IMDb > Grease (1978) > News
Grease
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Connect with IMDb


News for
Grease (1978) More at IMDbPro »


2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2000

1-20 of 85 items from 2016   « Prev | Next »


George Lucas’ ‘Freiheit’: Watch the ‘Star Wars’ Creator’s Student Film from 1966

21 August 2016 3:05 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Before he was conducting space operas or spraying graffiti across American movie screens, George Lucas was a student at the University of Southern California — one of the first schools in the country with a devoted film program. While there he made a three-minute short called “Freiheit,” humbly introduced onscreen as “a film by Lucas.” Watch the film below.

Read More: Christopher Nolan’s First Released Short Film ‘Doodlebug’: Watch His Twisted 1997 Debut

Opening on the image of a man (Randal Kleiser, who went on to direct “Grease”) running through a field, clearly afraid of something we’ve yet to see, “Freiheit” (German for “freedom”) takes on the divide between East and West Germany. The man’s journey isn’t especially successful, but it does inspire a series chorus of voiceover narrators: “Animals are free. Why shouldn’t man be free?” “Freedom is definitely worth dying for. It’s the only thing worth dying for. »

- Michael Nordine

Permalink | Report a problem


The Fovc Guide To The Drive-in Movie Part 3: Drive-in Movie Movies

21 August 2016 1:30 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

11 Drive-in Movie Movies (in alphabetical order):

Blue Thunder (1983) One key sequence in this thriller about a high-tech urban surveillance helicopter is staged (during the daylight hours) at the Pickwick Drive-in in Burbank, California, which was razed in 1990. The Pickwick, due to its proximity to the local movie studios, hosted many movie premieres, most famously that of Blazing Saddles in 1974, for which everyone in attendance was on horseback.

Brokeback Mountain (2005) In one scene after his return from Brokeback Mountain, Ennis (Heath Ledger) takes his wife Alma (Michelle Williams) on a date to a drive-in movie theater, which is lovingly (if briefly) recreated in the film. And it’s a very effective moment of movie magic too—the scene wasn’t filmed at a drive-in at all, but instead a converted softball field in Alberta, Canada.

Cars (2006) During the end credits, the cars are shown at the drive-in cinema enjoying parodies »

- Dennis Cozzalio

Permalink | Report a problem


The Top Ten Funny Ladies of the Movies

7 August 2016 10:29 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

The recent box office success of The Boss firmly establishes Melissa McCarthy as the current queen of movie comedies (Amy Schumer could be a new contender after an impressive debut last Summer with Trainwreck), but let us think back about those other funny ladies of filmdom. So while we’re enjoying the female reboot/re-imagining of Ghostbusters and those Bad Moms, here’s a top ten list that will hopefully inspire lots of laughter and cause you to search out some classic comedies. It’s tough to narrow them down to ten, but we’ll do our best, beginning with… 10. Eve Arden The droll Ms. Arden represents the comic sidekicks who will attempt to puncture the pomposity of the leading ladies with a well-placed wisecrack (see also the great Thelma Ritter in Rear Window). Her career began in the early 1930’s with great bit roles in Stage Door and Dancing Lady. »

- Jim Batts

Permalink | Report a problem


The Princess Diaries Turns 15: Ranking the Best Movie Makeovers of All Time

3 August 2016 1:50 PM, PDT | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Whenever The Princess Diaries is mentioned, what's the first scene that comes to mind?  For us, it's Anne Hathaway's unforgettable makeover from bushy-haired Mia Thermopolis to sophisticated and poised Princess of Genovia. The actress was plucked, pricked and primed across nearly every inch of her body, later reemerging as a nearly unrecognizable version of herself.  In spirit of the Disney classic's fifteenth anniversary, we've put together our very own ranking of the best movie makeovers of all time. From Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed to Olivia Newton John in Grease, this nostalgia-inducing countdown will have you sprinting to your next movie night »

Permalink | Report a problem


15 years ago today: ‘Legally Blonde’ opened in theaters

13 July 2016 6:00 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

15 years ago today, Elle Woods taught us to bend and snap. Legally Blonde hit theaters on July 13, 2001, giving Reese Witherspoon her breakout role and giving us a movie that put a pink-loving sorority girl in the place where she’s the outcast: law school. Until she proves all her doubters wrong, that is, in the midst of a murder trial, no less. The comedy’s success led to a 2003 sequel and a stage musical that premiered on Broadway in 2007. Other notable July 13 happenings in pop culture history: • 1923: The Hollywood sign, which then read “Hollywoodland,” was officially dedicated. • 1939: Frank Sinatra made his recording debut in a New York studio, singing “From The Bottom Of My Heart” and “Melancholy Mood” with the Harry James Band. • 1964: The Supremes recorded “Come See About Me” in “Hitsville U.S.A.,” Motown’s first headquarters. • 1984: The Muppets Take Manhattan and The Last Starfighter opened in theaters. »

- Emily Rome

Permalink | Report a problem


John Travolta Stars in 1973 Band Aid Commercial

8 July 2016 8:54 AM, PDT | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

Before John Travolta was singing “Greased Lightning,” he was singing the Band Aid tune in the shower for a TV commercial in 1973. The two-time Oscar nominee appeared in the commercial five years prior to his first major role as Danny Zuko in the legendary “Grease,” opposite Olivia Newton-John. Travolta was recently praised for his portrayal of Robert Shapiro on “The People v. Oj Simpson: American Crime Story,” and starred in action-crime-drama “I Am Wrath” earlier this year. Watch the clip, which also includes a snippet from a shampoo commercial he did in his early days, below! Inspired by this post? Check out our commercial audition listings! »

Permalink | Report a problem


John Travolta Signs With CAA

23 June 2016 5:25 PM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Exclusive: John Travolta has signed with CAA. The two-time Oscar nominee and two time Globe-winning actor is coming off his performance as attorney Robert Shapiro in the FX series American Crime Story: The People Vs O.J. Simpson. It was Travolta’s first TV stint in two decades. Travolta had been with Wme. The cumulative gross of the actor’s films exceeds $4 billion, including Hairspray, Saturday Night Fever, Grease Urban Cowboy, Pulp Fiction and Get Shorty.   Travolta… »

Permalink | Report a problem


John Travolta Signs With CAA

23 June 2016 5:25 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Exclusive: John Travolta has signed with CAA. The two-time Oscar nominee and two time Globe-winning actor is coming off his performance as attorney Robert Shapiro in the FX series American Crime Story: The People Vs O.J. Simpson. It was Travolta’s first TV stint in two decades. Travolta had been with Wme. The cumulative gross of the actor’s films exceeds $4 billion, including Hairspray, Saturday Night Fever, Grease Urban Cowboy, Pulp Fiction and Get Shorty.   Travolta… »

Permalink | Report a problem


John Travolta: examining his recent straight to DVD movies

12 June 2016 2:24 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

facebook

twitter

google+

We check out the John Travolta films that have been bypassing cinemas over the past few years...

In the days leading up to writing this article, which will cover a recent period in which he’s made a bunch of films that have quickly drifted to DVD or VOD, I had to stop and ask myself a genuine question: how do I actually feel about John Travolta?

The answer that rose from the depths of my coal-black, hell-bound soul was weirdly surprising. Brushing aside his personal life – which is not worth getting into here – I found I had nothing but good feelings surrounding his work as an actor.

I grew up with Carrie, Grease, Look Who’s Talking and perhaps his best film, Brian De Palma’s Blow Out. I also grew up with some of his clunkers, like the Look Who’s Talking sequels and 80s concept comedy The Experts. He’s been acting since before I was born, so he’s always been in the background of my pop culture landscape – working solidly for more than 40 years.

Over those decades, his catalogue has defied explanation. He seems to unapologetically pick whatever he feels moved to be a part of regardless of criticism and, goddamn it, there’s something inherently admirable about that. Unlike, say, Bruce Willis, he doesn’t seem happy with doing just a couple of days work on a shoot in a smaller part; more often he will choose to be the star, or at least have equal-ish screen time – even if the project isn’t boasting a huge budget or a big name director. When Pulp Fiction thrust him back into the mainstream, he was still picking up stuff like Phenomenon and Michael in the following years.

I can confidently say that I’ve never seen the man actively 'phone in' a performance and even when he’s overcooked it, there’s usually a decent reason. I mean, if you find yourself on the set of Face/Off going up against The Cage, you’re gonna need to fight fire with fire. Even in Battlefield Earth, he was at least trying.

But in the last half decade we’ve found ourselves in a deeper Travolta trough than we’ve ever been in before. His films aren’t quite cutting the mustard in the industry like they used to and, after a run of flops that have seen him drift back into television with an impressive turn as Robert Shapiro in The People V. O.J. Simpson, I find myself wondering 'will Travolta ever be big business again?'

So, I took a look at four of the films that Travolta’s worked on in the last few years - each of which has effectively gone straight to DVD (save for a few days in a cinema) - to see if anything’s slipped under our radar that needs a boost…

The Forger (2014)

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 7% IMDb Rating – 5.7/10

In The Forger, John Travolta is a man serving a prison sentence who makes a call to get out of it early so he can spend more time with his dying son. In exchange for help with bribing the judge to release him early, John’s expected to help forge a Monet for his erstwhile crime boss, played by Hell On WheelsAnson Mount.

As the film casually flits between the forge/heist story and the bonding relationship between John and his son, it’s a testament to director Philip Martin - who comes from a TV background where he’s learnt his trade by helping to bring Prime Suspect and Wallander crime stories to life – that it isn’t a complete disaster. In someone else’s hands, it very well could have been.

Instead, The Forger has a delicate touch and a lot of the shots are interesting and unexpected without being jarring. It flows very smoothly and there’s an undercurrent of genuine love stemming from Travolta’s performance. After losing his own son, making a film about losing a son might have been cathartic and definitely quite close to the bone. I don’t want to read too much into Travolta’s choices, because that way madness lies, but it does really come across as though he cared about this one.

The Forger’s family scenes - with Travolta’s son Tye Sheridan and father Christopher Plummer - play really well, and while the tone of these scenes doesn’t gel with the heist elements of the plot, there’s good stuff here.

Overall, there’s not quite enough substance to sail the whole thing smoothly down the river, but it’s not bad by any stretch and the reviews have been a little harsh on what is actually a perfectly average film. No, you won’t watch it again, but neither will you probably regret watching it in the first place.

Criminal Activities (2015)

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 47% IMDb Rating – 5.8/10

Hoo boy, that title. That’s the worst title. I can’t imagine anyone involved could have wanted it. It’s maybe the most generic title I’ve ever seen. It’s so bad that even when I picked up the DVD, looked at the cover and saw that Michael Pitt (Hannibal, Boardwalk Empire) and Dan Stevens (The Guest, The Guest, The Guest) were Travolta’s co-stars in this, I still felt like I was drowning in the beigeness of it.

The film itself - Jackie Earle Haley's directorial debut - is an unfortunate mess. The plot, such as it is, involves Michael, Dan and the rest of the lads from their childhood gang borrowing money from a mob boss (Travolta) to invest in some sure-fire stocks that immediately collapse, leaving them out of pocket and in John’s. To pay off the debt, he wants them to kidnap a guy, because that guy’s friend kidnapped someone else. It’s convoluted and makes little sense, due to the fact that there’s a big twist coming at the end which will clarify most, if not all of it.

The actors are doing wayyy too much in the film - directed by an actor who clearly wants the actors to have room to act - and therein lies the fundamental problem. Apart from a great turn by Edi Gathegi (Gone Baby Gone, X-Men: First Class, Crank) it’s impossible to point a finger at anyone else in the cast and say 'yep, you, good job' because there’s just too much going on.

The twist is actually decent, but everything leading up to it is a headache. Working on a low budget, most of the scenes are dialogue-heavy, arduous and reliant on excessive coverage – so what you end up with is a film where a load of dudes sit in a room together and shout and swear at each other a lot. I wanted to take that final twist aside, buy it a drink, hug it, and reassure it that it deserved better.

I’m afraid to say there’s not much here to recommend, which is ironic given that it’s had the most positive reviews of the bunch.

I Am Wrath (2016)

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 13% IMDb Rating – 5.2/10

I Am Wrath is the worst film of these four by a long chalk.

Here, John stars as a man who decides payback is needed when his wife (Rebecca de Mornay) is killed before his eyes. That’s really all there is, plot-wise. See, it turns out he’s a man with a very particular set of skills and yada yada yada off he goes.

The script - written by Paul 'nope, nothing you’ve heard of' Sloan - is so very, very bad. I am going to tell you how bad it is, so you don’t think I’m just whistlin’ Dixie here:

During his wife’s funeral, John tells the priest that he’s an atheist after the priest gives him a bible in his time of need. Later, Travolta flings this bible across the room angrily. He then stops, pulls a full Joey Tribbiani 'smell-the-fart', slowly approaches the discarded bible, picks it up and reads a line about wrath with the dumbest revelatory expression on his face as the music builds. He sees this as a sign that he should become wrath, despite his earlier insistence that he thinks religion is total garbage.

Later, when asked who he is, Travolta looks determinedly into a mirror and says “I am wrath” – he said the name of the movie you guys! Holy shit. Honestly, I could not believe how hackneyed the whole thing was, not to mention bizarre - the film regularly abandons its serious 'violence begets violence' tone whenever John’s Bff Christopher Meloni turns up, suddenly becoming a jokey buddy comedy.

This was hard to get through. Please avoid it at all costs, for there is nothing here to keep you warm at night.

Killing Season (2013)

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 11% IMDb Rating – 5.4/10

De Niro and Travolta – together at last?

Well, the opening sequence gives us a bit of background on the reason we’re all here. Something bad happened during the Bosnian War that will bring our two main dudes together for some serious vengeance. The sequence is sepia, because past, and ohhhhh god, here comes the present…

It’s at this point that we discover that John is going to attempt an Eastern European accent. It is Not Good. It is not John Malkovich in Rounders, but it is Not Good and we are stuck with it for the duration.

His facial hair during this first scene is also completely ridiculous. I can’t adequately describe how bonkers it is, but try to imagine a werewolf that can only grow stubble carefully shaving a circle into its face. It’s a relief to find that they decided to tone this down for the rest of the film - he looks more like he’s wearing a black chinstrap from then on.

Despite the accent and the questionable chin beard, it’s a lot easier to buy Travolta as a man on a mission of vengeance during Killing Season than it was during I Am Wrath. He’s obviously jazzed to be working with De Niro and he’s knuckled down to bounce off him, keeping it low-key and making an effort not to overdo it.

As a result of this equilibrium, we also get a glimpse of a pre-Meet The Parents De Niro - which is very much welcomed, sweet lord - and the two men head into the second act ready to take each other on, hunt each other down and resolve those Bosnian sins of the past in the most violent way possible.

The script - by proposed Tomb Raider reboot scribe Evan Daugherty - occasionally stumbles, but is solid enough. The direction is fine. It’s fine. It’s probably Mark Steven Johnson’s best film (but when his other major films are Daredevil and Ghost Rider, that’s not exactly a gush) and as the two leads hunt and trap each other, a lot of Predator love oozes out of the frame. Unfortunately, this is not Predator, but you could do worse on an evening than to sit through this instead (if you don’t own Predator).

…Oh my god you guys. We should totally watch Predator right now.

Until next time, and until the next rebirth of Mr Travolta, I bid you adieu.

Next time: the straight to DVD movies of John Cusack

Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.

See related  Bruce Willis: examining his recent straight-to-dvd movies DVD & Bluray Feature Movies Kirsten Howard John Travolta 14 Jun 2016 - 05:16 The Forger I Am Wrath Criminal Activities Killing Season »

Permalink | Report a problem


On this day in pop culture history: Both ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Gremlins’ premiered

8 June 2016 6:00 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

It was 32 years ago today that not one but two classic horror comedies opened in theaters. Yes, Ghostbusters was released on the same day as Gremlins. It’s hard to believe that these two movies opened against each other, but 1984 was a different time, when opening weekend numbers weren’t given the same weight as they are now and films stayed in theaters much longer. Ghostbusters that dominated the U.S. box office that opening weekend but not by much — it earned $13.6 million then, while Gremlins grossed $12.5 million. The Bill Murray movie became the clear winner of the box office over the summer, though, holding the No. 1 spot for seven consecutive weeks. Ghostbusters, of course, has a very buzzy and headline-grabbing (for better or worse or mass hysteria) follow-up film on the way this summer, a reboot of the original. There’s reportedly a new Gremlins on the way too: »

- Emily Rome

Permalink | Report a problem


Hairspray Live: Meet the Newcomer Cast as Tracy Turnblad in NBC Musical

7 June 2016 6:13 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Newcomer Maddie Baillio will soon be singing “Good Morning Baltimore.”

The Today show on Tuesday announced that the up-and-coming singer/actress has been cast as Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s Hairspray Live!, following an open casting call in April.

Watch Baillio’s reaction to the good news:

Baillio joins an all-star ensemble including Harvey Fierstein (reprising his Tony-winning role as Edna Turnblad), Jennifer Hudson (as Motormouth Maybelle), Martin Short (as Wilbur Turnblad) and Derek Hough (as Corny Collins). Grease: Live‘s Alex Rudzinski is set to direct, while Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (The Wiz Live!) are on board as executive producers. »

Permalink | Report a problem


John Travolta and Rob Lowe on Comedy, Favorite Roles and the Secret of their Long Careers

1 June 2016 9:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

When John Travolta sat down with Rob Lowe at Variety’s “Actors on Actors” studio, they bonded immediately. It wasn’t just about their impressively long careers, though they did swap tales about the pitfalls they’ve faced throughout. Or their ability to transition from television to film and back again. But Lowe stunned Travolta (and the audience) with his tale of being disappointed at missing out on the role of Christian Troy in “Nip/Tuck” — and confronting Ryan Murphy. When he finally met the producer, Lowe said Murphy told him, “Rob, don’t you know I wrote that part for you?” But the script never made its way to the actor, because, as Lowe recalled, Murphy was “not Ryan Murphy yet,” he said. “Isn’t that a great Hollywood story?”

John Travolta: What I find the most interesting, is that whether you are doing a dramatic character or »

- Debra Birnbaum

Permalink | Report a problem


Ten Stock Female Characters Hollywood Needs to Stop Writing

19 May 2016 12:10 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Kirsty Capes with ten stock female characters Hollywood needs to stop writing…

From Mary Sues to Disposable Women, Hollywood seems to have a problem with writing interesting and original female characters. It’s not a problem, I would argue, that seems to happen with male characters, and I for one find it interesting, if not a little disheartening, to pick apart some of my favourite women in film and realise that they are just another trope.

In an attempt to better identify when we’re presented with one of these tropes, I’ve put together a list of the most commonly occurring ones. My disclaimer is that, as you will see, some great characters and movies appear on this list, and identifying a character as a trope is in no way a reflection upon her or the movie as a whole. Some of the most fundamental tropes are also some »

- Kirsty Capes

Permalink | Report a problem


Iff Panama: Get to Know Seasoned Filmmaker and Educator Jorge Ameer

25 April 2016 5:28 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

While in Panama for the film festival, one of the notable people I met was Jorge Ameer.

Jorge left his home in Panama at age 16 in the late 1980s due to political unrest and civil instability.  The country’s dictator and drug king Noriega was recruiting young men to fight in his military army as the looming confrontation with the United States approached. In 1989, the United States invaded Panama under the name of “Just Cause” ousted the Panamanian dictator.

Living in Los Angeles, at the age of 18, he was selected to participate in the Walt Disney College Program. He worked in the marketing departments of New Line Cinema, Paramount and Columbia Pictures. In motion picture development, Jorge worked as a story analyst for Richard Gere's production company and Wendy Finerman's productions at Tri Star Pictures in the early nineties and the now defunct Fries Entertainment.

He also tried his hand at acting and was in Gramercy's "Panther" and "Tales from the Hood", HBO's "Social Friction Fables" New Line's "Friday" along with other cameos and supporting roles. He co-starred opposite award winning actor Matthew Leitch (Star of “Aka”) in the carnival romp "Sabor Tropical".



Ameer served as the coordinator for the 1988 Latino Entertainment Industry Conference and as a member of the advisory board of the Methodfest Film Festival. He was also the U.S. representative for the Barcelona G & L Film Festival and a film programmer for the Palm Springs G & L Film Festival.

In October 1997, he founded and executive directed The Continental Film Festival, better known as the first American Independent film festival held overseas on the island of Contadora, off the Gulf of Panama. There is where his film career actually began. He served as a festival coordinator during the very beginnings of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival founded by Edward James Olmos and Marlene Dehmer.

At these festivals, Ameer helped in the selection of many foreign features. After noticing a lack of recognition of foreign and independent gay themed films released theatrically, he founded the International Gay Film Awards, the Glitter Awards (2001-2008), at that time the only award show of its kind.

In 1997, Ameer also started Hollywood Independents, a distribution company which launched with the theatrical release of "California Myth" starring Tyron Powers Jr.

Thereafter, the company has released such titles as the Jamaican/American co-production "Klash" starring Jazmine Guy, "Eastside" starring Mario Lopez, "Tequila Body Shots" starring Joey Lawrence, "Poor White Trash" starring Jamie Pressley, Jason London, William Devane and Sean Young, Spain's Academy Awards Winning film (Goya Winner) "I will Survive" (Sobrevivire), and "Hotel Room" from the director of "Nico & Dani". Other releases include his film "The Singing Forest", and "Junked" starring Thomas Jane (star of "The Mist", "Punisher" and the popular HBO series "Hung") and Jordan Ladd (star of "Cabin Fever", "Hostel 2").

Jorge Ameer's theatrical distribution company Hollywood Independents International opened its theatrical distribution operations in Central and South America in 2006 with the theatrical release of "Grande Ecole" a film by Robert Salis. The French film was censored and banned in Panama due to its explicit sexual content

Ameer took a trip to Panama to denounce the banning of this film. After outrage was expressed by the Panamanian press, the film opened successfully in Panama. It opened number one at the Alhambra-Plus Transistmica beating studio films "Night at the Museum" and "Deja Vu". It broke box office records locally, playing in theaters for eight weeks.

On January 26, 2009 the Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture study invited Mr. Ameer's to have his screenplays be a permanent part of "The Core Collection". The screenplays in this collection are made accessible for research purposes; students, filmmakers, writers and actors are among the patrons.

In April 2011, Mr. Ameer started his own film series in Panama called Jorge Ameer presents Cine Serie Independiente, a showcase to promote and exhibit high profile award winning independent and foreign films in Panama.

He brought in Aluzio Abranche's controversial incestuous drama of brotherly love "From Beginning to End" (“Do Comeco ao Fim”), Andre Shortell's "Psych 9" starring Sara Foster & Cary Elwes and Karee Andrew's "Altitude".

During the film presentations, directors presented their work to Panamanian audiences in person and live via skype. This is the first time in Panama's cinema history technology has allowed local cinephiles the opportunity to interact with award winning filmmakers virally before and after their film presentations.

Unfortunately, the presenting cinema and only theatre exhibitor to support independent films - the Alhambra Theatres- closed the following year, 2012, due to financial troubles. It was the last of a series of vintage stand-alone cinemas constructed during the boom of single screen theatres and drive-ins in Panama.

There are currently only two theatre chain exhibitors (Cinepolis & Cinemark) operating in Panama. Both chains have their multiplex cinemas located throughout today's popular mega malls.

Several months after his film series, Mr. Ameer produced the opening night after-party to the October 2011 edition of Screamfest, the world's premiere horror film festival based in Hollywood, California. The event was held at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel. The event brought luminaries of the genre such as Paranormal Activity's Oren Peli, "Saw" and "Insidious" director James Wan, as well as "Grease", "Summer Lovers", "Blue Lagoon" director Randal Kleiser and "Firestarters", "Class of 1984" director Mark Lester to name a few celebrity attendees. With a seance theme, over 400 votive candles were used to create the atmosphere. In addition over one hundred skulls, the Screamfest symbol, were featured as centerpieces and part of the morbid "look" throughout the event. A well-lit coffin surrounded by neon lights was featured in the gift room where guests retrieved their gift bags from the open casket.

Mr. Ameer has authored, produced, and directed the theatrical features "The Truth Within", "Strippers","The Singing Forest", "Contadora is for lovers", "The House of Adam", "The Dark Side of Love","Sabor Tropical", "D'Agostino". All projects released theatrically through Hollywood Independents.

Ameer has produced, written and directed countless 35mm comedic shorts films to name a few "My Straight Boyfriend", "Popcorn & Coke", "Uninhibited", "Midnight Snack", "Tease" now available on DVD as a compilation of shorts called “Straight Men & the Men Who Love Them”.

This collection has been so successful that he has executive produced, programmed and curated two more such programs “Straight Men & the Men Who Love Them 2” and the upcoming “Straight Men & the Men Who Love Them 3”. The latest compilation of shorts is a collection of international shorts curated from the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.

Ameer made a documentary "Classic Hollywood Cinemas" an in depth look at the old Hollywood movie palaces, their historic and preservation value and impact.

He's also produced and arranged the publishing of the historical and award winning first ever "Guide to Gay & Lesbian Film which has won many book awards for its detail, educational and historical contribution to independent gay and lesbian films released in theaters.


In addition to filmmaking, within the exhibition industry, Jorge Ameer was the last person to re-open the historic Vogue theatre in Hollywood as a movie theatre to showcase independent films. Films such as "Nico and Dani" (Tla Releasing) and "Just one time" from the now defunct Cowboy Releasing played at this theatre. The resurgence of film exhibition at the Vogue was short lived due to alleged hauntings at the venue where a paranormal research group leased the theatre from Mann theaters to set up shop as headquarters for their research group.

Jorge Ameer's "The Dark Side of Love " was the last film to shoot at the Regent Showcase Theatre in Hollywood prior to its closing. "The Regent Showcase Theatre, originally the Gordon Theatre (1938), is one of the older art houses in Los Angeles until its closing in May 2009.

A human rights activist, Ameer has spent most of his career creating controversial, cutting edge trivial stories with thought provoking subject matters to challenge audiences from the stereotypical social conventions and outdated traditional values which detract from enhancing the global human experience.

He is currently working on his latest film project “Oasis” to be shot in Panama during the month of August.  Oasis”  is a twisted thriller set in the backdrop of Panama's paradise its about a newlywed American who decides to visit a friend while in Panama on business, to rekindle their friendship to prove his love to his wife  by killing him. 

Also, on the current issue of Scream Magazine issue # 35, the worlds largest horror film magazine, his “Medusa” has received with extensive coverage. The film is currently playing in theaters in the U.S. through Regal Cinemas after having its world premiere at the Cannes Film Market.  

Medusa” had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival Marche along with a horror short he starred in called "Find Pauletta" in the Short Film Corner.  This was the first time a Panamanian has had two films in two different programs of the Cannes Film Festival.   

VFX for “Medusa” was by Jeremy Vanneman who has worked on many studio films including the upcoming “Ghostbusters”, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “San Andreas”, etc. “Medusa” also has a celebrity cameo by 80's hearthrob William McNamara.

Jorge is the only Panamanian filmmaker who writes, direct, produces and own his own production and distribution company in Hollywood.

Jorge Ameer has also pioneered and procured the opening of the first high school film program at one of the oldest (110 years) and most prestigious private high schools in Panama, the Pan American Institute (Instituto Panamericano) in Panama City.

The film program curriculum was designed by Ameer and approved by the Ministry of Education.

It launched in 2015 with the first class schedule to graduate in 2017.

In his own words:

The high school film program was an idea that started because of the lack of opportunity and education in film that I myself had when growing up.  I loved film so much; film was my babysitter during my childhood years.  Whenever I wasn't in school I was at the movie theatre watching several films a day until my mom picked me up from the theatre.  I attended the Pan American Institute (Instituto Panamericano) from kindergarten through graduation 1989.  

Decades later as a filmmaker, distributor and film buyer, I approached the principal of the high school with the high risk idea of starting a film school program for an industry that even though in its infancy I knew it would grow leaps and bounds if those who pushed hard enough would stick with it to create some semblance of film opportunities and production here in Panama.  Ten years later after designing a very thorough program that includes script writing, production, distribution, film marketing, campaign strategy, film fund and grant writing as well as crowdfunding to use donors as ambassadors to promote the film, the Ministry of Education approved the program.

Last year, the first students, approximately 27 brave souls, risking the uncertainty the entertainment field has to offer, weathered the scrutiny of their parents to become the pioneering and prototype Class of 2017.  This Class, now in the 11th grade, is gearing up to produce its first set of shorts for the Ipa Student Film Festival.  The first film festival of its kind, it showcases the works of these film students with the goal of creating filmmakers from an early stage who will graduate with films reels in their areas of interest which will show their talents to prospective universities, scholarship programs and other international student competitions. 

I got the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Film Department called Di Cine in conjunction with the Panama Film Commission to fund the projections of these works which will take place as an outdoor cinema event on the school grounds. on Friday, August 5 at 7pm.  Provided the students meet the minimum Gpa, they will be required to do internships placed and provided through the Film Commission in conjunction with other private film entities such as the Tvn Channel 2, one of Panama's major television networks as well as The Panama Canal Chanel among other companies offering opportunities for these students to practice their craft prior to graduating. 

Currently, under construction, is an upcoming state of the art film lab studio facility providing students with the opportunity to develop their talents.  Also a new auditorium will host film events and eventually the high school graduation ceremony. »

- Sydney Levine

Permalink | Report a problem


Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein Join 'Hairspray Live!'

25 April 2016 11:55 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

As open auditions for the next Tracy Turnblad take place, NBC has already found two key cast members for its next musical, "Hairspray Live!": The network announced on Monday that Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein have joined the ensemble.

Hudson, who's currently lighting up the Broadway stage in "The Color Purple," is set to play Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a record store and the host of a dance program on local Baltimore television. She takes over the role from Queen Latifah, who starred in the musical's 2007 big screen adaptation. (Hudson, who already has an Oscar and a Grammy under her belt, could complete the Egot if she wins a Tony for "Purple" and an Emmy for "Hairspray.")

Fierstein will be playing Edna Turnblad, the mother of protagonist Tracy, returning to the role he originated on Broadway back in 2002 (and for which he won a Tony). John Travolta played Edna in the 2007 movie, »

- Katie Roberts

Permalink | Report a problem


Hairspray Live Cast: Jennifer Hudson, Harvey Fierstein to Star in NBC Musical

25 April 2016 10:29 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

NBC’s Hairspray Live! is finally taking shape — and what a glorious shape it is.

The network on Monday announced that Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein will lead the Dec. 7 musical as Motormouth Maybelle and Edna Turnblad, respectively.

PhotosMay Sweeps/Finale Preview: Get 100+ Spoilers, Plus Exclusive Photos!

For those tragically unfamiliar with the story of Hairspray, it follows a curvaceous young woman named Tracy Turnblad (yet to be cast) who uses her moves and moxie to challenge prejudices in 1960s Baltimore.

Fierstein first played the role of Tracy’s reclusive mother in the 2002 Broadway production; it was originated by the »

Permalink | Report a problem


Tom Moore's 'The Flight Fantastic' Tells the Story of Legendary Flying Gaonas

28 March 2016 9:57 AM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

This fascinating look at the world of the flying trapeze centers on one of the greatest acts in circus history, The Flying Gaonas. First performing on a trampoline, the Gaonas went on to become a star attraction for the best circuses in the world, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

"The Flight Fantastic"  opens April 1st a the Cinema Village in New York. 

Having left the center ring, we see The Flying Gaonoas pass the torch through teaching and coaching to new generations. When Tito decided to retire from the circus he did not retire from the trapeze and set up programs at Club Med and Camp Care for children with cancer.  When the next big circus act, the Vasquez Family, succeeded theirs, Tito’s comment about them was “I’m just glad they’re Mexican like us”.

You will love the circus spirit of this documentary.  And the love that went into creating it is a charisma to the trapeze artists themselves.

Sports Illustrated has said, "Tito Gaona may be the finest athlete in the world...whenever circus people gather to speak of the best acrobats of all time he will be mentioned; some will even say that Tito Gaona was the best ever."

Director Tom Moore, a long-time Broadway Director (and trapeze flyer), brings their story to life through interviews with family members and colorful archival material. The Gaonas light up the screen with their blazing charisma, a quality that is undiminished in their "second act".

Your career on Broadway and in television is so vast and varied, what inspired you to make this documentary?

I feel I’ve been very fortunate in my career and life in that I’ve had an opportunity to do so many things.   A good many successful, and even more a great experience.   But like many people in the arts I’m always looking for a new adventure and a new way of work.  

Mike Nichols was once asked, what do you enjoy doing most plays or films, and he replied “Whatever I haven’t done last.”   Well, documentary was a form I had never had a chance to direct, and because of my passion for the trapeze, and my passion for film, it allowed me to combine my skills to tell a story I felt had to be told.

Do your past productions on B’way and in TV share anything in common with “Flight Fantastic”?

First and foremost, all of my productions whether on B’way or TV or film hopefully tell an interesting and intriguing story with compelling characters, with a lot of excitement and drama thrown in for good measure.   As a director, there is also probably a certain style and sense of theatrics that hopefully helps tell the story and progress the plot.

You say you also work out on the trapeze?  How did that come about?

What led to trapeze also led to making this documentary.  In retrospect, it all seems like a through line from the first time I took hold of the trapeze bar and “flew,” to making this film called “The Flight Fantastic.”  

 I had been entranced as a child with the circus, but more particularly the flying trapeze and I no doubt fantasized about being a trapeze star.     As my life and career went on of course, that faded into childhood and the past.   But one year, feeling I had been doing too much of the same thing for way too long, I began looking for a new adventure.   Well, I discovered the Flying Trapeze, and a childhood memory was brought to life when I had a chance to learn to “fly” with Richie Gaona at the Gaona Trapeze Workshop. 

As Sam Keene, a wonderful writer on the trapeze world said. “Sometimes a childhood fantasy that you never dared to dream, holds the key to renewal.”   And that is exactly what it did for me.  It gave me a new sense of exhilaration which led to better work and better life.   As I continued to practice it as a sport, I also got to know Richie and the whole Gaona family.   These were some of the greatest athletes who ever lived, and absolutely one of the “greatest flying acts in the history of the circus,” and outside the circus world,, most no longer knew who they were.   I felt I had the skills to right that wrong, and the result is “The Flight Fantastic.”

What other involvements do you have with the Gaona family?

The Gaona famly is quite the amazing group of individuals, charismatic and compelling, and I have gotten to know them deeply over the years, and have become almost a surrogate, though very wasp Gaona.   I have a photo where Richie photoshopped me, wearing a matching trapeze robe, into one of their iconic press photos, and it looks like Victor, the patriarch is looking at me saying something  like “Who let the blonde guy in???”

I’m very fond of all of them, and all of them, by the way, are very unique and different from each other, but the one I love the most was the matriarch Teresa (Mama Terre) Gaona.   Had she been alive, she would have been one of the stars of this film.  I am quite sure the warmth of this family came directly from her care.   People were drawn to her everywhere, and being around her made for a “happy” time.   There were four children that became performers on the trampoline and trapeze, but there are 3 others that had different careers altogether.   One of the narrators of this film is Jose, often called “The Walking Gaona.”

Who do you see as your audience? 

We knew that the film would have a core audience of those who love the circus and the aerial arts (and it has brought many to the film) but Tff seems to reach many others because of the warmth of the family, the closeness of the family, and the family’s ability to work together to build something  (as Paul Binder, founder of the Big Apple Circus says) “magnificent.”   It seems to reach old and young alike for many different reasons.   The ringmaster at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus used to say: “Ladies and Gentlemen, and Children of All Ages…..”

Something happens when an audience sees this film in a theatre.  (And this was a surprise to me when I first saw it on a big screen).  It seems to unite them in a shared sense of hope and joy.   It seems to rejuvenate and inspire.   At all of our screenings in many different places, the reactions have been the same and it has been very exciting. 

Tell us about Camp Care

Camp Care (a camp for children coping with cancer) is located on Lake Lure in North Carolina, and it was actually our first shoot for the documentary. It was knowing that Richie and Armando Gaona were going there to coach, teach, and support, that got me off of the theoretical idea and into the practical of making the movie.   Within a couple of days, I had gotten our equipment, and a few people together to help, and off we went.  

I can safely say that I don’t think I have ever been in a more inspirational, supportive and caring environment.    Many of these kids had just gotten out of a hospital room to come to camp which is held for one week every year, and their joy in being there was palpable.  That they never complained, and that they worked through fear to go up on that trapeze to achieve their goal was impressive at every turn.   And it wasn’t just the kids, as I was also very impressed with the counselors, many who arranged their year of study or work just to be available at Camp Care  for these children, some of whom had been coming to the camp for years.   I have so much film of this camp, as I just couldn’t stop filming, as around every corner and every group of children, there was something remarkable.   I could have stopped right there and made a documentary about this magical place alone.   I look forward to going back there again some day as I remember it and everyone there with great fondness. 

In the days when the circus was one of the most important events of the year and when audiences went to see their favorite performers each and every season, The Flying Gaonas were Big Top royalty. Often called the "First Family of the Air", The Flying Gaonas are a 4th generation Mexican circus family. They began their careers on the trampoline, but quickly took to the air.

From the beginning, Tito Gaona always knew he wanted to be a trapeze artist and used to fly with any trapeze act that came to the circus, starting at the age of 10. And after seeing the Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis movie “Trapeze”, Tito convinced his father, Victor - a legend in his own right- and siblings to develop a trapeze act, making their debut at the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers circus. It took only a couple of years for them to become one of great acts of the circus, and in their time they were the headliners in circuses around the world. Most notably, they performed for 17 years with Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey, The Big Apple and the legendary European circuses. For this, The Flying Gaonas won the circus world's highest award, The Golden Clown, at the international circus festival at Monte Carlo - the Oscars of the circus world.

The charismatic and very handsome Tito was the center of the act and one of the foremost innovators in the world of trapeze. People would come again and again to see him perform, and often he would have arenas of 40,000 people chanting and clapping: “Tito, Tito, Tito! It is said that Tito communicated with an audience as if he or she was a very personal friend, and he could mesmerize 25,000 or 40,000 people at a time.

When the Gaonas were in residence at Madison Square Garden with the Ringling show, the flying act was covered by all the major media in the city, each and every year. NBC news called him “arguably the greatest athlete in the world today.”

It is said that their skill came from their father,Victor and that their warmth and generosity came from their mother, Teresa. “The Flight Fantastic” is dedicated to her memory.

The Flight Fantastic “is Tom Moore’s first documentary feature, although he has had a long career in theatre, film, and television fiction. He directed the film of “Night Mother” with Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft, following his direction of the Broadway production with Kathy Bates, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and for which he received his second Tony nomination

In the theatre, Mr. Moore is best known as the director of the original production of “Grease”, which ran for eight years and is one of the longest running shows in the history of Broadway. Over the years, this production introduced John Travolta, Richard Gere, Patrick Swayzee, Peter Gallagher, Treat Williams, Barry Bostwick, Marilu Henner, Adrienne Barbeau, and countless others.

His first directorial Tony nomination was for the direction of the Big Band Musical “Over Here!”, which brought the Andrews Sisters out of retirement. Other Broadway productions include the critically-embraced revival of “Once in a Lifetime” (with John Lithgow, Deborah May, Treat Williams, and Jayne Meadows) at the Circle-in-the Square, “Division Street”, “The Octette Bridge Club”, “A Little Hotel On The Side” with Tony Randall and Lynn Redgrave, and the short-lived, but legendary

“Frankenstein” at the Palace Theatre.

 His most recent Broadway production was “Moon Over Buffalo” with Carol Burnett.

 On television, he directed Disney’s first original musical for television, “Geppetto”, starring Drew Carey and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss. He has helmed episodes of “ER” (Emmy nomination), “Mad About You” (Emmy nomination), “L.A. Law” (Emmy nomination), “Cheers”, “Ally McBeal”, “Gilmore Girls”,”Thirtysomething”, “Cybil” and many others.

He was a fellow at the American Film Institute, and he holds a B.A. from Purdue University and an M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Drama. He was also awarded the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, by Purdue University.

As an avocation, Mr. Moore is actively involved with the Circus Arts, and spends as much time as possible on the flying trapeze. »

- Sydney Levine

Permalink | Report a problem


Twitter Has A Lot of Feelings About The Passion

20 March 2016 6:15 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

It seems Twitter is Passionate for Fox's The Passion!Sunday night's two-hour live show was a hit for many around the country and in the Twittersphere. The show stars Jencarlos Canela as Jesus, country star Trisha Yearwood as Mary, Chris Daughtry as Judas and Prince Royce as Peter. The Passion's story was shot throughout New Orleans and host Tyler Perry led hundreds in songs and prayers in the city's downtown. Although only a few hundred people were able to witness the show in New Orleans, millions online felt the power. Watching people worship on live TV in New Orleans right now is really cool. »

- Harriet Sokmensuer, @HGSokmensuer

Permalink | Report a problem


Twitter Has A Lot of Feelings About The Passion

20 March 2016 6:15 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

It seems Twitter is Passionate for Fox's The Passion!Sunday night's two-hour live show was a hit for many around the country and in the Twittersphere. The show stars Jencarlos Canela as Jesus, country star Trisha Yearwood as Mary, Chris Daughtry as Judas and Prince Royce as Peter. The Passion's story was shot throughout New Orleans and host Tyler Perry led hundreds in songs and prayers in the city's downtown. Although only a few hundred people were able to witness the show in New Orleans, millions online felt the power. Watching people worship on live TV in New Orleans right now is really cool. »

- Harriet Sokmensuer, @HGSokmensuer

Permalink | Report a problem


Stockard Channing to Star in NBC’s ‘Me & Mean Margaret’ Pilot

18 February 2016 1:30 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Stockard Channing has landed the lead role in NBC comedy pilot “Me & Mean Margaret,” Variety has learned.

The pilot is described as an unlikely buddy comedy that follows a fiercely candid and often offensive legendary actress (Channing) and the ambitious 27-year-old lawyer forced to babysit her.

The multi-cam comedy is written by Adam Barr (“Will & Grace,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine”), and hails from Universal Television and Chernin Entertainment. Barr and Peter Chernin will executive produce.

Channing, who famously played Rizzo in the original “Grease” film, most recently had small-screen roles including a guest spot on NBC’s “Mysteries of Laura” and a recurring role on CBS’ “Good Wife” as the mother of Julianna Margulies’ titular character. She’ll next appear as Elizabeth Taylor in UK broadcaster Sky Arts’ comedic telepic “Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon” alongside Brian Cox as Marlon Brando and Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson — a casting »

- Laura Prudom

Permalink | Report a problem


2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2000

1-20 of 85 items from 2016   « Prev | Next »


IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners