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Leonard Maltin

A Disney Artist Comes Into Her Own

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 31, 2010 12:17 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Orson Welles—At Ease

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 30, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
I’m hesitant to publish links to YouTube on a regular basis for two reasons: the dubious legality of some posts, and the guilt I feel by encouraging you to idle away untold hours of time on this hypnotic site. But I can’t resist calling your attention to a series of short pieces that Orson Welles filmed for the BBC in 1955 under the title Orson Welles’ Sketchbook. I had never seen, or even heard of, these on-camera essays until someone called them to my attention.
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Animation Rarities Online

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 29, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Cartoonist J. Stuart Blackton in front of the 1900 drawing that magically comes to life.
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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.)

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.
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Fans of Fan Magazines Gather

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 6, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
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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.
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Cavalcade—And Noel Coward—Revisited

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • April 28, 2010 2:42 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Recently, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences capped off its magnificent gallery exhibition honoring Noël Coward with three nights of screenings. The series kicked off a week ago Friday night with an evening hosted by that renaissance man Stephen Fry, who also happens to be a Vice President of the Noël Coward Society. A few days before the Academy event he interviewed Coward’s cinematic collaborator Ronald Neame, who turns 99 today. Their video conversation was delightful and revealing, with Neame recalling how at one point during the preparation of Brief Encounter he became fairly adept at writing “Noël Coward dialogue,” and was complimented on his ability by the Master himself. He also said Coward was extremely unhappy with—
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Classic Film Fest: An Abundance Of Riches

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • April 26, 2010 7:33 AM
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  • 8 Comments
With a triumphant screening of the newly-restored Fritz Lang epic Metropolis at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the TCM Classic Film Festival came to a close last night. From the cheers of the crowd—not only for the film, and an extraordinary performance by the three-man Alloy Orchestra, but for TCM host Robert Osborne’s announcement that there will be a 2nd edition of the Festival next year—it was clear that this ambitious event was a smash success.
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