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Just some thoughts on current happenings:




Classic film screenings from around the world this month include:


Throughout various locations in Australia, Event Cinemas will host Hollywood Classics On the Big Screen. This month's showings will include The Apartment on Monday, July 1 and Murder on the Orient Express on Monday, July 15.

For a list of the theatres hosting these films, and their complete schedule throughout the remainder of the year, click on the banner image above.

Also throughout various locations in Australia, Event Cinemas will host In The House. This month's showings will include Pretty in Pink on Monday, July 8 and Pulp Fiction on Monday, July 22. 

For a list of the theatres hosting these films, and their complete schedule throughout the rest of the year, click on the image above.



Point Blank

Point Blank

Les diaboliques

Les diaboliques

Touch of Evil

Touch of Evil

Elevator to the Gallows

Elevator to the Gallows

Vertigo

Vertigo

In Vancouver, British Columbia, The Cinematheque continues with their series “High and Low: From Pulp to Poetry” curated by Donald Brackett. This month’s screenings include Point Blank (1967) on Monday, July 1 and Les diaboliques on Thursday, July 4, Friday, July 5 and Monday, July 8. Touch of Evil will also screen on Thursday, July 4, Friday, July 5 and Monday, July 8. Elevator to the Gallows will show Thursday, July 18, Friday, July 19 and Monday, July 22. Vertigo will also be presented Thursday, July 18, Friday, July 19 and Monday, July 22.

For more information on the series, click on The Cinematheque top banner image. For more information on each individual screening, click on the appropriate picture above.


In Los Angeles, California The Beverly Cinema will present From Russia with Love (1963, an IB Technicolor print) on Wednesday, July 3. Also being shown this month is a double bill of Gunman’s Walk (1958, 35mm print) and They Came to Cordura (1959, also 35mm) on Sunday, July 14 and again on Monday, July 15.

For more information, including the entire month of July’s exciting programme, click on either of the above images.

In theatres across the U.S. Flashback Cinema is presenting Jaws on July 3, The Sandlot on July 7 and 10, Jurassic Park on July 14 and 17, The Matrix July 21 and 24 and Back to the Future on July 28 and 31.

Click on the respective image for more information.

In Utrecht, Netherlands The Nederlands Filmorkest will present There Will Be Blood with live musical accompaniment featuring Jonny Greenwood’s ambient score on Saturday, July 6.

Click on the above image for more information.

Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity

Vertigo

Vertigo

The Haunting

The Haunting

In Hollywood, California, The American Cinematheque Egyptian Theatre will present “Highballs and Screwballs: Two Sides of the 1940s” featuring a double bill of Double Indemnity (1944, a 35mm print and the film’s 75th Anniversary) followed by Ball of Fire (1941, also a 35mm print) both with the legendary Barbara Stanwyck on Thursday, July 11. Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo (1958, a 70mm print) will be presented on Friday, July 12. Finally, “Warner Bros. 6-Film Horror/Sci-Fi Marathon” consisting of House On Haunted Hill (1958), The Thing from Another World (1951), Freaks (1932), Them! (1954), The Haunting (1963) and Cat People (1942) will begin on Saturday, July 27 starting at 2pm.

For more information specifically on each of these programmes, click on the corresponding above image. To see the entire month of July’s programming for both The Egyptian and Aero Theatre (the latter in Santa Monica) click on the American Cinematheque banner.

In Duisburg, Germany The Duisburger Philharmoniker conducted by Carl Davis will present Buster Keaton’s silent film classic The General with Davis’ own re-composition of the film’s soundtrack on Thursday, July 7 and again on Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13.

Click on the above image for more information.



In theatres across the U.S., Fathom Events (along with TCM on Glory) are presenting Easy Rider (as part of the film’s 50th Anniversary) on July 14 and 17, Glory (as part of the film’s 30th Anniversary) on July 21 and 24 and The Muppet Movie (also celebrating its 40th Anniversary) on July 25 and 30.

Click on the respective image for more information.


In Brevard, North Carolina The Brevard Sinfonia will present Raiders of the Lost Ark with live musical accompaniment featuring John Williams’ thrilling score on Saturday, July 20.

Click on the above image for more information.

In Leeds, United Kingdom The Orchestra of Opera North will present Jurassic Park with live musical accompaniment featuring John Williams’ exciting score on Sunday, July 28.

Click on the above image for more information.

There are 17 recommended films to watch on Turner Classic Movies in the U.S. this month:

One of film noir's most brilliant "must see" representatives is Fritz Lang's The Big Heat, previously recommended here. TCM will heat up Monday, July 1 at 5pm PST.

(In the forefront, left to right) Lee Marvin, Gloria Grahame, Glenn Ford

(In the forefront, left to right) Lee Marvin, Gloria Grahame, Glenn Ford

Casablanca is a film I've often recommended in the past. Occasionally, however, I catch some flak for not being as enamoured with this adored classic as the vast majority of viewers. For those who consider Casablanca to be one of the finest motion pictures ever made, just the inclusion in my series entitled Top Ten Fool's Gold: The Overrated can be objectionable enough to completely ignore my critique. In my defence, "Fool's Gold" only refers to the mineral pyrite, not to those who hold the film dear, and there are many qualities attributed to the motion picture and contained in my review. In any event, please have a look at both the film and my write-up to see for yourself if my appraisal has merit. Casablanca is on TCM's itinerary for Wednesday, July 3 at 10:30pm PST and again on Thursday, July 11 at 10:45am PST.

Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart

Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart

For an uproarious and thoroughly engaging movie-watching experience, it's hard to beat Bringing Up Baby previously recommended here. The antics will begin on TCM Wednesday, July 3 at (late night) 12:30am PST.

Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Baby

Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Baby

Then there's John Ford's masterpiece The Searchers, previously reviewed here. It is Top Ten Western #2 and is as likely as any film to provide one with a truly unforgettable, rich and rewarding movie-watching experience. The search will begin Thursday, July 4 at (early morning) 4:15am PST.

Jeffrey Hunter, Natalie Wood

Jeffrey Hunter, Natalie Wood

One of the Top Ten World Cinema Treasures is The Battle of Algiers a.k.a. La battaglia di Algeri. The intensity of resolve and emotional dedication is so resolute on both sides of the conflict portrayed, it'll take a miracle for the invested viewer to fully recover after witnessing this stunning cinematic spectacle. The battle will commence Saturday, July 6 at 5pm PST.

Earlier this month I recommended, and linked to a past review of, Casablanca, which I criticised for its emotionally underwhelming Parisian flashback, partly due to the fact that we did not see the romance develop before these rather lukewarm scenes took place. Prior to this film, however, Casablanca's producer Hal Wallis and one of its contributing writers, Casey Robinson, made Now, Voyager where the romance witnessed from start to finish comes alive with fervour, maturity and elegance. Previously reviewed here, Now, Voyager will set sail Thursday, July 11 at 8:45am PST with a repeat performance of Casablanca occurring immediately afterward Thursday, July 11 at 10:45am PST.

Later in the evening, TCM will have one of its rare showings of the exceptional (occasionally identified as noir) western Gunman’s Walk, a previous recommendation about 4 and a half years ago here. Be on the lookout Thursday, July 11 at 6:45pm PST.

(From left) James Darren, Tab Hunter

(From left) James Darren, Tab Hunter

Approximately 5 years after the release of Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart starred in a thrilling film noir adapted from David Goodis’ novel and directed by Delmer (3:10 to Yuma) Daves. Co-starring Bogart's partner in love, Lauren Bacall, Dark Passage combines the best of romance with the best of noir in the best location for both: San Francisco. Previously recommended as a Blu-Ray release here, Bogart will make his "dark passage" on TCM Saturday, July 13 at 11am PST.

Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart

Western fans should check out the rock solid The Fastest Gun Alive, reviewed here, with a spectacular final showdown not to mention the tension-filled and expertly handled exposé leading up to it, Monday, July 15 at 5pm PST.

This will be a really bad day for anyone who encounters Them! (the giant mutant ants that is). The motion picture, however, is an exhilarating creature feature, previously reviewed here. Them! will march on TCM Wednesday, July 17 at 4:30am PST.

The unmissable Busby Berkeley extravaganza Footlight Parade is also a previous TCM recommendation here. Let the show begin Wednesday, July 17 at 1pm PST.

Footlight Parade’s star Jimmy Cagney makes his foray into noir with White Heat. A criminal's mother-fixated pathology and the undercover cop trying to catch him are the topics of this previous recommendation here. TCM's screen will heat up Wednesday, July 17 at 3pm PST.

(From left) James Cagney, Edmond O'Brien

(From left) James Cagney, Edmond O'Brien

TCM is featuring a few fine films from director John Frankenheimer starting late in the afternoon of July 18 beginning with his action-packed and thought provoking feature The Train, a previous Blu-ray recommendation here. The Train will begin its perilous journey Thursday, July 18 at 5pm PST.

In the U.K. town of Midwich, strange children with mysterious origins are behaving badly. Find out just how bad when the chilling Village of the Damned, previously reviewed here, airs Wednesday, July 24 at (early morning) 3:30am PST.

All About Eve is really all about the spoken word. Were the dialogue-driven narrative absent of this tempestuous quality, the result would be as still as the fruit in a Cézanne painting.

Gary Merrill, Anne Baxter, Bette Davis

Gary Merrill, Anne Baxter, Bette Davis

(From left) Anne Baxter, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, George Sanders

(From left) Anne Baxter, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, George Sanders

Each of the characters inhabit the world of theatre and are so generously provisioned and enacted with their own distinctive set of wit, motivational vitality and often venomous rebukes, the film becomes a kind of play itself: dense, electrifying and majestic, like a thunderstorm over a restless sea. Even the smallest roles, such as the one played by Marilyn Monroe, seize the viewers’ attentiveness by their startling elocution, our gaze reinforced by the equally incisive responses generated from others. If one were to list only this film’s most sensational dialogue there would be nothing left out: the entire motion picture is infinitely quotable.  

(From left) Celeste Holm, Bette Davis, Hugh Marlowe

(From left) Celeste Holm, Bette Davis, Hugh Marlowe

Cinephiles unfamiliar with All About Eve might have guessed by now the person behind this dramaturgical stroke of genius, not to mention its directorial prowess: the inestimable Joseph L. Mankiewicz. His fictional personalities may revolve around show business but like the “All the world’s a stage…” quote, effortlessly transcend their setting with boundless identifiable human characteristics. For example, in the form of Margo Channing, there’s the hurt and jealousy felt by an ageing woman (played with gusto by Bette Davis) and final realisation of a true love’s (Bill Simpson suited perfectly for actor Garry Merrill) capacity to see beyond appearance. There’s the cunning ambition of a youthful admirer, Eve Harrington (a vivacious Anne Baxter) whose secretive lust for fame causes her wilful sprint across moral boundaries, and the appropriately named Addison DeWitt (who else but George Sanders): a powerful cynic’s disregard for human empathy who delights in discovering and then exploiting those same ruthless tactics in others… and so many more. Speaking of discovery, without further ado, I’ll let the uninitiated “fasten your seatbelts” and relish a “bumpy night” of self realisation that is All About Eve… Wednesday, July 24 at 8:15pm PST.  

All About Eve is also July’s Blu-ray pick of the month. See the last entry in this column for more details.

Anatomy of a Murder is one of the most authentic and enthralling courtroom dramas of all time. Previously reviewed here, the trial will begin Saturday, July 27 at 10:15am PST.

What exactly is film noir? Many enthusiasts and experts continue to debate the subject, with numerous examples of films that should, and just as many that should not, be included in the category. Some, who most likely feel that noir films rely on a certain look, dismiss any colour film as unworthy of being categorised as such. Others like myself, prone to distinguishing noir by its subject matter, are more inclined to include colour films produced during noir's classic time period that focus on crime and the psychologies of those involved. This brings me to my next TCM selection and a prior Blu-ray recommendation here, 1953's Niagara, one of the strongest arguments for colour noir that exists. See for yourself on Wednesday, July 31 at 11:15pm PST.

TCM's current monthly schedule can be confirmed by clicking on the above image. For those who live in parts of the U.S. other than the western region, the time zone can be adjusted in the upper right-hand corner of TCM's programme.

This month's Happy Birthday shout-out goes to the charismatic actor Don Murray, who turns 90 on July 31st.



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Murray made an auspicious film debut in the adaptation of William Inge’s play Bus Stop (1956) as a socially awkward cowboy infatuated with a singer played by Marilyn Monroe, for which he won an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor. He’s enjoyed other outstanding roles in such important motion pictures as A Hatful of Rain (1957), From Hell to Texas (1958), Advise & Consent (1962), Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972, as the authoritarian ruler Governor Breck) and Peggy Sue Got Married (1986). Younger audiences might be familiar with Murray’s recurring portrayal of insurance executive Bushnell Mullins in the critically lauded TV series Twin Peaks (2017).








July's Soundtrack recommendation is James Horner’s Oscar nominated score to Apollo 13.

At the time of the film’s release there was a soundtrack issued on CD that in addition to the composer’s music, was replete with sound effects and dialogue. For film music aficionados, this was practically useless. We could just as well played the film and turned the picture off… same thing. Also produced for Academy Members (again, about the time of the film’s theatrical run) was a highly coveted promotional CD (legitimately issued by Universal Pictures with the composer’s participation) featuring a black and white cover that interestingly enough, contained only James Horner’s thrilling music! To make matters even more confusing, a slightly inferior sounding bootleg, looking almost identical and only outwardly distinguishable by the markings on the CD’s inner ring, was made of this promo and sold by a few soundtrack specialty outlets.

Finally, all of the above issues are moot since the folks at Intrada have presented Horner’s complete score on 2 CDs without the added distractions. Ron Howard’s fairly straightforward but highly competent retelling of the titular aborted moon mission is boosted considerably by Horner’s emotionally charged score, one that captures all of the astonishment, suspense, resourcefulness, thrills and heroics deserving of the depicted events. More information and international ordering of this exceptional (but limited) release can by had by clicking on the accompanying image.



July’s recommended Blu-ray is to the above reviewed All About Eve (North America Region A) issued by 20th Century Fox. For more information including ordering from Amazon.com, click on the accompanying image.

A.G.