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Rosemary Anne Sisson obituary

Master of TV period drama who made her name writing for Upstairs Downstairs

Nostalgic television period drama flowed naturally from the pen of Rosemary Anne Sisson, who has died aged 93. She stamped her mark on it with Upstairs Downstairs, which intertwined the lives of the Bellamy family and its servants, and The Irish Rm, the 19th-century tale of an English magistrate in rural Ireland, before going on to co-create the theatrical saga The Bretts.

Upstairs Downstairs was ITV’s first hugely successful period drama. It was dreamed up by two actors, Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins, as the story of two maids “below stairs” in the household at 165 Eaton Place, London. John Hawkesworth produced the serial, set during a momentous time in British history, between 1903 and 1930, and gave it authenticity by researching House of Commons debates, store and fashion catalogues, songbooks and theatre programmes. For 11 of the 68 episodes screened between
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

'Willow 2' May Happen Says Director Ron Howard

'Willow 2' May Happen Says Director Ron Howard
Back in 1988, Ron Howard was still much more well-known as an actor than he was a director, from iconic roles in Green Acres, The Andy Griffith Show, Happy Days and American Graffiti. The actor/filmmaker had directed hit comedies such as Night Shift, Splash, Cocoon and Gung Ho before he delved into the world of fantasy filmmaking with the iconic Willow. During a Ama session to promote his new film In the Heart of the Sea, in theaters this weekend, the filmmaker was asked if he would ever consider making a sequel to Willow. Here's what the director had to say.

"Right now, the Lucasfilm team led by Kathleen Kennedy, who is an old dear friend, is entirely myopically focused on the Star Wars universe as you can imagine. So I think the immediate possibility of another Willow movie is probably not on the front burner. But Warwick Davis is such a cool guy,
See full article at MovieWeb »

'Return to Oz' Turns 30: A tribute to the scariest children's movie of all time

  • Hitfix
'Return to Oz' Turns 30: A tribute to the scariest children's movie of all time
My first horror movie? Disney's "Return to Oz." I was in elementary school when I first watched Walter Murch's dark, visionary 1985 film, which was marketed to children despite being one of the most legitimately terrifying "family movies" of all time. It rattled me, deeply. I couldn't stop watching it. Released on June 21, 1985 to mixed reviews and poor box office, "Return to Oz" was the first and last directorial effort from esteemed Oscar-winning sound and film editor Walter Murch, who cut such acclaimed movies as "Julia," "Apocalypse Now," "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley." It was not, as they say, your grandmother's "Oz" movie. The Wicked Witch of the West may have been frightening for very young kids, but she was nothing compared to the devilish, head-swapping Princess Mombi, the sadistic, baritone-voiced Nome King, and, god help us, the cackling Wheelers, a group of fluorescent roller-derby
See full article at Hitfix »

'The Changeling' review

Reviewed By: Chris Wright

Morehorror.com

The Changeling

Directed By: Peter Medak

Written By: Russell Hunter, William Gray, Diana Maddox

Starring: George C. Scott (John Russell), Melvyn Douglas (Senator Joseph Carmichael), Trish Van Devere (Claire), Eric Christmas (Albert Harmon), John Colicos (De Witt), Jean Marsh (Joanna Russell), Roberta Maxwell (Eva Lingstrom), Barry Morse (Doctor Pemberton) Terence Kelly (Sgt. Durban)

A good ghost story is hard to come by today. The various attempts of haunted houses and ghost tales today rely heavily on jump scares and loud sound affects to propel the story along. Thankfully “The Changeling” doesn’t follow the model! I had only heard of this film in passing but never actually made an attempt to watch but now I am glad I did. Plus, don’t we all love a good ghost story?

The story follows John Russell to a new old style home after the tragic loss
See full article at MoreHorror »

The actors who played multiple roles in Doctor Who

Peter Capaldi is far from the only Doctor Who actor to appear in multiple roles. Mark talks us through the many others to have done so...

It's been just over a year since the BBC announced that Peter Capaldi would play the Twelfth Doctor. There were rumblings of his casting in the week before the announcement was made, to the point where bookies stopped taking bets on it.

We've spent the last twelve months in anticipation of what seems like dream casting for the Time Lord, but some of us were a little sceptical that an actor of his profile and standing would take the role until it was actually announced, but “he's been in it before” was not atop the list of reasons why we thought it was too good to be true.

Over the course of 50 years, Doctor Who has inevitably reused actors as different characters- there are
See full article at Den of Geek »

Doctor Who: the film careers of William Hartnell & Jon Pertwee

Feature Alex Westthorp 28 Mar 2014 - 07:00

In a new series, Alex talks us through the film roles of the actors who've played the Doctor. First up, William Hartnell and Jon Pertwee...

We know them best as the twelve very different incarnations of the Doctor. But all the actors who've been the star of Doctor Who, being such good all-rounders in the first place, have also had film careers. Admittedly, some CVs are more impressive than others, but this retrospective attempts to pick out some of the many worthwhile films which have starred, featured or seen a fleeting cameo by the actors who would become (or had been) the Doctor.

William Hartnell was, above all else, a film star. He is by far the most prolific film actor of the main twelve to play the Time Lord. With over 70 films to his name, summarising Hartnell's film career is difficult at best.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Review: Doctor Who Specials Feature History & Comedy

  • Comicmix
The BBC did a cracking job of filling the week before the Doctor Who 50th anniversary with new programming to appeal to Whovians across the globe. Noted scientist Brian Cox hosted a seminar about the nature of space and time, while noted actor Brian Cox starred in An Adventure in Space and Time. Paul McGann starred in a short adventure featuring the eighth Doctor, while Doctors Five, Six, and Seven hatched their own plan to crash the festivities.

David Bradley as William Hartnell as The Doctor in An Adventure in Space and Time

Mark Gatiss penned An Adventure in Space and Time, a dramatic adaptation of the early years of the classic series. Brian Cox and Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife) starred as Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert respectively, the minds behind the show, while David Bradley (Game of Thrones, Harry Potter) took the role of William Hartnell, the first Doctor.
See full article at Comicmix »

Doctor Who – An Adventure In Space And TimeDoes William Hartnell Need Protecting?

When watching An Adventure In Space And Time, I noticed one feeling dominated all others. It wasn’t excitement at seeing early Doctor Who recreated in high definition colour. It wasn’t admiration in the playing of the lead actors (all wonderful), nor even some fannish desire for accuracy (I let several anachronisms of speech and behaviour slip by, suspending my disbelief in the spirit of the piece).

The overwhelming feeling I had was one of protectiveness. I felt protective towards Verity Lambert, Waris Hussein, even Sydney Newman, the old so-and-so. But I felt especially protective towards William Hartnell. As an actor his reputation is pretty much intact, despite a few swipes at his memory from those too ignorant to know better. But as a man I felt that he had been much maligned, and An Adventure In Space And Time could either support the myths, or set the record straight.
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Mark Gatiss on An Adventure In Space And Time

Feature Seb Patrick 21 Nov 2013 - 22:30

Here's what writer Mark Gatiss said about An Adventure In Space And Time at the BFI screening. Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen it...

Warning: contains spoilers for An Adventure In Space And Time. Our spoiler-free review is here.

As part of a Q&A session with members of the cast and crew at the premiere screening of An Adventure in Space and Time at the BFI, writer Mark Gatiss had plenty to say about the making of the ninety-minute BBC2 film. Now that the special has been broadcast – and with the proviso that it contains spoilers if you haven’t yet watched it! - here’s a selection of what he had to say about bringing William Hartnell, Verity Lambert, Sydney Newman and the rest of the early days of Doctor Who to life…

To begin with, Gatiss talked about the origins of the story,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Doctor Who Ally Profile: Sara Kingdom

Sara Kingdom

Portrayed by: Jean Marsh

Doctor: First Doctor

Story: 1 story (9 episodes), The Daleks’ Master Plan (Nov, 1965 – Jan, 1966)

Background: Sara Kingdom is the dedicated, powerful, top agent for the Space Security Service, working under the traitorous Gaurdian of the Solar System Mavic Chen, when she meets the Doctor. Initially an antagonist, Sara discovers Chen’s treachery and switches allegiances, working with the Doctor to bring down him and his allies, the Daleks.

Family/Friends: Sara has a brother, Bret Vyon (played by Nicholas Courtney of Brigadier fame), who discovers Chen’s plot before she does and goes rogue. Tasked with hunting him down, Sara stays firm to her orders and kills him, and this decision eats away at her, causing her to more easily see Chen for what he is and team up with the Doctor.

Personality: Sara is disciplined, driven, and unshakingly loyal. She’s a soldier and apt to follow orders,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Happy Birthday Alfred Hitchcock! Watch 45-Minute Doc 'Perspectives: Made In Britain' About The Director

Had Alfred Hitchcock somehow made it all the way to 2013, he would be turning 114 years old today. And while that probably wasn't likely, today is a reminder of just how powerful, influential and flat out entertaining his work remains decades later. One of cinema's premiere filmmakers, entertainers and technicians, Hitchcock broke new ground, delighted and thrilled audiences, and not only conquered cinemas but television too. We could go on for paragraphs about the importance of his work and his impeccable craft, but instead we'll offer you this little birthday treat. Earlier this year, British TV host and presenter Jonathan Ross delivered "Perspectives: Alfred Hitchcock - Made in Britain," which as the title suggests, digs into the the U.K. years of the director. And now it has made its way online. Running a shade over 45-minutes, the TV special/documentary explores the British roots of Hitchcock, visits Gainsborough Studios where he first got work,
See full article at The Playlist »

‘The Sopranos’ Leads WGA List of Top TV Series

The Writers Guild of America on Sunday unveiled its list of the “101 Best Written TV Series of All Time,” topped by HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

The mob drama created by David Chase (pictured above right with “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini) led the list over such perennial faves as “Seinfeld” (which ranked No. 2), “All in the Family” (No. 4), “Mash” (No. 5) and “The Wire” (No. 9).

On the other end of the list was a three-way tie between the original NBC “Late Night with David Letterman,” FX’s “Louie” and HBO’s intense prison drama “Oz.”

The list, the results of online voting by members of the WGA West and WGA East, immediately spurred debates over the rankings and omissions. The TV tally was a follow-up to the WGA’s “101 Greatest Screenplays” member survey conducted in 2006.

The WGA’s complete list of TV series follows:

1

The Sopranos

HBO

Created by David Chase

2

Seinfeld
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Willow - Blu-ray Review

Fantasy films have become hot again thanks to the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It.s no wonder that this adventure from Ron Howard would make its way to Blu-ray. The film may not have aged exactly well, but it does introduce us to the talent named Warwick Davis. Evil queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) has been given a prophecy. A child born with a peculiar birthmark will be the one that brings about her downfall. She has sent her militaristic daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) to gather all the pregnant women and death awaits the one born with the sign. When the child is born a sympathetic midwife sneaks the girl (Ruth and Kate Greenfield) out of the
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Review: Willow

  • Comicmix
Sometimes you are born for a life of adventure and sometimes adventure recruits you into its cause. For George Lucas, the latter approach is preferable as witnessed in Luke Skywalker in Star Wars and Willow Ufgood in Willow. While Skywalker unknowingly had it in his blood, Willow was far more the ordinary person thrust into an extraordinary cause.

Lucas conceived of Willow’s tale back in 1972 and kept it rattling around his mind until technology was sophisticated enough to tackle it on film. Casting Warwick Davis as Wicket in Return of the Jedi probably began the move from backburner to the front of the production slate even though it was another five years before the film began production. By then, Lucas was no longer interested in directing, instead choosing Ron Howard to mount his first major fantasy. By then, Howard, who was a directing contemporary of Lucas although they traveled in different circles,
See full article at Comicmix »

Blu-ray Review: Ron Howard’s Beloved ‘Willow’ Hits 25 Years

Chicago – I’m dating myself but I was a young, fantasy-obsessed teen when I first saw Ron Howard’s “Willow.” Revisiting it 25 years later in the newly-released Blu-ray, I was instantly stunned by how old the film looked. A lot of the physical effects, the general tone, the dialogue — it feels more like a ’70s movie than some ’80s fantasies that predate it (“Legend” and “Ladyhawke” come to mind). And a sinking feeling entered my bones. “Willow” isn’t great. Yes, it has some nostalgic charm and hardcore fans will dig the HD release but I hope you don’t have the same realization that I do that my 13-year-old self may have overrated it.

Rating: 3.0/5.0

“A movie for little people that even big people want to see!” I’m not making that up. It’s part of the introduction of “The Making of an Adventure,” a 25-year-old behind-the-scenes piece
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Contest: Willow (1988) Blu-ray: Ron Howard, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley

Willow Contest Giveaway Sweepstakes. This Willow Blu-ray contest, giveaway, sweepstakes illustrates Willow‘s release on DVD and Blu-ray on March 12, 2013. Ron Howard‘s Willow stars Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Warwick Davis, Jean Marsh, Billy Barty, Gavan O’Herlihy, Phil Fondacaro, Tony Cox, Kevin Pollak, and Rick Overton. Journey to the far [...]

Continue reading: Contest: Willow (1988) Blu-ray: Ron Howard, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley
See full article at Film-Book »

Blu-ray Review: Willow (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Genre: Fantasy | Adventure

Director: Ron Howard

Writer: George Lucas (story), Bob Dolman (screenplay)

Cast: Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh

MPAA Rating: PG

Total Run Time: Bd 3:11:50, DVD 2:06:00

Synopsis:

Journey to the far corners of your imagination with Willow, for the first time ever on stunning Blu-ray! Written and produced by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard, the film tells a timeless fantasy tale in which heroes come in all sizes…and adventure is the greatest magic of all. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the unforgettable classic has been fully digitally restored and debuts on Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack March 12, 2013 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

When young Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis; Harry Potter franchise) finds an abandoned baby girl, he learns she is destined to end the reign of the wicked Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh; Upstairs, Downstairs
See full article at ScifiMafia »

Willow Blu-ray Review

It's been 25 years since the diminutive title hero of Ron Howard's Willow first saved the world from an evil queen; now you can relive the swords-and-sorcery epic on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time.  Warwick Davis (Harry Potter series) stars as an unlikely hero who must rescue an infant destined to overthrow a wicked queen before she can sacrifice the child.  Assisting him in his quest are the roguish swordsman Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), the impaired sorceress Fin Raziel (Patricia Hayes) and two comical creatures known as Brownies (Rick Overton, Kevin Pollak) who are even smaller than Willow himself.  Standing in their way are Princess Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and the vicious General Kael (Pat Roach) who will do anything to deliver the infant to the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). While the remastered edition of Willow on Blu-ray is well worth the purchase, there are sufficient extras to please fans of all ages.
See full article at Collider.com »

Win Ron Howard's Willow on Blu-ray and DVD Combo

After Return of the Jedi, George Lucas and Lucasfilm took a stab at a similar heroic tale set in the world of knights and wizards with Willow. With Ron Howard behind the camera and Star Wars vet Warwick Davis joined by Val Kilmer in front of it, Willow was well received and now finally has made its high definition debut on Blu-ray.

For this contest we are going to award two lucky readers the Willow Blu-ray and DVD combo pack. For a chance to win one, please fill out and submit the short entry form below. Increase the odds of winning each or every day you stop back to enter again for as many days as the contest is open. You must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada to enter.

Journey to the far corners of your imagination with Willow, for the first time ever on Blu-ray!
See full article at TheHDRoom »

Willow on Blu-ray Today; Watch Ron Howard and Warwick Davis Twitter Chat Plus Trailer

Hopefully you’ll have seen the wonderful movie Willow during some enchanted time in your life. Happily, now that it’s 25 years old – where does the time go? – it has been digitally restored and is available on Blu-ray as of today. There’s a link at the bottom of this post to place your order with Amazon.

To celebrate, director Ron Howard and star Warwick Davis will be chatting on Twitter Today, March 12 from 2-2:30 pm. Here are the details:

What: Join Director Ron Howard and star Warwick Davis for an exclusive Artist to Artist Twitter chat in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Willow! Fans can even join in the conversation by tweeting questions using the hashtag #WillowChat.

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the unforgettable classic, Willow, has been fully digitally restored and debuts on Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack March 12, 2013 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
See full article at ScifiMafia »
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