9 items from 2013
The Spoof, or Parody, movie has long been a mainstay of the comedy genre. Though it offers writers and directors the chance to transcend the formula they are imitating there is a very fine line between success and failure. An understanding of the form is as important as a healthy disregard for it, and many of the examples below do push the genres they spoof to ridiculous extremes. As we usher in the release of The Starving Games on DVD and VOD this week we wanted to look back at past efforts of this enduring genre.
There’s a case to be made that some of the films gathered under the umbrella of the Parody Movie are so successful they become notable examples of the genre they spoofing. Edgar Wright’s films in particular are loving tributes to a their particular genre but in each case they become far more than a mockery. »
- Jon Lyus
Alec Guinness: Before Obi-Wan Kenobi, there were the eight D’Ascoyne family members (photo: Alec Guiness, Dennis Price in ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’) (See previous post: “Alec Guinness Movies: Pre-Star Wars Career.”) TCM won’t be showing The Bridge on the River Kwai on Alec Guinness day, though obviously not because the cable network programmers believe that one four-hour David Lean epic per day should be enough. After all, prior to Lawrence of Arabia TCM will be presenting the three-and-a-half-hour-long Doctor Zhivago (1965), a great-looking but never-ending romantic drama in which Guinness — quite poorly — plays a Kgb official. He’s slightly less miscast as a mere Englishman — one much too young for the then 32-year-old actor — in Lean’s Great Expectations (1946), a movie that fully belongs to boy-loving (in a chaste, fatherly manner) fugitive Finlay Currie. And finally, make sure to watch Robert Hamer’s dark comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets »
- Andre Soares
Now that banks have reopened following the death of Eileen Brennan and I’ve reluctantly reopened my curtains, we can get down to real mourning. Ugggggggh. Our girl Eileen — the superfly Mrs. Peacock of Clue fame, the grizzled Billie from The Sting, the nutty Tess Skeffington of Murder By Death – died at the ripe old age of character actress and now the world is deprived of her unflinching, husky-voiced command. In her lifetime Ms. Brennan only earned a single Oscar nomination, a Best Supporting Actress nod for Private Benjamin, and wouldn’t you know it, captain?: Private Benjamin is a perfect addition to the Best Movie Ever? anthology, a comedy about basic training in self-possession. It’s the rugged flipside to 1980′s other funny feminist jam, 9 to 5.
Private Benjamin is about a spoiled woman named Judy Benjamin (Hawn) who, following the death of her hilariously selfish new husband Yale »
- Louis Virtel
Actor who made her name in comedy films as an acid-tongued, gravel-voiced tyrant
Eileen Brennan, who has died aged 80, had been a stage actor since the late 1950s, but it was as a largely comic presence in Us cinema of the 1970s and early 1980s that she was most widely admired. As the pitiless Captain Doreen Lewis, putting a dippy new recruit – Goldie Hawn – through her paces in the hit military comedy Private Benjamin (1980), she wore her trademark look: a solid frizz of red hair, a clenched, sneering smile and an expression of withering incredulity. Then there was the gravelly voice: a heard-it-all whine to match that seen-it-all face. It sounded like bourbon on the rocks. Actual rocks, that is.
Captain Lewis epitomised the sort of role Brennan was best at – and which she was still playing as late as 2001, when she made the first in a run of appearances »
- Ryan Gilbey
Eileen Brennan has died at the age of 80.
She passed away at her home in Burbank, Los Angeles after a battle with bladder cancer, her managers confirmed.
Brennan was known for her distinct, husky voice and sharp presence on screen.
Hawn said in a statement: "Our world has lost a rare human. Eileen was a brilliant comedian, a powerful dramatic actress and had the voice of an angel."
Brennan was nominated for a 'Best Supporting Actress' Oscar for her role as Us Army Captain Doreen Lewis in Private Benjamin.
She later reprised the role in the TV version of the film from 1981 to 1983, winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her work.
Earlier in her career, Brennan received a BAFTA nomination for playing waitress Genevieve in The Last Picture Show.
Other films »
Brennan earned critical praise and an Oscar nom for her supporting role as Captain Doreen Lewis in “Private Benjamin,” in which she starred opposite Goldie Hawn. She went on to reprise the role for three seasons on CBS’ television adaptation of “Private Benjamin.” That role earned Brennan both an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 1981. She earned another Emmy nom for her leading role on “Taxi” that same year.
Brennan also starred as the memorable brothel madam Billie, a confidant to con man Paul Newman in the 1973 Oscar best picture winner “The Sting;” as Mrs. Peacock in “Clue;” as a kind-hearted Texas waitress in “The Last Picture Show;” and as Peter Falk’s long-suffering secretary Tess in the Agatha Christie »
- Allegra Tepper
Beloved actress Eileen Brennan has died in Burbank, California. The eighty year old passed away on Sunday due to bladder cancer according to her publicist.
The actress began her career on Broadway, which included the role of Irene Malloy in the original production of "Hello, Dolly!". She went onto film and TV work with memorable roles in "The Sting," "The Last Picture Show," "The Cheap Detective".
She scored an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in 1980's "Private Benjamin," and won both an Emmy and Golden Globe for the role in the subsequent TV series adaptation in the early 1980s. She also had a memorable turn as Tess Skeffington, the blonde sidekick to Peter Falk's San Francisco gumshoe Sam Diamond, in the all-star Agatha Christie spoof "Murder by Death".
It was about that time she was hit by a car and suffered massive injuries. It took her years to recover, »
- Garth Franklin
She was 80 years old.
Pics: The Most Shocking Celeb Deaths of All Time
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Brennan died early Sunday at her home in Burbank of bladder cancer.
She is survived by her sons Sam and Patrick (himself an actor), daughter-in-law Jessica, sister Kate and grandchildren Liam and Maggie. »
According to the UK Daily Mail, the gothic estate best known as Dr. Frank N. Furter's mansion in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and which has also been the filming location of several Hammer horror productions, is now officially up for sale. Oakley Court, located near Hammer's historic Bray Studios (itself destined for demolition, despite much protest from Hammer fans), was a private residence until 1965, after which it became the shooting location for several Hammer films and other productions. In 1981 it reopened as a luxury hotel with 188 bedrooms, a golf course and 37 acres of landscaped gardens. But the hotel is now going out of business, so Oakley is back on the market again. In addition to Rocky Horror (the house's most famous screen role), genre fans will no doubt recognize Oakley Court from Hammer classics like Brides of Dracula and Plague of the Zombies, and non-Hammer films like Vampyres, William Castle »
- Gregory Burkart
9 items from 2013
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