Riverboat (1959) - News Poster

(1959–1961)

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SXSW Film Review: ‘The Bandit’

SXSW Film Review: ‘The Bandit’
You don’t have to dig too deep beneath its fan-pleasing veneer of nostalgic celebration to discern an intriguingly serious subtext in “The Bandit,” Jesse Moss’ behind-the-scenes account of the making of “Smokey and the Bandit,” the improbably successful and enduringly popular action-comedy that was the No. 2 box office smash (surpassed only by “Star Wars”) of 1977. Indeed, even those who remain immune to the yee-haw appeal of the earlier film — which, it should be noted, still commands a loyal following of repeat viewers on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line — may be drawn to this gently probing documentary by Moss’ perceptive examination of the relationship between the two prime movers behind the ’77 project: Burt Reynolds, then a superstar with enough muscle to get pet projects greenlit, and his longtime friend Hal Needham, a daredevil stuntman who relied on his buddy’s help to make his feature-film directorial debut. After a
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Happy 80th Burt-day to Burt Reynolds! – Here Are His Ten Best Movies

Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, Travis Keune, and Tom Stockman

Burt Reynolds, one of We Are Movie Geeks favorite actors, turns 80 today. Happy Birthday Burt!

On February 11th, 1936, Reynolds was born in Waycross, Georgia, before his family moved to Jupiter Florida, where his father served as Chief of Police. Young Burt excelled at sports and played football at Florida State University. He became an All Star Southern Conference halfback (and was earmarked by the Baltimore Colts) before injuries sidelined his football career. He dropped out of college and headed to New York with dreams of becoming an actor. There he worked in restaurants and clubs while pulling the odd TV job or theater role. Burt was spotted in a New York City stage production of Mister Roberts and signed to a TV contract and eventually had recurring roles in such shows as Gunsmoke (1955), Riverboat (1959) and his own series, Hawk
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Burt Reynolds on Stunts, His First TV Series Role and Friendship With Hal Needham

Burt Reynolds on Stunts, His First TV Series Role and Friendship With Hal Needham
Known for macho roles in movies like “Deliverance” and “Smokey and the Bandit,” Burt Reynolds has a brace of upcoming films in the can, a documentary about his life in the works and a new book (“But Enough About Me: A Memoir”) coming out Nov. 17. But he started as a stuntman (he was honored Sept. 19 by the Stuntmen’s Assn.), and met his lifelong friend and frequent collaborator, the late Hal Needham, on the set of NBC series “Riverboat” — which gave Reynolds his first mention in Variety in 1959.

What was the first stunt you remember doing?

It was something I didn’t plan. I was doing an episode of “Pony Express” (in 1959), and I rode into a shot, and there was some guy shooting. I was supposed to get off the horse as fast as I could. Well, it dumped me, and it went along with me, but I stepped
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Burt Reynolds on Stunts, His First TV Series Role and Friendship With Hal Needham

Burt Reynolds on Stunts, His First TV Series Role and Friendship With Hal Needham
Known for macho roles in movies like “Deliverance” and “Smokey and the Bandit,” Burt Reynolds has a brace of upcoming films in the can, a documentary about his life in the works and a new book (“But Enough About Me: A Memoir”) coming out Nov. 17. But he started as a stuntman (he was honored Sept. 19 by the Stuntmen’s Assn.), and met his lifelong friend and frequent collaborator, the late Hal Needham, on the set of NBC series “Riverboat” — which gave Reynolds his first mention in Variety in 1959.

What was the first stunt you remember doing?

It was something I didn’t plan. I was doing an episode of “Pony Express” (in 1959), and I rode into a shot, and there was some guy shooting. I was supposed to get off the horse as fast as I could. Well, it dumped me, and it went along with me, but I stepped
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Star Trek’ Anniversary: Gene Roddenberry’s Battle for Equality

‘Star Trek’ Anniversary: Gene Roddenberry’s Battle for Equality
Happy 49th anniversary to “Star Trek,” which debuted on NBC Sept. 8, 1966. It’s a remarkable success story due to its longevity, its fan loyalty, its philosophical-spiritual meditations — and its racial integration.

When Gene Roddenberry insisted on an integrated crew for Starship Enterprise, it wasn’t a TV first, but it was a rarity. In 1966, interracial marriage was still illegal in 17 states — one-third of the U.S. George Wallace’s inauguration speech in January 1963 included his rallying cry “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” Even though the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, acceptance was slow: In the 1968 presidential election, Wallace won nearly 10 million votes and carried five states.

Meanwhile, show business was aiming for more integration, but then — as now — the intentions were better than the results.

In March 30, 1966, six months before “Star Trek” debuted, Daily Variety carried a story about a TV integration study. A team at UCLA had monitored all seven L.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Stalking the Night: The Legacy of TV’s First Monster Hunter

In the contemporary landscape of supernatural investigators on television—high school cheerleaders adept at martial arts and chiseled GQ hunks offering quips with every shot of a silver bullet—Carl Kolchak would appear to be an anomaly. The name itself is likely unknown to the younger generation, lest they faintly recall handsome Stuart Townsend briefly playing the role on ABC in 2005 before disintegrating into the televisual ether.

But before this scant resurrection, there was the original Kolchak. Author Jeff Rice’s unpublished manuscript The Kolchak Papers was picked up by producer Dan Curtis, the creator of Dark Shadows, to be filmed as a made-for-television movie in 1972 that would star established actor Darren McGavin as the irascible reporter. The film, retitled The Night Stalker, dealt with the Las Vegas inkslinger’s investigation into a series of prostitute deaths that turned out to be the work of red-eyed and centuries-old vampire Janos Skorzeny.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Honorary Oscar-Winning Stunt Worker Who Directed Burt Reynolds in Several of His Biggest Hits Has Died

Stuntman and Burt Reynolds director Hal Needham dead at 82: Received Honorary Oscar in November 2012 Veteran stuntman and stunt coordinator Hal Needham, whose stunt-work movie credits ranged from John Ford Westerns to Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, and who directed a handful of popular action comedies starring Burt Reynolds, died today, October 25, 2013, in Los Angeles. Needham, who had been suffering from cancer, was 82. (See also: "Stunt Worker Hal Needham: Honorary Oscar 2012".) Born in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 6, 1931, Hal Needham began his long Hollywood stuntman career in the mid-’50s. A former tree trimmer and paratrooper, and a motorcycle and car racer, Needham performed stunts in both big-screen and small-screen Westerns, such as John Ford’s 1962 classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, starring John Wayne and James Stewart; the all-star 1963 Best Picture Academy Award nominee How the West Was Won; and the television series Have Gun - Will Travel, doubling for star Richard Boone.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Top Ten Tuesday – The Best of Burt Reynolds

Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, Travis Keune, and Tom Stockman

We like to celebrate the movie tough guys of the ’70s here at We Are Movie Geeks and at Super-8 Movie Madness. We’ve posted Top Ten lists to tie into Super-8 shows featuring Charles Bronson (Here), Clint Eastwood (Here), and Lee Marvin (Here). This month we’re going to honor the #1 top money-making star for five consecutive years – 1978 – 1982 – Burt Reynolds. On February 11th, 1936, Reynolds was born in Waycross, Georgia, before his family moved to Jupiter Florida, where his father served as Chief of Police. Young Burt excelled at sports and played football at Florida State University. He became an All Star Southern Conference halfback (and was earmarked by the Baltimore Colts) before injuries sidelined his football career. He dropped out of college and headed to New York with dreams of becoming an actor. There he worked in restaurants
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Howard Keel Movie Schedule: Kismet, Lovely To Look At, Floods Of Fear

Howard Keel on TCM Pt.2: Rose Marie, Pagan Love Song, Callaway Went Thataway Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am Desperate Search (1953) A man fights to find his children after their plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. Dir: Joseph Lewis. Cast: Howard Keel, Jane Greer, Patricia Medina. Bw-71 mins. 7:15 Am Fast Company (1953) The heiress to a racing stable uncovers underhanded dealings. Dir: John Sturges. Cast: Howard Keel, Polly Bergen, Marjorie Main. Bw-68 mins. 8:30 Am Kismet (1955) In this Arabian Nights musical "king of the beggars" infiltrates high society when his daughter is wooed by a handsome prince. Dir: Vincente Minnelli. Cast: Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Dolores Gray. C-113 mins, Letterbox Format. 10:30 Am Rose Marie (1954) A trapper's daughter is torn between the Mountie who wants to civilize her and a dashing prospector. Dir: Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Ann Blyth, Howard Keel, Fernando Lamas, Bert Lahr, Marjorie Main.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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