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 fredric march (6)


January 7

David O. Selznick writes a letter to Greta Garbo criticizing her decision to make Anna Karenina, 1935. At this point in her career, the actress could refuse to make any movie if the script was not to her liking, as was the case with the film Selznick wanted her to make instead—Dark Victory, written by Casey Robinson and slated to be directed by George Cukor, Garbo’s future director for Camille (1936) and Two-Faced Woman (1941). To bolster his argument, Selznick cited the lukewarm box office returns of two of Garbo’s recent features, Queen Christina (1933) and The Painted Veil (1934), along with a reluctance from proposed costar Fredric March to do any more costume pictures unless his studio ordered him to. In the end, Garbo got her way, and she and March made Anna Karenina (1935) while Bette Davis, four years later, headlined Dark Victory for director Edmund Goulding.

Trevor Howard dies of influenza and bronchitis in Bushey, England, 1988. The actor worked for director David Lean three times, the first in 1945 for Brief Encounter, his breakthrough. Based on Still Life, a one-act play by Noël Coward, the film delicately details the growing romance between a housewife and a doctor who meet by chance at a railway station. Of his costar, Howard remarked, “Celia Johnson was the best actress I've ever worked with. Beneath Celia's Women's Institute gentility there was a most lovable woman and a real trooper.” Howard went on to perform in Lean’s One Woman’s Story (1949), an underwhelming film that failed to find an audience. The actor’s last collaboration with the legendary director was Ryan’s Daughter (1970) playing Father Collins, a deeply influential figure throughout the Irish village that provides the setting for the story’s doomed romance. “Three hours was rather long for a trifling love story,” Howard said about the epic scale of the picture. Lean reportedly regretted that the actor was not young enough to portray Fielding in the director’s 1984 release, A Passage to India. James Fox ended up with the role.


Myrna Loy

As Milly Stephenson in the acclaimed post-war drama The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Myrna Loy was the embodiment of patience and understanding as her returning-soldier husband Al (Fredric March) adjusted to civilian life. The William Wyler film represented the zenith of her “perfect wife” persona, an identity the actress gracefully cultivated years earlier in the Thin Man movie series opposite screen husband William Powell.

“Some perfect wife I am. I've been married four times, divorced four times, have no children and can't boil an egg.”
— Myrna Loy


Oscars 1946: Selznick's Folly

With Duel in the Sun, producer David O. Selznick aimed to equal or exceed the artistic and commercial achievement of Gone With the Wind seven years earlier. He spent more than $1 million to advertise the $7 million production and ran teaser ads 18 months prior to the film’s release. He missed the mark by a mile. The turgid tale concerns one Pearl Chaves (Jennifer Jones)—charmingly referred to as a “half-breed”—who shakes up a Texas family, including younger brother Jesse (Joseph Cotten) and older brother Lewton (Gregory Peck). The men battle over Pearl in a lengthy gunfight that climaxes the film, which also sees an overheated Peck and Jones shoot each other and expire together in a ridiculously erotic clinch. The epic, dubbed Lust in the Dust by industry wags, received Oscar nominations only for Jennifer Jones as Best Actress and Lillian Gish as Best Supporting Actress.

The Best Years of Our Lives

William Wyler, The Best Years of Our Lives

Fredric March, The Best Years of Our Lives

Olivia de Havilland, To Each His Own

Harold Russell, The Best Years of Our Lives

Anne Baxter, The Razor’s Edge


Oscars 1931-32: Sin and Redemption

Broadway star Helen Hayes thought her talking picture debut—a weepie named Lullaby about a mother who makes enormous sacrifices for her son—would be quashed once MGM head Louis B. Mayer discovered the ridiculous nature of the melodrama she was currently filming. After a horrendous preview, talk turned to shelving the movie until Irving Thalberg took a look at it. The famed producer changed the title to something a little more titillating, The Sin of Madelon Claudet, and ordered the retakes necessary to put it over with critics and audiences. On Oscar night, Hayes took home her first Academy Award. It was later revealed that she received more votes than competitors Marie Dressler and Lynn Fontanne combined.

Grand Hotel

Frank Borzage, Bad Girl

Wallace Beery, The Champ and Fredric March, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Helen Hayes, The Sin of Madelon Claudet


Rouben Mamoulian on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

The key scene in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—the one to which everything in the story is geared—is when a young, handsome man is transformed into Hyde. I didn’t want to make this just a horror picture. I wanted to make it subjective, I wanted to let the audience feel, at least to the degree possible, the agonizing and fantastic experience. I said, “When I do the first transformation, I’ll have the camera be Jekyll.” Now, I can’t do that in the middle of the scene, out of a clear blue sky. It’s never been done before and it has to be established. That’s why I did the whole first reel with the camera being Jekyll.

I asked, “What kind of sound can we put with this? The whole thing is fantastic. You put a realistic sound and it will get you nowhere at all.” So again, you proceed from imagination and theory and if it makes sense, do it. I said, “We’re not going to have a single sound in this transformation that you can hear in life.” They said, “What are you going to use?” I said, “We’ll light the candle and photograph the light—high frequencies, low frequencies, direct from light into sound. Then we’ll hit a gong, cut off the impact, run it backward, things like that.” So I had this terrific kind of stew, a mélange of sounds that do not exist in nature or in life. It was eerie but it lacked a beat, and that’s where I had to introduce rhythm. So I said, “We need a beat.” We tried all sorts of drums, but they all sounded like drums. When you run all out of ideas, something always pops into your head. I said, “I’ve got it.” I ran up and down the stairway for two minutes until my heart was really pounding, too the microphone down and said, “Record me.” And that’s the rhythm of the big transformation. So when I say my heart was in Jekyll and Hyde, it’s literally true.

Actually, Jekyll and Hyde is not a horror story, although every book on horror films mentions it. Hyde is not a monster. What interested me about the story is that it’s a tragedy of man. Man with a capital M. Man who fights against the Establishment. Man who is a rebel. Man who is adventurous and courageous. Man who goes to the moon and climbs Mount Everest. It’s a noble part of human nature to achieve these adventurous things with the idea that they will subsequently benefit mankind. So here is a story of a man who does just that, and what he does ends up controlling him.

I explained to Freddie that Hyde is not evil to start with, that he is primitive like an animal. To an animal there is no evil. A tiger attacks to eat and sheds blood, and we don’t call that evil. But just as Jekyll gets gradually corrupted as he carries on this experiment, so does Hyde. With each stage he becomes worse. To me the most attractive person in the story is the first Mr. Hyde, full of exuberance and joy and freedom. He goes out to celebrate and it’s pouring rain. An Englishman always has an umbrella to protect himself, so I had him take his hat off, put his face up and love the rain. Then he goes into this music hall. Everything he does is wholehearted and vibrant; there is no evil there. He is fulfilling his impulse. Gradually he becomes worse, until the final tragedy.