Menu

THE FRENCH DISPATCH: QUEL FROMAGE

Writer-director Wes Anderson enjoys inventing worlds all his own, then inviting his ever-growing community of actors to occupy them so fully that we, too, become engaged. It’s a risky proposition that sometimes works beautifully (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and often defies the viewer to become absorbed in it (Moonrise Kingdom). There is no “right” or “wrong” response, only a personal reaction to the material at hand. Here, his inspiration is The New Yorker magazine, founded in the 1920s but riding a wave of literary discovery in the 1950s and 60s. I am a longtime reader, but you don’t have to have to be intimately acquainted with the real-life contributors to recognize them in parody form—still, some degree of awareness doesn’t hurt. Following the format of a magazine,…

READ MORE >

THE BEST MOVIE BOOKSTORE IN THE WORLD

I never dreamed I would be in partnership with the world-famous Larry Edmunds Bookshop, but they are your one-stop source for a personally signed copy of my brand-new book Starstruck: My Unlikely Road to Hollywood (GoodKnight Books) When I made my first trip to Los Angeles in 1968 to attend the Cinecon, I was happy to learn that our convention headquarters, The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, was within walking distance of Larry Edmunds. The store was renowned for its comprehensive array of film books as well as movie stills, posters, scripts and other memorabilia. When I walked in and surveyed the scene, with oodles of books and boxes and boxes of 8x10s, I wasn’t disappointed. Gawking comes naturally to anyone encountering such a scene. I’m even happier to…

READ MORE >

PLENTY OF TIME TO DIE: THE NEW JAMES BOND MOVIE

The caretakers of the Intellectual Property known as James Bond, knowing that their newest effort would be the last one to star Daniel Craig, decided to spare no expense—or footage—to make this an “epic” entry in the long-running series. The result is a lavish piece of entertainment that ought to please any 007 fan. My only complaint is that there’s just too much of it. Any film that asks its audience to sit still and pay attention for nearly 3 hours had better have a damn good reason. This one doesn’t. No Time to Die has all the requisite ingredients for a James Bond outing: a charismatic leading man, a beautiful leading lady, at least one creepy criminal, exotic locations, and a variety of pulse-pounding action…

READ MORE >

CELEBRATING JERRY LEWIS

I can’t pretend to have any objectivity about Jerry Lewis. I grew up worshiping him. And while I came to realize that he was fallibly human I never stopped being impressed, especially after I met him. That’s why I didn’t hesitate when the publisher asked me to contribute a foreword to a new edition of his 1971 book The Total Filmmaker (Michael Wiese Productions) I have an original hardcover copy of the book on my shelf but this quality paperback reprint has many additions that make it worth owning: introductory essays by Nicolas Cage, Deana Martin, and Jerry‘s widow as well as several notable filmmakers (Randal Kleiser. Caleb Deschanel and Peter Arnold) who attended his classes at USC in the late 1960s. Cage’s piece is especially touching.…

READ MORE >

LET’S TALK TO LUCY

Half a century before Marc Maron started welcoming guests to his garage and podcasts became popular, Lucille Ball hauled around a reel-to-reel tape recorder to conduct interviews with the likes of Red Skelton, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Carol Burnett and Danny Kaye for CBS Radio. Now, episodes of Let’s Talk to Lucy from 1964-65 are being made available on Apple Podcasts and SiriusXM Radio’s app. (A handful of these 15-20 minute shows were included as bonus content with the Blu-ray release of one Here’s Lucy and The Lucy Show…but nobody seemed to notice.) Histories of American radio will tell you that the last network shows aired from 1960 to 62. But two years later, William S. Paley’s Tiffany network gave daytime radio one last chance. Who would dream that one of the busiest…

READ MORE >

SEARCHING FOR MR. RUGOFF

Don Rugoff changed the face of moviegoing in New York in the 1960s and had a lasting impact on the way foreign and independent films were distributed and advertised. I was part of that audience but frankly, I had forgotten about the man’s enormous contributions until I watched Ira Deutchman‘s new documentary Searching for Mr. Rugoff. It took me back in time and reminded me that he was an avatar of film culture in the 1970s, when I was still living in New York. His east side Manhattan theaters were the place to see the hottest new movies in chic, comfortable surroundings. He even had clever window displays (designed by John Willis, who appears in the documentary). I had no knowledge of the man behind all…

READ MORE >

BRINGING UP BABY: A MASTER CLASS ON BLU-RAY

The Criterion Collection has done it again: its treatment of the celebrated  1938 screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby offers a feast of fresh material to sink your teeth into. There’s a German-made interview documentary with Howard Hawks filmed in 1977, a year before he died… Peter Bogdanovich’s audio interview with the director from 1972, as well as a commentary that Bogdanovich recorded in 2005…a superlative video essay about Cary Grant by his biographer, Scott Eyman…an informative overview of cinematographer Russell Metty’s career by fellow cameraman John Bailey…an eye-opening exploration of Linwood Dunn’s visual effects by Craig Barron…a knowledgeable look at Howard Greer’s costumes by expert Shelly Foote…a keen-eyed essay about the movie by film critic Sheila O’Malley… the original short story by Hagar Wilde that appeared in Collier’s magazine…

READ MORE >

Subscribe to our newsletter

MERCH

Maltin tee on TeePublic

PODCAST

Maltin on Movies podcast

PAST MALTIN ON MOVIES PODCASTS

Past podcasts

PATREON

Maltin On Movies Patreon

APPEARANCES/BOOKING

Leonard Maltin appearances and booking

CALENDAR

May 2022
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031