“Acting is a ridiculous profession…” —notes on Peter Lorre

This post is part of the 2014 What a Character! blogathon. To see more, click graphic (above).  “Acting is a ridiculous profession unless it is part of your very soul.”  —Peter Lorre Even people who have never seen Peter Lorre in a movie know his nasal, dreamy voice...

In Their Own Words: Joseph Cotten on Tallulah, The Third Man, Citizen Kane, and his friendship with Orson Welles

Cotten as Holly Martins in The Third Man (1949) Joseph Cotten, who was born May 15, 1905, appeared in some of the best films of the 1940s, including Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Shadow of a Doubt, Gaslight, Portrait of Jennie, Lydia, and The Third Man. In...

A Viewer’s Guide: How to Watch Grand Hotel (1932)

“Grand Hotel…always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.” courtesy Pre-Code.com Grand Hotel took home the Best Picture Oscar for MGM in 1933, beating another MGM release, The Champ, as well as Samuel Goldwyn’s Arrowsmith, Fox’s Bad Girl, First...

Disembodied: Waldo Lydecker, the Voice in the Dark in Laura (1944)

“McPherson, if you know anything about faces, look at mine. How singularly innocent I look this morning. Have you ever seen such candid eyes?” “Laura considered me the wisest, the wittiest, the most interesting man she’d ever met. I was in complete accord with her on...

TCMFF 2016 Sunday: Church: Sirk, Chaplin, Ford, Minnelli, Final Wrap and Coda

And so we come to the last day of TCMFF 2016. I was already feeling it on Saturday, and of course Saturday’s events and pace and the least sleep yet went a long way toward creating a detour from my still excited but increasingly weary mind and my mouth, which began to...

TCMFF 2016: Recap of Saturday, Day 3: Vitaphone, Reiner, Gould, Karina

From my comfortable perch back at my friend’s house in North Hollywood,  the intensity, mad dashes, glorious experiences, and occasional frustrations of TCMFF 2016 seem rather remote, Gentle Reader, but at this time a little over one week ago I was watching Dead Men...

Elizabeth Taylor’s Best Actress Oscars: BUtterfield 8 (1960) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Elizabeth Taylor won two Best Actress Oscars, for BUtterfield 8 (1960) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). The first she perhaps rightly dismissed as a pity vote. The second she won fair and square, and I hope it meant something to her. Until fairly recently I...