Posted by Pablo Kjolseth on May 17, 2015
In my last post I interviewed Stuart Gordon. I also interviewed some other folks while up in Estes Park attending the third annual Stanley Film Festival and, in the interest of making it relevant to TCM readers, I led by asking everyone what some of the older films might be that influenced their careers. People that I talked to included actor/producer Elijah Wood, actor/writer/producer Leigh Whannel, actress Alison Pill, actor/producer/director Larry Fessenden, director Glenn McQuaid, writer April Snellings, producer/director/writer Jen Wexler, actor/writer Graham Reznick, and director/actor Merritt Crocker. Themes that popped up included movies with evil children, classic ghost stories, Freddie Francis, and more. [...MORE]
Gregory La Cava’s 1939 comedy Fifth Avenue Girl is an excellent example of the 1930s style of romantic comedies, and possibly my favorite Ginger Rogers film of all. It is also a decidedly deviant 1930s romantic comedy that breaks more rules than it follows, and uses Ginger Roger’s natural downtrodden deadpan persona to tamp down the usual screwball shenanigans in favor of something altogether more quiet, and bitter. And if that doesn’t quite sound like comedy to you, then read on…
Posted by gregferrara on May 15, 2015
Today on TCM, there’s a short movie running between the other movies and it’s about the making of Westworld, the 1973 sci-fi mediocrity about androids that go berserk and start killing the guests of the futuristic resort they occupy. It’s a great idea, poorly executed. Michael Crichton wasn’t much of a director but he did come up with some really great science fiction ideas and stories that worked better if someone like Robert Wise or Steven Spielberg were behind the camera. Westworld does have a few things going for it besides the basic idea, though. One, it has a great villain in Yul Brynner’s mad cowboy android. Two, the pursuit by said cowboy of hapless Richard Benjamin during the climax is surprisingly well done by the usually leaden Crichton, and three, it was made in the seventies. I’ll pretty much forgive any movie made in my youth of anything.
Posted by Kimberly Lindbergs on May 14, 2015
Today (May 14th) TCM has programmed a batch of entertaining and inventive British science fiction films beginning with THE TUNNEL aka TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL (1935) in the early morning hours of 5:45 AM EST/2:45 AM PST followed by FIVE MILLION YEARS TO YEAR aka QUARTERMASS AND THE PITT (1968), VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1961), THE COSMIC MONSTER aka THE STRANGE WORLD OF PLANET X (1958), THE GIANT BEHEMOTH aka BEHEMOTH, THE SEA MONSTER (1959), FIRST MEN IN THE MOON (1964), THESE ARE THE DAMNED aka THE DAMNED (1962), X THE UNKNOWN (1956), and SATELLITE IN THE SKY (1956). In an effort to entice viewers and rouse the imaginations of the most sedate classic film fans I thought I’d showcase some striking film poster art for these surprisingly imaginative films. The timid among us might be put off by the bold graphics, eye-popping layouts and outrageous claims they make but my fellow adventure seekers should relish the opportunity to dream bigger and embrace the improbable. So without further ado, I bring you British Science Fiction Films: A Poster Gallery.
Ass, Grass, and Mishegoss. An American Hippie in Israel (1972) and I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968) on TCM Underground!
Posted by Richard Harland Smith on May 13, 2015
A disillusioned Vietnam veteran escapes the madness of modern living and attempts to establish a Utopian commune on a desert island.
AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL (1972)
aka HA-TREMPIST, THE HITCHHIKER, THE HITCHHIKER: A HIPPIE’S GUIDE TO ISRAEL
ast: Asher Tzarfati (Mike), Shmuel Wolf (Como), Lily Avidan (Elizabeth), Tzila Karney (Francoise), Susan Devor Cogan, Fran Avni (Hippie Singers). Director Amos Sefer. Producer: Amos Sefer, Amatsia Hiuni. Cinematography Ya’ackov Kallach. Music: Nachum Haiman.
Color. 95 minutes
Showtime: Saturday, May 16th, 11:30pm PST/2:30am EST. [...MORE]
Posted by R. Emmet Sweeney on May 12, 2015
When sound came to cinema, the musical came along with it. The tremendous box office returns of The Jazz Singer (1927) had producers reeling, and the market was soon flooded with song and dance. But the Depression-era audiences began tuning them out, preferring the patter of William Powell to the tapping of another chorine. By 1931 the studios had slashed musicals from their slates and were brainstorming what went wrong. In the May 1931 issue of the Motion Picture Herald, Paramount’s Jesse Lasky was optimistic about the future of the genre:
In 1933 all questions were dropped after the massive success of WB’s 42nd Street, a snappy, streetwise backstage musical that introduced the world to the symmetrical spectacles of Busby Berkeley’s dance choreography. Now out on a sparkling Blu-ray from the Warner Archive, it’s clearer than ever why this was the film that brought the musical back into the spotlight.
Posted by Susan Doll on May 11, 2015
Film historians often proclaim the 1960s and 1970s to be one of Hollywood’s most creative eras. Dubbed the Film School Generation, or New Hollywood, directors, producers, and writers enjoyed a level of creative control in the film industry that few filmmakers have experienced before or since. Directors such as Scorsese, Coppola, Penn, Nichols, Bogdanovich, Altman, Lumet, DePalma, Kaufman, and others were influenced by the work of European filmmakers, inspiring them to experiment with form and content. The result is an era of original films that as a group challenge, entertain, and provoke.
Posted by gregferrara on May 10, 2015
TCM celebrates Mother’s Day by offering up a selection of cinematic mothers who reinforce the ideals upheld by most of us when thinking of great mothers. Barbara Stanwyck’s Stella Dallas is a classless, gaudy, hoot of a mama who, once she discovers the embarrassment and distinct lack of social climbing she offers her daughter, voluntarily boots herself out of the picture so her daughter can know happiness and ease. Her sacrifice is practically ultimate: her daughter was her life and she gave that up to make her happy. But what about those moms that aren’t so great? Frankly, showing a few of them might actually make lots of real moms feel better because, no matter what their failings, they could point to these moms and say, “Well at least I’m not that bad!” To make it even more inclusive, I’m including moms that never even appear on the screen because how many times can we vote for Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate as the Worst Mother Ever?
Ruggles of Red Gap is an odd duck. It is a crucial turning point into the formative genre of screwball comedy, but it isn’t easily recognizable as a romantic comedy nor is it especially female driven. It was Charles Laughton’s favorite screen role, but he’s not known for comedy, and his performance here consists substantially of standing still and trying to suppress an awkward smile. It’s a 1930s Hollywood comedy for the Downton Abbey set, whose most famous scene involves a British valet reciting the Gettysburg Address to a bar full of Wild West toughs.
In other words, it’s a movie that calls for some unpacking. So let’s get started!
Posted by gregferrara on May 8, 2015
Anyone who knows classic Hollywood knows that there have been many occasions where the name under the “directed by” credit isn’t the actual person who directed the picture. One of those happens to be on tonight, Journey Into Fear, nominally directed by Norman Foster, but mapped out in its entirety by Orson Welles. Other famous cases include Christian Nyby who helmed The Thing from Another World and eerily duplicated all the trademark touches of director Howard Hawks (wink, wink). Tobe Hooper, who had his former directorial style disappear into an almost exact duplicate of Steven Spielberg’s directorial style with Poltergeist (nudge, nudge) and of course, almost everyone with a directing contract in Hollywood at the time who took a turn behind the camera and emulated David O’Selznick’s style, even though he wasn’t a director, with Gone with the Wind (say no more, say no more). Which brings up the question, what does a director do anyway and at what point can we declare who the director is?
MovieMorlocks.com is the official blog for TCM. No topic is too obscure or niche to be excluded from our film discussions. And we welcome your comments on our blogs and bloggers.
See more: facebook.com/tcmtv
See more: twitter.com/tcm
3-D Academy Awards Action Films Actors Actors' Endorsements Actresses animal stars Animation Anime Anthology Films Art Direction Art in Movies Asians in Hollywood Australian CInema Autobiography Avant-Garde Aviation Awards B-movies Beer in Film Behind the Scenes Best of the Year lists Biography Biopics Black Film Blu-Ray Books on Film Boxing films British Cinema Canadian Cinema Character Actors Chicago Film History Cinematography Classic Films College Life on Film Comedy Comic Book Movies Crime Czech Film Dance on Film Digital Cinema Directors Disaster Films Documentary Drama DVD Early Talkies Editing Educational Films European Influence on American Cinema Experimental Exploitation Fairy Tales on Film Faith or Christian-based Films Family Films Film Composers Film Criticism Film Festival 2015 film festivals Film History in Florida Film Noir Film Scholars Film titles Filmmaking Techniques Films About Gambling Films of the 1960s Films of the 1980s Food in Film Foreign Film French Film Gangster films Genre Genre spoofs HD & Blu-Ray Holiday Movies Hollywood history Hollywood lifestyles Horror Horror Movies Icons independent film Italian Film Japanese Film Korean Film Literary Adaptations Martial Arts Melodramas Memorabilia Method Acting Mexican Cinema Moguls Monster Movies Movie Books Movie Costumes movie flops Movie locations Movie lovers Movie Reviewers Movie settings Movie Stars Movie titles Movies about movies Music in Film Musicals New Releases Outdoor Cinema Paranoid Thrillers Parenting on film Pirate movies Polish film industry political thrillers Politics in Film Pornography Pre-Code Producers Race in American Film Remakes Revenge Road Movies Romance Romantic Comedies Satire Scandals Science Fiction Screenwriters Semi-documentaries Serials Short Films Silent Film silent films Social Problem Film Sports Sports on Film Stereotypes Straight-to-DVD Studio Politics Stunts and stuntmen Suspense thriller Swashbucklers TCM Classic Film Festival TCM Underground Television The British in Hollywood The Germans in Hollywood The Hungarians in Hollywood The Irish in Hollywood Theaters Thriller Trains in movies Underground Cinema VOD War film Westerns Women in the Film Industry Women's Weepies