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Before there was Ovitz or Ari, there was Sue Mengers.
During the peak of her clout in the 1970s, the brash barrier-breaker helped popularize the idea of the Hollywood super-agent. The media lapped up her comic crudity (after the Manson family murdered actress Sharon Tate, she told a frightened Barbra Streisand, “Don’t worry, honey, they’re not killing stars, only featured players”), her legendary dinner parties attracted Tinseltown’s A-list, and “60 Minutes” came calling to do a lengthy interview that captured Mengers dishing and deal-making.
She was so larger than life that she inspired both fictional knockoffs, such as the fast-talking agent portrayed by Dyan Cannon in “The Last of Sheila” and hit Broadway plays like “I’ll Eat You Last,” which had Bette Midler offering a wicked send-up of the legendary tenpercenter. Yet biographer Brian Kellow, fresh off his acclaimed book “Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark, »
- Brent Lang
Possibly the first mainland Chinese remake of a Hollywood nuptial-themed romantic comedy, “Bride Wars” offers a veritable handbook on wedding arrangements that may spark a new genre of Chinese matrimony porn, but what little heart or frothy fun there was in the Gary Winick-directed original are crushed by all that bling and put-on pageantry. Despite the ready-made template, scenes are scattered like confetti, and judging from the cosmic spaciness projected by dolled-up stars Ni Ni and Angelababy, Hong Kong-American helmer-scribe Tony Chan hasn’t a clue how female friends relate to each other. Although the film opened in first place domestically with nearly $14.3 million, ticket sales fell 74% the next day.
Admittedly, Winick’s fluffy film about BFFs fighting over a wedding-reception slot at the Plaza Hotel was no great shakes to begin with. But with original co-star Kate Hudson, Julie Yorn and Hong Kong auteur Fruit Chan sharing producer »
- Maggie Lee
This could be a record year for Emmy records.
The award show stars were aligned when the nominations were announced last month, setting up showdowns in a slew of key categories that could result in record-setting wins (or, in a few cases, losses) come Sept. 20.
That includes both of the top series races, where old favorites “Mad Men” and “Modern Family” vie to set new all-time highs in their categories versus buzzy competitors jostling to make their own special mark on Emmy history.
“Modern Family” has claimed the comedy series prize five years running, leaving it tied for most wins with “Frasier,” which accomplished the same feat between 1994 and 1998. If the ABC comedy squeaks out one more victory, it will hold the new record solo.
- Geoff Berkshire
Ann-Margret movies: From sex kitten to two-time Oscar nominee. Ann-Margret: 'Carnal Knowledge' and 'Tommy' proved that 'sex symbol' was a remarkable actress Ann-Margret, the '60s star who went from sex kitten to respected actress and two-time Oscar nominee, is Turner Classic Movies' star today, Aug. 13, '15. As part of its “Summer Under the Stars” series, TCM is showing this evening the movies that earned Ann-Margret her Academy Award nods: Mike Nichols' Carnal Knowledge (1971) and Ken Russell's Tommy (1975). Written by Jules Feiffer, and starring Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel, the downbeat – some have found it misogynistic; others have praised it for presenting American men as chauvinistic pigs – Carnal Knowledge is one of the precursors of “adult Hollywood moviemaking,” a rare species that, propelled by the success of disparate arthouse fare such as Vilgot Sjöman's I Am Curious (Yellow) and Costa-Gavras' Z, briefly flourished from »
- Andre Soares
Joan Crawford Movie Star Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and The Taxi Dancer (1927), and check her out in the more easily accessible The Unknown (1927) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928). By the early '30s, Joan Crawford had become a first-rate film actress, far more naturalistic than »
- Andre Soares
Just like every year, Emmy gives and Emmy takes away when it comes to surprises. In addition to the actors and shows who made unexpected appearances (see our list of the most shocking nominations here), there were many contenders left out who were expected to be in the running. -Break- 2015 Emmy Awards: Complete list of nominations Bazing-oh-no! This was supposed to be the year for Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") to potentially win his fifth Emmy Award, tying only three people who won five times for the same role: Edward Asner ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show" & "Lou Grant"), Candice Bergen ("Murphy Brown") and Don Knotts ("The Andy Griffith Show"). Alas, poor Parsons was kicked out of the Comedy Lead Actor category despite the voters nominating seven men here instead of the standard six. The show was also snubbed for Best Comedy Series. The day the music died Turns out "Empire&quo. »
By any measure, television’s renaissance has been good for women. But the long list of compelling female characters gets shorter when drama series are taken out of the mix.
Across broadcast, cable and digital, traditional half-hour comedies don’t pack the same pop-culture punch as the antics of Olivia Pope, Carrie Mathison, Alicia Florrick or Daenerys Targaryen. It’s harder to generate consistent laughs than it is consistent gasps, based on the ratio of dramas to comedies across the dial these days.
The only thing harder, it seems, than fielding a fresh comedy hit is for an actress to become a breakout star in a new comedy. This is where a little Emmy attention could offer a big boost to a promising show and budding talent. But Emmy voters are inclined to favor incumbents, which leaves little room for fresh faces.
Since 2010, at least three of the nominees in »
- Cynthia Littleton
We're just 9 days away from the launch of another Smackdown Summer. Rather than announce piecemeal, we'll give you all five lineups in case you'd like more time to catch up with these films (some of them stone cold classics) over the hot months. Remember to cast your own ballots during each month for the reader-polling (your 1979 votes are due by June 4th). Your votes count toward the final Smackdown win so more of you should join in.
These Oscar years were chosen after comment reading, dvd searching, handwringing, and desire-to-watch moods. I wish we had time to squeeze in a dozen Smackdowns each summer! As it is there will be Two Smackdowns in June, a gift to you since this first episode was delayed.
Sunday June 7th
The Best Supporting Actresses of 1979
- NATHANIEL R
Anne Hathaway Red Dress at the 83rd Academy Awards Oscar host Anne Hathaway Wearing a blindingly bright red dress, Anne Hathaway, sporting a blindingly bright white smile, is pictured above at the 2011 Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Hathaway, a Best Actress nominee for Rachel Getting Married in early 2009, was this year's Oscar ceremony co-host alongside Best Actor nominee James Franco (127 Hours). More on that further below. Anne Hathaway movies Below is a partial list of Anne Hathaway films.* Her big-screen debut took place in 2001. Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass (2016). Director: James Bobin. Cast: Mia Wasikowska. Johnny Depp. Helena Bonham Carter. Sacha Baron Cohen. Anne Hathaway. The Interns (2015). Director: Nancy Meyers. Cast: Anne Hathaway. Robert De Niro. Interstellar (2014). Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Matthew McConaughey. Jessica Chastain. Anne Hathaway. Mackenzie Foy. Michael Caine. Matt Damon. Ellen Burstyn. Don Jon (2013). Les Misérables (2012). Director: Tom Hooper. »
- D. Zhea
Scarlett Johansson returns to Studio 8H to host "SNL" for her fourth go this Saturday. Though there's been a major uptick in the number of female hosts in the past season, it's still rare for a woman (especially a non-former cast member) to emcee the proceedings more than once. To celebrate the history of distaff "SNL" hosts, we're counting up the best of the best: Since Candice Bergen's debut monologue in '75, who've been the most successful female emcee in the show's history? We picked our favorite contenders. »
- Louis Virtel
It's decided. After listening to your comments and perusing the lists again we've narrowed down which years we'll be doing this summer. The next Supporting Actress Smackdown will be 1979... So get to watching out there for maximum enjoyment when it arrives. And your enjoyment comes before that if you do because, Bonus, this is a good batch of films even beyond these talented ladies.
P.S. This also means that 1979 will be our unofficial 'year of the month' so we'll have other '79 related bits and bobs for you in May. Please to enjoy. Any requests? »
- NATHANIEL R
Admittedly, cramming 40 years of “Saturday Night Live” — or rather, 40 years of American history — into 82 minutes is a daunting task, particularly as it forces a documentary to chart the symbiotic relationship between real-life fact and contemporaneous farce. But despite some judiciously chosen excerpts from great comic bits, Bao Nguyen’s “Live From New York!” turns out to be as much a collection of soundbites as one might expect from the mainstream media that the show originally set out to satirize. Amorphous, superficial and sporadically very funny, this Tribeca Film Festival opener should delight if not enlighten the show’s myriad fans.
Though Nguyen posits a throughline, saying that what started out as a calculated subversion of societal sacred cows wound up as a revered American institution itself, the documentary comes off as too much of an apologia to fully follow its own logic. The film’s problematic dynamic is visible from »
- Ronnie Scheib
This episode of Battle Creek features yet another familiar face from the comedy scene, in veteran actress Candice Bergen. She's playing Agnew's con artist mom, whom he is extremely reluctant to rely on when a murder case pops up. Will she bring the giggles the same way Patton Oswalt did? Will we learn any juicy new secrets about our favorite curmudgeon in uniform? Let's find out..
Even though we’ve never had Saturday Night Live on TV regularly over here in the UK, I’ve somehow known about it my whole life and the sheer, massive, and hilarious influence its had on the North American and world comedy scene. It’s a completely unique cauldron of unexpectedly and somewhat ridicolously talented human beings, made from skin and funny stuff.
We’ve got the first trailer for Live From New York! that’s set to look through SNL’s history in-depth and give us some of the best highlights along the way, I’d say that’s guaranteed. As you’ll see in the trailer, it was all thanks to Canadian Lorne Michaels – so we’ll hear a lot about him – but there are also interviews with the stars of the historic show along the way that includes Laraine Newman, Chris Rock, Candice Bergen, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, »
- Dan Bullock
“Saturday Night Live’s” 40th anniversary party just won’t stop.
The first trailer for the documentary “Live From New York!” — which chronicles the iconic NBC sketch comedy show’s cultural and historical impact — has debuted, offering old footage from the series and a new look at the behind-the-scenes magic that goes into putting it on week to week.
“They said it would be a cross between ’60 Minutes’ and ‘Monty Python,'” former cast member Laraine Newman (1975-1980) says in the trailer.
“It’s the only form where everyone is necessary to the end,” creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels says. “We don’t go on because we’re ready, we go on because it’s 11:30.”
The film kicks off the Tribeca Film Festival »
- Maane Khatchatourian
We feel you, Candice Bergen. The former model and Murphy Brown star continued her book publicity tour with a stop at the Today show on Tuesday, where she expressed surprise that folks had zeroed in so much on what she wrote about her weight in her new memoir, A Fine Romance, on sale today. "It was a scant reference on page 150 or something," Bergen said, referring to when she called herself "fat." "I was just saying, I don't enjoy eating lunch with some women who only have kale. I just find it limiting...I'd rather not go on, if that's what I have to eat to fuel myself." Sounds as though kale just became the new Dan Quayle... "I'm very »
Candice Bergen is not afraid to admit that she's gone under the knife. At 68 years old, the former Murphy Brown star has confessed to having her "eyes done" and then work on her neck muscles "because TV half-hour lighting can be harsh." But on the heels of her new memoir A Fine Romance being released in bookstores this coming week, would Bergen ever consider getting just a little more work done? "I'm clearly in need," she told People with a laugh. "But I frankly just don't care enough. I don't even get those shots anymore because it hurts so much." She continued, "I hate when my very close friends have obvious work done and they come out too »
Read More: Tribeca Film Festival Will Open with 'Saturday Night Live' Documentary 'Live From New York!' It was announced today that the feature length documentary film "Live From New York!" will be getting a theatrical release on June 12. The film explores the early years of "Saturday Night Live" and features archival footage, stolen moments and exclusive commentary from Lorne Michaels, SNL legends, journalists, hosts and crew including Chevy Chase, Laraine Newman, John Goodman, Tina Fey, Candice Bergen, Chris Rock, Amy Poehler, Alec Baldwin and more. "When Jl and I first conceived of the idea for this film, it was always our vision that it be released theatrically," said co-producer Tom Broecker. "Given that 'Live From New York!' highlights the impact SNL has had on American culture, it's only fitting that it be available to moviegoers across North America," added his fellow creator and producing partner Jl Pomeroy. »
- Casey Cipriani
“Live From New York!,” directed by Bao Nguyen, will debut April 15 as the opening film at the Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary combines archival footage with interviews of “SNL” cast members, crew, hosts and journalists and traces the evolution and influence of the show over nearly 800 episodes.
The show premiered on NBC on Oct. 11, 1975. The documentary is created and executive produced by J.L. Pomeroy and Tom Broecker, and produced by Kimmie H. Kim, Sarah Cowperthwaite and Owen Moogan, with associate producer Demetra Stavrakas.
Abramorama’s release will include support from the Landmark Theater chain, including their venues in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. »
- Dave McNary
Cable channels and streaming services may not be in the morning TV news business, but they’re considering entry in the form of a fictional comedy series set in that world.
That’s the premise of a hot pitch making the rounds this week at HBO, Showtime, AMC, Netflix and Amazon that would star Michelle Pfeiffer as an anchor not unlike the one once played in real life by Katie Couric, the “Today” veteran who is attached to the project as an executive producer.
The series would be a comedic look behind-the-scenes of a morning news show. Though storylines aren’t drawn directly from Couric’s experiences, she is expected to ensure the series strikes realistic notes.
A source familiar with the pitch said both Pfeiffer and Couric are pitching along with the show’s creator, Diane English, who is no stranger to fictionalized versions of TV news operations having »
- Andrew Wallenstein
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