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A major silent film and Old Hollywood fan, André Soares is the author of Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro, about the troubled gay Hollywood star (Ben-Hur, The Student Prince) who was brutally killed in 1968.


Author Archives: Andre Soares


Merle Oberon Films: From Empress to Duchess & Deposed Shah of Iran House Connection

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Merle Oberon: Actress went from empress to duchess in 'Hotel.' Merle Oberon films: Actress downgraded from empress to duchess as TCM film series comes to a close Turner Classic Movies' Merle Oberon month comes to an end tonight, March 25, '16, with six movies: Désirée, Hotel, Deep in My Heart, Affectionately Yours, Berlin Express, and Night Song. Oberon's presence alone would suffice to make them all worth a look, but these movies have other qualities to recommend them as well. 'Désirée': First supporting role in two decades Directed by Henry Koster, best remembered for his Deanna Durbin musicals (e.g., Three Smart Girls, One Hundred Men and a Girl) and for the 1947 Academy Award-nominated fantasy comedy The Bishop's Wife, the […]


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Merle Oberon Films: From Empress to Duchess & Deposed Shah of Iran House Connection







'The Aviator' Movie Review: Miscast Leonardo DiCaprio & Cate Blanchett in Heavy-Handed Biopic

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'The Aviator' movie with Leonardo DiCaprio as bizarre billionaire Howard Hughes: Bloated biopic. 'The Aviator' movie review: What's not good for the Spruce Goose… Imagine Citizen Kane directed by the Steven Spielberg of The Color Purple, Schindler's List, Amistad, and Saving Private Ryan. The final result would look something like a Barry Levinson film – for instance, the superficial and phony Bugsy. Or, an even more appropriate example, the superficial, phony, and bloated The Aviator. Except, of course, that Levinson is not the man responsible for the 2004 mega-production starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the eccentric, billionaire ladies' man Howard Hughes. Strangely enough, that man is Martin Scorsese, the director of hard-hitting films such as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and Gangs of […]


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'The Aviator' Movie Review: Miscast Leonardo DiCaprio & Cate Blanchett in Heavy-Handed Biopic







Merle Oberon: Actress with Mysterious Past Wears Men's Clothes, Fights Nazis

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Merle Oberon movies: Mysterious star of British and American cinema. Merle Oberon on TCM: Donning men's clothes in 'A Song to Remember,' fighting hiccups in 'That Uncertain Feeling' Merle Oberon is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month of March 2016. The good news: the exquisite (and mysterious) Oberon, whose ancestry has been a matter of conjecture for decades, makes any movie worth a look. The bad news: TCM isn't offering any Oberon premieres despite the fact that a number of the actress' films – e.g., Temptation, Night in Paradise, Pardon My French, Interval – can be tough to find. This evening, March 18, TCM will be showing six Merle Oberon movies released during the first half of the 1940s. […]


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Merle Oberon: Actress with Mysterious Past Wears Men's Clothes, Fights Nazis







'Ben-Hur' 2016 Trailer: Faster & Furiouser

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'Ben-Hur' 2016 with Jack Huston: Chariot race to the death. 'Ben-Hur' 2016 trailer: 'Gladiator' meets 'Fast Seven' meets 'Star Wars' meets… Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have released the trailer for their 2016 Ben-Hur remake (or reboot or readaptation) – a.k.a. Fast and Furious A.D., as one wag called it in an online comment. Instead of grandiose spectacle featuring at its core a “human” story with Christian overtones, this chariot-and-sandals epic is being sold as Gladiator meets Fast Seven meets Spartacus: Blood and Sand meets Star Wars – with Morgan Freeman's Sheik Ilderim as the Roman Empire's dreadlocked version of Alec Guinness' Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi. Say what you will, the trailer-makers sure know their target audience. And that's not the same […]


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'Ben-Hur' 2016 Trailer: Faster & Furiouser







Clint Eastwood, Harry Potter & 'The Decline of Western Civilization': Packard

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'Play Misty for Me': Rabid fan Jessica Walter makes life difficult for disc jockey Clint Eastwood. Clint Eastwood, 'Harry Potter' and 'The Decline of Western Civilization': Packard Campus movies Besides Harry Potter (more on the bespectacled wizard further below), movies set in the world of music and/or radio are among the April 2016 highlights at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Virginia. Packard Campus Recorded Sound Curator Matt Barton selected the documentaries and narrative features in this particular program, which, according to the Theater's press release, includes “several rarely projected films in original release prints from the Library's holdings.” Androgynous David Bowie, 'Play Misty for Me' Radio/music titles include: Clint Eastwood's 1971 feature film directorial debut, the […]


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Clint Eastwood, Harry Potter & 'The Decline of Western Civilization': Packard







Marília Pêra: Daring 'Pixote' Actress, National Society of Film Critics Winner

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Marília Pêra: Actress starred in Brazilian movie classic 'Pixote.' Marília Pêra: Brazilian film, TV and stage star Remembering Brazilian stage, television, and film star Marília Pêra, whose acting and singing career spanned more than five decades. Pêra died of lung cancer on Dec. 5, '15, in Rio de Janeiro. Born Marília Soares Pêra on Jan. 22, 1943, in Rio, she was 72 years old. 'Pixote' prostitute Internationally, Marília Pêra is best known as the loud, vulgar prostitute Sueli, who becomes acquainted with São Paulo street kid Fernando Ramos da Silva in Hector Babenco's well-received social drama Pixote / Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco (1981),[1] a fierce indictment of Brazilian society's utter disregard for its disadvantaged members. In one pivotal […]


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Marília Pêra: Daring 'Pixote' Actress, National Society of Film Critics Winner







Superficial 'Broadcast News,' Sal Mineo-James Dean Passionate Bromance: Oscar Movies

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'Broadcast News' with Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter: Glib TV news watch. '31 Days of Oscar': 'Broadcast News' slick but superficial critics pleaser (See previous post: “Phony 'A Beautiful Mind,' Unfairly Neglected 'Swing Shift': '31 Days of Oscar'.”) Heralded for its wit and incisiveness, James L. Brooks' multiple Oscar-nominated Broadcast News is everything the largely forgotten Swing Shift isn't: belabored, artificial, superficial. That's very disappointing considering Brooks' highly addictive Mary Tyler Moore television series (and its enjoyable spin-offs, Phyllis and Rhoda), but totally expected considering that three of screenwriter-director Brooks' five other feature films were Terms of Endearment, As Good as It Gets, and Spanglish. (I've yet to check out I'll Do Anything and the box office cataclysm How Do […]


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Superficial 'Broadcast News,' Sal Mineo-James Dean Passionate Bromance: Oscar Movies







Phony 'A Beautiful Mind,' Unfairly Neglected 'Swing Shift' & 'Westerners' vs. Dark-Skinned Natives

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'A Beautiful Mind' with Russell Crowe: Phony biopic was Best Picture Academy Award winner. '31 Days of Oscar' on TCM: 'The Wind and the Lion,' 'The Man Who Would Be King' Turner Classic Movies' “31 Days of Oscar” continues on Saturday, Feb. 6, '16, with more recent fare – as in, several films released in the last four decades. Among these are The Wind and the Lion, The Man Who Would Be King, A Beautiful Mind, Swing Shift, and Broadcast News. John Milius' The Wind and the Lion and John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King are both 1975 releases featuring “Westerners” (i.e., white people) stranded in “exotic” and potentially dangerous locales (i.e., places inhabited by dark-skinned non-Christians) in […]


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Phony 'A Beautiful Mind,' Unfairly Neglected 'Swing Shift' & 'Westerners' vs. Dark-Skinned Natives










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Fox Before the Code at Film Forum
'Brokeback Mountain' Trivia
Film Noir in New York City: 'NYC Noir'
Rouben Mamoulian Interview
Best Films - 1927
Outfest 2009: AMERICAN PRIMITIVE, BIG LOVE, PORNOGRAPHY, DARE
Audrey Hepburn Movies: 'Breakfast at Tiffany's,' 'Two for the Road' at LACMA
Israeli Forbidden Gay Romance, 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo': Palm Springs Festival Winners
Sensual Argentinean Gay Drama 'Plan B,' Religious Bigotry in 'Children of God': Outfest
Michael Douglas as Liberace, Matt Damon as His Lover: 'Behind the Candelabra'
Remembering a Forgotten 'Hollywood Hero'
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MARY POPPINS in National Film Registry: Good Timing for Disney SAVING MR. BANKS
Adolphe Menjou Movies: Old Hollywood's Low-Grade Urbane Charmer
Fred Astaire Movies: Dancing in the Dark, on the Ceiling and with Ginger Rogers