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leonardmaltin
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Leonard Maltin

CRUISING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 5, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments
It may not sound like work, because I’m lucky enough to combine business and pleasure, but I lecture on Princess Cruises. For a year-end trip through the Panama Canal I was asked to introduce four of my favorite unsung films of 2010, and I was happy to do so. City Island was by far the audience favorite—people thanked me for days after the screening—but Mother and Child was also well received, along with Flipped and The Winning Season. Seasoned film-buff passengers also fared quite well with my session of movie trivia, scoring 17 out of a possible 20.
More: Journal

film review: Another Year

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 3, 2011 8:28 AM
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  • 4 Comments
I look forward to a Mike Leigh movie the way some readers anticipate a new novel by their favorite author. But unlike some writers who hew to comfortable formulas, Leigh always cooks up something different; you never know what to expect. The most obvious common thread in his work is the appearance of familiar actors from his informal stock company, many of whom have won honors for their work in his pictures (Marianne Jean-Baptiste in Secrets & Lies, Imelda Staunton in Vera Drake, Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky, et al). The deeper through-line is his concern with ordinary people, usually from the working class, in a throwback to England’s famous “kitchen sink” dramas of the late 1950s and early 60s. Many of those dramas were famously angry, while Leigh sees the brighter side of life.

dvd review: Discovery: The Night of the Hunter - 2002

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 2, 2011 1:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It’s become commonplace to see “making-of” documentaries and promotional videos, even for crummy movies that don’t merit such attention. Unfortunately, behind-the-scenes footage for movies of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s is scarce, and when it exists it’s generally brief.

Remembering “Hollywood And The Stars”

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 30, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 11 Comments
It’s that time when we look back and remember the people who’ve pass on during 2010. (If you haven’t seen Turner Classic Movies’ always-incredible memorial segment, you should: www.tcm.com) One of those who left our midst was producer David L. Wolper. When I read his obituary in August, I knew it would focus on his early success with television documentaries like The Making of the President, his epic miniseries Roots, his well-loved feature Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and his spectacular opening ceremonies for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
More: Journal

Scanning The Movie Year

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 27, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 13 Comments
Like any critic, I have an ego: it comes with the territory, or I couldn’t express my opinion with confidence. Imagine what it’s like, then, to sit in a room with forty other critics—each one certain and confident—and try to reach a consensus, as I do with my colleagues in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association every December. We meet in person and vote out loud, using a point system to determine the most popular candidates in every category; then we have a runoff show of hands between the two top vote-getters to determine who wins. (If you’d like to see all of this year’s winners, or learn more about our group and its members,—

film review—THE ILLUSIONIST

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 25, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
I have nothing but admiration for Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist, a heartfelt homage to the great filmmaker and comedic artist Jacques Tati, based on one of his unproduced screenplays. But I wanted to love the film wholeheartedly, and I didn’t.

MR. DeMILLE, MEET MR. DISNEY

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 23, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
When I first became interested in old-time radio I didn’t comprehend just how strong a connection existed between the empire of the air and the movie industry during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. At first, Hollywood was wary of radio, just as it would be when television came along. Then the powers-that-be realized that radio wasn’t the enemy: it was a potential ally, capable of promoting its stars and upcoming movies to an enormous audience.
More: Journal

film review—TRUE GRIT

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 22, 2010 5:15 AM
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  • 17 Comments
The Coen Brothers want to have their cake and eat it, too. They apparently intend some of their adaptation of True Grit to play believably, and some of it to reflect the ironic distance for which they’re so well known. That’s a tough two-step to pull off, and they almost get away with it.

film review: SOMEWHERE

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 22, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments
I count Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation as one of my favorite films of the decade, and I have great respect for her other pictures—except for the one at hand. Somewhere, which somehow won the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, strikes me as a non-movie, an utter waste of time.

DORIS DAY SPEAKS!

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 20, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 8 Comments
There aren’t many true movie stars still with us from Hollywood’s golden age, or even from the 1950s and 60s, when the studio era was on the wane. But one star who occupied a unique place in America’s heart, as a top box-office attraction and a top-selling recording artist at the same time, is still alive and well: Doris Day. She avoids the limelight and hasn’t appeared on camera in many years. (I felt very lucky to spend some time with her for Entertainment Tonight in 1993, during a weekend-long fundraiser she held for her Animal League.)
More: Journal

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