“Forgotten Hollywood”- Library of Congress 2013 Film Adds…

Posted on December 19, 2013 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   The Library of Congress has made its 2013 National Film Registry additions. Spanning the period 1919-2002, the choices named to the registry include Hollywood classics, silent films, documentaries, independent, and experimental motion pictures. This year’s selections bring the number to 625, a small part of the Library’s vast moving-image collection of 1.2 million items.

Library of Congress

   Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress selects 25 productions culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes the annual registry selections after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and conferring with Library film curators and the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB).

   Here are the highlights:

Mary_Poppins5~ Mary Poppins (1964) – Alleged to be Walt Disney’s personal fav, it’s based upon a book by P.L. Travers. With an original tale as its framework, aided by the Sherman Brothers, a cinematic musical was fashioned about a most unusual nanny. Weaving together a witty script, an inventive visual style, and a slate of classic tunes (such as A Spoonful of Sugar and Chim Chim Cher-ee), Mary Poppins has enchanted generations. Seamless integration of animation with live action, its pitch-perfect cast includes Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Jane Darwell, and Ed Wynn. A Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious achievement.

384px-Poster_-_Quiet_Man,_The_01~The Quiet Man (1952) – Director John Ford used The Quiet Man to pay tribute to his Irish heritage. With her red hair ablaze against the lush green landscapes, Maureen O’Hara embodies the mystique of Ireland. John Wayne personifies the indefatigable American searching for his ancestral roots, with Victor Young’s jovial score punctuating their escapades. The movie and the locale are populated with characters bordering on caricature. Sly, whiskey-loving matchmaker Michaleen O’Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald), burly town bully Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen), and put-upon but patient Widow Tillane (Mildred Natwick) are the most vivid.

Judgment_at_Nuremberg-Spencer_Tracy~ Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) – Judgment at Nuremberg broadened its scope beyond the condemnation of Nazi perpetrators to interrogate the broad concept of justice within any modern society. Conceived by screenwriter Abby Mann during McCarthyism, the film argues passionately that those responsible for administering justice also have the duty to ensure human-rights are preserved even if they conflict with national imperatives. Originally produced as a Playhouse 90 teleplay, Mann and actor Maximilian Schell received Oscars, and it boasted fine performances from its all-star cast, including Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, Marlene Dietrich, and William Shatner.

Magnificent_original~ The Magnificent Seven (1960) – The popularity of this Western, based on Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954), has continued to grow since its release, due in part to its role as a springboard for several young actors on the verge of successful careers: Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, and Horst Buchholz. Yul Brynner bought the rights to Kurosawa’s original story, and hand-picked John Sturges as its director. He had earned a reputation for Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957). Contributing to the film’s popular appeal through the decades is Elmer Bernstein’s vibrant score.

Gilda_trailer_hayworth1~ Gilda (1946) – The end of World War II came a dark edge in the American psyche and a change in the cinema it produced. Film noir defined the 1940s and Gilda defined the genre—long on sex appeal, but short on substance. Director Charles Vidor capitalized on the voyeuristic angles of film noir. Glenn Ford, Rita Hayworth, and George Macready round out a tempestuous triangle.

800px-ForbiddenPlanet3_retouched~ Forbidden Planet (1956) – MGM Studio’s Forbidden Planet is one of the seminal science-fiction films of the 1950s, a genre that found itself revitalized within America’s new post-nuclear age. Based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Forbidden Planet is both sci-fi saga and allegory, and proved an inspiration to future visionaries, such as Gene Roddenberry. Walter Pidgeon, Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis, and in his debut, Robbie the Robot, make up the cast.

585px-Liz_Taylor_and_Richard_Burton_1965i~ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) – Edward Albee’s 1962 stage triumph made a successful transfer to the screen in this adaption written by Ernest Lehman. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton—who were both Oscar nominees for their work (with Taylor winning) in their respective roles as Martha and George, an older couple who share an explosive evening opposite a younger husband and wife, portrayed by George Segal and Sandy Dennis. Mike Nichols began his auspicious screen directing career with this film; already examining the absurdities and brutality of modern life, themes that became two of his career hallmarks.

   The public is urged to make nominations for next year’s registry at the NFPB website:

www.loc.gov/film

Until next time>                               “never forget”

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