Friday, August 31, 2012

Born Today in 1928: James Coburn


One of the coolest cats in cinematic history, James Coburn is one of our absolute favorite actors here at The Cinemologists. With roles ranging from threatening baddies (Charade, 1963) to swashbuckling super spies (Our Man Flint and In Like Flint, 1966-67), Coburn's tough guy persona rang true every time he appeared on screen. He acted in a ridiculous amount of westerns, first on television and then on the silver screen, including The Magnificent Seven (1960), Sergio Leone's Duck You Sucker (also known as A Fistful of Dynamite, 1971), and Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), in which he gave one of his greatest performances. Always a joy to watch, Coburn also appeared in many, many other movies both classic and obscure, including Hell is for Heroes (1962), The Great Escape (1963), Major Dundee (1965), Midway (1976), Cross of Iron (1977), The Muppet Movie (1979), Goldengirl (1979; if you've never heard of it, believe me, you're gonna want to track it down), and Monster's Inc. (2002; one of his last roles).

In lieu of any kind of suitable sign-off, I'll just leave you with a video of James Coburn kicking major amounts of butt:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Born Today in 1912: Gene Kelly

Today would be the 100th birthday of one of the silver screen's greatest icons.  Gene Kelly is well known the world over for what could be the greatest screen musical ever, Singin' in the Rain (1952).  He rose to fame through his graceful and impressive dancing ability and his handsome charm.  Though known most famously for musicals such as that latter, Anchors Aweigh (1945),  An American in Paris (1951) and such, he also was in a plethora of swashbuckling films from The Pirate (1948) to The Three Musketeers (1948).  Later in his career he was in more dramas such as Inherit the Wind (1960) and yes, I do find it slightly awesome that he danced to music by ELO in Xanadu (1980).

By far my favorite film of his is An American in Paris, which had its big dance sequence influenced by Powell and Pressburger's The Red Shoes (1948), (Gene apparently screened it repeatedly before shooting).  Here he is dancing with the beautiful Leslie Caron:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Born Today in 1899: Alfred Hitchcock

A man who needs no introduction.  He may be the greatest, if not at least one of the greatest directors who ever lived.  Alfred Hitchcock's influence can be seen all over the the history of film, his unmistakable style burned unforgettable images onto our cinematic retinas.  He's had the fortune of working with some of the greatest icons of the 20th century, from Cary Grant to Salvador Dali.  Not only that but his film Vertigo (1958) has just been named greatest film of all time by the critics poll in Sight and Sound magazine.  If you're unfamiliar with his work I urge you to dive into his films right away, you can't go wrong.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Cinemologists Unbox Macross: Do You Remember Love? on Blu-Ray

Born Today in 1922: Ron Grainer

One of the best of British film and television composers.  Grainer composed the immortal theme for Dr. Who.  He also wrote the main theme for my favorite television series of all time, The Prisoner.  However, my personal favorite work of his was the score for the 1971 "I Am Legend" adaptation, The Omega Man, with its very catchy themes and groovy 70s sound.  

Here's the main theme: