skip navigation

Movie News - Our extensive online Hollywood film and classic DVD news page.

  1. Top News Stories

    •  
    • Albert Finney (1936-2019)

    • British actor Albert Finney passed away Friday, February 8, 2019 at the age of 82.

      A dynamic, often explosive stage and screen star, Albert Finney emerged from the same class at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as Peter O'Toole and Alan Bates to become one of the most respected British performers of his generation. After earning his stripes in productions of such classics as "Julius Caesar" (1956) and "Othello" (1959), Finney had his breakthrough performance on the big screen as the rakish "Tom Jones" (1963), a role that earned him his first Academy Award nomination. He made himself practically unrecognizable as the titular "Scrooge" (1970) and as famed sleuth Hercule Poirot in "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974). Following a lengthy absence from features to concentrate on the stage, Finney returned to the big screen the following decade for Oscar-nominated turns in "The Dresser" (1983) and "Under the Volcano" (1984). Finney was memorable as a Thompson-wielding Irish mob boss in the Coen Brothers' "Miller's Crossing" (1990). He emerged triumphant again with his Academy Award-nominated performance in "Erin Brockovich" (2000), which opened the doors for supporting parts in big studio films like "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007) and smaller independents like "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" (2007), giving the esteemed Finney a new lease on an already distinguished career.

      Born on May 9, 1936 in Salford, Lancashire, England, Finney was raised by his father, Albert Sr., a bookie, and his mother, Alice. Educated at Salford Grammar School, he failed his final GCE exams in a whopping five subjects. From the time he was 12 years old, Finney was performing in school plays, logging some 15 productions until the age of 17. Soon he found himself honing his craft at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he won the Gertrude Lawrence Scholarship during his second and third terms while attending alongside Peter O'Toole, Alan Bates and Brian Bedford. Finney left the Academy in 1955 with the Emile Little Award under his belt, which was bestowed upon students who had the most outstanding character and aptitude for the theater. Following his professional debut with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre's production of "Julius Caesar" (1956), he premiered in London with the company's staging of George Bernard Shaw's "Caesar and Cleopatra" (1956). Two years later, Finney earned critical acclaim opposite Charles Laughton in a West End production of "The Party" (1958).

      After his West End triumph, Finney joined the famed Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-on-Avon for their 100th anniversary season, performing Cassio in "Othello" (1959), directed by Tony Richardson with Paul Robeson in the lead; reuniting with Laughton to play Lysander in "A Midsummer Night's Dream;" and understudying Laurence Olivier's "Coriolanus." A small role as Olivier's son in Richardson's "The Entertainer" (1960) marked Finney's entreé into films, which he followed by receiving excellent reviews for his stage turn in "The Lily-White Boys" (1960). His stellar performance on the London stage as "Billy Liar" (1960) significantly raised his profile, while his portrayal of the dissatisfied, working-class anti-hero Arthur Seaton in "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" (1961), director Karel Reisz's classic of British "angry young man" cinema brought him worldwide acclaim. Though he quit the starring role in David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) after four days in order to avoid being locked into a long-term film contract, Finney cemented his film stardom as the rakish, picaresque hero "Tom Jones" (1963) in Tony Richardson's lavish, bawdy hit, earning his first Best Actor Oscar nomination.

      That same year, Finney took Broadway by storm in John Osborne's "Luther" (1963), again directed by Richardson, before reteaming with Reisz for the remake of "Night Must Fall" (1964), on which Finney also made his debut as producer. In 1965, Finney founded Memorial Enterprises Productions with actor Michael Medwin, which was responsible for several outstanding features including his own directorial debut, "Charlie Bubbles" (1967), Lindsay Anderson's "If..." (1968) and "O Lucky Man!" (1973), as well as numerous plays, including Peter Nichols' "A Day in the Life of Joe Egg" (1968). Much to his chagrin, Finney reinforced his reputation as a romantic leading man opposite Audrey Hepburn as a bickering couple trying to save their happiness in "Two for the Road" (1967). Disdainful of his new sex symbol image, Finney sought to diminish his pretty boy status by hamming his way through the title role of "Scrooge" (1970), a musical take on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and delivering a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of a Humphrey Bogart wannabe in "Gumshoe" (1971). His reaction to the sex symbol nonsense prompted him to absolutely submerge himself in the role of Agatha Christie's famous sleuth Hercule Poirot for "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974), which garnered the barely recognizable actor his second Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

      After "Murder on the Orient Express," Finney appeared in only one film over the next seven years, playing a small role in Ridley Scott's "The Duellists" (1978). From 1972-75, he directed several plays while serving as associate artistic director of London's Royal Court Theatre. Beginning in 1975, Finney concentrated exclusively on stage acting as a member of the National Theatre, portraying the title roles of "Hamlet," Christopher Marlowe's "Tamburlaine the Great," "Macbeth" and Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya." In the early 1980s, Finney returned to the screen with a flurry of new movies, though the first few - "Loophole" (1981), Wolfen" (1981) and "Looker" (1981) - were embarrassments. But later that year he hit his stride in Alan Parker's harrowing portrait of divorce, "Shoot the Moon" (1981), giving a sexually-charged, rage-filled performance as a writer crazed with jealousy that his wife (Diane Keaton) and children seem to be getting along fine without him. After pocketing a nifty sum to play Daddy Warbucks in "Annie" (1982) for John Huston, he essayed the aging Donald Wolfit-like actor-manager to Tom Courtenay's "The Dresser" (1983), with both actors earning Best Actor Oscar nominations for their superb work.

      Over the years, Finney made a specialty of playing large, boozy, blustery men and was perhaps never better in this vein than as the gruelingly drunk diplomat of Huston's "Under the Volcano" (1984), adapted from Malcolm Lowry's autobiographical novel set in 1930s Mexico. Without overplaying the extremely difficult role, he imbued the self-destructive man with tragic nobility, earning his fourth Best Actor Oscar nomination for an extraordinary performance. Finney reprised his stage role as a deceptive, drunken Chicago gangster in "Orphans" (1987), demonstrating his flair for dialects with an authentic South Side accent. In the Coen Brothers' "Miller's Crossing" (1990), Finney was an Irish mob boss warring with rival Italians, whose artistry with a Thompson machine gun was felt by four would-be assassins in a memorable shootout set to the Irish ballad, "Danny Boy." Continuing his sting of Irish characters, he was convincing as a tragic constable in a small Northern Irish border town in "The Playboys" (1992), a sexually repressed bus conductor in "A Man of No Importance" (1994) and an Irish cop unable to express his emotions in "The Run of the Country" (1995).

      In between his string of Irish-centric roles, Finney dropped his adopted brogue to make a fine, frumpish Southerner for Bruce Beresford's "Rich in Love" (1993), which he later followed with an appearance alongside old RADA chum Tom Courtenay in the London stage production of "Art" (1996). He next played a perpetually besotted television writer in two Dennis Potter-scripted miniseries, "Karaoke" (Bravo, 1996) and "Cold Lazarus" (Bravo, 1996), and the equally sodden Dr. Monygham in the lavish six-hour "Masterpiece Theatre" miniseries, "Joseph Conrad's 'Nostromo'" (PBS, 1997). In "A Rather English Marriage" (PBS, 1999), Finney played a former Royal Air Force squadron leader devastated by the loss of his wife, who forms an unlikely bond with a retired milkman (Tom Courtenay) sent by a concerned social worker to help care for his decaying estate. Following his turn as the grizzled, eccentric writer Kilgore Trout in "Breakfast of Champions" (1999), Finney essayed a former racing commissioner in the film adaptation of Sam Shepard's "Simpatico" (1999). The latter was particularly well-suited to this breeder of horses and son of a bookie.

      Though continually working, Finney had by this point in his career found himself less of a known commodity than in years past. But that changed when he was cast by director Steven Soderbergh to star opposite Julia Roberts in the commercial smash "Erin Brockovich" (2000). Finney played the skeptical, but open-minded California lawyer boss of Roberts' titular legal assistant, whose interest in a cancer cluster case gradually re-energizes him for what becomes the case of his career. Just like his character onscreen, Finney's own career was given new life, especially after he earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination - his first such honor in 16 years. That same year, he had a cameo as a chief of staff in Soderbergh's deftly crafted "Traffic" (2000), which he followed with a turn as acclaimed novelist Ernest Hemingway in "Hemingway, The Hunter Of Death" (2001). In 2002, he took on the role of Winston Churchill in the acclaimed HBO drama "The Gathering Storm," a love story offering an intimate look inside the marriage of Winston and Clementine Churchill (Vanessa Redgrave) during a particularly troubled, though little-known moment in their lives.

      For his role in "The Gathering Storm," Finney received widespread critical praise, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television, a BAFTA TV Award as Best Actor, and a Broadcasting Press Guild Award. He received another Golden Globe nomination the following year, this time for his role as the senior Ed Bloom, a man whose tendency toward fanciful self-mythologizing puts him at odds with his disillusioned son (Billy Crudup) in Tim Burton's "Big Fish" (2003). After voicing Finnis Everglot in Burton's animated "Corpse Bride" (2005), Finney was the deceased uncle of a high-flying London businessman (Russell Crowe) who makes his nephew the sole beneficiary of his modest vineyard in "A Good Year" (2006). In "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007), Finney played Dr. Albert Hirsch, the man responsible for creating Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) by erasing his former identity and creating a new one through behavior modification. Next he portrayed 18th century clergyman and writer of hymns, John Newton, in Michael Apted's underappreciated historical drama, "Amazing Grace" (2007). Finney teamed up with Sidney Lumet for the director's excellent crime thriller, "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" (2007), playing a man who suffers the devastating loss of his wife (Rosemary Harris) during the botched robbery of their jewelry store perpetrated by their own desperate and misguided sons (Ethan Hawke and Philip Seymour Hoffman). Surprisingly, Finney was relatively inactive over the next five years, appearing in the next decade with a reprisal of Dr. Hirsch for "The Bourne Legacy" (2012) and a turn as Kincade opposite Daniel Craig's James Bond in "Skyfall" (2012).

      (Biographical info courtesy of TCMDb).

    • More >
    • Comment
      share:
    •  
    • Julie Adams (1926-2019)

    • Julie Adams passed away Sunday, February 3, 2019 in Los Angeles at the age of 92.

      For generations of moviegoers, the name Julie Adams conjured up an arresting black-and-white image of the actress swimming gracefully through the murky waters of the Amazon - actually, Wakulla Springs in Florida - while the Gill-Man, the scaly man-fish monster in "Creature from the Black Lagoon" (1954), glided below her, captivated by her presence in his environment. The film, one of the greatest titles in science fiction history, came to encapsulate Adams' career, though she had been an in-demand actress, most notably in Westerns, since the late 1940s. Despite its popularity, "Creature" did little for her film career, but she became one of the most recognizable faces on television, providing poised, highly professional guest turns on series from the early 1960s through the first decade of the 21st century. If she bore any ill will towards her "Creature" typecasting, Adams did not show it, as the title of her 2011 autobiography, The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections from the Black Lagoon, clearly illustrated. If never a household name, Julie Adams enjoyed both exceptional career longevity and the lasting fame afforded to a cult icon.

      Born Betty May Adams on Oct. 17, 1926 in Waterloo, IA, she was raised primarily in Little Rock, AR. There, she caught the acting bug while performing in a grade school production of "Hansel and Gretel." After attending Little Rock Junior College, she lit out for Hollywood in 1946, where she lived with an aunt while studying drama and supporting herself as a part-time secretary. She made her screen debut in "Red, Hot and Blue" (1949), a comedy-musical vehicle for Betty Hutton; Adams was uncredited for her ironic turn as an aspiring starlet. She used her real name for seven low-budget Westerns, all shot within a period of five weeks, for producer Robert Lippert, who cast her as a frontier damsel in need of rescue by B-movie cowboys James "Shamrock" Ellison and Raymond Hatton. Her lucky break came in 1951 when she was tapped to appear in a screen test for Universal opposite Detroit Lions' defensive end Leon Hart, who was attempting to break into show business. The studio passed on Hart but signed Adams to a contract, for which they also changed her first name to Julia and later Julie.

      She worked steadily during the early 1950s, giving solid turns in features like "Bright Victory" (1951), which cast her as the fiancée of blinded soldier Arthur Kennedy. Universal made sure she remained in the public eye thanks to a cheeky publicity campaign that claimed that her legs - "the most perfectly symmetrical in the world," according to the PR hype - had been insured by the studio for $125,000. She enjoyed a string of leading lady turns opposite the likes of William Powell in "The Treasure of Lost Canyon" (1952), Rock Hudson in Raoul Walsh's Western "The Lawless Breed" (1953), and Tyrone Power in "The Mississippi Gambler" (1953) for Rudolph Maté. But these were soon overshadowed when Adams was cast as the female lead in Universal's "Creature from the Black Lagoon," which remained her most enduring film credit. Cast as a comely researcher on an Amazon expedition for a mythical man-fish hybrid, Adams' deep water swim, clad in a blinding white bathing suit while the Gill-Man lurked below her, became one of the most iconic images of the 1950s science fiction boom. Repeated TV broadcasts over the course of the next half-century preserved the popularity of both "Creature" and Adams' appearance in it, but also effectively overshadowed the screen work that came before and after it.

      Despite this career-arresting element, Adams worked steadily throughout the 1950s, though largely in unremarkable fare like "Francis Joins the WACs" (1954) and "The Looters" (1955), which co-starred her husband, actor Ray Danton, whom she had married the previous year. The union-gangster drama "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" (1957) proved to be her last notable feature for decades; by the following year, she had moved almost exclusively into television. There were occasional returns to features, most notably "Tickle Me" (1965) with Elvis Presley, but for the most part, she remained one of the most prolific guest stars on episodic television during the 1960s, as well as an occasional series regular on "General Hospital" (ABC, 1963- ) as Denise Wilton.

      After surprising many with her appearance in Dennis Hopper's psychedelic "The Last Movie" (1971), Adams settled into a season of "The Jimmy Stewart Show" (NBC, 1971-72) as the spouse of Stewart's university professor. It was followed by a string of off-beat feature roles, including "McQ" (1974), with John Wayne in a rare foray into modern day action, as well as "The Psychic Killer" (1975), an oddball horror picture directed by Danton and a grim adaptation of noir novelist Jim Thompson's "The Killer Inside Me" (1976). Adams began to settle almost exclusively into TV guest appearances for the next decade. From 1987 to 1993, she had a recurring role as the flirty real estate agent Eve Simpson on "Murder, She Wrote" (CBS, 1984-1996). She remained active on television through the new millennium, most notably in a pair of appearances as Amelia, one of the Others, on "Lost" (ABC, 2004-2010). Viewers with keen hearing also noted Adams as one of the telephone voices in Roman Polanski's acclaimed film version of "Carnage" (2011). That same year, she published her autobiography, The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections from the Black Lagoon, which she co-authored with Mitchell Danton, one of her two sons from her marriage to Ray Danton.

      by Paul Gaita

    • More >
    • Comment
      share:
    •  
    • 23rd Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival - Feb. 22-23


    • 2019 Kansas Silent Film Festival spotlights 'Lost Films Restored'

      For its 23rd annual event, the Kansas Silent Film Festival will spotlight 'Lost Films Restored', showcasing several shorts and features which were at one time or another lost, partially lost and have since been recovered, restored or partially restored. On the last weekend in February, from Friday night through Saturday night, come rain or snow, the festival will feature these rare films from the silent era with live musical accompaniment. All films will be shown on the big screen like they were originally. Some will be shown on film, but DVD will be used for many of the newly restored films. Denise Morrison will introduce each film and provide an overview of the silent film era.

      The 2019 Kansas Silent Film Festival will continue to be staged at White Concert Hall on the Washburn University campus in Topeka on Friday night, February 22nd and all-day Saturday, February 23rd. The event continues to be free and open to the public.

      Friday night kicks off with a film that was lost for almost a century - the 1910 Thomas Edison-produced version of "Frankenstein". This is believed to be the first film version of Mary Shelley's classic novel. At a 14-minute running time, it condenses quite a bit, however the heart of the story is there. Written and directed by J. Searle Dawley, the film has no credited cast, but we do know the names of the three main players: Augustus Phillips as Victor Frankenstein, Mary Fuller as Elizabeth and Charles Ogle as the monster and this monster must be seen to be believed! Organist Marvin Faulwell and percussionist Bob Keckeisen will provide the lively musical score. Friday night's feature is 1927's highly acclaimed science fiction masterpiece, METROPOLIS directed by Fritz Lang. This epic of German silent cinema was initially panned by critics, but its reputation has grown over the years, even while its running time has shrunk. The original cut of the film was 153 minutes long upon release, but by the time it reached the US the running time was cut to 107 minutes. The closest version to the original premiered in 2010 at 148 minutes. Portions of this film were repatriated from South America. This is the version we'll be showing supported by a driving, incredible music score performed by the world-acclaimed Alloy Orchestra. Appearing in Topeka for the first time, this three-man acoustic group will pound out a score that is unforgettable and seems to sync-up perfectly with the images on the screen. The film features Alfred Abel, Gustav Frohlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge and Brigitte Helm in a dual role as the angelic Maria and the robot-transformed-evil Maria, who guides an enormous modern city to its doom.

      Saturday morning begins with a special documentary at 9:00 am for early risers. The official KSFF morning session starts at 10:00 am with "Cruel, Cruel Love", a 1914 Charlie Chaplin/ Keystone film in which Charlie is NOT the Little Tramp character he later created, but a forlorn lover who feels he has been poisoned! This film was considered lost for over 50 years until a copy was also found in South America. Bill Beningfield will provide a rousing music score on the organ. "Hard Luck" from 1921 is one of the only films considered lost in Buster Keaton's career, this comedy short had an ending that Keaton himself deemed the greatest laugh-getting scene from any of his films (and now it's back!). Pianist Jeff Rapsis will handle the music. The Saturday morning feature is VENUS OF THE SOUTH SEAS starring swimming legend Annette Kellerman in her only surviving feature film. She made films between 1916 and 1924 and this is her last starring role. At barely an hour, the film is loaded with charm and a small amount was filmed in Prizma Color, one of the earliest attempts at color film in the silent era. The film print comes from the Library of Congress and features an exotic music score by New Hampshire's Jeff Rapsis.

      After a lunch break, the Saturday Afternoon KSFF schedule will resume with a 1908 animated short entitled "El Hotel Electrico" created by pioneering Spanish filmmaker, Segundo de Chomón and a comedy short featuring Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle with Buster Keaton (before he was well known) in "The Cook". Considered a lost film for decades, this film was later assembled from two Scandinavian archives. The first afternoon feature, THE DAUGHTER OF DAWN comes from 1920 and it's an example of an independent film made in the silent era outside the Hollywood film factory. It boasts an all Native-American cast, was shot in Indian country and is as much a piece of American history as entertainment. It had only a handful of screenings before disappearing for almost 90 years. The only film print was offered for sale in Oklahoma, where it now officially resides at the Oklahoma Historical Society. The cast includes two children of Quanah Parker, called the last chief of the Comanche. This fascinating movie will be accompanied by organist Marvin Faulwell and percussionist Bob Keckeisen.

      After a short break, the Saturday afternoon film showings continue with the 1913 historical short, "When Lincoln Paid" featuring actor, writer and director Francis Ford as Abraham Lincoln. This lost film was found when a contractor who was preparing to tear down a barn in New Hampshire found a film projector and several reels of film inside. This and several other films were donated to Keene State College in New Hampshire which granted us permission to screen this one. Our feature will be BUCKING BROADWAY, a 1917 film directed by the legendary John Ford (Francis Ford's younger brother). Many of John Ford's silent feature films are lost, but this one starring one of his favorite actors, Harry Carey Sr. has been found and restored by Archive francaises du film, CNC of France. Both films will be scored by Jeff Rapsis.

      Saturday's traditional Cinema-Dinner will continue an 11-year tradition with a great meal and a guest speaker - Ben Model, organist and film historian will describe 'Undercranking: The Magic Behind the Slapstick' - a technique for making action scenes (and especially comic action scenes) appear to be running much faster than usual. Ben will include some amazing film clips. This is the only portion of the KSFF event where a fee is charged. Reservations are required.

      Saturday evening will conclude with a Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy short which was finally recovered in 2015 - "The Battle of the Century" made in 1927. A huge pie-fight serves as the climax, but there was so much more prior to it and most of it is back with music provided by Marvin Faulwell and Bob Keckeisen. The final feature will be WHEN KNIGHTHOOD WAS IN FLOWER, a 1922 film starring Marion Davies. This film had been neglected, but was recently restored for a DVD release. Produced by William Randolph Hearst to showcase actress Davies, this historical drama is a lavish production set during the time of Henry VIII. Hearst spared no expense and the results are epic! The most recognizable co-star is William Powell in only his second screen appearance. Music will be provided by Ben Model, who also restored the film.

    • More >
    • Comment
      share:
    •  
    • Dick Dinman & George Feltenstein Meet THE SEA HAWK & THE THING!

    • DICK DINMAN & GEORGE FELTENSTEIN MEET "THE SEA HAWK" & "THE THING"! The legendary Errol Flynn swashbuckler THE SEA HAWK and the original Howard Hawks sci-fi shocker THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD are two of classic film fan's most requested titles for Blu-ray release and Warner Home Video's Sr. VP of Classic and Theatrical Marketing George Feltenstein describes to producer/host Dick Dinman the decades long search for optimum elements necessary to ultimately create these two magnificent looking and sounding Blu-ray releases.


      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

    • More >
    • Comment
      share:
    •  
    • Carol Channing (1921-2019)

    • Beloved, effervescent musical comedy star Carol Channing passed away from natural causes on Tuesday, January 15 in Rancho Mirage, California at the age of 97.

      Dubbed The First Lady of Musical Comedy, Carol Channing spent over five decades on the Broadway stage and was forever linked with signature leading roles in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "Hello, Dolly!" The flamboyant peroxide blonde with the fire engine red lipstick and ever-present smile earned multiple Tony Awards for her extended stage runs in those Broadway blockbusters, as well as recognition for musicals "Vamp," "Showgirl" and "Lorelei." But Channing became a recognized pop culture icon far from New York theater circles, bringing her larger-than-life personality to primetime as the star of variety specials and with her Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated starring turn in the musical film "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (1967). With the exception of that stroke of pitch perfect casting and a brilliant performance, Channing's talent generally did not translate successfully to the big screen. No matter, as audiences were most captivated by the "Channing" persona, which they were able to enjoy with her many appearances on cheeky celebrity panel game shows, variety specials and awards shows. While Channing's highly recognizable voice was a favorite of impressionists, and female impersonators latched onto her thick-lashed caricature of a Broadway diva, the singer, dancer, and comedienne performed throughout her eighties, continually criss-crossing the country in musical comedy revues, one-woman shows, and endless revivals of her best loved characters, Dolly and Lorelei.

      Channing was born in Seattle, WA, on Jan. 31, 1921, but was raised in San Francisco where her father was a newspaper editor and high profile Christian Science lecturer. It was only in her late teens that Channing was informed that her German-American father had actually been born in Georgia to an African-American mother - a fact Channing kept private until the publication of her memoir in 2003. But prior to learning her family history, Channing was raised as an only child who learned to entertain herself from an early age. She first discovered her talent for entertaining others when the seven-year-old unleashed impressions of her teachers on the students at school and earned rounds of laughter. She was hooked on the positive feedback and after taking the stage in high school, she went on to study dance and drama at Bennington College in Vermont. Later, in New York, she aligned herself with avant garde theater but found more success when she began to work alongside Zero Mostel in a Greenwich Village club, doing imitations of early stage and screen stars like Beatrice Lillie, Sophie Tucker and Tallulah Bankhead.

      After some time working on the resort circuit and New York theater chorus and understudy gigs, Channing got her first break when she was cast by Gower Champion in the 1948 Broadway revue "Lend An Ear," in which she wowed audiences by playing such diverse characters as a French movie star, a British Christian Scientist, and 1920s flapper. The following year, she hit Broadway in a starring role as Lorelei Lee, the "Little Girl from Little Rock" for whom diamonds are a girl's best friends in the musical "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." The successful musical ran for nearly two years and transformed Channing into a bona fide Broadway star whose reputation spread far beyond the Great White Way. She went on to make her film debut in the Hal Wallis-produced melodrama "Paid in Full" (1949), but when she was not inundated with follow-up film offers, she revived her role of Lorelei in a Chicago run of "Gentlemen," toured the U.S. in "Pygmalion," and returned to Broadway in "Wonderful Town" and "Vamp."

      In 1955, Channing portrayed a beautiful artist's model transformed into a great singer by a hypnotic genius (Basil Rathbone) in the amusing TV musical special, "Svengali and the Blonde" (NBC). She hit movie theaters the following year in a role as the slightly mature love interest to Clint Eastwood in the oddball Western "The First Traveling Saleslady" (1956). An indefatigable stage performer, Channing also toured nightclubs across the U.S. in between theater engagements, often appearing alongside comic duo Burns & Allen. Channing graced the Broadway stage again in late 1963, brilliantly cast in the lead as brassy busybody and matchmaker Dolly Gallagher in "Hello, Dolly!" The blockbuster production garnered 10 Tony Awards including one for its star, who gave commanding performances for over three years. The original cast album became an all-time bestseller in its field; even bumping the Beatles off the music charts when it was released. Channing, herself chatty, effervescent, and rarely seen without an ear-to-ear grin, had established herself as a show business institution, so it was only natural that she would become a mainstay on personality-based game shows like "What's My Line" (CBS, syndicated, 1950-1975), "To Tell the Truth" (CBS, 1956-1968; syndicated 1969-1978) and make recurring appearances on the comedy/variety show, "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" (NBC, 1968-1973).

      The Broadway star returned to the big screen with her role as a 1920s "jazz baby" in the musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (1967), inarguably the best screen role to utilize the actress' charisma and talents. For her captivating performance, Channing won a Golden Globe Award and earned an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress. During the same period, she found a great reception for a series of television specials, including "An Evening with Carol Channing" (CBS, 1966), "Carol Channing and 101 Men" (ABC, 1967) and "Carol Channing Proudly Presents the Seven Deadly Sins" (ABC, 1969), all of which featured musical performances by Channing and music and comedy from high profile showbiz guests. Appropriate screen roles remained at bay, though she did appear as Jackie Gleason's bohemian wife in a pallid Otto Preminger comedy "Skidoo" (1968). She starred again on Broadway in the 1970 comedy "Four on a Garden" and in 1971, discovered another excellent outlet as a voiceover actress in animated films when she landed a role in "Shinbone Alley" (1971). After earning another Tony nomination for reviving her famous character in the spin-off musical "Lorelei," Channing toured the U.S. with "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" in 1975.

      With the exception of a recurring guest character role on "The Love Boat" (ABC, 1977-1986), Channing stuck to the stage, reprising her role in "Hello Dolly!" in Los Angeles in 1977 and on Broadway again in 1978 before taking that production on the road in 1981. She and fellow Broadway leading lady Mary Martin played rival actresses in a touring musical production called "Legends," while Channing played The White Queen in an all-star version of "Alice in Wonderland" (CBS, 1985) on CBS. While continuing to perform regularly in nightclub acts in Las Vegas and throughout the U.S., Channing also recorded more than 20 children's albums, ramping up her voiceover career with roles in "Where's Waldo?" (1991), "Hans Christian Andersen's 'Thumbelina'" (1994), and the PBS series "The Magic School Bus" (1994-99). In 1994, Channing once again donned the familiar red dress and returned to the Harmonia Gardens for a 30th anniversary production of "Hello, Dolly!" The following year, she received a special Lifetime Achievement Tony Award and embarked on a 51-city concert tour of the U.S., resurfacing on primetime with rare guest appearances (as herself) on "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC, 1995-2004) and "Touched by an Angel" (CBS, 1994-2003).

      In 2003, Channing released the memoir Just Lucky, I Guess and launched a national touring one-woman show entitled "The First Eighty Years are the Hardest." Well into her eighties, she continued to appear in stage revues that mixed song, dance and plenty of old show biz anecdotes while maintaining a screen presence with voiceover roles on animated series including "The Family Guy" (Fox, 1999-2002; 2005- ) and "American Dad!" (Fox, 2005- ).

      (Biographical info courtesy of TCMDb).

    • More >
    • Comment
      share:
  1. New Books

    •  
    • All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

    • By Mark Griffin

      Quintessentially tall, dark, and handsome, legendary movie star Rock Hudson epitomized all-American manhood at the pinnacle of his fame. The country's favorite leading man in the '50s and '60s, he exuded charm, strength, virility, and charisma in classics like Magnificent Obsession, Giant, and Pillow Talk. His mainstream appeal translated into box office success during the last hurrah of Hollywood's Golden Age. And yet, this Oscar-nominated talent's greatest performance came in real life, as for decades he kept his authentic self and his sexuality hidden in an extremely homophobic society.

      Now, in ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS: A Biography of Rock Hudson (Harper; Hardcover; On Sale: December 4, 2018), author Mark Griffin probes beneath the façade to craft the definitive biography of the complicated, conflicted individual and widely misunderstood icon, whose illustrious career spanned 40 years and who was the first major celebrity to die of AIDS.

      To survive a chaotic and financially strapped Midwestern childhood, young Roy Fitzgerald found escape from his troubles--an estranged father, a violent stepfather, and a controlling mother--at the local cinema. Despite his humble circumstances, he yearned for a future onscreen. Looks and drive, as well as his stint on the casting couch with a notoriously unscrupulous agent, eventually transformed that dream into reality. Painstakingly, an unskilled but fiercely ambitious former truck driver was transformed into the camera-ready persona of Rock Hudson.

      Rising through the ranks at Universal, Hudson emerged as the studio's prized asset, a clean-cut matinee idol adored by colleagues and fans alike. Professional glory had a psychological cost for this vulnerable, insecure soul though. On celluloid and in gossip columns, he wooed countless attractive women, burnishing his manufactured image as a swoon-worthy romantic hero. Offscreen, he courted disaster as his gay relationships, affairs, and flirtations made him a prime target for exposure by tabloids and spurned ex-lovers.

      Drawing on more than 100 interviews with co-stars, family members, and former companions and unprecedented access to private journals, personal correspondence, and production files, this comprehensive biography finally produces a multidimensional portrait of one of the most compelling figures in film history. Here, at last, are fresh insights into Hudson's controversial marriage to Phyllis Gates and his contentious dealings with boyfriend Marc Christian, providing answers to questions the late actor consistently evaded. Griffin also offers the first in-depth analysis of Hudson's entire body of work from his early bit parts to his collaborations with visionary director Douglas Sirk to his cheekily subversive bedroom farces with Doris Day to his transition to the small screen in the hit series McMillan & Wife. Along the way, this riveting account features memorable appearances from an A-list cast of characters, including Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, John Wayne, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, and many other luminaries.

      Meticulously researched and vividly rendered, ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS illuminates an all-too-human superstar whose life and legacy have significantly influenced American culture.


      Mark Griffin is the author of A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli. His interviews, reviews, and essays have appeared in scores of publications, including The Boston Globe, Premiere, MovieMaker, and Genre. Griffin, who recently appeared in the documentary Gene Kelly: To Live and Dance, lives in Lewiston, Maine.

    • More >
    •   Comment
    •  
    • Handsome Johnny

    • By Lee Server

      Lee Server's in-depth research and vivid writing style have earned high acclaim for his bestselling biographies of Ava Gardener and Robert Mitchum. Now he turns his laser focus to a singular character in the annals of the American underworld--Johnny Rosselli--in HANDSOME JOHNNY: The Life and Death of Johnny Rosselli: Gentleman Gangster, Hollywood Producer, CIA Assassin (St. Martin's Press, Nov. 13, 2018, $29.99).

      A protégé of Al Capone, Johnny Roselli abandoned his Boston roots for California and the bloody bootlegging wars of the Roaring Twenties, eventually becoming the Mob's "Man in Hollywood," and even producing two of the best film noirs of the 1940s.

      Server uncovers previously unknown details about Rosselli, including:
      --The first detailed description of the biggest extortion plot in US history, the mob's plot to extort the entire movie industry and subvert the Hollywood unions.
      --The Syndicate's secret sponsorship of Columbia Pictures
      --The massive extortion deal that eventually landed Rosselli and his associates in federal prison.

      Server recounts the inside story of Rosselli's post-prison venture, working for Chicago boss Sam Giancana in Las Vegas, where he ran the town from his suites and poolside tables at the Tropicana and Desert Inn, enjoying the Rat Pack nightlife with pals Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

      Server also provides a detailed, first-time account of the most unexpected chapter in Rosselli's extraordinary life:
      --The CIA's recruitment of Rosselli to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro
      --The Kennedy brothers' secret connection to the murder plots
      --Rosselli's part in the eventual Washington investigations that tore apart the American intelligence service.

      Based upon years of research, written with compelling style and vivid detail, HANDSOME JOHNNY is a rich rollercoaster of a biography.


      LEE SERVER is the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed biographies Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don't Care and Ava Gardner: Love is Nothing. Robert Mitchum was named a Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, "the film biography of the year" by the Sunday Times (U.K.) and one of the "60 Greatest Film Books." Ava Gardner was a New York Times Notable Book, and a New York Times, Los Angeles Times and USA Today bestseller. He lives in Palm Springs, California.

    • More >
    •   Comment
    •  
    • Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II


    • By Robert Matzen

      The story of one of the most enduring and beloved stars Hollywood has ever produced--Audrey Hepburn--has been told again and again since her passing in 1993. An Amazon search of books with her name will produce well over a thousand titles, with every aspect of her life but one covered in print: her years during World War II when she lived in the Netherlands under Nazi rule.

      On April 15, 2019--just weeks before what would've been her 90th birthday--critically acclaimed and bestselling biographer Robert Matzen reveals the true war story of this cinematic icon. The book, as shocking as it is vital and triumphant, is Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II [GoodKnight Books]. The culmination of years of painstaking research by Matzen--who conducted new interviews with people who knew Audrey Hepburn in the Netherlands, unearthed secret diaries, gained access to previously classified archives, and combed through decades of her own infrequent but revealing reminiscences in interviews--Dutch Girl contains substantive proof of holes, errors, and inventions in every previous Audrey Hepburn biography that's touched on her life during the war years. In fact, the real story is more incredible than anything presented by previous biographers.

      From debunking the mythology of Hepburn's lineage (did the wealthy van Heemstras actually have their money stolen by the Nazis?) to revealing the extent of her involvement with the Dutch Resistance and an active role tending wounded of the famed "Bridge Too Far" battle of Arnhem, Dutch Girl is a definitive biography that exposes an extraordinary story of courage, tragedy, perseverance, and triumph--and contributes immeasurably to the legacy of one of the world's most famous actresses, fashion icons, and humanitarians.

      Dutch Girl has been called a "true gift" by Hepburn's younger son, Luca Dotti, who has written a powerful foreword to the book that speaks to the lock-and-key under which this information had been kept in Audrey's heart, writing:
      "When my mother talked about herself and what life taught her, Hollywood was the missing guest. Instead of naming famed Beverly Hills locations, she gave us obscure and sometimes unpronounceable Dutch ones. Red carpet recollections were replaced by Second World War episodes that she was able to transform into children's tales. We knew we were missing the complete story of her life in the war--until Robert Matzen wrote to me introducing himself and his book, Dutch Girl. I now understand why the words Good and Evil, and Love and Mercy were so fundamental in her own narrative. Why she was open about certain facts and why she kept so many others in a secluded area of her being. Thank you, Robert Matzen."

      The third and final book in Matzen's 'Hollywood in WWII' Trilogy -- which includes the award-winning 2013 book Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 and 2016 bestseller Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for World War II--Dutch Girl is a not-to-be-missed spring 2019 release. Among the topics explored and new information revealed in it includes:

      --The riveting, untold story of a young Dutch ballerina in World War II who went on to become an Academy Award winning movie star, timeless fashion icon, and tireless UNICEF ambassador who devoted her life to fighting for the welfare of children in war-torn territories
      --Brand-new verified information about the van Heemstra family, including brutal executions of Audrey Hepburn's relatives by the Nazis and other direct family members deeply involved in the rise of fascism in Europe
      --Audrey Hepburn's active role in the Dutch Resistance and details about her daily life in Velp when the war "came home" and the village was under fire for seven months
      --Never-before-seen photographs, documents, and mementos provided by Audrey Hepburn's son, Luca Dotti, informing Matzen's research and shared in a full-color and black-and-white 24-page photo section


      Robert Matzen has gained a reputation as one of today's top authors in popular biography; for his latest book, Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II, he lived in Audrey Hepburn's footsteps in the Netherlands, interviewed many who knew her, and dug deep into Dutch archives to uncover secret information, resulting in a eye-opening look into the hidden past of an icon. Dutch Girl is Matzen's eighth book and the third and final installment in his 'Hollywood in World War II' trilogy, with previous releases including the award-winning and critically acclaimed titles Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 [2013] and Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe [2016]. Regularly appearing ininternational press, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Hollywood Reporter, and PBS, Matzen's previous print work includes many articles about classic films and he maintains a popular blog at https://robertmatzen.com/blog/

      Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II [GoodKnight Books] will be available in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook formats on April 15, 2019 wherever books are sold.

    • More >
    •   Comment
    •  
    • A Star is Born: Judy Garland and the Film that Got Away

    • By Lorna Luft and Jeffrey Vance

      New York Times bestselling author and daughter of Judy Garland tells the story of A Star Is Born (1954) -- at once the crowning achievement and greatest disappointment in her mother's legendary career. This is a vivid account of a film classic's production, loss, and reclamation.

      A Star Is Born -- the classic Hollywood tale about a young talent rising to superstardom, and the downfall of her mentor/lover along the way -- has never gone out of style. It has seen five film adaptations, but none compares to the 1954 version starring Judy Garland in her greatest role. But while it was the crowning performance of the legendary entertainer's career, the production turned into one of the most talked about in movie history.

      The story, which depicts the dark side of fame, addiction, loss, and suicide, paralleled Garland's own tumultuous life in many ways. While hitting alarmingly close to home for the fragile star, it ultimately led to a superlative performance -- one that was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost in one of the biggest upsets in Oscar® history. Running far too long for the studio's tastes, Warner Bros. notoriously slashed extensive amounts of footage from the finished print, leaving A Star is Born in tatters and breaking the heart of both the film's star and director George Cukor.

      Today, with a director's cut reconstructed from previously lost scenes and audio, the 1954 A Star is Born has taken its deserved place among the most critically acclaimed movies of all time, and continues to inspire each new generation that discovers it. Now, Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland and the film's producer, Sid Luft, tells the story of the production, and of her mother's fight to save her career, as only she could. Teaming with film historian Jeffrey Vance, A Star Is Born is a vivid and refreshingly candid account of the crafting, loss, and restoration of a movie classic, complemented by a trove of images from the family collection taken both on and off the set. The book also includes essays on the other screen adaptations of A Star Is Born, to round out a complete history of a story that has remained a Hollywood favorite for close to a century.


      Lorna Luft is the daughter of Judy Garland and Sid Luft. She is the author of the bestselling book Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir (Pocket Books, 1998). After making her television debut on her mother's 1963 Christmas special, Luft embarked on her own career as a singer and actress on the stage, film, and TV. She has performed on and off Broadway in Lolita, and Promises, Promises; in national tours of Grease and Guys and Dolls; at the Rainbow Room, the Hollywood Bowl, and the White House. Luft lives in Palm Springs, CA.

      Jeffrey Vance is a film historian, author, and producer. His books include Douglas Fairbanks (UC Press, 2008) and a trilogy of volumes published by Abrams on comedy legends: Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema (2003), Harold Lloyd: Master Comedian (2002), and Buster Keaton Remembered (2001). Vance lives in Los Angeles, CA.

    • More >
    •   Comment
  1. DVD Reviews

    • Updated: January 3, 2011, 10:42 AM ET
    • Dick Dinman & George Feltenstein Come HOME FROM THE HILL!

    • DICK DINMAN AND GEORGE FELTENSTEIN COME "HOME FROM THE HILL"!: Warner's own George Feltenstein rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman as both marvel at Vincente Minnelli's sensitive and powerful direction of HOME FROM THE HILL one of the most bracingly stinging rural domestic dramas ever produced and both pay tribute to one of star Robert Mitchum's most acclaimed performances ever as this emotionally potent masterwork joins the prodigious list of Minnelli classics previously released on the Blu-ray format by the Warner Archive.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

    • More >
    •   Comment
    • Updated: January 3, 2011, 10:42 AM ET
    • Dick Dinman's "Best of '18" Holiday Gift Giving Shows

    • DICK DINMAN'S "BEST OF '18" HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING SHOW: "Dick's Best Classic Blu-ray Pick's for '18" include superb releases from the Warner Archive, the Criterion Collection, Kino Lorber, the Cohen Collection, Olive Films, Twilight Time, Flicker Alley and Indicator/Powerhouse and acclaimed author, film historian, and commentator Jeremy Arnold joins producer/host Dick Dinman to shine the holiday light on his sumptuously illustrated new book TCM's CHRISTMAS IN THE MOVIES: 30 CLASSICS TO CELEBRATE THE SEASON (available from Running Press).

      DICK DINMAN SALUTES TCM'S "CHRISTMAS IN THE MOVIES: 30 CLASSICS TO CELEBRATE THE SEASON": Producer/host Dick Dinman welcomes back popular author and film historian Jeremy Arnold who reveals the why's and wherefores of his choices of classic holiday films that he included in his marvelous new Christmas gift book TCM's CHRISTMAS IN THE MOVIES: 30 CLASSICS TO CELEBRATE THE SEASON (available from Running Press).


      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

    • More >
    •   Comment
    • Updated: January 3, 2011, 10:42 AM ET
    • Dick Dinman & George Feltenstein Survive THE LAST HUNT

    • DICK DINMAN & GEORGE FELTENSTEIN SURVIVE "THE LAST HUNT"! : Robert Taylor takes no prisoners in his superbly conceived, savage and rivetingly intense performance of a lifetime in writer/director Richard Brooks' starkly effective western drama THE LAST HUNT and Warner Home Video's popular and engaging Senior Vice President of Classic and Theatrical Marketing George Feltenstein joins producer/host Dick Dinman as both celebrate the astonishingly gorgeous Blu-ray release of this powerful film classic.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

    • More >
    •   Comment
    • Updated: January 3, 2011, 10:42 AM ET
    • Dick Dinman Salutes Criterion's DIETRICH & VON STERNBERG IN HOLLYWOOD

    • DICK DINMAN SALUTES CRITERION'S "DIETRICH & Von STERNBERG IN HOLLYWOOD" COLLECTION (Part One): Classic film fans of the erotically exotic Paramount Pictures collaborations of star Marlene Dietrich and director/photographer Josef Von Sternberg are over the moon about the Criterion Collection's brilliant restorations of all six of their hotblooded and aggressively seductive cinema masterworks together which are supplemented by a phenomenal array of special features and acclaimed writer and film scholar Imogen Sara Smith joins producer/host Dick Dinman as both marvel at the unparalleled depth and scope of this amazing collection.
      PLUS: "DICK'S PICKS" are Criterion's KING OF JAZZ, MOONRISE, THE AWFUL TRUTH, and A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH!

      DICK DINMAN SALUTES CRITERION'S "DIETRICH & Von STERNBERG IN HOLLYWOOD" COLLECTION (Part Two): Acclaimed author and film scholar Imogen Sara Smith rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman as both discuss all six of the Dietrich/Von Sternberg cinema milestones and marvel at the virtually immaculate transfers and wide ranging special features included in this dazzling collection.


      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

    • More >
    •   Comment
    • Updated: January 3, 2011, 10:42 AM ET
    • Dick Dinman & George Feltenstein are GUN CRAZY!

    • DICK DINMAN & GEORGE FELTENSTEIN ARE "GUN CRAZY!": Producer/host Dick Dinman and Warner Home Video's Sr. V.P. of Classic & Theatrical Marketing George Feltenstein salute the Blu-ray debut of the certifiable noir masterwork GUN CRAZY as well as the Blu-ray debuts of LES GIRLS (Gene Kelly's final MGM dance delight), Sergio Leone's spectacular THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES and two drastically different Vincente Minnelli CinemaScope and color triumphs: the delightful comedy DESIGNING WOMAN and the intensely dramatic TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

    • More >
    •   Comment
  1. Press Release

    •  
    • Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha Screens BACK TO THE FUTURE!

    • Motion Picture Historian Crawford Bringing the time travel/comedy to Omaha

      Film historian Bruce Crawford will be presenting the 1985 classic Back to the Future on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge Street in Omaha. It has become one of the most popular adventure comedies in cinema history and spawned three sequels as well as comic books, video games and much more.

      In addition to the special event screening, writer, producer and co-creator of all three Back to the Future films, Bob Gale, will address the audience as well as actor Harry Waters Jr., who played singer Marvin Berry in the film--both will speak before the screening discussing the making of this iconic film. There will also be a meet-and-greet and autograph session for the fans.

      This event marks 26 years since Crawford started hosting film legends and the classic films on which they worked. He typically presents two movies each year, spring and autumn.

      Tickets to meet and hear Bob Gale and Harry Waters Jr. go on sale Thursday, Oct. 4 for $24 each and can be purchased at the customer service counters of all Omaha-area Hy Vee food stores. Proceeds will benefit the Nebraska Kidney Association.

      For more information call (402) 932-7200 or (308) 830-2121 and visit www.omahafilmevent.com

    • More >
    •   Comment
    •  
    • Web Reviewer Glenn Erickson Launches 'CineSavant'


    • Web reviewer Glenn Erickson, aka 'DVD Savant' has established a new home under a new identity, 'CineSavant.' Reviewing independently since 1998, the Savant database has grown to over five thousand reviews and articles, and become one of the most respected and sought-out review pages on the web for news and opinions about classic films on disc. Readership boomed when the page Trailers from Hell picked up Glenn's reviews as featured content in 2015.

      A varied background helps add perspective to Glenn's reviews; from the UCLA Film School he worked in special effects, and then moved on to TV commercial work, and trailers for The Cannon Group. A long stint with MGM/UA Home Video led to editing large-scale DVD extras and other special projects. He began writing for the web in 1997 as 'MGM Video Savant.' Working with the film curators at MGM, Glenn helped detect and produced the restoration of the original ending of the film noir classic Kiss Me Deadly. Glenn has published two books of reviews, and has been writing and researching for TCM since 2004.

    • More >
    •   Comment
    •  
    • TCM Remembers Neil Simon (1927-2018)

    • Turner Classic Movies pays tribute to Neil Simon on Friday, September 14 with the following festival of films. This program will replace the previously scheduled movies for that night so please take note.

      The new schedule for Friday, September 14 will be:
      8:00pm - The Odd Couple (1968)
      10:00pm - The Goodbye Girl (1977)
      12:00am - Lost in Yonkers (1993)



      Neil Simon passed away on Sunday, August 26 in New York City at the age of 91.

      A staff writer on the signature comedy series of television's infancy, "Your Show of Shows" (NBC, 1950-54), Neil Simon went on to establish himself as one of Broadway's most prolific and consistent hit makers. Over the course of four decades, a Simon play or musical opened most seasons on Broadway and were often turned into major motion pictures within a couple of years, including "Barefoot in the Park" (1967), "The Out-of-Towners" (1969), "The Sunshine Boys" (1975) and "California Suite" (1978). Simon also wrote his share of original screenplays, such as the mystery spoof "Murder By Death" (1976) and the charming romantic comedy "Seems Like Old Times" (1980), though it was largely his stage work that earned him his reputation. Perhaps his most enduring creation was "The Odd Couple," which was a play in 1965, a film in 1968 and a television show that ran five seasons starting in 1970, while over the decades popping up in other incarnations. In the 1980s, Simon began a series of semi-autobiographical coming-of-age plays focused on his alleged alter-ego, Eugene Jerome. Dubbed the Eugene Trilogy, the plays consisted of "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (1983), "Biloxi Blues" (1985) and "Broadway Bound" (1986), with the former two being turned into mildly successful feature films. After years as an unbridled hit maker, Simon earned the overwhelming respect of critics with "Lost in Yonkers" (1991), which earned him a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for drama. Though his success tapered off in his later years, Simon remained the most important playwright of the latter-half of the 20th century.

      Born on July 4, 1927 in The Bronx, NY, Simon was raised in Depression-era Washington Heights in northern Manhattan by his father, Irving, a garment salesman, and his mother, Mamie. Because his parents were engaged in a rocky relationship that often threatened to break apart, Simon and his older brother, Danny, were sent to live with one group of relatives or another. His father often left the family for long periods of time, leaving their mother to fend for herself until his return. After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School when he was 16, Simon attended New York University, where he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force Reserve during the waning days of World War II, which led to an assignment at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, CO, where, as a corporal, he began writing for the USAF sports paper, the Rev-Meter. Following a short stint at the University of Denver, Simon moved back to New York, where he spent two years working in the mailroom of the East Coast Warner Bros. offices before quitting to write radio and television scripts with his brother, Danny.

      Simon and his brother managed to wrangle an interview with radio comic, Goodman Ace, who hired the sketch writing duo for $200 a week after reading just one of their jokes. Simon partnered with his brother for the next nine years, with the two writing for such radio programs as "The Robert Q. Lewis Show." They soon moved on to television to write for the day's biggest shows, including "The Red Buttons Show" (CBS/NBC, 1952-55), "The Phil Rivers Show" (CBS, 1955-59), and "Your Show of Shows" (NBC, 1950-54), which starred Sid Caesar and featured perhaps the best group of comics ever assembled: Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Carl Reiner and Larry Gelbart. Following his entrée into the theater world with the Broadway revue, "Catch a Star" (1955), which he collaborated on with Danny, he became a staff writer on the sitcom, "Stanley" (NBC, 1956-57), which starred Buddy Hackett as the slovenly proprietor of a hotel lobby newsstand. Eventually, Simon struck out on his own when he wrote his first play, "Come Blow Your Horn" (1961), which told the story of a young man who yearns to leave his parents' home to live at his brother's swinging bachelor pad.

      "Come Blow Your Horn" opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where it ran for two years and became a big hit. Simon followed with "Little Me" (1962), which, while not as well-received as his first play, still earned the playwright his first Tony Award nomination. After "Come Blow Your Horn" was adapted in 1963 into a feature film starring Frank Sinatra, Simon had one of the biggest stage hits of his career with "Barefoot in the Park" (1963), a lighthearted comedy focusing on the marriage between a buttoned-down lawyer husband and his free-spirited wife that played on Broadway for over 1,500 performances, making it one of the longest-running non-musicals in the history of the Great White Way. The play was turned into a successful 1967 film starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Meanwhile, his brother had gone through a divorce and was living with another divorced man, which sparked the idea for what eventually became "The Odd Couple" (1965). After several attempts to write the idea, Danny threw the idea over to Simon, who turned the comedy about a freakishly neat newspaper writer thrown out by his wife and forced to move in with a slovenly sportswriter into a Broadway smash that ran for over 900 performances and earned several Tony Awards, including Best Play.

      As with many of Simon's plays, "The Odd Couple" was adapted for the big screen in 1968, and starred Jack Lemmon as the fastidious Felix Unger and Walter Matthau, reprising his original Broadway role, as the slob Oscar Madison. Possibly one of the best feature adaptations of his stage work, the highly successful movie earned several award nominations, including Simon's first for an Academy Award. During this time, he churned out stage plays like "The Star-Spangled Girl" (1966), "Plaza Suite" (1968) and "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers" (1969), which continued his string of critical and financial hits. The following year, "The Odd Couple" was spun off to the small screen, where it spent five seasons on ABC with Tony Randall as Felix and Jack Klugman as Oscar. Meanwhile, he wrote the play to perhaps his second-best remembered stage production, "The Sunshine Boys" (1972), which focused on two aging vaudevillians forced back together after growing to hate each other for a television reunion. Following another Tony Award win for Best Play, the production was adapted into a critically acclaimed 1975 film starring Walter Matthau and George Burns; the latter of whom won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

      With his career at an all-time high, there seemed to be nothing that could bring Simon down. But in 1973, his wife of 20 years, Joan Baim, died after a prolonged battle with cancer. The agonizing 15 months of watching his wife slowly slip away left the playwright empty and devastated. Four months later, however, Simon shocked friends and colleagues when he married actress Marsha Mason following a brief courtship. He continued writing successful plays like "The Good Doctor" (1973), "California Suite" (1976) and "Chapter Two" (1977) while scripting original screenplays like "Murder By Death" (1976), a spoof on whodunit mysteries that featured Truman Capote as a wealthy recluse named Lionel Twain, who lures top private detectives (an all-star cast of Peter Sellers, Peter Falk, David Niven, Maggie Smith and James Coco) to his secluded mansion to solve a murder that's about to be committed. He next wrote the original screenplay for "The Goodbye Girl" (1977), an adult romantic comedy about a divorced mother and ex-Broadway dancer (Marsha Mason) engaged in a romance with an arrogant actor (Richard Dreyfuss) whose career is nearly ruined by a myopic director (Paul Benedict). Dreyfuss went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his winning, wacky performance.

      Returning to adaptations of his own work, Simon wrote the scripts for the screen treatments of "California Suite" (1978) and "Chapter Two" (1979), while writing the script for the comedy spoof "The Cheap Detective" (1978), starring Peter Falk, the book for the musical "They're Playing Our Song" (1979), and the stage play for "I Ought to Be in Pictures" (1980), which he turned into a feature starring Walter Matthau and Ann-Margaret in 1982. Simon next wrote the original screenplay for the feature comedy, "Seems Like Old Times" (1980), which starred Chevy Chase as a down-on-his-luck writer who seeks refuge from a pair of bank robbers at the home of his ex-wife (Goldie Hawn), only to run afoul of her new stuffed-shirt husband (Charles Grodin). Following his lighthearted romantic comedy, "Fools" (1981), which was directed for Broadway by longtime collaborator Mike Nichols, Simon adapted his play "The Gingerbread Lady" (1970) into the film "Only When I Laugh" (1981), which again starred wife Marsha Mason. Simon next wrote the play to "Brighton Beach Memoires" (1983), a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age comedy about a young Jewish teenager who experiences puberty and has a sexual awakening while trying to deal with his struggling family. The play was turned into a mildly popular film in 1986 starring Jonathan Silverman as Simon's alter-ego, Eugene Jerome.

      Simon returned to the stage with the more popular "Biloxi Blues" (1985), the second installment to what became known as the Eugene Trilogy. This time, the young Jewish kid from Brooklyn enlists in the Army and is sent to Biloxi, MS for basic training, where he falls in love, loses his virginity and runs afoul of an offbeat drill sergeant. In 1988, the play was adapted into a well-received film starring Matthew Broderick as Eugene and Christopher Walken as Sgt. Toomey. In 1983, Simon suffered another personal setback - albeit one not as tragic as losing Joan - when he divorced actress Marsha Mason following 10 years of marriage. Despite the split, the two remained friends and continued working together. Meanwhile, he reimagined "The Odd Couple" as "The Female Odd Couple" (1985), which was staged on Broadway with Sally Struthers and Rita Moreno in the leads. Simon rounded out his Eugene Trilogy with "Broadway Bound" (1986), which followed Eugene and his brother Stanley - obvious doubles for Simon and his own brother Danny - as they try to make it as comedy writers on radio and television. Unlike the previous two installments, however, "Broadway Bound" was not immediately adapted into a feature film or even television movie - the rare Simon play not to make such a transformation.

      During this time, Simon remarried once again, this time to Diane Lander, a former employee at the Beverly Hills department store, Neiman Marcus. Their relationship proved to be a rocky one, ending in divorce in 1988 following 18 months of marriage, only to reunite in early 1990. Though they again filed for divorce two years later, the couple reconciled until finally splitting for good in 1998. Though asked on several occasions, Simon had been remiss to talk about his relationship with her; even going so far as to not draw from their experiences in his work - a shock given his mining of all other areas of his life. Meanwhile, he wrote the farce "Rumors" (1988) for the stage before achieving massive popular and critical success with "Lost in Yonkers" (1991), a coming-of-age drama about two brothers left in the care of their intimidating grandmother who also houses the mentally deficient, but good-hearted Aunt Bella (Mercedes Ruehl). Simon's difficult tale of family dysfunction won several awards, including a Tony for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. After returning to the world of "Your Show of Shows" for a Broadway production of "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" (1993), he cited the high cost of producing plays on the Great White Way, controversially insisting that "London Suite" (1994) be produced off-Broadway.

      After penning a television version of his 1992 play "Jake's Women" (CBS, 1996), Simon wrote his 30th stage production, "Proposals" (1997), which opened on Broadway, but quickly closed, proving to be one of his least successful stage efforts. On the flip side, a revival of "The Sunshine Boys" enjoyed a much longer run thanks to the popularity of stars Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. Meanwhile, Simon's feature output fell off following the box-office failure of "The Marrying Man" (1991) and "Neil Simon's 'Lost in Yonkers'" (1993), causing the writer to turn to the small screen with "Neil Simon's 'London Suite'" (NBC, 1996), with a cast that included Kelsey Grammer, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Richard Mulligan, and a misguided "The Sunshine Boys" (CBS, 1997), which was filmed in 1995 with Peter Falk and Woody Allen. His return to the big screen with the sequel "The Odd Couple II" (1998) sank at the box office despite the presence of the original actors, Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. Later that year, a remake of "The-Out-of-Towners" (1998), starred Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn in the roles originated in 1970 by Lemmon and Sandy Dennis.

      Turning to the publishing world, Simon wrote his memoirs in two parts, starting with Neil Simon Writes: A Memoir (1996); he followed with part two a few years later, Neil Simon The Play Goes On: A Memoir (1999). In his later years, Simon's stage work also began taking a hit with critics, though he found mild success with "The Dinner Party" (2000), starring John Ritter and Henry Winkler. After "45 Seconds from Broadway" (2001), which lasted just a few months, he revamped his two most famous characters for "Oscar and Felix: A New Look at the Odd Couple" (2002), which starred John Larroquette as Oscar and Joe Regalbuto as Felix, followed by his staging of "Rose's Dilemma" (2003) off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Also later in his career, his plays found new life on television with "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" (Showtime, 2001) and "The Goodbye Girl" (TNT, 2004) being adapted for the small screen.

      (Biographical data courtesy of TCMDb)

    • More >
    •   Comment
    •  
    • Hammer Horror: A Frankenstein Septet at MoMA in New York, Oct. 12-18


    • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, published in 1818, has inspired hundreds of films; in 1910 Thomas Edison produced the first cinematic version in his Bronx studio, starring Charles Stanton Ogle as the monster. Hollywood audiences fell in love with Frankenstein after the 1931 Universal Pictures version, featuring Boris Karloff's iconic block-headed, neck-bolted creature and the hysterical doctor's spectacular laboratory of tesla coils and steam-spewing equipment, all in glorious black and white.

      In 1957, the British production company Hammer Films produced the first of its seven Frankenstein films, which focused more on the Gothic aspects of the book and the obsession, ambition, and guilt of the doctor (usually played by Peter Cushing). These films overflow with mournful music, overwrought Victorian décor and costumes, lusty characters, and decidedly more disfigured, wrathful monsters--all amplified by a highly artificial, gruesome color palette that makes even a glimpse of blood into a horrifying experience.

      Hammer Horror: A Frankenstein Septet is presented in conjunction with It's Alive! Frankenstein at 200, a visual history of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, at The Morgan Library and Museum October 12, 2018-January 27, 2019.


      SCHEDULE:

      The Curse of Frankenstein. 1957.
      Directed by Terence Fisher
      Friday, October 12, 7:00 p.m.
      Monday, October 15, 7:00 p.m.

      The Revenge of Frankenstein.1958.
      Directed by Terence Fisher
      Saturday, October 13, 1:00 p.m.
      Tuesday, October 16, 7:00 p.m.

      The Evil of Frankenstein. 1964.
      Directed by Freddie Francis
      Saturday, October 13, 4:00 p.m.

      Frankenstein Created Woman. 1967.
      Directed by Terence Fisher
      Saturday, October 13, 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, October 18, 4:00 p.m.

      Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. 1969.
      Directed by Terence Fisher
      Sunday, October 14, 1:00 p.m.
      Wednesday, October 17, 7:00 p.m.

      The Horror of Frankenstein. 1970.
      Directed by Jimmy Sangster
      Sunday, October 14, 4:00 p.m.

      Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. 1974.
      Directed by Terence Fisher
      Wednesday, October 17, 4:00 p.m.
      Thursday, October 18, 7:00 p.m.


      Organized by Anne Morra, Associate Curator, Department of Film.

      For more information, links and showtimes, visit www.moma.org.

    • More >
    •   Comment
    •  
    • THE LION IN WINTER screening - 10/27 at Lake Placid Film Festival in NY


    • The Adirondack Film Society is proud to announce a special guest appearance by TCM contributor and author, Jeremy Arnold as part of the 2018 Lake Placid Film Festival, scheduled for October 26-28 in Lake Placid, NY.

      For the program, Jeremy has selected "The Lion in Winter", celebrating it's 50 Anniversary this year. He will introduce the film providing insights and observations about this landmark work featuring Peter O'Toole, Katherine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton, and why this "essential" film "matters". Jeremy is the author of "The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter", published in 2016 as the companion to TCM's Essentials series. "It is certainly essential, and it has been shown on Turner Classic Movies as part of the "Essentials" series, but it's also one of thirty classic films I profile in my new TCM book, "Christmas in the Movies: 30 Classics to Celebrate the Season.", comments Jeremy. "It's not usually thought of as a "Christmas film," but if you look at it through that prism, it certainly fits. It has one of the most common Christmas-movie plots: a dysfunctional family reuniting over the holiday period. It doesn't matter that it's also a historical drama set in France -- a period piece with period costumes. At heart, it's about family tensions, which the holiday season only exacerbates." "We are thrilled with this year's classic film choice by Jeremy," comments Adirondack Film Society Vice Chairman, Nelson Page. He continues, "The Lion in Winter" is one of those films that they just don't make any more. The actors have amazing chemistry on screen, where each performance shines and the dialogue crackles with unusual intensity. Not only is this film an "Essential", but a must see. Jeremy has made a wonderful programming choice which reflects how great films were made and why they are timeless."

      Jeremy is a son of Lake Placid, so it is more like a homecoming for all of us. In a recent interview, when asked why he keeps coming back to our event, he told Nelson "I've spent at least part of every summer of my life in Lake Placid, and trips to the Palace Theater are indelible memories. There's something very American about the way the theater marquee dominates Main Street; it makes going there feel like you're venturing to the center of the community in a way, and that movies are physically bringing people together. It sure says something that Lake Placid still even has its jewel of a theater. Most towns of this size don't anymore, and that reflects the area's affection for movies, that residents have been eager to keep supporting the Palace over the decades. Finally, I enjoy the diverse offerings at each year's film festival: new features, documentaries, classics, shorts. As an avid filmgoer, I want it all!"

      The Lake Placid Film Festival will offer another classic "The Heiress" (1949), directed by academy award winner, William Wyler. Our fest goers are in for a real treat at 6:30 Friday night, October 26th at the Palace Theatre. William Wyler's daughter and independent producer of film and television, Catherine Wyler will introduce the film and be joined by Kathleen Carroll, Artistic Director of the Lake Placid Film Festival for a conversation with the audience following the screening. Kathleen will be honored at a "Tribute Gala" presented by the Adirondack Film Society on Thursday, October 25th at the High Peaks Resort, Lake Placid at 6:00pm, for her invaluable direction and contributions to our organization since 2000.

      If you are a lover of classic films, you will want to learn even more in Jeremy's books, DVD commentaries or by tuning in to TCM's streaming service, FilmStruck. Also, make sure you tune in the first weekend of this December to TCM as Jeremy will present four Christmas movies from his new book.

      We invite everyone to join us for Jeremy's special presentation of "The Lion in Winter", which will kick-off our Saturday evening at the Palace Theatre, October 27th at 6:30pm. In addition to the introduction, he will host a Q&A following the film. Jeremy has become an annual favorite for festival audiences. For additional information please visit www.lakeplacidfilmfestival.org.

    • More >
    •   Comment
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. New Books

    •  
    • All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson

    • By Mark Griffin

      Quintessentially tall, dark, and handsome, legendary movie star Rock Hudson epitomized all-American manhood at the pinnacle of his fame. The country's favorite leading man in the '50s and '60s, he exuded charm, strength, virility, and charisma in classics like Magnificent Obsession, Giant, and Pillow Talk. His mainstream appeal translated into box office success during the last hurrah of Hollywood's Golden Age. And yet, this Oscar-nominated talent's greatest performance came in real life, as for decades he kept his authentic self and his sexuality hidden in an extremely homophobic society.

      Now, in ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS: A Biography of Rock Hudson (Harper; Hardcover; On Sale: December 4, 2018), author Mark Griffin probes beneath the façade to craft the definitive biography of the complicated, conflicted individual and widely misunderstood icon, whose illustrious career spanned 40 years and who was the first major celebrity to die of AIDS.

      To survive a chaotic and financially strapped Midwestern childhood, young Roy Fitzgerald found escape from his troubles--an estranged father, a violent stepfather, and a controlling mother--at the local cinema. Despite his humble circumstances, he yearned for a future onscreen. Looks and drive, as well as his stint on the casting couch with a notoriously unscrupulous agent, eventually transformed that dream into reality. Painstakingly, an unskilled but fiercely ambitious former truck driver was transformed into the camera-ready persona of Rock Hudson.

      Rising through the ranks at Universal, Hudson emerged as the studio's prized asset, a clean-cut matinee idol adored by colleagues and fans alike. Professional glory had a psychological cost for this vulnerable, insecure soul though. On celluloid and in gossip columns, he wooed countless attractive women, burnishing his manufactured image as a swoon-worthy romantic hero. Offscreen, he courted disaster as his gay relationships, affairs, and flirtations made him a prime target for exposure by tabloids and spurned ex-lovers.

      Drawing on more than 100 interviews with co-stars, family members, and former companions and unprecedented access to private journals, personal correspondence, and production files, this comprehensive biography finally produces a multidimensional portrait of one of the most compelling figures in film history. Here, at last, are fresh insights into Hudson's controversial marriage to Phyllis Gates and his contentious dealings with boyfriend Marc Christian, providing answers to questions the late actor consistently evaded. Griffin also offers the first in-depth analysis of Hudson's entire body of work from his early bit parts to his collaborations with visionary director Douglas Sirk to his cheekily subversive bedroom farces with Doris Day to his transition to the small screen in the hit series McMillan & Wife. Along the way, this riveting account features memorable appearances from an A-list cast of characters, including Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, John Wayne, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, and many other luminaries.

      Meticulously researched and vividly rendered, ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS illuminates an all-too-human superstar whose life and legacy have significantly influenced American culture.


      Mark Griffin is the author of A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli. His interviews, reviews, and essays have appeared in scores of publications, including The Boston Globe, Premiere, MovieMaker, and Genre. Griffin, who recently appeared in the documentary Gene Kelly: To Live and Dance, lives in Lewiston, Maine.

    • More >
    •  
    •  
    • Handsome Johnny

    • By Lee Server

      Lee Server's in-depth research and vivid writing style have earned high acclaim for his bestselling biographies of Ava Gardener and Robert Mitchum. Now he turns his laser focus to a singular character in the annals of the American underworld--Johnny Rosselli--in HANDSOME JOHNNY: The Life and Death of Johnny Rosselli: Gentleman Gangster, Hollywood Producer, CIA Assassin (St. Martin's Press, Nov. 13, 2018, $29.99).

      A protégé of Al Capone, Johnny Roselli abandoned his Boston roots for California and the bloody bootlegging wars of the Roaring Twenties, eventually becoming the Mob's "Man in Hollywood," and even producing two of the best film noirs of the 1940s.

      Server uncovers previously unknown details about Rosselli, including:
      --The first detailed description of the biggest extortion plot in US history, the mob's plot to extort the entire movie industry and subvert the Hollywood unions.
      --The Syndicate's secret sponsorship of Columbia Pictures
      --The massive extortion deal that eventually landed Rosselli and his associates in federal prison.

      Server recounts the inside story of Rosselli's post-prison venture, working for Chicago boss Sam Giancana in Las Vegas, where he ran the town from his suites and poolside tables at the Tropicana and Desert Inn, enjoying the Rat Pack nightlife with pals Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

      Server also provides a detailed, first-time account of the most unexpected chapter in Rosselli's extraordinary life:
      --The CIA's recruitment of Rosselli to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro
      --The Kennedy brothers' secret connection to the murder plots
      --Rosselli's part in the eventual Washington investigations that tore apart the American intelligence service.

      Based upon years of research, written with compelling style and vivid detail, HANDSOME JOHNNY is a rich rollercoaster of a biography.


      LEE SERVER is the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed biographies Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don't Care and Ava Gardner: Love is Nothing. Robert Mitchum was named a Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, "the film biography of the year" by the Sunday Times (U.K.) and one of the "60 Greatest Film Books." Ava Gardner was a New York Times Notable Book, and a New York Times, Los Angeles Times and USA Today bestseller. He lives in Palm Springs, California.

    • More >
    •  
    •  
    • Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II


    • By Robert Matzen

      The story of one of the most enduring and beloved stars Hollywood has ever produced--Audrey Hepburn--has been told again and again since her passing in 1993. An Amazon search of books with her name will produce well over a thousand titles, with every aspect of her life but one covered in print: her years during World War II when she lived in the Netherlands under Nazi rule.

      On April 15, 2019--just weeks before what would've been her 90th birthday--critically acclaimed and bestselling biographer Robert Matzen reveals the true war story of this cinematic icon. The book, as shocking as it is vital and triumphant, is Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II [GoodKnight Books]. The culmination of years of painstaking research by Matzen--who conducted new interviews with people who knew Audrey Hepburn in the Netherlands, unearthed secret diaries, gained access to previously classified archives, and combed through decades of her own infrequent but revealing reminiscences in interviews--Dutch Girl contains substantive proof of holes, errors, and inventions in every previous Audrey Hepburn biography that's touched on her life during the war years. In fact, the real story is more incredible than anything presented by previous biographers.

      From debunking the mythology of Hepburn's lineage (did the wealthy van Heemstras actually have their money stolen by the Nazis?) to revealing the extent of her involvement with the Dutch Resistance and an active role tending wounded of the famed "Bridge Too Far" battle of Arnhem, Dutch Girl is a definitive biography that exposes an extraordinary story of courage, tragedy, perseverance, and triumph--and contributes immeasurably to the legacy of one of the world's most famous actresses, fashion icons, and humanitarians.

      Dutch Girl has been called a "true gift" by Hepburn's younger son, Luca Dotti, who has written a powerful foreword to the book that speaks to the lock-and-key under which this information had been kept in Audrey's heart, writing:
      "When my mother talked about herself and what life taught her, Hollywood was the missing guest. Instead of naming famed Beverly Hills locations, she gave us obscure and sometimes unpronounceable Dutch ones. Red carpet recollections were replaced by Second World War episodes that she was able to transform into children's tales. We knew we were missing the complete story of her life in the war--until Robert Matzen wrote to me introducing himself and his book, Dutch Girl. I now understand why the words Good and Evil, and Love and Mercy were so fundamental in her own narrative. Why she was open about certain facts and why she kept so many others in a secluded area of her being. Thank you, Robert Matzen."

      The third and final book in Matzen's 'Hollywood in WWII' Trilogy -- which includes the award-winning 2013 book Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 and 2016 bestseller Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for World War II--Dutch Girl is a not-to-be-missed spring 2019 release. Among the topics explored and new information revealed in it includes:

      --The riveting, untold story of a young Dutch ballerina in World War II who went on to become an Academy Award winning movie star, timeless fashion icon, and tireless UNICEF ambassador who devoted her life to fighting for the welfare of children in war-torn territories
      --Brand-new verified information about the van Heemstra family, including brutal executions of Audrey Hepburn's relatives by the Nazis and other direct family members deeply involved in the rise of fascism in Europe
      --Audrey Hepburn's active role in the Dutch Resistance and details about her daily life in Velp when the war "came home" and the village was under fire for seven months
      --Never-before-seen photographs, documents, and mementos provided by Audrey Hepburn's son, Luca Dotti, informing Matzen's research and shared in a full-color and black-and-white 24-page photo section


      Robert Matzen has gained a reputation as one of today's top authors in popular biography; for his latest book, Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II, he lived in Audrey Hepburn's footsteps in the Netherlands, interviewed many who knew her, and dug deep into Dutch archives to uncover secret information, resulting in a eye-opening look into the hidden past of an icon. Dutch Girl is Matzen's eighth book and the third and final installment in his 'Hollywood in World War II' trilogy, with previous releases including the award-winning and critically acclaimed titles Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 [2013] and Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe [2016]. Regularly appearing ininternational press, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Hollywood Reporter, and PBS, Matzen's previous print work includes many articles about classic films and he maintains a popular blog at https://robertmatzen.com/blog/

      Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II [GoodKnight Books] will be available in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook formats on April 15, 2019 wherever books are sold.

    • More >
    •  
    •  
    • A Star is Born: Judy Garland and the Film that Got Away

    • By Lorna Luft and Jeffrey Vance

      New York Times bestselling author and daughter of Judy Garland tells the story of A Star Is Born (1954) -- at once the crowning achievement and greatest disappointment in her mother's legendary career. This is a vivid account of a film classic's production, loss, and reclamation.

      A Star Is Born -- the classic Hollywood tale about a young talent rising to superstardom, and the downfall of her mentor/lover along the way -- has never gone out of style. It has seen five film adaptations, but none compares to the 1954 version starring Judy Garland in her greatest role. But while it was the crowning performance of the legendary entertainer's career, the production turned into one of the most talked about in movie history.

      The story, which depicts the dark side of fame, addiction, loss, and suicide, paralleled Garland's own tumultuous life in many ways. While hitting alarmingly close to home for the fragile star, it ultimately led to a superlative performance -- one that was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost in one of the biggest upsets in Oscar® history. Running far too long for the studio's tastes, Warner Bros. notoriously slashed extensive amounts of footage from the finished print, leaving A Star is Born in tatters and breaking the heart of both the film's star and director George Cukor.

      Today, with a director's cut reconstructed from previously lost scenes and audio, the 1954 A Star is Born has taken its deserved place among the most critically acclaimed movies of all time, and continues to inspire each new generation that discovers it. Now, Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland and the film's producer, Sid Luft, tells the story of the production, and of her mother's fight to save her career, as only she could. Teaming with film historian Jeffrey Vance, A Star Is Born is a vivid and refreshingly candid account of the crafting, loss, and restoration of a movie classic, complemented by a trove of images from the family collection taken both on and off the set. The book also includes essays on the other screen adaptations of A Star Is Born, to round out a complete history of a story that has remained a Hollywood favorite for close to a century.


      Lorna Luft is the daughter of Judy Garland and Sid Luft. She is the author of the bestselling book Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir (Pocket Books, 1998). After making her television debut on her mother's 1963 Christmas special, Luft embarked on her own career as a singer and actress on the stage, film, and TV. She has performed on and off Broadway in Lolita, and Promises, Promises; in national tours of Grease and Guys and Dolls; at the Rainbow Room, the Hollywood Bowl, and the White House. Luft lives in Palm Springs, CA.

      Jeffrey Vance is a film historian, author, and producer. His books include Douglas Fairbanks (UC Press, 2008) and a trilogy of volumes published by Abrams on comedy legends: Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema (2003), Harold Lloyd: Master Comedian (2002), and Buster Keaton Remembered (2001). Vance lives in Los Angeles, CA.

    • More >
    •  
  1. DVD Reviews

    •  
    • Dick Dinman & George Feltenstein Come HOME FROM THE HILL!

    • DICK DINMAN AND GEORGE FELTENSTEIN COME "HOME FROM THE HILL"!: Warner's own George Feltenstein rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman as both marvel at Vincente Minnelli's sensitive and powerful direction of HOME FROM THE HILL one of the most bracingly stinging rural domestic dramas ever produced and both pay tribute to one of star Robert Mitchum's most acclaimed performances ever as this emotionally potent masterwork joins the prodigious list of Minnelli classics previously released on the Blu-ray format by the Warner Archive.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

    • More >
    •  
    •  
    • Dick Dinman's "Best of '18" Holiday Gift Giving Shows

    • DICK DINMAN'S "BEST OF '18" HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING SHOW: "Dick's Best Classic Blu-ray Pick's for '18" include superb releases from the Warner Archive, the Criterion Collection, Kino Lorber, the Cohen Collection, Olive Films, Twilight Time, Flicker Alley and Indicator/Powerhouse and acclaimed author, film historian, and commentator Jeremy Arnold joins producer/host Dick Dinman to shine the holiday light on his sumptuously illustrated new book TCM's CHRISTMAS IN THE MOVIES: 30 CLASSICS TO CELEBRATE THE SEASON (available from Running Press).

      DICK DINMAN SALUTES TCM'S "CHRISTMAS IN THE MOVIES: 30 CLASSICS TO CELEBRATE THE SEASON": Producer/host Dick Dinman welcomes back popular author and film historian Jeremy Arnold who reveals the why's and wherefores of his choices of classic holiday films that he included in his marvelous new Christmas gift book TCM's CHRISTMAS IN THE MOVIES: 30 CLASSICS TO CELEBRATE THE SEASON (available from Running Press).


      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

    • More >
    •  
    •  
    • Dick Dinman & George Feltenstein Survive THE LAST HUNT

    • DICK DINMAN & GEORGE FELTENSTEIN SURVIVE "THE LAST HUNT"! : Robert Taylor takes no prisoners in his superbly conceived, savage and rivetingly intense performance of a lifetime in writer/director Richard Brooks' starkly effective western drama THE LAST HUNT and Warner Home Video's popular and engaging Senior Vice President of Classic and Theatrical Marketing George Feltenstein joins producer/host Dick Dinman as both celebrate the astonishingly gorgeous Blu-ray release of this powerful film classic.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

    • More >
    •  
    •  
    • Dick Dinman Salutes Criterion's DIETRICH & VON STERNBERG IN HOLLYWOOD

    • DICK DINMAN SALUTES CRITERION'S "DIETRICH & Von STERNBERG IN HOLLYWOOD" COLLECTION (Part One): Classic film fans of the erotically exotic Paramount Pictures collaborations of star Marlene Dietrich and director/photographer Josef Von Sternberg are over the moon about the Criterion Collection's brilliant restorations of all six of their hotblooded and aggressively seductive cinema masterworks together which are supplemented by a phenomenal array of special features and acclaimed writer and film scholar Imogen Sara Smith joins producer/host Dick Dinman as both marvel at the unparalleled depth and scope of this amazing collection.
      PLUS: "DICK'S PICKS" are Criterion's KING OF JAZZ, MOONRISE, THE AWFUL TRUTH, and A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH!

      DICK DINMAN SALUTES CRITERION'S "DIETRICH & Von STERNBERG IN HOLLYWOOD" COLLECTION (Part Two): Acclaimed author and film scholar Imogen Sara Smith rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman as both discuss all six of the Dietrich/Von Sternberg cinema milestones and marvel at the virtually immaculate transfers and wide ranging special features included in this dazzling collection.


      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

    • More >
    •  
    •  
    • Dick Dinman & George Feltenstein are GUN CRAZY!

    • DICK DINMAN & GEORGE FELTENSTEIN ARE "GUN CRAZY!": Producer/host Dick Dinman and Warner Home Video's Sr. V.P. of Classic & Theatrical Marketing George Feltenstein salute the Blu-ray debut of the certifiable noir masterwork GUN CRAZY as well as the Blu-ray debuts of LES GIRLS (Gene Kelly's final MGM dance delight), Sergio Leone's spectacular THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES and two drastically different Vincente Minnelli CinemaScope and color triumphs: the delightful comedy DESIGNING WOMAN and the intensely dramatic TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

    • More >
    •  
  1. Press Release

    •  
    • Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha Screens BACK TO THE FUTURE!

    • Motion Picture Historian Crawford Bringing the time travel/comedy to Omaha

      Film historian Bruce Crawford will be presenting the 1985 classic Back to the Future on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge Street in Omaha. It has become one of the most popular adventure comedies in cinema history and spawned three sequels as well as comic books, video games and much more.

      In addition to the special event screening, writer, producer and co-creator of all three Back to the Future films, Bob Gale, will address the audience as well as actor Harry Waters Jr., who played singer Marvin Berry in the film--both will speak before the screening discussing the making of this iconic film. There will also be a meet-and-greet and autograph session for the fans.

      This event marks 26 years since Crawford started hosting film legends and the classic films on which they worked. He typically presents two movies each year, spring and autumn.

      Tickets to meet and hear Bob Gale and Harry Waters Jr. go on sale Thursday, Oct. 4 for $24 each and can be purchased at the customer service counters of all Omaha-area Hy Vee food stores. Proceeds will benefit the Nebraska Kidney Association.

      For more information call (402) 932-7200 or (308) 830-2121 and visit www.omahafilmevent.com

    • More >
    •  
    •  
    • Web Reviewer Glenn Erickson Launches 'CineSavant'


    • Web reviewer Glenn Erickson, aka 'DVD Savant' has established a new home under a new identity, 'CineSavant.' Reviewing independently since 1998, the Savant database has grown to over five thousand reviews and articles, and become one of the most respected and sought-out review pages on the web for news and opinions about classic films on disc. Readership boomed when the page Trailers from Hell picked up Glenn's reviews as featured content in 2015.

      A varied background helps add perspective to Glenn's reviews; from the UCLA Film School he worked in special effects, and then moved on to TV commercial work, and trailers for The Cannon Group. A long stint with MGM/UA Home Video led to editing large-scale DVD extras and other special projects. He began writing for the web in 1997 as 'MGM Video Savant.' Working with the film curators at MGM, Glenn helped detect and produced the restoration of the original ending of the film noir classic Kiss Me Deadly. Glenn has published two books of reviews, and has been writing and researching for TCM since 2004.

    • More >
    •  
    •  
    • TCM Remembers Neil Simon (1927-2018)

    • Turner Classic Movies pays tribute to Neil Simon on Friday, September 14 with the following festival of films. This program will replace the previously scheduled movies for that night so please take note.

      The new schedule for Friday, September 14 will be:
      8:00pm - The Odd Couple (1968)
      10:00pm - The Goodbye Girl (1977)
      12:00am - Lost in Yonkers (1993)



      Neil Simon passed away on Sunday, August 26 in New York City at the age of 91.

      A staff writer on the signature comedy series of television's infancy, "Your Show of Shows" (NBC, 1950-54), Neil Simon went on to establish himself as one of Broadway's most prolific and consistent hit makers. Over the course of four decades, a Simon play or musical opened most seasons on Broadway and were often turned into major motion pictures within a couple of years, including "Barefoot in the Park" (1967), "The Out-of-Towners" (1969), "The Sunshine Boys" (1975) and "California Suite" (1978). Simon also wrote his share of original screenplays, such as the mystery spoof "Murder By Death" (1976) and the charming romantic comedy "Seems Like Old Times" (1980), though it was largely his stage work that earned him his reputation. Perhaps his most enduring creation was "The Odd Couple," which was a play in 1965, a film in 1968 and a television show that ran five seasons starting in 1970, while over the decades popping up in other incarnations. In the 1980s, Simon began a series of semi-autobiographical coming-of-age plays focused on his alleged alter-ego, Eugene Jerome. Dubbed the Eugene Trilogy, the plays consisted of "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (1983), "Biloxi Blues" (1985) and "Broadway Bound" (1986), with the former two being turned into mildly successful feature films. After years as an unbridled hit maker, Simon earned the overwhelming respect of critics with "Lost in Yonkers" (1991), which earned him a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for drama. Though his success tapered off in his later years, Simon remained the most important playwright of the latter-half of the 20th century.

      Born on July 4, 1927 in The Bronx, NY, Simon was raised in Depression-era Washington Heights in northern Manhattan by his father, Irving, a garment salesman, and his mother, Mamie. Because his parents were engaged in a rocky relationship that often threatened to break apart, Simon and his older brother, Danny, were sent to live with one group of relatives or another. His father often left the family for long periods of time, leaving their mother to fend for herself until his return. After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School when he was 16, Simon attended New York University, where he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force Reserve during the waning days of World War II, which led to an assignment at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, CO, where, as a corporal, he began writing for the USAF sports paper, the Rev-Meter. Following a short stint at the University of Denver, Simon moved back to New York, where he spent two years working in the mailroom of the East Coast Warner Bros. offices before quitting to write radio and television scripts with his brother, Danny.

      Simon and his brother managed to wrangle an interview with radio comic, Goodman Ace, who hired the sketch writing duo for $200 a week after reading just one of their jokes. Simon partnered with his brother for the next nine years, with the two writing for such radio programs as "The Robert Q. Lewis Show." They soon moved on to television to write for the day's biggest shows, including "The Red Buttons Show" (CBS/NBC, 1952-55), "The Phil Rivers Show" (CBS, 1955-59), and "Your Show of Shows" (NBC, 1950-54), which starred Sid Caesar and featured perhaps the best group of comics ever assembled: Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Carl Reiner and Larry Gelbart. Following his entrée into the theater world with the Broadway revue, "Catch a Star" (1955), which he collaborated on with Danny, he became a staff writer on the sitcom, "Stanley" (NBC, 1956-57), which starred Buddy Hackett as the slovenly proprietor of a hotel lobby newsstand. Eventually, Simon struck out on his own when he wrote his first play, "Come Blow Your Horn" (1961), which told the story of a young man who yearns to leave his parents' home to live at his brother's swinging bachelor pad.

      "Come Blow Your Horn" opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where it ran for two years and became a big hit. Simon followed with "Little Me" (1962), which, while not as well-received as his first play, still earned the playwright his first Tony Award nomination. After "Come Blow Your Horn" was adapted in 1963 into a feature film starring Frank Sinatra, Simon had one of the biggest stage hits of his career with "Barefoot in the Park" (1963), a lighthearted comedy focusing on the marriage between a buttoned-down lawyer husband and his free-spirited wife that played on Broadway for over 1,500 performances, making it one of the longest-running non-musicals in the history of the Great White Way. The play was turned into a successful 1967 film starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Meanwhile, his brother had gone through a divorce and was living with another divorced man, which sparked the idea for what eventually became "The Odd Couple" (1965). After several attempts to write the idea, Danny threw the idea over to Simon, who turned the comedy about a freakishly neat newspaper writer thrown out by his wife and forced to move in with a slovenly sportswriter into a Broadway smash that ran for over 900 performances and earned several Tony Awards, including Best Play.

      As with many of Simon's plays, "The Odd Couple" was adapted for the big screen in 1968, and starred Jack Lemmon as the fastidious Felix Unger and Walter Matthau, reprising his original Broadway role, as the slob Oscar Madison. Possibly one of the best feature adaptations of his stage work, the highly successful movie earned several award nominations, including Simon's first for an Academy Award. During this time, he churned out stage plays like "The Star-Spangled Girl" (1966), "Plaza Suite" (1968) and "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers" (1969), which continued his string of critical and financial hits. The following year, "The Odd Couple" was spun off to the small screen, where it spent five seasons on ABC with Tony Randall as Felix and Jack Klugman as Oscar. Meanwhile, he wrote the play to perhaps his second-best remembered stage production, "The Sunshine Boys" (1972), which focused on two aging vaudevillians forced back together after growing to hate each other for a television reunion. Following another Tony Award win for Best Play, the production was adapted into a critically acclaimed 1975 film starring Walter Matthau and George Burns; the latter of whom won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

      With his career at an all-time high, there seemed to be nothing that could bring Simon down. But in 1973, his wife of 20 years, Joan Baim, died after a prolonged battle with cancer. The agonizing 15 months of watching his wife slowly slip away left the playwright empty and devastated. Four months later, however, Simon shocked friends and colleagues when he married actress Marsha Mason following a brief courtship. He continued writing successful plays like "The Good Doctor" (1973), "California Suite" (1976) and "Chapter Two" (1977) while scripting original screenplays like "Murder By Death" (1976), a spoof on whodunit mysteries that featured Truman Capote as a wealthy recluse named Lionel Twain, who lures top private detectives (an all-star cast of Peter Sellers, Peter Falk, David Niven, Maggie Smith and James Coco) to his secluded mansion to solve a murder that's about to be committed. He next wrote the original screenplay for "The Goodbye Girl" (1977), an adult romantic comedy about a divorced mother and ex-Broadway dancer (Marsha Mason) engaged in a romance with an arrogant actor (Richard Dreyfuss) whose career is nearly ruined by a myopic director (Paul Benedict). Dreyfuss went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his winning, wacky performance.

      Returning to adaptations of his own work, Simon wrote the scripts for the screen treatments of "California Suite" (1978) and "Chapter Two" (1979), while writing the script for the comedy spoof "The Cheap Detective" (1978), starring Peter Falk, the book for the musical "They're Playing Our Song" (1979), and the stage play for "I Ought to Be in Pictures" (1980), which he turned into a feature starring Walter Matthau and Ann-Margaret in 1982. Simon next wrote the original screenplay for the feature comedy, "Seems Like Old Times" (1980), which starred Chevy Chase as a down-on-his-luck writer who seeks refuge from a pair of bank robbers at the home of his ex-wife (Goldie Hawn), only to run afoul of her new stuffed-shirt husband (Charles Grodin). Following his lighthearted romantic comedy, "Fools" (1981), which was directed for Broadway by longtime collaborator Mike Nichols, Simon adapted his play "The Gingerbread Lady" (1970) into the film "Only When I Laugh" (1981), which again starred wife Marsha Mason. Simon next wrote the play to "Brighton Beach Memoires" (1983), a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age comedy about a young Jewish teenager who experiences puberty and has a sexual awakening while trying to deal with his struggling family. The play was turned into a mildly popular film in 1986 starring Jonathan Silverman as Simon's alter-ego, Eugene Jerome.

      Simon returned to the stage with the more popular "Biloxi Blues" (1985), the second installment to what became known as the Eugene Trilogy. This time, the young Jewish kid from Brooklyn enlists in the Army and is sent to Biloxi, MS for basic training, where he falls in love, loses his virginity and runs afoul of an offbeat drill sergeant. In 1988, the play was adapted into a well-received film starring Matthew Broderick as Eugene and Christopher Walken as Sgt. Toomey. In 1983, Simon suffered another personal setback - albeit one not as tragic as losing Joan - when he divorced actress Marsha Mason following 10 years of marriage. Despite the split, the two remained friends and continued working together. Meanwhile, he reimagined "The Odd Couple" as "The Female Odd Couple" (1985), which was staged on Broadway with Sally Struthers and Rita Moreno in the leads. Simon rounded out his Eugene Trilogy with "Broadway Bound" (1986), which followed Eugene and his brother Stanley - obvious doubles for Simon and his own brother Danny - as they try to make it as comedy writers on radio and television. Unlike the previous two installments, however, "Broadway Bound" was not immediately adapted into a feature film or even television movie - the rare Simon play not to make such a transformation.

      During this time, Simon remarried once again, this time to Diane Lander, a former employee at the Beverly Hills department store, Neiman Marcus. Their relationship proved to be a rocky one, ending in divorce in 1988 following 18 months of marriage, only to reunite in early 1990. Though they again filed for divorce two years later, the couple reconciled until finally splitting for good in 1998. Though asked on several occasions, Simon had been remiss to talk about his relationship with her; even going so far as to not draw from their experiences in his work - a shock given his mining of all other areas of his life. Meanwhile, he wrote the farce "Rumors" (1988) for the stage before achieving massive popular and critical success with "Lost in Yonkers" (1991), a coming-of-age drama about two brothers left in the care of their intimidating grandmother who also houses the mentally deficient, but good-hearted Aunt Bella (Mercedes Ruehl). Simon's difficult tale of family dysfunction won several awards, including a Tony for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. After returning to the world of "Your Show of Shows" for a Broadway production of "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" (1993), he cited the high cost of producing plays on the Great White Way, controversially insisting that "London Suite" (1994) be produced off-Broadway.

      After penning a television version of his 1992 play "Jake's Women" (CBS, 1996), Simon wrote his 30th stage production, "Proposals" (1997), which opened on Broadway, but quickly closed, proving to be one of his least successful stage efforts. On the flip side, a revival of "The Sunshine Boys" enjoyed a much longer run thanks to the popularity of stars Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. Meanwhile, Simon's feature output fell off following the box-office failure of "The Marrying Man" (1991) and "Neil Simon's 'Lost in Yonkers'" (1993), causing the writer to turn to the small screen with "Neil Simon's 'London Suite'" (NBC, 1996), with a cast that included Kelsey Grammer, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Richard Mulligan, and a misguided "The Sunshine Boys" (CBS, 1997), which was filmed in 1995 with Peter Falk and Woody Allen. His return to the big screen with the sequel "The Odd Couple II" (1998) sank at the box office despite the presence of the original actors, Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. Later that year, a remake of "The-Out-of-Towners" (1998), starred Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn in the roles originated in 1970 by Lemmon and Sandy Dennis.

      Turning to the publishing world, Simon wrote his memoirs in two parts, starting with Neil Simon Writes: A Memoir (1996); he followed with part two a few years later, Neil Simon The Play Goes On: A Memoir (1999). In his later years, Simon's stage work also began taking a hit with critics, though he found mild success with "The Dinner Party" (2000), starring John Ritter and Henry Winkler. After "45 Seconds from Broadway" (2001), which lasted just a few months, he revamped his two most famous characters for "Oscar and Felix: A New Look at the Odd Couple" (2002), which starred John Larroquette as Oscar and Joe Regalbuto as Felix, followed by his staging of "Rose's Dilemma" (2003) off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Also later in his career, his plays found new life on television with "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" (Showtime, 2001) and "The Goodbye Girl" (TNT, 2004) being adapted for the small screen.

      (Biographical data courtesy of TCMDb)

    • More >
    •  
    •  
    • Hammer Horror: A Frankenstein Septet at MoMA in New York, Oct. 12-18


    • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, published in 1818, has inspired hundreds of films; in 1910 Thomas Edison produced the first cinematic version in his Bronx studio, starring Charles Stanton Ogle as the monster. Hollywood audiences fell in love with Frankenstein after the 1931 Universal Pictures version, featuring Boris Karloff's iconic block-headed, neck-bolted creature and the hysterical doctor's spectacular laboratory of tesla coils and steam-spewing equipment, all in glorious black and white.

      In 1957, the British production company Hammer Films produced the first of its seven Frankenstein films, which focused more on the Gothic aspects of the book and the obsession, ambition, and guilt of the doctor (usually played by Peter Cushing). These films overflow with mournful music, overwrought Victorian décor and costumes, lusty characters, and decidedly more disfigured, wrathful monsters--all amplified by a highly artificial, gruesome color palette that makes even a glimpse of blood into a horrifying experience.

      Hammer Horror: A Frankenstein Septet is presented in conjunction with It's Alive! Frankenstein at 200, a visual history of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, at The Morgan Library and Museum October 12, 2018-January 27, 2019.


      SCHEDULE:

      The Curse of Frankenstein. 1957.
      Directed by Terence Fisher
      Friday, October 12, 7:00 p.m.
      Monday, October 15, 7:00 p.m.

      The Revenge of Frankenstein.1958.
      Directed by Terence Fisher
      Saturday, October 13, 1:00 p.m.
      Tuesday, October 16, 7:00 p.m.

      The Evil of Frankenstein. 1964.
      Directed by Freddie Francis
      Saturday, October 13, 4:00 p.m.

      Frankenstein Created Woman. 1967.
      Directed by Terence Fisher
      Saturday, October 13, 7:00 p.m.
      Thursday, October 18, 4:00 p.m.

      Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. 1969.
      Directed by Terence Fisher
      Sunday, October 14, 1:00 p.m.
      Wednesday, October 17, 7:00 p.m.

      The Horror of Frankenstein. 1970.
      Directed by Jimmy Sangster
      Sunday, October 14, 4:00 p.m.

      Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. 1974.
      Directed by Terence Fisher
      Wednesday, October 17, 4:00 p.m.
      Thursday, October 18, 7:00 p.m.


      Organized by Anne Morra, Associate Curator, Department of Film.

      For more information, links and showtimes, visit www.moma.org.

    • More >
    •  
    •  
    • THE LION IN WINTER screening - 10/27 at Lake Placid Film Festival in NY


    • The Adirondack Film Society is proud to announce a special guest appearance by TCM contributor and author, Jeremy Arnold as part of the 2018 Lake Placid Film Festival, scheduled for October 26-28 in Lake Placid, NY.

      For the program, Jeremy has selected "The Lion in Winter", celebrating it's 50 Anniversary this year. He will introduce the film providing insights and observations about this landmark work featuring Peter O'Toole, Katherine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton, and why this "essential" film "matters". Jeremy is the author of "The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter", published in 2016 as the companion to TCM's Essentials series. "It is certainly essential, and it has been shown on Turner Classic Movies as part of the "Essentials" series, but it's also one of thirty classic films I profile in my new TCM book, "Christmas in the Movies: 30 Classics to Celebrate the Season.", comments Jeremy. "It's not usually thought of as a "Christmas film," but if you look at it through that prism, it certainly fits. It has one of the most common Christmas-movie plots: a dysfunctional family reuniting over the holiday period. It doesn't matter that it's also a historical drama set in France -- a period piece with period costumes. At heart, it's about family tensions, which the holiday season only exacerbates." "We are thrilled with this year's classic film choice by Jeremy," comments Adirondack Film Society Vice Chairman, Nelson Page. He continues, "The Lion in Winter" is one of those films that they just don't make any more. The actors have amazing chemistry on screen, where each performance shines and the dialogue crackles with unusual intensity. Not only is this film an "Essential", but a must see. Jeremy has made a wonderful programming choice which reflects how great films were made and why they are timeless."

      Jeremy is a son of Lake Placid, so it is more like a homecoming for all of us. In a recent interview, when asked why he keeps coming back to our event, he told Nelson "I've spent at least part of every summer of my life in Lake Placid, and trips to the Palace Theater are indelible memories. There's something very American about the way the theater marquee dominates Main Street; it makes going there feel like you're venturing to the center of the community in a way, and that movies are physically bringing people together. It sure says something that Lake Placid still even has its jewel of a theater. Most towns of this size don't anymore, and that reflects the area's affection for movies, that residents have been eager to keep supporting the Palace over the decades. Finally, I enjoy the diverse offerings at each year's film festival: new features, documentaries, classics, shorts. As an avid filmgoer, I want it all!"

      The Lake Placid Film Festival will offer another classic "The Heiress" (1949), directed by academy award winner, William Wyler. Our fest goers are in for a real treat at 6:30 Friday night, October 26th at the Palace Theatre. William Wyler's daughter and independent producer of film and television, Catherine Wyler will introduce the film and be joined by Kathleen Carroll, Artistic Director of the Lake Placid Film Festival for a conversation with the audience following the screening. Kathleen will be honored at a "Tribute Gala" presented by the Adirondack Film Society on Thursday, October 25th at the High Peaks Resort, Lake Placid at 6:00pm, for her invaluable direction and contributions to our organization since 2000.

      If you are a lover of classic films, you will want to learn even more in Jeremy's books, DVD commentaries or by tuning in to TCM's streaming service, FilmStruck. Also, make sure you tune in the first weekend of this December to TCM as Jeremy will present four Christmas movies from his new book.

      We invite everyone to join us for Jeremy's special presentation of "The Lion in Winter", which will kick-off our Saturday evening at the Palace Theatre, October 27th at 6:30pm. In addition to the introduction, he will host a Q&A following the film. Jeremy has become an annual favorite for festival audiences. For additional information please visit www.lakeplacidfilmfestival.org.

    • More >
    •  
To Kill a Mockingbird - 50th Anniversary DVD
$8.55
was $14.98
Out of the Past DVD
$14.36
was $17.99
Rear Window DVD
$10.47
was $14.98
Close

Close

  •  
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca
  •  
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca
  •  
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca