1961)

Director: Anthony Mann

Entertainment grade: A

History grade: D

Rodrigo Díaz was an 11th-century nobleman from Vivar in Castile. He is better known as El Cid, from the Arabic sidi or sayyid, meaning "the Lord".

War

In 1080, when this film begins, the territory that is now Spain and Portugal was split between Christian and Muslim kingdoms. Emir Ben Yussuf (Herbert Lom) rouses the Muslim princes of the southern part, known as al-Andalus, to conquer the Christian north, some of which is known as León-Castile. The film's Ben Yussuf is the historical Yusuf ibn Tashufin, commander of the Almoravid Empire.

At his summons, Emir Yusuf al-Mutamin of Zaragoza (Douglas Wilmer) has a go at conquering part of León-Castile, but is captured by Rodrigo Díaz (Charlton Heston). When Díaz offers him freedom rather than death,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Almodóvar Screen Idol Montiel Dead

Montiel movies: From the blockbuster La Violetera to new versions of Carmen and Camille (Please check out the previous post: "Legendary Spanish Star Dead at 85."] Next in line for the sensual, husky-voice performer was a second tear-jerking hit: Luis César Amadori's La Violetera ("The Violet Peddler," 1958), for which Montiel is supposed to have earned $1 million dollars. In this romantic musical melodrama, she plays Soledad Moreno, a flower seller in the Madrid of the early 1900s, who falls in passionately love with an aristocrat played by Italian star Raf Vallone. As to be expected, class issues arise. Soledad flees for France, where she becomes (surprise!) a singing sensation. What follows includes tears, despair, a deadly iceberg (heard of the Titanic?), psychological and physiological trauma, and, finally, eternal love. Pictured above: A very sexy Montiel in a risque Gina Lollobrigida-like pose. “La violetera was even bigger than El último cuplé,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Railroaded!

(Anthony Mann, 1947, Blue Dolphin, PG)

Anthony Mann (1906-67) is best known for 11 major Hollywood westerns made in the 1950s and two European epics (El Cid, The Fall of the Roman Empire) in the 60s. But in the 40s he directed a succession of noir movies, the second being Railroaded, made by B-feature specialists Prc (Producers Releasing Corporation), whose shooting schedules were rarely more than a week. Shot in high-contrast black and white, the film begins with an economically staged heist at an illegal gambling joint that goes wrong when a cop is killed and an innocent man is framed for the murder. The handsome hero's a dull guy. More interestingly, the killer (John Ireland) is a brutal fetishist who rubs perfume on his bullets, strokes his gun and abuses his drunken moll. Hardboiled screenwriter John C Higgins wrote five noir movies for Mann.

This is the first film in a new series,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Veteran Hollywood actor Herbert Lom dies at 95 - Realbollywood.com News

Veteran Hollywood actor Herbert Lom dies at 95 - Realbollywood.com News
London, September 28: Herbert Lom, the veteran actor who gained fame for his role Inspector Clouseau's crazed superior in the 'Pink Panther' films, passed away on Thursday morning. He was 95.

According to his family, the London-based star died peacefully in his sleep, the Daily Express reported.

Lom appeared in more than 100 films, including classics like 'Spartacus', 'El Cid' and 'The.
See full article at RealBollywood »

Rest in Peace: Herbert Lom

Hollywood has lost another legend in the business as we are truly saddened to hear of the death of the great Herbert Lom. Read on to reflect upon the man's legacy and celebrate his long and storied career!

According to The Huffington Post Lom, fondly remembered for his roles in the Pink Panther films during his half-century of film appearances, has died at the age of 95. He died peacefully in his sleep this morning, his family said.

The Czech-born, London-based star appeared in more than 100 films including classics such as Spartacus, El Cid, The Ladykillers, and the horror classics The Phantom of the Opera, Mark of the Devil, Asylum, Murders in the Rue Morgue, and The Dead Zone.

We here at Dread Central would like to take this time to offer our sincerest of condolences to Lom's friends, family and constituents. Thanks for the class you brought to every project you were involved with,
See full article at Dread Central »
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