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Entries in Giant (8)

Sunday
Jul142019

Happy 91st to Nancy Olson, the last surviving cast member of "Sunset Blvd."

by Nathaniel R

It seems like we've been losing lots of Classic Hollywood people in the past year so we wanted to wish Nancy Olson of Sunset Blvd a very happy and healthy 91st birthday today. She's the last surviving member of that stone cold classic which netted her an Oscar nomination when she was just 22. Olson was such a success in Sunset Blvd that she went on to be paired with co-star William Holden in a few more pictures. Olson has long since retired, her last significant acting gig being in the shortlived primetime soap opera "Paper Dolls" in the 1980s. 

Olson's birthday, paired with Olivia de Havilland's incredible 103rd birthday earlier this month (wow) got us thinking about who is still with us from all time classics pre-1960s because there aren't a lot of them *sniffle*.  So after the jump, a quick perusal of some gigantic classics and the (credited) cast members who are still around to be endlessly grilled about them...

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Saturday
Jun082019

Monte Hale Centennial

James Dean with Monte Hale on the set of "Giant"

Who? Listen we're not huge western devotees but nevertheless we tip our imaginary cowboy hats today to the bygone tradition of singing cowboys on film. (You know the kind if only from watching Alden Ehrenreich work such charismatic wonders as one of 'em in the Coen Bros Hail Caesar!). Monte Hale, born on this day 100 years ago in Oklahoma, was among the last of such stars...

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Friday
Apr202018

Tweetweek: "We Fought a Zoo" and #Filmstruck4

Tweets of the week, curated for you in case you don't want to wade endlessly through twitter feeds each day.

More after the jump including Rampage, Amadeus, and Love Simon jokes and other little morsels about new and classic films including the popular FilmStruck4 challenge of picking four films that define you...

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Tuesday
Nov282017

56 Days 'til Oscar Nominations. Let's talk 1956

by Nathaniel R

1956 is not, from our vantage point, a particularly lauded year in cinema but it's an Oscar field we tend to think of regularly for various reasons including but not limited to:

-Camp value (Ten Commandments, Bad Seed)
-Musicals (The King and I, High Society)
-Strange snubs (The Searchers received zero nominations despite Oscar's obsession with John Ford)
-Delayed foreign grandeur (La Strada and Seven Samurai, 1954 films both, were up for Oscars)
-not one but two kaiju movies (Godzilla and Rhodan)...and more.

What's your favorite movie of 1956? I don't think I've seen enough to feel comfortable with a full top ten but here are the five I like best currently (with much more to see) after the jump...

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Saturday
Mar122016

Mercedes McCambridge: Giant (1956)

Our second chapter of the Centennial Mercedes McCambridge celebration is also the second time Oscar celebrated her. She received her second and final nomination in Best Supporting Actress for Giant, a massive epic about social discrimination affecting a wealthy Texas ranching family. Here she's playing opposite massive stars Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean (his final performance), but McCambridge still lingers over the film after her staunch matriarch Luz Benedict departs. She has perhaps only twenty minutes of screentime at the start of the film's sprawling length, it's a brief performance that the actress makes both broad and oddly complete.

You might call her performance wooden or inexpressive if you've never experienced this kind of woman in real life. The stoic inexpressiveness and static undercurrent of rage is eerily familiar if you're accustomed to this brand of southern woman, one who has been toughened up by a man's world and educated to hate. McCambridge respects the deliberate unknowability with which Luz wants to greet the world - this is a woman who has thrived on not letting anyone in to subvert her authority. She wears Luz's hatred (and self hatred?) like an impenetrable shield of armor, as her eyes offer the only suggestion of more brewing underneath the facade. More...

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Tuesday
May282013

Stage Door: Showgirls with Kinky Boots

I'll be out of the country for the Tony Awards this year on a much needed vacation but before they arrive I thought I'd share with you my final theatrical experiences of the season, the first of which is way Off Broadway (though close to Broadway geographically)  and the second is one of your major Tony contenders.

Both of them adapted from movies because that is what gets financed these days!

Elizabeth Berkeley (Nomi Malone) and Rena Riffel (Penny/Hope) in Showgirls (1995)

Showgirls: The Musical is playing Wednesdays and Saturday nights at XL Nightclub. I raced to see it with friends since I love the movie so much. Plus I was fascinated that "Penny" herself, excuse me, "Hope" ("no one wants to fuck a Penny!"), the actress Rena Riffel, is reprising her role for the stage. She's self-aware enough to embrace Showgirls infamy as a career (she's also the star of the straight to DVD Showgirls 2: Penny's Revenge) the way C list stars of certain sci-fi programs end up as geek convention regulars hawking their wares. It's a honest living! I totally wanted to hug her or at least let her sign my ass or something. What a good sport! [more on Showgirls and "Kinky Boots" after the jump]

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