Tuesday, September 29

Cary Grant's 40s Films

He was one of the great movie stars of all-time and a fine actor as well.  He certainly made some dramas but light comedy was his forte and in that genre he knew no equal with his suave manners and sophisticated banter.  He began making films in 1932 and ended his career in 1966 with 72 films to his credit.  I suppose my favorite decade for him was the 50s but there is no denying that his best and most prolific time was the 1940s.  Let's take a look at those films:

Friday, September 25

REVIEW: Everest

Directed by Baltasar Kormakur
2015 Drama
2 hours 1 minute
From Universal

Jason Clarke
Josh Brolin
John Hawkes
Emily Watson
Sam Worthington
Martin Henderson
Michael Kelly
Elizabeth Debicki
Keira Knightley
Robin Wright
Jake Gyllenhaal

Thursday, September 24

REVIEW: Black Mass

Directed by Scott Cooper
2015 Crime Drama
2 hours 2 minutes
From Warner Bros

Johnny Depp
Joel Edgerton
Benedict Cumberbatch
Kevin Bacon
Jesse Plemons
Rory Cochrane
David Harbour
Dakota Johnson
Bill Camp
Peter Sarsgaard
Julianne Nicholson
Juno Temple
Adam Scott

Tuesday, September 22

Hoagy Carmichael

Raise your hand if you know who Hoagy Carmichael is.  Hint:  he is not a sandwich.  Primarily a composer and a piano man, he also dabbled in some singing and some band leading.  Somehow he slipped into acting as well.  In the 11 movies he made, I always got a big smile when I saw him... so laid back, so confident, so self-assured.  He brought class to everything he did.

Friday, September 18

The Directors: Joseph Mankiewicz

He was Hollywood royalty.  That last name, hard as it was to spell and pronounce, could be attached to any number of people in a family that glorified the movie capital.  His body of work contains some of the finest films any director could hope for.  He was every bit as much a writer as he was a director and he is the only person to win back-to-back Oscars for writing and directing.

Tuesday, September 15

Good 40s Films: Since You Went Away

1944 Drama
From Selznick International
Directed by John Cromwell

Claudette Colbert
Jennifer Jones
Joseph Cotten
Shirley Temple
Monty Woolley
Robert Walker
Lionel Barrymore
Agnes Moorehead
Hattie McDaniel
Alla Nazimova
Guy Madison
Craig Stevens
Keenan Wynn

Friday, September 11

Joan and Bette

What sort of relationship movie queens Joan Crawford and Bette Davis had has been the subject of speculation for many decades.  Most would probably subscribe to the theory that they had a grand feud.  Such chatter filled the gossip columns of the day and has been written about in books, including one that concerned itself with nothing else.  But was it for real or did it just make good copy?  When Hedda and Louella lacked newsworthy items for their columns, might they simply hauled out some old Joan & Bette well-worn stories to fill out the space?  If it was a real, honest-to-goodness feud, then what caused it? 

Tuesday, September 8

B Leading Men I

Why are some actors not able to climb to the top of the Hollywood ladder?  Is it a lack of drop-dead looks?  A lack of acting talent?  Were they not into playing the game, whatever that might entail?  Maybe it's just a simple ol' they didn't make it because they didn't.  Who knows why and surely it's different in every case anyway.  I suspect to make it to the top, which, like it or not, means fit to play a romantic lead, one's just got to have that certain something.  Undefinable.  Elusive.  Sometimes fleeting.  Maybe these guys didn't have that.  But on the other hand, they had long careers.  Something must have worked.

Friday, September 4

REVIEW: A Walk in the Woods

Directed by Ken Kwapis
2015 Comedy-Drama
1 hour, 44 minutes
From Broad Green Pictures

Robert Redford
Nick Nolte
Emma Thompson
Mary Steenburgen

Tuesday, September 1

John Garfield

In this day and age he is pretty much forgotten.  What a shame.  I'm guessing if one were asked to name the 10 best actors of the 40s, his name would not be among them.  Not only was he one of the best actors of his day but there had really not been anyone quite like him.  Several were to follow who knew how to work it like he did, but he was something to behold in his time.  If one wants to discuss good acting in the 40s, somewhere right at the beginning of the conversation one should mention John Garfield.