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Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany's Blake Edwards, who died this past Dec. 15 at the age of 88, will be celebrated by Turner Classic Movies on Monday evening with the presentation of five of Edwards' best-known efforts: Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The Pink Panther (1964), Victor / Victoria (1982), and Operation Petticoat (1959). Apart from The Pink Panther — I'm no fan of Peter Sellers' slapstick comedy — I'd highly recommend the other four movies. Not that they're all great; but they all provide excellent opportunities for their mostly first-rate performers. Audrey Hepburn is delightful as a free-spirited call girl in Breakfast at Tiffany's, a shamelessly bowdlerized but still entertaining version of Truman Capote's novel. Just don't think of Hepburn's Holly Golightly as a "call girl" or as anyone remotely associated with sex. Patricia Neal provides more than able support. Days of Wine [...] »
- Andre Soares
16 December 2010 11:07 AM, PST | IMDb News
Blake Edwards, the screenwriter, producer and director best-known for the hugely successful Pink Panther film series in collaboration with the comedian Peter Sellers, died Wednesday evening at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica of complications from pneumonia; he was 88. Known mostly for the slapstick comedy of the Pink Panther films and other farces ranging from the midlife crisis comedy 10 to the gender-bending Victor/Victoria, Edwards did venture into other genres, most notably with the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's, starring Audrey Hepburn, and the melodrama Days of Wine and Roses, both filmed in the early 1960s. Edwards was also known for his high-profile marriage to actress Julie Andrews, whom he directed in a number of films, and with whom he adopted two children; Andrews and his family were reportedly at his bedside when he passed.
Born William Blake Crump on July 26, 1922, in Tulsa Oklahoma, Edwards was the son of a stage director and the grandson of prolific silent-film director J. Gordon Edwards. He began his career as an actor and a radio scriptwriter specializing in hard-boiled private detective scripts tinged with humor, a different take from the classic noir gumshoes such as Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe. Edwards took his talents to the small screen in 1959, creating the TV series Peter Gunn about a private investigator who loved hip jazz and dressed to the nines. Though the series ran for over 100 episodes, Peter Gunn is perhaps best remembered for its theme music, composed by Henry Mancini, who was to become an invaluable contributor to Edwards' career in film.
In the mid 1950s Edward also moved towards film, directing a number of comedies before striking box office gold with the 1959 hit Operation Petticoat, starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. Two years later, Edwards turned Truman Capote's novella Breakfast at Tiffany's into a critical and commercial success, propelling Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly into the pop culture pantheon as well as Mancini's hit song "Moon River", which won an Oscar (the film received five Oscar nominations total, including Best Actress). The adult-for-its-time comedy, co-starring George Peppard, Patricia Neal and Mickey Rooney (whose jaw-dropping portrayal of a stereotypical Japanese landlord was the film's biggest misstep), erased much of Capote's sexual subtext in favor of a standard Hollywood romance between the two leads, but it nonetheless became one of the favored romantic comedies of all time. He followed up that film with the effective black-and-white thriller Experiment in Terror (1962) , his only turn in the thriller genre, and the alcoholism drama Days of Wine and Roses (also 1962), which featured Academy Award-nominated performances by Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick.
In 1963, beginning with The Pink Panther (1963) and in four subsequent Panther films over two decades, Edwards, in collaboration with Peter Sellers, gave audiences one of the most distinctive comedic characters ever conceived - Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau. With an exaggerated French accent and an incredibly clumsy manner, Clouseau was a uniquely brilliant creation, a completely inept detective who always got his man. Only two films were made in the early 1960s, but the franchise was revived in the mid 1970s with three more films. Though Sellers died in 1980, Edwards made three additional Panther films into the early 1990's, though none came close to capturing the freewheeling and blissfully absurd spirit of the first two Panther comedies, which also included A Shot in the Dark (1964).
First married from 1953-1967 to actress Patricia Walker, with whom he had two children, Edwards met his second wife, Julie Andrews, in the late 1960s as both were coming off big movie hits, she with The Sound of Music and he with the Pink Panther films as well as The Great Race (1965) and The Party (1968). The two, who married in November 1969, attempted to join their creative forces for the World War I musical melodrama Darling Lili, which was an attempt to show Andrews in a more adult light as a Mata Hari-type spy who attempts to use her seductive wiles on American major Rock Hudson, only to fall in love him. One of the most notorious flops of its time, the production was marred by expensive location shooting, expansive yet nonsensical musical numbers, extensive rewrites and constant meddling from Paramount studio to make the film more commercially appealing; the budget skyrocketed as the film drew towards its 1970 release, and was roundly drubbed as a fiasco on all counts.
Darling Lili practically sunk Edwards' career, and the filmmaker suffered from severe depression and retreated to Switzerland to recover. While he made some films in the early 1970s, none were warmly received until The Return of the Pink Panther in 1975. After two more Panther films with Peter Sellers, Edwards was suddenly back on top in 1979 with the comedy 10, which featured Dudley Moore as a man besotted with a younger woman, a corn-rowed Bo Derek, who thanks to the film would become a superstar and cultural icon of the time, due mostly to scenes captured of her running on a Mexican beach in little more than a flesh-colored bikini. The film turned Edwards' career around, and he gleefully skewered the Hollywood that attempted to sink him after Darling Lili with the scathing satire S.O.B. (1981), in which Andrews played a thinly veiled version of herself and finally rid herself of her pristine image by baring her breasts.
Andrews received an Oscar nomination, as did Edwards for screenwriting, for the cross-dressing musical hit Victor/Victoria (1982), the story of a British female singer pretending to be a gay Polish female impersonator in pre-World War II France. The racy comedy, which dealt frankly with cross-dressing and homosexuality in an era when both evoked titters and general discomfort with mainstream audiences, also starred James Garner and Oscar nominees Robert Preston and Lesley Ann Warren. The film, featuring numerous musical numbers and Edwards' patented brand of slapstick, was a huge hit, and would inspire a Broadway musical adaptation in the mid-1990s, also directed by Edwards and starring Andrews; lightning, however, did not strike twice, and though commercially successful, it was less than warmly received by critics.
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Edwards made more comedies, including Micki & Maude (1984), A Fine Mess (1986), Blind Date (1987), and Switch (1991); his most notable film post-Victor/Victoria was the autobiographical That's Life! (1986), starring Jack Lemmon as an Edwards-style protagonist suffering from depression, Julie Andrews as his wife, and one of Edwards' children, and one of Andrews' children as part of the main character's large family.
After the Broadway adaptation of Victor/Victoria, Edwards essentially retired from filmmaking; in 2004 he received an Honorary Oscar "In recognition of his writing, directing and producing an extraordinary body of work for the screen". The presentation of the award, by Jim Carrey, was notable for including a patented Edwards sight gag, in which the director, ensconced in a wheelchair, crashed through a wall in an attempt to accept the statuette.
Edwards is survived by Andrews and his four children. »
- Mark Englehart
Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando in Elia Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire (top); Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair in Delbert Mann's Marty (middle); Patricia Neal, Andy Griffith in Kazan's A Face in the Crowd (bottom) Moguls & Movie Stars, A History of Hollywood: The Attack of the Small Screens is the next chapter of Turner Classic Movies' seven-part Moguls & Movie Stars documentary, which will be shown twice tonight, at 5 and 8 p.m. Pt. The appropriately titled "The Attack of the Small Screens" tells the story of how television got perilously close to destroying the movies in the late '40s and early '50s. Hollywood, in fact, was attacked not only by Milton Berle and I Love Lucy, but also by the U.S. government: right-wingers went after liberals ("Communists"), destroying lives and careers, while the antitrust guys demanded that the studios divest themselves from their exhibition arms. (Where is the »
- Andre Soares
'Those innocent days have gone for ever. The genie is long out of the bottle'
Iam not quite as heartbroken as I was when Paul Newman died. (How could I be? There was only one Hud, only one Cool Hand Luke, only one "Fast Eddie" Felson, and certainly only one Brick more beautiful than Elizabeth Taylor's Maggie.) But the news that Tony Curtis has died, at the age of 85, still produces a genuine sadness.
When film stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood die, it feels as if a link with the past has been broken. Much more so than after the deaths of more technically "important" figures – politicians, humanitarians, game-changing scientists or Nobel laureates. The magic of film preserves them. Iconic actors exist, in celluloid form, in their prime for ever.
I fell in love with Hud when I was 14, he was 30 and the actor who played him »
- Lucy Mangan
Revered Hollywood screenwriter Irving Ravetch has died in Los Angeles. He was 89.
Ravetch/Frank-written films also contributed to Academy Award wins for Sally Field (Norma Rae) and Patricia Neal (Hud) for Best Actress and Supporting Actress, respectively. Three of their films starred the late Paul Newman - Hud, Hombre and The Long Hot Summer.
Ravetch was born in 1920 in New Jersey. His wife and collaborator is still alive. »
Irving Ravetch on the set of Hombre (top); Patricia Neal, Paul Newman, Hud (middle); Sally Field, Norma Rae (bottom) Screenwriter-producer Irving Ravetch, best known for the movies he co-wrote with wife Harriet Frank Jr., among them The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Hud, and Norma Rae, died Sunday, Sept. 19, at Los Angeles' Cedars Sinai Hospital. Ravetch, who had been suffering from a "lingering illness," was 89. Two Ravetch-Frank Jr. collaborations, both directed by Martin Ritt, were nominated for Academy Awards: Hud (1963), an intelligent modern-day Western starring Paul Newman and Academy Award winners Patricia Neal (who died a couple of weeks ago) and Melvyn Douglas, and Norma Rae (1979), a sensitive drama about labor and human relations that earned Sally Field her first Best Actress Oscar. Ravetch (born Nov. 14, 1920, in Newark, N.J.) and Frank Jr. (born in 1917 and still alive), co-wrote — sometimes with other writers [...] »
- Andre Soares
Irving Ravetch, who with Harriet Frank Jr. formed one of the great husband-and-wife screenwriting teams in Hollywood history, died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a lingering illness. He was 89.
Ravetch and Frank shared Academy Award nominations for their adapted screenplays for "Hud" (1963) and "Norma Rae" (1979), which contributed to Oscar wins for actresses Patricia Neal and Sally Field, respectively.
The couple teamed on 18 other films, many of which are regarded as some of the finest Hollywood films produced during the 1960s, '70s and '80s, including "The Sound and the Fury" (1959), "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" (1960), "Home From the Hill" (1960), "The Long Hot Summer" (1965), "Hombre" (1967), "The Rievers" (1969), "The Cowboys" (1972), "Conrack" (1974) and "Murphy's Romance" (1985).
In 1988, Ravetch and Frank were awarded the WGA's Laurel Award for Screen Writing Achievement. In addition to co-writing "Hud," "Hombre" and "The Rievers," Ravetch served as a producer on those films. »
- By Mike Barnes
For today's episode of this new participatory series, in which we choose our single favorite images from a feature, the topic is Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd (1957). The film was chosen to commemorate the recent passing of Patricia Neal (1926-2010) and to honor the gifted cinematographer Harry Stradling Sr who was born on this very day in 1901. He went on to shoot landmark musicals, numerous classics and win two Oscars.
Andy Griffith's spontaneous verbosity hypnotizes Americans.
Patricia Neal's expressive watchfulness hypnotizes movie buffs.
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
Confession: I never knew what Keith Olbermann was talking about when he referred to Glenn Beck as "Lonesome Rhodes" but now the association is all too clear. I don't pretend to know if Beck ever had pure motives, but when A Face in the Crowd begins, Lonesome Rhodes (Andy Griffith) is not a phony, »
- NATHANIEL R
Henry Fonda on TCM: The Wrong Man, 12 Angry Men, The Lady Eve Schedule (Pt) and synopses from the TCM website: 3:00 Am Fort Apache (1948) An experienced cavalry officer tries to keep his new, by-the-books commander from triggering an Indian war. Cast: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple. Dir: John Ford. Bw-128 mins. 5:15 Am Firecreek (1968) A pacifist sheriff must use tougher means when his town is threatened by a band of outlaws. Cast: James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens. Dir: Vincent McEveety. C-104 mins. 7:00 Am How the West Was Won (1962) Three generations of pioneers take part in the forging of the American West. Cast: James Stewart, Henry Fonda, John Wayne. Dir: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall. C-165 mins. 10:00 Am In Harm’s Way (1965) An aging Naval officer leads his men against the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. Cast: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal. Dir: [...] »
- Andre Soares
In this series, we choose our favorite single image from a pre-determined movie. It can be because it's the most beautiful, resonant, telling or unusual. It can be deemed the "best shot" for any reason really, beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Previous episodes covered X-Men, Showgirls and Angels in America.
The movie tells the story of a new convent in the Himalayas. Sister Clodagh is the superior. She's played by Deborah Kerr, who is absolutely deserving here of one of her other Best Actress noms. Her Mother Superior, who doesn't think she's ready, gives her a ragtag team of nuns to take with her into the mountains. They're character-pegged so quickly it's like Clodagh is »
- NATHANIEL R
A reader sent me this YouTube link (thanks David) so I guess that means people are thinking about the new series which honors indelible shot work from directors and cinematographers. Sometimes it's about the actors, too. But that depends on you and which cinematic moments sear into your brain.
I'd like to thank the blogs that have played along so far like Against the Hype, Nick's Flick Picks, Much Ado About Nothing (twice each). Plus: Agony & Ecstasy, Crossover Man, Serious Film, Low Resolution, Well, hello Achilles, missemmamm, vg21 Random, My New Plaid Pants and Stale Popcorn. So visit those fun blogs. And why don't you join us? You don't even need a blog. Post it to twitpic or flickr and the film experience will still link up on the alloted Wednesday evening. Here's the upcoming schedule.
Wed. August 18th: Black Narcissus (1947)
In which Deborah Kerr and a group of misfit »
- NATHANIEL R
For this week's Doc Talk I'd like to spotlight two highly recommended films involving the South: Ross McElwee's personal ancestry exploration from 2003, Bright Leaves, and Micki Dickoff and Tony Pagano's civil rights film Neshoba: The Price of Freedom, which finally gets a theatrical release this Friday (in NYC; next month it opens in La).
The reason I revisited McElwee's film is primarily because of the recent death of Oscar-winning screen legend Patricia Neal (Hud), who appears briefly in the doc. But it also ended up fitting in somewhat with Neshoba, because both films deal with a Southern history, both concern events that previously inspired fictionalized Hollywood movie plots (Bright Leaf for the former, Mississippi Burning the latter) and both follow modern stories relative to the historical material.
As for Neshoba, aside from the fact that it opens this weekend, I was intrigued about the film's subject matter »
- Christopher Campbell
Now Kindly Undo These Straps remembers The Witches of Eastwick. Are you an Alexandra, a Jane or a Sukie?
Rants of a Diva a playlist inspired by Best Actress nominees? It's a must download.
Nicks Flick Picks finally names his Best Actresses of 2009. Great tweet sized writeups.
Psssst. Angels in America 'best shot' participatory post is coming tonight. might be a bit late. Are you joining in? »
- NATHANIEL R
Updated through 8/11.
"Actress Patricia Neal, who rebuilt a troubled career to win an Academy Award only to face a more desperate battle for survival when three strokes left her paralyzed and unable to speak or remember, has died," reports Jack Jones in the Los Angeles Times. "A succession of tragedies marked the life of the actress whose bright promise on Broadway in the mid-1940s took her to Hollywood and into a succession of lackluster films, as well as a desperate love affair with actor Gary Cooper and marriage to British writer Roald Dahl." »
the teaser for the British noir Jack Falls. Hmmm, somebody has been mainlining Sin City!
Victim of the Time on Susannah York. My god I love this scene in They Shoot Horses Don't They
Guardian Stanley Kubrick's widow speaks. How they met, how he danced (?) and more...
And Your Little Blog, Too shares memories of meeting Patricia Neal (Rip)
Videogum Inception themed casual encounter [Nsfw... and by Not Safe For Work I mean Nsfp... Not Safe for the Prudish]. You know it's funny. I was just going to post about how I'm just Done with reading about Inception on the internets and then this hit. Hee.
52 Bad Dudes This is a cool tumblr. Adam Sidwell is drawing badasses from the »
- NATHANIEL R
Neal took retirement from acting just after two years of receiving the Academy Award. She was only 39 years then and had suffered a series of strokes. However, the talented lady came back again to offer some memorable roles. After rehabilitation, her first movie was The Subject Was Roses in 1968 and for this movie, she got nominated for another Academy Award.
Later, Patricia appeared in a television movie titled ‘The Homecoming: A Christmas Story’. »
London, August 10 – Actress Patricia Neal has died from lung cancer at the age of 84.
The night before her death in the Us, at home in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, she reassured her family: “I’ve had a lovely time,” reports the Daily Express.
A statement from her four surviving children and other family members read: “She faced her final illness as she had all of the many trials she endured: with indomitable grace, good humour and. »
Patricia Neal at her melodramatic-est with on-screen and off-screen lover Gary Cooper in King Vidor‘s over-the-top The Fountainhead(1949), based on Ayn Rand‘s novel Patricia Neal: An Appreciation – Part I Several years later, I got myself a copy of Neal’s autobiography (actually written by Richard DeNeut), As I Am, which had been published in the late ’80s. I became enthralled. I couldn’t put the book down. I couldn’t think of another conversation topic. In fact, that was the best biographical work I’d ever read — and it remains so. It wasn’t just all the suffering Neal went through — the strokes, the loss of a child, the doomed love affair with the very married Gary Cooper, the abortion, the professional downturn, the cheating, abusive husband (children’s book author Roald Dahl). What impressed me the most about As I Am was the raw honesty found in Neal’s narrative. »
- Andre Soares
Patricia Neal in her two best-known movies: Robert Wise‘s sci-fier The Day the Earth Stood Still, with Gort (Lock Martin) and Michael Rennie (top); Martin Ritt‘s family drama/social commentary Hud, with Paul Newman (bottom) Patricia Neal, who died of lung cancer on Sunday, became one of my favorite movie performers when I was a little kid and saw her in — inevitably — The Day the Earth Stood Still on television. I remember finding her not only great-looking, but also fully identifiable as the one human being truly worth saving on this planet of ours. As a teenager, I rediscovered Patricia Neal — on TV again — in her Oscar-nominated performance in Ulu Grosbard‘s 1968 family drama The Subject Was Roses. Though completely different from The Day the Earth Stood Still‘s young heroine, Neal — who by then had already suffered a series of strokes that had left her severely impaired »
- Andre Soares
Some sad news to report today; classical actress Patricia Neal has passed, losing her battle with lung cancer. While perhaps not the best-known actress of the 50's or 60's, Neal provided some great performances, winning an Oscar for her role in Hud. She certainly led an interesting life, being linked with many famous names. Early in her career, she was romantically connected with Gary Cooper while working on The Fountainhead and later on married author Roald Dahl. In the mid-60's she suffered a series of debilitating strokes from which she eventually made a full recovery. After that ordeal, Neal became an advocate for stroke rehabilitation. While I won't pretend to be an expert on Neal's filmography, of the films I have seen, she's been great. There's a world-weary quality to her some of her performances that is rare from actresses of her era. Some of her other more notable »
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