It all started as a party game in 1980 at the apartment of a clever young man named John Wilson......pick the worst film, actor, etc. of the year andIt all started as a party game in 1980 at the apartment of a clever young man named John Wilson......pick the worst film, actor, etc. of the year and present them with a Razzie award (Golden Raspberry Award).......a "stick-it-to the Oscars" game which has since become an annual ceremony and media event, held the night before the Academy Awards, honoring the best of the worst. And the awards are not just limited to unknown B films or low budget schlock. The Razzies take on the big boys, films that have made lots of money and have lots of fans; films that nobody wants to admit are pretty much losers otherwise. (Think The Poseidon Adventure, Road House, or The Bodyguard)
This book does not cover all the awards; instead the author selects a cross-section of big=budget and poverty row films for evisceration. No film, actor, or director is immune and the results are hysterical. The reviews are absolute masterpieces of film criticism and I laughed out loud several times. This is a must read for the fan of bad film....more
A lot of psychological/sociological babble about gangster films.....such as the meaning of Jewish-American actors playing Italian-American characters.A lot of psychological/sociological babble about gangster films.....such as the meaning of Jewish-American actors playing Italian-American characters. So what is the meaning of that?...it was never explained. When I slipped into a trance after reading the introduction and almost into unconsciousness after the first chapter, I quickly put it aside and moved on. ...more
The American Film Institute rated Casablanca as the 2nd best film ever made, losing only to Citizen Kane. But in the "beloved" category it rated numb The American Film Institute rated Casablanca as the 2nd best film ever made, losing only to Citizen Kane. But in the "beloved" category it rated number one and this book dissects the legend of the film and why it continues to appeal to a world-wide audience even though it was targeted at our parents and grandparents generation. It has gained not only cult status as a film but also began the cult of Humphrey Bogart and if you have seen it, you will know why. (I have seen it more times than I can count!!)
The author finally dismisses two major myths that surround the film: (1) It was not originally to be cast with Ronald Reagan and Ann Sheridan (I shudder at the thought); and (2) There was no alternative ending filmed or considered even though that rumor continues to circulate.
The author looks at the myriad of actors in the film that were themselves refugees, escaping from Hitler's horrors. Some, such as Peter Lorre, S.Z. Sakall, Conrad Veidt, and Marcel Dalio went on to have successful careers in Hollywood as second leads or character actors. But so many, who were major stars in their native Germany, Poland, and Hungary, merely had walk-on parts or a single line of dialogue and quickly disappeared from the movie business.
There is a plethora of information about the screenwriting, sets, music, etc. that explains how it all came together to become legendary......even though the studio and all those involved had no idea that this was anything more than a good war time romantic film. But in the early 1960s, Casablanca began showing up in art houses, on college campuses, and at the midnight movies and young people returned again and again to cheer, cry, and stand and sing the Marseillaise along with Madeline LaBeau and the patrons in Rick's Café. The rest is history. After 75 years, it continues to captivate and I, for one, know the dialogue and also when I am going to cry (the aforementioned Marseillaise scene and in Rick's apartment when Bergman drops the gun and says "You don't know how much I loved you, how much I still love you").
A wonderful read for the film fan and a must read for fanatics of Casablanca. Here's looking at you, kid....more
How can one short era of history have so many geniuses of the arts in one city? Mary McAuliffe leads us through the years of 1900 to the beginning ofHow can one short era of history have so many geniuses of the arts in one city? Mary McAuliffe leads us through the years of 1900 to the beginning of the Great War and what a trip it is!! The lives and works of these special people are covered, some in more detail than others, and I certainly learned new information with each turn of the page. It would take up too much space to identify all those artistes mentioned in this beautifully written history but they range from Isadora Duncan to Picasso to Ravel to deBussy to Proust.....and many others who set the styles of dress, dance, painting, sculpture and even perfume and automobiles.
The coming of the Great War changed the world forever and these pre-war years became enshrined in French memory as the Belle Epoque.....a golden time that would never return, a time that was dying and would be swept away by the war. The author captures the environment and ambiance of those years with a discerning eye and brings to life the colorful cast of the artistes in Paris. Highly recommended.
This may not be the best biography of Huey "Kingfish" Long but it enthralled me nonetheless.......it will make you shake your head in disbelief as oneThis may not be the best biography of Huey "Kingfish" Long but it enthralled me nonetheless.......it will make you shake your head in disbelief as one man became as close to being a dictator as is possible in a democracy. The Kingfish, who served as Louisiana Governor and US Senator from 1928 to 1935, when he was assassinated , ran wild, ignoring laws or creating new ones which were unconstitutional, raiding the state treasury, personally hiring and firing state employees, appointing judges at will, and generally rewarding all those who supported him. His motto was "the end justifies the means".
Granted, in the first few years of his governorship, Long cemented his voter base which was made up of greedy hangers-on and the rural poor by providing free school books to all children, increasing school enrollment, building thousands of miles of much needed highways and bridges, and raising the state university, LSU, to national standards/recognition. But he then turned his attention to his own personal power and true reform faltered and Louisiana sank into debt. Although his boasts of continuing prosperity for the state turned into hollow promises, he continued to build a political stranglehold on the state and he began to have dreams of a Presidential run. This was never to be as he was shot and killed in the capitol building in Baton Rouge. It leaves one to wonder what might have happened if he had lived.
To many, Huey Long looked life a red-neck buffoon but in fact he was extremely clever. But how could such a person, regardless of his political skills, attain the almost complete power that he had.....here is where the author leaves a bit of a hole in the story as he does not give the reader enough background about the political environment of Louisiana at the time of Long's career. It is important to understand that Louisiana was sunk in a morass of debt, illiteracy, crooked politics and poverty and the people were looking for a savior. They thought they found him in the Kingfish.
I would highly recommend this book which will keep you turning pages far into the night!...more