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Musician to Movie Star: In the Footsteps of Elvis

With the recent 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis, here is a look at those music stars who made a transition to film. Some were more successful than others. Some made a fleeting crossover and some are best forgotten as far as their film careers went…

In terms of the King, Elvis has an undoubtedly huge legacy as far as music goes. His influence as far as attitude, showmanship and indeed the music itself is still being felt. He was in that bracket of the most influential musical acts of his era alongside the Beatles. However his impact on film was also important. He showed that a cultural phenomenon could operate over two platforms.

Beginning in 1956 with Love Me Tender, Elvis would go onto make over 30 films until 1969. A few more iconic than others of course, such as Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas and some more interesting attempts to
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Grandstand, Countdown, Ski Sunday: the unsung heroes behind TV's greatest tunes

They’ve written some of the most iconic tracks of the last 50 years. Yet you’ve probably never heard of them. We met the legends of ‘library’ music

Brian Bennett, drummer with Cliff Richard and the Shadows and co-writer of hits such as Summer Holiday, is considering one of his more unlikely successes. “I’ve had three hit rap records,” he says, with a thoroughly bemused smile. “I did one for Nas, one for a guy called Kanye West … in fact, I had a No 1 rap thing in some American chart about three months ago.”

“Really?!” I ask.

You had very little time and very little control. There was no overwriting. Any mistakes went in

Related: The lost geniuses of library music

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Una Stubbs: ‘Which living person do I most despise? Tony Blair'

What single thing would improve my quality life? A little balcony

Born in Hertfordshire, Una Stubbs, 78, went to dance school at 14 and became a chorus girl at 16. In 1963, she starred with Cliff Richard in the film Summer Holiday; she was later cast in Till Death Us Do Part and Worzel Gummidge. Currently, she plays Mrs Hudson in Sherlock. Her new film, Golden Years, is released on 29 April. She is twice divorced and lives in London.

When were you happiest?

When I am painting.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing a child.

Related: Q&A: David Haye, boxer: ‘My guiltiest pleasure? Crisps, late at night’

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Strictly Come Dancing 2014: week four as it happened

It was back to normal this week, Strictly fans: no theme, no guest judge and hopefully no crabs. Let the dancing commence!

8.00pm BST

So thats its for another weekend! Ill be back next Saturday, and well do this all again. Thank you all for your comment box wisdom, you are all entirely brilliant and hilarious. Ill see you next week, and in the meantime please come and say hello on Twitter @heidistephens if youre in the vicinity. Have a good week! Hx

8.00pm BST

Craig saves Mark and Karen, as does Darcey and Bruno. Len would have done likewise, so its a clean sweep for Mark and Karen. Which means its time for Tim and Natalie to go home he says some lovely things about Natalie and the honour of being on Strictly, and its all quite moving. Then Tims hand wanders off towards Natalies bottom and she gently moves it,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

DVD Review: UK Release Of “Two Left Feet” (1963) Starring Michael Crawford, Nyree Dawn Porter And David Hemmings From Network

  • CinemaRetro
By Howard Hughes

(The following review is of the UK release of the film on Region 2 format.)

In Roy Ward Baker’s 1960s comedy-drama Two Left Feet, Michael Crawford plays Alan Crabbe, a clumsy and unlucky-in-love 19-year-old who begins dating ‘Eileen, the Teacup Queen’, a waitress at his local cafe. She lives in Camden Town and there are rumours that she’s married, but that doesn’t seem to alter her behavior. Alan and Eileen travel into London’s ‘Floride Club’, where the Storyville Jazzmen play trad for the groovers and shakers. Eileen turns out to be a ‘right little madam’, who is really just stringing Alan along. She’s the kind of girl who only dates to get into places and then starts chatting to randoms once inside. She takes up with ruffian Ronnie, while Alan meets a nice girl, Beth Crowley. But Eileen holds a strange hold over
See full article at CinemaRetro »

After Rooney's Death, Who Is Earliest Surviving Best Actor Academy Award Nominee?

Mickey Rooney was earliest surviving Best Actor Oscar nominee (photo: Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy in ‘Boys Town’) (See previous post: “Mickey Rooney Dead at 93: MGM’s Andy Hardy Series’ Hero and Judy Garland Frequent Co-Star Had Longest Film Career Ever?”) Mickey Rooney was the earliest surviving Best Actor Academy Award nominee — Babes in Arms, 1939; The Human Comedy, 1943 — and the last surviving male acting Oscar nominee of the 1930s. Rooney lost the Best Actor Oscar to two considerably more “prestigious” — albeit less popular — stars: Robert Donat for Sam Wood’s Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) and Paul Lukas for Herman Shumlin’s Watch on the Rhine (1943). Following Mickey Rooney’s death, there are only two acting Academy Award nominees from the ’30s still alive: two-time Best Actress winner Luise Rainer, 104 (for Robert Z. Leonard’s The Great Ziegfeld, 1936, and Sidney Franklin’s The Good Earth, 1937), and Best Supporting Actress nominee Olivia de Havilland,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Una Stubbs's cultural highlights

The Sherlock co-star on her favourite cinemas, coffee shops and garden squares

Una Stubbs, 76, began her career as a dancer, appearing on the TV music programme Cool for Cats in 1956. She landed her first major acting job in Cliff Richard's 1963 film Summer Holiday, following that with the role of Rita in the sitcom Till Death Do Us Part. Later she played Aunt Sally opposite Jon Pertwee in Worzel Gummidge, and captained a team on the gameshow Give Us a Clue. Recently she was part of the original cast of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the National Theatre and will reprise her role as Mrs Hudson in the third series of Sherlock, which returns on Wednesday.

Architecture: Thomas Heatherwick

He has come up with wonderful things like the Olympic cauldron and the majestic double-decker bus (the 'new Routemaster') which you see bowling through London. When
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Pop at the pictures: When Cliff Richard ruled the charts

Cliff Richard and the Shadows were Pathé's perfect poster boys for pop when it decided to boost its coverage in the early 60s

In the early 60s, Pathé ramped up its pop coverage. Once the Age of the Teenager had been established, youth became worthy of coverage and even traditional news sources followed suit. As we've seen, Pathé had some youth culture reportage during the second half of the 50s but from 1961 on, the trickle turned to a flood. And who better to represent this shift than the biggest homegrown star of the period?

Cliff Richard and the Shadows ruled British pop from spring 1959 to spring 1963. During that period they had, separately and together, 27 top 10 singles – including 12 No 1s. There were also two massively successful films, The Young Ones and Summer Holiday, with their associated soundtracks: in both cases the lead-off singles and the albums went to No 1.

Broadcast in
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Una Stubbs: 'I just think, Oh, I hope I can be good enough' |

Since Una Stubbs's film debut half a century ago, she's never been out of work. With a string of memorable TV series to her name, from Till Death Do Us Part to Sherlock, how does she feel now about her return to the National theatre stage at 75?

Una Stubbs can't quite believe she's being interviewed. "So who else are you speaking to from this production?" she asks when we meet backstage at the National Theatre. No one, I tell her. Just you. Behind her round-framed spectacles, Stubbs's eyes widen anxiously. "Oh," she says, brow crinkling. "Really?"

You might expect Una Stubbs to be more convinced by her own reputation. At 75, she has starred in some of the most memorable television programmes of the past four decades (Till Death Us Do Part, Give Us a Clue, Worzel Gummidge, Sherlock) and been directed on stage by such theatrical luminaries as Sir Peter Hall and Michael Grandage.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Syd Cain obituary

Production designer behind the deadly gadgets used by James Bond – and his foes

The production designer Syd Cain, who has died aged 93, was one of many behind-the-scenes professionals elevated to something like prominence by the worldwide interest in the James Bond films. An industry veteran who began work in British cinema as a draughtsman in 1947, contributing to the look of the gothic melodrama Uncle Silas, Cain is credited on a range of film and television projects, but remains best known for his work in various design capacities on the 007 series, from Dr No in 1962 to GoldenEye in 1995.

Born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, Cain served in the armed forces in the second world war, surviving a plane crash and recovering from a broken back. Working at Denham Studios in Buckinghamshire in the 1940s and 50s, he moved up from uncredited draughtsman (on Adam and Evelyne, The Interrupted Journey, You Know What Sailors Are
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Abbey Road Studios Turns 80

Everett The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios in 1967.

Celebrations to mark Abbey Road’s 80th anniversary will feature never-before-heard orchestral arrangements of songs by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Oasis and Radiohead among other popular rock and roll names.

The legendary recording venue adopted by the Fab Four and other music heavyweights, turns 80 in November but celebrations are kicking off this weekend in London. In conjunction with American Express, the studios have put together a weekend event entitled Symphony at the Park,
See full article at Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal »

Wish You Were Here?

Wish You Were Here?

“We’re going where the sun shines brightly

We’re going where the sea is blue

We’ve seen it in the movies

Now let’s see if it’s true”

Septuagenarian pop star Cliff Richard was (typically) seeing life through rose-tinted shades when he starred in Summer Holiday, back in 1963. Most Brits heading off to Europe this month won’t be travelling in an old London double-decker, like clean-cut Cliff and his pals in Peter Yates’s musical. They’ll be joining long queues at the airport; muttering about the extortionate price of petrol; or praying that Eurostar doesn’t grind to a shuddering halt on this side of the Channel.

Above all, they’ll be hoping that their vacation doesn’t turn out to be anything like in the movies. Cliff may have been weaned on a wholesome diet of Elvis and Gidget, but
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Top Five Movie Buses

  • HeyUGuys
Movie buses aren’t like real buses at all. While you wait ages for a normal bus to arrive and then two come at once, great cinematic buses pull into your stop about once every decade. When they do arrive, however, they are always worth getting on.

When you or I take the bus, the floor is sticky and someone opens a window even though it’s minus 17 degrees. In the movies, buses do more than keep you waiting in the cold. And isn’t a bus nothing but a giant moving cinema? You can be cool by sitting at the back… the floor isn’t worth putting your shoes on… there are lots of annoying kids playing with their mobile phones… you’re often stuck in them for at least two hours.

Here are the big screen buses worth standing in the queue for.

5. Dirty Harry (1971)

When crazed killer
See full article at HeyUGuys »

In Memoriam: Peter Yates, Director of ‘Bullitt,' 'Breaking Away'

  • HollywoodChicago.com
Chicago – On the stadium set of “Breaking Away,” during the 1978 filming of the climatic bike race sequence, an extra ran up to director Peter Yates and handed him a cold beer. The filmmaker raised it high, and lustily took a drink. The onlookers roared their approval for the characteristic gesture. Peter Yates passed away yesterday at age 81.

British born, Yates graduated from London’s Royal Academy of the Arts, where he began as an actor. Afterward, he performed in repertory theater and did some race car driving, before working his way up through the British film system as an editor and assistant director. His first film as director was a 1963 musical, directing the “British Elvis,” Cliff Richard, in “Summer Holiday.”

Steve McQueen (left) is directed by Peter Yates on the set of ‘Bullitt

Photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Yates came to Hollywood for the memorable “Bullitt” (1968) starring Steve McQueen. In that film,
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Peter Yates obituary

Versatile British film director known for Bullitt, The Deep and Breaking Away

The director Peter Yates, who has died aged 81, helped Steve McQueen achieve iconic status with the cop movie Bullitt (1968), enjoyed a massive box-office success with The Deep (1977) and made one of the most beguiling of all youth movies in Breaking Away (1979). He maintained a steady career throughout five decades, initially in the theatre and then in mainstream cinema, but he suffered the critical neglect so often accorded those who tackle a variety of subjects and genres and become known, somewhat disparagingly, as journeyman directors.

Pauline Kael described him as a competent director "with a good serviceable technique for integrating staged movie action into documentary city locations". David Thomson suggested that, in America, Yates had "done nothing more profound than send hubcaps careering around corners". Bullitt's famous San Francisco car chase (later revived by Ford as part of
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Rip Peter Yates 1929-2011

Peter Yates, one of cinema’s most versatile directors. has died in London at age 81. Upon graduation from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Yates worked his way up from dubbing assistant to assistant director in the classic films A Taste Of Honey and The Guns Of Navarone. He gained experience as a director on the British produced TV shows The Saint ( starring Roger Moore ) and Danger Man ( re-titled Secret Agent for America and starring Patrick McGoohan. Yates began his feature film directing career with 1963′s Summer Holiday. After two more features Yates traveled to the U.S. where he helmed the action film classic Bullitt starring Steve McQueen. The film is still highly regarded for it’s groundbreaking car chase sequence through the winding streets of San Francisco. For the next few years Yates worked mostly in the states on dramas like John And Mary and The Friends Of Eddie Coyle
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Bullitt Director Peter Yates Dies at 82

Peter Yates, who directed one of cinema's legendary car chase scenes in Bullitt, has died. He was 82.

Yates died Sunday in London after a long illness, his agent, Judy Daish, said.

See which celebrities died last year

A native of Hampshire, England, Yates got his start as a dubbing assistant and later worked as an assistant director for Tony Richardson. He made his directorial debut in 1963 with Summer Holiday, but it was ...

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See full article at TVGuide - Breaking News »

Remebering Director Peter Yates: His Five Greatest Films

Remebering Director Peter Yates: His Five Greatest Films
Peter Yates, the Oscar-nominated English filmmaker who gave us one of the greatest car chases in cinema history and the defining sports drama of the '70s, died Sunday in London at the age of 82 following a long illness. We thought we'd look back at his life and his five best films... After breaking into the British theater as an actor, director and stage manager, Yates began helming TV episodes of The Saint before making his feature debut with the 1963 musical Summer Holiday. During a five-decade career that followed, he worked on everything from B-movies (see 1977's The Deep and 1983's Krull) to Oscar-worthy prestige pictures (1979's Breaking Away and 1983's The Dresser). Along the way he...
See full article at E! Online »

'Bullitt' & 'Krull' Director Peter Yates Passes Away at 82 Years Old

Sad news kicks off this January week as Deadline reports director Peter Yates, the man behind the prolific action-filled cop drama Bullitt has passed away at 82-years old. Though he hadn't directed anything since 2004, Yates had already left a permanent impression on the film industry. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the filmmaker worked as an assistant and assistant director before finally getting his first feature, Summer Holiday starring Cliff Richards, in 1963. But it wouldn't be until he helmed Robbery in 1967 that he would catch a break that would lead him to direct one of the most memorable cop movies of all time. In 1968 the British filmmaker directed Steve McQueen and some of the best car chases you've ever seen in Bullitt. You may have seen The Fast and the Furious, but Bullitt has some real, kick-ass driving. Since then Yates has also worked ...
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Peter Yates 1928-2011

  • FilmJunk
Well, last week we passed along the unfortunate news that Pete Postlethwaite had died [1], and now this week Hollywood has lost another Pete. Peter Yates, director of such classics as Bullitt, Murphy's War, and the Jay Cheel favourite Krull has passed away after a long illness. He also directed The Friends of Eddie Coyle, which turned up at the top of Ben Affleck's list of best heist films [2] just a few days ago. He was 82 years old. Yates had a long and fruitful career and directed a wide variety of films in a number of different genres starting with Summer Holiday starring Cliff Richard and The Shadows in 1963. In addition to some of the classic crime films for which is best known, he also directed Peter Benchley's The Deep, Suspect starring Cher and Dennis Quaid, Year of the Comet, and Mother, Jugs & Speed starring Bill Cosby, Harvey Keitel and Raquel Welch.
See full article at FilmJunk »
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