BUTTERFLY MCQUEEN
Her roles were largely stereotypical, yet her charm and goofiness made her memorable. Here’s a look at her work beyond Gone With the Wind.

DESIGN IN FILM: THE MODERN HOUSEAn eight-minute video montage of modern homes—real and fake—as seen on the silver screen.

KEYE LUKE
An examination of the lengthy career of the Chinese-American character actor, from Charlie Chan to Woody Allen.

70MMThirty visually stunning films that illustrate the grandeur of large-format filmmaking.

CHILL WILLS
Our look at the Texas actor’s 43-year film career, including an ill-advised Oscar campaign. 

MARGARET HAMILTON
A look at the professional life of an actress who proved to be much more than just the Wicked Witch of the West.

NEBRASKANSA look at some of the memorable talentsfrom Astaire to Zanuck—to come from the Cornhusker State.

BEHIND THE SCENES
Twenty-five cool photos reveal what goes on outside of movie camera range.

SILENT SURVIVORS
Our list of at least a dozen silent film performers that are happily still with us.

12 GREAT MOVIE SONGSElvis, The Beatles and The Supremes join our list of favorite movie themes of the 1960s.

WILHELM SCREAMWe trace the history of one of the most famous and beloved sound effects in movies.

LOST HORIZONA dud receives its due as we explore the elements that made this 1973 musical so preposterously memorable.

GREAT CLOSING LINES
One hundred films whose final words of dialogue make indelible lasting impressions.

25 GREAT SILENT MOVIE POSTERSOur selection of artwork from the early days of motion pictures that expertly illustrate the tone and tale of the films they represent.

RAVES AND RASPBERRIES We select some choice bits from reviews by the late Roger Ebert.

ERROL FLYNN GETS WHACKEDThe actor recalls an unforgettable moment with Bette Davis on the set of The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex.

CINEMATIC RIDESTen films where carnival attractions add to the plot and give their protagonists a cheap thrill.

REEFER TRILOGY
Three overwrought cautionary tales from the 1930s examine the perils of smoking marijuana in polite society.

20 DIRECTORS / 20 FILMSSome of the world’s best moviemakers from Hollywood’s Golden Era provide a behind-the-scenes look at their creations.

LOS ANGELES IN THE 1920SVintage clips offer a look at famous boulevards, studios, theaters, eateries and more.

BILLY WILDEROur favorite lines of dialogue from the Oscar-winning writer/director.

WOODY ALLENChoice lines of dialogue, from Take the Money and Run to Midnight in Paris.

KATHARINE HEPBURNTen authoritative moments when Kate's movie character speaks her mind.

UFA MOVIE POSTERSA look at the early one sheets from the longest standing film studio in Germany.

THE LANGUAGE OF NOIRWe celebrate tough talk from the best of Hollywood’s gritty crime dramas.

HELICOPTER OVER HOLLYWOOD

Aerial shots of Hollywood in 1958 includes Griffith Observatory, Grauman’s Chinese Theater and major studios.

AMERICAWe celebrate one of the most exuberant dance numbers committed to film, a thrilling showcase for freakishly talented folks with music in their bones.

HOLLYWOOD POSTCARDSTen vintage postcards revealing the glories of Southern California's movie mecca.

MAJOR FILMS, MINOR GAFFESTwenty-five mistakes in some of the greatest movies ever made.

GEORGE GERSHWINTen classic songs as seen on the silver screen.

GREAT ENDINGSA memorable tussle in Death Valley caps Erich von Stroheim’s broken classic.

10 GREAT POSTERSOur look at striking works of art that just happen to sell movie tickets.

MUST READMGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot provides a fascinating look at a lost treasure.

IN THE COOL, COOL, COOL OF THE EVENINGJane Wyman and Bing Crosby charm with the Oscar-winning song from Here Comes the Groom (1951).

PLUNDER ROADFilm noir at its best—and most economical. No backstory, a lean look and just 72 minutes long.

W.C. FIELDSTen of his most memorable character names.

OUTER SPACE HORROR
Aliens and mutants take center stage in twenty-five spectacular movie posters from the 1950s.

INGMAR BERGMAN
Our list of ten must-see films—ten artful depictions of the human condition—by one of the world’s most influential directors.

10 DIRECTORS / 10 FILMS 
Accomplished directors from the past 50 years talk about their triumphs and challenges in bringing a story to the big screen.

JACK CARSON
We single out five films that display the talent and range of the Warner Bros. character actor.

AL HIRSCHFELDWe select our ten favorite movie posters by the famed caricaturist.

BILLIE BURKE
Five films that best represent the fluttery voiced character actress’s charms.

DIAMOND SETTINGSWe take a look at five of our favorite baseball movies of the ‘40s and ‘50s.

BESTSELLERS

A dozen books that became publishing phenomena and, at times, well-made and popular films.


SCREEN TESTSAudition footage from Monroe, Dean, Brando and others.

MOVIE MOMENTS THAT MAKE LIFE WORTH LIVINGOur collection of ten little moments of breathtaking beauty, expert craftsmanship and happy accidents that rank as our favorites.

EDNA MAY OLIVER
A tribute to a character actress who’s made aunts and spinsters her specialty.

STARS ON STARS: 30 CANDID OPINIONSA collection of favorite quotes from movie folk discussing their peers.

CEDRIC GIBBONS
We take a good look at the work of MGM’s legendary art director.

JOHN QUALENFive of our favorite performances from the character actor’s lengthy career.

NOT STARRING DORIS DAY
We select three movie musicals we deeply wish the sunny singer/actress would have made.

MICKEY ROONEY’S BEST
Twelve examples of what made the late actor such an enduring movie star.

PUBLICITY PHOTOS
Ten artful, playful and downright silly shots from some of the most famous movies in existence.

JEFFREY HUNTERWe tip our hat to the underrated (and very pretty) actor best known for going toe-to-toe with John Wayne in The Searchers and hanging on the cross in Nicholas Ray’s King of Kings.

ELVIS PRESLEYFive essential films for the Elvis movie fan.

SPRING SPRING SPRING”
We take a closer look and listen at Johnny Mercer’s witty ditty about the coming of the season.

BILL GOLD’S MOVIE POSTERSOur salute to the legendary graphic artist, including 25 of his posters for some of the most famous movies ever made.

BEAUTIFUL MENFilm giants Cary Grant and his ilk will have to wait. Here we look at ten not-so-obvious choices—actors blessed with incredible good looks, if not legendary status.

BEAUTIFUL WOMENTen of the most physically stunning females to grace the silver screen.

FOOTBALLFive classic films where gridiron shenanigans drive the plot. 

THE 43 FACES OF JOHNNY DEPPWe review the wide variety of characters the actor has played, from early teenager roles to larger-than-life eccentrics.

FRED ASTAIREFive lively numbers from the peerless hoofer.

THE ROAD TO HELEN LAWSONJudy Garland, Susan Hayward and the bumpy road Valley of the Dolls producers experienced in casting an important role in a truly lousy film.

 AMERICAN LANDMARKS ON FILM From the Empire State Building to the Golden Gate Bridge, we take a look at ten famous sights that added drama to the movies.

THE GIRL HUNT BALLETWe revisit the stylish Fred Astaire dream ballet from The Band Wagon (1953).

IOWA FILMS & STARSTen contributions the Hawkeye State has made to motion picture history.

FOX THEATEROur fond look back at one of San Francisco’s grandest movie palaces.

AUTOBIOGRAPHIESTen great titles penned by industry legends.

THE BAND WAGONNanette Fabray recalls a glaring mistake in the 1953 classic musical.

TRIGGERWe celebrate the life and somewhat creepy afterlife of Roy Rogers's favorite mount.

CHARACTERS: AGNES GOOCHPeggy Cass's memorable turn as a plain Jane coaxed into living a little in Auntie Mame (1958).

DESIGNS ON FILMA handsome volume by author and designer Cathy Whitlock chronicles the history of Hollywood set design.

REBECCAFive screen tests for Hitchock’s 1940 classic, with comments by David O. Selznick.

CHARACTERS: BABY ROSALIEIn a daffy send-up of Shirley Temple, June Preisser plays an aging child star in MGM's let's-put-on-a-show musical, Babes in Arms (1939).

PRESTON STURGESSnippets of dialogue from six of the writer/director’s best films.

ANSELMO BALLESTEROur gallery of ten striking one sheets from the Italian poster artist.

GREAT MOVIESCelebrating the cool jazz short, Jammin’ the Blues (1944).

BETTY HUTTONTwelve films that exemplify the charms of this freakishly energetic performer.

JOSEPH L. MANKIEWICZSmart dialogue from the Oscar-winning screenwriter.

DESERT NOIROur report from this year’s Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs.

RED DREAM FACTORYWe profile eight films from a unique Russian-German film studio of the twenties and thirties.


Monday
Aug032015

August 3

Ida Lupino dies of a stroke in Los Angeles, 1995. She was a rare commodity of her time—a Hollywood actress who could also direct, helming eight feature films and numerous television episodes over the course of 29 years. Her experience behind the camera began when director Elmer Clifton fell ill during filming of Not Wanted (1949), starring Lupino with a script written by the actress and Paul Jarrico. It was enough to propel the England native to write, produce and direct her own films, among them the low-budget dramas Never Fear (1949), Outrage (1950), Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951), The Hitch-Hiker (1953) and The Bigamist (1953). “I'd love to see more women working as directors and producers,” remarked Lupino, today considered a pioneer in the field. “It's almost impossible to do it unless you are an actress or writer with power. I wouldn't hesitate right this minute to hire a talented woman if the subject matter were right.”

Sunday
Aug022015

August 2

Fritz Lang dies in Beverly Hills, 1976. The Austrian-born director first made his name in Europe with Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922), Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924) and Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild’s Revenge (1924), then managed to eek out two masterpieces—Metropolis (1927) and M (1931)—before emigrating to the United States in 1934. In Hollywood his output was less artistic but eminently watchable, with two of his more entertaining American films bearing striking similarities in tale, tone and talent. They were The Woman in the Window, which premiered in 1944, and Scarlet Street, released the following year. Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea headlined the movies, both of them atmospheric crime dramas involving a mild-mannered gentleman who is mixed up with a mysterious, seductive woman and eventually driven to murder. Robinson in particular was a favorite of the director. “Each part he plays,” said Lang, “he enriches with deep and warm understanding of human frailties and compels us to pity rather than condemnation, always adding vivid color to the intricate mosaic of motion picture reality.”

Wednesday
Jun242015

Charles Farrell

“Janet Gaynor and I were always receiving wedding-anniversary presents in the mail, care of the studio. The fans didn't even know what date our anniversary fell on, which is logical, since we were never married.”
— Charles Farrell on his frequent romantic leading lady. Farrell and Gaynor made 12 movies together, including silent films and musicals. They played themselves in the musical Happy Days (1929), one of the first 70mm widescreen motion pictures ever released.

Tuesday
Jun232015

June 23

Maureen O’Sullivan dies of a heart attack in Scottsdale, Arizona, 1998. She was a young woman of 18 when she compelled director Frank Borzage to cast her in Song o' My Heart (1930), which was being filmed in her native Ireland. After finishing the picture in Hollywood, O’Sullivan stayed in California to grace a handful of 20th Century Fox productions before MGM scooped her up in 1932. Producer Irving Thalberg chose her for one of her most famous and recurring roles—that of Jane Parker in a series of five Tarzan films costarring Johnny Weissmuller (“an amiable piece of beefcake”) and Cheetah (“that ape son of a bitch”). “There was a period when I got so sick of all they would ask me about Tarzan, as though I had done nothing else,” the actress recalled. “I changed my mind when my oldest son said to me he was very proud that I was Tarzan's mate.’

Monday
Jun222015

June 22

Judy Garland dies of a barbiturates overdose in London, 1969. In her later years, looking back at her breakthrough role in The Wizard of Oz (1939), she proved to be a terrific raconteur, sharing anecdotes that were likely embellished but most certainly entertaining. The most famous is perhaps her account of the trip down the Yellow Brick Road with the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion: “Whenever we'd do that little dance up the Yellow Brick Road, I was supposed to be with them—and they'd shut me out! They would close in, the three of them, and I would be in back of them, dancing. So director Victor Fleming—who was a darling man, always up on a boom—would say, 'Hold it! You three dirty hams. Let that little girl in there!” Regarding the diminutive actors playing the Munchkins, Garland said, “Some of the men used to tease me…[t]hey used to sneak under my dress. I told them if they ever went under there—and I found out about it—they were in big trouble.”