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AUTHOR: ANNE MORRA

Posts by Anne Morra
Laura2-150x150
May 3, 2016  |  Film
Vincent Price in Otto Preminger’s Laura
Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in Laura. 1944. USA. Directed by Otto Preminger

Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in Laura. 1944. USA. Directed by Otto Preminger

I’ve always associated the American actor Vincent Price (1911–1993) with horror films. His work in Gothic features like House of Wax (1953), The Tingler (1959), and Pit and the Pendulum (1961) seem to align perfectly with his creepy voice and slithering screen persona. And I mean slithering as a compliment, because he brought a lot of skill to acting lecherous. Read more

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March 29, 2016  |  Film
Modern Matinees: Norman Chaitin’s The Small Hours

The Small Hours. 1962. USA. Written and directed by Norman C. Chaitin

The Small Hours. 1962. USA. Written and directed by Norman C. Chaitin

Every year I receive a lovely holiday card and note from New York filmmaker Norman Chaitin. He often reminisces about the 1962 premiere of his film The Small Hours at the 55th Street Playhouse, an event that benefitted MoMA’s film preservation fund. Read more

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March 2, 2016  |  Film
Chicken Run: Poultry in Motion
Chicken Run. 2000. USA. Directed by Nick Park, Peter Lord. Courtesy of Dreamworks/Photofest

Chicken Run. 2000. USA. Directed by Nick Park, Peter Lord. Courtesy of Dreamworks/Photofest

Sometimes a movie makes you laugh out loud even if you’re in room by yourself. You can’t contain your laughter and don’t care who might or might not hear. This is exactly the experience I had recently watching Chicken Run (2000) Read more

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February 2, 2016  |  Film
William S. Hart: A Pioneer Cowboy
William S. Hart in Branding Broadway. 1918. USA. Directed by William S. Hart

William S. Hart in Branding Broadway. 1918. USA. Directed by William S. Hart

William Surrey Hart was destined to be a cowboy. Known professionally as William S. Hart, he was born in 1864 in Newburgh, NY, into an environment of Victorian gentility. Read more

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January 5, 2016  |  Film
For Immediate Release: Curator Iris Barry Travels
The 1946 press release announcing Iris Barry's trip to the FIAF conference

The 1946 press release announcing Iris Barry’s trip to the FIAF conference

On any given day, MoMA curators, librarians, registrars, educators, and others are en route to a conference, lecture, studio visit, or exhibition near home or abroad. Travel is both a constant and a marvelous perk of working at the Museum. However, unlike the ubiquitous nature of staff travel today, in 1946 the Museum actually issued a press release announcing founding Film Library curator Iris Barry’s trip to Paris Read more

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December 4, 2015  |  Film
Modern Matinees: A Tale of Two Stellas
Alice Joyce, Ronald Colman, and Lois Moran in Stella Dallas. 1925. USA. Directed by Henry King. MoMA Film Archives

Alice Joyce, Ronald Colman, and Lois Moran in Stella Dallas. 1925. USA. Directed by Henry King. MoMA Film Archives

Hollywood loves a remake! That’s certainly the case with Stella Dallas, which has a 1925 silent version directed by Henry King, a 1937 version directed by King Vidor, and a 1990 version (called Stella) starring Bette Midler. Read more

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Why I Like Black-and-White Movies

Like most children growing up in the last half of the 20th century, I dreamed of a 64-count box of Crayola crayons. In school we had eight-count boxes. I wanted 64—all the myriad colors including bittersweet, sky blue, and raw umber. The 64-count box also had a built-in sharpener. A virtual Technicolor assortment of waxy goodness and a sharpener to keep them in ready condition! What more could a child have wanted? I drew all kinds of pictures and shapes, some more recognizable than others. Read more

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November 6, 2015  |  Film
Better Late than Never: The Bad Seed

Poster for the DVD release of The Bad Seed. © Warner Bros.

Poster for the DVD release of The Bad Seed. © Warner Bros.

Since I usually write about films in the MoMA collection and, technically, The Bad Seed was a part of the collection until the depositor asked us to transfer it to another institution a few years back, I may be stretching my usual writing parameters. But I thoroughly want to write about The Bad Seed! Read more

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October 22, 2015  |  Film
Modern Matinees: René Clair’s The Ghost Goes West
The Ghost Goes West. 1935. Great Britain. Directed by René Clair. Courtesy United Artists/Photofest

The Ghost Goes West. 1935. Great Britain. Directed by René Clair. Courtesy United Artists/Photofest

Whenever I am on a Metro North train, barreling along the Hudson River north of New York City, I try to sit on the river side of the car in order to get a good look at Bannerman’s Castle. Perhaps you, too, have been intrigued by the carcass of what appears to be a red brick castle fallen into decay, about 1,000 feet from the shoreline on the six-acre Pollepel Island. Having just watched René Clair’s The Ghost Goes West, I couldn’t help but think of the decrepit, battered ruin. Read more

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September 22, 2015  |  Film
Modern Matinees: Ernst Lubitsch’s Trouble in Paradise
Trouble in Paradise. 1932. USA. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Acquired from Paramount Pictures. Preserved with funding from the Richard Griffith Memorial Fund

Trouble in Paradise. 1932. USA. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Acquired from Paramount Pictures. Preserved with funding from the Richard Griffith Memorial Fund

There is an old-fashioned expression about “honor among thieves.” What does this mean exactly? Perhaps this group swears an oath that no one criminal will interfere in the nefarious actions of another? If the question leaves you flummoxed, be sure to see the 1932 film Trouble in Paradise for an enjoyable resolution. Read more