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  1. Top News Stories

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    • An Interview with Direction Richard C. Sarafian

    • Richard C. Sarafian, the cult director whose best work included such diverse fare as Andy (1965) a sensitive study of a mentally impaired man; Man in the Wilderness (1970) a harrowing tale of wilderness survival; Vanishing Point (1971) a wildly popular (and most seductive) road flick; and The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973) one of the best western-comedies from the '70s, recently sat down with us at his Brentwood home to discuss his work and philosophies on filmmaking.

      TCM: What were your earliest memories and influence with cinema?

      RS: As a child my mom would take me to the theater and we would see all the greats: James Cagney, Paul Muni, Spencer Tracy, and Laurence Olivier, oh how I loved Wuthering Heights!

      TCM: Anything style in particular that influenced you?

      RS: I loved the Italian style [Neo-Realism], of directors like Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini and Federico Fellini. I loved The Bicycle Thief. You can see traces of that style in my first film Andy.

      TCM: How did you get started in this business?

      RS: In 1952, after I got back from Korea, I went to NYU as a Pre-Med/Pre-Law student. I took a course in screenwriting with Haig Manoogian, he was one of the earliest instructors regarding the art of film. Anyway, I did a school project where I outlined everything, including the storyboards. He was impressed with my work and that was it. I was hooked. I was ready to try my hand in it, and I didn't even finish my degree. I was out in the trenches before I knew it.

      TCM: What was the route?

      RS: I first went to Kansas City, I was a reporter for the Army Hometown News. Anyway I met an aspiring director named Robert Altman. He was directing a play at local theatre called Hope is a Thing with Feathers. He cast me in a part and we developed a professional relationship. When he found work in Hollywood doing television, I became his assistant.

      TCM: Your career in television was long and extensive. Obviously, it must have been a good training ground for you as a director.

      RS: Good? It was invaluable. That was where I learned through trial and error, and also where I developed some good techniques.

      TCM: Such as?

      RS: I created masters that didn't require coverage. In creating masters, if everything is right, the shot takes over and coverage isn't necessary. Since with masters is whose point of view I'm telling the story, if I move the camera, image size changes. The emotional value of the moment changes, the point of view can change many times in one scene. Also, I did a lot of westerns on TV, like Maverick, Bonanza and Gunsmoke, and I used a lot of extreme close-ups on the actors. Sergio Leone told me years ago that he learned that technique for his spaghetti westerns (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More) with Clint Eastwood. You could imagine how flattered I was when he told me that.

      TCM: How did you make the move to films?

      RS: In 1964, Universal Studios had a chapter for burgeoning young talent. The banner was called New Horizons. They gave me a very small budget, $295,000, and I shot my first feature film with it, Andy.

      TCM: Andy is one of the earliest examples of indie cinema using authentic New York locations. Were you influenced at all by the work of other "New York Indie" directors before you such as Morris Engel and John Cassavetes?

      RS: I was really more impressed with the Italian style [post-war neo-realism], that gritty, life-on-the-street feel like Bicycle Thief. New York was my stomping ground, so I really wanted to shoot the film there. In the context of Engel and Cassavettes, I know how influential they are, and I'm honored to be mentioned along with them.

      TCM: It must have been tough shooting in New York in the dead of winter.

      RS: Oh boy, you're not kidding. We shot it over a 33-day period in January and February. We used all kinds of tricks just to get the shots we wanted: hidden cameras, I had Norman Alden, the actor who played Andy, running through Manhattan rush hour traffic for one scene, I sat with Ernesto Capiros, my magnificent dp [director of photography] for hours with the discussion of lights for night time scenes, and we developed a harness for hand-held shots. I mean, we were really roughing it, but it was worth it, because I really caught the grit of New York for the film. And the cast, wonderful performers from the stage like Ann Wedgeworth and Sudie Bond, were just committed to doing a good job.

      TCM: What inspired the story?

      RS: There were two inspirations really. The first was that I had lived with a mentally impaired child for awhile in Connecticut, and I studied his behavior. I truly believe they [mentally impaired] are the chosen - the children of god. They live in a very safe place free of any neurotic baggage. The other influence was that back in my younger days, in the early '50s, I worked in this hole, Pete's Hollywood Bar on 26th & 8th in Manhattan. There was a man who came in that was very much like the character in Andy. Everyone referred to him as slow, but he had a spirit to him, a strength, and boy, when he found out people were trying to f**k with him, he fought 'em all, he was tough. I found out years later that he froze to death on the streets. So the film was in a way a tribute to him. The shame of it was Andy closed within a week, despite getting a good review from Bosley Crowther in the New York Times.

      TCM: Vanishing Point has such a huge cult following as an existential road movie. What are your thoughts on that?

      RS: I'm thrilled by it naturally. The beauty of Vanishing Point was that I met the challenge to physicalize speed. Michael Ritchie did a film Downhill Racer with Robert Redford that touched on the essence of speed, but I wanted to take it a step further.

      TCM: Further how?

      RS: I wanted to go beyond the limits of safety. Why Kowalski (Barry Newman) was forced into his situation? He was just passing through life like a rubber band, ending up in the same place where he started. I had no linear concepts for this one. I made the car, that beautiful 1958 Bronco, the star of the film. I loved the ambiguity of it all, and fact that it makes people think and apply their own value system into it. My only disappointment was that Gene Hackman wanted to play the part of Kowalski, but the studio wouldn't let me cast him, so I got saddled with Barry Newman instead.

      TCM: You have a reputation as an "actor's director." You seem to bring out such sensitive performances from them. What's your secret?

      RS: I tried to create conditions where the actors felt comfortable. The best thing you can do for an actor is give them a sense of place and trust them. You don't constrict the actor to stick totally to the words of the script. Give them room for discovery and my god what they can come up with! I've been blessed to work with such a great slew of actors over the years: Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Robert Ryan, and Sir John Mills. They all brought a quality that all the greats do, honesty. They can take you into moments that are totally unpredictable and organic.

      TCM: Any tips for the aspiring director?

      RS: Well there's no real mystique to it. If you have a good story to tell, and assemble a good crew, you're on your way. I should say that the genius of a good director is casting. It makes your life a lot easier if you know you've got the right actors in the right parts. You also have to be careful and not to get too didactic, and not overdecorate the moment. Let the spontaneous happen because in the end, the best direction is that the audience never knows it's happening. And if I have any lasting advice for the aspiring director - it's this. Don't ever think of failing or you'll never get out of the starting gate.

      TCM: Any final words?

      RS: I was just always grateful that I could make a living doing this, and the fact that people still appreciate my work.

      TCM: Thanks for your time.

      RS: I really enjoyed this!

      Interview Conducted by MICHAEL T. TOOLE

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  1. New Books

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    • Elizabeth and Michael

    • By Donald Bogle

      One of the country's leading authorities on popular entertainment presents an eye-opening and unique biography of two larger-than-life legends--Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson--and their unlikely yet enduring friendship.

      From the moment Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson met, they were hooked on each other. He peered into her violet eyes and was transfixed; she, in turn, was dazzled by his talent, intrigued by his sweet-tempered childlike personality, and moved by the stories she had already heard about his troubled early life. Soon a deep friendship blossomed, unexpectedly unlike anything either had ever experienced. Through thick and thin, through their various emotional upheavals, through the peaks and valleys of their careers, through their personal traumas and heartaches, through the unending health issues and extreme physical pain that each experienced, and through the glare of the often merciless public spotlight, their bond held them together, and their love for each other endured.


      Donald Bogle skillfully recreates the moving narrative of Taylor and Jackson's experiences together and their intense emotional connection, without shying away from the controversies that swirled around them. Through interviews with friends and acquaintances of the two stars, as well as anonymous but credible sources, Elizabeth and Michael emerges as a tender, intimate look at this famous "odd couple" and a treasure to their millions of fans.

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    • Robert Wagner's I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES: Memories of Hollywood's Legendary Actresses

    • By Robert Wagner and Scott Eyman

      In a career that has spanned over sixty years, Robert Wagner has witnessed the twilight of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the rise of television, becoming a beloved star in both film and TV. During this time, he became acquainted, both professionally and socially, with many of the greatest female screen personalities of all time. I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES: Memories of Hollywood's Legendary Actresses (On-sale: 11/15/16) by Robert Wagner, with co-author Scott Eyman, provides an intimate and revealing account of the charisma of these women on film, why they became stars, and how their specific emotional and dramatic chemistries affected the choices they made both as actresses and as women.

      I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES offers a privileged look behind the scenes at some of the most well-known women in show business. Among Wagner's subjects are Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Norma Shearer, Loretta Young, Joan Blondell, Irene Dunne, Rosalind Russell, Dorothy Lamour, Debra Paget, Jean Peters, Linda Darnell, Betty Hutton, Raquel Welch, Glenn Close, and the two actresses whom he ultimately married, Natalie Wood and Jill St. John. In addition to offering perceptive commentary on these women, Wagner examines topics like the strange alchemy of the camera--how it can transform the attractive into the stunning, and vice-versa--and how the introduction of color brought a new erotic charge to movies--one that enabled these actresses to become aggressively sexual beings in a way that that black and white films had only hinted at.


      Robert Wagner is the star of such films as A Kiss Before Dying, The Longest Day, The Pink Panther, and most recently, the Austin Powers franchise. On television, he starred in It Takes a Thief (with Fred Astaire), Switch (with Eddie Albert and Sharon Gless), and Hart to Hart (with Stefanie Powers). He has recently appeared on Two and a Half Men and NCIS. He is married to actress Jill St. John.

      Scott Eyman is the author of eleven books about the movies, including Lion of Hollywood: The Life of Louis B. Mayer (which the Wall Street Journal called one of the five best books ever written about Hollywood), Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille, and more recently, John Wayne: The Life and Legend.

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    • King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue

    • King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue tells the story of the making, release, and restoration of Universal's 1930 Technicolor extravaganza King of Jazz. Authors James Layton and David Pierce have uncovered original artwork, studio production files, behind-the-scenes photographs, personal papers, unpublished interviews, and a host of other previously unseen documentation. The book offers a richly illustrated narrative with broader context on the film's diverse musical and theatrical influences. The story concludes with an in-depth look at the challenges Universal overcame in restoring the film in 2016. Additionally, the book's appendix provides a comprehensive guide to all of the film's performers, music, alternate versions, and deleted scenes.

      King of Jazz was one of the most ambitious films ever to emerge from Hollywood. Just as movie musicals were being invented in 1929, Universal Pictures brought together Paul Whiteman, leader of the country's top dance orchestra; John Murray Anderson, director of spectacular Broadway revues; a top ensemble of dancers and singers; early Technicolor; and a near unlimited budget. The film's highlights include a dazzling interpretation of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," which Whiteman had introduced to the public in 1924; Walter Lantz's "A Fable in Jazz," the first cartoon in Technicolor; and Anderson's grand finale "The Melting Pot of Music," a visualization of popular music's many influences and styles. The film is not only a unique document of Anderson's theatrical vision and Whiteman's band at its peak, but also of several of America's leading performers of the late 1920s, including Bing Crosby in his first screen appearance, and the Russell Markert Dancers, who would soon become Radio City Music Hall's famous Rockettes.


      James Layton is Manager of the Museum of Modern Art's Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center. Prior to this he worked at George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, where he curated two gallery exhibitions and the website Technicolor 100. Layton has also acted as Cataloguer and Workflow Coordinator at the East Anglian Film Archive in Norwich, UK, and is co-author of the Image Permanence Institute's informational poster Knowing and Protecting Motion Picture Film (2009).

      David Pierce is an independent film historian and archivist. He was formerly the Head of Preservation and Curator of the National Film and Television Archive at the British Film Institute. His articles have appeared in numerous journals, and his report on the survival of American silent feature films was published by the Library of Congress in 2013. He founded the Media History Digital Library, providing free online access to millions of pages of motion picture magazines and books.

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    • THE ESSENTIALS: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter

    • By Jeremy Arnold
      Forward by Robert Osborne

      Since its inception on Turner Classic Movies in 2001, The Essentials has become the ultimate for movie lovers to expand their knowledge of must-see cinema and discover or revisit landmark films that have had a lasting impact on audiences everywhere.

      Based on the hit series, THE ESSENTIALS by Jeremy Arnold showcases 52 must-see movies from the silent era to modern times. Readers can enjoy one film per week, like on the show, for a year of great viewing, or indulge in a movie-watching binge-fest. Each film is profiled with entertaining discourse on why it's an Essential, and running commentary is provided by TCM's Robert Osborne and Essentials guest hosts past and present: Sally Field, Drew Barrymore, Alec Baldwin, Rose McGowan, Carrie Fisher, Molly Haskell, Peter Bogdanovich, Sydney Pollack, and Rob Reiner.

      Featuring full-color and black-and-white photography of the greatest stars in movie history throughout, THE ESSENTIALS is the ultimate curated guide to 52 films that define the meaning of the word "classic."


      Jeremy Arnold, a writer and film historian, is the author of Lawrence of Arabia: The 50th Anniversary, a coffee-table book companion to that film's Blu-ray release. In addition to his work for numerous film trade publications, he has written over five hundred programming articles for the Turner Classic Movies website and contributed audio commentaries and historical essays to the DVD and Blu-ray releases of classic films.

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  1. DVD Reviews

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    • Dick Dinman & Eddie Muller Explore THE ASPHALT JUNGLE!

    • DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER EXPLORE "THE ASPHALT JUNGLE": Producer/host Dick Dinman welcomes back the "Czar of Noir" himself Eddie Muller as both celebrate the Criterion Collection's pristine release on Blu-ray of John Huston's THE ASPHALT JUNGLE which remains conceivably the greatest "heist/noir" masterwork ever committed to celluloid. (It's early in the year but its difficult to conceive that any home video outfit in the ensuing year will be able to top the astonishing "special features" included on this sensational disc.)

      PLUS: Show opener "Dick's Picks" salutes the Criterion Collection's recent Blu-ray releases of Robert Altman's McCABE & MRS. MILLER, Marlon Brando's ONE EYED JACKS and Howard Hawks' HIS GIRL FRIDAY.

      COMING SOON: DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER ARE "ON DANGEROUS GROUND"!

      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.

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    • Dick Dinman Salutes Air Hero Jimmy Stewart!

    • DICK DINMAN SALUTES WW2 AIR HERO JIMMY STEWART: The dual releases of Olive Films stunning Blu-ray incarnation of the James Stewart air power classic STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND as well as author Robert Matzen's awe inspiring book MISSION: JIMMY STEWART AND THE FIGHT FOR EUROPE, which for the first time ever reveals the truth about Stewart's dangerous bombing missions over Germany, give producer/host Dick Dinman ample motivation to salute the spectacular military career of screen icon Stewart and Dick is joined by returning guest Robert Matzen as they marvel at the courage, skill and fortitude of this certifiable American hero.

      The opening DICK'S PICKS segment salutes Olive Films and their latest Blu-ray releases of not only STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND but Orson Welles' MACBETH (two versions!), HOUDINI, THE PRIVATE AFFAIRS OF BEL AMI, VILLA RIDES. ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING and two new 4k releases of THE QUIET MAN and JOHNNY GUITAR (first time in original widescreen format on home video!).

      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.

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    • Dick Dinman & Eddie Muller Salute Ultra-Rare Noir Classics!

    • DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER SALUTE ULTRA-RARE NOIR CLASSICS: Producer/host Dick Dinman and Film Noir Foundation's Czar of Noir Eddie Muller wax poetic about the first-rate Blu-ray releases of three rarely seen film noir gems: Flicker Alley's dark and deadly duo of two heretofore thought virtually lost noir thrillers TOO LATE FOR TEARS and WOMAN ON THE RUN and KL Studio Classics 99 RIVER STREET about which Dick and Eddie have a rare major disagreement regarding the validity of what some consider the most memorable two scenes in the film.

      PLUS: A preview of KL Studio Classics upcoming noir Blu-ray release CRY OF THE CITY.

      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.

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    • Dick Dinman & Kathleen Hughes Return to 3-D "Outer Space!"

    • DICK DINMAN & KATHLEEN HUGHES RETURN TO 3-D "OUTER SPACE": Kathleen Hughes, whose breakout appearance in Universal-International's first 3-D blockbuster inspired the media to dub her the "first feminine sensation created by 3-D" rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman to salute Universal Pictures Home Entertainment's wonderfully immersive 3-D Blu-ray release of IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (immaculately restored by the 3-D Archive) and shares priceless memories about her career from her very first film ROAD HOUSE (just released on Blu-ray by Kino's KL Studio Classics) to her time as a contract star at Universal and 3-D Archive's Robert Furmanek chats about the challenges inherent in restoring this certifiable sci-fi classic to its current eye-poppingly spectacular 3-D grandeur.
      PLUS: OPENING "DICK PICKS" SEGMENT SALUTES UNIVERSAL'S "THE MARX BROTHERS SILVER SCREEN BLU-RAY COLLECTION." AND A PREVIEW OF THE UPCOMING KINO RELEASE OF THE 3-D ARCHIVE'S "THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE".

      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.

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  1. Press Release

Alan Ladd: The 1940s Collection DVD
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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir DVD
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Hard-boiled detective Sam Spade gets caught up in the murderous...
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  • 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