A Hard Days Night

A Hard Day’s Night is a 1964 British musical comedy film directed by Richard Lester and starring the Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr—during the height of Beatlemania. It was written by Alun Owen and originally released by United Artists. A Hard Day’s Night portrays several days in the lives of the group.

The film was a financial and critical success. Time magazine rated it as one of the all-time great 100 films. British critic Leslie Halliwell described it as a “comic fantasia with music; an enormous commercial success with the director trying every cinematic gag in the book” and awarded it a full four stars. The film is credited as being one of the most influential of all musical films, inspiring numerous spy films, the Monkees’ television show and pop music videos.

A Hard Day's NightBound for a London show from Liverpool, The Beatles escape a horde of fans (“A H...

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King Kong

king-kongIn New York Harbor, filmmaker Carl Denham, famous for making wildlife films in remote and exotic locations, charters Captain Englehorn’s ship Venture for his new project, King Kong, but is unable to secure an actress for a female role he has reluctantly added to the script. Due to set sail that night, Denham searches the streets of New York for a suitable woman. He meets penniless Ann Darrow and convinces her to join him for what he proposes as the adventure of a lifetime. The Venture quickly gets underway and, during the voyage, the surly first mate, John Driscoll, gradually falls in love with Ann. After weeks of secrecy, Denham finally tells Englehorn and Driscoll that their destination is Skull Island, an uncharted land shown on a map in Denham’s possession...

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Guess Who's Coming to DinnerGuess Who’s Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American comedy-drama film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, and written by William Rose. It stars Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn and featuring Hepburn’s niece Katharine Houghton.  Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner contains a (then rare) positive representation of the controversial subject of interracial marriage, which historically had been illegal in most states of the United States, and still was illegal in 17 states—mostly Southern states—until 12 June 1967, six months before the film was released, roughly two weeks after Tracy filmed his final scene (and two days after his death), when anti-miscegenation laws were struck down by the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia. The movie’s Oscar-nominated score was composed by Frank De Vol.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner is notable for being the ninth and final on-screen pairing o...

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Sully

220px-sully_xxlgI just saw Sully starring Tom Hanks.  I think it was one of the best movies I have seen lately.  If you have not seen it yet, please give it a try.  I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Sully is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed and co-produced by Clint Eastwood, co-produced by Frank Marshall, Time Moore and Allyn Stewart and written by Todd Komarnicki, based on the autobiography Highest Duty by Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow. The film stars Tom Hanks as Sullenberger, with Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Autumn Reeser, Holt McCallany, Jamey Sheridan, and Jerry Ferrara in supporting roles.

On January 15, 2009, US Airways pilots Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffery Skiles board US Airways Flight 1549 from LaGuardia Airport en route to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, taking off within minutes...

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The Many Magical Musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein

Musicals
by peter_komposch

Rodgers and Hammerstein are two of musical theater’s best collaborators. The Sound of Music is the best known of their productions.

Mention the names Rodgers and Hammerstein and almost everyone knows a bit about them. Rodgers and Hammerstein are two of musical theater’s best collaborators. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are best known for the musicals, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and I, and Carousel.

Rodgers first partnered with Lorenz Hart. The partnership was a successful one, and they produced a number of Broadway works. Chief among these were Babes in Arms and A Connecticut Yankee. Hammerstein was also building a successful career on Broadway working with a number of composers. He collaborated with Jerome Kern to produce the well-known musical, Show Boat, in 1927.

The genesis of their first work together, Oklahoma!, resulted fro...

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A Patch of Blue

A Patch of Blue is a 1965 American drama film directed by Guy Green about the relationship between a black man, Gordon (played by Sidney Poitier), and a blind white female teenager, Selina (Elizabeth Hartman), and the problems that plague their relationship when they fall in love in a racially divided America. Made in 1965 against the backdrop of the growing civil rights movement, the film explores racism from the perspective of “love is blind.”

A Patch of BlueSelina D’Arcey (Elizabeth Hartman) is a blind girl living in a city apartment with her prostitute mother Rose-Ann (Shelley Winters) and grandfather Ole Pa (Wallace Ford). She strings beads to supplement her family’s small income and spends most of her time doing chores. Her mother is abusive and Ole Pa is an alcoholic. Selina has no friends, rarely leaves the apartment, and has never received an education.

Selina convinces her grandfather to take...

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Hackshaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 biographical war drama film directed by Mel Gibson and written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan, based on the 2004 documentary The Conscientious Objector. The film focuses on the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, an American pacifist combat medic who was a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, refusing to carry or use a firearm or weapons of any kind. Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for service above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Okinawa. Andrew Garfield stars as Doss, with Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, and Vince Vaughn in supporting roles.

As a young boy, Desmond Doss nearly kills his younger brother Hal. This experience and his Seventh-day Adventist upbringing reinforce Desmond’s belief in the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”...

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Babes In Arms

Babes in Arms is the 1939 American film version of the 1937 Broadway musical of the same name. The film version stars Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, and features Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, June Preisser, Grace Hayes and Betty Jaynes. The film concerns a group of youngsters trying to put on a show to prove their vaudevillian parents wrong and make it to Broadway. The original Broadway script was significantly revamped, restructured and rewritten to accommodate Hollywood’s needs.

Babes In ArmsIn 1921 vaudeville performer Joe Moran (Charles Winninger) announces the birth of a son; but after the advent of talking pictures in 1928, vaudeville fails. His son Mickey Moran (Mickey Rooney) writes songs, and Patsy Barton (Judy Garland) sings “Good Morning.” Mickey sells the song for $100. He gives Patsy his pin and kisses her...

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Light in the Piazza

Light in the Piazza is a 1962 American romantic drama film directed by Guy Green and starring Olivia de Havilland, Rossano Brazzi, Yvette Mimieux, George Hamilton, and Barry Sullivan. Based on the 1960 novel The Light in the Piazza by Elizabeth Spencer, the film is about a beautiful but innocent young American woman traveling in Italy with her mother and the Italian man they meet during one leg of their trip.

Light in the PiazzaWhile taking a summer holiday in Florence with her mother Meg, 26-year-old Clara meets and falls in love with a young Italian named Fabrizio Naccarelli, played by George Hamilton. Fabrizio is blinded by his love for Clara and believes her mental disability to be simple naivety. Meg tries to explain her daughter’s condition to Fabrizio’s father but the opportunity never seems to be right...

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Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton for blogI just recently had the opportunity to see Michael Clayton.  If you enjoy watching murder, mystery thrillers, you will certainly enjoy Michael Clayton.  Held my attention all the way through the movie.  Will see it again sometime.  I hope you will also take the time to watch this thriller.  It’s worth the time spent.

Michael Clayton is a 2007 American legal thriller film written and directed by Tony Gilroy, starring George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack.[2] Loosely based on the multinational corporation Monsanto, the film chronicles the attempts by attorney Michael Clayton to cope with a colleague’s apparent mental breakdown and the corruption and intrigue surrounding a major client of his law firm being sued in a class action case over the effects of toxic agrochemicals.

The film received positive reviews and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, includi...

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How to Murder Your Wife

How to Murder Your Wife is a 1965 American battle-of-the-sexes satirical comedy film from United Artists, produced by George Axelrod, directed by Richard Quine, that stars Jack Lemmon, Virna Lisi, and Terry-Thomas.

Hot to Murder Your WifeStanley Ford (Jack Lemmon) is a successful newspaper cartoonist enjoying the comforts of a well-to-do and happy bachelorhood in his urban New York City townhouse, including his loyal and attentive valet, Charles Firbank (Terry-Thomas). Stanley’s comic strip, Bash Brannigan, is a secret-agent thriller characterized by a high level of realism: No matter how outrageous the plot, Stanley will not allow Brannigan to do anything physically impossible or use gadgets that don’t exist. He hires actors and sets up elaborate enactments of storylines, playing Brannigan himself, while Charles takes photographs Stanley will use as visual references.

While attending a bachelor party for his ...

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Love Never Dies Adelphi Theatre London

Love Never Dies
by Katie Morrow

The principal characters of The Phantom of the Opera continue their stories in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s LOVE NEVER DIES, currently playing at The Adelphi Theatre London. From the Gothic surrounds of the Paris Opera House to the dazzling heights of New York’s Coney Island – the Phantom returns. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spectacular new musical reunites the masked Phantom with his only true love and musical protege, the stunning beauty Christine Daae. Love Never Dies is a roller coaster ride of intrigue, obsession and romance – where little is as it first appears.

With Madame Giry’s help the Phantom escaped the Paris mobs to construct a glittering brand new empire in the new world. For ten long years the Phantom has hidden himself amongst the freaks and sideshows nursing his broken heart along with yearning for his true love to return.

Now, blinded by money and also the bright li...

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The Cheyenne Social Club

The Cheyenne Social Club is a 1970 Western comedy, written by James Lee Barrett, directed and produced by Gene Kelly, and starring James Stewart, Henry Fonda and Shirley Jones. It’s the story about an aging cowboy who inherits a brothel and decides to turn it into a respectable boarding house, against the wishes of both the townspeople and the ladies working there.

The Cheyenne Social ClubIn 1867, John O’Hanlan (Stewart) and Harley Sullivan (Fonda) are aging cowboys working on open cattle ranges in Texas. O’Hanlan gets a letter from an attorney in Cheyenne, Wyoming, that his disreputable and now deceased brother, DJ, left him something called The Cheyenne Social Club in his will.

After they make the 1,000 mile (1,600 km) trek to Cheyenne, O’Hanlan and Sullivan learn that The Cheyenne Social Club is a high-class brothel next to the railroad...

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Anatomy of a Murder

Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 American courtroom drama crime film produced and directed by Otto Preminger. The screenplay by Wendell Mayes was based on the novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver. Voelker based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which he was the defense attorney.

Anatomy of a MurderIn the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, small-town lawyer Paul Biegler (Stewart), a former district attorney who lost his re-election bid, spends most of his time fishing, playing the piano, and hanging out with his alcoholic friend and colleague Parnell McCarthy (O’Connell) and sardonic secretary Maida Rutledge (Arden).

One day, Biegler is contacted by Laura Manion (Remick), the wife of US Army Lieutenant Frederick “Manny” Manion (Gazzara), who has been arrested for the first-degree murder of innkeeper Bernard “Barney” Quill...

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On Our Merry Way

On Our Merry Way is a 1948 American comedy film produced by Benedict Bogeaus and Burgess Meredith and released by United Artists. At the time of its release, King Vidor and Leslie Fenton were credited with its direction, although the DVD lists John Huston and George Stevens, who assisted with one of the segments, as well. The screenplay by Laurence Stallings and Lou Breslow, based on an original story by Arch Oboler, is similar in style to that of Tales of Manhattan (1942), another anthology film made up of several vignettes linked by a single theme. The picture stars Paulette Goddard, Burgess Meredith, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Harry James, Dorothy Lamour, Victor Moore and Fred MacMurray. marks the first joint movie appearance of Stewart and Fonda, who play a pair of musicians in their section of the film.

On Our Merry WayOliver Pease (Burgess Meredith) has deceived his bride Martha (Paulette Goddard...

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Father’s Little Dividend

Father’s Little Dividend is a 1951 comedy film directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, and Elizabeth Taylor. The movie is the sequel to Father of the Bride (1950).

In this sequel to Father of the Bride, newly married Kay Dunstan (Elizabeth Taylor) announces that she and her husband are going to have a baby, leaving her father, Stanley Banks (Spencer Tracy), having to come to grips with becoming a grandfather.

Father's Little DividendMiddle-class family man Stanley Banks reminisces on events of the past year: One afternoon, returning from the office feeling happy and energetic, Stanley’s routine is interrupted when his wife Ellie (Joan Bennett) tells him that they are having dinner with their daughter Kay and her husband, Buckley Dunstan (Don Taylor), to hear some important news...

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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 American drama film, adapted from Tennessee Williams’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 play of the same name. It tells the story of a southern belle, Blanche Dubois, who, after encountering a series of personal losses, leaves her aristocratic background seeking refuge with her sister and brother-in-law in a dilapidated New Orleans tenement. The Broadway production and cast was converted to film with only minor changes. True to the play, the film is both lyrical and gritty, with complex and contradictory characters. Chief among these was Blanche Dubois, who has become a legendary and iconic figure in film history.

A Streetcar Named DesireTennessee Williams collaborated with Oscar Saul and Elia Kazan on the screenplay. Kazan, who directed the Broadway stage production, also directed the black and white film...

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Holiday

Holiday is a 1938 film directed by George Cukor.

The film is a romantic comedy that tells of a man who has risen from humble beginnings only to be torn between his free-thinking lifestyle and the tradition of his wealthy fiancée’s family. The movie, adapted by Donald Ogden Stewart and Sidney Buchman from the play by Philip Barry, stars Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant and features Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres, and Edward Everett Horton.

Johnny Case (Cary Grant), a self-made man who has worked all of his life, is about to marry Julia Seton (Doris Nolan), whom he met while on holiday in Lake Placid, New York. He knows very little about his bride-to-be, and is flabbergasted to learn that she is from an extremely wealthy family, the daughter of banker Edward Seton (Henry Kolker).

HolidayCase then meets Julia’s vivacious sister, Linda (Katharine Hepburn), to whom he confides his plan to take a long holid...

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Miracle on 34th Street

Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) is indignant to find that the man assigned to play Santa in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Percy Helton) is intoxicated. When he complains to event director Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara), she persuades Kris to take his place. He does so well, he is hired to play Santa at Macy’s flagship New York City store on 34th Street.

Ignoring instructions to steer parents to buy from Macy’s, Kris directs one shopper (Thelma Ritter) to a competitor. Impressed, she tells Julian Shellhammer (Philip Tonge), head of the toy department, that she will become a loyal customer.

Miracle on 34th StreetAttorney Fred Gailey (John Payne), Doris’ neighbor, takes the young divorcée’s second-grade daughter Susan (Natalie Wood) to see Santa. Doris has raised her to not believe in fairy tales, but Susan’s lack of faith is shaken after seeing Kris speak in Dutch with a girl who does not know English...

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Cast Away

Cast Away is a 2000 American epic survival drama film directed and co-produced by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt and Nick Searcy. The film depicts a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific and his attempts to survive on the island using remnants of his plane’s cargo.

The film was released on December 22, 2000. It was a critical and commercial success, grossing $429 million worldwide, with Hanks being nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 73rd Academy Awards.

Cast AwayIn December 1995, Chuck Noland is a time-obsessed systems engineer, who travels worldwide resolving productivity problems at FedEx depots. He is in a long-term relationship with Kelly Frears, with whom he lives in Memphis, Tennessee. Although the couple wants to get married, Chuck’s busy schedule interferes with their relationship...

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