6 items from 2009
The Fall of the Roman Empire is one of the films examined in the TCM special.
By Lee Pfeiffer
Premiering on Turner Classic Movies without the usual fanfare, The Gigantic World of Epics is a truly superb one-hour production produced by Dreamworks and filmed by the ubiquitous Laurent Bouzereau. The special manages to condense the genre of Hollywood epics into a coherent, though far from comprehensive, study. Bouzereau wisely concentrates on a select number of films including Birth of a Nation, Gone With the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, Doctor Zhivago, Bridge on the River Kwai among others. There are intelligent commentaries by noted film historians and technicians as well as directors Kenneth Branagh, Steven Spielberg, John Milius, along with actors such as Martin Landau and Omar Sharif and Fraser Heston, son of Charlton Heston (who provides some tantalizing glimpses of the family's home movies on the »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
“You finally made it, Frankie! Oscar night! And here you sit, on top of a glass mountain called success. You’re one of the chosen five, and the whole town’s holding its breath to see who won it! It’s been quite a climb, hasn’t it, Frankie? Down at the bottom, scuffling for dimes in those smokers, all the way to the top. Magic Hollywood!” This ripe narration opens the 1966 movie The Oscar, a cynical look at how an Oscar nomination goes to the head of its nominee and the lengths an unscrupulous man will go to win the coveted gold statuette. With an undeserved reputation as one of the lousiest Show-biz soap operas from the 60’s, The Oscar portrays Hollywood as a cesspool where you sell your soul and it’s certainly amusing for its campy dialog and sleazy situations. Sure, The Oscar is brainless tinseltown trash full of shameless clichés, »
This is what cameos are all about. Sometimes an actor performs a cameo in heavy disguise, and it's up to the viewer to "find" him or her. But the best cameos are the ones that take into account the personality of the performer/writer/athlete/politician, and then make some kind of wry comment on it. If you're wondering how an upstart like Mike Myers could have coaxed the Oscar-winning legend and Shakespearian actor Charlton Heston into a less-than-one-minute scene in a comedy sequel, just check out this clip. I doubt any actor could have resisted.
The joke here is doubly cool. For a time, Heston was considered a kind of parody of a great actor. He had appeared in many big, important classics, including The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur and Touch of Evil, but before long, he was the star of some big-budget drive-in movies like Planet of the Apes »
- Jeffrey M. Anderson
Joseph Morgan has reportedly been cast as the leading man in the forthcoming Ben-Hur miniseries. The Welsh actor will portray the role made famous by late actor Charlton Heston in the 1959 film, and will be joined in the four-hour remake by Emily VanCamp and Stephen Campbell Moore, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Morgan will play the rich youth looking for vengeance after being betrayed by his friend Messala (Moore), while VanCamp will star (more) »
- By Tim Parks
Steven Shill, helmer of surprise boxoffice hit "Obsessed," is directing the adaptation of the 1880 Lew Wallace novel from a script by Alan Sharp ("Rob Roy"). Production begins this week in Ouarzazate, Morocco.
Morgan will play the title role immortalized by Charlton Heston in the 1959 movie -- a wealthy Jewish youth in the time of Jesus Christ -- who is seeking revenge and reclaiming his identity after being betrayed by his friend, Messala (Moore). VanCamp plays Esther, the daughter of a slave and Ben-Hur's love interest.
- By Borys Kit and Nellie Andreeva
Ben-Hur is currently in development as a miniseries, reports claim. ABC is planning to remake the classic film, which starred Charlton Heston, as an epic four-hour television movie, according to Variety. It is unknown if the new version will remain faithful to the original, but David Wyler, son of original director William Wyler, will serve as the producer on the small screen adaptation. “We’ve got a joke that this is the family business,” Wyler said. “In my mind, (more) »
- By Tim Parks
6 items from 2009
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