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William Fox and His Friends, Part 1

Howard Hawk's prelapsarian rom-com, Fig Leaves (1926)Along with the output of Universal, the films of Fox, before the merger with Twentieth Century, have long been among the more mysterious and hard-to-see products of Golden Age Hollywood. When TCM made Warners' pre-Codes readily available to American eyes, these competing studios' outputs remained shut in some vault, unrestored and unavailable. Well, the Museum of Modern Art has liberated some fantastic early Universal films, and now it's the turn of William Fox's lost masterworks to see the light of the projector beam once more in MoMA's "William Fox Presents: Restorations and Rediscoveries from the Fox Film Corporation," May 18 - June 5, 2018.The season showcases little-seen films by John Ford, F.W. Murnau, Raoul Walsh, Howard Hawks and Frank Borzage, five of the starriest names on the studio's roster of directing talent, but also makes a case for genuinely obscure journeyman talents like Sidney Lanfield,
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Bob Hope on Blu-ray

You pick up a lot of baggage when you live to be 100, a sentiment confirmed by the long, long movie career of Bob Hope. His unofficial status as the preeminent entertainer of the 20th century is open to debate but he was without a doubt that era’s most conspicuous comedian. Marlon Brando’s infamous dismissal, “He’ll go to the opening of a market to receive an award”, was mean-spirited but it had the sting of truth; for over eighty years Hope was everywhere, for better or worse.

Living up to his nickname, “Rapid Robert”, the 31-year old Hope shot out of the gate in 1934 with a series of quick-on-their feet comic shorts revolving around his unique presence as a leading man and comical sidekick rolled into one. It wasn’t long before he was starring in pleasantly prosaic musicals like The Big Broadcast of 1938 and handsomely mounted
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You’ll Never Get Rich

“Am I decent?” They said that Ginger Rogers gave Fred Astaire sex appeal, but the teaming of Astaire and Rita Hayworth is something else. Columbia’s 1941 release is a weak service comedy until the dancing starts, at which point it becomes one of the better musicals of the year – and the breakout vehicle for Ms. Hayworth.

You’ll Never Get Rich

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1941 / B&W/ 1:37 flat full frame / 89 min. / Street Date April 18, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Robert Benchley, John Hubbard,

Osa Massen, Frieda Inescort, Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams, Cliff Nazarro.

Cinematography: Philip Tannura

Art Direction: Lionel Banks

Film Editor: Otto Meyer

Original Music: Cole Porter

Written by Michael Fessier, Ernest Pagano

Produced by Samuel Bischoff

Produced and Directed by Sidney Lanfield

Freed from his Rko contract in 1939, Fred Astaire never signed another long-term deal. He instead jumped from studio to
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The Hound Of The Baskervilles (1939) DVD Review

Director: Sidney Lanfield

Starring: Richard Greene, Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Wendy Barrie

Extras: Sir Christopher Frayling on Sherlock Holmes, Michael B Druxman on Basil Rathbone

One of the best things about having a modern day Sherlock is it introduces people to previous incarnations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s definitive detective. So with a new remastering of The Hound Of The Baskervilles arriving to own, why not give Benedict Cumberbatch the slip for eighty minutes and spend some time in the company of dapper deerstalker-wearer Basil Rathbone?

Accompanied by Nigel Bruce‘s Doctor Watson he set the template for the twentieth century take on Baker Street’s most famous resident, popularizing the character as a master of mystery, his faithful yet bumbling companion tagging along in his wake. Baskervilles remains arguably the best-known Holmes story – somewhat curiously as it’s an atypical adventure in many ways, having more in common
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Station West

Army investigator John Haven is out to catch some crooks using stealth, his wits and a limitless supply of marvelous hardboiled dialogue. Dick Powell trades a trench coat for a cowboy hat, while luscious Jane Greer swaps a .38 snubnose for a dance hall dress. A great cast, a witty script and Burl Ives' singing voice make this a delightfully different noir-inflected oater. Station West DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1948 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 80 min. / Street Date January 12, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Dick Powell, Jane Greer, Agnes Moorehead, Burl Ives,Tom Powers, Gordon Oliver, Steve Brodie, Guinn Williams, Raymond Burr, Regis Toomey, Olin Howlin, John Kellogg, Charles Middleton, John Doucette . Cinematography Harry J. Wild Film Editor Frederic Knudtson Original Music Heinz Roemheld Written by Frank Fenton, Winston Miller Produced by Robert Sparks Directed by Sidney Lanfield

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Want to discover a 'different,' fun '40s western with clever plotting?
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Movie Poster of the Week: “You’ll Never Get Rich” and The Art of the Dance Movie Poster

  • MUBI
Above: French poster by Boris Grinsson for You’ll Never Get Rich (Sidney Lanfield, USA, 1941).In the new edition of Film Comment, out this week, I write about British airbrush artist Philip Castle and his iconic poster for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. The other man behind that poster, aside from Kubrick himself, was producer, director and writer Mike Kaplan who, at the time, was Kubrick’s marketing guru.Kaplan, who has been collecting movie posters, as well as art directing them, for 35 years, is a tireless proselytizer for the art form and his latest project is a labor of love and a pure delight. Gotta Dance! The Art of the Dance Movie Poster, a book he wrote and curated, was born out of a touring exhibition of his own personal collection that he has been exhibiting around the country for the past few years. Its latest stop is
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Wright Was Earliest Surviving Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winner

Teresa Wright: Later years (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon.") Teresa Wright and Robert Anderson were divorced in 1978. They would remain friends in the ensuing years.[1] Wright spent most of the last decade of her life in Connecticut, making only sporadic public appearances. In 1998, she could be seen with her grandson, film producer Jonah Smith, at New York's Yankee Stadium, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch.[2] Wright also became involved in the Greater New York chapter of the Als Association. (The Pride of the Yankees subject, Lou Gehrig, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1941.) The week she turned 82 in October 2000, Wright attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Somewhere in Time, where she posed for pictures with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In March 2003, she was a guest at the 75th Academy Awards, in the segment showcasing Oscar-winning actors of the past. Two years later,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Wright Minibio Pt.2: Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Movie

Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock heroine (image: Joseph Cotten about to strangle Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt') (See preceding article: "Teresa Wright Movies: Actress Made Oscar History.") After scoring with The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, and The Pride of the Yankees, Teresa Wright was loaned to Universal – once initial choices Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland became unavailable – to play the small-town heroine in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. (Check out video below: Teresa Wright reminiscing about the making of Shadow of a Doubt.) Co-written by Thornton Wilder, whose Our Town had provided Wright with her first chance on Broadway and who had suggested her to Hitchcock; Meet Me in St. Louis and Junior Miss author Sally Benson; and Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, Shadow of a Doubt was based on "Uncle Charlie," a story outline by Gordon McDonell – itself based on actual events.
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La Bête Humaine and Cat People Actress Remembered Part 1 (Revised and Expanded Version)

'Cat People' 1942 actress Simone Simon Remembered: Starred in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie classic (photo: Simone Simon in 'Cat People') Pert, pouty, pretty Simone Simon is best remembered for her starring roles in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie Cat People (1942) and in Jean Renoir's French film noir La Bête Humaine (1938). Long before Brigitte Bardot, Mamie Van Doren, Ann-Margret, and (for a few years) Jane Fonda became known as cinema's Sex Kittens, Simone Simon exuded feline charm in a film career that spanned a quarter of a century. From the early '30s to the mid-'50s, she seduced men young and old on both sides of the Atlantic – at times, with fatal results. During that period, Simon was featured in nearly 40 movies in France, Italy, Germany, Britain, and Hollywood. Besides Jean Renoir, in her native country she worked for the likes of Jacqueline Audry
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Actress Martha Stewart May Still Be Alive Despite Two-Year-Old Reports to the Contrary

Martha Stewart: Actress / Singer in Fox movies apparently not dead despite two-year-old reports to the contrary (Photo: Martha Stewart and Perry Como in 'Doll Face') According to various online reports, including Variety's, actress and singer Martha Stewart, a pretty blonde featured in supporting roles in a handful of 20th Century Fox movies of the '40s, died at age 89 of "natural causes" in Northeast Harbor, Maine, on February 25, 2012. Needless to say, that was not the same Martha Stewart hawking "delicious foods" and whatever else on American television. But quite possibly, the Martha Stewart who died in February 2012 -- if any -- was not the Martha Stewart of old Fox movies either. And that's why I'm republishing this (former) obit, originally posted more than two and a half years ago: March 11, 2012. Earlier today, a commenter wrote to Alt Film Guide, claiming that the Martha Stewart featured in Doll Face, I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now,
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Hutton Pt.2: From Morgan's Creek to Mature Leading Lady

Betty Hutton movies (photo: Betty Hutton in The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, with Eddie Bracken) [See previous post: "Betty Hutton Bio: The Blonde Bombshell."] Buddy DeSylva did as promised. Betty Hutton was given a key supporting role in Victor Schertzinger’s 1942 musical comedy The Fleet’s In, starring Dorothy Lamour, William Holden, and Eddie Bracken. “Her facial grimaces, body twists and man-pummeling gymnastics take wonderfully to the screen,” enthused Pm magazine. (Hutton would have a cameo, as Hetty Button, in the 1952 remake Sailor Beware, starring Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Corinne Calvet.) The following year, Betty Hutton landed the second female lead in Happy Go Lucky (1943), singing Jimmy McHugh and Frank Loesser’s "Murder, He Says," and stealing the show from fellow Broadway import Mary Martin and former Warner Bros. crooner Dick Powell. She also got co-star billing opposite Bob Hope in Sidney Lanfield’s musical comedy Let’s Face It. Additionally, Paramount’s hugely successful all-star war-effort
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Jane Greer on TCM: Out Of The Past, The Company She Keeps

Jane Greer, Out of the Past Today is neither Jane Greer's birth nor death anniversary. Even so, Turner Classic Movies is devoting Saturday evening/night to the dangerously seductive star of a number of (mostly) Rko productions of the late '40s and early '50s. And who's complaining? Unfortunately, Out of the Past, perhaps Greer's best-known film and performance, is already in the past. It was shown earlier this evening. Right now, TCM is showing Don Siegel's Mexico-set crime drama The Big Steal, featuring Greer, her Out of the Past co-star Robert Mitchum, William Bendix, Patrick Knowles, and silent-film veterans Ramon Novarro and Don Alvarado. Next comes my favorite Jane Greer performance, as the good girl gone bad — or bad girl attempting to go good — in John Cromwell's The Company She Keeps. This all-but-forgotten little melodramatic gem is a must for another reason as well: Lizabeth Scott,
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Bob Hope on TCM: Nothing But The Truth, Where There’S Life, Road Movies

Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Bring Crosby Bob Hope isn’t my idea of a funny guy, but those who do enjoy Hope’s on-screen antics are in for a treat on Turner Classic Movies on Sunday, August 8. [Full schedule.] TCM will be showing no less than fourteen Bob Hope vehicles as part of their "Summer Under the Stars" series. Notable among those are two TCM premieres: Elliott Nugent‘s Nothing But the Truth (1941), co-starring the always delightful Paulette Goddard, and Sidney Lanfield‘s Where There’s Life (1947), in which Hope’s leading lady is the underrated Signe Hasso — who that same year was excellent playing opposite Ronald Colman in George Cukor‘s A Double Life. In Nothing But the Truth, Hope plays a businessman who must tell the truth for 24 hours. (There have been numerous variations on this premise, from No, No Nanette to Liar, Liar.) This Paramount comedy — the third Goddard-Hope effort,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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