Friday, December 25, 2009

"I Don't Want Realism, I Want Magic!" (And I got both with Streetcar)

While most people might mull and ponder the question “What’s your favorite movie of all time?” I barely hesitate before replying, A Streetcar Named Desire. Sometimes that response is met with “That’s awesome” and others time it’s met with a “Really?” Yes, really. It was the film that sparked my interest in the classics. Up until that point, I didn’t know people acted like that in old movies. I always say, if I had wanted to be an actress, Streetcar’s the film that would’ve inspired me to do it. I can almost picture myself thanking Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in my Oscar acceptance speech (“Thank you, Academy. I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers…”).

But the only way I ever sat down to watch that life-changer of a movie was because I had just read – and subsequently was entranced by - the play. I had to see Tennessee Williams’ electrically-charged words in action.

So imagine my sheer and utter excitement when I found out that it was possible to see those words in live action. Cate “Can Do No Wrong” Blanchett was playing Blanche Dubois on a stage in Brooklyn. I think even my computer was amazed at how fast I clicked “purchase tickets.” (Bonus: a few months later a certain sweetheart got me another set of tickets – with better seats! So what if the surprise kind of got ruined. Two times the Streetcar goodness? Best. Christmas present. Ever.)

So December 19th – and 20th – I made my way to the BAM Harvey Theater to see Cate and Co. (aka the Sydney Theater Company) take on Tennessee. Blanchett was a marvel. Her Blanche was intensely on edge, yet she also managed to nail the character’s nervous humor. Plain and simple Blanchett’s my Queen (or as my slightly-blasphemous sister said, “No, she’s my god.”).

Actor Joel Edgerton made a commanding Stanley. He had the look. (Unlike that Broadway revival a few years ago that cast John C. Reilly as Stanley for some godforsaken reason. Don’t you think he’d make a better Mitch?) Edgerton was able to put his own fresh spin on the character that I could enjoy as a separate entity from Brando’s performance – which nothing can hold a candle to, in my opinion. Robin McLeavy perfected Stella’s teenage-girl-like infatuation with her husband, and she and Blanchett were able to bring out the strains in their sisterly relationship even more so than in the film.

If this new stage revival proved anything, it’s that this is still a play (and film) that will spark conversation, debate and an impassioned response. So before you question my choice for favorite movie of all time, maybe you need to watch Stanley howl “STELLAAA!” one more time.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quick Quips for December 8th

"The real violence in Hollywood isn't what's on the screen. It's what you have to do to raise the money."
- David Mamet

Monday, December 7, 2009

Michelle Mulls Marilyn!

Marilyn Monroe has been the source of much imitation in Hollywood today – as we here at On the Marquee know all too well. Stars recreate her famous photos, her famous looks, even her famous scandals. Now, actress Michelle Williams has reportedly been asked to play Monroe in the upcoming film, My Week With Marilyn. The film, to be directed by Simon Curtis, will document Monroe's time filming the 1957 movie The Prince and The Showgirl. It’s based on a diary kept by the film's assistant director Colin Clarke. (FYI: Marilyn’s difficult behavior on set reportedly drove director Laurence Olivier so crazy that he basically abandoned directing altogether after that!)

All we can say is, thank God they’re not offering the part to Scarlett Johansson. While Johansson seems to be the obvious choice (she’s got the hair, the curves and that whole sexpot thing going), we’re glad the filmmakers have a more substantial actress in mind (and before you make any Dawson’s Creek jokes, remember: Williams proved her acting chops with her Oscar-nominated portrayal of a rejected wife in Brokeback Mountain). And come on, don't you think ScarJo tries a little too hard sometimes? Granted, Williams has yet to accept the offer – but we sincerely hope she does. The movie’s due to start filming in June. Mull it over Michelle, we’ve got your back.

Think Michelle Williams is up for the task? Who else could play Marilyn? Word is, Amy Adams and Kate Hudson were also in the running - but we just can't picture it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

When in Rome...

Back in 1980, Sophia Loren – then 56 – somehow managed to play her younger self and her mother in Sophia Loren: Her Own Story. Even then, that was pushing it. Thankfully, in a new upcoming TV movie about her life, 75-year-old Sophia realized she can’t exactly manage dual roles. Enter 27-year-old Sicilian beauty Margareth Made. This acting newcomer portrays Sophia in her pre-Hollywood bombshell days, while Sophia steps into the role of her own mother once again. The film La Mia Casa รจ Piena Di Specchi (My House Is Full Of Mirrors), now shooting in Rome, will be broadcast on Italian TV next year. Ok, so we won’t exactly get to watch the finished product, but we can take a sneak peek at the uncanny resemblance between the two.

Margareth and Sophia

Sophia and her real-life mom


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quick Quips for September 23rd

"Strip away the phony tinsel of Hollywood and you'll find the real tinsel underneath."
- Oscar Levant

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What If James Dean Didn't Die?

What if James Dean hadn’t died in that fateful car crash in 1955? It’s a question people have been asking since the tragic accident happened – and it’s one I ask myself every time I watch his films. But now a South African advertisement is hypothetically answering it. The eerie clip, entitled Legend, shows what Dean’s life might have been like, had he lived past 24. There are shots of Dean receiving a lifetime achievement Oscar, directing a film, protesting against the Vietnam War and working as a humanitarian ambassador.

Not gonna lie, this is pretty freakin’ cool. It was shot over 14 months and a combination of make-up, prosthetics, body doubles and CG face replacement were used to bring Dean “back to life.”

The ad finishes with the tagline: “Given more time, imagine the possibilities.”

I think I just got chills.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quick Quips for August 21st

"I think that every religion says to love your neighbor. In Hollywood they add, "But don't get caught."
- Anita Ekberg

Friday, August 14, 2009

Kate to Channel Crawford?

Is Kate Winslet stepping into Joan Crawford’s perfectly polished pumps? reports that Winslet is currently in talks to star in a new mini-series adaptation of Mildred Pierce. The five-hour project is being shopped around to various cable networks, including HBO, and it’s based on James M. Cain’s Depression-era novel. The novel was also, of course, the basis for the 1945 film starring Ms. Crawford herself. Crawford played a protective single mother who’ll do anything for her children – even her spoiled, ungrateful teenage daughter played by Ann Blyth (seriously, you’ll want to slap that bitch). It’s a pure, melodramatic “woman’s picture” and it’s awesomely ridiculous. It netted Crawford an Oscar and the film itself nabbed Best Picture. While news of remakes generally make us cringe, this one potentially involves Kate Winslet so we’re loving it already. Start trying on your shoulder pads and penciling in those eyebrows, Kate. Mildred Pierce is calling for you!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

On a Holiday!

Hey all! Apologies for the lack of regular posts lately. On the Marquee is taking a bit of a summer vacation. A "holiday," if you will - kinda like that Cary Grant movie. And speaking of which, Andrea is off to Grant's motherland, aka England, for some much needed R and R. Don't worry though, we'll be back and better than ever in no time! In the meantime, feel free to send us suggestions of posts you'd like to see!

Friday, July 24, 2009

So You Think You Can Suck?

So You Think You Can Dance stands as my favorite reality show on television, so I get really upset when anyone comes on and tries to sabotage it. Case-in-point: Katie Holmes.

As Tom Cruise’s wife one of the founding members of the Dizzy Feet Foundation (an amazing foundation that brings arts to underprivileged children – read more and feel free to donate here) producers of Dance asked Holmes to perform on the show’s 100th Episode celebration Thursday night. And I assume that means Tom Cruise told producers to ask her or she wouldn’t be donating any of his money to the foundation. But anyway, Holmes’ big number a rendition of Judy Garland’s 1950 performance of “Get Happy.” I’m still deciding whether or not it was a coincidence that a piece was picked in which Holmes would do a whopping none of the dancing.

Anycrap – Holmes took the stage … weeks ago … to pre-record her performance. And all they got out of it was lazy lip-syncing to weak vocals. That’s right: lip-syncing to her own voice in a pre-recorded performance.

Despite all that, though, judge Mary Murphy told the crowd, “I bet Judy Garland’s giving Katie a standing ovation in heaven.” If by “standing ovation” Mary means “the finger,” then yes, that’s probably what Garland was doing. And Dance’s producer Nigel told Garland’s son, who was sitting in the audience, that he must have been thrilled to see that. We’re betting her son was looking for an apology instead.

If I was a child watching that performance last night, the only way I’d be interested in Dizzy Feet Foundation would be if they could guarantee I wouldn’t be as bad as Katie Holmes. I’d rather emulate someone in the arts who can, you know, actually act, dance and/or sing.

The video of Holmes’ performance is below, but fair warning: it’s not something you’ll be able to unsee.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quick Quips for July 13th

"Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited."
- John Cleese

Friday, July 10, 2009

Young Old Hollywood!

We apologize for the lack of regular posts lately. Kristine and I have been keeping busy with you’re average tasks – movie premiere red carpets (::cough::HarryPotter::cough::), interviewing know, the usual. But just because we’ve been cavorting with young Hollywood (and I use the word "cavorting" loosely), doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about the past! And how appropriate that Vanity Fair just did a photoshoot featuring young actors and actresses recreating films from the 1930s. Usually we get a little picky with photos like these, but these are actually done quite well. Check 'em out!

James Marsden and Rose Byrne recreate It Happened One Night

Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried do My Man Godfrey

A whole bunch of people recreating 42nd Street

Click here for more!

Quick Quips for July 10th

"Drama is life with the dull bits cut out."
- Alfred Hitchcock

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Quick Quips for July 8th

"I hate a man who always says yes to me. When I say no I like a man who also says no."
- Samuel Goldwyn

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pecking Order!

Did you know Gregory Peck’s got a grandson in the biz? His name’s Ethan Peck, he’s 22, and he’s on that new ABC Family show (that no one will watch), 10 Things I Hate About You. He’s playing the role Heath Ledger originated in the movie version. The show’s premiering tonight, actually, so if you wanna check out Gregory Peck’s lineage in action, now would be the time! You might have also seen Ethan in the Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen flick Passport to Paris, and he appeared in a movie called Tennessee, co-starring Mariah Carey. Hey, we never said he had his grandfather’s good taste. Fortunately, he did inherit the looks.

Quick Quips for July 7th

"My only regret in the theatre is that I could never sit out front and watch me."
-John Barrymore

Monday, July 6, 2009

Public Enemies Starring Johnny Depp and...Clark Gable?

The new Johnny Depp gangster flick Public Enemies opened in theaters last week - not to be confused with James Cagney’s 1931 film The Public Enemy (although Cagney does manage to get a shoutout). J. Depp and Co. explore the true story of notorious bank robber John Dillinger’s downfall. The movie, which co-stars Christian Bale (sans Batman voice) as an FBI agent hot on Dillinger’s trail, fell just short of my expectations – and fell short of topping the box office (but was that any surprise considering Transformers and Ice Age: 3D?). At times a bit slow moving, Public Enemies just didn’t pack the punch I thought I would. What saves it from being a complete disappointment, though, is a clean-shaven Depp (I swear that man does not age), Marion Cotillard’s performance…and a very special little cameo by Clark Gable.

[Spoiler Alert!] It’s towards the end of the movie, Dillinger’s about to get caught, and what is he doing? Sitting in a movie theater watching Manhattan Melodrama, the 1934 flick starring Gable, William Powell and Myrna Loy. Gable plays a morally-challenged racketeer and Powell plays his friend on the opposite side of the law - a district attorney. In Public Enemies, Gable’s character resonates with Dillinger, and seeing footage from the old film certainly resonated with me. Don't you love when the past and present collide? In real life, Dillinger was gunned down outside Chicago’s Biograph Theater after seeing the movie. He got his own cinematic ending right there on the pavement. But hey, I guess there are worse ways to go. Just ask Clark Gable and his good pal Old Sparky.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quick Quips for July 2nd

"They've got great respect for the dead in Hollywood, but none for the living."
- Errol Flynn

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

Wowza. Someone shelled out over $93,000 for an Audrey Hepburn stamp! The winning bid for the 2001 print occurred at an auction in Germany on Tuesday. Only five known copies of the stamp are in existence! Still, that is quite the chunk of change for a tiny paper rectangle.

If you want something a little cheaper – like say, 42 cents – you can always get yourself a Gary Cooper stamp. He’s featured as part of the Postal Services’ Legends in Hollywood series this year. His stamp becomes available on September 10th.

Quick Quips for June 25th

"Hollywood is a place where people from Iowa mistake each other for stars."
- Fred Allen

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oscar Doubles Its Chances!

The 2010 Oscars are taking some cues from the past! It was just announced today that the Academy Awards is expanding the number of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10. This move harkens back to the tradition of the 1930s and 40s, when 10 nominees were common. For example, in 1939 the nominees were: Gone With the Wind, which won, The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, Love Affair, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Of Mice and Men, Dark Victory and Ninotchka. All worthy contenders!

Academy President Sid Ganis announced the change at a news conference today. This way, there's more room for deserving films - and less chance for snubs (*cough* The Dark Knight *cough*). What do you think?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quick Quips for June 18th

"Why do I prefer prostitutes? With one of these floozies, I don't have to pretend that I'm Clark Gable."
- Clark Gable

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This Cracks Us Up...

Umm...TCM is selling a Robert Osborne bobble head. That makes us laugh.

Monster Movies are Alive Again! (And Penn's No Longer a Stooge)

It’s aaaliiiive!!! The big-wigs at Universal and Imagine are remaking 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein. They’re eyeing Neil Burger, who directed and wrote The Illusionist starring Edward “Don’t-call-me-Ed” Norton, to direct and write this new version of a classic. The original was directed by James Whale and starred Boris Karloff as the monster and Elsa Lanchester as the bride. Believe it or not, this remake has been a long-simmering discussion in Hollywood. About five years ago, there were talks about setting the film in contemporary New York. That idea was, thankfully, scrapped. But one thing's for certain: the Bride will be a babe. "She'll be young. They're looking for a person with great power and sex appeal," a Hollywood insider told Page Six. "Someone along the lines of Scarlett Johansson or Anne Hathaway."

Bride isn’t the only classic monster movie being brought back to life. Universal is also developing a new version of 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon, and later this year it will release The Wolf Man, an update on the 1941 film, starring an appropriately cast Benecio del Toro. Seriously, did they even need any makeup for that one?

And speaking of Benecio, he was set to co-star with Sean Penn in that Three Stooges remake we were telling you about. But as it turns out, Penn has pulled out of the project citing personal reasons (i.e.: A marriage that's been on and off more times than a light switch). Wonder who'll replace him...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quick Quips for June 17th

"Does she have to pray so much?"
-A senior studio executive to Ronaldo F. Maxwell about his script for Joan of Arc

Monday, June 15, 2009

Extra! Extra! Read All About it!

Thanks to a well-placed source (read: my friend Nicole at her kick-ass NY1 internship), I got the scoop that Rachel McAdams was filming her new flick right in the NY1 newsroom last week. Slated for a summer 2010 release, Morning Glory also stars Patrick Wilson (yum), Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton. It’s about a big-time television producer enlisted to help revive a struggling morning show. So it’s not exactly about hard-hitting journalism, but the setting got me thinking about my favorite reporters in classic films. Of course, they hold a special place in my heart being that we share the same chosen profession. (Though, sadly, my job has never included a “meet cute,” a murder mystery or a jaunt around Rome.)

1. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday (1940)

He's the newspaper editor, she's the best reporter he's got. Not even their divorce could separate their shared passion for the headlines.

2. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in Woman of the Year (1942)

She's a prize-winning political journalist, and he's a lowly sports reporter - but together, they're magic! Hilarity ensues when he tries to teach her the rules of baseball...

3. Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (1953)

This reporter thinks he's got the story of the century when he meets a runaway princess...too bad he ends up falling in love with her!

4. Clark Gable in It Happened One Night (1934)

Another down-on-his-luck reporter stumbles into front-page news when he meets a runaway heiress on a night bus. Again, love gets in the way.

5. James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story (1940)

He's an aspiring writer stuck working at a society tabloid. Katherine Hepburn helps bring him out of his rut.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quick Quips for June 12th

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."
- Woody Allen

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quick Quips for June 9th

"I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic."
- Andy Warhol

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Great White Way to Hollywood!

Before Broadway became a haven for American Idol rejects (the bright lights are calling for you next, Adam Lambert) and movie stars looking to prove their “serious” acting abilities, it was the prime breeding-ground for Hollywood legends. That’s where many of the most celebrated actors of the 1940s and 50s were discovered. Think Marlon Brando, James Dean, Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn, etc. Broadway was also where most film ideas were conceived. It was almost a given that a successful play would be adapted into a movie.

Oh, how the Great White Way has changed. It seems now more than ever established movie stars are trying their hand at the stage, rather than starting out their career there. Think Julia Roberts in Three Days of Rain, Katie Holmes in All My Sons, Jennifer Garner in Cyrano de Bergerac, etc. Most of the time it works out fairly well (i.e.: Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe in Equus) and it certainly brings people to the theater. But every so often you get the screen star who realizes he can’t hack it on stage and promptly comes down with a mysterious case of mercury poisoning. (Too much sushi, Piven? Really?)

The stage and screen have never been mutually exclusive, and nor should they be. Actors like Geoffrey Rush and Marcia Gay Harden (who both won Tony awards last night) prove that. But it takes a special talent to do both. Which is why Jeremy Piven should have never left his Entourage.

In commemoration of Broadway’s profound impact on Old Hollywood, here are some awesome photos:

Audrey Hepburn, Dolores Gray and Jo Van Fleet at the 1954 Tony's

Marlon Brando and Kim Hunter in a famous scene from 1947's A Streetcar Named Desire on stage

Paul Newman outside the Music Box Theatre, where he was starring in Picnic in 1953

James Dean playing opposite Geraldine Page in 1953's The Immoralist

Quick Quips for June 8th

"Over the past 50 years Bob Hope employed 88 joke writers...who supplied him with more than one million gags. And he still couldn't make me laugh."
-Eddie Murphy [the guy who made Meet Dave]

The Many Minnelli's...All Look the Same

In honor of last night’s Tony Awards (and to banish Alice Ripley’s psychotic acceptance speech from memory), I’d like to take a moment to recognized one of the legends of stage and film (and Arrested Development): Liza Minnelli.

The perpetual divorcee and ever-friend of Michael Jackson, if it weren’t for Liza we’re not sure where gay men would have found their first real icon. With that in mind, I celebrate the many faces of Minnelli. And by “many faces” I really mean “one face” because, why and how being beyond us, this woman hasn’t changed her look once in decades. Except maybe for wearing red instead of black. In any event, much respect.

Young Minnelli:
Later Minnelli

Same hair and practically the same clothes. How is this possible in entertainment?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Siren Centerfold: Janet Leigh

The first woman ever to show her bra on screen definitely deserves a place on our Siren Centerfold. She was also the first woman to get hacked to death in a shower and fall to the floor in a puddle of Bosco chocolate syrup on screen, but that’s beside the point.

Discovered by the actress Norma Shearer at a ski resort in Northern California, Janet Leigh secured a contract with MGM and began her film career in the late 1940s - as a brunette. She appeared in movies like 1949’s Little Women, 1953’s Houdini with then-hubby Tony Curtis (and today's Matinee Man) playing the famous magician, and 1958’s Touch of Evil with Orson Welles. It wasn’t until 1960 that she found her most memorable role as Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (cue the scary violins). She received a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Leigh succesfully paved the way for the sexy scream queens of today and proved that sometimes the best way to live on in movie history is to die an untimely death. Check out Janet Leigh’s killer good looks in today’s Siren Centerfold!

She married her first husband in 1942 at the age of 14! And no, she didn't live in Arkansas. The marriage was annulled the same year.

One of the "risky" bra scenes in Psycho.

Man, her waist was tiny!