Tuesday, March 31

David Niven

He worked from the 1930s through the early 1980s and while I could have included him in any of those decades, I am writing about him in my piece on the 1960s because, believe it or not, it wasn't until then that he truly settled into stardom.  He became more of a force at the closing of the 50s when he starred in an Oscar Best Picture and won a Best Actor Oscar for another.

Friday, March 27

Good 60s Films: The Professionals

1966 Western
From Columbia Pictures
Directed by Richard Brooks

Burt Lancaster
Lee Marvin
Robert Ryan
Claudia Cardinale
Jack Palance
Woody Strode
Ralph Bellamy
Marie Gomez

Tuesday, March 24

The Directors: Sam Peckinpah

If you are one who hates violence on the screen, here is the man to whom you could direct some of your ire.  He wouldn't have cared what you thought and if given the chance, most likely would have told you so to your face.  He didn't much care what Hollywood thought either, except for those few times when he needed to eat and all the beer bottles had already been turned in.

Friday, March 20

REVIEW: The Gunman

Directed by Pierre Morel
2015 Action-Thriller
1 hour 55 minutes
From Open Road and Studio Canal

Sean Penn
Jasmine Trinca
Javier Bardem
Ray Winstone
Mark Rylance
Idris Elba

Tuesday, March 17

The Rogue Movie Star

I'm reading here that a rogue is an independent person who rejects conventional rules of society in favor of following his own personal goals and values.  It goes on to say it's an unprincipled person whose behavior one disapproves of but who is nonetheless likeable or attractive.  That is a pretty good way to start a piece on Steve McQueen, 1960s icon and from time to time the most popular actor in the world.

Friday, March 13

REVIEW: Cinderella

Directed by Kenneth Branagh
2015 Family Romance Drama
1 hour 52 minutes
From Disney Studios

Lily James
Cate Blanchett
Richard Madden
Stellan SkarsgÄrd
Derek Jacobi
Nonso Anozie
Sophie McShera
Holliday Grainger
Ben Chaplin
Hayley Atwell
Helena Bonham Carter

Tuesday, March 10

Oh Johnny

Have you ever been aware of how many movie titles are Johnny Something?  No?  Well, then you must have a life.  I, on the other hand, have been intrigued by how many times that name has been used in a title.  I would guess more than any other name.  Why is that?  Wouldn't Tommy or Jimmy or Bobby have worked just as well?  So many were bad boys, too, and had screwy last names.  It takes moxie for a studio to give a title the full name of a character because, unless it was based on a book, they aren't great crowd drawers.  Start thinking (if you haven't already) of the Johnny titles you know and then click below.

Friday, March 6

Good 60s Films: Summer and Smoke

1961 Drama
From Paramount Pictures
Directed by Peter Glenville


Laurence Harvey
Geraldine Page
Rita Moreno
John McIntire
Una Merkel
Pamela Tiffin
Thomas Gomez
Malcolm Atterbury
Earl Holliman

Tuesday, March 3

Jean Seberg

In some ways she reminded me of Marilyn Monroe and perhaps I needed someone to remind me of her.  I guess I was drawn to beautiful blonde actresses who were troubled and hurting.  I always wanted to help.   MM's death was particularly painful as I lived only blocks from her.  Seberg was a world away but the saddest thing was I saw it coming.  I hovered around the news on her like hummingbirds at a feeder.  She was beaten down at the beginning of her career and it went downhill from there.  The curtain call was not unexpected.