Movies Blog

Couples collaborating: Woodward and Newman

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

While many married Hollywood couples collaborate, not many do so with as many films or over as many decades as Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward did... and still do.

When Paul Newman retired from acting in 2002, eight years before his death (except for voicing "Doc Hudson" in 2006's Cars), he stayed active in filmmaking. His widow, Joanne Woodward, has just signed on to executive produce a project Newman had been putting together.

84th Academy Award Nominations

A photography of an Academy Award statuette

It's officially Oscar season again and, like every year, there are some suprises and disappointments in the nominations.

Oscar nomination favorites like David Fincher, Clint Eastwood and George Clooney found themselves shut out (for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, J Edgar and The Ides of March) and the Academy ignored the more popular choices (Bridesmaids, the final Harry Potter and Dragon Tattoo again).

Below is a full list of the major nominations, along with links to the library catalog for the nominees.

Happy Birthday, Archie Leach!

Photograph of Cary Grant

January 18 was the day of Archibald Leach's birth, in 1904, in Bristol, England. Leach, a one-time stilt walker and vaudevillian, would become world famous in the 1930s under a different name... Cary Grant.

Grant originally came to the United States as part of a stage troupe and stayed when everyone else went home. After spending almost a decade in vaudeville and on stage, he went to Hollywood and his new bosses at Paramount pictures renamed him Cary Grant (the initials, C.G., were already popular with moviegoers--Clark Gable and Gary Cooper were two of the biggest movie stars in the world).

It's like Shakespeare... on a plane

A drawing of William Shakespeare

While Kenneth Branagh's 1989 Henry V itself was not a Hollywood production, its critical and commercial success led to a new wave of Shakespeare adaptations.

Franco Zeffirelli's 1990 Hamlet is something of an exception--it completed Zeffirelli's Shakespeare trilogy. He started it in the sixties with Taming of the Shrew and Romeo and Juliet.

For the early 1990s, Branagh was the popular face of Shakespeare--he adapted Much Ado About Nothing in 1993 and appeared (but did not direct) in 1995's Othello.

MLK Day of Service

The Sunken City dvd cover image

Many people across the country observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by participating in the MLK Day of Service, coming together--this year on Monday, January 16--to serve their neighbors and their communities. Whether you are going to participate in a service project or not, the following films tell stories of service and activism that will impress and inspire you.

Sunken City: Rebuilding Post-Katrina New Orleans When Hurricane Katrina devastated and nearly destroyed the city of New Orleans, it was only through the efforts of millions of volunteers that life found a way to carry on. Celebrate the achievements of the people who rebuilt this shattered city, and explore the government structure whose haphazard response may have threatened the lives, and livelihood, of many.

Happy Birthday, Amanda Peet!

a photograph of American actor Amanda Peet

Born on January 11, 1972, native New Yorker Amanda Peet turns 40 today.

Peet's career took time to build, with the actor spending a lot of her time on television and in ensemble pictures before The Whole Nine Yards brought her more prominent attention. She's now starred in over forty films.

Happy Birthday, Dame Maggie Smith!

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, aka Maggie Smith, was born December 28, 1934 in Essex, England. She is a highly respected actress, winner of 2 Academy Awards, 2 Golden Globes, 2 Emmy Awards, 2 SAG Awards, and a Tony. Her films have ranged from the serious to the comedic. She currently stars in the television series Downton Abbey. Check out one of the titles from her vast filmography today!

Othello (1964)

The V.I.P.s (1963)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

Travels with My Aunt (1972)

Death on the Nile (1978)

If you're not rockin' it with Dick Clark on New Year's Eve...

Not everyone has glamorous plans for New Year's Eve and probably those of us who don't are perfectly content just to stay home. Here are some films that include memorable New Year's Eve moments. Eat, drink and be merry, for next week it will be time to suck it in and check out our yoga and fitness DVDs.

From chick flicks to bad adventure, and comedy to action, these DVDs will help you usher in 2012 with a smile, a tear, or amazement that they were even made:

Sweet, sweeter, gag...

Holiday Inn

I don't like to think of myself as a total sap, but when it comes to holiday movies I seem to like them syrupy sweet and starring Bing Crosby. What am I talking about?

I love those movies from the 1940's and 1950's that are my strange harbinger of the holiday season. The holiday movie genre pulls out all the stops when it comes to tugging at your heartstrings. These are tales of generals missing the war, elderly mothers from Ireland reuniting with their priestly sons, mistaken motives, unrequited love, all coupled with people bursting into songs often on elaborate Hollywood backlots. Here are my top three:

PEOPLE BEHAVING BADLY - OBJECTIONABLE MOMENTS IN HOLIDAY MOVIES

Are you experiencing an overload of sweetness this holiday season? Then you may need some respite in the form of movies featuring people not at their best during the festivities.

A Budapest gift shop is the setting for antagonistic co-workers Alfred Kralik (Jimmy Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) who are lonelyheart pen pals but don't realize it in The Shop Around the Corner. Here's a clip of Alfred counseling Klara on her choice of blouses:

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