Tuesday, March 29, 2011

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN...his best-remembered film

 Actor Farley Granger died in New York on Sunday at age 85. He'd begun his career in Hollywood under contract to Samuel Goldwyn and made his first film, The North Star, in 1943. Five years later he worked for the first time with Alfred Hitchcock on one of the director's most interesting exercises, Rope (1948), co-starring James Stewart and John Dall. In 1951 he again worked with Hitchcock and it is for this film, Strangers on a Train, that Granger is best remembered. The actor later left Hollywood to work on the New York stage; in 1986 he won an Obie Award for his performance in "Talley & Son." Though Farley Granger is not the specific focus, I'm posting this previously published reflection on Strangers on a Train in tribute to his life and career.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hitchcock's Silent Version of Blackmail on the Big Screen

The era of talking pictures arrived while Alfred Hitchcock was working on his crime thriller, Blackmail, in 1929. The film had already been shot as a silent feature but during post-production the studio asked the director to convert it to partial sound so it could be marketed as a talking picture. Hitchcock, as was his way, had his own ideas. He began to tinker; scenes were reshot with dialogue, additional scenes with dialogue were added. In the end, Hitchcock had two films - his and Britain's much touted "first full length all talkie film" - and the original silent version. In 1929, most theaters in Britain were not equipped for sound, so it was the silent Blackmail that was for a long time the most widely seen and popular of the two films.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thanks, Dawn, for the Stylish Blogger Award

Dawn at “Noir & Chick Flicks” has kindly honored Eve’s Reel Life with a “Stylish Blogger Award.” Many thanks to Dawn, a real fan of Golden Age classics!  Here’s her URL – http://dawnschickflicks.blogspot.com/

Those honored with the “Stylish Blogger Award” must reveal seven facts about themselves… here are seven things about me that may or may not be interesting:

Bette in Now, Voyager
1.   I’ve loved Golden Age classics since childhood. I believe I inherited this addiction from my mother – along with “Bette Davis love”…her favorite of BD: Now, Voyager
2.  TCM is the default channel at my place, though I’m delving into Comcast’s On Demand Premium Channels/Preferred Selections (thanks to Rick of the Classic/Cafe)
3.  I own very few DVDs…I used to own lots of video tapes and then realized that technology will only change again and again…now I watch movies any and every way I can
4.  I work in TV and have worked in the entertainment biz most of my life
5.  Because of my line of work I’ve met or come into contact with a few of the famous…the most memorable was Loretta Young
6.  My love of film extends from silent era to present day classics, including foreign cinema
"Mad Men"
7.  I am a “Mad Men” fanatic and just found out today that there may be no 2011 season and no new episodes till 2012…NOOOO!

Those chosen as “Stylish Bloggers” are asked to name seven more stylish bloggers – here are my picks:

Distant Voices & Flickering Shadows - http://distant-voicesandflickering-shadows.blogspot.com/
Bit Part Actors - http://bitactors.blogspot.com/
Twenty Four Frames - http://twentyfourframes.wordpress.com/
Kevin’s Movie Corner - http://kevinsmoviecorner.blogspot.com/
Bette’s Classic Movie Blog - http://bettesmovieblog.blogspot.com/
Amateur Film Studies - http://amateurfilmstudies.blogspot.com/
Tales of the Easily Distracted - http://doriantb.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 18, 2011

For Japan...

This is my entry in CinemaFanatic/JapanCinema's blogathon to benefit victims of the earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan...I hope those of you visiting my reel life will donate generously by clicking here...

Friday, March 11, 2011

From Saint to Sinner: Jean Seberg

This Sunday, March 13, the first Sunday of Lent, Turner Classic Movies will feature films about one of the Catholic Church’s most popular saints, Joan of Arc. On Wednesday the 16th, TCM will honor the Museum of Modern Art’s film archive by screening 14 films representing its collection. Each of these tributes will include a film starring Jean Seberg and directed by Otto Preminger.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tales of Manhattan…and Hollywood (and more): The Last of Sheila

The murder mystery has been a movie staple since the silent era. In the 1930s variations on the drawing-room style whodunit, perhaps epitomized by the lighthearted Powell/Loy “Thin Man” series and the suspenseful Rathbone/ Bruce “Sherlock Holmes” franchise, became popular. Fairly standard in these mysteries was a group of people in a remote location where one (or more) of them is murdered; the killer was not, in most cases, unmasked until the last act. One of Agatha Christie’s most popular whodunits, written in 1939, was filmed by Rene Clair in 1945 as the memorable And Then There Were None, starring Walter Huston and Barry Fitzgerald.  But the “cozy” whodunit has never entirely gone out of style and an updated variant, the whodunit with an all-star cast emerged. This tale concerns one such film, a clever and absorbing entry from the era of “Easy Riders and Raging Bulls,” and how it came to be…