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...

Day 6: Order in the Court! The Classic Courtroom Movie Blogathon concludes (in extra innings)…

Oyez, oyez! Welcome to Day 6, the final day of our courtroom extravaganza! In the first five days we saw, among others, posts on Hitchcock worth knowing better (The Paradine Case), lynching (Fritz Lang’s Fury), Louise Brooks’s Lulu in Pandora’s Box, Kramer vs. Kramer,...

Anatomy of a scorcher: Mary Astor on Filming the Steamy Kiss in Red Dust

Mary Astor’s memoir A Life on Film is fantastic—she’s a wonderful writer, and her sharp observations on the industry and what went on behind the cameras are fascinating and incredibly useful to anyone who writes about classic film. Astor writes of being asked by a...

Rising from the Ashes: Buster Keaton’s Most Amazing Stunt

Remember: If it bends, it’s funny. If it breaks, it isn’t. —Lester (Alan Alda), Crimes and Misdemeanors There was nothing funny about it when Buster Keaton broke. Keaton’s fall is legendary. Most of the time it’s told sketchily, and too often as if it were the end. As...

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! Welcome to the You Must Remember This…A Kiss Is Just a Kiss blogathon!

We’re live! Welcome to the You Must Remember This… Blogathon! Kisses blistering and chilled, delirious and hard-boiled, Judas kisses, cartoon kisses, and of course the kiss-off… Here’s our Valentine’s Day celebration of screen kisses. New entries will be posted as...

Dickie Moore (1925-2015), Lost and Found

Where all parents are strong and wise and capable, and all children are happy and beloved… —H.I., Raising Arizona It’s an intense little face. The Cupid’s Bow mouth and tiny, turned-up nose sit beneath large, dark, deeply serious eyes. Dickie wasn’t just cute, he was...

Newsreels of the Early 1930s: Two Huge Stories About the Two-Way Mirror Between Fact and Fiction

Real life and entertainment, politics and policy. The Bonus Army—Herbert Hoover, FDR, and William Randolph Hearst, Gabriel Over the White House; Busby Berkeley and “Remember My Forgotten Man” in Gold Diggers of 1933 The movie industry’s successful smear campaign...

Strangers in a Strange Land Pt II: Marlene Dietrich in Josef von Sternberg’s Shanghai Express (1932) and The Scarlet Empress (1934)

Part II Deceit, Desire, and Survival: Marlene Dietrich in Josef von Sternberg’s Shanghai Express(1932) and The Scarlet Empress (1934) A missionary wins the heart of a poetic warlord, a woman of mystery wins back her untrusting lover, and a promiscuous princess wins...