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Movie Poster of the Week: Times Square in 1940

Movie Poster of the Week: Times Square in 1940
Above: The Rivoli Theater on Broadway between 49th and 50th Streets in 1940, playing John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath which had opened on 24 January of that year. The billboard on 49th Street is advertising the engagement of Pinocchio, which had opened 7 February, a block away at the Center Theatre on 6th Avenue and 49th Street, next door to Radio City Music Hall.One of my favorite internet rabbit holes of the past couple of years has been the New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery which gives you the miraculous ability to roam around the New York of 1940. In 2018 the archive published 720,000 images from the City’s 1940 tax photo project. Between 1939 and 1941, the City’s Tax Department had collaborated with the Works Progress Administration (Wpa) to take photographs of every single house and building in the five boroughs of New York City, providing an unprecedented record of the city at a moment in time.
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The Bat

The Bat
The Bat

Blu ray

The Film Detective

1959 / 1.85:1/ 80 min.

Starring Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead

Cinematography by Joseph Biroc

Directed by Crane Wilbur

Released during the dog days of summer in August of 1959, The Bat was an air-conditioned summer treat for the eight year-old unprepared for a blood and thunder horror movie – even if this mild thriller does star that consummate killer Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead as a novelist who dabbles in murder – the more gruesome, the better.

Price plays Malcolm Wells, a small-town doctor who’s just witnessed the confession of one John Fleming, a larcenous bank president who’s embezzled a fortune from his own vault. Knowing an opportunity when he sees it, Wells promptly shoots Fleming and sets off to find the loot, hidden in a creaky mansion called The Oaks. Waiting for him is Cornelia Van Gorder (Moorehead), a specialist in pulp fiction unaware that the
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The politically incorrect Oscars: 9 white actors who were recognized for playing minorities

After two straight years of all-white acting nominees in 2015 and 2016, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences responded to the #OscarsSoWhite issue by inviting a far more diverse and younger field of talent both behind and in front of the camera to join. And though there are miles to go until there is true diversity, the academy’s nominees and winners are beginning to reflect our culture.

Last year, “Moonlight” became the first Best Picture winner with an all-black cast. Its director Barry Jenkins shared the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar with Tarell Alvin McCraney, while Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor. Viola Davis also took home Best Supporting Actress for “Fences.”

This year’s black nominees include Jordan Peele, a triple nominee for producing, directing and writing Best Picture contender “Get Out,” which also scored a Best Actor nomination for Daniel Kaluuya. Two-time winner Denzel Washington is nominated for “Roman J.
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From Lollobrigida to Gidget: Romance and Heartache in Italy

Here's a brief look – to be expanded – at Turner Classic Movies' June 2017 European Vacation Movie Series this evening, June 23. Tonight's destination of choice is Italy. Starring Suzanne Pleshette and Troy Donahue as the opposite of Ugly Americans who find romance and heartbreak in the Italian capital, Delmer Daves' Rome Adventure (1962) was one of the key romantic movies of the 1960s. Angie Dickinson and Rossano Brazzi co-star. In all, Rome Adventure is the sort of movie that should please fans of Daves' Technicolor melodramas like A Summer Place, Parrish, and Susan Slade. Fans of his poetic Westerns – e.g., 3:10 to Yuma, The Hanging Tree – may (or may not) be disappointed with this particular Daves effort. As an aside, Rome Adventure was, for whatever reason, a sizable hit in … Brazil. Who knows, maybe that's why Rome Adventure co-star Brazzi would find himself playing a Brazilian – a macho, traditionalist coffee plantation owner,
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Remembering Oscar-Winning Gwtw Art Director Menzies

William Cameron Menzies. William Cameron Menzies movies on TCM: Murderous Joan Fontaine, deadly Nazi Communists Best known as an art director/production designer, William Cameron Menzies was a jack-of-all-trades. It seems like the only things Menzies didn't do was act and tap dance in front of the camera. He designed and/or wrote, directed, produced, etc., dozens of films – titles ranged from The Thief of Bagdad to Invaders from Mars – from the late 1910s all the way to the mid-1950s. Among Menzies' most notable efforts as an art director/production designer are: Ernst Lubitsch's first Hollywood movie, the Mary Pickford star vehicle Rosita (1923). Herbert Brenon's British-set father-son drama Sorrell and Son (1927). David O. Selznick's mammoth production of Gone with the Wind, which earned Menzies an Honorary Oscar. The Sam Wood movies Our Town (1940), Kings Row (1942), and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943). H.C. Potter's Mr. Lucky
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How Sound Film Technology Evolved in the Last Century: Interview with Former UCLA Film Preservationist Gitt

Hal Roach looks on as technicians install Vitaphone equipment in his studio screening room, ca. 1928. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) 'A Century of Sound': Q&A with former UCLA Preservation Officer Robert Gitt about the evolution of film sound technology Long before multi-track Dolby stereo and digital sound technology, there were the Kinetophone and the Vitaphone systems – not to mention organ and piano players at movie houses. Much of that is discussed in A Century of Sound, which chronicles the evolution of film sound from the late 19th century to the mid-1970s. A Century of Sound has been split into two parts, with a third installment currently in the planning stages. They are: Vol. 1, “The Beginning, 1876-1932,” which came out on DVD in 2007. Vol. 2, “The Sound of Movies: 1933-1975,” which came out on Blu-ray in 2015. The third installment will bring the presentation into the 21st century.
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Five Came Back

Dalton Trumbo and Nathanael West contributed to the screenplay for John Farrow's suspense adventure about a plane crash in the Amazon jungle -- who will survive? Lucille Ball is the ranking castaway in a glossy Rko thriller that's been restored to a fine polish. Five Came Back DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1939 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 75 min. / Street Date June 30, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, Wendy Barrie, John Carradine, Allen Jenkins, Joseph Calleia, C. Aubrey Smith, Kent Taylor, Patric Knowles, Elisabeth Risdon, Casey Johnson, Frank Faylen. Cinematography Nicholas Musuraca Original Music Roy Webb Written by Jerome Cady, Dalton Trumbo, Nathanael West story by Richard Carroll Produced by Robert Sisk Directed by John Farrow

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

When they list the 'big' pictures of 1939, the ones that we're told made that year Hollywood's best ever, there are some winning titles that don't get mentioned.
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Oscar Winner and Queen of MGM on TCM: Still Relevant Adult Themes

Norma Shearer: The Boss' wife was cast in 'The Divorcee.' Norma Shearer movies on TCM: Early talkies and Best Actress Oscar Note: This Norma Shearer article is currently being revised and expanded. Please Check back later. Norma Shearer, one of the top stars in Hollywood history and known as the Queen of MGM back in the 1930s, is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month of Nov. 2015. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that even though its parent company, Time Warner, owns most of Shearer's movies, TCM isn't airing any premieres. So, if you were expecting to check out a very young Norma Shearer in The Devil's Circus, Upstage, or After Midnight, you're out of luck. (I've seen all three; they're all worth a look.) It's a crime that, music score or no, restored print or no, TCM/Time Warner don't make available for viewing the
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Marx Bros. Wreak Havoc on TCM Today

Groucho Marx in 'Duck Soup.' Groucho Marx movies: 'Duck Soup,' 'The Story of Mankind' and romancing Margaret Dumont on TCM Grouch Marx, the bespectacled, (painted) mustached, cigar-chomping Marx brother, is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 14, '15. Marx Brothers fans will be delighted, as TCM is presenting no less than 11 of their comedies, in addition to a brotherly reunion in the 1957 all-star fantasy The Story of Mankind. Non-Marx Brothers fans should be delighted as well – as long as they're fans of Kay Francis, Thelma Todd, Ann Miller, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Allan Jones, affectionate, long-tongued giraffes, and/or that great, scene-stealing dowager, Margaret Dumont. Right now, TCM is showing Robert Florey and Joseph Santley's The Cocoanuts (1929), an early talkie notable as the first movie featuring the four Marx BrothersGroucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo. Based on their hit Broadway
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From Mexican to German: Watch Beery Deliver Various Phony Accents

Wallace Beery from Pancho Villa to Long John Silver: TCM schedule (Pt) on August 17, 2013 (photo: Fay Wray, Wallace Beery as Pancho Villa in ‘Viva Villa!’) See previous post: “Wallace Beery: Best Actor Oscar Winner — and Runner-Up.” 3:00 Am The Last Of The Mohicans (1920). Director: Maurice Tourneur. Cast: Barbara Bedford, Albert Roscoe, Wallace Beery, Lillian Hall, Henry Woodward, James Gordon, George Hackathorne, Nelson McDowell, Harry Lorraine, Theodore Lorch, Jack McDonald, Sydney Deane, Boris Karloff. Bw-76 mins. 4:30 Am The Big House (1930). Director: George W. Hill. Cast: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Robert Montgomery, Leila Hyams, George F. Marion, J.C. Nugent, DeWitt Jennings, Matthew Betz, Claire McDowell, Robert Emmett O’Connor, Tom Wilson, Eddie Foyer, Roscoe Ates, Fletcher Norton, Noah Beery Jr, Chris-Pin Martin, Eddie Lambert, Harry Wilson. Bw-87 mins. 6:00 Am Bad Man Of Brimstone (1937). Director: J. Walter Ruben. Cast: Wallace Beery, Virginia Bruce, Dennis O’Keefe. Bw-89 mins.
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Wac's 4th-Year Anniversary Releases Include Star Vehicles for Reynolds, Garfield, Barthelmess

Warner Archive Collection 4th anniversary DVD / Blu-ray releases The Warner Archive Collection (aka Wac), which currently has a DVD / Blu-ray library consisting of approximately 1,500 titles, has just turned four. In celebration of its fourth anniversary, Wac is releasing with movies featuring the likes of Jane Powell, Eleanor Parker, and many more stars and filmmakers of yesteryear. (Pictured above: Greer Garson, Debbie Reynolds, Ricardo Montalban in the sentimental 1966 comedy / drama with music The Singing Nun.) For starters, Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds play siblings in Richard Thorpe's Athena (1954), whose supporting cast includes Edmund Purdom, Vic Damone, frequent Jerry Lewis foil Kathleen Freeman, Citizen Kane's Ray Collins, Tyrone Power's then-wife Linda Christian, former Mr. Universe and future Hercules Steve Reeves, veteran Louis Calhern, not to mention numerology, astrology, and vegetarianism. As per Wac's newsletter, the score by Hugh Martin and Martin Blane "gets a first ever Stereophonic Sound remix for this disc,
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5 June DVD Titles You Should Know About Including 'The 39 Steps,' The Films Of Lina Wertmüller & More

Well, the dog days of summer are fast approaching, and what better way to duck out of the heat than by spending a cool day inside, AC-blasting, with your Blu-ray player and an endless supply of chilled adult beverages. June sees the release of an Alfred Hitchcock classic (beautifully restored), a trio of Lina Wertmüller gems, a nearly lost Michael Curtiz effort, a movie about the sex lives of ghosts, and a plane crash survival tale sold on the, er, ample merits of its female lead.

“The 39 Steps” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1935)

Why You Should Care: Because “The 39 Steps,” a crackling (86 minutes!) spy thriller from Alfred Hitchcock, is one of the most beloved British movies of all time, coming in at fourth place in the British Film Institute’s poll of top British films, and more recently, named the 21st greatest British film of all time by movie magazine Total Film. The film,
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Carole Lombard Movie Schedule: Mr. And Mrs. Smith, Vigil In The Night, In Name Only

Carole Lombard on TCM: My Man Godfrey, Nothing Sacred, The Racketeer Mitchell Leisen's Hands Across the Table (1935) would have been more enjoyable had Carole Lombard ended up with Ralph Bellamy instead of Fred MacMurray. In fact, MacMurray's obnoxious Average Joe portrayal — who comes across as the Average Jerk instead — all but destroys the film. His character should have gone to, once again, Melvyn Douglas, Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant, Brian Aherne, Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Edward G. Robinson, Bela Lugosi, Ginger Rogers, May Robson, or just about anyone else in Hollywood at that time. I haven't watched Vigil in the Night (1940), a melodrama about two sisters/nurses that isn't considered one of George Stevens' best. The cast, however, is good: in addition to Lombard, there are Brian Aherne and Anne Shirley. Vigil in the Night is also of interest in that it's one of Lombard's rare post-1935 non-comedic roles.
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Ben Johnson on TCM: War Drums, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon

Ben Johnson isn't exactly what one would call a movie icon; Johnson isn't even a Western icon, despite his presence in numerous Old (and not-so-Old) West movies during his 50+-year career. Johnson's semi-obscurity today is a great reason to celebrate Turner Classic Movies' devoting one whole day to him as part of its "Summer Under the Stars" film series. [Ben Johnson Movie Schedule.] TCM will be presenting 12 Ben Johnson movies, including one premiere, the 1957 Western War Drums, directed by Viennese filmmaker Reginald Le Borg (Voodoo Island, Sins of Jezebel), and starring former Tarzan Lex Barker. The movie sounds like a hoot: Mexican gal Riva (Joan Taylor, actually from Geneva, Illinois) is wanted and desired by both a white trader (Johnson) and an Apache chief named Mangas Coloradas (Barker). Barker playing an Apache should be, ahem, interesting enough, but one named Mangas Coloradas? Here's wondering if that translates as "Colored Mangoes." Anyhow, War Drums sounds like a must-see.
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Ann Dvorak Movie Schedule: Three On A Match, Our Very Own, College Coach

Bette Davis, Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, Three on a Match Ann Dvorak on TCM Part I: Scarface, I Was An American Spy Another cool Ann Dvorak performance is her drug addict in Mervyn LeRoy's Three on a Match (1932), which features a great cast that includes Warren William, Joan Blondell, and a pre-stardom Bette Davis. Never, ever light three cigarettes using the same match, or you'll end up like Ann Dvorak, delivering a harrowing performance without getting an Academy Award nomination for your efforts. As Three on a Match's young Ann Dvorak, future Oscar nominee Anne Shirley is billed as Dawn O'Day. (And for those who believe that remakes is something new: Three on a Mach was remade a mere six years later as Broadway Musketeers: John Farrow directed; Ann Sheridan, Marie Wilson, and Margaret Lindsay starred.) I've never watched David Miller's family drama Our Very Own
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New York's "Essential Pre-Code" Series: Week 3

Each year New York residents can look forward to two essential series programmed at the Film Forum, noirs and pre-Coders (that is, films made before the strict enforcing of the Motion Picture Production Code). These near-annual retrospective traditions are refreshed and re-varied and re-repeated for neophytes and cinephiles alike, giving all the chance to see and see again great film on film. Many titles in this year's Essential Pre-Codeseries, running an epic July 15 - August 11, are old favorites and some ache to be new discoveries; all in all there are far too many racy, slipshod, patter-filled celluloid splendors to be covered by one critic alone. Faced with such a bounty, I've enlisted the kind help of some friends and colleagues, asking them to sent in short pieces on their favorites in an incomplete but also in-progress survey and guide to one of the summer's most sought-after series. In this entry: what's playing Friday,
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Jean Harlow Centenary Celebration on TCM: Red-headed Woman, Suzy, Riffraff

Jean Harlow, Chester Morris in Jack Conway's Red-Headed Woman Jean Harlow, who died of complications from kidney disease at the age of 26 in 1937, would have turned 100 years old last March 3. In celebration of Harlow's centenary, Turner Classic Movies is presenting a series of Harlow movies every Tuesday evening this month. The Jean Harlow series begins tonight, with a mix that includes Harlow's early, pre-mgm work (a bit part in Charles Chaplin's City Lights, the Columbia release Three Wise Girls), the racy pre-Coder Red-Headed Woman, and a couple of her later MGM movies (Suzy, Riffraff). I haven't watched Three Wise Girls, yet. It sounds a bit like The Greeks Had a Word for Them, a United Artists release that also came out in 1932, and its many variations, e.g., the 20th Century Fox releases Three Blind Mice, Moon Over Miami, How to Marry a Millionaire. I'd say Three Wise
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Eisenberg vs. Damon? The Youngest Best Actor Nominees!

"Do I have your full attention?"

Whilst continuing my "Best in Show" column for Tribeca Film, I decided it was high time to highlight Jesse Eisenberg from The Social Network and this is why. Here at The Film Experience though, it's time for Oscar trivia! Though I would love to see Eisenberg win traction for Best Actor, he has something else working against him besides the subdued performance: his age.

Youngest Best Actor NomineesAnd where Eisenberg would fit in, were he to be nominated.

Disclaimer/Bragging: You won't find info this extensive elsewhere! The Official Oscar site / Wikipedia only offer top tens. However the following info is approximate. Though the Academy's top ten is down to the day of the actual nominations, they don't provide official nomination dates only ceremony dates. Inside Oscar and Wikipedia also only list the ceremony dates so we're just using February 1st, ∞ as a general
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Actress Adele Mara is dead

By Harris Lentz, III

Adele Mara was an actress in films in the 1940s and 1950s, and was John Wayne’s leading lady in the films Wake of the Red Witch and Sands of Iwo Jima. She also starred in the 1945 Republic horror film The Vampire’s Ghost with John Abbott and Peggy Stewart, and The Catman of Paris (1946) with Carl Esmond.

She was born Adelaide Delgado in Highland Park, Michigan, on April 28, 1923. She began her career in her teens as a singer and dancer with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra in Detroit. She traveled to New York with Cugat, where she signed a contract with Columbia Pictures in 1942. She appeared in a handful of films over the next several years including Alias Boston Blackie (1942) with Chester Morris, Vengeance of the West (1942) with Tex Ritter, and Crime Doctor (1943) with Warner Baxter. She subsequently signed with Republic Studios, and continued her
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Ingrid Pitt Pays Tribute To Boston Blackie

  • CinemaRetro

Cinema Retro is very proud to welcome the lovely and talented actress Ingrid Pitt to our ranks of regular columnists. If you're a retro movie lover, Ingrid needs no introduction, thanks to her iconic appearances in films like The Wicker Man, The Vampire Lovers, Countess Dracula, Where Eagles Dare and The House That Dripped Blood. Ingrid will be sharing her stories about the making of her films, as well as essays about movies she loves. In her debut column, Ingrid puts the spotlight on the long-neglected Boston Blackie series.

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By Ingrid Pitt

“Enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend’

With a strap like that it is a wonder that anyone turned out in the middle of World War 2 to watch the antics of the leading man, Chester Morris, in the Boston Blackie series of
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