3 items from 2012
We love crime movies. We may go on and on about Scorsese’s ability to incorporate Italian neo-realism techniques into Mean Streets (1973), the place of John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle (1950) in the canon of postwar noir, The Godfather (1972) as a socio-cultural commentary on the distortion of the ideals of the American dream blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda…but that ain’t it.
We love crime movies because we love watching a guy who doesn’t have to behave, who doesn’t have to – nor care to – put a choker on his id and can let his darkest, most visceral impulses run wild. Some smart-mouth gopher tells hood Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), “Go fuck yourself,” in Scorsese’s Goodfellas (1990), and does Tommy roll with it? Does he spit back, “Fuck me? Nah, fuck you!” Does he go home and tell his mother?
He pulls a .45 cannon out from »
- Bill Mesce
Hollywood director and screenwriter who won an Oscar for Dog Day Afternoon
In Sunset Boulevard, William Holden's character remarks: "Audiences don't know somebody sits down and writes a picture. They think the actors make it up as they go along." Given the difficulties in quantifying their contributions, screenwriters seldom get the recognition they deserve. Frank Pierson, who has died aged 87, wrote the screenplays for 10 films but his reputation rests on Cat Ballou (1965), Cool Hand Luke (1967) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975), all of which gained him Academy Award nominations, with the last of them winning the Oscar for best original screenplay.
Yet most of the plaudits for Dog Day Afternoon went to Sidney Lumet, the director, and Al Pacino, the star. Pierson, whose work had as much to do with structure and character as dialogue, shaped the script from a Life magazine article about a bungled bank robbery that took place »
- Ronald Bergan
Frank Pierson, an Academy Award-winning screenwriter who worked in TV and movies for more than 50 years, has died at the age of 87. Pierson was the son of Louise Randall Pierson, whose memoir, Roughly Speaking, about her experience holding the family together was made into a 1945 movie starring Rosalind Russell. After attending Harvard, Frank got his start in advertising before breaking into TV as script editor on the hit Western Have Gun, Will Travel. He got his first big-screen credits on two movies directed by Elliot Silverstein: the comedic Western Cat Ballou (1965) and The Happening (1967). And »
3 items from 2012
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