The Lady Eve

•October 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The week of October 24, 2010:

The movie of the week is a classic romantic comedy. The Lady Eve was popularized by Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda in 1941.

Stars: Barbara Stanwyck & Henry Fonda
Directed by: Preston Sturges
Released in: 1941

When the rich Charles Pike returns from studying snakes in the Amazon, he meets con-artist Jean Harrington on a ship. The couple genuinely fall in love, but a misunderstanding causes them to split on bad terms. To get back at him Harrington disguises herself as an English lady and comes back to torment him.

Fact: Preston Sturges first began working on The Lady Eve in Reno, Nevada while awaiting his third divorce.

Awards: The Academy Awards nominated Monckton Hoffe for the Best Writing – Original Story award.

To view the trailer of The Lady Eve visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEtyyouT3WM

As well, The Lady Eve will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Wednesday, October 27 at 8:00PM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

To Have and Have Not

•October 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The week of October 17, 2010:

The movie of the week is the first film Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall teamed up for. To Have and Have Not brought one of Hollywood’s greatest romances. The film also remains legendary for its suggestive sexual language and thrilling plotline.

Stars: Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Released in: 1944

Harry Morgan and his sidekick, Eddie, are based on the island of Martinique. However, since World War II is happening around them their business is not what it could be and after a customer who owes them a large sum fails to pay they are forced against their better judgement to violate their preferred neutrality. They take a job transporting a fugitive on the run from the Nazis to Martinique. Through all this runs the stormy relationship between Morgan and Marie “Slim” Browning, a symphathic and sassy singer.

Fact: Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall fell in love during the production. The couple married one year after the film’s release.

Fact: At the funeral for her husband Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall put a whistle in his coffin. It was a reference to the famous line she says to him in To Have and Have Not, their first film together. “You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”

To view the trailer of To Have and Have Not visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXy3tF5uD6A

As well, To Have and Have Not will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Saturday, October 23, at 2:00PM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

Dial M for Murder

•October 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The week of October 10, 2010:

The movie of the week is unlike any ordinary suspense film. Dial M for Murder is notably one of the best thrillers and stars Grace Kelly in her first of a series of works to be directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Stars: Ray Milland & Grace Kelly
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Released in: 1954

In London, wealthy Margot Mary Wendice had a brief love affair with American writer Mark Halliday while her husband Tony Wendice, a professional tennis player, was on a tennis tour. About a year later Halliday arrives from America to visit the couple. When he arrives Tony claims that he needs to work and asks Margot to keep Halliday entertained by taking him to the theater. However, when Margot and Halliday leave, Tony calls an old college buddy instead and blackmails his friend into murdering his wife so that he can inherit her fortune. But there is no perfect crime.

Fact: Alfred Hitchcock arranged to have Grace Kelly dressed in bright colours at the start of the film, then made the clothing progressively darker as time goes by.

Fact: According to the script, Grace Kelly was to get out of bed, put on her robe, and answer the phone when it rang. Kelly contended that no woman would put a robe on to answer the phone. Alfred Hitchcock agreed and so the scene was shot with her in her nightgown.

To view the trailer of Dial M for Murder visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qWwFvsBVic

As well, Dial M for Murder will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Thursday, October 14 at 6:00PM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

•October 3, 2010 • 1 Comment

The week of October 3, 2010:

The movie of the week was a controversial film in its day, but nonetheless was very successful at the box-office. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington stars Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur with a superior supporting cast. The leading role of Jefferson Smith was perfect for Stewart and allowed him to finally become a major movie star.

Stars: Jimmy Stewart & Jean Arthur
Directed by: Frank Capra
Released in: 1939

Jefferson Smith is a naive and idealistic man who has just been appointed to Congress as a junior Senator. Once Smith arrives in Washington, he uncovers the shortcomings of the political process. As Smith’s goal of funding a national boys’ camp leads to a conflict with the state political boss Jim Taylor’s schedule, Taylor tries to corrupt and destroy Smith through a scandal.

Fact: The screenplay was originally purchased by Columbia to make the sequel for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. The screenplay was entitled “Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington” and was to star Gary Cooper, reprising his role as Longfellow Deeds. However, Cooper was unavailable and the script was revised.

Fact: In 1942 a ban on American films was imposed in France. The title theaters chose Mr. Smith Goes to Washington as their last movie to show before the ban went into effect. One Paris theater reportedly screened the film nonstop for thirty days prior to the ban.

Awards: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington won one Oscar. Lewis R. Foster was honored with the Oscar for his Best Writing – Original Story. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington also received nominations in the following categories at the Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Art Direction, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music – Scoring, Best Picture, Best Sound – Recording, Best Writing – Screenplay, plus two nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

To view the trailer of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington visit:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm9qaEJ3MBc

As well, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Sunday, October 3 at 8:00PM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com 

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

The Heiress

•September 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The week of September 26, 2010:

The movie of the week is an adaption from the 1947 play of the same title. The Heiress stars two of Hollywood’s best talents, Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift. Both de Havilland and Clift give strong, charming, and complimentary performances in this movie.

Stars: Olivia de Havilland & Montgomery Clift
Directed by: William Wyler
Released in: 1949

Catherine Sloper inherited a great deal of money after her mother passed and will inherit twice as much more at the passing of her father. So when a penniless but handsome and charming man named Morris Townsend begins to court Catherine, her father becomes suspicious that he must be after her money. Soon the young lovers announce their plans to marry, but Dr. Sloper strongly opposes their marriage. Dr. Sloper even takes his daughter to Europe in hopes she will forget Townsend, but she does not. Once Catherine and her father return to New York, further incidents with both her father and Townsend permanently change Catherine’s character and attitude on life.

Fact: The original idea was to team Olivia de Havilland with her frequent co-star Errol Flynn, but this was dropped in favor of the more subtle acting that Montgomery Clift could bring to the role.

Awards: The Heiress won four Oscars. Aaron Copland was rewarded an Oscar for Best Music – Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. Then the Academy Award for Best Costume Design – Black-and-White was given to Edith Head and Gile Steele. John Meehan, Harry Horner, and Emile Kuri were recognized for Best Art Direction in Set Decoration – Black-and-White. As well, The Heiress allowed Olivia de Havilland to earn her second Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. In addition, The Heiress received nominations in the following categories at the Academy Awards: Best Cinematography – Black-and-White, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Director, and Best Picture.

To view the trailer of The Heiress visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltjOydHAO0M

As well, The Heiress will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Thursday, September 30 at 10:00PM. Be sure to doube-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

Sunset Blvd.

•September 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The week of September 19, 2010:

Traditionally the movie of the week is often cited as one of the most noteworthy films of American cinema, and Sunset Blvd. is no exception. Sunset Blvd. stars William Holden and Gloria Swanson in what many consider their best performances!

Stars: William Holden & Gloria Swanson
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Released in: 1950

Due to screenplay writer Joe Gillis not being successful in selling his work to cinema studios, he has found it profoundly difficult to escape debt. While trying to outsmart his creditors in a high-speed car chase, Gillis encounters a flat tire and parks his car in a decadent mansion on Sunset Blvd. Gillis soon learns that the mansion is occupied and meets the owner of the home. The owner is Norma Desmond, a former silent movie star, who lives with her butler Max von Mayerling. Desmond’s wishful thinking allows her to believe that someday she will return to the cinema industry and is now convinced Gillis can help her make her comeback. She proposes that he move into her mansion and help her write a screenplay for her return. But Gillis begins acting more as Desmond’s gigolo instead. Then when he falls in love with a young, aspiring writer named Betty Schaefer, Desmond’s jealousy turns her completely mad, leading to the ultimate tragic ending.

Fact: The role of Norma Desmond was initially offered to Mae West, Mary Pickford, Pola Negri, and Greta Garbo before being accepted by Gloria Swanson. West rejected the role since she felt too young to play the part. Then Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett went to Pickfair to pitch the story to Pickford, but her horrified reaction as the story progressed made them stop halfway through and apologize to her. Wilder found Negri’s Polish accident, which killed her career, was still too think for such a heavy dialog film. And when Wilder and Brackett met with Garbo they tried to convince her to make a comeback with the role of Desmond, yet she also declined the offer.

Fact: Montgomery Clift was hired to play the leading role of Joe Gillis but quit the production just weeks before filming was scheduled. Clift, like Gillis, was having an affair with a wealthy middle-aged former actress and she pressured him to back out of the role.

Fact: Hedda Hopper and Buster Keaton, who make cameos as themselves in the movie, both died on February 1, 1966.

Awards: Sunset Blvd. won three Oscars. Hans Dreier, John Meehan, Sam Comer, and Ray Moyer won Best Art Direction in Set Decoration – Black-and-White. Best Music for Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture was awarded to Franz Waxman. As well, Sunset Blvd. writers: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, and D.M. Marshman, Jr. won an Oscar for Best Writing – Story and Screenplay. Sunset Blvd. was also nominated for awards in the following categories: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Cinematography – Black-and-White, Best Director, Best Film Editing, and Best Picture.

To view the trailer of Sunset Blvd. visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwxGbhclIGw

As well, Sunset Blvd. will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Wednesday, September 22 at 6:00PM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)

It Happened One Night

•September 12, 2010 • 1 Comment

The week of September 12, 2010:

The movie of the week is the first ever screwball comedy! It Happened One Night is a great romantic-comedy starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. Incredibly both stars were reluctant to make the film but in the end the picture became a box-office hit!

Stars: Clark Gable & Claudette Colbert
Directed by: Frank Capra
Released in: 1934

Ellie Andrews has just tied the knot with King Westley when she is whisked away to her father’s yacht in Miami. Mr. Andrews highly disapproves of his daughter’s marriage and urges her to file for an annulment. When Ellie becomes frustrated with her father she jumps ship and eventually winds up on a bus headed to New York where her husband is currently residing. Meanwhile, Mr. Andrews hires a detective agency to find his daughter and offers a $10,000 reward for any information about his daughter’s whereabouts. On the bus, Ellie sits side-by-side with newspaper reporter Peter Warne. When Warne recognizes Ellie he decides to blackmail her. He promises to protect her but in return he will write about her adventure to meet King Westley. Realizing Warne may blow the whistle to her father, Ellie accepts the help of the reporter and sticks by him until he gets her back to her husband. But as the pair get closer to New York, they soon discover they are now falling in love with one another.

Fact: The scene where Clark Gable is undressing he reveals that he was not wearing an undershirt. It then became cool to not wear an undershirt which resulted in a large drop in undershirt sales across the country. In response, some underwear manufacturers tried to sue Columbia Studio.

Fact: Clark Gable gave his Oscar for It Happened One Night to a child who admired it, telling him it was the winning of the statue that mattered, not owning it. The child returned the Oscar to the Gable family after Clark’s death. In 1996, Steven Spielberg purchased Gable’s Oscar to protect it from commercial exploitation. He donated it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, commenting that he could think of “no better sanctuary for Gable’s only Oscar than the Motion Picture Academy”.

Awards: It Happened One Night was the first of three films to win the Oscar “grand slam”, winning: Best Picture, Best Leading Actor, Best Leading Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Silence of the Lambs would be the two following films to win the Oscar “grand slam”. Clark Gable won the Best Actor in a Leading Role award. Claudette Colbert was titled Best Actress in a Leading Role. Frank Capra was declared Best Director for the first time. Robert Riskin won an Oscar for Best Writing – Adaptation. And of course, It Happened One Night was pronounced Best Picture. Consequently, It Happened One Night won every Academy Award it was nominated for.

To view the trailer of It Happened One Night visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALmnUBqbhuo

As well, It Happened One Night will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Monday, September 13 at 6:15AM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at www.tcm.com

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)