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 elvis presley (7)


12 Great Movie Songs of the 1960s

In the films of the sixties—musically speaking—Natalie Wood felt pretty, kitten whiskers made Julie Andrews feel good, Rex Harrison pondered the ability to speak rhinoceros and Shirley MacLaine was at times a brass band, a clarinet and a harpsichord. Outside the realm of show tunes, however, certain stand-alone movie themes reflected songwriters’ talent for capturing the spirit of the movies they were attached to.

Here are a dozen of our favorites―hit recordings from sixties films by the likes of The King, four lads from Liverpool, three gals from Detroit and a composer named Bacharach at the top of his game.

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January 8

Jose Ferrer is born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, 1912. He appeared onscreen in Moulin Rouge (1952), The Caine Mutiny (1954) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962), but was busiest on the Broadway stage, where he was an actor and director, sometimes for the same show. The early 1950s were particularly busy for Ferrer, who directed Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy in The Fourposter (1951-1953) and directed himself in Stalag 17 (1951-1952), The Shrike (1952) and a revival of Twentieth Century (1950-1951). Yet it was Cyrano de Bergerac, an 1897 play by Edmond Rostand, that gave Ferrer his signature role and his greatest success.

It was a part he played off and on over the course of 26 years, first on Broadway in 1946, then on television in 1949. In 1950, the big screen version of Cyrano de Bergerac hit theaters, with New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther opining, “Mr. Ferrer plays Cyrano in a style that is in the theatrical tradition of gesture and eloquence. He speaks the poetry of Rostand with richness and clarity such as only a few other actors have managed on the screen. He bears himself proudly and nobly. He duels with decisiveness. And he carries off the maudlin romanaics of the play with remarkable grace. For all who are soft to the enchantments of Cyrano and sentiment, he's their man.”

From there, Ferrer took Cyrano back to the stage in 1953, on television again in 1955, in a French film in 1964 and as part of an ABC Afterschool Special in 1974 (voice only). Besides job security, the part offered Ferrer recognition from his peers in the form of a Tony Award, and Oscar and an Emmy. He is so far the only performer to win all three for the same role.

Elvis Presley is born in Tupelo, Mississippi, 1935. The King appeared in two films set in The Aloha State—neither very good, but both were full of fun and included a few good numbers. Blue Hawaii (1961) came first, which sees our hero just released from the army and back on the beach, reunited with his buddies, his girlfriend and his surfboard. He's pressured to go into his father's business, but our boy has other plans. Along the way, he warbles “Rock-a-Hula Baby,”  “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and the title track. His second film set in the 50th state was Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), which involves Presley the helicopter pilot chasing girls and dreaming of starting his own charter jet service. Elvis’s renditions of “Stop Where You Are” and “Queen Wahine’s Papaya” enliven the soundtrack, which also includes an aim-for-the-fences performance of “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home” by 10-year-old Donna Butterworth, who retired from the movies after this picture.

Here’s a taste of both films.

“Rock-a-Hula Baby” by Elvis Presley, Blue Hawaii

“Datin’” by Elvis Presley and Donna Butterworth, Paradise, Hawaiian Style


Melodies of Spring

Winter after winter, it seems, Mother Nature proves the theory that snowfalls are lovely at first, but their charm and allure ends months before the stuff actually melts. After the winter that just was, I suspect most of the United States feels that way times ten. Though snow still blankets American soil here and there, winter is officially dead. To honor the change of season—from eight separate movies—we offer these eight tuneful harbingers of warmer days.

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Elvis and Andy

A publicity still from the Elvis Presley movie Flaming Star (1960) was adapted by artist Andy Warhol into 22 silkscreen portraits, one of which, Double Elvis [Ferus Type], goes on the auction block this week at Sotheby’s. The print, originally displayed at Los Angeles’s Ferris Gallery in 1963, is expected to sell for anywhere between $30 million and $50 million.

Here’s a brief look at other iconic film figures that captured Warhol’s attention over the years.

Marilyn Diptych, 1962, based on a publicity still from Monroe's film Niagra (1953).

Liz #5, 1963, was one of 13 paintings the artist made of Elizabeth Taylor. It fetched $27 million shortly after the actress's death in 2011.

Judy Garland, 1979.

Mickey Mouse, 1981.


November 26

Tommy Dorsey dies of asphyxiation in Greenwich, Connecticut, 1956. The swing-era bandleader and trombonist performed alongside Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in the “I Got Rhythm” finale of Girl Crazy (1943), one of just four films in which he appeared. Dorsey began his musical career in 1930 with his brother Jimmy and, after an argument over the tempo of one of their numbers, quit the duo and struck out on his own. For the next two decades, Dorsey cultivated a successful career in nightclubs and on television. In 1953, he and Jimmy reconciled to cohost Stage Show, which introduced TV audiences to Elvis Presley.