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Steven Hill, D.A. Adam Schiff on ‘Law & Order,’ Dies at 94

Steven Hill, who starred for years as District Attorney Adam Schiff on “Law & Order” and decades earlier played the leader of the Impossible Missions Force before Peter Graves on TV’s “Mission: Impossible,” died Tuesday in Monsey, N.Y., his daughter Sarah Gobioff told The New York Times.

He was also a top character actor in films of the 1980s and early ’90s including “Rich and Famous,” “Yentl,” “Garbo Talks” and Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle “Raw Deal”; “Legal Eagles,” in which he would, as in “Law & Order” a few years later, play the New York district attorney; “Heartburn”; “Brighton Beach Memoirs”; “Running on Empty”; “White Palace”; “Billy Bathgate”; and “The Firm.”

Hill played Schiff from the show’s first season in 1990 until 2000, when Hill resigned; within the show Schiff was said to have accepted a position coordinating commemorations of the Holocaust Project and goes on to work with Simon Wiesenthal. Replacing Schiff as D.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oscar History-Making Actress Has Her Day on TCM

Teresa Wright ca. 1945. Teresa Wright movies on TCM: 'The Little Foxes,' 'The Pride of the Yankees' Pretty, talented Teresa Wright made a relatively small number of movies: 28 in all, over the course of more than half a century. Most of her films have already been shown on Turner Classic Movies, so it's more than a little disappointing that TCM will not be presenting Teresa Wright rarities such as The Imperfect Lady and The Trouble with Women – two 1947 releases co-starring Ray Milland – on Aug. 4, '15, a "Summer Under the Stars" day dedicated to the only performer to date to have been shortlisted for Academy Awards for their first three film roles. TCM's Teresa Wright day would also have benefited from a presentation of The Search for Bridey Murphy (1956), an unusual entry – parapsychology, reincarnation – in the Wright movie canon and/or Roseland (1977), a little-remembered entry in James Ivory's canon.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Spy: The Third Feature by Paul Feig, Our George Cukor

During his career, George Cukor was often referred to as a “women’s director” for his facility with foregrounded female performers: Katharine Hepburn in no less than 10 collaborations, Jean Simmons in The Actress, the women in The Women. By that logic, Paul Feig is our Cukor: beginning with Bridesmaids (since we’ve confined I Am David and Unaccompanied Minors to the rubble of collective amnesia), he’s established himself as a specialist in female-led comedy, following up with The Heat and now Spy. In interviews prior to Bridesmaids‘ release, he mused that the film better not bomb or he’d have messed it up for women in comedy for decades. If none […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Spy: The Third Feature by Paul Feig, Our George Cukor

During his career, George Cukor was often referred to as a “women’s director” for his facility with foregrounded female performers: Katharine Hepburn in no less than 10 collaborations, Jean Simmons in The Actress, the women in The Women. By that logic, Paul Feig is our Cukor: beginning with Bridesmaids (since we’ve confined I Am David and Unaccompanied Minors to the rubble of collective amnesia), he’s established himself as a specialist in female-led comedy, following up with The Heat and now Spy. In interviews prior to Bridesmaids‘ release, he mused that the film better not bomb or he’d have messed it up for women in comedy for decades. If none […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

Wright Was Earliest Surviving Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winner

Teresa Wright: Later years (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon.") Teresa Wright and Robert Anderson were divorced in 1978. They would remain friends in the ensuing years.[1] Wright spent most of the last decade of her life in Connecticut, making only sporadic public appearances. In 1998, she could be seen with her grandson, film producer Jonah Smith, at New York's Yankee Stadium, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch.[2] Wright also became involved in the Greater New York chapter of the Als Association. (The Pride of the Yankees subject, Lou Gehrig, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1941.) The week she turned 82 in October 2000, Wright attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Somewhere in Time, where she posed for pictures with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In March 2003, she was a guest at the 75th Academy Awards, in the segment showcasing Oscar-winning actors of the past. Two years later,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oscar Winner Went All the Way from Wyler to Coppola in Film Career Spanning Half a Century

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.[1] 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.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Second-Hand Illusion: Notes on Cukor

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The following is an essay featured in the anthology George Cukor - On/Off Hollywood (Capricci, Paris, 2013), for sale at www.capricci.fr.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center will be running a complete retrospective on the director, "The Discreet Charm of George Cukor," in New York December 13, 2013 - January 7, 2014. Many thanks to David Phelps, Fernando Ganzo, and Camille Pollas for their generous permission.

The Second-hand Illusion:

Notes on Cukor

Above: The Chapman Report (1962), A Life of Her Own (1950)

“There’s always something about them that you don’t know that you’d like to know. Spencer Tracy had that. In fact, they do all have that – all the big ones have it. You feel very close to them but there is the ultimate thing withheld from you – and you want to find out.” —George Cukor1

“Can you tell what a woman’s like by just looking at her?” —The Chapman Report
See full article at MUBI »

Trailers from Hell: Allan Arkush on 'The Actress,' Starring Spencer Tracy

Trailers from Hell: Allan Arkush on 'The Actress,' Starring Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy Week! concludes at Trailers from Hell with director Allan Arkush introducing George Cukor's "The Actress," starring Tracy and Jean Simmons. George Cukor's bittersweet remembrance of actress Ruth Gordon's determination to become an actress showcases one of Spencer Tracy's most acclaimed performances as her diamond-in-the-rough father. Jean Simmons plays the 17 year-old Gordon and gangly Anthony Perkins makes his film debut as her boyfriend.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Peering into Munoz's Hitchcockian Thriller, "What You See In The Dark."

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Peering into Munoz's Hitchcockian Thriller,
The title of Manuel Munoz's first novel, "What You See in the Dark," refers, among other things, to that act of unashamed voyeurism called moviegoing. At the heart of Munoz's novel, set in Bakersfield, California, in 1959, are the preparations for the making of "Psycho," which would come out the next year. Munoz understands Hitchcock's thriller as a series of ruptures presaging the greater ruptures waiting in the wings of American life. Among those ruptures was this: "Psycho" was the first film to suggest that what we saw in the dark, saw us.

The first shot, the camera sneaking into a cheap motel room to catch Janet Leigh and John Gavin in a midday tryst, invites us to be voyeurs. After that, Hitchcock arranged the film so that it's the moviegoer who's under scrutiny.

The "cruel eyes" watching you that Anthony Perkins' Norman Bates speaks of are there in
See full article at IFC »

30 Greatest Gay Actors: #20: Anthony Perkins

Anthony Perkins made his film debut in The Actress (1953) in which he received the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year and three years later he received an an Academy Award nomination for his second film, Friendly Persuasion (1956). Although Perkins specialized in playing many awkward young men, notably in Fear Strikes Out (1957), The Tin Star (1957), and Desire Under the Elms (1958), he will always be known best for his role as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

The actor also went on to create a critically-acclaimed portrayal of Joseph K. in Orson WellesThe Trial (1962) a cinematic adaptation of the novel by Franz Kafka, and in 1968 he took the role of a disturbed young murderer in Pretty Poison (1968), which served to affect the rest of his career. He would later find himself typecast, starring in the sequels and prequel to Psycho, including Psycho II, Psycho III (which he
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Jean Simmons Passes Away

Jean Simmons Passes Away
Cinema lost another lovely and classic face over the weekend, as actress Jean Simmons passed away, according to the New York Times. She was 80.

Simmons' career often reads like a lesson in what might have been. She rose to early success in films such as David Lean's Great Expectations and Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (which earned her an Oscar nomination) before running afoul of her contract holder, Howard Hughes. After rejecting his advances, he attempted to ruin her career and cost her the lead in Roman Holiday. Simmons held out, and managed success with roles in Young Bess, Footsteps in the Fog, Guys and Dolls, and The Actress.

Due to financial strain, she quietly accepted any role offered, and Simmons became known as the quiet lady who supported great men in films like The Robe, The Egyptian, Desiree, Elmer Gantry, and Spartacus. She always rose above the material, and
See full article at Cinematical »

Jean Simmons obituary

British-born film star known for her roles in Great Expectations and Spartacus

Jean Simmons, who has died aged 80, had a bounteous moment, early in her career, when she seemed the likely casting for every exotic or magical female role. It passed, as she got out of her teens, but then for the best part of 15 years, in Britain and America, she was a valued actress whose generally proper, if not patrician, manner had an intriguing way of conflicting with her large, saucy eyes and a mouth that began to turn up at the corners as she imagined mischief – or more than her movies had in their scripts. Even in the age of Vivien Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor, she was an authentic beauty. And there were always hints that the lady might be very sexy. But nothing worked out smoothly, and it is somehow typical of Simmons that her most astonishing
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Jean Simmons, 1929 - 2010

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Updated through 1/24.

"Jean Simmons, a radiant British actress who as a teenager appeared opposite Laurence Olivier in Hamlet and emerged a star whose career flourished in the 1950s and 1960s in such films as Guys and Dolls, Elmer Gantry and Spartacus, has died," reports Valerie J Nelson for the Los Angeles Times. "She was 80.... Plucked from a dance class by a talent scout at the age of 14, she had already made several movies before gaining attention for her portrayal of the young Estella in David Lean's film adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations.... Among her films, she favored 1953's The Actress, which she said she 'just loved' for the 'sheer heaven' of working with Spencer Tracy."
See full article at MUBI »

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