Posts Tagged ‘alfred hitchcock’

Where Is She Now?

I’m going to be completely honest here, I only knew Tippi Hedren from her work with Hitchcock, so when I started looking into her most recent film appearances, I was surprised to see that she hadn’t been in any well-known movies recently.

She did have a role in the David O’Russell film, I Heart Huckabees in 2004, and she also made a guest appearance on CSI in 2008, but for the most part, her roles consisted of TV movies or relatively unknown movies. I’m happy to say, however, that this doesn’t signal an end for Tippi. She’ll be appearing in the Billy Bob Thornton film Jayne Mansfield’s Car. While there’s no official release date yet, it does seem rather exciting due to its all-star cast: Thornton, Robert Duvall, Kevin Bacon, and John Hurt.

Hedren will also be appearing in the silent film, Return to Babylon, which revolves around the scandals that took place during the silent film era. The film will feature an ensemble cast including Jennifer Tilly as Clara Bow, Debi Mazar as Gloria Swanson, Maria Conchita Alonso as Lupe Velez, Brett Ashy as Fatty Arbuckle, and Stanley Sheff as Douglas Fairbanks, to name a few. Again, there hasn’t been any confirmed release date for this film either.

There are several movies in the pre-production stage for Tippi, but looking at the director and the cast, it’s hard to say what kind of impact they will have on her career. From the way I see it, it really seems like Hedren had a tough time picking up her career after she left the world of Hitchcock, but hopefully, with her two movies coming out later this year, she can make a comeback.

Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

Read Full Post »

Tippi” wasn’t always her name. Born Nathalie Kay Hedren on January 19, 1930 to Dorothea and Bernard Hedren, she was given the nickname “Tippi” by her father — from the Swedish nickname, Tupsa, meaning ‘sweetheart’.  Growing up in Minnesota, Tippi had dreams of becoming a model. As a teen, she took part in department store fashion shows. While she was still in high school, her family relocated to California, and when she turned 18, she bought a ticket to head to the greatest city in the world: New York.

From 1950 to 1961, Hedren was a successful fashion model, appearing on the cover of many national magazines. But it was her role in a commercial that would change her life forever — Alfred Hitchcock was watching The Today Show, and in a commercial for a diet drink called Sego, saw Hedren.  After working with Grace Kelly, Hitchcock was looking for someone who possessed similar sophistication, self-assurance, and cool sex appeal, and he believed he had found that in Tippi.

After a costly $25,000 screen test, Hitchcock signed Hedren to a multi-year contract, his plan being to personally mold Hedren’s public image. Although Hitchcock may have been aiming to make Hedren the next Grace Kelly, Hedren had other ideas: she wanted to be known as the first Tippi Hedren.

The first, and most famous of Hedren’s films, would be The Birds. The film was met with extremely positive reviews, and would wind up being one of Hitchcock’s last successful films. Unfortunately, however, the relationship between Hitchcock and Hedren would slowly start to fall apart.

The next film that Hedren and Hitchcock collaborated on, and the last, was Marnie. The film was greeted with mixed reviews, but was Hedren’s favorite role between the two films. After Marnie, Hitchcock had several other roles in mind for Hedren, but she declined to work with Hitchcock anymore, apparently due to unwanted ‘advances’. Hitchcock kept her under contract, and when other directors expressed interest in casting her, informed them that she was unavailable. As Hitchcock wouldn’t allow Hedren to get out of her contract — Hedren could do nothing, and while doing nothing was paid a ‘small sum’ every week.

Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

Read Full Post »

Actress. Singer. Dancer. Author. Activist. There seems to be nothing that Shirley MacLaine can’t do. Shirley MacLaine Beaty was born April 24, 1934 in Richmond Virginia to Ira Owens Beaty and Kathlyn Corinne. Shirley was performing in front of people at a young age, first beginning with ballet. Unfortunately, many of her roles were boys’ roles because there were no boys in her ballet class and she was the tallest girl available. While warming up backstage before a performance as Cinderella’s fairy godmother, she broke her ankle — but this didn’t stop her from going out there and performing the role anyway. Within time however, MacLaine realized that ballet wasn’t for her, and she instead pursued Broadway dancing — and then acting.

After high school graduation, MacLaine headed to Broadway, and a year later she was chosen to be Carol Haney’s understudy in The Pajama Game. In an ironic turn of events, Haney would end up breaking her ankle, and MacLaine would fill in for her. A few months later, MacLaine would again fill in for Haney — this time, the same night that well-known film producer Hal B. Wallis was in the audience. Impressed with MacLaine’s performance, he signed her to work for Paramount Pictures.

MacLaine’s feature film debut was Alfred Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry (1955), which won her a Golden Globe for New Star Of The Year. I apologize for breaking the fourth wall here, but if Hitchcock sees enough talent in a person with no film experience to feature them in his film, then this person must be fantastic. A year later, MacLaine would star in Some Came Running, for which she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Her second Best Actress nomination would come two years later with The Apartment, but she lost to Elizabeth Taylor. When speaking about her chances, she said, “I thought I would win for The Apartment, but then Elizabeth Taylor had a tracheotomy”.

Nomination three of five came in 1963 for the film Irma la Douce, which reunited her with Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon. Again, she would lose Best Actress, this time to Patricia Neal for her performance in Hud. In the 70’s, MacLaine would be nominated two more times, one for Best Documentary, The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir, and the other for Best Actress in The Turning Point. In The Turning Point, MacLaine portrays a retired ballerina, which was probably a role all too familiar to her.

In 1978, MacLaine won the Women in Film Crystal Award, which is awarded to outstanding women who helped expand the role of women within the entertainment industry. In 1983, MacLaine finally won her first Best Actress Academy Award for her role as Aurora Greenway in the James L. Brooks film Terms of Endearment. The film would also win Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Jack Nicholson.


Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

Read Full Post »

5. Rebecca (1940)

Other Nominated Films:
All This and Heaven Too, Foreign Correspondent, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Dictator, Kitty Foyle, The Letter, The Long Voyage Home, Our Town, The Philadelphia Story

Finally, we are at the Top 5. And I can’t see any better way to get us here than with the master, Alfred Hitchcock. I want to cherish this slot since Rebecca is the only film that Hitchcock directed to win Best Picture. What’s odd though is that, aside from Best Picture, it won Best Cinematography and nothing else, although it was nominated for nine other awards. Looking at the winners for each award, it’s actually just…bizarre. 1940 was a fantastic year for movies, there’s no denying that at all. This is a year that included The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Dictator, The Philadelphia Story, and Foreign Correspondent just to name a few. Both Hitchcock and John Ford had two films nominated for Best Picture which is something you will never see happen today. Each acting category had a winner from a different movie…which is something I’m having trouble comprehending, and the film that took home the most Oscars was The Thief of Bagdad…which wasn’t even nominated for Best Picture.  I apologize for going way too deep into the award distribution itself, but this was just a weird…weird year.  Focusing on Rebecca now…well…this is even weird in and of itself! Since the introduction of awards for actors in supporting roles, Rebecca is the only film to win Best Picture without winning any of the Academy Awards for acting, directing, and writing.  Alright. Rebecca. Finally. Joan Fontaine plays an unnamed young woman who works as a paid companion to Edythe Van Hopper (Florence Bates). While in Monte Carlo, she meets the aristocratic widower Maximilian de Winter (Laurence Olivier) and they fall in love. Within a few weeks, the two would get married and move to Maxim’s house, Manderly, located in Cornwall, England. While the majority of Maxim’s servants accept the new bride, the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), is still obsessed with the first Mrs. de Winter — Rebecca. While, in my opinion, this isn’t Hitchcock’s best film (he did also direct Psycho, North by Northwest, and so many other masterpieces), Rebecca still holds its own as one of the greatest psychological thrillers of all time. The combination of Hitchcock plus Olivier is a match made in heaven and I wish that the two worked together on more movies. Rebecca was the first of five nominations for Best Director for Hitchcock, but he would never win the award — which is preposterous. He would go on to receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award which is given to “Creative producers, whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production.” To end this passage, I just want to say one thing. Thank you, Alfred Hitchcock…for everything that you’ve created…for being the innovator that you are and for being so far ahead of your time…thank you.

Nominated for 11 Oscars, Winner of 2
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White – George Barnes (WON)
Best Picture – Selznick International Pictures (WON)
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Laurence Olivier
Best Actress in a Leading Role – Joan Fontaine
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Judith Anderson
Best Art Direction, Black-and-White – Lyle R. Wheeler
Best Director – Alfred Hitchcock
Best Effects, Special Effects – Jack Cosgrove (photographic), Arthur Johns (sound)
Best Film Editing – Hal C. Kern
Best Music, Original Score – Franz Waxman
Best Writing, Screenplay – Robert E. Sherwood, Joan Harrison

Mrs. Danvers: Go ahead. Jump. He never loved you, so why go on living? Jump and it will all be over…

Read Full Post »

9. The Apartment (1960)

Other Nominated Films:
The Alamo, Elmer Gantry, Suns and Lovers, The Sundowners

Billy Wilder’s follow-up to Some Like It HotThe Apartment, is a witty, sardonic, and touching film about corporate politics, adultery, integrity and love. Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter, a lowly office clerk who works for a New York City insurance company. When Baxter starts lending out his apartment to his philandering bosses for their romantic trysts, things start getting complicated — especially when Baxter’s big boss, Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray), takes notice and wants to start using the apartment himself.  Meanwhile Baxter finds himself climbing nicely up the corporate ladder, and also takes a liking to sweet elevator operator Miss Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine). When Baxter finds out that Fran is Sheldrake’s girlfriend — it makes for sticky situations, romantic problems and more serious trouble (that shall remain nameless) — and ultimately Baxter must decide between his integrity and his career. The on-screen chemistry between Lemmon and MacLaine is great to watch as they’re both extremely quick with their deliveries and are just terrific when they’re together. MacMurray is pitch-perfect, playing against type, as the cheating, low-life Sheldrake. Jack Kruschen, who plays Dr. Dreyfuss, is the doctor-neighbor who mistakenly thinks Baxter is a ladies’ man and advises Baxter to “Be a mensch!” (human being). Ray Walston and David Lewis are amusing as slightly sordid office wolves. Kruschen was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, while Lemmon and MacLaine were nominated for Best Actor and Actress respectively. The Apartment would end up being a critical and a financial success, grossing $25 million at the box office. Wilder would go on to win Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay (co-written with longtime collaborator I.A.L. Diamond), joining an elite ‘club’ that consists of only four others (Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather Part II, James L. Brooks for Terms of Endearment, Peter Jackson for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men.)  The Apartment would also end up being the last completely black-and-white film to win Best Picture (which actually could change this year…wow.)  I would also like to say one more thing before I close: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was nominated for four Oscars this year, winning none. If Psycho would have won for Best Picture (which it was not nominated for), then Psycho would have been the #2 film on my countdown.

Nominated for 10 Oscars, Winner of 5
Best Art Direction – Set Decoration, Black-and-White – Alexandre Trauner, Edward G. Boyle (WON)
Best Director – Billy Wilder (WON)
Best Film Editing – Daniel Mandell (WON)
Best Picture – Billy Wilder (WON)
Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen – Billy Wilder, I.A.L Diamond (WON)
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Jack Lemmon
Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Jack Kruschen
Best Actress in a Leading Role – Shirley MacLaine
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White – Joseph LaShelle

C.C. Baxter: Ya know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe; I mean, shipwrecked among 8 million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were.

Read Full Post »

Why hello there! Welcome to the first blog post for ClassicMovieHub. I’ll be your co-host on this fine journey, and as your co-host, let me introduce myself. I’m Josh Kaye, a Cinema Studies major at SUNY Purchase. I won’t say that I’m anything close to an expert on Classic Cinema, as I will be learning more about the Classics as I go on, but watching and learning more about them has always been something I’ve wanted to do. This blog will focus on some of the greatest movies of all time, ranging from the silent classics of Chaplin to the haunting films of Hitchcock, and everything else in between.

For my first series on this blog, to commemorate the Academy Awards, which are on February 26th, I have watched every Best Picture winner between the years of 1927 – 1969. While watching all of these movies, I created a list of what I feel are the best films to win the Oscar based on the film itself, how the film has stuck with me since I first watched it, and every other cinematic aspect such as the acting, the directing, the music, and the cinematography. Beginning Thursday February 2nd, I shall list the films two at time until I reach the Top 10. From there, each film will be listed individually, and on February 27th, the #1 movie will be posted, as will a comparison between the Best Picture of 2011 and the Best Picture of All Time, at least to me.

There may be plenty of surprises as to where I put some films, and I expect not everyone will agree, but that’s the glory of movies…we each gather our own opinion and each feel so differently about one movie compared to the other. All I can hope for is that you spend your precious time to visiting here and reading, as well as giving a piece of your mind.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: