Friday, December 24, 2021

Holiday Movie Memories: 3 Favorites from the Vault

  

As time goes by I find myself in a reflective mood on Christmas Eve, often savoring memories of holidays gone by, some long, long ago, others from just a few years past. This year as I perused TCM's Christmas Eve schedule, I noticed that several longtime favorites were in the lineup and realized that I'd blogged about some of them early in the life of this blog (which is now 11 years old). Being in a reminiscing frame of mind, I thought it might be fun to post these "oldies but (hopefully) goodies" once again and take readers on a nostalgic walk down holiday movie memory lane...

Saturday, December 4, 2021

What a Character! The Everlasting Imprint of Conrad Veidt

 Conrad Veidt packed nearly 120 film roles into his all too brief lifetime, but it was the last film released before his death that guaranteed him a special brand of eternal life, what could be called the “filmmortality” actors receive when they’ve had a key role in a timeless classic that goes on to greater and greater acclaim over the decades. For Veidt the film was Casablanca (1942) and the role was cold-as-marble Major Heinrich Strasser, Nazi commanding officer. The film opened wide in the US on the day after Veidt’s 50th birthday, and he lived long enough to see it achieve its early success. He was gone by the time Casablanca was nominated for eight Oscars and went on to win Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Veidt had enjoyed making the film but could not have imagined that the movie Warner Bros. had initially feared would fail would one day be universally beloved and frequently touted as the best studio film of Hollywood’s classic era.