Trivia Countdown! Four Days to Movies for Grownups on Turner Classic Movies

I’m counting down the days until May 15, the night I get to introduce  four great Movies for Grownups with Robert Osborne on TCM. Here’s today’s trivia bit about one of the movies we’re showing: Even most rabid Steve Martin fans haven’t seen his 1981 musical Pennies From Heaven-it disappeared from theaters almost as soon as it opened, and it’s not even available on DVD. Here’s a rare chance to catch this dark, brooding tale of false optimism in the …

Trivia Countdown! Five Days to Movies for Grownups on Turner Classic Movies

I’m counting down the days until May 15, the night I get to introduce  four great Movies for Grownups with Robert Osborne on TCM. Here’s today’s trivia bit about one of the movies we’re showing: Rome: Open City helped change the way movies were made. It’s a gripping fictional story of Italian resistance fighters during World War II, but it has the look and feel of a documentary. Director Roberto Rossellini took to the streets to make the film almost …

Trivia Countown! Six Days to Movies for Grownups on Turner Classic Movies

I’m counting down the days until May 15, the night I get to introduce four great Movies for Grownups with Robert Osborne on TCM. Here’s today’s trivia bit about one of the movies we’re showing: Most film fans know that Gregory Peck’s spooky dream sequence in Alfred Hitchcock‘s Spellbound was designed by the surreal artist Salvador Dali. It’s unforgettable as-is, but costar Ingrid Bergman later said the scene was originally planned to run for 20 minutes. Production stills show one …

Trivia Countdown! Seven Days to Movies For Grownups on Turner Classic Movies

I’m counting down the days until May 15, the night I get to introduce four great Movies for Grownups with Robert Osborne on TCM. Here’s today’s bit of trivia about one of the movies we’re showing:     Despite Forbidden Planet‘s groundbreaking special effects, for at least half the audience the film’s most unforgettable visual effect was Anne Francis as Altaira, the daughter of Walter Pidgeon’s Dr. Morbius. Look closely at the scenes that take place in Altaira’s lush, colorful …

Barbra Streisand: A Life in the Movies

One of the great what-if stories in Hollywood history has Elvis Presley turning down the starring role opposite Barbra Streisand in A Star is Born. Well, although we never got to see an Elvis-Babs pairing (he would have been SO much cooler than Kris Kristofferson), Monday, April 22, brings the next best thing: Streisand on the same stage with the Elvis of presidents, Bill Clinton. He’ll present her with the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award in honor of …

The Government Compound Where Robots Watch TV

I recently ventured into the hollowed-out Virginia mountain where the Library of Congress keeps copies of every movie, TV show, and sound recording that’s submitted for copyright. Officially, it’s called the the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. I call it Heaven. Here are stored, in specially built vaults, the highly explosive nitrate prints of films made prior to the 1950s…historic videotapes, including the first-ever color broadcast…vinyl and shellac discs dating back to the days of Edison… and in a lead-lined vault …