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Cinema Retro

TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES REMEMBERS 2016

Let's hope that we never have another year in which we lose as much artistic talent as we did in 2016. Here is TCM's moving annual retrospective of those lost in film and TV during the year. Doubtless, you will have some unpleasant surprises when you realize that you weren't aware of the extent of how many great talents left us during the last twelve months- and this video was prepared before the passing of both Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. We do take consolation from the fact that, while these artists are no longer with us in the physical sense, their work is eternal.

Posted by Cinema Retro in Entertainment News on Sunday, January 1. 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM CINEMA RETRO!

Wishing all our readers worldwide a healthy and happy 2017!

Posted by Cinema Retro in Entertainment News on Saturday, December 31. 2016

REVIEW: "NICHOLAS NICKLEBY" (2002) TWILIGHT TIME BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION

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BY RAYMOND BENSON

“A DICKENS DELIGHT”

By Raymond Benson

The Life andAdventures of Nicholas Nickleby may not immediately come to mind when namingthe most well-known of author Charles Dickens’ novels, but it’s arguably one ofhis best. Besides being a cracking good story in print, the Royal ShakespeareCompany famously produced an 8-1/2-hour long Tony Award-winning play (staged intwo parts, with a dinner break) in 1980 that was one of this reviewer’s mosttreasured theatrical experiences.

Themotion picture, released in 2002 to positive critical acclaim but littleenthusiasm from ticket-buyers, is also a delight. Writer/director DouglasMcGrath whittled down Dickens’ massive tome to a mere 132 minutes, and yet onedoesn’t miss the extracted bits. The screenplay is an essential lesson in adaptation. Now a gorgeouslyrendered Blu-ray release from Twilight Time, Nickleby can be re-evaluated and appreciated for the superbachievement it is.

Thestory is typical Dickens—in mid-19th Century England, the death of Mr. Nicklebyleaves Nicholas (winningly played by a young Charlie Hunnam), his sister, andmother without a penny—so they must go to London and depend on the charity ofUncle Ralph (Christopher Plummer), who is a characteristically cruel and greedyDickens villain. Nicholas is at first sent to a boarding school run by Mr.Squeers (Jim Broadbent), who is also cruel and greedy and likes to beat thechildren. There, Nicholas meets the crippled Smike (Jamie Bell) and the pairbecome fast friends. Nicholas succeeds in getting Smike out of the school, butthen they run into the eccentric Vincent Crummles (Nathan Lane) and his wife(played hilariously by Barry Humphries—yes, a man), who put the young lads intheir traveling theatrical troupe. Misadventures and calamities continue tobefall Nicholas, not withstanding his romance with Madeline (Anne Hathaway),which Uncle Ralph is determined to quash.

Asone can see, the cast is amazing. Add to these principles the likes of AlanCumming, Timothy Spall, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox, and several other notableBritish actors, and you’ve got an ensemble piece to be reckoned with.

McGrath(perhaps best known as Woody Allen’s co-writer and Oscar nominee for Bullets Over Broadway, writer/directorof Emma, and writer of the Broadwaysmash Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)brings intelligence and a colorful visual style to the material. Why the filmwasn’t nominated, at the very least, for Production Design or Costume Design isa mystery.

The1080p High Definition transfer looks wonderful, and the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audioalso comes with an isolated score track (by Rachel Portman) and a valuable andinformative “how-I-did-it” commentary by McGrath. Other supplements include twomaking-of documentaries ported over from the original DVD release, as well as a“view from the set” multi-angle feature. The original theatrical trailer roundsout the package.

Nicholas Nickleby most likely slippedby you back in late 2002 when it played in theaters—here’s your chance to checkit out before the limited edition run of 3,000 copies sells out.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Posted by Cinema Retro in Raymond Benson (see also Criterion Corner) on Saturday, December 31. 2016

REVIEW: "THE GLORY GUYS" (1965) STARRING TOM TRYON AND SENTA BERGER; TWILIGHT TIME BLU-RAY RELEASE

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BY JOHN M. WHALEN

Back in the 1950s, before he became a legend, filmmakerSam Peckinpah (“The Wild Bunch,” “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia,” and“The Killer Elite”) wrote scripts for TV westerns, including “Gunsmoke,” “TheRifleman,” and “Tombstone Territory.” His reputation grew and in 1957 he wrote hisfirst screenplay entitled “The Glory Guys” which was based on Hoffman Birney’snovel, “The Dice of God.” The book was a fictional account of Custer and theBattle of the Little Big Horn, with all names changed. The script went unproduced for almost eightyears, and in the meantime Sam had moved on, directing features including “TheDeadly Companions” (1960), “Ride the High Country” (1962) and “Major Dundee”(1965).

You would think that with that growing resume, Peckinpahwould have been able to direct anything he wanted to, but such was far from thecase. “Bloody Sam,” as he was called, affectionately by his fans, and not soaffectionately by his critics, had a way of getting into fights with the wrongpeople. Arguments and disagreements with producers and studio heads werenumerous, and he acquired a reputation as a “madman” after he ran way overbudget and schedule, shooting “Major Dundee” all over locations around Durango,Mexico. The situation on “Dundee” was so bad star Charlton Heston put up hisown money to finish the film when the suits threatened to pull the plug. Andthis, even after Heston one day on set had gotten so furious with Peckinpah hecharged him on horseback with his saber. Luckily the director was on a craneand moved out of the way.

TV and movie producers Arthur Gardner, Arnold Laven, andJules Levy, who had produced “The Rifleman” series, had held on to Sam’s scriptfor “The Glory Guys,” and by 1964 were ready to make it as a feature film. But sincehe had just gotten fired from the “The Cincinnati Kid” after another disputeover creative disagreements, they didn’t want to take a chance on Sam directingit. Laven decided to direct it himself. It has been reported on IMDb thatPeckinpah did some work on it, but Peckinpah historians Nick Redman, PaulSeydor and Garner Simmons, in the audio commentary included on the TwilightTime Blu-ray, totally dispute those reports. “The Peckinpah Posse,” as they areby now known after having done quite a few commentaries and written books aboutthe director, state categorically he would not even have been able physically tobe in Mexico at that time due to other commitments.

The posse members know a thing or two about Peckinpah andyet I was mystified when they seemed surprised at the similarities between “TheGlory Guys” and “Major Dundee.” It’s pretty obvious that in many ways, “Dundee”is a polished, more thoughtful rewrite of “The Glory Guys” by a man who by thenhad eight years of TV and movie-making experience under his belt. Seydor andSimmons also seem dismissive of “The Glory Guys,” as nothing more than anexpanded TV show, constantly pointing to clichés in both directing and writing.It’s a bit annoying to hear these experts spouting their opinions, which seemmore aimed at impressing viewers with their knowledge, than providing anyinsight into the film. Only Nick Redman seems to actually like the film, and inmy opinion there’s a lot to like.

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There are constant themes and archetypes in all ofPeckinpah’s movies, even here in this early work. The abuse of power by thosein authority, friendship, loyalty, betrayal, the clean honesty of certain menfinally revealed when the chips are down, and the sad poetry of the loser areideas that Peckinpah would come back to again and again in his films. As “TheGlory Guys” can be seen as an early, and not completely satisfying, draft of“Major Dundee,” so can that film be seen as the precursor to “The Wild Bunch,”which represents the apotheosis of all of his ideas in undoubtedly his greatestwork.

Perhaps one reason the film compares unfavorably to“Dundee” is the cast. Chisel-jawed Tom Tryon as the lead, Captain Demas Harrod,is no Charlton Heston. His co-star Harve Presnell was no Richard Harris, hiscounterpart in “Dundee.” Senta Berger (who would star with Charlton Heston in “Dundee”) and James Caan, however, come off ratherwell. Andrew Duggan, another overly-familiar TV face, plays General FrederickMcCabe, the vainglorious stand in for George Armstrong Custer.

Peckinpah’s take on the novel and the Little Big Horn istypically his. Don’t expect a repeat of “They Died with Their Boots On,” with ErrolFlynn fighting to the end with his troops, surrounded by hundreds of Sioux. Infact, his script does not even include the battle at all. We see only theaftermath from Captain Harrod’s point of view: a body-strewn battlefield with awhite stallion standing alone in the far distance, the fictional stand in forComanche, the only survivor of Big Horn. It’s a powerful statement and one onlyan artist like Peckinpah could make. What critics often failed to understandabout him was that even though the films he made were violent and, later on,bloody, the violence wasn’t the point. What he really wanted to show was theaftermath.

Aside from the informative, if somewhat frustrating,commentary track, Twilight Time has included a half-hour interview with SentaBerger, who made three films with Peckinpah (“The Glory Guys,” “Major Dundee”and “Cross of Iron” (1977). In Mike Siegel’s documentary “Passion and thePoetry: Sam and Senta,” the actress reveals that she first met the director ata studio function in Europe when she was just starting her career. Sam took aliking to her and put her in the films, adding her scenes to already finishedscripts.

There are other supplements including "Promoting The Glory Guys", which features international marketing materials, the original theatrical trailer and a short film aboutlegendary cinematographer James Wong Howe, whose work filming the locations inMexico in Panavision provides one of the real pleasures of the movie. WhileI thought the interior shots seemed a little on the dark side, when the cameras move outside, the film comes alive. Howe’s compositions, especially in the exterior action scenes, the wayhe staged the cavalry formations, the battle scene on the river, are allmasterfully done. The release includes an illustrated booklet with insightful liner notes by Julie Kirgo.

All in all, this is asuperb release, definitely a “must have.” “The Glory Guys” may not be amasterpiece, but it is entertaining and fascinating as an early glimpse intothe creative mind of a filmmaking genius. Just make sure you watch it before youlisten to the audio commentary to avoid spoilers.

(This is a limited edition release of 3,000 units).

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

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John M. Whalen is the author of "Hunting Monsters is My Business: The Mordecai Slate Stories".Click hereto order the book from Amazon)

Posted by Cinema Retro in on Friday, December 30. 2016

BREAKING NEWS: DEBBIE REYNOLDS DIES ONE DAY AFTER HER DAUGHTER, CARRIE FISHER, PASSED AWAY

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The belief that the year 2016 is the worst one on record in terms of celebrity deaths will only be reinforced with the news that show business legend Debbie Reynolds has passed away at age 84 just one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died from heart-related problems. Reynolds was grieving the loss of Carrie when she was hospitalized on Wednesday night due to shortness of breath. Click here for more.

CLICK HERE FOR NEW YORK TIMES OVERVIEW OF MS. REYNOLDS' REMARKABLE CAREER.

Posted by Cinema Retro in Obituaries on Wednesday, December 28. 2016

REVIEW: "ELSTREE 1976" (2015), A LOOK AT THE "STAR WARS" PHENOMENON; BLU-RAY SPECIAL DIRECTOR'S EDITION

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BY BILL DUELLY

We’ve seen them at sci-fi or collectibles conventionsshows; some more so in England than the US. They man tables with stacks ofphotos, offering autographs or pictures for a fee. In many cases their faces aren’t familiar, astheir characters wore heavy makeup or masks in their appearance in the original“Star Wars” film. Still, even as youapproach them face-to-face some of these people still don’t ring a bell. Maybe it’s because their scenes were deletedor they were an extra amongst many. Others, you discover are a familiar masked character and you are happyto chat for a few moments with them, as that movie, and its two sequels (Iam only referring to the original trilogy starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher), had such a lasting impact onyour childhood.

“Elstree1976” is a recent documentary that follows ten such actorswho, during the summer of 1976, played various roles while filming at ElstreeStudios in Borehamwood, England and on location in Tunisia. This cast is comprised of: David Prowse(Darth Vader), Paul Blake (Greedo), JohnChapman (X Wing Pilot- Red 12- Drifter), Anthony Forrest (Fixer &Sandtrooper), Laurie Goode(Stormtrooper & Cantina Creature), Garrick Hagon(Biggs Darklighter) , Angus MacInnes (X-Wing Pilot), Derek Lyons (Medal Bearer-Throne Room ), Pam Rose (Leesub Sirlin-Cantina Character) and Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) (Note: Bulloch appears late in this movie, as hejoined the “Star Wars” cast during “The Empire Strikes Back” a few years later.)

The first 40 minutes or so of this piece seem rathersluggish and confusing, as we are introduced to this large group and listen tofairly detailed life histories. Once westart to get into the discussion of the actual filming itself, the pace picksup considerably and it becomes a much more interesting experience. We find outthat this was basically just another job to many of these people who had justshowed up during general casting calls. Englandwas a busy place for film production in the 70s and 80s and there was a veryrelaxed, informal atmosphere at the studios and amongst the performers. Prowse was cast due to his large physicalframe (he was a body builder) and Jeremy Bulloch went on the advice of his half-brother,co-producer Robert Watts. The production anecdotes are very interestingand through it all no one had any clue that what they were involved with wouldbe such a phenomenon that continues to this day and probably will well into thefuture.

The after-stories are often the most interesting; many ofthe cast members just continued with day work in the movies or went back toother interests. Angus MacInnescontinued acting and ended up with Harrison Ford again in 1984’s “Witness” asone of the crooked cops (it would have been nice if this reunion of sorts wasexpanded upon); David Prowse began personal appearance tours around release of “TheEmpire Strikes Back” and over time found himself on the wrong side of Lucasfilm.Prowse alleges that whenever he would publicly inquire about unpaid royaltiesfrom “Return of the Jedi”, Lucasfilm would tell him that the movie had yet toturn a profit. Because of his publiccriticisms, Prowse is now banned from ‘official’ “Star Wars” events, such asDisney “Star Wars” weekends and the yearly celebrations.

When the film addresses the subject of fan conventions,the actors discuss the caste system … those who receive on screen credit andthose who are ‘extras’. The extrasgenerally are viewed as opportunists. How far this feeling extends into the fan baseis another story that we really don’t get the answer to.

Although “Elstree 1976”, which was directed by Jon Spira, has many merits that will please “StarWars” fans, I was disappointed that there wasn’t more emphasis onbehind-the-scenes photos and footage of the actual shoot, not recreated sceneswith the interviewees. It’s probable that rights issues prevented this fromoccurring. Smatterings of clips from “StarWars” are shown but they are all too brief. Additional visual materials would have considerably enhanced thisdocumentary. Also, with a title like “Elstree1976”, I would have appreciated more detail about the legendary studio itselfand some discussions of famous films that were shot there and how the studiohas impacted the area of Borehamwood, especially in the wake of other UK-basedstudios that are no longer around. There is also a missed opportunity in thatthe documentary makers did not capitalize on the fact that Elstree has aprop/mechanics shop that still houses artifacts from the original film such asmatte paintings, prop light sabers, original droid blueprints, etc. A visit tothis facility would have greatly enhanced the viewing experience.

The video release from FilmRise reviewed for this article is a specialedition Blu-ray. Oneof the special features does have a few of these actors returning to the emptyStage 7 where the Millennium Falcon was built for the hanger scenes. Lacking any compelling visuals, the touraround an empty set rings somewhat hollow. Other special features include somecomments from the cast that were cut out from the final version of thedocumentary, a trailer and a director’s commentary.

It should be noted that this is a grassroots productionfunded by a Kickstarter campaign, so viewers should keep in mind that thedirector had limited resources. As such, it’s an ambitious undertaking that,despite the film’s shortcomings, provides an interesting look at aspects of the“Star Wars” franchise that have never been explored from this particular angle.

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Posted by Cinema Retro in on Wednesday, December 28. 2016

ORIGINAL BEHIND-THE-SCENES FEATURETTE FOR "THE HILL" (1965) STARRING SEAN CONNERY

BY LEE PFEIFFER

By 1965 Sean Connery was already growing weary of the James Bond phenomenon. The money was great but he never sought to be an international idol and sex symbol and never warmed to the experience of having the press and fans follow him about wherever he went. He also feared that he would be typecast as Bond and thus sought roles in films far removed from the image of 007. His first two attempts, "Woman of Straw" and Hitchco*ck's "Marnie" were critical and boxoffice failures. Connery had high hopes for his next non-Bond film, "The Hill", which marked the first of several movies he would collaborate with director Sidney Lumet on. A grim, brutal but superb movie, "The Hill" was hailed at the Cannes Film Festival and received great notices. Although the movie never clicked with mainstream audiences who eagerly awaited Connery's next Bond film, "Thunderball", the 1965 production has grown in stature over the decades. Not only does it feature Connery's first brilliant cinematic performance but he is matched by an equally brilliant supporting cast: Harry Andrews, Ossie Davis, Ian Hendry, Ian Bannen, Alfred Lynch, Roy Kinnear and Michael Redgrave. This original featurette shows the movie's enthusiastic reception at Cannes and the grueling challenges of filming it in the Spanish desert.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER "THE HILL" FROM AMAZON

Posted by Cinema Retro in Out of the Past on Wednesday, December 28. 2016

BREAKING NEWS: ACTRESS CARRIE FISHER HAS DIED

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Actress and novelist Carrie Fisher, daughter of Debbie Reynolds and the late singer Eddie Fisher, has died from complications related to a heart attack she suffered on a flight from London to Los Angeles last Tuesday. Fisher had been hospitalized in Los Angelessince and was described as being in "stable condition" as doctors worked feverishly to save her. Fisher is best known for playing the character of Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" film series. She was 60 years old.Fisher had been in London to promote her recently-published memoirs. Click here for more. For Washington Post story click here.

Posted by Cinema Retro in Obituaries on Tuesday, December 27. 2016

JERRY LEWIS GIVES RUDEST INTERVIEW EVER TO THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

BY LEE PFEIFFER

Even at 90 years of age Jerry Lewis can still grab a headline. When the Hollywood Reporter recently visited his home to conduct a video interview, Lewis looked as though he was facing root canal surgery. He rudely answered questions with one or two word answers, insulted the crew throughout in a not very subtle manner and for seven excruciating minutes that have since gone viral, he dissed the interviewer, who never lost his cool or the respect he showed to the comedy legend. In that regard, he showed more class than Lewis himself. This wasn't an ambush-style interview or one loaded with "gotcha" questions. The pity is that if Lewis had played ball with the interviewer, he could have provided some interesting insights from the standpoint of a man his age who is still actively performing on stage and in film. Instead Lewis acted as though he had not consented to the interview and that somehow the crew had engaged in a home invasion. By doing so, he only diminished himself. If he was that ticked off at the prospect of doing the interview, why didn't he just cancel it instead of degrading himself in this manner?

Posted by Cinema Retro in Interviews on Tuesday, December 27. 2016

"HEE-HAW: THE COLLECTOR'S EDITION", 14 DVD SET RELEASED BY TIME LIFE

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Time Life has released the retro TV comedy series "Hee Haw" as a 14-DVD boxed set. Here is the official press release:

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Pickin’ and grinnin’, singin’ and spinnin’ tall tales andcorny jokes, the citizens of Kornfield Kounty landed on television in 1969 withthe arrival of HEE HAW as a summer replacement series for The Smothers BrothersComedy Hour. With a cast ofdown-to-earth characters including Minnie Pearl,Grandpa Jones andArchieCampbell, knee-slapping comedic zingers, and jaw-dropping musical performances,the comedy-variety show, co-hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, captivated the country. In 1971, after two successful years, CBSdropped the show in an effort to “de-countrify” the network’s programming;however, it was quickly picked up and aired for the next 21 years, making HEEHAW the longest-running weekly syndicated original series in televisionhistory.

In a new-to-retail set, HEE HAW: THE COLLECTOR’S EDITIONoffers 14 HEE-larious discs featuring some of the best sketches and brighteststars from the series’ impressive23-yearhistory, rarely seen sincetheir original broadcasts. Across 21vintage hours, viewers can sit back and be entertained by korny klassics suchas “PFFT! You Were Gone,” “Gordie’s General Store,” “Board Fence,” “Cornfield”and “Moonshiners” -- as well as theall-time favorites “Rindercella” and “Trigonometry.” And because HEE HAW was a favorite stop forcountry music’s biggest stars and legends, THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION alsofeatures hundreds of classic performances from Hall of Famers at the peaks oftheir careers including Tammy Wynette ("Stand By Your Man"), GeorgeJones ("White Lightnin"), Merle Haggard (“Okie From Muskogee"), WaylonJennings ("Me and Bobby McGee"), Johnny Cash ("I Walk the Line”),Jerry Lee Lewis ("Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On"), Tanya Tucker ("DeltaDawn"), and Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty ("Louisiana Woman,Mississippi Man") and too many others to name.

Though the last “new” episode aired in 1992, this 14-disccollector’s edition perfectly captures the reasons why HEE HAW was one of thelongest-running and best loved television variety shows of all time!

BONUS FEATURES

New interviews with show regulars including Roy Clark,Lulu Roman, George Lindsey, Charlie McCoy and Jim and John Hager

Additional bonus programming includes all-time favoritecomedy from the early years in “Hee Haw Laffs,” featuring “Board Fence,”“Doctor Spot,” “Old Philosopher,” “Haystack,” “Schoolhouse” and otherknee-slappers

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON

Posted by Cinema Retro in on Monday, December 26. 2016

MI6 CONFIDENTIAL – BOND GIRLS ARE FOREVER ISSUE #38 OUT NOW

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Cinema Retro has received the following press release:

(London, UK, December 12th 2016) MI6 Confidential, thefull-colour magazine celebrating the world of James Bond 007, returns with itsthirty-eighth issue.

Bond girls are forever, but in the last two decades the007 producers have shaken up the ‘Bond girl’ archetype significantly. Strong,independent and critical of Bond’s actions and motives are now the norm. Buteven this change hasn’t stopped Bond women from being devastatingly beautifuland the subject of much admiration. This issue is dedicated to finding out whatit takes to be a Bond girl, with features on Bond’s comic book companions, thesurprising origins of the Bond girl label, and the role of Bond women in the21st century.

Featured in this issue:

· The Name’s Bond... - Samantha Bond’s stint as the iconic secretary

· Bond Girls Stripped - A glimpse of Fleming’s characters incomic strip form

· Bond Girl Etymology - Where did the widely-recognisedphrase originate?

· Quick Fire Bond - Lightning Q&A with some of Bond’sbrushes through the decades

· The Double X Factor - The feminine power of the 21stcentury Bond woman

· Gaming Girls - A catalogue of digital delights that havecrossed paths with 007

· DrivingHim Crazy - A cut scene from The Living Daylights revisited

· The Bond Connection - The glamorous women and the spyfilms of the 1960s

Issue #38 is now shippingaround the world. To order online, visit www.mi6confidential.com

Hugh Maddocks Editor

Email: editor@mi6confidential.com

Find us on Facebook: http://f.mi6confidential.com Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mi6confidential

Posted by Cinema Retro in James Bond 007 News on Thursday, December 22. 2016

DICK VAN DYKE TO APPEAR IN NEW MARY POPPINS FILM

BY LEE PFEIFFER

Dick Van Dyke, who played Bert the chimney sweep opposite Julie Andrews in the 1964 Disney classic "Mary Poppins", will appear in "Mary Poppins Returns" which stars Emily Blunt as the magical nanny along with an all-star cast that includes Meryl Streep and Angela Lansbury. Van Dyke, 91, won't be reprising the role of Bert, however. Instead he will be playing a new character, the son of a greedy banker. Van Dyke, who has jokingly "apologized" for his much-criticized co*ckney accent in the first film, promises to have an even worse accent in the new movie. "I intend to represent a corner of London with my accent that has not yet been invented. I'm going to have the worst accent in the history of British accents-I'm going to sound like I'm from another planet". Julie Andrews will not be part of the new film but has given the project her blessing. The movie, directed by Rob Marshall, is intended for release on Christmas day, 2018. For more click here.

Posted by Cinema Retro in Entertainment News on Wednesday, December 21. 2016

REVIEW: "A KISS BEFORE DYING" (1956) STARRING ROBERT WAGNER; KINO LORBER BLU-RAY EDITION

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BY DOUG OSWALD

RobertWagner is a college student trying to end the relationship with his pregnant girlfriendin “A Kiss Before Dying,” recently released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber. JoanneWoodward is Dorothy “Dorie” Kingship, the girlfriend who falls in love withhandsome Bud Corliss (Wagner). Bud is a local guy attending college on the GIBill while living at home with his doting widowed mother played by Mary Astor. Dorieis deeply in love with Bud, believing they will get married and live happilyever after. However, Bud has a more sinister view of the relationship as he is moreinterested in Dorie’s inheritance than her love. His greed graduates to a plotto murder Dorie when he realizes Dorie’s father will disinherit her uponlearning of her pregnancy.

Bud’sfirst attempt to murder Dorie by poisoning her with chemicals he steals fromthe college chemistry department is a failure. He researches the properchemicals in the college library and, like a bank robber, cases the locked roomwhere the chemicals are stored. He also writes a fake suicide note and tellsDorie the pills are vitamins for the baby and she must take them that night.She agrees and says goodnight to Bud, who mails the suicide note. The next dayBud seats himself at his usual desk in class expecting to hear news about Doriewhen she walks in.

Theshocked Bud scrambles unsuccessfully to retrieve the suicide note, but immediatelycomes up with a new plan. He tells her they are going to get married at cityhall which is everything Dorie wants to hear. Arriving early, they head for theobservation area on the roof where the film’s most dramatic sequence is set inmotion.

There’sa foreshadowing of “Psycho” with the relationship between Bud and his mother aswell as the involvement of the intended victim’s sister. Mrs. Corliss isoblivious to Bud’s true nature and he resents her intrusiveness. Jeffrey Hunteris Gordon Grant, a college professor who knows Bud and Dorie and takes aninterest in mysterious matters concerning Dorie.He connects with Dorie’s sisterEllen Kingship (Virginia Leith of “The Brain that Wouldn’t Die” fame), who issuspicious events that transpire- and Bud in particular. I’ll not reveal theclimax, the movie comes to an entertaining and satisfying conclusion.

Directedby Gerd Oswald and released by United Artists in 1956, the screenplay byLawrence Roman is based on the novel by Ira Levin. The movie is beautifullyphotographed in Cinemascope by Lucien Ballard (“The Killing” and “The WildBunch”) giving the film a dream-like- look and feel which is aided by theon-location filming. The movie was made in and around Tucson, Arizona includinga copper mine south of town where the climax takes place.

Wagneris terrific as the psychopathic killer because, initially, we want to like himand hope he will do the right thing. Jeffrey Hunter appears in the movie toobriefly, but is a welcome addition to the cast. Joanne Woodward gives a sincereperformance as the cursed Dorie with Virginia Leith, Mary Astor and GeorgeMacready rounding out the impressive supporting cast. The Kino Lorber Blu-raylooks beautiful and sounds great with a running time of 94 minutes. The originaltrailer is the only extra on the disc. This entertaining thriller is highlyrecommended for fans looking for an engaging psychological thriller.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON

Posted by Cinema Retro in on Tuesday, December 20. 2016

ZSA ZSA GABOR DEAD AT AGE 99

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BY LEE PFEIFFER

Zsa Zsa Gabor, one of the first entertainers of whom it could be said became a mega-celebrity based on a modicum of actual achievements, has died at age 99. A Hungarian immigrant, Gabor made a splash when she arrived in Hollywood with her exotic good looks and even more exotic accent. Although she gave credible performance sin "Moulin Rouge" and "Touch of Evil", Gabor quickly became enamored of playing one character she loved- herself. In the staid early days of television, she was an oddity and audiences loved her penchant for making quips and telling outrageous stories. She called everyone "Darling" and bedazzled viewers by parading about in expensive dresses and over-the-top displays of jewelry. The first casualty of her persona was her career as a promising actress. When Gabor did appear in movies it was generally in B-level fare such as her most famous cult film, the sci-fi turkey "Queen of Outer Space". Gabor always wanted to become a legitimate princess. She married a succession of rich men before fulfilling her dream by marrying a German prince thirty years her junior in 1986, thus bestowing on her the title of "Princess". Over the decades, Gabor continued to act occasionally, on stage and in the movies where she mostly spoofed her own image in films such as "The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear" and "A Very Brady Sequel". In 1988 Gabor made headlines when she was arrested for slapping a police officer who stopped her for speeding. She was sentenced to 72 hours in jail. Gabor's personal life was the stuff of high drama. She was estranged from her daughter who died at age 67 in 2015. It is doubtful Gabor ever knew about her death because she had been in very frail health since a serious car accident in 2002. In the following years she suffered from a variety of health problems and had a partial amputation of a leg performed. Gabor had two sisters, Eva (who found success emulating Zsa Zsa in the long-running sitcom "Green Acres") and Magda, who was the least known among the public.

FOR MORE CLICK HERE

Posted by Cinema Retro in Obituaries on Monday, December 19. 2016

NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY ADDS 25 TITLES FOR 2016

The National Film Registry has added 25 more titles to their list of film classics that will ensure they are preserved for generations to come. As usual, it's an appropriately eclectic mix of titles spanning from the silent era to recent years and includes some admirably quirky choices. Among them: Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" and John Boorman's "Point Blank". Click here for more (and the full list.)

Posted by Cinema Retro in Entertainment News on Monday, December 19. 2016

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Here is the original press release from when the set was originally made available:

Tocommemorate one of America’s most iconic film heroes, Warner Bros. HomeEntertainment will introduce a comprehensive new DVD set -- JohnWayne: The Epic Collection -- on May 20. The spring release, just intime for Father’s Day gift-giving, will contain 38 discs with 40Wayne films (full list below), including TheSearchers, once called one of the most influential movies in Americanhistory[1] and the film for which Waynewon his Best Actor Academy Award®, True Grit (1969). The collection comes packaged in a handsome book withunique collectibles and hours of special features.

The coffee table book includes achronological presentation of Wayne films, enhanced with wonderful photographs;the hours of special features include commentaries, documentaries, featurettes,vintage shorts and classic cartoons; and the special John Wayne collectibles includepersonal correspondence, script pages/covers, pages with Wayne’s notations andbehind-the-scenes artifacts.

Wayne’s legacy will also be celebrated at the 4thannual John Wayne Film Festival in Dallas from April 24th throughthe 27th. The four-day festival will feature screenings of some ofWayne’s classic feature films, Q + A sessions with Wayne family members andco-stars, and parties celebrating the John Wayne heritage and legacy. All theproceeds from the festival will benefit the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

In making the announcement of the newcollection, Jeff Baker, WHV’s Executive VP and General Manager, TheatricalCatalog said, “Thanks to our recent strategic alliance with Paramount and theircatalog titles, we’re delighted to be able to offer this number of titles representingsuch a broad range of Wayne’s work. Wayne was one of the most popular film starsever. For more than a quarter century he was one of the tops at the worldwide box-office.This collection will certainly be a ‘must have’ for loyal John Wayne fans and,hopefully, will have an equal appeal to younger folks who want to learn moreabout him.”

Born Marion Robert Morrison inWinterset, Iowa, John Wayne first worked in the film business as a laborer onthe Fox lot during summer vacations from U.S.C., which he attended on afootball scholarship. He met and was befriended by John Ford,a young director who was beginning to make a name for himself in action films,comedies and dramas. It was Ford who recommended Wayne for his first leadingrole.

For the next nine years, Wayne workedin a multitude of B-Westerns and serials in between bit parts in largerfeatures. Wayne’s big break came in 1939, when Ford cast him as the Ringo Kidin the adventure Stagecoach. Waynenearly stole the picture from his more seasoned co-stars, and his career as abox-office superstar began. During his 50 year film career, Wayne played thelead in more than 140 movies[2], an as yet unsurpassedrecord, and was nominated for three Academy Awards®[3], winning the BestActor award for his performance in TrueGrit (1969).

Discs In John Wayne: The Epic Collection

Big Stampede/Ride Him Cowboy/Haunted Gold, 1932

Telegraph Trail/Somewhere in Sonora/Man from Monterey, 1933

Allegheny Uprising, 1939

Reunion In France, 1942

Tall in the Saddle,1944

Back to Bataan, 1945

They Were Expendable, 1945

Without Reservations, 1946

Tycoon, 1947

Fort Apache, 1948

The Three Godfathers, 1948

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, 1949

Flying Leathernecks, 1951

Operation Pacific, 1951

Big Jim McLain, 1952

Trouble Along the Way, 1953

Blood Alley, 1966

The Sea Chase, 1955

The Searchers, 1956

The Wings Of Eagles, 1957

Rio Bravo, 1959

Hatari, 1962

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, 1962

How The West Was Won: Special Edition, 1962

Donovan's Reef, 1963

In Harm's Way, 1965

The Sons Of Katie Elder, 1965

El Dorado, 1966

The Green Berets, 1968

True Grit, 1969

Chisum, 1970

Cowboys, The: Deluxe Edition, 1972

Cahill: U.S. Marshall, 1973

The Train Robbers, 1973

McQ, 1974

The Shootist, 1976

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