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Latest 'Hur' Remake Gets a Loud, Bombastic Trailer for the Fast and Furious Crowd

'Ben-Hur' 2016 with Jack Huston: Chariot race to the death. 'Ben-Hur' 2016 trailer: 'Gladiator' meets 'Fast Seven' meets 'Star Wars' meets… Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have released the trailer for their 2016 Ben-Hur remake (or reboot or readaptation) – a.k.a. Fast and Furious A.D., as one wag called it in an online comment. Instead of grandiose spectacle featuring at its core a “human” story with Christian overtones, this chariot-and-sandals epic is being sold as Gladiator meets Fast Seven meets Spartacus: Blood and Sand meets Star Wars – with Morgan Freeman's Sheik Ilderim as the Roman Empire's dreadlocked version of Alec Guinness' Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi. Say what you will, the trailer-makers sure know their target audience. And that's not the same crowd that would go check out what's usually referred to in the U.S. media as “faith” (i.e., Christian) movies. One assumes that particular audience segment will be getting
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Grandiose Christian Epic Became Biggest Worldwide Box Office Hit Until Gwtw

Ramon Novarro: 'Ben-Hur' 1925 star. 'Ben-Hur' on TCM: Ramon Novarro in most satisfying version of the semi-biblical epic Christmas 2015 is just around the corner. That's surely the reason Turner Classic Movies presented Fred Niblo's Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ last night, Dec. 20, '15, featuring Carl Davis' magnificent score. Starring Ramon Novarro, the 1925 version of Ben-Hur became not only the most expensive movie production,[1] but also the biggest worldwide box office hit up to that time.[2] Equally important, that was probably the first instance when the international market came to the rescue of a Hollywood mega-production,[3] saving not only Ben-Hur from a fate worse than getting trampled by a runaway chariot, but also the newly formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which could have been financially strangled at birth had the epic based on Gen. Lew Wallace's bestseller been a commercial bomb. The convoluted making of 'Ben-Hur,' as described
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Norma Shearer films Note: This article is being revised and expanded. Please check back later. Turner Classic Movies' Norma Shearer month comes to a close this evening, Nov. 24, '15, with the presentation of the last six films of Shearer's two-decade-plus career. Two of these are remarkably good; one is schizophrenic, a confused mix of high comedy and low drama; while the other three aren't the greatest. Yet all six are worth a look even if only because of Norma Shearer herself – though, really, they all have more to offer than just their top star. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke, the no-expense-spared Marie Antoinette (1938) – $2.9 million, making it one of the most expensive movies ever made up to that time – stars the Canadian-born Queen of MGM as the Austrian-born Queen of France. This was Shearer's first film in two years (following Romeo and Juliet) and her first release following husband Irving G.
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Queen of MGM: Fighting Revolutionaries, Nazis, and Joan Crawford

Norma Shearer films Note: This article is being revised and expanded. Please check back later. Turner Classic Movies' Norma Shearer month comes to a close this evening, Nov. 24, '15, with the presentation of the last six films of Shearer's two-decade-plus career. Two of these are remarkably good; one is schizophrenic, a confused mix of high comedy and low drama; while the other three aren't the greatest. Yet all six are worth a look even if only because of Norma Shearer herself – though, really, they all have more to offer than just their top star. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke, the no-expense-spared Marie Antoinette (1938) – $2.9 million, making it one of the most expensive movies ever made up to that time – stars the Canadian-born Queen of MGM as the Austrian-born Queen of France. This was Shearer's first film in two years (following Romeo and Juliet) and her first release following husband Irving G.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Fiery Red-Head Hayward Is TCM's Star of the Month

Susan Hayward. Susan Hayward movies: TCM Star of the Month Fiery redhead Susan Hayward it Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month in Sept. 2015. The five-time Best Actress Oscar nominee – like Ida Lupino, a would-be Bette Davis that only sporadically landed roles to match the verve of her thespian prowess – was initially a minor Warner Bros. contract player who went on to become a Paramount second lead in the early '40s, a Universal leading lady in the late '40s, and a 20th Century Fox star in the early '50s. TCM will be presenting only three Susan Hayward premieres, all from her Fox era. Unfortunately, her Paramount and Universal work – e.g., Among the Living, Sis Hopkins, And Now Tomorrow, The Saxon Charm – which remains mostly unavailable (in quality prints), will remain unavailable this month. Highlights of the evening include: Adam Had Four Sons (1941), a sentimental but surprisingly
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From Mexican to German: Watch Beery Deliver Various Phony Accents

Wallace Beery from Pancho Villa to Long John Silver: TCM schedule (Pt) on August 17, 2013 (photo: Fay Wray, Wallace Beery as Pancho Villa in ‘Viva Villa!’) See previous post: “Wallace Beery: Best Actor Oscar Winner — and Runner-Up.” 3:00 Am The Last Of The Mohicans (1920). Director: Maurice Tourneur. Cast: Barbara Bedford, Albert Roscoe, Wallace Beery, Lillian Hall, Henry Woodward, James Gordon, George Hackathorne, Nelson McDowell, Harry Lorraine, Theodore Lorch, Jack McDonald, Sydney Deane, Boris Karloff. Bw-76 mins. 4:30 Am The Big House (1930). Director: George W. Hill. Cast: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Robert Montgomery, Leila Hyams, George F. Marion, J.C. Nugent, DeWitt Jennings, Matthew Betz, Claire McDowell, Robert Emmett O’Connor, Tom Wilson, Eddie Foyer, Roscoe Ates, Fletcher Norton, Noah Beery Jr, Chris-Pin Martin, Eddie Lambert, Harry Wilson. Bw-87 mins. 6:00 Am Bad Man Of Brimstone (1937). Director: J. Walter Ruben. Cast: Wallace Beery, Virginia Bruce, Dennis O’Keefe. Bw-89 mins.
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Lots of Rooney Flicks Today

Mickey Rooney movie schedule (Pt): TCM on August 13 See previous post: “Mickey Rooney Movies: Music and Murder.” Photo: Mickey Rooney ca. 1940. 3:00 Am Death On The Diamond (1934). Director: Edward Sedgwick. Cast: Robert Young, Madge Evans, Nat Pendleton, Mickey Rooney. Bw-71 mins. 4:15 Am A Midsummer Night’S Dream (1935). Director: Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle. Cast: James Cagney, Dick Powell, Olivia de Havilland, Ross Alexander, Anita Louise, Mickey Rooney, Joe E. Brown, Victor Jory, Ian Hunter, Verree Teasdale, Jean Muir, Frank McHugh, Grant Mitchell, Hobart Cavanaugh, Dewey Robinson, Hugh Herbert, Arthur Treacher, Otis Harlan, Helen Westcott, Fred Sale, Billy Barty, Rags Ragland. Bw-143 mins. 6:45 Am A Family Affair (1936). Director: George B. Seitz. Cast: Mickey Rooney, Lionel Barrymore, Cecilia Parker, Eric Linden. Bw-69 mins. 8:00 Am Boys Town (1938). Director: Norman Taurog. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Henry Hull, Leslie Fenton, Gene Reynolds, Edward Norris, Addison Richards, Minor Watson, Jonathan Hale,
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Sexy Garbo, Wrathful Censors, the End of Stardom, and Brutal Murder: Novarro

Ramon Novarro and Greta Garbo in ‘Mata Hari’: The wrath of the censors (See previous post: "Ramon Novarro in One of the Best Silent Movies.") George Fitzmaurice’s romantic spy melodrama Mata Hari (1931) was well received by critics and enthusiastically embraced by moviegoers. The Greta Garbo / Ramon Novarro combo — the first time Novarro took second billing since becoming a star — turned Mata Hari into a major worldwide blockbuster, with $2.22 million in worldwide rentals. The film became Garbo’s biggest international success to date, and Novarro’s highest-grossing picture after Ben-Hur. (Photo: Ramon Novarro and Greta Garbo in Mata Hari.) Among MGM’s 1932 releases — Mata Hari opened on December 31, 1931 — only W.S. Van Dyke’s Tarzan, the Ape Man, featuring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan, and Edmund Goulding’s all-star Best Picture Academy Award winner Grand Hotel (also with Garbo, in addition to Joan Crawford, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, and
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Silent All Quiet On The Western Front: TCM Library of Congress Tribute

Joan Fontaine-Charles Boyer in Rare The Constant Nymph on TCM. [Photo: Miriam Jordan, Neil Hamilton in Two Heads on a Pillow.] Besides the Edmund Goulding-directed Joan Fontaine-Charles Boyer-Alexis Smith movie The Constant Nymph, other Library of Congress Film Archive entries on Turner Classic Movies tonight include Two Heads on a Pillow (1934), a B comedy directed by William Nigh, an important late silent-era director (Lon Chaney's Mr. Wu, Ramon Novarro's Across to Singapore) later stuck with second-rate fare. Apparently a sort of Adam's Rib predecessor, Two Heads on a Pillow features former silent-era leading man Neil Hamilton (Batman's Commissioner Gordon) and minor leading lady Miriam Jordan as once-married attorneys involved in a divorce case. It's probably worth watching even if only because of its cast, which also includes silent-era veterans Betty Blythe (the title role in the now-lost The Queen of Sheba) and Claire McDowell (Ramon Novarro's leprosy-stricken mom in Ben-Hur,
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