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 who's afraid of virginia woolf? (4)


January 30

City Lights premiers at the Los Angeles Theater in downtown Los Angeles, 1931. In the audience, at the invitation of Chaplin, was Albert Einstein, who was said to have teared up at the film’s famous climax. The event was the culmination of a 179-day shoot and a $1.5 million expenditure, but the screening of what many critics would consider Chaplin’s best film was marred mid-way through when the manager of the venue interrupted the movie to boast about the state-of-the-art theater the spectators were experiencing. “I could not believe my ears," a furious Chaplain recalled. "I went mad. I leaped from my seat and raced up the aisle: 'Where's that stupid son of a bitch of a manager? I'll kill him!'" Overwhelmed by boos from the audience, the theater manager cut his speech short and resumed the film.

Vanessa Redgrave is born in London, 1937. A prominent figure in one of England’s most prestigious acting dynasties, she did, in fact, come into the world while her father, Michael Redgrave, was appearing in Hamlet, with costar Laurence Olivier announcing at the curtain call that “tonight a great actress was born.” Talented genes extended to Vanessa, sister Lynn, brother Corin and daughters Natasha and Joely Richardson. A performer on stage in London, Redgrave eventually hit the big screen in 1966 in Morgan!, playing ex-wife to David Warner’s character in an eccentric comedy about a man’s steadfast escapes from reality. An Oscar nomination for that movie pitted her performance against that of her sister Lynn in Georgy Girl, with Elizabeth Taylor winning for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The sisters would work together twice—in a garish television remake of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1991) and again in The White Countess (2005), starring Natasha Richardson.


March 2

Sandy Dennis dies of ovarian cancer in Westport, Connecticut, 1992. She found steady employment on the New York stage before appearing in her first film, Splendor in the Grass (1961). From there, she returned to Broadway and promptly won two back-to-back Tony Awards, the first in 1963 for A Thousand Clowns and again in 1964 for Any Wednesday. Such laurels did not translate to opportunity when it came time to adapt the plays for the big screen, however, with Dennis’s parts going to Barbara Harris and Jane Fonda, respectively. For the movie adaptation of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), the situation was reversed; Melinda Dillon played Honey in the 1962 Broadway production; Dennis was cast as Honey for the Mike Nichols film version. It would win Dennis the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Desi Arnaz is born in Santiago, Cuba, 1917. The émigré cleaned canary cages when he first got to America. After starting his own band, he was hired by Xavier Cugat and performed with him for a short while before branching out on his own and launching the conga dance craze. An appearance in the 1939 Broadway show Too Many Girls led to his being cast in the movie version in 1940, where he met the woman to whom he would be forever linked in American pop culture, Lucille Ball. The picture was released on October 8, 1940. The two married on November 30 that same year. Though their show business careers were dominated by television in general and their show I Love Lucy in particular, both Ball and Arnaz enjoyed solid movie careers prior, she with films like Stage Door (1937), Du Barry Was a Lady (1943) and Best Foot Forward (1943); he with roles in Four Jacks and a Jill (1942) and Bataan (1943). Together, during the height of their television popularity, they made The Long, Long Trailer (1953), a Vincente Minnelli comedy that traded heavily on their TV personas.


February 27

Elizabeth Taylor is born in London, 1932. Her movie career began in 1942 with There’s One Born Every Minute, playing the daughter of a man who develops a pudding that’s chock full of Vitamin Z (!). Her last big-screen endeavor was The Flintstones in 1994. In her 52 years in front of the camera, she made a total of 52 pictures, was Oscar nominated five times and won twice—for BUtterfield 8 (1960) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). In 1955 she embarked on her 25th film, which turned out to be one of her best. Giant, released in 1956, told the sprawling saga of a Texas rancher, his Maryland-born wife and a ranch hand who inherits an oil-rich parcel of land. Directed by George Stevens, the film co-starred Rock Hudson, Mercedes McCambridge, Carroll Baker, Dennis Hopper, Jane Withers and—in his last performance—James Dean, who was killed in a car accident a matter of days after his work was finished on the film. One evening towards the beginning of the shoot, Hudson and Taylor decided to get to know each other over drinks and, by 3:00 am the next morning, ended up bosom buddies and completely blotto. Two and a half hours later they reported to the set to shoot a wordless scene requiring Hudson and Taylor, both valiantly trying not to throw up, to look lovingly upon each other. Onlookers were reportedly moved by their performance.


November 6

Mike Nichols is born in Berlin, Germany, 1931. In a 2009 New York Times interview, Nichols recalled leaving Europe with his family in 1939 to settle in America, with the only English he knew being “I do not speak English” and “Please do not kiss me.” He improved his English, became a U.S. citizen in 1944 and, at 17, went to work at Howard Johnson’s in New York’s Times Square. “A customer asked me what our ice cream flavor of the week was," said Nichols, ”which was a dumb question because there was a huge banner showing that it was maple. So I told him that it was chicken. The customer laughed, but the manager fired me immediately. They were bastards there.” In show business, he helped start Second City Improv and acted onstage here and there before forming a comedy duo with Elaine May—a hit in nightclubs, television and recordings. Directing for the New York stage primed him for directing for the movies, where he joined the A-list with his first feature, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). Oscar nominated for his directorial debut, he won the following year for The Graduate (1967) and received more Academy nominations a couple of decades later for Silkwood (1983) and Working Girl (1988).