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Category Archives: classic movies

“CASABLANCA – starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman”

Hal B. Wallis
Screenplay by
Julius J. Epstein
Philip G. Epstein
Howard Koch
Based on Everybody Comes to Rick’s 
by Murray Burnett
Joan Alison
Starring
Humphrey Bogart
Ingrid Bergman
Paul Henreid[1]
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Arthur Edeson
Edited by Owen Marks
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
November 26, 1942 (Hollywood Theatre)
January 23, 1943 (United States)
Running time
102 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $878,000[3]
Box office $3.7 million (initial US release)[4]

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Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison’s unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick’s. The film stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid; it also features Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Dooley Wilson. Set during World War II, it focuses on an American expatriate who must choose between his love for a woman and helping her Czech Resistance leader husband escape the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.

Story editor Irene Diamond convinced producer Hal B. Wallis to purchase the film rights to the play in January 1942. Brothers Julius and Philip G. Epstein were initially assigned to write the script. However, despite studio resistance, they left to work on Frank Capra’s Why We Fight series early in 1942. Howard E. Koch was assigned to the screenplay until the Epsteins returned a month later. Casey Robinson assisted with three weeks of rewrites, but his work would later go uncredited. Wallis chose Curtiz to direct the film after his first choice, William Wyler, became unavailable. Principal photography began on May 25, 1942, ending on August 3; the film was shot entirely at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, with the exception of one sequence at Van Nuys Airport in Van Nuys, Los Angeles.

Although Casablanca was an A-list film with established stars and first-rate writers, no one involved with its production expected it to be anything out of the ordinary.[5] It was just one of hundreds of pictures produced by Hollywood every year. Casablanca was rushed into release to take advantage of the publicity from the Allied invasion of North Africa a few weeks earlier.[6] It had its world premiere on November 26, 1942, in New York City and was released nationally in the United States on January 23, 1943. The film was a solid if unspectacular success in its initial run.

Casablanca did account for three Academy Awards – Best Picture, Director (Curtiz) and Adapted Screenplay (the Epsteins and Koch) – and gradually its reputation grew. Its lead characters,[7][8] memorable lines,[9][10][11] and pervasive theme song[12] have all become iconic and the film consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films in history.

Plot

In December 1941, American expatriate Rick Blaine is the proprietor of an upscale nightclub and gambling den in Casablanca. “Rick’s Café Américain” attracts a varied clientele: Vichy French and German officials; refugees desperate to reach the still-neutral United States; and those who prey on them. Although Rick professes to be neutral in all matters, it is later revealed he ran guns to Ethiopia during its war with Italy and fought on the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War.

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Petty crook Ugarte shows up and boasts to Rick of “letters of transit” obtained by murdering two German couriers. The papers allow the bearers to travel freely around German-controlled Europe and to neutral Portugal, and are thus almost priceless to the refugees stranded in Casablanca. Ugarte plans to sell them at the club that night, and asks Rick to hold them. Before he can meet his contact, he is intercepted by the local police under the command of Captain Louis Renault, an unabashedly corrupt Vichy official. Ugarte dies in custody without revealing that he entrusted the letters to Rick.

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At this point, the reason for Rick’s bitterness—former lover Ilsa Lund—walks into his establishment. Upon spotting Rick’s friend and house pianist, Sam, Ilsa asks him to play “As Time Goes By.” Rick storms over, furious that Sam has disobeyed his order never to perform that song, and is stunned to see Ilsa. She is accompanied by her husband, Victor Laszlo, a renowned fugitive Czech Resistance leader. They need the letters to escape to America to continue his work. German Major Strasser has come to Casablanca to see that Laszlo does not succeed.

When Laszlo makes inquiries, Ferrari, a major underworld figure and Rick’s friendly business rival, divulges his suspicion that Rick has the letters. In private, Rick refuses to sell at any price, telling Laszlo to ask his wife the reason. They are interrupted when Strasser leads a group of officers in singing “Die Wacht am Rhein.” Laszlo orders the house band to play “La Marseillaise.” When the band looks to Rick, he nods his head. Laszlo starts singing, alone at first, then patriotic fervor grips the crowd and everyone joins in, drowning out the Germans. In retaliation, Strasser has Renault close the club.

Bogart and Bergman
That night, Ilsa confronts Rick in the deserted café. When he refuses to give her the letters, she threatens him with a gun, but then confesses that she still loves him. She explains that when they met and fell in love in Paris in 1940, she believed her husband had been killed attempting to escape from a concentration camp. Later, while preparing to flee with Rick from the imminent fall of the city to the German army, she learned that Laszlo was alive and in hiding. She left Rick without explanation to nurse her sick husband.

Rick’s bitterness dissolves. He agrees to help, letting her believe that she will stay with him when Laszlo leaves. When Laszlo unexpectedly shows up, having narrowly escaped a police raid on a Resistance meeting, Rick has waiter Carl spirit Ilsa away. Laszlo, aware of Rick’s love for Ilsa, tries to persuade him to use the letters to take her to safety. When the police arrest Laszlo on a minor, trumped-up charge, Rick persuades Renault to release him by promising to set him up for a much more serious crime: possession of the letters. To allay Renault’s suspicions, Rick explains that he and Ilsa will be leaving for America. When Renault tries to arrest Laszlo as arranged, Rick forces him at gunpoint to assist in their escape. At the last moment, Rick makes Ilsa board the plane to Lisbon with her husband, telling her that she would regret it if she stayed—”Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.”

Strasser, tipped off by Renault, drives up alone. Rick kills him when he tries to intervene. When policemen arrive, Renault pauses, then orders them to “round up the usual suspects.” Renault suggests to Rick that they join the Free French in Brazzaville. As they walk away into the fog, Rick says, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

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“Sunset Boulevard (1950) trailer”

“Sunset Boulevard (1950) trailer”

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Sunset Boulevard (stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.) is a 1950 American black comedy/drama film noir[3] directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the boulevard that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California.

The film stars William Holden as Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, and Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent movie star who draws him into her fantasy world where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen, with Erich von Stroheim as Max Von Mayerling, her devoted servant. Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough and Jack Webb play supporting roles. Director Cecil B. DeMille and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper play themselves, and the film includes cameo appearances by leading silent film actors Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner and Anna Q. Nilsson.

Praised by many critics when first released, Sunset Boulevard was nominated for eleven Academy Awards (including nominations in all four acting categories) and won three. It is widely accepted as a classic, often cited as one of the greatest films of American cinema. Deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1989, Sunset Boulevard was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1998, it was ranked number twelve on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, and in 2007 it was 16th on their 10th Anniversary list.

Plot
At a Sunset Boulevard mansion, the body of Joe Gillis floats in the swimming pool. In a flashback, Joe relates the events leading to his death.

Six months earlier, down-on-his-luck screenwriter Joe tries selling Paramount Pictures producer Sheldrake on a story he submitted. Script reader Betty Schaefer harshly critiques it in Joe’s presence, unaware that he is the author. Later, while fleeing from repossession men seeking his car, Joe turns into the driveway of a seemingly deserted mansion. After concealing the car, he hears a woman calling him, apparently mistaking him for someone else. Ushered in by Max, her butler, Joe recognizes the woman as long-forgotten silent film star Norma Desmond. Learning he is a writer, she asks his opinion of a script she has written for a film about Salome. She plans to play the role herself in a comeback. Joe finds her script abysmal, but flatters her into hiring him as a script doctor.

Moved into Norma’s mansion at her insistence, Joe resents but gradually accepts his dependent situation. He sees that Norma refuses to face the fact that her fame has evaporated and learns the fan letters she still receives are secretly written by Max, who tells him Norma is subject to depression and has made suicide attempts.

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Norma lavishes attention on Joe and buys him expensive clothes. At her New Year’s Eve party, he discovers he is the only guest and realizes she has fallen in love with him. He tries to let her down gently, but she slaps him and retreats to her room.

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Joe visits his friend Artie Green to ask about staying at his place. At Artie’s party, he again meets Betty, who he learns is Artie’s girl. Betty thinks a scene in one of Joe’s scripts has potential, but Joe is uninterested. When Joe phones Max to have him pack his things, Max tells him Norma cut her wrists with his razor. Joe returns to Norma.

Norma has Max deliver the edited Salome script to her former director, Cecil B. DeMille, at Paramount. She starts getting calls from Paramount executive Gordon Cole, but petulantly refuses to speak to anyone except DeMille. Eventually, she has Max drive her and Joe to Paramount in her 1929 Isotta Fraschini.[4] The older studio employees warmly greet her. DeMille receives her affectionately and treats her with great respect, tactfully evading her questions about Salome. Meanwhile, Max learns that Cole merely wants to rent her unusual car for a film.

Preparing for her imagined comeback, Norma undergoes rigorous beauty treatments. Joe secretly works nights at Betty’s Paramount office, collaborating on an original screenplay. His moonlighting is found out by Max, who reveals that he was once a respected film director. He discovered Norma as a teenage girl, made her a star and was her first husband. After she divorced him, he found life without her unbearable and abandoned his career to become her servant.

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Although Betty is engaged to Artie, she and Joe fall in love. Norma discovers a manuscript with Joe’s and Betty’s names on it. She phones Betty and insinuates what sort of man Joe really is. Joe, overhearing, invites Betty to come see for herself. When she arrives, he pretends he is satisfied being a kept man, but after she tearfully leaves, he packs to return to his old Ohio newspaper job. He disregards Norma’s threat to kill herself and the gun she shows him to back it up. He bluntly tells her the public has forgotten her, there will be no comeback, and the fan letters are from Max. As Joe walks away, Norma shoots him three times. He falls into the pool.

The flashback ends. The house is filled with police and reporters. Norma, having lost touch with reality, believes the newsreel cameras are there to film Salome. Max and the police play along. Max sets up a scene for her and calls “Action!” As the cameras roll, Norma dramatically descends her grand staircase. She pauses and makes an impromptu speech about how happy she is to be making a film again, ending with: “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”[5]

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Cast
William Holden as Joseph C. “Joe” Gillis
Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond
Erich von Stroheim as Maximillian “Max” von Mayerling
Nancy Olson as Betty Schaefer
Fred Clark as Sheldrake, Paramount Producer
Lloyd Gough as Morino, Joe’s agent
Jack Webb as Arthur “Artie” Green
Franklyn Farnum as Undertaker
Larry J. Blake as Finance man #1
Charles Dayton as Finance man #2
As Themselves:

Cecil B. DeMille
Hedda Hopper
Buster Keaton (Bridge player)
Anna Q. Nilsson (Bridge player)
H. B. Warner (Bridge Player)
Ray Evans (Pianist at Artie’s party)
Jay Livingston (Pianist at Artie’s party)
Henry Wilcoxon as Actor (uncredited)

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MOVE OVER DARLING STARRING DORIS DAY AND JAMES GARNER

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Move Over, Darling is a 1963 comedy film starring Doris Day, James Garner, and Polly Bergen and directed by Michael Gordon. The picture was a remake of a 1940 screwball comedy film, My Favorite Wife, with Irene Dunne, Cary Grant and Gail Patrick. In between these movies, an unfinished version entitled Something’s Got to Give began shooting in 1962, directed by George Cukor and starring Marilyn Monroe (who was fired and died soon after) and Dean Martin.

The film was chosen as the 1964 Royal Film Performance and had its UK premiere on 24 February 1964 at the Odeon Leicester Square in the presence of H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Plot
Ellen Wagstaff Arden (Doris Day), a mother of two young girls named Jenny and Didi, was believed to be lost at sea following an airplane accident. Her husband, Nick Arden (James Garner), was one of the survivors.

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After five years of searching for her, he decides to move on with his life by having her declared legally dead so he can marry Bianca (Polly Bergen), all on the same day. However, Ellen is alive; she is rescued and returns home that particular day. At first crestfallen, she is relieved to discover from her mother-in-law Grace (Thelma Ritter) that her (ex-) husband’s honeymoon has not started yet.

When Nick is confronted by Ellen, he eventually clears things up with Bianca, but he then learns that the entire time Ellen was stranded on the island she was there with another man, the handsome, athletic Stephen Burkett (Chuck Connors) – and that they called each other “Adam” and “Eve.”

Nick’s mother has him arrested for bigamy and all parties appear before the same judge that married Nick and Bianca earlier that day. Bianca and Ellen request divorces before the judge sends them all away. Bianca leaves Nick, while Ellen storms out, still married to Nick, declared alive again. Ellen returns to Nick’s house unsure if her children will recognize her. Her children welcome her home, and so does Nick.

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“Mr. Blue ( Bobby Vinton Lyrics)”

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Stanley Robert “Bobby” Vinton, Jr. (born April 16, 1935) is an American pop music singer of Polish and Lithuanian ethnic background. In pop music circles, he became known as “The Polish Prince of Poch”, as his music pays tribute to his Polish heritage. Known for his angelic vocals in love songs, his most popular song, “Blue Velvet” (a cover of Tony Bennett’s 1951 song), peaked at No. 1 on the now renamed Billboard Pop Singles Chart. It also served as inspiration for the film of the same name.

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Blue on Blue is Bobby Vinton’s sixth studio album, released in 1963. Cover versions include the jazz songs “St. Louis Blues” and “Blueberry Hill”, “Am I Blue”, “Blue, Blue Day”, the Fleetwoods’ hit “Mr. Blue“, “My Blue Heaven”, three show tunes (“Blue Skies”, “Blue Hawaii” and “Blue Moon”), and The Clovers Rhythm and blues hit, “Blue Velvet”.

The song “Blue on Blue” was mentioned in Kim Mitchell’s hit song “Patio Lanterns”.

Composition and Background

Completely devoted to songs that refer to the color blue, this album contained two singles: “Blue on Blue”, which reached #3 on the U.S. Pop charts and “Blue Velvet”, which went on to #1 for three weeks on the same chart.[1] Both songs served as title tracks during their popularity.[1] The album was released after the success of the song “Blue on Blue”, but when “Blue Velvet” became a hit, the album’s title was changed with it being the title track.[1] It was only after the title change that the album managed to enter the Billboard 200 list of popular albums; it reached #10.[1]

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“Stella Dallas starring Barbara Stanwyck (1937)” 

Stella Dallas is a 1937 American film based on the Olive Higgins Prouty novel of the same name. It was directed by King Vidor, and stars Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, and Anne Shirley. Stanwyck was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Shirley for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.[1]
A 1925 silent film version is Stella Dallas, starring Ronald Colman and Belle Bennett. A 1990 version is Stella, with Bette Midler and Stephen Collins.

Plot 
Stella Martin (Barbara Stanwyck), the daughter of a mill worker in a post-World War I Massachusetts factory town, is determined to better herself. She sets her sights on mill executive Stephen Dallas (John Boles) and catches him at an emotionally vulnerable time. Stephen’s father killed himself after losing his fortune.

Penniless, Stephen disappeared from high society, intending to marry his fiancée Helen (Barbara O’Neil) once he was financially able to support her. However, just as he reaches his goal, he reads in the newspaper the announcement of her wedding. So he marries Stella.

A year later, their daughter Laurel (played by Anne Shirley as a young woman) is born. To Stella’s great surprise, she discovers she has a strong maternal instinct. Even when she is out dancing and partying, she cannot help but think about her child. As Laurel grows up, Stella’s ambition and scheming to rise socially is redirected to her daughter.

Stephen dotes on Laurel as well, but she is the only bond between husband and wife. He tries to help Stella become more refined, but without success. He also strongly disapproves of her continuing friendship with the vulgar Ed Munn (Alan Hale). Finally, when Stephen receives a promotion that requires him to move to New York, Stella tells him he can go without her or Laurel; they separate, but remain married. Laurel stays with her mother, but visits her father periodically.

Years later, Stephen runs into Helen, now a wealthy widow with three sons. They renew their acquaintance. Laurel is invited to stay at Helen’s mansion; she gets along very well with Helen and her sons. Stephen asks Stella for a divorce, but she turns him down.

Stella takes Laurel to a fancy resort, where Laurel and Richard Grosvenor III (Tim Holt) fall in love. However, when Stella makes her first appearance after recovering from an illness, she becomes the target of derision for her vulgarity, though she herself is unaware of it. Embarrassed for her mother, Laurel insists they leave at once without telling her why. On the train back, Stella overhears the truth.

Stella goes to talk with Helen. After learning that Helen and Stephen would marry if they could, she agrees to a divorce and asks that Laurel go live with them. Helen realizes the reason for the request and agrees.

When Laurel learns of the arrangement, she refuses to put up with it and returns home. However, Stella has been notified by a telegram and is ready for her. Stella pretends that she wants Laurel off her hands so she can marry Ed Munn and travel to South America. Laurel runs crying back to her father.

Later, Laurel and Richard get married. Stella watches them exchange their wedding vows from the city street through a window (whose curtains have been opened at Helen’s order), her presence unnoticed in the darkness and among the other curious bystanders. She then she slips away in the rain, alone but triumphant in having arranged her daughter’s happiness.

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Posted by on June 12, 2017 in classic movies, nostalgic

 

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THE FABULOUS 52 

Film students and movie buffs everywhere are searching for the lost music and history compositions of The Fabulous 52.  

The Fabulous 52 aired each Saturday night (11:30) on KNXT’s Channel 2 ( late 1950s/Los Angeles)  showing its big, bold  title superimposed upon the well-lit, KNXT/CBS studio.   Who can forget the spot-aerial lights that stretched out  into the starry night skies?

A beautiful orchestra flaired  an unknown but unforgettable, classical, opening theme.  Both the music and studio imagery gave prominence to many of Hollywood’s greatest  performances.  The Fabulous 52  is remembered as a most impressive television,  feature film presentation of the late 1950s.   

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Referencing  “Broadcasting Telecasting (Jan-Mar 1959), ” Tv Movie Missionary • Starlet, Sandy Warner holds up some of the Paramount footage KNXT (TV) Los Angeles charged her with promoting for a movie splash starting this week. 

To herald 12 major motion pictures premiering on KNXT, “Miss Paramount Week” has been calling on  the press, riding in holiday parades, appearing at public functions and posing for lots of pictures. 

Backing up its front woman, KNXT sent up a plane over the New Year’s Day Rose Bowl parade with an exclusive sky-writing franchise to reach an expected 1.5 million parade watchers. Also in the Paramount Week promotion kit:  $50,000 worth of air promotion time, 18,000 lines in local newspapers, four pages in Tv Guide, giant bus posters, market cards, direct mail, bottle labels, billboards and a full- scale publicity campaign in newspapers and magazines. 

The 12 Paramount Week features are being shown on the weeknight Early Show and Big Hit Movies, Saturday’s Fabulous 52 show and a Sunday film program. 

Paramount Week movies star: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Fredric March, Herbert Marshall, Barbara Stanwyck, Jack Benny, Fred MacMurray, Claudette Colbert, Marlene Dietrich and others. Each and every feature film in this distinguished group offers a sales and rating dream and top-flight stars of first-rate pictures: 

  • CALL NORTHSIDE 777 

Richard  Conte 

  • MOTHER WORE TIGHTS 

Betty Grable, Dan Dailey 

  • THE RAINS CAME 

Tyrone Power, Myrna Loy 

  • HEAVEN CAN WAIT 

Gene Tierney, Don Ameche 

  • CALL OF THE WILD 

Clark Gable, Loretta Young 

  • ROAD TO GLORY 

Fredric March, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart, Lee J. Cobb


For the full story,
get in touch today with . . .
MTA NATIONAL TELEFILM

HI H ASSOCIATES, INC., 10 Columbus Circle. New York 19 

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MADAM X (trailer) 1966 – starring Lana Turrner and John Forsythe

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Directed by David Lowell Rich
Produced by Ross Hunter
Written by Alexandre Bisson (play)
Jean Holloway
Starring Lana Turner
John Forsythe
Music by Frank Skinner
Cinematography Russell Metty
Edited by Milton Carruth
Release dates
November 8, 1966
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Madame X is a 1966 American drama film directed by David Lowell Rich and starring Lana Turner. It is based on the 1908 play Madame X by French playwright Alexandre Bisson.

Plot

A lower class woman, Holly Parker (Turner), marries into the rich Anderson family. Her husband’s mother (Constance Bennett) looks down on her and keeps a watchful eye on her activities. Due to her husband’s frequent and long trips abroad, Holly forms a relationship with a well-known playboy (Ricardo Montalbán). When her lover accidentally dies, and only her mother-in-law knows she is innocent, the latter blackmails her into disappearing into the night during a planned boat trip, leaving her husband (John Forsythe) and young son (Teddy Quinn) thinking she has died.

She then slowly sinks into depravity all over the world, only to be brought back to America under false assumptions by a “friend” (Burgess Meredith) who plans on blackmailing her family. When she realizes that the man intends to reveal who she is to her son, she shoots the man to stop him. The police arrest her and, refusing to reveal her identity, she signs a confession with the letter “X.” As fate would have it, the court assigns a defense attorney who happens to be her long-lost son (Keir Dullea).

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