Hitchcock Railway

January 1, 2011

The signature Alfred Hitchcock thriller frequently involves an innocent person accused of a politically motivated murder committed by twisted villains who are terrorists, Nazis, fascists or Communists. […]

David Lean’s ‘The Bridge on The River Kwai’

November 1, 2010

Unlike many of my colleagues, I did not grow up a film nut. I was a sports nut, particularly baseball, and following my parents’ lead, a Gershwin, Sinatra and Broadway musical nut. For me, movies were fun, but nothing like watching the Yankees lose (a rare occurrence) or pretend- ing I was Frank, or Oscar Levant playing “Rhapsody in Blue” before a rapt audience at Carnegie Hall. […]

Striking Just the Right Balance

November 1, 2010

A ”Jack-of-all-trades and master of none” is what I thought of myself until I turned 30. That’s when my wife, Carole Ann, found an ad for an engineering job at CBS. Knowing nothing about the broadcasting industry, I was reluctant, but with the help of my degree from the Western Electronic Institute and some last-minute cram sessions at the library, I was hired as an engineer in the videotape department. […]

Eisenstein on the Breach

November 1, 2010

The Battleship Potemkin, or Potemkin as it is generally known, galvanized filmmakers around the world because of the audacity of its film editing––especially in the iconic Odessa Steps massacre. Its impact on editors and directors since its premiere in Moscow on Christmas Eve, 1925 is immeasurable. […]

Lost in Translation

September 1, 2010

Roberto Rossellini’s Open City (Roma, Cittá Aperta), which premiered in Italy 65 years ago in September 1945, revolutionized the perception and marketing of foreign films in America when it opened in New York just five months later. […]

Celebrity, Italian Style

January 1, 2010

La Dolce Vita. For 50 years, since the Federico Fellini movie was released in January 1960, those three words have been synonymous with delicious deca- dence among a jet-set mix of expatriate movie stars, high-society types and jaded Italian aristocrats based around Rome. […]

Barry Levinson’s ‘Rain Main’

January 1, 2010

Starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, Rain Man opened 21 years ago this December. It made a lot of money and won a lot of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. […]

John Landis’ ‘Animal House’

November 1, 2009

My father, the late actor/director Ray Danton, was a gifted man. He was handsome, had a baritone voice, stood over six feet and weighed a chiseled 190 pounds in his prime. […]

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