Listing his favorite directors for me one time—among them John Ford and Howard Hawks—Orson Welles concluded: “… And Jean Renoir! I’ve loved him most of all. …” In the 1950s, the Young Turks of the French New Wave—Truffaut, Godard, Rohmer, Chabrol, etc.—acclaimed Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock but reserved the highest place in their pantheon for Read More
Sometime in the late 1960’s, I asked Jean Renoir what he thought of Ernst Lubitsch. He raised his eyebrows and said, enthusiastically, “Lubitsch!? But he invented the modern Hollywood.” By “modern Hollywood,” Renoir meant American movies from about 1924 to the start of the ’60s. Before Lubitsch’s arrival to California from Germany in 1922 (to Read More
The idea for Rio Bravo (1959) began with Howard Hawks hating High Noon (1952). In 1962, Hawks explained this to me, referring to High Noon as that picture “in which Gary Cooper ran around trying to get help and no one would give him any. And that’s rather a silly thing for a man to Read More
Between 1914 and 1928, people laughed longer, louder and more often than at any other time in history. The reason why is that during those 14 extremely turbulent years around the world, a group of comic geniuses did things on the movie screen that were more elaborately conceived for comedy, more brilliantly constructed for laughs, Read More
One of my favorite movie titles is also, as Andrew Sarris has said, probably the most romantic title in pictures, and names a film directed by an Italian-American from Salt Lake City who is responsible for several of the most intensely affecting love stories made: Frank Borzage’s 1937 European triangle tale, HistoryIsMadeatNight [Tuesday, Nov. 9, Read More
Wednesday, Oct. 27
Chris Kattan was nowhere to be seen during the Oct. 23 episode of Saturday Night Live . That made sense, since the show was hosted by Norm Macdonald.
Apparently, Mr. Macdonald and Mr. Kattan hate each other.
In November 1997, Mr. Macdonald talked about his feelings toward Mr. Kattan in Read More
Gerry Laybourne’s $400 Million Gamble: Nickelodeon Queen Joins With Oprah for Women’s Cable-Web Venture
It’s here. A fledgling women’s media empire is in the process of moving into 40,000 square feet of retrofitted office space (and digital TV studios) at 448 West 16th Street. Nabisco had a factory on this spot in the old days. In the next century, it may prove to be ground zero for the synergistic Read More
Wednesday, Oct. 13
Andrew Paquette and James Hudnall are a couple of comic book geeks. In late 1998, it looked like they would finally hit it big. That’s when Chris Carter, the TV genius behind The X-Files , began working up a new series based on their comic book, Harsh Realm , for Fox.
Wednesday, Oct. 6
Doug Herzog was a cable king. He’s the man who brought South Park and The Daily Show to Comedy Central, and The Real World and Unplugged to MTV. But now, in his first season as the chief programmer for Fox Broadcasting, Mr. Herzog is having a rough start as a network guy. Read More
Wednesday, Sept. 22
Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling, which has been flagging in the ratings behind Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation, is looking to hire
real TV writers to spruce up its shows.
As it stands now, the story lines are left up to the wrestlers themselves, who are bigger on brawn and bluster Read More