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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.


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.

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

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

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

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

We select three movie musicals we deeply wish the sunny singer/actress would have made.

Twelve examples of what made the late actor such an enduring movie star.

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.

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.

Entries in a letter to three wives (4)


Oscars 1949: Kirk's Knockout Punch

Though he lost the Oscar to Broderick Crawford, 1949 was a very good year for Kirk Douglas, who broke out of the supporting roles he had played since his movie debut, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), and became a star. The part was Midge Kelly, a troubled, ambitious boxer; the movie was Champion, based on a Ring Lardner story. Critics cheered, audiences raved, and Warner Bros. signed Douglas to a rich contract. He has been a star ever since. Said the actor at the time, “Everybody thinks now I’m sexy and tough all of a sudden—even my agent’s nicer to me.”

All the King’s Men

Joseph L. Mankiewicz, A Letter to Three Wives

Broderick Crawford, All the King’s Men

Olivia de Havilland, The Heiress

Dean Jagger, 12 O’Clock High

Mercedes McCambridge, All the King’s Men


May 25

Jeanne Crain is born in Barstow, California, 1925. The year 1949 was a banner one for the actress, appearing in The Fan, Pinky and—her best movie—A Letter to Three Wives. Though never one of Hollywood’s great actresses, she nonetheless acquitted herself well in Pinky, portraying a black woman passing for white.  For the Elia Kazan-directed drama, Crain earned her only Oscar nomination. She got her start in movies when she won the title of Miss Camera Girl of 1942 in Florida and was signed by Fox. A small role in The Gang’s All Here (1943) led to 22 more films for the studio, mostly as the girl-next-door type. Her last film under contract with them was Vicki (1953). “I loved being at the studio,” said the actress, who left Fox in 1953 after filming Vicki. “After all, I started at 15, and I grew up there. But there comes a time when an actress stays too long in the same place. People get used to having you around, and they can't think of you in a different light.” In the years that followed, she made a handful of films at Warner Bros. and Universal. Crain made her final film—Skyjacked—in 1972.


September 11

Paul Douglas dies of a heart attack in Hollywood, 1959. The gruff, bearish actor hit it big in 1949 with It Happens Every Spring and A Letter to Three Wives and followed it up the next year with The Big Lift and Panic in the Streets. He bowed out of playing Harry Brock in the film version of Born Yesterday (1950)—a character he performed more than 1,000 times on Broadway—when he discovered the part had been considerably reduced for the screen. The coming decade saw Douglas in the films Angels in the Outfield (1951), Executive Suite (1954), The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956) and The Mating Game (1959).

The part of Jeff Sheldrake in Billy Wilder’s The Apartment (1960) was intended for Douglas, who died before shooting began. “I saw [Douglas] and his wife, Jan Sterling, at a restaurant,” Wilder recalled, “and I realized he was perfect, and I asked him right there in the parking lot. About two days before we were to start, he had a heart attack and died. [Co-writer I.A.L. Diamond] and I were shattered.”


Joseph L. Mankiewicz

His scripts were distinguished by wit, intelligence and no small amount of sarcasm. In the early 1950s, the Academy rewarded two of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s efforts—A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950)—with Oscars for writing (as well as directing). Here are 25 bits of smart Mankiewicz dialogue we wish we had written.

Birdie (Thelma Ritter): What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin’ at her rear end.
All About Eve (1950)

Eleanor (Rosalind Russell): You worry more about something to worry about than you worry about an actual worry.
Mary Clay (Joan Crawford): Can you say that again?
Forsaking All Others (1934)

Harry Dawes (Humphrey Bogart): Life, every now and then, behaves as though it had seen too many bad movies, when everything fits too well—the beginning, the middle, the end—from fade-in to fade-out.
The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter): Get out.
Addison DeWitt (George Sanders): You’re too short for that gesture.
All About Eve (1950)

Deborah Bishop (Jeanne Crain): Knowing Addie, I mean, why let her spoil our day?
Rita Phipps (Ann Southern): Not my day. Addie Ross never saw the day she could spoil my day. Did I put enough “days” into that?
A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison): (after the execution of Pothinus) Return Apollodorus’s dagger to him, but clean it first. It has Pothinus all over it.
Cleopatra (1963)

Miss Caswell (Marilyn Monroe): Tell me this, do they have auditions for television?
Addison DeWitt (George Sanders): That’s, uh, all television is, my dear, nothing but auditions.
All About Eve (1950)

Eleanor (Rosalind Russell): I wish a man would marry me so I could wear a decent hat.
Shempy (Charles Butterworth): That’s the best reason for getting married I ever heard.
Forsaking All Others (1934)

Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner): In Hollywood, it is not easy to become a star.
Harry Dawes (Humphrey Bogart): Ah, where is it easy?
The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

Mrs. Manleigh (Florence Bates): Sadie may not realize it, but whether or not she thinks she’s listening, she’s being penetrated.
George Phipps (Kirk Douglas): Good thing she didn’t hear you say that.
A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Dolores (Marjorie White): Sing to me!
Willy Nilly (Bert Wheeler): How about “One Hour With You?”
Dolores: Sure! But first—sing to me!
Diplomaniacs (1933)

Margo Channing (Bette Davis): Birdie, you don’t like Eve, do you?
Birdie (Thelma Ritter): You looking for an answer or an argument?
Margo Channing: An answer.
Birdie: No.
Margo Channing: Why not?
Birdie: Now you want an argument.
All About Eve (1950)

George Phipps (Kirk Douglas): The purpose of radio writing, as far as I can see, is to prove to the masses that a deodorant can bring happiness, a mouthwash guarantees success and a laxative attracts romance.
A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Eleanor (Rosalind Russell): Oh, I want to go to the bachelor dinner.
Shempy (Charles Butterworth): Can you do a fan dance?
Eleanor: I invented the fan dance.
Shempy: I saw one with electric fans once. It was awful.
Forsaking All Others (1934)

Addison DeWitt (George Sanders): Margo Channing is a star of the theater. She made her first stage appearance at the age of four in Midsummer Night's Dream. She played a fairy and entered, quite unexpectedly, stark naked. She has been a star ever since.
All About Eve (1950)

Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor): And I find what you’re wearing most becoming. Greek, isn’t it?
Antony (Richard Burton): I have a fondness for almost all Greek things.
Cleopatra: As an almost all-Greek thing, I’m flattered.
Cleopatra (1963)

Jim Wade (William Powell): You know, I think those yes men would go to bed with me if they had a chance.
Eleanor Packer (Myrna Loy): Don’t worry, darling. They won’t have a chance.
Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Margo Channing (Bette Davis): Bill’s thirty-two. He looks thirty-two. He looked it five years ago, he’ll look it twenty years from now. I hate men.
All About Eve (1950)

Chow-Chow (Hugh Herbert): I wish I were in China by my wife. Who I hate.
Diplomaniacs (1933)

Rita Phipps (Ann Southern): People in show business, you know what I mean, those kind of people always drink scotch.
George Phipps (Kirk Douglas): Well, I know what you mean, but I wish you wouldn’t say it in radio English. “That kind,” not “those kind.”
Rita Phipps: There are men who say “those kind” who earn $100,000 dollars a year.
George Phipps: There are men who say "stick 'em up" who earn more. I don't expect to do either.
A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Margo Channing (Bette Davis): Fasten your seatbelts—it’s going to be a bumpy night.
All About Eve (1950)

Jim Wade (William Powell): I was born at home , because I wanted to be near mother at the time.
Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Bill Sampson (Gary Merrill): Outside of a beehive, Margo, your behavior would not be considered either queenly or motherly.
Margo Channing (Bette Davis): You are in a beehive, pal. Didn’t you know? We are all busy little bees, full of stings, making honey day and night. Aren’t we, honey?
All About Eve (1950)

Kirk Edwards (Warren Stevens): You’ve never done an honest day’s work in your life!
Alberto Bravano (Marius Goring): I have never done a day’s work in my life, honest or dishonest, but neither have you. To make $100 into $110, this is work. To make $100 million into $110 million, this is inevitable.
The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

Sadie (Thelma Ritter): The cap’s out. Makes me look like a lamb chop with pants on.
A Letter to Three Wives (1949)