Sadie Thompson (1928) - News Poster


28 Days Until Oscar

Today's number is 28. I trust you know that Gloria Swanson was Always ready for her close-up. 

She's best remembered for Sunset Blvd (1950) but that movie couldn't have existed, at least not in the perfect form it does, were it not for her earlier silent screen stardom.  Her first Oscar nomination came for Sadie Thompson (1928) in the very first year of the Oscars. The movie was also nominated for Best Cinematography but both the Dp and Swanson lost the Oscars to Janet Gaynor and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, respectively. Swanson wasn't the only female superstar to play Sadie...
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Wagon Tracks

Wagon Tracks


Olive Films

1919 / B&W / 1:33 Silent Ap / 64 min. / Street Date January 24, 2017 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98

Starring William S. Hart, Jane Novak, Robert McKim, Lloyd Bacon, Leo Pierson, Bert Sprotte, Charles Arling.

Cinematography: Joseph H. August

Art direction: Thomas A. Brierley

Titles: Irvin J. Martin

Written by: C. Gardner Sullivan

Produced by: William S. Hart, Thomas H. Ince

Directed by: Lambert Hillyer

Last year we were gifted with an excellent Blu-ray of a silent John Ford western, 3 Bad Men, which turned out to be a satisfying sentimental action tale. This month we get a much older silent western that’s almost as interesting. Its star is William S. Hart, the silent icon most of know through a still of a man in a ten-gallon hat brandishing two pistols in a barroom. Hart frequently played gunslingers, but not always. Olive’s presentation of Wagon Tracks sees him
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Miss Sadie Thompson

Rita Hayworth in 3-D, in a hot story that was acceptable for 1925 and 1932, but too racy for repressed 1953. On a tropical island, a prostitute cabaret singer battles a fiery preacher missionary inspector for her freedom. Hayworth is dynamite, and it takes all of her talent to keep the show afloat, with so much interference from the equally repressed censors. Miss Sadie Thompson 3-D 3-D Blu-ray Twilight Time 1953 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 91 min. / Street Date July 12, 2016 / Available from Twilight Time Movies Store29.95 Starring Rita Hayworth, José Ferrer, Aldo Ray, Russell Collins, Diosa Costello, Harry Bellaver, Wilton Graff, Peggy Converse, Henry Slate, Rudy Bond, Charles Bronson, Jo Ann Greer. Cinematography Charles Lawton Jr. Original Music George Duning, Morris Stoloff, Ned Washington, Lester Lee Written by Harry Kleiner from a story by W. Somerset Maugham Produced by Jerry Wald Directed by Curtis Bernhardt

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Yes!  3-D on Blu-ray shows no sign of going away,
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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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The Letter (1929) Review: Jeanne Eagels Sole Extant Talking Performance

The Letter (1929) Review Pt.1. [Photo: Jeanne Eagels as jealous murderess Leslie Crosbie.] Low-key, however, is hardly the appropriate manner to describe Jeanne Eagels' bombastic talkie début in a role played in London by Gladys Cooper and on Broadway by Katharine Cornell. Eagels, a sensation on stage as Sadie Thompson in W. Somerset Maugham's Rain and the star of a handful of silent films (e.g., The World and the Woman; The Fires of Youth; Man, Woman and Sin, opposite John Gilbert), acts the part of the adulteress-murderess as if she were playing to the far corners of the gallery. (Rain was unavailable for a film adaptation at the time because Gloria Swanson had produced and starred in Raoul Walsh's Sadie Thompson the year before.) Eagels' performance is all mannerisms — hand to forehead to show distress, trembling voice to show despair — and no emotional core. While Bette Davis' 1940 Leslie looks and acts like a cool, calculating vixen,
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Sadie Thompson

James Cagney once told me he had worked with eighty directors in his career, “But there’s only five I’d call a real director.” Which was what? “A real director is a guy who, if I don’t know what the hell to do, can get up and show me!” Pioneer Raoul Walsh, with whom Cagney did four memorable pictures, was definitely one of those five. The best example of his acting abilities (most famously he was John Wilkes Booth in D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of A Nation) can be seen in Walsh’s own vigorous adaptation of the classic Somerset Maugham short story and stage play of South Seas sex and repression, Rain, starring the immortal Gloria Swanson as that notorious lady of easy virtue, Sadie Thompson (available on DVD). The film is another of the glories of 1928, that last extraordinary year of silent pictures, which I
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Another 10 Full-Length Films to Watch Online!

Over my time authoring Top 10 Tuesdays (or Thursdays if your editor is slow!) for Owf, I’ve submitted a couple of articles chronicling the best full-length films available to watch online (Part I and Part II). My attention focused on YouTube’s offerings in these previous lists, but today I turn to the Internet Archive. This site is dedicated to offering the general public as much content as possible – whether it’s live concerts, television shows or indeed feature films – for free viewing/listening or download. As I’ve previously mentioned, this content is in the Public Domain, which means the reproduction and offers of free viewings or downloads is entirely legal.

As a relentless fan and tireless advocate for classical Hollywood fare, The Internet Archive is one of my favourite sites out in the stratosphere of the interweb! Read on to find 10 classic films that you really have no excuse not to watch…
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Netflix Nuggets: Russians Filming G.I. Joe Dolls Fighting Hercules for the Serpent’s Egg

Netflix has revolutionized the home movie experience for fans of film with its instant streaming technology. Netflix Nuggets is my way of spreading the word about independent, classic and foreign films made available by Netflix for instant streaming.

This Week’s New Instant Releases…

Promised Lands (1974)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Documentary

Director: Susan Sontag

Synopsis: Set in Israel during the final days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, this powerful documentary — initially barred by Israel authorities — from writer-director Susan Sontag examines divergent perceptions of the enduring Arab-Israeli clash. Weighing in on matters related to socialism, anti-Semitism, nation sovereignty and American materialism are The Last Jew writer Yoram Kaniuk and military physicist Yuval Ne’eman.

Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2009)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Heino Ferch, Hannah Herzsprung, Gerald Alexander Held, Lena Stolze, Sunnyi Melles

Synopsis: Directed by longtime star of independent German cinema Margarethe von Trotta, this reverent
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June Havoc obituary

Hollywood and Broadway star whose family life inspired the musical Gypsy

Those who know the gorgeously gaudy Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical Gypsy (1959) will remember the refrain of "my name is June, what's yours?" addressed to the audience by the curly-haired child performer. "Baby" June was based on June Havoc, who has died aged 97, and the show was inspired by her early days in Us vaudeville with her "monstrous" stage mother and older sister Rose Louise, who became Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous stripper.

"I think Gypsy was one of the most smashing shows I've seen in my life," Havoc once told me. "But very little to do with fact. My mother was not such a monster. Few parents who had a child who, at the age of two, stood on her toes and danced every time she heard music, could resist putting her forward. Particularly if the child was happy doing it.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

June Havoc, Gypsy Rose Lee, and What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?

June Havoc Dies For the most part, both her film roles and performances were negligible. Although she played leads in minor fare such as Intrigue (1947), with George Raft, and Lady Possessed (1952), with James Mason, her best remembered role is that of Gregory Peck’s Jewish secretary who tries to pass for a Gentile in Elia Kazan’s Academy Award-winning drama Gentleman’s Agreement (1947). June Havoc was much more successful onstage. Among her most important Broadway productions were Cole Porter’s Mexican Hayride (1944); Sadie Thompson (also 1944), replacing Ethel Merman in this musical based on W. Somerset Maugham’s short story "Rain"; That Ryan Girl (1945), in the title role; and a revival of Dinner at Eight [...]
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See also

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