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Halloween 2019: The Wolf Man (1941) – The Lunar Loner

Clap for The Wolf Man, folks: no Universal monster has endured the solitary pain of a cursed table for one like Larry Talbot; Dracula has his brides, and Frankenstein’s monster has his creator in his corner. Not so Larry, and especially not in the first of his adventures, The Wolf Man (1941), George Waggner’s classic tale of a lovable guy with an extreme follicle condition.

This wasn’t Universal’s first draw in the werewolf sweepstakes, however; that honor goes to 1935’s Werewolf of London starring Henry Hull, but his muted appearance kept audiences away. But after the success of their other monster franchises, they decided to give the lycanthrope another chance. This time it stuck.

The Wolf Man was such a big success that it finally launched star Lon Chaney Jr.’s career in horror after several years of bit parts as part of his Universal contract; it also set up several sequels,
See full article at DailyDead »

Leigh Day on TCM: From Southern Belle in 'Controversial' Epic to Rape Victim in Code-Buster

Vivien Leigh ca. late 1940s. Vivien Leigh movies: now controversial 'Gone with the Wind,' little-seen '21 Days Together' on TCM Vivien Leigh is Turner Classic Movies' star today, Aug. 18, '15, as TCM's “Summer Under the Stars” series continues. Mostly a stage actress, Leigh was seen in only 19 films – in about 15 of which as a leading lady or star – in a movie career spanning three decades. Good for the relatively few who saw her on stage; bad for all those who have access to only a few performances of one of the most remarkable acting talents of the 20th century. This evening, TCM is showing three Vivien Leigh movies: Gone with the Wind (1939), 21 Days Together (1940), and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). Leigh won Best Actress Academy Awards for the first and the third title. The little-remembered film in-between is a TCM premiere. 'Gone with the Wind' Seemingly all
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Last Surviving Gwtw Star and 2-Time Oscar Winner Has Turned 99: As a Plus, She Made U.S. Labor Law History

Olivia de Havilland picture U.S. labor history-making 'Gone with the Wind' star and two-time Best Actress winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 (This Olivia de Havilland article is currently being revised and expanded.) Two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland, the only surviving major Gone with the Wind cast member and oldest surviving Oscar winner, is turning 99 years old today, July 1.[1] Also known for her widely publicized feud with sister Joan Fontaine and for her eight movies with Errol Flynn, de Havilland should be remembered as well for having made Hollywood labor history. This particular history has nothing to do with de Havilland's films, her two Oscars, Gone with the Wind, Joan Fontaine, or Errol Flynn. Instead, history was made as a result of a legal fight: after winning a lawsuit against Warner Bros. in the mid-'40s, Olivia de Havilland put an end to treacherous
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Top Father's Day Films Ever Made? Here Are Five Dads - Ranging from the Intellectual to the Pathological

'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Do audiences want quality movies? L.A. Earthquake Flick to Pass Domestic $100M Mark Today

'San Andreas' movie with Dwayne Johnson. 'San Andreas' movie box office: $100 million domestic milestone today As the old saying (sort of) goes: If you build it, they will come. Warner Bros. built a gigantic video game, called it San Andreas, and They have come to check out Dwayne Johnson perform miraculous deeds not seen since ... George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road, released two weeks earlier. Embraced by moviegoers, hungry for quality, original storylines and well-delineated characters – and with the assistance of 3D surcharges – the San Andreas movie debuted with $54.58 million from 3,777 theaters on its first weekend out (May 29-31) in North America. Down a perfectly acceptable 52 percent on its second weekend (June 5-7), the special effects-laden actioner collected an extra $25.83 million, trailing only the Melissa McCarthy-Jason Statham comedy Spy, (with $29.08 million) as found at Box Office Mojo.* And that's how this original movie – it's not officially a remake,
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 »

Several of Grant's Best Films Tonight on TCM

Cary Grant movies: 'An Affair to Remember' does justice to its title (photo: Cary Grant ca. late 1940s) Cary Grant excelled at playing Cary Grant. This evening, fans of the charming, sophisticated, debonair actor -- not to be confused with the Bristol-born Archibald Leach -- can rejoice, as no less than eight Cary Grant movies are being shown on Turner Classic Movies, including a handful of his most successful and best-remembered star vehicles from the late '30s to the late '50s. (See also: "Cary Grant Classic Movies" and "Cary Grant and Randolph Scott: Gay Lovers?") The evening begins with what may well be Cary Grant's best-known film, An Affair to Remember. This 1957 romantic comedy-melodrama is unusual in that it's an even more successful remake of a previous critical and box-office hit -- the Academy Award-nominated 1939 release Love Affair -- and that it was directed
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

'Wolf Man' to Be Next Universal Monsters Shared Universe Movie?

'Wolf Man' to Be Next Universal Monsters Shared Universe Movie?
The Universal Monsters Shared Universe franchise announced back in July keeps getting bigger and bigger, with the studio rumored to be developing a reboot of The Wolf Man.

Prisoners screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski has reportedly come aboard to write the script, although no details were given about how this classic character will be rebooted. Universal's Dracula Untold was confirmed last month to be the first in this series. Although it wasn't initially envisioned as a part of the franchise, a prologue scene that showed Luke Evans' title character in a modern-day market is what helps kick off this universe.

The Untitled Mummy Reboot will fully launch the franchise, arriving in theaters June 24, 2016, with the studio announcing last month that an unspecified monster movie will hit theaters on April 21, 2017. It isn't known if The Wolf Man or another project will occupy this date yet.

The Wolf Man franchise was launched in
See full article at MovieWeb »

Top 100 Horror Movies: How Truly Horrific Are They?

Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Lon Chaney in The Wolf Man Screening at Schlafly Bottleworks May 1st

“I saw Lon Chaney Junior Dancing with the Queen!”

There will be a full moon Thursday May 1st when The Wolf Man screens at Schlafly Bottleworks in Mapelwood at 7pm.

“Even a man who is pure at heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright”. This is one of the most classic lines from Universal’s Gloden Age of Horror along with “It’s Alive”(Frankenstein) and “Listen to them, the children of the night….what music they make”(Dracula). In The Wolf Man (1941) Lon Chaney stars as Lawrence Talbot, who returns home to England, is bitten by a werewolf and then becomes one himself. It is very easy to become sympathetic toward Talbot and Chaney well-portrays the anguish and shame at what he has become. Claude Rains is excellent as Sir John Talbot’s father and Ralph Bellamy,
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Beyond Fest: “The Howling” And “The Wolf Man” With Joe Dante Q&A

Beyond Fest: “The Howling” And “The Wolf Man” With Joe Dante Q&A
Halloween is nigh, and that means horror movies aplenty, not that we need any more of an excuse to dust off the classics of our favorite genre. But Beyond Fest, an event taking place in La throughout this October, is making that experience interactive, bringing together some of the finest filmmakers, the best movies, and even infusing screenings with live music from the likes of Umberto, Goblin, and Alan Howarth.

Perhaps the day I was most looking forward to was this past Saturday’s “Full Moon” double feature, serving up perhaps the two best werewolf movies of all-time, right after one another. Kicking off the evening is 1981′s The Howling, followed by the movie that it (and every werewolf movie) is indebted to: Universal’s The Wolf Man, with Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains, and Bela Lugosi. That right there is reason enough to make the trek to the movie theater…
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

Don't Let the U.S. Government Shut Down! Quality Halloween Movies in October, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Cat and the Canary’ 1939: Paulette Goddard / Bob Hope haunted house comedy among Halloween 2013 movies at Packard Theater There’s much to recommend among the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus and State Theater screenings in Culpeper, Virginia, in October 2013, including the until recently super-rare Bob Hope / Paulette Goddard haunted house comedy The Cat and the Canary (1939). And that’s one more reason to hope that the Republican Party’s foaming-at-the-mouth extremists (and their voters and supporters), ever bent on destroying the economic and sociopolitical fabric of the United States (and of the rest of the world), will not succeed in shutting down the federal government and thus potentially wreak havoc throughout the U.S. and beyond. (Photo: Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard in The Cat and the Canary.) Screening on Thursday, October 31, at the Packard Theater, Elliott Nugent’s The Cat and the Canary is a remake of Paul Leni
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Case of the Missing Academy Award and an Oscar Winner Is Racism Victim Even After Death

Hattie McDaniel: Best Supporting Actress Oscar competition and missing Academy Award plaque (See previous post: “Hattie McDaniel Oscar Speech.”) Besides Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind, the 1939 Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominees were Geraldine Fitzgerald for Wuthering Heights, Edna May Oliver for Drums Along the Mohawk, Maria Ouspenskaya for Love Affair, and Olivia de Havilland for Gone with the Wind. It should be noted that de Havilland, who, according to some, was not at all happy at having lost the Oscar, had much more screen time than Hattie McDaniel. In fact, de Havilland had lobbied David O. Selznick to list her as a lead actress, alongside Vivien Leigh. Selznick, however, balked, fearing that de Havilland might steal away votes from her fellow Gone with the Wind player. In the next decade, Olivia de Havilland would receive four more Academy Award nominations, all in the Best Actress category, including
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

TCM Classic Film Festival Adds Award-Winning Stars, Filmmakers And More

The 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival has unveiled another spectacular lineup of special guests and events for this year’s four-day gathering in Hollywood. Among the newly announced participants for this year’s festival are five-time Emmy® winner Dick Van Dyke, Oscar® winner Shirley Jones, two-time Golden Globe® winner Angie Dickinson, six-time Golden Globe nominee Robert Wagner, seven-time Oscar nominee Norman Jewison, longtime producer A.C. Lyles and three-time Oscar-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker. In addition, the festival will feature a special three-film tribute to director/choreographer Stanley Donen, who will be on-hand for the celebration.

As part of its overall Style and the Movies theme, the festival has added several films featuring the work of pioneering costume designer Travis Banton. Oscar-nominated costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis will introduce the six-movie slate, with actress and former Essentials co-host Rose McGowan joining her for one of the screenings.

Other festival additions include a screening
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William Wyler/Oscar Actors: Walter Huston, Bette Davis

Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Dodsworth William Wyler: Record-Setting Oscar Director for Actors Pt.1 Ah, William Wyler also happens to be the director with the most Academy Award nominations: twelve in all. For the record, those are: Dodsworth, 1936; Wuthering Heights, 1939; The Letter, 1940; The Little Foxes, 1941; Mrs. Miniver, 1942; The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946; The Heiress, 1949; Detective Story, 1951; Roman Holiday, 1953; Friendly Persuasion, 1956; Ben-Hur, 1959; and The Collector, 1965. He won the Best Director Oscar for three films — none of which is among his best: Mrs. Miniver, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Ben-Hur. Considering the changes that have taken place in the American film industry following the demise of the studio system, barring a miracle Wyler will remain the Oscars' top director for actors for as long as there are Oscars. (See full list below.) William Wyler died of a heart attack in July 1981 in Los Angeles. William Wyler-directed movies: thirty-six acting nominations; fourteen wins.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Sins of Omission: 13 Past Performances The Academy Should Have Nominated

They have a right to be pissed.

It's the most important morning of the year. Hollywood is temporarily jolted from its stupor for a ten-minute rollercoaster of natural highs and shattered dreams. Nothing but ... shattered dreams.

It's those shattered dreams that immediately become the focus after the Oscar nominations are announced. With only five slots per category, deserving actors are excluded, and that's when the fun begins, as the discussion about the "snubs" commences.

That was especially true this year, as a flurry of serious contenders were nowhere to be found. Charlize Theron, Tilda Swinton, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Albert Brooks were the names most bandied about, along with Andy Serkis (and they should really either nominate him, or give him a special Oscar for his unique contributions to film.)

Of course, Oscar has a history of overlooking interesting and memorable performances. Let's take a look at a few notable Oscar omissions.
See full article at The Backlot »

Leo McCarey Movie Schedule: From Irene Dunne/Charles Boyer Romance to Marx Brothers Satire

Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer in Leo McCarey's Love Affair Leo McCarey on TCM: Going My Way, Duck Soup, Love Affair, Make Way For Tomorrow Leo McCarey's Love Affair (1939) is now mostly forgotten, whereas its 1957 remake (also by McCarey), An Affair to Remember, remains a romance classic. In the original, in place of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr we have Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne as the star-crossed lovers. Boyer would become a fantastic dramatic actor in later years (e.g., Max Ophüls' Madame De…), but here he's just Hollywood's boring version of the "suave continental." Irene Dunne, on the other hand, was one of the best actresses of the '30s and '40s. She's fine in Love Affair, though it's not one of her greatest performances. (Warren Beatty and Annette Bening starred in a widely panned 1994 remake, that also featured Katharine Hepburn in the role played
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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 »

Oscars mystery: Whatever happened to Hattie McDaniel's Academy Award?

Oscars mystery: Whatever happened to Hattie McDaniel's Academy Award?
J. Freedom du Lac of the Washington Post has written a fascinating account of this unsolved mystery, tracing the Academy Award to the capital's Howard University, where it disappeared decades ago. Hattie McDaniel won the best supporting actress race at the 1939 Oscars for the role of Mammy in best picture champ "Gone With the Wind." She beat Edna May Oliver ("Drums Along the Mohawk"), Olivia de Havilland ("Gone With the Wind"), Maria Ouspenskaya ("Love Affair") and Geraldine Fitzgerald ("Wuthering Heights"). Upon her death in 1952, she bequeathed it to the historic African American college. Seven decades after McDaniel's historic victory, Mo'Nique became the fourth African American woman to be honored in this category with...
See full article at Gold Derby »

'The Wolfman': Furball, By Kurt Loder

Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins in an unwise remake of the vintage horror classic.

Benicio del Toro in "The Wolfman"

Photo: Universal Pictures

"The Wolfman," here at last, is sadly lacking in snarl. There are plenty of bared fangs and flesh-rending claws, of course, and there's much howling at the moon, too. But the movie is essentially an exercise in Gothic atmosphere. It's lavishly produced, sumptuously scored (by Danny Elfman), and beautiful to look at. It's just not very scary.

But how could it be? Is there anyone who doesn't know the simple story, at least in outline? Or who needs to have it told once again? Given the film's troubled production — the last-minute director switch, the re-shoots and re-editing, the year-long release-date delays — it's probably turned out better than anyone might have hoped. But it still feels redundant.

The movie is a remake of, and inevitably a tribute to,
See full article at MTV Movie News »
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