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Review: "Three Coins In The Fountain" (1954); Twilight Time Blu-ray Release

  • CinemaRetro
“See Rome And Find A Husband!”

By Raymond Benson

The title of this review is admittedly facetious, but let’s be honest—it’s what this movie is about!

The time is 1954, the Eisenhower years, and America is at the crossroads of remaining in a conservative, sexually repressed era in which women, regardless if they had a career or not, were supposed to be more interested in finding husbands. Things wouldn’t change until the revolutionary 1960s. Hollywood mainstream pictures perpetuated this notion in the 50s with fare like Three Coins in the Fountain, an extremely popular romantic comedy upon its release. In fact, it received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

Three American women, Frances (Dorothy McGuire), Anita (Jean Peters), and Maria (Maggie McNamara), all have jobs working for an American company located in Rome, Italy. One would think that would be fulfilling enough… but, no, all three
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Three Coins in the Fountain

Ah, yes — it’s a hot day in 1954, so what could be better than a cool movie theater projecting beautiful Italian scenery onto an Eee-Nor-Mous CinemaScope screen, and Frank Sinatra warbling an Oscar-winning tune. The simple escapism of Fox’s ‘three girls find love’ epic makes Rome look like a welcoming haven for carefree Americans — the stars park their car anywhere, and admire the fancy fountains without a single competing tourist to bother them: “It’s the favorable exchange rate!”

Three Coins in the Fountain


Twilight Time

1954 / Color / 2:55 widescreen / 102 min. / Street Date April 16, 2019 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store / 29.95

Starring: Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan, Maggie McNamara, Rossano Brazzi.

Cinematography: Milton R. Krasner

Film Editor: William Reynolds

Original Music: Jule Styne, Victor Young

Written by John Patrick from the novel by John H. Secondari

Produced by Sol C. Siegel

Directed by Jean Negulesco

See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Remembering Kubrick Actress Gray Pt.2: From The Killing to Leech Woman and Off-Screen School Prayer Amendment Fighter

Coleen Gray in 'The Sleeping City' with Richard Conte. Coleen Gray after Fox: B Westerns and films noirs (See previous post: “Coleen Gray Actress: From Red River to Film Noir 'Good Girls'.”) Regarding the demise of her Fox career (the year after her divorce from Rod Amateau), Coleen Gray would recall for Confessions of a Scream Queen author Matt Beckoff: I thought that was the end of the world and that I was a total failure. I was a mass of insecurity and depended on agents. … Whether it was an 'A' picture or a 'B' picture didn't bother me. It could be a Western movie, a sci-fi film. A job was a job. You did the best with the script that you had. Fox had dropped Gray at a time of dramatic upheavals in the American film industry: fast-dwindling box office receipts as a result of competition from television,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Batgirl Craig Dead at 78: Also Known for 'Star Trek' Guest Role

Batgirl Yvonne Craig. Batgirl Yvonne Craig dead at 78: Also featured in 'Star Trek' episode, Elvis Presley movies Yvonne Craig, best known as Batgirl in the 1960s television series Batman, died of complications from breast cancer on Monday, Aug. 17, '15, at her home in Pacific Palisades, in the Los Angeles Westside. Craig (born May 16, 1937, in Taylorville, Illinois), who had been undergoing chemotherapy for two years, was 78. Beginning (and ending) in the final season of Batman (1967-1968), Yvonne Craig played both Commissioner Gordon's librarian daughter Barbara Gordon and her alter ego, the spunky Batgirl – armed with a laser-beaming electric make-up kit “which will destroy anything.” Unlike semi-villainess Catwoman (Julie Newmar), Batgirl was wholly on the side of Righteousness, infusing new blood into the series' increasingly anemic Dynamic Duo: Batman aka Bruce Wayne (Adam West) and Boy Wonder Robin aka Bruce Wayne's beloved pal Dick Grayson (Burt Ward). “They chose
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Wright and Goldwyn Have an Ugly Parting of the Ways; Brando (More or Less) Comes to the Rescue

Teresa Wright-Samuel Goldwyn association comes to a nasty end (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Film.") Whether or not because she was aware that Enchantment wasn't going to be the hit she needed – or perhaps some other disagreement with Samuel Goldwyn or personal issue with husband Niven BuschTeresa Wright, claiming illness, refused to go to New York City to promote the film. (Top image: Teresa Wright in a publicity shot for The Men.) Goldwyn had previously announced that Wright, whose contract still had another four and half years to run, was to star in a film version of J.D. Salinger's 1948 short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut." Instead, he unceremoniously – and quite publicly – fired her.[1] The Goldwyn organization issued a statement, explaining that besides refusing the assignment to travel to New York to help generate pre-opening publicity for Enchantment,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Piranha (1995) review

Reviewed by Kevin Scott,

Piranha (1995)

Written by: Richard Robinson (story), John Sayles (original script)

Produced by: Roger Corman

Directed by: Scott P. Levy

Cast: William Katt (Paul Grogan), Alexandria Paul (Maggie McNamara), Monte Markham (J. R. Randolph), Mila Kunis (Susie Grogan), James Karen (Governor), Leland Orser (Terry Wechsler)

In this day of remakes and re-imaginings, this little anomaly would be anything but unusual. However in 1995, this was a strange curiosity, that was brought into existence for no particular reason that I know of. It was a made as TV movie for the Sci Fi Channel (Yep, that’s the old school spelling back in ’95) when it was still trying to find its niche. Then only three years old, the Sci Fi Channel was more than likely showing reruns of cult favorite tv shows, and had not tapped into the fertile ground of the nouveau B movie that it is now famous for.
See full article at MoreHorror »

Holden Has Two 'Wild' Movies Tonight

William Holden movies: ‘The Bridge on the River KwaiWilliam Holden is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" featured actor today, August 21, 2013. Throughout the day, TCM has been showing several William Holden movies made at Columbia, though his work at Paramount (e.g., I Wanted Wings, Dear Ruth, Streets of Laredo, Dear Wife) remains mostly off-limits. Right now, TCM is presenting David Lean’s 1957 Best Picture Academy Award winner and all-around blockbuster The Bridge on the River Kwai, the Anglo-American production that turned Lean into filmdom’s brainier Cecil B. DeMille. Until then a director of mostly small-scale dramas, Lean (quite literally) widened the scope of his movies with the widescreen-formatted Southeast Asian-set World War II drama, which clocks in at 161 minutes. Even though William Holden was The Bridge on the River Kwai‘s big box-office draw, the film actually belongs to Alec Guinness’ Pow British commander and to
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Wwz 'Banned' in China?

World War Z rejected by China censors? What will Paramount cut next? (Photo: Brad Pitt as a World War Z zombie-fighter) World War Z, the Brad Pitt movie about the (latest) upcoming zombie apocalypse, has received several early positive reviews in the United States, but has been less well liked — i.e., rejected — by the Chinese censorship board according to TheWrap, citing an unnamed source. If true, that’s bad news for the Marc Forster-directed Paramount release that not only cost a reported $200 million — not including marketing and distribution expenses — but also one that had already suffered a bit of self-imposed censorship for fear of hurting the delicate sensibilities of Chinese censors. Now, first of all, a clarification: TheWrap cites "an executive familiar with upcoming releases in China" as the source of World War Z‘s Chinese censorship ordeal. However, another unidentified Paramount executive claims "the studio had not
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Populaire – review

Boy meets girl meets typewriter in this thoughtful, witty French take on classic Hollywood romcoms

There was an old but not inaccurate joke that romantic movies from the Soviet Union were about triangular affairs between a boy, a girl and a tractor. The attractive new French movie Populaire, the feature-length debut as writer-director of Régis Roinsard, is about a boy, a girl and a typewriter. A typewriter originally meant the female operator, and the machine in this picture takes on a dramatic identity of its own.

In many ways Populaire is a companion piece to Michel Hazanavicius's Oscar-winning The Artist in its knowing love for American cinema. It also has the same star, Bérénice Bejo (though not here in the leading role), and the same photographer, Guillaume Schiffman, who grew up in the movie business as the son of Suzanne Schiffman, the long-time assistant to François Truffaut, with whom
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Exploring The Twilight Zone, Episode #133: "Ring-a-Ding Girl"

Maggie McNamara (The Moon Is Blue) stars in an episode that left me in tears. How can I explain? I shall try. The Twilight Zone, Episode #133: "Ring-a-Ding Girl" (original air date Dec. 27, 1963) The Plot: Bunny Blake (Maggie McNamara) is a star. She happens to be a movie actress, but she'd be a star in whatever field of entertainment she pursued. She has the looks and the ebullient personality. As she acknowledges, she's not the world's great actress, yet her determination to seek the top of her profession has propelled her into a magical career. She appears to be self-centered and flighty, with all of the stereotypical characteristics we'd expect from a big movie star. Just as she's about to fly to...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Worth Remembering:  William Holden (1918-1981) and Glenn Ford (1916-2006) – Golden Boys

By most accounts, Harry Cohn was a royal son of a bitch.

For the uninformed, Harry Cohn was co-founder of Columbia Pictures, and the autocratic ruler of the studio from its founding in 1919 until his death in 1958. He was vulgar, crass, tyrannical, a screaming, foul-mouthed verbal bully i.e. a royal son of a bitch.

He was also a cheap son of a bitch.

Originally considered a “Poverty Row” studio, Cohn’s Columbia – at least at first – refused to build a roster of salaried stars as the other studios did. Cohn didn’t want the overhead or the headaches he saw saddling other studio chiefs with their contract talent. Cheaper and easier was to pay those studios a flat fee for the one-time use of their marquee value stars to give Columbia’s B-budgeted flicks an A-list shine. Columbia was considered such a nickel-and-dime outfit at the time that other
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Steinfeld Wouldn’T Be First To Be Nominated–Or Win–For Film Debut

It now appears to be more likely than not that Hailee Steinfeld, the 14-year-old actress who makes her big screen debut in the Coen brothers’ critically and commercially successful Western “True Grit,” will score an Oscar nomination — and perhaps even a win — in one category or another for her film-stealing performance. Consequently, some of you may be wondering if any other newcomer has ever earned that kind of recongition over the 82 year history of the Academy Awards. The answer is yes — in fact, it has happened precisely 47 times, 16 in lead and 31 in supporting.

Some of those women were famous before they received their nods (i.e. Jennifer Hudson and Barbra Streisand); most were not (i.e. Mary Badham and Gabby Sidibe). Some never made another movie after they received their nods (i.e. Jocelyne Lagarde); some made a few and then dropped off the face of the earth (i.e.
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Hearts And Minds, Mary Pickford, Scandalous Virgins, Akira Kurosawa, Twisted Gay Love on TCM

Maggie McNamara, William Holden in Otto Preminger's scandalous The Moon Is Blue Turner Classic Movies has a lot to offer tonight and tomorrow morning. There's a lot to say about the scheduled movies, but since time is short — the first one listed below has already started, I'll be brief. First of all, don't miss Sidney Franklin's The Hoodlum, a 1919 comedy-drama that feels more modern than most of the stuff that gets released today. Mary Pickford is simply sensational in the title role. Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon, considered by many one of the greatest movies ever made, features one of the greatest performances ever: Machiko Kyo's conniving wife. Peter Davis' Oscar winning Hearts and Minds probably caused strokes and heart attacks in American militaristic right-wingers. One sequence that haunts me to this day shows a U.S. military officer describing the Vietnamese as cold, detached people unlike "us.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oscar's Collection: The Youngest Best Actress Nominees

Another Oscar Trivia Explosion. This time it's the Actresses.

Jennifer Lawrence made quite a film-carrying impression in Winter's Bone this past summer. It was one of the leggiest arthouse hits in some time, playing for months, and wracking up $6+ million without a huge advertising budget or bankable stars and with grim subject matter. Well done. At Christmas Hailee Steinfeld will lead us on a revenge journey in True Grit. While we suspect she's the lead actress as well, people her age are almost always demoted to "Supporting" if they're sharing the screen with a big star as co-lead and she is. Hi, Jeff Bridges! But we're pretending she's an Oscar lead today so as to have double the excuse to make this list. Humour us, won'cha?

Imaginary Movie: Steinfeld. Lawrence. Winter's True Bone.

36 Youngest Best Actress NomineesAnd where Jennifer or Hailee would fit in, were they to be nominated. (Winning performances are in red.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Kristen Stewart, Billy Burke in Eclipse Clip: Bella Is a Virgin!

Kristen Stewart‘s Bella tells Billy Burke‘s Charlie that boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) is "old-fashioned" in this clip from David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. (Well, Edward is a 110-year-old vampire in love with a teenager. That’s totally pre-postmodernism.) Since Charlie doesn’t quite get it — "What’s that? Code for something?" — Bella has to spell it out: "Dad, I’m a virgin." Both her thumbs go up. In a PG-13 movie. Gasp! And to think that in 1953, Otto Preminger‘s The Moon Is Blue didn’t get a Seal of Approval from the sex-o-phobic censors at the Production Code Office because the dialogue contained the word "virgin" among other obscene, anti-family, anti-American, anti-Christian fare. Needless to say, in addition to inciting the ire of prudes and moralists everywhere, The Moon Is Blue became one of the year’s biggest box-office hits, earning leading lady Maggie McNamara a Best Actress Oscar nod.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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