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Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Film As Hell: 3 Pictures About Pictures

    Movies about moviemakers or making movies usually have unhappy endings. Actually, so do a good many of the movies’ real-life stories. Why a product (or art) that supposedly gives to millions such joy and enlightenment should often lead to such unhappiness for its creators is perhaps some alchemist...

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Sidney Lumet

    Early in 1958, Sidney Lumet directed me in a live TV production of Hemingway’s short story, Fifty Grand, starring Ralph Meeker; I was still 18, and it was a bit part: in the boxing sequences, I was the kid who walked around the edge of the ring, holding up a sign of which round it was. As a director, I noticed, Sidney moved fast, in complete control of the set. Everybody—cast or crew alike---were all “darling,” “sweetheart,” “honey,” “baby” to Sidney. He was very New York theatrical---having made his stage debut at age four---acting on Broadway and at the Yiddish Theatre, he learned on his feet what actors go through, what they need and wha...

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    The First Films

    Today is the 116th anniversary of the first day ever a film was shot: March 19, 1895, in Lyon, France. Louis Lumière, aided by his older brother Auguste—-their family name, with startling appropriateness, in French means “light”—-had invented a machine (and patented it a month before) that photogr...

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    1928: The Last and Greatest Year of the Original Motion Picture Art, B.S. (Before Sound)

    People have been saying that the greatest year for American movies was 1939 (of Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz fame) ever since Life magazine published a big piece proclaiming this opinion with all the passion of fact. Coincidentally, in August 1972, a few months before the Life article appeared, Esquire ran a “Hollywood” column of mine on the abundant film glories of 1939 (Ninotchka, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Only Angels Have Wings, Love Affair, Young Mr. Lincoln, Stagecoach, etc.). But the hook for my piece had been that opinions change with the years, and that only time can produce really accurate judgments; I picked 1939 as ...

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Blake Edwards

    “How do you thank someone for a million laughs?” With the passing of Blake Edwards, one of the very last survivors of the golden age of pictures has gone. At 88, he had seen the whole parade: his grandfather was a silent film director, his father was in the business, and Blake started out as an actor in the l940s, eventually turned to screenwriting---quite successfully---and then to directing in the mid-l950s. Over the years, he had an impressive array of popular and superbly made pictures, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s (probably Audrey Hepburn’s most iconic appearance), Operation Petticoat (Cary Grant’s biggest box office hit), 10 (whi...

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Moguls and Movie Stars

    TCM’s 7-hour documentary, Moguls and Movie Stars, which began running today, is a sincere, engrossing and generally very well executed history of Hollywood, focused largely on the business side---the moguls and the studios---rather than the movie stars and directors. It is rich in facts and details about the beginnings of the movies, going from the primitive early work of the Lumiere brothers and Edison, and running with equal interest all the way through the rise and fall of the studio system. Christopher Plummer narrates with warm authority, and the whole endeavor is certainly worth the effort to see all seven hours. Of course, another...

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Welcome to Blogdanovich

    A couple of people suggested I do a blog about older films. I had no idea what a blog was. A blob? No, blog! Eventually I was guided into the computer world of the 21st century. And I find it’s a very congenial, personal way of communicating with you, where if you’re interested in seeing a movie I’m...

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