August 7, 2004 |
Horizontal and vertical bars come and go, evoking the mania of Norman Bates as the opening credits roll in "Psycho." A mass of Las Vegas neon whirls as the body of Robert De Niro falls at the beginning of "Casino." Such was the genius of Saul Bass, the American graphic designer who specialized in movie title sequences and worked with Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Otto Preminger, Stanley Kubrick and others to capture the essence of their most memorable films -- without giving the plots away.
December 20, 1989 |
Ben Barzman, who was forced to abandon a successful screenwriting career when he was placed on a McCarthy-era blacklist, died Friday in Santa Monica. He was 79 and had suffered a stroke. A journalist, novelist and author of musical revues, he turned to screenwriting with "True to Life" in 1943.
August 19, 1993 |
Long before "Fatal Attraction" came along to scare the bejabbers out of any man contemplating infidelity, there was 1949's "The Hidden Room" (later retitled "Obsession"). It's the story of a methodical British psychiatrist (played by Robert Newton) who has had enough of his attractive young wife's dallying and decides to do away with the next man she befriends. That unlucky young man is a jaunty American named Bill Kronin (Phil Brown), who soon comes to wish he weren't so irresistible to women.
January 27, 1995 |
The Nuart's two-week Pulp Noir series begins Friday with a dynamite Raymond Chandler double feature, "The Big Sleep" (1946) and "Murder, My Sweet" (1944). There's a famous Hollywood anecdote about how director Howard Hawks and writers William Faulkner, Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett couldn't figure out whodunit and Chandler proved no help.
July 12, 1991 |
Movie historians and Hollywood documentary buffs will not want to miss the life story of RKO Pictures, an estimable six-part BBC series that kicks off tonight in "Hollywood: The Golden Years" (KCET Channel 28 at 10 p.m.). Each hourlong program (previously shown on cable) makes an incisive thematic point through clips and reminiscences with survivors, including some who have died since they were interviewed, about the studio's history and its impact.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2002 |
Harry Gerstad, Academy Award-winning film editor for the 1949 prizefighting classic "Champion" starring Kirk Douglas and the 1952 Western epic "High Noon" starring Gary Cooper, has died. He was 93. Gerstad, whose Hollywood career spanned more than four decades, died July 17 of natural causes in Palm Springs, where he had lived in retirement since 1973. In addition to his Oscars, Gerstad shared with film editor Fred Berger the American Cinema Editors Career Achievements Awards in 1997.
December 1, 1999 |
John Berry, a blacklisted Hollywood director who made the classic film noir "He Ran All the Way" and then largely moved his career to Europe, has died. He was 82. Berry, a prizefighter and actor before he turned to directing, died Monday in Paris after suffering from pleurisy. He had recently been editing a film adaptation of South African playwright Athol Fugard's "Boesman and Lena," starring Danny Glover and Angela Bassett.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2011 |
Elizabeth Taylor, the glamorous queen of American movie stardom, whose achievements as an actress were often overshadowed by her rapturous looks and real-life dramas, has died. She was 79. Hospitalized six weeks ago for congestive heart failure, Taylor died early Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with her four children at her side, publicist Sally Morrison said. FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this article said Mickey Rooney played Elizabeth Taylor's trainer in "Lassie Come Home.
November 10, 2009 |
Good news for fans of classic Hollywood. Two film collections -- one featuring a screen legend from the 1930s and the other offering some prime film noirs from the 1950s -- have recently been released on DVD. Claudette Colbert was one of the top female stars during the Golden Age of Hollywood, winning an Oscar for 1934's romantic comedy "It Happened One Night." But she was more than just a comic performer. Colbert also was a deft dramatic actress who earned two more best actress nominations -- 1935's "Private Worlds" and 1944's "Since You Went Away" -- for complex, serious roles.