There Was a Crooked Man... (1970) - News Poster

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Movie Poster of the Week: The Films of Joseph L. Mankiewicz

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Above: German poster by Rolf Goetze for The Barefoot Contessa (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, USA, 1954). 

Some twenty-two years ago, just a couple of months before Joseph L. Mankiewicz passed away at the age of 83, New York’s Film Forum held a retrospective of his work. The one thing I knew about Mankiewicz back then was that Andrew Sarris had consigned him to The American Cinema’s circle of hell that was “Less Than Meet the Eye.” “The cinema of Joseph L. Mankiewicz is a cinema of intelligence without inspiration” he argued. Needless to say I went rather reluctantly to see his films, but by the end of the series I was a convert to his special brand of literate, sophisticated and genuinely moving cinema.

As a sidebar to the New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is hosting a new retrospective of Mankiewicz’s films that runs
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Veteran Actor Hume Cronyn Dies at 91

Veteran Actor Hume Cronyn Dies at 91
Hume Cronyn, the veteran character actor of stage, screen and television who often co-starred with his wife, the late Jessica Tandy, has died at his Connecticut home of complications from prostate cancer; he was 91. Well-known for his roles in recent films such as Cocoon and Marvin's Room, Cronyn made his acting debut onstage in 1931, playing a paperboy; three years later, he made his first appearance on Broadway in Hippers' Holiday, marking the beginning of an illustrious and versatile stage career which culminated in a 1964 Tony award for playing Polonius opposite Richard Burton's Hamlet. Cronyn began his film career in 1943 with a scene-stealing turn as a neighbor addicted to gruesome detective stories in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. A year later, he appeared in Hitchcock's Lifeboat and also received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the World War II drama The Seventh Cross. Notable roles also included Phantom of the Opera, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Cleopatra, The Parallax View and There Was a Crooked Man. Cronyn frequently worked with his wife, Jessica Tandy, to whom he was married from 1942 until her death in 1994, appearing with her onstage in Foxfire and The Gin Game as well as in the Cocoon films; he won an Emmy opposite her in the TV film To Dance With the White Dog. A writer as well as an actor, he co-wrote Hitchcock's Under Capricorn, Rope and the Jane Fonda TV film The Dollmaker. He is survived by his second wife, Susan Cooper, and his and Tandy's three children. --Prepared by IMDb staff

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