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Leonard Maltin

Under The Radar: Linotype--The Film

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • October 16, 2012 1:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
When I read that someone had made a documentary about the Linotype machine, I said “That’s for me.” It’s not that I’m automatically drawn to arcane subjects, but I had the great fortune to work with this mechanical marvel when I was an editor on my college newspaper, and I’ve never forgotten the experience. Thomas Edison referred to it as “the eighth wonder of the world,” yet today it is all but forgotten.

Limelight, James Bond, And More

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • October 15, 2012 1:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered L.A. movie lovers an abundance of riches over the past few weeks, with more events than I was able to attend—or write about, until now. Celebrating Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight on its 60th anniversary with his leading lady, Claire Bloom, and costar Norman Lloyd was very special indeed. Bloom remarked that she worshipped Chaplin from the moment she met him and still feels that way today. Lloyd, still a formidable raconteur at the age of 97, told about meeting Charlie through their mutual love of tennis, and how he watched the great man write his screenplay in longhand over several years’ time on his sun porch.

Argo—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • October 12, 2012 1:00 AM
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  • 10 Comments
'Argo' is one terrific movie, the best I’ve seen all year. The fact that it’s an original (and difficult to encapsulate) may make it a tough sell, but I hope good reviews and word of mouth will bring it the success it deserves.

Seven Psychopaths—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • October 12, 2012 12:51 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Because I’m fond of writer-director Martin McDonagh’s debut feature 'In Bruges', I was eager to see his follow-up, especially when I saw the dream cast of oddballs and originals he assembled, led by Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson—not to mention such iconoclasts as Harry Dean Stanton and Tom Waits.

Photographic Memory—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • October 12, 2012 12:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Ross McElwee made his reputation with a highly original film called 'Sherman’s March' and has continued to draw on his family history in such low-key, first-person features as 'Bright Leaves'. His latest effort, 'Photographic Memory', is another cinematic diary which follows two separate but related streams.

An MGM Auction Like No Other

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • October 10, 2012 1:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
A friend tipped me to an auction taking place this Friday that film buffs should know about. It’s the collection of MGM’s longtime animal wrangler and trainer, Voley Phifer, and many of the pieces in it are unique. (How about a marionette of Robert Donat from 'Goodbye, Mr. Chips'?)
More: Journal, MGM

Celebrating Jim Tully—In Hollywood

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • October 8, 2012 1:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Several months ago I reviewed the revelatory biography 'Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler' by Mark Dawidziak and Paul Bauer, who spent years researching the life of this celebrated—but now curiously forgotten—author and Hollywood figure. This coming week the authors are coming to Los Angeles for a series of events they’re calling a Tullyfest, and I am happy to help spread the word.

The Paperboy—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • October 5, 2012 1:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments
I suppose we all like a taste of Southern-gothic storytelling now and then, so I was ready to enjoy The Paperboy based on what little I’d heard ahead of time. And yes, Nicole Kidman’s unflinchingly flashy performance—in a parade of brightly colored miniskirts—is an attention-getter. But it’s a shame to have to wade through the rest of this murky mess in order to watch her strut her stuff. Director Lee Daniels, who made Precious and Shadowboxer, worked with author Pete Dexter to adapt the latter’s novel about two brothers (Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron) whose lives take different paths, then converge again over a hot-button murder investigation in 1969.

Frankenweenie—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • October 5, 2012 1:00 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Tim Burton has returned to familiar turf in 'Frankenweenie'. That will come as good news to some fans and bad news to others, who may feel that he’s gone to the same well once too often. I enjoyed this feature-length remake of his 1984 short, even though the seams show.

Beauty Is Embarrassing—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • October 5, 2012 12:53 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Here is another documentary I’ve only recently managed to see, somewhat late in the game. Fortunately, 'Beauty is Embarrassing' is still playing in theaters and touring the film festival circuit, so adding my kudos to the praise it’s already received isn’t simply academic. Wayne White may not be a household name, but anyone in a certain age group will respond to the fact that he won three Emmy Awards for designing Pee Wee’s Playhouse in the 1980s.

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