On the morning of September 9, 2004, veteran CBS News producer MARY MAPES (Cate Blanchett) believed she had every reason to feel proud of a broadcast journalism job well done. By the end of the day, Mapes, CBS News, and the venerable CBS News anchor DAN RATHER (Robert Redford) would be under harsh scrutiny.
New Year’s Eve is the perfect night to queue up some great classic film and steer clear of the maddening partying crowds. Our suggestion for you this year is ring in 2016 with Alfred Hitchcock. And why stop with one? Why not have a double feature or a marathon? We have 33 of Hitch’s films on DVD at the library.
Refresh your memory with two great Hitchcock film lists and an online exposition,
Indiewire’s Alfred Hitchcock’s Top 25 Films, Ranked.
The Telegraph’s From Topaz to Psycho: top 52 Hitchcock films.
Explore all things Hitchcock at the British Film Institute.
Let’s hear it for local boy Paul Newman and his canon of outstanding films. Find a large selection of Paul’s greatest work in the library’s DVD collection including Sting, Absence of Malice, Cool Hand Luke, The Young Philadelphians, Harper, The Verdict, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Nobody’s Fool, and The Hustler.
Paul Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio. He turned to acting after getting kicked off the football team in college. He made his Broadway debut in 1953 and began doing television and films, eventually becoming known as one of the finest actors of his time. He created a food company, Newman’s Own, that donates all proceeds to charity. Newman died of cancer on September 26, 2008.
Paul Newman will be long remembered for his great films, his vibrant lifestyle and his extensive charitable works, and his relationship with Joanne Woodward will always be regarded as one of the most successful and enduring love stories in Hollywood history.
Lauren Bacall left us this week at the age of 89. Her career spanned a remarkable six decades. Film critic Leonard Maltin remembered Bacall on Indiewire’s blog,
Lauren Bacall was one of the last links to the golden age of Hollywood… yet she gracefully reinvented herself in later years, first on Broadway and then onscreen. She became a welcome presence as a character actress in such varied films as Murder on the Orient Express, The Shootist (with John Wayne), Lars von Trier’s Dogville, and Birth (with Nicole Kidman). She contributed a fine voice performance to the American version of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated feature Howl’s Moving Castle and earned an Oscar nomination playing Barbra Streisand’s mother in The Mirror Has Two Faces.
Check out our collection of Bacall DVDs in the library’s catalog… including Murder on the Orient Express, Dark Passage, Howl’s Moving Castle (voice), Birth, Dogville, and How to Marry a Millionaire.
Read Lauren’s autobiography, By Myself and Then Some from our library’s catalog.
The world lost a bright and funny light last evening when word began spreading of Robin Williams’ death at the age of 63. For most of us, we took Williams’ genius for granted. It wasn’t until the initial shock wore off, we took a breath and realized what an enormous talent he truly was. He could take a mediocre movie and make it laugh out loud funny. He could take a great movie and turn it into a classic. And his stand-up routines make you laugh so hard your stomach hurts.
Tragic news today. Oscar winning Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul died yesterday at the age of 36. The cause of death was suicide. Bendjelloul won Best Documentary for his film, Searching for Sugar Man in 2013. From Sony Pictures,
Searching for Sugar Man tells the incredible true story of Rodriguez, the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was. Discovered in a Detroit bar in the late ’60s by two celebrated producers struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics, they recorded an album which they believed would secure his reputation as the greatest recording artist of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, he became a phenomenon. The film follows the story of two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation leads them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez.
Perhaps no other director in the history of cinema captured the hearts and scared the wits out of movie goers more than Alfred Hitchcock. Beginning with his first British film in 1925 and continuing through an illustrious career including Shadow of a Doubt, Suspicion, Spellbound, Notorious, Rope, Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, The Trouble with Harry, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, and Marnie, film goers marveled at his expertise for nearly a century. In total Hitchcock directed 58 films spanning most of the 20th Century through his death in 1980. To this day, no one can match the suspense of Hitch nor can they elicit the fright of an audience simply by implying rather than showing the terror or gore. Alfred Hitchcock was one of a kind and his films really are timeless classics.
For better or worse, Woody Allen’s been in the news these past few weeks. His personal life has been all over social media and this past weekend he came out of seclusion to refute 20 year-old claims of abuse. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Golden Globes. His new film, Blue Jasmine has just released on DVD and most agree it’s his best work in years. Cate Blanchett is nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Jasmine.
The acting world lost a giant this past weekend. Philip Seymour Hoffman died on February 2, 2014 at the age of 46. Hoffman amassed a daunting list of incredible character performances in film and on stage in his 20 year career. The following are a few of our personal favorites,
A Late Quartet