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 alfred hitchcock (15)


January 19

House of Wax begins filming, 1953. The Vincent Price horror movie would be the first major studio release in 3D and was suggested to Warner Bros. by Andre de Toth, a director with only one eye. The picture, a remake of the 1933 Michael Curtiz film Mystery of the Wax Museum, proved to be a model of efficiency. Though de Toth’s budget was $1,250,000, the movie cost only $618,000 to make and was in the can after less than five weeks of shooting. Even post-production was straightforward and quick—the film was released on April 9, 1953, just 47 days after the final day of filming.

Tippi Hedren is born in New Ulm, Minnesota, 1930. “To be the object of somebody's obsession is a really awful feeling when you can't return it,” the actress once said about Alfred Hitchcock, who cast her in The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964). It all started with a simple commercial for a diet drink that the director saw on The Today Show in 1962. In the ad—and, as an inside joke, the opening sequence of The Birds—Hedren is seen walking down the street, acknowledging a man’s whistle with a smile. After the film wrapped, the future animal rights activist asked Hitchcock if she could keep the fur coat she wore in the film. He acquiesced, charging the production company for it.


January 18

Cary Grant is born in Horfield, Bristol, England, 1904. “I've worked with [Ingrid] Bergman. I've worked with [Katharine] Hepburn. I've worked with some of the biggest stars,” Grant once remarked, “but Grace Kelly was the best actress I've ever worked with in my life. That woman was total relaxation, absolute ease—she was totally there.” If their one movie together, Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief (1955), was not one of the director’s greatest works, the film was nevertheless a class act, buoyed by locations shots of the French Riviera and the cool chemistry between the two leads. Grant was 50 years old when he made the film (his character was 35 on paper) and Kelly was only 24, but any concerns the studio had over their age difference fell away when audiences responded enthusiastically their romantic shenanigans. “She was an extraordinarily serene girl,” Grant said of Kelly. “Both she and Hitchcock were Jesuit-trained. Maybe that had something to do with it.”

The Harvey Girls opens in theaters throughout the United States, 1946. The MGM film about entrepreneur Fred Harvey’s chain of restaurants and lodges was first conceived as a drama with Clark Gable and Lana Turner. With Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! all the rage on Broadway, producer Arthur Freed decided to make The Harvey Girls into a musical with Gable and Judy Garland heading the cast. John Hodiak took over to perform opposite Garland when Gable was channeled by the studio into the drama Adventure (1945). The Harvey Girls enjoyed great box office and good reviews, but the lion’s share of praise was heaped upon its musical centerpiece, the long, elaborate production number “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.” With music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Johnny Mercer, the catchy tune became a big hit in the six months prior to the release of The Harvey Girls, enjoying a 16-week run on the Billboard singles chart and reaching number one for seven of those weeks. Its staggering popularity spread, as three other successful versions of the song hit the airwaves during the same period. The cherry on top came on March 13, 1947: “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” took home the Academy Award for Best Song.


South by Southeast

Julie Andrews, in her fourth starring role, takes direction from Alfred Hitchcock for the Cold War thriller Torn Curtain, 1965. In the 1966 release, Sarah (Andrews) suspects her fiancé Michael (Paul Newman) of cloak-and-dagger doings and follows him from Copenhagen to East Berlin, where a quest for a secret formula puts both their lives in danger. Though the film was one of Universal’s highest grossing for the year, Hitchcock was not happy with it, its top stars being two of the reasons why. His first choice, Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint, fell through because of their ages, with the studio deeming Saint too old and Grant considering himself a little long in the tooth. The director was also none too keen about spending $750,000 each for Andrews and Newman’s services. And, in the end, Hitchcock simply did not care much for Newman’s performance.


February 21

Rope completes filming at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, 1948. The plot was a loose retelling of the Leopold and Loeb murder case, wherein two college students murdered a third as an intellectual exercise. In Alfred Hitchcock’s film, the two killers are roommates Brandon Shaw (John Dall) and Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger), who strangle their friend and host a dinner party while the victim’s body lies in a trunk in the center of the living room. For Hitchcock’s first color film—and his first of four collaborations with leading man James Stewart—the director opted to present the story in one continuous take. (A handful of conventional edits make this endeavor less than fully realized.)

The affect was achieved by a series of scenes roughly ten minutes in length, or about the amount of film in one reel. At the end of a reel, the camera’s gaze would land on a dark object, like the back of someone’s suit jacket, and a new reel would begin where the previous one left off. Stress reigned both on screen and off, as actors fretted about flubbing their lines at the nine-minute mark and crewmembers had to work quickly and dexterously when repositioning movable walls to allow for fluid camera movement. It didn’t always go well, especially when a cameraman broke his foot after a dolly ran over it. He was swiftly gagged and hurried off the set to ensure his piercing screams would not ruin the take.


August 5

Dial M for Murder begins filming, 1953. It says a lot about director Alfred Hitchcock’s body of work when a solid, satisfying thriller like Dial M for Murder is considered one of his lesser movies. Going nowhere near the psychological heights of Vertigo (1958), it nevertheless avoided the dull depths of Jamaica Inn (1939) and proved to be a popular, enduring effort. The tale—retired tennis pro Ray Milland schemes to bump off wealthy wife Grace Kelly— was shot in 3-D at a time when the fad was fading, prompting Hitchcock to later remark about the process, “It's a nine-day wonder, and I came in on the ninth day.” A limited number of screenings showed it in 3-D upon its initial release, though most theaters screened it flat.

The movie pivots on the scene in which Kelly, alone at home one night, is attacked by the killer while answering the phone. The script called for Kelly to get out of bed when the phone rang, put on her robe and go answer it. The actress balked at this, suggesting to Hitchcock that no woman, especially one that was alone in her home, would put on a robe to go and answer the phone. The director agreed, and the actress performed the scene wearing only a nightgown. It would be the first of many costume decisions Hitchcock allowed Kelly to make for their later film collaborations. An added challenge came with the shot of the scissors that Kelly grabs and plunges into the killer’s back. "This is nicely done,” the director said about the first few takes, “but there wasn't enough gleam to the scissors, and a murder without gleaming scissors is like asparagus without the hollandaise sauce—tasteless."

New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther, reflecting the sensibilities of 1950s film audiences, called the scene “an ugly, gory encounter, one of the toughest Mr. H has ever staged.”