July 1, 1990
Re Charles Champlin's commentary "Dropping the X," June 17: Champlin is right about one thing: The X rating, like communism, is an idea whose time has long since gone. But the blame for the de facto censorship it has represented for the past decade does not rest entirely with its capricious and inconsistent application by the Motion Picture Assn. of America but also with the nervous-nellie theater chains who unilaterally bar all X-rated films from their venues. About the time that "9 1/2 Weeks" and "Angel Heart" were having their ratings difficulties, instead of forcing the directors to monkey around with their vision, the studios should have pressured the theater chains to drop that guideline.
November 18, 2000
In his reaction to my Nov. 3 appreciation of Steve Allen, reader Dan Anzel (Saturday Letters, Nov. 11) proves that memories--mine and his--do grow shaky after half a century. "The Tonight Show" was preceded in 1950-51 by "Broadway Open House," hosted by Jerry Lester and featuring the hyper-statuesque Dagmar. The original 1953 "Tonight" with Steve Allen was followed briefly, after Allen left to do his own "Steve Allen Show," by a mishmash indeed called "America After Dark," which featured Earl Wilson and other columnists, including Paul Coates from Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 2011 |
David Zelag Goodman, a screenwriter best known for such 1970s films as the controversial psychological thriller "Straw Dogs" and "Lovers and Other Strangers," a comedy that earned him an Oscar nomination, has died. He was 81. Goodman died Monday at an assisted-living facility in Oakland of progressive supranuclear palsy, a brain disorder, said his daughter, Kevis Goodman. "He was a man for all seasons," said his close friend Zev Braun, a film and television producer. "He went from biblical scholar [as a young man]
May 5, 1999 |
It's every movie buff's dream: watching a great film and then getting to talk about it with the people who made it. "Save the Tiger," the 1973 film that earned Jack Lemmon a best actor Oscar, had just finished screening Monday at the Edwards University Theatre in Irvine. Then Lemmon himself arrived, striding down the aisle with a large gray poodle in tow and taking a seat on a stool to discuss the movie with the audience.
April 26, 1990 |
After 42 years, the paper I typed the short story on has gone brown at the edges. It's the kind of paper--favored by time-short college students who have to turn in first drafts--that erases easily and smears just as easily. The penciled notes Carvel Collins made on my story are hard to make out. But they come back to me, partly by deciphering, partly out of memory because I've read them so often. In the story, did she poison her husband or didn't she?
May 23, 1989 |
I realized, with more than a slight tremor, that it was another of those divisible-by-5 anniversaries: 45 years ago Monday that I caught a train to Trenton and Ft. Dix, N.J., to go on active duty in the U.S. Army. I'd had a head start on the memories a few days ago when I watched Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues" on cable, inspired by his own wartime training in Mississippi. Simon's experiences were particular but also universal. I had enlisted a few months earlier, when I was 17. If you joined something called the Enlisted Reserve Corps you could volunteer for induction when you turned 18, relieving your draft board of the chore.
April 14, 1991 |
A joke that made the rounds a few years ago said that if Ed McMahon were drowning, all of Johnny Carson's life would flash before his eyes. The fact is that it requires less than drowning to make your own life rush through the mind like a runaway train. Any birthday divisible by five will do it, as I've noticed ever since 40. (Or was it 30?) And retirement sets memory to working overtime.
March 1, 1990 |
The matter of anniversaries divisible by five has arisen again, compounded this time by the curious charm of a century divided into quarters. It was 25 years ago this very day that I took up my chores at the Los Angeles Times. As usual on such an occasion the air is full of ghosts and memories, all tinted with astonishment that it has been so long.
June 24, 2001 |
In something more than half a century as a reporter, writer and critic, I wrote more millions of words than I can count. When I was the film critic of the paper, I saw 250 movies a year and reviewed half of them. As a critic at large, I saw and wrote about plays, lectures, panel discussions (spare me, please), appearances, places, happenings and personalities. I wrote about visits to film festivals in England, Spain, France. I went, I saw, I wrote.