Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Lou Grant (1977)
What it was & where it stands
An earlier reviewer's "bleeding heart" references suggest a right-wing orientation. Perhaps this explains his sweeping but unsubstantiated comments concerning how this show's episodes were developed. "Lou Grant" was created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns, the writer-producers behind "Mary Tyler Moore," and Gene Reynolds, the force behind the TV incarnation of "M*A*S*H," who became the sole Executive Producer in the second year. Younger producers under Reynolds included Seth Freeman from "The Waltons" and Gary David Goldberg. However convenient it may be for people with an agenda to think otherwise the producers, not the star, dictated the content. There's no evidence Edward Asner ever suggested a single storyline, and plenty of testimony crediting others.
The entire MTM library was sold several times after Grant Tinker divested himself in order to run NBC. The likelihood of ever again seeing this fine show, which won 16 Emmys, two Humanitas prizes, and the Peabody Award, is absolutely zilch. Write to 20th Century Fox Television if you'd like the chance to see it, but don't expect to get anywhere.
The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971)
When the text is cut, folks like me hope to hear the rhythm preserved. Polanski and Tynan opted not to try to cut this way. However, what is remarkable about Polanski's film is that the images cut from the language are instead presented visually. Read the play just before watching the film, and you'll see what I mean. A great film for students who are studying, and reading, the play.
This is also one of the great efforts by RSC master fight choreographer William Hobbs, who followed this film with the comic fights of Richard Lester's "Three Musketeers" films. On the stage, Macbeth's next-to-last fight with Young Seyward is often a "warmup" for the big finale with Macduff. Here, it brings the audience back to what characters had to say about "the noble Macbeth" at the play's beginning, before his descent. Hobbs plays Young Seyward, and is established early on, training men to fight. Their astonishing confrontation leaves you wishing Macbeth didn't have to perish.
As another reviewer noted, the DVD and VHS box art is a testament to Columbia Home Video's botched handling: they put Banquo on the cover by accident. The shot is from Macbeth's vision of Banquo and his sons, actor Martin Shaw wears a crown...you can see how easily the mistake could be made, especially if the person designing the art hasn't bothered to watch the film. But never fear, the geniuses at Columbia made it up to Jon Finch. There's a terrific photo of him as Macbeth in the final fight with Macduff. You'll find it on the back of Columbia's edition of Nicol Williamson's "Hamlet." When you're in marketing, I guess all Shakespearean actors look alike...