Sidney Buchman - News Poster


Holiday (1938 + 1930)

Holiday (1938 + 1930)
This classy late-’30s Park Avenue romp gives us Katharine Heburn and Cary Grant at their best; Grant is especially good in a particularly demanding comedy role. The original play is warmed up a bit with comedy touches, and some pointed political barbs slip in there as well. The marvelous acting ensemble gives terrific material to favorites like Jean Dixon and Edward Everett Horton.



The Criterion Collection 1009

1938 / Color / 1:37 Academy / 95 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date January 7, 2020 / 39.95

Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres, Edward Everett Horton, Henry Kolker, Binnie Barnes, Jean Dixon, Henry Daniell, Ann Doran.

Cinematography: Franz Planer

Film Editor: Al Clark, Otto Meyer

Original Music: Sidney Cutner

Written by Donald Ogden Stewart, Sidney Buchman from the play by Philip Barry

Produced by Everett Riskin

Directed by George Cukor

Holiday was written by Philip Barry, the playwright who tailored The Philadelphia Story for Katharine Hepburn.
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Move over, ‘Godfather’: You may soon have a little company from ‘Little Women’ in the adapted screenplay Oscar category

Jo March and Vito Corleone have nothing in common besides being iconic literary and film figures, but they may soon have some shared Oscar history. If Greta Gerwig wins Best Adapted Screenplay, as our odds are forecasting, “Little Women” would join “The Godfather” as two-time Oscar-winning source material.

Mario Puzo‘s seminal 1969 crime novel “The Godfather” is the only work thus far that has yielded multiple Best Adapted Screenplay victories. Along with Francis Ford Coppola, the author adapted his signature book into screenplays for “The Godfather” (1972) and “The Godfather Part II” (1974), and they became two of seven people to win the category a record two times. “The Godfather” is the only franchise to have multiple wins as well.

Harry Seagall‘s play “Heaven Can Wait” came close to producing two wins: Sidney Buchman and Seton I. Miller prevailed for their 1941 adaptation, “Here Comes Mr. Jordan,” but Warren Beatty and Elaine May lost for their 1978 version,
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Film News Roundup: Danny Boyle’s Comedy Moved Forward

  • Variety
Film News Roundup: Danny Boyle’s Comedy Moved Forward
In today’s film news roundup, Danny Boyle’s upcoming comedy has been moved forward, James Wan is producing a horror movie based on the short “Milk” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is returning to theaters.

Release Date

Universal Pictures will move its untitled Danny Boyle comedy forward three months from Sept. 13, 2019, to June 28.

Lily James, Himesh Patel and Kate McKinnon star. Boyle, who dropped out of directing the James Bond 25 movie recently, is teaming with screenwriter Richard Curtis, whose credits include “Love Actually” and “Notting Hill.” The story focuses on a struggling musician, played by Patel, and is set in the 1960s and 1970s.

Boyle and Curtis are also producing along with Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Matt Wilkinson and Bernie Bellew. Nick Angel and Lee Brazier serve as executive producers.

The film will open against Paramount’s Tiffany Haddish comedy “Limited Partners” and Fox’s untitled Ford vs.
See full article at Variety »

Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington Back in Movie Theaters Nationwide on October 14th and 17th

Graft, Greed and One Man’s Fight Against Political Corruption: The TCM Big Screen Classics Series Brings Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Back to Movie Theaters Nationwide on October 14 and 17 Only.

he David-and-Goliath story, set within the not-so-hallowed halls of the U.S. Capitol. This special presentation of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington also includes exclusive insight from TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz.

When Governor Hubert “Happy” Hopper (Guy Kibbee) appoints affable Jeff Smith — head of the Boy Rangers — to the U.S. Senate, corrupt political boss Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold) and secretly crooked U.S. Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains) believe they can easily manipulate the newly minted politician when he arrives in Washington. But guidance from his hard-nosed, Beltway-savvy secretary Clarissa Saunders (Jean Arthur), Mr. Smith exposes graft and greed that threatens the very fabric of American democracy, and the junior Senator becomes a heroic one-man filibuster.
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"Tear Down the Fences": Watching Capra in the Age of Trump

  • MUBI
The retrospective Frank Capra, The American Dreamer is showing April 10 - May 31, 2017 in the United Kingdom.Frank CapraFrank Capra has fallen badly out of fashion in recent decades. While still well-known for the extraordinary Depression-era purple patch that produced It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), the critics have rarely been kind. His work is routinely derided as “Capra-corn” for its perceived sentimentality and “fairy tale” idealism while the man himself is written off in favour of contemporaries Howard Hawks, Preston Sturges and Ernst Lubitsch.Elliot Stein, writing in Sight & Sound in 1972, attacked Capra’s “fantasies of good will, which at no point conflict with middle-class American status quo values”, arguing that his “shrewdly commercial manipulative tracts” consist of little more than “philistine-populist notions and greeting-card sentiments”. Pauline Kael found him “softheaded,” Derek Malcolm a huckster hawking “cosily absurd fables.” To an extent,
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Review: “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” (1941; Directed by Alexander Hall) ; Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

  • CinemaRetro
“A Heavenly Beginning”

By Raymond Benson

They must have done something right. Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) has proven to be a timeless and universal movie that keeps on giving, and the welcome new release from the Criterion Collection attests to it.

The premise of the film has been around for a while. Most of our generation know the remake better—Heaven Can Wait (1978, starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie)—which is a superb Oscar-nominated romantic comedy in its own right. Another remake in 2001, Down to Earth, starred Chris Rock.

But that’s not all. It wasn’t until I’d viewed the supplements on the new disk that I appreciated the fact that Mr. Jordan was indeed the first of several Hollywood pictures dealing with “heavenly” concepts—angels, the afterlife, and second chances. In a video discussion, critic Michael Sragow and filmmaker/distributor Michael Schlesinger reveal how the picture’s popularity actually began a trend of similar movies throughout the 1940s—A Guy Named Joe, Angel on My Shoulder, A Matter of Life and Death, It’s a Wonderful Life, and even Mr. Jordan’s direct sequel, Down to Earth (1947, not to be confused with the Chris Rock remake), which features both James Gleason and Edward Everett Horton again playing their roles from the first movie.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan was a major release and surprise hit from Columbia Pictures, a studio that always struggled to be one of the majors despite having director Frank Capra on their team in the ‘30s. Critically and popularly acclaimed, the picture successfully blends fantasy, romance, comedy, and intrigue, creating a delightful, and sometimes thought-provoking, piece of entertainment. It was nominated for Best Picture of 1941, Best Director (Alexander Hall), Best Actor (Robert Montgomery), Best Supporting Actor (James Gleason, and he steals the movie!), and Best B&W Cinematography. The film deservedly won the Oscar for Best Writing, Original Story, for Sidney Buchman and Seton I. Miller.

The story concerns Joe Pendleton (enthusiastically played by Montgomery in a stretch from his usual sophisticated tuxedo-clad characters) as a prizefighter with a heavy New Jersey accent who crashes in his private plane. His soul is saved by the Messenger (Horton), an angel whose job is to escort to Heaven the departing souls from his “territory.” In the mist-filled outskirts of Heaven, Mr. Jordan (benevolently portrayed by Claude Rains), a sort of St. Peter in a three-piece suit, checks in the new souls as they board another plane to take them to their afterlife homes. But Joe’s soul was accidentally taken before his body actually died—and therefore Mr. Jordan grants Joe a second chance. However, his consciousness must be placed into a recently deceased person—so Joe winds up inside a rich, corrupt banker’s body. Joe, in his new persona, sets about turning the banker’s life around for good, and he also attempts to continue his prizefighting. For the latter, he calls in his former manager, Corkle (Gleason) to train him. First, though, he’s got to convince Corkle that he’s really Joe inside the new man’s form. To complicate things, Joe falls in love with the daughter (Evelyn Keyes) of a man the banker destroyed financially and sent to prison. Joe also doesn’t know it yet, but he will have to jump bodies one more time before the story plays out.

The comedy and romance work like a charm, and the fantasy elements of Mr. Jordan are surprisingly effective. The movie is intelligently written and treats its subject matter with respect; and yet it has fun with the mechanics of death and the philosophical discourse of what we think the afterlife really is. The audience is tricked, in a way, into pleasantly enjoying a movie about death. What happens to Joe Pendleton at the end isn’t the norm for a romantic comedy. Technically it’s not a happy ending—and yet, it is. It’s a feel-good movie with a bittersweet center. This is a testament to the quality of writing in Here Comes Mr. Jordan.

The new 2K digital restoration looks fabulous. It has an uncompressed, monaural soundtrack. Along with the aforementioned video conversation about the film, the supplements include a long audio interview with Elizabeth Montgomery (daughter of Robert Montgomery, and, yes, the star of Bewitched) about her father and the movie; the Lux Radio Theatre radio adaptation starring Cary Grant (who was originally approached to star in the film—one can only imagine what it would have been like with Grant), Rains, Keyes, and Gleason; and a trailer. An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme adorns the booklet.

A little gem from Hollywood released just prior to America’s entrance into World War II, Here Comes Mr. Jordan is a genuine classic, arguably superior to its many remakes and imitations. You will believe...

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Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Here's a sterling example of what Hollywood excelled at back in the golden age: Robert Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains and Edward Everett Horton star in possibly the most magical of movies known as Film Blanc. A cosmic goof leaves a man with fifty years yet to live without a body -- so heavenly troubleshooters try to find him a new one. Here Comes Mr. Jordan Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 819 1941 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 94 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date June 14, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Robert Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains, Rita Johnson, Edward Everett Horton, James Gleason. Cinematography Joseph Walker Art Direction Lionel Banks Film Editor Viola Lawrence Original Music Frederick Hollander Written by Sidney Buchman, Seton I. Miller from the play Heaven Can Wait by Harry Segall Produced by Everett Riskin Directed by Alexander Hall

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Some movies are so entertaining that it's best to tell people,
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Top Screenwriting Team from the Golden Age of Hollywood: List of Movies and Academy Award nominations

Billy Wilder directed Sunset Blvd. with Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies Below is a list of movies on which Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder worked together as screenwriters, including efforts for which they did not receive screen credit. The Wilder-Brackett screenwriting partnership lasted from 1938 to 1949. During that time, they shared two Academy Awards for their work on The Lost Weekend (1945) and, with D.M. Marshman Jr., Sunset Blvd. (1950). More detailed information further below. Post-split years Billy Wilder would later join forces with screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond in movies such as the classic comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), the Best Picture Oscar winner The Apartment (1960), and One Two Three (1961), notable as James Cagney's last film (until a brief comeback in Milos Forman's Ragtime two decades later). Although some of these movies were quite well received, Wilder's later efforts – which also included The Seven Year Itch
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Oscar-Nominated Film Series: Gwtw Actress De Havilland Steals Show from Co-Stars in Romantic/Immigration Melodrama

'Hold Back the Dawn': Olivia de Havilland behind Charles Boyer and Paulette Goddard 'Hold Back the Dawn' 1941 movie: Olivia de Havilland steals show as small-town teacher in love Olivia de Havilland shines in Mitchell Leisen's melodrama Hold Back the Dawn, a sort of opening bracket for the director's World War II-era films. Adapted by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett from Ketti Frings' semi-autobiographical story, Hold Back the Dawn stars Charles Boyer as George Iscovescu, a Romanian dancer unable to enter the U.S. from Mexico due to immigration quotas imposed at the onset of the European conflict. Paulette Goddard is his scheming former partner, Anita, who marries an American to gain entry into the country only to immediately leave the duped husband. George adopts the idea – a naïve small-town schoolteacher visiting a Mexican border town is his prey. As the unsuspecting teacher, Olivia de Havilland radiates understanding and sympathy.
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The Forgotten: René Clément's "The Deadly Trap" (1971)

  • MUBI
The late films of René Clément are even more neglected than the early and middle films of René Clément, which is to say, very neglected indeed. Falling somewhat between the generation of Jean Renoir and that of the nouvelle vague, he may have been seen as a dangerous professional rival, but he certainly was no friend to the emerging Cahiers du cinema cinephiles, declaring at the time of Fahrenheit 451's production that each Truffaut film was worse than the one before.

Almost effaced from film history apart from a couple of unavoidably impressive titles, Clément remains a stylish professional whose devotion to the thriller genre would have been considered admirable if he were American, but sits awkwardly with our expectations of French cinema: we have room for Henri-Georges Clouzot and Jean-Pierre Melville only.

Clément's last four films are all twisty thrillers, the kind of films that spend ages setting
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Three 1930s Capra Classics Tonight: TCM's Jean Arthur Mini-Festival

Jean Arthur films on TCM include three Frank Capra classics Five Jean Arthur films will be shown this evening, Monday, January 5, 2015, on Turner Classic Movies, including three directed by Frank Capra, the man who helped to turn Arthur into a major Hollywood star. They are the following: Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; George Stevens' The More the Merrier; and Frank Borzage's History Is Made at Night. One the most effective performers of the studio era, Jean Arthur -- whose film career began inauspiciously in 1923 -- was Columbia Pictures' biggest female star from the mid-'30s to the mid-'40s, when Rita Hayworth came to prominence and, coincidentally, Arthur's Columbia contract expired. Today, she's best known for her trio of films directed by Frank Capra, Columbia's top director of the 1930s. Jean Arthur-Frank Capra
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Brash Blonde vs. Sweet Blonde (Long Before Titanic): Farrell Has Her 'Summer' Day

Glenda Farrell: Actress has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day Scene-stealer Glenda Farrell is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 29, 2013. A reliable — and very busy — Warner Bros. contract player in the ’30s, the sharp, energetic, fast-talking blonde actress was featured in more than fifty films at the studio from 1931 to 1939. Note: This particular Glenda Farrell has nothing in common with the One Tree Hill character played by Amber Wallace in the television series. The Glenda Farrell / One Tree Hill name connection seems to have been a mere coincidence. (Photo: Glenda Farrell as Torchy Blane in Smart Blonde.) Back to Warners’ Glenda Farrell: TCM is currently showing Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939), one of the seven B movies starring Farrell as intrepid reporter Torchy Blane. Major suspense: Will Torchy win the election? She should. No city would ever go bankrupt with Torchy at the helm. Glenda Farrell
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Twelve Movies To Get You Through Election Day Blues

Election Day is just around the corner, and depending on your view of the current state of The Republic, you can look at that day in one of two ways:

It’s a national celebration of history’s greatest, most successful democracy, demonstrating our ability to freely choose our leadership and peacefully see the baton of power passed to the next man;

Or –

It’s a national embarrassment, history’s greatest, most successful democracy squandering it’s hard-won freedoms in a campaign for leadership poisoned by oversimplification, appeals to gut-level fears rather than the intellect, claims and charges plagued by inflation, distortion, and outright falsehood, and warped and distorted by the infusion of tens of millions of dollars from vested interests.

Either way, we still have to get through the day.

So, for those of you who just want to pull the shades and wait for the noise to die down,
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Sidney Lumet, 1924 - 2011

  • MUBI
"Sidney Lumet, a director who preferred the streets of New York to the back lots of Hollywood and whose stories of conscience — 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, The Verdict, Network — became modern American film classics, died Saturday morning at his home in Manhattan. He was 86." Robert Berkvist in the New York Times: "'While the goal of all movies is to entertain,' Mr Lumet once wrote, 'the kind of film in which I believe goes one step further. It compels the spectator to examine one facet or another of his own conscience. It stimulates thought and sets the mental juices flowing.' Social issues set his own mental juices flowing, and his best films not only probed the consequences of prejudice, corruption and betrayal but also celebrated individual acts of courage."

"Nearly all the characters in Lumet's gallery are driven by obsessions or passions that range from the pursuit of justice,
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Best Films - 1939

The Rules of the Game by Jean Renoir Film Gone with the Wind d: Victor Fleming; scr: Sidney Howard Le Jour se lève / Daybreak d: Marcel Carné; scr: Jacques Viot, Jacques Prévert Midnight d: Mitchell Leisen; scr: Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett Mr. Smith Goes to Washington d: Frank Capra; scr: Sidney Buchman Ninotchka d: Ernst Lubitsch; scr: Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch The Old Maid d: Edmund Goulding; scr: Casey Robinson The Rains Came d: Clarence Brown; scr: Philip Dunne, Julien Josephson La Règle du jeu / The Rules of the Game d: Jean Renoir; scr: Jean Renoir, Carl Koch The Women d: George Cukor; scr: Anita Loos, Jane Murfin Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon in Wuthering Heights Check These Out Bachelor Mother d: Garson Kanin; scr: Norman Krasna Beau Geste d: William A. Wellman; scr: Robert Carson Hello Janine d: Carl Boese; scr: Hans Fritz Beckmann, Karl Georg Külb The
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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