billy wilder

MOVIE TRIVIA – PT56.

September 15, 2018 // 4 Comments

In my movie collection is the 1992 Sean Connery-Lorraine Bracco film Medicine Man, one of those pictures that critics in their unchallenged wisdom chose to lambast from the moment it was released. As director John McTiernan said, ‘If the press hadn’t defined it as an action movie, it probably wouldn’t have been considered a disappointment.’ An astute assessment I believe. It was never [...]

MOVIE TRIVIA – PT 17.

June 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

                  Peter Lawford Frank Sinatra wrongfully blamed his actor buddy Peter Lawford for President Kennedy cancelling plans to stay at the crooner’s Palm Springs retreat in 1962. In reality it was Bobby Kennedy who insisted his brother cut his ties with Sinatra because of the singer’s mob connections. However, no-one could convince Frank of this and he shut Lawford out of [...]

FIFTIES MOVIE TRIVIA – PT3.

March 17, 2018 // 3 Comments

In the 1955 Hitchcock picture To Catch a Thief, there is a scene in which John Robie (Cary Grant) is discussing the cook’s ‘sensitive hands’ with an insurance agent and casually mentions that those hands once strangled a German general without a sound. For German audiences, however, the words were changed and he tells the man she had once caught a lion escaped from a circus with her bare [...]

FIFTIES MOVIE TRIVIA – PT1.

March 13, 2018 // 2 Comments

The Moon is Blue (1953) is a pretty tame picture, yet it was the first post-Hayes mainstream Hollywood movie to use the words ‘virgin’, ‘seduce’ and ‘mistress’ (in the sexual partner sense). The mere utterance of these three words was enough to get the picture banned from theatres in Boston, Massachusetts. Director Otto Preminger shot two versions of the movie, one in English and one [...]

A couple of film noirs.

February 4, 2017 // 0 Comments

  DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)                    I suppose most fans of old movies have their personal favourite film noir. Mine is without doubt Double Indemnity (1944), which surprises even me because I have never been overly keen on any of the three stars – Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson. Not in other films anyway, but in this picture they combine [...]

‘The Seven Year Itch’ (1955) – not a good movie.

August 20, 2016 // 2 Comments

  Some movies seem to take on a life of their own. Suddenly and often inexplicably, they are lauded as masterpieces, works of art, living statements of the times. Easy Rider (1969) is one such film. I have always thought it was an over-rated ‘nothing’ picture, inhabited by two ‘druggies’ and one non-actor, but for reasons known only to the critics and the publicity people in [...]

Four memorable lady movie villains.

July 23, 2016 // 2 Comments

  The history of movies is literally riddled with iconic male villains, but not so many women have been fortunate enough to sink their teeth into a genuinely meaty, nasty role. One of the first (and best) appeared in Hitchcock’s 1940 classic Rebecca. Dame Judith Anderson positively oozed malevolence as Mrs. Danvers, although she did receive a little help from the director. Hitch, with his [...]

William Holden – His Life and his Loves

January 23, 2016 // 0 Comments

      Holden in Escape From Fort Bravo (1953) William Holden featured in a lot of very good movies during his career. Women adored him, even men grudgingly conceded that he was both rugged and charming, certainly no milk sop. Unfortunately, he was also an alcoholic, from his teens until the day he died. He was gifted with talent, looks, charm and charisma. He was also strong, [...]

ALFRED HITCHCOCK – Was he as great as the critics claim?

May 8, 2015 // 6 Comments

    I have picked out a half dozen Alfred Hitchcock films for quick examination. I liked the first one a lot (despite its many errors), the second one was enjoyable also, but the other four I found to be both dull and amateurish, with performances from some of their stars that were just plain poor. You might disagree, of course. Most fans of Hitchcock probably will.   North by [...]

Samuel Goldwyn – Goldwynisms, real or orchestrated?

March 12, 2015 // 2 Comments

  The most surprising thing about movie producer Samuel Goldwyn is that he had nothing at all to do with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studio and its pictures. In 1917, while he was still Samuel Goldfish, he joined with brothers Edgar and Archibald Selwyn to form Goldwyn Pictures Corporation. He liked the combination name so much that he renamed himself Samuel Goldwyn. Funnily enough, had he [...]
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