14 items from 2015
Hollywood Banker, directed by Frans Afman’s daughter Rozemyn, charts the bankers early days working with producer Dino De Laurentiis through to his fall out with Credit Lyonnais Nederland over the company’s financing of MGM to Giancarlo Parretti, which would result in both the bank and the studio’s bankruptcy.
It’s hard to believe that, before Afman, there really was no model for independent studios to “easily” finance their projects. Yet today Afman’s model of pre-sales and completion guarantees seems simple. It’s no wonder how easily Afman managed to make himself the go-to guy for filmmakers in the 80s. A prime example being Dino De Laurentiis’ King Kong remake, which was the first film to bring Afman’s financial nous to the attention of more than just the independent studios of the time. After all, the pre-sales model not only made it easier to finance movies »
- Phil Wheat
The film director John Guillermin, who has died aged 89, started on cheap British B films in the 1950s and progressed to such big-budget spectaculars as The Towering Inferno, the second King Kong and Death on the Nile in the 1970s. He learned to work with tight resources during his eight-year apprenticeship in the lower echelons of British cinema, and proved equally responsible when given the chance to handle large forces.
Whether they cost a shoestring or megabucks, most of his 35 films were made in a thoroughly workmanlike, Saturday-night-at-the-movies manner. Only in his later work was there sometimes a disparity between scale and quality.
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- Ronald Bergan
Award-winning British director John Guillermin died on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles aged 89.
The Towering Inferno is probably the film he will be remembered most for, with the Paul Newman-Steve McQueen-starrer winning three Oscars as well as grossing $116 million back in 1974, which accounts to over $514 million adjusted for inflation.
Guillermin’s wife Mary said on Facebook that her husband was “sensitive and passionate, full of a fierce rapture himself.”
Born in London in 1925, the director attended Cambridge University and won the Evening Standard British Film Award for »
- Scott J. Davis
John Guillermin, the British director whose expertise with big-budget action fare in the 1960s and 70s led him to direct the 1976 remake of King Kong and the 1974 disaster movie epic The Towering Inferno, has died. He was 89.
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- Ben Child
John Guillermin, a prolific British filmmaker who specialized in action and adventure pics including The Towering Inferno and the 1976 version of King Kong that launched Jessica Lange’s career, has died at his Los Angeles home. He was 89. His friend Nick Redman posted the news on Facebook. Guillermin’s long career started after a stint in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He started out as a documentarian in France and ended up making a movie nearly every year… »
His friend Nick Redman of Twilight Time Movies, which released several of his films on DVD, confirmed his death. On Facebook, Guillermin’s wife Mary called her husband “sensitive and passionate, full of a fierce rapture himself.”
The British director had been active for decades beginning in the late 1940s. His directing credits include 1976’s “King Kong” starring Jessica Lange, “Death on the Nile,” “The Blue Max” and “Shaft in Africa.”
“The Towering Inferno,” released in 1974, won Oscars for original song, film editing and cinematography, in addition to Golden Globes for Fred Astaire and Susan Flannery. The film starred Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden and Faye Dunaway.
Guillermin also was a writer and producer on “Melody in the Dark, “High Jinks in Society” and “Paper Gallows. »
- Variety Staff
The filmmaker's close friend Nick Redman confirmed Guillermin's passing this week in Los Angeles, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Among his more famous Hollywood projects was the disaster epic The Towering Inferno, the highest-grossing movie of 1974.
In more recent decades, Guillermin focused on low-budget films and television work.
He is survived by two children from his marriage to Kenyan actress Maureen Connell. »
John Guillermin, director of such films as “The Towering Inferno” and the 1976 remake of “King Kong,” died on Monday, his wife announced on social media. He was 89 years old. The British filmmaker was best known for big-budget action films, which also included “El Condor,” “Shaft in Africa,” “Death on the Nile,” “Sheena” and the sequel “King Kong Lives.” He has directed actors such as Paul Newman, Jessica Lange, Lee Van Cleef, Steve McQueen, Peter Ustinov, Mia Farrow, Orson Welles, Angela Lansbury, George Peppard, David Niven, Jeff Bridges, Jack Warden, Richard Chamberlain, William Holden and Faye Dunaway. Guillermin was born in London, »
- Jordan Burchette
John Guillermin, the director responsible for films such as The Towering Inferno and 1976’s version of King Kong, has died at the age of 89.Guillermin was born in London in 1925, and got his education at the University of Cambridge. After his studies, he joined the Royal Air Force, then mustered out at 22 to begin a career in filmmaking. Initially studying in France and learning the art of documentaries, he moved to Los Angeles in 1950 to learn Hollywood’s film ways, though he’d already gotten his start in movies with the likes of Torment/Paper Gallows, Melody In The Dark and High Jinks In Society.He would go on to work on films including Town On Trial, The Blue Max, El Condor, Skyjacked, Shaft In Africa and even a couple of Tarzan instalments. But he was best known for entering the world of producer Irwin Allen with The Towering Inferno, »
Pre-order Via Amazon UK And Amazon Us
Set for release on June 1st in the UK, the film is also getting the exclusive limited-edition steelbook treatment at Zavvi, with a limited run of 1,500 copies available for collectors and fans. No special features or technical specifications have been announced as of yet.
Produced by Wahlberg, The Gambler co-stars Jessica Lange (King Kong), Brie Larson (Short Term 12), Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire) and John Goodman (Flight), and is directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). You can read our review of the film here.
- Scott J. Davis
For someone who isn’t used to failure and admittedly is a sore loser, Thomas Tull is so far having a nightmare year at the box office.
His company, Legendary Entertainment, was forced to take a $90 million writedown on Michael Mann’s $70 million cyber thriller “Blackhat,” which has earned just $14.5 million worldwide since its release last month. And after anticipating that Legendary’s upcoming release “Seventh Son” was headed for potential disaster, Tull took an early $85 million writedown — in 2013 — on the long-troubled movie, which debuts nationwide on Friday.
“Seventh Son,” a fantasy action film that cost $95 million to produce and tens of millions more to market, is tracking to open between $7 million and $10 million this weekend. Overseas, the movie, which stars Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes and Julianne Moore, has already earned $82 million, including $25 million in China, and another $15 million in Russia.
It’s no secret that Legendary has struggled with “Seventh Son” for years. »
- Marc Graser
Certainly one of the most negative aspects of the film industry is its inherent superficiality, and there are few things worse in casting than when looks are considered more valuable than acting talent. Sadly, this is something that actors deal with on a regular basis, and that includes some of the biggest stars in the world. For example, back in the 1970s Meryl Streep missed out on the lead female role in John Guillermin.s King Kong remake because one of the producers deemed her too ugly for the part. This is a rather shocking story in light of all the critical acclaim that Streep has gone on to earn in her career since the 1970s, but it.s true, and was recently revealed by the actress while visiting The Graham Norton Show as a guest. The subject of horror show auditions came up in conversation, and the Academy Award »
On The Graham Norton Show on Jan. 9, the Into the Woods star recalled a time when she auditioned for the 1976 film King Kong with producer Dino De Laurentiis. His son had seen a then-unknown Meryl in a play and brought her in to audition for the role of Dwan.
Photos: Actors Who Almost Got the Part
Since Streep, 65, knew Italian, she understood Dino's words as he asked his son, “Why do you bring me this ugly thing?”
She then responded in Italian, saying, "I’m sorry I’m not beautiful enough to be in King Kong.”
Streep can laugh about it now, but as Norton says, "young actors should take solace" knowing that there was a time where even a legendary actress had a bad audition.
Watch: Meryl Reveals »
One is not born Meryl Streep; one becomes her. In the past, Streep has talked about how she used to hate her nose and worry about her weight when she was young — all things she learned not to care about as she got older. She went on The Graham Norton Show to talk about some of her failed auditions. One of those was for the 1976 remake of King Kong with producer Dino De Laurentiis. But when De Laurentiis saw her he commented that she was ugly ("Che brutta"). Of course, Streep spoke Italian — is there anything she can't do? — and responded with aplomb. »
- E. Alex Jung
14 items from 2015
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