HISTORY OF CINEMA BY SABLE

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SableRenae, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. SableRenae
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    May 7, 1968
    TRACI LORDS BORN[​IMG]

    Traci Lords, born on this day in 1968 in Steubenville, Ohio under the name Nora Louise Kuzma, will always be remembered as the teenager who rocked the foundations of the porn world in the 1980s. Lords had a harsh, traumatic childhood: she was raped at the age of 10, suffered at the hands of her alcoholic father, and was molested by her mother’s coke dealer boyfriend. A worldly girl who looked considerably older than her young years, Lords’ got her mother’s boyfriend to get her a fake I.D. that stated she was 20 (she was actually 15) so that she could start modeling. She was soon doing nude magazine work – including a spread for Penthouse when she was still 15 – which lead to work in pornographic films. By the time she was 18, Lords had appeared in around 100 porn films. However, when an FBI investigation uncovered her true age in 1986, copies of almost all of these, plus magazine photos she had done, had to be destroyed because they were deemed child pornography, due to Lords being a minor at the time. The story was a huge tabloid scandal and some people in the porn industry even claimed that Lords herself had orchestrated the bombshell revelation as a publicity stunt to further her career. Lords, however, wanted to leave behind pornography and seek a career as a legitimate actress, even joining the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. Over the past two decades, she has worked steadily in film and television, making movies with directors such as John Waters (Cry Baby and Serial Mom) and Kevin Smith(Zak and Miri Make a Porno), though her porn past – the thing which originally brought her infamy – has also prevented her from crossing over to achieve mainstream success.
     
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    May 8, 1943
    THE OX-BOW INCIDENT OPENS[​IMG]

    When William Wellman’s adaptation of Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s The Ox-Bow Incident came out in 1943, it was hailed, in the words of Time magazine, as an “excellent sagebrush yarn.” In many ways, however, both novelist Clark and director Wellman intended the story as a sort of anti-western. Clark wrote of his 1940 bestseller, “I decided to write a Quixotesque “western” that I hoped in my youthful enthusiasm would make the whole thing look so silly that people would stop writing and reading such junk.” Soon after the book was published, Wellman was interested a film adaptation, but someone else, Paramount producer Harold Hurley, had snapped up the rights as vehicle for Mae West—the kind of movie Wellman had no interest in making. Several years later, Wellman got the chance to buy the rights off Hurley, and then convinced Darryl F. Zanuck at 20th Century Fox to bankroll the film. Even with Henry Fonda signed on, the project was a hard sell. Rather than providing the actions and heroics common to westerns, The Ox-Bow Incident offered only remorse and reflection. Fonda plays a drifter who gets pulled into a lynch mob that murders three innocent men based on a word-of-mouth claim that they had killed a local rancher. But the mob learn too late that there was no murder. And Fonda is left sad duty of passing on a letter from one of the lynched men (Dana Andrews) to his wife. As Bosley Crowther points out in his review for The New York Times, “it is hard to imagine a picture with less promise commercially.” And while it was showered with praised and nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, the film bombed at the box office––a fact that Zanuck used in his future negotiations with both Wellman and Fonda.
     
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    BryceStevens The perfect GFE Girl next Door

    Thanks Sexy Seductive Sable for all the great intel. I knew very little of this. You went into a lot of interesting facts. [smilie=heart fill with love.gif][smilie=heart fill with love.gif]
     
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    May 9, 1973
    SOYLENT GREEN OPENS[​IMG]

    Patented genes, bio-engineer private cops snooping on the family farmer, and animals with genetically-accelerated growth cycles — much of today's food system already resembles science fiction. Ironically, though, it's not the future that the science fiction writers of yore would have predicted. Today's food crises are not based on the scarcity imagined in so many dystopian potboilers but rather abundance. Instead, today's high-tech food industry inspires medical and moral pondering over the practices that enable the world's supply of 99-cent Happy Meals. Case in point: Soylent Green, Richard Fleischer's adaptation of Harry Harrison's sci-fi novel that opened May 9, 1973. Charlton Heston stars as a New York City cop circa 2022 investigating a murder that leads him to a gruesome discovery: Soylent Green, the popular, nutritionally-dense foodstuff, is actually made from human corpses. "Soylent Green is people!" was the much-quoted last line, appearing in everything from a Saturday Night Live parody to video games and rock songs. Revisiting the film almost four decades later, its anxiety over what we put in our stomaches still induces an appropriately queasy sensation, signaling that the time might be right for a Monsanto-directed sci-fi cautionary tale.
     
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    May 10, 1922
    NANCY WALKER BORN[​IMG]

    Born into a vaudevillian family, traveling Europe and America in the company of stars like W.C. Fields and Burns and Allen, Nancy Walker was destined to be an entertainer. Unfortunately her 4’11” height and comic face were never to give her marquee appeal. Famously for her first audition, she no sooner got on stage to audition for the Broadway staging of Best Foot Forward than George Abbott cast her as the wisecracking blind date, a role she reprised in the MGM film version a few years later. Through the 40 and 50s, Walker got typecast as the comic side character in both Broadway and film productions. Her personal life was much more complicated. From the late 50s to his death in 1966, Montgomery Clift was Walker's best friend, and she would visit him sometimes daily when his drinking turned debilitating, often putting him to bed after he’d passed out. In the 70s, Walker revived her career playing the sharp-tongued maid on McMillian and Wife, during which she befriended Rock Hudson, another gay icon. Later in the seventies, Walker took on a reccurring role as Rhoda’s mother Ida Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda. In 1972, Walker was given her very own sitcom, The Nancy Walker Show, which was notable for, among other things, having one of the first out-gay characters on television. In 1980, she moved back into film in perhaps her gayest and most tragic effort, as the director of the disco flop Can’t Stop the Music
     
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    May 11, 1970
    OTTO PREMINGER'S TELL ME THAT YOU LOVE ME, JUNIE MOON OPENS[​IMG]

    In 1969, Otto Preminger turned down an invitation by his brother Ingo Preminger to direct the film version ofM*A*S*H, opting instead to helm Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon, a strange melodrama that would inspire one critic to quip, “Tell Me Why You do It, Otto Preminger.” Adapted by Marjorie Kellogg from her own 1968 novel, the story follows a trio of friends (each with a different handicap) who become roomates after leaving a hospital. Liza Minnelli plays the title character, a young woman whose face had been disfigured after a teenager hurls acid on her. She shacks up with Arthur (Ken Howard) an epileptic and Warren (Robert Moore), a gay man condemned to a wheelchair after he was shot for making a pass at a teenage pal. With Preminger, the film’s prouction proved as dramatic as the film’s premise. Most of the actors were newcomers and unable to withstand the Preminger’s verbal onslaught, causing daily hsyterics. By the film’s end, Minnelli tearfully announced in public she would never work with the "tyrannical" Preminger again. News of a nude scene in a local cemetery pushed the town of Braintree, Massachusetts, to sue Preminger and the production company. But Preminger was moved by the story, explaining later, "It fascinated me--the three characters' courage, the idea that they wouldn't depend on charity or pity.” Others, however, just found the tale creepy. Preminger had originally asked Bob Dylan to score the film. The story goes that the singer/songwriter found the movie an abomination, but pretended to be interested so he could stay at Preminger’s house and get interior design tips for his new home. In the end, the movie was a critical and commercial flop. And while some still cherish its cult status, most feel, as did Rex Reed, that “Instead of making it believable or at all palatable in the sensitive direction of, say, a Carson McCullers tale of survival among the misfits, Preminger accents all the bizarre aspects of Kellogg's novel and none of the poetic ones.”
     
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    May 13, 1939
    HARVEY KEITEL BORN[​IMG]

    Harvey Keitel, who is 71 years old today, has played tough guys more than most on screen, but has rolled with the punches in real life as well as on celluloid. The son of a Brooklyn hat maker, Keitel studied acting under Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, after a time as a U.S. Marine and a court stenographer. His career received a boost when he met a young filmmaker called Martin Scorsese, who cast him in his 1967 student short, Who’s That Knocking At My Door?. In the 1970s, Keitel was cast by ScorseseMean Streets (1973), Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974) and Taxi Driver (1976), while his reputation as one of the best emerging young film actors was solidified by performances in Robert Altman’s Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976), Paul Schrader’s Blue Collar and James Toback’s Fingers(both 1978). However, Keitel being fired from the lead role of Willard in Francis Ford Coppola’sApocalypse Now sparked a sharp downward trend and he struggled professionally throughout the 80s. However, after a decade-plus of toughing it out accepting smaller roles in lesser movies, Keitel returned to prominence in 1991 with a part in Ridley Scott’s hit road movie Thelma & Louise and an Oscar-nominated performance as gangster Mickey Cohen in Bugsy. And he continued his hot streak the next year with landmark roles in Abel Ferrara’s The Bad Lieutenant and Quentin Tarantino’s seminal debutReservoir Dogs (not to mention a nice comic turn in Sister Act). Shortly after, Keitel shone again in Jane Campion’s The Piano (1993) and Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994), performances which solidified his rightful position as one of the most commanding screen presences around.
     
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    May 14, 1982
    CONAN THE BARBARIAN RELEASED[​IMG]
    A muscular new presence made itself known to the movie world on this day in 1982 with the Stateside release ofConan the Barbarian, the film that made a star of former bodybuilder (and future Governor of California) Arnold Schwarzenegger. The character of Conan, a mighty warrior who lives in the prehistoric "Hyborian Age," was created by writer Robert E. Howard in the 1930s and originally appeared in a series of stories in Weird Tales magazine. In the 1970s, producer Edward Sumner laid out a pitch for six movies in a Conan franchise, and though his grand plan did come to fruition, he became an associate producer when Conan the Barbarian went into production, with director John Milius at the helm. Milius, a physically imposing Vietnam vet who co-wrote Apocalypse Now and was famous for highly masculine movies like Dillinger and Big Wednesday, had penned the script with another macho Vietnam vet, Oliver Stone, and created a world that was unsurprisingly brutish and testosterone-drenched. Austrian Schwarzenegger, whose English was faltering but was so muscular he had to work out less for the movie (because his arms were too big to wield a sword), was an ideal choice for a hero whose (mostly violent) actions did the talking, and he made a big impression in his first lead role. Writing in the New York Times, Vincent Canby summed up the muscle-bound star's undeniable physical presence on screen: "As Conan, Mr. Schwarzenegger looks overdressed even when he is undressed, but then there is no way he can unzip that overdeveloped physique and slip into something more comfortable. At his best, the actor appears to be good-humored. In moments of stress, as when he beheads Thulsa Doom, he looks petulant, as if someone had left chewing gum on his favorite barbell." A sequel, Conan the Destroyer, followed in 1984, the same year Schwarzenegger went stratospheric thanks to James Cameron's The Terminator.
     
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    cumishaamado THE ULTIMATE PSE AND I LOVE TEACHING VIRGINS

    Very informative and educational - thanks for sharing[smilie=heart fill with love.gif][smilie=heart fill with love.gif][smilie=heart fill with love.gif]
     
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    My pleasure

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
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    May 15, 1948
    HOWARD HUGHES BUYS RKO[​IMG]

    On May 15, 1948, Howard Hughes, the legendary aviator, entrepreneur and international playboy, bought himself a new toy – RKO Studios. Hughes had acted as an independent film producer since 1926 and had had success with films like the aerial extravaganza Hell’s Angels (1930) and the movie that launched his great discovery, Jane Russell, The Outlaw (1943) – both of which, coincidentally, he also directed – but had also been seen by the major studios as an erratic maverick rather than a threat to their domination of the market. However, they were undoubtedly unnerved when Hughes bought RKO, one of the “Big Five” studios. They shouldn’t have been. Hollywood was anyway entering a transitional period as it faced increasing competition from television and the anti-trust suit against the studios, the Paramount Case, brought an end to Hollywood’s infrastructure, but Hughes hastened along the demise of RKO with his mismanagement. Girls he saw in magazines and liked the look of he would put on contract, though seldom ever made it onscreen and his transparent motives for hiring them led to RKO being called his personal bordello. Hughes had sustained partial brain damage from several plane crashes and struggled with his hearing: legend has it that Hughes accidentally greenlit the Biblical epic Pilate’s Wife believing it was a movie about an airman’s better half. Hughes’ bizarre behavior and his very public anti-Communist stance during the McCarthy witch hunts resulted in talent leaving RKO and the company going into serious decline. In 1955, after seven years at the helm, Hughes rid himself of the studio, complaining that it was only 15% of his business holdings but took up 85% of his time. Hughes sold RKO to the General Tire and Rubber Company, who were solely interested in the studio’s library and, two years later, sold the lot to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s television production company, Desilu Production, signaling a shift of power towards the small screen.
     
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    May 16, 1905
    HENRY FONDA BORN upload_2016-5-17_14-8-33.jpeg

    Few actors have embodied the American ideal of virtue and integrity (as well as shrug it off) like Henry Fonda. Born in 1905 in Grand Island, Nebraska, to a Christian Scientist family, Fonda absorbed both the best and worst of the American heartland. Active in Boy Scouts of America, school athletics and his church, Fonda was also shown at the age of 14 the lynching of a black man in the neighboring town, a spectacle he would never forget. At age 20, he started acting by trying out for a small part at the Omaha Community Playhouse at the request of his mother’s friend Dodie Brando (the mother of another soon-to-be actor, Marlon Brando). So taken with the experience, Fonda took off for Cape Cod in 1928 to join summer stock companies (where he would met his life-long friend James Stewart). From there, Fonda followed his art to Broadway and then to Hollywood, where he soon was named by the New York Times in 1935 as “the most likable of the new crop of romantic juveniles." Indeed his likability would be marketed in films as different as Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), Grapes of Wrath (1940), and The Lady Eve (1940). Off stage, however, Fonda was rarely described as warm, approachable or even likable. He later commented, “I ain't really Henry Fonda! Nobody could be. Nobody could have that much integrity.”
     
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    May 17, 1936
    DENNIS HOPPER BORN upload_2016-5-17_14-10-30.jpeg

    A Republican since the mid-70s, Dennis Hopper – who was born today in 1936 in Dodge City, Kansas – revealed that he had pledged his allegiance to the Democrats in order to vote for President Obama, using the rationale that after a certain period of time you need to switch sides. Hopper has become known for his regularly-changing, fluid personality, and not just because his dependence on drink and drugs in the 60s and 70s made him highly unpredictable, to put it kindly. There are many sides to Hopper, some of which are much less known. In the past decade or two, he has carved out a niche for himself as a fine supporting actor who specializes in slightly unhinged villains. But Hopper started out as an actor who was part of generation of Method actors in the 50s that included his friend James Dean. He first caught the public eye and Hollywood’s attention as the co-writer, co-star and director ofEasy Rider, and has continued to direct through the years, notably that grand folie of New Hollywood,The Last Movie, and L.A. cop movie Colors, starring Sean Penn. He is also a photographer who shot the cover for Ike and Tina Turner’s album River Deep, Mountain High, and is an acclaimed painter who works have been exhibited around the world as well as a skilled poet. When someone finally writes Hopper’s biography, it will be one hell of a story.
     
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    May 18, 1955
    KISS ME DEADLY OPENS upload_2016-5-18_17-24-29.jpeg

    The noir Kiss Me Deadly opened in 1955 to two very contradictory reviews. On the one hand, the Kefauver Commission (directed to uncover corrupting cultural forces) branded the film as 1955’s number one menace to American youth. On the other hand, writing from Paris, critic (and soon to be filmmaker) François Truffaut gushed, “To appreciate Kiss Me Deadly, you have to love movies passionately and to have a vivid memory of those evenings when you saw Scarface, Under Capricorn,Le Sang d'un poete…and The Lady from Shanghai.” Adapted by novelist A.I. Bezzerides from Mickey Spillane’s sixth Mike Hammer novel, the film transforms the hard-boiled yarn about a brutal detective fighting the mafia into post-nuclear noir. Hammer (Ralph Meeker) is pulled into the case after an attractive hitchhiker (Cloris Leachman in her film debut) is murdered. After many a twist and turn, the plot finally gets to the heart of the mystery, a glowing, overheated briefcase which in the final scene initiates a nuclear apocalypse. Despite its notoriety, the film did minimal box office, and did not gain a real following until the 70s. But now it can be found proudly headlining any noir retrospective.
     
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    May 19, 1958
    ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN RELEASED upload_2016-5-21_15-53-42.jpeg

    Bad effects, cheesy dialog, and an absurd plot conspired to make Nathan Juran’s Attack of the 50 Foot Woman a camp classic from the second it was released in 1958. The film is about Nancy Archer, a rich but crazy alcoholic, whose accidental encounter with a crashed space alien leads to a growth spurt that provides her a platform to wreak revenge on her cheating husband and his floozy, Honey Parker. But it was not exactly the characters or plot that make the film so special, but rather its ability to spark or speak to every cultural anxiety. From unease over the space race (Sputnik 3 was launched only four days before the film’s release) to post-atomic genetic mutation to lax morals and proto feminism,Attack super-sized its audience's fears. Made in less than two weeks for about $80,000, Attack was one a series of pulp films (The Las Vegas Hillbillys, Castle of the Living Dead) produced by schlock magnate Bernard Woolner. Following in the footsteps of other films about growth––The Amazing Colossal Man(1957), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)––Attack took the genre to even tackier heights. But in some ways the film’s cheapness fueled its ongoing success. Shown at countless triple feature drive-ins and aired on late night creepy feature marathons, the film became so ubiquitous that its images have migrated into popular culture. In addition to being remade in 1993 for TV with Daryl Hannah, and parodied in 1995 in Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold, the figure of the giant woman continues to grow as a cultural icon, being referenced, most recently in the character of Susan in the animated featureMonsters vs. Aliens.
     
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    May 20, 2004
    HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE PREMIERES upload_2016-5-21_15-58-51.jpeg

    Before John Cho became Star Trek’s Hikaru Sulu and Kal Penn became associate director in the White House's Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs, they were known more simply as Harold and Kumar, the lead characters in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, which premiered in Columbus, Ohio, today in 2004. The shaggy-dog stoner yarn about two roommates who, after getting pot-induced munchies, drive into the dark New Jersey night was an instant cult hit, as well as a noticeable first in Hollywood history. Without any fanfare, it cast two Asian men as its leads, something that few, if any, comedies had done before. While the film challenged racial profiling, it was actually written by two Jewish white guys–– Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. When the two New Jersey high school chums took up screenwriting, they would write in a guy name Harold Lee and Kumar in every script, a nod to the demographic reality of their own lives. Hurwitz explains how, “One day, we just decided that it would be fun to write a movie where the Asian and Indian guys weren't just side characters, but instead were the stars. So we turned Harold and Kumar into an odd couple and Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle was born.” In an equally bizarre twist, the two wrote in the part of Neil Patrick Harris as himself, a role that helped the one-time boy doctor revive his career by leading to him being cast on “How I Met Your Mother.”

     
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    May 21, 1952
    JOHN GARFIELD DIES upload_2016-5-21_16-6-34.jpeg

    Today in 1952, the actor John Garfield died of a heart attack at the age of 39. His friends and family pointed fingers at the FBI and other anti-communist groups who’d hounded the young actor day and night for months. “He was under unbelievable stress. Phones were being tapped. He was being followed by the FBI. He hadn't worked in 18 months,” his daughter later remembered. Even though some members of Congress sought to label Garfield as “un-American,” his life encapsulated the American dream. Born Jacob Julius Garfinkle in New York’s Lower East Side, the child of Ukrainian emigrants, Garfield pulled himself up from the slums to become a Hollywood star. As a youth, he roamed the New York streets, hanging out with street gangs and fighting to get by. It wasn’t till his drama teacher Angelo Patri got him to perform that Garfield understood his future. At the age of 17, he took off a few years to explore America as a hobo—an exploit that supposedly sparked the idea for Preston Sturges’ classic Sullivan’s Travels. Two years later, Garfield returned to New York and to the stage by signing up with the avant garde Theater Group, a radical troupe of downtown artists. By the mid-30s, after having failed to get several plum roles in the group, Garfield moved to California, where he struck it rich at Warner Brothers, becoming a key star in many of their crime films. During the war, though Garfield was unable to serve because of a heart condition, he played many service men in films and worked with Bette Davis to found the Hollywood Canteen. But Garfield’s real struggle occurred after the war, when anti-communist groups attacked him for his liberal beliefs and past experiences with radical groups. Eventually he was blacklisted and hunted down, until he suffered a heart attack in 1952.
     
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    May 22, 1992
    EUROPA RELEASED[​IMG]
    The Danish auteur Lars von Trier is most often thought of for his deliberately shocking art films in which female heroines are subjected to copious amounts of cinematic suffering. In his recent Antichrist, a woman suffering from depression following the death of her son is driven mad by the spirits of martyred women throughout history (or, that's at least one intrepretation); in Breaking the Waves, the wife of a paralyzed oil drilling worker submits herself to a gang rape in a holy appeal for his recovery; and in Dancer in the Dark, a woman afllicted with degenerative blindness is executed due to her efforts to obtain money to prevent her son's fate at the hands of the same disease. But it wasn't always this way. In contrast to these films, which married female suffering to often rough-hewn visuals, Von Trier previously made films like Europa, which was released May 22, 1992 in the U.S. Europa was a gorgeous, highly stylized black-and-white picture that feels almost like a science-fiction imagining of the post-war European thriller. French actor Jean-Marc Barr plays an American pacifist who becomes entangled in a Nazi conspiracy while working as a sleeping car conductor on a German train in 1945. The film boasts astonishing black-and-white photography and is more of a waking dream than the flow-sweat nightmare of his later work. Wrote Steve Erickson in Artforum about Von Trier's technical mastery in the film, "Flashy and deliberately unreal, Europa exemplifies a stylistic path quickly abandoned by its director, Lars von Trier....The film is full of complex camera movements, conspicuous rear projection, and actors shot in color posed against black-and-white backgrounds. Von Trier would soon leave such stylistic touches behind, but the main innovation of The Kingdom and Breaking the Waves was his usage of realist conventions to tell outlandish stories. Europa criticizes American do-gooder naïveté (in this regard, it’s a precursor to Manderlay [2005] and, to a lesser extent, Dogville [2003]), but one gets the sense that in von Trier’s world, grappling with history comes second to exploring the possibilities of camera movement and editing."
     
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    May 23, 1973
    PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID OPENS[​IMG]

    Sam Peckinpah's neo-western Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, a tale of an outlaw being betrayed by a former friend, had to deal with another form of betrayal when it opened in May 1973. By the end of the film’s production, outlaw director Peckinpah had so clashed with MGM president Jim Aubrey that he was removed from the film and the studio cut the 124-minute director’s cut to 106 minutes. In hindsight, many wondered what Aubrey was thinking when he hired Peckinpah to begin with. The ornery director, famous for swearing and drinking on set, was never one to take studio notes, or executives, lightly. From the start he made it clear he was making a different sort of western. He pushed for Country and Western singer Kris Kristofferson to star as Billy the Kid, and then pulled in Bob Dylan, who wrote the soundtrack and additional songs, including “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” to play a minor character. The rest of the cast was filled out with legendary Western actors. Shot in Mexico with much less money that was budgeted, the film immediately ran into trouble. When the first dallies revealed that a camera defect had ruined all their early days’ shooting, Peckinpah stood up and urinated on the screen to voice his discontent. Despite constant ultimatums by the studio not to re-shoot, Peckinpah continued to make the film he wanted, pushing the production 21 days late and $1.6 million over budget. In 1988, MGM worked with Peckinpah’s editors––the director himself died in 1984––to reconstruct the original cut, which, on release, was praised as one of America’s great Westerns.
     
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    May 24, 2006
    AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH OPENS upload_2016-5-24_13-52-2.jpeg

    F. Scott Fitzgerald's dictum, "There are no second acts in American lives," does not apply to former Vice President Al Gore, who premiered his climate-change documentary An Inconvenient Truth on May 24, 2006. Opening to an unheard of $91,000 per screen average, the film, directed by Davis Guggenheim, went on to gross almost $50 million worldwide and win the Best Documentary Feature Oscar in 2007. For Gore, whose giant Power Point presentation of a movie lays out the specific scientific arguments for the global warning and the urgent need to halt it, An Inconvenient Truth was not just a critical hit and educational triumph but an act of personal redemption. Having lost to George Bush in the bitterly contested election of 2004, Gore, who was criticized throughout the campaign for his stiff persona and at times lackluster speeches, used the devastation of his loss to create an inspirational tale of redemption and return. Seizing the climate issue as his own and freed from the shackles of mainstream politics, Gore moved the dialogue surrounding global warming into the mainstream and won a Nobel Prize for his efforts.
     
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    May 25, 1979
    ALIEN OPENS[​IMG]

    Would you believe that perhaps the scariest monster in motion picture history had its origins in a beach ball? Ridley Scott’s Alien opened May 25, 1979, and, indeed, the metallic, murderous, viper-fast monster that terrorized a deep space crew on the starship Nostromo was inspired by low-tech special effect from a sci-fi spoof, Dark Star. Alien’s screenwriter, Dan O’Bannon, previously wrote and starred in the 1974 John Carpenter film, which is about a space crew roaming the galaxy to protect the planet Earth before they are attacked from within. Those attacks are from their intelligent bomb cargo but also an alien mascot that was made from a spray-painted beach ball. After the film, which attained cult status on college campuses throughout the 70s, O’Bannon said he dreamed of making a film in which the alien would be truly scary. On a trip to Paris, he discovered the work of the Swiss fantasy artist H.R. Giger. “His paintings had a profound effect on me,” O’Bannon is quoted as saying in The Book of Alien. “I had never seen anything that was quite as horrible and at the same time as beautiful as his work. And so I ended up writing a script about a Giger monster.” It wasn’t until Ridley Scott signed on to direct, though, that studio 20th Century Fox agreed to hire Giger himself to the film. Giger would go on to win an Academy Award for Visual Effects. The artist’s designs laid the groundwork for all the various Alien sequels and the more recent Alien vs. Predator franchise. These Alien designs also influenced Giger’s work designing clubs and bars. In Switzerland’s Giger Bar, for example, visitors can hang out in the spaceship-like interior and sip “alien” cocktails (white and black vodka, Maracuj liqueur and ginger ale).
     
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    June 2, 1943
    LESLIE HOWARD DIES[​IMG]

    The danger of European air travel during the early 40s was made abundantly clear when on June 2, the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight from Portugal to London was shot down by Nazi aircraft over the Bay of Biscayne, killing everyone on it, including British-born actor Leslie Howard. Howard, who started in London theater and then moved to New York and Hollywood, had become one of England’s most successful movie stars. With his wavy hair and dreamy eyes, Howard was often cast as the urbane gentleman, albeit one for whom life had become much, too much. His breakthrough role came in 1932 when he reprised his Broadway role of a man caught between two women in the film version of The Animal Kingdom. Through the thirties, he made his mark with a number of memorable characters—the lead in 1934's Of Human Bondage, the world-weary writer in The Petrified Forest, the 18th century secret agent in The Scarlet Pimpernel. But perhaps he is most known for playing a character many pitied, the languid Southern gentleman in Gone with the Wind. When WW2 broke out, Howard returned home to help out Britain’s war effort, producing and acting in a number of pro-war propaganda movies, including Pimpernel Smith, an updating of the spy classic to modern times. The film may have been a bit autobiographical, as many, including Howard’s son Ronald, later claimed the actor worked as a spy at the time of his death. Indeed in his book, In Search of My Father, Ronald Howard argues that Josef Goebbels had specifically targeted that KLM flight in order to kill Howard.
     
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    June 6, 1967
    PAUL GIAMATTI BORN[​IMG]
    When a writer for Parade Magazine scheduled to interview actor Paul Giamatti realized he was running late, he called the diner at which they were meeting. He asked the phone receptionist to inform Mr. Giamatti that he would be there in a few minutes. "I’d assumed we were meeting at a fancy bistro where the staff would be proud of their famous customer," the writer, James Kaplan, wrote. "The woman had no idea whom I was talking about." That chance encounter perfectly defines the perfectly ordinary star power of Paul Giamatti. That is, the balding, bespectacled actor instantly registers onscreen as an everyman, not as a movie star but as someone a little bit like someone you probably know. And, most importantly, when Giamatti appears on screen, you instantly trust him. The son of Yale President Angelo Bartlett Giamatti, Paul Giamatti attended Yale School of Drama before moving to New York and appearing in a series of small but vivid supporting roles. He was memorable as the hostile radio station program manager in Howard Stern's Private Parts, and he went on to appear in such films as The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, and Man on the Moon. But it was playing another visionary everyman — the cartoonist Harvey Pekar — in American Splendor that he made a case for himself as a leading man. Then, in Alexander Payne's Sideways, he scored a commercial hit as a sadsack writer tooling around the California wine country with his alpha male friend. Numerous films, including a strong turn in The Illusionist, followed, but it was in television where Giamatti was able to step outside of the "everyman" roles he's largely played in cinema. Giamatti won an Emmy for his portrayal of America's second president, John Quincy Adams, in HBO's miniseries. John Adams (no relation!) in the New York Daily News captured both the challenge the actor faced in the role and his triumph: "Like the real-life Adams, Giamatti has no physical presence that would make him a leading man. It's only when he speaks that a sense of command emerges - slowly at first, then building until his physical stature doesn't matter. Giamatti conveys beautifully how Adams checked his confidence just short of arrogance, how he could be committed to his cause yet not forget that this new nation must be inclusive."
     
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    June 7, 1965
    JUDY HOLLIDAY DIES born-yesterday-judy-holliday-portrait-everett.jpg
    When screen comedienne Judy Holliday died on this day in 1965, it was at the tragically young age of just 43. Holliday succumbed to breast cancer, and her passing was all the more cruel because of the indignity she had already suffered in her life and the massive talent and potential she still possessed. Holliday, who was born Judith Tuvim (a Jewish word roughly translating as “holiday”) in New York in 1921, made her first impression as part of the nightclub act The Revuers, with whom she performed between 1938 and 1944. After that she hit Broadway and became a big hit in the 1946 Garson Kanin play Born Yesterday, in which she played a seemingly dumb gangster’s moll who turns out to be more than smart. (Holliday herself had an IQ of 172.) Her role opposite Tracy and Hepburn in Adam’s Rib, also written by Kanin, got her the lead in the screen version of Born Yesterday, despite her being essentially unknown. Against all the odds, she won the Best Actress Oscar for the movie, beating Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard and Bette Davis in All About Eve to take the award. Twice in the early 1950s, Holliday was questioned about supposed Communist links; the accusations never stuck, but despite that she was blacklisted on radio and TV – but not film – for three years. Though she had a successful comic partnership with Jack Lemmon on It Should Happen to You and Phffft! (both 1954), and got Golden Globe nominations for both The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956) and the 1960 Bells Are Ringing (reprising her hit role on Broadway), she never became a staple in movies. Ultimately, though she only appeared in nine films, she left an indelible mark on cinema as one of the funniest women ever captured on celluloid.
     
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    June 14, 1972
    BOXCAR BERTHA RELEASED
    [​IMG]
    Roger Corman gave a start to many great Hollywood filmmakers, and on June 14, 1972, Martin Scorsese’s first studio movie, Boxcar Bertha, was released through Corman’s American International Pictures. Scorsese had shown considerable promise with his 1967 debut feature Who’s That Knocking At My Door (starring his friend Harvey Keitel), so Corman had let him loose on a film about Bertha Thompson, a Depression era hobo and radical immortalized in Sister of The Road: The Autobiography of Boxcar Bertha. Piggybacking on the success of both Bonnie and Clyde and Corman’s own 1970 period exploitation crime pic Bloody Mama, Boxcar Bertha’s tale of criminal lovers starred Barbara Hershey as Thompson with her real-life partner David Carradine playing 'Big' Bill Shelly. Hershey describes the production as "the most fun I ever had on a movie," as Scorsese allowed his actors to freedom to improvise as he strived for a realistic feel. (According to both Hershey and Carradine, they were so willing to be authentic that their sex scene in the movie was real, rather than simulated.) Though filming only lasted about four weeks, Scorsese’s tenure on the film was under threat early on when an executive producer objected to the excessive footage of locomotives in the movie, calling it “a fornicating documentary on trains.” However, he soon learned to shoot quickly and was educated by his colleagues on the coverage necessary to shoot a mainstream picture. On its release, Boxcar Bertha was packaged with another AIP movie, 1,000 Convicts and a Woman, playing theaters as a double bill. Though it received positive reviews (Roger Ebert deemed it “weirdly interesting” and the New York Times called it “an interesting surprise”), it was maybe most important because it taught Scorsese the nuts and bolt of the Hollywood process. Following a screening of the film, he recalls being taken aside by John Cassavetes, who told him, “Don’t do any more exploitation pictures. Do something that you really [want] – do something better.” The upshot of that conversation was that Scorsese went off to rewrite a script he had called Season of the Witch, a project that would become his first great movie, Mean Streets.
     
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    June 15, 1960
    THE APARTMENT OPENS[​IMG]

    Opening the same week as Hitchcock’s Psycho was Billy Wilder’s comedy The Apartment, two stories with very different plots about getting a room for the night. After making Some Like It Hot, Wilder wanted to work with Jack Lemmon again, and needed a plot tailored to Lemmon’s comic persona. Years ago, after thinking about the borrowed apartment where the lovers met in David Lean’s 1945 Brief Encounter, Wilder had jotted in his little black idea book: “What about the friend who owned the flat?” Wilder and his writing partner I.A.L. Diamond used this question to craft a bittersweet comedy, which Wilder pitched to studio executives as “a young fellow who gets ahead in a big company by lending his apartment to executives for the grand old American folk ritual, the afternoon shack up.” Once United Artists greenlit the project, Wilder got both Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine on board. For the role of the philandering executive, Wilder reached out to Fred MacMurray (after his first choice, Paul Douglas, died). Even though MacMurray had played a murderous adulterer in Wilder’s Double Indemnity, he was initially worried the part might hurt his standing with Disney, who wanted MacMurray for their family films. His fears were not completely unfounded. After the film was released, MacMurray was attacked by an older lady on the street for making such a “sordid” picture. Most critics, however, found it stellar. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, won five, with three of those––Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Film––going to Billy Wilder himself, a feat only accomplished once before, with Leo McCarey for his 1944 Going My Way. In 1968, Neil Simon turned to the film into the Broadway musical Promises, Promises, with music by Burt Bacharach.
     
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    June 16, 1959
    GEORGES REEVES DIES[​IMG]

    The mysterious death of a screen icon rocked Hollywood today in 1959 with the passing of actor George Reeves. Reeves, who had his breakthrough in a smaller role in Gone with the Wind, was familiar to millions of Americans as TV’s Superman, and had played the Man of Steel on the small screen between 1952 and 1958. On the night of his death, Reeves had been out to dinner with his fiancée, Leonore Lemmon, and the writer Robert Condon, but the couple got into an argument so the three returned to the actor’s home in Benedict Canyon. Reeves went to bed early only to be disturbed by the arrival of two raucous friends, William Bliss and Carol Van Ronkel, who had come around to his house for a party. Reeves was angry at the disturbance but briefly socialized with Lemmon and his guests before returning upstairs in a bad mood. As he departed, Lemmon allegedly said, "Oh, he'll probably go shoot himself now." Shortly afterwards, a gunshot was heard and Reeves was discovered in his bedroom with a fatal shot to the head inflicted by a Luger 9mm pistol. The police report established that Reeves’ death was a suicide as a result of depression – Reeves was known to be frustrated at his inability to escape his Superman image and take on other roles – but his mother failed to believe that her son could have killed himself. Reeves’ death has become the stuff of Hollywood legend, the first instance of the so-called “Curse of Superman,” and the drunken state of all the witnesses, inaccurate news reporting, misleading private detectives and industry gossip only served to further fuel conspiracy theories. Reeves had previously had an affair with Toni Mannix, wife of MGM exec Eddie Mannix, and rumors circulated that either his ex-lover or her jealous husband were behind Reeves’ death, though such claims have never been substantiated. Three possible scenarios surrounding Reeves’ death are explored in the 2006 Focus Features movie Hollywoodland, for which Ben Affleck (as Reeves) was named Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival.
     
  28. I absolutely love movies and TV series. When talking about the old movies, I really like The Day The Earth Stood Still and 12 Angry Men, both from the 1950's. A couple years ago, I discovered It's A Wonderful Life (I know, late bloomer) and thought it was a really good film. The Wizard Of Oz is of course an all time classic.
     
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    I absolutely LOVE 12 Angry Men I will always sit and watch it when it is on, usually TCM. I liked the original of The Day the Earth Stood Still, not so much with the remake. A wonderful Life is an all time Fav for the holiday season and I agree the Wizard of Oz is an all time classic.
     
  30. personally, I think 12 Angry Men is one of the greatest movies of all time
     
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    June 17, 1955
    PULP ON CAPITOL HILL[​IMG]

    On June 17, 1955, in a humid congressional meeting room on Capitol Hill, several members of the Motion Pictures Association of America sat down to testify before the Senate Committee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency. Formed in 1954, the Committee turned their initial attention to the effects of pulp, graphic and comic books on the young minds of America. In 1954, a German psychoanalyst Dr. Fredric Wertham published The Seduction of the Innocent, a bestselling exposé of the pernicious effects of mass media, especially comic books. Wertham’s dire predictions about how violent imagery and stories warped children’s minds found receptive audience in cold war America, already rife with paranoia and ready for another witch hunt. As such, Estes Kefauver, fresh from running the Senate Committee on organized crime, lead the assault against pop culture. (David Hajdu’s recent The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed Americaprovides a provocative history of this period,) Within the year, the initial clamp down on comic books widened its focus to such things as mail-order photography and the soft core tease of people like Bettie Page. Eventually Hollywood, and recent pulp fictions like Robert Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadly, came into the committee’s sights. But the movie industry took the moral high ground, pointing out that their licentiousness was nothing compared to the depravation the committee had encountered in comic books.
     
  32. Confession: Sunday. June 17, four years ago today, I went to a 10 a.m. showing of Rock of Ages. It was cheesy, it was lame, but with the speakers blasting...I had a great time! It was my seventh favorite movie of 2012! I and We had a great time. Its been on cable and on regular tv since and it's pretty terrible.
     
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    cumishaamado THE ULTIMATE PSE AND I LOVE TEACHING VIRGINS

    I LOVE THIS THREAD - VERY EDUCATIONAL[smilie=heart fill with love.gif][smilie=heart fill with love.gif][smilie=heart fill with love.gif]
     
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    June 18, 1942
    ROGER EBERT BORN[​IMG]

    On this day in 1942, a certain Roger Joseph Ebert was born in the town of Urbana, Illinois, to Annabel and Walter H. Ebert. Today, of course, Ebert is the most beloved and respected film critic in America, thanks to his an endless enthusiasm for cinema -- a must for a reviewer who has endured countless bad movies over the course of 30-plus years of daily movie watching -- coupled with a penchant for not holding back with his true feelings when he feels it’s appropriate. In his teens, Ebert was a sports writer for the local paper and also an avid reader sci-fi fanzines, which inspired him to write articles for those publications too. His writing talent was considerable – he won an Illinois-wide high school radio speech competition in 1958 – but he was clearly destined for a bigger stage than a local paper or geeky fan mag. And movies, it turns out, were the subject that brought him to national notice though, ironically, his introduction to film criticism was hardly very highbrow. “I learned to be a movie critic by reading MAD magazine,” Ebert once wrote. “One day, I was a trusting, credulous youth who approached the Princess Theater with pennies and nickels grasped in my sweaty palm, eager to see the latest matinee adventures of Lash La Rue and Whip Wilson. The next day, I was a MAD reader who could look down with scorn upon my classmates who sat goggle-eyed through clichés and stereotypes. … MAD's parodies made me aware of the machine inside the skin—of the way a movie might look original on the outside, while inside it was just recycling the same old dumb formulas." In the early 1960s, Ebert edited The Daily Illini while a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a job which lead to him being hired by the Chicago Sun-Times as a feature writer and reporter in 1966. The following year, the paper’s main movie critic, Eleanor Keane, left the Sun-Times and Ebert was offered her post. On April 5, 1967, tucked away on page 57 of the Chicago Sun-Times was an article simply entitled "Ebert Named Film Critic"; it may not have been front page news but, as they say, the rest is history.
     
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    June 19, 1968
    THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR RELEASED[​IMG]

    In the summer of 1968, America was shaken by the assassinations in short succession of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, and the riots (particularly in Watts) that were sparked by these tragic killings. So it was not necessarily so surprising that one of the most successful films of the summer – Norman Jewison’s The Thomas Crown Affair – was a highly entertaining and escapist movie with no pretensions to profundity or social relevance. Penned by lawyer Alan Trustman, the movie was a frivolous caper about a bored millionaire playboy, Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen), who entertains himself by planning the perfect bank robbery, and then gets into a sexually charged game of cat and mouse with Vicki Anderson (Faye Dunaway), the glamorous insurance investigator who suspects he masterminded the heist. A sense of class permeated every frame of the movie, from the well-dressed, smart and sexy antagonists/lovers to the slick editing (particularly the multiple screen technique used in the heist and polo game sequences) and the lush, romantic score by Michel Legrand, who teamed with Alan Marilyn and Alan Bergman for the film’s theme song, “The Windmills of Your Mind.” Variety summed up Jewison’s film nicely by calling it “a crackerjack story, well-tooled, professionally crafted and fashioned with obvious meticulous care,” and audiences enjoyed it similarly, propelling it to $6 million in box office gross and, ultimately, classic status. In 1999, John McTiernan remade the film with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo playing the McQueen and Dunaway roles.
     

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