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Director Edward Dmytryk added to the Hollywood Ten

Thursday, June 13th, 2013


November, 1947
Edward Dmytryk has been dismissed by RKO Radio Pictures at the insistence of Association of Motion Picture Producers president Eric Johnston.

Dmytryk joins the list of those motion picture industry professionals who find themselves “blacklisted” during the McCarthy-era ‘red scare’ by the House Committee on Un-American Activities investigation into the alleged ‘Red’ infiltration of Hollywood.

The group include producer Adrian Scott, who worked with Dmytryk on the highly praised film Crossfire, screenwriters John Howard Lawson, Lester Cole, Dalton Trumbo, Alvah Bessie, Albert Maltz, Ring Lardner, Jr., and Samuel Ornitz, and director Herbert Biberman.

The Hollywood Ten have been cited for “contempt of Congress”, for refusing to divulge any past or present political affiliations. Each had refused to answer the question: “Are you now, or have you ever been a Communist?”

Life With Father – A Delight For All Ages!

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

September, 1947Life With Father has delighted audiences on Broadway for 3,224 performances and now the long-running comedy has come to the big screen.

Warner Brothers has beautifully produced a Technicolor re-creation of the successful stage production that can now be enjoyed by viewers nationwide. Directed, with a light touch, by Michael Curtiz, and starring William Powell , Irene Dunne, and a young Elizabeth Taylor, the completed film is both heartwarming and totally charming.

An 1880’s New York slice-of-life film about the Day family who are led by the headstrong William Powell, his wife played by Irene Dunne and their four children. A budding young romance for the family’s oldest son and the seemingly impossible task of getting the stubborn Mr. Day finally baptized is based on an original series of articles written by Clarence Day, Jr. as a tribute to his father.

The screen version of Life With Father has matched the stage play and is nothing less than a warm, witty, nostalgic, turn-of-the-century pleasure

Director Ernst Lubitsch Has Died

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

November, 1947 – After a long illness, famed Director Ernst Lubitsch has died at the age of 55. Lubitsch was born in Berlin, Germany in 1892 and was first attracted to the stage in his teens when he acted in Max Reinhardt’s company. Shortly after, he began acting, writing, and directing short comedy films.

In 1923, Ernst Lubitsch arrived in Hollywood to direct silent screen legend Mary Pickford in the film Rosita. His success at Warner Brothers led to an opportunity at Paramount Pictures where he would develop a style of wit and sophistication that was the beginning of what would later be known as the “Lubitsch Touch.”

Difficult to clearly define, the “Lubitsch Touch” has been compared to the work of a master chef who knows the exact amount of spice or sugar to add to a dish, resulting, in Lubitsch’s case, an on screen feast for the eyes and ears.

Some of the great directors’ best work include The Merry Widow, Trouble in Paradise, Ninotchka, The Shop Around the Corner, and To Be or Not to Be.

The unique and creative directing talent of Ernst Lubitsch will be greatly missed.

William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives

Monday, February 6th, 2012

November, 1946 – Director William Wyler exposes the sometimes bitter realities of returning war veterans. The Best Years of Our Lives examines the readjustment period facing those returning servicemen from World War II.

Too often overlooked are the stresses and strains faced by those re-entering a civilian world that has moved on and, in many cases, may have been completely lost to those serving during wartime. These challenges have been brilliantly brought to the screen by Wyler.

The Best Years of Our Lives showcases three returning veteran’s, all with problems unique to their own lives. Fredric March was a former bank executive, Dana Andrews an ex-soda jerk, and Harold Russell a former high-school quarterback who enlisted right after Pearl Harbor. It is Russell who faces the greatest challenges of all having lost both hands during the war.

Their joy of returning home to resume their lives but, in reality, turns out to be an attempt to just pick up the shattered pieces and threads that remain.

Equally impressive in this post-war masterpiece are Myrna Loy as the wife who’s life seems to have moved away from returning husband Fredric March, along with Virginia Mayo who had married Dana Andrews with the two having known each other only 20 days before he shipped out, and Cathy O’Donnell as Harold Russell’s young fiancee who he fears can no longer offer him love, only pity.

William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives is an unforgettable film that should be seen by everyone as it presents a powerful package of laughter, tears, romance, and social commentary.

Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman Scintillate in Hitchcock’s Notorious

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

July, 1946Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious, released by RKO Radio Pictures, is a suspense filled espionage thriller set in South America.

The film stars Cary Grant as a charming and calculating U. S. Intelligence agent who recruits Ingrid Bergman, the daughter of a convicted spy, to help infiltrate a group of Nazi’s, formerly friends of her father, that have relocated to South America and are planning something potentially catastrophic.

Bergman’s assignment includes the seduction of, and marriage to, one of the Nazi groups leaders, played perfectly as a mother-fixated sympathetic villain by Claude Rains. The film explores trust, its exploitation, and the classic conflict between love and duty. For some, the giving of trust will be redemptive, while for others, there will big a big price to pay.

Director Hitchcock delivers possibly his finest picture yet and manages to tip toe around the restraints of the Motion Picture Production Code with the longest kissing scene in screen history. There is no doubt that Notorious is, in every sense, a consummate Hitchcock film that includes some of the director’s most impressive camera shots.

Audience’s are applauding Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious as a superbly directed and acted romantic melodrama showcasing two of the screens most loved stars, Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.