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 rosalind russell (6)

Sunday
Apr152012

TCM Classic Film Festival: Day Three

Work, exhaustion and lousy weather kept me away from Day Two of the Turner Classic Movies festival taking place in Hollywood this weekend. Today, however, I was able to indulge in my favorite pastime and ended up with four movies under my belt. Here a brief rundown of what I saw.

Bonjour Tristesse (1958)
Jean Seberg is not a technically complex actress, but she has a contemporary style, an ease in front of the camera and a beauty, breathtaking and simple, that draws me in. Such qualities are burning at full incandescence in Bonjour Tristesse, only her second outing on the big screen and her second with director Otto Preminger. Seberg plays David Niven’s free-spirit daughter having to deal with his impending marriage to a rather rigid and oppressive Deborah Kerr. With wardrobe by Givenchy, everyone looks terrific. But Seberg is especially fetching in the famed couturier’s timeless creations.

The Black Cat (1934)
The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy interviewed Bela Lugosi, Jr. and Sara Karloff, the affable and well-spoken offspring of Black Cat stars Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. The stylish horror film also stars David Manners, Jacqueline Wells and Charles D. Hall’s striking art deco interiors—a nice change from the gothic manse horror protagonists typically encounter on a dark and stormy night.

Auntie Mame (1958)
I’ve seen Auntie Mame in a theater countless times and have the DVD committed to memory, so this was a rather uninspired choice for me. I thought about going to Kim Novak’s hand- and footprint ceremony in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese instead, but doubted my ability to get a good vantage point. So it was off to the Egyptian to hear the smart, funny and intensely likeable Todd Oldham introduce the Morton DaCosta picture. The audience was enthusiastic and knowing—one could almost feel them anticipate their favorite lines.

Girl Shy (1924)
Inside the Egyptian Theater, a sharp-looking print of Girl Shy was introduced by Leonard Maltin and Harold Lloyd’s granddaughter Suzanne and was accompanied by the great Robert Israel Orchestra. Outside the theater, a gentleman handed me a flyer indicating the perilous state of Harold Lloyd’s birthplace in Burchard, Nebraska. A Harold Lloyd Blogathon is scheduled for August 6-10 with a Harold Lloyd Celebration to follow on September 15. You can learn more at fb.com/savetheharoldlloydbirthplace or by emailing Trevor, tpjost@hotmail.com.

Thursday
Dec222011

December 22

Eileen McKenney and Nathanael West are killed in a car accident in El Centro, California, 1940. West was a struggling writer, screenwriter and script doctor in 1930s Hollywood whose most famous novel—The Day of the Locust, about 1930s Hollywood—achieved greater success after West’s death. McKenney was the Eileen in My Sister Eileen, a collection of short stories by her sister, Ruth, about the sisters’ experiences as Ohio natives adjusting to life in New York’s Greenwich Village. Ruth’s book inspired a play, a movie and a television series of the same name, plus the acclaimed Broadway musical Wonderful Town, starring Rosalind Russell and Edie Adams as Ruth and Eileen, respectively. McKenney and West, who married in 1940, were on a hunting trip in Mexico when they heard of the December 21 death of close friend F. Scott Fitzgerald. While driving back to Los Angeles to attend the funeral, West ran a stop sign and their car was hit by another vehicle, killing West and McKenney. After Fitzgerald’s funeral, the couple had planned to fly to New York to attend the December 26 Broadway opening of a new play—My Sister Eileen.

Monday
Oct242011

John Qualen

“Rosalind Russell was afraid of me,” actor John Qualen told Jordan Young, author of Reel Characters. Qualen, who played accused killer Earl Williams opposite Russell in His Girl Friday (1940), explains, “She told [director Howard] Hawks she didn’t want me to have any bullets. She thought I was a little off.” Qualen began acting on Broadway in 1929 in the role of a Swedish janitor in Street Scene, which he reprised for the movie version two years later. After the film's release, Qualen caught the attention of director John Ford, who cast him in Arrowsmith—the first of eight collaborations between the actor and director. Brief but memorable portrayals followed in Nothing Sacred (1937), Casablanca (1943) and The Searchers (1956). Adept at both comedy and drama, his specialty was a Sandinavian accent, which he employed often during his 137 film appearances. Here are five of our favorites.

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Monday
Sep122011

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: China Seas

We are slap happy to present the latest installment of Tired Old Queen at the Movies, Steve Hayes’s splendid guided tours through the classics. This time, our bright and lively host extolls the virtues of China Seas, the 1935 adventure starring Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell and Wallace Beery.

Monday
Sep052011

Picnic (1955)

William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play came to the big screen under Josh Logan’s direction, with a movie-star cast led by William Holden, Kim Novak, Cliff Robertson and Rosalind Russell taking over the roles created on stage by Ralph Meeker, Janice Rule, Paul Newman and Eileen Heckart, respectively. The tale, set during Labor Day in a small Kansas community, centers around a drifter (Holden) who hits town and, well, makes life interesting for a few of the town folk.

The shoot was not without its calamities, including Novak being stung by a bee, Holden gashing his leg on a railroad signal, Russell bruised from a very physical scene on a bridge, hail storms, bugs and one elderly extra who took a tumble down an embankment, breaking ribs and both legs. In addition, the town of Hutchison sustained major tornado damage shortly after filming was completed there.

Holden, who previously had to play characters pummeled in a boxing ring and beaten to a pulp in a POW camp, grew extremely nervous about his dancing scene with Novak at the Labor Day picnic. To help him out, Josh Logan arranged for Holden and choreographer Miriam Nelson to hit Kansas roadhouses and work out the movements. The actor told Columbia Pictures that he would do the dancing sequence on two conditions: 1) he receive an $8,000 stuntman premium and 2) he be intoxicated during the shooting of the dance. To his surprise, the studio acquiesced, and Holden performed the scene bombed.