Showing posts with label film friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label film friday. Show all posts

Friday, 31 March 2017

Film Friday: Breakfast at Tiffanys 1961


Today on Film Friday: Breakfast at Tiffany's from 1961.

I love this film and even channelled Holly at the Goodwood Revival one year.
My, I was a Skinny Minnie back then!



A lonely, struggling writer becomes enchanted with his neighbour: an independent young woman who strives to be a high-climbing socialite with a penchant for high-fashion and wild parties. But, soon he uncovers the vulnerability she has at heart.


Breakfast at Tiffany's is a 1961 American romantic comedy film directed by Blake Edwards and written by George Axelrod, loosely based on Truman Capote's novella of the same name. Starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, and featuring Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, and Mickey Rooney, the film was initially released on October 5, 1961 by Paramount Pictures.


Audrey Hepburn's salary for the film was $750,000, making her the highest paid actress per film at the time.



Holly Golightly wears the same dresses all the way through the movie, simply changing the accessories to give each outfit a different look. Her black shift dress features through the movie at least four times.


Holly Golightly is supposed to be just nineteen years old when she meets with Paul. Audrey Hepburn was thirty-one years old when playing Holly.


Although it's never explained why Holly is wearing a bed sheet at her cocktail party, an earlier scene (cut before release) established she'd been taking a bath and had to improvise a gown on the spur of moment. The cut scene was featured in Life magazine pictorial shortly before film was released.


Did you know ...Tiffany's opened its doors on a Sunday for the first time since the 19th century so that filming could take place inside the store.


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Is this a film you enjoy?

Friday, 10 March 2017

Film Friday: Psycho 1960

Film Friday: a little meander through my DVD collection.
Today I am featuring the classic that is 1960's Psycho.
Also home to my favourite screen house, The Bates Mansion.

Psycho is a 1960 American psychological thriller-horror film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, and written by Joseph Stefano, starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Vera Miles and Martin Balsam. It was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch.








The film centres on the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Leigh), who ends up at a secluded motel after stealing money from her employer, and the motel's disturbed owner-manager, Norman Bates (Perkins), and its aftermath.







When originally made, the film was seen as a departure from Hitchcock's previous film North by Northwest, having been filmed on a low budget, with a television crew and in black and white.








The film initially received mixed reviews, but outstanding box office returns prompted reconsideration which led to overwhelming critical acclaim and four Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress for Leigh and Best Director for Hitchcock.






Psycho is now considered one of Hitchcock's best films and praised as a work of cinematic art by international film critics and film scholars. Ranked among the greatest films of all time, it set a new level of acceptability for violence, deviant behaviour and sexuality in American films, and is widely considered to be the earliest example of the slasher film genre.



Director Alfred Hitchcock was so pleased with the score written by Bernard Herrmann that he doubled the composer's salary to $34,501. Hitchcock later said, "33% of the effect of Psycho was due to the music."



Did you know ... Walt Disney refused to allow Alfred Hitchcock to film at Disneyland in the early 1960s because Hitchcock had made "that disgusting movie, 'Psycho.'"

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Do you like this film?

Friday, 24 February 2017

Film Friday: GI Blues 1960


Today on film Friday I bring you 1960's GI Blues.

Elvis Presley stars as Tulsa McLean, a soldier stationed in Germany, who pulls strings to stage a big show for his fellow GI's. He also bets his buddies that he can date "ice princess" entertainer Lili.



U.S. Army Specialist 5 (SP5) Tulsa McLean (Elvis Presley) is a tank crewman with a singing career. Serving with the 3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division in West Germany, McLean dreams of running his own nightclub when he leaves the army, but such dreams don't come cheap.


 Tulsa and his buddies have formed a band and perform in various German "Gasthauses", night clubs, and on an Armed Forces stage. In one bar, he even discovers the record "Blue Suede Shoes" sung by someone named Elvis Presley on a jukebox.


To raise money, Tulsa places a bet with his friend Dynamite (Edson Stroll) that he can spend the night with a club dancer named Lili (Juliet Prowse), who is rumored to be hard to get since she turned down one other G.I. operator, Turk (Jeremy Slate). Dynamite and Turk have vied for women before when the two were stationed in Hawaii.


Tulsa uses his Southern charm and calls Lili "ma'am." She at first sees Tulsa as another Occupation Duty GI ...
The songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote two song for the movie, "Dog Face" and "Tulsa's Blues", but later withdrew the songs when they didn't like the royalty payments contract that Elvis' manager Col. Tom Parker insisted that they sign.


While Tulsa is singing "Doin' the Best I Can", one soldier puts a coin in the jukebox and choose from the list "Blue Suede Shoes - Elvis Presley".


Princess of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, King of Thailand and other royalties visited on the studio and met  Elvis.


The boat Elvis boards ("Bonn"), is now in Karlshamn, southern Sweden, and is used as a discotheque.



Did you know ... The 3rd Armored Division was Elvis's regiment when he was in the army and in this movie.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Film Friday: Idol on Parade 1959


Today on Film Friday, we take a look at the final film I own from the 1950's, the 1959 Idol on Parade (Idle on Parade).


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Comedy about the problems arising from the drafting of a rock 'n' roll idol played by Anthony Newley.


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Idol on Parade is a film in one of my favourite genres, the music vehicle. A good chunk of our DVD collection is of this ilk.
There is precious little information about this film to be found, which is a shame.

A farcical comedy, it was directed by John Gilling and stars Anthony Newley, Sid James and Lionel Jeffries. 



The film was based on the 1958 novel Idle on Parade by William Camp that was in turn inspired by Elvis Presley's conscription into the US Army.

One of the songs "I've Waited for So Long" became a hit for Newley.



Did you know ... In one scene, Anthony Newley and his pals go the cinema where a movie called The Cockleshell Heroes (1955) is playing. This is an inside joke; it was one of Newley's earlier films.


It was also filmed in part, in the city I grew up in, Portsmouth.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Film Friday: King Creole 1958


Today on Film Friday, a film starring Elvis Presley, fortuitous as this week also marks the anniversary of his death.

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The mob tries to lure Danny Fisher, a popular New Orleans singer, into their dangerous circle. Elvis, as Danny, gives Bourbon Street a new spirited beat with his captivating singing.

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King Creole is a 1958 musical directed by Michae Curtiz and stars Elvis Presley as Danny Fisher. Also starring are Carolyn Jones and Walter Matthau. It is based on the 1952 novel A Stone for Danny Fisher by Harold Robbins.



King Creole is often considered as the best movie Elvis ever made.


As of 2009, the stripper's scene - absent since 1958 - has been restored, along with her song "Banana".



At one point James Dean  was in the running for the role of Danny. At this point the film was to be a gritty urban drama. Following Dean's death and the recasting, it was reworked to suit Elvis.


Elvis later indicated that of all the roles he took on, this one was his favourite. Location shooting in New Orleans was delayed multiple times by crowds of fans attracted by the stars.

Let's take a moment ... what is happening in this picture? Is that not the most unflattering shot of these two women. He does nothing for me, but come on ladies, that's Elvis!


Meanwhile, someone tries to saw through Elvis's head! The leading man staggers forward, his face contorted in pain! Oh the humanity!



Did you know ... Elvis got a 60-day extension from his draft board to finish filming this before he was inducted into the U.S. Army.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Film Friday: Thunder Road 1958


Next up on my DVD shelf is 1958's Thunder Road, a film chock full of Robert Mitchum goodness.

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A veteran comes home from the Korean War to the mountains and takes over the family moonshining business. He has to battle big-city gangsters who are trying to take over the business and the police who are trying to put him in prison.



Thunder Road is a black and white 1958 drama about running moonshine in the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee in the late 1950s. It was directed by Arthur Ripley and starred Robert Mitchum, who also produced the film, co-wrote the screenplay, and is rumored to have directed much of the film himself. He also co-wrote (with Don Raye) the theme song, "The Ballad of Thunder Road" and sang it too. A man of many talents!


 The role of Robin was offered to Elvis Presley, who was very interested, but the idea was nixed by Presley's manager, "Colonel" Tom Parker, who demanded more money for Presley's services than the producers were willing to spend. The role ultimately went to Mitchum's son James.



The film was the inspiration for the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name.


 The 1950 Ford that Robert Mitchum drives in the beginning is actually a 1951 Ford with a 1950 grille, and the chrome wind splits removed. The give-away: the V-8 emblems, the "Ford Custom" emblems on the front fenders, the dashboard, and steering wheel.




The locations heard in the song "Thunder Road" (sung by Mitchum) actually describe real places in East Tennessee and Kentucky. The "Thunder Road" route runs south from Harlan, KY through The Cumberland Gap to Maynardville, TN just north of Knoxville. The moonshine runner then goes through downtown Knoxville and onto Kingston Pike where he crashes on Bearden Hill (Bearden is a Knoxville suburb). The route is easily followed on a map.




Did you know ... All of the "moonrunner" cars in the film had actually been used by moonshiners in the Asheville, North Carolina, area, where the film was shot. The moonshiners sold the cars to the film company in order to buy newer and faster cars.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Film Friday: Funny Face 1957


The next film on my DVD shelf is 1957's Funny Face.

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An impromptu fashion shoot at a book store brings about a new fashion model discovery in the shop clerk. 



Funny Face is a 1957 musical romantic comedy directed by Stanley Donen and written by Leonard Gershe, containing assorted songs by George and Ira Gershwin. Although having the same title as the 1927 Broadway musical Funny Face by the Gershwin brothers, and featuring the same male star (Fred Astaire), the plot is totally different and only four of the songs from the stage musical are included. 
Alongside Astaire, the film stars Audrey Hepburn and Kay Thompson.



In order to secure Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire on the cast, producers told each the other was already signed, figuring they would not pass up the opportunity to work together. 



Fred Astaire's character is based on photographer Richard Avedon. In fact, it is Avedon who set up most of the photography for this film, including the famous face portrait of Audrey Hepburn unveiled during the dark room sequence. 



Audrey Hepburn was offered the lead role in Gigi (1958) but turned it down to make this movie. 



Ditzy model Marion is played by Dovima, who was one of the top fashion models of the day and often worked with Richard Avedon. 


Did you know ... Baroness Ella Van Heemstra, Audrey Hepburn's mother, featured as a sidewalk cafe patron.