***We're looking for contributors***


Michael Curtiz: Articles


'Mildred Pierce' 1945: Joan Crawford 'Terrific' in Film Noir or Melodrama?

Joan Crawford in 'Mildred Pierce': Best Actress Oscar winner enjoyed a triumphant comeback. 'Mildred Pierce' 1945 movie review: Very entertaining 'soap opera' Time has a way of making some films seem grander than they really are. A good example is Mildred Pierce, the 1945 black-and-white melodrama directed by Casablanca's Michael Curtiz, and that won star Joan Crawford a Best Actress Oscar. Mildred Pierce is in no way, shape, or form great art, even though it's certainly not a bad film. In fact, as a soap opera it's quite entertaining – no, make that very entertaining; and entertainment is a quality that can stand on its own. (The problem in recent decades is that cinema has become nothing but entertainment.) In […]


Continue reading:

'Mildred Pierce' 1945: Joan Crawford 'Terrific' in Film Noir or Melodrama?



Olivia de Havilland Turns 99: Two-Time Best Actress Oscar Winner Made Labor Law History

Olivia de Havilland. Labor relations' history-making 'Gone with the Wind' star and two-time Best Actress Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 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, '15.[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 history. This particular history is unrelated to de Havilland's films, her two Oscars, Gone with the Wind, Joan Fontaine, and Errol Flynn. Instead, Hollywood – and U.S. labor – history was made as a result […]


Continue reading:

Olivia de Havilland Turns 99: Two-Time Best Actress Oscar Winner Made Labor Law History



Noah's Ark Flood Injures Extras: 'Hollywood Unknowns' Q&A with Film Historian Anthony Slide

Holywood Unknowns: A history of movie extras and bit players In Hollywood Unknowns (University Press of Mississippi), film historian Anthony Slide delves into a rarely discussed side of Hollywood moviemaking: the aspirations and travails of those invariably nameless, usually voiceless, and oftentimes faceless contributors to the art and success of motion pictures everywhere – the movie extras and bit players (in addition to “side” chapters on stand-ins and stunt doubles). (Image: Anthony Slide's Hollywood Unknowns: A History of Extras, Bit Players and Stand-Ins cover, with possibly MGM's short filmmaker Pete Smith next to the dog looking for extra work.) Hollywood Unknowns covers the history of the Hollywood extras from the early days of filmmaking – when, say, Florence Lawrence could […]


Continue reading:

Noah's Ark Flood Injures Extras: 'Hollywood Unknowns' Q&A with Film Historian Anthony Slide



'Casablanca': Humprey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman Classic 'Nowhere Near Greatness'

Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca About three years ago, I finally gave in to watch Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946) for the first time. I had hesitated because of the five- and ten-minute snippets of the film I had seen, and for its reputation as a hokey Christmas story “chestnut.” Well, was I wrong, for It's a Wonderful Life is a great film – arguably the best Capra ever made. It is also a good example of the auteur theory of filmmaking, in that the film fits remarkably well within the Capra canon. From the first five minutes, the viewer knows that no one but Frank Capra could have directed it. With that in mind, I decided to […]


Continue reading:

'Casablanca': Humprey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman Classic 'Nowhere Near Greatness'



Lauren Bacall Movies: 'To Have and Have Not,' 'The Big Sleep'

Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart in Howard Hawks' The Big Sleep Lauren Bacall, hardly a top box office attraction in the 1940s or 1950s, but a major “Old Hollywood” star today, will have her Turner Classic Movies “Summer Under the Stars” day on Wed., Aug. 25. Bacall is so prestigious nowadays that she even won an Honorary Oscar last year, a distinction hardly ever accorded to a woman. In fact, the vast majority of female movie stars of her era – and I'm referring to stars who were bigger and/or more prestigious than Bacall in her Hollywood heyday – have moved to the Great Beyond without the “career Oscar.” A handful may still be waiting for it on this planet, but […]


Continue reading:

Lauren Bacall Movies: 'To Have and Have Not,' 'The Big Sleep'



Joan Crawford 'Mildred Pierce' Academy Screening, Ann Blyth to Attend

Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth, Mildred Pierce Mildred Pierce, Michael Curtiz's film noir/family melodrama, earned Joan Crawford her only – and thoroughly deserved – Academy Award. The Oscar-nominated 1945 classic, which also features Ann Blyth, Zachary Scott, Jack Carson, Eve Arden, and Bruce Bennett, will be the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' series “Oscar Noir: 1940s Writing Nominees from Hollywood's Dark Side” on Monday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Mildred Pierce will be introduced by screenwriter Callie Khouri of Thelma & Louise and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Ann Blyth, who plays Veda Pierce – Mildred's scheming, ambitious, psycho daughter in the film – will be in attendance. […]


Continue reading:

Joan Crawford 'Mildred Pierce' Academy Screening, Ann Blyth to Attend



NOAH'S ARK - George O'Brien, Dolores Costello

Noah's Ark (1928) Dir.: Michael Curtiz Scr.: Anthony Coldeway; from Darryl F. Zanuck's original story Cast: George O'Brien, Dolores Costello, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Noah Beery, Louise Fazenda, Malcolm Waite, Paul McAllister     Of all the films from that magical moment when silent movies merged into sound, nothing is as effective as Michael Curtiz's Noah's Ark: it has a romantic story, splashy scenes, and plenty of disasters. Add to that some Biblical babble and you have what can be best described as an “epic.” In Noah's Ark, two American chums bumming around Europe on the eve of WWI get personally involved in the drama when their country enters the conflict. Travis, played by handsome male lead George O'Brien, and […]


Continue reading:

NOAH'S ARK - George O'Brien, Dolores Costello



CASABLANCA vs. EVERYBODY COMES TO RICK'S: Movie vs. Play

'Casablanca' vs. 'Everybody Comes to Rick”s (image: Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in 'Casablanca') Casablanca, one of the major Hollywood classics of the studio era, was based on an unproduced play written by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison, “Everybody Comes to Rick's.” In a brief 2004 essay, “Casablanca: A Comparison between the Classic Motion Picture and Its Stage Play Source,” Martin N. Kriegl discusses the differences between Burnett and Alison's play and the 1942 Warner Bros.' film directed by Michael Curtiz, and with a screenplay credited to Philip G. Epstein, Julius J. Epstein, and Howard Koch. Here are a couple of snippets from Kriegl's Casablanca vs. “Everybody Comes to Rick's” text: Upon first reading both stage play and screenplay, one […]


Continue reading:

CASABLANCA vs. EVERYBODY COMES TO RICK'S: Movie vs. Play





FILM ARCHIVES

Ingmar Bergman Films: 'Autumn Sonata,' 'Cries & Whispers'
'Baby Face' 1933: Barbara Stanwyck Shocker in London
Sophia Loren Movies: Mixed Bag
'Witness to War' & 'Women - for America, for the World': Oscar's Docs
Claudia Cardinale Remembers Luchino Visconti
Hedy Lamarr: Private Impressions
Ann Blyth & Lizabeth Scott Today + Doris Day Honors James Cagney
'The Song of Songs': Marlene Dietrich Directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Katharine Hepburn: 'The Philadelphia Story,' 'Woman of the Year' Movie Career Landmarks
Thelma Todd Movies: 'The Maltese Falcon'
Scream Queens: Top Ten List Includes Unexpected Choices
BRAZIL Movie Director's Cut: Film-to-Film Festival
Bad Movies: 'Mommie Dearest,' Clint Eastwood Among 'Least Talented Directors'
Glenda Jackson: 2-Time Best Actress Oscar Winner, Former MP Comeback via Emile Zola
Marion Cotillard Naked and Doomed: More Nudity in 'Psycho' Shower Scene Homage