Alan J. Hirschfield, former president of Columbia Pictures.
Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category
I’ve seen coverage of this elsewhere, but I wanted to note it here.
Christine Cavanaugh, noted voice actress, passed away on the 22nd, though her death wasn’t widely reported until yesterday. Her major credits included the voice of “Babe” in the first movie, the voice of Marty Sherman on “The Critic”, and the voice of Dexter in “Dexter’s Laboratory”.
ETA: A/V Club.
The LAT is reporting the death of Luise Rainer at the age of 104.
I’d never heard of Ms. Rainer until I read her obit, but she’s one of those interesting Hollywood stories. She started out acting on the stage in Germany, was signed by MGM and came to Hollywood in 1935, won two consecutive Academy Awards (Best Actress, 1936, “The Great Ziegfeld”, and Best Actress, 1937, “The Good Earth”)…
…and then pretty much disappeared from Hollywood.
Rainer, however, didn’t like the trappings of being a movie star. She refused to wear make-up or glamorous clothes and demanded a say in what roles she would play, which didn’t go over well with dominating Mayer. She disparaged Hollywood people, finding them more interested in clothes than in important issues of the day. Her friends included composers George Gershwin and Arnold Schoenberg, writer Thomas Mann and architect Richard Neutra — not exactly a Hollywood crowd. She struggled to find roles that were worthy of her talent.
She was unhappily married to Clifford Odets for a time.
Edited to add: Very nice McFadden obit from the NYT.
(No, really. I’ve been sneezing my ass off the past couple of days.)
I missed this over the weekend: former Houston mayor Bob Lanier.
Finally, one I missed until late yesterday: Billie Whitelaw. You may know her as the nanny in the original “The Omen”, but she was very famous in England. She may have been best known as Samuel Beckett’s muse and collaborator:
She accepted his artistic vision without always understanding its explicitly rendered ambiguities. They read his plays together, discussing not their meaning but the most minuscule elements of the text — the pauses and sighs and guttural sounds as well as the words, the inflections demanded by the language, and his need, as she said in interviews, to remove the acting from the performance. “Flat, no emotion, no color,” he would often caution her, she said.
Yesterday was a bad day for the Joes.
This is the only story I’ve found so far, but prolific television and movie director Joseph Sargent also died yesterday. Among his credits: the original “Taking of Pelham 123″ and “The Marcus-Nelson Murders” (the pilot for “Kojak”).
- There’s a good representation of historical stuff on here; I’m interested in seeing “Bert Williams Lime Kiln Club Field Day” and “The Dragon Painter”.
- Also a good representation of horror, with “Rosemary’s Baby” and the 1953 “House of Wax”.
- “Ruggles of Red Gap” sounds like a whole lot of fun. I’d love to see that, too.
- You know, I liked “The Big Lebowski” okay when I saw it. I still think it’s a good movie, and I often quote lines from it, but I really don’t get what seems to be the passionate worship of it. In terms of just Coen Brothers films, I think “True Grit”, “No Country For Old Men”, “Fargo”, and “Miller’s Crossing” are all better movies. (“Fargo” is already on the list, of course.)
- I kind of want to see “Down Argentine Way” for one reason: Carmen Miranda. Same with “The Gang’s All Here”. Maybe we should have a Carmen Miranda movie night one night. (If we do, I’ll try to let everyone know in advance. You might even say I’ll give folks a Miranda warning.)
- Yes, I will be here all week. Try the veal and remember to tip your waitress.
- I’d also really like to see “Rio Bravo” and “Little Big Man”. I saw parts of the latter on TV when I was a child, but I’ve never seen either one start to finish.
- Other things I’d like to see: “Unmasked”, “The Power And The Glory”.
…I am there, man.
Stephen Frears is (allegedly) going to direct Meryl Streep in a biography of Florence Foster Jenkins.
(“Remembering Florence Foster Jenkins” from the Carnegie Hall website. Just in case you are unfamiliar with “The Glory (????) of the Human Voice“. And yes, you can buy FlFoJenk in MP3 format from Amazon.)