It Happened One Night (1934). 105 minutes. Directed by Frank Capra. Starring Claudette Colbert (as Ellie Andrews), Clark Gable (as Peter Warne), and Walter Connolly (as Alexander Andrews).
It Happened One Night is a distinguished film, perhaps most famously because of its five Oscars. It swept all five major categories (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay), and that feat has rarely been achieved since. But for a production of such legendary industry success, it certainly had humble origins as a film that was developed at Columbia, then a struggling studio, and whose script was passed over for various reasons by a number of stars including Myrna Loy, Carole Lombard, and Bette Davis, and Margaret Sullavan for the female lead. It took some finagling to secure Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in the lead roles. An apparently legendary story claims that Gable was farmed out to Columbia to work on the film as a punishment for … Read the rest
That Hamilton Woman (1941). 128 minutes. Directed by Alexander Korda. Starring Vivien Leigh (as Emma, Lady Hamilton), Sir Laurence Olivier (as Admiral Horatio Nelson), Alan Mowbray (as Sir William Hamilton), and Gladys Cooper (as Lady Frances Nelson).
If you have heard of That Hamilton Woman, it may be for one of the following reasons:
- First, it features Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier cast as Emma, Lady Hamilton and Admiral Horatio Nelson (respectively) in the period of the Napoleonic Wars. This casting is especially famous (or perhaps infamous) because Leigh and Olivier, while married to other people, had engaged in a well-known affair with each other prior to divorcing their partners and marrying each other, and in this film, in a situation that mimicked real life, they are cast as two people who are married to others and have a well-known affair together of international proportions.
- Second, it was Winston Churchill’s favorite film. Churchill was fond of movies of
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Greed (1925). Directed by Erich von Stroheim. 140 minutes (MGM) / 239 minutes (restored version, 1999). Starring Gibson Gowland (as John McTeague), Zasu Pitts (as Trina Sieppe), and Jean Hersholt (as Marcus Schouler).
Greed is based on the 1899 American novel McTeague by Frank Norris. It takes place at the turn of the nineteenth century in California and was one of the first Hollywood films to be shot entirely on location. As the story opens, McTeague, a miner, leaves his California mountain town to train as a dentist. When he opens a practice in San Francisco, he meets Marcus Schouler and Schouler’s cousin Trina, with whom McTeague falls in love. Trina wins $5000 in a lottery and marries McTeague, but soon she begins to obsess over her winnings and becomes miserly towards her husband. Because Schouler feels cheated both out of Trina, whom he loved, and her fortune, he reports on McTeague to the dental board, which determines that he … Read the rest