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 lauren bacall (5)


January 12

Agatha Christie dies of natural causes in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England, 1976. Her death at age 85 would come 14 months after her final appearance at a public event—the premier of Murder on the Orient Express (1974), an all-star movie version of her novel Murder in the Calais Coach. The staggeringly popular mystery writer lauded the performance of Albert Finney as detective Hercule Poirot as well as the film itself, calling it the only big-screen adaptation of one of her works that she found completely satisfying.

The Big Sleep completes filming, 1945. Raymond Chandler, who authored the book on which the movie is based, allowed screenwriters William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett to come to their own conclusions about the murder mystery, since Chandler admittedly had no clue of his own. Who Faulkner and Brackett identified as the killer was included in the 1945 version of the film, which was screened for American servicemen that year. As World War II was drawing to a close, Warner Bros. saw fit to release their inventory of war-related movies throughout 1945, thereby delaying the release of the Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall crime drama. This gave them a chance to rethink, rewrite and reshoot a few key scenes between the two in order to infuse them with the innuendo and attitude that made their work in To Have and Have Not (1944) crackle. The movie’s newer version was released to general audiences in August of 1946 with Bogart and Bacall’s chemistry assured and the mystery left unsolved.


Oscars 1951: Bogey's Drink of Choice

By the time The African Queen was released in 1951, star Humphrey Bogart had been making movies for 23 years and had been Oscar nominated just once, for Casablanca (1942). “He had never felt people in the town liked him much,” wife Lauren Bacall wrote years later. That was not the case with his characterization of scrappy, hard-drinking riverboat captain Charlie Allnut, which earned Bogart great reviews, healthy box office and enthusiastic acclaim from the Academy. During filming in the Congo, Bogart and director John Huston famously chose liquor over drinking water, thus avoiding the dysentery that plagued costar Katharine Hepburn. "All I ate was baked beans, canned asparagus, and Scotch whisky,” Bogart said of his time in Africa. “Whenever a fly bit Huston or me, it dropped dead." On the night of the awards, Greer Garson called Bogart up to the podium to accept his Best Actor trophy. “My wife let out a scream when my name was called,” the actor said. “She jumped four feet and almost had a miscarriage.”

An American in Paris

George Stevens, A Place in the Sun

Humphrey Bogart, The African Queen

Vivien Leigh, A Streetcar Named Desire

Karl Malden, A Streetcar Named Desire

Kim Hunter, A Streetcar Named Desire


July 2

Betty Grable dies of lung cancer in Santa Monica, California, 1973. In the 1940s she was the highest paid star in Hollywood, performing in vehicles that showed off her natural charm, her hoofing talent and her million-dollar legs.  “I'm a song-and-dance girl,” Grable explained. “I can act enough to get by. But that's the limit of my talents.” Her popularity lasted until her final film, How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955)—which proved to be, in Grable’s words, a turkey. Just a couple of years prior to that, she joined Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), where she rounded out a trio of Manhattan women angling for a rich husband but settling for true love instead. “Betty Grable was a funny, outgoing woman, totally professional and easy,” Bacall wrote in her autobiography, By Myself. “Marilyn was frightened, insecure—trusted only her coach and was always late…Grable and I decided we’d try to make it easier for her, make her feel she could trust us. I think she finally did.” Later, Grable would have this to say about Monroe: “It may sound peculiar to say so, because she is no longer with us, but we were very close. Once…I got a call on the set: my younger daughter had had a fall. I ran home and the one person to call was Marilyn. She did an awful lot to boost things up for movies when everything was at a low state. There'll never be anyone like her for looks, for attitude, for all of it.”


December 27

Hoagy Carmichael dies of a heart attack in Rancho Mirage, California, 1981. The composer, best known for the songs “Stardust,” “Georgia on my Mind” and “Two Sleepy People,” appeared in 14 films throughout his career, in roles not too far removed from his musical self. In To Have and Have Not (1944), he played Cricket, a piano player who accompanied Lauren Bacall while she sang “How Little We Know.” In The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), his character was named Butch and he performed “Chops Sticks” with Harold Russell (above). And, in Young Man with a Horn (1950), he tickled the ivories as Smoke and also narrated the film, which was based on the life of his friend Bix Beiderbecke. His characters were easygoing and folksy—in Carmichael’s words, the "hound-dog-faced old musical philosopher noodling on the honky-tonk piano, saying to a tart with a heart of gold, ‘He'll be back, honey. He's all man’."



September 16

Betty Joan Perske, also known as Lauren Bacall, is born in New York CIty, 1924. “I put my career in second place throughout both my marriages and it suffered,” remarked Bacall, who was famously married to Humphrey Bogart and, later, Jason Robards. “I don't regret it. You make choices. If you want a good marriage, you must pay attention to that. If you want to be independent, go ahead. You can't have it all.” Happy Birthday, Betty!