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 marilyn monroe (14)


January 20

Audrey Hepburn dies of cancer in Tolochenaz, Switzerland, 1993. “Playing the extroverted girl in Breakfast at Tiffany's was the hardest thing I ever did,” said the introverted actress about one of her most identifiable roles. The 1961 film, an adaptation of Truman Capote’s 1958 novella, is a portrait of a young Texas girl named Lula Mae Barnes who remakes herself as quirky Manhattan gadabout Holly Golightly, no stranger to café society, wealthy men and expensive presents. Jean Seberg, Kim Novak and Shirley MacLaine were considered for the role. When Novak and MacLaine turned it down, Marilyn Monroe (Capote’s choice) was cast with John Frankenheimer directing. Monroe left the project after her acting coach, Lee Strasberg, advised her not to do the film. Hepburn was then brought on board and Frankenheimer was replaced with Blake Edwards. Though the actress received a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for her performance, she considered herself miscast and felt insecure and self-conscious in the part, no more so than when Capote would pay a visit to the set.

Barbara Stanwyck dies of heart failure, lung disease and emphysema in Santa Monica, 1990. Among the names bandied about as the real-life inspiration for A Star is Born—the oft-told cinematic tale of an actress on the rise and her alcoholic, star-on-the-skids husband—you will find Colleen Moore and her alcoholic producer husband John McCormick. You might also hear that silent film star John Bowers, who committed suicide by drowning himself in the Pacific Ocean, or director Tom Forman, who shot himself through the heart, could have been the model for the Norman Maine character. To these names add Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay. In 1928, Stanwyck was a fresh face and a big hit in Burlesque, a Broadway production that costarred Fay, who she married on August 26 of that year. In short, she became a star in films while he flopped and drank to excess. They divorced in 1935 soon after an angry, inebriated Fay threw their adopted son in their swimming pool. Robert Taylor (above, with Stanwyck) was the next man in the actress’s life, a movie star in his own right who lived with Stanwyck for three years before they married on May 14, 1939. “The boy’s got a lot to learn, and I’ve got a lot to teach,” she remarked when asked about the four-year age difference between her and the younger Taylor. Though their marriage lasted for the twelve years, it got off to a questionable start when Taylor’s smothering mom insisted he spend his wedding night with her and not his wife.


Billy Wilder

Aunt Minnie’s antithesis converses with director Billy Wilder on the set of The Seven Year Itch (1955).

“There was an actress named Marilyn Monroe. She was always late. She never remembered her lines. She was a pain in the ass. My Aunt Minnie is a nice lady. If she were in pictures she would always be on time. She would know her lines. She would be nice. Why does everyone in Hollywood want to work with Marilyn Monroe and no one wants to work with my Aunt Minnie? Because no one will go to the movies to watch my Aunt Minnie.”
— Billy Wilder


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!


June 1

The Seven Year Itch has its premier at Loew’s State Theater in New York City, 1955, on the 29th birthday of its star, Marilyn Monroe. Just around the corner, at the Fulton Theater at 210 West 46th Street, is where The Seven Year Itch got its start as a Broadway play, opening on November 20, 1952, and running for an impressive 1141 performances. Its star, Tom Ewell, was tapped for the movie version, with writer George Axelrod along for the ride to adapt his play for the screen. Left out in the cold was Vanessa Brown, an Austrian-born actress who saw her role as The Girl offered to the enormously more bankable Monroe. Against director Billy WIlder’s wishes, the film was shot in color as stipulated in Monroe’s contract.

The comedy’s plot is simple: A beautiful young blonde woman fuels the fantasies of a married man attempting to live the bachelor life while his wife and son are away for the summer. The enduring image from the movie is the shot of Monroe standing on a subway grate and trying to keep her white pleated dress from blowing up. Strangely enough, that visual as we’ve come to know it does not appear in the film. Oh, the scene is there, and the skirt blows up. But it’s not a full body shot of Monroe like we’re used to, but shots of her above the waist edited with shots of her below the waist. Either way, it did not please Monroe’s then-husband, baseball great Joe DiMaggio and, after less than two years of marriage, the couple would divorce on October 31, 1955.

Here’s a glimpse of Monroe and DiMaggio arriving at the premier.


Stars on Stars: 30 Candid Opinions Of and By Famous Movie Folk

Any film buff worth a bag of beans knows full well the scope, richness and value of the Internet Movie Database, or IMDb.com. There, one can pick up dry statistics—like Wilson (1944) costing $4 million to make and raking in a mere $2 million—or juicier tidbits like Jayne Mansfield having to guzzle champagne before doffing her garments in Promises! Promises! (1963), “the first movie in which a mainstream actress appeared nude.” Our favorite part of the site, however, is Personal Quotes, found within the Biography section, wherein an actor or director remarks about their upbringing, work philosophy, on-the-set experiences and so forth. The quotes are undoubtedly culled from interviews and biographies, and one can be certain that a few are misquoted or the product of reputation and myth. Nevertheless, here is a small selection that caught our eye—30 candidly specific and entertaining snippets from actors discussing their peers.

Bing Crosby on Judy Garland
There wasn't a thing that gal couldn't do—except look after herself.

Joan Crawford on Greta Garbo
She's let herself go all to hell. She walks along the sidewalk and runs across the street through the cars when somebody notices her, like an animal, a furtive rodent. It's a wonder anybody notices her—she looks like a bag lady. I heard that she's simply stopped bathing.

Cary Grant on Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and James Dean
I have no rapport with the new idols of the screen, and that includes Marlon Brando and his style of Method acting. It certainly includes Montgomery Clift and that godawful James Dean. Some producer should cast all three of them in the same movie and let them duke it out. When they've finished each other off, James Stewart, Spencer Tracy and I will return and start making real movies again like we used to.

Robert Mitchum on working with Faye Dunaway
When I got here I walked in thinking I was a star and then I found I was supposed to do everything the way she says. Listen, I'm not going to take any temperamental whims from anyone, I just take a long walk and cool off. If I didn't do that, I know I'd wind up dumping her on her derrière.

William Holden on Humphrey Bogart
I hated that bastard.

Click to read more ...