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On March 24th, 1975, struggling actor Sylvester Stallone spent his last few dollars to see boxing champ Muhammad Ali fight Chuck Wepner. Thought to be an easy win, Ali surprisingly met his match: a career brawler who was having the fight of his life. Fifteen rounds and an Ali knockdown later, Wepner lost. But the scrappy no name fighter inspired Stallone, who emerged from a twenty-hour writing binge with a screenplay and an underdog character named Rocky Balboa.
The script quickly became a hot property in Hollywood, and several attempts were made to purchase it for stars like Burt Reynolds and Ryan O’Neal. But Stallone refused, knowing full well that no one could play the part like he could. Stallone eventually got his wish at United Artists, and under director John G. Avildsen, the rest became movie history. Released in 1976, Rocky was a global sensation, winning a Best Picture Oscar »
- Danilo Castro
Oscar contender "Listen to Me Marlon," developed by Showtime and produced by John Battsek's Passion Pictures, delivers a fascinating, multi-faceted portrait of Brando that's narrated by Brando himself—using never-before-heard audiotapes from his vast archives. Brando talked to himself, essentially, throughout his career, often as part of his preparation for roles, from "On the Waterfront" and "The Godfather" to "Last Tango in Paris." Passion Pictures and writer/director/editor Stevan Riley also animated a digital mask of Brando created for "Superman" to deliver some of Brando's dialogue. The movie immerses us in Brando, takes us inside his head. We feel we know him in a way we never did before. "Listen to Me Marlon" is now available on Showtime Anytime. Watch more of my Ida Screening Series conversation with Battsek and Cutler in the clips below. »
- Anne Thompson
Everything on TV last week retroactively fell under the shadow of what happened in Paris on Friday, which made the weekend shows feel like either a welcome escape or an act of mass commiseration. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver kicked off with the host addressing the terrorists with, "Fuck these assholes." Saturday Night Live — coming back strong from last week's Trump debacle — served up both remembrance and relief, with a touching bilingual nod to France. Even when television offered comfort food, we first had to say a somber grace. »
Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull—oft-cited these days as the director’s magnum opus— first premiered in New York on November 14, 1980 to a volley of mixed reviews. At least, that’s what the Internet would have modern researchers believe. Now, 35 years later, digging up a negative review of this not-quite-a-sports-movie, not-quite-a-bio-pic seems limited to a shallow dig by Variety critic Joseph McBride, who wrote that Scorsese “excels at whipping up an emotional storm but seems unaware that there is any need for quieter, more introspective moments in drama.” Meanwhile, a glance at Rotten Tomatoes’ records show that 98 percent of contemporary critics have showered Raging Bull with praise, and even Roger Ebert, reviewing in 1980, rejects McBride’s view, awarding four stars to a film that does “a fearless job of showing us the precise feelings of their central character, the former boxing champion Jake Lamotta.”
Fearless though it was in the characterization of its violent antihero, »
- Christina Leo
The former "Breaking Bad" actor, who appears as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo ("Roman Holiday," "Spartacus") in director Jay Roach's "Trumbo," spoke to Fandango Movieclips about his favorite movie, "On the Waterfront," as part of its "I Love Movies" video series. "Watch: Bryan Cranston Aims to Beat the Blacklist in New 'Trumbo' Trailer" "Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was a man who cared deeply about workers’ rights, and 'On the Waterfront' was a cautionary tale about how to navigate those choppy waters of employment," Cranston says. "In 'Waterfront,' people were getting persecuted for their political ideals, as Trumbo himself was persecuted and then prosecuted for it." Discussing the film over clips from the gorgeous, black-and-white drama, Cranston focuses on the "honor" woven into the film—of hard work, of standing up for one's beliefs as Trumbo did, and of paying »
- Matt Brennan
The gaudy MGM musical bio gets one last go-round, gathering an all-star cast to illustrate the songbook of composer Sigmund Romberg. Gene Kelly dances with his brother Fred, and Cyd Charisse does a hot number with James Mitchell, while star José Ferrer goes on stage to perform with his wife Rosemary Clooney. Deep in My Heart Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1954 / Color / 1:37 flat Academy / 132 min. / Street Date November 10, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 17.95 Starring José Ferrer, Merle Oberon, Helen Traubel, Doe Avedon, Walter Pidgeon, Jim Backus, Rosemary Clooney, Gene Kelly, Fred Kelly, Jane Powell, Ann Miller, Cyd Charisse, Howard Keel, Vic Damone, Tony Martin, Joan Weldon, Fred Kelly, Russ Tamblyn. Susan Luckey, Robert Easton, Barrie Chase, Douglas Fowley. Cinematography George J. Folsey Film Editor Adrienne Fazan Original Music Alexander Courage, Adolph Deutsch Written by Leonard Spigelgass from a book by Elliott Arnold Produced by Roger Edens Directed by Stanley Donen
- Glenn Erickson
At the age of 72, and with an impressive slew of awards on his shelf, legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese shows no sign of slowing down, as he renews his development deal with Paramount, and confirms a number of upcoming projects. Those projects continue to reflect his personal interests, including his love of music – which will be the foundation of his now announced Leonard Bernstein biopic.
Leonard Bernstein was a Harvard graduate who became a world-famous composer, conductor, author, and long-time music director of the New York Philharmonic, whose works included On The Town, West Side Story, and the score to On The Waterfront – as well as a series of Young People’s Concerts broadcast on CBS in the 1950s.
During the course of his career, he garnered a multitude of accolades, and saw his compositions become instantly recognizable across the globe. The biopic being developed by Martin Scorsese has long been rumoured, »
- Sarah Myles
This would hardly be the first time Martin Scorsese has moved toward a project he ultimately backs out of, but considering the contractual circumstances of its unveiling — and his recent dedication to projects: The Wolf of Wall Street and Silence took years (even decades) to create, and The Irishman is reportedly still coming — this one might have a good shot. Paramount have (no doubt proudly) announced themselves as the helmer’s home through 2019, and coupled with this is news that they’ll back, in addition to Silence, the newly developing Devil in the White City, and the aforementioned The Irishman, a biopic based on the life of composer Leonard Bernstein.
Yes, it’s among “a number of films” they’d like to have Scorsese shepherding, but the fact that it’s a) the only one yet announced and b) the only one with a screenwriter (Spotlight co-scribe Josh Singer) should I think, »
- Nick Newman
You know what they say: never judge a movie by its poster. They actually don't say that, but looking at the collection we've assembled below, they ought to start.
What follows is a bunch of very bad posters for very good movies, all trying their hardest to sell the film, and all of them failing on pretty much every level. Enjoy...?
Groundhog Day (1993)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
Leaving aside the notion of Bill Murray's head and hands - and only his head and hands - being trapped inside a Giant alarm clock, it's Andie MacDowell's raised-eyebrows, chin-stroking, utterly inexplicable face slapped on the bottom corner that earns this a thumbs down. Side note: if that clock rings, it's going straight out the window.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
1961 Spanish poster for Funny Face (Stanley Donen, USA, 1957). Artists: “McP” (Ramon Marti, Joseph Clave, Hernan Pico).Of all the posters I’ve selected for Movie Poster of the Day over the past three months, I would not have expected this Spanish Funny Face to be the most reblogged and “liked” of all, but I am pleasantly surprised that it is. A gorgeous poster, credited to a triumvirate of artists, that repaints photographic images from the Us half-sheet in unexpected shades of purple and orange, it somehow caught Tumblr’s attention. Or maybe it was just those eyes.It tends to be true that the posters that catch fire the most are unusual and striking designs for well known films, like the Japanese Beetlejuice, the Polish Ran, the British Breathless, and the French On the Waterfront. Which makes it all the more heartening that the fourth most popular poster was a »
- Adrian Curry
Listen to me Marlon is a documentary on the life story of one of film and stage’s greatest actors, narrated by Marlon Brando himself. Hundreds of hours of archive audio of Brando explaining his craft is used to chart his career, which included legendary performances in On the Waterfront, The Godfather and A Streetcar Named Desire. Listen to me Marlon is on release in the UK from 23 October, on digital download from 9 November and on DVD & Blu-ray from 30 November
Continue reading »
- Guardian Staff
Some people in the 21st century think “Hollywood blacklist” refers to hot-but-unproduced screenplays. Others have vague notions that the “Unfriendly 10” screenwriters were denied work because they were Communists.
Many misperceptions or forgotten facts are clarified in Bleecker Street’s film “Trumbo,” which screens Saturday at the Toronto Film Festival and opens nationwide Nov. 6. Adding to those details are five other points worth remembering.
1. It didn’t start in the 1940s.
The House Committee on Un-American Activities (later known as Huac), was formed in 1938 under Martin Dies Jr., who said Hollywood was filled with Communists. Two years later, the mainstream press printed 42 names under investigation, including Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Katharine Hepburn. On Feb. 16, 1940, Daily Variety editor Al Unger mocked the senator, saying Dies was just seeking publicity and had no facts, just suspicions. In a short time, Dies concluded that he had met with the 42 and they were fine, »
- Tim Gray
The New York Philharmonic will resume its popular "Art of the Score" program which features the orchestra playing live accompaniment to the classic scores for equally classic motion pictures. It's a great opportunity to see the original films in pristine presentations along with one of the world's great orchestras playing the scores.
On September 18, the Philharmonic will present director Elia Kazan's "On the Waterfront" and play the score by Leonard Bernstein. David Newman conducts and Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne in the special guest. For more click here.
On September 19 and 21, the orchestra will present another Marlon Brando classic, Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" with score by Nino Rota. Justin Freer will make his debut as NY Philharmonic conductor. Special guest will be actor/singer Paul Sorvino. For more click here. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
This year has already seen several extraordinary feature-length documentaries, many of which were pulled from the popular arts. Actually some excellent examples focused on the music world, with Lambert & Stamp and Amy attracting a great deal of acclaim (and quite a bit early Oscar-buzz). This new release delves into another art, the art (and it really is one) of acting, by giving us a peek at a true legend of stage and screen. Often actors become a touchstone, a symbol for the decade in which they garnered their greatest triumphs. In the 1950’s, the two actors who truly exploded onto the scene were James Dean and Marlon Brando. While Dean was a bright, shooting star snuffed out by tragedy after just three films, Brando rode a bumpy rocket, with highs and lows, into the next century. Biographies have filled the bookshelves through the years, but what did he think of his life and work? »
- Jim Batts
By Todd Garbarini
Elia Kazan’s 1960 film Wild River, which stars Montgomery Clift, Lee Remick, Joan Van Fleet, and is Bruce Dern’s debut film, celebrates its 55th anniversary this year. The Royale Laemmle Theater in Los Angeles will be holding a special one-night-only showing of the 110-minute film on Thursday, September 17th, 2015 at 7:30 pm. Actor Bruce Dern is scheduled to appear at the screening and is due to partake in a Q & A and discussion on the making of the film.
From the press release:
Wild River (1960), set in Depression-era America, tells a provocative story of the conflict between an agent from the Tennessee Valley Authority and a proud, defiant older woman who refuses to sell her land in order to make way for a much needed dam. Oscar-nominated actors Montgomery Clift and Lee Remick star, and Oscar-winning actress Jo Van Fleet (only 40 at the time she made the film) plays the stubborn, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
An acting titan, man of gargantuan appetites and island-owning maverick, it’ll take more than the umpteen tomes written about him to unmask the real Marlon Brando. Fortunately, there’s a new documentary to help with that. Listen To Me Marlon is a Brando-led trail that, via thus-far unheard audio tapes, leads the viewer through the mind of the great man. The film’s new trailer is online and viewable below.British director Stevan Riley, the man behind West Indies cricket doc Fire In Babylon and 007 history Everything Or Nothing, has used Brando’s own contemplations and utterances to construct a character study of one of Hollywood’s true enigmas. From his early breakthroughs in A Streetcar Named Desire, The Wild One and On The Waterfront to later years in self-imposed exile, the picture that will emerge is one of a restive, enquiring mind always searching for peace, but never finding it. »
"Listen to me, Marlon...This is one part of yourself speaking to another part of yourself. Listen to the sound of my voice and trust me. You know I have your interests at heart. Just relax, relax, relax. I'm going to help you change in a way that will make you feel happier, more useful...I want you to accept what I say as true. What I tell you here and now is true."
- Marlon Brando, self-hypnosis tape, 1996
By Alex Simon
In addition to being widely regarded as the greatest film actor of all-time, Marlon Brando, who died in 2004, remains one of popular culture's great enigmas. A man who fiercely guarded his privacy and shunned the spotlight whenever he could, Brando purchased an island in the South Pacific, a place so remote and removed from the western world and its media. It was »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
It sure has been a hell of a year for the artist biography in the world of documentary cinema. With films like Montage of Heck, Amy and What Happened, Miss Simone, giving us a view of their central focus in their very own words, 2015 has been the year not only of boundary pushing documentaries like The Look Of Silence, but form challenging and introspective meditations on fame like the three mentioned above. Be it the audio recordings in Montage of Heck or the video founds in the Amy Winehouse picture Amy, we are becoming more and more privy to insights into our artists that one could never have thought of gaining.
And now the greatest film of the bunch is finally seeing a release.
Following very much in the mold of recent from-the-horse’s-mouth style documentaries like the ones above, Listen To Me Marlon is arguably the crowning achievement of this new movement of sorts. »
- Joshua Brunsting
There are never fewer than about eight reasons to think about Marlon Brando at any given moment, but right now there are a couple more: it's 61 years to the day since the release of Elia Kazan's peerless "On the Waterfront," which netted Brando the first of his two Best Actor Oscars, and this week also sees the release of one of the best documentaries of the year, "Listen to Me Marlon." We've had six decades to talk about the brilliance of the first, so a few words about the second, to which we gave a strongly positive review out of the New Directors/New Films Festival, and which, if anything, those of us who've seen it since are even more high on. Read More: Watch: Trailer And Clip For Marlon Brando Documentary 'Listen To Me Marlon' British director Stevan Riley has previously mounted documentaries on the James Bond franchise, »
- The Playlist Staff
“I coulda been a contender! I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.” That classic scene from “On The Waterfront” was part and parcel behind Marlon Brando's release into the stratosphere of supercool. Beginning with his stage debut as Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire” (which he, of course, reprised in the 1951 film adaptation), his film debut in “The Men,” and a string of larger-than-life roles culminating with his Oscar-winning turn as Terry Malloy in 'Waterfront,' Hollywood was Brando's oyster in the 1950s, and a man became a cultural symbol. Through these roles, and future titanic turns in “The Godfather,” “Apocalypse Now,” and “The Last Tango in Paris,” we know and remember Marlon Brando as one of the greatest screen actors of all time. But what of the man behind the actor? This question fuels Stevan Riley's documentary, »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
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