You might be tempted to fork out for the range of James Bond Commemorative Stamps being brought out to celebrate No Time to Die when it eventually sees the light of day on movie screens. But stamps either as collector’s items or for trading purposes have been around since the silent era. A line of … Continue reading “Marketing: Black Stamps”
You could be forgiven for thinking that the movie’s main influences were the early Cinerama pictures that focused on extensive tracking shots of scenery (in this case, the open road) and unusual customs (ditto, alternative lifestyles, dope-taking etc) and Mike Nichol’s use of contemporary pop music in The Graduate (1967). But it also drew on … Continue reading “Easy Rider (1969) *****”
After the monumental success of Hercules, exhibitor-turned-distributor Joseph E. Levine pretty much thought he could sell pictures to theater owners on the basis of his name alone. Which explains the absence of any mention of star Steve Reeves (of Hercules fame, ironically enough) from the first seven pages of the Pressbook for Thief of Baghdad … Continue reading “Selling Films Joe Levine Style”
Stars rarely get to choose when they want to retire. Usually, the phone stops ringing, or they slide down the credits until no one can remember who they once were, or they end up in terrible international co-productions, or like Tyrone Power (Solomon and Sheba) they die on the job or, like Spencer Tracy, because … Continue reading “Walk, Don’t Run (1966) ***”
Four smaller pictures took Broadway by surprise, each recording record-breaking openings. The most obviously commercial was crime drama Portrait in Black starring Lana Turner and Anthony Quinn. Turner’s box office throughout the 1950s had been inconsistent but audiences had responded to the previous year’s weepie Imitation of Life. However, co-star Anthony Quinn, despite two … Continue reading “Coming Soon – August 1960”
This Walt Disney version discarded much of Eleanor H. Porter’s original best seller not to mention a great deal of the tear-jerking section that played to superstar Mary Pickford’s strengths in the silent 1920 adaptation. Pickford was in her late 20s at the time and a movie mogul to boot (having launched United Artists) so … Continue reading “Pollyanna (1960) ***”
The only view the public in the 1960s ever heard was that of the movie critics. Generally more concerned with the bottom line than plaudits (unless those translated into box office), studios could harvest their own opinion about a movie’s worth through reported box office figures. Exhibitors were caught in the middle – being told … Continue reading “What the Exhibitor Said”
Outside of her brace of Oscars, Olivia de Havilland’s biggest achievement was in forcing studios to pay actors who did not want to work. She wasn’t the first person to take on the studios as I discovered when researching my book When Women Ruled Hollywood. Bette Davis, Myrna Loy and Hedy Lamarr preceded her. De … Continue reading “The Woman Who Beat Hollywood”
There could not be a more contemporary picture. As an examination of the problems of assimilating different cultures it is hard to beat. As an assessment of the difficulties of the transition of power it is faultless. In Gladiator Ridley Scott, taking a few liberties with the known facts, re-imagined the circumstances discussed here of … Continue reading “Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) ****”
ADVANCE BOOKING REACHES NEW HEIGHTS When these days you casually book your movie tickets online for a screening a week or a month ahead, you might not be aware it was not always so easy to book in advance. Sixty years ago it was a rarity. You had to wait in line outside the theater … Continue reading “In the News: July 1960”
Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.
Follow My Blog
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.