Classic Era Warner Bros outakes, 1936-46. The breakdowns of 1941 part 1, part 2 The breakdowns of 1946. 1944
“You have lost your mind,” telegraphed Adolph Zukor, founder of Paramount Pictures. “Stop filming and return to Los Angeles at once.” DeMille refused. “I cannot and will not make pictures with a yardstick,” he wired back to the studio. “What do they want me to do?” he was rumored to have said, according to Higashi. “Stop now and release it as The Five Commandments?” Excavating the "City of the Pharoah," the biggest set ever built for a Hollywood film in the 1920s. [more inside]
It's a white industry, writes Chris Rock on show biz, from the lowliest focus-group testing gig to being a film executive. [more inside]
Columbo - that much loved TV show - might be the latest candidate for a Hollywood remake - confirmed by its proposed star Mark Ruffalo on twitter. The Guardian argues that this is an inherently poor idea. Meanwhile Empire says "this is a project that every right-thinking human being would like to see happen". [more inside]
Bill and Coo Plot: The feathered residents of Chirpendale are terrorized by an evil black crow by the name of "The Black Menace". But to the citizen's rescue comes a brave young taxi puller named Bill! [more inside]
Anne Helen Petersen of " Scandals Of Classic Hollywood" fame talks about Zac Efron, the impossible demands of movie masculinity, and the history of the Teen Idol Industry on BuzzReads
SF/F legend Connie Willis pours a preview of a near-future version of the story of backstage back-stabbing, " All About Eve" with "All About Emily" for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
Here is a 1981 Pulitzer Prize winning article about the death of Playboy Playmate and rising star Dorothy Stratten.
That's not a plot hole. Allow me to explain. Scott Nye discusses a movie trend that, once seen, cannot be unseen.
“What I wanted was for kids to see a movie where they don’t need to aspire to be in an army to aspire for an adventure. And I used very deliberate language that is a reference to westerns. I don’t have captains, majors, generals. I have a marshal, rangers . . . it has the language of an adventure movie. I want kids to come out of the movie and say, I want to be a Jaeger pilot! I really think that would be my dream come true.” - Guillermo del Toro on being a monster loving pacifist. Designer Wayne Barlowe talks about Pacific Rim's creatures. But has maneuvering at Legendary doomed the film before it has even opened?
Den of Geek looks at the MPAA rule that a PG-13 movie can contain only one utterance of the word "fuck".
During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness (1935), Reefer Madness (1936) and The Cocaine Fiends (1938). [more inside]
Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
Mythbusters' Tested Blog recently posted a special feature from the Toy Story 2 DVD, in which Pixar's Oren Jacob and Galyn Susman recounted how the files for the movie (just 10gb of data!) were almost lost due to both an erroneous Linux command and a bad backup. The folks at The Next Web: Media followed up with Mr. Jacob, and learned that the movie was actually tossed out and reworked from scratch again nine months prior to a release date that was set in stone, not by the computers, but by the filmmakers themselves: How Pixar’s Toy Story 2 was deleted twice, once by technology and again for its own good.
John Carter, previously John Carter of Mars, previously A Princess of Mars, could be the biggest movie write-off of all time.
Cinevault has over 1000 full length streamable movies, most from the golden age of Hollywood.
Weekend At Kermie's: The Muppets' Strange Life After Death. Elizabeth Stevens asks:
What if, in 1990, instead of recasting Kermit—something that had been done to Mickey and Bugs Bunny before him—the Muppets had continued on Kermit-less, as "The Simpsons" did after Phil Hartman died. Recall Susan’s words on "Seasame Street" about Mr. Hooper in 1982: “Big Bird, when people die, they don’t come back.” Let’s say Robin showed up saying his uncle Kermit had passed away? Or, if that was too dark for Disney, what if Kermit had left show business to go off to start a family with Piggy? Someone else could lead the gang of weirdoes..
It would’ve made more artistic sense than what happened
SI has written an oral history about the making of the movie "Major League". Charlie Sheen was also interviewed for this piece.
It was not easy to get Terence Malick to direct again, as this article about the making of "The Thin Red Line" from Vanity Fair shows.
The Magnificent Ambersons, Orson Welles' second film, has inspired a legend around the lost footage excised by the studio to make it more appealing to audiences. The film's making is a cautionary tale in letting the studio have creative control, and the finished product pained Welles to his dying day. The mythical status of the lost footage has inspired a few to try and track it down. [more inside]
Gravelly-voiced character actor James Gammon has passed away of cancer at the age of 70. His career spanned more than 50 years in television, (with roles from "Gunsmoke" to "Grays Anatomy",) film and theater, but most will probably remember him as either the cantankerous manager of the Cleveland Indians in the 1989 comedy "Major League" or as Don Johnson's crotchety, retired longshoreman father on the television show Nash Bridges. [more inside]
First, there was colossal miscalculation. Something so bad it could make parable a four-letter word. Didn't faze him. His next was "bizarrely compelling... Slower than watching a train wreck," but yet invoking, "that same level of disbelief." It was also like swallowing spiky clusters of manure. Maybe he had lost his mind? But yet he rose again... Or should we say he blew? No really, it was the wind this time . A feeble gust of an environmental horror story. "You feel like you're not watching the end of the world but the end of a career." Alas, like the undead, you cannot stop him. His latest, sitting at a paltry 0%* on the Tomatometer, is whitewashed, and offers an experience that's a headache-inducing, joyless, soulless, husk that Roger Ebert called "agonizing... in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented." It enchantingly makes, "Jake Lloyd’s performance in The Phantom Menace look studied." And, "the Golden Compass... look like a four-star classic." With $150 million spent on production, and $130 million on marketing alone, has this "auteur" finally created his masterpiece? Or will it be the Last Straw® (in 3d!)? [more inside]
ScriptShadow reviews the latest screenplays from Hollywood, usually with links to the screenplays themselves.
Hollywood Bloopers: 1936-1947 A couple of the years won't load for me, but the ones I can watch are fun.
As the Writer's Guild of America strike wears on into its second week, it seems appropriate to remember why they're striking in the first place. If you ask me, the terms seem almost too reasonable. But in the defense of the studios, I'm sure the businessmen involved have gotten used to spending those millions of dollars, and wouldn't want to see them go. Now that Broadway has shut down in allegiance to their Hollywood compatriots, things are looking grim for anything to be resolved without more financial bloodshed.
Premiere Magazine, "The Movie Magazine", one of the first mainstream magazines to cover the moviemaking business, is shuttering after twenty years and 200+ issues. The current issue (with Will Ferrell on the cover), on newsstands now, will be its last. Premiere.com will stay in business. I was a subscriber for most of the 1990s, until I began to notice a shift from news and features about movies to a celebration of Hollywood celebrities. I let my subscription lapse in 2001, when Premiere re-launched itself with a more celebrity-friendly slant, and celebrity It Girl Penelope Cruz on the cover. Reminisce about the golden years with Premiere's Cover Gallery.
The greatest Hollywood stunt pilots of them all, Frank Tallman and Paul Mantz not only looked the part, but flew camera ships, raced planes, and performed amazing aerial stunts in films for over 40 years. Not long after forming Tallmantz Aviation, Mantz was killed on location in the excellent 1965 version of Flight of the Phoenix. Tallman, grounded on FOTP due to a go-cart accident, lost his leg as a result but flew in movies for another 13 years until crashing in 1978.
Hollywood? Old. Bollywood? That's soooo 2003. Make room for Nollywood, Nigeria's own film industry which is growing by leaps and bounds every year, and is currently worth about $45 million dollars. About 400 Nollywood films are produced every year many on a budget of around $15000 and are distributed almost entirely by VHS and VCD. The stories are very much simplistic and pulpy (check out 419 Stalk Exchange. Yes, 419 as in the email scam) but are much preferred by local residents and emigre's than the usual arthouse fair one often thinks of when talking about African cinema. Now if you'll excuse me there's a bucket of popcorn and a copy of GSM Connection waiting for me in the living room.
The "Sum Of All Fears" trailer recently went online, and is already causing some heated discussion over major changes from the book. In the wake of 9/11, it seems that terrorists in the film have been changed from Muslim to Neo-Nazi (who then go on to detonate a bomb within the United States). Hollywood knee-jerk reaction or a good call given the timing of things? Discuss...
San Fran: Matrix 2 Casting Call June 5, 6, 7 I don't live in SF but maybe you do, and maybe you'd be interested in being in The Matrix 2? (sorry, no link and more details within...)