» 81
"The whole point of Howard's screen persona was surely its combination of the ramrod-straight and the slyly subversive, and its creation of a façade that was eternally gruff and yet that perpetually seemed to be in on some wonderful joke."
» 80
by Eddie Selover
"That God-damned play I bought for a song and made such a great success in — a great money success — it ruined me with its promise of an easy fortune. I didn't want to do anything else, and by the time I woke up to the fact I'd become a slave to the damned thing and did try other plays, it was too late. They had identified me with that one part, and didn't want me in anything else. They were right, too. I'd lost the great talent I once had through years of easy repetition, ever learning a new part, never really working hard. Thirty-five to forty thousand dollars net profit a season like snapping your fingers! It was too great a temptation." — James Tyrone, Long Day's Journey into Night
» 79
by James MacEachern
"A great man is only the reflection of a great boy in a larger mirror." — Ann Shoemaker, the actress playing his mother in Strike up the Band (1940), to actor Mickey Rooney
» 77
"Arriving in Los Angeles for the film's premiere there, he quickly blotted his copybook by hurling a drink at the producer Sam Spiegel, the most powerful man in Hollywood at the time. Spiegel had 'massacred' Lawrence, O'Toole remarked, by cutting twenty minutes of it in order 'to sell more fucking ice cream to the punters.'"
» 76
by Dan Akira Nishimura
"Although he at first resisted, Perkins returned to Norman Bates again and again, in one form or other. Norman's twitchy eccentricity seeped into many of Perkins' post-Psycho performances that preceded the run of sequels."
» 75
by Kendra Bean
"[Vivien Leigh] is, I should say, the most important recruit British films have ever had . . . She is still not at all keen on going to Hollywood. She could go any day if she said the word. It's up to the English studios to develop her over here."  
–  Picturegoer, April 3, 1937
"Marion's character in Thundercrack!, the daft and delusional farm widow Gert Hammond, harkened back to a much more handcrafted Tennessee Williamsesque archetype. She infuses Gert with real pathos as well as genuine creepiness in a series of hauntingly photographed monologues that transcend the film's threadbare conceits."
"Bob and the new people he introduced us to were very inspiring because it meant to me, by seeing them, that you can get older and still run around in a world of uncharted horizons."
– George Kuchar
» 74
"Huston once described his job to John Milius like this: 'You will confer with generals, you will dine at the table with kings, and you will sleep with titled women. All of this you will do while being dead broke. That's what being a director is.' Should we even feign surprise that when it came time to make The Bible he cast himself as the voice of the Almighty?"
» 73
by Meredith Hicks
"Almost everything about Greer, her graceful figure, little mannerisms, the way she walks, talks, and smiles, reminds us of the Nineties, when Papa sat at the head of the table, airing his arrogant opinions, and never dreaming that his demure little wife, resourceful as a dozen U.S. Army engineers, was twisting him around her little finger, really running him and everything else in the house."
– Charles Samuels in Motion Picture magazine (1945)
» 72
by Jake Hinkson
"Sadly, this oversight neglects Foster's contributions to both film noir and world cinema, and it dismisses a life nearly as fascinating as that of Welles."
by Penelope Andrew
"The camera goes right through the skin. The camera brings out what you are, and in her case, there was always a kind of a humanity that she had in all of the things that she played . . . I think she made movies that have never worn off their splendor." — Peter Viertel, Kerr's husband
"Silvers raised the smart-aleck, rapid-fire monolog to high art."
» 71
"In between the idealized lover and the cantankerous old goat lay a handful of roles in which Howard managed to simultaneously embody and undermine the archetypal Englishman."
by Eloise Ross
"Like Tony Stark, who is saved by his symbolic birth into a superhero body, Robert Downey Jr. is saved by his rebirth into the movies with a superbody."
» 70
"The time-and-place for Dean's performances is always now, in the moment of its creation, and he resists any technique that obscures that fact."
» 68
"He is Aladdin and the camera is his lamp." – James R. Quirk
"He could be suave or awkward, likable or pesky, average or eccentric, a winner or a loser, a fussy nerd or the life of the party, all the while remaining Charley Chase."
by Eric G. Wilson
"If we take Grant seriously, we must contend with an extreme difficulty: what appears to be fake, an actor portraying a character, might be real; what we normally think of as real, a person gesturing in the everyday world, might well be artificial."
"Life isn't short enough . . ." — Laurel in Sons of the Desert (1934)
"Lawrence had become a movie star for many reasons — gentleness, grace, that silky hair, and what Laemmle assessed as 'sensational bubbies.'"
» 67
by Lindsay Hallam
"Divine is as unstoppable as nature, destined to repeatedly transgress, destroy, and create."
"I always say, keep a diary and someday it'll keep you." — Mae West
"What is it, love trouble or money trouble? I've seen them all, I've seen all the troubles in the world, and they boil down to just those two. You're broke, or you're lonely. Or both."
"What you got was what you saw, a man with a soldier's training speaking ever so nicely and trying not to stretch himself beyond his abilities as an actor." – David Niven
by Santiago Rubín De Celis
"The only thing that is absolutely important for me is quality." 
"Valentino said there's nothing like tile for a tango!" — Norma Desmond to Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard (1950)
» 66
"Seyrig is capable of stopping an entire film with one decisive physical gesture, one smile, one glare, one sound from her smoky, murmuring voice."
by Christopher Sandford
"Connery, never a martyr to false modesty, remains as voluble and combative as ever."
» 65
"Isn't it extraordinary that the most popular character ever written should apparently be defeated by life instead of transcending it?" — John Barrymore on Hamlet
by Christopher Sandford
"Steve understood real people, particularly misfits, like nobody else. It was just the Hollywood brass he loathed."
» 64
"[H]er favorite expression of strained intensity would be less quickly relieved by a merciful death than by Ex-Lax." — James Agee, 1943
by Gerald Peary
"I told Hitchcock, 'I do miss my horse.'"
by Christopher Sandford
Mason was "equally at home playing small, brooding anti-heroes, camping it up in a toga, or doing a nice line in late career self-parody."
"This is an actress who shows excitement down to the curl of her fingers, and whose face reveals every kind of mercurial change."
"With his impish grin, twinkling eyes, and boyish blond hair, he looks like Tom Sawyer crossed with a Tammany Hall fixer."
» 63
"I have been in films pretty well everything I am dedicated to fighting against."
» 62
"She hovered somewhere between the realest of realities and the most blatant of impersonations." — F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Crazy Sunday," 1932
"It's not difficult for me to hide emotion, since I've always hidden it in my personal life." — Dana Andrews
"Like Hollywood's new postwar men, he offered a multifaceted, ambivalent masculinity far from monolithic wartime ideals."
» 61
"Where on the screen I am invariably a sonofabitch, in life I am a dear, dear boy."
"Hard times will make a monkey eat red peppers."
» 60
"I'm a girl who loves to be manhandled! After all, what are a few contusions or abrasions if you get the man you love?"
By Felix von Boehm and Alexia Berkowicz
"A laugh and information!"
» 59
"We're home free in the new mediated womb of the Naomi persona — which is to say, trapped, by our own desire."
"In Boyer, self-belief and theatrical technique are seamlessly fused together."
"This MGM movie is studio-system filmmaking at its most protective, and it's designed entirely to showcase Leslie Caron . . ."
by Justin Vicari
"Wasn't he just there, standing right in front of us?"
» 58
"Ingmar can't fully follow his own gloomy party line as he stares at this simple, oblivious, wondrous creature."
» 57
"You'd never get tired of having her around, because she'd always be someone else for you."
by Andrew Culbertson
"His characters have tended to be more bewildered by life and disgusted by a world that won't cooperate."
» 56
"Funny, tender, a little neurotic, a little erotic, and always spontaneous . . ."
A genius self-destructs, with a little help from Hollywood
» 55
"Like every other skilled fabulist on earth there would forever be a part of Stroheim that truly believed his own fantasies."
"The women of To's world are not just endearingly kooky, but often unacceptably bizarre and amoral in their excited reactions to events."
If she was forced, like so many actors, to live a closeted life, she at least did it as much on her own terms as she could in those tricky times.
» 54
"If I ever bore you, it'll be with a knife."
» 53
"Speaking of impurity: what was Rita Hayworth's image supposed to be in the '40s?"
» 52
"I'm not a star, I'm a woman, and I want to get fucked!"
The screwball comedy's back, and Weaver's got it
» 51
"I was never young, and if you were never young, how can you ever feel old?"
Sexual ambiguity is one of the hallmarks of Hong Kong cinema's golden age, and no one did it better than Lin Ching-Hsia, aka Brigitte Lin
» 50
"Easy to overlook but endlessly rewarding to look over"
"She's got the eyes of a great one, putting over something incalculable."
» 49
"Now . . . here comes the paradox."
The "deadly China doll" widely viewed, during her heyday in the early 1970s, as the female Bruce Lee
» 48
Bree Daniels trumps all Fonda's real-life characters
» 47
On Million Dollar Baby and a million-dollar career
The only actress who ever built a movie career on swimming
» 45
In which Stella tells all — or at least most
» 42
The ascension of Arnold — salvation, apocalypse, or trigger for a resurgent left?
Her brilliant career
by David Boxwell
The downright peculiar pleasures of pre-Code Wheeler & Woolsey
» 40
Hollywood Rhythms, Vol. 2 on DVD offers relief for the Ginger-deprived
by Seth Nesenholtz
Camp — and coded queerness — finds a surprisingly happy home in the films of Will Smith
» 35
"See that girl? Her ass is a song."
» 34
The life of the Pink Flamingos star, as told by his mother in My Son Divine
» 33
Livin’ large with the Hung One
» 32
The New Yorker takes a slap at Julia Roberts
» 31
by Dr. Craig Reid
Jackie spills his guts — verbally, this time. A 1993 interview from the Bright Lights archives.
» 30
by Aaron M. Cohen
This forgotten star was caught up — and perhaps crushed — by larger historical forces
» 29
Liberated porn queen or psychological wreck? You be the judge
» 28
Dogme secrets revealed by Lars von Trier's "most promising actress"
» 27
Marlene Dietrich, Clara Bow, Tallulah Bankhead, Virginia Bruce, Billie Dove, Marion Davies, and Norma Shearer
» 26
John Oller's Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew is a surprisingly detailed, highly readable account of a complex woman whose integrity and perfectionism — and sometimes pettiness and even arrogance — both fueled her work and undermined it at almost every turn.
» 24
In an interview, Sylvia Miles discusses her Oscar-nominated performance in Midnight Cowboy, her peerless rendering of a washed-up B-movie star in Paul Morrissey's Heat, and dumping a plate of spaghetti on critic John Simon's head after a particularly nasty review.
Are Rock and Doris Hollywood's strangest romantic team? How about Rock and Tony Randall?
» 23
By many accounts one of the most generous, inspiring actors on the set, he's also frequently portrayed as an impossible perfectionist who lashes out at what he sees as the imperfections of others.
» 22
Working-class Joe, a product of New York's foster homes and reform schools, was unique among Andy Warhol's menagerie of pathologically self-deluded, speed-talking "superstars." If most of them made up in personality what they lacked in looks or humanity, Joe was just the opposite — a sweet, shy, deliriously sexy cipher whose unflappable calm provided its own kind of campy counterpoint to Warhol's shrieking harridans and maniacal drag queens.
» 19
by Howard Mandelbaum
During an astonishing fifty-year career, Joan Crawford kept her name blazing in letters of fire. You could dislike her, but you could not ignore her. She was simply too big to be overlooked. Everything about her was oversize: her eyes, brows, mouth, jawline, shoulders, and of course, her gestures.
» 18
by Howard Mandelbaum
Millions of moviegoers responded to the challenge of her headstrong, neurotic heroines who, like Frankenstein's monster, were made of mismatched parts and bolts of electricity. Her cluster of quirks attracted as they repelled.
» 17
by Romano Giachetti, Gian Piero Brunetta, Osvaldo Soriano
Three articles: Stealing the Clown's Clothes looks at Laurel's relationship with Chaplin; Eternal Child examines Laurel's roots in in the classic commedia dell'arte; Ollie's Somersault shows Ollie doing the impossible for his pal.
» 16
The "lady in the tutti-fruitti hat" brought to American wartime audiences an extravagantly seductive surface: the exoticism of her native country, a sensuality tempered by caricature, and outlandish costumes and fruit-laden "hats" that have an unsuspected origin in the black slums of Brazil.
Shearer's poise, intelligence, her seemingly easy laughter, and sense of high style masked a deep insecurity and a tendency toward depression. Her face in fact often has a hard, masklike quality; her smile seems chiseled, unbreakable — the body armor of self-creation.
Jean Seberg was always more icon than actress. From her disastrous appearance as the title character in Preminger's Saint Joan, to Godard's immortalizing of her face in Breathless, to her status as fashion maven in the 1960s, to her extracurricular work with the Black Panthers, Seberg's acting career seemed secondary to her cultural presence from the beginning.
Asta Nielsen, the Danish silent movie actress who is often called "the first great international star," made 74 films between 1910 and 1932. Garbo herself acknowledged the woman who co-starred with her in The Joyless Street, saying "she taught me everything I know."
» 15
With his lacerations, deformities, faux stump legs, and shaved head, Chaney was the original Modern Primitive. He made his first films in the mid-1910s, and by 1920 was already creating roles that required him to be armless, legless, crippled, or otherwise deformed.

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@brightlightsfilm - stills, photos, and images from classic and contemporary films from around the world.