Friday, August 29

A Brief Stay in the Limelight

When I think of the movie world of the sixties, I am reminded of the slew of actors and actresses who had a brief flicker of fame and then they pop up in lesser movie parts, soon to TV and guest-starring roles in Murder, She Wrote.  I think this happened during the 60s more than any other decade preceding it.  Truth be told, talented though they were, most of them never did have it... that special something, that chemistry that zooms you to the top and keeps you there. 


Tuesday, August 26

Second Leading Men

They are not to be confused with character actors although sometimes they become that.  They are also not to be confused with leading men although they sometimes land a role that is the lead.  The three actors showcased here, David Brian, Jack Carson and Zachary Scott, were all Warner Bros contract players who never quite rose to the upper echelons.  But like all actors worth their salt, they contributed greatly to your experience of watching that movie.

Friday, August 22

Good 60s Films: Splendor in the Grass

1961 Drama
From Warner Bros.
Directed by Elia Kazan

Starring
Natalie Wood
Warren Beatty
Pat Hingle
Audrey Christie
Barbara Loden
Zohra Lampert
Fred Stewart
Gary Lockwood
Sandy Dennis
Joanna Roos
Jan Norris
Martine Bartlett

Tuesday, August 19

Burton Without Taylor

He of the mellifluous, baritone voice, the pock-marked face and raging energy wanted desperately to be an actor.  More than that, he wanted to be the greatest actor in the world.  He wanted to snatch that appellation away from Laurence Olivier.  One day, however, Olivier would say to Richard Burton... Make up your mind, Dear Heart.  Do you want to be a great actor or a household word? 

Friday, August 15

Bacall

Let's not think of this as your standard obit.  First of all, I am leaving off the RIP in the heading because I'm not sure Bacall can rest in peace.  My guess is it's not in her DNA.  She was restless, haughty, opinionated, frequently unkind, angry and completely full of herself.  She was never soft, certainly not in real life, and there aren't too many film roles that showed a sweet-natured side either.

Tuesday, August 12

My 10 Favorite Movie Scenes

If you think it's difficult to come up with my 50 Favorite Films, imagine the stress I've caused myself coming up with my 10 favorite scenes.  Eight of them will be a bit of a review because they come from my favorite films and two are films not a part of that list. 

Friday, August 8

REVIEW: The Hundred-Foot Journey






Directed by Lasse Hallström
2014 Comedy-Drama
2 hours 2 minutes
From Touchstone

Starring
Helen Mirren
Om Puri
Manish Dayal
Charlotte Le Bon

Tuesday, August 5

The Directors: Norman Jewison

It's most appropriate to discuss this director for my 1960s piece because he started in that decade and I quite admired five of his seven sixties films.  He's directed just 25 films and produced most of those.  He seems to have picked his stories carefully.  Some of his dramas shed light on racial issues and social injustice or  simply the nature of the justice system.  He has managed a comedy or two that are wonderfully satirical and one that is as delightful a rom-com as one could ever want.  He even guided a couple of large-scale musicals.

Friday, August 1

RIP James Shigeta

I always quite liked him... good actor, great voice, easy-going manner, classy. He was the only male Asian-American actor to play romantic leads in decades. It was considered quite daring at the time, that in a couple of his films, the objects of his affection were Caucasian women. So he was a bit of a trendsetter but, of course, his being Asian also limited his opportunities and his being at the top of his game had a short shelf life.