Hollywood

Orson Welles’ Disputed Masterpiece Citizen Kane

Orson Welles’ Disputed Masterpiece Citizen Kane

On May 1st, 1941, American actor, director, writer, and producer Orson Welles famous movie ‘Citizen Kane‘ premiered at RKO’s flagship theatre, Radio City Music Hall. The film was directed, co-written, produced by, and starring Orson Welles. It was nominated for Academy Awards in nine categories and won an Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) by Herman Mankiewicz and Welles. Citizen Kane often is considered by critics, filmmakers and fans to be the greatest film ever…
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Charlie Chaplin – Master of Comedy and Beyond

Charlie Chaplin – Master of Comedy and Beyond

On April 16, 1889, English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was born. He rose to fame in the era of silent film and became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, The Tramp. Chaplin is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years and encompassed both adulation and controversy. “Wars, conflict, it’s all business. “One murder…
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The Art of Suspense – Alfred Hitchcock’s Cinema

The Art of Suspense – Alfred Hitchcock’s Cinema

On August 13, 1899, English film director and producer Alfred Hitchcock was born. Reknowned as England’s best director, he pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. Hitchcock directed more than fifty feature films in a career spanning six decades and often is considered the most influential filmmaker of all time. “One of television’s great contributions is that it brought murder back into the home, where it belongs.” – Alfred Hitchcock, National…
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John Huston – Hollywood Titan, Rebel, and Renaissance Man

John Huston – Hollywood Titan, Rebel, and Renaissance Man

On August 5, 1906, American film director, screenwriter, and actor John Huston was born. Huston has been referred to as “a titan”, “a rebel”, and a “renaissance man” in the Hollywood film industry. He wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics. During his 46-year career, Huston received 15 Oscar nominations, winning twice, and directed both his father, Walter Huston, and…
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Breaking New Grounds in Cinematography – Stanley Kubrick

Breaking New Grounds in Cinematography – Stanley Kubrick

On July 26, 1928, American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, and editor Stanley Kubrick was born. He is regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. His films, typically adaptations of novels or short stories, are noted for their unique cinematography, attention to details to achieve realism and an inspired use of music scores. Clockwork Orange, 2001, Full Metal Jacket, Lolita, The Shining, ‘I’m Spartacus’ or Dr. Strangelove – they all…
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Peter Lorre – A Stranger in Paradise

Peter Lorre – A Stranger in Paradise

On June 26, 1904, Hungarian-born American character actor of Jewish descent Peter Lorre was born. He went down in film history in 1931 with his portrayal of the uncanny child murderer in Fritz Lang‘s classic M.[1] After his emigration he worked as a successful character actor of often shady characters in Hollywood, among others in The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and Arsenic and Old Lace. “You know I can get away with murder.…
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Fred Zinnemann – From High Noon to The Day of the Jackal

Fred Zinnemann – From High Noon to The Day of the Jackal

On April 29, 1907, Austrian-born American film director Alfred “Fred” Zinnemann was born. Fred Zinnemann won four Academy Awards for directing films in various genres, including thrillers, westerns, film noir and play adaptations. He was among the first directors to insist on using authentic locations and for mixing stars with civilians to give his films more realism. “I’m not in pictures to promote my private personality. I’m in it for the joy…
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F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby

On April 10, 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s famous socially critical novel ‘The Great Gatsby‘ was published. The story takes place in 1922, during the Roaring Twenties, a time of prosperity in the United States after World War I. The book received critical acclaim and is generally considered Fitzgerald‘s best work. It is also widely regarded as a “Great American Novel” and a literary classic, although it didn’t sell very well during Fitzgerald‘s…
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Plumbing the Nature of American Myth-Making – Hollywood Director John Ford

Plumbing the Nature of American Myth-Making – Hollywood Director John Ford

On February 1, 1894, American film director John Ford was born. John Ford is renowned both for Westerns such as Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), as well as adaptations of classic 20th-century American novels such as John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1940). Until today his four Academy Awards for Best Director remain a record. “I don’t give ’em a lot of film to play with. In fact,…
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Ernst Lubitsch and the ‘Lubitsch Touch’

Ernst Lubitsch and the ‘Lubitsch Touch’

On January 28, 1892, German American actor, screenwriter, producer and film director Ernst Lubitsch was born. His urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood‘s most elegant and sophisticated director. “I let the audience use their imaginations. Can I help it if they misconstrue my suggestions?” – Ernst Lubitsch, as quoted in [8] Early German Years Ernst Lubitsch was born in Berlin and was apprenticed as a merchant. However, the…
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