These are my latest posts for AOL Inside Movies. Please feel free to click over and read these posts in their entirety.
On Jan. 12, 2010, Luise Rainer will turn 100. To most current movie fans, Rainer’s name could be that of any centenarian Willard Scott might salute on ‘The Today Show.’ But Rainer, a German-born actress of delicate beauty and skill, is a screen legend — one of the last of Hollywood’s golden age.
Rainer won the 1936 Best Actress Oscar for ‘The Great Ziegfeld.’ Then, the next year, facing competition like Greta Garbo in ‘Camille,’ she won another Best Actress Oscar for ‘The Good Earth.’ In so doing, she became the first-ever back-to-back Oscar-winner — a feat accomplished since then only by Spencer Tracy (1937 and 1938), Katharine Hepburn (1967 and 1968), Jason Robards (1976 and 1977) and Tom Hanks (1993 and 1994).
Unlike the other back-to-back winners, however, Rainer’s career faded, partly due to conflicts with MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer. Still, what a colorful life — first marriage to legendary playwright Clifford Odets; second (and more successful) marriage and child; occasional stage and film projects; and a dramatic screen return for ‘The Gambler’ in 1997. Happy birthday, Ms. Rainer! Here are nine other Hollywood figures who lived to 100.
The first and most critical function of a movie poster is, of course, to sell the movie. But selling the movie and subtly giving audiences clues as to what happens in it are two different things. A poster designer could, for example, make use of a blood-red background and have the stars’ names over the word “in” over the name of the film, with all the traditional details in their traditional spot at the bottom. But unless a total lack of ideas were the game, why would you do that? It’s better to dream up an image — or a montage — connecting audiences to the action of the film.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the duo behind Disney’s upcoming ‘Tron: Legacy’ — director Joseph Kosinski (who is also behind 2010’s ‘Logan’s Run’ remake) and producer Sean Bailey — have been tapped alongside screenwriter Travis Beachem to breathe new life into ‘The Black Hole,’ presumably for a 2011 or 2012 release.
The rise of the whiplash-fast screwball comedy may have begun gathering steam with the 1934 release of ‘It Happened One Night,’ but it reached a feverish apex in 1940 with the madcap ‘His Girl Friday’ — your movie of the day.