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Cleopatra (1934)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Cleopatra (1934) A lavish spectacle (perhaps not as famous as the 1963 version) that I’m afraid was a bit of a disappointment when I finally got to see it. It’s one of director-producer Cecil B. DeMille’s many extravaganzas which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar (and 3 others). It does features Claudette Colbert in the title role and a stunning wardrobe as well as some incredible sets (though the inside of her [...]

One Crowded Night (1940)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

One Crowded Night (1940) Should be re-titled “One Coincidence After Another!” Never have I seen a film with so many improbable coincidences one after the other until I threw up my hands in disgust. If this was a comedy it might actually have been funny. Anne Revere and Paul Guilfoyle were the only names I recognized before I watched the film though I also recognized J.M. Kerrigan when I did. Directed by Irving Reis with a screenplay [...]

Teahouse of the August Moon The (1956)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Teahouse of the August Moon The (1956) Directed by Daniel Mann with a screenplay by John Patrick (The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)) this comedy features Marlon Brando as an Asian one year before he would play a Southerner & U.S. Air Force officer who falls in love with a Korean in Sayonara (1957). Set in post-World War II Okinawa it’s a story about the U.S. military’s occupation and attempts to introduce Western concepts such [...]

Our Very Own (1950)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Our Very Own (1950) Four years before Jane Wyatt was to settle in as the perfect mother next to Robert Young’s title character in the TV series “Father Knows Best” she played an unbelievably understanding one in this drama produced by Samuel Goldwyn directed by David Miller and written by F. Hugh Herbert. The film received an Academy Award nomination for its Sound Recording. Fred Macauley (Donald Cook) and his wife Lois (Wyatt) [...]

Hatari! (1962)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Hatari! (1962) Produced and directed by Howard Hawks with a screenplay by Leigh Brackett that was based on a story by Harry Kurnitz (What Next Corporal Hargrove? (1945)) this adventure comedy drama set in Africa is notable for Russell Harlan’s Color Cinematography which was Oscar nominated (his third of six unrewarded Academy Award nominations in this category) and Henri Mancini’s original song “Baby Elephant Walk”. The [...]

Carmen Jones (1954)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Carmen Jones (1954) Directed by Otto Preminger (Laura (1944)) with a screenplay by Harry Kleiner that was based on Oscar Hammerstein II’s book this Musical drama is famous for the fact that Dorothy Dandridge (in the title role) went on to become the first African American woman to earn an Academy Award Best Actress nomination for her performance; the film’s Score was also nominated. It was added to the National Film Registry in 1992. The [...]

Star is Born A (1937)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Star is Born A (1937) Although some prefer this to the Judy Garland/James Mason version I think both are great. This one stars Janet Gaynor as the talented yet undiscovered actress who makes her way to Hollywood to pursue her dream. The first one to recognize her talent is an aging declining actor (Fredric March) who falls in love with her helps her and marries her before she hits it big. Hence he is overshadowed by her and she’s [...]

Ziegfeld Girl (1941)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Ziegfeld Girl (1941) Three interweaving plot-lines mark this MGM showcase for three of their star actresses of the time: Judy Garland Hedy Lamarr and Lana Turner. The famed Florence Ziegfeld is interested in each for his shows though he (nor an actor playing him) is never shown. Instead Edward Everett Horton is used; he plays a trusted Ziegfeld talent manager who’s minimally involved in all three story-lines. He’s interested in [...]

Lady and the Tramp (1955)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Lady and the Tramp (1955) This delightful animated Walt Disney Production details the first year (or two) of the life of a sweet domesticated female cocker spaniel named Lady (voiced by Barbara Luddy) and her various encounters: with her ‘humans’ – owners Jim Dear (Lee Millar) and ‘Darling’ (Peggy Lee) – and especially the streetwise stray terrier she fancies named Tramp (Larry Roberts). Ms. Lee sings (and/or wrote with Sonny Burke) [...]

Character Actors Before Their Time

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Character Actors Before Their Time It was 1937 before the Academy finally honored supporting actors and actresses with an award and (for the first seven years that it was given) they received plaques – in lieu of the more coveted ‘Oscars’ – to recognize their achievements (though these plaques were later replaced with statuettes). In fact over the past 80 years AMPAS has added and deleted categories to suit their predilections and/or the [...]
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