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Leonard Maltin

Music Worth Hearing—And Seeing

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • September 21, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
I love music almost as much as I love movies. That’s why I start every morning with a visit to Tin Pan Alley at www.youtube.com/user/petermintunmusic, where the gifted pianist, singer and musicologist Peter Mintun offers “A Different Tune Each Day.” I’ve also had some wonderful experiences in recent months watching DVDs that celebrate a wide variety of music I happen to like. These documentaries and performance videos don’t have marketing muscle behind them, so they depend on loyal followers and word-of-mouth. That’s why I’m happy to recommend them here, in the hope that I can expand that audience just a bit.

Boris Karloff's Assurance

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • September 15, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
dvd review: THRILLER: THE COMPLETE SERIES (Image Entertainment)

Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist And Rebel

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • September 2, 2010 2:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There are few people who can be credited with affecting real or lasting change in our culture. One of them is Hugh Hefner, an aspiring cartoonist who borrowed money to put out the first issue of a magazine called Playboy that became an overnight sensation back in the uptight 1950s. Hef became a celebrity, and used his success to promote his ideas and ideals; that’s the focus of Oscar-winning filmmaker Brigitte Berman’s new documentary, Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, and Rebel.

review: Von Sternberg Dazzles On DVD

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 24, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
I am extremely happy because one of my all-time favorite films—The Last Command—has finally come to DVD, as part of a glorious boxed set from Criterion called 3 Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg.

dvd review: Black Orpheus

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 17, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
(Criterion Collection)

secret's out: The Runaways now on DVD

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 26, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The Runaways | Leonard Maltin | Leonard Maltin's Secret's Out | Movie Trailers

book and dvd reviews: It's A Noir, Noir, Noir, Noir World

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 16, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The term “film noir” didn’t exist in the 1940s and early 1950s. The late Larry Gelbart, who wrote the noir-inspired stage musical City of Angels, once told me that back then “film” was something you got if you didn’t brush your teeth. People went to “the movies.” But ever since the term was taken up by American film buffs and scholars in the 1970s it has created a special allure for those dark, hard-boiled melodramas that studios ground out so effortlessly in the post-War era. What’s more, since today’s audiences have no trouble digesting cynicism, these films seem positively modern as opposed to the apple-pie wholesomeness of other Hollywood product from the period.

dvd review: Buster Keaton: Lost And Found

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 13, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The folks at Kino International deserve a medal for the exceptional job they’ve done bringing Buster Keaton’s films to DVD. Last year they unveiled a beautiful copy of The General on Blu-Ray, the first silent feature to appear in that format. Now they’ve unearthed an alternate version of Steamboat Bill Jr. and paired it with the print we’re familiar with. As silent-film aficionados know, most films were shot with dual cameras, side by side, to provide a second negative for overseas use. Because the finished prints were edited separately, there were often variations in the timing of shots. At this late date it’s impossible to know for certain which version was which, but Kino’s new two-disc DVD enables Keaton scholars to examine them both. (For those who are less compulsive, a bonus feature offers a handful of scenes in split-screen so you can see the admittedly slight differences between the two. The pictorial quality is quite good in both cases.) Other features include a visual essay on the making of the film, a photo library, and—

Catching Up

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 26, 2010 5:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments
This is a momentous week for me: we’ve just finished the new edition of my annual paperback Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide—the 2011 Edition, to be specific. In this era of instant communication the process of writing, editing, and preparing a book seems quaint at best, and cumbersome at worst, but our book is still alive and well, and (I’m happy to say) has a healthy audience around the world. (I use the editorial “we” advisedly, since this has always been a team effort. Some of my collaborators have been working on this book for thirty years or more. If I didn’t have their input I’d be lost.)

dvd review: Stagecoach

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 24, 2010 6:56 AM
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  • 4 Comments
(Criterion Collection)

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