Casting-Couch Tactics Plagued Hollywood Long Before Harvey Weinstein

Casting-Couch Tactics Plagued Hollywood Long Before Harvey Weinstein
Whether producing “The Artist,” “Shakespeare in Love” or “The English Patient,” Queens-born serial predator Harvey Weinstein has always had a knack for making powerful period pictures. Maybe, between the best picture Oscars that those movies scored, he should have brushed up on his Hollywood history. His penchant for the casting couch — the practice of powerful white men exploiting young actresses trying to break into the movie business — has a historical precedent as old as the movie business itself.

“The perils for women in Hollywood are embedded, like land mines, from an actress’s debut to her swan song,” says film critic and historian Carrie Rickey, “where moguls like Harry Cohn reputedly wouldn’t cast starlets like Marilyn Monroe and Kim Novak unless they auditioned in bed.”

Long before Weinstein there was Louis B. Mayer, who co-founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in 1924. Mayer, the ground zero of this kind of abuse, had means, motive, opportunity
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From James Dean to John Belushi to La La Land: the Secrets and Scandals of the Chateau Marmont

From James Dean to John Belushi to La La Land: the Secrets and Scandals of the Chateau Marmont
La La Land’s singing and dancing stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone may be center stage in the Oscar-nominated film, but movie history buffs (and Angelenos) likely noticed another small but significant cameo right at the end when, ahem, the big thing happens. (No spoilers here.)

The Chateau Marmont, Hollywood’s most infamous hotel, makes an appearance, as the final real-life Los Angeles location featured in the film, which has been called a love letter to the city. But it’s not simply a quaint bit of nostalgia like the Rialto Theatre or Angel’s Flight.

Related: The L.
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Bob Thomas, Veteran Entertainment Journalist, Dies

Bob Thomas, the tireless, longtime Associated Press reporter who kept the world informed on the comings and goings of Hollywood's biggest stars, from Clark Gable to Tom Cruise, died Friday. He was 92. Thomas died of age-related illnesses at his Encino, Calif., home, his daughter Janet Thomas said. A room filled with his interview subjects would have made for the most glittering of ceremonies: Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, Groucho Marx and Marlon Brando, Walt Disney and Fred Astaire. He interviewed rising stars (James Dean), middle-aged legends (Humphrey Bogart, Jack Nicholson) and elder institutions (Bob Hope
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Warner Bros.' 90th Anniversary: 25 Things You Didn't Know About the Fabled Hollywood Studio

Whether you think of Warner Bros. as the studio that gave you talking pictures, Bugs Bunny, Bogart, or Batman, you have to acknowledge the studio's place at the forefront of Hollywood history. Indeed, it'll be hard to avoid acknowledging it this year, as the studio will be spending 2013 celebrating its 90th birthday. The celebration kicks off with the release of two massive boxed sets of 50-plus discs each, both entitled the "Best of Warner Bros." -- a 100-film set of DVDs and a 50-film set of Blu-rays. Both sets encompass the studio's milestones of the entire sound film era, which Warners itself kicked off in 1927 with the release of "The Jazz Singer." (The sets go all the way up to the 2010 classic-to-be "Inception.") As familiar as these movies are, there's still plenty you may not know about the legendary movie studio, from who the actual Warner Brothers were, to the stars the studio minted,
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Oscar Winner Cliff Robertson Dies At 88

Oscar Winner Cliff Robertson Dies At 88
New York — President John F. Kennedy had just one critique when he saw photos of the actor set to play him in a World War II drama.

The year was 1963 and actor Cliff Robertson looked convincing in his costume for "Pt-109," the first film to portray a sitting president. Kennedy had favored Robertson for the role, but one detail was off.

Robertson's hair was parted on the wrong side.

The actor dutifully trained his locks to part on the left and won praise for a role he'd remain proud of throughout his life.

Robertson, who went on to win an Oscar for his portrayal of a mentally disabled man in "Charly", died of natural causes Saturday afternoon in Stony Brook, a day after his 88th birthday, according to Evelyn Christel, his secretary of 53 years.

Robertson never elevated into the top ranks of leading men, but he remained a popular actor
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Are audiences growing up – and can Hollywood grow up with them?

Trying to get Hollywood to change direction is not unlike trying to steer an elephant by poking it in its thick-hided ass with a matchstick; it doesn’t exactly respond like a Maserati.

And that’s a problem because there are some box office signs suggesting the American movie industry needs – may, in fact, desperately need, and soon – to change the path it’s been cannon-balling along on since the late 1970s. Unfortunately, Hollywood’s history suggests nobody should hold their breath waiting for someone to turn the wheel until after that bus has gone over a cliff. American moviemaking is great at glomming on to technological innovation – Dolby sound, 3-D, CGI — anything that brings in a crowd by offering a showier show. The industry’s track record on what to do when the crowd stops coming — on divining and interpreting and appropriately responding to changes in the cultural landscape — is,
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Breaking Down Today’S Oscar Nods: Key Stats, Inclusions, And Snubs

Noteworthy inclusions: “Winter’s Bone” for best picture; Ethan Coen and Joel Coen (“True Grit”) for best director; Javier Bardem (“Biutiful”) for best actor; Jeremy Renner (“The Town”) and John Hawkes (“Winter’s Bone”) for best supporting actor; Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) and Jacki Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”) for best supporting actress; “The Illusionist” for best animated film (feature); “GasLand,” “Restrepo,” and “Waste Land” for best documentary film (feature); Greece (“Dogtooth”) for best foreign language film; “I Am Love” for best costume design; “127 Hours” for best film editing; “Barney’s Version” and “The Way Back” for best makeup; “Unstoppable” for best sound editing; “Hereafter” and “Iron Man 2” for best visual effects. Noteworthy snubs: “Blue Valentine” and “The Town” for best picture; Christopher Nolan (“Inception”) for best director; Robert Duvall (“Get Low”), Ryan Gosling (“Blue Valentine”), and Mark Wahlberg (“The Fighter”) for best actor; Julianne Moore (“The Kids Are All Right
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Dennis Hopper, Hollywood icon and antihero, dies

Dennis Hopper, the high-flying Hollywood wild man whose memorable and erratic career included an early turn in "Rebel Without a Cause," an improbable smash with "Easy Rider" and a classic character role in "Blue Velvet," has died. He was 74.Hopper died Saturday at his home in the Los Angeles beach community of Venice, surrounded by family and friends, family friend Alex Hitz said. Hopper's manager announced in October 2009 that the actor-director had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.The success of "Easy Rider" and the spectacular failure of his next film, "The Last Movie," fit the pattern for the talented but sometimes uncontrollable Hopper, who also had parts in such favorites as "Apocalypse Now" and "Hoosiers." He was a two-time Academy Award nominee and in March was honored with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.Tributes
See full article at Filmicafe »

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