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By Lee Pfeiffer
Bud Spencer, the burly former Italian athlete who became an iconic film star in his native country, has died at age 86. Spencer, whose real name was Carlo Pedersoli, chose his stage name as a tribute to Budweiser beer, which he loved, and Spencer Tracy, his favorite film star. Although Spencer's film found some exposure in the American market, his greatest success was found in European comedy westerns that often co-starred his friend Terence Hill. Among the films that are best known to English-speaking audiences are "Ace High", "The Five Man Army", "They Call Me Trinity", "Trinity is Still My Name!", "Four Flies on Grey Velvet" and "A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die". Among the contemporary actors Spencer counted among his admirers was Russell Crowe. For more click here. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Rome — Bud Spencer, the burly Italian actor who starred in dozens of genre movies including many widely exported Spaghetti Westerns such as “Trinity is Still My Name,” which is among Italy’s all-time top grossing titles, has died. He was 86.
In the late 1960s, just as his acting career was starting to take off, Carlo Pedersoli changed his name to Bud Spencer as an homage to Budweiser beer and Spencer Tracy. He also reportedly thought it was ironic to call himself Bud despite his Herculean physique, which made him known to his fans as “the big friendly giant” of the screen.
Born in Naples in 1929, Spencer first gained a measure of fame as an athlete, becoming the first »
- Nick Vivarelli
It was 21 years ago today that Batman Forever opened in theaters, and batnipples made their debut on the big screen. Director Joel Schumacher is well aware of how controversial adding nipples to the batsuit was, but he was initially surprised by the backlash. Here’s what he told Variety a couple years ago: You introduced nipples to the Batsuit. Were you surprised they became so controversial? Yes, I was like, “Are you kidding me?” I think that will be on my gravestone. It’s how I’ll be remembered. Val Kilmer, replacing Michael Keaton, played the Caped Crusader in this third installment of Tim Burton’s Batman series. Though not as maligned as the follow-up, Batman and Robin, Batman Forever didn’t win over critics like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight later would — but that didn’t stop it from being a behemoth at the box office. Batman Forever was the second highest grossing film of 1995, behind only Toy Story. It broke Jurassic Park’s record for highest opening weekend gross of all time. Other notable June 16 happenings in pop culture history: • 1950: Vincente Minnelli’s Father of the Bride was released. The original starred Elizabeth Taylor as the bride-to-be and Spencer Tracy as the lawyer dad. The remake starring Steve Martin hit theaters in 1991. • 1960: Psycho premiered in New York City at the DeMille Theater. • 1978: The musical movie Grease shoo-bop she wadda wadda-ed into theaters. • 1985: Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” was released as a single in Germany. It was released in the U.S. the following March and made Falco the first German-speaking artist to get a No. 1 single on the U.S. charts. • 1986: The Smiths’ third studio album, The Queen Is Dead, was released. Among the songs on the record is “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” which was later memorably featured in (500) Days of Summer. • 1989: Ghostbusters II opened in theaters. • 1990: Rosette song “It Must Have Been Love,” from the Pretty Woman soundtrack, hit No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart. • 1999: Phil Collins was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. • 2010: Hot in Cleveland, TV Land’s first original scripted series, premiered. »
- Emily Rome
This is one of Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor's best, written and directed by the classy MGM team of director Vincente Minnelli and writers Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett. It inspired a decade's worth of TV family sitcoms and set the benchmark for weddings for generations. Great fun and solid sentiment without mugging or exaggeration. Father of the Bride Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1950 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 93 min. / Street Date May 10, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Spencer Tracy, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Bennett, Don Taylor, Billie Burke, Moroni Olsen, Melville Cooper, Leo G. Carroll, Rusty Tamblyn, Tom Irish, Frank Cady, Carleton Carpenter. Cinematography John Alton Film Editor Ferris Webster Original Music Adolph Deutsch Written by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett from the novel by Edward Streeter Produced by Pandro S. Berman Directed by Vincente Minnelli
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
There's almost no point in reviewing Father of the Bride, as one doesn't need insights, »
- Glenn Erickson
Sometimes actors are cast in a movie together and instantly display great onscreen chemistry. You look at them and think, “These two should work together again. They make a good team.” Sometimes they do reunite and it leads to a series of great screen collaborations, but sometimes they don’t and we’re left wishing the pair would have made more films together.
Back in the days of the old ‘Studio System,’ movies studio execs would look for actors who had good on-screen chemistry and repeatedly cast them together in films. This was called “packaging”, and it lead to the frequent teaming of people like Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers; William Powell & Myrna Loy; Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall; Boris Karloff & Bela Lugosi; Bob Hope & Bing Crosby; Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland; Nelson Eddy & Jeannette MacDonald; etc., etc.
The ‘Studio System’ is long gone and so is “packaging”. It’s a pity »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
New Series. Daniel Walber talks production design in "The Furniture". Previously we looked at The Exorcist, Carol and Brooklyn and Batman.
Gregory Peck, whose centennial we’ll all be celebrating tomorrow, was in a grand total of six films that were nominated for Best Production Design. Two of the best, To Kill a Mockingbird (the only winner) and Roman Holiday, will be featured in this week’s Hit Me with Your Best Shot. And so, in the interest of spreading the love, I’ll talk about a very different: 1962’s Cinerama epic, How the West Was Won.
The film, though it tells the story of a single American family, is broken up into five distinct sections. Peck is only in one of them, “The Plains.” This is actually good for our purposes, because it’s one of the three directed by Henry Hathaway. The John Ford and George Marshall chapters »
- Daniel Walber
Nancy Reagan, who was born to a car salesman father and actress mother, established her own career in Hollywood and went on to become First Lady of the United States as wife of President Ronald Reagan, had died at her Bel Air home, after a long period of failing health. She was 94. Through her mother’s connections, which included Zasu Pitts, Walter Huston and Spencer Tracy, she began he acting career. She married Ronald Reagan in 1952. ...Read More »
- Keith Girard
Former first lady Nancy Reagan, the stylish and strong-willed widow of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, has died of congestive heart failure, her spokesperson confirms. She was 94. "Mrs. Reagan will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her husband, Ronald Wilson Reagan, who died on June 5, 2004," her spokesperson said in a statement obtained by People. "Prior to the funeral service, there will be an opportunity for members of the public to pay their respects at the Library." Reagan, who long prided herself on her trim figure - she claimed »
- Stephen M. Silverman
Former first lady Nancy Reagan, who as an aspiring actress married affable leading man Ronald Reagan, and then offered her unfailing support and Hollywood style as his unlikely political career took them to the Sacramento’s governor’s mansion and then all the way to the White House, has died. She was 94.
A family spokesperson told CBS that Reagan died Sunday in her Los Angeles home of congestive heart failure.
Reagan had a reputation as her husband’s greatest protector, whether regarding publicity or public policy, but she won public admiration as she took on the role of caregiver as he faced the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in the last 10 years of his life.
Nancy Davis was an actress under contract with MGM in 1949 when she first met Reagan, then president of the Screen Actors Guild, and asked for his help in clearing her name after it mistakenly appeared »
- Ted Johnson
Delmer Daves' easygoing cattle drive western can't make an action hero out of Jack Lemmon, but with fine work from co-star Glenn Ford it presents a thoughtful anti-myth: no glorious rescues or noble gunfights, and the demure maiden doesn't wait for the handsome cowboy hero. With Brian Donlevy (excellent) and Anna Kashf. Cowboy Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1958 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 92 min. / Ship Date February 9, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Glenn Ford, Jack Lemmon, Anna Kashfi, Brian Donlevy, Strother Martin, Dick York, Victor Manuel Mendoza, Richard Jaeckel, King Donovan Cinematography Charles Lawton Jr. Production Designer Cary Odell Film Editor Al Clark, William A. Lyon Original Music George Duning Written by Edmund H. North and, originally uncredited Dalton Trumbo from a book by Frank Harris Produced by Julian Blaustein Directed by Delmer Daves
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
Every actor hopes to make the world a better place. Sidney Poitier actually did it.
Feb. 20 marks the 89th birthday of Poitier, who was born in 1927 and who changed Hollywood. The film industry’s lack of diversity is still an issue, as the Oscar nominations furor reminds us. But it was even more extreme when the actor made his film debut in the 1950 “No Way Out.” There were other black actors in lead film roles, including James Edwards and Harry Belafonte, but they were extremely rare. And Poitier captured the public imagination like no one before him, with his soft but powerful voice, his precise way of speaking (with that slight, unidentifiable accent from the Bahamas) and, crucially, his integrity.
A Dec. 11, 1957, article in Variety announced his casting in the film “Porgy and Bess.” Poitier said he’d originally turned down the role, due to “the fear that if improperly handled, »
- Tim Gray
January 01, 1954| Credit: John Kobal Foundation
January 01, 1967| Credit: Archive Photos
January 01, 1946| Credit: Hulton Archive
August 01, 1966| Credit: Keystone Features, Getty Images
- Inside Film Correspondent
Tom Hanks is one of two actors, including Spencer Tracy, to win consecutive Best Actor Oscars (“Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump”). He is certainly one of the best actors of his generation, but is he the best? Anthony Hopkins terrified the world with his sinister Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs,” nabbing the Best Actor trophy despite only spending 12 minutes on screen. He will live on in film history as one of the best villains of all time, but does he top all actors? Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win Best Actor for “Lilies of the Field. »
- Matt Hejl
'Ben-Hur' 1959 with Stephen Boyd and Charlton Heston: TCM's '31 Days of Oscar.' '31 Days of Oscar': 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'Ben-Hur' are in, Paramount stars are out Today, Feb. 1, '16, Turner Classic Movies is kicking off the 21st edition of its “31 Days of Oscar.” While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is being vociferously reviled for its “lack of diversity” – more on that appallingly myopic, self-serving, and double-standard-embracing furore in an upcoming post – TCM is celebrating nearly nine decades of the Academy Awards. That's the good news. The disappointing news is that if you're expecting to find rare Paramount, Universal, or Fox/20th Century Fox entries in the mix, you're out of luck. So, missing from the TCM schedule are, among others: Best Actress nominees Ruth Chatterton in Sarah and Son, Nancy Carroll in The Devil's Holiday, Claudette Colbert in Private Worlds. Unofficial Best Actor »
- Andre Soares
Hal Roach looks on as technicians install Vitaphone equipment in his studio screening room, ca. 1928. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) 'A Century of Sound': Q&A with former UCLA Preservation Officer Robert Gitt about the evolution of film sound technology Long before multi-track Dolby stereo and digital sound technology, there were the Kinetophone and the Vitaphone systems – not to mention organ and piano players at movie houses. Much of that is discussed in A Century of Sound, which chronicles the evolution of film sound from the late 19th century to the mid-1970s. A Century of Sound has been split into two parts, with a third installment currently in the planning stages. They are: Vol. 1, “The Beginning, 1876-1932,” which came out on DVD in 2007. Vol. 2, “The Sound of Movies: 1933-1975,” which came out on Blu-ray in 2015. The third installment will bring the presentation into the 21st century. »
- Andre Soares
If I could describe “Marvel’s Agent Carter” to someone who has never seen the show, this is what I would say: If you’re a fan of intrigue, mystery, murder, mayhem, secret societies, and fast talking foreign agents, then “Agent Carter” is for you. While it is directly connected to the comic book world of Marvel and a slew of Marvel films like “Captain America” and “The Avengers”, it’s also a fantastic serial mystery show that will satisfy the tastes of any armchair detective looking to test their powers of deduction. Season two begins with a robbery and a double cross -- Russian assassin Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan, “White Collar”) is holding up a bank to steal a silver lapel pin from the safety deposit box of a secret society. Her heist is interrupted when our heroine, Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell, “Captain America: The First Avenger”) busts »
- Lauren Gallaway
The 2016 Academy Award nominations were announced on Thursday, and along with some of the pleasant surprises - Leo! Brooklyn! Mad Max: Fury Road! - and heartbreaking snubs - Idris Elba! Ryan Coogler! Straight Outta Compton! - many of the lucky nominees entered the history books. And as if that weren't exciting enough, many other nominees are set to break major records if they win at this year's ceremony. So, let's break down the nominees, by the numbers: Most Acting Nominations Under 25 With her fourth Best Actress nomination for her work in Joy, Jennifer Lawrence has set a record for the »
- Julia Emmanuele, @julesemm
Composer John Williams set a new Academy Award record when Oscar nominations were announced on Thursday morning. Eddie Redmayne and Cate Blanchett would like to set some records for themselves when statuettes are given out at the ceremony hosted by Chris Rock on February 28. Below, 14 facts, stats and records regarding this year's Oscar nominations. Related: Complete list of 2015 Oscar nominations -Break- 50th Nomination Composer John Williams celebrates his 50th Oscar nomination by revisiting the "Star Wars" universe. He has a bid for Best Original Score of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and now has the second most career nominations, only trailing Walt Disney (59). Back-to-back wins If Eddie Redmayne ("The Danish Girl") prevails this year, he would become only the sixth performer to win back-to-back Oscars. For the Best Actor category, Spencer Tracy ("Captains Courageous," "Boys Town") and Tom Hanks...' »
Welcome back to the Definitive List, where for the inaugural top 50, we’re counting down the best romantic comedies. The majority of numbers 50 through 41 weren’t so traditional. A secret-admirer movie, a period piece, a “These two don’t make sense together” movie, and a French fantasy among them, but we still managed to squeak in a Wes Anderson movie and a surrealist masterpiece. It doesn’t get any more traditional from here, as numbers 40 through 31 jumps around just as much, from sub-genre to sub-genre. Regardless, these films have made their mark on the industry and still hold a place in the pantheon of the rom-com hall of fame.
#40. Groundhog Day (1993)
Bill Murray was nominated for an Oscar after his dramatic turn in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. He has shown great promise in Wes Anderson’s films. But his best performance to date came in this Harold Ramis »
- Joshua Gaul
Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, and Ingrid Bergman: The 'Notorious' British (Hitchcock, Grant) and Swedish (Bergman) talent. British actors and directors in Hollywood; Hollywood actors and directors in Britain: Anthony Slide's 'A Special Relationship.' 'A Special Relationship' Q&A: Britain in Hollywood and Hollywood in Britain First of all, what made you think of a book on “the special relationship” between the American and British film industries – particularly on the British side? I was aware of a couple of books on the British in Hollywood, but I wanted to move beyond that somewhat limited discussion and document the whole British/American relationship as it applied to filmmaking. Growing up in England, I had always been interested in the history of the British cinema, but generally my writing on film history has been concentrated on America. I suppose to a certain extent I wanted to go back into my archives, »
- Andre Soares
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