The rise of Frank Capra from sickly, abused, impoverished Sicilian immigrant to what one of his sons calls “a shaper of how we view America” is the subject of Kenneth Bowser’s Frank Capra’s American Dream. This biography, produced by Tom and Frank Capra, Jr., attempts to replace the simplistic image of Capra as a sort of undiscriminating, sentimental populist with a more complex reality. What emerges from these interviews and film clips is an illuminating portrait of a tragically conflicted personality whose work, more than that of many directors, is barely veiled autobiography. The Capra seen here joins his fictional counterparts — Mr. Deeds, Mr. Smith, and John Doe — as an Everyman whose sudden wealth and fame, those driving myths of the “American Dream” that was Capra’s eternal subject, nearly destroy him. Source: brightlightsfilm.com
This is one of 26 Private SNAFU ('Situation Normal, All Fouled Up') cartoons made by the US Army Signal Corps to educate and boost the morale the troops. Originally created by Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and Phil Eastman, most of the cartoons were produced by Warner Brothers Animation Studios - employing their animators, voice actors (primarily Mel Blanc) and Carl Stalling's music." Private Snafu is the title character of a series of black-and-white American instructional cartoon shorts produced between 1943 and 1945 during World War II. The character was created by director Frank Capra, chairman of the U.S. Army Air Force First Motion Picture Unit, and most were written by Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, Philip D. Eastman, and Munro Leaf. Private Snafu cartoons were a military secret—for the armed forces only. Surveys to ascertain the soldiers' film favorites showed that the Snafu cartoons usually rated highest or second highest. The Snafu shorts are notable because they were produced during the Golden Age of Warner Bros. Directors such as Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob Clampett, and Frank Tashlin worked on them, and their characteristic styles are in top form. The Snafu films are also partly responsible for keeping the animation studios open during the war—by producing such training films, the studios were declared an essential industry.
Mark Harris tells how Hollywood changed World War II–and vice versa–through the stories of five legendary American film directors: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. Among them they were on the scene of almost every major moment of America’s war and in every branch of service.
U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (played by Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper) is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.”
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Monday, January 12, 2015
—later he went on to quite a few more. He liked getting married.
—but in all honesty we talked more than we dissipated. Although Franchot was not afraid of heights, he was a bad businessman.
Though early in his career, The Stranger's Return (1933) finds Franchot Tone in familiar territory, as the likeable, inoffensive All-American guy, only this time, he's the object of the leading lady's affection instead of losing out to someone like Clark Gable in Dancing Lady. The story begins at the breakfast table of the Storr family farm as Grandpa Storr (Lionel Barrymore) comes down to find corn flakes instead of bacon and eggs. The cornflakes are dumped, bacon and eggs are made, and the old Civil War veteran tells his son-in-law, Allen (Grant Mitchell); his wife Thelma (Aileen Carlyle); and his stepdaughter, Beatrice (Beulah Bondi), that his granddaughter is coming to stay with them. He's referring to Louise (Miriam Hopkins), recently separated from her husband in New York City, and coming back to the country for a time.
13 Tuesday 10:00 AM LOVE IS A HEADACHE (1938)
A freak accident gives a fading actress a huge publicity push. Director: Richard Thorpe Cast: Gladys George, Franchot Tone, Mickey Rooney, Virginia Wedley, Ted Healy. B&W-73 mins
13 Tuesday 11:30 AM THREE LOVES HAS NANCY (1938)
Janet Gaynor, Robert Montgomery, Franchot Tone and Grady Sutton play the four sides of a romantic quadrangle in this screwball comedy co-scripted by Bella and Samuel Spewack (Broadway's Kiss Me, Kate). Gaynor portrays small-town girl Nancy Briggs, whose nebbish fiancé George (Sutton) doesn't return from his Manhattan job in time to say, "I do."
THREE LOVES HAS NANCY (1938): A country girl follows the man who jilted her to the big city, where she finds two new suitors. Director: Richard Thorpe. Cast: Janet Gaynor, Robert Montgomery, Franchot Tone, Reginald Owen, Claire Dodd. B&W-70 mins
An aristocratic English girl's tangled love life creates havoc during World War I. Director: Howard Hawks Cast: Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Robert Young. B&W-113 mins,
In 1916, while England is deep in war with Germany, wealthy American Richard Bogard buys an estate in Kent and displaces its longtime occupant, Diana "Ann" Boyce-Smith. Although she has just learned that her father has been killed in action, Ann treats Bogard with brave graciousness and moves to the guest cottage without complaint. She then prepares to say goodbye to her brother Ronnie and childhood friend and neighbor, Claude Hope, both newly trained naval officers on their way to France.
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
There's a smattering of musical numbers, all of which feel spontaneous to the point of seeming entirely unrehearsed, and one in particular where Crosby attempts to show a leading man how he wants a number performed while appearing perfectly polished and completely nonchalant at the same time. There's also some lively lakeside footage that opens up the movie and gives it a bit of air. This is a good double feature for Crosby completists and devoted musical lovers and will likely hold some appeal for most other classic movie fans. Source: www.aclassicmovieblog.com
Monday, January 05, 2015
During WWI, two officers, one a pilot and the other in the navy, compete for the same beautiful young woman. An aristocratic English girl's tangled love life creates havoc during World War I. Based on the short story "Turn About" by William Faulkner (author of the film's dialogue). Director: Howard Hawks. Cast: Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Robert Young, Franchot Tone.
F. Scott Fitzgerald worked for MGM producer Hunt Stromberg from May to October 1938 writing a screenplay based on the hit play The Women (1936) by Claire Boothe Luce. The cast included Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Paulette Goddard, and Rosalind Russell, all of whom Fitzgerald had to provide with equally good lines. The job was complicated by health problems which prevented Stromberg from giving adequate attention to the project. Toward the end of the assignment, Donald Ogden Stewart was assigned to work with Fitzgerald, but they were replaced by Jane Murfin and Anita Loos when it was decided that female screenwriters were required. -"Critical Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work" (2007) by Mary Jo Tate
Ardita, the heroine of "The Offshore Pirate" values her courage "as a rule of life - a sort of insistence on the value of life and the worth of transient things." Yet clearly, Fitzgerald implies, if we have lived fully, even for a moment, then we have achieved victory over darkness and death. "Why, then I'd won" is Fitzgerald's reply to those who would moralize over the antics of the flapper.
Saturday, January 03, 2015
The classic consumer lament is that customer service is dead. The complaint is not completely without merit. Being a consumer in today’s world is not the warm and fuzzy experience it was when everyone shopped at the neighborhood grocery store. Times have changed, but there are still plenty of retail associates, fast-food workers and hospitality employees who go above and beyond to make their customers happy. Here are some of their stories.
Morton’s Steakhouse Delivers
An entire team came together to deliver a surprise to business consultant and author Peter Shankman. Hungry and bored to tears on a 2.5-hour flight, the last leg of a long travel day, Shankman tweeted a message to Morton’s Steakhouse. His tweet, “Hey @Mortons - can you meet me at newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :),” was meant as a joke. Imagine his surprise when he stepped off of the plane. A man in a tuxedo handed Shankman a bag with a 24-ounce porterhouse steak, potatoes, shrimp, bread and eating utensils. It was truly an amazing feat since no one at Morton’s Steakhouse knew Shankman’s flight information or exactly where he would land.
Chef’s Mother-in-Law Saves the Day
A family arrived at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali with a son who had severe food allergies. Unfortunately, the safe food they packed for their son was destroyed en route. The Ritz-Carlton manager was unable to find the required food in town, but the hotel’s executive chef remembered that a store in Singapore sold the required items. The chef’s mother-in-law lived in Singapore, purchased the items and took a 2.5-hour flight to Bali to deliver them to grateful family.
The Spa Comes Home
A writer staying at the Gaylord Opryland loved the clock/radio/sound machine, particularly the relaxing spa-style music included in the sound machine repertoire. During her stay, she tweeted the hotel folks, asking where she could get one of her own for home. They informed her that those particulars units were made exclusively for the hotel and referred her to a similar Sharper Image model. It didn’t have the spa music, but she thanked the employees for their efforts on her behalf. When she returned to her room hours later, she found a second clock radio next to the first, with a note that read, “We hope you enjoy these spa sounds at home.”
Trader Joe’s Braves the Snow
An elderly WWII veteran in Pennsylvania found himself at home in the midst of a snowstorm with little food. His daughter tried to find a nearby store to deliver items, but the only store that did was Trader Joe’s. The daughter ordered approximately $50 worth of food and the clerk suggested a few more items that fit in with her father’s low-sodium diet. The food was delivered within 30 minutes of the call. What makes this store an exceptional example of customer service? The Trader Joe’s employee who delivered the food refused payment for the order. What makes this story even more of exceptional? Trader Joe’s does not normally make deliveries, but they made an exception for an elderly gentleman in need.
An Airline With a Heart
It’s not often that great customer service and the name of an airline are used in the same sentence, but this time it fits. After a flight delay, Kerry Drake was certain he would miss saying goodbye to his mother, who was gravely ill and expected to soon pass away. Flight attendants on his United Airline flight noticed his distress and asked what was wrong. After he explained, the flight attendants informed the captain who then radioed to pilots on Drake’s connecting flight. The connecting flight crew delayed take-off until Drake’s plane touched down and he boarded. He arrived in time to be at his mother’s side during her final hours.
Nordstrom's employees didn’t have to dumpster dive to help their customer, but it almost came to that. A security guard noticed a woman crawling on her hands and knees on the sales floor. When asked what she was doing, the woman replied that she had lost the diamond out of her wedding ring when she was trying on clothes and was frantically trying to find it. The guard got on his hands and knees to help search and recruited a small team of employees to help. The diamond was finally found, but not before employees had sifted through the dirt from the store’s vacuums.