Screenwriters & Playwrights / Writers Guild / WGA Awards: Articles

Charles Brackett Diaries: Gay Rumors Quashed, Troubled Billy Wilder Partnership

'Sunset Blvd.,' with Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond: Final Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder collaboration. The Charles Brackett Diaries: Gay Rumors quashed, troubled Billy Wilder partnership discussed in Q&A with Anthony Slide See previous post: “Charles Brackett Diaries: Politics and Gossip During the Studio Era.” First of all, how did […]

Charles Brackett Diaries: Ugly Politics and Juicy Gossip in Old Hollywood

Charles Brackett ca. 1945: Billy Wilder screenwriting partner (1936–1949), producer (1945–1949) and Hollywood diarist. Q&A with 'Charles Brackett Diaries' editor Anthony Slide: Billy Wilder's screenwriter-producer partner in his own words Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He is renowned for classics such as The Major and […]

Jackie Collins Movies: Surprisingly Few Film Adaptations of Her Bestselling Sex Novels

Joan Collins in 'The Bitch': Sex tale based on younger sister Jackie Collins' novel. Author Jackie Collins dead at 77: Surprisingly few film and TV adaptations of her bestselling novels Jackie Collins, best known for a series of bestsellers about the dysfunctional sex lives of the rich and famous and […]

Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett Movies: Old Hollywood Top Screenwriting Team

Billy Wilder directed Sunset Blvd., starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies Below is a list of movies on which Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder worked together as screenwriters, including efforts for which they did not receive screen credit. The Wilder-Brackett screenwriting partnership lasted from […]

Eddie Redmayne, Bong Joon-ho: Academy Invites Eclectic International Talent

Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything: Academy Actors Branch invitee. Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals “who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to […]

'I Want to Live!' Screenwriter Don Mankiewicz Dead at 93: Father Co-Wrote 'Citizen Kane'

Susan Hayward in I Want to Live, co-written by Don Mankiewicz: Best Actress Oscar winner. 'I Want to Live!' screenwriter Don Mankiewicz dead at 93 Veteran television and film screenwriter Don Mankiewicz died of congestive heart failure at age 93 on April 25, '15, at his home in Monrovia, northeast […]

Woody Allen 21st WGA Awards Nomination + Jennifer Lawrence & Amy Adams BAFTA Nominees

Cate Blanchett and Woody Allen on the 'Blue Jasmine' set. WGA Awards 2014 nominations: Woody Allen, 'American Hustle' in; '12 Years a Slave,' 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' ineligible The Writers Guild of America has announced the nominees for the 2014 WGA Awards. The lists – adapted and original screenplay, […]

'Montezuma': Steven Spielberg Next Movie from Decades-Old Dalton Trumbo Screenplay?

'Montezuma': Steven Spielberg next movie (or at least a Spielberg movie some time in the future)? Will Steven Spielberg next tackle the life and times of Aztec king Montezuma, from a screenplay by none other than former Hollywood Ten member Dalton Trumbo? If so, that won't be the first time […]

Clint Eastwood Western Persona Co-Creator Dead at 87

Clint Eastwood Western persona co-creator dead at 87: Luciano Vincenzoni (image: Clint Eastwood in 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly') Screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni, whose nearly five-decade career included collaborations with Mario Monicelli, Pietro Germi, and Sergio Leone, died of cancer on Sunday, September 22, 2013, in Rome. Vincenzoni (born […]

Bad Movies: 'Mommie Dearest,' Clint Eastwood Among 'Least Talented Directors'

John Travolta in the Scientology-inspired movie 'Battlefield Earth.' From John Travolta to Bob Dylan, from Ed Wood to Orson Welles: 'The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time' Phil Hall's The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time, tagged as a “new celebration of cinematic inanity,” was published by Bear Manor on […]

WGA Awards: 'Batman' Movie Out + Controversial 'Pro-Torture' Drama In

WGA Awards: Latest 'Batman' movie out The WGA Awards 2013 nominations were announced earlier today. Expect the Academy Awards 2013 nominations in the writing categories to be – at least – somewhat different, for reasons explained below. But first, here are the WGA Awards 2013 nominees: Best Original Screenplay John […]

Kathryn Bigelow & Benh Zeitlin Are Best Director Favorites + Michael Haneke Surprisingly Bypassed

Zero Dark Thirty with Chris Pratt and Joel Edgerton. With ten wins and two nominations to date, Kathryn Bigelow is the top Best Director choice this awards season for the controversial “war on terror” thriller Zero Dark Thirty, about a dogged CIA analyst (Jessica Chastain) and the hunt for Osama […]

Daniel Radcliffe 'Horns' + Seth MacFarlane Oscar Host: Good Idea?

Daniel Radcliffe: Horns. Daniel Radcliffe 'Horns': 'Equus' to Capricorn Daniel Radcliffe has gone from Equus to Capricorn – or from horn-rimmed glasses to horns, period (apologies for the horrible pun) – in Horns, Alexandre Aja's film adaptation of Joe Hill's novel about a young man, Ig Perrish, who wakes up […]

D.W. Griffith 'The Birth of a Nation' Director: Q&A with Author Anthony Slide

D.W. Griffith Father of Film, controversial figure. To say that the movies wouldn't be what they are today without D.W. Griffith is probably inaccurate. I mean, someone – or “someones” – would have received credit for turning filmmaking into a major art form. Either way, Griffith, a movie director since […]

Gore Vidal Controversial Movies: Gay 'Ben-Hur' Subtext?

Gore Vidal movies: The Best Man, Caligula, Suddenly Last Summer. (Image: A young Gore Vidal.) Author, playwright, screenwriter, acerbic storyteller, and political commentator Gore Vidal died Tuesday, July 31, '12, at his home in the Hollywood Hills. Vidal, who had been living in Los Angeles since 2003, was 86. Gore […]

'Dog Day Afternoon' Screenwriter Frank Pierson Dead at 87

Dog Day Afternoon Oscar-winning screenwriter Frank Pierson dead at 87. Former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Frank Pierson, among whose screenwriting credits are Dog Day Afternoon, A Star Is Born, and Cool Hand Luke, died earlier today of natural causes following what the Academy's press release describes […]

'Midnight Sun': Stephenie Meyer to Finish Twi-Sequel Book? + Comic-Con 'Twilight' Event

July 12 update: Stephenie Meyer Midnight Sun: the unfinished Twilight book to be completed? Stephenie Meyer may or may not finish Midnight Sun, the Twilight book that allows readers to follow the story through the eyes of vampire Edward Cullen. (Image: Robert Pattinson as Edward in Eclipse poster.) A few […]

Nora Ephron & Carl Bernstein 'Heartburn' Movie

Heartburn movie 1986: “Nora Ephron and Carl Bernstein” (Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson) Nora Ephron and Carl Bernstein: Heartburn movie Besides her essays, screenplays, and directorial efforts, another Nora Ephron claim to fame was her marriage to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein. Their marriage lasted from 1976 to 1980. Ephron later […]

Lindsay Lohan Is Elizabeth Taylor + Vanessa Redgrave Is Lesbian Supreme Court Judge

Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor in the Lifetime movie Liz & Dick. Lohan, 26 next July 2, plays Elizabeth Taylor (apparently) at about the time she met Richard Burton in the early 1960s. (Though the Lohan/Taylor picture above looks like something out Richard Brooks' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, […]

Myrna Loy Biography: Author Emily Leider Discusses the 'Queen of Hollywood'

Myrna Loy biography: The Only Good Girl in Hollywood Myrna Loy: All-American wife and mother – and more Many believe that Myrna Loy is the best American actress never to have been nominated for an Academy Award. Despite having played leads and supporting roles in more than 100 movies (in […]

Goya Awards: Corrupt Cop Tops + Woody Allen Wins WGA & Bodil Nominee Lars von Trier

No Rest for the Wicked with José Coronado Pedro Almodóvar didn't have much luck at the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Goya Awards this evening in Madrid: Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In won a total of four Goyas, but none for its director/writer. Starring Antonio Banderas […]

Alfred Hitchcock 'Rebecca' Remake

Hollywood has been running out of ideas since the time filmmakers started making movies in Hollywood. Even the first “official” feature film made in Hollywood proper, Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel's 1914 Western The Squaw Man, wasn't an original story. DeMille and Apfel's Western was based on Edwin Milton […]

Woody Allen & Martin Scorsese DGA Award Nods +Canine Getting BAFTA Nod?

The Artist's Michel Hazanavicius is the only first-timer among the five nominated directors for the 2012 Directors Guild of America Awards. Hazanavicius' competition consists of Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris, David Fincher for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Alexander Payne for The Descendants and Martin Scorsese for Hugo. […]

Jack Kerouac 'On the Road' with Marlon Brando + Pre-Kristen Stewart Marylou

On the Road's Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac "I'm praying that you'll buy On the Road and make a movie of it. Don't worry about structure. I know how to compress and re-arrange the plot to give it perfectly acceptable movie-type structure: making it into an all-inclusive trip instead of several […]

Women Screenwriters in Old Hollywood: Discrimination?

Norma Shearer in 'His Secretary': Women Screenwriters in Old Hollywood Women screenwriters kept busy during silent era Frederica Sagor Maas, who had a handful of screenwriting credits in the 1920s, died Jan. 5, '12, at a nursing facility in La Mesa, in the San Diego metropolitan area. Sagor Maas was […]

'The Bourne Legacy': Jeremy Renner Reboot to Succeed? + 'Akira' Debacle

Jeremy Renner in 'The Bourne Legacy': Aaron Cross replaces Matt Damon in 'The Bourne Identity' reboot. Jeremy Renner in 'The Bourne Legacy': First look at Aaron Cross Matt Damon has gone from The Bourne Identity movies to Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo and Neill Blomkamp's upcoming Elysium. In Damon's […]

Meryl Streep & Michelle Williams: Honorary Golden Bear & More Critics Awards

Michelle Williams, Luke Kirby, Take This Waltz With four nominations, Michel Hazanavicius' silent comedy-drama The Artist is the top nominee in the international categories of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle's 2011 Awards. (See further below the full list of Vancouver Film Critics nominations.) Starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, The […]

Alan Turing: Gay World War II 'Hero' Is 'Best Unproduced Screenplay' Topic + Orson Welles Oscar Controversy

Alan Turing: gay cryptographer was World War II “hero” – well, not that he risked his life while blowing people up or bombing cities; Turing, according to some “the father of computer science and the father of artificial intelligence,” came up with code-breaking techniques that, once again according to some, […]

Joan Blondell Bio: Warner Bros. Movies & Real Life Love Triangle + Condom Censorship

Joan Blondell biography. Joan Blondell. Those who have heard the name will most likely picture either a blowsy, older woman playing the worldwise but warm-hearted saloon owner in the late 1960s television series Here Come the Brides, or a lively, fast-talking, no-nonsense, and unconventionally sexy gold digger in numerous Pre-Code […]

Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel

Ann Dvorak The name Ann Dvorak wouldn't ring even a faint bell for most people around at the beginning of the 21st century. Most people, I said – but definitely not everyone. A while back, author James Robert Parish heard a loud gong when I told him during lunch at […]

Saoirse Ronan in 'The Host': Stephenie Meyer Movie Adaptation

Stephenie Meyer's The Host (top); Saoirse Ronan in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones (bottom) Saoirse Ronan will star in the film version of Stephenie Meyer's The Host, adapted by Andrew Niccol, reports Ronan, who earned a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for Atonement, can currently be seen on […]

Tribeca NYC Jury: From Whoopi Goldberg to Souleymane Cissé

Tribeca NYC film festival jury member Whoopi Goldberg. The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 20-May 1, has announced its jurors. [Full list of Tribeca 2011 jury.] In the internationally eclectic list are found Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé, Your Highness' David Gordon Green, The Tillman Story's Amir Bar-Lev, Bullets […]

WGA Awards: Christopher Nolan 'Qualified' Victory + James Taylor & Carole King Documentary Tops Santa Barbara

WGA Awards winner 'Inception': Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Caine in Christopher Nolan blockbuster. Christopher Nolan, Aaron Sorkin win WGA Awards Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, the multi-layered sci-fi thriller Inception was the Best Original Screenplay winner at the 2011 Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards, held on Feb. 5 […]

Leonardo DiCaprio & Screenwriter James Cameron 'Titanic': Biggest Oscar Snubs #6

(Previous post: HOOP DREAMS: Biggest Oscar Snubs #7c.) The absence of Leonardo DiCaprio and James Cameron's Titanic screenplay from the list of 1997 Oscar nominations deserves its own slot because Titanic wasn't just a movie. As the biggest worldwide grosser ever until Avatar (not taking inflation into account), Cameron's romantic […]

Robert Pattinson & Zac Efron Golden Globes Presenters + Producers & Writers Guild Nominations

Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey in writer-directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra's I Love You Phillip Morris David Seidler's widely praised screenplay for The King's Speech was left out of the 2011 Writers Guild of America (WGA) nominations announced earlier today. Also missing from the WGA shortlist were Debra Granik […]

Neva Patterson: 'An Affair to Remember' Actress & 'V' Miniseries Alien Collaborator Has Died

Neva Patterson ca. mid-1950s. Stage, television and film actress Neva Patterson is best remembered for playing Cary Grant's elegant ex-fiancée-to-be in Leo McCarey's 1957 romance classic An Affair to Remember. Later in life, Patterson was seen in a key role in the sci-fi TV miniseries V. Neva Patterson: 'An Affair […]

William W. Norton Dies: Wrote Burt Reynolds Movies + Turned Left-Wing Activist & Gunrunner

The life of screenwriter William W. Norton, who died of a heart aneurysm on Oct. 2 in Santa Barbara at the age of 85, could be the basis for a good screenplay. Norton was born Sept. 24, 1925, in Ogden, Utah, to a family of Mormon pioneers. After getting kicked […]

Screenwriter Irving Ravetch Dies: 'Hud,' 'Norma Rae'

Irving Ravetch on the set of Hombre (top); Patricia Neal, Paul Newman, Hud (middle); Sally Field, Norma Rae (bottom) Screenwriter-producer Irving Ravetch, best known for the movies he co-wrote with wife Harriet Frank Jr., among them The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Hud, and Norma Rae, died Sunday, […]

Tom Mankiewicz Dies: James Bond Screenwriter

Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz, best known for his work on the James Bond flicks Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, and The Man with the Golden Gun, and for the 1978 Superman, died Saturday, July 31, at his Los Angeles home. Mankiewicz, who had been suffering from cancer, was 68. […]

Nobel-Winning Author José Saramago Dies

José Saramago*, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature, died of multiple organ failure at his home on the Canary Island of Lanzarote. He was 87. A bout with pneumonia some months ago had left him quite weakened. Saramago was the first – and to date the sole – […]

Ann Blyth & Lizabeth Scott Today + Doris Day Honors James Cagney

Ann Blyth.   Ann Blyth, who received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for the film noir Mildred Pierce (1945), is pictured above during a discussion following a screening of the Joan Crawford classic at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on Monday, June 14, 2010. Mildred Pierce was […]

Artistic License: How Far Can It Go? The Robert Pattinson 'Libishomem' Nonsense

Artistic license in 'Breaking Dawn': Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart in Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight (top); Robert Pattinson, Jackson Rathbone, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed in Chris Weitz's The Twilight Saga: New Moon (bottom). Does this man look like a “Libishomem” to you? In The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, officially two […]

Peter Facinelli & Elizabeth Reaser + Jackson Rathbone & Ashley Greene: Expletives Explained

Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen and Elizabeth Reaser as his wife Esme Cullen. The “vegetarian” Twilight vampires will be returning in David Slade's upcoming The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Peter Facinelli: Carlisle Cullen background June 10: Born in England about three or four centuries ago, Carlisle is by far the oldest […]

Kristen Stewart (Unfortunately) Apologizes for Rape Metaphor & Robert Pattinson-Taylor Lautner Kinky Twi-Moment

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart together in Eclipse meadow scene June 3: Kristen Stewart has opted to issue an apology for her use of the word “rape” as a metaphor for having her personhood unrelentingly assaulted by paparazzi no matter where she goes. Personally, I find that an unfortunate – for […]

Hollywood Fan Magazines - From Mary Pickford to Angelina Jolie: Q&A with Author Anthony Slide

Wholesome silent era superstars Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks drawn by Vargas (probably best known for his drawings of naked and semi-naked women in Playboy), Motion Picture Long before Robert Pattinson, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, Kristen Stewart, Zac Efron, and Will Smith, there were Tyrone […]

Cult Sex Movie Director Joseph W. Sarno Dies, 'Hollywood Fan Magazine' Exhibition

Joseph W. Sarno (a.k.a. Joe Sarno), the director of cult erotic movies such as Sin in the Suburbs (1963), Moonlighting Wives (1966), and Confessions of a Young American Housewife (1974), died on April 26, '10, in Manhattan. Sarno was 89. Sarno's specialty became known as “sexploitation,” as his films were […]

George Bernard Shaw Movies: 'Pygmalion,' 'Caesar and Cleopatra'

Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw is tonight's star on Turner Classic Movies. Major Barbara (1941), directed by Gabriel Pascal, and starring Rex Harrison and Wendy Hiller, is on right now. I've watched it a couple of times, but I haven't been able to really get into it. […]

Bisexual Anna Paquin Gives a Damn + Daniel Radcliffe 'Succeeds' on Broadway

Anna Paquin, Cindy Lauper, Whoopi Goldberg, are some of those featured in a new PSA for the Give a Damn campaign, started by Lauper's True Colors Fund which fights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. [Note: the video above will pop up and start playing on its own out […]

Anthony Steffen: Spaghetti Western Actor Inspired Clint Eastwood Classic

Anthony Steffen, Daniel Martin The Last Tomahawk Anthony Steffen may be a name best remembered by Spaghetti Western aficionados, but in his day, from the mid-'60s to the early '70s, Steffen was one of the most popular actors of the genre – at the time cheap B movies, now revered […]

Ramon Novarro Biography 'Beyond Paradise' in Paperback

Jeanette MacDonald, Ramon Novarro, The Cat and the Fiddle Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro is a film star biography I wrote several years ago. The book tells the story of the first Latin American performer to become a major Hollywood star, Ramon Novarro. Beyond Paradise: The Life of […]

'Twilight' Book Saga Among 'Most Challenged' & 'The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner'

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson Twilight Stephenie Meyer's Twilight book series has a number of elements in common with J.K. Rowlings' Harry Potter novels: both book franchises involve teens, mysteries, otherworldly creatures, and supernatural powers; both are worldwide bestsellers mostly aimed at young readers; and both are on the list of […]

James Cameron & Charles Pellegrino 'The Last Train from Hiroshima' Controversy

James Cameron, whose Avatar is doing incredible business worldwide, recently bought the film rights to Charles Pellegrino's The Last Train from Hiroshima, a book recounting stories from survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which killed 70,000 people. Pellegrino's tome also includes remembrances from US military personnel involved in the […]

Elizabeth Banks to Host Scientific and Technical Awards

Elizabeth Banks will host the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Awards on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Banks will present 15 awards to 45 individual recipients during the evening. Bankss' upcoming roles will be in The Next Three Days, […]

Susan Sarandon in 'Big Valley' + Leelee Sobieski 'Finding Bliss' Acquired

Susan Sarandon as Victoria Barkley in a big-screen reboot of the 1960s Western series Big Valley. Sarandon may not make one forget Barbara Stanwyck, but that would be a great casting coup. In the hit TV series, the veteran Stanwyck played the widow matriarch of the Barkley Ranch in California's […]

Noel Coward Exhibition at the Academy

Noel Coward with Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Boom! (top); with Marlene Dietrich, 1937 (bottom) Noel Coward – playwright, composer, director, actor, (purported) spy, nationalist, propagandist, semi-closeted gay guy – is the subject of an exhibition currently being held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, “Star […]

Howard Zinn Dies

Howard Zinn, author of the revisionist A People's History of the United States, died of a heart attack in Santa Monica, Calif., on Wednesday. He was 87. The Brooklyn-born writer and teacher – admired by progressives, reviled by reactionaries – had his People's History mentioned by friend and admirer Matt […]

Erich Segal Dies: 'Love Story' Screenwriter and Novelist

Ryan O'Neal, Ali MacGraw in Love Story Erich Segal, whose screenplay and novel Love Story became worldwide hits, has died. Segal, who had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than two decades, suffered a fatal heart attack at his London home on Sunday, Jan. 17. He was 72. The […]

'Avatar,' 'Star Trek': WGA Awards - Nominations

Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms in The Hangover (Frank Masi / Warner Bros.) (top); Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia (Columbia Pictures) (bottom) The Writers Guild of America has announced the nominees for the 2010 WGA Awards. Both Avatar (James Cameron) and The Hangover (Jon Lucas and Scott Moore) […]

Meryl Streep & Carey Mulligan + George Clooney & Christoph Waltz: U.S. Critics' Favorites

Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia. Meryl Streep & Carey Mulligan: US Critics' Best Actresses Only two actresses delivered great performances in 2009, at least as far as most US-based critics' groups were concerned: veteran Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie & Julia, and newcomer Carey Mulligan as a […]

'The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond' from 'Lost' Tennessee Williams Screenplay: Q&A with Director Jodie Markell

The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond with Bryce Dallas Howard as Fisher Willow, a troubled heiress who becomes involved with the handsome but impoverished – and equally unstable – Jimmy Dobyne (Chris Evans). Their dysfunctional relationship is depicted in Jodie Markell's film version of a long neglected Tennessee Williams screenplay […]

Federico García Lorca: Remains to Be Exhumed

Javier Beltrán as Federico García Lorca, Robert Pattinson as Salvador Dali in Little Ashes According to reports, forensic experts have begun digging at a mass unmarked grave in search of the remains of poet and playwright Federico García Lorca (right), executed in the early days of Spain's bloody 1936-39 civil […]

Milos Forman & Peter Shaffer Attend 'Amadeus' Screening + 'Manhattan' & 'The Black Stallion' Return

Peter Shaffer and Milos Forman. Milos Forman and Peter Shaffer: 'Amadeus' 25th anniversary screening Pictured above are playwright and Oscar-winning screenwriter Peter Shaffer and two-time Oscar-winning director Milos Forman at the reception preceding the 25th anniversary screening of the 1984 classic Amadeus. Hosted by author and interviewer Christopher Frayling, the […]

'Great Directors' Film Series on TCM & 'A Promise to the Dead' Academy Screening

Jeanne Moreau, Henri Serre, Oskar Werner in François Truffaut's Jules et Jim In June, Turner Classic Movies' month-long series “Great Directors” will be celebrating the efforts of 52 films directors, from past and present, from Hollywood and overseas (though, as to be expected, mostly Hollywood). Among TCM's “greats” are, inevitably, […]

Irving Thalberg - MGM 'Boy Wonder': Author Mark Vieira Discusses 'Hollywood Dreams Made Real'

Author and photographer Mark A. Vieira (right), who has been a friend for a number of years, has recently written no less than two books on Irving G. Thalberg, the young MGM mogul whose high-quality productions earned him both a reputation as Hollywood's “Boy Wonder” and a special place in […]

Gay Murder & Political Life That Rocked California Tops WGA Awards + Academy Names Holocaust Drama Producers

Gay murder – and political life – that rocked California: Milk. The WGA Awards' Best Original Screenplay pick was Milk, Dustin Lance Black's narrative about openly gay San Francisco Board of Supervisors Member Harvey Milk, murdered in 1978 – along with Mayor George Moscone – by fellow Board member Daniel White, […]

'The Shifting Fog' aka 'The House at Riverton': Unbilled Miriam Hopkins on Kate Morton Book Cover

'The Shifting Fog' a.k.a. 'The House at Riverton' book cover featuring Hollywood actress Miriam Hopkins. Kate Morton 'The Shifting Fog' book cover featuring (unbilled) Hollywood star Miriam Hopkins Australian author Kate Morton's bestselling novel The Shifting Fog, known as The House at Riverton in the US and the UK (see […]

Ray Bradbury Interviewed by Steve Wasserman

At Truthdig, Steve Wasserman laments the apparent just-around-the-corner demise of both literary criticism and literature itself during a q&a with Ray Bradbury. In addition to his many novels and short stories, Bradbury wrote a handful of screenplays, including a 1956 adaptation of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, which John Huston directed […]

Leonard Schrader Tribute at LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will be paying tribute to screenwriter Leonard Schrader on May 15 and 16, with the screening of two of Schrader's best-known films, two flawed but curious 1985 releases: the Academy Award-nominated Kiss of the Spider Woman, which he adapted from Manuel Puig's […]

Julie Andrews Biography: Book Signing with Smiling Icon 'Dressed Like a Man'

Julie Andrews autobiography: Book signing in Westwood Last night, I went to the Borders bookstore in Westwood to see if I could catch a glimpse of Julie Andrews signing her recently published (partial) autobiography Home: A Memoir of My Early Years – Andrews' book comes to a halt when she […]

John Huston Documentary Double Bill: 'San Pietro' & 'Let There Be Light'

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' John Huston Lecture on Documentary Film will acknowledge John Huston himself with a special screening of his controversial World War II documentary classics San Pietro (a.k.a. The Battle of San Pietro) (above, 1944) and Let There Be Light (1946), on Tuesday, April […]

Edmund Goulding: Renowned Filmmaker with Controversial Private Life - Q&A with Biographer Matthew Kennedy

Edmund Goulding directs a young Joan Crawford in the MGM melodrama Sally, Irene and Mary (1925) at the beginning of their, respectively, directorial and acting careers. Photo: Matthew Kennedy Collection.   Even though the Academy Award-winning Grand Hotel (1932), the Bette Davis weepie Dark Victory (1939), and the Academy Award-nominated […]

'The Naked City' (1948) Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter Malvin Wald Dies

The Naked City (1948) screenwriter Malvin Wald dies (image: Barry Fitzgerald, Dorothy Hart in The Naked City) Screenwriter Malvin Wald, who received an Academy Award nomination for The Naked City, Jules Dassin's 1948 mix of neo-realism, film noir, and crime melodrama, died Thursday, March 6, of “natural causes” at a […]

'Celebrities in the 1930 Census' Q&A: Garbo & Gangsters Go Missing

'Celebrities in the 1930 Census': Amelia Earhart in, but Garbo and gangsters wanted to be left alone. 'Celebrities in the 1930 Census': Mae West and Marie Dressler find Fountain of Youth, Greta Garbo and Al Capone go missing As it says on the cover, Allan R. Ellenberger's Celebrities in the […]

Marie Dressler: From MGM Stardom to Lesbian Rumors | Q&A with Biographer Matthew Kennedy

Marie Dressler in Dinner at 8 It's Oscar time. What better way to celebrate the 2008 Academy Awards than by having a q&a about the best actress Oscar winner … of 1931? (Or rather, for the period 1930-31, as the Oscars in those days covered films released in the Los […]

Marion Cotillard & Ulrich Mühe Win London + Joel & Ethan Coen Win WGA Awards

2008 London Film Critics' Circle Award nominations: Dec. 14. 2008 London Film Critics' Circle Award winners: Grosvenor House Hotel on Feb. 8. FILM OF THE YEAR * No Country for Old Men The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford There Will Be Blood Zodiac The Bourne Ultimatum […]

Casey Affleck & Sissy Spacek + Julie Christie & Ellen Page: Oscar Luncheon

Sarah Polley, Tamara Jenkins, Julie Christie At the 2008 Oscar luncheon at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Monday, Academy president Sid Ganis remarked that “regardless of those circumstances, which are beyond our control, we will be presenting the awards as scheduled.” Needless to say, “those circumstances” are the Writers Guild […]

Golden Globe Awards: Non-English-Language Non-Ceremony Surprises

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly with Marie-Josée Croze: Golden Globe Awards' non-ceremony eyebrow-raiser. Based on Jean-Dominique Bauby's book of memoirs – reportedly written after Bauby (1952–1997) suffered a stroke that left him totally paralyzed except for his left eyelid, which he used to communicate (and thus “write” the book) – The […]

'Citizen Kane' Orson Welles' Oscar for Sale + 'The Orphanage' Is Spanish Blockbuster

Citizen Kane with Orson Welles: Oscar for sale. 'Citizen Kane' Academy Award auction: Orson Welles' Oscar for Best Original Screenplay to be sold Orson Welles' Academy Award for Citizen Kane, considered by some The Greatest Story Ever Told on Film, is set to be auctioned by its current owner, the […]

'Incorrect Entertainment': Q&A with Author Anthony Slide

Veteran author Anthony Slide has another book out, Incorrect Entertainment or Trash from the Past: A history of political incorrectness and bad taste in 20th century American popular culture (BearManor, 2007, paperback, US$19.95). Lengthy title for a highly controversial subject matter. Chapters range from “This Race Business” and “Sex” to […]

'The Hollywood Book of Extravagance': Q&A with Author James Robert Parish

The Hollywood Book of Extravagance. How do you write something with that sort of title without falling into the trap of sensationalism or cheap journalism? And could you say something about the formatting of your text – the mini-bios divided into specific chapters – and what you wanted to accomplish […]

Colleen Moore Research Project

Colleen Moore in The Desert Flower. Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Codori Those who truly know film history know Colleen Moore: the quintessential 1920s flapper whose bobbed hair was the fashion plate for millions of young women everywhere. What most people do not know is that there was far more to […]

Hedy Lamarr: 'Casablanca' & Private Life

Hedy Lamarr and Charles Boyer in Algiers See previous post: Hedy Lamarr: Q&A with Author Patrick Agan: Part II Is it true that Hedy Lamarr refused the lead roles in Casablanca, Gaslight, and Saratoga Trunk? If so, do you know what her reaction was after those three films became huge […]

Mel Brooks Biography: Q&A with James Robert Parish

James Robert Parish, author of countless film books (The RKO Gals, Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops), answers a few questions on the subject of his upcoming biography, It's Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks (Wiley, 2007). Many comedians are supposed to be […]

WGA Awards: Populist & Outlandish Screenplays Are Winners + Year-Old 'Maurice Richard' Tops Genie Nominations

Robert Benton and Jeff Bridges on the Nadine set. This year's WGA Laurel Award recipient was veteran screenwriter-director Robert Benton, whose writing credits range from the crime dramas Bonnie and Clyde and The Late Show to the comedies What's Up Doc? and Nadine. By then a three-time Academy Award winner, Benton (Best Director & Best Adapted […]

'The Hollywood Book of Breakups': Q&A with James Robert Parish

Prolific author James Robert Parish answers seven questions about his latest tome, The Hollywood Book of Breakups. Unlike his previous book, Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops, an analysis of Hollywood moviemaking, the Book of Breakups focuses on the private lives of those who have worked in the motion […]

Valentino: Q&A with Author Allan Ellenberger

Rudolph Valentino death, funeral, and legacy discussed in new book: The Valentino Mystique Allan R. Ellenberger's meticulously researched The Valentino Mystique: The Death and Afterlife of the Silent Film Idol (McFarland & Company) describes in great detail the circumstances surrounding Rudolph Valentino's death and funeral in 1926. The star of […]

Jay Presson Allen: 'Cabaret' Screenwriter Has Died

Screenwriter and playwright Jay Presson Allen died of a stroke yesterday morning at her home in Manhattan. She was 84. The Ft. Worth native (born on March 3, 1922) wrote several plays and films, usually adaptations from novels with strong and offbeat female characters. Billed as Jay Presson, she started […]

Henry Farrell: 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?' Author Dies

Author Henry Farrell, whose Grand Guignol tales What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte? were successfully adapted for the screen in the 1960s, died after a long illness on March 29 at his home in Pacific Palisades. He was 85. The California-born (Sep. 27, […]

'Brokeback Mountain' & 'Crash': Writers Guild Winners

In the Crash cast: Sandra Bullock as the embodiment of self-centered “white privilege,” Brendan Fraser as her D.A. husband, and Ryan Phillippe, Jennifer Esposito, and Best Supporting Actor SAG Award nominees Matt Dillon and Don Cheadle as cops suffering from various degrees of racism/ethnic insensitivity syndrome. The 2006 WGA Award winners were announced […]

Oscar-Nominated Gay Author-Screenwriter Gavin Lambert Getting L.A. Tribute

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone with Vivien Leigh and her Roman stalker, Jeremy Spenser. Best remembered for her two Oscar-winning roles – Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939), Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) – Vivien Leigh delivered two of her finest screen performances in her last […]

Harold Pinter Nobel Prize in Literature Winner: Fiery Anti-U.S. & Anti-Iraq War Speech

Harold Pinter. Nobel Prize in Literature winner delivers controversial acceptance speech fulminating against the U.S. government, the Iraq War, and war hawks George W. Bush and Tony Blair. Harold Pinter plays include The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, and Betrayal. Among his screenplays are those for The Pumpkin Eater, The Go-Between, […]

John Fowles: 'The Collector,' 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' Author Dead

John Fowles: 'The Collector' author. John Fowles: 'The Collector,' 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' author dead at 79 Author John Fowles, among whose novels are The Collector (1963), The Magus (1965), and The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969), died on Saturday, Nov. 5, '05, at his home in Lyme Regis, Dorset, on […]

Gavin Lambert: Natalie Wood Biographer & 'Inside Daisy Clover' Novelist Has Died

Gavin Lambert: Natalie Wood, Norma Shearer, George Cukor biographer has died Gavin Lambert, novelist, biographer, film critic, and screenwriter, died of pulmonary fibrosis on Sunday, July 17, at Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles. The British-born Lambert, who would have turned 81 on July 23, had been living in West […]

'The Sound of Music,' 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?': Ernest Lehman Screenwriter

Ernest Lehman: Screenwriter who specialized in adapting plays into screenplays Though hardly a household name, screenwriter and sometime producer Ernest Lehman worked on some of the best-known Hollywood movies of the '50s and '60s. Among those were Alfred Hitchcock's chase thriller North by Northwest, Alexander Mackendrick's critically acclaimed Sweet Smell […]

Christopher Fry: 'The Lady's Not for Burning' Playwright Has Died

Christopher Fry dead at 97: 'The Lady's Not Burning' playwright & 'Ben-Hur' screenplay contributor British playwright and screenwriter Christopher Fry died on June 30 at a hospital in Chichester, in the south of England. The cause of death was not announced. Fry, born on Dec. 18, 1907, in Bristol, was […]

'Mean Girls' Quotes Earn Surprising WGA Nomination + 'Christ' Up for ASC Award

Mean Girls with Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, and Lacey Chabert. Written by Tina Fey – partly from Rosalind Wiseman's self-help book Queen Bees and Wannabes – the Mark Waters-directed teen comedy Mean Girls was a surprise WGA Award nominee. In all, a total of 193 movies were eligible for this […]

J.M. Barrie & 'Peter Pan' Inspiration: 'Finding Neverland' Myths & the Llewelyn Davies Boys

J.M. Barrie and Peter Pan. The five sons of Arthur and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, particularly Michael, were the real-life inspiration for Peter Pan – the flying, satyr-like, Neverland denizen who refuses to face the dredge of adulthood. But there seems to have been another inspiration for Peter Pan after all: […]