Thursday, December 9, 2010

James Franco Wants to Revisit Rebel

James Franco just can’t shake the James Dean connection. Back in 2001, the actor won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Dean in a made-for-TV movie (the resemblance and mannerisms were uncanny). Now, he’s taking on a project about Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause co-star, Sal Mineo. Franco optioned the rights to Sal Mineo: A Biography and is interested in writing and directing a screen version. The book details Mineo’s life as a rising young star in films like Rebel and Exodus (1960) as well as his conflicted sexuality, friendships with Dean and Natalie Wood and his untimely murder at the age of 37. Hmm...wonder if Franco's gonna reprise his role as James Dean for this one.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Pirate Meets The Thin Man!

So I think maybe I’m a little psychic. Or maybe just super intuitive.

Way back in February of last year I wrote a post about franchises, focusing specifically on The Thin Man series and also referencing the shoulda-stopped-after-one Pirates of the Caribbean series. Little did I know over a year later these two franchises would be magically combined! How is this mash-up possible you ask? Picture Johnny Depp as Nick Charles, the cocktail-sipping, fast-quipping detective originated by William Powell, and you’ll get what I mean.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, it seems Warner Bros. is remaking the 1930s-through-40s franchise (six films over 13 years) with Captain Jack Sparrow himself in the lead role. Word is, Depp’s been trying to convince his Pirates 4 director Rob Marshall to direct him on this film too. Mind you, all of this is still in its early stages - there’s not even a script yet. But it’s an interesting prospect, no? We already know Depp has wit and swagger - plus he can rock a thin mustache.

Who do you think will snag the role of Nora, Nick’s sassy, wealthy wife and partner in solving crime, originally played by Myrna Loy? Cate Blanchett? Or am I just saying that because I believe she can do no wrong?

Two franchises merging into... a remake. Hollywood's really working overtime, isn't it?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Michelle as Marilyn!

Way back when (December to be exact), we posted that Michelle Williams was considering stepping into Marilyn Monroe's high-heeled pumps for the film My Week with Marilyn. Since that post not only as Williams accepted the role, she's begun filming it. As of today, the first pic of Williams as Marilyn was released, and let's just say she nails the blonde bombshell look.

The flick, due out in 2012, focuses on the personal account of assistant director Colin Clarke, who worked with Monroe and director Laurence Olivier on 1957's The Prince and the Showgirl. Word is, Monroe and Olivier did not get along. She drove him ca-razy. So crazy, in fact, that Olivier basically gave up on directing after that. Kenneth Branagh is playing Olivier and Eddie Redmayne is playing Colin Clarke.
What do you think of Williams' Marilyn look?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Old Hollywood's Ultimate Cougar!

Forget Demi Moore. She’s got nothing on Celeste Holm. The 93-year-old Oscar-winning actress (for her supporting role opposite Gregory Peck in Gentlemen’s Agreement) lives a life of luxe in a fabulous duplex apartment on Manhattan’s Central Park West…with her 47-year-old husband. That’s right. For those of you good at math, that’s a 46 year age difference. Meet Old Hollywood’s ultimate cougar.

Not bad for an actress who had a pretty low-key reputation back in the day. She was the wholesome best friend to Bette Davis’ grande dame of Broadway in 1950’s All About Eve, and a Broadway darling herself in numerous productions on the Great White Way. Holm never attracted much in the way of scandal – aside from four previous marriages that all ended in divorce. But look at her now!

According to the NY Post, Holm has kept her magnificent apartment largely unchanged since she purchased it for a mere $10,000 in 1953 (which today would be worth more than $10 million). And again, for those math whizzes – that’s before her husband, opera singer Frank Basile, was even born!

Not gonna lie, we’re kind of impressed. Out of all of these present-day Hollywood cougars, Celeste Holm reigns supreme. Get it, girl!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jackie Earle Haley Goes Silent!

Ah, the silent film. No whiney voices (Miley Cyrus), no blank expressions (Kristen Stewart), no cheesy dialogue (pick any romantic comedy). Can’t we just go back to that? Ok, ok, so modern movies with sound aren’t all bad. Thanks for proving that, Christopher Nolan. But wouldn’t it be fun to see how some modern day movie stars fared without the use of their voice? Could they hack it?

In the film Louis, Jackie Earle Haley (the creepy guy in Little Children and…well, just about everything) gives it a shot. The film, directed by Dan Pritzker, is about a young Louis Armstrong and his dreams of becoming a musician. It aims to pay homage to the silent films of the early 1900s and Haley plays a Charlie Chaplin-esque villain (duh). The film is void of dialogue, but rich in cinematography (by Oscar winner Vilmos Zsigmond) and a blaring jazz score. It’s set to tour five cities in late August, complete with a 10-piece jazz ensemble.

It’s an ambitious idea to be sure, but I, for one, am curious to see how it turns out. You know what they say, actions speak louder than words.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

That's What Hitch Said!

Anyone who has watched The Office at some point knows Michael Scott's favorite "That's what she said" joke. But who knew the master of dark suspense Alfred Hitchcock had the same naughty sense of humor? Don't believe me? Here's proof, courtesy of the Huffington Post. It's video of a sound test for Hitchcock's 1929 film Blackmail. Granted Hitch actually says "as the girl said," but it's a variation on the same joke.

Once I saw this, I just new it was worth reposting. It certainly left me smiling and satisfied...

That's what she said.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

On the Boulevard

Last summer while on vacation in London, I came across a Colin Farrell movie shoot in progress. I swear I must have a radar for these things. I stood across the street, watching the dreamy Irish actor shoot his scenes in a Rolls Royce, all the while pondering what movie it was and how I could get close enough to snap a picture. I did eventually sneak a photo – albeit a slighty blurry one (see above). And I also did eventually find out what movie he was filming, and whaddaya know? It has a classic movie connection. I’m tellin’ you – radar.

The film, called London Boulevard, is a loose take-off of Sunset Boulevard and based on the book by Ken Bruen. Instead of a ready-for-her-close-up Gloria Swanson, this film has Keira Knightley playing a reclusive former movie star. Farrell – a truly underrated actor, in my opinion - plays an ex-con who becomes involved with her. The director and screenplay writer is William Monahan, who also wrote The Departed, so expect lots of gritty tension and twisty turns.

The film doesn’t have a release date yet, but it’s something to look out for.

What do you think of the 1950 classic rebooted and set in London? Think Keira’s a little young to be playing a washed up actress? And, more importantly, should I have mauled Colin Farrell when I had the chance?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wanna See James Dean Point a Gun at Ronald Reagan?

Back when Ronald Reagan only had a Screen Actors Guild presidency under his belt and back when James Dean was just a quirky young actor and not the icon of rebellious youth he is today, the unlikely duo appeared on screen together in an episode of General Electric Theater which aired live on December 12, 1954. Check out rare snippets from this episode called "The Dark Dark Hours." Reagan plays a straitlaced doctor, Dean plays a loose cannon criminal. It's glorious.

"Do. The. Best. You. Can. Ya dig me?"

Oh yes, James Dean, we dig you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

They've Got Grace!

Do you live in London or are you planning on visiting as soon as this volcanic dust settles? An exhibition showcasing the wardrobe of one Miss Grace Kelly has opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum. It’s a good thing I’m not going because I’d probably be the crazy girl hauled away by security for trying to pilfer one of her outfits from Rear Window. For those of us who can’t see the exhibit in person (for security reasons or otherwise) the Daily Mail has a great article with suggestions on how you can copy the looks that made Grace a star.

All this Princess Grace news got me thinking. And all that thinking led me to another game of “Who Would Play.” We here at On the Marquee last played this game with Natalie Wood. Now it’s time to list some potential Grace Kellys - for the Grace Kelly biopic that for now only exists in my head.

January Jones

This first one is kind of obvious and it’s not hard to picture – mainly because we know she can already pull off the vintage wardrobe and also because Mad Men beats us over the head with the Grace Kelly comparisons every chance it gets. But while we think January Jones rocks as Betty Draper on the AMC drama, we kind of think that might be the only character she can play. I mean, you saw her Rear Window skit on SNL, right? Yikes.

Emily Deschanel

Bear with me on this one. Try to picture the Bones star with a blonde wig - there's definitely some similar bone structure going on. Still don't see it? Ah well. Consider this pick a dark horse.

Rosamund Pike

Think we found a winner! This lovely Brit brings her poise and, ahem, grace to every role she takes. Whether it’s the soft-spoken eldest sister in Pride & Prejudice or the not-too-bright socialite in An Education. We think she has the look and the talent. Ok, so we may not have been the first to notice her Grace Kelly-like attributes, but we’re totally on board with her as first choice.

What do you guys think? Any other suggestions? Just not Gwyneth Paltrow. Only non-obnoxious actresses need apply.

Kate as Mildred!

I can't possibly be the only one geeking out over Kate Winslet as Mildred Pierce. Since she's currently filming the HBO miniseries in Manhattan, I think a good old-fashioned set-stalking is in order. But until I can get up-close with my camera, I'll let the paparazzi do it for me. Here are a few shots taken of Ms. Winslet filming in her 1930s costume. She's got the Depression-era housewife look down! Plus, check out that great prop newspaper!

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Fair Carey

So remember last year when we told you that Keira Knightley was in talks to star in a remake of the Audrey Hepburn classic, My Fair Lady? Well, it seems Keira’s out and the newest British It Girl is in! Carey Mulligan – incidentally Keira’s co-star in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice – is now the lead choice to play Eliza Doolittle. We’re hoping this is true, because the info came straight from the mouth of the film’s writer, Emma Thompson. (Thompson didn’t tell us, of course, but she told the BBC and that’s as close as “straight from her mouth” as we’re gonna get.) However, Mulligan is still playing coy on the subject, saying at this point she just “doesn’t know.”

As Mulligan mulls her options, let us count the reasons we think she just might be the perfect choice.
  1. After her brilliant turn as 16-year-old girl taken in by an older man in An Education, Mulligan proved she can carry a movie all by herself.
  2. We love Keira, but let’s face it, she’s kind of a glamour-puss. Mulligan will be able to play both pre-and post-makeover Eliza with great believability. She’s more of an “every-girl,” if you will.
  3. She’s one of the hottest commodities in town right now (and not just ‘cause she’s dating her Wall Street 2 co-star Shia LaBeouf). She’s that rare instance of a pretty young actress who’s also smart, talented and a little bit quirky (she wore a dress with tiny forks and scissors hanging off it to the Oscars). Plus, this year’s Oscar nomination certainly didn’t hurt.
As for the role of Henry Higgins, played by Rex Harrison in the 1964 film, Hugh Grant has reportedly been linked to the role. But that, says Thompson, has also yet to be confirmed. If the potential addition of Mulligan is any indication, My Fair Lady may be poised to follow its predecessor in a trip to the Oscars.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hollywood's Cheating Hearts

Cheaters. They’re saturating the news so much right now, it’s just plain unavoidable. The most recent example being Jesse James, the Monster Garage scumbag who dared cheat on America’s sweetheart and recent Best Actress Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock. Granted, she married a tattooed, motorcycle riding bad boy with a porn star ex, so she basically got what she paid for – but that doesn’t make the situation suck any less. Who cheats on Miss Congeniality?! Jesse better watch his back – we hear Sandy’s got Betty White on her side.

Jesse James isn’t first (and he certainly won’t be the last) celeb to give in to his roving eye and amped up libido. In Old Hollywood, illicit affairs were rampant. Let’s look at some of the most infamous philanderers from back then, shall we?

Spencer Tracy

The number one spot has to go to Spencer Tracy. He was one-half of one of Hollywood’s most famous couples – the other half of course being Katharine Hepburn. But there was actually one other fraction to that equation that a lot of people might forget – Tracy’s wife. He stayed married all throughout his 25-year relationship with Hepburn. His Catholic faith prevented him from seeking a divorce, but not from breaking the commandment about adultery, obviously.

Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor

Well I guess if you’re gonna cheat, you do it with one of the most gorgeous women in Hollywood - Elizabeth Taylor. It’d be like someone having an affair with Angelina Jolie - you just don’t pass that up (methinks Brad Pitt knows what I mean). Burton was married with kids when he and Taylor first hooked up on the set of Cleopatra. But let’s not forget about Taylor, who wasn't exactly a saint. She was married at the time too, to Eddie Fischer (who had left his wife, Debbie Reynolds, for Taylor!) Oh what a tangled web…

Clark Gable

Ooh this is a juicy one. Good ole Clarkie was married to a woman named Maria Franklin Printiss while he had an on-set affair with Loretta Young in 1935. Their affair produced a love child, but Young hid this fact from the world, pretending her daughter Judy was adopted. Judy herself believed this lie throughout most of her life and she met Gable only once, as a teenager, with no idea that he was her real father. She didn’t find out this fact until 20 years later. Pretty messed up, huh?

Ingrid Bergman & Roberto Rossellini

Talk about a scandal! Bergman and Rossellini were both married when they began their affair in 1949. In 1950, Bergman gave birth to Rossellini’s son – sparking outrage. (You have to admit, it was pretty brazen for such a huge star.) The affair almost ruined the actress’ image completely, and she was exiled for the U.S. for a time because of it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On the Marquee & Whiskey

So check this out. On the Marquee is branching out to different mediums! Yours truly crashed Sean and Bob’s WhiskeyHour podcast today and chatted about this very blog. I talk about my latest post on I Confess, so go to to check it out! My bit is towards the end, but make sure you listen to Sean and Bob’s musings too! And follow them on Twitter. Because they’re awesome. (And I’m not just saying that because I work with them.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Full Monty!

Starting last Thursday and all through this month, BAMcinĂ©matek is running a Montgomery Clift retrospective. I like to think of Clift as the actor who showed the world how brooding was done. (Wannabe brooders like Robert Pattinson take note.) In his films, Monty perfected the silent sulk, the inner turmoil, the just-below-the-surface panic and despair of a brooding hero, in a way that sets you on edge. “When is he finally going to explode?” you keep thinking.

No better evidence of this is found than in Alfred Hitchcock’s supremely underrated I Confess – the film I moseyed on down to Brooklyn this weekend to watch, with my mom (the biggest Clift-fan I know) and sister in tow. Just how under the radar is this film, you ask? I had no idea Hitchcock even directed it until the credits started to role. You’ll never hear it spoken about in the same breath as Psycho, Rear Window and Vertigo, but all the makings of a Hitchcock classic are there. From his camerawork (a lot of back-of-the-head shots and foreboding cathedral angles) to the interesting location (Quebec) to the story of murder, religion and scandalous intrigue.

Clift plays conflicted priest Fr. Michael Logan, who receives a confession of murder, yet cannot break his vows to speak of it. Things get complicated when Fr. Logan himself gets implicated in the murder. Turns out, he may have had quite the motive – one that involves a married woman (Anne Baxter). Does he go against his religion and talk? Or will he go to the grave for a crime he didn’t commit?

Chock-full of great stuff, I tell ya. Including a sly performance by Karl Malden as the investigator determined to bring Fr. Logan to justice.

Clift – like many of the characters he played – led a conflicted life. The actor battled alcoholism, drug abuse, his closeted homosexuality, and later in life, a nasty car accident that permanently altered his good looks. Marilyn Monroe once described him as "the only person I know who is in worse shape than I am." But thanks to films like I Confess, and showcases like the one at BAM, we’re able to see Monty immortalized in peak cinematic condition.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pierce Gets Pearce! (And Evan Rachel Wood!)

HBO’s Mildred Pierce five-part mini-series is shaping up quite nicely! As I previously reported, the great Kate Winslet is going all Joan Crawford in the title role. And in the latest bit of casting news, Evan Rachel Wood has signed on to play Mildred’s scheming, ungrateful bitch of a daughter, Veda. I’m all set to hate her already! Guy Pearce (Memento, L.A. Confidential) is set to play Monte Beragon, the role originated by Zachary Scott in the 1945 film. Melissa Leo, James Le Gros, Brian F. O’Byrne, and Morgan Turner round out the cast.

Sounds top notch. Primed for an Emmy-sweep, if you ask me.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Natalie Wood Mystery Resurfaces

Sudden celeb deaths are always a point of fascination. But once the police (and the media) decide case closed, it’s on to the next scandal. Case in point: Heath Ledger. We never did find out the exact Mary-Kate Olsen connection. Will we ever? And Brittany Murphy. The coroner ruled there were no illegal drugs in her system. But was there more to the story? What’s with that shady husband? Questions, questions. Maybe years down the line someone will decide to re-open the cases.

Which brings me to this latest bit of news.

Friends and family of Natalie Wood (A Rebel Without a Cause, Splendor in the Grass) have asked the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office to re-open the case surrounding her mysterious death, CNN reported yesterday. Wood died tragically at the age of 43 after falling off a yacht and drowning in November 1981, following an argument with her husband Robert Wagner. Wood's sister, Lana Wood, and Dennis Davern, former captain of the yacht called The Splendour, are now hoping police will investigate and find out the truth – and to be honest, we’re pretty curious ourselves.

According to Wagner’s autobiography, he admits he got into a fight with Christopher Walken, who was also aboard the boat and may have had a less-than-appropriate relationship with Wood. He said during the fight Wood went back to her room and that was the last he saw of her. But the captain says he heard Wood and Wagner fighting inside their stateroom, then arguing on the boat's deck. He thinks her death was a direct result of their fighting. Cue the conspiracy theorists.

This is one case that begs to be revisited. Circumstances are just too strange – and ironic – considering Wood’s biggest fear was dark water. Maybe now we’ll get some answers. Or maybe, like most things in Hollywood, the truth will remain just below the surface.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Good Old Fashioned Gag Reel!

This absolutely made my morning.

Humphrey Bogart flubbing his lines?! Edward G. Robinson unable to work his prop gun?! It's a 1930's blooper reel and it'll blow your mind. (At around the 6:45 mark, check out the guy in the Lady GaGa headdress. Amazing.)

Want more? I know I do! Click here for the complete series of Warner Bros. bloopers. Oh man, you'll be glad you did.

Monday, January 25, 2010

San Francisco Treats!

I visited San Francisco last weekend and here’s what I discovered: there are a lot of steep hills to be climbed, good food to be eaten, amazing shopping to be done, and many Full House references to be made. But even more than that - because I always have movies on the brain, even on vacation - I noticed evidence of Alfred Hitchcock’s influence on the town. I spotted old movie posters tacked up in the Castro and an entire book dedicated to Hitchcock’s San Fran films in the Ferry Market. It all got me thinking about my favorite old flicks set in the colorful California city. Here are a few that came to mind:

Dark Passage (1947)

This movie is all kinds of ridiculous, and it completely sucked me in one night on TCM. Humphrey Bogart plays an escaped wrongly accused convict, and nearly the entire first half of the movie is filmed as if you’re seeing through Bogart’s eyes. Then, he gets plastic surgery to disguise his looks, so there’s a good chunk of the movie where he’s all wrapped in bandages. You may not be able to see his face through most of the movie, but you do catch glimpses of some San Fran scenery. Lauren Bacall’s apartment building can be found on Telegraph Hill.

Vertigo (1959)

With all those steep San Francisco hills, it’s no wonder James Stewart’s character had vertigo! This Hitchcock classic, also starring Kim Novak, includes some iconic shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, Mission Dolores and Nob Hill. Granted, it’s not my favorite Hitchcock film (not even close), but as for movies set in San Fran, it's one to see.

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

A substitute English teacher at my high school made my class read Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon just for the hell of it. (Seriously, when we asked him why he picked that book for us to read, he shrugged and said he thought it might be fun.) Then, he showed us the movie. In this real Venetian-blinds film noir, Humphrey Bogart stars as a P.I. for a San Francisco detective agency investigating some mysterious murders that all revolve around one gold-encrusted statue of a bird.

The Birds (1963)

It’s a silly premise, but it’s also kind of a creepy one. Birds inexplicably begin attacking people in a small town in the San Francisco Bay Area. The film opens with a shot of a San Francisco cable car crossing in front of Union Square, as Tippi Hedren makes her entrance. Word is, Hitchcock wanted to end the movie with a shot of birds swarming the Golden Gate Bridge, but it proved too expensive.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Beatty Beds 12,000?!

Take that Tiger Woods! While the world is still reeling from news of the golf legend’s escapades with 10 + mistresses, a new biography was released that alleges Warren Beatty bedded over 12,000 women! Kinda makes Woods’ indiscretions seem like nothin’, eh?

Granted, we always knew of Beatty’s womanizing reputation – and how Annette Bening finally tamed the beast in 1992 – but over 12,000?! That’s the population of a small town! Warren Beatty had sex with an entire town of women! Peter Biskind, author of Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America, calculates that Beatty slept with "12,775 women, give or take, a figure that does not include daytime quickies, drive-bys, casual gropings, stolen kisses and so on." His conquests allegedly included Jane Fonda, Joan Collins, Leslie Caron, Isabelle Adjani, Julie Christie, Diane Keaton and Madonna (who hasn’t?).

We’re surprised the 72-year-old is still standing! And as far as we know, he’s never pulled a Duchovny. Beatty has already issued a statement through his attorney denying the claims, and to be fair, that number does seem a little unlikely. Still, it doesn’t keep us from wondering. If Woods taught us anything, it’s that nothing stays secret forever.