Category: Movie Nostalgia
On September 23, 1961, NBC introduced its new series, “Saturday Night at the Movies,” featuring Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable in “How to Marry a Millionaire.” This broadcast was an astounding success and pointed to Hollywood’s growing inclination to release its post-1948 movies to television. Seven more series representing all three networks and every night of the week appeared over the next five years.
The culmination of this trend was an ABC Sunday telecast of “The Bridge on the River Kwai” in September 1966.” It would be some time before anyone tried to make the same case for American television, which had changed little from the way Newton Minow, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, had described it to its producers in 1961, as “a vast wasteland”. Minow had just been appointed to his post by John F. Kennedy, and many in his audience might have expected gentler treatment from a president who had been elected, they believed, on the strenght of his appeal on television.
The precise birth date of the telefilm is arguable, although only a handful of contenders exist prior to 1961. Claims range from Ron Amateau’s 60-minute Western, “The Bushwackers, ” which appeared on CBS in 1951, to Disney’s “Davey Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier,” which was broadcast as three separate segments during the 1954-55 debut season of “The Wonderful World of Disney.”
Also, it was not uncommon during the late 1950s for TV’s dramatic anthologies to present some of their teleplays on either film or videotape. Three shows especially, “Desilu Playhouse,” “Kraft Theatre,” and “The Bob Hope Show,” filmed a number of their one-hour offerings, while a few of these presentations were even expanded into a second hour airing the following week as a finale of a two-parter. Still, these haphazard examples have really more to do with trivia than historical precedent, as the man primarily responsible for pioneering the formal properties of the telefeature is Jennings Lang, a New York lawyer who became programming chief for MCA’s Revue in the late 1950s.
Television obliged politicians to become performers in a way radio never had. Kennedy, youthful, authoritative and almost handsome enough to play the lead in a TV doctor series, seemed perfectly cast. Pursuing a policy of accessibility to the camera, he held live press conferences, delivered an ultimatum to Khrushchev via television during the Cuban missile crisis, and encouraged his wife to take the nation on a Tour of the White House. The impact of his assassination was intensified by the fact that he was not just the President, but a television celebrity whom the viewing public had been encouraged to feel they knew through the intimacy of the medium. For the four days between the assassination and the funeral all three networks suspended their regular schedules and carried no advertising.
By 1960 half the population of the United States depended on television as its prime source of news. Network prime time had settled into a mixture of half-hour comedy shows and hour-long action/drama series. Drama, like comedy, was constructed around a repeatable situation, usually provided by a professional activity. Lawyer- and doctor -shows provided an ideal format for hourlong stories featuring guest stars as clients or patients, but the same formula was used for series on teachers and social workers.
The formula had its limitations. The central characters had to remain unchanged by the episode’s events, in order to be in their proper places by the following week’s episode. The serial form provided the programming stability necessary to deliver viewers to advertisers on a regular basis. Networks tried to carry their audiences from one show to the next, employing the principle of Least Objectionable Programming. This meant that the majority of viewers who simply watched television, rather than selecting specific programs, would wacth whichever show they disliked least.
As mentioned earlier, the fall of 1966 was when ABC first decided to begin telecasting a number of Hollywood “blockbuster” films, including “The Bridgeon the River Kwai” on the River Kwai” and later “The Robe.” CBS, on the other hand, strove for prestige programming to counterbalance its lineup of popular, though pedestrian situation comedies, such as “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Green Acres,” “Petticoat Junction,” the “Andy Griffith Show,” and “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”
These specials were composed mostly of important American plays, like “Death of a Salesman” and “The Glass Menagerie,” which actually pulled moderate, though respectable ratings for a time. Most important, however, Lang was first able to interest NBC in financially promoting the made-for-TV form in the spring of 1964. By 1966, it was apparent to both Universal TV and NBC that they had gambled themselves into developing a television genre of enormous potential, as economic dividends were realized almost immediately from this feature-length hybrid. In contrast, however, much of the aesthetic and socio-cultural possibilities inherent in the telefilm would lie dormant for another five years.
The unit of television viewing was not the individual program but the daytime or evening schedule as a whole. As a result, television placed little emphasis on the distinction between fact and fiction. In sports and game shows it offered its audience an engagement with an endless dramatic experience, in which consequences and conclusions mattered less than the exuberance of competition, choice and performance. Television had a peculiar capacity to dissolve distinctions between comedy, drama, news and commercials.
Television’s other typical form, the talk show, perfected its formula in the early 1960s with The Tonight Show, hosted by Johnny Carson. Talk shows packaged personality as a commodity, but all television employed it; even newsreaders became celebrities.
NBC and MCA, Inc., inaugurated 1964 by creating “Project 120,” a never fully actualized weekly film anthology whose very name echoed the live dramatic series of the 1950s. NBC allotted $250,000 for the first telefeature, as MCAUniversal hired Hollywood journeyman Don Siegel to direct “‘Johnny North,’ an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s short story, ‘The Killers,’ starring John Cassavetes, Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, and Ronald Reagan in his last role. The movie that resulted eventually cost over $900,000 and was deemed by the network “too spicy, expensive, and violent for TV screens.”
Clearly, it was evident to both NBC and MCA from the outset that the budgetary constraints and the dictates of content would be different for the telefilm from what was previously expected for the usual theatrical picture. As a result, “Johnny North” was retitled “The Killers,” and the film was subsequently released to movie theaters nationwide. Mort Werner, NBC-TV vice president in charge of programming at the time, reflected upon this experience: “We’ve learned to control the budget. Two new ‘movies’ will get started soon, and the series probably will show up on television in 1965.”
“Flashdance… What a Feeling” is a song from the 1983 film Flashdance, written by Giorgio Moroder, Keith Forsey, and Irene Cara, and performed by Cara.
In addition to topping the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Cara’s only #1 song, it earned a platinum record, the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In 2004 it finished at #55 in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.
The song was the #3 single of the year in 1983 on the Billboard year-end chart. In 2008, the song was ranked at #26 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100.
In the United Kingdom, the song spent one week at #2 on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending date July 9, 1983.
Flashdance is a 1983 American romantic drama film directed by Adrian Lyne. It was the first collaboration of producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and the presentation of some sequences in the style of music videos was an influence on other 1980s films, including Top Gun (1986),
Simpson and Bruckheimer’s most famous production. Flashdance opened to negative reviews by professional critics, but was a surprise box office success, becoming the third highest grossing film of 1983 in the United States. It had a worldwide box-office gross of more than $100 million. Its soundtrack spawned several hit songs, among them “Maniac” performed by Michael Sembello and the Academy Award–winning “Flashdance… What a Feeling”, performed by Irene Cara, which was written for the film.
Irene Cara – Flashdance… What A Feeling
First when there’s nothing
But a slow glowing dream
That your fear seems to hide
Deep inside your mind
All alone, I have cried
Silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel
Made of stone
Well, I hear the music
Close my eyes, feel the rhythm
Wrap around, take a hold of my heart
What a feeling
I can have it all
Now I’m dancing for my life
Take your passion
And make it happen
Pictures come alive
You can dance right through your life
Now I hear the music
Close my eyes, I am rhythm
In a flash, it takes hold of my heart
What a feeling, being’s believing
I can have it all
Now I’m dancing for my life
Take your passion
And make it happen
Pictures come alive
Now I’m dancing through my life
What a feeling
What a feeling (I am music now)
Being’s believing (I am rhythm now)
Pictures come alive
You can dance right through your life
What a feeling (I can really have it all)
What a feeling
(Pictures come alive when I call)
I can have it all (I can really have it all)
Have it all (pictures come alive when I call)
(Call, call ,call, call, what a feeling)
I can have it all (being’s believing)
Being’s believing (take your passion)
(Make it happen) Make it happen
(What a feeling) What a feeling
“Endless Love” is a song written by Lionel Richie and originally recorded as a duet between Richie and fellow soul singer Diana Ross. In this ballad, the singers declare their “endless love” for one another. It was covered by soul singer Luther Vandross with pop singer Mariah Carey and also by country music singer Shania Twain. Richie’s friend (and sometimes co-worker) Kenny Rogers has also recorded the song. Billboard has named the original version as the greatest song duet of all-time.
Ross and Ritchie recorded the song for Motown, and it was used as the theme for the Franco Zeffirelli’s film Endless Love. Produced by Richie and arranged by Gene Page, it was released as a single from the film’s soundtrack in 1981. While the film Endless Love was a modest box-office success, the song became the second biggest-selling single of the year (first was “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes) in the U.S. and reached number 1 on the Hot 100, where it stayed for nine weeks from August 15 to October 10, 1981. It also topped the Billboard R&B chart and the Adult Contemporary chart, and reached number 7 in the UK.
The soulful composition became the biggest-selling single of Ross’ career, and her 18th and final career number-one single (including her work with The Supremes). It also was Ritchie’s highest charting single, and the first of several hits for Ritchie during the 1980s. Ross recorded a solo version of the song for her first RCA Records album, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, the duet version being her last hit on Motown. The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Ritchie, and was the second song with which Ross was involved that was nominated for an Oscar. It also won a 1982 American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single.
Endless Love 1081 Movie
Endless Love is a 1981 romantic drama film based on the 1979 novel of the same name by Scott Spencer. The film is directed by Franco Zeffirelli and stars Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt. The screenplay was written by Judith Rascoe. The original music score was composed by Jonathan Tunick.
The film was released in July 1981 and received negative reviews, with critics comparing it unfavourably to the novel. Spencer disliked it, believing the filmmakers to have missed the point of the book. The film was a moderate box-office success, and its theme song, performed by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie and also called “Endless Love”, became a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It spent 9 weeks at #1 and received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for “Best Original Song”, along with 5 Grammy nominations.
Endless Love Lyrics
My love, there’s only you in my life
The only thing that’s right
My first love,
You’re every breath that I take
You’re every step I make
And I, I
I want to share
All my love with you
No one else will do
And your eyes
Your eyes, your eyes
They tell me how much you care
Ooh yes, you will always be
My endless love
Two hearts, two hearts that beat as one
Our lives have just begun
Forever (oh) I’ll hold you close in my arms
I can’t resist your charms
And love oh, love
I’ll be a fool for you I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
Oh, you know I don’t mind
You mean the world to me
Oh I know
I’ve found in you
My endless love
Oh, and love oh, love
I’ll be that fool for you I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
Oh you know, I don’t mind
And, yes you’ll be the only one
‘Cause no one can deny
This love I have inside
And I’ll give it all to you
My love, my love, my love
My endless love
All you need is love.
At once gritty, whimsical and highly theatrical, Revolution Studios’ Across the Universe is a groundbreaking movie musical, springing from the imagination of renowned writer director Julie Taymor, and and writers Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais, that brings together an original story and 33 revolutionary songs – including “Hey Jude,” “I Am the Walrus,” and “All You Need is Love” – that defined a generation. Taymor says, “The idea was to create an original musical using only the songs of the Beatles.”
A love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, mind exploration and rock ‘n roll, the film moves from the dockyards of Liverpool to the creative psychedelia of Greenwich Village, from the riot-torn streets of Detroit to the killing fields of Vietnam.
The star-crossed lovers, Jude (Jim Sturgess) and Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), along with a small group of friends and musicians, are swept up into the emerging anti-war and counterculture movements, with “Dr. Robert” (Bono) and “Mr. Kite” (Eddie Izzard) as their guides. Tumultuous forces outside their control ultimately tear the young lovers apart, forcing Jude and Lucy – against all odds – to find their own way back to each other.
Across the Universe
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Max Carrigan, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther, T.V. Carpio
Directed by: Julie Taymor
Screenplay by: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence.
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: September 21, 2007
Julie Taymor, the groundbreaking visionary behind Revolution Studios’ new film Across the Universe, says that she first conceived a film that would, in her words, “investigate the ‘60s. It had to penetrate all levels of the Beatles’ songs. From the love songs to the political songs, the music and the film would not just reflect the microcosm of a character’s experience, but, from my perspective, would also represent the macrocosm of the events that are happening in the world.”
For Taymor, though the film is set a generation back, making the story and the film fresh and alive for today’s audiences was the entire point. “I really want young people to see the passion in this movie – to see with what fervor these characters invested themselves into social movements as well as self-exploration,” she says. “I hope it really speaks ‘across the universe’ and across cultures… that anybody could identify with the situations and the events that are happening in this movie.”
According to producer Jennifer Todd, the film is an artistic statement from Taymor. “In addition to being a unique voice, Julie is the hardest-working director I’ve ever worked with,” she says. “It’s an amazingly satisfying experience to work with someone who lives and breathes the movie morning, noon, and night. One particular weekend, we went away and came back to discover that an entire new sequence had been invented. Because she’s like that, she attracts people who want to work just as hard to achieve her vision.”
Producer Matthew Gross, who generated the project, concurs. “Julie is a national treasure,” he says. “She is a true artist – not only does she bring visual appeal, but she has just the right touch with the singers and dancers, which was so necessary for this film. The work she did in Titus and Frida show her incredible vision. In addition, because everyone wants to work with Julie Taymor – and with good reason – she is able to attract top artists and amazing talent to work with her. She is a tremendous asset to the film in every way.”
Unlike most musicals, where a story comes first and songs are inserted in at key points, the songs created the story. “Beginning with over 200 songs written by the Beatles, we eventually chose 33 that we felt best told the story of a generation and a time,” says Taymor.
Todd explains, “The film is an original musical and it has an original story – one you’ve never seen before, inspired by Beatles’ music in a way that you haven’t heard before.” “The entire concept of this musical,” Taymor explains, “is that the lyrics will tell the story. They are the libretto, they are the arias, they are the emotion of the characters.” Although Taymor was only in her early teens in the 1960s, the story was inspired by her childhood observations:
“Lucy and Max, the brother and sister, are modeled slightly after my own older brother and sister, and I’m Julia, the young girl who’s watching. During that time, I was a voyeur to what my parents were going through with teenagers and then college students who were going through the radical political movement: the draft, the hippies, the drugs. And so I was there – I didn’t get immersed myself, but I watched it.”
Taymor admired the outspoken spirit of the time. “People really took chances,” she says. “As Lucy says, ‘I’d lie down in front of a tank if it would bring my brother home from the war.’ And of course Jude responds, ‘But it wouldn’t,’ and she gets upset and she says, ‘Does that mean you don’t think I should try?’ I’m so moved by the fact that at that time, people would try.”
But Taymor definitely did not view the project as a piece of nostalgia. She notes that many of the issues facing young people in the ‘60s are still very relevant today. The filmmakers’ goal was to translate the passion and feeling of the 60s and have it resonate in a way that made it feel as contemporary as possible. The reason to make a film like this, in her mind, was the immediacy of the themes. “You constantly have to revisit these stories in order to reflect upon your present and really think, ‘What is it that’s different now?’” Taymor says. “That era is explicitly important to our time now.”
In order to bring the era to life, Taymor and screenwriters Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais created an entirely new story, using the songs to guide their way. “Characters were created for the songs,” Taymor continues. “For example, the character Prudence: I loved the idea of taking ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and giving it to an innocent cheerleader in Ohio.”
The song begins with the young girl singing plaintively on the sidelines of the football field. “We don’t change the lyrics,” says Taymor, “but partway through, you realize she’s not in love with the quarterback – she’s in love with the blonde cheerleader. All of the sudden the song works in a totally different way, because it’s about repressed love. By the end of the song, this young girl, who doesn’t even know what she’s feeling, leaves home. She hitchhikes her way to New York City. Without having to go into the background of the character, without having to see her mother and her father and her life story, the song says it all.”
“As we went through the journeys of characters, songs came up,” Taymor continues. “In the story, Max is going to be drafted into the Army. I went through dozens of songs until finally I got to ‘I Want You’ and it registered in my head, ‘My God, “I Want You,” isn’t that the Uncle Sam motto?’” It was a perfect fit.
In still other cases, like “Revolution,” the directness of the lyrics led them to portray the emotion of a scene in a stronger way than dialogue could. “When Jude sings ‘Revolution,’ he’s actually breaking into the Students For Democratic Reform office, going right up to Lucy, and using the emotion of the music and those lyrics to express himself instead of saying it just with straight dialogue,” notes Taymor. “He keeps singing because he’s in a state of being that is beyond the everyday; he’s in a heightened state that’s going to get him beat up and thrown out by the end of the song. It really helps us encapsulate time, because the music helps you to go very quickly through an emotional state and get to another level that is very, very heightened and very dramatic.”
Related Link: View the Full Production Notes for Across the Universe
There is only one Hollywood in the world. Movies are made in London, Paris, Milan and Moscow, but the life of these cities is relatively uninfluenced by their production. Hollywood is a unique American phenomenon with a symbolism not limited to this country. It means many things to many people.
For the majority it is the home of favored, godlike creatures. For others, it is a “den of iniquity”; a center for creative genius, or a place where mediocrity flourishes and able men sell their creative souls for gold; an important industry with worldwide significance, or an environment of trivialities characterized by aimlessness; a mecca where everyone is happy, or a place where cynical disillusionment prevails.
Rarely is it just a community where movies are made. For most movie-goers, particularly in this country, the symbolism seems to be that of a never-never world inhabited by glamorous creatures, living hedonistically and enjoying their private swimming pools and big estates, attending magnificent parties, or being entertained in famous night clubs. The other symbols belong to relatively small groups of people.
The United States has remained the dominant influence on world culture throughout the century, and this position has hardly been challenged. It has been by far the largest exporter of eultural commodities – larger than the rest of the world combined.
In addition to being a social phenomenon, which reflects a particular ideology, the Hollywood star system is a business strategy designed to generate large audiences and differentiate entertainment programs and products, and has been used for over seventy years to provide increasing returns on production investments.
As a marketing technique and business strategy, the system was first used in the theater industry. Between 1910 and 1948 Hollywood borrowed and expanded the star system and stock company approaches from the stage; and through the simultaneous exhibition of films throughout the world, the industry eventually established movie studio stables of stars and earned profits well in excess of those of the largest theatrical companies.
Significant historical changes in the status of movie stars have paralleled decisive technological, economic, and social changes that have affected the American film industry as a whole, such as the coming of sound, the Great Depression, and the rise and fall of movie attendance. The contractual terms and salaries for movie stars have also been affected by the same factors.
In the highly competitive and expanding market that existed between 1910 and 1920, the most popular silent-movie stars eventually obtained contractual terms that equalled and possibly exceeded their individual contributions to box-office success, and some of them also became involved in film production themselves, although the development of sound and its demand for experienced stage and radio performers ended the careers of many silent film stars. Those working during the early 1930s, when movie attendance declined and industry power was concentrated in the hands of a few studios, were placed in a poor bargaining position, and studios began exercising near autocratic control over the star system.
The Paramount antitrust decrees in the late 1940s resulted in a shift from a mature oligopoly/ monopoly, or semicompulsory cartel, involving the Big Five studios ( Warner Bros, Loew’s/ MGM, Paramount, RKO, and Twentieth Century-Fox) and the Little Three ( Universal, Columbia, and United Artists), to a bilateral oligopoly with six major distributor/ producers and a dozen nationwide theater circuits today. This shift created a slightly more competitive market that benefited the most popular movie stars.
Unfortunately, the decline in movie attendance and the rise in production costs, which also occurred during this period, left many less popular contract players unemployed, as stock companies disbanded. In the 1950s and 1960s, although many of the more popular stars remained under studio contract, they also obtained more liberal terms than existed during the studio period, sometimes receiving a percentage of the profits or becoming directly involved financially in film production for both tax advantages and artistic control.
During the 1960s and 1970s the absence of studio control forced Hollywood increasingly to rely upon other media, such as television and popular music, to cultivate stars who could then be exploited by the film industry. Eventually some scholars and executives began to question the validity of the star system, embracing instead the “auteur” approach, which suggested that the previous success of a director ensured box-office success better than did the supposed popularity of movie stars.
But, as the American film industry has argued almost from its infancy, cultural products play a crucial role in opening export markets for other goods and the way of life they promote. On the other hand the very existence of American dominated popular culture has been responsible for the development of national styles in fashion or media, as govemments try to resist the encroachment of a homogenized “world” culture, whether it emanates from New York, Hollywood, Paris or Tokyo.
This is ultimately not an argument about esthetic quality, but a demonstratian of real cultural, social, and finaily economic power. Since the cultural elite in European societies has corresponded closely to the economic and political elite, it has been able to dictate the terrns of the debate. This has, for example, been a powerful influence on British broadeasting, whose patrons insist, against ail evidence except cultural prejudice, that it provides the “least worst televisian in the world”.
The adaptations and documentaries which give British television its envied reputation for “quality” reproduce the “worthiest” remnants of British culture. As in Gerrnany, television has absorbed writing and directorial talent which might have contributed to a cinematic renaissance. Innovation has been contained within the hierarchies of television. Elsewhere in Europe the forrnal experimentation of the avant-garde and international Art Cinema has been rendered harmless by being kept within a cultural ghetto of smail metropolitan theaters for a middle-class elite, where its power to disrupt or subvert has been reduced to an untroublesome minimum.
On accasion, as in the Cinema Nova mavement in the 1960s in Brazil, cultural resistance has been linked to opposition to the political and economic dominance of the United States as well as to its cultural influence. Cinema Nova used the history, mythology and imagery of traditional Brazilian culture as the basis on which to revive a national culture free of North American domination. Much Third-World cinema has derived its impetus from an opposition to the cultural colonialism of Westem countries, which has often dominated distribution and thus hindered or prevented the emergence of an indigenous film industry.
The most enduring forrns of cultural nationalism have been those able to integrate imitations of American media forrns with a culturally specific, preferably traditional content: the martial arts films of Hong Kong; Japanese “home dramas”; or, largest and perhaps most spectacularly successful of all, the Indian cinema.
Curiously, the American film industry is required to be most sensitiye to the demands of audiences outside its own cultural boundaries, since it is dependent on foreign sales for more than half its income. This heavy dependence on foreign markets is one explanation for the continuing ability of American popular cultural forms to absorb and assimilate almost anything.
Polish filmmaker Andrej Wajda caught the other basic ingredient of their success: “The paradox is that because the American cinema is so commercial, because the pressure of money is so strong, everything in a film has to be the very best. That means the most expensive, but it alsa means the most authentic, the most honest. No half measures, everything on the edge of excess…. The amount the Americans are prepared to spend on making their films is in a way a sign of resped for the audience.”
Essentially the argument has changed little in substance, only in scale, from the complaints against Hollywood’s influence in the 1920s. As the mass audience for the electromic media began to decline and fragment in the West, broadcasting became increasingly internationalized through coproduetion arrangements, seeking its audience in many countries simply to pay the bills.
The media have been important forces in maintaining Western influence and interests in Third World countries after independence from colonial rule: into the 1980s the majority of joumalistic and technical staff continued to be trained by American or European agencies, and, partly as a result, to adopt Western values in regard to media content Equipment and programs have enabled broadcasting services to be established, but have inhibited local production because of its high cost by comparision to American programýning of much more ostentatious production qualities.
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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a 1958 American drama film directed by Richard Brooks. It is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Tennessee Williams adapted by Richard Brooks and James Poe. One of the top-ten box office hits of 1958, the film stars Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives.
Late one night, a drunken Brick Pollitt (Paul Newman) is out trying to recapture his glory days of high school sports by leaping hurdles on a track field, dreaming about his moments as a youthful athlete. Unexpectedly, he falls and breaks his leg, leaving him dependent on a crutch. Brick, along with his wife, Maggie “the Cat” (Elizabeth Taylor), are seen the next day visiting his family’s estate in Mississippi, there to celebrate Big Daddy’s (Burl Ives) 65th birthday.
Depressed, Brick decides to spend his days drinking while resisting the affections of his wife, who taunts him about the inheritance of Big Daddy’s wealth. Numerous allusions are made to their tempestuous marriage – there are speculations as to why Maggie does not yet have children while Brick’s brother Gooper (Jack Carson) and his wife Mae (Madeleine Sherwood) have a whole clan, many of whom run around the “plantation” (as Big Daddy’s estate is called) unsupervised and singing obnoxiously.
Big Daddy and Big Mama (Judith Anderson) arrive home from the hospital via their private airplane and are greeted by Gooper and his wife, along with Maggie. Despite the efforts of Mae, Gooper and their kids to draw his attention to them, Big Daddy has eyes only for Maggie. The news is that Big Daddy is not dying from cancer. However, the doctor later meets privately with first Gooper and then Brick where he divulges that it is a deception. Big Daddy has inoperable cancer and will likely be dead within a year, and the truth is being kept from him. Maggie wants Brick to take an interest in his father’s wealth as well as health, but Brick stubbornly refuses.
Directed by: Richard Brooks
Starring: Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Burl Ives, Jack Carson, Judith Anderson
Screenplay by: Richard Brooks, James Poe
Cinematography by: William Daniels
Film Editing by: Ferris Webster
Studio: Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Release Date: September 20, 1958
While many movie theaters in small American towns closed in the 1950s, an equal number of a new kind of theater, which recognized the supremacy of the automobile in American life, opened up.
In the 1920s concerned parents had been anxious about the effects of automobiles and movies on their children’s morals; their grandchildren could now combine these menaces to their moral welfare at the drive-in.
The first drive-in movie theater opened in 1933, but they mushroomed in the decade after World War II. By 1956 there were 4,200 drive-ins, earning nearly a quarter of total box-office receipts.
They were promoted as “the answer to the family’s night out”; a way for married couples to avoid the expense of baby-sitters, but their real attraction was to the youth market, where teenagers could escape parental supervision.
The drive-in market encouraged a new kind of filmmaking, pioneered by Columbia producer Sam Katzman and American International Pictures (AlP). Discarding conventional formulas such as the Western, they geared their films solely for the teenage market, hooking a story on to any gimmick they could think of.
The success of Rock Around the Clock in 1956, and the cycle of rock ‘n’ roll movies that followed made it clear that “teenpics” could reap huge profits even. If they pointedly excluded an older audience. These mainstream productions spawned imitations, such as Teenage Crime Wave (1955) and Hot Rod Rumble (1957).
The other major “teenpic” genre was the horror film: low-budget “exploitation” movies (so-called because their ‘publicity budgets were higher than their production costs), with titles like I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) were pumped out to provide the material for the double and triple-bills at the drive-ins.
Teenagers liked double-bills for the simple reason that they lasted longer – especially when offered on “midnite matinees”. Few of these movies shared classical Hollywood’s concern with tightly constructed narrative.
Instead, their emphasis on spectacle implicitly recognized that the audience might have other things to do than just watch the film. By 1960 the established industry had learnt at least some of the lessons of exploitation producers, and were successfully producing material for the teenage market.
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Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy fantasy film written and directed by Woody Allen. Set in Paris, the film follows Gil Pender, a screenwriter, who is forced to confront the shortcomings of his relationship with his materialistic fiancée and their divergent goals, which become increasingly exaggerated as he travels back in time each night at midnight. The movie explores themes of nostalgia and modernism.
Produced by Spanish group Mediapro and Allen’s Gravier Productions, the film stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody. It premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and was released in North America in May 2011. The film opened to critical acclaim and has commonly been cited as one of Allen’s best films in recent years. In 2012, the film won both the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe Awards for Best Screenplay; and was nominated for three other Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Art Direction. It was shown on Channel 3 on Spanish television with subtitles and won a Goya Award.
Even for people who have never been to Paris, the name of the city is more than a metaphor for magic—it’s almost a synonym. Certainly there’s no better place on earth that Woody Allen could have chosen for his new romantic comedy than Paris. It is a city with a unique mythology and heritage, celebrated for the extraordinary beauty of its streets, boulevards and gardens, as well as the splendor found inside so many of the greatest museums in the world.
The resonance of its history, from major political and cultural events to the aura of its legendary restaurants and cafés, is felt everywhere. The past endures and shines brightly in Paris, which makes it well-suited for a story of a man reinvigorating his feelings and finding inspiration to reflect on his life.
Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen’s valentine to the City of Lights, which he considers equal to New York as the great city of the world. “Of course I’m partial to New York because I was born there and grew up there,” he says, “but if I didn’t live in New York, Paris is the place I would live.” The film is the second time Allen has filmed there, after a small bit of EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU. “I get great enjoyment out of presenting Paris to the cinema audience the way I see it,” he says. “Just as with New York, where I present it one way, and other directors present it other ways, somebody else could come and shoot Paris in a completely different way. I want to present it my way, projecting my own feelings about it.”
Allen fell in love with Paris during the shooting of WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT, his debut film as an actor and writer. Much like Gil, the protagonist of MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, he’s rueful about not staying there after the filming, as others on the film did. “It was an adventure that was too bold for me at the time,” he says. “In retrospect I could have stayed, or at the very minimum taken an apartment and divided my time—but I didn’t, and I regret that.”
Midnight in Paris
Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Owen Wilson, Nina Arianda, Audrey Fleurot, Alison Pill
Screenplay by: Woody Allen
Production Design by: Anne Seibel
Cinematography by: Darius Khondji
Film Editing by: Alisa Lepselter
Costume Design by: Sonia Grande
Set Decoration by: Hélène Dubreuil
Art Direction by: Jean-Yves Rabier
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual references and smoking.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: May 20, 2011
Related Link: View the Full Production Notes for Midnight in Paris
A Mexican village is periodically raided for food and supplies by Calvera (Eli Wallach) and his bandits. As he and his men ride away from their latest visit, Calvera promises to return to loot the village again. Taking what meager goods they have, the village leaders ride to a town just inside the American border hoping to barter for weapons to defend themselves.
hile there, they encounter Chris Adams (Yul Brynner), a veteran Cajun gunslinger. After listening to their tale, Chris suggests that the village hire gunfighters, which would be cheaper than guns and ammunition. The village men relentlessly try to convince him to be their gunman. At first he agrees only to help them find men, but later he decides to recruit six other men to help him defend the village, despite the poor pay offered.
The other men include hotheaded, inexperienced Chico (Horst Buchholz); Chris’s friend Harry Luck (Brad Dexter), who believes Chris is seeking treasure; the drifter Vin Tanner (Steve McQueen), who has gone broke after a round of gambling and is loath to accept a position as a store clerk; Bernardo O’Reilly (Charles Bronson), a gunfighter of Irish-Mexican heritage who has fallen on hard times; a cowboy, Britt (James Coburn), who joins for the challenge involved; and an on-the-run gunman Lee (Robert Vaughn) struggling with a crisis of confidence. The group recognizes they will be outnumbered, but they hope that Calvera will move on to an easier village when he sees professional resistance.
Arriving at the village, the seven gunmen begin to train the villagers to defend themselves. Each finds himself befriending the villagers. When they realize that the small meal made for them by the women consists of all the food in the village, the gunmen share it with the villagers. Chico is fascinated by Petra (Rosenda Monteros), one of the village’s young women. Bernardo bonds with three of the village’s little boys. Lee, struggling with nightmares and fearing the loss of his skills, is comforted by the residents. Harry presses the villagers, unsuccessfully, for information about any treasure.
Hilario (Jorge Martínez de Hoyos) and Vin briefly discuss nerves on the eve of battle; Vin confesses that he envies Hilario’s quiet farming life. Calvera and his bandits soon arrive, sustain heavy losses, and are run out of town by the gunmen and the villagers working in concert. Chico, who is Mexican, follows Calvera back to his camp, pretending to be one of the bandits. He learns that Calvera must raid the village because he is desperate for food to feed his men.
The Magnificent Seven is a 1960 American western film directed by John Sturges and starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, and Horst Buchholz. The picture is an Old West-style remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese-language film Seven Samurai. Brynner, McQueen, Buchholz, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, and Brad Dexter portray the title characters, a group of seven gunfighters hired to protect a small agricultural village in Mexico from a group of marauding bandits and their leader (Wallach). The film’s musical score was composed by Elmer Bernstein. In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
A remake film is currently filming and is scheduled to be released on September 23, 2016.