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 diplomaniacs (1)

Monday
Aug222011

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)