Archive for December 16th, 2013

Stage capture of Metropolitan opera production of Richard Strauss’ magnificent ‘Der Rosenkavalier’

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson as Walt Disney and P.L. Travers in “Saving Mr. Banks”

by Sam Juliano

The white stuff has been making repeated visits over the past two weeks to those residing in the mid-west and the northeast.  Those who closely follow the weather forecasts will no doubt point to the Farmer’s Almanac, which predicted quite a while back that 2013-14 would bring the full wrath of Father Winter.  In any case, it does raise the prospects for the always-elusive White Christmas, and gives people the chance to spend some quality time indoor with the family.  Those aiming to do some late shopping will have to deal with traffic and the elements, however.

Interest in the upcoming ‘Best Romantic Films of All-Time’ countdown has been acute, what with readers passionate and active in the site comment sections.  E mails have not yet been sent out to the anticipated participants, but will be later this week.  The ballots are due by April 1st, and the actual countdown will launch later that month.

Lucille and I had an extremely active week.  First off, on Wednesday evening we took in the December marching band concert in the Cliffside Park High School Auditorium.  Sammy has played the baritone for three years, while freshman Danny is a member of the concert chorus.  Some holiday and popular favorites were offered up in a festive and spirited two hour concert. (more…)

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Fontaine with Judith Anderson in Hitchcock’s 1940 ‘Rebecca’


by Sam Juliano

Just hours after the world learned of the passing of film icon Peter O’Toole at age 81, yet another legend has expired.  One of the most beautiful actresses of the golden era, indeed in film history, 96 year-old Joan Fontaine, whose five decade feud with older sister Olivia de Havilland (incredibly still living at 97) passed away of natural causes Sunday afternoon in California.  Some believed Fontaine and her sister would break 100, spurred on in part by their famed animosity, fueled at one time by rivalry and later by family disputes.

Fontaine’s most famous role was the lead in Hitchcock’s Rebecca, a role that cemented her as a beauty queen, and she was also well known in her Oscar winning role in Suspicion opposite Cary Grant in another Hitchcock movie from the 1940’s and in the superb Letter From An Unknown Woman (1948) and as the lead opposite Orson Welles in 1944’s Jane Eyre.  

Fontaine’s passing has made this a terrible week for the film industry,  after the announcements of the deaths of Peter O’Toole, Eleanor Parker and Audrey Totter.


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