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 harold lloyd (4)

Sunday
Apr152012

TCM Classic Film Festival: Day Three

Work, exhaustion and lousy weather kept me away from Day Two of the Turner Classic Movies festival taking place in Hollywood this weekend. Today, however, I was able to indulge in my favorite pastime and ended up with four movies under my belt. Here a brief rundown of what I saw.

Bonjour Tristesse (1958)
Jean Seberg is not a technically complex actress, but she has a contemporary style, an ease in front of the camera and a beauty, breathtaking and simple, that draws me in. Such qualities are burning at full incandescence in Bonjour Tristesse, only her second outing on the big screen and her second with director Otto Preminger. Seberg plays David Niven’s free-spirit daughter having to deal with his impending marriage to a rather rigid and oppressive Deborah Kerr. With wardrobe by Givenchy, everyone looks terrific. But Seberg is especially fetching in the famed couturier’s timeless creations.

The Black Cat (1934)
The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy interviewed Bela Lugosi, Jr. and Sara Karloff, the affable and well-spoken offspring of Black Cat stars Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. The stylish horror film also stars David Manners, Jacqueline Wells and Charles D. Hall’s striking art deco interiors—a nice change from the gothic manse horror protagonists typically encounter on a dark and stormy night.

Auntie Mame (1958)
I’ve seen Auntie Mame in a theater countless times and have the DVD committed to memory, so this was a rather uninspired choice for me. I thought about going to Kim Novak’s hand- and footprint ceremony in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese instead, but doubted my ability to get a good vantage point. So it was off to the Egyptian to hear the smart, funny and intensely likeable Todd Oldham introduce the Morton DaCosta picture. The audience was enthusiastic and knowing—one could almost feel them anticipate their favorite lines.

Girl Shy (1924)
Inside the Egyptian Theater, a sharp-looking print of Girl Shy was introduced by Leonard Maltin and Harold Lloyd’s granddaughter Suzanne and was accompanied by the great Robert Israel Orchestra. Outside the theater, a gentleman handed me a flyer indicating the perilous state of Harold Lloyd’s birthplace in Burchard, Nebraska. A Harold Lloyd Blogathon is scheduled for August 6-10 with a Harold Lloyd Celebration to follow on September 15. You can learn more at fb.com/savetheharoldlloydbirthplace or by emailing Trevor, tpjost@hotmail.com.

Wednesday
Feb222012

Berlinale 2012: A Kiss from Mary Pickford (1927)

The poster for A Kiss from Mary Pickford (1927) is a work of art. The film? Not so much. The Sergei Komarov feature and the short subject preceding it—One of Many (1927)—prove to be two bulls in a china shop, keen on paying homage to the chases and physical comedy of Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin without any clue how to do it.

In One of Many, a spectacularly amateurish actress longs to leave Russia for Hollywood in order to meet Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Keaton, Lloyd and Chaplin. She packs her bag to head for California and apparently can’t stay awake long enough to head out the door for sunnier skies. What follows is a chaotic and crudely drawn animated dream sequence that apes the silent films of her idols. Involving cliffhangers and narrow escapes—and making no sense whatsoever—the dream terrifies our little chickadee enough to make her abandon her ambitions and stay in Moscow.

A Kiss from Mary Pickford presents a similarly untalented lead actor who dreams of leaving his job as a movie usher to make it big in the movies. Finding stunt work, a series of flukes lead to him playing a romantic scene with Mary Pickford, visiting the Moscow studio with her seriously tan husband, Douglas Fairbanks. With one kiss from the American star, our hero suddenly becomes the “It” boy, chased by the press and public until he longs for a simpler life.

Both films screen as part of The Red Dream Factory, the Retrospektive Programme of movies produced by Mezhrahpom-Film. One is grateful for the opportunity to view these rare artifacts, and leaves the theater wishing they were better.

Monday
Sep262011

Ten Greats from Nebraska

Prior to Terms of Endearment (1983) and a handful of Alexander Payne films shot there, the state's main ties to the movie industry were Boys Town (1938)—set in Lincoln and Omaha, but shot in Culver City—and a number of personalities who left the plains to work in Hollywood. Here's a look at some of the memorable talents to come from the Cornhusker State.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep032011

Five Football Classics

As we lament summer’s end, we focus on the good things about it: better movies slowly start to invade local theaters, hordes of horrid little children return to school, and grown men strap on helmets and shoulder pads to fall all over themselves for six points. Here are a few classic films where gridiron shenanigans drive the plot.

Jim Thorpe — All-American (1951)
An Olympic gold medal winner for pentathalon and decathalon, Jim Thorpe was a Native American athlete who found success in a wide array of sports, including collegiate and professional football. Burt Lancaster plays the man whose athletic achievements duke it out with personal setbacks.

Horse Feathers (1932)
Huxley College president Quincy Wagstaff (Groucho Marx) sets out to recruit a couple of prize football players for an important game against rival Darwin College. He ends up with Harpo and Chico instead.

Paper Lion (1968)
In a true story, Alan Alda stars as George Plimpton, going undercover as a Detroit Lion third-string quarterback to see how an average Joe would fare on an NFL team. It isn’t pretty.

The Freshman (1925)
College kid Harold Lamb (Harold Lloyd), with the help of his friend Peggy (Jobyna Ralston), aims to be popular and finds that being on the school football team is the key.

Knute Rockne All American (1940)
Ronald Reagan plays George Gipp, Notre Dame football player and strep throat victim. Pat O’Brien plays Knute Rockne, inspirational coach and father of the forward pass. A bedridden Reagan delivers the line that became part of our national lexicon: “Ask ‘em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper.”