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I. The Rattigan Version
After his first dramatic success, The Winslow Boy, Terence Rattigan conceived a double bill of one-act plays in 1946. Producers dismissed the project, even Rattigan’s collaborator Hugh “Binkie” Beaumont. Actor John Gielgud agreed. “They’ve seen me in so much first rate stuff,” Gielgud asked Rattigan; “Do you really think they will like me in anything second rate?” Rattigan insisted he wasn’t “content writing a play to please an audience today, but to write a play that will be remembered in fifty years’ time.”
Ultimately, Rattigan paired a brooding character study, The Browning Version, with a light farce, Harlequinade. Entitled Playbill, the show was finally produced by Stephen Mitchell in September 1948, starring Eric Portman, and became a runaway hit. While Harlequinade faded into a footnote, the first half proved an instant classic. Harold Hobson wrote that “Mr. Portman’s playing and Mr. Rattigan’s writing »
- Christopher Saunders
Part I. Anger, Suez and Archie Rice
“There they are,” George Devine told John Osborne, surveying The Entertainer‘s opening night audience. “All waiting for you…Same old pack of c***s, fashionable assholes. Just more of them than usual.” The Royal Court had arrived: no longer outcasts, they were London’s main attraction.
Look Back in Anger vindicated Devine’s model of a writer’s-based theater. Osborne’s success attracted a host of dramatists to Sloane Square. There’s Shelagh Delaney, whose A Taste of Honey featured a working-class girl pregnant from an interracial dalliance; Harold Pinter’s The Room, a bizarre “comedy of menace”; and John Arden’s Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance, which aimed a Gatling gun at its audience. Devine encouraged them, however bold or experimental. “You always knew he was on the writer’s side,” Osborne said.
Peter O’Toole called the Royal Court actors “an »
- Christopher Saunders
Fox’s remake of the classic Agatha Christie whodunit Murder on the Orient Express is picking up steam, now that Michael Green has been tapped to pen the script. The studio has been developing this redo since late 2013, when power trio Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg and Mark Gordon all came aboard as producers. No director is yet attached to the pic, but Fox is understandably looking to attract a big name.
The story, one of the author’s most acclaimed to feature detective Hercule Poirot, was previously adapted for film by Sidney Lumet back in 1974. His take was rapturously received, racking up six Oscar nods and winning one (for Ingrid Bergman’s supporting performance). Albert Finney starred as Poirot, leading an all-star cast that included Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Jacqueline Bisset, Colin Blakely, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave and Michael York.
This remake has big shoes to fill, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Back in the fall of 2013, we learned there was development of a remake of the 1974 Sidney Lumet mystery Murder on the Orient Express, an adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1934 novel of the same name. Ridley Scott was producing with Simon Kinberg (writer of X-Men: Days of Future Past and Sherlock Holmes) and Mark Gordon, but there was no writer on board yet. But that's changed now as Variety reports Green Lantern writer Michael Green, who is also working with Scott on the Blade Runner sequel with Harrison Ford starring and Denis Villeneuve directing, will script the remake for Scott Free Productions. Read on! The original story follows detective Hercule Poirot, a genius Belgian detective who is called upon to solve a murder that occurred in his train car the night before. Albert Finney played the detective while an all-star cast of classic movie stars like Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, »
- Ethan Anderton
It was first adapted as a film in 1974 by Sidney Lumet, with Albert Finney as Poirot. The film also starred the likes of Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, John Gielgud and Vanessa Redgrave.
“Murder on the Orient Express,” based on the 1934 novel by Agatha Christie, starred Albert Finney as the genius Belgian detective Hercule Poirot investigating the murder of an American tycoon aboard the train. The all-star cast of suspects were portrayed by Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Colin Blakely, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave and Michael York.
“Orient Express” was a commercial success with $35 million in U.S. grosses. It was also nominated for six Academy Awards, with Bergman — portraying a Swedish missionary — winning her third Oscar, her first in the supporting category. »
- Dave McNary
I. The Landmine
In August 1955, George Devine, director of London’s Royal Court Theatre, ventured to meet a promising writer, living on a Thames houseboat. “I had to borrow a dinghy… wade out to it and row myself to my new playwright,” he recalled. Thus began a partnership between Devine, who sought to rescue the English stage from stale commercialism, and the 26 year old tyro, John Osborne. Together, they’d revolutionize modern theater.
Born in London but raised in Stoneleigh, Surrey, Osborne lost his father at age 12, resented his low-born mother and was expelled from school for striking a headmaster. While acting for Anthony Creighton’s repertory company, his mercurial temper and violent language appeared. In 1951 he wed actress Pamela Lane, only to divorce six years later. Osborne soon immortalized their marriage: their cramped apartment, with invasive friends and intruding in-laws, John and Pamela’s pet names and verbal abuse, »
- Christopher Saunders
The play is set one night during World World Two as a theatre company puts on King Lear, but with main actor Sir missing and no-one with any idea of where he is, it falls to his dresser Norman to keep the production going - with or without Sir.
Both Hopkins and McKellen have played Lear on stage and are both renowned for their Shakespearean roles, but this is the first time the pair have shared a screen together.
London — Emily Watson, who was Oscar nominated for “Hilary and Jackie” and “Breaking the Waves,” has joined the cast of Starz and the BBC’s TV movie “The Dresser,” which stars Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen.
Watson, whose recent credits include “The Theory of Everything,” plays the part of “Her Ladyship,” while Sarah Lancashire, who is best known for “Happy Valley” and “Last Tango in Halifax,” also joins the cast, as stage manager Madge.
Also in the cast are Vanessa Kirby as Irene, Edward Fox as Thornton, Tom Brooke as Oxenby/Edmond, John Ashton as Gloucester, Ian Conningham as Kent, Annalisa Rossi as Goneril, Helen Bradbury as Regan, Carl Sanderson as Cornwall, Matthew Cottle as Albany, and Martin Chamberlain as “Gentleman. »
- Leo Barraclough
The made-for-television film based on the famous play is loaded with stars, and is going to be one of the most interesting efforts to come along in quite some time. At least, if the cast itself can be taken as grounds for extremely high hopes. McKellan and Hopkins are perfect for the roles, and the story has proven itself, not only as a great story, but one that holds up over time.
Get all the details below, and make sure you watch out for this one.
Starz, in partnership with the BBC, today announced that production has officially begun on the movie for television “The Dresser,” an adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play, to be directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris). The production will film in and around London. »
- Marc Eastman
Production has begun in London on BBC Two/Starz drama The Dresser. Richard Eyre is directing the adaptation of Ronald Harwood's classic portrait of theater life backstage. Teaming for the first time on screen, Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins star. The two-hour TV movie has also now added Emily Watson, Happy Valley‘s Sarah Lancashire and Edward Fox — who appeared in the 1983 Oscar-nominated Peter Yates version of The Dresser that starred Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay… »
By Anjelica Oswald
At Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, Julianne Moore could join the ranks of 10 actors and actresses who have had five or more acting nominations before their first win.
Moore earned her fifth nomination for her portrayal of a professor suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice, based on Lisa Genova‘s 2007 novel of the same name. She was first nominated in 1998 for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights.
In Academy history, five actors and actresses have won their first Oscar on their fifth nomination.
Gregory Peck, who was first nominated in 1946 for The Keys of the Kingdom, didn’t win until 1962 for To Kill a Mockingbird. Five years later, Peck was awarded The Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
- Anjelica Oswald
“An incredible selection” was the verdict given by jury president Darren Aronofsky about the Berlinale’s 2015 competition line-up.
Speaking at the the closing gala, Aronofsky said: “Hats off to Dieter [Kosslick], the curators have made an incredible selection. It’s been incredibly difficult to decide on the prizes (…) there were so many quality films that it was hard not to award many, many of the films.“
In fact, the International Jury, which included actors Daniel Brühl and Audrey Tautou and the former Golden Bear winner Claudia Llosa from Peru, gave awards to nine of the 19 Competition titles by splitting two of the prizes, and showed the unanimity of its decisions by all being on stage together for the presentation of the awards in the Berlinale Palast.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Martin Blaney)
Berlin — This year’s Berlinale Golden Bear was won by Jafar Panahi’s film “Taxi,” in which the Iranian director posed as a taxi driver and rode through the streets of Teheran, engaging his passengers in running dialogues, capturing the spirit of Iranian society.
It was a particularly emotional moment as jury president Darren Aronofsky and festival director Dieter Kosslick reminded the audience of the empty chair that was left onstage for Panahi when he was a jury member in 2011 and not allowed to attend. Absent yet again this year, he was represented by his family onstage.
His little daughter accepted the award for him and was so choked up with tears of happiness that she could barely speak, saying, “I can’t say anything, I’m so moved.”
At the start of the ceremony, Aronofsky remarked that the jury had a hard time choosing the award-winning films, despite the »
- Andrew Horn
She’s possibly most famous for taking over a beloved character and making it her own with Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, but Geraldine McEwan has enjoyed a long career on stage and screen. She died at the age of 82 on Friday following a stroke in October.Born in Windsor, she got her start acting early, making her debut at the age of 14 at the city’s Theatre Royale. She quickly graduated to London’s West End, and went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 1961. There, she appeared in leading roles in plays such as Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet and Twelfth Night and ended up touring he world with various productions.On the West End stage, she originated a leading role in Joe Orton’s Loot and appeared on Broadway in The School For Scandal, The Private Ear And The Public Eye and The Chairs, »
The family of longtime actress Geraldine McEwan says she has died following treatment for a stroke. She was 82. McEwan was known for many roles including playing the famous Agatha Christie detective Miss Marple in 12 TV episodes. Her two children said in a statement that she died Friday after suffering a severe stroke at the end of October. She had been hospitalized extensively since then. See more Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2015 McEwan worked for many years in theater, television and films, sharing the stage with Laurence Olivier, Albert Finney and other top British stars. She won numerous awards, including
- The Associated Press
Oscar winner Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) and Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds, National Treasure) are in final negotiations to star in the romance feature film This Man, This Woman, to be directed by Isabel Coixet whose new film Nobody Wants The Night opens the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival, it was announced today by Fortitude International co-founders, Nadine de Barros and Robert Ogden Barnum, and producer Mike Lobell (The Freshman, Striptease).
Fortitude International is financing the film and will handle foreign sales on the project being introduced to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin next month.
De Barros and Barnum serve as executive producers. Lobell is producing the film.
CAA is representing domestic rights.
An estranged man, Matt Heller, and a woman, Martha Parks (Cruz »
- Michelle McCue
Smart, stylish, insightful and brimming with technical inventiveness, Stanley Donen's Two For The Road is a wonderful examination of the modern marriage whose influence can still be felt in Hollywood cinema today, nearly 50 years after it was originally released.Inspired in part by his own marriage, screenwriter Frederic Raphael (Darling, Eyes Wide Shut) penned Two For The Road at the specific request of director Stanley Donen (Singing In The Rain, Charade), after seeing his earlier efforts in 1964's Nothing But The Best. According to Raphael, he deliberately wrote the script in random order, accentuating its episodic structure, as it revisits the various trips from London to the South of France by the same British couple.Mark Wallace (Albert Finney), a successful architect, and his wife Joanna...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
A playwright, screenwriter, poet and essayist, he was an adjunct professor of Screenwriting at Columbia University's School of the Arts and Barnard College, as well as Nyu's Tisch School of the Arts. Among his former students are James Mangold ("Girl Interrupted," "Walk the Line") and Greg Mottola ("Superbad," "Adventureland"). After receiving his Mfa from the Yale School of Drama in 1982, Gallo met Huston, who was impressed by his adaptation of Malcolm Lowry's novel, and made the film version. Starring Albert Finney and Jacqueline Bisset, it was released in 1984 and was a selection of the Cannes Film Festival. Gallo wrote over a dozen feature screenplays, and had four others produced. Among them was an adaptation, "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," Part I, which American Playhouse broadcast in 1986; its cast included Lillian Gish and Geraldine Page. Born February 16, 1955 in New Orleans, Louisiana, »
- Annette Insdorf
Tim Burton is perhaps one of the most unique and exciting filmmakers working today. With a vision inspired by classic horror and a dry wit, his films are often fiercely entertaining and endlessly clever. Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t dark spots on his filmography. Like every filmmaker he’s had his missteps but even when the movies don’t quite work Burton manages to create films that are visually stunning and artistic. With the recent release of Big Eyes and a possible sequel to Beetlejuice in the works, examining Burton’s work and influence is more important than ever.
17. Planet of the Apes (2001): Even when a Burton film has issues there are usually some redeeming factors (see Darks Shadows’ amazing style) but, oh man, one really has to look hard to find something good in this disaster of a movie. Sure, the makeup »
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