Author: <span>Penny Flores</span>

Graphic Novel Gets Excellent Big-Screen Adaptation

People called it the first adult comic book movie – but sidestepping that and all the other chit-chat, Watchmen is a sprawling, sophisticated and gripping film.

The mysterious murder of the Comedian (Morgan), a masked vigilante and member of the Watchmen (a group of superheroes) leads the aggressive and paranoid Rorschach (Haley) to begin investigating whether his murder was random or an attack on “masks”.His actions and investigation bring in the other Watchmen, among them Nite Owl (Wilson), Silk Spectre II (Akerman) Ozymandias (Goode) and the god-like Dr. Manhattan (Crudup), and their lives intertwine following the murder of one of their own to devastating and revelatory effect, foregrounded against the specter of nuclear annihilation between the U.S. and the Soviets.


Top Rated

Academy Award-Winning Actress of the Golden Age Died at 90

Jennifer Jones was a romantic leading lady of the Golden Era of Hollywood who won one Oscar and was nominated for four more. The actress has died at the age of 90.

Jennifer Jones, an Academy Award-winning actress of the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood passed away on December 17, 2009, at the age of 90. According to an obituary in the New York Times, Jones died of natural causes at her home in Malibu, California.


Enduring Icon of Hollywood’s Golden Era

Although Clark Gable has been a larger-than-life symbol of Hollywood for decades, his iconic status rests largely on three perfectly fitting roles from the 1930s.

Born in 1901, Gable began acting in the silent movies of the 1920s. Making the adjustment to talkies later in that decade, he was ready for the leap to stardom as the Depression unfolded.


Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert Star in Frank Capra’s Screwball Comedy Classic

Regarded as the first screwball comedy, It Happened One Night almost didn’t happen. Once it did, the magic was apparent.

The format of It Happened One Night, the first screwball and romantic comedy, is still seen in romantic comedies today: boy and girl meet, fall in love, fight, break up, yet find true happiness in the end.

Reviews Screwball Comedy

In an uncharacteristic comedic turn, the Master of Suspense brings us romantic fluff for our cinematic sweet tooth with Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) became synonymous with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and their highly-publicized affair that steamed up the pages of tabloids. The film itself sounded like it was plucked from Hitchcock’s filmography, following a pair of married assassins who were unwittingly hired to kill each other, but the director’s own Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) couldn’t be farther from this unrelated tale. Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard are simply a bickering young couple who discover they are not really married, hardly a logical choice for a Hitchcock vehicle. Unfortunately, Hitchcock was forbidden to exercise as much freedom in this early collaboration with RKO studios. Despite these limitations, the sparkling chemistry of the stars and the shining bits of dialogue throughout the film help Mr. and Mrs. Smith transcend the predictability of the plot.

Reviews Screwball Comedy

Classic Comedy Starring Cary Grant & Katharine Hepburn

A genuine classic, Howard Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby, with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, is just as funny now as it was in 1938.

Bringing Up Baby is a wonderful example of screwball comedy. Released in 1938, this 70-year-old movie is as witty, charming, and appealing as it has always been.

Reviews Screwball Comedy

Enduring Appeal of a Film Noir Classic

Stuart Heisler’s adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s novel still influences Hollywood, with a tale of dubious alliances and loyalty.

In The Glass Key, Alan Ladd plays Ed Beaumont, right-hand man to Paul Madvig (Brian Donlevy), a boorish, ambitious player with political aspirations. When the murder of a reckless playboy casts suspicion on his boss, Ed works to protect Madvig. Matters are further complicated when Madvig falls for the daughter of a wealthy industrialist (Veronica Lake) – especially when Ed falls under the spell of the same girl.

Film Noir Reviews

Robert Montgomery Stars in Landmark Comedy About Second Chances

This 1941 classic is among the most romantic films of Hollywood’s Golden Era, a fantasy perhaps hokey by today’s standards, yet charming, heartwarming, and funny as hell.

The film pretty much pioneered the guardian angel sub-genre, and outside of It’s a Wonderful Life, may be the best of the lot. As prizefighter Joe Pendleton, Oscar-nominated Robert Montgomery (real-life father of Elizabeth Montgomery, “Samantha” of TV’s Bewitched) affects a dese-dems-and-dose, blue collar voice at odds with both his usual urbane screen image and real-life reputation as a wealthy, conservative Republican.

Reviews Screwball Comedy

Dad of TV’s Bewitched Star Enjoyed Diverse Career as Actor, Director

The ambitious light leading man Robert Montgomery fought his own typecasting — eventually proving himself a creative force in movies, on stage, and in television.

Too often these days, Robert Montgomery is remembered primarily as the father of Elizabeth Montgomery, the glamorous actress who played Samantha Stevens on TV’s Bewitched for nine seasons.

In fact, Robert Montgomery may be the most accomplished Hollywood star you’ve never heard of. He started out playing rich boys, but fought for diverse roles, eventually winning acclaim behind the camera and as a Tony-winning Broadway director.

Film Noir Profiles

Cagney’s Rise From Poverty to Stardom

A giant of the movies’ first half-century, James Cagney threw off the early shackles of typecasting to emerge as one of the screen’s most versatile and beloved actors.

He was the toughest of movie tough guys, bringing a maniacal menace and kinetic energy to performances that seemed to jump right off the screen.


Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall in Noir Mystery

Quite often referred to as the quintessential film-noir, The Big Sleep stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in a gripping, feisty murder mystery.

PI Phillip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) is called in to investigate the bribery and blackmail of a young rich girl, Carmen Starkwood (Vickers) – and the actions of both her and her sister Vivian (Lauren Bacall) lead Marlowe’s investigative mind to discover a far bigger and more complex series of manipulations beneath the surface.

Film Noir

Classic Humphrey Bogart Detective Story Regarded as First Film Noir

The Maltese Falcon marked the auspicious directing debut of John Huston, who also wrote the screenplay and was blessed with an exceptional cast of superb players.

Huston’s film was actually Warner Bros.’ third adaptation of the 1930 Dashiell Hammett novel. The first, in 1931, starred Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels in the lead roles of detective Sam Spade and femme fatale Brigid O’Shaughnessy (called Ruth Wonderly throughout). In 1936 came a poor (and thinly disguised) remake called Satan Met a Lady with the hammy, unreal Warren William and a comedic Bette Davis.

Film Noir

Dick Powell Reinvented Himself Playing Detective Philip Marlowe

Murder, My Sweet is a masterful early film noir, a brilliant mix of convoluted plot, hard-boiled dialogue, nightmarish atmosphere, and comically cynical narration.

This is the 1944 movie in which Dick Powell reinvented himself. With it, Powell forever buried his screen image of an overgrown crooner — one built in frothy Warners musicals of the 1930s.

Dick Powell did it by convincing a dubious world he could play a hardened, complex tough-guy detective.

Film Noir

Dames is not a great film but easily attains classic status because of a trio of remarkable fantasy sequences shot by gifted choreographer Busby Berkeley.

Much of this slight 1934 musical comedy is a backstage copycat story of little significance. The enduring legacy is found in the last 34 minutes – in back-to-back-to-back musical numbers that are visually stunning and musically witty.