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Entries in Oscars (40s) (103)

Thursday
Jul112019

75th Anniversary: Double Indemnity

by Eric Blume

This week marked the 75th anniversary of Billy Wilder’s seven-times Oscar nominated noir classic Double Indemnity (1944).  If you haven’t seen this movie -- and I surprisingly never had, despite not one but two film noir courses in college -- rush post haste to view it:  it’s a classic noir that holds up powerfully.

Fred MacMurray is the patsy, an insurance guy who is convinced by Barbara Stanwyck to murder her husband and cash in on the double indemnity clause in the policy they conspire to have him secretly sign.  The performances by MacMurray, Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson (as the insurance boss) have incredible force.  Yes, this style of acting went out less than ten years later, but the raw power of their acting is undeniable...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun112019

Showbiz History: On a Clear Day You Can See Peter Dinklage in Jurassic Park?

Six random things that happened on this day (June 11th) in showbiz history

1966 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever starring the great Barbara Harris and John Cullum closes on Broadway shortly before the Tony Awards, where it will lose all three of its nominations. It was snubbed in Best Musical where Man of La Mancha won and Mame, Skyscraper, and Sweet Charity were all nominated. Nevertheless it was quicker than all but Sweet Charity in getting a big screen adaptation. Barbra Streisand starred.

1969 Peter Dinklage is born (Happy 50th!). Do you think he's headed for a fourth Emmy win for Game of Thrones? Do you remember the first time you saw him? For us it was The Station Agent (2003), such a gem from the early Aughts...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr032019

Showbiz History: Star Wars' Oscar Ceremony & Matthew Goode's Birthday Suit

8 random things that happened on this day in history (as it relates to showbiz). Happy April 3rd!

1882 Jesse James is Assassinated by the Coward Robert Ford (Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck recreating that for you above circa 2007).

1930 The 2nd Oscars are held with Broadway Melody taking Best Picture. (No film won more than 1 Oscar at that ceremony but that's less crazy than it sounds since there were only 7 categories then.)

1942 Zoltan Korda's The Jungle Book opens in movie theaters. It certainly won't be the last film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's wild boy and jungle animals adventure but it receives the most Oscar nominations of any of them by far in four categories (Cinematography, Production Design, Visual Effects, and Original Score)

After the jump the historic 50th Oscar ceremony. So much good trivia awaits you...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct272018

Happy Teresa Wright Centennial

The Oscar-winning actress of Mrs Miniver fame, was born 100 years ago on this very day in Harlem, where I'm typing this from. (Well, not literally where I'm typing this from - this apartment probably didn't exist in 1918 but who knows.) 

a lesser known distinction: she was Marlon Brando's very first romantic interest in a film (his debut The Men, 1950)She didn't consider herself a glamour girl, which could account for the sparcity of glamorous photoshoots compared to other 'it girls'. Wright's screen heyday was short-lived as many careers are when the success is so instantaneous and large. Still, it's hard to knock the girl next door beauty  for not being able to live up to her first two years in Hollywood. Her first three movies (Little Foxes, Pride of the Yankees, Mrs Miniver) all brought her Oscar nominations. An Oscar winner by the age of 24 with batting a thousand record there was essentially nowhere to go but down. Still, before the inevitable fade of her career she managed two more all time classics, doing her best acting for Alfred Hitchcock in Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and appearing the perfect ensemble of one of the very best Best Picture winners The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). Her big screen career died quickly due to diminishing popularity and fights with her studio but she worked frequently on TV beginning in the 1950s.

Do you have a favorite Teresa Wright film?

Monday
Oct152018

99¢ rentals to fill in the Oscar gaps

UPDATE 10/23 Sadly these deals have all expired and they're back up to $3.99 per film.

While we wait (impatiently) for the major Oscar contenders to show themselves to general audiences, why not check out an older Oscar nominees for kicks and to fill any gaps in your Oscar knowledge. Here are a few that iTunes is offering to rent for just 99¢... naturally I have to share the posters for the ones with exclamatory taglines.

Sunrise (1927)/ Street Angel (1928) for Janet Gaynor, the very first Best Actress winner and the only Best Actress winner to win for multiple roles simultaneously (they changed the rule thereafter)
In Old Chicago (1938) Tyrone Powers in a six-time nominated film which won Alice Brady supporting actress
The Rains Came
(1939) starring Myrna Loy and up for six Oscars
Blood and Sand
(1941) this torreador drama starring Tyrone Power won Best Cinematography
This Above All
(1942) a romantic drama starring Joan Fontaine and Tyrone Power received 4 nominations and a win for Art Direction
The Snake Pit 
(1948) Olivia de Havilland in an asylum (!) in one of the original 'deglam' roles. Six nominations including Best Picture
• Pinky 
(
1949), a racial drama about a woman who can "pass" as white received 3 acting nominations

Come to the Stable (1949) a comedy about nuns which was up for an inexplicable 7 Oscars losing all of them -- we recently wrote about it
The Young Lions (1958) three nominations including cinematography for this Marlon Brando / Montgomery Clift World War II picture.
The Best of Everything (1959) three nominations including costume design for this Joan Crawford picture that January Jones hated so very much in that one episode of Mad Men

Monday
Jul302018

Podcast: Smackdown '43 Companion

Nathaniel R welcomes the panel Yaseen Ali (cinephile), Kristen Lopez (critic), Rebecca Pahle (critic) and Kieran Scarlett (screenwriter) to discuss 1943 at the movies with recommended favorites and our favorite switch-the-actresses around game. We had previously reviewed the supporting actress nominees.

We talk about the three actresses (Claudette Colbert, Veronica Lake, Paulette Goddard) in WW II women's picture So Proudly We Hail. The running time slog of For Whom the Bell Tolls which doesn't showcase Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman well, the hit play turned message movie Watch on the Rhine and its place as a "homefront" movie when the war barely touched our soil, and religious epic The Song of Bernadette which won Jennifer Jones the Best Actress Oscar. 

You can listen to the 1 hour podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

 

So Proudly We Hail Bernadette on the Rhine