Seminal Cinema Outfit

Classic, Foreign and Rare Film

(Insert film)

Critical reading

“On the merits of Vicki Baum’s manuscript in its footlight version, and on the strength of the grand and glorious list of names in the talkie cast, this Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production could draw box-office lines for some months to come. But it does not have to depend on its reputation as a stage play, nor on the array of talent in its film lineup – that is, not merely because the names are important cinema names.”More at New York Daily News

“Joan Crawford, who I’ve noted before took a while to warm up to talkies, is wonderful here, imbuing her part with a mix of sadness and hope that the movie isn’t strong enough to get a handle on. Since this is such a big picture, a lot of the more unseemly implications of her later decisions apparently ended on the cutting room floor; in spite of that, Crawford shines.”More at PreCode

Further reading

“Watching Garbo in close-up is like being transported back to the silent era. No matter what lines she’s saying, she always speaks more clearly with her face. The way she wrinkles her brow and casts her eyes heavenward is reminiscent of an earlier time.”More at Curnblog

“Joan and Greta Garbo aren’t seen together in the same frame was a purposeful plan in order to avoid one actress from upstaging the other. Greta Garbo insisted on top billing which infuriated Joan to the point of exacting a little revenge of her own during production. Knowing that Greta Garbo hated tardiness and Marlene Dietrich on an equal level, Joan made it a habit of arriving late on set, and in between scenes, she would play Marlene Dietrich records – loudly!'”- More at Legendary Joan Crawford

“Maybe I’m just too accustomed to modern cinematic storytelling, but watching Grand Hotel for the first time (it was recently issued on Blu-ray) I half expected an earthquake or a massive storm to strike. Director Edmund Goulding sets things up much like the disaster movies that came into vogue in the ‘70s. We meet the bitter Dr. Ottersnschlag (Lewis Stone), scarred from old war wounds like Mel Gibson in The Man Without a Face” – More at The Morton Report

Critical reading:

In interviews Gable stated that he was reluctant to do the part, and in the film’s program he was quoted as saying that he was “scared stiff” and “realized that whoever played Rhett would be up against a stumbling block…Miss Mitchell had etched Rhett into the minds of millions…It would be impossible to satisfy them all.”More at TCM

“While the Stars and Bars flapped from every building, some 300,000 Atlantans and visitors lined up for seven miles to watch the procession of limousines bring British Vivien Leigh (in tears as thousands welcomed her “back home”), Clark Gable, his wife Carole Lombard, Producer David O. Selznick, Laurence Olivier and others from the airport. Crowds larger than the combined armies that fought at Atlanta in July 1864 waved Confederate flags, tossed confetti till it seemed to be snowing, gave three different versions of the Rebel yell, whistled, cheered, goggled.”More at TIME

“Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh were well matched in the two most coveted movie roles of the era. Both were well-served by a studio system that pumped out idealized profiles and biographies, but we now know what outlaws they were: Gable, the hard-drinking playboy whose studio covered up his scandals; Leigh, the neurotic, drug-abusing beauty who was the despair of every man who loved her.”More at Roger Ebert

Further reading:

“5. The public wasn’t thrilled about an unknown English actress playing the quintessential Southern Belle. Leigh is not the only Brit in the film though; Leslie Howard who played Scarlett’s unrequited love Ashley Wilkes was also English and if Englishman Ronald Colman had gotten the part of Rhett over Clark Gable three of the four main characters would have been decidedly un-American.”20 Facts about Gone with the Wind that will Make You Give a Damn at Pajiba

“10. When movie mogul David O. Selznick purchased the movie rights for $50,000 in 1936, it was the most ever paid for rights to a book. Mitchell declined to be involved with the production of the movie, though she was said to have loved it save for a few details (she found Tara to be too opulent, for example).” – More at Mental Floss


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