November 25, 1993 |
"The King of Marvin Gardens" opens dramatically with David Stabler (Jack Nicholson), host of a late-night radio show, telling his audience a story from his youth in which he and his brother sit wordlessly at the dinner table while their grandfather chokes to death. The story turns out to be a fabrication, yet it deftly illustrates the uncomfortable bond between the brothers that is the heart of the film.
March 4, 1990
I am writing in response to Spero Kessaris' Feb. 25 letter, in which he condemns director Bob Rafelson for suggesting that Sir Richard Burton, the hero of Rafelson's film "Mountains of the Moon," might have had a homosexual relationship with John Hanning Speke. Like Kessaris, I am a "Burtonophile," one of the secretive company who believes this great man of the 19th Century represents everything lacking from our world: an insatiable curiosity for the unknown, unbounded intellectual and physical courage, a swashbuckling style.
February 24, 1991 |
Quick--what does Gidget stand for? Give up? It's a combination of "girl" and "midget." Think hard--what's Gidget's real name? Francine. What phrase did Gidget use to say goodby? "Toodles." "Gidget" is based on a real person--the daughter of Frederick Kohner, who wrote the 1957 novel. The perky Southern California surf bunny has been a part of American culture for more than 32 years, starting with a number of Gidget films. In 1959, Sandra Dee starred in the first, which was a box-office hit.
July 20, 1992 |
Two decades ago, star Jack Nicholson, writer Carole Eastman, and director Bob Rafelson joined up on "Five Easy Pieces," a low-budget odyssey into the country's tormented Vietnam-era psyche, and it's no hype to say it helped change the face of American film--for the better. But the trio's newest collaboration, a little man-woman-and-dog Mulholland Drive romantic comedy called "Man Trouble" (citywide), isn't going to change any faces or key any eras.
February 21, 1997 |
Since their initial, countercultural collaboration--writing The Monkees' movie "Head"--Jack Nicholson and Bob Rafelson have certainly gone down different paths. But their occasional associations have composed a mini-ouevre all its own: "Five Easy Pieces" with its complex characterizations; "The King of Marvin Gardens" with its contrarian casting; "The Postman Always Rings Twice," with its deglamorized take on murder and adultery.
February 6, 1987 |
"Black Widow" (citywide) sounds intriguing from the moment you hear the cast and the pitch-perfect premise: the obsession of one young woman (Debra Winger) with the life and crimes of another--an irresistible young seductress (Theresa Russell) who marries, then buries a succession of extremely rich men.
November 24, 2012 |
A lean, mean tale of adultery and murder, James M. Cain's bestselling, once-scandalous 1934 novel "The Postman Always Rings Twice" is often considered a central text of noir fiction. It also has proved an eternally popular and durable template for the movies: Its potent mix of class anxiety and carnal violence has been transferred to the screen at least half a dozen times, in an array of social contexts and with varying degrees of fidelity. The best-known version, from 1946, directed by Tay Garnett and starring Lana Turner and John Garfield, gave the noir genre one of its most iconic femme fatales and one of its most persuasively doomed love-hate affairs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 5, 2003 |
Michael Small, a film composer best known for his work on thrillers, including "Klute," "The Parallax View" and "Marathon Man," has died. He was 64. Small died of prostate cancer Nov. 25 in a hospital in New York City. Beginning with "Out of It," a 1969 teen movie co-starring Barry Gordon and Jon Voight, Small scored more than 50 movies and TV movies, including "The Stepford Wives," "The China Syndrome," "Brighton Beach Memoirs," "Comes a Horseman," "Night Moves" and "Continental Divide."
July 23, 1998 |
It's quite literally a weekend of mystery as both HBO and A&E present new TV thrillers. James Caan follows in the footsteps of Humphrey Bogart, Dick Powell, Robert Mitchum and Robert Montgomery as Raymond Chandler's famous detective Philip Marlowe in HBO's movie "Poodle Springs," Saturday at 9 p.m. In this outing, it's 1963, and though Marlowe is a lot older, he certainly isn't wiser. He's up to his neck in murders, mayhem and corpses. Dina Meyer plays the new Mrs.