Sunday, July 20, 2014

James Garner, RIP

I feel sad about the recent passing of actor James Garner. He was so watchable on the big or small screen! Although Garner delivered my favorite performance in Murphy's Romance, many other movies come to mind in which he excelled -- The Notebook, Maverick, My Fellow Americans, The Great Escape, The Americanization of Emily, Victor/Victoria -- and the list goes on. His TV work always impressed me, but The Rockford Files belongs in a class by itself. I could watch all of those episodes over and over again. And I have!

It's no wonder Garner became so popular and received acclaim for his excellent understated portrayals. Below are some of the honors he received.

An Oscar nomination for Murphy's Romance.

Three Golden Globe Awards (Most Promising Newcomer in 1958, Decoration Day in 1991, Barbarians at the Gate in 1994)

Two Emmys (Rockford Files, Promise)

Garner appeared in many different types of films. But when asked if he would ever do a nude scene, he replied, "I don't do horror movies."

We will miss this talented, likable actor. My deepest condolences to his fans, friends and family. 

Thank you, James Garner, for the many hours of pleasure you have given us at the movies!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Congratulations, Cloris Leachman!

What a great time I had this Tuesday at the Movie Addict Headquarters SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY PARTY on BlogTalkRadio! We played clips of famous guests, talked about favorite shows, and announced a book-giveaway drawing.  Joining the festivities were: Mad Movie Man A.J. Hakari, Mr. Show Biz George Bettinger, film historian James Colt Harrison and Classic Film Guide founder Diana Saenger. The Top Ten episodes during the last twelve months were revealed as well as the guest with the most listeners during the past seven years -- who just happens to be the one and only Cloris Leachman (with almost one million listeners!).

The four film-related books below are being given away during our ANNIVERSARY random drawing that closes on August 1, 2014. (Instructions for entering the drawing are covered toward the end of the episode.)

Me and Orson Welles by Robert Kaplow
Hollywood or Bust by Susan Marg
Confessions of a Movie Addict by Betty Jo Tucker
It Had To Be Us by Harry & Elizabeth Lawrence

It was a fun -- and suspenseful -- party, so be sure to listen to the archived segment by clicking on this link:

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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Cagney at His Best

Every year when the Fourth of July draws near, I can’t help thinking about James Cagney’s splendid portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. To me,  Cagney was never better. Perhaps I’m biased because Yankee Doodle Dandy ranks as such an outstanding musical, and that’s my favorite movie genre. Or maybe because my great uncle Charley Brown substituted for George M. Cohan in roadshow productions of his famous musicals.

Still, even though Cagney earned numerous honors for his on-screen work in gangster roles, it was his brilliant performance in Yankee Doodle Dandy that earned him a well-deserved Best Actor Oscar. Because I’m such an avid movie musical fan, my other favorite Cagney films are Footlight Parade and The Seven Little Foys, which also required him to sing and/or dance. And what wonderful and unique dancing he did!  It’s interesting to note that Cagney started out in show biz as a dancer. No wonder Yankee Doodle Dandy was his favorite film.  

Here’s hoping Turner Classic Movies airs this terrific patriotic movie on July 4th again this year!   

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