Thursday, October 31, 2013

Three (Mesmerizing) Hitchcock Villains Revisited on Halloween

Today (and today only) our friend Lara of Backlots is hosting a one day Hitchcock Halloween blogathon and for the occasion I'm resurrecting an old favorite from the Reel Life archives.

In January 2011 the Classic Movie Blog Association hosted a Hitchcock blogathon and I decided rather than blog about a particular film, I'd take another approach. The result was an exploration of three legendary Hitchcock killers and the actors who portrayed them: Joseph Cotten's Uncle Charlie in Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Robert Walker's Bruno Antony in Strangers on a Train (1951) and Anthony Perkins's Norman Bates in Psycho (1960). I was and still am fascinated by the complex characters of Uncle Charlie, Bruno and Norman - and with the masterful performances of the three daring actors who took their turns as what film critic/historian David Thomson calls Hitchcock's "smiling psychopaths."

Click here to read Three Classic Hitchcock Killers.

For links to Lara's blog and and more on Hitchcock Halloween, click here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hitchcock Week...and the San Francisco Symphony

Just over two years ago I attended – and was astounded by - “Casablanca with the San Francisco Symphony” at Davies Hall. Conductor Michael Francis led the orchestra in accompanying the beyond-iconic classic with Max Steiner’s unforgettable score. What an experience it was (click here for my reaction)...

Now the symphony is about to present a Halloween season series, Hitchcock Week, spotlighting several of the Master’s films with live musical accompaniment. The pièce de résistance will be “World Premiere: Vertigo” on Friday, November 1, with the symphony accompanying Hitchcock’s great masterpiece with Bernard Herrmann’s brilliant, haunting and, some would say, peerless score.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

TCM Presents Five Tyrone Power Films in Primetime and Late Night

Nightmare Alley to Make Its TCM Premiere

Nightmare Alley

Tyrone Power was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood from the late 1930s through the late 1950s and he was 20th Century Fox's most famous star until Marilyn Monroe came along. Turner Classic Movies hasn't traditionally aired as many films of Fox's great stars as those from other studios - this has been about film rights more than anything else. Since TCM entered into an exclusive licensing deal with Fox, though, that has begun to change.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me): My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather

Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Davis
The Metzinger Sisters of Silver Scenes are hosting a classic film event,The Great Imaginary Film Blogathon - and this is my entry. Click here for links to participating blogs.


In 1926, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather published her eighth novel, a novella, really, titled My Mortal Enemy. Among the writer's many poetic works of prose fiction, the book earned a reputation for both its lean structure and dramatic plot. When I read it for the first time, I couldn't help but imagine what a powerful film My Mortal Enemy might be. Yet I also knew that, because of Cather's profound unhappiness with the film version of A Lost Lady (1934, starring Barbara Stanwyck), she hadn't allowed her other works to be adapted in her lifetime and that at the time of her death in 1947, the terms of her will dictated a ban on future film adaptations. Mostly because I saw in My Mortal Enemy's central character, Myra Driscoll Henshawe, a role that would provide a golden opportunity for the right actress to deliver a blistering tour de force performance, I was saddened that it would never be dramatized.