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 yankee doodle dandy (5)


June 6

Yankee Doodle Dandy is released, 1942. “It was a good movie,” said musical theater legend George M. Cohan after seeing the film version of his life. “What was it about?” True to many biopics produced during Hollywood’s Golden Age, Yankee Doodle Dandy took a fair share of departures from the truth, including the omission of Cohan’s first marriage and the changing of his second wife’s name from Agnes to Mary (which was Agnes’s middle name). But what mattered to audiences most was its entertainment value, and in that regard it scored a bull’s-eye—it was 1942’s second-biggest money earner for Warner Bros. and contained such crowd-pleasing numbers as “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and the title tune. Cohan himself acted as consultant for the picture and was thrilled about James Cagney’s performance. Academy members were thrilled as well, voting Cagney’s portrayal of Cohan the best of the year. It would be the actor’s only competitive Oscar.


Bill Gold and the Art of the Movie Poster

In the early 1940s, graphic artist Bill Gold designed the one sheet for Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), the first of what would be thousands of movie posters in a career that has spanned eight decades. Throughout, he developed lasting working partnerships with illustrator Bob Peak and directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Federico Fellini, Stanley Kubrick and Clint Eastwood, for whom Gold designed his most recent poster, for J. Edgar (2011).

“I know what movie posters should look like instinctively, Gold said in a 2010 interview with The New York Times. “I always found fault with the fact that [the studios] showed three heads of the actors, and that’s about all the concept they would use. And when I started to work I thought, ‘I don’t want to do just a concept with three heads in it—I want a story.’”

Here’s a small sampling of his work, 25 eye-catching creations for some of the most well known movies ever made.

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Casablanca (1942)

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Dial M for Murder (1954)

Mister Roberts (1955)

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April 10

Michael Curtiz dies of cancer in Hollywood, 1962. The Hungarian-born film director (above, with Joan Crawford) was responsible for some of the most acclaimed films of the 1930s and ‘40s—Captain Blood (1935), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) and Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), to name a handful. His greatest success was undoubtedly Casablanca (1942), which won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and one for Curtiz as Best Director. A few years later, another plum project came his way when producer Jerry Wald convinced Warner Bros. head Jack L. Warner that Curtiz, not Vincent Sherman, was the man to commit James M. Cain’s noir drama Mildred Pierce to celluloid.

Crawford was cast despite Curtiz’s view that she was yesterday’s news and difficult to work with. “She comes over here with her high-hat airs and her goddamn shoulder pads,” Curtiz remarked. “Why should I waste time directing a has-been?” Early on in the shoot, he suspected Crawford was upping the glamour on her down-to-earth suburban mother role in spite of her insistence that she was buying her character’s clothes off the rack. What Crawford withheld from him was the fact that her dressmaker was altering the waists and adding shoulder pads to her outfits. Eventually, however, Curtiz was impressed by her professionalism and work ethic. The picture turned out to be a solid success, earning six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and receiving one of the golden statuettes for Crawford’s career-reviving performance.


Oscars 1942: World at War

Thoughts about World War II colored the evening, as attendees were told to eschew formal garb for the second year in a row. Privates Tyrone Power and Alan Ladd opened with show by unfurling the American flag while Jeanette MacDonald sang the national anthem. Mrs. Miniver, a William Wyler-directed drama about a British family during the early years of the war, took many of the top honors, including Best Picture, Director, Actress and Supporting Actress. And the Academy saw fit to recognize all the allied countries, military branches and studios that produced a documentary about the war, resulting in a record 25 nominees for Best Documentary. In an equally unusual move, there were four winners: The Battle of Midway (above), directed by John Ford for the United States Navy, Kokoda Front Line! from the Australian News and Information Bureau, Moscow Strikes Back from Artkino and Prelude to War from the United States Army Special Services.

Mrs. Miniver

William Wyler, Mrs. Miniver

James Cagney, Yankee Doodle Dandy

Greer Garson, Mrs. Miniver

Van Heflin, Johnny Eager

Teresa Wright, Mrs. Miniver


History Meets Oscar: Part Three

Our series continues with a writer, a general, an all-around entertainer and a couple of country western singers—real people played by real actors who won real Oscars for their efforts.

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