Sunday, August 29, 2010

Henry Fonda

Henry Fonda, began his acting career on stage as a Broadway actor. He made his first Hollywood film in 1935. He became well known after his Academy Award-nominated performance as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath(1940), an adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel about an Oklahoma family who moved west. Over six decades in Hollywood, Fonda had amazing performances in the films, The Ox-Bow Incident, Mister Roberts and 12 Angry Men. Later, Fonda performed in a very different role in the film, Once Upon a Time in the West and a much lighter role in family comedies like Yours, Mine and Ours.

Fonda comes from of a family of famous actors, daughter Jane Fonda, son Peter Fonda, granddaughter Bridget Fonda, and grandson Troy Garity.

One of my favorite Henry Fonda movies that TCM is featuring is, Fort Apache(1948). Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda. The film was the first of the director's "cavalry trilogy" and was followed by She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and Rio Grande (1950), both starring Wayne. The story, which screenwriter James Warner Bellah based loosely on George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn, was one of the first to show an authentic and sympathetic view of the Native Americans involved in the battle.

Some of the film's location shooting were in, Monument Valley, Utah. The exteriors involving the fort itself and the renegade Indian agent's trading post were filmed at the Corriganville Movie Ranch.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Olivia De Havilland and Errol Flynn

Olivia De Havilland and Errol Flynn were known as one of Hollywood's most talented on-screen couples, performing in eight films together, but, were never romantically involved. The films in which they co-starred: Captain Blood (1935), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), The Adventures of Robin Hood and Four's a Crowd (1938), Dodge City(1939). Directed by Michael Curtiz and based on a story by Robert Buckner. As a classic western, it tells the story of the rise, after the end of the Civil War, of the frontier post of Dodge City, Kansas to civilized town and trading place for cattle. In the process, Dodge City has to get rid of the bad guys terrorizing the citizens, and it takes a new sheriff and his deputy to clean up the town.

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940) and They Died with Their Boots On (1941).

De Havilland stated, "He never guessed I had a crush on him. In fact, I read that he was in love with me when we made The Charge of the Light Brigade the next year, in 1936. I was amazed to read that, for it never occurred to me that he was smitten with me, too, even though we did all those pictures together." However, in an interview cited on Turner Classic Movies De Havilland claims she knew the crush was reciprocal and that when Flynn proposed, he was still married to actress Lili Damita.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The remake of the film "True Grit" .

The "True Grit" remake, is directed by the Coen brothers. Jeff Bridges, is going to play the same role that won John Wayne an Oscar for the 1969 original.

The story centers on a 14-year-old girl (Hailee Steinfeld) who joins the aging US marshal, Rooster Cogburn , and another lawman to track the outlaw who killed her father. The original told the story from Cogburn's point of view, but the new version will be from the viewpoint of the girl.

The new movie will be closer to the Charles Portis novel on which the original film was based. It co-stars Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, and is scheduled to hit theaters this Christmas (December 25th).

Matt Damon ... La Boeuf

Jeff Bridges ... Marshal Reuben J. Cogburn

Josh Brolin ... Tom Chaney

Barry Pepper ... 'Lucky' Ned Pepper

Domhnall Gleeson ... Moon

Hailee Steinfeld ... Mattie Ross

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Rhonda Fleming

Happy Birthday to actress Rhonda Fleming (1923-present) who turns 87 today as she is still alive. While the famous redhead has appeared in such notable films such as Spellbound (1945), Out Of The Past (1947), and The Spiral Staircase (1945), she made a mark in several classic westerns. Those films include Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957) with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas; Pony Express (1953), Alias Jesse James (1959) with Bob Hope, The Redhead and the Cowboy (1951) and Gun Glory (1957).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Woody Strode.

Woody Strode, was a decathlete and football star who went on to become a pioneering African-American film actor. He is probably best remembered for his brief Golden Globe-nominated role in Spartacus (1960). Strode made his first film performance in the film, in Sundown (1941). Woody Strode, became more active in the 1950s. He played dual roles (billed as "Woodrow Strode") in The Ten Commandments (1956) as an Ethiopian king as well as a slave, and in 1959 portrayed Private Franklin in Pork Chop Hill. He performed once on Johnny Weismuller's 1955-1956 television series, Jungle Jim.

Strode performed as villains opposite three screen Tarzans. Tarzan's Fight for Life(1958). He was cast opposite Jock Mahoney's Tarzan as both the dying leader of an unnamed Asian country and that leader's brother, Khan, in Tarzan's Three Challenges(1963). In the late 1960s, he performed in many episodes of the Tarzan television series.

He became a close friend of director John Ford, who gave him the title role in Sergeant Rutledge (1960). Shot on location in Monument Valley, Utah. The film starred Strode as a black first sergeant in the United States Cavalry accused of the rape and murder of a white girl at a U.S. Army fort in the late 1880s. His defense is handled by Lt. Tom Cantrel, Rutledge's troop officer. The story is told through a series of flashbacks, through the testimony of witnesses as they describe what happened. Circumstantial evidence all points to, Sergeant Rutledge.

He also performed in the Ford films, Two Rode Together (1961), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and Seven Women (1966).

Strode performed in the films, The Last Voyage(1960), The Professionals(1966), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). Soon after, he performed in many spaghetti Westerns. His starring role as Patrice Lumumba, in Seduto alla sua destra (released in the U.S. as Black Jesus), the film is largely forgotten now. He remained a popular actor throughout the '70s and '80s, and has become widely known as one of the important black film actors of his time. His last film was The Quick and the Dead (1995).