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“Makers,” an AOL-backed initiative to chronicle women’s strides in traditionally male-dominated fields, kicks off with a decidedly entertainment-industry flavor, with the first two hours devoted to “Women in Comedy” and “Women in Hollywood.” Those broad topics, admittedly, represent a lot to chew on in just an hour, but this PBS series does a credible job of racing through highlights while enlisting well-placed voices — including, in the premiere, the late Joan Rivers — to address the inroads women have made, and the doors that remain tough to kick open.
While future chapters include “Space,” “Politics,” “Business” and “War,” the first two are closely related, and are probably the most accessible.
“Comedy is masculine,” Rivers explains of the standup field, and the filmmakers (the first two docs are narrated by Leslie Mann and Julia Roberts, respectively) chronicle how Phyllis Diller broke through by lampooning herself, giving way to Rivers and the many who have followed. »
- Brian Lowry
Exclusive: Actress Marcia Gay Harden has signed with ICM Partners. Harden won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her turn in 2000’s Pollock and was again nominated for 2003’s Mystic River. She next appears opposite Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer in Millenium’s Elsa & Fred and will play mother to Christian Grey in Universal’s Valentine’s Day 2015 tentpole Fifty Shades of Grey. Harden recently starred on ABC’s Trophy Wife and will return to HBO’s The Newsroom as attorney Rebecca Halliday this fall. She also appears in Woody Allen’s latest, Magic in the Moonlight, with Colin Firth and Emma Stone. Her Broadway work includes God of Carnage, for which she won the Tony. On television, Harden nabbed an Emmy nod for a 2007 guest role on Law & Order: Svu and another for 2009’s The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler. She was previously with UTA. Harden is also »
- Jen Yamato
Polly Bergen: Actress on Richard Nixon's 'enemies list' (image: Polly Bergen publicity shot ca. late 1950s) (See previous article: "Polly Bergen Movies: First U.S. Woman President.") As discussed in the previous post, despite its deceptively progressive premise — the first United States woman president as a palpable reality — Kisses for My President, written by veteran Paramount screenwriter Claude Binyon (Search for Beauty, The Gilded Lily) and newcomer Robert G. Kane (whose sole other movie credit was the poorly received Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy Western Villain), was an unabashedly reactionary, "traditional family values" effort. Ironically, Polly Bergen, for her part, was a liberal-minded, politically active Democrat. At around the time Kisses for My President was released, Bergen, along with Gregory Peck, James Garner, and other Hollywood personalities, publicly came out against California's Proposition 14, a 1964 ballot initiative that would have nullified the Rumford Fair Housing Act, thus paving the way for »
- Andre Soares
The season-five premiere of Downton Abbey drew an average audience of 8.4 million for Britain's ITV Sunday night, marking the show's lowest season debut since its first-season launch in 2010 with 7.7 million viewers. The figure compared with the 9.5 million overnight ratings for the previous season and the 9.0 million overnight audience for the third-season opener when Shirley MacLaine's character started her showdown with Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess, according to ratings consultancy Attentional. The second season had opened with nearly 9.3 million viewers. All figures include viewers for ITV1+1, a catch-
- Georg Szalai
Polly Bergen dead at 84: ‘First woman president of the U.S.A.,’ former mistress of Tony Soprano’s father Emmy Award-winning actress Polly Bergen — whose roles ranged from the first U.S.A. woman president in Kisses for My President to the former mistress of both Tony Soprano’s father and John F. Kennedy in the television hit series The Sopranos — died from "natural causes" on September 20, 2014, at her home in Southbury, Connecticut. The 84-year-old Bergen, a heavy smoker for five decades, had been suffering from emphysema and other ailments since the 1990s. "Most people think I was born in a rich Long Island family," she told The Washington Post in 1988, but Polly Bergen was actually born Nellie Paulina Burgin on July 14, 1930, to an impoverished family in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her father was an illiterate construction worker while her mother got only as far as the third grade. The family »
- Andre Soares
Elsa & Fred is the story of two people who, at the end of the road, discover that it’s never too late to love. After losing his wife, Fred (Christopher Plummer) feels disturbed, confused and alone, so his daughter (Marcia Gay Harden) helps move him into a small apartment where he meets Elsa (Shirley Maclaine).
From that moment on, everything changes. Elsa bursts into Fred’s life like a whirlwind, determined to teach him that the time he has left to live – be it more or less – is precious and that he should enjoy it as he pleases.
- Melissa Thompson
Michelle Dockery wants Maggie Gyllenhaal to star in 'Downton Abbey'. The 32-year-old actress, who plays Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV period drama, admits she is a huge fan of the 'Honourable Woman' star so would love it if she made a cameo appearance in the popular programme. She told Bang Showbiz: ''I read somewhere that Maggie Gyllenhaal loves the show so I think that would be great if she fancied popping in and doing a cameo.'' Michelle admits she loves it when huge stars such as Paul Giamatti and Shirley MacLaine appear in the show but insists it is »
Beginning 8pm Est on September 4 -- that's tonigh! -- Richard Linklater will present three of his favorite films on Turner Classic Movies. This summer, Linklater reemerged as an indie success worthy of Hollywood with his 12-years-in-the-making cinematic project “Boyhood.” Between screenings of tonight’s selections, TCM's Robert Osborne and Linklater will discuss the films and their influence on the director’s decades-long career. At 8pm, Vincente Minnelli’s “Some Came Running” airs, starring Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, and Dean Martin in a Midwestern, postwar drama based on the James Jones novel. At 10:30pm, John Huston’s genre-defining noir “The Asphalt Jungle” will play, featuring a star-studded ensemble in this heist-gone-wrong classic. At 12:45am, Linklater departs from Hollywood with Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman's “Fanny and Alexander" which renders, like "Boyhood," life through the eyes of children. The sibling period drama was originally a »
- Elaina Patton
The brilliant chameleon Peter Sellers turns in his greatest (and penultimate) performance in this low-key satire about politics and the cult of personality. Or in this case, the lack of personality: as Chance, a gentle shut-in untouched by the outside world except for what little knowledge he’s gleaned from TV, Sellers turns in a studious portrait of a completely vacant man. Directed by Hal Ashby from Jerzy Kozinski’s 1970 novel, the film co-stars Shirley MacLaine, Jack Warden and, in an Oscar-winning performance, Melvyn Douglas. »
- Trailers From Hell
The brilliant chameleon Peter Sellers turns in his greatest (and penultimate) performance in this low-key satire about politics and the cult of personality. Or in this case, the lack of personality: as Chance, a gentle shut-in untouched by the outside world except for what little knowledge he’s gleaned from TV, Sellers turns in a studious portrait of a completely vacant man. Directed by Hal Ashby from Jerzy Kozinski’s 1970 novel, the film co-stars Shirley MacLaine, Jack Warden and, in an Oscar-winning performance, Melvyn Douglas.
The post Being There appeared first on Trailers From Hell.
- TFH Team
When Oscar glory comes knocking for a successful Hollywood actor, it must be hugely tempting when the chance arrives for them to reprise that award-winning role. But while sequels and reboots are a common enough sight in the movie industry these days, examples of stars who've returned to their Oscar-winning roles are relatively few and far between.
The reason, perhaps, is because it's so difficult to recapture the creative lightning in a bottle that led to the Oscar win in the first place. Nevertheless, some actors do occasionally take up the offer and return to the filmmaking well. And as the list below proves, the results can sometimes be highly accomplished - though seldom quite as powerful and fresh as the films they're following...
Won for: The French Connection
Played the »
Oscar-winning filmmaker and actor Richard Attenborough, who delighted cinema audiences across some six decades, has died, according to his son. He was 90 years old. According to the BBC, Attenborough had been in a nursing home with his wife for a number of years, and he had been bound to a wheelchair following a fall six years ago. Attenborough began his career in front of the camera, drawing raves for work in films like John Boulting's "Brighton Rock" in 1947, John Sturges' "The Great Escape" and Robert Wise's "The Sand Pebbles" opposite Steve McQueen, as well as Richard Fleischer's Oscar-nominated "Doctor Dolittle" opposite Rex Harrison. He transitioned to directing with ease with the Golden Globe-winning "Oh! What a Lovely War" in 1969 and developed a keen interest in history and biopics with his work. More accolades came for the Winston Churchill early years tale "Young Winston" in 1972, star-studded World »
- Kristopher Tapley
Richard Attenborough, who was honored for his helming and production of the 1982 Oscar best picture “Gandhi” but was best known to American audiences for his role in Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” and its first sequel as park creator John Hammond, died on Sunday, his son tells BBC News. He was 90.
The stocky British filmmaker was awarded a life peerage by Queen Elizabeth II in 1993 for his stage work and for his efforts behind and in front of the camera to promote British cinema.
While Attenborough had been a prominent character actor in his native country since the early 1940s, he also achieved much as a producer, motion picture executive and cultural impresario. At various times he was chairman of the British Film Institute, Channel 4, Goldcrest Films, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and Capital Radio and a director of the Young Vic and the British Film Institute. In the late ’70s, »
- Carmel Dagan
Photo courtesy Debbie Reynolds Studios
Debbie Reynolds – actor, singer, dancer, author, champion for the preservation of the artifacts of film history and for the understanding and treatment of mental illness – has been named the 51st recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.
Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the union’s highest accolade will be presented to the Oscar, Emmy and Tony-nominated Reynolds at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 at 8 p.m. (Et), 7 p.m. (Ct), 6 p.m. (Mt) and 5 p.m. (Pt).
SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard praised Reynolds’ artistry over her very accomplished career, saying, “I’m thrilled that SAG-AFTRA is presenting our Life Achievement Award to Debbie Reynolds. She is a tremendously talented »
- Michelle McCue
The award will be presented at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 25.
Reynolds has starred in more than 50 movies, two Broadway shows, two TV series and dozens of TV, cabaret and concert appearances. The 82-year-old Reynolds has been in show business for 66 years.
Her first movie role came in the 1950 musical “the Daughter of Rosie O’Grady” followed by a role as “Boop-Boop-a-Doop” girl Helen Kane in “Three Little Words,” for which she received an MGM contract and the first of five Golden Globe nominations.
She appeared in “Singin’ in the Rain” opposite Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor; “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” for which she was nominated for an Oscar; “How the West Was Won,” “The Tender Trap,” “Mary, Mary,” “Goodbye Charlie,” “Divorce American Style,” “How Sweet It Is, »
- Dave McNary
Cult movie classic ‘Pretty Poison’ filmmaker Noel Black dead at 77 (photo: Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins in ‘Pretty Poison’) Noel Black, best remembered for the 1968 cult movie classic Pretty Poison, died of pneumonia at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on July 5, 2014. Black (born on June 30, 1937, in Chicago) was 77. Prior to Pretty Poison, Noel Black earned praise for the 18-minute short film Skaterdater (1965), the tale of a boy skateboarder who falls for a girl bike rider. Shot on the beaches of Los Angeles County, the dialogue-less Skaterdater went on to win the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film and tied with Orson Welles’ Falstaff - Chimes at Midnight for the Technical Grand Prize at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival. Besides, Skaterdater received an Academy Award nomination in the Best Short Subject, Live Action category. (The Oscar winner that year was Claude Berri’s Le Poulet.) ‘Pretty Poison’: Fun and games and »
- Andre Soares
James Garner movies on TCM: ‘Grand Prix,’ ‘Victor Victoria’ among highlights (photo: James Garner ca. 1960) James Garner, whose film and television career spanned more than five decades, died of "natural causes" at age 86 on July 19, 2014, in the Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood. On Monday, July 28, Turner Classic Movies will present an all-day marathon of James Garner movies (see below) as a tribute to the Oscar-nominated star of Murphy’s Romance and Emmy-winning star of the television series The Rockford Files. Among the highlights in TCM’s James Garner film lineup is John Frankenheimer’s Monaco-set Grand Prix (1966), an all-star, race-car drama featuring Garner as a Formula One driver who has an affair with the wife (Jessica Walter) of his former teammate (Brian Bedford). Among the other Grand Prix drivers facing their own personal issues are Yves Montand and Antonio Sabato, while Akira Kurosawa’s (male) muse Toshiro Mifune plays a »
- Andre Soares
After two consecutive triumphs at the Emmys (2011, 2012), Maggie Smith was bested by Anna Gunn ("Breaking Bad") last year as Best Drama Supporting Actress. This time around, Smith submitted the two-hour "Downton Abbey" season finale and could win a third trophy for playing fan-favorite Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham. -Break- Exclusive: Emmy episode entries for 'Downton Abbey,' 'Modern Family,' Melissa McCarthy Synopsis: In the season finale "The London Season," the characters all travel to London to attend Rose's royal coronation ceremony. Cora's American mother (Shirley MacLaine) and brother (Paul Giamatti) travel across the ocean to join in the celebration, and Violet and Martha immediately start up their catty feud again. Some of the servants are curious as to Lady Edith's (Laura Carmichael) tiredness, but Violet knows the truth, that she briefly moved away to give birth to her...' »
Downton Abbey had a disappointing fourth season. While its 12 Emmy nominations—including one for Outstanding Drama Series and one for Michelle Dockery for Outstanding Lead Actress—suggest otherwise, many complained of lackluster storylines that fell flat compared to previous seasons.
Looking ahead to the show’s fifth season, however, Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates), Allen Leech (Tom Branson), Gareth Neame (executive producer, Downton Abbey), and Rebecca Eaton (executive producer, Masterpiece) spoke at the Television Critics Association, addressing season-four criticism and what fans can look forward to in season five.
Neame spoke to the »
- C. Molly Smith
The fifth season of "Downton Abbey" won't premiere on PBS until January 4, 2015. That's a long way away and, by that time, many of you will have already watched the full season through illegal means (or legal if you happen to live in England). On Tuesday (July 22) evening, the Television Critics Association is going to get at least a taste of Season 5. Since the show is still in production, creator Julian Fellowes is absent, sending Gareth Neame in his stead. Similarly, much of the cast is shooting Across the Pond, but we've got Laura "Lady Edith" Carmichael, Michelle "Non-Stop" Dockery, Joanne "Anna" Froggatt and Allen "Branson" Leech. Click through and follow along with my live-blog. Don't expect too many spoilers. 7:15 p.m. We're' being strung along by an assortment of other "Masterpiece" productions, none of which is "Downton Abbey." 7:22 p.m. "I feel a-shaking of the ground I stand on, »
- Daniel Fienberg
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