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Bill ("A Cat's Full Nine") Drake- ¤
Vegetarian and radical intellectual Bill Drake has lived and worked in many parts of the world; mainly Central America and the San Francisco Bay Area. He lost his wife of 51 years Audrey in September of '07 and lives alone with one the sole survivor of a swarm of cats in a cramped apartment in their beloved San Francisco. The Drakes authored A CAT'S FULL NINE in the 90s and Bill now has an epic mini-series screenplay "BAD SAM (The Life & Death of Sam Bass)" in circulation marketing to agents/managers/producers et al et al et al ... . . .
South of Pago Pago (1940)
I can't express how fortiesishly luscious this is on every level. Any fan of that era who hasn't seen it 'ain't there yet.' Frances Farmer ! How could you describe her? [a curiously unblemished saloon girl in this one, but what the heck?] John Hall ! Victor McLaglen ! These people - who they were in the time in which they lived and worked - bigger & more beautiful than life - a part of that never-never fantasy world - that was so much illusion - once lived and so gone forever - of the forties.
American Tragedy (2000)
¤¤¤ Five Stars !! ¤¤¤ Plus !! ¤¤¤
Norman Mailer's brilliant teleplay deserves to stand alongside the finest work that he has ever done. Adapted from Lawrence (`Perfect Murder, Perfect Town') Schiller's book in collaboration with newcomer James Willwerth, it almost dispels the stigmas that the media conviction imposed on the OJ trial from the beginning.
There are some disappointments from the cast - possibly because expectations were so high based on Ving Rhames' dazzling embodiment of Don King, and the backgrounds of some other stellar personages present here.
Most deficient is Bruno Kirby as Barry Scheck; wrong for the part physically and inflectionally.
But Ron Silver is as on target as Robert Shapiro as he was as Dershowitz in `Reversal of Fortune.' You can't say more than that, can you? Mailer explores at great length the facets of Shapiro's courage and genius contributing to the defense, and only fleetingly touches upon the jerk he became later on. Christopher Plummer does not look like F. Lee Bailey, and the characterization never attains the stature of its depictee. Bailey was and is one of the towering figures of the 20th century, the Disraeli and Dreyfuss and Clarence Darrow of modern times.
The two female leads are magnificent. The gifted and beautiful Sandra Prosper is Shawn Chapman, a fledgling figure inside the team - a dips**t girl spouting caucasiphobic cliches who grows into an insightful woman adept at absorbing and reflecting and expanding upon the greatness that surrounds her. And Diana LaMar is 100% at recreating the imperious and acerbic Marcia Clark.
Rhames' delivery of Cochran's soaring summation equals the oration of Chaplin at the end of `Great Dictator.'
The verdict of `Not Guilty!' - an anthem that rings out across the world declaring to the power-driven starched and cleanshaven deranged sadists who believe that people should be herded into groups and burned: `Rightly or wrongly, you will not always have your way!'
Just magnificent on every level. Unsurpassable
There could never be a product like this turned out today. The people are just not out there - at least not in the picture business.
Zanuck expressed the opinion that Annabella was the only one of Power's wives good enough for Power. Zanuck was never one to always hit it exactly right on the head but he got it right with this one. Watch these two in this - it's a union of giants!
Loretta Young !!!! Just plainly the most beautiful woman who ever lived. If Eugenie was one tenth this beautiful she deserved to wear a crown and live a hundred years, as the fortune teller predicted, and as Eugenie in fact did. Even Power's co-stars Madeleine Carroll in LLOYDS OF LONDON and Gene Tierney/Frances Farmer in SON OF FURY, ravishing as they all were, were not Young's equal.
Victoria was badmouthed as too prim and proper but according to Zanuck she must have walked out on a few wires or otherwise there would have been some holdups on both the Suez Canal and the telephone (see ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL).
There are so many elements in this that represent the very pinnacle of moviemaking that it would be gilding the lily to begin to enumerate them. We can but savor this thankfully as a flawless treasure; an example of the American commercial movie as an art form in the consummate sense.