M Squad (1957–1960)
Lee Marvin rose through the ranks of movie stardom as a character actor, delivering mostly villainous supporting turns in many films before finally graduating to leading roles. Regardless of which side of the law he was on however, he projected a tough-as-nails intensity and a two-fisted integrity which elevated even the slightest material. Born February 19, 1924, in New York City, Marvin quit high school to enter the Marine Corps and while serving in the South Pacific was badly wounded in battle when a machine gun nest shot off part of his buttocks and severed his sciatic nerve. He spent a year in recovery before returning to the U.S. where he began working as a plumber. The acting bug bit after filling in for an ailing summer-stock actor and he studied the art at the New York-based American Theater Wing. Upon making his debut in summer stock,
Admit it: You can’t think of any one of those films without hearing the score in your head.
John Williams, who wrote all those classic themes [and dozens more] will receive the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award on June 9 from frequent collaborator Steven Spielberg. It will be the first such honor given to a composer in the 44-year history of the award.
“This man’s gifts echo, quite literally, through all of us, around the world and across generations,” says AFI president-ceo Bob Gazzale. “There’s not one person who hasn’t heard this man’s work, who hasn’t felt alive because of it. That’s the ultimate impact of an artist.”
Over six decades in Hollywood, Williams has written some of the most memorable music in movie history. His 100-plus features have earned 50 Academy Award nominations [making him the most-nominated living person] and he’s won five times.
Detective Frank Drebin's outside his Los Angeles police precinct, squeezing off shots into the receding backside of his own car.
How this came to happen almost defies description. Having driven his Ford Crown Victoria into a couple of bins outside the building, Drebin stumbles out, seemingly oblivious to the airbags going off inside. One airbag knocks the car into drive and off the vehicle goes, almost running Drebin over as it rumbles downhill.
As an orchestrated bit of comedy cinema, it's the knockabout equivalent of the famous scene in The Untouchables, where Brian De Palma expertly wrings every drop of suspense from a pram thudding down a flight of stairs at a train station.
On the spur of the moment, Drebin comes to the conclusion that there's a criminal
With Michael Keaton winning the Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy and Eddie Redmayne winning for best actor in a drama, both men continue establishing themselves as the frontrunners in this year’s lead actor race at the Oscars.
Though not new to films, Redmayne starred in Oscar-nominated films such as Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2008) and Les Miserables (2012). His performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, however, propelled him to widespread acclaim and put him on the radar. He is one of four best actor nominees — along with Keaton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Steve Carell — to receive their first nomination this year.
For most of his career, Keaton was known for his comedic roles, such as Mr. Mom (1983) and Beetlejuice (1988), and for his turn as Batman in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). These roles earned Keaton praise and
Television is a gold goose that lays scrambled eggs;
and it is futile and probably fatal to beat it for not laying caviar.
When people argue over the quality of television programming, both sides — it’s addictive crap v. underappreciated populist art — seem to forget one of the essentials about commercial TV. By definition, it is not a public service. It is not commercial TV’s job to enlighten, inform, educate, elevate, inspire, or offer insight. Frankly, it’s not even commercial TV’s job to entertain. Bottom line: its purpose is simply to deliver as many sets of eyes to advertisers as possible. As it happens, it tends to do this by offering various forms of entertainment, and occasionally by offering content that does enlighten, inform, etc., but a cynic would make the point that if TV could do the same job televising fish aimlessly swimming around an aquarium,
This week's re-release of John Boorman's magnificent 1967 thriller Point Blank is all the evidence we really need of Lee Marvin's inextinguishable greatness as a movie icon. But since I've written elsewhere about Point Blank this week, let's imagine it never existed, and recall all the other reasons to love Lee.
Because for a couple of decades from the 50s to the 70s, whenever people referred to a movie as the most violent ever made, the chances were pretty good that Lee Marvin would be close to, if not the actual cause of, the very worst of the mayhem. Prime example: throwing a pot of scalding coffee in Gloria Grahame's face in Fritz Lang's potent big city crime thriller The Big Heat.
We’re celebrating one of Hollywood’s great tough guys and one of our favorite actors September 6th at The Way Out Club in St. Louis with Super-8 Lee Marvin Movie Madness.
Lee Marvin rose through the ranks of movie stardom as a character actor, delivering mostly villainous supporting turns in many films before finally graduating to leading roles. Regardless of which side of the law he was on however, he projected a tough-as-nails intensity and a two-fisted integrity which elevated even the slightest material. Born February 19, 1924, in New York City, Marvin quit high school to enter the Marine Corps and while serving in the South Pacific was badly wounded in battle when a machine gun nest shot off part of his buttocks and severed his sciatic nerve. He spent a year in recovery before returning to the U.S. where
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Parodies: Just about any 1970’s broadcasting corporation. Anchorman’s charm lies in sending up such institutions with enough affection to remain comical rather than satirical.
The Quote: Probably too many to mention, although Brian Fantana’s appraisal of his cologne Sex Panther – “They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time it works, every time,” and Veronica’s declaration “Mr Burgundy, you have a massive erection,” are pretty good for a chuckle.
Best Scene: Despite the newsroom antics, one of the best scenes
Leslie Nielsen in a Late Career Role in ‘Scary Movie 3’
Photo credit: © Dimension Films
Leslie Nielsen was born and raised in Canada, but studied to be an actor at the New York Neighborhood Playhouse under Stanford Meisner. His height and good looks made him a natural to play stoic hero types, as he did in his first major film, “Forbidden Planet” (1956). For the next two decades he worked steadily in TV and occasionally films, portraying the same straight arrow solemnity that he established in the beginning.
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