10 items from 2015
Director John Frankenheimer.
I'm often asked which, out of the over 600 interviews I've logged with Hollywood's finest, is my favorite. It's not a tough answer: John Frankenheimer.
We instantly clicked the day we met at his home in Benedict Canyon, and spent most of the afternoon talking in his den. A friendship of sorts developed over the years, with visits to his office for screenings of the old Kinescopes he directed for shows like "Playhouse 90" during his salad days in live television during the 1950s.
We hadn't spoken for nearly a year in mid-2002 when the phone rang. It was John, who spoke in what can only be described as a "stentorian bark," like a general. "Alex!" he exclaimed. "John Frankenheimer." He could sense something was amiss with me. It was. My screenwriting career had stalled. My marriage was progressing to divorce. I had hit bottom. John knew that »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Ron Moody as Fagin in 'Oliver!' based on Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist.' Ron Moody as Fagin in Dickens musical 'Oliver!': Box office and critical hit (See previous post: "Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' Actor, Academy Award Nominee Dead at 91.") Although British made, Oliver! turned out to be an elephantine release along the lines of – exclamation point or no – Gypsy, Star!, Hello Dolly!, and other Hollywood mega-musicals from the mid'-50s to the early '70s. But however bloated and conventional the final result, and a cast whose best-known name was that of director Carol Reed's nephew, Oliver Reed, Oliver! found countless fans. The mostly British production became a huge financial and critical success in the U.S. at a time when star-studded mega-musicals had become perilous – at times downright disastrous – ventures. Upon the American release of Oliver! in Dec. 1968, frequently acerbic The »
- Andre Soares
Quite a few, apparently, from the identity of her birth father, to the nature of her fatal overdose at age 36 -- was it suicide, accident, or murder? In 2012, on the 50th anniversary of her death, Moviefone previously published "25 Things You Didn't Know About Marilyn Monroe." Turns out that list barely scratched the surface. Here, then, are 25 more.
1. Monroe's birth certificate from 1926 lists her birth name as Norma Jeane Mortenson. The last name was a misspelling of the surname of her mother's second husband, Martin Mortensen, who separated from Gladys before she became pregnant. Soon after, she reverted to her first married name, Baker, and gave that name to her daughter.
2. Gladys later told Norma Jeane that her father was Gladys' boss, Charles Gifford, who looked like »
- Gary Susman
'A Hatful of Rain' with Lloyd Nolan, Anthony Franciosa and Don Murray 'A Hatful of Rain' script fails to find cinematic voice as most of the cast hams it up Based on a play by Michael V. Gazzo, A Hatful of Rain is an interesting attempt at injecting "adult" subject matters – in this case, the evils of drug addiction – into Hollywood movies. "Interesting," however, does not mean either successful or compelling. Despite real, unromantic New York City locations and Joseph MacDonald's beautifully realistic black-and-white camera work (and the pointless use of CinemaScope), this Fred Zinnemann-directed melodrama feels anachronistically stagy as a result of its artificial dialogue and the hammy theatricality of its performers – with Eva Marie Saint as the sole naturalistic exception. 'A Hatful of Rain' synopsis Somewhat revolutionary in its day (Otto Preminger's The Man with a Golden Arm,* also about drug addiction, »
- Andre Soares
Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson on the Oscars' Red Carpet Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson at the Academy Awards Eli Wallach and wife Anne Jackson are seen above arriving at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, held on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The 95-year-old Wallach had received an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in November 2010. See also: "Doris Day Inexplicably Snubbed by Academy," "Maureen O'Hara Honorary Oscar," "Honorary Oscars: Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo Among Rare Women Recipients," and "Hayao Miyazaki Getting Honorary Oscar." Delayed film debut The Actors Studio-trained Eli Wallach was to have made his film debut in Fred Zinnemann's Academy Award-winning 1953 blockbuster From Here to Eternity. Ultimately, however, Frank Sinatra – then a has-been following a string of box office duds – was cast for a pittance, getting beaten to a pulp by a pre-stardom Ernest Borgnine. For his bloodied efforts, Sinatra went on »
- D. Zhea
Kristen Stewart, 'Camp X-Ray' star, to join cast of 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' Kristen Stewart to join 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' movie After putting away her Bella Swan wig and red (formerly brown) contact lenses, Kristen Stewart has been making a number of interesting career choices. Here are three examples: Stewart was a U.S. soldier who befriends an inmate (Peyman Moaadi) at the American Gulag, Guantanamo, in Peter Sattler's little-seen (at least in theaters) Camp X-Ray. She was one of Best Actress Oscar winner Julianne Moore's daughters in Wash Westmoreland and the recently deceased Richard Glatzer's Alzheimer's drama Still Alice. She was the personal assistant to troubled, aging actress Juliette Binoche in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria, which earned her a history-making Best Supporting Actress César. (Stewart became the first American actress to take home the French Academy Award. »
- Andre Soares
Teresa Wright and Matt Damon in 'The Rainmaker' Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright vs. Samuel Goldwyn: Nasty Falling Out.") "I'd rather have luck than brains!" Teresa Wright was quoted as saying in the early 1950s. That's understandable, considering her post-Samuel Goldwyn choice of movie roles, some of which may have seemed promising on paper. Wright was Marlon Brando's first Hollywood leading lady, but that didn't help her to bounce back following the very public spat with her former boss. After all, The Men was released before Elia Kazan's film version of A Streetcar Named Desire turned Brando into a major international star. Chances are that good film offers were scarce. After Wright's brief 1950 comeback, for the third time in less than a decade she would be gone from the big screen for more than a year. »
- Andre Soares
“There are many here among us / Who feel that life is but a joke / But you and I we’ve been through that / And this is not our fate.” • Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower, 1967
I’m writing this while listening to the soundtrack of the revival of South Pacific, which played at Lincoln Center here in NYC in 2008 and won eight Tony awards. It starred Kelli O’Hara as Nellie Forbush, Paulo Szot as Emile de Beque, and Matthew Morrison (Will Schuster on Glee) as Lt. Joseph Cable. The show, written by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Joshua Logan, opened on Broadway in 1949, and is based on James Michener’s series of short stories about the Pacific theatre, Tales of the South Pacific, which was published in 1947, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948. It was »
- Mindy Newell
Taking public transportation on the bus in everyday life is essential for workers worldwide as we need to make that daily grinding trek to the workplace, shopping malls, school, doctor’s appointment or whatever our destination may be at the moment. In particular, there is a love/hate relationship with buses as it presents all sort of social challenges: anxiety, chattiness, impatience, friendliness, kindness, anti-socialism, invasive behavior, alienation, nervousness, sense of unity, etc.
Well in the world of movies the bus-related experience can be more colorful and adventurous for the imagination at heart. Thus, it brings up this prolonged thought: what is your favorite or memorable moments dealing with buses on the big screen? Does it compare adequately to the triumphs or tragedies that overshadow or downplay your dealings with real-life bus-related interaction?
In “All Aboard”: Top Ten Bus-Related Moments in the Movies we will look at a handful of selected scenes, »
- Frank Ochieng
Robert Redford movies: TCM shows 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,' 'The Sting' They don't make movie stars like they used to, back in the days of Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, and Harry Cohn. That's what nostalgists have been bitching about for the last four or five decades; never mind the fact that movie stars have remained as big as ever despite the demise of the old studio system and the spectacular rise of television more than sixty years ago. This month of January 2015, Turner Classic Movies will be honoring one such post-studio era superstar: Robert Redford. Beginning this Monday evening, January 6, TCM will be presenting 15 Robert Redford movies. Tonight's entries include Redford's two biggest blockbusters, both directed by George Roy Hill and co-starring Paul Newman: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which turned Redford, already in his early 30s, into a major film star to rival Rudolph Valentino, »
- Andre Soares
10 items from 2015
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