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« Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem Join The Asghar Farhadi Avengers| Main| Thoughts I Had on a Second Viewing of "The Force Awakens"»
Thursday
May 26 2016

Bram Stoker's Dracula,Helena Bonham-Carter,and Peggy Lee Fever

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1828Feral teenager Kaspar Hauser is discovered wandering Nuremberg,claiming to have been raised in total isolation.Theories abound and the story inspires many artists down the road including Werner Herzog in the filmThe Enigma of Kaspar Hauser(1974).
1877Influential dancer Isadora Duncan is born.Vanessa Redgrave gets an Oscar nomination playing her inIsadora!(1968)
1886Al Jolson is born.Will later star in the first "talkie"The Jazz Singer(1927)
1894Silent film star Norma Talmadge is born
1897Bram Stoker's epistolary novel "Dracula"is published.Never stops being adapted for film and television but our hearts will always belong to Francis Coppola'sBram Stoker's Dracula(1992) despite the aggravating double possessive
1907John Wayne was born.Did he always talk like that?
1913Peter Cushing is born in England.Later stars in Hammer Horror films with his irl best friend Christopher Lee,the Dracula to his Van Helsing.Perhaps most famously Carrie Fisher 'recognizes his foul stench' when she's captured inStar Wars
1914Geoffrey Unsworth,two time Oscar winning genius cinematographer is born.Shot so many gorgeous movies like2001,Cabaret,Tess,Supermanas well as a legendary bad one inZardoz.

1920Peggy Lee is born.The popular singer was mysteriously left out of AMPAS's annual "In Memoriam"section at the Oscars despite numerous film connections,亚博主页like voicing multiple characters inLady in the Tramp,starring in a remake ofThe Jazz Singer,popularizing the song "Why Don't You Do Right?"inStage Door Canteen(later spectacularly used inWho Framed Roger Rabbit?),and even nabbing an admittedly strange supporting actress nomination forPete Kelly's Blues(1955).Now where's that biopic we were promised from Todd Haynes starring Reese Witherspoon?
1926Miles Davis is born.Hisbiopicis in theaters currently because famous men get biopics.
1948Stevie Nicks emerges with her diaphamous shawls from mother's womb;starts spinning.We see her gypsy.
1949The legendary Pam Grier is born.Also answers to "Coffy,""Foxy Brown,"and "Jackie Brown"
1961Tarsem Singh is born.Eventually trades truly weird beautiful auteurial stuff for still weird CGI mainstream drudgery


1966Helena Bonham Carter is born.Initially pegged as Merchant Ivory's favorite dress up doll,she goes on to have a rather spectacularly enduring career.Happy 50th Helena!

Helena's 10 Best Performances?My List...

  1. Wings of the Dove(1997) shoulda won the Oscar
  2. Fight Club(1999) shoulda been nominated for the Oscar
  3. Howard's End(1992) shoulda been nominated for the Oscar
  4. Sweeney Todd(2007) shame about the singing voice.because otherwise...
  5. A Room With a View(1986)
  6. Suffragette(2015)
  7. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit(2005)
  8. Eyesore in Wonderland(2010)
  9. Lady Jane(1985)
  10. Hamlet(1990)

1971Lenny,by Julian Barry.opens on Broadway.Barry adapts it to film three years later with Bob Fosse directing.They both receive Oscar nominations.Lennyeven gets a third life in a way when it basically serves as the film within the film ofAll That Jazz
1984
"Let's Hear It For the Boy,"fromFootloose,hits #1 on the pop charts.Goes on to an Original Song nomination at the Oscars.亚博主页Loses to "I Just Called To Say I Love You"by Stevie Wonder fromWoman in Red
2006X-Men: Last Stand,the thirdX-Menmotion picture, opened in theaters and was bad enough to destroy the franchise...except they kept right on making them.TomorrowX-Men 6opens,better known asX-Men Apocalypse.

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Reader Comments (19)

@Nat,did you ever see Conversations with Other Women?She's amazing in it.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

There's a bit in the new X-Men where the kids go see Return of the Jedi and they leave saying third films in franchises are never that good.I can't tell if it's a dig at The Last Stand or they are winking in advance of negative reviews like so many films do.Like they know they're bad but they can claim "no,we were just having fun"or some nonsense.Probably both.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Glenn -- i was guessing the former because it'd be a joke more kind of Bryan Singer's ego.His 4th X-men film but having famously bolted for the third and ruined by someone else.

Hayden -- i never did.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Oh,come on--no Bellatrix Lestrange?But yours is a good list.Would have put Hamlet up higher,and I think she gave a very nice,understated performance in The King's Speech.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Pam -- but which movie for Bellatrix?she's fine in it but didn't really ever surprise me.

May 26,2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

HBC's performance inThe King's Speechmanaged to be both underrated and Oscar-nominated.She's also great as Elizabeth Taylor.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

N--all of them (the last four).Like Alan Rickman as Snape,I think HBC was perfect casting for Bellatrix.No one does piercing,dark,wild-eyed crazy like her;I think she was the best thing in Sweeney Todd.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Couldn't agree more on HBC in Wings of a Dove.One of the great period drama performances.I second Hayden on Conversations With Other Women,and she was also fantastic on BBC's Toast.She plays the difficult stepmother to Freddie Highmore's gay teenager who loves cooking.It's great.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered Commenterben1283

Bellatrix Lestrange was a wonderful creation,and HBC brings that character to life in a great way.If I have to single out 1 potter film for her it would be Deathly Hollows 1 (torture scene with Hermione).

HBC is particularly riveting in "Margaret's Museum",and perfectly cast in "Great Expectations",both are under-appreciated gems.Agree with Hayden concerning "Conversations with Other Women".

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Geoffrey Unsworth was Oscar-nominated for the silken visual opulence oozing from every frame of Murder On the Orient Express.Unbelievable work.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

she was the BEST thing in the kings speech!

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterDO

For those not around in the 50's we forget how talented Peggy Lee was.She not only voiced the Siamese Cats;she wrote the lyrics ( as well as the voice and lyrics of He's a Tramp in the same movie ).The little girl from North Dakota set the standard for the great girl singers;but with a jazz sensibility you would expect from someone's who's first real gig was with Benny Goodman.You all know the songs: Fever and Is That all there Is can't ever be covered by anyone again.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie19

How did the Academy go absolutely gaga forHowards Endand fail to nominate Carter?Remains a mystery to me,especially when you look at how that lineup shook out in the end.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterKieran Scarlett

@Kieran

Would you have deleted Tomei in the lineup to make room for Helena?

May 26,2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I think I would have kicked out Miranda Richardson.Right actress,wrong movie.She should have gotten in forThe Crying Game,notDamages.But if we're just going off the quality of the nominated performances,I'd kick out Richardson for Helena.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterKieran Scarlett

Drew Barrymore has the same profile as Miss Peggy Lee,and is quirky enough to play the eccentric singer...

May 26,2016 | Unregistered Commenterrick gould

Leslie19: You're really praising Peggy Lee for playing the Siamese cats?That's like congratulating Mickey Rooney for playing Mr.Yunioshi.

May 26,2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Always here for BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA!!

I'm actually quite high on HBC in SWEENEY.It's always exciting to see an iconic role reinterpreted,even if in a more lowkey way.

May 26,2016 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

No Volvagia,I did not Praise Peggy Lee for the Siamese Cats,(it was the link on the blog) rather I was pointing out how rare it was for a woman (ie that wonderful word "Girl Singer") in that era to establish a reputation in jazz.My specific references were to her other works.

May 27,2016 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie19

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