Stamps Pay Tribute to Four Outstanding Directors

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 11:37 am

A ceremony at the American Film Institute Silver Theatre and Cultural Center launched new First Class Forever postage stamps that pay tribute to a veritable Mount Rushmore of golden-age movie directors: Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston and Billy Wilder. Available nationwide today, the stamps can be purchased online at usps.com/shop, by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724) or by visiting Post Offices.

“With these stamps, we’re bringing these filmmakers out from behind their cameras and putting them in the spotlight so that we can learn more about them,” said Samuel Pulcrano, U.S. Postal Service vice president, Corporate Communications in dedicating the stamps. “Movies offer a window into our history and heritage and tell the story of America. Similar to movies, stamps honor our past and celebrate our achievements while encouraging us to learn more about the people, places, and ideas that shape the American experience.

The stamp art combines a portrait of each director with a scene from one of his most iconic works. The background art for the stamp honoring Frank Capra shows a scene from It Happened One Night, a comedy in which a runaway heiress (played by Claudette Colbert) and a reporter (Clark Gable) compare their hitchhiking skills.  For the John Ford stamp, the background recalls a scene from The Searchers, an influential Western starring John Wayne and making Ford’s characteristic use of the American landscape.  The Maltese Falcon inspired the background art for the John Huston stamp. In this classic mystery, gumshoe Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) goes up against various unscrupulous characters (among them Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet). For Billy Wilder, the stamp background artwork was inspired by Some Like It Hot, a farce about two male musicians (Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis) who seek refuge from gangsters by posing as members of an all-girl band featuring luscious singer Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe).

Art Director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, designed these stamps using art by award-winning illustrator Gary Kelley of Cedar Falls, IA, who created the images using pastels on paper.  I hope people buy the stamps but I hope even more that the stamps inspire them to watch the movies directed by these brilliant men.

Related Tags:

 

Not specified
ir.gif

The Man Who Would Be King

Posted on June 6, 2011 at 8:00 am

B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Profanity: Mild language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking
Violence/ Scariness: Characters in peril, injured and killed, some graphic and disturbing images
Diversity Issues: Reflects the racial and cultural prejudices of the era
Date Released to Theaters: 1975
Date Released to DVD: June 6, 2011
Amazon.com ASIN: B0045HCIZE

Director John Houston’s “The Man Who Would Be King,” released this week for the first time on Blu-Ray, is a magnificent spectacle, based on a story by Rudyard Kipling.  Michael Caine and Sean Connery star as British sergeants and adventurers during the colonialist era of the British Raj.  They travel to Kafiristan (now Afghanistan) and are briefly able to persuade the indigenous people that one of them is a god.  Caine’s real-life wife co-stars in one of those they-don’t-make-them-like-that-anymore adventure sagas.  Indeed, Houston had hoped at one time to film it with Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart.  I would love to have seen it, but I am certain it could not have been any better than this thrilling and touching story.

Related Tags:

 

Action/Adventure Based on a book Classic Drama DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week Epic/Historical
ir.gif

Murder Mystery Classics on Film

Posted on September 2, 2009 at 8:00 am

TCM has come out with a terrific collection of four of the all-time best classic murder mystery movies, the TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Murder Mysteries, featuring:

“The Maltese Falcon” Humphrey Bogart, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Mary Astor are after the item in the title, a jewel-encrusted sculpture. Double and triple cross has never been better or more entertainingly portrayed. An indispensable film, number 23 on the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 American films of all time.

“The Big Sleep” William Faulker worked on the screenply but the oppressive gothic overtone of the narration is straight from the Raymond Chandler novel in this story so filled with corruption and plot twists that when director Howard Hawks wrote to Chandler to ask him who had committed one of the murders and he admitted that even he didn’t know. The repartee between Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart sizzles.

“Dial M for Murder” One of the nastiest plots ever put on screen, this claustrophobic thriller stars Grace Kelly and Ray Milland. It was originally shot by Alfred Hitchcock in 3D and you can almost feel Kelly’s desperate hand reaching out of the screen — the hand holding those very sharp scissors.

Postman_Always_R1_00421.jpg

“The Postman Always Rings Twice” The camera is in love with Lana Turner in this movie, made when she was at her most delectably seductive. Poor drifter John Garfield doesn’t have a chance in this Tay Garnett-directed version of the James M. Cain novel about the plot to kill an inconvenient husband. One mystery? The meaning of the title, which is not explained in the book and which has provoked some interesting theories, one of which is mentioned in the movie.

Related Tags:

 

For Your Netflix Queue Movie Mom’s Top Picks for Families
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2024, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik