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Academy Awards Film Series: From Class Distinctions to Incest - Adult Themes in First-Rate, Long-Thought-Lost Drama

'Sorrell and Son' with H.B. Warner and Alice Joyce. 'Sorrell and Son' 1927 movie: Long thought lost, surprisingly effective father-love melodrama stars a superlative H.B. Warner Partially shot on location in England and produced independently by director Herbert Brenon at Joseph M. Schenck's United Artists, the 1927 Sorrell and Son is a skillful melodrama about paternal devotion in the face of both personal and social adversity. This long-thought-lost version of Warwick Deeping's 1925 bestseller benefits greatly from the veteran Brenon's assured direction, deservedly shortlisted in the first year of the Academy Awards.* Crucial to the film's effectiveness, however, is the portrayal of its central character, a war-scarred Englishman who sacrifices it all for the happiness of his son. Luckily, the London-born H.B. Warner, best remembered for playing Jesus Christ in another 1927 release, Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings, is the embodiment of honesty, selflessness, and devotion. Less is
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Leigh Day on TCM: From Southern Belle in 'Controversial' Epic to Rape Victim in Code-Buster

Vivien Leigh ca. late 1940s. Vivien Leigh movies: now controversial 'Gone with the Wind,' little-seen '21 Days Together' on TCM Vivien Leigh is Turner Classic Movies' star today, Aug. 18, '15, as TCM's “Summer Under the Stars” series continues. Mostly a stage actress, Leigh was seen in only 19 films – in about 15 of which as a leading lady or star – in a movie career spanning three decades. Good for the relatively few who saw her on stage; bad for all those who have access to only a few performances of one of the most remarkable acting talents of the 20th century. This evening, TCM is showing three Vivien Leigh movies: Gone with the Wind (1939), 21 Days Together (1940), and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). Leigh won Best Actress Academy Awards for the first and the third title. The little-remembered film in-between is a TCM premiere. 'Gone with the Wind' Seemingly all
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

AFI Award Winner and One of Australia's Top Actresses Has Died: Wendy Hughes

Australian actress Wendy Hughes dead at 61 (photo: Wendy Hughes in ‘Newsfront’) Australian film, television, and stage actress Wendy Hughes, best known internationally for the big-screen dramas My Brilliant Career and Careful, He Might Hear You, died of cancer early today, March 8, 2014, in Sydney. Hughes (born on July 29, 1952, in Melbourne) was 61. Wendy Hughes’ film career kicked off in the mid-’70s, with Tim Burstall’s psychological drama ‘Jock’ Petersen / Petersen (1974), in which she plays the wife of a college professor who becomes romantically involved with a married student (Jack Thompson). "I spent a lot of the time naked and doing sex scenes," Hughes would later recall about her work in ‘Jock’ Petersen, "because in the seventies you all had to do that." In 1979, Hughes landed a key supporting role in the international arthouse hit My Brilliant Career, Gillian Armstrong’s late 19th-century-set tale of an independent-minded young woman (a Katharine Hepburn
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Rex Harrison hat on TCM: ‘My Fair Lady,’ ‘Anna and the King of SiamRex Harrison is Turner Classic Movies’ final "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 31, 2013. TCM is currently showing George Cukor’s lavish My Fair Lady (1964), an Academy Award-winning musical that has (in my humble opinion) unfairly lost quite a bit of its prestige in the last several decades. Rex Harrison, invariably a major ham whether playing Saladin, the King of Siam, Julius Caesar, the ghost of a dead sea captain, or Richard Burton’s lover, is for once flawlessly cast as Professor Henry Higgins, who on stage transformed Julie Andrews from cockney duckling to diction-master swan and who in the movie version does the same for Audrey Hepburn. Harrison, by the way, was the year’s Best Actor Oscar winner. (See also: "Audrey Hepburn vs. Julie Andrews: Biggest Oscar Snubs.") Following My Fair Lady, Rex Harrison
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Milo O'Shea obituary

Irish stage and screen character actor who appeared in Barbarella, The Verdict and the BBC's 1969 sitcom Me Mammy

For a performer of such fame and versatility, the distinguished Irish character actor Milo O'Shea, who has died aged 86, is not associated with any role in particular, or indeed any clutch of them. He was chiefly associated with his own expressive dark eyes, bushy eyebrows, outstanding mimetic talents and distinctive Dublin brogue.

His impish presence irradiated countless fine movies – including Joseph Strick's Ulysses (1967), Roger Vadim's Barbarella (1968) and Sidney Lumet's The Verdict (1982) – and many top-drawer American television series, from Cheers, The Golden Girls and Frasier, right through to The West Wing (2003-04), in which he played the chief justice Roy Ashland.

He had settled in New York in 1976 with his second wife, Kitty Sullivan, in order to be equidistant from his own main bases of operation, Hollywood and London. The
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Milo O'Shea obituary

Irish stage and screen character actor who appeared in Barbarella, The Verdict and the BBC's 1969 sitcom Me Mammy

For a performer of such fame and versatility, the distinguished Irish character actor Milo O'Shea, who has died aged 86, is not associated with any role in particular, or indeed any clutch of them. He was chiefly associated with his own expressive dark eyes, bushy eyebrows, outstanding mimetic talents and distinctive Dublin brogue.

His impish presence irradiated countless fine movies – including Joseph Strick's Ulysses (1967), Roger Vadim's Barbarella (1968) and Sidney Lumet's The Verdict (1982) – and many top-drawer American television series, from Cheers, The Golden Girls and Frasier, right through to The West Wing (2003-04), in which he played the chief justice Roy Ashland.

He had settled in New York in 1976 with his second wife, Kitty Sullivan, in order to be equidistant from his own main bases of operation, Hollywood and London. The
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Lizbeth Webb obituary

Musical theatre star known as 'the champagne soprano'

Lizbeth Webb, one of the great forgotten stars of British musical theatre in the 1940s and 1950s, has died aged 86. Known as "the champagne soprano", she was the first to sing one of the BBC's most requested songs of all time, This Is My Lovely Day, written for her by Vivian Ellis and AP Herbert and included in their musical comedy Bless the Bride (1947).

Starting out during the second world war as a teenage singer with dance bands – she worked later with such conductors as Mantovani, Geraldo, Max Jaffa and Vilém Tauský – Webb was discovered by the bandleader Jack Payne and turned into a West End star by the impresario Charles B Cochran in 1946. Over the next 10 years she made her mark as a soprano of great range (often singing in two different registers), vibrancy and vivacity. She was dark, petite and
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

365 Days, 100 Films #41 - Went the Day Well? (1942)

Went the Day Well?, 1942.

Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti.

Starring Leslie Banks, Mervyn Johns, Basil Sydney, C.V. France, Valerie Taylor, Thora Hird and David Farrar.

Synopsis:

A troop of German paratroopers invade the small English village of Bramley End.

A man greets the camera at the end of a tracking shot down a long country lane. “Hello there,” he welcomes warmly, showing little regard for the fourth wall. He stands beside a memorial with only German surnames. But this is in Britain, and Hitler never invaded the mainland. This is the story of the village in which that memorial sits, where German forces once infiltrated. “The Battle of Bramley End”, the old man tells us with patriotic pride.

So it’s one of those films, you’d think. The sort of film where everyone is quaint and polite, and overcomes the German foe with relative ease and joviality. Ealing Studios released
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

‘Went the Day Well?’: More than just a historical document

Went the Day Well? (1942)

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti

Based on Graham Greene’s short story The Lieutenant Died Last

Screenplay by John Dighton

UK , 1942

How many films and TV shows have left you quaking at the thought of your quiet home town being overrun by flesh-eating zombies or sex-crazed vampires? When Ealing Studios released Went the Day Well? in 1942, anxieties were focused on equally fiendish invaders from across the English Channel. You never know, that polite British officer sipping tea in your drawing room, might turn out to be part of the advance party from the Third Reich.

Based on a short story by Graham Greene, Alberto Cavalcanti’s film is set in the idyllic English village of Bramley End (in reality, Turville in Buckinghamshire). A framing device introduces us first to the church warder (played by Mervyn Johns), who sets the scene for the extraordinary events of Whitsun weekend 1942. The
See full article at SoundOnSight »

George Bernard Shaw on TCM: Pygmalion, Caesar And Cleopatra, The Millionairess

Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw is tonight’s star on Turner Classic Movies. Major Barbara (1941), directed by Gabriel Pascal, and starring Rex Harrison and Wendy Hiller, is on right now. I’ve watched it a couple of times, but I haven’t been able to really get into it. Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed both Robert Morley and Marie Lohr in supporting roles. Also of note, Deborah Kerr has what amounts to a bit part. The highly theatrical Caesar And Cleopatra (1945) offers two solid performances — Claude Rains as Caesar; Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra (right) — while Pygmalion (1938), co-directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard, is considered the best film adaptation of a Shaw play. Wendy Hiller, for her [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

George Bernard Shaw on TCM: Pygmalion, Caesar And Cleopatra, Major Barbara

Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller in Howard and Anthony Asquith’s filmization of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw is tonight’s star on Turner Classic Movies. Major Barbara (1941) is on right now. I’ve watched it a couple of times, but I haven’t been able to really get into it. Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed both Robert Morley and Marie Lohr in supporting roles. Also of note, Deborah Kerr has what amounts to a bit part. The highly theatrical Caesar And Cleopatra (1945) offers two solid performances — Claude Rains as Caesar; Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra (right) — while Pygmalion (1938), co-directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard, is considered the best film adaptation of a Shaw play. Wendy Hiller, for her part, [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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