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Blog Archives: March 2011 


February 25, 2011
 

"Everything that matters in cinema since 1940," François Truffaut has suggested, "has been influenced by Citizen Kane." It is not surprising, then, that Citizen Kane should be one of the most written about films in cinema history; nearly every major critic since André Bazin has felt compelled to discuss it, ...Read more

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February 24, 2011
 

Mario Puzo has said that one of the reasons he wrote his novel, The Godfather, was to get out of debt. He was aiming for a best-seller, and he achieved his goal. Published in 1969, the novel sold 500,000 copies in hardcover and more than ten million copies in paperback ...Read more

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February 23, 2011
 

"I have discovered the secret of successful filmmaking," says Claude Chabrol sarcastically, "Timing!" Casablanca belongs in the vanguard of films created by the era they so flawlessly reflect. Assured and expert, it is not in either substance or style superior to its director Michael Curtiz's Mildred Pierce or Young Man ...Read more

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February 22, 2011
 

Gone with the Wind, based on Margaret Mitchell's best-selling novel about the South during the Civil War and Reconstruction, made producer David O. Selznick's name a box-office draw, made the relatively unknown Vivien Leigh an international star, and became the most popular motion picture of all time.

Soon after Selznick ...Read more

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February 21, 2011
 

Lawrence of Arabia has been described as a "thinking man's epic." The film has all the ingredients of a classic adventure yarn. Typically in epics, these ingredients are showcased to the detriment of character and plot in order to keep the action rolling. But in David Lean's epic, the title ...Read more

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February 18, 2011
 

Traditionally, the film musical is said to have reached its pinnacle in the 1950s at MGM studios. The creative personnel at MGM responsible for this perfection were Arthur Freed, Vincente Minnelli, Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. The "golden era" began with On the Town (1949) and ended with Gigi (1958); ...Read more

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February 17, 2011
 

Detested when it first appeared (for satirizing the French ruling class on the brink of World War II), almost destroyed by brutal cutting, restored in 1959 to virtually its original form, La règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) is now universally acknowledged as a masterpiece and perhaps Renoir's ...Read more

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February 16, 2011
 

"By courtesy of the wizards of Hollywood The Wizard of Oz reached the screen yesterday as a delightful piece of wonderworking which had the youngsters' eyes shining and brought a quietly amused gleam to the wiser ones," begins Frank Nugent's review of The Wizard of Oz in The New York ...Read more

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February 15, 2011
 

The subject of L'Atalante – Vigo's only feature-length film, completed just before his death – was not of his own choosing. The interest of the film lies in his engagement with material that was partly congenial in its unconventionality (life on a barge, with its freedom from the restrictions of ...Read more

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February 14, 2011
 

The genesis of On the Waterfront is nearly as fascinating as the film itself. In April 1948, a New York dock hiring boss was murdered; it was the second killing in a short time. Reporter Malcolm Johnson was assigned by the now-defunct New York Sun to cover the story. Johnson's ...Read more

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