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. […]

Frankly, Selznick Did Give a Damn

November 1, 2009

Why David O. Selznick feared a tombstone epitaph as the man who made Gone with the Wind (1939) is mysterious. This film was his Tara as much as it was Miss Scarlett’s. […]

Vive le Francois!

May 1, 2009

In 1959, the Nouvelle Vague, or New Wave, revolutionized the concept of film editing and scene construction in international film. […]

Mervyn LeRoy’s ‘The Wizard of Oz’

May 1, 2009

Fantasy has had a rather schizophrenic time in Hollywood––one year being the worst possible genre to pour money into unless it’s going straight to video, the next year sweeping the Academy Awards with 11 Oscars. […]

Fruitless ‘Aran’

March 1, 2009

Documentarian Robert J. Flaherty was regarded by the poet e.e. cummings as “a god among men,” an opinion echoed by Orson Welles, who compared Flaherty to the poets Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau. […]

An Ear for a Career

January 1, 2009

A very summer, my family got invited to the Paramount Studio picnic by my uncle, Al Zuniga. New movie and TV stars would appear; most notably for me were the Cartwrights from Bonanza. Al was Paramount’s trailer editor and his job really intrigued me. […]

Jacques Tati’s ‘Playtime’

January 1, 2009

Comedy, as they say, is all in the timing. Therefore, a comic’s best friend has got to be the film editor. But how does one become a good comedy editor? First, I believe, a person must have a natural instinct for what’s funny. […]

‘Broadway’ Playback

January 1, 2009

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s film legacy is its musicals. Perhaps because it was the most politically conservative of the major studios, MGM was more comfortable with melodramas and musicals than with social issues. […]

A ‘Lion’ For All Seasons

November 1, 2008

A medieval historical romp like The Lion in Winter was considered to be an old-fashioned project in the revolutionary political year 1968, especially after the success of such socially provocative films of 1967 as Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night and even Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, which presaged the New Hollywood. […]

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