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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

ELVIS PRESLEYFive essential films for the Elvis movie fan.

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.

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

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.

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

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).

OSCARS RECAP
Twelve observations about the event that was, from a diva’s pipes to how Ellen mastered the ceremonies.

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.

BESTSELLERS

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


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

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

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


Monday
Oct202014

Harry Belafonte

An Evening with Belafonte was released in 1957 and earned the performer his third gold record.

I was good as a singer, but I wasn't the best, and I'd known that from the start. I had to rely on my acting. And in the end I could make a case that I was the greatest actor in the world: I'd convinced everyone I could sing.’ 
— Harry Belafonte

Saturday
Oct182014

Nighthawks

Dennis Hopper, Nick Adams and Natalie Wood pay a visit to Cooper Do-Nuts, an all-night hangout located in downtown Los Angeles, 1956. Three years later, a full decade before the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, it was the scene of a clash between its patrons—often a diverse array of drag queens and hustlers—and the Los Angeles Police Department—who made a habit of raiding gay establishments throughout the fifties and sixties.

In May of 1959, with laws against cross-dressing on the books, the police entered Cooper Do-Nuts to arrest anyone whose gender on their identification did not match their appearance. Arrests were made and patrons fought back, throwing doughnuts, cups and plates at the officers, who retreated and came back with a bigger army. The skirmish grew into a riot that closed down the street for a day. It was one of the first LGBT uprisings in American history.

Thursday
Oct092014

George Lucas on American Graffiti (1973)

Today so much television is done the way American Graffiti was done in terms of intercutting, with completely separate stories going on simultaneously. [A] major problem I had to overcome at the studio was resistance to my idea of using existing music and have it run all the way through the film—to have a hundred-minute movie with a hundred minutes of music. It was going to cost a lot to get the rights to all those songs. I had structured each scene around a specific piece of music. It was my concept from the start, even though everyone thought it was a crazy idea. In the end, of course, it worked out well, and today every other film does the same thing. Of course after the film was a hit, things became easier for me. I went from being a starving filmmaker to incredibly successful in a period of only a couple of years.

I think American Graffiti is ultimately about change, and resistance to change. Characters are put in situations where they have to make decisions about their lives. These are characters who are fearful of leaving town, of getting out of their cells, even though the door is wide open, because it means they have to experience something new. In this respect the film is thematically similar to THX [1138] and to a short I made at USC called Freiheit. It’s also at the heart of Star Wars. When a major change needs to be made in life, when you need to leave a safe environment, the question becomes: are we brave enough to venture into the unknown? The major conflict in the film is whether Curt will leave town or stay. Will he go out into the big world and leave his cell? It’s not about freedom in the political sense, though obviously I believe in that. It’s about being free enough to escape the cage and shackles of your own mind. It’s about going beyond the idea of being in a physical prison to the next, more important step, which is one I’m confronted with all the time when I meet people. It’s something I was fortunate enough to break away from when I was eighteen or nineteen. It’s about stepping out of your own mind and keeping your brain open to new ideas and thoughts, and not just jumping to conclusions like “That’s not possible” and “I can’t do that.”

Excerpt from The Great Moviemakers: The Next Generation, compiled and edited by George Stevens, Jr. 

Tuesday
Oct072014

Dual Yul

Yul Brynner steps out of his Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster to attend the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, which became the top grossing film of 1956. Another of Brynner’s releases that year, The King and I, would end up in fifth place on that list of top moneymakers and earn the actor the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Tuesday
Oct072014

David Niven

David Niven is flanked by Cary Grant and Loretta Young in a scene from The Bishop’s Wife (1947).

“This isn't work. It's fun. The whole thing is fun. I hear actors say, ‘I have to go to work tomorrow.’ Nonsense. Work is eight hours in a coalmine or a government office. Getting up in the morning and putting on a funny mustache and dressing up and showing off in front of the grown-ups—that's play, and for which we're beautifully overpaid. I've always felt that way. After all, how many people in the world are doing things that they like to do?”
— David Niven on acting