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Review: "Number One" (1969) Starring Charlton Heston; MGM DVD Release

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

Charlton Heston fans will appreciate the fact that one of his few major films not to be released on home video has finally made it to DVD through MGM. "Number One" (released in certain countries under the title "Pro") is an off-beat vehicle for the superstar, who was then at his peak of popularity. The fact that the movie under-performed at the box-office and failed to score with critics didn't diminish Heston's status as a leading man. He would go on to star in such hits as "The Omega Man", "Skyjacked", "Soylent Green" "Earthquake", "Midway"and "Airport '75"- with cameos in the popular "The Three Musketeers" and "The Four Musketeers". The poor response to "Number One" doesn't diminish its many merits - and the fact that Heston was willing to play against type in a largely unsympathetic role. For the film, he reunited with director Tom Gries,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Review: "The 88Th Annual Academy Awards"

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

Remember the old days when unpredictable occurrences seemed to predictably occur at the Oscars ceremony? There was the nude streaker who failed to unravel the ever-unflappable David Niven. There were the political activist winners who used the forum to grandstand for their favorite causes. This included Vanessa Redgrave's pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist remarks during her acceptance speech, Marlon Brando sending a surrogate to reject his "Godfather" Oscar in protest of Hollywood's treatment of Native Americans, "Patton" winner George C. Scott refusing to show up at all in protest of the competitive nature of awards shows, the producers of the anti-Vietnam War documentary "Hearts and Minds" taking solace that that the nation was about to be "liberated" by a brutal communist regime, which caused another stir when Frank Sinatra was pushed on stage at Bob Hope's urging to read a hastily-scribbled denouncement of the remark. The Oscars haven't
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Schmoozing with Sinatra and The Beatles: The Amazing Life & Career of Leslie Uggams, Deadpool's Secret Weapon

  • PEOPLE.com
Schmoozing with Sinatra and The Beatles: The Amazing Life & Career of Leslie Uggams, Deadpool's Secret Weapon
There's a semi-hidden Hollywood treasure in Deadpool. No, it's not star Ryan Reynolds, although he is perfectly cast; it's prolific, award-winning actress Leslie Uggams, who plays Deadpool's no-nonsense elderly roommate, Blind Al. Uggams' entertainment career spans six decades, countless stages and screens. One which began at the ripe old age of 6 and includes a Tony, an Emmy and performances with icons like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Charlton Heston. "I was a ham at 5, I was working at 6," Uggams, 72, tells People via a phone call from Chicago, where she is currently filming a guest arc on Empire.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Director John Guillermin Dead At Age 89; "The Towering Inferno" And "King Kong" (1976) Among His Credits

  • CinemaRetro
Director John Guillermin has passed away at age 89. The British director was best known for his high profile action films including the 1974 blockbuster "The Towering Inferno" and the 1976 remake of "King Kong", a production that was plagued by troubles but ended up being quite profitable. Guillermin was despised by some in the industry for his mercurial temperament and harsh methods of directing actors. However, no one could deny his talents. He was equally adept at directing scenes of intimate drama as well as explosive, large-scale action scenes. Among his best films was the 1969 production of "The Bridge at Remagen" which was interrupted by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Guillermin and producer David L. Wolper managed  to salvage the film by moving the production elsewhere, a monumental task that they completed successfully. Other Guillermin films include "Death on the Nile", "The Blue Max", "El Condor", "Shaft in Africa", "Skyjacked", "Never Let Go
See full article at CinemaRetro »

R.I.P. John Guillermin (1925 – 2015)

Award-winning British director John Guillermin died on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles aged 89.

Guillermin is regarded by some as one of best directors of his generation, with such films as The Towering Inferno, King Kong (1976) and Death on the Nile part of his distinguished career.

The Towering Inferno is probably the film he will be remembered most for, with the Paul Newman-Steve McQueen-starrer winning three Oscars as well as grossing $116 million back in 1974, which accounts to over $514 million adjusted for inflation.

Other films in the director’s career included King Kong Lives, Shaft in Africa, Skyjacked, El Condor, Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure and The Bridge at Remagen.

Guillermin’s wife Mary said on Facebook that her husband was “sensitive and passionate, full of a fierce rapture himself.”

Born in London in 1925, the director attended Cambridge University and won the Evening Standard British Film Award for
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

John Guillermin 1925-2015

John Guillermin 1925-2015
John Guillermin, the director responsible for films such as The Towering Inferno and 1976’s version of King Kong, has died at the age of 89.Guillermin was born in London in 1925, and got his education at the University of Cambridge. After his studies, he joined the Royal Air Force, then mustered out at 22 to begin a career in filmmaking. Initially studying in France and learning the art of documentaries, he moved to Los Angeles in 1950 to learn Hollywood’s film ways, though he’d already gotten his start in movies with the likes of Torment/Paper Gallows, Melody In The Dark and High Jinks In Society.He would go on to work on films including Town On Trial, The Blue Max, El Condor, Skyjacked, Shaft In Africa and even a couple of Tarzan instalments. But he was best known for entering the world of producer Irwin Allen with The Towering Inferno,
See full article at EmpireOnline »

Trends in 70's Cinema: Disaster Movies

  • Cinelinx
Let’s face it, most of us have a soft spot for things blowing up in movies, and for a long time movies have been happy to feed our appetite for destruction. But it wasn’t always that way.

I know it’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when explosions weren’t so common in movies. Back then, big-budget movies had dancing and singing, and everyone had a merry time. After WWII though, things started to change. In newspapers and magazines, Americans were being exposed to terrible images of war-torn Europe and Japan. This imagery was haunting, yet it sparked some imaginations. At first, Hollywood was careful not to glamorize it. They figured out a way to show massive destruction and violence while making it fun and moderately profitable instead of soul-crushing and distasteful. The 50’s became known for its low-budget cheese-fests; sci-fi B movies featuring such
See full article at Cinelinx »

Photo Coverage: Leslie Uggams Previews Classic Uggams at 54 Below

Broadway legend Leslie Uggams returns to 54 Below for two performances only Best known for her Tony Award-winning role in Hallelujah, Baby, as well as the groundbreaking miniseries, Roots, Ms. Uggams' storied career has spanned television her own CBS variety show, film Skyjacked and Broadway Her First Roman, Blues in the Night, Jerry's Girls, Anything Goes, King Headley II, Thoroughly Modern Millie, On Golden Pond. This June, look for Leslie delighting audiences on West 54th Street. Get your tickets now - they'll go fast 40-50 cover charge. 25 food amp beverage minimum.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Beautiful, Lighthearted Fox Star Suffered Many Real-Life Tragedies

Jeanne Crain: Lighthearted movies vs. real life tragedies (photo: Madeleine Carroll and Jeanne Crain in ‘The Fan’) (See also: "Jeanne Crain: From ‘Pinky’ Inanity to ‘MargieMagic.") Unlike her characters in Margie, Home in Indiana, State Fair, Centennial Summer, The Fan, and Cheaper by the Dozen (and its sequel, Belles on Their Toes), or even in the more complex A Letter to Three Wives and People Will Talk, Jeanne Crain didn’t find a romantic Happy Ending in real life. In the mid-’50s, Crain accused her husband, former minor actor Paul Brooks aka Paul Brinkman, of infidelity, of living off her earnings, and of brutally beating her. The couple reportedly were never divorced because of their Catholic faith. (And at least in the ’60s, unlike the humanistic, progressive-thinking Margie, Crain was a “conservative” Republican who supported Richard Nixon.) In the early ’90s, she lost two of her
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Photo Coverage: Leslie Uggams Plays 54 Below!

Broadway legend Leslie Uggams makes her 54 Below debut forseven special performances only Best known for her Tony Award-winning role in Hallelujah, Baby, as well as the groundbreaking miniseries, Roots, Ms. Uggams storied career has spanned television her own CBS variety show, film Skyjacked and Broadway Her First Roman, Blues in the Night, Jerrys Girls, Anything Goes, King Headley II, Thoroughly Modern Millie, On Golden Pond. Check out photos from her 54 Below concert below
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Review: "Skyjacked" (1972) Starring Charlton Heston

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

I hadn't seen the 1972 thriller Skyjacked since its initial release in 1972. In viewing Warner Brothers' DVD edition, I was totally prepared for another cheesy Seventies disaster film - an Airport Lite, if you will. Initially, my premonitions were shaping up to come true. The script follows the tradition of presenting the quasi-all-star cast by rote, with each actor given a few precious seconds to establish their personality quirks and telegraph what their dilemma will be once the inevitable crisis unfolds. In this case, the plot is simple enough to make The Poseidon Adventure look like The Big Sleep. Rock-jawed Charlton Heston is the pilot of a commercial airliner on which the head flight attendant (or "stewardess" in the vernacular of the day) is former lover Yvette Yvette Mimieux . Shortly after the flight takes off, a message is discovered written in lipstick on the bathroom mirror. There is
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Boggy Creek Filmmaker Charles B. Pierce Dies

Charles B. Pierce was a popular regional filmmaker who made his feature film debut as director, producer, and cinematographer for the 1972 docu-drama The Legend of Boggy Creek. The low-budget film dramatized the legend of a Sasquatch-like creature known as the Fouke Monster, that was reputed to terrorize the small town in Arkansas near Texarkana. Boggy Creek became a major hit on the drive-in circuit. Pierce also directed and wrote a 1985 pseudo-sequel, The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II, and appeared in the role of Professor Brian C. `Doc’ Lockart.

Pierce was born in Hammond, Indiana, on June 16, 1938, and moved to Hampton, Arkansas, with his family as a child. He operated an advertising agency in Texarkana, and began working in films as a set decorator in the mid-1960s. He worked on numerous film and television productions including Chuck Jones’ animated feature The Phantom Tollbooth (1970), and the films Pretty Maids All in a Row
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

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