spartacus

Movie Trivia – PT4.

May 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

                         Laurence Olivier as Crassus in Spartacus (1960) In the 1960 Stanley Kubrick film Spartacus, the role of the Roman general Marcus Licinius Crassus was played by Laurence Olivier. The real Crassus was a most interesting individual. He acquired the title of the richest man in Rome through often nefarious means. His ownership of Rome’s fire service, for [...]

My 30 Favorite Movie Villains: PT1

April 8, 2018 // 6 Comments

  Here is part one of my list of the 30 performances by movie villains I have enjoyed the most down the decades. That does not mean I have chosen the scariest or even the best-acted roles; just the ones I have enjoyed watching the most. I have seen every one of these performances more than once (a few of them as many as 40 times). Villains, such as all the action hero nasties, do not get a [...]

Stars we lost in 2016 – Pt 2.

January 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

  In the previous post I looked at the passing of Carrie Fisher, Michael Massee, Jon Polito, Florence Henderson, David Bowie, Patty Duke, Alan Rickman, Alan Thicke, Charmian Carr, Dan Haggerty, Kenny Baker, Robert Vaughn, Gene Wilder and Ronnie Corbett. Here are some more unique individuals who failed to see out 2016.        Andrew Sachs (1930-2016) as Manuel      in later years [...]

Hollywood & the Catholic Legion of Decency (CLOD).

December 18, 2016 // 6 Comments

  At the zenith of their power the ‘Seven Sisters’ (MGM, Warners, Paramount, Universal, Columbia, Fox and RKO) did much as they pleased. Few outsiders had any influence over their decisions or their conduct. Few, that is, with the exception of the Catholic Legion of Decency (CLOD). They were a force to be reckoned with and they exercised their power each year by publishing their [...]

Past Oscars – Pt 4 (1955-60)

October 31, 2016 // 4 Comments

  1955               Marty – Best Picture                         Ernest Borgnine – Best Actor for Marty   Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter Doris Day & Jimmy Cagney Well, at least Elia Kazan didn’t get Best Director for East of Eden despite being again nominated. I have seen all five nominated movies – Marty, Picnic, The Rose Tattoo, [...]

Happy 100th birthday, Kirk… I think.

October 17, 2016 // 6 Comments

  Kirk Douglas was born Issur Demsky in New York City to Jewish-Russian parents on 9 December 1916. Like Olivia de Havilland (in July) he will turn 100 in 2016. Back in 1958 his good friend Mike Todd asked him to fly to New York with him to celebrate Mike’s film Around the World in 80 Days, but Kirk’s wife Anne had forebodings about the flight and talked him out of going. The plane [...]

How important are the correct accents to movie-making?

June 15, 2016 // 0 Comments

  I suppose if you asked movie buffs who is the best movie star when it comes to delivering a bona fide accent, the response would be a deafening roar of, ‘MERYL STREEP!’ And they would be right. But is an appropriate accent essential to the making of a fine movie, or does it depend on the content matter and the star involved. One would expect that a movie based on fact is more likely to [...]

PETER USTINOV – A truly great man

October 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Few character actors can boast a resume like that of the late Peter Ustinov, probably because few possessed the extraordinary qualities he possessed. Not only was he an outstanding actor in both movies and stage plays, but he was also a successful writer, director, producer, journalist and raconteur. He spoke fluent French, Russian, Italian, German, as well as his native English. He [...]

STEWART GRANGER – A man’s man – mostly.

June 7, 2015 // 2 Comments

  It is difficult not to admire English actor Stewart Granger. In an era that spawned a generation of actors and actresses ready and willing to do and say whatever their studios demanded of them, and equally unwilling to cross powerful gossip columnists like Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons for fear of risking their careers, he stood out as a man among men. I imagine, like all the others, he [...]