Free Passes to a Movie Milestone
Martin Scorsese has drawn on his own youth and his feelings about the past—and has rebuilt 1860s New York—to make a movie about the fight for American democracy. Here he tells why it is both so hard and so necessary to get history on film.
WHY JANE FONDA IS A MIRROR OF THE NATION’S PAST FORTY YEARS
A critic looks at 10 movies that show how Americans work together.
JACKIE COOGAN REACHED THE PINNACLE OF SUCCESS AND STARDOM WHEN HE WAS FIVE. THEN HE SET THE HOLLYWOOD PATTERN OF PAYING THE PRICE FOR EARLY FAME.
One of America’s greatest documentary filmmakers takes on America’s greatest city: Ric Burns discusses his new PBS series, New York
Why World War II is so difficult to get right on the screen—and the movies that do it best
Twelve classic holiday movies worth seeing when you can’t sit through It’s a Wonderful Life one more time
It looks both backward to everything Hollywood had learned about Westerns and forward to things films hadn’t dared do
Why, with cigarette smoking under attack everywhere, does everyone still light up on the movie screen?
LOCKED IN A STRANGE, TESTY COLLABORATION lit by the fires of a burning world, George M. Cohan and James Cagney produced a masterpiece of popular history in which everything is true except the facts
The author sent dozens of historians to the movies to find out how much—and how well—films could teach us about the past
The great democratic art form got off to a very rocky start. People simply didn’t want to crowd into a dark room to look at a flickering light, and it took nearly twenty years for Americans and motion pictures to embrace each other.
BORN IN SLAVERY AND RAISED IN ITS PAINFUL AFTERMATH TO BECOME ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL AMERICAN ICONS, SHE HAS BEEN MADE TO ENCOMPASS LOVE AND GUILT AND RIDICULE AND WORSHIP —AND STILL SHE LIVES ON
Desperate improvisations in the face of imminent disaster saw us through the early years of the fight. They also gave us the war’s greatest movie.
In 1932 the Communist International paid to send a cast of American blacks to Moscow to make a movie about American racial injustice. The scheme backfired.
The maker of a fine new documentary on the Civil War tells how the medium of film can evoke the emotional reality of history
No less a fan than President Wilson said “The Birth of a Nation” was “like writing history with Lightning.” Movies have taught everybody else history too.
Hard Looks at Hidden History
Robert Benchley, a woebegone chronicler of his own inadequacies, was the humorist’s humorist, a man beloved by practically everyone but himself
The men and women who labored in the ghostly light of the great screen to make the music that accompanied silent movies were as much a part of the show as Lillian Gish or Douglas Fairbanks
A little-known ancestor of the nightly news comes to light
Some of the best moments in hundreds of movies took place at Christmastime. And the author may have seen every one of them.
It was a great life being a contract writer for a major studio during the high noon of the American movie industry—but it could also be a nightmare. A survivor recalls the pleasures and ardors of working at 20th Century-Fox forty years ago.
With the Depression pushing the studio toward bankruptcy, Warner Brothers had to resort to crime—and crime paid so well that the company was able to recruit the toughest guys that ever shot up a sound stage.
George Eastman didn’t think the posters the movie companies supplied were good enough for his theater. So he commissioned a local artist to paint better ones.
The Dean of American Movie Men at Seventy-Five
Ragtime and Reds