Stars and Movies Articles
When is a movie called an epic
- ... an ideal vehicle for the epic - the stage simply cannot offer the same kind of physical reality and television screens (and TV network production...
Latest "Stars and Movies" Articles
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Joanne Woodward became a successful actress thanks to her talent
(...) In most of the later films, the couple was better than their material.
Joanne Woodward also starred in a number of films that were directed by Newman: Rachel, Rachel (1968), for which she was nominated for an Oscar, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-inthe- Moon Marigolds (1972), a TV movie The Shadow Box (1981), Harry and Son (1984), in which Newman also starred, and The Glass Menagerie (1987). These films were largely of a very high caliber, although none of them was a box-office winner except Rachel, Rachel, but in every film in which Newman directed her, Joanne Woodward received glowing notices for her work. (...)
Robin Williams had an uneven movie career
His next noteworthy role was as Saigon disc jockey Adrian Cronauer, a hyperactive character in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). He won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance. His next role, that of an idealistic prep-school English teacher in Dead Poets Society (1989), stood in stark contrast and demonstrated his ability to play serious roles. (...)
Lana Turner was more famous for her beauty than for her talent
Lana Turner made her debut in They Won't Forget (1938), in which she can be seen sipping a soda at a drugstore counter, which later undoubtedly helped foster the legend of her discovery. In any event, she was not rushed to stardom—at least not yet. Mervyn Le Roy had directed They Won't Forget, and he thought she had "something"; Warner Bros. (...)
John Travolta had some ups and downs during his acting career
His next film, Grease (1978), was an equally huge hit, and the actor's reputation as a talented musical performer was firmly established. Moment by Moment (1978), in which he costarred with Lily Tomlin, was a major bomb. He recouped, however, with Urban Cowboy (1980), a film that spawned a resurgence in all things country/western. (...)
Billy Bob Thornton became famous in Sling Blade
Billy Bob Thornton worked as an actor for another independent actor-director, ROBERT DUVALL, whom he considered his "acting mentor," in The Apostle (1997). He played a troublemaker intent upon bulldozing the Duvall character. That same year, he appeared in three other independent films, Homegrown, A Gun, a Car, a Blonde, and OLIVER STONE's UTurn. (...)
Quentin Tarantino revolutionized Hollywood with his films
(...) Clearly Quentin Tarantino had gotten the attention of established Hollywood directors at this point.
All the while, he continued working on his own projects, writing Reservoir Dogs, which he financed independently with the aid of actor HARVEY KEITEL, who was also in the cast with Quentin Tarantino and the unique Steve Buscemi. Released in 1992 at the Sundance Film Festival, Reservoir Dogs caused an immediate response because of its extreme violence and hip dialogue. (...)
Donald Sutherland played in important movies
(...) and British co-productions of varying quality, the best of these being The Bedford Incident (1965) and The Dirty Dozen (1967).
His big break came when he costarred with Elliott Gould in ROBERT ALTMAN's surprise hit of 1969, M*A*S*H. Donald Sutherland played the character Hawkeye Pierce, who was later portrayed in the M*A*S*H TV series by Alan Alda. (...)
Meryl Streep is synonymous with Hollywood excellence
(...) The following year, though, she made a much bigger impact in both media, taking home an Emmy for her performance in the acclaimed miniseries Holocaust (1978) and garnering a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for the Academy Award-winning The Deer Hunter (1978).
Television was left behind for the movies as Meryl Streep went on to play the modest role of WOODY ALLEN's ex-wife in Manhattan (1979) and the bright southern belle temptress of Alan Alda in The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979). Critics were already buzzing about Meryl Streep and telling movie fans to keep their eye on her. (...)
Sylvester Stallone became a star in Rocky
(...) Several producers offered to buy the screenplay, wanting to cast a name star in the title role. In true Rocky fashion, Stallone refused to sell. Although his bank balance was reportedly $100. (...)
Kevin Spacey is an actor capable of disappearing into his roles
(...) He would later star onstage in David Rabe's Hurlyburly (he also appeared in the film adaptation of 1998), NEIL SIMON's Lost in Yonkers (he won a Tony Award in 1991 for his performance as Uncle Louie in that play), and Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, for which he received a Tony nomination.
Kevin Spacey's film career began with Heartburn (1986), in which he played a subway thief. The role, however, that first brought him wide public attention was Mel Profitt in The Wise Guys television series. (...)
Wesley Snipes is an actor with impressive skills
(...) His first comedy, White Men Can't Jump (1992), a basketball story with Woody Harrelson, took him back to the world of athletics but also gave him the chance to showcase his comedic talents. In The Waterdance (1992), he went in a different direction, playing a paraplegic.
His first real action film was Passenger 57 (1993), in which he demonstrated his martial-arts prowess, and that same year, he was in a buddy action film with SEAN CONNERY: Rising Sun, about contrasting Japanese and American corporate styles. (...)
Frank Sinatra truly understood the entertainment business
(...) Eventually, Frank Sinatra landed a job as a singing MC at the Rustic Cabin, a roadhouse in Englewood, New Jersey. It was there that Harry James heard him sing in 1939 and immediately hired him as a band vocalist. A year later, he joined Tommy Dorsey and began to record with the band's vocal group, the Pied Pipers. (...)
Martin Scorsese makes films with very deep themes
(...) Martin Scorsese's affinity for outsiders was never more vividly revealed than in this film. Although the child prostitute, played by JODIE FOSTER, and the bloodbath finale outraged some segments of society, no one questioned the power of Martin Scorsese's filmmaking. In short order, Martin Scorsese had arrived as one of America's premier young directors. (...)
Susan Sarandon is one of the leading ladies of Hollywood
(...) The Other Side of Midnight (1977) was particularly bad.
Louis Malle gave her career a boost when he cast her as the mother of a young prostitute played by Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby (1978) and later as a clam bar waitress in Atlantic City (1981). In the latter film she washes her breasts with lemons in a memorable scene. (...)
Meg Ryan is a great star in romantic Hollywood comedies
(...) . (1989) she was responsible with costar BILLY CRYSTAL for one of the most memorable sequences in film history. The couple is seated at a restaurant when the Crystal character claims that he can tell if a woman is faking an orgasm. (...)
Anthony Quinn was a great actor with a long career
(...) DEMILLE's The Plainsman (1936). Anthony Quinn married DeMille's daughter soon after in 1937 (they divorced in 1965), but the marriage did not seem to affect his career. The actor continued to play small roles, usually native characters of one kind or another, in roughly 20 films during the next decade without attracting much attention. (...)
Roman Polanski is a film director that made Oscar films
He began making award-winning short films, including Two Men and a Wardrobe (1959), often writing his own screenplays and acting in his movies as well. After film school he made several other shorts, but finally made his first feature film, the internationally acclaimed Knife in the Water (1962). Not long after, he went to England to make Repulsion (1965) and Cul-de-Sac (1966). (...)
Brad Pitt became famous in Thelma and Louise
(...) From there, he played a series of supporting and starring roles that allowed him to prove that, despite his pretty-boy image, he had the talent and skill of a powerful actor. Brad Pitt played the wayward son of a preacher in the ROBERT REDFORD–directed drama A River Runs through It (1992). The movie was a hit, and Pitt received acclaim for his performance. (...)
Al Pacino had to wait 20 years for the Oscar
(...) Scarface was nothing compared to the big-budget disaster Revolution (1985). Al Pacino's voice and acting style did not lend themselves to the portrayal of an 18thcentury American.
The actor took much of the criticism for this badly scripted and poorly done epic. (...)
Jack Nicholson began his career with low budget movies
If Jack Nicholson's flops were adventurous, so too were his hits. ROMAN POLANSKI's Chinatown (1974) saved Jack Nicholson's flagging career and brought him yet another Oscar nomination. Then he was brilliantly cast as Randle McMurphy in the film version of Ken Kesey's One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). (...)
Paul Newman rose to fame very fast
It was the first of many. During the next 15 years Paul Newman was the hottest actor in Hollywood. He peaked at the end of the 1960s, had a rather poor decade in the 1970s, but reemerged in the 1980s with some of the best performances of his career. (...)
Marilyn Monroe was a Hollywood godess
Finally, Marilyn Monroe had her first major role in Niagara (1953), and despite the film's mediocrity, her presence in the movie turned it into a hit. The actress's career suddenly blossomed. Her follow-up film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), teamed her with another busty movie star, JANE RUSSELL, and the hit musical proved that Marilyn could do more than look beautiful. (...)
John Malkovich is the best actor of his generation
(...) He and costar GLENN CLOSE played rich, amoral French aristocrats toying with the feelings and affections of other people.
His repeated rendering of “It’s beyond my control” in response to the jilted MICHELLE PFEIFFER’s plea for an explanation for the breakup established him as an effective and dastardly villain. His role as the spooky, chameleonlike assassin in In the Line of Fire (1993) was similar and won him Oscar, Golden Globe, and British Academy nominations for Best Supporting Actor. (...)
Madonna Louise Ciccone is the full name of the pop queen
The exhibitionist documentary Truth or Dare, about her 1990 world tour, took her to the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. Madonna was next cast in the title role of ALAN PARKER's film adaptation of the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita (1996), with ANTONIO BANDERAS (as Ché, the rebel narrator) and Jonathan Pryce as Juan Perón, president of Argentina.
Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers praised her singing and dancing but had one important reservation: "What Madonna does not do, what [director Alan] Parker does not trust her to do, is act. (...)
Vivien Leigh combined beauty with talent
(...) Her portrayal of Scarlett turned Vivien Leigh into an international movie star overnight.
Vivien Leigh stayed in Hollywood long enough to make Waterloo Bridge (1940), a touching romance, and, with Olivier, That Hamilton Woman (1941). In the meantime, she also starred on Broadway with Olivier in Romeo and Juliet, which turned into a theatrical debacle. (...)
Jerry Lewis is one of the most famous comedy stars in the world
(...) The movie was mediocre, but it was a big money-maker, thanks to the popularity of Martin and Jerry Lewis, who were a zanier version of Abbott and Costello. They were quickly rushed into a starring vehicle of their own, My Friend Irma Goes West (1950), and continued making films together until 1956. There were 16 Martin and Jerry Lewis films altogether, every one of which was a commercial hit. (...)
George Lucas managed to write Hollywood history
(...) It was to be a film without stars in a genre that had been box-office poison since the early 1960s. TWENTIETH CENTURY–FOX finally gave George Lucas the money, and Star Wars became the biggest grossing film of all time (later supplanted by E.T. (...)
How Grace Kelly became the Princess of Monaco
(...) After appearing in cigarette commercials on TV, she had her fist big break, appearing in a 1949 Broadway revival of August Strindberg's The Father.
Grace Kelly's first film appearance was little more than a walkon in Fourteen Hours (1951), but in spite of her inexperience as a film or theater actress, she was next thrust into the female lead as GARY COOPER's Quaker wife in High Noon (1952).
The film was a major hit, saving Cooper's career and launching Grace Kelly's. (...)
Diane Keaton has surprised many critics with her talent
(...) Before Allen introduced her to filmgoers, however, Diane Keaton made her movie debut in a small role in Lovers and Other Strangers (1970) and played a more important supporting role as AL PACINO's wife in The Godfather (1972), later reprising her role in the sequel, The Godfather, Part II (1974).
Her real film fame, however, came not from FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA's hits but from her neurotic and endearing performance in the film version of Play It Again, Sam (1972). Critics and audiences loved the film and, though it was clearly a Woody Allen vehicle, Diane Keaton was singled out for considerable praise. (...)
Alfred Hitchcock was one of the greatest film directors Hollywood ever had
(...) SELZNICK signed Hitchcock to a contract and brought him to America. During the next 36 years, almost all of which were spent making movies in America, Hitchcock built and enhanced his reputation as an immensely talented storyteller, provoking a lively debate as to whether his English or his Hollywood period was best. To most observers, though, there can be no doubt as to the answer; Hitchcock reached the height of his powers in Hollywood, especially during the 1950s. (...)
Katharine Hepburn had a long and successful Hollywood career
(...) Neither her marriage nor her career fared very well over the next few years. She eventually divorced in 1934, but the marriage had long since ended amicably. In the meantime, Katharine Hepburn persevered in learning her craft in spite of little success on stage. (...)
Rita Hayworth and she came to star next to Fred Astaire
(...) Her big break came when she was tested by GEORGE CUKOR for the role of KATHARINE HEPBURN’s sister in Holiday (1938). Though the director did not cast her, he was impressed enough to use her in Susan and God (1940), a picture that brought her some serious attention by the press and the public.
It also didn’t hurt that pin-up pictures of the striking beauty were starting to have an impact as well. (...)
What is the Hays Code when talking about Hollywood productions
In the early 1930s, however, filmmakers pushed the more conservative members of the moviegoing audience too far. MAE WEST's suggestive humor, JEAN HARLOW's harlotry, and a rash of violent gangster films all led to a public outcry that the film industry was corrupt and had to be censored. Fearing that their power might be circumscribed by Congress, the movie moguls went into action first, censoring themselves by putting genuine teeth in Will Hays's strengthened new production code in 1934. (...)
Jane Fonda and her big Hollywood successes
(...) Known as Hanoi Jane by American soldiers in South Vietnam, there were serious calls in the United States to try her for treason. Nothing came of such threats because America was not technically at war with North Vietnam. During these emotionally charged years, Jane Fonda either starred in or helped produce, write, and direct a number of antiwar documentaries, such as Jean Luc Godard's Tout va bien (1972), Free the Army (1972), and Introduction to the Enemy (1974). (...)
Jodie Foster became a true star when she met Martin Scorsese
The actress solved her problem by taking a hiatus from her career to go to Yale University. While she was at Yale, her past came back to haunt her when a deranged young man named John Hinckley attempted to reenact a scene from Taxi Driver to win Jodie Foster's affection. Hinckley wounded then-president RONALD REAGAN in an unsuccessful assassination attempt. (...)
How Clark Gable became known as the king of Hollywood
(...) Neither did WARNER BROS., which gave him their own screen test when they considered him for the role of Rico in Little Caesar (1930). But with the sound film revolution, Hollywood was hungry for Broadway actors with good voices. (...)
Ava Gardner was one of the most beautiful women in the world
(...) Her first tiny film appearance was in a Norma Shearer movie, We Were Dancing (1942). Her marriage that year to MGM's number-one star, Mickey Rooney, received more attention than her movie debut. Neither the marriage nor her career did very well, but she later stated that Rooney taught her a good deal about acting in front of a camera. (...)
Richard Gere is known for playing romantic roles
(...) Goodbar (1977), and his good looks were well utilized as the lead in American Gigolo (1980).
Stardom, however, did not come until 1982 when he played the egocentric loner who learns what it is to be An Officer and a Gentleman. Unfortunately, his roles during the rest of the decade did little to enhance his reputation. (...)
Gene Hackman is very highly regarded in Hollywood
(...) Hackman had become a star and the recipient of an Oscar as Best Actor. He had found the secret of his future success: Play both heroes and villains as vulnerable, human characters.
After The French Connection, Hackman's career in the early 1970s consisted mostly of good roles in good films that did not fare well with anyone but the critics. (...)
Jean Harlow and Clark Gable made a great team on screen
(...) Hughes, always quick to spot a beauty, saw her potential and signed her to star in his film as the woman who comes between the two heroes.
Hell's Angels was a big hit, partly because of the remarkable aerial display in the movie and partly because Jean Harlow was so sexy. Hughes had her under a long-term contract and proceeded to loan her to other studios for lead roles, notably to Warner Bros. (...)
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