Lost and found: Houdini has ‘Game’

Film · Reviews
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Among the many mysteries surrounding Harry Houdini is the question of whether he might have parlayed his charismatic stage persona into sound-era movie stardom. The peerless illusionist and escape artist died almost precisely a year before the release of the first feature-length talkie, The Jazz Singer. His filmography consists of five silent films, the second ...

Out came the stars @ TCM Fest 2015

Film
The stars are only part of the allure of Turner Classic Movies classic film festival. The Festival also features the artisans and craftspeople of classic Hollywood. Capturing it all is a roster of top event photographers. Photo credit: Edward M. Pio Roda, Adam Rose, Tyler Golden for TCM

Lizabeth Scott a ‘Tigresse’ to die for

Film
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A take-no-prisoners film noir, “Too Late for Tears” is saddled with a title that has all the clout of an unused tissue. Its alternate title, “Killer Bait,” is marginally less flimsy. But it was under the far more fitting French handle, “La Tigresse,” that a duplicate negative of the 1949 low-budget picture, which had badly ...

TCM & Starline partner for movie lover’s ramble through Los Angeles

Architecture & Design · Film
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There are two in every crowd, and they usually end up sitting near me: the people who keep talking throughout the movie — or, in this case, the Movie Locations Tour. But on a bright spring morning, when I had the rare chance to play tourist in the city where I live, the gabfest behind ...

Dance critic’s TCM Fest 2015

Dance · Film
On the cusp of the sixth annual TCM Classic Film Festival set to open Thursday night in Hollywood, our dance-critic’s eye is finding at least two strong movie musical entries — with great cinematic dance. 42ND STREET (1933), Saturday March 28, 11:30 am “Naughty, gaudy, bawdy, sporty” 42ND STREET gets a facelift with the world premiere ...

Tap across 42nd Street with “Gotta Dance!” book & movie posters

Dance · Film · Language & ideas
Above: Belgian poster for 42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon, USA, 1933). Artist unknown. “The sharp, spunky granddaddy of all backstage musicals… [Busby Berkeley’s] choreography takes center stage in this stunning Belgian poster, showcasing his dancers atop and within the three-dimensional title treatment… the actors took second place to Busby Berkeley’s dazzling, kaleidoscopic production numbers, with their ...

Meet arts·meme’s TCM Fest team of writers

Film
It’s March — and that means a fun countdown to TCM’s Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, the four-day maelstrom of movie mania that kicks in on March 26. arts·meme has enjoyed a regular presence at the Festival, having covered it annually since its inception in 2010. This year, it’s a divide-and-conquer strategy as critics Stephen ...

Revisiting movie “classics” that aren’t 1

Film
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It’s almost a dare. A film festival, in this case TCM Classic Film Festival 2014, which virtually took over Hollywood Boulevard for five days this past May, declares, in its title, its focus on movie “classics.” Nothing but “classics.” Really? Consider that perhaps a few of those “classics” are overrated. Then consider that some are ...

TCM Fest: The rise and rise of digital restoration 1

Film
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Last weekend’s unveiling of seven digital restorations (five of them world premieres) at the fifth annual TCM Classic Film Festival came at an interesting moment. I saw four of them, and had previously seen a fifth, Hitchcock’s half-silent/half-sound 1929 “The Lodger,” at LACMA’s “Hitchcock 9” program. It was impossible to see all of them due ...

Four actors and “The Heiress”

Film
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Because so much of the programming for TCM Classic Film Festival 2014 focuses on Classical Hollywood, any given day of viewing during the four-day event (suitably enough, located on Hollywood Blvd., with the Chinese Theatre complex as epicenter) is an immersion in acting. Champions of auteurism argue that the story of Hollywood studio movies from ...