It was a strange choice for a follow-up to his big comeback Academy Award winning role as Maggio in Fred Zinnemann’s From Here to Eternity, but Frank Sinatra was never one to do what was expected. Released in 1954 by United Artists, Suddenly is a tale about three hired killers who come to the small California town of Suddenly with plans to assassinate the President. Written by Richard Sale, arguably best known today as the director of an early film, Let’s Make it Legal, that had a young Marilyn Monroe in its cast, Suddenly is a tight little thriller with a surprisingly nasty performance from its star. Continue reading
Selecting a favorite film is not easy, at least for me. I am always jumping back between two or three films; Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window or two films by Billy Wilder, Double Indemnity and Some Like it Hot. These two directors were there almost from the beginning of my love affair with film. So when it came to choosing a favorite film for this blogathon or any reason it becomes one more time where I have to make a torturous choice. That’s because in a week, a day, a minute from now I will be doubting myself for not going with one of the others. I have written about Rear Window in two different articles and once about Some Like it Hot. Surprisingly, at least to myself, I have yet to write about Double Indemnity. From the title of this article you can easily surmise that I still haven’t. I decided to go with Wilder’s 1959 farce, a reposting of an article I wrote some time back, primarily because of what you are about to read in the following paragraph. I was a young teen when I did what I discuss and have always felt a visceral connection to this film. The humor, the writing, the pacing, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn. it all came together. Anyway, here is the original article. Continue reading
This Saturday is National Classic Film Day and Twenty Four Frames is celebrating by joining an impressive group of bloggers for the My Favorite Classic Movie Blogathon. I will be writing about Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot, a film I fell in love with way back when. If you are interested in participating, contact Rick Armstrong at email@example.com. You can read all about it, rules and other participants, etc. at the following link.
I am currently reading Author, Playwright, New England Historian and fellow Blogger, Jacqueline T. Lynch’s upcoming biography of Ann Blyth, remembered best for her role as Veda in Mildred Pierce, However, Blyth had a long wide ranging career in film, music, television and theater. Ms. Lynch’s sparkling new bio covers it all in fascinating detail. I will be interviewing the author right here in the near future. The book, Ann Blyth: Actress Singer Star will be available June 18th.
Coming soon – new reviews here on Suddenly, Kid Galahad and Crime Wave.
Here are five short reviews of some recent viewings that are all over the genre map.
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a beautifully shot big Hollywood version of the famed Tombstone shootout as the Earp Brothers face down the Clantons. Burt Lancaster makes for a stoic Wyatt Earp, a hard ass who totes the line. Kirk Douglas does his best impersonation of himself as the alcoholic, tuberculosis ridden, Doc Holliday. The story itself is pretty fictionalized. Johnny Ringo, for example, died before the shootout, and the real life shootout only lasted only about 30 seconds. Then there is Jo Van Fleet, who only two years earlier played James Dean’s mother in East of Eden, as Kate Fisher, Doc Holliday’s female companion. In real Earp lore, Kate was known as “Big Nose” Kate. But then who cares about all that. Watching the two stars interact makes this a fun watch. Continue reading
Just a short note on a few recent happenings. First off, I was interviewed in mid-April by Chicago Tribune writer Nina Metz for an article she was writing on Chicago and the gangster film. Below is the link. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/ct-mov-0424-chicago-closeup-20150424-column.html#page=1
Next, I just want to mention that I am one of 19 contributors to a new e-book called “The Fabulous Films of the 30’s.” The book is presented by the CMBA (Classic Movie Blog Association), edited by Danny Reid, and is free on Smashwords and just .99 cents for Amazon’s Kindle. Why free on Smashwords and .99 cents on Amazon? Well, the big “A” does not like to give away free stuff. That said, all the proceeds from the sale of our book on Amazon will be donated to Film Preservation.
Below are the links to both Smashwords and Amazon.
Finally, and on a slightly different subject, I wanted to mention that two of my photographs are currently on exhibit at the Octagon Arts Center in Clearwater, Fla. The exhibit runs through May 14th. If you are in the area, stop by and visit. There’s a wide variety of art work by local artists that I know you will enjoy.
More than seventy years after its release, Sabotage remains relevant today. In fact, it is arguably more relevant today, considering the world we live in, than in 1936 when it was first released. Based on Joseph Conrad’s short novel, The Secret Agent, the plot focuses on Karl Verloc (Oscar Homolka), a foreigner from an unnamed country. Verloc owns a local cinema in London and is a member of a terrorist group set on crippling London. His wife, (Sylvia Sidney) is completely unaware of her husband’s underground activities. Living with the couple, in an apartment above the cinema, is Mrs. Verloc’s much younger brother, Stevie (Desmond Tester), whose death in the film sparks its most famous, and most infamous, sequence. Continue reading
Many actors, musicians and other artists have pursued second artistic careers during or after their main career. Many with a passion for creativity that could not be contained within one art form. Actors have pursued painting, sculpture and photography. Photographers have wanted to expand their art to filmmaking. Sculptures want to paint and painters want to sculpt. Artists of all kinds look to expand their vision though various media. It comes with the desire to create. Below are three actors and one musician who went on to express themselves in the art of photography. Continue reading