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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Adam’s Rib

Adam’s Rib is a 1949 American film written by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin and directed by George Cukor. It stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as married lawyers who come to oppose each other in court. Judy Holliday co-stars as the third lead in her second credited movie role. The music was composed by Miklós Rózsa, except for the song “Farewell, Amanda”, which was written by Cole Porter.

Adam's RibDoris Attinger (Judy Holliday) follows her husband (Tom Ewell) with a gun one day after suspecting he is having an affair with another woman (Jean Hagen). In her rage, she fires at the couple multiple times. One of the bullets hits her husband in the shoulder.

The following morning, married lawyers Adam and Amanda Bonner (Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn) read about the incident in the newspaper. They argue over the case...

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Musical Composition

Musical Composition
by backgroundsfree

Musical composition can happen in advance with an aim towards repeat performance or it can happen on the spot when musicians improvise or jam. Composition describes the formal construction of a piece of music, both it’s incarnation on paper and its performance incarnation. Originally Western music was composed for the church and for worship. Its function was to be repeated but the artistic/creative elements of musical composition were lacking as the music itself was more pedagogical in purpose. Once polyphonic sounds began to creep in, composers began to record music on paper for future performance. This begins to happen when the view of music starts to change from that of a form of worship to a form of worship that also provides audio pleasure.

There is a mathematical precision to musical composition that is present in most studies of musical theory...

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Shall We Dance?

Shall We Dance? is a 2004 American film that is a remake of the award-winning 1996 Japanese film Shall We Dance.

John Clark is a lawyer with a charming wife, Beverly, and a loving family, who nevertheless feels that something is missing as he makes his way every day through the city. Each evening on his commute home through Chicago, John sees a beautiful woman staring with a lost expression through the window of a dance studio. Haunted by her gaze, John impulsively jumps off the train one night, and signs up for ballroom dancing lessons, hoping to meet her.

Shall We Dance?At first, it seems like a mistake. His teacher turns out to be not Paulina, but the older Miss Mitzi, and John proves to be just as clumsy as his equally clueless classmates Chic and Vern on the dance-floor...

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Whiplash

Whiplash is a 2014 American drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle. The film stars Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, and Melissa Benoist. The film depicts the relationship between an ambitious jazz student (Teller) and an aggressive, abusive instructor (Simmons).

WhiplashAndrew Neiman is a first-year jazz student at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory in New York. He has been playing drums from a young age and aspires to become like Buddy Rich. Famed conductor Terence Fletcher discovers Andrew practicing in the music room and invites him into his studio band as the alternate for core drummer Carl Tanner. Fletcher is strict and abusive toward his students, mocking and insulting them; when the band rehearses the Hank Levy piece “Whiplash” and Andrew struggles to keep the tempo, Fletcher hurls a chair at him, slaps him and berates him in front of the class.

At a jazz competitio...

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Fences

Fences is a 2016 American period drama film directed by and starring Denzel Washington and written by August Wilson, based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name (Wilson died in 2005, but completed a screenplay before his death). In addition to Washington, the film also stars Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sidney.

FencesIn 1950s Pittsburgh, Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) lives with his wife Rose (Viola Davis) and their son Cory (Jovan Adepo), and works as a waste collector alongside his best friend, Jim Bono (Stephen Henderson). Troy’s younger brother, Gabriel Maxson (Mykelti Williamson), sustained a head injury in World War II that left him mentally impaired, for which he received a $3,000 government payout that Troy used to purchase a home for his family...

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The Man From Laramie

The Man from Laramie is a 1955 American Western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp, and Cathy O’Donnell.

Will Lockhart (James Stewart) becomes entangled in the happenings of Coronado, an isolated western town, after delivering supplies there from Laramie. He immediately ends up at odds with the Waggomans, an influential ranching family. Lockhart is quietly searching for information about someone selling repeating rifles to the local Apaches; his brother, a green Army Lieutenant, was killed in an Apache attack at Dutch Creek.

The Man From LaramieCattle baron Alec Waggoman (Donald Crisp) is haunted by dreams of a stranger who intends to kill his son. He is also gradually losing his eyesight and cannot count on his son Dave (Alex Nicol), an immature, vicious and arrogant man who refuses to learn how to run the ranch the way his father wants it done.

Lockhart ...

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Paths of Glory

 Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb. Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French soldiers who refuse to continue a suicidal attack. Dax attempts to defend them against a charge of cowardice in a court-martial.

Paths of GloryThe film begins with a voiceover describing the trench warfare situation of World War I up to 1916. In a château, General Georges Broulard (Adolphe Menjou), a member of the French General Staff, asks his subordinate, the ambitious General Mireau (George Macready), to send his division on a suicide mission to take a well-defended German position called the “Anthill.” Mireau initially refuses, citing the impossibility of success, but when Broulard mentions a potential promotion, Mireau quickly convinces himself the attack will succeed.

Mire...

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How to Steal a Million

How to Steal a Million is a 1966 heist comedy film, directed by William Wyler and starring Audrey Hepburn, Peter O’Toole, Eli Wallach and Hugh Griffith. How to Steal a Million is set and was filmed in France, though the characters speak entirely in English. Audrey Hepburn’s clothes were designed by Givenchy.

How to Steal a MilionIn How to Steal a Million, Charles Bonnet (Hugh Griffith) is well-known as an art collector, but actually he forges paintings to sell them. His daughter Nicole (Audrey Hepburn) disapproves and is also afraid that he may get caught. Bonnet lends a renowned “Cellini” statuette of Venus to the Kléber-Lafayette Museum in Paris for an important exhibition. He has never sold it because modern testing would reveal it as a forgery (by his father).

That night Nicole finds a burglar, Simon Dermott (Peter O’Toole), holding a “Van Gogh” forged by her father...

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Operation Pacific

Operation Pacific is a 1951 World War II submarine film starring John Wayne and Patricia Neal, featuring Ward Bond and Philip Carey and directed by George Waggner. The technical advisor for this film was Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, the actual Commander, Submarine Forces, Pacific (COMSUBPAC) during World War II.

Operation PacificDuring World War II, an American submarine, the Thunderfish, under the command of Cmdr. John T. “Pop” Perry (Ward Bond), takes on a group of children and nuns to transport them to Pearl Harbor. including a newborn infant nicknamed “Butch”. The sub sights a Japanese aircraft carrier and attacks, but its torpedoes malfunction, exploding halfway to the target. Pursued by the carrier’s escorts, the sub manages to escape.

While in Pearl Harbor, the ship’s Executive Officer, Lt Cmdr. Duke E...

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Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley is a 1935 American biographical film directed by George Stevens and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Preston Foster, Melvyn Douglas, and Moroni Olsen. The film Annie Oakley is based on the life of Annie Oakley.

Annie OakleyIn late 1800s Ohio, a young woman from the backwoods, Annie Oakley (Barbara Stanwyck) delivers six dozen quail she has shot to the owner of the general store. He sends them to the MacIvor hotel in Cincinnati, where the mayor is holding a large banquet in honor of Toby Walker (Preston Foster), the “greatest shot in the whole world”. Walker is particular about what he eats–the hotel owner (James MacIvor, played by Andy Clyde) bought Oakley’s quail because she shoots the quail cleanly through the head, leaving no buckshot elsewhere.

At the banquet, Jeff Hogarth (Melvyn Douglas) signs Walker to a contract making him part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show...

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Gaby

Gaby is a 1956 drama film made by MGM. It is the third version of the play Waterloo Bridge, previously made into films in 1931 and 1940. It is the only version of the play made in color, and the least faithful to it. Not only the story but the names of the characters were also changed. Unlike the 1931 and 1940 versions, this film ends happily.

GabyThis version was directed by Curtis Bernhardt and produced by Edwin H. Knopf. The screenplay was by Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich and Charles Lederer, based on the screenplay of Waterloo Bridge by S. N. Behrman, Paul H. Rameau and George Froeschel. All three versions were based on the play by Robert E. Sherwood.

The film stars Leslie Caron as Gaby and John Kerr with Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Taina Elg and Margalo Gillmore.

Gaby (Caron) is a ballet dancer in 1944 London who runs into corporal Gregory Wendell (Kerr) while rushing to catch the bus...

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My Darling Clementine

My Darling Clementine is a 1946 American Western film directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp during the period leading up to the gunfight at the OK Corral. The ensemble cast also features Victor Mature (as Doc Holliday), Linda Darnell, Walter Brennan, Tim Holt, Cathy Downs and Ward Bond.

My Darling ClementineIn 1882 (in reality, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral happened on October 26, 1881), Wyatt, Morgan, Virgil, and James Earp are driving cattle to California when they cross Old Man Clanton. When they learn about the nearby boom town of Tombstone, the older brothers ride in, leaving the youngest brother James to watch over the cattle. The Earps soon learn that Tombstone is a lawless town without a marshal. Wyatt is the only man in the town willing to face the drunk Indian shooting at the townspeople. When they return to their camp, they find the cattle rustled and James murdered.

Seeki...

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Childs Choir Music

I once had a friend that wanted to help out any way that she could at her church. Let’s just say that it didn’t take anyone in the church long to realize that they had hit pay dirt as they did not have a Childs Choir Director. They called her in and asked her if she would be in charge of one of the most important positions in the church – Director of Childs Choir Music. How could she refuse? After all this was one of the most important positions, and how hard could it be to get children to sing songs.

Her duties, she found, including setting up their first choir fundraiser and helping with all aspects of choir including song selection and recruiting. As in many cases the job of the volunteer can cover many different areas that are not anticipated. When it comes to choir, though, there are so many fun things to do to make it enjoyable for the kids.

After all, they natur...

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