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Cummings' Ten-Year Death Anniversary: From Minor Lloyd Leading Lady to Tony Award Winner (Revised and Expanded)

Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major London stage star. Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned more than six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., died ten years ago on Nov. 23. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received performances – is all but forgotten.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Rare Silent Film Actor Who Had Long Talkie Career Is TCM's Star of the Day

Adolphe Menjou movies today (This article is currently being revised.) Despite countless stories to the contrary, numerous silent film performers managed to survive the coming of sound. Adolphe Menjou, however, is a special case in that he not only remained a leading man in the early sound era, but smoothly made the transition to top supporting player in mid-decade, a position he would continue to hold for the quarter of a century. Menjou is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Day today, Aug. 3, as part of TCM's "Summer Under the Stars" 2015 series. Right now, TCM is showing William A. Wellman's A Star Is Born, the "original" version of the story about a small-town girl (Janet Gaynor) who becomes a Hollywood star, while her husband (Fredric March) boozes his way into oblivion. In typical Hollywood originality (not that things are any different elsewhere), this 1937 version of the story – produced by
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Criterion Collection: Make Way For Tomorrow | Blu-Ray Review

One can’t ignore a certain irony that Leo McCarey, director of one of the most irrefutably sorrowful motion pictures with 1937’s Make Way For Tomorrow, was actually well renowned for his comedic ventures, like that same year’s The Awful Truth or the most beloved of the Marx Brothers films with Duck Soup (1933). In the decades since its release, the film has recently come to be recognized for its influence on several filmmakers, including Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story (1953) and Ira SachsLove is Strange (2014). Filmed during the Great Depression, yet without specific references to the significant economic downturn, the film has a timeless resonance that feels particularly fitting for our contemporary existence.

Though not cemented in Western culture, there’s a particular tendency for this depiction to transpire within the landscape of white, capitalistic peoples and their insistence on stuffing their elders into nursing home facilities. The film
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Custom Made Star Wars Exploitation Film Action Figures

Sillof is known for his amazingly badass custom made Star Wars action figures. Over the years, he has brought us Samurai Warrior Star Wars, Medieval Star Wars, Retro 1940s Sci-Fi Star Wars, and more. Well, Sillof is back with more awesomeness! 

Patton Oswalt reached out to the toy artist and commissioned him to create a Star Wars action figure set based on the exploitation films of Russ Meyer, but more specifically the film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! He calls this new action figure set Faster, Empire! Strike Strike! 

Here's a note from the artist about what Oswalt asked for:

He wanted me to do the re-imagining thing I do but this time rather than an era or genre he wanted me to fuse the line with the wildly fun films of exploitation film maker Russ Meyer, in particular, with the film "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!"  He gave me a few
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Leo McCarey Movie Schedule: From Irene Dunne/Charles Boyer Romance to Marx Brothers Satire

Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer in Leo McCarey's Love Affair Leo McCarey on TCM: Going My Way, Duck Soup, Love Affair, Make Way For Tomorrow Leo McCarey's Love Affair (1939) is now mostly forgotten, whereas its 1957 remake (also by McCarey), An Affair to Remember, remains a romance classic. In the original, in place of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr we have Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne as the star-crossed lovers. Boyer would become a fantastic dramatic actor in later years (e.g., Max Ophüls' Madame De…), but here he's just Hollywood's boring version of the "suave continental." Irene Dunne, on the other hand, was one of the best actresses of the '30s and '40s. She's fine in Love Affair, though it's not one of her greatest performances. (Warren Beatty and Annette Bening starred in a widely panned 1994 remake, that also featured Katharine Hepburn in the role played
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Leo McCarey on TCM: Going My Way, Duck Soup, Love Affair

Bing Crosby, Gene Lockhart, Barry Fitzgerald, Going My Way Leo McCarey is Turner Classic Movies' Director of the Evening this Christmas. Considering that McCarey was an ardent Catholic, TCM has made a quite appropriate choice. Unfortunately, McCarey's anti-Red My Son John — despite the fact that the Bible plays a prominent role in that film — hasn't been included on the TCM film roster. Instead, TCM watchers will have the chance to check out Going My Way, Make Way for Tomorrow, Duck Soup, The Milky Way, Love Affair, and Once Upon a Honeymoon. The year Billy Wilder's film noir classic Double Indemnity was nominated for Best Picture — and Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat, Vincente Minnelli's Meet Me in St. Louis, and Otto Preminger's Laura weren't — McCarey's sappy, feel-good Going My Way was chosen as the Best Picture of 1944 by enough members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Directors We Love: Leo McCarey

Directors We Love: Leo McCarey
Throughout cinema history, comedians and comedy filmmakers have always suffered from the impulse to do something serious. They all eventually come to realize -- perhaps through watching themselves not get nominated on Oscar night -- that their efforts to make people laugh will never reap any meaningful rewards. The long list of people who succumbed to this impulse includes Charlie Chaplin, Jerry Lewis, Roberto Benigni and Tom Hanks. But no one did it more gracefully than Leo McCarey. At his peak, McCarey was considered a major director, but in recent years has fallen from grace, and from memory. Perhaps the recent Criterion Collection DVD release of McCarey's masterpiece Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) will help restore his reputation.

Born in 1898, he began in comedy, of course. He gets credit for teaming up Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, who had been working separately in silent comedies. He also helped invent the "slow burn,
See full article at Cinematical »

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