Cast & Crew
George Roy Hill
Max Von Sydow
In 1820, following his graduation from the Yale Divinity School, tall, gangling, bumbling Abner Hale volunteers to carry the word of God to the heathen natives of Hawaii. In need of a wife before he can offer himself to the service, he timorously proposes to Jerusha Bromley, a young woman in love with an adventurous sea captain, Rafer Hoxworth, from whom she has not received a letter in over three years. To Abner's astonishment, Jerusha agrees to marry him, and they soon set sail for Hawaii. After a stormy and arduous voyage, during which their tiny two-masted vessel is battered by mountainous waves off Cape Horn, Abner and Jerusha finally reach the islands, where they receive a royal welcome from the Queen, the Alii Nui, Malama. Although Jerusha easily makes friends with the natives and tries to understand their customs, the sanctimonious Abner refuses to make any concessions and rigidly imposes his will upon the pleasure-and-peace-loving Hawaiians. He orders them to destroy their pagan idols, cover their naked bodies, and abolish their ancient practice of incestuous marriage. The Alii Nui instructs her people to obey, although she herself refuses to deny the deep love she feels for her brother, Kelolo. One day a sailing ship arrives in the harbor and Jerusha suddenly finds herself face to face with Hoxworth. Although still attracted to him, she nevertheless rejects his offer of love and chooses instead to remain with Abner. Later, sailors from several ships, including Hoxworth's, set fire to Abner's church as a protest against his forbidding the native girls to mingle with seamen. Led by Abner and Jerusha, the islanders put out the fire and drive off the sailors, and peace is momentarily restored. Gradually, however, more and more white men come to the islands, commercializing and corrupting the simple way of life and leaving behind disease and unhappiness. One day the Alii Nui sends for Abner and, realizing that her death is near, sends Kelolo into exile and receives a Christian baptism; but after she has been buried in sacred ground, Kelolo removes her body and disposes of it in the traditional pagan manner. A severe measles epidemic then sweeps the islands, taking the lives of hundreds of natives, including Keoki, a native clergyman who had studied with Abner at Yale. When Abner asks Keoki's sister-wife to pray with him, she brands him as a man of hate who worships a cruel and unforgiving God. As time passes, Jerusha gives birth to three sons and never ceases in her effort to persuade Abner that he must ask for forgiveness from God for the sorrow he has brought to the islands. In 1834, Hoxworth's ship once more returns to Hawaii and on board is a prefabricated New England house he plans to present to the Hales. When he learns Jerusha has since died, he strikes Abner in a fit of rage and then, filled with regret, goes to seek help for the man he has injured. Seven more years pass, and the now old and lame Abner is informed that he has been relieved of his ministry. He sends his three sons to England for their education, choosing himself to remain in Hawaii, still hopeful of somehow bringing God's word to the islands.
George Roy Hill
Max Von Sydow
Jocelyne La Garde
Lokelani S. Chicarell
Robert Crawford Jr.
Henrik Von Sydow
Clas S. Von Sydow
Robert J. Anderson
Raymond G. Boltz
Marshall M. Borden
Edward G. Boyle
Film Effects Of Hollywood
George Roy Hill
Lewis J. Rachmil
Allen K. Wood
Best Costume Design
Best Supporting Actress
Best Visual Effects
From the beginning, however, Hawaii was a troubled production. Director Fred Zinnemann originally cultivated the project, bringing on board the formerly blacklisted writer, Dalton Trumbo, to pen the script. When United Artists balked at the duo's plan to divide the lengthy story into two separate movies, Zinnemann jumped ship and went on to direct A Man For All Seasons that year instead. Eventually, George Roy Hill took over the directing reins, though he was reportedly fired and re-hired at least three times before the picture was completed. In an ongoing struggle with the film's producers to have more control over the finished product, Hill had unknowingly garnered the loyalty of cast and crewmembers who rallied their support. Even so, Hill was never fully satisfied with the final result, having been caught in the position of trying to please studio executives and adhere to his own vision. Hawaii wound up costing over ten million dollars, a hefty sum at the time, though every penny is visible on the screen in its authentic picture postcard scenery, detailed period costumes, and special effects.
The stellar cast of Hawaii brings to life a fascinating blend of well meaning but flawed characters. Swedish actor Max von Sydow (whose real-life sons play his on-screen son Micah at ages 7 and 12) portrays the stern Reverend Hale while Broadway musical star Julie Andrews takes a dramatic turn as his dutiful wife Jerusha. Tahiti native Jocelyne LaGarde was plucked from obscurity for the crucial role of Queen Malama, her only appearance in films, after an exhaustive casting search. A pre-Archie Bunker Carroll O'Connor plays Julie Andrews' father, and fans of The Sound of Music(1965) will recognize young Heather Menzies as Andrews' sister when just the year before she played one of the singing von Trapp children, Louisa. Bette Midler also makes her blink-and-you'll miss it screen debut in Hawaii as an extra on the ship bound for Hawaii.
Though dismissed at the time as an expensive disappointment, Hawaii went on to be nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Supporting Actress for LaGarde, Best Musical Score for Bernstein and Best Original Song ("My Wishing Doll"). Its beauty and power as a cautionary tale have been rediscovered through the years, with a message that still packs a punch. The omitted portion of Michener's novel was filmed two years later as a sequel, The Hawaiians (1970), though none of the original players were involved.
Producer: Walter Mirisch, Lewis J. Rachmil (associate producer)
Director: George Roy Hill
Screenplay: James Michener (novel), Dalton Trumbo, Daniel Taradash
Production Design: Cary Odell
Cinematography: Russell Harlan
Costume Design: Dorothy Jeakins
Film Editing: Stuart Gilmore
Original Music: Elmer Bernstein
Principal Cast: Julie Andrews (Jerusha Bromley Hale), Max von Sydow (Abner Hale), Richard Harris (Rafer Hoxworth), Gene Hackman (Reverend John Whipple), Carroll O'Connor (Charles Bromley).
by Andrea Foshee
Hawaii on DVD
An issue of equal importance to DVD buyers is the fact that MGM's budget-priced disc is not the full 189-minute Road Show cut that was such a welcome surprise on laserdisc fifteen years ago. More on that below.
Synopsis: Abner Hale (Max von Sydow) has completed missionary school in New England, but the stern Rev. Thorn (Torin Thatcher) will not send unmarried missionaries to Hawaii. With her family's blessing, Thorn arranges for Hale to meet young Jerusha Bromley. Jerusha believes she has been abandoned by a handsome suitor, whaler Rafer Hoxworth (Richard Harris), but Thorn and her mother have been intercepting his letters. Jerusha marries Abner and they set sail for the South Seas in the company of other missionaries, including Rev. John Whipple (Gene Hackman) and islander Keoki (Manu Tupou), who has also trained to be a minister. After a treacherous trip around the Horn, the ship arrives at the island of Maui, and Abner and Jerusha meet Queen Malama (Jocelyne LaGarde). She takes to Jerusha immediately and eventually opts to become a Christian. But Abner is ruthless about forcing the natives away from their 'heathen' practices. Some of the changes, like restraining the whalers from sleeping with the native girls, are obviously for the good. But Abner is also set on destroying all vestiges of the rich Hawaiian culture and religion. The years bring change but not happiness. Other missionaries buy land and go into business. Sicknesses decimate the native population. Abner's bitter intolerance drives away those who love him. And there's still Rafer Hoxworth to contend with. On each of his visits he begs Jerusha to come away with him, before the harsh life in the islands kills her.
Hawaii's only nod to commercial concerns is the casting of the magic name Julie Andrews. After Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music a producer could get funding for almost any project with her name attached, freeing Mirisch and his writers to tell Michener's story without the compromise of happy endings.
Trumbo and Taradash's screenplay covers roughly the first third of the book, from the arrival of the missionaries to the end of the Hawaiian culture as a distinct tribal nation. The often well-intentioned Christians aren't even off the boat before the severe and monomaniacal Abner Hale offends the ruling Queen Malama with his blunt demands. He wants the killing of deformed babies stopped and sex to be regulated along puritan lines. Free love must cease, especially incest in the royal bloodlines, and he's determined to stop the sexual welcome given whaling ships.
Maui appears to be a matriarchy, and even though the stiff-necked Abner is initially rejected, his tolerant and accepting wife Jerusha immediately finds favor. Her rapport with the Malama paves the way for Abner's first success - by convincing the Queen that the missionaries have no desire for Hawaiian land, Abner and Jerusha make a convert, at least in spirit.
But the rest of their efforts have painful results. Abner's intransigence and bigotry alienates his native missionary 'brother' Keoki, who eventually goes back to the old ways and weds his sister. The whalers try to burn Abner's church when they're prevented from sleeping with the young island women. Rebuffed in his efforts to run off with Jerusha, whaler Richard Harris thinks nothing of seducing her housemaid Iliki (Lokelani S. Chicarelli) and whisking her away on his ship, to be used and abandoned in some foreign port.
The missionaries are corrupted as well. One widower is discharged from the sect for taking a native bride, and is followed by others grown contemptuous of the church hypocrisy. Ex- minister and Doctor John Whipple (Gene Hackman) starts a lucrative business. Having already robbed the Hawaiians of their religion, the missionaries become part of the systematic theft of the islands themselves.
The stern teachings of Abner Hale convert the Malama and her loving husband/brother Kelolo (Ted Nobriga) into guilty sinners, and the rest of Hawaii covers the island's demise as an Eden-like paradise. Deformed children validate the warnings against incest, but when an outbreak of measles decimates the native population, even Abner opens his mind to Jerusha's admonition that the islanders deserved something better than the God of fire and brimstone.
Faithful to his principles, Abner refuses to grow wealthy with the other ministers and is shunted aside, alone. But he's helped by a grown islander with a facial birthmark who, as it turns out, was one of the babies that he and Jerusha saved from drowning years before.
Max Von Sydow is excellent as the preacher utterly blind to the natural beauty of a culture he cannot understand. He's unerringly true to his nature, as in the painful scene where he avows his complete love to Jerusha, only to reverse himself with an apology for placing his love for her above the love of God. The character is a great frustration to viewers but the necessary center of a difficult story.
Julie Andrews brings vitality and heart to the movie and her scenes with Jocelyne LaGarde are the best in the film. Jerusha is supposed to be physically frail, the one aspect of the character that Andrews has difficulty projecting.
Richard Harris holds down his end of the romantic triangle as Jerusha's first love. He represents the other life she might have lived, had her mother and Torin Thatcher's missionary director not interfered. Hawaii is really about imperfect Christian policies that not only destroy alien cultures, but blight the lives of innocents like Jerusha.
In interview material for Get Shorty, Gene Hackman confirmed that Bette Midler was a child extra in the film, and was an irrepressible performer who often sang on the bus to and from location.
MGM's DVD of Hawaii looks and sounds fine, especially for such a budget-priced release. Colors are rich and Elmer Bernstein's score is as emotional as ever.
The film is truly deserving of Special Edition treatment, but this DVD uses the much shorter general release version. As a background for the Overture music, it slaps on a graphic that looks like a cheap scan from an old VHS master. Both Hawaii and its less notable follow-up The Hawaiians need to be revisited by studio caretakers willing to do justice to United Artists' neglected epics: The Alamo, It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, and others.
The full Road Show version of Hawaii was reconstructed for laser disc in 1989, but as with the films just mentioned, the extended 70mm scenes either were not saved or came from sources unacceptable for true restoration work. Also, MGM DVD policy is to release DVDS that are marketable in other languages and other regions. In most cases full audio elements and foreign tracks no longer exist for the longer versions.
The extra half-hour of deleted material enriches every part of the film. Abner bids a painful farewell to his family. After her wedding, Jerusha has a scene involving a mirror that prefigures the death of her sister. Abner cruelly force-feeds Jerusha with bananas during their ship's stormy passage. Every part of the film has important material removed. The deletions are skillfully done, but for those viewers who have seen the full film, this general release cut is like a book with many pages culled at random. Interestingly, all of the topless nudity of the wahine is retained: I presume that if the actresses were Anglos, the MPAA would have had a completely different attitude.
I would like to thank Lois Regen of Washington State for her analysis of the film (Hawaii Revisited: Allegories of Culture) and her cataloguing of the scenes deleted for general release.
For more information about Hawaii, visit MGM DVD. To order Hawaii, go to TCM Shopping.
by Glenn Erickson
Hawaii on DVD
Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004)
Elmer Bernstein, who was not related to Leonard Bernstein, was born on August 4, 1922, in New York City. He displayed a talent in music at a very young age, and was given a scholarship to study piano at Juilliard when he was only 12. He entered New York University in 1939, where he majored in music education. After graduating in 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps, where he remained throughout World War II, mostly working on scores for propaganda films. It was around this time he became interested in film scoring when he went to see William Dieterle's The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), a film whose score was composed by Bernard Herrmann, a man Bernstein idolized as the ideal film composer.
Bernstein, who originally intended to be a concert pianist and gave several performances in New York after being discharged from military service, decided to relocate to Hollywood in 1950. He did his first score for the football film Saturday's Hero (1950), and then proved his worth with his trenchant, moody music for the Joan Crawford vehicle Sudden Fear (1952). Rumors of his "communist" leanings came to surface at this time, and, feeling the effects of the blacklist, he found himself scoring such cheesy fare as Robot Monster; Cat Women of the Moon (both 1953); and Miss Robin Caruso (1954).
Despite his politics, Otto Preminger hired him to do the music for The Man With the Golden Arm, (1955) in which Frank Sinatra played a heroin-addicted jazz musician. Fittingly, Bernstein used some memorable jazz motifs for the film and his fine scoring put him back on the map. It prompted the attention of Cecil B. De Mille, who had Bernstein replace the ailing Victor Young on The Ten Commandments (1956). His thundering, heavily orchestrated score perfectly suite the bombastic epic, and he promptly earned his first Oscar® nod for music.
After The Ten Commandments (1956), Bernstein continued to distinguish himself in a row of fine films: The Rainmaker (1956), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Some Came Running (1958), The Magnificent Seven (a most memorable galloping march, 1960); To Kill a Mockingbird (unique in its use of single piano notes and haunting use of a flute, 1962); Hud (1963); earned a deserved Academy Award for the delightful, "flapper" music for the Julie Andrews period comedy Thoroughly Modern Mille (1967), and True Grit (1969).
His career faltered by the '80s though, as he did some routine Bill Murray comedies: Meatballs (1980) and Stripes (1981). But then director John Landis had Bernstein write the sumptuous score for his comedy Trading Places (1983), and Bernstein soon found himself back in the game. He then graced the silver screen for a few more years composing some terrific pieces for such popular commercial hits as My Left Foot (1989), A River Runs Through It (1992) and The Age of Innocence (1993). Far From Heaven, his final feature film score, received an Oscar® nomination for Best Score in 2002. He is survived by his wife, Eve; sons Peter and Gregory; daughters Emilie and Elizabeth; and five grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004)
TCM Remembers George Roy Hill, 1922-2002
Born on December 20, 1922, to a well-to-do Minneapolis newspaper family, Hill would hang out at the local airfield as a child and watch the barnstorming pilots, fascinated by their theatrics. His intense interest would eventually drive him to earn his pilot's license by age 16. But his love for the performing arts was inspired by a different calling - the stage, where he appeared in student productions at his prep school in Hopkins, Minnesota. After graduating, he majored in music at Yale. A baritone, he became a member of the university Glee Club but he soon discovered that singing wasn't his forte. He found acting more suitable and joined the Dramatic Society, becoming its president and appearing in campus musicals. Ten days after graduating with a bachelor's degree in music in 1943, Hill joined the Navy. After flight school, he transferred to the Marines and piloted transport planes in the South Pacific during World War II.
Following the war, he worked briefly as a cub reporter on a family newspaper in Texas, then used the GI Bill to attend Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, where he earned a bachelor's degree in literature in 1949 and did a stint with the Abbey theatre. Back in the United States, he received good reviews in an off-Broadway play, Strindberg's The Creditors with Beatrice Arthur, and toured with Margaret Webster's Shakespearean company - a celebrated theatrical company for its time. The Korean War interrupted his career, when Hill was recalled to Marine duty, serving 18 months at a training center in North Carolina, and later emerging as a major. The time spent away from the theater was beneficial to Hill, and he decided to move away from acting toward writing. His scripts soon found their way to television and Hill quickly rose from assistant director to director on several of the most acclaimed live dramas of the '50s including The Helen Morgan Story, the original TV production of Judgment at Nuremberg. He also earned two Emmy Awards for writing and directing a Titanic story, A Night to Remember.
In 1957, Hill moved to Broadway, where he directed the Pulitzer Prize-winning Look Homeward, Angel. After directing Tennessee Williams' Period of Adjustment, Hill kicked off his film career by directing the 1962 film version, which gave Jane Fonda her first major role. He followed that up with the film adaptation of Lillian Hellman's classic play, Toys in the Attic (1963), but it would be his third film that would earn Hill critical acclaim, the marvelous Peter Sellers' comedy The World of Henry Orient (1964). The story concerning two teenage girls who stalk a concert pianist (Sellers) around New York City, established Hill's brisk style and his flair for bittersweet comedy. His next two films, both starring Julie Andrews, were James Michener's epic Hawaii (1966), and the big-budget musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Although his craftsmanship was always impeccable, both films failed to elevate him to the front ranks of Hollywood directors.
That all changed with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Few associated with the film could have predicted that this light-hearted western would be the box-office smash it became when it was released, but audiences fell in love with this charming and innovative film. Instead of playing Butch (Newman) and Sundance (Redford) as vicious outlaws, Hill and screenwriter William Goldman made them easy-going, sympathetic drifters for whom robbing banks was just a game. As the director, Hill kept the balance between the film's comedy and drama pitch perfect, emphasizing the straightforward storytelling which was free from any heavy-handed editorializing. Also, by giving the characters a modern feel with contemporary dialogue and using an upbeat, pop-oriented Burt Bacharach score, Hill breathed fresh life into the Western genre. The film deservedly received Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director; and earned Oscars for Conrad Hall's cinematography, Burt Bacharach's original score, the Bacharach/Hal David composition "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head", as well as Goldman's original screenplay.
Newman and Redford would be reunited again with Hill for his next big hit The Sting, as con men who ensnare a brutal gangster (Robert Shaw) in an intricate scheme. A highly stylized piece of work, Hill crafted the film in the style of the old Saturday Evening Post graphics, complete with chapter headings; imitated the flat camera style that was employed for those classic Warner Bros. gangster movies and resurrected the ragtime piano of Scott Joplin for the score (as interpreted by Marvin Hamlisch). For his exceptional work, Hill won the Academy Award for Best Director and the film also bagged Oscars for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay (David S. Ward), Best Score (Hamlisch), Best Editing (William Reynolds), Best Costume Design (Edith Head) and Best Art Direction (Henry Bumstead and James Payne).
Hill would work with Redford and Newman again, albeit individually, later in the decade. The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), the story of a barnstorming pilot, was culled from some evocative childhood memories, yet despite the star power of Redford, it was not a success. Nor was the Paul Newman vehicle Slap Shot (1977), a raucous look at the lives of minor league ice hockey players. The off-color language and bawdy locker-room antics perplexed audiences and critics at the time, although it's now considered to be one of the best (and funniest) of all sports films.
Although he would never again scale the critical and commercial success of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or The Sting, Hill would enjoy later acclaim with the sweet natured A Little Romance (1979), starring Laurence Olivier and a 13-year-old Diane Lane; his ambitious adaptation of John Irving's episodic The World According to Garp (1982); and his final film, the slight, but pleasant Chevy Chase comedy Funny Farm (1988). Soon after that, Hill retired from Hollywood to teach at his old Alma Mater Yale. Hill is survived by his former wife, Louisa Horton, as well as two sons, George Roy Hill III of Roslyn, N.Y., and John Andrew Steele Hill of Ardsley, N.Y; two daughters, Frances Breckinridge Phipps of Dumont, N.J., and Owens Hill of Los Angeles; and 12 grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
TCM Remembers George Roy Hill, 1922-2002
TCM Remembers - Carroll O'Connor
Carroll O'Connor - who died June 21st at the age of 76 - will be best remembered for portraying Archie Bunker on TV's All in the Family but his career actually was much more extensive. Born in New York on August 2nd, 1924, O'Connor served in the merchant marine during World War II before attending the University of Montana where he worked on the school newspaper. Before graduating, he followed his brother to another college in Ireland (he would later get a Masters in speech from Montana). It was in Ireland that O'Connor started acting in several local productions. He returned to the U.S. for his Broadway debut in 1958 and shortly after started to appear on numerous TV shows like The Untouchables and Naked City. His first film was Parrish (1961) though he eventually acted in over a dozen films during the Sixties including Cleopatra (1963), Marlowe (1969), Hawaii (1966) and Point Blank (1967). O'Connor even auditioned for the part of the Skipper in the TV series, Gilligan's Island, but it was his role as Archie Bunker in a 1971 sitcom that made him a star. All in the Family was an American version of the British sitcom Till Death Do Us Part that met some initial resistance (ABC rejected the first two pilots) but quickly captivated American audiences and became the country's top-rated TV show. Archie became such an icon that his chair is now preserved in the Smithsonian. The series lasted until 1979 and brought O'Connor four Emmys, even leading to a four-year spinoff Archie Bunker's Place starring O'Connor. (It also produced one of TV's oddest spinoffs in1994's 704 Hauser about a multi-racial family living in Archie Bunker's old house. It had no cast members from the earlier series and only lasted six episodes.) In 1988, O'Connor took the role of a Southern sheriff in a TV series based on the movie In the Heat of the Night and found himself in another hit, this one lasting until 1995. He also occasionally played Helen Hunt's father on Mad About You. By all accounts, O'Connor was nothing like Archie Bunker; in fact, O'Connor was an active anti-drug crusader, partly the result of his son's drug-related suicide.
By Lang Thompson
TCM REMEMBERS JACK LEMMON 1925-2001
Whether playing a cross-dressing jazz bassist or a bickering roommate, Lemmon has kept his fans in stitches for fifty years. But beneath that comedian's facade, the actor had a very serious side, which occasionally surfaced in such films as Days of Wine and Roses (1962) or Costa-Gavras' political thriller Missing (1982). Lemmon was truly a one-of-a-kind actor and his track record for acclaimed performances is truly remarkable: 8 Oscar nominations (he won Best Supporting Actor for Mister Roberts (1955) and Best Actor for Save the Tiger (1973), a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, 8 British Academy Award nominations, 4 Emmy Award nominations, numerous Golden Globe nominations, a two-time Best Actor winner at the Cannes Film Festival, the list goes on and on.
Lemmon entered the world in a completely novel fashion; he was born prematurely in an elevator in Boston in 1925. The son of a doughnut manufacturer, Lemmon later attended Harvard University but was bitten by the acting bug and left the prestigious college for Broadway. Between theatrical gigs, he played piano accompaniment to silent films shown at the Knickerbocker Music Hall in New York. Later, Lemmon claimed that he learned more about comic technique by watching these Chaplin, Keaton and Harold Lloyd two-reelers than acting school could have ever taught him.
From Broadway and early TV appearances to Hollywood, Lemmon moved West to make his screen debut in It Should Happen to You (1954), opposite Judy Holliday in a variation of her 'dumb blonde' persona that had won her an Oscar for Born Yesterday (1952). In It Should Happen to You, Holliday plays a struggling actress who soon wins fast fame as the product of promotion. Lemmon plays her levelheaded boyfriend but finds himself on the sidelines when the suave and sophisticated Peter Lawford appears on the scene. It Should Happen to You, directed by George Cukor, was a popular success and Lemmon and Holliday were quickly teamed again in Phffft! (1954), another lightweight romantic comedy. A year later, Lemmon hit the major leagues when he supported Hollywood heavyweights Henry Fonda, James Cagney and William Powell in Mister Roberts (1955). As Ensign Pulver, a deckhand who avoids work whenever possible, Lemmon won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar®.
Onscreen, Lemmon's characters often found that they were the wrong men for their jobs. In Cowboy (1958), Lemmon plays a city slicker venturing out on the wild frontier. His romantic visions of the West are soon changed by the hard-living, hard-drinking reality. Cowboy is based on the autobiography of Frank Harris, and, like the author, Lemmon found himself adapting to the rough and tumble lifestyle on the trail.
Lemmon brought a new comic persona to Hollywood films. He combined elements of screwball and slapstick comedy with his own self-deprecating humor to create satiric portraits of the contemporary American male. The sometimes cynical comic sense of director Billy Wilder provided Lemmon with the perfect complement. Together they made seven films, but it was their first, Some Like It Hot (1959), that captured the sheer comic genius of their collaborations together.
From sexual antics to social critique, Lemmon and Wilder sharpened their comic knives on the hypocrisies they saw in American culture. The Apartment (1960) focused on a working stiff who lends his home to his supervisors for their extramarital affairs. Problems arise when Lemmon falls for his boss's paramour - it gets even more complicated when she tries to kill herself in his pad! Though The Apartment was a comic success, with each passing year the film's serious side seems even more dark and derisive. Illicit love and the corruption of big business might not seem to be the stuff of hit comedies, but Wilder and Lemmon found humor in the most unlikeliest of places. Director and comic star went on to make five more films: Irma la Douce (1963), The Fortune Cookie (1966), Avanti! (1972), The Front Page (1974) and Buddy Buddy (1981).
Billy Wilder and Lemmon's lifelong comic foil Walter Matthau (nine collaborations with Lemmon in 32 years, including their most popular film, The Odd Couple, 1968) brought some of the comedian's finest funny moments to the screen. But there was a serious side too. Lemmon waived his salary to act in Save the Tiger (1973), the 'great American tragedy' of a businessman at the end of his rope. Lemmon won his second Academy Award for the film. In Missing (1982), directed by the uncompromising Costa-Gavras, Lemmon played a patriotic father searching for his kidnapped son in Latin America. The closer he gets to his goal, the clearer it becomes that a government conspiracy is behind his son's disappearance. Missing was inspired by a true story - the production was condemned by the Reagan administration and awarded the Golden Palm at the Cannes film festival.
Very few actors today can match Lemmon's range on the screen. He has acted in everything from lightweight sex farces (How to Murder Your Wife, 1965) to musicals (My Sister Eileen, 1955) to social dramas (Days of Wine and Roses, 1962) to political thrillers (The China Syndrome, 1979). Turner Classic Movies cherishes the memory of this remarkable talent.
By Cino Niles & Jeff Stafford
ANTHONY QUINN, 1915-2001
Not many actors can boast that they've inspired a Bob Dylan song but Anthony Quinn - who passed away June 3rd at the age of 86 - was one of the select few. But that's just one of many incidents in a life that can only be described as colorful. If a novelist had invented a character like Quinn, she would be accused of unbelievable invention. But in Quinn's case, it's all true.
Quinn was born April 21, 1915 in Mexico. His parents were involved in Pancho Villa's revolutionary struggle and must have made a striking couple since the father was half Irish and mother Mexican Indian. The couple were married on a train of rebel soldiers. After Quinn's birth, the family soon moved to East Los Angeles (after a quick Texas detour) where Quinn grew up in the shadow of Hollywood. (A branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library now occupies the site of Quinn's childhood home; in 1981 it was renamed in his honor.) At the age of 11 he won a sculpture award and shortly after began studying architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright. It was Wright in fact who suggested the possibility of acting to Quinn and even paid for an operation to cure a speech impediment. Along the way, Quinn also dabbled in professional boxing (he quit after his 17th match, the first he lost) and street-corner preaching. He continued to sculpt and paint for the rest of his life while also becoming a noted art collector.
Quinn's acting debut was in 1936 initially in a handful of barely noticable spots as an extra until he landed a speaking role in Cecil B. DeMille's The Plainsman, supposedly on the recommendation of the film's star, Gary Cooper. One unanticipated result was that Quinn married DeMille's daughter the following year; they appeared together in Phil Karlson's Black Gold (1947) and had five children. Quinn also appeared on stage in 1936 playing opposite Mae West. Quinn continued in film parts that gathered acclaim: Crazy Horse in They Died With Their Boots On (1941), a gambler in The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), a soldier in Guadalcanal Diary (1943).
But it was the 1950s when Quinn broke out. Viva Zapata!(1952) provided him a wonderful role which he used to win a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. Oddly enough, in Viva Zapata! Quinn worked with Marlon Brando who he had replaced in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. (Director Elia Kazan tried to start a rivalry between the two actors but they were great admirers of each other.) Quinn again won Best Supporting Actor playing painter Paul Gauguin Lust for Life (1956) which at the time was the shortest on-screen time to win an acting Oscar. The following year came was a Best Actor nomination for George Cukor's Wild Is the Wind (1957). As he did throughout his career, Quinn rarely hesitated to take work whereever he found it, which resulted in dozens of potboilers like Seven Cities of Gold (1955) but also a few cult favorites like Budd Boetticher's The Magnificent Matador (1955). It was a trip to Italy that brought Quinn one of his most acclaimed roles: a simple-minded circus strongman in Federico Fellini's La Strada (1954). Quinn directed his only film in 1958, The Buccaneer, a commercial failure he later attributed to producer Cecil DeMille's interference. Towards the end of that decade he appeared in Nicholas Ray's The Savage Innocents (1959) as an Eskimo, inspiring Bob Dylan to write "Quinn the Eskimo" (a Top Ten hit for Manfred Mann in 1968). In 1965, his relationship with an Italian costumer created a minor scandal when it was revealed that the couple had two children. Quinn divorced DeMille's daughter and married the costumer.
He continued the same mix of classics and best-forgotten quickies throughout the 1960s and '70s. A key role in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) only confirmed his talents while he again earned a Best Actor nomination for the unforgettable lead role in Zorba the Greek (1964). The gritty crime drama Across 110th Street (1972) is one of the best American movies of its decade, enhanced by Quinn's turn as an embattled police captain. Quinn was a pope in The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), an Islamic leader in The Message (1976), a thinly disguised Aristotle Onassis in The Greek Tycoon (1978) and an assortment of gangsters, con men, military leaders and what have you. The rest of his career might be summed up by the year 1991 when he gathered critical acclaim for his appearance in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever, was nominated for a Razzie as Worst Actor in Mobsters, co-starred with Bo Derek in Ghosts Can't Do It, worked beside John Candy and Macaulay Culkin in Chris Columbus' Only the Lonely and made a film so obscure it appears to have never appeared on video. Quinn married his third wife in 1997; they had one son. He had just completed the title role in Avenging Angelo (with Sylvester Stallone) at the time of his death.
By Lang Thompson
TCM Remembers - Carroll O'Connor
Richard Harris, 1930-2002 - TCM Remembers Richard Harris
Harris was born October 1, 1930, in Limerick, Ireland, one of nine children born to farmer Ivan Harris and his wife, Mildred Harty. He was a noted rugby player as a youth, but shortly after his move to London in the mid-50s, Harris studied classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After a few years of stage experience, he made his screen debut in Alive and Kicking (1958) and quickly developed a reputation as a talented young actor. His film career became increasingly impressive with such strong supporting turns in Shake Hands with the Devil (1959), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962).
Yet it wasn't until 1963 that Harris became an unlikely star after thrilling movie viewers and critics with his electrifying performance in This Sporting Life. His portrayal of a bitter young coal miner who becomes a professional rugby star marked the arrival of a major international talent and won him the Best Actor award at Cannes and an Oscar nomination.
Strangely enough, Harris' next projects were multimillion dollar epics and he went largely unnoticed amid the all-star casts; he had a small role as Cain in John Huston's production of The Bible (1966) and in Hawaii (1966) he played a sea captain who falls in love with a married woman (Julie Andrews). He also tried his hand at a mod spy comedy opposite Doris Day - Caprice (1967). A much better role for him was playing King Arthur in the film version of the Broadway hit Camelot (1967). The movie was not well received critically, but Harris' singing skills proved to be a surprise; not only did he win a Golden Globe for his performance, but the film's soundtrack album proved to be a bigger commercial hit than the film itself. Even more surprising was his unexpected success the following year with the pop hit "MacArthur Park" - that kitsch cornerstone of lounge karaoke. The song just missed topping the Billboard singles chart in the "Summer of 1968;" It was topped by Herb Albert's "This Guy's In Love with You."
The '70s proved to be a mixed bag for Harris. He scored a huge commercial hit with his best-known film of that decade, A Man Called Horse (1970). It became a cult Western and featured him as an English aristocrat captured, tortured and eventually adopted by Sioux Indians. He also showed some promise behind the camera, co-writing the screenplay for the psychological thriller The Lady in the Car With Glasses and a Gun (1970) and directing (as well as starring) in The Hero (1972), a drama about an aging soccer star. But the quality of films in which Harris appeared declined as the decade progressed: Orca (1977) - a terrible Jaws rip-off, The Wild Geese(1978), and worst of all, Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), in which he had a thankless role as Bo Derek's explorer father.
Based on those films and his general inactivity in the '80s, Harris' comeback performance in The Field (1990) was a wonderful surprise. In that film he played a man who has nurtured a field into a prized piece of real estate only to lose his sanity as the property is taken from him; the role earned him a deserved Oscar nomination and showed that he was still a vital screen presence. Harris took full advantage of this new spurt in his career by committing himself to many fine character roles: the cool, refined gunslinger in Unforgiven(1992), his intense portrayal of a father mourning the death of his son in Cry the Beloved Country (1995), the resident villain of Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997), and as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the epic Gladiator (2000).
Yet Harris will probably be best remembered by current audiences for his portrayal of Dumbledore, the benevolent and wily head of Hogwarts School in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) which will be released nationwide in just three weeks. Harris is survived by his three sons, Jared, Jamie (both actors) and the director Damian Harris.
by Michael T. Toole
Richard Harris, 1930-2002 - TCM Remembers Richard Harris
Location scenes filmed in Norway, New England, Tahiti, and Hawaii. Fred Zinnemann, after more than 4 years of preparation, withdrew as director before shooting began; George Roy Hill took over and, after being temporarily replaced by Arthur Hiller, finished the picture. The Hawaiians, which was based on another portion of Michener's novel, was released by United Artists in 1970.
Released in United States Winter January 1, 1966
Released in United States Winter January 1, 1966