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 robert mitchum (5)

Thursday
Jan142016

January 14

Ronald and Nancy Reagan screen Cattle Queen of Montana (1954) at Camp David, 1989. It is almost certain that the Reagans would have screened a different movie—or no movie at all, perhaps—had the studio’s first choice for the male lead accepted the part. Robert Mitchum ended up passing on the project, leaving Barbara Stanwyck top-billed with Ronald Reagan in this Allan Dwan-directed drama about ranchers and stolen cattle in Montana. It would be the last movie the President and First Lady would see during Reagan's administration, which would end six days later when George H. W. Bush assumed the White House.

Faye Dunaway is born in Bascom, Florida, 1941; Peter Finch dies of a heart attack in Beverly Hills, 1977. Both actors had lead roles in Network (1976), writer Paddy Chayefsky’s satire of television, though neither Diana Christensen, Dunaway’s driven, deeply neurotic TV executive, nor Howard Beale, Finch’s unhinged evening news anchorman, ever communicated directly with one another over the course of the story. The Beale role was a challenge to cast, with Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, George C. Scott and Gene Hackman all turning it down. Australian actor Finch went after it, finally convincing director Sidney Lumet that he could affect an American accent by sending him tapes of himself reading The New York Times. Receiving stellar reviews, the film raked in 10 Oscar nominations, including nods for actors Dunaway, Finch, William Holden, Beatrice Straight and Ned Beatty. The day after appearing on The Tonight Show to promote the film, Finch collapsed and died in the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. On Oscar night, Chayefsky, Dunaway, Finch and Strait were all awarded statuettes, with Finch become the first actor to receive one posthumously.

Saturday
May312014

Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival 2014: Out of the Past (1947)

The Story of G.I. Joe (1945) made audiences notice actor Robert Mitchum, Crossfire (1947) made him a star and Out of the Past (1947) cemented it. In Out of the Past, Mitchum plays Jeff Bailey, a gas station owner with a former life that menacingly resurfaces. It was a part Humphrey Bogart, John Garfield and Dick Powell all turned down. Flashbacks within flashbacks reveal racketeer Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) on the hunt for his mistress Kathy Moffat (Jane Greer), who took off with $40,000 of his money. Sterling hires Bailey to track her down and get the dough, but not to fall in love with her, which is exactly what he does. Sterling eventually tries to frame Bailey, resulting in a lakeside standoff unique for its imaginative use of a fishing pole to kill a bad guy.

Sunday
Aug252013

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 ...

Sunday
Jul012012

July 1

Robert Mitchum dies of lung cancer and emphysema in Santa Barbara, California, 1997. He appeared in bit parts in dozens of films in the early 1940s before his breakthrough as Lt. Walker in Story of G. I. Joe (1945), for which he received his only Oscar nomination. A solid career of westerns, film noir and romantic dramas followed. Of the last category, 1947’s Desire Me proved to be one of his worst, and he found his female costar somewhat less than thrilling, remarking, “I gave up being serious about making pictures around the time I made a film with Greer Garson and she took a hundred and twenty-five takes to say ‘No.’” With costar Deborah Kerr, the story was different. Mitchum, cast as a Marine corporal stranded on an island with a nun (Kerr) in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), was relieved to discover the actress was not as prudish and proper as her film characters, even cussing out director John Huston after one particularly difficult take. The pair became lifetime friends and went on to make two more theatrical releases together—The Sundowners (1960) and The Grass is Greener (1960)—as well as the television movie Reunion at Fairborough (1985). “The best, my favorite,” Mitchum once said about Kerr. “Life would be kind if I could live it with Deborah around.”

Monday
Apr022012

Stanley Kramer on The Defiant Ones (1958)

A film like The Defiant Ones was merely an inadequate attempt by a white filmmaker to deal with a contemporary problem. James Baldwin has been very critical of me, and though it hurt, what he said is true. He said I captured all the intellectual and moral viewpoints of my age but didn’t capture the soul of the black man. Well, who the hell does he think I am? I’m not black. The fact is that I am a white man who made films about human beings who happened to be black. I understood the problems of black men and women morally, socially and intellectually, but the damn soul kept slipping between my fingers. It had to be spoon-fed to me secondhand because I didn’t feel it or know it enough.

There are so many areas into which I’ve stepped under the umbrella of what is sometimes amusingly called the Establishment, Hollywood style. The reason I’m defensive about my films is that sometimes—just to get the job done—not enough of the artist and too much of the political tactician and social worker prevailed. That’s where my area of sensitivity is. It’s just like undressing in front of you and saying, “Well, look, this is where I’m vulnerable. Stab me there.”

I’ve always been what is laughingly called an independent. I say “laughingly” because latitude is comparative. I have usually had some latitude when casting, something I enjoy doing, but sometimes the distributor screams that you have to do something. The Defiant Ones was written for Brando and Poitier. But Brando got tied up in Mutiny on the Bounty. I wanted to go with Poitier and a new actor, but United Artists said, “You’re chaining two guys together and one of them is black. You’ve got to give us some stars.”

At the time I approached Lancaster, Douglas, Mitchum. You know, I went down a lot of the guys. It needed to be a pretty big guy opposite Poitier. Time went by and we just couldn’t wait, so I ended up with Tony Curtis. Now, that didn’t seem to be a particularly brilliant piece of casting to anyone, including me, but I couldn’t get anybody else to play the role. I cut Tony’s hair, we straightened his nose. I think he did very well with the role, but it certainly wasn’t written for him.