The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R

 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in weddings (20)


Broken Lance's "Half Breed"

Robert Wagner keeps invading our Smackdown celebrations. In our 1952 revisit he appeared briefly as a shell shocked soldier for Susan Hayward to comfort with her crooning in With a Song in My Heart. He was almost impossible to look at from the pretty. And here he is again, distracting another Smackdown with his smolder in the western Broken Lance.

Perhaps we'd better go inside."

[Translation]: Jean Peters, you're about to tear your clothes off under the moonlight and devour me but I will chivalrously save your reputation... now that I've already won you with my lips. 

The rising 24 year-old actor was rumored to be carrying on behind the scenes with the then 47 year-old Barbara Stanwyck (who happens to co-star in Executive Suite, another of this month's Smackdown movies) but his most enduring romance was yet to begin. How many times do you think a then 16 year-old Natalie Wood, just one year away from her key transition film from child star to teen icon (Rebel Without a Cause) demanded to watch Broken Lance? Do you think her friends & handlers were all "enough with the Broken Lance, Nat!" According to Natalie herself, by 1954 her love would have already been six years strong though the actors had yet to meet.

"I was 10 and he was 18 when I first saw him walking down a hall at 20th Century Fox," she recalls. "I turned to my mother and said, 'I'm going to marry him.' "

She did.

Natalie married RJ (for the first time) in December 1957. She was just 19.

In Broken Lance, the then 24 year old actor (of German and Norwegian descent) plays our protagonist, the "half breed" son of Native American princess "Señora Devereaux" (played by Mexican actress Katy Jurado) and an Irish cattle rancher (played by Spencer Tracy of Irish descent) who is at odds with his half-brothers. R.J. is heavily bronzed for the role. For all the typical Old Hollywood clumsiness with racial identity and casting -- something that hasn't changed much in the subsequent 61 years (note: Rooney Mara as "Tiger Lily" in the forthcoming Pan) --  Broken Lance actually really sells the racial identity angst with something like humane progressive verve. Jean Peters, playing RJ's love interest Barbara, jokes that her man is more upset about being half Irish than half Indian in a clumsy date scene which results in both of them doing those cheery Old Holllywood fake chuckles as we dissolve out. Elsewhere, though, there's rich drama. Tracy's three sons from an earlier marriage, who serve as the plot's antagonists aren't always comfortable with their bi-racial home but neither are they painted as explicitly racist. Their "evil," if you will, arrives from a more complex mix of agendas and grudges against their father and you can see that the eldest actually respects his stepmom and youngest brother, even as he speaks out against them. In the films most sympathetically acted moment of strife, Tracy squares off with the Governor (E.G. Marshall), over their children's unexpected romance (pictured up top). The governor's discomfort with his daughter falling for his closest friend's bi-racial son-- a young man he otherwise likes quite a lot and has seen grow up, mind you -- clearly scars both men, tearing their decades long friendship apart. Prejudices hurt everyone, not just the target of the prejudice.

All in all Broken Lance is an engaging western with more ambitions than gunfights for a change of pace. And this is why we should always love the Oscars, people. Let others reflexively gripe about it and miss out. Awards history directs us to movies we might otherwise never see from before our time. And Oscar history, for all its imperfections and blindspots, can illuminate pop culture throughlines, introduce you to rich now underappreciated talents, and provide wonderful anecdotal bits and bobs from mainstream history, cinematic and otherwise.

I love doing the Smackdowns and I hope you do, too. If you wanted to vote on this round, I need your votes by this evening at the absolute latest. The 1954 Supporting Actress Smackdown arrives Sunday morning at 10:00 AM.


i'm just a link machine... a bloggin' writin' fiend ♫ 

MNPP picks five favorite shots from his favorite movie Rosemary's Baby
Village Voice wonderful insightful review of Lily Tomlin as Grandma 
Comics Alliance did you know we almost got a Jurassic Park animated series before Spielberg changed his mind?  
Coming Soon Christian Bale to star in a biopic about Enzo Ferrari directed by Michael Mann
THR might we have another documentary theme nominated in the Original Song category? Lady Gaga & Diane Warren's "Till It Happens To You" from the campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground is a buzzy one

Coming Soon speaking of Lady Gaga, here's our first look at her in American Horror Story: Hotel
Out Cheyenne Jackson talks about her, too. She's all up in my internet today!
Pajiba on the expanding cast for that Netflix Brad Pitt movie War Machine 
Playbill Carrie The Musical being revived again... in Los Angeles this time in October. It never truly dies
The Film Stage James Gray has begun production on Lost City of Z starring Charlie Hunman, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland. (They don't mention it in the article but this is the first time he's made a movie WITHOUT Joaquin Phoenix since his 1994 debut Little Odessa.)
The Film Stage also shares Bong Joon-Ho's 10 favorite films: Recent entries like Zodiac  appear alongside stone cold classics like Psycho and South Korean classics like The Housemaid (1960) which you might remember was recently remade.
Variety Hugh Jackman may make an Odyssey movie. 
Final Girl top 20 horror movies of the 21st century. I read stuff about horror by smart horror fans way way more often than I am willing to watch horror. Why is that? Don't know! But it's true.
Variety wonders why The Americans still can't catch a break with Emmy voters 
Variety is the Emmy race for Drama down to Game of Thrones versus Mad Men
i09 ewww Buffalo Bill's creepy house from Silence of the Lambs is for sale (basement not included which makes the news far less creepy)

Off Cinema For Fun
Bad Lip Reading takes on the First Republican Debate -heh
Zimbio "it turns out posing Nicki Minaj's wax figure on all fours was a bad idea" - ya think!? 

Showtune to go...
Congratulations to Tony winner Victoria Clark on her recent wedding! Beautiful wedding photos and if you've ever seen her perform you won't soon forget. Her acting and her gorgeous voice are ideally fused together and she gives splendid rich and nuanced musical performances. Lately she's been relegated to featured roles as mothers and grandmothers but she is one fine leading lady. Here she is doing Sondheim's classic "Losing My Mind" from the recent revival of Follies (Bernadette Peters played the role in NYC but Victoria took over for Los Angeles)

Photographed by Julia Wade 


Revisiting Rebecca (Pt 1) Off to Manderley

A 75th Anniversary Special
Alfred Hitchcock's Best Picture winner Rebecca (1940), based on the novel by Daphne Du Maurier, is 75 years old this month. To celebrate, Team Experience is experimenting with something entirely new: a baton pass viewing of sorts. We don't even know how it will turn out so we hope you'll stick with it and enjoy. Five of us will be watching Rebecca in shifts. So we each get about 26 minutes of it to write about. As your host, Nathaniel, it's my duty to start running when the gun goes off. In this case perhaps lighting an Olympic flame and starting to jog is a more fitting analogy?

Flames... Breathing.... on the side of Mrs Danvers face...

Part 1. By Nathaniel 

00:01 How I do love the MGM Lion roar. First some loud David O. Selznick fanfare in the form of a title card and then a Selznick pictures tag and later another Selznick credit. Guess who's paying the bills? And then a silhouette of trees, which hey, Isn't that how GWTW's title cards begin, too? Bragging much, Selznick?

Opening credits in old movies are always over so quickly. This one names only 35 people, and 5 of them are the writers. Can you imagine?

35 names wouldn't even cover the visual effects department credits on a remake of Rebecca from the fire sequence alone (this sentence was not intended to give Hollywood any ideas). Once Pandora's Box of Credits was unlocked, credits got longer and longer.

02:00 We begin on wrought-iron gates with one of the most famous of opening movie lines. 

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. 

(Something no one ever said about Lars von Trier's Manderlay.)

In her dream state opening monologue our protagonist (Joan Fontaine's Mrs de Winter) mentions the supernatural. She drifts like a spirit through those gates, winding through fog and trees until she conjures up a silhouette of Manderley, "secretive and silent," which is just as well because the lies begin immediately thereafter. She tells us that "Time could not mar the perfect symmetry of those walls" but that's the end of any notion of immortality. More...

Click to read more ...


Cinema's Greatest On-Screen and Off-Screen Couples

Here's abstew with a Valentine special!

In the dark of the movie theatre is where we fall in love. Romantic films have influenced our lives and how we love since the dawn of cinema. And as we watch–perhaps on a first date–the actors fall in love on the silver screen, we swoon. More often than not, if you believe location rumors, that passion on-screen finds its way into the real-life relationships of the actors involved. In honor of Valentine's Day, let's celebrate those cinematic couples who's love burned bright on and off the big-screen.

Here are five of Hollywood's most iconic lovers...

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh

Click to read more ...


Chang Chen Marries

Wedding bells. Congratulations to Chen Chang (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Grand Master) who married his girlfriend of 4 years Monday in Taipei.

She passed the bouquet to Chens second most famous onscreen romantic partner Qi Shu (Three Times). Awwww. The starstudded guest list was conveniently already in town since the 50th Annual Golden Horse Awards take place tomorrow. TFE Reader Tony is calling tomorrow's event "the red carpet to end all red carpets" as far as Chinese-language cinema goes. Over 40 past Best Actor and Best Actress winners are expected to attend.

Could you imagine how fun that would be at the Oscars? I would say we'll have to wait until Oscar's 100th anniversary (February 2028!) but since they care so little about their own history these days that's unlikely.

[Left: with Crouching Tiger lover Zhang Ziyi promoting The Grandmaster]

Who will win the Golden Horses tomorrow? 
Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster (an Oscar submission) is the nomination leader but Chen who has never won the Golden Horse is not one of them. His co-stars Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Zhang Ziyi are nominated, though. The Grandmaster will have to fight off significant threats to win though. The lineup is a strong one including critical hits Stray Dogs and A Touch of Sin, Johnnie To's Drug War and Ilo Ilo (Singapore's Oscar submission).


Mr & Mr Ben Whishaw!

Congratulations to Ben Whishaw who confirms he's gay and happily married to Mark Bradshaw, the composer.

Whishaw & Bradshaw

Here's a cute trivia note that too few sites will mention: Bradshaw scored Whishaw's rare romantic leading man gig in Bright Star (2009) where the actor played the poet John Keats. Good god that movie is underappreciated... except for here at TFE where it won multiple nominations in its year. If it brought them together it's even more lovely in retrospect. 

Bradshaw recently scored the Emmy-nominated miniseries Top of the Lake (it's mesmerizing - watch it!) and Whishaw will next be seen in Terry Gilliam's Zero Theorem, the next James Bond film reprising his "Q" role, and possibly a Ron Howard picture called In the Heart of the Sea


Links: Ava, Spidey, Kruger, and The World's Finest

Vulture says goodbye to Ryan Gosling as he begins his break from on-screen acting post Only God Forgives. But it's not over. It's never over.
Laughing Squid awesome movie-themed wedding invitations. Seriously clever! 
In Contention Kris is ecstatic over the news that Man of Steel 2 will include Batman; "The World's Finest" will finally share the screen.
Pajiba on 20 reasons they're sad to be missing Comic-Con 

NPR extremely negative review of a book about Ava Gardner that she didn't want published
Playbill Rose Byrne might play "Grace" in Annie. That's the "We Got Annie!" assistant to Daddy Warbucks played by Ann Reinking in the previous film version
Movie City News 33 Weeks to Oscar - a season without a frontrunner?
Greg in Hollywood thinks this year's Emmy list is the gayest ever -- so many out TV stars these days
New Zealand Herald appreciates Diane Kruger's  terrific recent run of career-elevating parts 
New Zealand Herald -- I'm double-dipping (thx Morgan) since they're into actresses right now -- talks to Nicole Kidman about her recent roles and Grace of Monaco 
i09 has a ton of details from the Marvel Panel at Comic-Con including new Captain America Winter Soldier footage and the Guardians of the Galaxy panel and the Avengers sequel has been titled. It's Avengers: The Age of Ultron.

Peter 'Garfield' Parker 
Huffington Post truly fun interview with Andrew Garfield at Comic-Con who is delightfully candid about his years locked into playing Spidey.

And here he is at Comic-Con delighting the crowd...