Gallery of Mastheads

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:39 pm

Well, I questioned it too, but finally decided it was her. Not always easy to find a photo that's interesting—and doesnt crop out body parts on the sides.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:29 pm

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Priscilla Dean isn't a hugely remembered 1920s star—certainly not compared to other Biograph graduates—but she does have a cult for her modern-seeming performances in some Tod Browning crime dramas, including Outside the Law with Lon Chaney, Drifting and White Tiger, all of which will be released later this month in new Universal restorations by Kino Lorber. So watch for those and we'll talk more about her soon.

Update: here are the Kino releases.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:34 pm

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Well, the irony is that I was about to put up Cary Grant—who was one of the models for James Bond—and instead I wind up with Sean Connery, who was the next stage of evolution in the well-dressed hero, and like Grant, was a working class bloke who made himself an avatar of style and cool. (Well, maybe not in Zardoz.) What more do I need to say? He was an iconic movie star as much as Grant or anybody else, and that makes one fewer. Salute, bricklayer, secret agent, Chicago cop. You went home and hmm-hmm'd the prom queen.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by boblipton » Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:51 pm

not to mention milkman and coffin polisher.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Ann Harding » Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:41 am

A well deserved tribute to a great actor. Beyond Bond, he was brilliant in THE HILL, THE MAN WHO WOULD KING, THE MOLLY MAGUIRES, MARNIE, ROBIN AND MARIAN and may others. RIP.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:20 pm

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And from Mr. Connery we go to perhaps the prototype for his type—Archie Leach, the man who played Cary Grant. Sometimes it's hard to find a reason to put the legends on the masthead—their films are all already available (if they're ever going to be) so there isn't something that makes news like a Reginald Denny collection. But in this case we have a major new biography, which we talked about on the podcast with its author, Scott Eyman. So here's the Bristol ne'er-do-well and vaudeville acrobat who crafted out of his dubious background the screen's iconic embodiment of masculine style and self-confidence, and left us with a string of all time, ironclad classics—The Awful Truth, His Girl Friday, Only Angels Have Wings, Gunga Din, Bringing Up Baby, Suspicion, Notorious, Holiday, The Philadelphia Story, North by Northwest and more.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:54 am

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Not just a nod to one of the best holiday movies for grownups, Remember the Night, written by Preston Sturges and directed by Mitchell Leisen, but a hat-tip to two stars a bit taken for granted at the time—the immortal, hardworking and ever-real Stanwyck. And then Fred MacMurray, like Gary Cooper comfortable in his American guy-ness, a trooper making one woman after another look good on his arm in 30s and 40s, especially Claudette Colbert, occasionally lured into better roles and deeper performances—most notably with Ms. Stanwyck four years later in Double Indemnity.

But mainly, it's here because it's Jenny Paxson's favorite film.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by boblipton » Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:15 am

Mike Gebert wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:54 am
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Not just a nod to one of the best holiday movies for grownups, Remember the Night, written by Preston Sturges and directed by Mitchell Leisen, but a hat-tip to two stars a bit taken for granted at the time—the immortal, hardworking and ever-real Stanwyck. And then Fred MacMurray, like Gary Cooper comfortable in his American guy-ness, a trooper making one woman after another look good on his arm in 30s and 40s, especially Claudette Colbert, occasionally lured into better roles and deeper performances—most notably with Ms. Stanwyck four years later in Double Indemnity.

But mainly, it's here because it's Jenny Paxson's favorite film.
I showed this to my cigar-smoking buddy back when I was introducing him to Preston Sturges and he found it Sturges' second most harrowing film -- the first being Hail The Conquering Hero. Despite the complaints the writer had about Leisen's monkeying with his scripts, the way each character is spotlit for a minute or two is wonderful.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:26 am

Leisen was disliked by both Sturges and Wilder, but both struggled to direct their own words as well as Leisen had.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Dean Thompson » Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:13 pm

The perfectly suspended moment when Sterling Holloway sings "The End of a Perfect Day" is magical. Through the years, it's left several of my friends wiping their eyes.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:38 pm

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Happy 2021!

100 years ago this month was released one of the most important silent films ever made—the film in which comedy expanded beyond gags to characterization and pathos and emotional depth comparable to what dramatic films achieved. In many ways it was the end of an age of innocence, in which the anarchy of a kick in the pants was what comedy was for and its star did well (and frequently). Comedy became, in some ways, self-important as it had not been before, as Chaplin's later career would demonstrate.

Yet this film, just six years after Chaplin first stepped before a camera, is marvelous, moving and empathetic like few things before it. So we pay tribute to Chaplin and his young costar, Jackie Coogan, for a comedy which has lasted a century, released January 21, 1921.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:06 pm

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One of the most interesting releases of the new year for me is the Nazi-era German film Große Freiheit Nr. 7, (1944) which Kino is calling by its UK title, Port of Freedom. Set in Hamburg (but largely filmed in Prague due to bombing in Hamburg), it is regarded by some as the first post-Nazi German film—one that escapes lending support to the Nazi cause and offers a humanist view of nightclub workers on the Reeperbahn trying to live ordinary lives. Star Hans Albers was well known for his lack of enthusiasm for the Nazi regime—he protected his Jewish partner Hansi Burg during the Nazi years, eventually sending her out of the country, and his best known film, Munchhausen, seems to clearly harken to an age of decent German nobility predating the Nazis; while director Helmut Käutner likewise avoided projects in support of the regime, and after the war made clear anti-Nazi films including The Devil's General (1955) and Black Gravel (1961), as well as the military satire The Captain From Kopenick (1956). That a film can help us get past an historical era is, perhaps, a message we can use right now.

Rudiger Suchsland, who made the documentary Hitler's Hollywood,talked about Albers and this film in a NitrateVille Radio podcast in 2018.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Histogram » Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:38 pm

I saw the new banner and thought, Roger Livesey was in a German movie?

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Jim Roots » Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:23 am

For WW2-era balance, and because it's overdue, your next masthead should be the ubiquitous Jean Gabin.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Ann Harding » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:05 am

Great idea, Mike! Große Freiheit Nr. 7 (called La Paloma in France) is a brilliant picture. Helmut Kautner made another great picture during the Nazi era I warmly recommend Romanze in Moll (1943), it's a superb adaptation of a Maupassant short story although the name is not mentioned anywhere as the author was banned by the Nazis.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Zepfanman » Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:20 am

Ann Harding wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:05 am
Great idea, Mike! Große Freiheit Nr. 7 (called La Paloma in France) is a brilliant picture. Helmut Kautner made another great picture during the Nazi era I warmly recommend Romanze in Moll (1943), it's a superb adaptation of a Maupassant short story although the name is not mentioned anywhere as the author was banned by the Nazis.
I've been trying to find a copy of "Romance in a Minor Key" myself. I don't speak German, so would need English subs.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:15 pm

For WW2-era balance, and because it's overdue, your next masthead should be the ubiquitous Jean Gabin.
He's Canadian?
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Arndt » Tue Feb 02, 2021 6:08 am

I was certainly surprised to see "blond Hans", as Albers used to be called, as a Nitrateville masthead. I have never been a fan, but he is in some good films. My personal favourites are GOLD (1934) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025189/reference, a proto-James Bond if ever there was one, and DER MANN DER SHERLOCK HOLMES WAR (1937) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029210/reference, a genuinely enjoyable comedy. Albers was in lots of silents as well, looking quite different and not yet sporting the latter-day 'secret' hairpiece.
As far as Käutner is concerned, my favourite films are the melancholy UNTER DEN BRÜCKEN https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038206/reference, shot in the last months of the war but released in 1946, and AUF WIEDERSEHEN, FRANZISKA! (1941) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033359/re ... tr_ql_op_3, a bitter-sweet love story with an unfortunate tacked-on propaganda ending.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:16 am

Kino released Gold in the US a few years ago, I wrote about it here.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Jim Roots » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:15 am

Mike Gebert wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:15 pm
For WW2-era balance, and because it's overdue, your next masthead should be the ubiquitous Jean Gabin.
He's Canadian?
He became famous through Marie Chapdelaine (1934), based on the classic Canadian novel. That's good enough for me. He's Canadian through and through!

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by greta de groat » Tue Feb 02, 2021 3:44 pm

It was a secret rug? He obviously needed it since in FP1 Antwortet Nicht he was sporting a pretty bad combover. I've seen him in a few films and he's never really done anything for me (i actually thought he was older than he was). But Der Man, der Sherlock Holmes war is a charmer.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Feb 02, 2021 3:46 pm

I am reminded of the story where some Vietnam War-protesting students ragged on John Wayne's "cheap toupee" and he said "It is not, it's a very expensive toupee!"
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Frame Rate » Wed Feb 03, 2021 3:55 pm

Zepfanman wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:20 am
I've been trying to find a copy of "Romance in a Minor Key" myself. I don't speak German, so would need English subs.
The same helpful grey-marketeers referenced in our recent "French Films" thread should be able to assist you in savoring an English-subtitled version of Kautner's uber-melancholy masterpiece -- which easily matches the finest world-weary work of Ophuls.
If only our opinions were as variable as the pre-talkie cranking speed...

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:17 pm

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It has certainly been one of the old school pleasures of the movies seeing Christopher Plummer turn up regularly in things like The Insider, Inside Man, The New World and Knives Out—and for rediscovery of a great creepy performance in The Silent Partner (1978). It's been a fine second act, complete with Oscar, for an actor who seemed likely to be defined by one of the biggest hits of all time, The Sound of Music. It's hip to mock it, but for me it's sublime of its type, and Plummer's charming memoir finally shows affection for it as a testament to Ms. Andrews and himself being so young and gorgeous then. Ave atque vale, as the Klingons say.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Jim Roots » Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:53 pm

* Ahem *
Canadian!

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by boblipton » Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:26 pm

The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:29 pm

I got a weird kick watching him tussle with Burl Ives in his early film role Wind Across the Everglades (1958) for director Nicholas Ray. The picture is kind of a mess, but Plummer stands tall as an Audubon Society inspector cracking down on bird poachers.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:30 am

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Rudolph Valentino has been on the masthead once before, very early on, but if Chaplin (a three-peater) deserved a mention on the centenary of The Kid, which changed the nature of comedy forever, then surely Valentino, who changed fashion and what constituted male sexuality (as well as teaching the world to tango) in Rex Ingram's The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, deserves a second appearance on its centenary, March 6.
We need to preserve our old movies so that future generations may continue to misinterpret them. —Dave Kehr

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