Gloria


2h 3m 1980
Gloria

Brief Synopsis

A mild mannered man has been secretly working as an accountant for the mob.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Action
Crime
Thriller
Release Date
1980
Location
New York City, New York, USA; New Jersey, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 3m

Synopsis

A former gun-moll becomes the reluctant protector of a child her mobster cronies are trying to kill.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Action
Crime
Thriller
Release Date
1980
Location
New York City, New York, USA; New Jersey, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 3m

Award Nominations

Best Actress

1980
Gena Rowlands

Articles

Gloria


Early 1979 found John Cassavetes at a career low point. The critical and commercial failures of the last two films he had directed, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) and Opening Night (1977), both of which he produced and distributed at his own expense, had caused him emotional distress and left him in financial difficulties. To earn money, he wrote scripts and did anonymous patch-up work on others' screenplays. He proved effective enough in his role as a writer-for-hire that MGM asked him if he had a script the studio could make with up-and-coming child actor Ricky Schroder. Cassavetes obliged with what he later called "a very fast-moving, thoughtless piece about gangsters - and I don't even know any gangsters." Schroder then left MGM, so Cassavetes offered the script to Columbia, with the proposal that his wife, Gena Rowlands, play the main part, a woman with mob connections who reluctantly protects a young boy who runs afoul of the mob. To Cassavetes' surprise, Columbia not only bought the script and okayed Rowlands but also demanded that Cassavetes direct the film, which was eventually titled Gloria (1980).

Cassavetes had reservations about his own script and didn't want to direct it. "I wrote this story to sell, strictly to sell," he later said. He agreed to direct Gloria, he claimed, as a favor to Rowlands, who relished the part of the tough ex-gun moll and prepared for it meticulously. "When I read the script, I knew I wanted a walk for her," Rowlands said. "I wanted something that, from the minute you saw me, you knew I could handle myself on the streets of New York. So I started thinking about when I lived in New York, how different I walked down the street when there was nobody but me. It was a walk that said, They'd better watch out." As Rowlands' co-star, Cassavetes chose six-year-old Juan Adames (who would be billed as John Adames) from among 350 contenders at a group casting call in New York. Cassavetes used Adames' lack of training and experience to convey the character's bewilderment in a way that avoided the usual stylized portrayals of children in Hollywood films. "He's neither sympathetic nor nonsympathetic," Cassavetes said. "He's just a kid. He reminds me of me, constantly in shock, reacting to this unfathomable environment."

As part of a strategy, perhaps, to cope with the union crew that was imposed on him against his will (The Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Opening Night had been non-union shoots), Cassavetes gave a break to camera operator Fred Schuler, making him his director of photography. Seeking to distance Gloria as much as possible from the kind of cliché entertainment he detested ("I hate entertainment. There's nothing I despise more than being entertained"), Cassavetes lined up locations in the South Bronx, Flushing, and other areas that reflected an unglamorous New York not often seen in Hollywood films.

Shooting was marked by ongoing battles between Cassavetes and Columbia and between Cassavetes and production manager Stephen Kesten. "If you'd talk about money, well, that was exactly what John didn't want to hear," Fred Schuler recounted. "Toward the end, it got tense." Assistant director Mike Haley remembered Cassavetes and Kesten nearly coming to blows while shooting in New Jersey. "I think they fought constantly," Haley said.

On the release of the film in 1980, Gloria received, as Ray Carney notes, "the most favorable reviews of any film [Cassavetes] ever made." The irony of this, as Carney also observes, is that Gloria was also "the film Cassavetes believed in least of any of the work he had done" since directing A Child Is Waiting for Stanley Kramer in 1963. "I was bored because I knew the answer to the picture the minute we began," Cassavetes said about Gloria. "All my best work comes from not knowing." Of all Cassavetes' films, Gloria is the most conventional, and the interest of the work lies in the maneuvers by the director and the actors to gain a temporary victory over, or at least a stalemate with, convention. Rowlands' bravura performance dominates the film, evoking and transforming the legacy of tough dames from Warner Bros. movies. Cassavetes carefully delineates the progress of the rapport Rowlands' Gloria and Adames' Phil develop as they move from hostility and distrust to mutual respect.

Gloria is the film that best showcases Cassavetes' skill as a metteur en scène (as opposed to his creativity and sensibility as an artist). He handles action setpieces with a panache that is surprising from the director whose dislike of violence drove him to put off as long as possible the filming of the title incident in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. The stripped-down visual style of Gloria occasionally hints at the directness and the disregard for classical norms of beauty and decorum that mark Cassavetes' more personal films. Cassavetes uses the drabness, grubbiness, and restrictiveness of his location settings - such as the apartment building where the story starts - to determine the look of the film. In its bold and triumphant ambiguity, the ending of Gloria stands among Cassavetes' major statements (together with his treatment of attitudes toward romantic love in Minnie and Moscowitz [1971] and his depiction of the seedy artificial paradise of Ben Gazzara's strip club in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie) on cinema as a purveyor of fantasy.

Producer: Sam Shaw
Director: John Cassavetes
Screenplay: John Cassavetes
Cinematography: Fred Schuler
Film Editing: George C. Villaseñor
Art Direction: Rene D'Auriac
Music: Bill Conti
Cast: Gena Rowlands (Gloria), John Adames (Phil), Buck Henry (Jack), Julie Carmen (Jeri), Val Avery (Sill), Basilio Franchina (Tony), Lupe Garnica (Margarita), Tom Noonan, Tony Knesich, Ronald Maccone (Gangsters).
C-132m.

by Chris Fujiwara

Sources:
Ray Carney, Cassavetes on Cassavetes. London: Faber and Faber, 2001.
Marshall Fine, Accidental Genius: How John Cassavetes Invented American Independent Film. New York: Miramax Books, 2005.
Gloria

Gloria

Early 1979 found John Cassavetes at a career low point. The critical and commercial failures of the last two films he had directed, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) and Opening Night (1977), both of which he produced and distributed at his own expense, had caused him emotional distress and left him in financial difficulties. To earn money, he wrote scripts and did anonymous patch-up work on others' screenplays. He proved effective enough in his role as a writer-for-hire that MGM asked him if he had a script the studio could make with up-and-coming child actor Ricky Schroder. Cassavetes obliged with what he later called "a very fast-moving, thoughtless piece about gangsters - and I don't even know any gangsters." Schroder then left MGM, so Cassavetes offered the script to Columbia, with the proposal that his wife, Gena Rowlands, play the main part, a woman with mob connections who reluctantly protects a young boy who runs afoul of the mob. To Cassavetes' surprise, Columbia not only bought the script and okayed Rowlands but also demanded that Cassavetes direct the film, which was eventually titled Gloria (1980). Cassavetes had reservations about his own script and didn't want to direct it. "I wrote this story to sell, strictly to sell," he later said. He agreed to direct Gloria, he claimed, as a favor to Rowlands, who relished the part of the tough ex-gun moll and prepared for it meticulously. "When I read the script, I knew I wanted a walk for her," Rowlands said. "I wanted something that, from the minute you saw me, you knew I could handle myself on the streets of New York. So I started thinking about when I lived in New York, how different I walked down the street when there was nobody but me. It was a walk that said, They'd better watch out." As Rowlands' co-star, Cassavetes chose six-year-old Juan Adames (who would be billed as John Adames) from among 350 contenders at a group casting call in New York. Cassavetes used Adames' lack of training and experience to convey the character's bewilderment in a way that avoided the usual stylized portrayals of children in Hollywood films. "He's neither sympathetic nor nonsympathetic," Cassavetes said. "He's just a kid. He reminds me of me, constantly in shock, reacting to this unfathomable environment." As part of a strategy, perhaps, to cope with the union crew that was imposed on him against his will (The Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Opening Night had been non-union shoots), Cassavetes gave a break to camera operator Fred Schuler, making him his director of photography. Seeking to distance Gloria as much as possible from the kind of cliché entertainment he detested ("I hate entertainment. There's nothing I despise more than being entertained"), Cassavetes lined up locations in the South Bronx, Flushing, and other areas that reflected an unglamorous New York not often seen in Hollywood films. Shooting was marked by ongoing battles between Cassavetes and Columbia and between Cassavetes and production manager Stephen Kesten. "If you'd talk about money, well, that was exactly what John didn't want to hear," Fred Schuler recounted. "Toward the end, it got tense." Assistant director Mike Haley remembered Cassavetes and Kesten nearly coming to blows while shooting in New Jersey. "I think they fought constantly," Haley said. On the release of the film in 1980, Gloria received, as Ray Carney notes, "the most favorable reviews of any film [Cassavetes] ever made." The irony of this, as Carney also observes, is that Gloria was also "the film Cassavetes believed in least of any of the work he had done" since directing A Child Is Waiting for Stanley Kramer in 1963. "I was bored because I knew the answer to the picture the minute we began," Cassavetes said about Gloria. "All my best work comes from not knowing." Of all Cassavetes' films, Gloria is the most conventional, and the interest of the work lies in the maneuvers by the director and the actors to gain a temporary victory over, or at least a stalemate with, convention. Rowlands' bravura performance dominates the film, evoking and transforming the legacy of tough dames from Warner Bros. movies. Cassavetes carefully delineates the progress of the rapport Rowlands' Gloria and Adames' Phil develop as they move from hostility and distrust to mutual respect. Gloria is the film that best showcases Cassavetes' skill as a metteur en scène (as opposed to his creativity and sensibility as an artist). He handles action setpieces with a panache that is surprising from the director whose dislike of violence drove him to put off as long as possible the filming of the title incident in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. The stripped-down visual style of Gloria occasionally hints at the directness and the disregard for classical norms of beauty and decorum that mark Cassavetes' more personal films. Cassavetes uses the drabness, grubbiness, and restrictiveness of his location settings - such as the apartment building where the story starts - to determine the look of the film. In its bold and triumphant ambiguity, the ending of Gloria stands among Cassavetes' major statements (together with his treatment of attitudes toward romantic love in Minnie and Moscowitz [1971] and his depiction of the seedy artificial paradise of Ben Gazzara's strip club in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie) on cinema as a purveyor of fantasy. Producer: Sam Shaw Director: John Cassavetes Screenplay: John Cassavetes Cinematography: Fred Schuler Film Editing: George C. Villaseñor Art Direction: Rene D'Auriac Music: Bill Conti Cast: Gena Rowlands (Gloria), John Adames (Phil), Buck Henry (Jack), Julie Carmen (Jeri), Val Avery (Sill), Basilio Franchina (Tony), Lupe Garnica (Margarita), Tom Noonan, Tony Knesich, Ronald Maccone (Gangsters). C-132m. by Chris Fujiwara Sources: Ray Carney, Cassavetes on Cassavetes. London: Faber and Faber, 2001. Marshall Fine, Accidental Genius: How John Cassavetes Invented American Independent Film. New York: Miramax Books, 2005.

TCM Remembers - Lawrence Tierney


A SCREEN TOUGH GUY WHO WAS MEANER THAN A JUNKYARD DOG

Lawrence Tierney, one of the screen's toughest tough guys, died February 26th at the age of 82. He first startled audiences with his impassioned work in the 1940s but Tierney's rowdy off-screen life eventually pushed him out of the limelight. Though he kept working in small parts, Tierney found a new generation of fans with a few memorable roles in the 80s and 90s.

Tierney was born March 15, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in New York and was a track star in school before becoming interested in acting. (His two brothers also became actors though they changed their names to Scott Brady and Ed Tracy.) He went through the usual period of stage appearances before getting bit parts in little-remembered films. His first credited role was in Sing Your Worries Away (1942) but Tierney quickly made his mark playing the title role in Dillinger (1945). A string of memorable roles followed in films like San Quentin (1946), The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947), Born to Kill (1947) and the Oscar-winning circus drama from director Cecil B. DeMille, The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) in which Tierney played the villain responsible for the epic train wreck toward the film's conclusion. However, Tierney had a knack for real-life trouble and was arrested several times for disorderly conduct and drunken driving. By the end of the 50s he only found sporadic acting work, sometimes not working for several years between films. During this period his best-known work was in Custer of the West (1967) and Andy Warhol's Bad (1977).

Slowly in the 1980s, Tierney landed small but frequently noticable parts in Hollywood films such as Prizzi's Honor (1985) and The Naked Gun (1988). He appeared on TV shows like Hill Street Blues, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Seinfeld (as Elaine's father). In 1992 that changed when Quentin Tarrantino cast Tierney as the crime boss in Reservoir Dogs, an unforgettable part that gave him new fans. While the subsequent roles or films didn't get any bigger, Tierney was finally a recognized name. One of his oddest roles was the half-hour Red (1993) based on the infamous mid-70s Tube Bar tapes where a real-life bar owner responds with startlingly over-the-top remarks to prank phone calls. (If that sounds familiar it's because The Simpsons based Moe's responses to prank calls on these tapes. Tierney provided a voice in the 1995 Simpsons episode "Marge Be Not Proud.") Tierney's last film appearance was in Armageddon (1998)!

By Lang Thompson

CHUCK JONES, 1912 - 2002

Animator Chuck Jones died February 22nd at the age of 89. Jones may not have boasted quite the name recognition of Howard Hawks or John Ford but he was unquestionably one of the greatest American directors. His goals might have been primarily to entertain, which he did so wonderfully that his 50 and 60 year old cartoons seem fresher than most anything produced in the 21st century. But Jones displayed a sense of movement, timing and character barely equalled elsewhere. Literary critics have a saying that while there are no perfect novels there are certainly flawless short stories. Several of Jones' cartoons reach a perfection that Hawks and Ford could only have dreamed about.

Jones was born September 21, 1912 in Spokane, Washington but grew up in Hollywood. As a child he would watch films by Charlie Chaplin and others being made in the streets, absorbing the process and supposedly even appearing as an extra in Mack Sennett shorts. After graduating from L.A.'s Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts), Jones started selling pencil drawings on street corners. He soon landed a job in 1932 with ground-breaking animator Ub Iwerks as a cel washer (somebody who removes ink from the expensive celluloid frames so they could be reused). The following year Jones began to work for Leon Schlesinger Productions which was sold to Warner Brothers. There he directed his first film, The Night Watchman in 1938.

Jones would stay at Warners for almost 25 years until it closed the animation division. Here is where Jones did some of his most-beloved work, putting Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner, Marvin Martian and numerous others through many of their most memorable exploits. Who can forget Bugs and Daffy's hilariously convoluted arguments about hunting season in Rabbit Seasoning (1952) and Duck Rabbit Duck (1953)? Or the Coyote's tantalized, endless pursuit of the Road Runner? What's Opera Doc? (1957) sending Elmer and Bugs to Bayreuth? A cheerfully singing and dancing frog that, alas, only performs for one frustrated man? Daffy tormented by the very elements of the cartoon medium in Duck Amuck (1953)? That's only a fraction of what Jones created while at the Warners animation studio, affectionately known as Termite Terrace. This building on the Warners lot boasted an array of individualist talents that Jones, like Duke Ellington, could pull into a whole. There was voice artist Mel Blanc's impeccable timing, writer Michael Maltese's absurdist love affair with language, music director Carl Stalling's collaged scores and perhaps best of all a studio that knew enough to just leave the gang alone so long as the cartoons kept coming.

After Warners shuttered its animation division in 1962, Jones moved to MGM where he worked on several Tom & Jerry cartoons, his inimitable lines always immediately apparent. In 1966 he directed How the Grinch Stole Christmas from Dr. Seuss' book, one of the finest literary adaptations. A feature version of Norman Juster's classic The Phantom Tollbooth followed in 1969. Along with his daughter Linda, Jones was one of the first to see the value of original animation art and in the late 70s began a thriving business. (For more info see http://www.chuckjones.com.) Jones made cameo appearances in Joe Dante's Gremlins (1984) and Innerspace (1987). In 1989, he wrote a touching and funny memoir, Chuck Amuck, that's pretty much essential reading.

Jones won an Best Short Subject Cartoons Oscar for The Dot and the Line (1965), having earlier been nominated twice in 1962. His Pepe LePew film For Scent-imental Reasons (1949) and public-health cartoon So Much for So Little also won Oscars though not for Jones himself. In 1996 he was awarded an honorary Oscar "for the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters whose animated lives have brought joy to our real ones for more than a half century."

By Lang Thompson

GEORGE NADER, 1921 - 2002

Actor George Nader, best known for the B-movie anti-classic Robot Monster, died February 4th at the age of 80. One-time co-star Tony Curtis said, "He was one of the kindest and most generous men I've ever known. I will miss him." Nader was born in Pasadena, California on October 19, 1921 and like many other actors started performing while in school. His first film appearance was the B-Western Rustlers on Horseback (1950) and he made other appearances, often uncredited, before the immortal Robot Monster in 1953. This dust-cheap, charmingly inept film (originally in 3-D!) features Nader as the father of Earth's last surviving family, everybody else having been wiped out by a gorilla in a diving helmet. Shortly after, Nader landed major roles in RKO's Carnival Story (1954) and with Curtis in Universal's Six Bridges to Cross (1955), bringing a beefy charm that earned him numerous fans. As a result, in 1955 Nader shared a Golden Globe for Most Promising Male Newcomer. He then appeared in numerous lower profile studio films before closing out the decade playing Ellery Queen in a short-lived TV series. He relocated to Europe in the sixties where he found steady work. As secret agent Jerry Cotton, he made a series of spy thrillers which earned him a cult reputation in Europe, starting with Schusse aud dem Geigenkasten (aka Operation Hurricane: Friday Noon) (1965). The eighth and final entry in the series was Dynamit in gruner Seide (aka Dynamite in Green Silk) (1968). His film career ended in the mid-70s when a car wreck damaged his eyes so that he could no longer endure a film set's bright lights. Nader began writing novels, most notably the recently reprinted Chrome (1978), an acclaimed science fiction novel with openly gay characters.

By Lang Thompson

TCM REMEMBERS HAROLD RUSSELL, 1914 - 2002

Oscar-winning actor Harold Russell died January 29th of a heart attack at age 88. As a disabled veteran whose hands had been amputated in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Russell won Best Supporting Actor but also an honorary award "for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans." This made Russell the only person to receive two Oscars for the same role. Russell was born in Nova Scotia on January 14, 1914 but grew up in Cambridge Massachusetts. He joined the US Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor and while training paratroopers lost both hands in an accidental explosion. He then made a training film where director William Wyler saw Russell. Wyler was so impressed that he changed the character in The Best Years of Our Lives from a man with neurological damage to an amputee so that Russell could play the part. After winning the Oscar, Russell followed Wyler's advice and went to college, eventually running a public relations company and writing his autobiography. He made two more film appearances, Inside Moves (1980) and Dogtown (1997), and appeared in a few TV episodes of China Beach and Trapper John MD. Russell made waves in 1992 when he decided to sell his acting Oscar to help cover expenses of his large family. The Motion Picture Academy offered to buy the statue for $20,000 but it sold to an anonymous bidder for $60,000. About the other statute, Russell said, "I'd never sell the special one. The war was over, and this was the industry's way of saying thank you to the veterans."

By Lang Thompson

TCM Remembers - Lawrence Tierney

A SCREEN TOUGH GUY WHO WAS MEANER THAN A JUNKYARD DOG Lawrence Tierney, one of the screen's toughest tough guys, died February 26th at the age of 82. He first startled audiences with his impassioned work in the 1940s but Tierney's rowdy off-screen life eventually pushed him out of the limelight. Though he kept working in small parts, Tierney found a new generation of fans with a few memorable roles in the 80s and 90s. Tierney was born March 15, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in New York and was a track star in school before becoming interested in acting. (His two brothers also became actors though they changed their names to Scott Brady and Ed Tracy.) He went through the usual period of stage appearances before getting bit parts in little-remembered films. His first credited role was in Sing Your Worries Away (1942) but Tierney quickly made his mark playing the title role in Dillinger (1945). A string of memorable roles followed in films like San Quentin (1946), The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947), Born to Kill (1947) and the Oscar-winning circus drama from director Cecil B. DeMille, The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) in which Tierney played the villain responsible for the epic train wreck toward the film's conclusion. However, Tierney had a knack for real-life trouble and was arrested several times for disorderly conduct and drunken driving. By the end of the 50s he only found sporadic acting work, sometimes not working for several years between films. During this period his best-known work was in Custer of the West (1967) and Andy Warhol's Bad (1977). Slowly in the 1980s, Tierney landed small but frequently noticable parts in Hollywood films such as Prizzi's Honor (1985) and The Naked Gun (1988). He appeared on TV shows like Hill Street Blues, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Seinfeld (as Elaine's father). In 1992 that changed when Quentin Tarrantino cast Tierney as the crime boss in Reservoir Dogs, an unforgettable part that gave him new fans. While the subsequent roles or films didn't get any bigger, Tierney was finally a recognized name. One of his oddest roles was the half-hour Red (1993) based on the infamous mid-70s Tube Bar tapes where a real-life bar owner responds with startlingly over-the-top remarks to prank phone calls. (If that sounds familiar it's because The Simpsons based Moe's responses to prank calls on these tapes. Tierney provided a voice in the 1995 Simpsons episode "Marge Be Not Proud.") Tierney's last film appearance was in Armageddon (1998)! By Lang Thompson CHUCK JONES, 1912 - 2002 Animator Chuck Jones died February 22nd at the age of 89. Jones may not have boasted quite the name recognition of Howard Hawks or John Ford but he was unquestionably one of the greatest American directors. His goals might have been primarily to entertain, which he did so wonderfully that his 50 and 60 year old cartoons seem fresher than most anything produced in the 21st century. But Jones displayed a sense of movement, timing and character barely equalled elsewhere. Literary critics have a saying that while there are no perfect novels there are certainly flawless short stories. Several of Jones' cartoons reach a perfection that Hawks and Ford could only have dreamed about. Jones was born September 21, 1912 in Spokane, Washington but grew up in Hollywood. As a child he would watch films by Charlie Chaplin and others being made in the streets, absorbing the process and supposedly even appearing as an extra in Mack Sennett shorts. After graduating from L.A.'s Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts), Jones started selling pencil drawings on street corners. He soon landed a job in 1932 with ground-breaking animator Ub Iwerks as a cel washer (somebody who removes ink from the expensive celluloid frames so they could be reused). The following year Jones began to work for Leon Schlesinger Productions which was sold to Warner Brothers. There he directed his first film, The Night Watchman in 1938. Jones would stay at Warners for almost 25 years until it closed the animation division. Here is where Jones did some of his most-beloved work, putting Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner, Marvin Martian and numerous others through many of their most memorable exploits. Who can forget Bugs and Daffy's hilariously convoluted arguments about hunting season in Rabbit Seasoning (1952) and Duck Rabbit Duck (1953)? Or the Coyote's tantalized, endless pursuit of the Road Runner? What's Opera Doc? (1957) sending Elmer and Bugs to Bayreuth? A cheerfully singing and dancing frog that, alas, only performs for one frustrated man? Daffy tormented by the very elements of the cartoon medium in Duck Amuck (1953)? That's only a fraction of what Jones created while at the Warners animation studio, affectionately known as Termite Terrace. This building on the Warners lot boasted an array of individualist talents that Jones, like Duke Ellington, could pull into a whole. There was voice artist Mel Blanc's impeccable timing, writer Michael Maltese's absurdist love affair with language, music director Carl Stalling's collaged scores and perhaps best of all a studio that knew enough to just leave the gang alone so long as the cartoons kept coming. After Warners shuttered its animation division in 1962, Jones moved to MGM where he worked on several Tom & Jerry cartoons, his inimitable lines always immediately apparent. In 1966 he directed How the Grinch Stole Christmas from Dr. Seuss' book, one of the finest literary adaptations. A feature version of Norman Juster's classic The Phantom Tollbooth followed in 1969. Along with his daughter Linda, Jones was one of the first to see the value of original animation art and in the late 70s began a thriving business. (For more info see http://www.chuckjones.com.) Jones made cameo appearances in Joe Dante's Gremlins (1984) and Innerspace (1987). In 1989, he wrote a touching and funny memoir, Chuck Amuck, that's pretty much essential reading. Jones won an Best Short Subject Cartoons Oscar for The Dot and the Line (1965), having earlier been nominated twice in 1962. His Pepe LePew film For Scent-imental Reasons (1949) and public-health cartoon So Much for So Little also won Oscars though not for Jones himself. In 1996 he was awarded an honorary Oscar "for the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters whose animated lives have brought joy to our real ones for more than a half century." By Lang Thompson GEORGE NADER, 1921 - 2002 Actor George Nader, best known for the B-movie anti-classic Robot Monster, died February 4th at the age of 80. One-time co-star Tony Curtis said, "He was one of the kindest and most generous men I've ever known. I will miss him." Nader was born in Pasadena, California on October 19, 1921 and like many other actors started performing while in school. His first film appearance was the B-Western Rustlers on Horseback (1950) and he made other appearances, often uncredited, before the immortal Robot Monster in 1953. This dust-cheap, charmingly inept film (originally in 3-D!) features Nader as the father of Earth's last surviving family, everybody else having been wiped out by a gorilla in a diving helmet. Shortly after, Nader landed major roles in RKO's Carnival Story (1954) and with Curtis in Universal's Six Bridges to Cross (1955), bringing a beefy charm that earned him numerous fans. As a result, in 1955 Nader shared a Golden Globe for Most Promising Male Newcomer. He then appeared in numerous lower profile studio films before closing out the decade playing Ellery Queen in a short-lived TV series. He relocated to Europe in the sixties where he found steady work. As secret agent Jerry Cotton, he made a series of spy thrillers which earned him a cult reputation in Europe, starting with Schusse aud dem Geigenkasten (aka Operation Hurricane: Friday Noon) (1965). The eighth and final entry in the series was Dynamit in gruner Seide (aka Dynamite in Green Silk) (1968). His film career ended in the mid-70s when a car wreck damaged his eyes so that he could no longer endure a film set's bright lights. Nader began writing novels, most notably the recently reprinted Chrome (1978), an acclaimed science fiction novel with openly gay characters. By Lang Thompson TCM REMEMBERS HAROLD RUSSELL, 1914 - 2002 Oscar-winning actor Harold Russell died January 29th of a heart attack at age 88. As a disabled veteran whose hands had been amputated in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Russell won Best Supporting Actor but also an honorary award "for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans." This made Russell the only person to receive two Oscars for the same role. Russell was born in Nova Scotia on January 14, 1914 but grew up in Cambridge Massachusetts. He joined the US Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor and while training paratroopers lost both hands in an accidental explosion. He then made a training film where director William Wyler saw Russell. Wyler was so impressed that he changed the character in The Best Years of Our Lives from a man with neurological damage to an amputee so that Russell could play the part. After winning the Oscar, Russell followed Wyler's advice and went to college, eventually running a public relations company and writing his autobiography. He made two more film appearances, Inside Moves (1980) and Dogtown (1997), and appeared in a few TV episodes of China Beach and Trapper John MD. Russell made waves in 1992 when he decided to sell his acting Oscar to help cover expenses of his large family. The Motion Picture Academy offered to buy the statue for $20,000 but it sold to an anonymous bidder for $60,000. About the other statute, Russell said, "I'd never sell the special one. The war was over, and this was the industry's way of saying thank you to the veterans." By Lang Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Co-winner, along with Louis Malle's "Atlantic City" (USA/1980), of the Golden Lion award for best picture at the 1980 Venice Film Festival.

Released in United States August 1980

Released in United States Fall October 1, 1980

Released in United States January 1989

Released in United States May 24, 1990

Released in United States on Video February 1999

Released in United States September 1980

Shown at Anthology Film Archives (John Cassavetes Retrospective) in New York City May 24, 1990.

Shown at United States Film Festival in Park City, Utah (Tribute to John Cassavetes) January 26 & 29, 1989.

Shown at Venice Film Festival August 1980.

Re-released in Paris August 21, 1991.

Released in United States January 1989 (Shown at United States Film Festival in Park City, Utah (Tribute to John Cassavetes) January 26 & 29, 1989.)

Released in United States on Video February 1999

Released in United States May 24, 1990 (Shown at Anthology Film Archives (John Cassavetes Retrospective) in New York City May 24, 1990.)

Released in United States August 1980 (Shown at Venice Film Festival August 1980.)

Released in United States September 1980

Released in United States Fall October 1, 1980