Sunday, December 28, 2014
"It Happened on Fifth Avenue" (1947) directed by Roy Del Ruth, starring Don DeFore, Ann Harding, Charles Ruggles, Gale Storm, etc. This Academy Award-nominated story is about a homeless man setting up in a vacant 5th Avenue mansion whose owner, millionaire (Charlie Ruggles), lives in another VA mansion until Spring.
To save her fortune from a designing nephew, Matilda Reid (Ann Harding) must locate her three long-lost adopted sons in time for a Christmas Eve reunion.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
The Great Gatsby Part 1 - Introduction, Chapter 1. F. Scott Fitzgerald's words read by the talented and intelligent Franchot Tone. Read their histories to see the tremendous parallels, which add a perceptible truth to the reading. Franchot Tone reads all these works beautifully and somehow, inexplicably improves upon them.
The Great Gatsby Part 2 - The Party, Chapter 3.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Letter to his daughter Scottie, 1937): News about the picture [Three Comrades, 1938] - The cast is tentatively settled. Joan Crawford had her teeth in the lead for a while but was convinced it was a man's picture; and Loretta Young not being available, the decision rests at present on Margaret Sullavan.
Certainly she will be much better than Joan Crawford in the role. Spencer Tracy [replaced by Robert Young] and Robert Taylor will be reinforced by Franchot Tone at present writing.
An old friend, Ted Paramore, has joined me on the picture in fixing up much of the movie construction, at which I am still a semi-amateur. Plans about Christmas depend on whether I will be held here for changes through shooting. I have a small apartment at Garden of Allah, but I have done nothing about the house situation, as there seems no chance of your mother coming out here at the present. -FSF
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Ellen Drew read through the script to Johnny O'Clock (1947), a major project at Columbia, and saw possibilities. The film would be screenwriter Robert Rossen's first directorial assignment. Rossen's script told the story of Johnny O'Clock (Dick Powell), partner of gangster Guido Marchettis (Thomas Gomez) in the operation of a gambling casino. Ellen zeroed in on the character of Nelle and went directly to Robert Rossen, asking him to test her for the role. Rossen acquiesced, but was skeptical; he thought Drew a little too genteel to portray the femme fatale.
All doubts were erased by the test and Ellen went on to deliver an electrifying performance ("a sleek and slinky vixen", The New York Times). Clad in sexy Jean Louis creations, with her hair cascading well past her shoulders, she talked tough as she toyed with the men in her life, managing to be seductive even when plastered. Along the way Johnny has made it clear to Nelle that he is on to her and not interested in her advances.
The murdered girl's sister (Evelyn Keyes) has become his romantic focus. The melodrama draws to a close with O'Clock and Marchettis involved in a deadly shoot-out, with Nelle having played one man off the other. Johnny O'Clock remains a noteworthy example of film noir. Despite a somewhat untidy storyline, its dialogue, direction and performances are first-rate. It's quite remarkable watching Drew and Dick Powell together in their sexually-charged, hard-edged scenes, remembering that seven years before they were the wide-eyed kids of Christmas in July! Ellen's work in Johnny O'Clock greatly impressed the Columbia front office.
"Harriet Hobson (Nina Foch), a hat-check girl at an illegal gambling casino, apparently commits suicide using gas. Her sister Nancy (Evelyn Keyes) shows up and becomes attracted to Johnny O’Clock (Dick Powell), a junior partner in the gambling den. Harriet was dating Chuck Blayden (Jim Bannon), a crooked cop who is trying to persuade Johnny’s longtime partner, Guido Marchettis (Thomas Gomez), to let him take Johnny’s place.
Though Johnny tries to resist, little by little, he falls for Nancy. Meanwhile, Marchettis’s wife Nelle (Ellen Drew) is still in love with her former boyfriend, Johnny. When Marchettis finds out, he tries to have his rival killed, but Johnny survives. Johnny decides to leave town with Nancy, but not before cashing in his share of the casino. When Marchettis objects, they shoot it out; Marchettis is killed and Johnny wounded. Afterward, Nelle offers to testify it was self-defense, but only if he will come back to her. He refuses, so she lies to Koch, telling him it was murder. Johnny’s first instinct is to run away, but Nancy and Koch convince him to give himself up.
Johnny O'Clock (Dick Powell) and his partner Pete Marchettis (Thomas Gomez) operate a gambling casino that has seen better days. Chuck Blayden (Jim Bannon), a cop on the take, wants in on the casino, and he makes friends with Pete while trying to convince him that Johnny, the smarter of the two, should go. When Chuck's girlfriend Harriet (Nina Foch) is found dead, a supposed suicide, his sister Nancy (Evelyn Keyes) smells a rat, especially after Chuck skips town. Screenwriter Robert Rossen made his directorial debut with this film, 14 years later, he would return to this film's tough, gritty style for his best picture, The Hustler. Source: movies.nytimes.com
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
"It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) directed by Frank Capra, starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers, Gloria Grahame, etc.
"The Making of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE" - (Part 1 of 2)
"The Making of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE" - (Part 2 of 2)
Friday, December 19, 2014
Nightcrawler (2014) Interview. Description: A young man stumbles upon the underground world of L.A. freelance crime journalism.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
1. Olive Oil
Is this Mediterranean superfood already a staple in your kitchen? For years, experts have hailed extra virgin olive oil for its heart-healthy benefits. Research has shown that supplementing your diet with quality olive oil can increase your good cholesterol and reduce the bad. When you exchange your regular butter or lard for olive oil and other monounsaturated fats, you can reduce your risk of heart disease. Whether you are baking, stir-frying or cooking in the oven, make sure that you choose a pure olive oil with a high level of antioxidants.
2. Sesame Seed Oil
You should not use sesame seed oil everyday, but once a week you can splurge on its unmatched nutty aroma and taste. This oil is best known for flavoring Asian stir-frys, but you can also add it to meat sauces and salad dressings for a unique experience. Toasted sesame oil contains important vitamins and minerals that may slow bacterial growth, prevent cellular damage and reduce your cancer risk. The high magnesium content has been shown to lower blood pressure and decrease glucose in diabetic patients.
3. Cottonseed Oil
Cottonseed oil had been a staple of the American kitchen for more than 40 years before World War II caused widespread shortages. Now, this versatile oil is making a comeback. New technologies and genetic enhancements have made it possible to produce a healthier oil with fewer pesticides. Cottonseed oil's high level of vitamin E fights free radicals and cancer development, while the fatty acid structure provides heart benefits. Because cottonseed has a muted, nutty flavor, it can be used virtually anywhere you might add canola or vegetable oil. The high smoke point makes it ideal for searing, browning and deep-frying.
4. Coconut Oil
Like cottonseed, coconut oil has undergone a leave-it-then-love-it comeback. The nutrients help the body process blood sugars, increase metabolism and endurance and fight off dangerous bacteria, viruses and fungi. It can also aid digestion. The light, mildly addictive flavor is a bonus. Try cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil with your popcorn, hash browns and baked goods.
5. Walnut Oil
If you worry about getting enough omega-3 fats and vitamins in your diet, walnut oil can help. This rich food delivers all of the nutritional benefits of whole walnuts without the mild bitterness. It can help to regulate brain functions, decrease artery inflammation and blood pressure and boost the immune system. Research from Penn State has even demonstrated a connection between consuming walnut oil and dealing with stress better. Pure walnut oil is loaded with vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium, copper and phosphorus. Since it does not stand up well to heat, use this product as a finishing touch instead of as a cooking aid. Add roasted walnut oil to winter vegetables, apple cakes, cheese pastas, grilled fish and beef bourguignon. Mix with balsamic vinegar for a more complex salad topping.