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 dick powell (4)


Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival 2014: Out of the Past (1947)

The Story of G.I. Joe (1945) made audiences notice actor Robert Mitchum, Crossfire (1947) made him a star and Out of the Past (1947) cemented it. In Out of the Past, Mitchum plays Jeff Bailey, a gas station owner with a former life that menacingly resurfaces. It was a part Humphrey Bogart, John Garfield and Dick Powell all turned down. Flashbacks within flashbacks reveal racketeer Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) on the hunt for his mistress Kathy Moffat (Jane Greer), who took off with $40,000 of his money. Sterling hires Bailey to track her down and get the dough, but not to fall in love with her, which is exactly what he does. Sterling eventually tries to frame Bailey, resulting in a lakeside standoff unique for its imaginative use of a fishing pole to kill a bad guy.


Berlinale 2013: A Midsummer Night's Dream

I always thought Mickey Rooney made a terrific Puck, but now I’m not so certain. He’s appropriately spirited, to be sure—a 60-pound bundle of energy. But it’s an overly aggressive performance, played to the distant back row of a very large theater. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful film, with sets and cinematography by Anton Grot and Hal Mohr, respectively. And it’s full of star power—Olivia de Havilland in one of her first movies, Dick Powell as Lysander, James Cagney as Bottom and a wonderful Joe E. Brown as Flute, the Bellows-mender.


"Hit the Road to Dreamland"

The Golden Gate Quartet, one of the preeminent American gospel singing groups of the 1930s and 1940s, got its start in 1934 in Norfolk, Virginia, and soon found success in clubs, on radio and on record. Onscreen, they were the highlight of many a mediocre movie, providing classy moments in Hit Parade of 1943 (1943), Hollywood Canteen (1944) and A Song is Born (1948).

The group’s earliest film appearance was in Star Spangled Rhythm (1942), one of those uneven, all-star galas designed to promote a studio’s roster of stars and pep up war-weary Americans at home and abroad. In that picture’s two hours and five minutes of hits and misses, a sublime musical moment emerges. The song is “Hit the Road to Dreamland,” written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, and it begins in a rather perfunctory way: Dick Powell and Mary Martin in a train’s dining car getting ready to call it a night, but not quickly enough for the dining car’s staff, played by the quartet. About halfway through the number, the group takes over with their own interpretation of the song—and sends it soaring.


December 6

Agnes Moorehead is born in Clinton, Massachusetts, 1900. She didn’t exactly start small, playing the mother of Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane (1941), her first film. She went on to deliver crack supporting performances in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), Mrs. Parkington (1944), Johnny Belinda (1948) and Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)—all of which earned her Oscar nods. She never won, remarking “I guess I’ll remain a bridesmaid for the rest of my life.”

Those were the high points of her career. The nadir came in 1956 with a film that not only stank, but likely devastated her health. The picture was The Conqueror, the notorius dud directed by Dick Powell and starring Moorhead, Susan Hayward and, as Genghis Kahn, John Wayne. The movie’s exteriors were shot in 1954 near St. George, Utah, some 137 miles downwind of the U.S. government's nuclear test site in Nevada. The filmmakers knew of the above-ground nuclear tests, conducted in 1953, but were assured that they posed no public health hazard. Further exposure to nuclear fallout occured back in Hollywood, to where 60 tons of Utah dirt were shipped to ensure continuity between location and studio shots. By 1980, 91 members of The Conqueror’s 220-person cast and crew had developed cancer. Forty-six of them—including Wayne, Hayward, Powell and Moorehead—had died of the disease.

Here's a brief clip of the ill-fated film.