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Rebecca (1940)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Rebecca (1940) Manderlay’s housekeeper Mrs. Danvers is 31st on AFI’s Top Villain list in this movie about expectations & disillusionment. It was the first film Alfred Hitchcock made in Hollywood his only one to win Best Picture; he never won a Best Director Oscar! David O. Selznick’s second straight BP Oscar and the first of only THREE Hitchcock films he produced after initially luring him to Hollywood with a FOUR picture [...]

Firecreek (1968) – full review!

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Firecreek (1968) – full review! Directed by Vincent McEveety with a screenplay by Calvin Clements (Sr.) this relatively unknown Western is an unheralded gem a High Noon (1952) type story appropriately featuring James Stewart in the everyman role that won Gary Cooper his second Best Actor Oscar on his last Academy Award nomination. Henry Fonda plays the leader of the gang that disrupts the titled town where farmer Stewart is the part time [...]

Great Everyman Actors

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Great Everyman Actors Two prolific actors who specialized in playing ordinary men often put in extraordinary circumstances AND historical persons “known” to most Americans were Gary ‘Coop’ Cooper and James ‘Jimmy’ Stewart. Both men generated a lot of “good will” for themselves the way they conducted themselves off-screen (at least for most of their lives) as well. Although John Wayne earned a Congressional Medal [...]

Tom Jones (1963)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Tom Jones (1963) The editing and background music in this film are/were unique and something to behold. Although you may have seen some of the techniques copied (unfortunately the only film which comes immediately to mind with regards to the editing is Start the Revolution Without Me (1970)) I feel fairly certain that freeze frames (with narrative voice-overs) characters playing (even talking) to the camera and the lyrical wipes & fades [...]

Terms of Endearment (1983)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Terms of Endearment (1983) I can still remember the tears. Of course I’ve always loved Shirley MacLaine movies (she finally won gold on her fifth and last so far Best Actress nomination) and this film is so good it almost makes having to watch Debra Winger (Oscar nominated) tolerable winning the Best Picture Oscar. A film about family relationships particularly mother & daughter. Producer James L. Brooks won his only three Oscars in [...]

Edward G. Robinson

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Edward G. Robinson Edward G. Robinson was born in Bucharest Romania on December 12 1893. Though he’d begun his Hollywood acting career years earlier (first appearing onscreen during the silent era) it was director Mervyn LeRoy’s Little Caesar (1931) that made him a star. Playing the title role of a diminutive gangster that wanted to be a big shot Robinson gave his character Enrico Bandello an energy akin to James Cagney’s portrayal of Tom [...]

Becky Sharp (1935)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Becky Sharp (1935) Directed by Rouben Mamoulian with a screenplay by Francis Edward Faragoh (Little Caesar (1931)) this drama is noteworthy for two things: it features Miriam Hopkins’s only Oscar nominated performance (Best Actress) she plays the title role; and it’s the first features length 3-strip Technicolor film which looks it despite a restoration. Other than that it’s a terribly dated drama about a sassy [...]

Paper Moon (1973)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Paper Moon (1973) Directed by Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show (1971)) with a screenplay by Alvin Sargent this essential comedy-drama features the screen debut of Tatum O’Neal with her father Ryan. The two play con artists who prey on gullible persons during the Depression. Ten year old Tatum who became the youngest ever Oscar winner for her Supporting Actress performance competed against (among others) Madeline Kahn who plays [...]

Tess of the Storm Country (1922)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Tess of the Storm Country (1922) Directed by John Robertson with scenarios co-written by Josephine Lovett (Our Dancing Daughters (1928)) this frequently filmed (story) silent is actually the second done by Mary Pickford the first being the 1914 version that helped launch her stardom. The film opens with a “letter” by its star explaining that with the advent of better technology she decided to remake this story with which she is most [...]

Private Detective (1939)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Private Detective (1939) Directed by Noel Smith and starring Jane Wyman (Johnny Belinda (1948)) this “B” comedy mystery may remind you of TV’s Moonlighting series but only briefly. The laughs are few and far between and the overall credibility of the characters make the solving of the “mystery” inconsequential; it’s not like the culprit will surprise anyone either. It’s unfortunate that Wyman’s [...]
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