October 12, 1989 |
Film making is a sequence of choices, and adapting Scott Turow's best-selling novel "Presumed Innocent" to the screen involved a formidable assortment of them. Courtroom dramas have been popular ever since the movies learned to talk, and the best of them (to cite only three: "Witness for the Prosecution," "The Paradine Case," more recently "The Verdict") generate wonderful helpings of suspense and surprise.
July 27, 1986 |
Naturalistic or social drama these days--except in independent movies--has become another endangered species. If a director or writer wants to tackle a serious theme, he usually has to join it to comedy, romance or violence. Rarely--increasingly rarely--a prestigious book ("The Color Purple," "Out of Africa") or stage play ("Agnes of God") will be adapted--but again, only at the insistence of a star or director with clout. (Meryl Streep does yeoman service here.
March 5, 1989 |
Love and action have always run a close race as the prime ingredients of the movies. The earliest artifacts of the form include both a famous flickering kiss and "The Great Train Robbery." Over the decades, scripts more often than not have been a mixture of the two: A little romance to top off the action, a little action to spell the romantically talking heads.
November 22, 1987 |
I can't wait until I'm 45 and get all those great parts. --Elizabeth Hartman, in a 1971 interview. The first reports of 43-year-old Elizabeth Hartman's June 10 suicide here were sketchy. Homicide detectives weren't sure just who the slight woman was who had thrown herself from the fifth-story window of her efficiency apartment. A handful of neighbors volunteered what they knew. She was an unemployed actress, they thought, who had starred long ago in some movie with Sidney Poitier.
November 21, 1998 |
Note: Producer-director Alan J. Pakula died Thursday in an automobile accident in New York. The 70-year-old Pakula is best known for films he directed--"All the President's Men," "Sophie's Choice" and "Klute"--and for "To Kill a Mockingbird," which he produced. The following is an appreciation of his work.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 1998
A memorial service for producer and director Alan J. Pakula is scheduled for Feb. 4 in New York City. Pakula died Nov. 19 in an accident on New York's Long Island Expressway when a metal pipe crashed through his windshield and struck him in the head. He was 70. The service will be at 11:30 a.m. at the Broadhurst Theater at 235 W. 44th St. in Manhattan. Donations in the filmmaker's honor can be made to the Alan J. Pakula Memorial Fund at the American Film Institute, 2021 N. Western Ave.