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 howard hawks (5)


Berlinale 2014: Air Force (1943)

In August 1942, with a Japanese invasion a legitimate possibility on the west coast of the United States, the production of Air Force headed to Drew Field in Tampa, Florida, to shoot the battle scenes between U.S. and mocked-up Japanese planes. Howard Hawks’s World War II drama, a fictional tale of a bomber crew in the Pacific theater, ended up a robust little action adventure full of energy, patriotism and testosterone. Though the movie ostensibly stars John Ridgely as the commander of a B-17 aircraft nicknamed “Mary Ann,” it’s more of an ensemble piece, with Gig Young, Arthur Kennedy, Harry Carey, John Garfield, George Tobias and others comprising a unified force in skirmishes set in Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, Manila and the Battle of the Coral Sea. The script by Dudley Nichols is lean and tough, with an elegant deathbed scene by an uncredited William Faulkner.


Five Movies to Help You Cope with Olympics Withdrawal 

With the 2012 London Summer Olympics completed, we thought we’d help you combat the inevitable sense of loss that occurs when the flame goes out and the athletes pack for home. Here are five films to ease you back into an Olympics-less world, starting with a pair of moves where the summer games are the main focus, followed by a couple of movies with the games serve as mere backdrop and ending with musical where a couple of shapely nightclub performers simply happen to share an ocean voyage with a group of Olympians.

Olympia (1938)
Commissioned by the International Olympic Committee to make a documentary of the 1936 Berlin Summer Games, Leni Riefenstahl delivered an artful and, at times, elegant record of athletic prowess and the body beautiful. That’s a surface account of what Olympia is all about. Behind the scenes, it was trick to finance, and Riefenstahl, the controversial director of the Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will (1935), first tried to get the esteemed German film studio UFA to supply the necessary cash. They declined, balking at the 500,000-mark budget—approximately three times what a standard film of the era cost. Tobis-Filmkunst ended up funding the project, which included footage of Adolph Hitler presiding at festivities where African-American sprinter Jesse Owens took home four gold medals. Later, when Riefenstahl came to America to find a distributor, she edited out many of the scenes involving the dictator.

Chariots of Fire (1981)
The Best Picture Oscar winner is a character study of two British athletes set against the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) is a devout Christian, running for God and following his conscience; Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) is a Jew subject to profound anti-Semitism on the road to track-and-field victory. The moviemakers studied newsreels of Liddell that revealed little more than his style of running, which producer David Puttnam felt they got right in the film. When Puttnam showed the film to Liddell’s widow, she praised the way the picture captured her husband’s character, but felt they missed capturing the grace of her late husband’s sprinting technique.

Walk Don't Run (1966)
Cary Grant’s final film is a remake of The More the Merrier (1943) with Grant in the Charles Coburn role, Samantha Egger taking the Jean Arthur part, Jim Hutton assuming the Joel McCrea spot and Tokyo’s summer games substituting for Washington D.C.’s war years. The plot is all about a severe housing shortage, which sees Grant, Egger and Olympic race walker Hutton under one roof, with the expected romantic complications.

Munich (2005)
The Olympics are just the starting point for Steven Spielberg’s lean, suspenseful drama depicting the aftermath of the Black September terrorist act that saw 11 Israeli athletes held hostage and eventually killed at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich. In the film, scripted by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, Prime Minister Golda Meir endorses a secret plan where five men are chosen to avenge the killings. Based on George Jonas’s book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorism Team, the movie was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
“Dibs on the shot putter,” says Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) to pal Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) in Howard Hawks’s splashy musical, which sees the two showgirls on board a ship that just happens to carry the United States Olympic team en route to the 1924 Paris Summer Olympics. One number in particular— Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Adamson’s “Anyone Here for Love?”—nicely showcases Russell’s physique along with enough beefcake to make Joshua Logan blush.


Howard Hawks on Red River (1948)

In Red River, I wanted [John] Wayne to get his finger caught between the rope and the saddle horn and come in with it all mangled. Then Walter Brennan would look at it and say, “That finger isn’t going to be much good to you.” Wayne says, “No, it isn’t.” Brennan would say, “Get a jug and build the fire up good and get me a chopping block.” They’d start feeding him some liquor, and Brennan would say, “I guess he’s ready,” and he puts Wayne’s finger on the block and Brennan sharpens up the knife and cuts it off. Wayne wasn’t even supposed to know that it was cut off. But then his line was, “Where’s my finger? A man ought to be buried whole.” The scene ended with a bunch of fellows looking through the ashes for the finger. Wayne said to me, “You think that’s funny?” “Yeah,” I said, “but we don’t have to do it.” He said, “I don’t think it’s funny.” I said, “Okay, I’ll do it with some actor who’s better than you are.” And I did it with Kirk Douglas in The Big Sky, who isn’t nearly as good as Wayne. I think it’s the only time they laughed at Douglas. Wayne saw it and came around and said, “Well, I was wrong again. If you tell me a funeral is funny, I’ll do it.

When I hired [Montgomery] Clift he’d never made a picture before, and we took a look at him and Wayne said, “”Couldn’t you have gotten somebody who could stand up to me a little bit?” I said, “I think he can stand up to you pretty well.” We made the very first scene and he came over to me and said, “That kid is going to be good.” He said, “He looks like he’s just figuring that he can take me apart at any time and isn’t worried about it. One thing thoughwe can’t have a fight. It would be silly.” “Well,” I said, “you’re a lot bigger and it would be silly, but it wouldn’t be silly if you tripped and he kicked you in the face first.” “Okay, let him kick me in the face.” And we did it that way and it made a perfectly good fight. We had an awful time because Monty Clift couldn’t throw a punch. It took us three days.

[Clift] had something you rarely see todayhe really wanted to work. He went out for two weeks with a box lunch and a cowboy and they didn’t come back all day. At the end of those two weeks he could ride a horse, he could handle a gun and he could even make a special little mount to get into the saddle. He worked like the devil.


Essential Hawks

“A good movie is three good scenes and no bad scenes,” declared Howard Hawks, arguably the most diverse of the great directors. In a career consisting of 47 films over the course of six decades, Hawks made successful pictures in several genres, including screwball comedy, western, gangster, musical and film noir. Here’s a baker’s dozen that any Hawks scholar should have under his belt.

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John Qualen

“Rosalind Russell was afraid of me,” actor John Qualen told Jordan Young, author of Reel Characters. Qualen, who played accused killer Earl Williams opposite Russell in His Girl Friday (1940), explains, “She told [director Howard] Hawks she didn’t want me to have any bullets. She thought I was a little off.” Qualen began acting on Broadway in 1929 in the role of a Swedish janitor in Street Scene, which he reprised for the movie version two years later. After the film's release, Qualen caught the attention of director John Ford, who cast him in Arrowsmith—the first of eight collaborations between the actor and director. Brief but memorable portrayals followed in Nothing Sacred (1937), Casablanca (1943) and The Searchers (1956). Adept at both comedy and drama, his specialty was a Sandinavian accent, which he employed often during his 137 film appearances. Here are five of our favorites.

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