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.


Entries in auntie mame (3)

Thursday
Mar192015

March 19

Fred Clark is born in Lincoln, California, 1914. His characters were often gruff, commanding and, like the actor himself, bald. In 1947 he appeared in his first movie, The Unsuspected, and continued to grace the big screen in small parts until I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew, his final film in 1968. In between were a handful of major films with big stars, among them:

White Heat (1949)
Clark plays money launderer Daniel “The Trader” Winston opposite James Cagney in director Raoul Walsh’s classic crime drama.

Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) tries to get Paramount film executive Sheldrake (Clark) to approve his script for production. “You’d have turned down Gone With the Wind,” Gillis tersely remarks to script girl Betty Schaefer (Nancy Olson), who recommended against Sheldrake making the film. “No,” says Sheldrake. “That was me.”

A Place in the Sun (1951)
Clark plays a defense attorney named Bellows in George Stevens’s acclaimed drama starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Shelley Winters.

How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Clark’s businessman Waldo Brewster attempts to cheat on his wife by whisking Betty Grable away for a weekend in a winter lodge, where she promptly catches measles, passes it along to Brewster and falls hard for forest ranger Rory Calhoun.

Auntie Mame (1958)
“I have the responsibility and your trustee has the authority,” laments Mame Dennis (Rosalind Russell) in a neat distillation of the film’s plot—the struggle for Mame to raise her newly orphaned nephew Patrick (Jan Handzlik) in her own free-thinking manner. Clark plays Dwight Babcock, the stern trustee appointed by the Knickerbocker Bank who makes it his mission to “turn this kid into a decent God-fearing Christian if I have to break every bone in his body!”

Clark died suddenly of a liver ailment in 1968. He was 54 years old.

Ursula Andress is born in Bern, Switzerland, 1936. No actress she, Andress was at least able to move her arms and legs and looked darned good doing it. She was primarily a sexy side dish, bringing a dull vivaciousness to 4 for Texas (1963), What’s New Pussycat? (1965) and Casino Royale (1967). Most notably, she emerged from the sea in a bikini in Dr. No (1962), the first James Bond movie to hit the silver screen, playing Honey Ryder opposite Sean Connery’s double agent. Cinema’s first Bond girl also had a long history of famous beaus, Jean Paul Belmondo, Ryan O’Neal, Marlon Brando and Warren Beatty among them. James Dean was another notch on her belt; the volatile nature of their relationship inspired one tabloid to report that Dean was learning German so they could argue in another language.

Sunday
Apr152012

TCM Classic Film Festival: Day Three

Work, exhaustion and lousy weather kept me away from Day Two of the Turner Classic Movies festival taking place in Hollywood this weekend. Today, however, I was able to indulge in my favorite pastime and ended up with four movies under my belt. Here a brief rundown of what I saw.

Bonjour Tristesse (1958)
Jean Seberg is not a technically complex actress, but she has a contemporary style, an ease in front of the camera and a beauty, breathtaking and simple, that draws me in. Such qualities are burning at full incandescence in Bonjour Tristesse, only her second outing on the big screen and her second with director Otto Preminger. Seberg plays David Niven’s free-spirit daughter having to deal with his impending marriage to a rather rigid and oppressive Deborah Kerr. With wardrobe by Givenchy, everyone looks terrific. But Seberg is especially fetching in the famed couturier’s timeless creations.

The Black Cat (1934)
The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy interviewed Bela Lugosi, Jr. and Sara Karloff, the affable and well-spoken offspring of Black Cat stars Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. The stylish horror film also stars David Manners, Jacqueline Wells and Charles D. Hall’s striking art deco interiors—a nice change from the gothic manse horror protagonists typically encounter on a dark and stormy night.

Auntie Mame (1958)
I’ve seen Auntie Mame in a theater countless times and have the DVD committed to memory, so this was a rather uninspired choice for me. I thought about going to Kim Novak’s hand- and footprint ceremony in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese instead, but doubted my ability to get a good vantage point. So it was off to the Egyptian to hear the smart, funny and intensely likeable Todd Oldham introduce the Morton DaCosta picture. The audience was enthusiastic and knowing—one could almost feel them anticipate their favorite lines.

Girl Shy (1924)
Inside the Egyptian Theater, a sharp-looking print of Girl Shy was introduced by Leonard Maltin and Harold Lloyd’s granddaughter Suzanne and was accompanied by the great Robert Israel Orchestra. Outside the theater, a gentleman handed me a flyer indicating the perilous state of Harold Lloyd’s birthplace in Burchard, Nebraska. A Harold Lloyd Blogathon is scheduled for August 6-10 with a Harold Lloyd Celebration to follow on September 15. You can learn more at fb.com/savetheharoldlloydbirthplace or by emailing Trevor, tpjost@hotmail.com.

Wednesday
Aug172011

Agnes Gooch

Though she doesn't show up until the last half of the movie, Peggy Cass's Agnes Gooch nearly steals Auntie Mame (1958)—no mean feat for a film with Rosalind Russell at its center. Gooch is one of those great theatrical staples: the plain Jane who undergoes a reluctant transformation and comes out better for it. As secretary to the recently widowed Mame Dennis Burnside (Russell), Agnes is the picture of drab accountability, a fast and accurate scribe living vicariously through her boss, pining for Mame's lazy, temperamental ghost writer and belting back a Dr. Pepper or two before neatly washing out the glass. Compelled by Mame to kick off her orthopedic oxfords and "live, live live!," Gooch gussies up and let's loose, and even becomes a bride and mother in the process. It's a supporting performance, but a meaty one played with superb comic timing by Cass, who originated the role on Broadway and received a Tony Award for her efforts. The Academy followed suit, with an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.