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 marx brothers (5)


April 21

Gummo Marx dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in Palm Springs, California, 1977.

“This is my friend Libby,” Vivian Orkin (Helen Hanft) tells Sandy Bates (Woody Allen) in Stardust Memories (1980). “Libby just did a definitive cinematic study of Gummo Marx. She did!” Dick Lobel (Ray Brocksmith)—telling us something we already know—interjects, “Interestingly, he’s the one Marx brother that never made any movies.”

Early on, Gummo (above, far right, with his brothers) appeared with Groucho, Harpo and Chico on stage, but felt he lacked the talent of his siblings and left the act, to be replaced by Zeppo. A career in the military preceded Gummo’s role as an agent for his brothers, where he earned a strong reputation as a smart businessman. When Gummo died, the family kept the news from Groucho, who was in frail condition and ended up dying just four months later. Once, when asked what brother he was closest to, Groucho remarked, “Gummo. He’s a nice man, and that’s more than I can say for Zeppo.”


March 6

Margaret Dumont dies of a heart attack in Hollywood, 1965. From the very beginning of her involvement with the Marx Brothers, the tone was set. “After three weeks as a leading lady,” the actress recalled, “Groucho had pushed me out of windows, pulled chairs out from under me, broiled steaks in the fireplace of my apartment, put frogs in my bathtub and made my life miserable, on the stage and off.” Accounts vary whether or not she actually understood the antics of Groucho, Harpo and Chico—she said yes, Groucho said no. “I'm not a stooge,” she said. “I'm the best straight woman in Hollywood. There's an art to playing it straight. You must build up your man, but never top him, never steal the laughs from him.” She died just days after her final appearance on television's Hollywood Palace, once again playing straight woman to Groucho Marx.


February 29

Frank Albertson dies in Santa Monica, 1964. He began movies in 1922 as a prop boy, then drifted into acting, carving a nice niche for himself as a boyish, somewhat naïve goofball. In his more than 100 films in 40 years, Albertson appeared with Katharine Hepburn in Alice Adams (1935), got nautical with Ann Rutherford in Waterfront Lady (1935), tussled with the Marx Brothers and Lucille Ball (above) in Room Service (1938) and provided the cash for Janet Leigh’s character to steal in Psycho (1960). But he is probably best known to today’s audiences as Sam “Hee Haw” Wainwright, buddy to James Stewart and Donna Reed’s characters in It ‘s a Wonderful Life (1946). A veteran of television as well as movies, the actor died in his sleep at the age of 55.


September 8

Dorothy Dandridge dies of a barbiturate overdose in West Hollywood, 1965.

One of the first parts to come her way in a rather uneven, 25-year screen career was a small singing role in the Marx Brothers comedy A Day at the Races (1937). She then graced the screen in a handful of minor films and performed a few nightclub gigs, which she hated. Acting and singing came easily to Dandridge; finding work in movies did not.

Then Carmen Jones (1954) came her way. “[It] was the best break I ever had,” the actress once said of the Otto Preminger film. For playing the title role, she became the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. (Nineteen-year-old Marilyn Horne tackled the singing demands of the character.) After that, Dandridge was considered for Tuptim in The King and I (1956), ultimately dissuaded by Preminger to accept any film in which she was not the star. She made Island in the Sun (1957) with her Carmen Jones co-star Harry Belafonte and Porgy and Bess (1959) with Sidney Poitier. Malaga (1960) marked the last time she would appear on the big screen.

Financial problems and substance abuse plagued her in later years. She was 42 when she died.


Five Football Classics

As we lament summer’s end, we focus on the good things about it: better movies slowly start to invade local theaters, hordes of horrid little children return to school, and grown men strap on helmets and shoulder pads to fall all over themselves for six points. Here are a few classic films where gridiron shenanigans drive the plot.

Jim Thorpe — All-American (1951)
An Olympic gold medal winner for pentathalon and decathalon, Jim Thorpe was a Native American athlete who found success in a wide array of sports, including collegiate and professional football. Burt Lancaster plays the man whose athletic achievements duke it out with personal setbacks.

Horse Feathers (1932)
Huxley College president Quincy Wagstaff (Groucho Marx) sets out to recruit a couple of prize football players for an important game against rival Darwin College. He ends up with Harpo and Chico instead.

Paper Lion (1968)
In a true story, Alan Alda stars as George Plimpton, going undercover as a Detroit Lion third-string quarterback to see how an average Joe would fare on an NFL team. It isn’t pretty.

The Freshman (1925)
College kid Harold Lamb (Harold Lloyd), with the help of his friend Peggy (Jobyna Ralston), aims to be popular and finds that being on the school football team is the key.

Knute Rockne All American (1940)
Ronald Reagan plays George Gipp, Notre Dame football player and strep throat victim. Pat O’Brien plays Knute Rockne, inspirational coach and father of the forward pass. A bedridden Reagan delivers the line that became part of our national lexicon: “Ask ‘em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper.”