9 items from 2014
Written by Roy Huggins
Directed by Bryon Haskin
Alan and Jane Palmer (Arthur Kennedy and Lizabeth Scott respectively) are driving up a lonely road one evening for a dinner party hosted by some of the husband’s friends. Jane, incessant in her pleads to turn around, has Alan stop the car for a moment at which point another vehicle heading in the opposite direction passes by. One of its occupants tosses a large duffle bag in their vehicle. Upon inspecting its contents the married couple discover hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. A third vehicle fast approaches and gives them chase, and while the duo escape whomever it was that pursued them along the dusty road, it is clear that someone is after the hefty sum currently in their possession. Jane is over the moon with their discovery whereas Alan would prefer to have nothing of it. »
- Edgar Chaput
A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Roy Price comes from a long line of Hollywood executives. His father, Frank Price, was president of Universal Pictures in the 1980s and his grandfather, Roy Huggins, co-created The Rockford Files. "We would watch dailies sometimes at home on Sunday night," he says. "You had to have a projector and a projectionist come over to your house to turn it on." Now, nearly 10 years after Price moved from Los Angeles to Seattle to help Amazon.com launch its own
- Natalie Jarvey
20 July 2014 8:23 AM, PDT | IMDb News
He was born James Scott Bumgarner on April 7, 1928 in Norman, Oklahoma, the third and youngest son of Mildred and Weldon Bumgarner. His young life was very unsettled; at the age of four, his mother passed away, and James and his brothers Charles and Jack were sent away to live with relatives. When their father remarried in 1930 the boys were able to return home, but their stepmother mistreated them and the marriage ended after her cruelty to the boys, James in particular, grew untenable. Weldon, leaving the boys behind, moved to Los Angeles to look for steady work. After a brief stint in the Merchant Marines at the age of 16 (which ended due to his extreme seasickness), James followed his father to California, where he enrolled in Hollywood High School briefly. While there, he was recommended for a Jantzen swimsuit modeling job which turned out to be his first taste of Hollywood.
Grown tired of modeling and repelled by the phoniness of the Hollywood movie system, he returned to Norman and re-enrolled in high school there for a short time, before dropping out for good and enrolling in the National Guard. After a serious knee injury, he was discharged from the National Guard, only to be drafted by the Army in 1949 and sent to fight in Korea, where he was twice wounded and awarded two Purple Hearts.
After his discharge from the Army, he was persuaded by producer Paul Gregory, an old friend from his Hollywood High School days, to accept a role in his Broadway play "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial". In taking the role and studying following Henry Fonda's performance every night, James learned what he deemed his most effective tool in acting: listening.
His Broadway experience led him back to Los Angeles, where he won roles in commercials and TV, eventually signing a contract with Warner Brothers, who changed his screen name to Garner without his permission for his appearance in the 1956 film The Girl He Left Behind. In that same year he met Lois Clark at a political rally, and the two married 14 days later. Garner adopted Lois’s daughter Kimberly, and the couple also had a daughter together, Greta. It was after Greta’s birth that he legally changed his surname to Garner, as he was concerned that his children would have too many last names.
In 1957, he won a lead in the new television series “Maverick”, the role in which he originated and refined the ‘charming and hesitantly heroic con-man’ persona that would resonate with audiences through the remainder of his career. His turn as Bret Maverick, first imagined as the focal point of a by-the-numbers Western soon morphed into a new sort of anti-hero, one with a sense of humor who would rather charm than shoot or fight his way out of a bad situation. This portrayal of Bret earned him a Golden Globe in 1958, and an Emmy nomination in 1957. Network concerns led James to leave the show in 1960 and head back to feature films, where he relied on his life’s experiences to flesh out roles in a varied collection of films: the dramatic The Children’s Hour; war movies The Great Escape, 36 Hours and The Americanization of Emily; romantic comedies The Thrill Of It All and Move Over Darling and even racing drama Grand Prix. It was during Grand Prix that Garner discovered one of his life’s passions – auto racing – that would inspire him to support a racing team himself.
In 1970, he joined forces once again with “Maverick” creator Roy Huggins and writer Stephen J. Cannell to bring a new detective show to television, “The Rockford Files”. Much like they had in “Maverick”, they used the show to reinvent the detective genre. Gone were the hard-nosed gumshoe tactics and gunplay used in noir-inspired private investigator series, replaced by Jim Rockford’s easygoing personality and wit as the main tools used to solve robberies, insurance scams and the like. The show would run for six seasons before Garner’s stunt injuries and financial disputes ended the run, but not without Garner earning a Best Actor Emmy in 1977. In between film roles, Garner would revisit the character several times during the next few decades in made-for-TV movies, as the original show’s growing popularity in re-runs fueled demand for more Jim Rockford tales from a new generation of fans.
Garner’s film career continued alongside his major TV successes for the next 3 decades. Cinematic roles in Victor/Victoria, Murphy's Romance (which earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination), Tank, Twilight, Maverick, Space Cowboys, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The Notebook were interspersed with appearances in TV movies and series such as “Bret Maverick”, “Man of the People” “Chicago Hope” “First Monday” and “8 Rules for Dating Your Teenage Daughter.” Though he had experienced physical injuries in sports, war and during stunt work and had recovered from quintuple heart bypass in 1998, it wasn’t until suffering a stroke in 2008 that his work slowed.
He is survived by his wife Lois and his daughters Greta and Kimberly. He was preceded in death by his brother Charles in 1985. »
- Heather Campbell
There have arguably been bigger stars in television history than the late James Garner, but none who ever made it look quite so easy. Garner, who reportedly died in his home on Saturday at the age of 86, first hit it big in 1957 with "Maverick," a comical Western in which he played Bret Maverick, a Wild West cardsharp who was as quick on the draw as he was with a quip. At a time when TV was dominated by Westerns — and very solemn ones, at that — Garner was happy to play the same material lighter, to occasionally be the clown or the guy who gets punched in the face, and yet always made it clear that Maverick could easily kill you if he wanted to — it just wasn't his preferred way of doing things. Garner left Maverick after only a few seasons (and had spent much of that time alternating episodes »
- Alan Sepinwall
Amiable actor James Garner, whose moderately successful film career was eclipsed by two extraordinarily popular television series, “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files,” has died, according to reports. He was 86.
Like many popular leading men of Hollywood’s heyday, Garner boasted all-American good looks and a winning personality that carried him through comedy and drama alike. He was one of the first of TV’s leading men to cross over into films in the ’60s with such popular movies as “The Thrill of It All” and “The Americanization of Emily.” But he had his greatest impact in television, first on “Maverick” in the ’50s and then in the ’70s on “The Rockford Files,” for which he won an Emmy in 1977. He later appeared in several quality telepics including “Promise,” “My Name Is Bill W.” and “Barbarians at the Gate,” as well as the occasional strong feature such as “Victor/Victoria” and “Murphy’s Romance, »
- Richard Natale
Amiable film and television actor James Garner, who starred in popular television series “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files,” died Saturday at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 86.
Like many popular leading men of Hollywood’s heyday, Garner boasted all-American good looks and a winning personality that carried him through comedy and drama alike. Garner won two Emmys and racked up a total of 15 nominations. He had his greatest impact in television, first on “Maverick” in the ’50s and then in the ’70s on “The Rockford Files,” for which he won an Emmy in 1977. He later appeared in several quality telepics including “Promise,” “My Name Is Bill W.” and “Barbarians at the Gate,” as well as the occasional strong feature such as “Victor/Victoria” and “Murphy’s Romance,” for which he captured his sole Oscar nomination for lead actor.
Appreciation: James Garner Gracefully Bore the Weight »
- Richard Natale
Review Gem Wheeler 16 Apr 2014 - 17:29
This review contains spoilers.
A serial killer is stalking Oxford in autumn 1966, and Vivienne Haldane, wife of an eminent physicist at the university, is the latest victim. Morse quickly establishes a pattern to the murders; apart from the fact that all three dead women were found with a particular brand of expensive silk stocking, ‘Le Minou Noir’, around their necks, each was married, but has had her wedding ring removed by the killer. Pathologist Dr DeBryn finds that Mrs Haldane had had intercourse not long before her death, but it was certainly not with husband Rufus (Michael Thomas), from whom she had long been estranged. The hunt is on for a murderer with a type: married women who he seduces and kills, for reasons »
This project has been in development since April 2012, when Vince Vaughn became attached to star. Chuck Hogan will rewrite the original draft by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Rounders), adapted from The Rockford Files TV series, which ran from 1974 to 1980.
James Garner starred as private detective James Rockford in the series, which was created by Stephen J. Cannell and Roy Huggins. The show followed the adventures of this ex-con turned private eye, who worked out of his mobile home in Malibu and had a penchant for talking his way out of troublesome situations. No story details were given for this new theatrical version.
Exclusive: Universal Pictures is bringing in Chuck Hogan to rewrite The Rockford Files for Vince Vaughn to star. Hogan takes on the job as FX has set The Strain, his collaboration with Guillermo del Toro, for summer, and he adapts Thirteen Hours: A Firsthand Account Of What Really Happened In Benghazi for Paramount, the book that author Mitchell Zuckoff wrote with surviving members of the Annex Security Team who fought the battle that led to the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Hogan, whose novel Prince Of Thieves was the basis for the superb Ben Affleck-directed crime thriller The Town, will rewrite the Rockford script originally penned by script team of David Levien and Brian Koppelman. Vaughn is going to play Jim Rockford, in a feature adaptation of the memorable series that ran on NBC from 1974-80 and featured James Garner as the down-and-out private eye. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
9 items from 2014
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