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Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots

"With only a few scenes at her disposal, Samantha Morton was an amazing, amazing Mary Queen of Scots in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Don't expect that portrayal of the lady will ever be topped." -Ken

"Saoirse Ronan is an inspired choice for Mary. But... Who signed off on Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I? What is this madness." - BillyBob

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Entries in Alfred Hitchcock (74)

Monday
Aug212017

Beauty vs Beast: Burbank in the Bubble

Jason from MNPP here - just this morning I wished director Peter Weir (one of my favorites) a happy 73rd birthday on my own site, and it struck me that hitting up his 1998 classic The Truman Show (which at almost 20 years old can rightly be considered a "classic" now, can't it? God I am old) would make for a very fine installment of our "Beauty vs Beast" series. On the left we have Jim Carrey's second greatest performance as the manic man in the bubble Truman Burbank, and on the right we have one of Laura Linney's funniest supporting turns as his pretend wife turned hostage Meryl. And I know you all lean Lovely Linney (as a religion) but it's awfully hard to root for Meryl if you ask me...

PREVIOUSLY I'm actually a little bit surprised that you guys gave last week's Strangers on a Train competion to Farley Granger's Guy over Robert Walker's Bruno with 56% of the vote - Walker's sinister flamboyance is like oxygen to me personally! Said forever1267:

"That is a toughie, as this might be my favorite Hitchcock. I went with Team Guy, who's delusional in not reciprocating Bruno's desires, at least in the bedroom, but not at the carnival. Naughty Naughty! Ruth Roman is just sort of there, but Patricia Hitchcock and Teresa Wright should have teamed up to make a movie together where they solve mysteries while going Boy Crazy! Make it retro so!"

Monday
Aug142017

Beauty vs Beast: Murder on the Orientation Express

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" entertainment - I don't know if you've noticed by now that I will take any opportunity to talk about Alfred Hitchcock, but I will take any opportunity to talk about Alfred Hitchcock, and his birthday (which was yesterday) offers one of the best. Thankfully we've still plenty of choices - not many directors adored their villains like Hitch did, and so this series is a perfect fit.

And here's a good one! 1951's Strangers on a Train offers up one of Hitch's greatest bad guys in Bruno Antony, murder theorist and gay icon, played with giddy panache by Robert Walker. And Farley Granger's no slouch as the clearly-enticed-no-matter-how-hard-he-pretends-otherwise tennis-pro Guy Haines.

PREVIOUSLY It's one of her greatest roles so I'm not surprised that Joan Crawford stampeded her way to a win with last week's Johnny Guitar contest - she outgunned Mercedes McCambridge with 73% of your vote. Said Claran:

"This overlookes gem is one o JC's best. Much as I enjoy McCambridge all out evilness n Hayden's macho smotherness, it is Joan's icy confidence n eletricfying performance that keeps this western together n makes it a delicious camp. Afterall, it IS a Miss Crawford's pic n dun cha forget it!!"

Wednesday
May242017

Beauty vs Beast: All About Ellen

Jason from MNPP here with this week's All Sigourney edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- everything should always be All Sigourney, don't you think? Most especially Alien movies. I can't tell you how much I missed the grounding presence of Ellen Ripley this past weekend, whiplashing around Ridley Scott's scattered Covenant. If only we were getting Neill Blomkamp's proposed sequel, I kept thinking. An Alien without a Ripley is a body without a heart or a brain - an exo-skeleton full of acid.

So that's where I stand on Covenant. And even if they're more positive than I am most (if not all?) reviews continue to point to the first two films as the franchise's high-water mark. But instead of facing Ripley off with Giger's literal Beast I thought it would be more interesting to do a variation on the eternal "Alien or Aliens" question, and face off Scott's Ripley against James Cameron's Ripley, as the low-key smartypants of the first movie is in many ways quite a different beast altogether from the ass-kicking maternal Cassandra of the second. Which Ripley's your jam, and why?

PREVIOUSLY We tackled Alfred Hitchcock's personal fave Shadow of a Doubt (1943) last week for Joseph Cotten's birthday and it was Cotten's Uncle Charlie who triumphed over his niece Charlie (Teresa Wright), although it was close (as it ought to be with such doubling going on). Said Dancin' Dan:

"This is impossible, pitting one of my favorite Hitchcock heroines against one of my favorite Hitchcock villains. But I'm going to give an EVER SO SLIGHT edge to Young Charlie, for the sole reason that, as much amazing work as Cotten does in the role, Hitch helps him with Uncle Charlie's creepiness much more than he helps Wright (never better) in building Young Charlie's character."

Monday
May152017

Beauty vs Beast: The Maniac From Uncle

Jason from MNPP here using this week's "Beauty vs Beast" to wish one of my favorite actors of Classic Hollywood a happy birthday today - the great Joseph Cotten was born on this day in the year 1905. Cotten got his start on Broadway, where he caught the eye of some fella called Orson Welles - I suppose you can do worse for yourself than have your very first movie in theaters end up being Citizen Kane.

Just two years later Cotten took the job I always identify him with, as "Uncle Charlie" opposite Teresa Wright as his niece (also named Charlie, cuz doubling) in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. Hitch considered this his greatest film and I'd rank it up there (although "greatest" is a bit much when everything he made between 1954 and 1963 is sitting there) and mainly due to Cotten's subtly deranged work. Wright is also wonderful though - her best work, I think, by far. So where oh where does the Merry Widow's Waltz stop...

PREVIOUSLY Speaking of waltzes we danced the week away with Fred & Ginger for last week's hoe-down, and y'all decided that backwards in heels was your winner, giving Miss Rogers an eight point toe up over her competition. Said Claran (and I'm surprised there wasn't more of this):

"This is CRUEL!!! I propose a tie, since Top Hat wld not hav been so successful w/o their magical chemistry together. As indv performers, they r not so memorable, but as a team, they are certainly on TOP. "

Friday
Apr072017

TCM Classic Film Fest Day 2: Is that Martin Scorsese?!?

by Anne-Marie

Only one day in, and the TCM Classic Film Fest is already full of surprises! The biggest news of last night was supposed to be the red carpet premiere of the new digital restoration of In The Heat of the Night. The event at the TCL Chinese Theatre did not disappoint - Lee Grant, Walter Mirisch, Norman Jewison, and Sidney Poitier himself all made appearances to a standing ovation before the screening.

However, several hours before the red carpet officially unrolled, the eyes of festival goers turned eastward to the Egyptian Theatre after a sudden mid-afternoon tweet from Turner Classic Movies...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb132017

Beauty vs Beast: Blessed Are The Forgetful

"Random thoughts for Valentine's day... Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap."

Jason from MNPP here, wishing everybody a happy Valentines (even if I do lean towards the incredulous sentiment expressed above). When you ask yourselves what the great romantic films of our times are, what answers do you come up with? Because I asked myself that question in order to choose this week's holiday-themed edition of "Beauty vs Beast" and it was Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (from whence that quote came) that was the very first movie I thought of...

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