The White Sheik (1952) - News Poster


A Farewell to Arms (1957)

This remake of a pre-Code classic adds amazing European locations, glorious Technicolor and entire armies on the move, yet doesn’t improve on the original. Producer David O. Selznick secured Rock Hudson to play opposite Jennifer Jones, but the chemistry is lacking. Why did the man spend twenty years trying to top Gone With the Wind?

A Farewell to Arms


Kl Studio Classics

1957 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 152 min. / Street Date April 18, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Jennifer Jones, Rock Hudson, Vittorio De Sica, Mercedes McCambridge, Elaine Stritch.

Cinematography: Oswald Morris, Piero Portalupi

Production Designer: Alfred Junge

Art Direction: Mario Garbuglia

Film Editors: John M. Foley, Gerard J. Wilson

Original Music: Mario Nascimbene

Written by Ben Hecht from a play by Laurence Stallings from a novel by Ernest Hemingway

Produced by David O. Selznick

Directed by Charles Vidor

What happens when a major Hollywood producer thinks he has all the answers?
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Remembering Bill Paxton, Giant Actor Neil Fingleton and More Reel-Important People We Lost in February

Reel-Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies that have left us in recent weeks. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in his or her own way. Katalin Berek (1930-2017) - Hungarian Actress. She stars in the Oscars-submitted film Adoption and appears in A Half Pint of Beer, Sacra Corona, The Upthrown Stone and Istvan, a Kiraly. She died on February 27. (Index) Brunella Bovo (1932-2017) - Italian Actress. She stars in Federico Fellini's The White Sheik (see below) and Vittorio De Sica's Miracle in Milan. She died on February 21. (Corriere di Rieti) Neil Fingleton...

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'Fellini Satyricon' (Criterion Collection) Blu-ray Review

I'm a huge fan of Federico Fellini's films, films that have essentially become part of the the fabric of cinema history. This largely refers to La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, La Strada, The Nights of Cabiria and Amarcord. Of course, I've also seen and enjoyed I Vitelloni and Juliet of the Spirits while also not particularly loving The White Sheik or Ginger & Fred. I mention this only as a note that I will pretty much devour whatever Fellini feature is placed in front of me, and as much as I was ready to delve into this new Criterion release of his 1969 feature Fellini Satyricon, I can't say the trip was an enjoyable one. Admittedly, Criterion always manages to deliver something intriguing with their releases and this new Blu-ray edition of Fellini Satyricon is no different, but not for the film itself, more for the supplemental material that makes you start to
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The fantasist: The comic art of Woody Allen

Everyone knows Woody Allen. At least, everyone thinks they know Woody Allen. His plumage is easily identifiable: horn-rimmed glasses, baggy suit, wispy hair, kvetching demeanor, ironic sense of humor, acute fear of death. As is his habitat: New York City, though recently he has flown as far afield as London, Barcelona, and Paris. His likes are well known: Bergman, Dostoevsky, New Orleans jazz. So too his dislikes: spiders, cars, nature, Wagner records, the entire city of Los Angeles. Whether or not these traits represent the true Allen, who’s to say? It is impossible to tell, with Allen, where cinema ends and life begins, an obfuscation he readily encourages. In the late nineteen-seventies, disillusioned with the comedic success he’d found making such films as Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), and Annie Hall (1977), he turned for darker territory with Stardust Memories (1980), a film in which, none too surprisingly, he plays a
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Bill Hader’s List of 200 Essential Comedies Everyone Should See

Bill Hader has come a long way since his stint on Saturday Night Live, creating many popular characters and impersonations such as Stefon, Vincent Price and CNN’s Jack Cafferty. He is one of the highlights in such films as Adventureland, Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express, and so it is easy to see why author Mike Sacks interviewed him for his new book Poking A Dead Frog. In it, Hader talks about his career and he also lists 200 essential movies every comedy writer should see. Xo Jane recently published the list for those of us who haven’t had a chance to read the book yet. There are a ton of great recommendations and plenty I haven’t yet seen, but sadly my favourite comedy of all time isn’t mentioned. That would be Some Like It Hot. Still, it really is a great list with a mix of old and new.
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Gerwig, Pill and Mastronardi Dish on Starring in Woody Allen's 'To Rome With Love'

Last Friday I had the good fortune to attend a press day for Woody Allen's newest film, To Rome With Love. In addition to that, I attended a press conference with the great man himself in which he admitted he never watches his films after they're finished and that he considers Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters great disappointments. In fact, here's what Annie Hall, according to Allen, was supposed to be about: "Annie Hall. Let me tell you. When Annie Hall started out, it was not supposed to be what I wound up with. It was supposed to be what happens in a guy's mind and you were supposed to see a stream of consciousness in his mind. And I did the film and it was completely incoherent. Nobody understood a thing that went on. And the relationship between myself and Diane Keaton was all anyone cared about.
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Woody Allen Talks The Inspiration Of Italian Cinema For 'To Rome With Love'

“With Woody Allen, you have someone who is responsible for more memorable moments than anyone who’s ever been involved in films,” says Alec Baldwin, one of the stars of “To Rome With Love,” who joined various cast members and the director in New York City to talk with press about the film. The 42nd film of the career of the writer, director and legend, Allen doesn’t have to go far to find an exciting collaborator like Baldwin, who bluntly says, “When he calls you and asks you to come and do this, if you’re available, you go.”

To Rome With Love” is an anthology, centered around multiple love stories set in the beautiful city of Rome. It’s a first for Allen, who has found a second home overseas since 2005’s “Match Point.” “Rome is a provocative city to shoot in,” Allen says. “It’s visually arresting,
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How Many of Woody Allen's Favorite Films Have You Seen?

I stumbled upon a list of 41 of Woody Allen's favorite films over at This Recording, which were actually pulled from Allen's 2007 biography written by Eric Lax titled "Conversations with Woody Allen: His Films, the Movies, and Moviemaking" which you can buy from Amazon for $16.47.

Allen comments on the lists, of which he breaks up into different categories, saying, "My tastes seem to me unremarkable except in the area of talking plot comedies where I seem to have little tolerance for anything and certainly not my own films."

Unfortunately, he's pretty much right as I would bet most avid movie watchers will have seen the majority of the films he lists and then when he does get to talking plot comedies he waves a white flag in fear of looking foolish saying, "[My] taste is eccentric and there are any number of comedies I love that would make me seem foolish or should I say,
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The Forgotten: Flaming Beefcake

  • MUBI
Cabiria (1914) was the seminal Italian historical epic, adding to the gigantic sets and overplayed melodrama of predecessors like Nero and The Fall of Troy, with elegant camera moves (using Segundo de Chomon's first purpose-built dolly) and celebrity cameos for Hannibal and Archimedes. "It had everything but a story," observed Karl Brown, Dw Griffith's camera assistant. Giovanni Pastrone and Gabriele D'Annunzio's historical pageant influenced movies from Intolerance to Metropolis to Conan the Barbarian, and Fellini borrowed its heroine's name for his wife's role in The White Sheik and Nights of Cabiria.

But the figure who caught the public imagination was not the titular heroine, but Maciste, the heroic slave, played by Bartolomeo Pagano, a Genovese longshoreman with a spectacularly muscled physique. Maciste/Pagano went on to star in twenty-four more movies over the next fourteen years, of which the most famous (and the only one available, albeit in somewhat
See full article at MUBI »

Criterion Holds Sale for (Almost) Out-of-Print Classics!

  • Cinematical
Criterion Holds Sale for (Almost) Out-of-Print Classics!
The woes of rights have made a lot of fandom particularly challenging, whether it's seeing your beloved television shows never make DVD due to music rights, ultimate editions never getting released due split studio rights (Fire Walk with Me!), or Criterion titles disappear from the shelves.

Criterion has announced that they're about to lose the rights to 23 excellent titles from StudioCanal at the end of March. "The titles are going to Lionsgate, and we don't know when they may be rereleased. As ever, we will continue to try to relicense the films so that they can rejoin the collection sometime in the future." The titles are: Alphaville, Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy, Le corbeau, Coup de torchon, Diary of a Country Priest, The Fallen Idol, Forbidden Games, Gervaise, Grand Illusion, Le jour se leve, Last Holiday, Mayerling, The Orphic Trilogy, Peeping Tom, Pierrot le fou, Port of Shadows, Quai des Orfevres,
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Oop Criterion Sale: Purchase StudioCanal DVD and Blu-ray Criterions Before Lionsgate Owns Them

This morning, Criterion announced they are losing the rights to a number of StudioCanal films. According to the email, at the end of March over 20 films will no longer be offered on DVD or Blu-ray (if available). The rights are going to Lionsgate, so they’ll be on DVD in the future, just not on the Criterion label. Therefore, if you’re a Criterion collector, or just someone that wants to own a great edition of these films, you might want to buy them Asap or you’ll have to pay a collector price.

But the best part of the email is Criterion saying, “we will be offering these titles at an additional $5 off on our website.” Hit the jump for the list of movies and more info:

Here’s what they sent me:

Dear Criterion collectors,

Our three least favorite initials: Oop. Since we launched the Criterion Collection more than twenty-five years ago,
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From 1922-1979: Get Your Film School Starter Pack Now

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films from Criterion

Photo: Criterion Last week in my On DVD Today column I mentioned how the folks at Criterion were clearing off their shelves and offering every item in stock at a 40% discount while supplies lasted. I would assume a majority of the folks that read the article ignored that link since it didn't have any new information on Batman, Iron Man or any other kind of man from a comic book. However, I am hoping this headline brought in the folks that may be interested in such a deal. Of course, the hour is late and the majority of the titles are now gone as the deal ends Monday, November 24, at midnight Est. When I first got the email from Criterion I shuffled over to check out a few titles I had been longing to get and had never wanted to spend the money.
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Film star Alberto Sordi dies; embodied 'Italian comedy'

Alberto Sordi, the Italian film star who came to personify the genre known as "Italian comedy" in a career spanning seven decades and more than 150 films, died Tuesday in Rome of bronchitis, ending a six-month battle with cancer. He was 82. The son of a Roman orchestra conductor, Sordi started out in the movies in the 1930s as a dubber with a contract from MGM to give Oliver Hardy -- the chubby man of comic duo Laurel and Hardy -- an Italian voice. Sordi's acting career got a big boost after working with Federico Fellini, who picked the strapping, dark, typically Roman-looking Sordi to play the part of a romantic movie star in his 1952 feature The White Sheik. The next year, Sordi worked again with Fellini in the Italian cinema classic I Vitelloni, in which Sordi played one of five indolent young men shirking the responsibilities of adulthood in a sleepy seaside town. But it was for his roles in scores of popular comedies of the 1950s, '60s and '70s -- social satires in which he played a traffic cop, a doctor, a taxi driver, a playboy, a convict and a Mafioso, among many other roles -- that Sordi rose to icon status in Italy.

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