Archive 549

January 2024

Director Norman Jewison has died

Jewison won seven Oscar nominations and the Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award over the course of his 51 year career. His first directing credit was The Big Review TV program in 1952 and his last film was The Statement from 2003. Some of the more famous films (and he did a lot of famous films) are: The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966), In the Heat of the Night (1967), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Rollerball (1975), And Justice For All (1979), and Moonstruck (1987).

Norman Jewison 1926 – 2024

"Norman Jewison, Director of 'In the Heat of the Night' and 'Moonstruck,' Dead at 97"VOA News

"How a self-proclaimed ‘goy’ named Norman Jewison made one of the most Jewish movies ever"

"Norman Jewison remembered: a versatile social chronicler who always resonated with the moment"Variety MSN

"Norman Jewison, ‘Moonstruck' and ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ director dead at 97 Foxnews

"For once, and perhaps for the last time, Hollywood had the decency to honor a truly decent man"Washington Examiner

As a measure of the significance of the career of filmmaker Norman Jewison, let us consider the following: After his death this month at age 97, is there a single living filmmaker who can boast of having directed Edward G. Robinson and Sidney Poitier, Doris Day and Steve McQueen, and Al Pacino and Cher?

Kino Lorber is bringing out out a Blu Ray of Witness for the Prosecution in February 2024 – Kino page about the release.

The film is a highly-regarded courtroom drama with Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power, Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester and is directed and co-written by Billy Wilder.

The Blu Ray has a couple of nice extras with a new commentary from film historian and biographer Joseph MacBride and also interactions between Billy Wilder and Volker Schlondorff discusing the film.

Kino has put out a Blu Ray of The Devil's Brigade from 1968 and take a look at this cast:

William Holden, Cliff Robertson, Vince Edwards, Dana Andrews, Richard Jaeckel, Claude Akins, Andrew Prine, Jeremy Slate, Jack Watson, Richard Dawson, Luke Askew, Michael Rennie, Harry Carey Jr., Carroll O'Connor, Patric Knowles, Wilhelm von Homburg, Hal Needham, Karl-Otto Alberty, Tom Stern

The Kino page talking about this edition of The Devil's Brigade.

Tod Browning Blu Ray Freaks The Mystic and The Unknown

Tod Browning 3 Films – Freaks / The Unknown / The Mystic: Tod Browning’s Sideshow Shockers, Criterion

Anna Strasberg has diedUK The Times and at Hollywood Reporter

Anna Strasberg was the widow of Marilyn Monroe's acting coach Lee Strasberg, and she inherited the task of managing the Marilyn Monroe estate from her husband when he died in 1982. When Monroe died in 1962, she had left the bulk of her estate to Strasberg.

Born with the name Anna Mizrahi on April 16, 1939, in Caracas, Venezuela, she studied at the Actor's Studio and married Lee Strasberg in 1967. She has 11 acting credits listed at IMDB.

She was the Godmother of Drew Barrymore (a role shared with Sophia Loren).

New British Film Institute chairwoman is Jay HuntVariety MSN

A hugely well-respected name in British TV, Hunt is currently the creative director for Apple TV+ in Europe, and has been a governor of the British Film Institute since 2020.

The British Film Institute began in 1933 and is a charity that works out of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Using money provided from the British National Lottery it gives funding to film producers and organizes the annual London Film Festival. The BFI National Archive is considered the world’s largest collection of films and TV programming.

Fast Review: So Proudly We Hail, 1943

American nurses work, love, and strive to survive amidst the collapse of the US military's struggle against a victorious wave of Japanese troops during the dark onset of World War II.

More about So Proudly We Hail 1943 with Paulette Goddard, Veronica Lake, and Claudette Colbert.

Barefoot Contessa

The Barefoot Contessa Blu Ray

Glynis Johns - 1923 - 2024

She starred in such films as While You Were Sleeping, 49th Parallel, An Ideal Husband, Miranda, The Promoter (aka The Card), Around the World in 80 Days, The Sundowners, Mary Poppins and a lot of TV, such as Batman, The Love Boat, Erroll Flynn Theatre - IMDB role list

Glynis Johns star of 'Mary Poppins,' has died at 100UPI Press

She appeared in more than 60 films and won a Tony Award for her performance in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night MusicUK The Times

Glynis Johns was best known for playing Winifred Banks, the distracted suffragette wife of David Tomlinson’s Mr Banks in the Disney film Mary Poppins (1964), but it was as Desirée Armfeldt in Stephen Sondheim’s musical comedy A Little Night Music (1973) that she achieved stage immortality, particularly with the heartbreaking ballad Send in the Clowns.

The number was a late addition after Sondheim, seeing how the director Harold Prince had staged a particular scene, realised that a song was required. Although Johns’s voice, variously described as smoky, silvery or wistful (what Sondheim equated with “a rumpled bed”), meant she was unable to sustain long notes, forcing Sondheim to write short phrases. “We were already in rehearsal and Steve wrote it overnight,” recalled Johns, who won a Tony award for her role. “He played it next morning on the piano and it was just perfect, the simplest thing he has ever written. I knew after one or two bars that it was a wonderful song and I couldn’t stop the tears rolling down my cheeks.”

"Disney’s Sister Suffragette: how Glynis Johns made Mrs Banks the feminist heart of Mary Poppins"Yahoo - UK Telegraph

"Glynis Johns, Tony Winner for ‘A Little Night Music,’ Dies at 100"New York Times

David Soul has died, star of "Starsky and Hutch" and the "Salem's Lot"National Post

Fast Review: A Haunting in Venice, 2023

In A Haunting in Venice, Poirot is up against not just dead bodies and the question of how did they get that way, but also a Halloweenesque series of supernatural occurrences in an old mansion of many floors with a subterranean level that dips below the level of the famous Venetian waterways.

More about A Haunting in Venice, 2023

Fast Review: Christmas in Connecticut, 1945

Barbara Stanwyck portrays a magazine writer who uses a fictitious Connecticut farm, husband and child as backdrop for a series of popular columns on cooking and homemaking. This is a successful ruse but it turns into a serious problem when her publisher invites himself over for Christmas Eve, with a navy veteran in tow, and now she's got to produce the nonexistent home, husband and child immediately or face losing her job.

More Christmas in Connecticut - 1945

Identity Crisis: Copacabana, 1947

Copacabana 1947 with groucho Marx and Carmen Miranda

Copacabana - 1947. Directed by Alfred E. Green.

Groucho Marx and Carmen Miranda (as Lionel Q. Devereaux and Carmen Navarro) are getting down to their last dime as a failing theatrical team, and in desperation Groucho assumes the role of an agent to get work for Carmen. This effort pays off immediately with Groucho understanding what it is the nightclub owner Steve (Steve Cochran as Steve Hunt) wants for his stage and Groucho promising everything he can think of to nab the booking.

Groucho's quick work creates a problem, though. To get credibility as an agent he has pretended he reps for more than just one performer, and after all of his fast talking he realizes he's now booked Carmen as Brazilian performer Carmen Navarro but also the platinum-haired french singer Mademoiselle Fifi, who is also Carmen but with a different wardrobe, wig and a veil over her face.

More Copacabana 1947

AMAZON: Boris Karloff: A Gentleman's Life - 356 Page Biography

Fast Review: Lost, Lonely and Vicious - 1958

More or less a retelling of the death of James Dean, Lost, Lonely and Vicious is the story of "Johnnie Dennis," an actor who the film tells us is both famous and on the brink of super stardom. The trappings of this stardom are completely absent except for dialogue reminding us of the fact and his racing about in a sports car, otherwise he seems like just another screwed-up kid talking to other screwed-up kids in a malt-shop, all of whom dream of achieving movie acting stardom.

More on Lost, Lonely and Vicious - 1958

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Original Page December 27, 2023