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Entries in Shirley Maclaine (37)

Wednesday
Apr102019

Happy National Siblings Day!

by Mark Brinkerhoff

Fontaine and de Havilland in 1967 at a Marlene Dietrich show

“I bequeath all my beauty to my younger sister Joan, because she has none.”
- Olivia de Havilland, according to her “will,” age nine
 Apocryphal? Who can say. Delicious? 100 percent!
 
Though chronicled to death (at TFE and elsewhere), the purported feud between the most famous siblings of Hollywood’s Golden Age endures like no other. Why? Because it seems silly and pointless in retrospect, as most sibling rivalries and familial angst do. But rather than dwell on the negative, let’s turn our attention to more positive outpourings of mutual love and respect, shall we?
 
Here are 10 of the more famous (in some cases infamous) siblings over the years on the ties that bind—and unbind—them to each other, not to mention the public’s imagination...

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Monday
Apr012019

50th Anniversary: Bob Fosse's "Sweet Charity"

by Eric Blume

Fifty years ago today, audiences saw their first Bob Fosse film:  Sweet Charity, the Cy Coleman/Dorothy Fields musical for which he won the Tony for Best Choreography three years earlier.  It’s fascinating to look back at this movie five decades later to see all the seeds that Fosse later brought to fruition in his subsequent films...

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Friday
Nov162018

It's 100 Days until the Oscars! Do you remember your first time watching?

How will you countdown? This upcoming Oscar ceremony will be the 91st annual event. In just 9 years, if the world survives that long, we'll have the Centennial of the Oscar! Can you imagine?! And do you remember the first ceremony you ever watched?

The first one I ever remember watching was the 56th ceremony...

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Thursday
May032018

Months of Meryl: Defending Your Life (1991)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 


#18 —Julia, a quality human being awaiting her judgment in the afterlife.

JOHN: Defending Your Life, Albert Brooks’ 1991 purgatory comedy, actually contains two movies. One involves Brooks’ Daniel Miller dying in a car accident, arriving in the leisurely Judgment City, and having his entire life reviewed in a trial that will determine whether he is reincarnated as a different person or sent to a higher dimension. The other, shorter film lodged inside Brooks’ painfully vain lark is about the absolute perfection of Meryl Streep. Guess which one is more enjoyable...

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Thursday
Apr262018

Months of Meryl: Postcards from the Edge (1990)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

 

 #17 —Suzanne Vale, a recovering drug addict and B-list actress of royal Hollywood pedigree.

MATTHEWIt has always been impossible to escape the metatextual associations of Carrie Fisher’s Postcards from the Edge, which really means it has always been impossible to escape the shared history of two artists: Fisher and her famous mother, Debbie Reynolds, a relationship that is the very bedrock of Fisher’s 1987 novel and Mike Nichols’ subsequent screen adaptation. To watch the latter now, in a world without Fisher or Reynolds, is an experience of unavoidable and indescribable bittersweetness. It helps, however, that Fisher confronted even the most harrowing episodes of her lifelong addiction with a sly, battle-ready smirk and a tart tongue, which always ensured that she — and she alone — would get the last word. On the screen, Postcards from the Edge remains a salty, joyous, yet tough-minded immersion within the rocky recovery of its Fisher-like heroine, Suzanne Vale, and a prickly heartwarmer that continually confuses our inclinations towards laughter or tears.

This is largely because of Fisher, whose hysterical one-liners are an art form unto themselves. Consider, for a moment, that such gems as “Do you always talk in bumper stickers?” and “Instant gratification takes too long” and “What am I supposed to do, go to a halfway house for wayward SAG actors?” are all spoken within the first 20 minutes of the movie, and there are plenty more where those came from...

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Monday
Sep252017

The Furniture: Death by Excess in What a Way to Go!

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Any excuse to talk about What a Way to Go! is a good excuse. But the centennial of Ted Haworth is an especially excellent excuse. He was nominated for six Oscars, starting with Marty in 1955. He won for 1957’s Sayonara. Highlights from the rest of his career include Some Like It Hot, The Beguiled, and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid.

But none of those movies could hold a candle to the astonishing level of creativity on display in What a Way to Go! The epic 1964 comedy of love and loss stars Shirley MacLaine as Louisa May Foster, a many-time widow and heiress.  Each husband, with one particularly tragic exception, begins the marriage as a near-pauper who wants nothing but love. But their passion inevitably leads them on a wild pursuit of wealth, which tends to end in a coffin. It should be noted, of course, that Louisa herself has little interest in cash.

There are far too many brilliant design elements to fit into a single column...

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