A child performer who made the transition to adult roles before retiring after her second marriage, Joan Marsh appeared as a blonde bombshell in comedies of the 1930s and 40s. The daughter of noted ci...
Every ten years since 1952, the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine has published a list titled the Critics' Top Ten Poll: the organization's ranking of the ten best movies ever made. And every ten years since 1962, there has been one standing consistency: Citizen Kane has always been BFI's number one pick. Until now.
The 2012 incarnation of the list has been published, and Citizen Kane has fallen to the number two spot. Taking its place: Alfred Hitchcock's classic Vertigo. Check out the full list below: 1) Vertigo (1958), directed by Alfred Hitchcock
2) Citizen Kane (1941), directed by Orson Welles
3) Tokyo Story (1953), directed by Yasujiro Ozu
4) La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) (1939), directed by Jean Renoir
5) Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927), directed by F. W. Murnau
6) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), directed by Stanley Kubrick
7) The Searchers (1956), directed by John Ford
8) Man with a Movie Camera (1929), directed by Dziga Vertov
9) The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer
10) 8½ (1963), directed by Federico FelliniVertigo is a great film, no doubt. Better than Kane? Maybe. But why has this movie, which came out in 1958 (before Citizen Kane's first turn as number one, even) suddenly been recognized as the superior picture?
The 1952 Top Ten list didn't include Citizen Kane at all, even though it had come out eleven years prior. But over time, it grew on people. Quite effectively. Now, over half a century after Vertigo's release, it has inched to the top of the list (the movie first graced the list in '82 at the number seven spot, inching up to number four in '92, and reaching number two in '02).
It took twenty-one years for Citizen Kane to earn the top spot, and fifty-four for Vertigo. Maybe a film's persistence of quality is considered by the critics brought on to devise their choices. As such, Vertigo maintaining its appeal so long after its creation would afford it a few extra points in the minds of contributors to the list. Or maybe there's just a stigma against pictures that have come out too recently. Is a critic deterred from recognizing the power of a movie that came out in his or her lifetime?
Four out of the ten recognized films came out prior to 1940. Even the most recent release on the list, 2001: A Space Odyssey, is forty-four years old. The critical community cherishes the old; and while this can be chalked up to the pioneering of new ideas and artistic methods, there are plenty of movies from 1970 onward that deserve credit for their achievement and influence.
This is reflected in the Directors' Top Ten Poll — a list that Sight & Sound began publishing in 1992. This year's incarnation of the list includes a handful of more recent, and probably more widely familiar, pieces of cinematic art:1) Tokyo Story (1953), directed by Yasujiro Ozu
2) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), directed by Stanley Kubrick
3) Citizen Kane (1941), directed by Orson Welles
4) 8½ (1963), directed by Federico Fellini
5) Taxi Driver (1976), directed by Martin Scorsese
6) Apocalypse Now (1979), directed by Francis Ford Coppola
7) The Godfather (1972), directed by Francis Ford Coppola
8) Vertigo (1968), directed by Alfred Hitchcock
9) Mirror (1975), directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
10) Bicycle Thieves (1948), directed by Vittorio De SicaVertigo, Citizen Kane, and 2001 again find recognition, as do the films Tokyo Story and 8½. But beyond those are a slew of '70s pictures: The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver, and the Russian film Mirror. But is there any chance that either of BFI's lists can recognize films from the '80s, '90s, even the 2000s, in the near future? And if so, what films would most likely earn highlighted spots? Some other contemporary lists could provide insight:
The American Film Institute recognizes the 1993 film Schindler's List as number nine on its Top 100 Movies list.
The rating results on Rotten Tomatoes event in a Best Movies of All Time list that is largely recent films. Here is the site's top five:1) Man on Wire (2008), directed by James Marsh
2) Toy Story 2 (1999), directed by Josh Lassiter (co-directed by Ash Brannon and Lee Unkrich)
3) Taxi to the Dark Side (2007), directed by Alex Gibney
4) The Interrupters (2011), directed by Steve James
5) Toy Story (1995), directed by John Lassiter(It warrants mention that this was not created as a comprehensive list, but resulted automatically from the ratings applied to these movies by the site's active critics. Nevertheless, it's proof that people are still making terrific, important, resonant movies.)
Various outlets will cite some newer pictures as superior products. 1993's Shawshank Redemption is consistently the highest rated film on IMDb. The Google search for "Top Movies of All Time" results in thumbnails including 1982's E.T., 1994's Pulp Fiction, 2008's The Dark Knight, and 1994's Forrest Gump. And if you ask anyone from my high school, the absolute best thing to come out of the realm of cinema is invariably 2003's 2 Fast 2 Furious. Seriously, we watched that movie all the time.
So if newer pictures are so prevalent in other venues' recognition of great cinematic art, why does the BFI tread so differently? Why does it feel more "respectable" to love older movies when plenty of newer ones are just as good? Why does it take fifty years to admit, "Okay, we can finally shift this film up to the number one spot"?
We won't know what turns the perspectives of Sight & Sound will take for ten years now. And of course, there's nothing substantially wrong with one organization that seems to religiously prefer old to new — just as long as film continues to be appreciated, and contemporary artists are afforded due credit for pioneering new ideas and new means of storytelling. Because as many ideas there are that have been captured on screen, and as many devices for committing those ideas there are that have been utilized, there are still an endless supply being explored and invented today.
[Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros., Universal Pictures]
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The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
Top Story: AFI Tags Samurai, Nemo Year's Best
The American Film Institute has announced its top 10 choices for this year's best in film and television. In film, the top 10 AFI Awards were, in alphabetical order: American Splendor, Finding Nemo, The Human Stain, In America, The Last Samurai, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Lost in Translation, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Monster and Mystic River. In television, the top 10 were: Alias, Angels in America, Arrested Development, Everybody Loves Raymond, Joan of Arcadia, Nip/Tuck, Playmakers, Soldier's Girl, 24 and The Wire. A 13-person jury of scholars, artists, critics and AFI trustees discuss, debate and determine the AFI's most outstanding achievements of the year. "We don't rank them because what we want to celebrate is the creative collaboration in front and behind the camera that made these stories possible," Jean Picker Firstenberg, AFI director and chief executive officer, told Reuters.
Hussein's Capture Covers Networks
The news of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's capture completely dominated cable and broadcast networks Sunday morning. Reuters reports CNN edged the competition by going on the air first at 5:03 a.m. after grabbing the Reuters story. CNN's reporter, Alphonso Van Marsh, was also with the unit that captured the former Iraqi dictator. CBS, NBC, Fox News and MSNBC followed in quick succession. ABC put Good Morning America's Charles Gibson on in the morning but flew anchor Peter Jennings from a stint in Los Angeles to New York to do the story on the evening's World News Tonight. CBS and NBC also ran special reports in the evening on 60 Minutes and Dateline, respectively.
Jackson on Verge of Being Charged
Michael Jackson could be charged this week in the child molestation case currently pending against him, The Associated Press reports. Law enforcement officials have yet to disclose their evidence against the pop singer, who was arrested Nov. 20, but former Santa Barbara County sheriff Jim Thomas, who has discussed the case with Santa Barbara County District Attorney Thomas Sneddon, expects the charges to allege that Jackson molested one child repeatedly, probably over a period of more than a month, AP reports. "You will see allegations of multiple counts of child molestation on this particular child," Thomas said, despite the recent report about a confidential memo, leaked last week from a Los Angeles County child welfare office, which said there was no basis for allegations that Jackson had molested the boy. In the memo, which was written last February, Jackson's accuser, his brother and his mother all denied the boy had been molested, AP reports.
Bowie Kicks Flu Bug and Kicks Off Tour
After postponing several dates due to illness, David Bowie finally took the stage Saturday in Montreal to kick off his A Reality tour, Reuters reports. "I didn't know if I could do the show tonight; I felt really ill, to be honest with you," Bowie, 55, revealed near the end of his 110-minute set at the Bell Canada Center. But, in his words, the show turned out to be "really memorable" as he performed hits from all facets of a diversified career spanning almost 40 years, Reuters reports. It's his first concert tour in eight years.
Snoop's in tha Dogg House
Actress Doris Burns, who appeared in Snoop Dogg's MTV show Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, has sued the rapper, claiming she was unwittingly made to appear as if she were naked and engaging in sexual relations with another actor, AP reports. In a lawsuit filed Friday, Burns accuses Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, and MTV of breach of contract, fraud, invasion of privacy and defamation. She is seeking unspecified damages, AP reports.
Actress Crain Dies
Actress Jeanne Crain, best known for her Academy Award-nominated performance in the controversial 1949 classic Pinky, in which she played a black girl passing for white, died Sunday of a heart attack in Santa Barbara. She was 78.
Free Willy Whale Dies
Keiko, the 6-ton killer whale who portrayed Willy in the hit film Free Willy, died Friday in western Norway's Taknes Bay of pneumonia at the age of 27. Taken into captivity when he was two years old, the whale was rescued from horrid conditions at an aquarium to star in the film. After preparing him for several years, Keiko was released back into the wild in 2002 off the coast of Iceland where he was born, but he ended up swimming to the Norwegian bay to live.
Role Call: Idol's Frenchie Lands Gig
Frenchie Davis, the spirited second season American Idol contestant who got booted for allegedly appearing on an adult Web site, has landed a starring role in a Los Angeles production of the musical Dreamgirls, AP reports. "There are a lot of people who were on American Idol," Davis told AP. "But not all of them are getting lead roles."…ABC is bringing Stephen King's novel Desperation to the small screen in a three-hour adaptation, Variety reports. The story centers on a man who winds up in a bizarre mining town in Nevada named Desperation after being pulled over by the strange local sheriff. King, currently recuperating from a bout of pneumonia, wrote the screenplay.
After all the recent kids film presumably directed primarily at teenage boys -- The Mummy Returns, Jurassic Park III, Planet of the Apes -- teenage girls get one of their own, but The Princess Diaries is not likely to produce the same sort of commotion at the box office that the others did, critics seem to agree. They also suggest that the oft-told story, about a dorky girl who becomes a beautiful princess, may no longer play the way it once did. (In a subplot of Shrek, the opposite story is told.) Joan Anderman in the Boston Globe writes: "The transformation is, in fact, remarkable. So is the message: Inner strength is well and good, but don't forget the makeover, girls. Power without beauty still doesn't play in Hollywood fairy tales." Similarly Francesca Chapman writes in the Philadelphia Daily News: "Its message about physical beauty is frustrating, and you might want to think twice before taking any curly-haired, eyeglass-wearing child to see it." Nevertheless, Steve Murray in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution remarks that the film contains an ingredient not found in many current comedies: "charm," while Loren King in the Chicago Tribune observes that Julie Andrews' performance "kicks the class quotient up several notches." And Susan Wloszczyna in USA Today comments that the movie "will be adored by 10-year-old girls who think they're 14 going on 18" But most of the reviews are brutal. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times remarks that The Princess Diaries "is a march through the swamp of recycled ugly duckling stories, with occasional pauses in the marsh of sitcom cliches and the bog of Idiot Plots." And Bill Dupre in the Raleigh, NC News and Observer suggests that the film reveals a stumbling studio stumbling once again. "In many ways it seems a throwback to Disney's darkest years," he writes, "after the death of Walt and before Michael Eisner came to the rescue, when the studio churned out uninspired and not terribly profitable movies and appeared to be headed toward oblivion."
First screen credit as Joan Marsh, "Little Accident"
Acted alongside Mary Pickford in "The Little Princess"; billed as Dorothy Rosher; father was the cameraman
Co-starred in "Pollyanna"
Again appeared with Pickford in "Daddy Long Legs"
Last major film part for ten years, "Thou Art the Man"
A child performer who made the transition to adult roles before retiring after her second marriage, Joan Marsh appeared as a blonde bombshell in comedies of the 1930s and 40s. The daughter of noted cinematographer Charles Rosher, she began her acting career as a toddler (billed under her real name of Dorothy Rosher) appearing alongside Mary Pickford in such silent classics as "The Little Princess" (1917), "Daddy Long Legs" (1919) and "Pollyanna" (1920).
John D W Morrill
married in 1943
born on February 25, 1956
born on January 19, 1954
Marsh reportedly had the tiniest feet -- size 2AAA -- in Hollywood.
Her father Charles Rosher was sentenced to jail term in 1938 for failure to pay child support for Joan Marsh stemming from a July 1936 court case; Rosher stopped paying support for Marsh when she turned 18 because (he claimed) she was self-supporting as an actress, earning $100,000 a year.