The musical – a couple of duds.

April 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

                                     Movie musicals have been around for decades. The studios quickly became aware of their potential as cash cows the moment silent movies became talkies. Most pundits would probably agree that the genre suffered a mortal blow with the release of both Camelot (1967) and Paint Your Wagon two years later. Personally, I disagree with lumping [...]

WAMPAS Baby Stars 1932

April 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

  LONA ANDRE (1915 – 92) Tennessee-born Lona Andre landed a few leads in minor movies and a number of mostly uncredited bit parts in more important features, but overall her career never amounted to much. Her 1935 marriage to leading man Edward Norris probably set some kind of record for brevity when they parted company after just four days, Lona immediately filing for divorcement in [...]

‘MAME’ (1974) – the end of the ‘Lucy’ era.

April 5, 2017 // 4 Comments

      Lucille Ball’s Mame was one of the worst ‘flops’ in motion picture history. Other bad movies lost far more money, but few were brought undone simply because their leading performer was so woefully miscast. The picture is, of course, a musical remake of Rosalind Russell’s Auntie Mame (1958), for which Ms. Russell was unsuccessfully nominated for an Oscar. It appears [...]

‘CHANGELING’ (2008) – a genuinely ‘true’ story.

April 3, 2017 // 2 Comments

  It is a pleasure to be able to write about a ‘true story’ that has been made into a movie without the end result having made the original tale almost unrecognizable along the way. Changeling (2008) should not be confused with the term ‘based on a true story’, a description that all but guarantees any resemblance to what really happened will be entirely accidental. This movie sticks [...]

Hollywood & Abortions

April 1, 2017 // 2 Comments

  Over the past century or more that Hollywood has existed there has been no shortage of abortions performed on many of its aspiring young actresses. Unwanted offspring are not unique to the movie business, but they do tend to interfere with ambitions, not to mention reputations, more often in Tinsel Town than elsewhere. Careers have often been made (or saved) on an abortionist’s table. [...]

‘LOVE ACTUALLY’ – the ultimate ‘feel-good’ movie?

March 30, 2017 // 0 Comments

There have been a great many ‘feel good’ movies made down through the decades, but in my opinion Love Actually (2003) resides at the top of the list. My wife and I have watched it many times and it never seems to lose its appeal. The performances are strong, the script is easy on the ear and not too complicated, and the score throughout is ideal for the fare being dished up. And whoever [...]

Darryl F. Zanuck – the last tycoon.

March 28, 2017 // 2 Comments

  If anyone epitomized the Hollywood studio system it was Darryl F. Zanuck. His rise to power is quite extraordinary given he was minimally educated and barely literate. Born in Wahoo, Nebraska in 1902 to an alcoholic father and the daughter of Wahoo’s only hotel owner, Darryl was abandoned by both parents before his 13th birthday. Left to his own devices, he lied about his age when he was [...]

‘CAT BALLOU’ (1965 – LEE MARVIN’S MASTERPIECE

March 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

  There have been very few genuinely funny westerns made. James Garner’s Support Your Local Sheriff (1969) was, in my opinion, the very best ever, but two Lee Marvin films were not far behind it. One was Paint Your Wagon, released in the same year and hilarious, but it probably fits into the ‘musical’ category, despite being set in the Old West. The other was Marvin’s classical [...]

OSCARS ‘ MEMORABLE MOMENTS.

March 24, 2017 // 4 Comments

  There have been a few blunders (and near-blunders) at the Oscars ceremonies over the decades, although the shambles at the 89th Academy Awards of 2017 reached a new low. The debacle brought about when Warren Beatty was given the wrong results envelope for Best Picture was bad enough, but there was an even worse error earlier that few were probably aware of at the time. Australian costume [...]

Mel Brooks’ ‘The Producers’ – 1967 & 2005.

March 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

      I have seen the original 1967 version of The Producers a number of times because I enjoy many of scenes and the script is very funny indeed. When you consider that I simply cannot abide Gene Wilder in anything, it is no small compliment to the rest of the cast that I keep returning to the film despite his irritating presence in it. Zero Mostel is extremely funny and Kenneth Mars as [...]
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