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  • TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Romance

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010

    Includes:Now, Voyager (1942) Mogambo (1953) Love in the Afternoon (1957) Splendor in the Grass (1961) Now, Voyager Olive Higgins Prouty's popular novel was transformed into nearly two hours of high-grade soap opera by several masters of the trade: Warner Bros., Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, director Irving Rapper, and screenwriter Casey Robinson. Davis plays repressed Charlotte Vale, dying on the vine thanks to her domineering mother (Gladys Cooper). All-knowing psychiatrist Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains) urges Charlotte to make several radical changes in her life, quoting Walt Whitman: "Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find." Slowly, Charlotte emerges from her cocoon of tight hairdos and severe clothing to blossom into a gorgeous fashion plate. While on a long ocean voyage, she falls in love with Jerry Durrance (Henreid), who is trapped in a loveless marriage. After kicking over the last of her traces at home, Charlotte selflessly becomes a surrogate mother to Jerry's emotionally disturbed daughter (a curiously uncredited Janis Wilson), who is on the verge of becoming the hysterical wallflower that Charlotte once was. An interim romance with another man (John Loder) fails to drive Jerry from Charlotte's mind. The film ends ambiguously; Jerry is still married, without much chance of being divorced from his troublesome wife, but the newly self-confident Charlotte is willing to wait forever if need be. "Don't ask for the moon," murmurs Charlotte as Max Steiner's romantic music reaches a crescendo, "we have the stars." In addition to this famous line, Now, Voyager also features the legendary "two cigarettes" bit, in which Jerry places two symbolic cigarettes between his lips, lights them both, and hands one to Charlotte. The routine would be endlessly lampooned in subsequent films, once by Henreid himself in the satirical sword-and-sandal epic Siren of Baghdad (1953). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Mogambo The 1953 Clark Gable film Mogambo is a remake of Gable's 1932 seriocomic adventure Red Dust. Where the earlier film was lensed on the MGM backlot, Mogambo was shot on location in Africa by director John Ford. Gable is safari leader Victor Marswell, who plays "host" to stranded Eloise Y. Kelly (Ava Gardner, who is no better than she ought to be but is just right for our raffish hero -- the Gardner role was originally played along franker pre-Code lines by Jean Harlow). Anthropologist Donald Nordley (Donald Sinden) hires Victor to lead him into the deepest, darkest jungle. Along for the ride is Donald's wife, Linda (Grace Kelly), outwardly cool as a cucumber but secretly harboring a lust for Victor. Scorned, Kelly tries to kill Victor, but true-blue Eloise takes the blame for the shooting. Reportedly, Grace Kelly carried on an off-camera romance with Clark Gable, which ended when the differences in their ages proved insurmountable. Even so, it is the easy rapport between Gable and Ava Gardner which stole the show in Mogambo. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Love in the Afternoon Gary Cooper more or less repeats his international-roue characterization from 1938's Bluebeard's Eighth Wife for the 1957 romantic comedy Love in the Afternoon (both films were co-scripted by Billy Wilder, who also directed the latter picture). Audrey Hepburn co-stars as the daughter of Parisian private eye Maurice Chevalier. Investigating the amorous activities of Cooper, Chevalier relates what he's discovered to cuckolded husband John McGiver, who declares that he's going after Cooper with a pistol. Overhearing this conversation, Hepburn rushes off to rescue Cooper. She keeps him far away from McGiver by adopting a "woman of the world" pose. Cooper quickly sees through this charade; still, she is fascinated by Hepburn and attempts to relocate her after she disappears. Meeting Chevalier one day, Cooper relates the story of the Mystery Woman, never dreaming that he is describing Chevalier's daughter. Equally in the dark, Chevalier offers to locate the elusive Hepburn. Once he's tumbled to the fact that his quarry is his own flesh and blood, Chevalier advises Hepburn against contemplating a relationship with the much-older Cooper. She, of course, fails to heed this warning, setting the stage for an ultraromantic finale. Love in the Afternoon is highlighted by a superb running gag involving a quartet of gypsy violinists, who insist upon dogging Cooper's trail wherever he goes-including a steam bath. Love in the Afternoon was adapted by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond from the novel Ariane by Claude Anet. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Splendor in the Grass 1961's premiere "date" movie represented the screen debut of Warren Beatty. Set in the 1920s, William Inge's screenplay concerns the superheated romance between working-class high schooler Natalie Wood and rich kid Beatty. Trying their best to keep their relationship from going "all the way," Beatty and Wood go through a series of unsatisfying interim romances. The troubled Wood attempts suicide and is sent to a mental institution, while Beatty impregnates freewheeling waitress Zohra Lampert. Wood and Beatty still carry a torch for one another, but circumstances preclude their getting together -- and besides, Wood suddenly realizes that she's outgrown the still-floundering Beatty. Scriptwriter William Inge shows up as a minister in Splendor in the Grass, while comedienne Phyllis Diller does a cameo as famed nightclub entertainer Texas Guinan; also, keep an eye out for Sandy Dennis, making her first movie appearance. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
  • SHERLOCK HOLMES COLLECTION

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Dec 15, 2009

    Includes:The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), MPAA Rating: PG-13 Without a Clue (1988), MPAA Rating: PG The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes In Billy Wilder's cinematic homage to the spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British stage luminary Robert Stephens plays Holmes, while Colin Blakely is his friend and chronicler Dr. Watson. This self-described "hitherto suppressed and thoroughly fascinating" tale concerns Holmes' search for a missing mining engineer -- a case that may have a far-reaching effect on the national security of England. Along the way, Holmes falls in love for the first time in his life, with enigmatic foreign beauty Gabrielle Valladon (Genevieve Page). In this 1970 film, Wilder emphasizes such then-current topics as homosexuality (notably during the film's prologue) and drug addiction. Christopher Lee, a former screen Holmes himself, has a cameo (minus toupee) as Sherlock's brother Mycroft Holmes. Heavily re-edited and rearranged both before and after its release, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes was a box-office disappointment when it came out in 1970. Since that time, its reputation has grown immeasurably, especially among those lucky enough to have seen a complete print. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Without a Clue According to Without a Clue, master detective Sherlock Holmes was a wholly fictional character. Well, we knew that; what we didn't know was that Holmes was a figment of the imagination of his chronicler, Dr. John Watson (Ben Kingsley). When Holmes' fame begins to grow, would-be clients besiege Watson's office for chance to consult the Great Detective. In desperation, Watson hires a seedy provincial actor (Michael Caine) to pose as Holmes. Trouble is, the preening actor hasn't got a clue -- about anything. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
  • Public Enemies - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Dec 8, 2009

    Based on author Bryan Burrough's ambitious tome Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-43, director Michael Mann's sprawling historical crime drama follows the efforts of top FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale ) in capturing notorious bank robber John Dillinger. A folk hero to the American public thanks to his penchant for robbing the banks that many people believed responsible for the Great Depression, charming bandit Dillinger (Johnny Depp) was virtually unstoppable at the height of his criminal career; no jail could hold him, and his exploits endeared him to the common people while making headlines across the country. J. Edgar Hoover's (Billy Crudup) FBI was just coming into formation, and what better way for the ambitious lawman to transform his fledgling Bureau of Investigation into a national police force than to capture the gang that always gets away? Determined to bust Dillinger and his crew, which also included sociopathic Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi), Hoover christened Dillinger the country's very first Public Enemy Number One, and unleashed Purvis to take them down by whatever means necessary. But Purvis underestimated Dillinger's ingenuity as a master criminal, and after embarking on a frantic series of chases and shoot-outs, the dashing agent humbly surmised that he was in over his head. Outwitted and outgunned, Purvis knew that his only hope for busting Dillinger's gang was to baptize a crew of Western ex-lawmen as official agents, and orchestrate a series of betrayals so cunning that even America's criminal mastermind wouldn't know what hit him. Marion Cotillard, Channing Tatum, and Stephen Dorff co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
  • Public Enemies - DVD

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Dec 8, 2009

    Based on author Bryan Burrough's ambitious tome Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-43, director Michael Mann's sprawling historical crime drama follows the efforts of top FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale ) in capturing notorious bank robber John Dillinger. A folk hero to the American public thanks to his penchant for robbing the banks that many people believed responsible for the Great Depression, charming bandit Dillinger (Johnny Depp) was virtually unstoppable at the height of his criminal career; no jail could hold him, and his exploits endeared him to the common people while making headlines across the country. J. Edgar Hoover's (Billy Crudup) FBI was just coming into formation, and what better way for the ambitious lawman to transform his fledgling Bureau of Investigation into a national police force than to capture the gang that always gets away? Determined to bust Dillinger and his crew, which also included sociopathic Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi), Hoover christened Dillinger the country's very first Public Enemy Number One, and unleashed Purvis to take them down by whatever means necessary. But Purvis underestimated Dillinger's ingenuity as a master criminal, and after embarking on a frantic series of chases and shoot-outs, the dashing agent humbly surmised that he was in over his head. Outwitted and outgunned, Purvis knew that his only hope for busting Dillinger's gang was to baptize a crew of Western ex-lawmen as official agents, and orchestrate a series of betrayals so cunning that even America's criminal mastermind wouldn't know what hit him. Marion Cotillard, Channing Tatum, and Stephen Dorff co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
  • Public Enemies - DVD

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Dec 8, 2009

    Based on author Bryan Burrough's ambitious tome Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-43, director Michael Mann's sprawling historical crime drama follows the efforts of top FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale ) in capturing notorious bank robber John Dillinger. A folk hero to the American public thanks to his penchant for robbing the banks that many people believed responsible for the Great Depression, charming bandit Dillinger (Johnny Depp) was virtually unstoppable at the height of his criminal career; no jail could hold him, and his exploits endeared him to the common people while making headlines across the country. J. Edgar Hoover's (Billy Crudup) FBI was just coming into formation, and what better way for the ambitious lawman to transform his fledgling Bureau of Investigation into a national police force than to capture the gang that always gets away? Determined to bust Dillinger and his crew, which also included sociopathic Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi), Hoover christened Dillinger the country's very first Public Enemy Number One, and unleashed Purvis to take them down by whatever means necessary. But Purvis underestimated Dillinger's ingenuity as a master criminal, and after embarking on a frantic series of chases and shoot-outs, the dashing agent humbly surmised that he was in over his head. Outwitted and outgunned, Purvis knew that his only hope for busting Dillinger's gang was to baptize a crew of Western ex-lawmen as official agents, and orchestrate a series of betrayals so cunning that even America's criminal mastermind wouldn't know what hit him. Marion Cotillard, Channing Tatum, and Stephen Dorff co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
  • Jack Lemmon Star Collection

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Nov 3, 2009

    Includes:Some Like It Hot (1959), MPAA Rating: NR The Apartment (1960) How to Murder Your Wife (1965) Avanti! (1972) Some Like It Hot The launching pad for Billy Wilder's comedy classic was a rusty old German farce, Fanfares of Love, whose two main characters were male musicians so desperate to get a job that they disguise themselves as women and play with an all-girl band in gangster-dominated 1929 Chicago. In this version, musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) lose their jobs when a speakeasy owned by mob boss Spats Columbo (George Raft) is raided by prohibition agent Mulligan (Pat O'Brien). Several weeks later, on February 14th, Joe and Jerry get a job perfroming in Urbana and end up witnessing a gangland massacre in a parking garage. Fearing that they will be next on the mobsters' hit lists, Joe devises an ingenious plan for disguising their identities. Soon they are all dolled up and performing as Josephine and Daphne in Sweet Sue's all-girl orchestra. En route to Florida by train with Sweet Sue's band, the boys (girls?) make the acquaintance of Sue's lead singer Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe, in what may be her best performance). Joe and Jerry immediately fall in love, though of course their new feminine identities prevent them from acting on their desires. Still, they are determined to woo her, and they enact an elaborate series of gender-bending ruses complicated by the fact that flirtatious millionaire Osgood Fielding (Joe E. Brown) has fallen in love with "Daphne." The plot gets even thicker when Spats Columbo and his boys show up in Florida. Nominated for several Oscars, Some Like It Hot ended up the biggest moneymaking comedy up to 1959. Full of hilarious set pieces and movie in-jokes, it has not tarnished with time and in fact seems to get better with each passing year, as its cross-dressing humor keeps it only more and more up-to-date. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Apartment Widely regarded as a comedy in 1960, The Apartment seems more melancholy with each passing year. Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter, a go-getting office worker who loans his tiny apartment to his philandering superiors for their romantic trysts. He runs into trouble when he finds himself sharing a girlfriend (Shirley MacLaine) with his callous boss (Fred MacMurray). Director/co-writer Billy Wilder claimed that the idea for The Apartment stemmed from a short scene in the 1945 romantic drama Brief Encounter in which the illicit lovers (Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson) arrange a rendezvous in a third person's apartment. Wilder was intrigued about what sort of person would willingly vacate his residence to allow virtual strangers a playing field for hanky panky. His answer to that question wound up winning 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. The Apartment was adapted by Neil Simon and Burt Bacharach into the 1969 Broadway musical Promises, Promises. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide How to Murder Your Wife George Axelrod's script for How to Murder Your Wife isn't politically correct in the least, but you're likely to get a charge out of it -- provided you are of the male persuasion, that is. Jack Lemmon stars as Stanley Ford, a successful cartoonist and a confirmed bachelor who shares a lavish apartment with his misogynistic manservant, Charles (Terry-Thomas). While attending a friend's bachelor party, Stanley falls head over heels in love with the gorgeous bikini-clad girl (Virna Lisi) who pops out of a cake. He impulsively marries her, but thinks better of it the next day. Alas, Stanleycan't get a divorce because his bride is an Italian Catholic (this is 1966). Dicier still, she is a "domestic goddess," lovingly plying her hubby with rich Italian food until Stanley's once-athletic physique is as bloated as the dirigible Hindenberg. Stanley's descent into husbandhood is reflected in his work: his popular adventure comic strip "Bash Brannigan" metamorphoses into a Blondie-like "i
  • Claudette Colbert Collection

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Nov 3, 2009

    Includes:Three-Cornered Moon (1933) I Met Him in Paris (1937) Maid of Salem (1937) Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938) No Time for Love (1943) The Egg and I (1947) Three-Cornered Moon Three-Cornered Moon is regarded by many film buffs as the first of the genuine "screwball comedies." Claudette Colbert stars as the only level-headed member of a wacky Brooklyn family. Her mother (Mary Boland) loses the family fortune in the stock market, forcing Colbert's knuckleheaded brothers to look for work. Unfortunately the boys seem interested only in jobs for which they're uniquely unsuited. Even Colbert has her weak moments, especially when she falls for a callow writer (Hardie Albright), but she eventually finds happiness with sensible doctor Richard Arlen. Three-Cornered Moon was written by the gloriously named Gertrude Tonkonogy. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide I Met Him in Paris After a year-long period of starring in such heavy fare as Maid of Salem, Claudette Colbert returned to comedy with I Met Him in Paris. Colbert plays a successful American fashion designer, squired by three suitors: playwright Melvyn Douglas, playboy Robert Young and hometown lad Lee Bowman. Bowman is fourth-billed, so that lets him out. Young is already married: Strike Two. That leaves Melvyn Douglas, who is indeed the winner of this three-way race. Most of the film takes place at a vacation resort in Switzerland (actually Sun Valley, Idaho), where several minutes of humor is extracted from the three suitors' clumsiness on skis. I Met Him in Paris charmed the critics in 1937; today it seems like just another pleasant diversion, served up by experts in the comedy field. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Maid of Salem Claudette Colbert is a young freethinking woman living in Salem, Massachusetts during the notorious 17th century "witch trials". Colbert falls in love with adventurer Fred MacMurray, causing no end of scandal with the Puritan townsfolk. A hateful little girl (Bonita Granville) pretends to be "possessed", thereby convincing the Salemites that Claudette is a witch. Tried and convicted of sorcery, the poor girl is sent to be burned at the stake, but is rescued in the nick of time by MacMurray, who convinces the townsfolk that they've been the victim of a hoax. Maid of Salem earned a footnote in entertainment history in 1937 when it was booed off the screen of New York's Paramount theatre by fans who wanted to see the evening's real attraction--a performance by Benny Goodman and his orchestra. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Bluebeard's Eighth Wife The great Ernst Lubitsch directed this farce (written by Charles M. Brackett and Billy Wilder) about a free-wheeling millionaire, Michael Brandon (Gary Cooper), who enjoys getting married but has a hard time staying married: he's had seven wives and is looking for number eight. He thinks he may have found her in the person of Nicole de Loiselle (Claudette Colbert), whom he meets in a shop on the French Riviera. Unfortunately for Michael, Nicole doesn't like him very much and keeps rebuffing his advances, even though most women would be only too happy to marry him for his money. For just that reason, Nicole's father (Edward Everett Horton), a financially embarrassed French nobleman, strongly suggests that matrimony with Michael would be a good idea, especially since Michael doesn't want to take no for an answer. Nicole eventually relents and weds Michael, but when she tries to get him to change a few of his habits during the honeymoon, he makes plans to divorce her. But Nicole has finally decided that she loves Michael after all, and, as he tries to flee from her, she gives chase, determined to win his heart once and for all. The same story was previously filmed as a silent picture in 1923. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide No Time for Love Mitchell Leisen utilizes his stylistic pizzazz to enliven this romantic comedy that proves the old adage "opposites attract" -- but only after three or four reels. Clau
  • Hollywood Tough Guys

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009

    Includes:They Made Me a Criminal (1939) The Great Flamarion (1945) Shock! (1946) Borderline (1950) The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) The Second Woman (1951) They Made Me a Criminal They Made Me a Criminal opens in New York, depicting the latest victory in the ring for Johnny Bradfield (John Garfield), a young boxer who seems headed for a championship. When a reporter finds Bradfield drunk and carousing with women, and learns that the squeaky-clean image that he has cultivated is a complete lie, he threatens to blow the lid off the boxer's real life, and is beaten to death by Bradfield's manager. Bradfield, who was in a drunken stupor during the fight, is framed for the killing by his manager, who rolls him for his wallet, watch, and anything else of value, makes a run for it, and is killed in a fiery car accident. As far as the police are concerned, the case is closed, "Bradfield" having been identified in the wreck by the watch he was wearing. But Johnny Bradfield now has to disappear from New York and anyplace else he's ever been seen, in order to stay "dead." He is sent on his way by his crooked attorney with just a few dollars in his pocket, thumbing rides and walking west. Bradfield collapses one day from exhaustion and near starvation outside of a ranch in Arizona. The ranch is run by May Robson as part of a relief effort to help a group of boys from the New York slums -- Tommy (Billy Halop), Spit (Leo Gorcey), Dippy (Huntz Hall), T.B. (Gabriel Dell), Angel (Bobby Jordan), and Milty (Bernard Punsly) -- keep out of trouble. Identifying himself as "Jack Dorney," he first tries to see what he can get in the way of a free ride from the kids and Tommy's sister, Peggy (Gloria Dickson), who doesn't trust Dorney or his influence over the kids. Meanwhile, back in New York, one police detective, Phelan (Claude Rains), is convinced that the body found in the burned wreck of Johnny Bradfield's car wasn't Bradfield. Phelan is an outcast in his department for having once presented "conclusive" evidence in court against a man who was executed for murder, only to discover later that the man was innocent. He sees this as his chance to redeem himself and his career, and he is such a pariah that his chief gives him permission to follow up leads anywhere he needs to. At the ranch, Dorney takes a genuine liking to the kids, and sees Peggy as a kind of woman he's never known, who has no "angles" in her approach to life. The ranch may have to be sold, however, as there is no more money coming from the church in New York to keep it going. In order to save the ranch and set Peggy and the kids up in a roadside business pumping gas -- an idea of Tommy's -- Dorney decides to enter a prize fight for money against a barnstorming boxer. On the eve of the fight, however, Phelan shows up, drawn by a newspaper photo of Dorney, his face obscured but using the same unusual left-handed boxing stance he used as Johnny Bradfield. Dorney goes into the ring, and finds himself up against a brute who has already flattened two opponents in less than one round each, trying to hide his identity by fighting right-handed. He gets savaged, round after round, until Phelan tells him from ringside that he knows who he is. Free to use his left, Dorney saves himself. Phelan confronts him in the dressing room, and Johnny tells him he'll give him no trouble -- they're about to head back east, with Peggy and the kids trying to thank him, and it dawns on Phelan that possibly this is one case that might better be left "solved" officially the way it is already, even though it means the detective going back to his job as a laughing stock. ~ Bruce Eder, All Movie Guide The Great Flamarion This ambitious independent production was packaged by producer W. Lee Wilder, brother of Billy Wilder, and distributed by Republic. The title character, played with relish (and a bit of mustard) by Erich Von Stroheim, is an arrogant vaudeville artiste specializing in a trick-gunshot act. A dy
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    Interview: Noah Hawley and Warren Littlefield bring 'Fargo' to the small screen

    Type: Post | Date: Monday, Apr 14, 2014

    Coen Brothers-inspired FX drama premieres on Tuesday
  • Neighbors_set_for_sxsw_premiere_home_top_story

    SXSW 2014 line-up adds sport, TV premieres and Seth Rogen's 'Neighbors'

    Type: Post | Date: Thursday, Jan 30, 2014

    The biggest Austin party of the year just keeps getting bigger
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