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The Big Sleep (1946) (2)

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Toyiah Murry on Apr 1, 2014

Howard Hawk’s films have nearly always possessed a bias for fast-paced hysterics, high-octane crime, intense dramatics, or all of the above. Yet, of all his films, nothing compares to his quick-witted adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s novel, The Big Sleep. To say that I was confused the first time read more

Overlooked Gems: Sing You Sinners (1938)

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Lesley Coffin on Mar 31, 2014

One of my favorite things about movies is the required suspension of disbelief involved when casting actors as siblings.  Sometimes filmmakers make a real effort – I thought Alexander Payne did a great job with this task last year casting Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk as brothers in Nebraska.   read more

Coming Up: The Toronto Silent Film Festival

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Brandy Dean on Mar 31, 2014

Toronto is an embarrassment of film riches. There’s what – something like 5,000 distinct annual film festivals, not to mention year round programming from TIFF, screened at the temple of cinema known as the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Any day of the week, you can see an amazing piece of cinema read more

Bringing Up Baby (1938) (3)

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Laura Grande on Mar 31, 2014

Director Howard Hawks had the uncanny ability to take a premise that appeared implausible on paper and weave it into a coherent narrative. Such was the case with his 1938 masterpiece, Bringing Up Baby — a wacky comedy with an outlandish plot, even by screwball standards. Stuffy, socially-awkw read more

Floyd Gottfredson’s Newsprint Mickey

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Bennett O'Brian on Mar 29, 2014

By this point, we think we know Mickey Mouse pretty well. We certainly know the musically-inclined and more mischievous black-and-white Mickey in Steamboat Willie and other cartoons from the dawn of the sound era. We know the full-colour Mickey who got into situational hijinks with Donald Duck and read more

Howard Hawks and the Auteur Theory

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Robert Liwanag on Mar 28, 2014

François Truffaut once said, “There are no good and bad movies, only good and bad directors.” He, along with other critics-turned-directors like Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer and Jacques Rivette, advocated the auteur theory in the French film magazine Cahiers du Cinema in the 1950s. The theory is read more

His Girl Friday (1940) (1)

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Toyiah Murry on Mar 27, 2014

His Girl Friday initially had me hanging on to every word that ping-ponged between Cary Grant’s suave mouth and Rosalind Russell’s equally bombastic one. I noticed my ears perking in heightened awareness and the desire to catch every sting and remark that bounced around Howard Hawk’s iconic 1940 read more

Monkey Business (1952) Does Not Exist

Pretty Clever Films Posted by John Munshour on Mar 27, 2014

Howard Hawks begins his 1952 comedy, Monkey Business, with an oddly loaded moment. The film opens upon the front door of an upper middle class suburban home. The credits begin, but after a few seconds Cary Grant, dressed in a tuxedo and thick glasses, opens the door and walks through. From off came read more

The Extremes of Adrian: The Last of Mrs Cheyney (1929)

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Christina Stewart on Mar 26, 2014

By 1929, MGM fashion designer Adrian was already credited with sixteen films to his name. Greta Garbo, Norma Shearer, and Joan Crawford were the top stars that he created wonderful costumes for. Unfortunately, at this point he seems to have gone over the edge. As a lifelong fan of Adrian’s work, I read more

Robert Lepage: Possible Worlds at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Brandy Dean on Mar 26, 2014

Robert Lepage, one of Canada’s foremost theatre artists and filmmakers, received this year’s Glenn Gould Prize as recognition of his lifetime contribution to enriching the human condition through the arts. To commemorate this award, TIFF and The Glenn Gould Foundation have teamed up to read more

Win a Golden Age of Hollywood Book Prize Pack

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Brandy Dean on Mar 25, 2014

Take a glimpse into the golden age of Hollywood! Through in-depth narratives paired with rare photographs, these current releases from Running Press will give you a peek at some of classic Hollywood’s most famous photographers, actresses, and films.   Each book provides an array of photos and rarel read more

Screwball Comedy and the Hawksian Woman

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Lesley Coffin on Mar 24, 2014

In 1934, in the dark days of the Great Depression, Howard Hawks’ film Twentieth Century literally coined the term “screwball” with the performance of his second cousin, Carol Lombard.  Critics were so amazed by the wild and dominate performance of Lombard as a famous actress hellbent on driving read more

Men in Love (with) A Girl In Every Port

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Wade Sheeler on Mar 21, 2014

As has been academically discussed ad infinitum, Howard Hawks’ had a very specific, personal, seemingly simple opinion of life and the pragmatic rules of male conduct. He told the same stories repeatedly, and there was no place in his world for men and women who didn’t adhere to this code. It’s read more

Film Review: A Song Is Born (1948)

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Christina Stewart on Mar 19, 2014

Our Howard Hawks-athon this month at Pretty Clever Films continues with a look at A Song Is Born. A carbon copy remake of Hawks’ own screwball classic Ball of Fire (1941). A Song Is Born stars Danny Kaye, in the role originated by Gary Cooper, with Virginia Mayo taking on the Barbara Stanwyck role read more

Rio Bravo, El Dorado and Howard Hawks’ Degree of Separation

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Wade Sheeler on Mar 17, 2014

It’s not hard to tell you’re watching a Howard Hawks film. Whether it’s a western, a screwball comedy, a drama; the aesthetics are the same: tough men and the women they love (if there are even any women in sight). The women who can’t hang with men who speak with their fists or guns, don’t read more

A Young Joan Crawford Trio

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Brandy Dean on Mar 14, 2014

It’s not secret that I love me a little bit of Joan Crawford. I love Joan Crawford in all of phases… the imperious matriarchal period circa Mildred Pierce? Check. Full on crazy circa Strait-Jacket? Yes! And, of course, impossibly beautiful young ingenue Joan Crawford, from her silent fi read more

Overlooked Gems: The Freshman (1925)

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Lesley Coffin on Mar 14, 2014

It seems odd to be calling The Freshman an overlooked gem, considering its reputation as one of the most profitable films of the 1920s and being Harold’s Lloyd’s most successful film.  But even later day fans of the “third genius” have only recently had the opportunity to see this comedy.  read more

Win 12 Years a Slave on Blu-ray

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Brandy Dean on Mar 13, 2014

Enter to win your own copy of the recently released 12 Years a Slave on Blu-ray! It is 1841, and Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor in a gripping performance), an accomplished, free citizen of New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery.  Stripped of his identity and deprived of all dignity, Northup is ult read more

Win The Book Thief on Blu-ray

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Brandy Dean on Mar 13, 2014

Win your own copy of the recently released The Book Thief blu-ray! Based on the beloved best-selling book comes an “extremely moving” (Leonard Maltin, Indiewire) story of a girl who transforms the lives of those around her during World War II, Germany.  When her mother can no longer care read more

Win The King of Comedy on Blu-ray

Pretty Clever Films Posted by Brandy Dean on Mar 13, 2014

Martin Scorsese’s classic The King of Comedy hits blu-ray on March 25, but you can win your own copy right now! Academy Award Winner Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis and Sandra Bernhard give mesmerizing performances in this “chilling black comedy” (TV Guide’s Movie Guide) that explores the painful read more