A Kiss Before Dying (1956) - News Poster

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Virginia Leith: "The Brain That Wouldn't Die"

Rip actress Virginia Leith, the star of  Stanley Kubricks' first feature "Fear and Desire"( 1953) and the low-budget shocker "The Brain That Wouldn't Die", released in 1962:

Following the Kubrick film, Leith signed a contract with 20th Century-Fox and had leading roles in "Violent Saturday" (1955), "On the Threshold of Space" (1956), "Toward the Unknown" (1956) and "A Kiss Before Dying" (1956).

Leith completed the feature "The Black Door" (1955), but it wouldn't be released until 1962, under the title "The Brain That Wouldn't Die".

"...'Dr. Bill Cortner' (Jason Evers) saves a patient who had been pronounced dead, but the senior surgeon, Cortner's father (Bruce Brighton), condemns his son's unorthodox methods and transplant theories.

"While driving to his family's country house, Cortner and his beautiful fiancée 'Jan Compton' (Leith) get into a car accident that decapitates Jan. Cortner recovers her severed head and rushes to his country house basement laboratory. He and his crippled assistant 'Kurt' (Anthony La Penna
See full article at SneakPeek »

Virginia Leith, ‘The Brain That Wouldn’t Die’ Star, Dies at 94

  • The Wrap
Virginia Leith, ‘The Brain That Wouldn’t Die’ Star, Dies at 94
Virginia Leith, the star of Stanley Kubrick’s first movie “Fear and Desire,” has died at the age of 94.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Leith died at her home in Palm Springs, California on Nov. 4 after a brief illness.

Kubrick’s 1953 film served as Leith’s acting debut, though the director famously disavowed the work, at one point referring to it as a “bumbling amateur film exercise.” Leith, whose character in the war film is unnamed, appeared as a young girl killed by a soldier.

Also Read: Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2019 (Photos)

After her role in “Fear and Desire,” Leith signed as a contract player with 20th Century Fox, going on to appear in “On the Threshold of Space,” “Violent Saturday,” “A Kiss Before Dying” and “Toward the Unknown.”

She played the lead role in Joseph Green’s “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” as the wife of a mad
See full article at The Wrap »

Virginia Leith Dies: Star Of ‘The Brain That Wouldn’t Die’ And Stanley Kubrick’s First Film Was 94

  • Deadline
Virginia Leith Dies: Star Of ‘The Brain That Wouldn’t Die’ And Stanley Kubrick’s First Film Was 94
Virginia Leith, a model and actress who starred in Stanley Kubrick’s debut feature Fear and Desire, has died. She was 94.

She passed away in Palm Springs on November 4 after a brief illness, according to family spokesperson Jane Chalmers.

Leith met Kubrick when he was a photographer and shot her for the cover of Look magazine. Once Kubrick made the transition to film, he cast her in Fear and Desire as a “half-animal” peasant girl captured and eventually killed by a soldier played by Paul Mazursky. The 1953 war film generated lukewarm interest at the box office, and after distributor Joseph Burstyn died, it was taken out of circulation.

Kubrick was no fan of the finished product and was said to have destroyed the original negative. He released a statement through Warner Bros., calling the movie “a bumbling amateur film exercise.”

In 1954 Leith became a contract player for 20th Century Fox
See full article at Deadline »

Virginia Leith, Female Lead in Stanley Kubrick’s First Film, Dies at 94

  • Variety
Virginia Leith, Female Lead in Stanley Kubrick’s First Film, Dies at 94
Actress and model Virginia Leith, who starred in Stanley Kubrick’s first film “Fear and Desire,” which he later disavowed, has died. She was 94.

According to family spokesperson Jane Chalmers, Leith died after a brief illness at her home in Palm Springs, Calif. on Nov. 4.

Born on Oct. 15, 1925, Leith met Kubrick in the 1950s when he shot her for the cover of Look magazine.

Fear and Desire,” which received moderately positive critical reviews upon its release, was not a box office success. After distributor Joseph Burstyn died, the film fell out of circulation and Kubrick is said to have destroyed the original negative and any other prints he could find. Some original prints still exist, however, and Film Forum organized a screening in 1994. Kubrick released a statement through Warner Bros. at the time, calling it “a bumbling amateur film exercise” and urging press not to attend.

Following her appearance in “Fear and Desire,
See full article at Variety »

Drive-In Dust Offs: The Brain That Wouldn’T Die (1962)

  • DailyDead
Filmed in 1959 but not released until Aip picked it up in ’62, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die is a weird little treasure that deserved to be saved from the wreckage. It surpasses all yardsticks of measurement such as taste or talent, and instead floats to the surface on sheer strangeness and a stringent commitment to sleaze. Man cannot live on refinement alone.

Released in May after Aip purchased it and thrown to the wolves on a double feature with Invasion of the Star Creatures, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (Aka The Head That Wouldn’t Die) came and went like the patrons at a Dusk to Dawn bill by the local drive-in. Mass production on the public domain line ensured faded memories and dimmed shocks until Mystery Science Theater 3000 gave it new life. Regardless of how you’ve come to it, Brain still retains the title of best
See full article at DailyDead »

Crime of Passion

Witness the ‘fifties transformation of the femme fatale, from scheming murderess to self-deluding social climber. Barbara Stanwyck redefines herself once again in Gerd Oswald’s best-directed picture, a searing portrayal of needs and anxieties in the nervous decade. With fine support from Raymond Burr, Virginia Grey and Royal Dano.

Crime of Passion

Blu-ray

ClassicFlix

1957 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 84 min. / Street Date September 5, 2017 /

Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, Raymond Burr, Fay Wray, Virginia Grey, Royal Dano.

Cinematography: Joseph Lashelle

Art Direction: Leslie Thomas

Original Music: Paul Dunlap

Original Story and Screenplay by Jo Eisinger

Produced by Herman Cohen, Robert Goldstein

Directed by Gerd Oswald

A key title in the development of the Film Noir, 1957’s Crime of Passion shows how much the style had departed from the dark romanticism and expressive visuals of the previous decade. The best mid-’50s noirs strike a marvelously cynical and existentially bleak attitude regarding crime and society.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Jeffs In Movies

In honor of Jeff, Who Lives At Home, the gang at Wamg put together a different kind of Top Ten Ten Tuesday. This Friday, Paramount Vantage and Indian Paintbrush are bringing to the screen Jay Duplass’ and Mark Duplass’ story of Jeff (Jason Segel). On his way to the store to buy wood glue, Jeff looks for signs from the universe to determine his path. However, a series of comedic and unexpected events leads him to cross paths with his family in the strangest of locations and circumstances. Jeff just may find the meaning of his life… and if he’s lucky, pick up the wood glue as well.

So who’s game for a Top Ten Jeffs in Movies? We came up with a list of our favorite “Jeffs” and boy are they a busy lot. As you can see below, these guys have run the gamut between film,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Joanne Woodward Movie Schedule: A Kiss Before Dying, The Sound And The Fury, The End

Joanne Woodward on TCM: Rachel, Rachel; Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am Count Three And Pray (1955) A Westerner turns preacher to overcome his shady past. Dir: George Sherman. Cast: Van Heflin, Joanne Woodward, Phil Carey. C-102 mins. 7:45 Am Rally Round The Flag, Boys! (1958) The arrival of an Army missile base shatters the peaceful life of a suburban town. Dir: Leo McCarey. Cast: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Joan Collins. C-107 mins, Letterbox Format. 9:45 Am Paris Blues (1961) Two jazz musicians deal with romantic problems in Paris. Dir: Martin Ritt. Cast: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier. C-99 mins, Letterbox Format. 11:30 Am Signpost To Murder (1964) A convicted murderer, who escaped from a mental institution, hides out in the home of a woman whose husband is missing. Dir: George Englund. Cast: Joanne Woodward, Stuart Whitman, Edward Mulhare. Bw-77 mins, Letterbox Format. 1:00 Pm
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Satyajit Ray + More Events, DVDs, News

  • MUBI
Long Shadows: The Late Work of Satyajit Ray opens this evening and runs through April 26 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center: "Of special interest is Home and the World [1984; image above], his final, wonderful adaptation of a work by his mentor, Rabindranath Tagore (whose 150th anniversary we celebrate this year), as well as his final, luminous work, The Stranger, an extraordinary summing up of so much of Ray's worldview graced with a sensational lead performance by Utpal Dutt." Plus, "we asked some friends of the Film Society: what film would you recommend seeing, and why?" Meantime, Paul Brunick posts a roundup on Distant Thunder (1973) at Alt Screen. Update, 4/20: Salman Rushdie for the Fslc on The Golden Fortress (1974): "The film is a true delight and the moment when the Golden Fortress is discovered — when it is revealed not to be a child's fantasy but a real place, shimmering on
See full article at MUBI »

The Man Who Was Count Yorga: A Tribute to Robert Quarry

February 2009 began on a sad note for many vampire lovers and horror fans with the death of iconic genre legend Robert Quarry. If there was one actor capable of equalling Christopher Lee’s immortal performance as Dracula it was Quarry as the evil Count Yorga. A veteran of stage and TV, Quarry was set to become a major horror star of the seventies, but his film career faded rapidly, a situation not helped by a terrible run of bad luck that nearly cost him his life. Despite never achieving the movie stardom he deserved, his enigmatic turn as the sardonic vampire lord has given him cult immortality.

The son of a doctor, Robert Walter Quarry was born in Fresno, California on 3 November 1925. He spent his early years in Santa Rosa, Northern California, where he excelled in most high school sports, especially swimming. Quarry, who had an Iq of 168, became interested in acting through his grandmother,
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Remembering Robert Quarry

  • CinemaRetro
Chris Gullo presents Robert Quarry with his book on the life and career of Peter Cushing.

By Christopher Gullo

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The late Robert Quarry was one of the last remaining horror “stars” – a category of actor that has seemed to disappear in modern cinema. Quarry’s career stretched back to the 1940s with bit parts in films before he formed a theatrical group when joining the army. Following World War II, Quarry won a contract with Rko, and then later with MGM. He appeared in a number of films at MGM including “A Kiss Before Dying” (1956) and “Crime of Passion” (1957). Quarry’s claim to fame was not to come with MGM but later in his career when he took on the role of a modern day vampire in “Count Yorga, Vampire” (1970). Originally intended as a soft-core porn flick, Quarry convinced the producers to
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Rip Robert Quarry (1925-2009)

It is with great sadness that I write of the passing of actor Robert Quarry.

To most who read Fangoria, he was Count Yorga, Vampire (Aip 1970) who Returned (1971) before he found that Dr Phibes Rises Again that same year, became a Deathmaster in 1972, met Sugar Hill and went to the Madhouse in 1974.

He was more than that, though. Born Robert Walter Quarry on November 3, 1925, the highly intelligent Quarry (who it was said had an I.Q. of 168) graduated High School at age 14, and started his acting career soon after on radio. Living in Santa Rose, Quarry won an acting scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse. When Alfred Hitchcock came to Santa Rosa, Quarry auditioned and won the role of Theresa Wright’s boyfriend in the 1943 classic Shadow Of A Doubt. His role, however, was all but cut out (he swore he appeared a nanosecond mooning over the actress), but it led to his Hollywood career,
See full article at Fangoria »

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