'Movies': Is That an 'Abhorrent' Word That Denigrates the Art Form? Many Believed So

“Movies” or…? Quo Vadis: One of the first feature films ever made, Enrico Guazzoni's Italian epic came out in 1913, going on to become a global sensation. Should American “moving picture” fans of the early 1910s have referred to it as a “photoplay” or a “movie”? Silent bites: The birth of 'the movies' In 1926, in her native England, Iris Barry published what is generally […]

Crime Novel Remembered: Everywoman Heroine & Bourgeois Values + 'Straight & Gay' Movie Versions

Crime novel The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding. While her husband is away during World War II, housewife Lucia Holley – the sort of “Everywoman” who looks great in a two-piece bathing suit – does whatever it takes to protect the feeling of “normality” in her bourgeois, suburban household. The Blank Wall is a classic depiction of an attempted cover-up being much more serious […]

Roy Rogers & 'Under Western Stars': Remembering Singing Cowboy's 'Socialist' Western

Roy Rogers, Singing Cowboy of 1940s and 1950s Hollywood. Known for his affable characterizations and, both on and off screen, “traditional values” stance, the King of the Cowboys – step aside, John Wayne & Gene Autry – toplined the “subversive” 1938 musical Western Under Western Stars. Sound bites: Remembering Roy Rogers & 'subversive' singing cowboy movie 'Under Western Stars' It is a typically hot day […]

Rediscovering Silent Film Star with Million Dollar (Adjusted) Back

Kitty Gordon: Silent film star with the 'most beautiful' and most heavily insured back. Rediscovering a long-forgotten silent film star: Kitty Gordon It seems almost unthinkable that there are still silent film stars who have not been resurrected, their lives and movies subject to detailed, if not always reliable, examination. Yet I am reminded by Michael Levenston, a Canadian who has compiled what is best […]