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Hal Holbrook Looks Back on Long Career and Explains Why He’s Still Playing Mark Twain

Hal Holbrook Looks Back on Long Career and Explains Why He’s Still Playing Mark Twain
This week marks the 50th anniversary of CBS’s airing of the Hal HolbrookMark Twain Tonight!” The March 6, 1967, TV special was the first national telecast of the one-man show, which Holbrook had been performing onstage since 1954. Even after 63 years, he’s still touring the country, with dates in the next few months in Newport News, Denver, Great Falls, Philadelphia and Minneapolis.

The actor, 92, won the Tony for “Mark Twain Tonight!” which he has performed more than 2,000 times. After extensive stage and TV work, he made his film debut in the 1966 Sidney Lumet-directed “The Group.” Holbrook has also won four Emmys and was Oscar-nominated for his supporting role in the 2008 “Into the Wild.” He first appeared in Variety on Aug. 13, 1952, in a review of the play “The Luck of Caesar.”

Do you remember 1952’s “The Luck of Caesar”?

I don’t. I remember the name, now that you mention it.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

By Sidney Lumet

A lengthy talk-fest interview of the underrated filmmaker, who takes us through his life story as a personal journey, not a string of movie assignments. Sidney Lumet seems to attract a lot of criticism, and so did this docu for not challenging his opinions or rubbing his nose in his less admirable movie efforts. The docu is just Lumet’s thoughts, and the words of a man of integrity are always inspiring.

By Sidney Lumet

Blu-ray

FilmRise

2015 / Color /1:78 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date January 9, 2017 / 24.95

Starring Sidney Lumet

Cinematography Tom Hurwitz

Film Editor Anthony Ripoli

Produced by Scott Berrie, Nancy Buirski, Chris Donnelly, Joshua A. Green, Thane Rosenbaum, Robin Yigit Smith

Directed by Nancy Buirski

This ought to be a good year for documentary filmmaker Nancy Buirski. I first caught up with her excellent feature docu Afternoon of a Faun, about the ill-fated ballerina Tanaquil Le Clerc, and she’s had other successes as well.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Turner Upfront: Steve Carell, Conan Get Shows; Jason Jones Will Star in The Detour

  • Vulture
Turner Broadcasting, whose portfolio includes TBS, CNN, truTV, Adult Swim, and Cartoon Network, among multiple others, is moving forward with more original programming. The big news comes at TBS, which got The Daily Show funny couple Jason Jones and Samantha Bee on their own projects. As had been announced, they would be producing a show for TBS starring Jones, and we now know it's called The Detour. They're also set to do an "issues-oriented series" (we're thinking it'll be similar to something we saw on Tds) with Bee headlining. Steve and Nancy Carell have a show on TBS called Angie Tribeca starring Rashida Jones, and Conan O'Brien reunites with The Office producer Greg Daniels for a TBS comedy pilot about alien abductees called The Group (nope, not the Mary McCarthy kind). Cary Fukunaga, True Detective's great man-bun, is doing a TNT show called The Alienist, based on the novel
See full article at Vulture »

What Tess of the D'Urbervilles could learn from Strictly Come Dancing

I can't help thinking a bit of popular TV might have cheered up the lives of many a classic book character

How's the January self-improvement going – were you going to watch TV less, get out more? Televison's so lowbrow, we say, we hardly watch anything these days, and those reality shows are dreadful … wasn't life so much better when there was no TV and people entertained themselves?

Up to a point. Sometimes, when reading the great classics, the books that teach us about relationships and the world and love, the lives lived and the situations dealt with – well, I can't help feeling that some of them could have benefited hugely from TV. And those wonderful characters – mightn't they have improved their lot as participants in those shows we dislike so much? Or at least had more fun …

In Charlotte Brontë's Shirley there's a scene where three of the main
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Literary breakfasts: orders, please

Fiction sometimes seems to contain almost as many recipes as cookery, but which are the most appetising?

James Bond was always fussy about his food – remember that breakfast in Casino Royale with "half a pint of iced orange juice, three scrambled eggs and bacon, and a double portion of coffee without sugar". Now William Boyd has taken 007's foodie fetishism to a new level with a footnoted recipe for salad dressing.

It opens up a whole new perspective on your bookshelves – what if you tried to live off the recipes buried between the covers of your favourite fiction? There's an old joke about Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse (1927) – you might not enjoy the novel, but you can certainly learn how to make the French classic dish boeuf en daube. But this is completely untrue: the dish is made by Mildred (a cook who seems to spend most of her time
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Frances Ha – review

Greta Gerwig shines as a privileged drifter struggling to grow up in a film she co-scripted with Noah Baumbach

Greta Gerwig, a Californian educated in New York, emerged from that low-budget area of American independent cinema known for its stumbling verbosity as "mumblecore", first making an impression in the 2008 movie Hannah Takes the Stairs as a would-be playwright with a temporary job in Chicago. Noah Baumbach's parents were writers. Raised in the Manhattan literary world, he was educated at Vassar, the prestigious Ivy League college that went co-educational in 1969, and established himself as a writer-director in 2006 with the semi-autobiographical The Squid and the Whale. His leading characters both male and female are spiky misfits, deliberately alienating themselves from their families. Although his genre is comedy, laughter isn't always his object.

Gerwig first worked with Baumbach in his 2010 film Greenberg, giving an outstanding performance as a sad Los Angeles dreamer with musical ambitions,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Frances Ha – review

Greta Gerwig shines as a privileged drifter struggling to grow up in a film she co-scripted with Noah Baumbach

Greta Gerwig, a Californian educated in New York, emerged from that low-budget area of American independent cinema known for its stumbling verbosity as "mumblecore", first making an impression in the 2008 movie Hannah Takes the Stairs as a would-be playwright with a temporary job in Chicago. Noah Baumbach's parents were writers. Raised in the Manhattan literary world, he was educated at Vassar, the prestigious Ivy League college that went co-educational in 1969, and established himself as a writer-director in 2006 with the semi-autobiographical The Squid and the Whale. His leading characters both male and female are spiky misfits, deliberately alienating themselves from their families. Although his genre is comedy, laughter isn't always his object.

Gerwig first worked with Baumbach in his 2010 film Greenberg, giving an outstanding performance as a sad Los Angeles dreamer with musical ambitions,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Larry Hagman obituary

Actor renowned as the machiavellian oilman Jr Ewing in Dallas

On 21 November 1980, 83 million people in the Us and 24 million in the UK watched the TV show Dallas to see who had shot the villainous Jr Ewing. While working late at the office, the boss of Ewing Oil was suddenly fired on by an unseen assailant. Who shot Jr, and would he survive?

Any character who had ever come into contact with the oleaginous Texas oilman had good reason to do away with him, but there was no way he could really have been killed off. If Jr had died, then the series would have died, because Jr was Dallas – and Larry Hagman, who has died aged 81 after suffering from throat cancer, was Jr.

Other actors were at times replaced in their roles, but Hagman was irreplaceable. Nevertheless, just in case, Hagman quickly renegotiated his contract with Lorimar Studios just after
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Larry Hagman obituary

Actor renowned as the machiavellian oilman Jr Ewing in Dallas

On 21 November 1980, 83 million people in the Us and 24 million in the UK watched the TV show Dallas to see who had shot the villainous Jr Ewing. While working late at the office, the boss of Ewing Oil was suddenly fired on by an unseen assailant. Who shot Jr, and would he survive?

Any character who had ever come into contact with the oleaginous Texas oilman had good reason to do away with him, but there was no way he could really have been killed off. If Jr had died, then the series would have died, because Jr was Dallas – and Larry Hagman, who has died aged 81 after suffering from throat cancer, was Jr.

Other actors were at times replaced in their roles, but Hagman was irreplaceable. Nevertheless, just in case, Hagman quickly renegotiated his contract with Lorimar Studios just after
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Films Of Sidney Lumet: A Retrospective

It has been a year since Sidney Lumet passed away on April 9, 2011. Here is our retrospective on the legendary filmmaker to honor his memory. Originally published April 15, 2011.

Almost a week after the fact, we, like everyone that loves film, are still mourning the passing of the great American master Sidney Lumet, one of the true titans of cinema.

Lumet was never fancy. He never needed to be, as a master of blocking, economic camera movements and framing that empowered the emotion and or exact punctuation of a particular scene. First and foremost, as you’ve likely heard ad nauseum -- but hell, it’s true -- Lumet was a storyteller, and one that preferred his beloved New York to soundstages (though let's not romanticize it too much, he did his fair share of work on studio film sets too as most TV journeyman and early studio filmmakers did).

His directing career stretched well over 50 years,
See full article at The Playlist »

Scorpion Releasing Doling Out Another Four Lost Gems - Thrill Kill, Mark of Cain, Whispers, Double Exposure

It's like an odd flickapalooza, man! The sickos over at Scorpion Releasing have four more terror flicks on tap for us that haven't seen the light of day in ages. Read on for all the details.

From the Press Release

On February 21st, Scorpion Releasing and Katarina's Nightmare Theater present Whispers, from the horrifying best seller by master horror writer Dean R. Koontz! Hilary Thomas (Victoria Tennant, L.A. Story) is a beautiful young writer who is stalked by a madman. The demented killer, Bruno Clavel (Jean LeClerc, All My Children), brutally attacks Hilary one night and she thinks she kills him, but he later reappears alive and well. She enlists the aid and protection of a cop (Chris Sarandon, Fright Night, Child's Play, The Sentinel) who believes her story, and as his love for her grows, he helps her discover the terrifying dark secret that drives Bruno to kill!

Special
See full article at Dread Central »

Quick Shooter: A Clint Eastwood Profile (Part 2)

Trevor Hogg profiles the career of Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood in the second of a five-part feature (read part one here)...

“After Hang ’em High [1968], I acted in several pictures without being actively involved in their production,” recalled California filmmaker Clint Eastwood. “Then I found myself making my directorial debut directing second unit on a picture of Don Siegel’s.” The action crime thriller introduced audience members to the actor’s signature role of no nonsense Police Inspector Harry Callahan. “Don had the flu and I replaced him for the sequence where Harry tries to convince the would-be-suicide not to jump into the void. That turned out Ok, because, for lack of space on the window ledge, the only place to perch me was on the crane. I shot this scene, then another one, and I began to think more seriously about directing.” The helmer of Dirty Harry (1971) had a
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Sidney Lumet, 1924 - 2011

  • MUBI
"Sidney Lumet, a director who preferred the streets of New York to the back lots of Hollywood and whose stories of conscience — 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, The Verdict, Network — became modern American film classics, died Saturday morning at his home in Manhattan. He was 86." Robert Berkvist in the New York Times: "'While the goal of all movies is to entertain,' Mr Lumet once wrote, 'the kind of film in which I believe goes one step further. It compels the spectator to examine one facet or another of his own conscience. It stimulates thought and sets the mental juices flowing.' Social issues set his own mental juices flowing, and his best films not only probed the consequences of prejudice, corruption and betrayal but also celebrated individual acts of courage."

"Nearly all the characters in Lumet's gallery are driven by obsessions or passions that range from the pursuit of justice,
See full article at MUBI »

Five of Sidney Lumet's Lesser-Known Films Worth Seeking Out

  • IFC
Five of Sidney Lumet's Lesser-Known Films Worth Seeking Out
Only days ago "The Deadly Affair" arrived at my doorstep, yet another of Sidney Lumet's films I had never seen before since having been born two-thirds of the way into the director's legendary career, it's always been a game of catch-up. Then again, it was that way for most in his field, even if they were contemporaries.

After passing away far too soon at the age of 86, Lumet leaves behind a half-century-long career that will no doubt be scrutinized for being inconsistent, a richly ironic assessment given that in person and on film, he was known as a straight shooter, and perhaps one of the only filmmakers who could say their final film ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead") was as vital and strong as their first ("12 Angry Men"). However, that certainly isn't the only reason why Lumet was a rarity.

In a world full of auteurs, Lumet was a collaborator,
See full article at IFC »

Sidney Lumet obituary

Prolific film director with a reputation for exploring social and moral issues

Sidney Lumet, who has died aged 86, achieved critical and commercial success with his first film, 12 Angry Men (1957), which established his credentials as a liberal director who was sympathetic to actors, loved words and worked quickly. For the bulk of his career, he averaged a film a year, earning four Oscar nominations along the way for best director, for 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976) and The Verdict (1982).

It is arguable that, had he not been so prolific, Lumet's critical reputation would have been greater. Certainly, for every worthwhile film there was a dud, and occasionally a disaster, to match it. But Lumet loved to direct and he was greatly esteemed by the many actors – notably Al Pacino and Sean Connery – with whom he established a lasting rapport.

The majority of his films were shot not in Hollywood, but in and around New York.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Sidney Lumet obituary

Prolific film director with a reputation for exploring social and moral issues

Sidney Lumet, who has died aged 86, achieved critical and commercial success with his first film, 12 Angry Men (1957), which established his credentials as a liberal director who was sympathetic to actors, loved words and worked quickly. For the bulk of his career, he averaged a film a year, earning four Oscar nominations along the way for best director, for 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976) and The Verdict (1982).

It is arguable that, had he not been so prolific, Lumet's critical reputation would have been greater. Certainly, for every worthwhile film there was a dud, and occasionally a disaster, to match it. But Lumet loved to direct and he was greatly esteemed by the many actors – notably Al Pacino and Sean Connery – with whom he established a lasting rapport.

The majority of his films were shot not in Hollywood, but in and around New York.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Prolific American film director Sidney Lumet dies

Sidney Lumet, an American film director known for inspiring top-notch performances from actors in a stream of classic films including "12 Angry Men," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Network" and "Fail-Safe," died on Saturday at age 86, his Hollywood talent agency said.Lumet's death at his Manhattan home was confirmed by Michelle Suess, a spokeswoman for International Creative Management in Los Angeles.Lumet was one of the leading film directors of the second half of the 20th century. He was prolific, directing more than 40 movies, and was versatile, dabbling in many different film genres. He shot many of his movies in his native New York.Lumet received an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 2005. He was nominated for Oscars five times without winning: as best director for "12 Angry Men" (1957), "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975), "Network" (1976) and "The Verdict" (1982), and for best screenplay as co-writer of "Prince Of The City" (1981).His films, nominated in a variety
See full article at Filmicafe »

Sidney Lumet was the quintessential New York filmmaker, a prince of the city who captured our flawed souls

Sidney Lumet was the quintessential New York filmmaker, a prince of the city who captured our flawed souls
Few, at this point, would dispute that the 1970s is the single greatest decade in American filmmaking after World War II. If you were to list the landmark movies that were central to the decade’s pop-cultural identity, that list would surely include the following three films: Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and Network (1976). Those three classics — made, bang bang bang, more or less right in a row — were all directed by the same man, Sidney Lumet, who died today at 86. Yet Lumet, one of the most exciting American filmmakers who ever lived, occupies, to this moment, a unique and slightly
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

7 Sidney Lumet Movies You Can Watch Right Now

Sidney Lumet was a master moviemaker in every sense of the word. Take a look at your all-time top ten, and he’s mostly likely got at least one spot on it. Serpico, Network (my personal #2), Dog Day Afternoon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and a list that continues (and logic-defyingly includes The Wiz) until the paper runs out. Maybe you’d like to experience more movies by the man, or maybe you’d like to introduce yourself to him after his unfortunate passing. Maybe your goal is to post up on the couch and watch Lumet movies all day. Well, you can, and we’ll be right there with you. Here are just 7 of his movies that you can watch immediately through Netflix. The Group (1966) Lumet crushed it right out of the gate with Twelve Angry Men, and he’d made ten movies before The Group, but if you’ve already fallen in love with
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Sidney Lumet: 1924-2011

Sidney Lumet: 1924-2011
Director Sidney Lumet, whose gritty portraits of New York City earned him four Oscar nominations for Best Director for films such as Dog Day Afternoon and Network, died Saturday of lymphoma at his home in Manhattan; he was 86. Synonymous with the New York filmmaking scene, Lumet prowled the streets of his adopted hometown in a wide variety of films, working in the nascent medium of television in the early 1950s before making his feature film directorial debut in 1957 with the cinematic adaptation of the jury room classic 12 Angry Men, starring Henry Fonda. That film earned Lumet his first Oscar nomination and started a prolific career that would take him through crime dramas, Broadway and literary adaptations, occasional Hollywood films, and lacerating satires.

Born in Philadelphia to parents who were in show business -- his father was an actor and director, his mother a dancer -- he appeared in numerous Broadway plays as a child and young adult before serving three years in the Army during World War II and returning to New York to direct. Lumet's directorial style, described as "lightning quick" in an era when American cinema was still burdened by the limitations of decorative and expensive Hollywood films, earned him a successful career in television, where he adapted numerous plays for such early shows as Playhouse 90 and Studio One, and worked with the young Walter Cronkite on the news series You Are There. He directed a TV version of 12 Angry Men before turning it into a successful 1957 film, starring Henry Fonda as the lone dissenting juror in a murder trial; the film earned three Academy Award nominations (Best Picture, Director and Screenplay) and singlehandedly established Lumet's cinematic directing career.

Lumet alternated film and television work in the late 1950s and early 1960s -- including a television version of The Iceman Cometh starring Jason Robards -- before helming a number of acclaimed cinematic films in the early 1960s: the devastating adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962) starring Katharine Hepburn and Ralph Richardson; the New York drama The Pawnbroker (1964), which earned Rod Steiger a Best Actor Oscar nomination; and the nuclear drama Fail-Safe (also 1964), starring Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau. Through the late 1960s and early 1970s some of Lumet's work was uneven -- adaptations of bestsellers The Group (1966) and The Anderson Tapes (1971) as well as Chekhov's The Sea Gull (1968) are admirable but not entirely successful -- but scored again throughout the 1970s. The crime drama Serpico (1973) helped cement Al Pacino's star status after The Godfather -- and earned the actor his first Best Actor Oscar nomination, and the actor and director paired again in 1975's Dog Day Afternoon, the story of a bank heist gone crazily awry; the film, now considered a modern classic, earned Lumet and Pacino Oscar nominations and some of the best reviews of their careers. In between those films, set in New York, Lumet took a literal and figurative jaunt with the successful adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (1974), an upper-class murder mystery set on a luxury European train that seemed as far from the seamy streets of Manhattan as possible.

In 1976, Lumet explored the themes of media exposure and saturation he delved into with Dog Day Afternoon even further with the scathing television satire and drama Network, starring William Holden, Faye Dunaway and Peter Finch. Lumet, along with screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, pioneered the idea (and condemnation) of what is now commonly thought of as reality TV in his story of a network anchorman (Finch) who suffers a breakdown on live television with the rallying cry "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!", and the television executive (Dunaway) who turns him into a folk hero, TV icon, and tragic figure, ultimately goading him into committing suicide live on television. The film, still potent and more lacerating than most explorations of modern media since, won Finch and Dunaway Oscars; Finch's award was posthumous, as the actor died in early 1977. It remains one of only two films to win three Academy Awards for acting (the third for supporting actress Beatrice Straight, who appeared onscreen for less than six minutes), the other being A Streetcar Named Desire.

After that string of commercial and financial hits, Lumet's career included a wide variety of films: adaptations of Broadway hits Equus (1977, fairly successful), The Wiz (1978, a musical flop but a strangely visionary view of New York), Deathtrap (1982, unexpected fun if not a perfect film); crime drama Prince of the City (1981, one of Lumet's most unheralded fims); courtroom drama The Verdict (1982, a big hit that earned star Paul Newman and Lumet Oscar nominations); Hollywood melodrama (1986's The Morning After, starring Jane Fonda); and indie drama (Running On Empty, the 1988 drama with River Phoenix in his only Oscar-nominated performance). Lumet's last film was the 2007 drama Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, which starred indie stalwarts Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Ethan Hawke, and Amy Ryan.

Lumet was married four times, first to actress Rita Gam, second to socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, and third to Gail Jones, daughter of Lena Horne. He married Mary Gimbel, who survives him, in 1980 and had two daughters with Ms. Jones, Amy Lumet and screenwriter Jenny Lumet, who scripted the drama Rachel Getting Married. Nominated for five Oscars (four for directing, one for screenplay), Lumet was awarded an honorary Academy Award at the 2004 Oscars.
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