Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day!

Dana Andrews with his daughter Katherine and son Stephen

Monday, June 12, 2017

TCM Presents The Master of Suspense: 50 Years of Hitchcock—Free online course

Coming this Summer, sign up for the newest online film course from TCM and Ball State!

“We invite movie lovers and online learners from around the world to join us for a free, flexible online course, TCM Presents The Master of Suspense: 50 Years of Hitchcock (#Hitchcock50). This is the third free online course to be offered by TCM and Ball State, following Film Noir (2015) and Slapstick Comedy (2016).

In this Hitchcock course, enjoy multimedia course materials, daily in-app messaging with movie clips, mini-games, and ongoing interactions with fellow film fans on the TCM message boards or at #Hitchcock50.
We will explore 40+ Hitchcock films from his first film in the silent era, The Lodger (1927) to his final film five decades later, Family Plot (1977). In all, the course will reflect on Hitchcock’s unparalleled 50-year career as one of cinema’s most successful and unique filmmakers. The course will run concurrently with TCM’s programming festival, “50 Years of Hitchcock”, which will screen Hitchcock films Wednesdays and Fridays during the month of July 2017.

Both the course and the associated films are designed to enrich your understanding of Alfred Hitchcock, Hollywood filmmaking, and the shifts in popular culture and film production contexts that Hitchcock used to his advantage throughout his illustrious career. You will be able to share your own thoughts about Hitchcock and cinema history with a worldwide community of students, fans, and film lovers.

Contribute to the conversation using #Hitchcock50”

To sign up for this free course, click here. Check below for a preview of the course.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Screening of "Ball of Fire" at Daystar Center June 10

“Stanwyck on State Street” Series: Ball of Fire (1941)
Where: Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street
When: June 10, 2017
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Hosted by Stephen Reginald

New York Showgirl Sugarpuss O’Shea (Barbara Stanwyck) needs to hide out for a while to keep from being forced to testify against her gangster boyfriend, Joe Lilac (Dana Andrews). To escape the police, she finds refuge with a bunch of scholars working on an encyclopedia. Bertram Potts (Gary Cooper), a grammarian, is working on an entry on slang and thinks Sugarpuss could help him get up to speed on the current lingo.

While Sugarpuss is hiding out with Potts and his seven professor colleagues, she finds she’s getting attached to this odd collection of encyclopedia research writers. Potts falls head over heels for Sugarpuss, but Joe Lilac plans to marry Sugarpuss so she can’t testify against him in court. Will Lilac get his way or will Sugarpuss pledge her allegiance to Potts and the professors.

Stanwyck was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in this classic screwball comedy written by Charles Brackett and BillyWilder and directed by the legendary Howard Hawks. Ball of Fire boasts an impressive supporting cast, including Oskar Homolka, Henry Travers, S.Z. Sakall, Allen Jenkins, and Dan Duryea.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

10 Things You May Not Know About Ida Lupino

Ida Lupino (1918 – 1995) was a London-born actress and director; she became an American citizen in 1948. As a contract player at Warner Brothers, Lupino starred opposite some of their top male stars, including Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, and John Garfield. In the late 1940s she embarked on a career as a director and independent filmmaker.

Ida Lupino, Raoul Walsh, and Humphrey Bogart on the set of High Sierra

1. Her parents both had theatrical backgrounds; her father’s family’s theatrical roots date back to the Italian Renaissance.

2. She was signed to a five-year contract with Paramount Pictures in 1933 where she was dubbed “the English Jean Harlow.”

3. Wanting to be more than just a pretty face, Lupino begged director William A. Wellman to test her for the role of Bessie Broke in The Light That Failed (1939).

4. She next played the femme fatale role in They Drive by Night (1940) where she stole the picture from such established stars as George Raft, Ann Sheridan, and Humphrey Bogart.

Beautiful color studio publicity photo of Ida Lupino
5. In 1941 she starred in three movies: The Sea Wolf costarring Edward G. Robinson and John Garfield, Out of the Fog costarring with Garfield again, and Ladies in Retirement costarring with her then husband, Louis Hayward.

6. During her years as a film director, she was a pioneer of product placement to help with financing.

7. She directed dozens of television episodes for popular series, during the 1950s and 1960s, including The Donna Reed Show, 77 Sunset Strip, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Have Gun Will Travel, Thriller, The Fugitive, Dr. Kildare, The Twilight Zone, and Bewitched. She is the only woman to have directed an episode of the original Twilight Zone and star in one as well.

8. Lupino learned about directing and other behind-the-scenes aspects of filmmaking while she was on suspension at Warner Brothers. When an actor under studio contract turned down a movie role, they were put on suspension. They received no salary during the time the movie they refused to act in was in production. Instead of sitting at home, Lupino visited movie sets and befriended directors like Raoul Walsh and Don Siegel.

Ida Lupino (third from left) on the set of The Trouble With Angels with Rosalind Russell (second from left)

9. She won the National Board of Review award for Best Actress in 1941 (High Sierra and Ladies in Retirement) and 1942 (Moontide) and a New York Film Critics Circle Award in 1943 (The Hard Way), but she was never nominated for an Academy Award.

10. Her last directing job was for the 1966 comedy The Trouble With Angels starring Rosalind Russell and Haley Mills.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day: Remember those who lost their lives in service to our country

Lana Turner, Deanna Durbin, and Marlene Dietrich greet Sgt Carl Bell,
the millionth serviceman to enter  the Hollywood Canteen

Friday, May 26, 2017

Screening of "Ladies in Retirement" at Daystar Center June 6

“Classic Movie Mans Favorite” Series: Ladies in Retirement
Where: Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street
When: June 6, 2017
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Hosted by Stephen Reginald

Ladies in Retirement (1941) was a hit on the Broadway stage with Flora Robson in the lead role. Director Charles Vidor brought it to the screen with an impressive cast headed by Ida Lupino. 

The story concerns Ellen Creed (Lupino) who is the paid companion to the wealthy Leonora Fiske (Isobel Elsom). When Ellen’s mentally challenged sisters (Elsa Lancaster and Edith Barrett) are kicked out of their London apartment, Ellen, with Leonora’s permission, invites them to stay with her for a “visit.” It doesnt take long for things to go terribly wrong as Ellen’s batty older sisters disrupt the tranquility of Leonora’s home. Leonora reaches the end of her patience and orders Ellen’s sisters and Ellen herself to leave. With no income to take care of herself and her sisters, Ellen comes up with a desperate and diabolical plan.

The New York Times praised the film in its November 7, 1941 review. It said the film was “…beautifully photographed and tautly played, especially it’s central role…Give [Ida] Lupino the largest measure of credit, for her role is the clue to the suspense…she is none the less the thin ribbon of intensity that makes the film hair-raising.”

Elsa Lancaster, Ida Lupino, Edith Barrett

The impressive cast also includes Louis Hayward (Lupino’s husband at the time) as cousin Albert and Evelyn Keyes as Lucy the maid.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Doris Day and son Terry Melcher

Looking for some great classic movies featuring some famous movie mom’s? Click here for some great suggestions for Mother’s Day movie viewing.
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