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 errol flynn (6)


January 2

Annie and A Soldier’s Play close on Broadway, 1983. The former was adapted twice for the big screen, first in 1982 in a John Huston-directed misfire partially redeemed by Carol Burnett’s villainous Miss Hannigan, and again in 2014 in a present-day reimagining with Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis. The big-screen version of A Soldier’s Play became A Soldier's Story, an acclaimed 1984 film starring Howard E. Rollins, Adolph Caesar and Denzel Washington. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Ross Alexander commits suicide in Los Angeles, 1937. As a teen, he appeared in a number of Broadway productions before interest from Hollywood pulled him westward. Paramount handled him first, putting him in The Wiser Sex (1932), a film that audiences largely ignored. He got a second chance at Warner Bros. and acted in Depression-era musicals like Flirtation Walk (1934) and flimsy comedies like Going Highbrow (1935). Bigger breaks came with the roles of Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935) and Jeremy Pitt, opposite Errol Flynn (above), in Captain Blood (1935). A closeted gay man, Alexander entered a marriage of convenience to Aleta Friele, a troubled young actress who, a few months after the wedding, killed herself with a rifle in outside their Hollywood Hills home. The actor immediately entered a second marriage with actress Anne Nagel, but persistent depression, major debt and a career slump drove him to turn a gun on himself at his Encino ranch home. Alexander was 29 years old. His final film—Ready, Willing and Able (1937), starring Ruby Keeler—was released after his death.


He Who Gets Slapped: Errol Flynn Stars with a Striking Bette Davis

“He was just beautiful, Errol,” Bette Davis once remarked about Errol Flynn, her costar in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939). “He himself openly said, ‘I don't know really anything about acting,’ and I admire his honesty, because he's absolutely right.”

Maxwell Anderson’s play Elizabeth the Queen opened on Broadway on November 3, 1930 with Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt acting out the tempestuous relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex. Warner Bros. secured the movie rights to the costume drama and signed two of the studios top draws—Davis and Flynn—to play the leads.

Flynn wanted his character to be part of the title and suggested calling the picture something other than Elizabeth the Queen. Warner Bros. first came up with The Knight and the Lady, which Davis didn’t cotton to, then Elizabeth and Essex, which was a copyrighted book title and therefore jettisoned. And so, in the spirit of The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) and The Private Life of Don Juan (1934), the film became The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex.

Photography began in June of 1939 and, true to many a Bette Davis film set, there was discord in the air, first between the strong-willed actress and director Michael Curtiz, then between Davis and Flynn, for whom she had little regard. She perceived the actor as having a limited range, a too-casual work ethic and, worst of all, he wasn’t Laurence Olivier, her personal choice for the role.

In his autobiography My Wicked, Wicked Ways, Flynn recounts in detail how a famous scene unfolded:

Click to read more ...


May 17

Dennis Hopper is born in Dodge City, Kansas, 1936. He emerged on the silver screen in 1954 in Johnny Guitar and soon thereafter made a number of films that became classics: Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Giant (1956) and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957). Hopper, never a shrinking violet, had this to say about his early days in Hollywood: “In the ‘50s, when me and Natalie Wood and James Dean and Nick Adams and Tony Perkins suddenly arrived…God, it was a whole group of us that sort of felt like that earlier group—the John Barrymores, Errol Flynns, Sinatras, Clifts—were a little farther out than we were. So we tried to emulate that lifestyle. For instance, once Natalie and I decided we'd have an orgy. And Natalie says, "Okay, but we have to have a champagne bath." So we filled the bathtub full of champagne. Natalie takes off her clothes, sits down in the champagne, and starts screaming. We take her to the emergency hospital. That was our orgy, you understand?”


March 21

Lili Damita dies of Alzheimer’s disease in Palm Beach, Florida, 1994. The French actress came to Hollywood at the dawn of sound at the request of producer Samuel Goldwyn; she soon appeared in The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1929), The Cock-Eyed World (1929), Fighting Caravans (1931) and This is the Night (1932). But her films were not as newsworthy as her relationship with a young newcomer named Errol Flynn. “What began as an affair went far beyond that,” Flynn recounted in his autobiography, My Wicked, Wicked Ways. “We decided it would be a good idea to take a house…Thereafter Lili showed me a great deal of the surroundings. We went everywhere, to Palm Springs, to San Diego, to San Francisco. She showed me plenty…With Lili I naturally met many of the screen notables I might not have met at this time. I also saw many of the Hollywood beauties. The sight of them stirred me to frenzies of interest and Lili to furies of jealousy.” Though the two were married in June of 1935, Flynn was anything but tamed, in spite of Damita’s wishes. “Lili had an overpowering possessiveness, like a blanket or an oxygen tent,” the actor said. “I had to be mighty careful not to be caught with any lipstick that wasn’t her shade.” Flynn and Damita divorced in April of 1942. They had one child—Sean Flynn—who became a photojournalist and went missing in Cambodia in April 1970.


September 9

Producer Jack L. Warner (above, flanked by Fay Bainter and Bette Davis) kicks the bucket in Los Angeles, 1978. With brother Harry, Albert and Sam, he founded Warner Bros., built a heady stable of stars—Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Errol Flynn and Edward G. Robinson, to name five—and produced a vast number of social dramas that characterized the studio’s output. 

A staunch Republican since the Red Scare, Warner campaigned for Richard Nixon when he ran against John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential race, with an ad entitled “Why Nixon Should Be President” bought by Warner running in major newspapers at the time. Years later, with Nixon finally ensconced in the White House, Warner screened the musical 1776 (1972) for the commander in chief. The song “Cool, Cool Considerate Men” was cut from the movie as a result, as Nixon felt it could be used against his party for that year’s upcoming election.