Tag Archives: George Cukor

Little Women: Life with the Marches

A NEW SENSATION OF SHEER LOVELINESS GLORIFIES THE SCREEN! The most famous of the many adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s classic, semi-autobiographical Civil War-era novel wasn’t the first. The story had already been filmed as two silent dramas, in 1917 and 1918. There has always been something appealing about the novel for each new generation. … Continue reading Little Women: Life with the Marches

A Star Is Born: Garland’s Rebirth

DESTINY CAME AT HER WITH A LEER! This film was never easy to make from the start, but the post-production process wasn’t much fun either. Once completed, the film ran over three hours. It received rave reviews, but the studio nevertheless wanted it shorter. In the end, A Star Is Born came down to 154 … Continue reading A Star Is Born: Garland’s Rebirth

My Fair Lady: A Loverly Musical

THE LOVERLIEST MOTION PICTURE OF THEM ALL! When George Bernard Shaw’s stage play ”Pygmalion” premiered in London in 1913, it was daring for its time. Making fun of the British class system, suggesting that all it takes to elevate a worker into the upper class is teaching her to speak well and dress properly, must … Continue reading My Fair Lady: A Loverly Musical

The Women: Talking About Men

IT’S ALL ABOUT MEN! George Cukor had been hired to direct Gone With the Wind already back in 1936, but the production became a tortured affair for him, resulting in his dismissal. Hollywood was swirling with rumors. One particularly sordid piece of gossip claimed that Clark Gable had been a male prostitute before his movie … Continue reading The Women: Talking About Men

The Chaotic Era When Hollywood Found Sound

I recently finished Scott Eyman’s book “The Speed of Sound”, a chronicle of how sound transformed Hollywood in the late 1920s. This may all seem very stodgy since talkies have been around now for close to 90 years… but Eyman makes us understand not only how big a change this was, but how fast it … Continue reading The Chaotic Era When Hollywood Found Sound

Adam’s Rib: Battle of the Sexes

IT’S THE HILARIOUS ANSWER TO WHO WEARS THE PANTS!   In the late 1940s, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn had made five films together and were also a couple offscreen, even though he still had a wife. Two of the couple’s best friends, Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin (who were married) had written a script … Continue reading Adam’s Rib: Battle of the Sexes

Philadelphia Story: From Box Office Poison to Bankability

BROADWAY’S HOWLING YEAR-RUN COMEDY HIT OF THE SNOOTY SOCIETY BEAUTY WHO SLIPPED AND FELL – IN LOVE! The Philadelphia Story became a tour-de-force for Katharine Hepburn in more ways than one. In the late 1930s, she had been labeled “box office poison” by the Independent Theatre Owners of America after a string of failures. She needed … Continue reading Philadelphia Story: From Box Office Poison to Bankability

Dinner at Eight: Touched by the Depression

The same year as George Cukor delivered an excellent version of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” he also found the time to make this adaptation of a 1932 play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber. Unlike the Alcott story, this one was a modern depiction of the “problems” facing the upper class. There’s a … Continue reading Dinner at Eight: Touched by the Depression

Keeper of the Flame

An admired American patriot dies in an accident and reporter Steven O’Malley (Spencer Tracy) plans to write a book about him… but the closer he gets to the man’s wife (Katharine Hepburn), the closer he gets to the truth. George Cukor’s film starts out like Citizen Kane (1941), takes a wartime look at the meaning … Continue reading Keeper of the Flame