9 items from 2011
Typecasting is a terrible fate to befall an actor. Many of them have suffered from it over the years, accepting role after role in similar films with similar plots and similar characters simply because they have no real alternative. However, in spite of the risks involved there are also those who subvert this association; those who have elevated themselves to near legendary status within their chosen genre. Their performances define it and are woven inextricably into its rich tapestry. Two such actors are pictured above and are the subject of this article – one, a silent and anonymous loner with no time for small talk and very direct methods of dealing with his adversaries, the other a straight talking, no – nonsense peacekeeper with a trademark southern drawl. Both are perhaps best known for their westerns, although they also directed, produced and starred in a variety of other films too including military epics and ‘unorthodox’ police procedurals. »
- Jame Simpson
Trevor Hogg profiles the career of Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood in the first of a five part feature...
“My parents were married around 1929, right at the beginning of the Depression,” remembered American filmmaker and actor Clint Eastwood of his childhood. “It was a tough period for everybody and especially a young guy like my dad who was starting out. In those days people struggled for jobs. Sometimes jobs didn’t pan out or they couldn’t afford to keep you. We drove around in an old Pontiac, towing a one-wheel trailer. We weren’t itinerant; it wasn’t The Grapes of Wrath , but it wasn’t uptown either. It gives you a conservative background, having been raised in an era when everything was scarce. Once, I remember, we moved from Sacramento to Pacific Palisades because my father had gotten a gas station attendant’s job.” The constant travelling had a »
With Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens opening in UK cinemas next week, we felt it it could be an enlightening exercise to investigate the western, and to discern how it has changed over the years. The western is one of the longest surviving genres in Hollywood, but until a relatively recent return to form, it seemed to have been fading away into the annuls of time. However, the utilisation of sheer will and determination, a virtue that many of its iconic protagonists also possessed, meant that no one could keep the good ol’ genre down.
Basic signs and conventions of the western were discernible from one of the first narrative films ever to be made, The Great Train Robbery (1903). Many generic tropes and tendencies adopted by the genre and its masters have been modified over the years, yet we still know, almost immediately, when a film or television series can be labelled as a western, »
- Martin Daniel McDonagh
Fred Steiner, a veteran composer of television and movie scores has died at the age of 88. He had previously suffered a stroke and died at his home in Mexico of natural causes.
In addition to contributing to such films as Time Limit (1957), First to Fight (1967), The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967), and The Color Purple (1985), Steiner left a big mark on classic television shows. He wrote the theme music for The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Perry Mason, and The Bullwinkle Show.
Steiner also composed the music for dozens of episodes of TV shows like Have Gun – Will Travel, The Untouchables, The Twilight Zone, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Hogan's Heroes, Lost in Space, The Wild Wild West, Mannix, Hawaii 5-0, Dynasty, Rawhide, Tiny Toon Adventures, and many others.
As TrekMovie notes, Steiner left an indelible mark on the Star »
Over ten thousand people attended this past weekend’s Dallas Comic-Con. Arguably one of the biggest draws was the appearance of Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy. And he didn’t just merely come to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. Nimoy had prepared a special presentation for Dcc attendees… well, the lucky ones that got into the Main Stage Ballroom, that is!
As Dcc was one of the last conventions Nimoy planned to attend, he put together a retrospective presentation. He decided to do this in lieu of a traditional Q&A session and I must say that it was most fascinating to hear Nimoy lead us down his own memory lane and give us insight into his life as an actor, photographer, and as Spock.
But before the journey back in time began, Nimoy took care of business with addressing a few questions he knew many wanted an answer »
- Lillian 'zenbitch' Standefer
Actress Phyllis Avery has died at the age of 88.
The Meet Mr. McNulty star passed away on 19 May after suffering heart failure, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Avery was married to actor Don Taylor until their divorce in 1955. She is survived by two daughters. »
Where did the western go? The cowboys and gunslingers of yore passed the baton to cops and detectives, hitmen and astronauts
True Grit is going great guns at the American box office, making it the Coen brothers' highest-grossing movie ever. Some might see this as a sign that the western is making a comeback. But, honestly, I don't think it ever really went away.
Observers have been predicting the genre's demise for a hundred years; Edward Buscombe, in The BFI Companion to the western, quotes a trade reviewer who in 1911 dismissed it as "a gold mine that had been worked to the limit". But by 1953 westerns were making up more than a quarter of Hollywood's output, and much of television's, too; my generation was weaned on The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke and Rawhide.
In the 1960s, that figure went into a slump from which it never recovered, though there were still »
- Anne Billson
Harriett Tendler was 18, the only child of a widowed Jewish farmer, when she enrolled at the Bessie V. Hicks School of Stage, Screen, and Radio in Philadelphia in 1947. It was there she fell in love with Charles Buchinsky, a fellow student eight years her senior. Charles was part of a large Lithuanian family from an impoverished coal mining town in Pennsylvania. He had served in WWII as a tail gunner and was using the GI bill to study art and acting. Harriett and Charles were married in 1949 and two years later, Charles was cast in his first film. In 1953 he changed his last name to Bronson and found work as a solid character actor with a rugged face, muscular physique and everyman ethnicity that kept him busy in supporting roles as indians, convicts, cowboys, boxers, and gangsters. Life was good for the Bronsons and they had a daughter and then a son. »
- Tom Stockman
The producer-director Otto Preminger had an eye for blue-eyed blondes, casting two complete unknowns, the 19-year-old Jean Seberg in Saint Joan (1957) and the 15-year-old Jill Haworth in Exodus (1960), with mixed results. In Preminger's rambling, all-things-to-all-people saga about the birth of Israel, Haworth, who has died aged 65, played Karen Hansen, a young Danish-Jewish girl searching for her father, from whom she was separated during the second world war. She falls in love with a radical Zionist (Sal Mineo), but is killed during a raid and buried in the same grave as an Arab, a symbol of reconciliation between the two peoples. Despite a phoney accent and the fact that she had never acted previously, Haworth was cute and touching in the significant role.
She then appeared in two more of Preminger's overstretched epics on huge subjects: The Cardinal »
- Ronald Bergan
9 items from 2011
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