Females In Classic Film Discussion – Historic Hollywood (February 21st, 2016)

Historic Hollywood hosts Karie Bible and Autumn Chiklis do an an in depth discovery of the masters of film who built Hollywood. In depth biography and filmography of the cinematic masters of the past. Today we’re talking about the roles of female icons in classic film.

Faces | Watchalong!

Sync up your Blurays and join hosts Lex Michael, Bryon Thompson and Karie Bible in watching Faces! Faces is a 1968 drama film, written and directed by John Cassavetes and starring John Marley, Cassavetes’ wife Gena Rowlands, Fred Draper, Seymour Cassel and Lynn Carlin. Both Cassel and Carlin received Academy Awardnominations for this film. Cassavetes was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Faces. The film was shot in high contrast 16 mm black and white film stock. In 2011, it was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Download, Rate and Review the Audio Version on iTunes! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/watchalong!/id1050050922?mt=2

Rita Hayworth Discussion – Historic Hollywood (January 22nd, 2016)

Historic Hollywood hosts Lex Michael, Karie Bible, and Byron Thompson do an an in depth discovery of the masters of film who built Hollywood. In depth biography and filmography of the cinematic masters of the past. Today we’re talking about Rita Hayworth. Rita Hayworth (born Margarita Carmen Cansino; October 17, 1918 – May 14, 1987) was an American actress and dancer. She achieved fame during the 1940s as one of the era’s top stars, appearing in a total of 61 films over 37 years. The press coined the term “love goddess” to describe Hayworth after she had become the most glamorous screen idol of the 1940s. She was the top pin-up girl for GIs during World War II. Hayworth is perhaps best known for her performance in the 1946 film noir, Gilda, oppositeGlenn Ford, in which she played the femme fatale in her first major dramatic role. Fred Astaire, with whom she made two films, called her his favorite dance partner. Her greatest success was in the Technicolor musical Cover Girl (1944), with Gene Kelly. She is listed as one of the top 25 female motion picture stars of all time in the American Film Institute‘s survey, AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars.

Gilda | Watchalong!

Sync up your Blurays and join hosts Kari Bible, Lex Michael and Byron Thompson in watching Gilda! Gilda is a 1946 American black-and-white film noir directed by Charles Vidor and starring Rita Hayworth in her signature role as the ultimate femme fatale and Glenn Ford as a young thug. The film was noted for cinematographer Rudolph Mate‘s lush photography, costume designer Jean Louis‘ wardrobe for Hayworth (particularly for the dance numbers), and choreographer Jack Cole‘s staging of “Put the Blame on Mame” and “Amado Mio“, sung by Anita Ellis. In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United StatesNational Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Download, Rate and Review the Audio Version on iTunes! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/watchalong!/id1050050922?mt=2

Frank Capra Discussion – Historic Hollywood (January 10th, 2016)

Historic Hollywood hosts Lex Michael, Karie Bible, and Byron Thompson do an an in depth discovery of the masters of film who built Hollywood. In depth biography and filmography of the cinematic masters of the past. Today we’re talking about Frank Capra. Frank Russell Capra, born Francesco Rosario Capra (May 18, 1897 – September 3, 1991) was an Italian-American film director, producer and writer who became the creative force behind some of the major award-winning films of the 1930s and 1940s. Born in Italy and raised in Los Angeles from the age of five, his rags-to-riches story has led film historians such as Ian Freer to consider him the “American dream personified.”[1] Capra became one of America’s most influential directors during the 1930s, winning three Oscars as Best Director. Among his leading films was It Happened One Night(1934), which became the first film to win the “Big Five Academy Awards“, includingBest Picture. Other leading films in his prime included You Can’t Take It With You(1938) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). During World War II, Capra served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and produced propaganda films, such as theWhy We Fight series.

Film Noir Discussion Part 2 – Historic Hollywood (December 13th, 2015)

Historic Hollywood hosts Lex Michael, Karie Bible, and Byron Thompson do an an in depth discovery of the masters of film who built Hollywood. In depth biography and filmography of the cinematic masters of the past. Today we’re continuing our talk about Film Noir. Film Noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly such that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood’s classical film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Great Depression. The term film noir, French for “black film”, first applied to Hollywood films by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, was unrecognized by most American film industry professionals of that era. Cinema historians and critics defined the category retrospectively. Before the notion was widely adopted in the 1970s, many of the classic films noirs were referred to as melodramas. Whether film noir qualifies as a distinct genre is a matter of ongoing debate among scholars.

Film Noir Discussion – Historic Hollywood (November 29th, 2015)

Historic Hollywood hosts Lex Michael, Karie Bible, and Byron Thompson do an an in depth discovery of the masters of film who built Hollywood. In depth biography and filmography of the cinematic masters of the past. Today we’re talking about Film Noir. Film Noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly such that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood’s classical film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Great Depression. The term film noir, French for “black film”, first applied to Hollywood films by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, was unrecognized by most American film industry professionals of that era. Cinema historians and critics defined the category retrospectively. Before the notion was widely adopted in the 1970s, many of the classic films noirs were referred to as melodramas. Whether film noir qualifies as a distinct genre is a matter of ongoing debate among scholars.

William Castle Discussion – Historic Hollywood (November 22nd, 2015)

Historic Hollywood hosts Lex Michael, Karie Bible, and Byron Thompson do an an in depth discovery of the masters of film who built Hollywood. In depth biography and filmography of the cinematic masters of the past. Today we’re talking about William Castle. William Castle was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. Orphaned at 11, Castle dropped out of high school at 15 to work in the theater. He came to the attention ofColumbia Pictures for his talent for promotion, and was hired. He learned the trade of filmmaking and became a director, acquiring a reputation for the ability to churn out competent B-movies quickly and on budget. He eventually struck out on his own, producing and directing thrillers which, despite their low budgets, were effectively promoted with gimmicks, a trademark for which he is best known. He was also the producer forRosemary’s Baby.

Billy Wilder Discussion – Historic Hollywood (November 15th, 2015)

Historic Hollywood hosts Lex Michael, Karie Bible, and Byron Thompson do an an in depth discovery of the masters of film who built Hollywood. In depth biography and filmography of the cinematic masters of the past. Today we’re talking about Billy Wilder. Billy Wilder was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood’s golden age. Wilder is one of only five people to have won Academy Awards as producer, director and screenwriter for the same film (The Apartment), and was the first person to accomplish this. Wilder became a screenwriter in the late 1920s while living in Berlin. After the rise of the Nazi Party, Wilder, who was Jewish, left for Paris, where he made his directorial debut. He moved to Hollywood in 1933, and in 1939 he had a hit when he co-wrote the screenplay for the screwball comedy Ninotchka. Wilder established his directorial reputation with Double Indemnity (1944), a film noir he co-wrote with crime novelistRaymond Chandler. Wilder earned the Best Director and Best Screenplay Academy Awards for the adaptation of a Charles R. Jackson story The Lost Weekend (1945), about alcoholism. In 1950, Wilder co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Sunset Blvd. From the mid-1950s on, Wilder made mostly comedies. Among the classics Wilder created in this period are the farces The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot(1959), satires such as The Apartment (1960), and the romantic comedy-drama Sabrina (1954). He directed fourteen different actors in Oscar-nominated performances. Wilder was recognized with the American Film Institute (AFI) Life Achievement Award in 1986. In 1988, Wilder was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. In 1993, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.

Marilyn Monroe Discussion pt. 2 – Historic Hollywood (November 8th, 2015)

Historic Hollywood hosts Lex Michael, Karie Bible, and Byron Thompson do an an in depth discovery of the masters of film who built Hollywood. In depth biography and filmography of the cinematic masters of the past. Today we’re talking about Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson, June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), was an American actress and model. Famous for playing “dumb blonde” characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s, emblematic of the era’s attitudes towards sexuality. Although she was a top-billed actress for only a decade, her films grossed $200 million by the time of her unexpected death in 1962.[1] She continues to be considered a major popular culture icon. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage and married for the first time at the age of sixteen. While working in a factory as part of the war effort in 1944, she met a photographer and began a successful pin-up modeling career. The work led to two short-lived film contracts with Twentieth Century-Fox(1946–1947) and Columbia Pictures (1948). After a series of minor film roles, she signed a new contract with Fox in 1951. She quickly became a popular actress with roles in several comedies, including As Young as You Feel (1951) and Monkey Business (1952), and in the dramas Clash by Night (1952) and Don’t Bother to Knock (1952). Monroe faced a scandal when it was revealed that she had posed for nude photos before becoming a star, but rather than damaging her career the story increased interest in her films. By 1953, Monroe was one of the most bankable Hollywood stars with leading roles in three films: the noir Niagara, which focused on her sex appeal, and the comedies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, which established her star image as a “dumb blonde”. Although she played a significant role in the creation and management of her public image throughout her career, she was disappointed at being typecast and underpaid by the studio. She was briefly suspended in early 1954 for refusing a film project, but returned to star in one of the biggest box office successes of her career, The Seven Year Itch (1955). When the studio was still reluctant to change her contract, Monroe founded a film production company in 1954, Marilyn Monroe Productions (MMP). While building her company she began studying method acting at the Actors Studio; in late-1955, Fox granted her more control and a larger salary. After giving a critically acclaimed performance in Bus Stop (1956) and acting in the first independent production of MMP, The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), she won a Best Actress Golden Globe for Some Like It Hot (1959). Her last completed film was the drama The Misfits(1961). Monroe’s troubled private life received much attention. She struggled with addiction, depression, and anxiety. She had two highly publicized marriages, to baseball player Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, which both ended in divorce. She died at the age of 36 from an overdose of barbiturates at her home on August 5, 1962. Although the death was ruled a probable suicide, several conspiracy theories have been proposed in the decades following her death.

Marilyn Monroe Discussion – Pt. 1 | Historic Hollywood

Historic Hollywood hosts Lex Michael, Karie Bible, and Byron Thompson do an an in depth discovery of the masters of film who built Hollywood. In depth biography and filmography of the cinematic masters of the past. Today we’re talking about Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson, June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), was an American actress and model. Famous for playing “dumb blonde” characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s, emblematic of the era’s attitudes towards sexuality. Although she was a top-billed actress for only a decade, her films grossed $200 million by the time of her unexpected death in 1962.[1] She continues to be considered a major popular culture icon. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage and married for the first time at the age of sixteen. While working in a factory as part of the war effort in 1944, she met a photographer and began a successful pin-up modeling career. The work led to two short-lived film contracts with Twentieth Century-Fox(1946–1947) and Columbia Pictures (1948). After a series of minor film roles, she signed a new contract with Fox in 1951. She quickly became a popular actress with roles in several comedies, including As Young as You Feel (1951) and Monkey Business (1952), and in the dramas Clash by Night (1952) and Don’t Bother to Knock (1952). Monroe faced a scandal when it was revealed that she had posed for nude photos before becoming a star, but rather than damaging her career the story increased interest in her films. By 1953, Monroe was one of the most bankable Hollywood stars with leading roles in three films: the noir Niagara, which focused on her sex appeal, and the comedies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, which established her star image as a “dumb blonde”. Although she played a significant role in the creation and management of her public image throughout her career, she was disappointed at being typecast and underpaid by the studio. She was briefly suspended in early 1954 for refusing a film project, but returned to star in one of the biggest box office successes of her career, The Seven Year Itch (1955). When the studio was still reluctant to change her contract, Monroe founded a film production company in 1954, Marilyn Monroe Productions (MMP). While building her company she began studying method acting at the Actors Studio; in late-1955, Fox granted her more control and a larger salary. After giving a critically acclaimed performance in Bus Stop (1956) and acting in the first independent production of MMP, The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), she won a Best Actress Golden Globe for Some Like It Hot (1959). Her last completed film was the drama The Misfits(1961). Monroe’s troubled private life received much attention. She struggled with addiction, depression, and anxiety. She had two highly publicized marriages, to baseball player Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, which both ended in divorce. She died at the age of 36 from an overdose of barbiturates at her home on August 5, 1962. Although the death was ruled a probable suicide, several conspiracy theories have been proposed in the decades following her death.

Cat People | Watchalong!

The Historic Hollywood hosts sit in for a WatchAlong with Cat People! Join Lex Michael and Byron Thompson for commentary on today’s movie! Cat People is a 1942 horror film produced by Val Lewton and directed by Jacques Tourneur. DeWitt Bodeen wrote the original screenplay which was based on Val Lewton’s short story The Bagheeta published in 1930. The film stars Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph and Tom Conway. Cat People tells the story of a young Serbian woman, Irena, who believes herself to be a descendant of a race of people who turn into cats when sexually aroused.

Val Lewton Discussion | Historic Hollywood

Historic Hollywood hosts Lex Michael, Karie Bible, and Byron Thompson do an an in depth discovery of the masters of film who built Hollywood. In depth biography and filmography of the cinematic masters of the past. Today we’re talking about Val Lewton. Lewton worked as a writer for the New York City MGM publicity office, providing novelizations of popular movies for serialization in magazines, which were sometimes later collected into book form. He also wrote promotional copy. He quit this position after the success of his 1932 novel No Bed of Her Own, but when three later novels that same year failed to succeed as well, he journeyed to Hollywood for a job writing a screen treatment of Gogol‘s Taras Bulba for David O. Selznick. The connection for this job came through Lewton’s mother, Nina.[clarification needed] Though a film of Taras Bulba did not follow, Lewton was hired by MGM to work as a publicist and assistant to Selznick. His first screen credit was “revolutionary sequences arranged by” in David O. Selznick‘s 1935 version of A Tale of Two Cities. Lewton also worked as an uncredited writer for Selznick’s Gone with the Wind, including writing the scene where the camera pulls back to reveal hundreds of wounded soldiers at the Atlanta depot. Lewton also worked for Selznick as a story editor, a scout for discovering literary properties for Selznick’s studio, and as a go-between with the Hollywood censorship system. On the documentary The Making of Gone With the Wind Lewton is described by another Selznick employee as warning that Gone With the Wind was unfilmable, and Selznick would be making “the mistake of his life” trying to make a successful movie of it. In 1942, Lewton was named head of the horror unit at RKO studios, at a salary of US$250 per week. He would have to follow three rules: each film had to come in under a US$150,000 budget, each was to run under 75 minutes, and Lewton’s supervisors would supply the film titles. Lewton’s first production was Cat People, released in 1942. The film was directed by Jacques Tourneur, who subsequently also directed I Walked With a Zombie and The Leopard Man for Lewton. Made for US$134,000, the film went on to earn nearly US$4 million, and was the top moneymaker for RKO that year. This success enabled Lewton to make his next films with relatively little studio interference, allowing him to fulfill his vision, despite the sensationalistic film titles he was given, focusing on ominous suggestion and themes of existential ambivalence. Lewton always wrote the final draft of the screenplays for his films, but avoided on-screen co-writing credits except in two cases, The Body Snatcher and Bedlam, for which he used the pseudonym “Carlos Keith”, which he had previously used for the novel Where the Cobra Sings. After RKO promoted Tourneur to A films, Lewton gave first directing opportunities to Robert Wise and Mark Robson. Between 1945 and 1946, Boris Karloff appeared in three films for RKO produced by Lewton: Isle of the Dead, The Body Snatcher, and Bedlam. In a 1946 interview with Louis Berg, of the Los Angeles Times, Karloff credited Lewton with saving him from what Karloff saw as the overextended Frankenstein franchise at Universal Pictures. Berg writes, “Mr. Karloff has great love and respect for Mr. Lewton as the man who rescued him from the living dead and restored, so to speak, his soul.”

Howard Hawks Discussion | Historic Hollywood

Historic Hollywood hosts Lex Michael, Karie Bible, and Byron Thompson do an an in depth discovery of the masters of film who built Hollywood. In depth biography and filmography of the cinematic masters of the past. Today we’re talking about Howard Hawks. Howard Winchester Hawks (May 30, 1896 – December 26, 1977) was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era. Critic Leonard Maltin labeled Hawks “the greatest American director who is not a household name,” noting that, “while his work may not be as well known as Ford, Welles, or DeMille, he is no less a talented filmmaker”. He has influenced some of the most popular and respected directors such as Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman. John Carpenter, and Quentin Tarantino. His work is admired by many notable directors including Peter Bogdanovich, François Truffaut, Michael Mann and Jacques Rivette.He is popular for his films from a wide range of genres such as Scarface (1932), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939) , His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948), The Thing from Another World(1951), Monkey Business (1952), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and Rio Bravo (1959). In 1942, Hawks was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for Sergeant York, and in 1975 he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award as “a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema.”