9 items from 2015
April 9th will mark the four year anniversary of director Sidney Lumet's passing, at age 86. Lumet was the first director I interviewed whose one-sheet posters hung on my wall as a kid. He was an idol, an icon, and an inspiration. I wasn't yet 30 in April 1997, when I met him at The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills for our interview at the press junket for "Night Falls On Manhattan," one of his solid, authentic urban dramas that blended crime, politics and personal revelations that became his signature.
Lumet immediately put any butterflies I had at ease. Diminutive, but with the infectious energy of a teenager, his was a disarming presence. He paid me a compliment on my sportcoat, saying that I looked a bit like the young Mickey Rourke (which I still don't see, but what the hell), then went on to regale me for an hour with »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
In the first wave of predictions from our dozen Tony Awards Experts, eight of them think that the fourth remounting of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The King and I" will win Best Musical Revival when these awards are handed out on June 7. Three of them are touting the first rialto restaging of "On the Twentieth Century" while one supports the third revival of "On the Town." Nominations for the 69th annual edition of these kudos will be announced on April 28. -Break- Predicting "The King and I," which won Best Musical in 1952 and this award in 1996, to prevail are: Jason Clark (Entertainment Weekly), Thom Geier, Harry Haun (Playbill), Michael Musto (Out.com) and all three of us -- Tom O'Neil, David Sheward and me -- here at Gold Derby. That support gives it leading odds of 6/5. Those backing "On the Twentieth Century," which lost its 1978 bid »
Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock heroine (image: Joseph Cotten about to strangle Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt') (See preceding article: "Teresa Wright Movies: Actress Made Oscar History.") After scoring with The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, and The Pride of the Yankees, Teresa Wright was loaned to Universal – once initial choices Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland became unavailable – to play the small-town heroine in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. (Check out video below: Teresa Wright reminiscing about the making of Shadow of a Doubt.) Co-written by Thornton Wilder, whose Our Town had provided Wright with her first chance on Broadway and who had suggested her to Hitchcock; Meet Me in St. Louis and Junior Miss author Sally Benson; and Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, Shadow of a Doubt was based on "Uncle Charlie," a story outline by Gordon McDonell – itself based on actual events. »
- Andre Soares
There are only five shows in contention for Best Musical Revial at this year's Tony Awards. Just one is running (“On the Town”); one has closed (“Side Show”); and three are in or about to start previews (“On the Twentieth Century,” “Gigi,” “The King and I”). -Break- Tony Awards preview: What is ahead for Best Musical? Advance buzz is strongest for “The King and I” from Lincoln Center Theater since its director Barlett Sher previously won a Tony for the Lct production of “South Pacific” which was captured a Tony for Best Musical Revival. In addition, Kelli O'Hara who collected one of her five Tony nominations for “Pacific,” will be headlining “King” opposite Oscar nominee Ken Wantanabe (“The Last Warrior”). This is the fifth Broadway production of the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein classic and the last one, produced in 1996 and starring Don »
Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies (See previous post: "The Charles Brackett Diaries: Billy Wilder and Hollywood in the '30s and '40s.") Below is a list of movies on which Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder worked together as screenwriters, including efforts for which they did not receive screen credit. The Wilder-Brackett screenwriting partnership lasted from 1938 to 1949. During that time, they shared two Academy Awards for their work on The Lost Weekend (1945) and, with D.M. Marshman Jr., Sunset Blvd. (1950). Billy Wilder would later join forces with screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond in movies such as Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, and One, Two, Three. However well-received, Wilder's later films generally lacked the sophistication and subtlety found in his earlier work with Brackett. Charles Brackett, for his part, became associated with 20th Century-Fox, working as a producer-screenwriter. His Fox films, though frequently popular and at times applauded by critics, were decidedly made-to-order, »
- Andre Soares
Billy Wilder screenwriter-producer partner Charles Brackett remembered: Q&A with film historian Anthony Slide (photo: Charles Brackett ca. early 1940s) Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He's renowned for classics such as The Major and the Minor, Sunset Blvd., Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. The fact that Wilder was not the sole creator of these movies is all but irrelevant to graduates from the Auteur School of Film History. Wilder directed, co-wrote, and at times produced his films. That should suffice. For auteurists, perhaps. But not for those interested in film history facts. That's why the Charles Brackett diaries offer such a refreshing glimpse into his and Billy Wilder's moviemaking process. Now, Charles who? Oscar winner Charles Brackett Charles Brackett (1892-1969) just happens to be the – largely forgotten – guy who co-created with Billy Wilder (and, at times, with a third screenwriting partner) classics »
- Andre Soares
It's three times a charm for Jim Parsons on Broadway. The Big Bang Theory star will return to New York City to star in the comedy An Act of God, which begins previews on May 5 and officially opens May 28. Parsons, 41, will play God in the play written by @TheTweetOfGod curator David Javerbaum, who is also an Emmy-winning head writer and executive producer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. A release about the show promises that God will "reveal the mysteries of the Bible and answer some of the greatest existential questions that plague mankind." Director Joe Mantello previously starred »
- Lanford Beard, @lanfordbeard
Since 1991, Martin Scorsese has been trying to make his passion project Silence into a reality. Unfortunately for the project, but fortunately for the public, the delay between the film's original inception and its current summer shoot dates has been due to a ton of great films coming across the acclaimed director's desk. With the film as an active priority for Scorsese, and with a cast set to go, some would say this is the perfect time for another snag to occur. And looks like they're right, as Silence has lost a rather prestigious cast member. Deadline announced that Ken Watanabe has unfortunately backed out of his role as interpreter to Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver's priest characters. The report cites that Watanabe's schedule wouldn't allow him to make this summer's shooting window in Taiwan, as he'll be performing The King And I on Broadway at the same time. If »
Exclusive: Martin Scorsese has set prolific Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano for a lead in Silence, the film that begins shooting early this year. He joins Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, and Adam Driver in the Jay Cocks-scripted adaptation of the novel by Shusaku Endo.
Asano is perhaps best known for starring in the Sergey Bodrov-directed Mongol. He replaces Ken Watanabe in the role of an interpreter who accompanies two Jesuit priests (Garfield and Driver) as they search for their mentor (Neeson) who went to 17th Century Japan to spread the gospel of Christianity. Watanabe needed to drop out when production pushed the dates and they clashed with Watanabe’s commitment to the Broadway revival of The King and I, which begins rehearsals in New York this month.
Asano made his Hollywood debut in the Thor films and he also appeare in Battleship and 47 Ronin. Asano is managed in the »
- Mike Fleming Jr
9 items from 2015
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