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 rebel without a cause (5)

Sunday
Jan102016

January 10

Metropolis premiers to an enthusiastic audience at the Ufa-Palast am Zoo in Berlin, 1927. Fritz Lang’s ambitious science fiction epic about the conflicts between futuristic societies clocked in at 153 minutes, but distribution company Parafumet had the power to restructure the film as they saw fit in an effort to increase profitability. And so they did, enlisting the creative input of playwright Channing Pollock to simplify and shorten the picture to 115 minutes. In 1936, UFA saw fit to edit Metropolis even more, trimming it to a severely abridged hour and a half.

Its modern-day renaissance began in 1984 when Italian record producer Giorgio Moroder added color tints and an original score to the picture which, with subtitles replacing intertitles and a faster frame rate, ran 80 minutes. Since then, additional bits of footage have been discovered, including scenes found in 2005 at the National Film Archive of New Zealand. Then, in 2008, an incredible find was announced: a nearly complete 16mm print of the film—passed around among distributors and film collectors since 1928—was discovered at Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires. The newly restored, 145-minute Metropolis premiered in February 2010.

Sal Mineo is born in The Bronx, 1939. “It would be easy to blame Hollywood to say that I was typed and forced to play the same role over and over,” the actor said. “For a while, I did. But the truth is that I knew what I was doing. I enjoyed myself. I was making money. I suppose that had to stop. I made some good pictures, and I made some bad ones. I wasn’t trying to build an image, though. I was trying to build a life for myself.” After making Rebel Without a Cause in 1955, he saw lots of troubled teen roles come his way. Following an early-1960s career slump, he appeared in Who Killed Teddy Bear? (1965), a rather lurid tale of Lawrence Sherman (Mineo) who stalks Norah Dain (Juliet Prowse) while indulging in his favorite things, namely making obscene phone calls and visiting adult movie theaters. The film did not revive his career, but did switch his typecasting from angry young man to psycho criminal. Though never again as successful as he was in the 1950s, Mineo worked steadily until his death by homicide in 1976.

Here’s a peek at his Who Killed Teddy Bear? workout routine.

Saturday
Feb072015

February 7

Nick Adams dies of a drug overdose in Beverly Hills, 1968. “I dreamed all my life of being a movie star,” the actor said. If he never really came close, he at least acted in some high-profile films with A-list actors. The mid- to late-1950s were especially good for Adams, who, in 1955 alone, appeared in Mister Roberts, Rebel Without a Cause and Picnic. A few years later came another spate of success, with the actor playing a dim-bulb draftee in No Time for Sergeants (1958) (above, with Andy Griffith), blowing up a plane in The FBI Story (1959) and putting the moves on Doris Day in Pillow Talk (1959). “Movies were my life,” Adams said. “You had to have an escape when you were raised in a basement. I saw all the James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and John Garfield pictures. Odds against the world—that was my meat.” The peak of his career arrived in 1963 with the drama Twilight of Honor. For his portrayal of a man on trial for murder, Adams received the strongest notices of his career and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Dale Evans dies of congestive heart failure in Apple Valley, California, 2001. Her career with husband Roy Rogers began when both were otherwise engaged: Roy was married to Grace Wilkins (his second marriage), while Dale was hitched to Robert Butts (her third). They costarred in Cowboy and the Senorita (1944) the first of their more than two-dozen western movie musicals. In 1946, Roger’s wife died and Evans divorced Butts, paving the way for Roy and Dale to make it legal on New Year’s Eve 1947. They remained together until Rogers’s death in 1998.

Tuesday
Jul032012

July 3

Jim Backus dies of pneumonia in Los Angeles, 1989. As a dumb kid, I only knew Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III on television’s Gilligan’s Island. As my appreciation for classic films grew, I was surprised to see him share the big screen with such heavy hitters as James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), playing Dean’s ineffectual father, and Katharine Hepburn in Pat and Mike (1952), playing a golf club manager consoling her after a bad round. Backus made his first movie in 1930 with The Truth About Youth, the first in a six-decade-long film career distinguished by character roles and voice-over work, particularly in the popular Mr. Magoo animated shorts. One of his oddest achievements was a top 40 hit in 1958 with “Delicious!,” a novelty recording he made where he and a female companion simply drink champagne and have a few laughs. Appleknocker and His Group provide the instrumental background; the woman in question has been identified by various sources as either Phyllis Diller or Hermione Gingold.

Take a listen:

Thursday
May172012

May 17

Dennis Hopper is born in Dodge City, Kansas, 1936. He emerged on the silver screen in 1954 in Johnny Guitar and soon thereafter made a number of films that became classics: Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Giant (1956) and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957). Hopper, never a shrinking violet, had this to say about his early days in Hollywood: “In the ‘50s, when me and Natalie Wood and James Dean and Nick Adams and Tony Perkins suddenly arrived…God, it was a whole group of us that sort of felt like that earlier group—the John Barrymores, Errol Flynns, Sinatras, Clifts—were a little farther out than we were. So we tried to emulate that lifestyle. For instance, once Natalie and I decided we'd have an orgy. And Natalie says, "Okay, but we have to have a champagne bath." So we filled the bathtub full of champagne. Natalie takes off her clothes, sits down in the champagne, and starts screaming. We take her to the emergency hospital. That was our orgy, you understand?”

Friday
Sep302011

September 30

James Dean is killed in a car accident near Cholame, California, 1955. The star of East of Eden (1955), Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956) was born in 1931 in Fairmount, Indiana, and got his first acting gig in a Coke commercial. He played small parts in Sailor Beware (1952), Fixed Bayonets! (1951) and Has Anybody Seen My Gal (1952). “I think I am going to make it.” the actor said early in his career, “because, on one hand, I am like [Montgomery] Clift saying ‘Help me’ and, on the other hand, I am Brando saying, 'Screw you!'…and somewhere in between is 'James Dean.'” On September 30, 1955, Dean received a speeding ticket  while driving his Porsche Spyder in San Luis Obispo County, California. A couple of hours later, near the town of Cholame, Dean collided with another vehicle and was killed instantly. He was 24 and became the only actor to receive two posthumous Academy Award nominations.