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Leonard Maltin

The Original King of Comedy

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 19, 2010 3:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Book Review: MACK SENNETT’S FUN FACTORY by Brent E. Walker (McFarland)

The Italian Straw Hat

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 18, 2010 6:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments
How can a film that’s more than eighty years old seem fresh and modern? That’s the marvel of Rene Clair’s silent gem The Italian Straw Hat (1927), which has been lovingly restored by producer David Shepard for DVD release through Jeffery Masino’s Flicker Alley. If you’ve never seen the picture, you owe it to yourself to experience its wit and charm, which is comparable to the finest work of Ernst Lubitsch…yet it is distinctly, unmistakably French. While its source material (an emblematic stage farce written in 1851) was already well-worn by the late 1920s, Clair put his own stamp on it by changing—

secret's out: A Closer Look at Please Give

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 17, 2010 6:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Please Give | Leonard Maltin's Secret's Out | Movie Trailers

film review: Robin Hood

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 13, 2010 4:30 AM
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  • 28 Comments
I went into this film with a “show me” attitude, but I freely admit it won me over. In spite of a few quibbles, I came away entertained. Perhaps the best compliment I can pay to director Ridley Scott, screenwriter Brian Helgeland, and their cast is that I didn’t find myself comparing their work to Robin Hoods past. They have managed to put their stamp on a familiar tale without completely subverting it.

Remembering Other Robin Hoods

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 13, 2010 4:16 AM
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  • 9 Comments
If you ask my daughter, there’s only one Robin Hood that matters: the Disney animated feature from 1973 with Phil Harris (channeling Baloo the Bear from The Jungle Book) in the role of Little John. If you ask me or most of my film-buff pals we’ll reflexively point to Errol Flynn in the ageless Technicolor swashbuckler The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), as perfect a movie as one could ever ask for, with superb production values and a cast that can’t be beat. Yet I wonder if some moviegoers in 1938 approached that film grumbling that no one could replace Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. After all, Fairbanks was the movies’ first great swashbuckler, and he put his indelible brand on such characters as Zorro, D’Artagnan, and Robin Hood. (Indeed, in his New York Times review on May 13, 1938, Frank S. Nugent was obliged to observe, “Mr. Flynn is not the acrobatic Robin Douglas Fairbanks was some years ago. He doesn’t slide down tapestries or vault the balustrades with—
More: Journal

On The Set With Lena Horne

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 10, 2010 6:51 AM
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  • 5 Comments
There are some days you just can’t forget. On March 13, 1993, I was given the opportunity to watch Lena Horne film her introductions for That’s Entertainment! III and interview her for Entertainment Tonight. The setting was the recording stage where Horne and all the MGM stars and musicians worked during the “golden age.” (Never mind that it was now the Sony Pictures lot; the stage itself hadn’t changed a bit.) The fabled hairdresser to the stars, Sydney Guilaroff, had come out of retirement to take care of Ms. Horne that day, and Roddy McDowall was there with his camera to take pictures of the historic happenings.
More: Journal

film review: Iron Man 2

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 7, 2010 4:01 AM
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  • 13 Comments
The best thing I can say about Iron Man 2 is also the worst thing I can say about it: it’s a sequel. Kids will probably like it fine; there’s plenty of action and it’s easy to follow. But big-league comic-book movies want to appeal to adults as well as kids these days, and it’s not easy to serve both constituencies.

film review: Mother And Child

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 7, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I love the work of writer-director Rodrigo Garcia, and bemoan the fact that more people haven’t seen his female-centric anthology films Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her and Nine Lives. It’s evident that actors are familiar with his efforts, however, because the best and the brightest want to work with him. For Mother and Child, he has narrowed his focus to three parallel (and overlapping) stories, and once again he’s attracted great actresses to star: Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, and Kerry Washington.

Fans of Fan Magazines Gather

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 6, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Journal

HAPPY 100th, NORMAN CORWIN

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 4, 2010 9:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Norman Corwin is widely referred to as “the poet laureate of radio.” That won’t have much meaning to people who didn’t grow up in the 1940s or haven’t sought out his brilliant audio dramas. But if you love great writing…if you have a curiosity about the world around you… if you wonder why Americans were so galvanized by World War Two…or if you’d like to learn why performers from Charles Laughton to Groucho Marx were eager to work with one brilliant writer-director above all others, you really ought to check out Corwin’s work.
More: Journal

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