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Great Characters Archives

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A Tribute to Unlikeable Women in the Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I really enjoyed the recent series on “Unlikeable Women” from the folks at Bitch Flicks. I remember a panel of women filmmakers at Comic-Con all agreeing that the code word for making female characters meek and pliable (and giving all […]

Michael Mirasol’s Tribute to Movie Fathers

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Michael Mirasol has created a beautiful tribute to some of the greatest fathers in the movies.

More About Maleficent

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Leslie Combemale, movie critic and animation expert, wrote a great post about the Maleficent character.  I was so glad she included information about the great character actor Eleanor Audley. who voiced Maleficent and also the evil stepmother in […]

Cliff Curtis is a New Zealander Who Plays All Ethnicities

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to take a look at this extraordinary compilation of clips showing off the astonishing versatility of a actor Cliff Curtis.  And I love his comment on being cast as characters of so many different ethnicities in an interview […]

Great Movie Duos: Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins

posted by Nell Minow

I’m delighted to be participating in the classic movie blogathon about great film duos.  My choice is Miriam Hopkins and Bette Davis, who co-starred in two classics, “The Old Maid” and “Old Acquaintance.”  They were natural opposites, and their battles […]

Interview: Steve Taravella, Author of a New Book about Mary Wickes

posted by Nell Minow

I love the great character actress Mary Wickes, who was the nun who was replaced by Whoopi Goldberg as choir director in “Sister Act,” the nurse who was “a treasure” opposite Bette Davis in “Now Voyager,” and the hotel staff […]

Agent Coulson Returns

posted by Nell Minow

Just because a character has died on screen, even very dramatically, does not mean we won’t see him again.  I’m delighted that Clark Gregg’s Agent Phil Coulson, who was killed in this year’s biggest film, “The Avengers,” will be returning […]

Doonesbury Passes the Torch to a New Generation

posted by Nell Minow

Doonesbury was the voice of my generation.  Joanie Caucus and I started law school the same year.  As the Doonesbury characters were getting married and having children, and surviving the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s, my friends and I were, […]

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

posted by Nell Minow

Harry Potter’s birthday is July 31, like the woman who imagined him, J.K. Rowling.  Happy birthday, Harry!

Happy 100th Birthday, Charles Addams

posted by Nell Minow

Google salutes the 100th anniversary of the birth of cartoonist Charles Addams with a suitably macabre Google Doodle today. Addams created  series of delightfully ghoulish cartoons for the New Yorker, collected in books like Chas Addams Happily Ever After: A […]

Sherlock Holmes on Screen

posted by Nell Minow

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most popular fictional characters of all time.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a physician who also write science fiction, romance, and poetry, but he is best remembered for his creation of the detective with the […]

Great Character Actors: Denis O’Hare

posted by Nell Minow

I love character actors, those utility infielders who have to create a complete character in seconds and hold a scene opposite a superstar.   They’re the ones who always seem vaguely familiar but are so chameleon-like that we never quite […]

Mildred Pierce

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1945
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1945
DVD Release Date: 2005

The upcoming five-part miniseries starring Kate Winslet is a good reason to visit the original movie version of Mildred Pierce, with an Oscar-winning performance by Joan Crawford. She plays the title character, who sacrifices everything to give her daughter the […]

List: Movies for Women’s History Month

posted by Nell Minow

For Women’s History Month, try some of these feature films about women of extraordinary courage, intelligence, determination, and achievement. 1. Erin Brockovich Julia Roberts won an Oscar for this story about a clerk in a law firm who helped win […]

Happy Birthday, Lou Costello!

posted by Nell Minow

Lou Costello was born on this day in 1906. His work with Bud Abbot made them one of the most successful comedy teams of all time, and their “Who’s on First” sketch is still one of the funniest exchanges ever […]

MVPs of the Month: Ty Burrell and Juliette Lewis

posted by Nell Minow

Ty Burrell is everywhere these days. He is Phil on the beloved television series “Modern Family,” brilliantly updating the classic “Honey, I’m Home!” sitcom dad as a guy who may be clueless and corny and overly sensitive but who adores […]

Great Movie Dads for Father’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Father’s Day! 1. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in “To Kill a Mockingbird” The last line of the movie says it all: “He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room. He would be there all night and he […]

Great Dads on Film and TV

posted by Nell Minow

My gallery of great movie dads and list of daddy-daughter movies include wonderful films for families to watch together and talk about the great fathers in their own families. Some of the best dads on film appear on television, which […]

Beth Grant

posted by Nell Minow

Two awful movies released last week, “Extract” and “All About Steve,” give me an opportunity to discuss one of my favorite topics, character actors. One of the best appears in both of them, the wonderful Beth Grant. Character actors are […]

Actors with Character, Part 1

posted by Nell Minow

You know them. That is, they look familiar, but you might not be sure if that is because you saw them in a movie or because you saw them on a train. These are character actors, the indispensible performers who […]

August MVPs: Steve Coogan and Danny McBride

posted by Nell Minow

This month’s Most Valuable Cinematic Player award has to be shared by Steve Coogan and Danny McBride, who each deliver not one but two different magnificently hilarious performances in two August releases. Steve Coogan, is often underrated as an actor […]

Great Characters: Eve Arden

posted by Nell Minow

You know the character of the leading lady’s wisecracking best friend? No one ever filled that role better than Eve Arden (real name: Eunice Quedens), whose birthday we celebrate today. Seen-it-all but not cynical, she was the ideal sidekick for […]

Previous Posts

Dick Van Dyke to Guest Star on "The Middle"
My all-time favorite sitcom is "The Dick Van Dyke Show."  Though I've seen every episode many times, I still watch them on Hulu.  And some of the best were the ones featuring Van Dyke's real-life brother Jerry as Rob Petrie's brother, Stacy. ...

posted 8:00:06am Apr. 20, 2015 | read full post »

The Hobbit: The Definitive Movie Posters
The Hobbit: The Definitive Movie Posters is a gorgeous new book and a must-have for all would-be denizens of Middle Earth. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTI5XHs-odg[/youtube] ...

posted 3:16:48pm Apr. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Ebertfest #3 -- The "Ida" Panel
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk2--Y8hfqQ[/youtube] Thanks to Matt Zoller Seitz, Sheila O'Malley, and Todd Rendleman for our superb discussion about this year's Oscar winner for best foreign language movie, "Ida." ...

posted 8:59:24am Apr. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Movies vs. Science -- The Worst Science Mistakes on Film
The Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum used to have a great little video with a claymation Albert Einstein shaking his head over the many mistakes in sci-fi movies. "They're breaking my rule!" he exclaimed. As the animated genius went on to ...

posted 8:00:59am Apr. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Ant-Man
Okay, I admit I was skeptical. I was thinking along the lines of Teeny Little Super Guy from Sesame Street. But I love Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Corey Stoll and this trailer has me sold. [iframe width="560" height="315" ...

posted 3:25:31pm Apr. 18, 2015 | read full post »

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