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 battleship potemkin (3)

Tuesday
Mar082016

25 Great Silent Movie Posters

Sometimes a wonderful thing happens once a film is in the can. The marketing department takes over and creates printed materials that, if you’re lucky, accurately reflect the style and content of the picture you’re about to see. And if you’re really lucky, the posters and one sheets of a particular movie transcend mere communication and stand on their own as works of art. Here are twenty-five movie posters from the silent era where message and mode combine to make something extraordinary.

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Thursday
Aug012013

50 Unforgettable Movie Images: Part One

In one stunning scene, Scarlett O’Hara leaves a makeshift hospital to cross an expanse littered with dozens, hundreds, then seemingly thousands of injured soldiers as a Confederate flag, tattered but still waving, comes into view. That bravura crane shot got us to thinking: What joins this Gone With the Wind tableau as the most powerful visuals to grace the silver screen? Our list of favorites begins during the silent era, when visuals were all we had, and continues through to the simple image of a lovelorn teenager holding a boombox over his head.

Here are ten early examples.

A rocket lodges in the right eye of the man on the moon in A Trip to the Moon (1902).
Georges Méliès 14-minute rumination on space travel and what six astronomers might find on the moon became one of the earliest science fiction films ever made.

A bandit looks into the camera and fires his gun in The Great Train Robbery (1903).
Director Edwin S. Porter broke new ground with this 12-minute western film, which features linear narration, a moving camera and location shooting. The scene of the robber shooting his weapon frightened audience members and was intended to be placed, at the theater owner's discretion, either before or after the main action of the movie. Most saved the famous shot for last.

Colonel Ben Cameron (Henry Walthall) plants a confederate flag in the barrel of a cannon in
The Birth of a Nation
(1915).
Director D. W. Griffith’s  groundbreaking—and brazenly racist—Civil War epic achieved a unique authenticity in terms of costumes: with the war just 50 years in the rearview mirror, many actual Confederate Army uniforms were still available for the actors to wear.

Anna (Lillian Gish) lies unconscious on an ice floe heading for a waterfall in Way Down East (1920).
The frigid climax of D. W. Griffith’s spurned-woman drama involved location shooting in White River Junction, Vermont, with Lillian Gish floating down a very real river on a very real ice floe in late winter. Conditions were so harsh that the Gish experienced lasting impairment of her right hand from its exposure to the icy water.

The Boy (Harold Lloyd) hangs from a clock on the side of a high-rise building in Safety Last! (1923).
A complicated series of misunderstandings leads to Lloyd’s character taking the famous climb up the side of a building as a marketing stunt for a department store. A fake wall was constructed on a rooftop to give the illusion of great height, though Lloyd was still at risk of great injury or death if he fell. Added to the challenge was a missing thumb and forefinger on Lloyd’s right hand, the result of an exploding prop bomb during a photo shoot four years earlier. A prosthetic glove concealed his digital deficiencies.

An out-of-control baby carriage careens down steps during a civilian massacre in Battleship Potemkin (1925).
One of the most famous montages in movies was a fictional addition to true story of a Russian naval mutiny and its aftermath. The added section, known as the Odessa Steps Sequence, was included by director Sergei Eisenstein presumably to underscore his disdain for the Imperial regime. With a pioneering use of editing techniques, Eisenstein made the brutal killing of townspeople by soldiers and Cossacks an emotionally powerful seven minutes that remains closely examined and endlessly discussed to this day.

Christine Daae (Mary Philbin) unmasks The Phantom (Lon Chaney) in The Phantom of the Opera (1925).
Cinematographer Charles Van Enger asserted that Mary Philbin did not know what Lon Chaney looked like under his mask, making genuine her shocked reaction at the unmasking. Chaney did his own makeup for the role, including gluing his ears back, using fish skin to upturn his nose, building up his cheeks with cotton and clouding his eyes with egg membrane.

A woman’s eye is sliced by a straight razor in Un Chien Andalou (1929).
Luis Buñuel 21-minute surrealist film was born from the director and his friend Salvador Dali telling each other of their recent dreams: a cloud slicing the moon in half “like a razor blade slicing through an eye” from Buñuel's subconscious and a hand crawling with ants from Dali's. With that, Un Chien Andalou was set in motion. The film’s most memorable scene was achieved in three cuts: a woman sitting calmly while a man approaches her eye with a razor, a cutaway to a cloud covering the moon and a close-up of the woman’s eye (in actuality, the eye of a dead calf) being sliced open. 

The land rush in Cimarron (1931).
Budding landowners descend upon the Oklahoma territory, which the U.S. government has just opened up for settlement, in an epic scene that involved 28 cameramen, 5,000 extras, a vast array of horse-drawn vehicles and a sprawling ranch outside of Los Angeles. The sequence took a week to film.

Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre) discovered he is a marked man in M (1931).
A beggar chalks the letter “M” on his hand and purposefully bumps into Beckert, a child killer on the loose, in an effort to identify and keep track of his movements while the community closes in on him. The film was originally called Mörder unter uns (Murderer Among Us), but, after filming the pursuit sequence, director Fritz Lang thought the shorter title to be more interesting.

Saturday
Aug202011

Ten Great Movie Posters

Here are some of our favorites—terrific one sheets that reflect vital elements of the movies they advertise, yet stand alone as works of art.

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