Cluny Brown

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Did Clark Gable Kill the Undershirt?

The Walls of Jericho are up and Clark Gable begins undressing.<p>Off comes his sweater ...<p>... his tie ...<p>... his shirt and, what, no undershirt!?<p>An …

Buster Keaton, Red Skelton, and Clark Gable: Together at last

On Sunday night, TCM will be screening a lesser-known romantic comedy from 1938 called <b>Too Hot to Handle.</b> Regular readers of this blog with …

The early days of animation at Paramount, courtesy of the Fleischer brothers.

By 1927, Adolph Zukor, the Hollywood mogul behind the rapidly-expanding Paramount-Famous Lasky Corporation, had built a veritable entertainment …

Now, With No Further Ado, We Present ... the Digital Public Library of America!

Three questions with the project's executive director<p>Two-and-a-half years ago, at a meeting in Cambridge, leaders of 42 of America's top libraries and research institutions decided that the time had come to build <i>something</i> together. But what was that thing? After a half hour, Robert Darnton told <i>The</i> …

Pandora’s digital box: End times

<i>35mm projection booth at Market Square Cinema, Madison, Wisconsin; 10 May 2013.</i><p>DB here:<p>When exactly did film end? According to the mass-market press, …

Let Them Live!

Earlier this week I was writing up for TCM a movie starring Ramon Novarro, the former MGM top draw, to be broadcast during August’s “Summer Under the …

The Rise and Fall of Katharine Hepburn's Fake Accent

When Hollywood turned to talkies, it created a not-quite-British, not-quite-American style of speaking that has all but disappeared.<p>"Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By,'" purrs a moon-faced Ingrid Bergman in the now-famous scene from 1942's <i>Casablanca</i>. Staccato t's and accordion-stretched a's lend …

Cinq à sept vs. the Censors: LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON, CHLOE, LOLITA, BABY DOLL, ON THE TOWN, RED DESERT

Censorship has been a constant bane of our great country, but the need to outwit dogmatic Christian 'morality' has inspired great writers and …

MENTAL MONTAGE: The Direct-ators Part I

Joan Crawford unleashes a little pent up frustration on Lucy Marlow <br>in <i>Queen Bee</i>. When you push an actor too far, sh*t happens.<p>The diva temper tantrum …

MENTAL MONTAGE: The Direct-ators Part II

<p>Lily Garland (Carole Lombard) gives her director/ex-lover Oscar Jaffe <br>(John Barrymore) a kick in the pants in <i>Twentieth Century</i>.<p>You hear the name …

Pre-Code Classics Shine Again in “Forbidden Hollywood” Volumes 4 and 5 from Warner Archive

“For me, the real ‘Classic Era’ in Hollywood was the mid-1930s until about 1959,” host Robert Osborne said at the third annual TCM Classic Film …

JOAN BLONDELL: The Honest Con

Every carny is the same: the same hicks milling around in overalls and print dresses, as trusting as cows; the same stalls and banners emblazoned …

Cotton Candy

The Films of James Cagney and Joan Blondell

It’s hard to imagine a better word to describe James Cagney and Joan Blondell as a team than the word moxie. They were both it up to their eyelids. …

Mary Pickford And Douglas Fairbanks: <i>The Taming Of The Shrew</i> (1929)

Mary Pickford And Douglas Fairbanks: <i>The Taming Of The Shrew</i> (1929)<p>By 1929, silent movies were as dead as disco and even the biggest stars of that …

Harold vs. the Clock

Later this month, TCM is unveiling a package of Harold Lloyd films, which will include debut screenings of some rarities from the early end of his …

THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF A HOLLYWOOD DIRECTOR

This is the tale of a very famous Hollywood mogul and a not-so-famous movie director. In May of 1933 they embarked together on a hunting trip to …

Columbia River

What’s the deal with Virginia O’Brien?

I’ve slagged off the Marx Brothers’ <i>The Big Store</i> in this forum before, but I’ll admit it has one outstanding moment–a memorable instance of absolute …

Hondo

The following article is an interactive article. Sources are not cited with footnotes, but presented as hyperlinks. Each source will open in the …

3D

From The July 4 Favorites List

<i>Yankee Doodle Dandy</i> and The Celebration of Vaudeville<p>Let's say Jim Cagney was digging a posthole one afternoon in the early seventies on hisNew …

The Curious Case of Nashville’s Frail Sisterhood

From This Story<p>Nashville under Union occupation, c. 1863. Library of Congress<p>Major General William Rosecrans, leader of the Union’s Army of the …

Is Genre Served Best by Convention?

When someone praises a movie by commenting that it “rises above its genre’s conventions,” I usually get more than a little annoyed. Personally, I …

Clarence Brown - Director and Automotive Engineer

Clarence Brown, respected movie director during Hollywood’s glamour’s heyday, had a different career as a very young man. How much influence the …

The Persisting Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema

In the film <i>The Magic Box</i>, which was made in England in 1950, the great English actor Robert Donat plays William Friese-Greene—one of the people who …

Who Are the Twelve Greatest Living Narrative Filmmakers?

Twenty years ago, on the occasion of a retrospective of the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, the critic Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote a piece for the Chicago <i>Reader</i> that features his list of “the 12 greatest living narrative filmmakers”:<p>Not so much personal favorites as individuals who, in my estimation, …

“Dancing in the Street”: Detroit’s Radical Anthem

Detroit, 1992: I’m over at my friend Keith’s house, and we’re hanging out in his basement bedroom when he puts on a new CD: “Freedom What Freedom,” the latest album by a British punk band called Skrewdriver. This comes as a surprise for at least two reasons: 1) Skrewdriver is a white-supremacist …