Masada (1981) - News Poster



Rian Johnson Explains What Inspired The Last Jedi’s Battering Ram

I enjoyed Star Wars: The Last Jedi even more than I’d expected to, and one of my favorite sequences was the ‘siege’ on Crait. It felt classically swashbuckling, with the heroes cornered with their backs against the wall and the villains advancing upon them with all their might. If you recall, the most threatening weapon in this sequence was what looked like a miniaturized Death Star laser, acting as some kind of bunker buster technology.

Now, in an interview with IGN, Rian Johnson has explained the cinematic influence for the weapon: the 1981 ABC miniseries Masada. And no, I’d never heard of it either. Apparently, after the success of Roots, ABC produced a number of historical miniseries marketed as “ABC Novels for Television.”

Masada tells a loosely fictional account of the Ad 73 Roman siege of the Masada citadel in Israel – which famously ended with a Roman victory. However, when the Romans entered the fortress,
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Jerry Goldsmith Receives a Star on the Walk of Fame

Jerry Goldsmith Receives a Star on the Walk of Fame
When Joe Dante was asked about supporting the effort to secure a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Jerry Goldsmith, the director – who had worked with the respected composer on nine films over 20 years – said he was “flabbergasted” to realize Goldsmith didn’t already have one.

On May 9, the Oscar- and Emmy-winning composer of such classics as “Chinatown,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Patton” and dozens more will receive his star, posthumously, on Hollywood Boulevard just east of Highland Avenue. Goldsmith died in 2004.

Dante, for whom Goldsmith scored “Gremlins,” “Explorers,” “Innerspace” and other films, cited “his brilliance and versatility. Any film he scored was automatically improved tenfold.”

Few filmmakers would disagree. Paul Verhoeven, who did “Total Recall,” “Basic Instinct” and “Hollow Man” with Goldsmith, recalls: “Every film was a new adventure, as Jerry was able to adapt to the most diverse narratives and styles. He never repeated himself, always looking for new,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

TV Review: ‘The Dovekeepers’

TV Review: ‘The Dovekeepers’
Designed to play as a moving adaptation of Alice Hoffman’s bestseller, “The Dovekeepers” is more of a wounded duck. Similar in tone to Lifetime’s “The Red Tent” by entering into such a story from a female perspective, the entire first half of this two-part miniseries essentially feels like an extended preamble to night two, which closes on a sobering note but proves dramatically flaccid until then. Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have made a splashy migration into scripted epics with “The Bible” and NBC’s sequel “A.D.,” but anyone who can endure this with their wits is a true survivor.

Granted, it’s been a generation since the 1981 miniseries “Masada,” but assuming it’s available somewhere, going back and watching that splendid pairing of Peter O’Toole and Peter Strauss is an infinitely preferable prospect.

As is, “Dovekeepers” should be most notable to fans of “NCIS
See full article at Variety - TV News »

2013 celebrity deaths: Paul Walker, Cory Monteith, James Gandolfini

The year now ending marks another 12-month period of losing talents who have given television viewers entertainment or information ... and some of those passings, even more sadly, came as major and untimely shocks. Zap2it remembers:

Paul Walker: The actor best-known for the "Fast & Furious" movies had career roots in such TV shows as "Who's the Boss?" "Highway to Heaven" and "Touched by an Angel."

James Gandolfini: He projected so much older as mobster Tony Soprano, many were surprised to learn the three-time Emmy winner only was in his 30s and 40s when he played the part.

Cory Monteith: As Finn Hudson on "Glee," the Canadian-born performer touched fans of all ages both in life and afterward.

Jean Stapleton: Forever TV's top "dingbat," the "All in the Family" actress earned three Emmys as lovably daffy Edith Bunker.

Jonathan Winters: The improvisation genius who inspired his
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

Curio: Blue-Eyed Bravura

Alexa here. I felt that double wallop earlier this week with the loss of both Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine.  It's unfortunate that deaths bring about renewed interest, but I will certainly be screening Rebecca and Lawrence of Arabia this week. In particular, O'Toole's work has inspired some wonderful imagery from artists; something about those boozy blues, perhaps? In any case, here are some sublime designs, both new and vintage, in honor of the actor who put the bravura in British acting.

Masada watercolor by Gary King.

Poster by Josh Divine.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Peter O'Toole Dies

Peter O'Toole Dies
var brightcovevideoid = ' 2937710634001'; Peter O'Toole, who over a 50-year-career delivered majestic performances as unforgettable characters both noble and notorious, died Saturday at the Wellington Hospital in London following a long illness, his agent Steve Kenis said, according to various reports. He was 81. In a stunning announcement in July 2012, the acclaimed actor said he was retiring from the arena that made him a household name going back to 1962's Lawrence of Arabia. "It is time for me to chuck in the sponge," is how he put it as he bid his profession "a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell." "He was six years old,
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Photo Blast from the Past: Peter Strauss

Today, we're featuring Peter Strauss in 1981. Notably, he plays Abel Roznovski in Kane and Abel, the TV miniseries from Jeffrey Archer's book of the same title. He won an Emmy Award for his role on the 1979 made-for-television movie The Jericho Mile, and he starred in a television remake of the classic 1946 film Angel on My Shoulder in 1980. His other noted television miniseries credits include starring roles in Rich Man, Poor Man, its sequel Rich Man, Poor Man Book II, and Masada. Strauss plays Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. in the 1977 TV movie Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy.
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Peter O'Toole Retiring From Acting

After sixty years of performing, 79-year old Peter O'Toole confirmed in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter) that he's retiring from acting.

O'Toole says "It is time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from films and stage. The heart for it has gone out of me: it won’t come back. My professional acting life, stage and screen, has brought me public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort. It has brought me together with fine people, good companions with whom I’ve shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits. However, it’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay. So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell."

O'Toole was nominated for a total of eight Academy Awards and though never winning a competitive Oscar, he was bestowed with an honorary statuette
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Complete ‘Masada’ Soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith and Morton Stevens announced

Intrada Records has announced a new soundtrack release for the 1981 adventure mini-series Masada. The album includes the complete original score from all four parts of the series composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Morton Stevens. Goldsmith scored the first two parts and Stevens wrote the music for Parts 3 & 4. The album comes in a 2-cd set and is limited to 5000 copies. To listen to audio clips from the soundtrack and order the CD, visit Intrada’s online store. Masada directed by Boris Sagal (The Omega Man) and starring Peter O’Toole and Peter Strauss tells the story of the historical siege of the Masada citadel in Israel by legions of the Roman Empire in Ad 73. The mini-series was nominated for 13 Emmy Awards and 3 Golden Globes and Jerry Goldsmith has won an Emmy Award for his score for the second part.

The label has also released Jerry Goldsmith’s score for the 1959 black-and-white
See full article at Film Music Reporter »

TV producer George Eckstein dies

TV producer George Eckstein dies
George Eckstein, a TV producer and writer who co-wrote the two-part finale of ABC series "The Fugitive" that captivated the nation in 1967, died Sept. 12 of lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81.

In a career that spanned nearly three decades, Eckstein also produced "Duel," the 1971 ABC telefilm directed by a 24-year-old Steven Spielberg. "Duel" starred Dennis Weaver as a motorist terrorized by a mysterious, unseen truck driver.

"George hired me to direct his ABC Movie of the Week, 'Duel,' and my career was never the same," Spielberg said. "I owe so much to him for having the courage to hire a kid to do a man's job. George had passion for telling highly original stories and was a wonderful mentor to me and so many others. I will miss his quiet dignity."

Eckstein was nominated for Emmys for his work as a producer on late
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Hollywood Producer Eckstein Dies

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Hollywood Producer Eckstein Dies
Hollywood producer and TV writer George Eckstein has died, aged 81.

Eckstein co-wrote the final episode of 1960s TV series The Fugitive - one of the most watched TV episodes in U.S. history.

He also wrote 10 episodes of the drama, and served as associate producer and co-producer on the series.

He later produced Steven Spielberg 's 1971 TV movie Duel, The Billy Barnes Revue on Broadway and worked as a casting director and business manager before continuing his stellar TV career.

In addition to his credits on The Fugitive, Eckstein produced movies for the small screen including Amelia Earhart and Tail Gunner Joe. He executive produced TV miniseries Masada and TV series Love, Sidney.

His work on The Untouchables launched his TV writing career. He later wrote for series including Dr. Kildare, Gunsmoke, The Invaders and TV movie Perry Mason.

Eckstein was a former board member of the Writers Guild of America and a founding member and a former chairman of the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors.

He died on Saturday in Los Angeles.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, actress Selette Cole, three daughters and two granddaughters.

Masada Region 2 DVD Review -- Masada is a 1981 television mini-series starring acting legend Peter O’Toole and directed by Boris Sagal (The Omega Man)

Masada is a 1981 television mini-series starring acting legend Peter O’Toole and helmed by directing stalwart Boris Sagal (The Omega Man). The series is an entertaining and well made production that charts the siege of the Jewish fortress at Masada by the Romans in 1st Century A.D. and the political and emotional shenanigans that ensued. O’Toole heads up the cast as Flavius Silvalavius, the leader of the Romans who are attempting to destroy a small pocket of zealots who have fenced themselves into the titular fortress. O’Toole is powerful in the role of Flavius, treating the script as if it were Shakespeare and the Palestinian locations as if they were a stage. Peter Strauss who was then best known for Rich Man, Poor Man (also directed by Sagal) plays Eleazar ben Yair, the Jewish leader who infuriates Flavius and causes all sorts of ...
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