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Picture of the Week

  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Design for Living (1933)

    Ernst Lubitsch's movie version of Noel Coward's hit stage comedy has always had a certain stigma attached to it, because Lubitsch and the ace writer, Ben Hecht, had had the temerity to use only one single line from the play and to totally alter the construction of the piece. They kept the ba...

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    Easter Parade

    If you want to see an Easter-related picture, you don’t have much choice: The monopoly is held by the 1948 Fred Astaire-Judy Garland-Irving Berlin charmer, EASTER PARADE (available on DVD).  The movie was conceived, written and prepared by MGM’s Arthur Freed musical unit to star Gen...

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    The Crowd Roars

    When he was sixteen, and until he was about twenty-one, Howard Hawks helped build racing cars and drove them to earn a living, getting to know the sort of men drawn to this highly dangerous profession as well as the women attracted to them.  He used all these first-hand experiences to create hi...

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    Rebecca

    Alfred Hitchcock’s first American film was originally going to be about the sinking of the Titanic. When he arrived at the Port of New York in 1939, the producer David O. Selznick (who had signed the Englishman to a long-term contract) met him and immediately spirited Hitch off to the Brooklyn...

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    Sullivan's Travels

    In 1941, the same extraordinary vintage year that saw the release of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley, Howard Hawks’ Sergeant York and Ball of Fire, John Huston’s first film, The Maltese Falcon, Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion, Raoul Walsh&rs...

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    Red River & My Darling Clementine

    In 1960, when author, producer, distributor and exhibitor Daniel Talbot opened the now-legendary (and long gone) New Yorker Theater on upper Broadway, his novel idea was to program predominantly American films.  No one then was doing that in revival houses, which almost exclusively ran forei...

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    The Big Sleep

    The two Humphrey Bogart movies that are quintessentially Bogart—in which that line between a star actor’s screen persona and a specific character he’s playing is most thoroughly and effectively erased so that these become indistinguishably one—were directed and produced back-...

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    A Double Life & The Actress

    Since New York City-born (1899-1983) George Cukor’s first love was the theatre—-he was smitten quite young, right from his initial exposure to a Broadway show, and decided he would be a stage director long before he knew exactly what the job entailed—-it isn’t surprising...

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    Sands of Iwo Jima

    One of Billy Wilder’s first jobs in the German film business, he told me once, was an assignment in the mid-1920s to show around Berlin a famous and respected American film director and his beautiful former-showgirl wife. Allan Dwan at that time was considered one of the best of the Hollywood ...

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    The Lost Films of Laurel and Hardy

    The most popular and successful comedy team in entertainment history was Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, the timid thin one and the bossy fat one, who made an unbroken string of shorts (20 minutes each, as many as 13 a year) from 1927 to 1935, and features (averaging two annually) from 1930 to 19...

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