By Charles Canovas
Summertime, a time for taking it easy… or not. Also a good time to catch up on the classics. This is a wide variety of films which I hope will keep you entertained during the hot summer nights. For those of you
who can´t get out to the beach or have just come back and wish you were there instead of
here at home, here´s one way to be “there”.
This is a 3 hour video of a tropical beach with waves crashing softly on the shore. You can listen to the breaking waves or you can get creative – turn off the sound. Then open another window and go to www.accuradio.com. (it´s free and has almost anything under the sun – sorry that was not meant as a pun). When you get there, go to Genres, hit New Age and then hit Textures Breeze. It will give you soft sounds and tracks that won´t interfere with your thoughts but will put you in a relaxation mode. You can let it run as a background for the waves on the other channel.
Storm of the Century, alternatively known as Stephen King’s Storm of the Century, is a 1999 horror TV miniseries written by Stephen King and directed by Craig R. Baxley. Unlike many other King mini-series, Storm of the Century was not based upon a Stephen King novel—King wrote it as a screenplay from the beginning.
David and Bathsheba is a 1951 historical epic film about King David directed by Henry King and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. Nominated for 5 Academy Awards, Gregory Peck stars as King David and Susan Hayward as Bathsheba. The film follows King David’s life as he adjusts to ruling as a King, and his relationship with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife .
The film earned an estimated $7 million at the US box office in 1951, making it the most popular movie of the year. It was shot entirely in Nogales, Arizona.
One of our favorite scientists, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, with a topic we may all have thought about – Can we live forever? of the Nova NOW Series. Of course, perhaps someone should also explore “Do we really want to?
Imitation of Life is a 1959 American romantic drama film directed by Douglas Sirk, produced by Ross Hunter starring Lana Turner and John Gavin. The cast also features Sandra Dee, Dan O’Herlihy, Susan Kohner, Robert Alda and Juanita Moore as Annie Johnson. Kohner and Moore received Academy Award nominations for their performances and Sirk was nominated for the 1959 Directors Guild of America Award.
It was Sirk’s final Hollywood film and dealt with issues of race, class and gender. It is the second film adaptation of the novel. The first was released in 1934 starring Claudette Colbert. Though it was not well-reviewed upon its original release and was viewed as inferior to the original 1934 version — many critics derided the film as a “soap opera” — since the late 20th century, Imitation of Life has been re-evaluated by critics. Emanuel Levy has written, “One of the four masterpieces directed in the 1950s, the visually lush, meticulously designed and powerfully acted ‘Imitation of Life’ was the jewel in Sirk’s crown, ending his Hollywood’s career before he returned to his native Germany.”
Imitation of Life was the fourth-most successful motion picture of 1959, grossing $6.4 million. It was Universal-International’s top-grossing film that year, and ranked as the studio´s most successful film until the release of Thoroughly Modern Millie in 1967.
A fun film for the little ones, Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast is an American computer-animated film directed by Steve Loter. It is the sixth full-length film in the DisneyToon Studios’ Tinker Bell film series, based on the character Tinker Bell from J. M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy,
Gotti: The Rise and Fall of a Real Life Mafia Don is a 1996 HBO original crime drama movie made for television directed by Robert Harmon. The film stars Armand Assante in the title role as infamous Gambino crime family boss John Gotti, William Forsythe, and Anthony Quinn. The film was the highest rated original telefilm in HBO history at that time. Assante won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special and a Golden Globe nomination.
The Garden of Allah (1936) is a dramatic film made by Selznick International Pictures directed by Richard Boleslawski and produced by David O. Selznick. It was the third film to be photographed in Three-strip Technicolor. Beautiful photography and direction – a real gift to see Dietrich, Boyer and Rathbone in color in this memorable film of the time.
Hichens’s novel had been filmed twice before, as silent films. This sound version stars Marlene Dietrich and Charles Boyer with Basil Rathbone, John Carradine. The music score is by Max Steiner. For all of you true movie buffs, this is a “must see”.
Skyjacked is a 1972 disaster film based on the David Harper novel, Hijacked. The film stars Charlton Heston, James Brolin, and Yvette Mimieux, along with an ensemble cast playing the roles of passengers and crew aboard an airliner.
My Cousin Rachel is a 1952 American mystery-romance B&W film directed by Henry Koster starring Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton, based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier. It received 4 Academy Award nominations, 1 Golden Globe nomination and a Golden Globe win for Richard Burton.
Four Star Television was an American television production company founded in 1952 by prominent Hollywood actors Dick Powell, David Niven, Joel McCrea, and Charles Boyer. Four Star produced many well-known shows of the early days of television, including Four Star Playhouse , Dick Powell‘s Zane Grey Theatre, and The June Allyson Show.
The star of this episode, David Niven, was an Academy award and Golden Globe winner who appeared as James Bond 007 in Casino Royale. Niven had been Bond creator Ian Fleming’s first choice to play Bond in Dr. No. Fleming had also written the Casino Royale book with Niven in mind.
Niven was the only James Bond actor mentioned by name in the text of Fleming’s novels. In On Her Majesty‘s Secret Service, Bond visits an exclusive ski resort in Switzerland where he is told that David Niven is a frequent visitor and in You Only Live Twice, Niven is referred to as the only real gentleman in Hollywood.
Top left by byrev, PD; top right, Vera Kratchvil, PD