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How Much Shock Can You Stand?

Ghosts are famous for their flexibility, spiraling through keyholes and up from the floorboards in search of their next mark. But movies about ghosts can be flexible too. Three classics of the genre, The Uninvited, House on Haunted Hill and The Innocents, demonstrate that there’s more than one way haunt a house.

These films never appeared on any triple bill that I know of, but I’d like to think they did, somewhere in some small town with a theater manager that knew a good scare when he saw it. How could the programmer resist it? Each film is united by a beautiful black and white sheen, eerie locales and their ability to scare the bejeezus out of you. But they’re also alike in their differences, coming at their specters from distinctly different vantage points.

1944’s The Uninvited, a three-hankie haunted house tale with a dysfunctional family subplot,
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Episode 187 – Jack Clayton’s The Innocents

  • CriterionCast
This time on the podcast, Trevor Berrett, David Blakeslee, and Scott Nye discuss Jack Clayton’s The Innocents.

This genuinely frightening, exquisitely made supernatural gothic stars Deborah Kerr as an emotionally fragile governess who comes to suspect that there is something very, very wrong with her precocious new charges. A psychosexually intensified adaptation of Henry James’s classic The Turn of the Screw, cowritten by Truman Capote and directed by Jack Clayton, The Innocents is a triumph of narrative economy and technical expressiveness, from its chilling sound design to the stygian depths of its widescreen cinematography by Freddie Francis.

Episode Links The Innocents (1961) – The Criterion Collection The Innocents (1961) – IMDb The Innocents (1961) – Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia Trevor’s review of The Innocents – The Mookse and the Gripes Bosley Crowther’s review of The Innocents – The New York Times 1961 Tasha Robinson’s review of The Innocents – The Dissolve 2014 Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw (1898) – Wikipedia,
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Richard Anderson, ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘Bionic Woman’ Actor, Dies at 91

Richard Anderson, ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘Bionic Woman’ Actor, Dies at 91
Richard Anderson, who simultaneously played Oscar Goldman, leader of secret government agent the Osi, on both “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Bionic Woman” after a long career as a supporting actor in film and TV, died on Thursday in his Beverly Hills home. He was 91.

Anderson famously intoned the words heard in voiceover in the opening credits of “The Six Million Dollar Man”: “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better … stronger … faster.”

Anderson was one of a handful of actors who’ve played the same character simultaneously on more than one series on an ongoing basis; some actors in the “Law & Order” franchise made occasional or special appearances on another “Law & Order” series, but were not seen regularly on more than one series.

Related
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Richard Anderson, ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘Bionic Woman’ Actor, Dies at 91

Richard Anderson, ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘Bionic Woman’ Actor, Dies at 91
Richard Anderson, who simultaneously played Oscar Goldman, leader of secret government agent the Osi, on both “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Bionic Woman” after a long career as a supporting actor in film and TV, died on Thursday in his Beverly Hills home. He was 91.

Anderson famously intoned the words heard in voiceover in the opening credits of “The Six Million Dollar Man”: “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better … stronger … faster.”

Anderson was one of a handful of actors who’ve played the same character simultaneously on more than one series on an ongoing basis; some actors in the “Law & Order” franchise made occasional or special appearances on another “Law & Order” series, but were not seen regularly on more than one series.

In
See full article at Variety - TV News »

"Casino Royale"- 1967 Version, Rare Big Screen Showing, Moma NYC, Thursday August 17

  • CinemaRetro
There will be a rare big screen showing of the 1967 spoof version of the James Bond film "Casino Royale" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The screening is Thursday, August 17 at 1:30 Pm. The film features an all-star cast including Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Woody Allen, William Holden to name just a few. The film's legacy as a debacle in terms of a production that went out of control is well documented and was covered in-depth in Cinema Retro issue #6. Producer Charles K. Feldman employed numerous directors who worked on the movie simultaneously, but never together. The movie went over-schedule and over-budget but still did big business at cinemas. Even those who loathe the movie concede it boasts superb production values, a great musical score by Burt Bacharach and at least a few genuinely inspired moments of comedy. "Casino" may be a mess- but it's a grand,
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1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month

1 of the Greatest Actors of the Studio Era Has His TCM Month
Ronald Colman: Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month in two major 1930s classics Updated: Turner Classic Movies' July 2017 Star of the Month is Ronald Colman, one of the finest performers of the studio era. On Thursday night, TCM presented five Colman star vehicles that should be popping up again in the not-too-distant future: A Tale of Two Cities, The Prisoner of Zenda, Kismet, Lucky Partners, and My Life with Caroline. The first two movies are among not only Colman's best, but also among Hollywood's best during its so-called Golden Age. Based on Charles Dickens' classic novel, Jack Conway's Academy Award-nominated A Tale of Two Cities (1936) is a rare Hollywood production indeed: it manages to effectively condense its sprawling source, it boasts first-rate production values, and it features a phenomenal central performance. Ah, it also shows its star without his trademark mustache – about as famous at the time as Clark Gable's. Perhaps
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Beauty vs Beast: From Ape To Eternity

Jason from Mnpp here with a new round of our "Beauty vs Beast" series! I haven't had a chance to see War of the Planet of the Apes yet but I have heard the near unanimous praise so I'll make it soon - until then let's tackle the classic original film from 1968 this week, because who doesn't love to see Charlton Heston shackled and abused for whatever reason. Opposite his amusingly bombastic astronaut George is Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter), who gives that movie's simians a sweet heart - something that the new series of films has really run with.

Previously Last week we wished blad icon Yul Brynner a happy birthday with some King of Siam action but it was his dancing partner who swept y'all off your feet - Deborah Kerr won 67% of the vote. Said Pam:

"I always pick the lady in a gentleman vs lady competition. Plus
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Beauty vs Beast: The King and... Who?

Jason from Mnpp here. Tomorrow is the 97th anniversary of the great Yul Brynner's birth, and while there are several options we could tackle for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" (The Ten Commandments being the most obvious) I decided to go with the most awkward for me - 1956's technicolor musical The King and I, because I feel like we could use a colorful musical right this minute. There's just one problem, which is what renders this "awkward" - I haven't ever seen The King and I. Whoops!

I know the basic gist - Deborah Kerr plays a school-teacher who moves to Siam and she and the King (Brynner) teach each other about their different cultures and fall into something like love. But specifics? Notsomuch. So here's the deal - I will go home and watch The King and I this week, pinky swear, and you guys tell me
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Governors Awards: How many of the 23 recipients to date were Oscar winners or nominees?

  • Gold Derby
Governors Awards: How many of the 23 recipients to date were Oscar winners or nominees?
Traditionally, the motion picture academy has bestowed honorary awards on those who had lost their previous races at the Oscars. Among those feted on the acting side were all-time Oscar also-ran Peter O’Toole, who lost his eight competitive bids and Deborah Kerr, who held the record on the distaff side with six losses (she was […]
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Dysfunctional Heterosexual Couples and Oscar-Winning Cross-Gender Performance: TCM's Gay Pride Comes to an End

Dysfunctional Heterosexual Couples and Oscar-Winning Cross-Gender Performance: TCM's Gay Pride Comes to an End
Turner Classic Movies' 2017 Gay Pride film series comes to a close this evening and tomorrow morning, Thursday–Friday, June 29–30, with the presentation of seven movies, hosted by TV interviewer Dave Karger and author William J. Mann, whose books include Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines and Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969. Among tonight's movies' Lgbt connections: Edward Albee, Tony Richardson, Evelyn Waugh, Tab Hunter, John Gielgud, Roddy McDowall, Linda Hunt, Harvey Fierstein, Rudolf Nureyev, Christopher Isherwood, Joel Grey, and Tommy Kirk. Update: Coincidentally, TCM's final 2017 Gay Pride celebration turned out to be held the evening before a couple of international events – and one non-event – demonstrated that despite noticeable progress in the last three decades, gay rights, even in the so-called “West,” still have a long way to go. In Texas, the state's – all-Republican – Supreme Court decided that married gays should be treated as separate and unequal. In
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Hollywood Studios' First Gay Romantic Drama Back on the Big Screen

'Making Love': Groundbreaking romantic gay drama returns to the big screen As part of its Anniversary Classics series, Laemmle Theaters will be presenting Arthur Hiller's groundbreaking 1982 romantic drama Making Love, the first U.S. movie distributed by a major studio that focused on a romantic gay relationship. Michael Ontkean, Harry Hamlin, and Kate Jackson star. The 35th Anniversary Screening of Making Love will be held on Saturday, June 24 – it's Gay Pride month, after all – at 7:30 p.m. at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. The movie will be followed by a Q&A session with Harry Hamlin, screenwriter Barry Sandler, and author A. Scott Berg, who wrote the “story” on which the film is based. 'Making Love' & What lies beneath In this 20th Century Fox release – Sherry Lansing was the studio head at the time – Michael Ontkean plays a
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

More Gay Stars and Directors and Screenwriters on TCM: From psychos and psychiatrists to surfers and stage mamas

On the day a U.S. appeals court lifted an injunction that blocked a Mississippi “religious freedom” law – i.e., giving Christian extremists the right to discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, etc. – not to mention the publication of a Republican-backed health care bill targeting the poor, the sick, the elderly, and those with “pre-existing conditions” – which would include HIV-infected people, a large chunk of whom are gay and bisexual men, so the wealthy in the U.S. can get a massive tax cut, Turner Classic Movies' 2017 Gay Pride or Lgbt Month celebration continues (into tomorrow morning, Thursday & Friday, June 22–23) with the presentation of movies by or featuring an eclectic – though seemingly all male – group: Montgomery Clift, Anthony Perkins, Tab Hunter, Dirk Bogarde, John Schlesinger, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Arthur Laurents, and Jerome Robbins. After all, one assumes that, rumors or no, the presence of Mercedes McCambridge in one
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93

Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93
Dina Merrill, a beautiful, blonde actress with an aristocratic bearing known as much for her wealthy origins, philanthropy, and marriage to actor Cliff Robertson as for her work in film and television, died on Monday at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 93.

Her son, Stanley H. Rumbough, told the New York Times that Merrill had Lewy Body dementia.

Her parents were Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, and her second husband, Wall Street’s E.F. Hutton.

In 1983, on the occasion of Merrill’s musical comedy debut in a revival of Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 musical ”On Your Toes,” the New York Times gushed, “Long regarded as the essence of chic, the epitome of class and such a persuasive purveyor of charm and charity that she could have a rightful claim to fame as an eloquent spokesman — and fund-raiser — for a slew of worthy causes, Miss Merrill
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93

Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93
Dina Merrill, a beautiful, blonde actress with an aristocratic bearing known as much for her wealthy origins, philanthropy, and marriage to actor Cliff Robertson as for her work in film and television, died on Monday at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 93.

Her son, Stanley H. Rumbough, told the New York Times that Merrill had Lewy Body dementia.

Her parents were Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, and her second husband, Wall Street’s E.F. Hutton.

In 1983, on the occasion of Merrill’s musical comedy debut in a revival of Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 musical ”On Your Toes,” the New York Times gushed, “Long regarded as the essence of chic, the epitome of class and such a persuasive purveyor of charm and charity that she could have a rightful claim to fame as an eloquent spokesman — and fund-raiser — for a slew of worthy causes, Miss Merrill has evoked instant recognition and elegant associations
See full article at Variety - TV News »

BBC Orders Adaptations of ‘War of the Worlds,’ ‘Little Women’ for New Drama Slate

BBC Orders Adaptations of ‘War of the Worlds,’ ‘Little Women’ for New Drama Slate
The BBC has ordered up 11 new high-end dramas, including new television versions of “The War of the Worlds,” “Little Women,” and “Black Narcissus.” The three titles are the latest classic novel adaptations to be commissioned by BBC Drama, which is currently in production on a new four-part adaptation of E.M. Forster’s “Howard’s End” (pictured) by Oscar-winner Kenneth Lonergan for BBC One and Starz.

Also in the lineup are the first-ever screen adaptation of Vikram Seth’s 1993 novel “A Suitable Boy” and three-part true-story drama “A Very English Scandal,” written by Russell T. Davies and directed by Stephen Frears.

The new slate was unveiled Thursday at an event in London co-hosted by BBC Director General Tony Hall and new controller of BBC Drama Piers Wenger.

“It feels to me a special moment for drama. What really excites me is I think we’ve shaken off all preconceptions about what stories people will come to,” said
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Movie Poster of the Week: What Ever Happened to Bette and Joan?

  • MUBI
Say what you will about Ryan Murphy’s Feud: Bette and Joan, which concludes its 8-episode run this Sunday, but for cinephiles it has been extraordinary to have had a major television series so steeped in the lore of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Dramatizing the production of Robert Aldrich’s 1962 Warner Brothers hit What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, the animosity of its rival stars, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, and the aftermath of both, Feud requires a measure of familiarity with all the major players and their past lives in order to truly appreciate the poignancy of its moment.Despite its potential for high camp—and if nothing else Feud is a masterpiece of fabulous production and costume design—the show has proved to be remarkably alert to the predicament of women in Hollywood and the paranoia and regret that accompanies the back nine of the life of a Hollywood star.
See full article at MUBI »

Scott’s TCM Fest Dispatch, Part Three: Psychology

It’s not exactly remarkable that cinema has been around long enough to chart the rise of modern psychology. The first century of film covers society’s entire 20th, a hundred-year span rife with innovation in a great many fields. But as art is keen on investigating the psyche, it’s little surprise that cinema would try to keep pace in some way with the study and expression of it. From the psychological thriller to the psychodrama to most horror films, the study of the mind onscreen sometimes unfolds perfectly naturally, and other times feels like a stiff lecture from somebody who read a really fascinating article in Time the month before. Look no further than Psycho for an example of both, but look to three films that played at the TCM Classic Film Festival for some pretty wild takes.

Based on a novel by a prominent psychologist (once president
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The Early History of One Actor Playing A Shit Ton of Roles In A Single Film

Containing multitudes is a time-honored cinematic tradition.

Sure, featuring a single actor as more than one character in your movie smells a bit like a gimmick—but at the end of the day, it’s an efficient and often effective means of showcasing the versatility of a performer. And that can hardly be faulted. We caught a whiff of it with Split this year, though McAvoy might be disqualified for being a Legion of One rather than a cast with a shared face. Personally, I had no idea the trend cast such a wide-reaching historical net — I’d stupidly assumed it was something made possible by the advent of modern makeup and digital tech. Again, stupidly.

Be it gimmick or something more nuanced (or both!) — it’s particularly fascinating that it has such a long standing history as a marketing device. Film quality aside, the main draw is often the performative tour-de-force itself. Some
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23 Paces to Baker Street

No, not a blind Sherlock Holmes, but a blind Van Johnson, who directs his butler, his girlfriend Vera Miles and the London police to thwart a crime based on something he overheard in a bar. Henry Hathaway directs a complicated murder mystery that plays like a combo of Rear Window and Wait Until Dark, with a cranky Van Johnson as the central character.

23 Paces to Baker Street

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1956 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date February 21, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Van Johnson, Vera Miles, Cecil Parker, Patricia Laffan, Maurice Denham, Estelle Winwood, Liam Redmond, Isobel Elsom, Martin Benson, Queenie Leonard.

Cinematography: Milton Krasner

Film Editor: James B. Clark

Original Music: Leigh Harline

Written by Nigel Balchin from the novel Warrant for X by Philip MacDonald

Produced by Henry Ephron

Directed by Henry Hathaway

In the 1950s the murder mystery thriller came of age, as creakier older formulas
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