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 john huston (11)


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.


July 21

Don Knotts is born in Morgantown, West Virginia, 1924. The intriguingly titled The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) was the first film for the actor after leaving the cast of The Andy Griffith Show, where he costarred as deputy sheriff Barney Fife from 1960 to 1965 and won five Emmys doing it. Yet the fingerprints of that series are all over this movie. Fife’s famously nervous persona is here in the form of Luther Heggs, an aspiring reporter whose assignment is to spend an evening in the allegedly haunted Simmons mansion, where a murder-suicide took place 20 years earlier. Several Andy Griffith alumni appear in the movie with Knotts, including Charles Lane, Hope Summers and Burt Mustin. And, in both TV series and film, the town drunk and his wife are played by Hal Smith and Dorothy Neumann, respectively. Even the plot was a reworked version of “The Haunted House,” a highly rated episode of The Andy Griffith Show that was broadcast on October 7, 1963. Though not as popular that year as John Huston’s The Bible or as critically acclaimed as A Man for All Seasons, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken was nevertheless one of 1966’s more likeable and harmless entertainments.


July 18

Jean Negulesco dies of heart failure in Marbella, Spain, 1993. The Romanian-born director (above left, with actor Peter Lorre) made popular entertainments like How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), high-gloss soap operas like Humoresque (1946) and Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) and prestige pictures like Johnny Belinda (1948). His beginning as a feature film director, however, was a rather bumpy one. A veteran director of 11 short films, Negulesco was two months into shooting his first full-length movie, The Maltese Falcon (1941), when he was fired and replaced by John Huston. His next assignment was Singapore Woman (1941), a mediocre film that was coolly received by audiences and critics. He returned to shorts, making 35 of them in three years, before he ventured back into the big leagues.

Reuniting with Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, two of his Maltese Falcon cast members, the director helmed a moody film noir called The Mask of Dimitrios (1944). The film did well with audiences, the curse was broken, and Negulesco made two more films with good luck tokens Greenstreet and Lorre—the romantic thriller The Conspirators (1944) followed by the crime drama Three Strangers (1946). How the director felt about Greenstreet, we don’t know. Of his more diminutive costar, however, Negulesco remarked, “Lorre was the most talented man I have ever seen in my life.”


Happy Father's Day!

To celebrate the Day of the Father, we could take a journey through movie history and salute the most memorable dads on film, good and bad. Certainly Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) ranks as one of the greater paters on screen. Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) in Bicycle Thieves (1948) might be another. Representing the opposite end of the spectrum would be Noah Cross (John Huston) in Chinatown (1974) or Dr. Sloper (Ralph Richardson) in The Heiress (1949).

But this year, we don’t care about any of that. Instead, here’s Marilyn Monroe singing a song. Enjoy!


May 18

Elisha Cook Jr. dies of a stroke in Big Pine, California, 1995. He was called Hollywood’s lightest heavy, a career character actor largely defined by the neurotic, cowardly criminal types he played throughout the ‘40s and ‘50s. Cook was at his best in The Phantom Lady (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Shane (1953), The Killing (1956)—his personal favorite—and Rosemary’s Baby (1968). But it is his turn as runty gunsel Wilmer opposite Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon (1941) for which audiences perhaps best remember him. "[Cook] lived alone up in the High Sierra, tied flies and caught golden trout between films,” said his Maltese Falcon director John Huston. “When he was wanted in Hollywood, they sent word up to his mountain cabin by courier. He would come down, do a picture, and then withdraw again to his retreat." The five-foot-five-inch actor appeared in a total of 106 pictures, beginning in 1930 with Her Unborn Child through to 1984 with Treasure: In Search of the Golden Horse.