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 laura (5)

Friday
Jan012016

January 1

Dana Andrews is born in Collins, Mississippi, 1909. After the success of Laura (1944) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and his subsequent rise in fame, Fox suggested to the Collins’s mayor that they rename the actor’s hometown “Andrews” in his honor. “We will not change our name to Andrews,” the mayor responded. “Have Andrews change his name to Collins.”

Maurice Chevalier dies of cardiac arrest after kidney surgery in Paris, 1972. The French entertainer came to Hollywood in the late 1920s and began his first of four films with Jeanette MacDonald, 1929’s The Love Parade. “I later heard her referred to as The Iron Butterfly,” Chevalier said of his frequent costar, “although I was surprised to hear that she found that amusing. I never thought she had much of a sense of humor. When we worked together, she always objected to anyone telling a risqué story.” MacDonald once referred to Chevalier as “the quickest derriere pincher in Hollywood.” They would go on to make Love Me Tonight (1932), One Hour with You (1932) and The Merry Widow (1934). These last two movies were filmed twice—in English and in French. Chevalier had no problem with either tongue, of course, and MacDonald could successfully speak and sing in the language. Much of the American supporting casts, however, had to be replaced with French-speaking actors.

Friday
May302014

Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival 2014: Laura (1944)

What may have been Otto Preminger’s best film was also one of his earliest—his seventh directorial effort out of a career thirty-nine. Initially, Preminger was the producer and Rouben Mamoulian was the director of this stylish, moody mystery about a dead woman and the people in her orbit. Dissatisfied with Mamoulian’s approach to the material, Preminger took over and scrapped all of the initial footage. Laura proved a solid success at the box office and with critics, giving a boost to the careers of stars Dana Andrews, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson and especially Clifton Webb, a silent film actor making his first talkie at the age of 54. His performance as acerbic newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Also profiting in a major way was the actress who played the title role. Gene Tierney’s star was already on the ascendent with 1943’s Heaven Can Wait. It would be the start of a three-year rise to the top, with Laura the following year and Tierney’s Oscar-nominated performance in Leave Her to Heaven rounding out 1945.

Wednesday
Apr232014

April 23

Otto Preminger (above, flanked by Sammy Davis Jr. and Sidney Poitier on the set of 1959’s Porgy and Bess) dies of lung cancer and Alzheimer’s disease in New York City, 1989. The Great Love (1931), shot in his native Austria, was the notoriously difficult director’s debut film. In 1936, Preminger immigrated to the United States and shortly thereafter helmed his first American picture, Under Your Spell (1936), a comedy about a disillusioned singer (Lawrence Tibbett) and the dame (Wendy Barrie) who tries to lure him back into the spotlight. Eight years later came his breakthrough—the romantic mystery Laura (1944), starring Gene Tierney, Vincent Price, Dana Andrews and Clifton Webb. It would mark the start of a decades-long run of films that were a mix of popular entertainments, critically acclaimed dramas and interesting failures.

Among his better-known titles are Daisy Kenyon (1947), Carmen Jones (1954), The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Exodus (1960) and Advise and Consent (1962), with the prize for his most dreadful movie likely split between the turgid terrorist kidnapping saga Rosebud (1975) and a humorless collision of flower power, mobster shenanigans and aging movie stars called Skidoo (1968). Of the latter film, New York Times critic Vincent Canby called it “something only for Preminger-watchers, or for people whose minds need pressing by a heavy, flat object.” The cast included Carol Channing, Jackie Gleason, Frankie Avalon, Mickey Rooney, George Raft and, as a character named God, Groucho Marx in his final film role. Said Preminger about the movie: “I don't think many people adore it. Except my wife, who adores all my pictures, because that's what you get married for.”

Tuesday
Oct252011

October 25

Vincent Price dies of lung cancer and emphysema in Los Angeles, 1993. He began acting in films in 1938 and, over the next few years, found supporting work in more than 30 films, among them The Song of Bernadette (1943), Laura (1944) and Leave Her to Heaven (1945). In 1953 he found his niche in low-budget horror movie with House of Wax. From there followed House on Haunted Hill (1959), House of Usher (1960), Pit and the Pendulum (1961), House of 1,000 Dolls (1967) and The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971). “I sometimes feel that I'm impersonating the dark unconscious of the whole human race,” the actor once remarked of his lengthy career in scary movies. “I know this sounds sick, but I love it.”

Thursday
Oct132011

October 13

Clifton Webb dies of a heart attack in Beverly Hills, 1966. The actor, born Webb Parmalee Hollenbeck, earned high praise and Oscar nominations for his supporting work in Laura (1944) and The Razor’s Edge (1946). In 1949, he received another nod for his starring role in Sitting Pretty (1948), a film that launched two sequels in which Webb reprised his snobbish and snippy babysitter character, Lynn Belvedere. In real life, he was a champion mama’s boy, a single man living with his mother, Maybelle, until her death at age 91. After more than a year of Webb's grieving, close friend Noël Coward quipped, “It must be difficult to be orphaned at seventy.”

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