April 29, 1985
Kirk Douglas has been given a lifetime achievement award by the board of governors of the 18th annual Houston International Film Festival. The award was made over the weekend as part of a weeklong tribute to the actor. The festival includes a retrospective of Douglas' major works as actor and producer, including his Oscar-nominated performance in "Lust for Life." Past recipients include Frank Capra, James Stewart, William Wyler and Otto Preminger.
September 19, 2004
David GRITTEN suggests in his piece on Oliver Stone's "Alexander" ["Fearsome Phalanx," Sept. 12] that the director's decision to feature English-accented actors playing Greeks in contrast to using performers with an Irish brogue to play Macedonians is either "eccentric" or "inspired." While it may be the former according to one's taste in such things, the director's choice is most definitely inspired by an earlier film. Director William Wyler cast British actors (Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd and others)
August 5, 1995
I am a fan of Cybill Shepherd's "Cybill," and I respect and admire her outspoken support of the human and civil rights of gays and lesbians. However, in her interview with Don Heckman ("Cybill's Moonlight Serenade," Calendar, July 19), Ms. Shepherd made an overstatement, if not an error. She claimed that with the live vocals employed in "At Long Last Love" "Peter [Bogdanovich] reinvented a system that hadn't been used since the '30s." Actually, under the co-direction of Herbert Ross and William Wyler, Barbra Streisand sang "My Man" live for "Funny Girl," her 1968 film debut.
March 25, 2001 |
With 12 nominations, the sword-and-sandal Roman Empire epic "Gladiator" is the front-runner at this year's Academy Awards. Nearly 41 years ago, William Wyler's lavish, inspiring adaptation of Lew Wallace's religious drama, "Ben-Hur," dominated the Academy Awards, winning 11 Oscars including best film, best director, actor (Charlton Heston) and supporting actor (Hugh Griffith). Here's a look back at the star-studded ceremony, which took place April 4, 1960, at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.
September 30, 1990
The William Wyler-Bette Davis Warner Bros. classic "The Letter" (Sept. 1, Channel 5) is an excellent example of how colorization destroys a black-and-white film. The Tony Gaudio photography, which is superb, especially in that opening murder sequence, expresses in black and white the menace and mystery. It is destroyed totally in the color process. "The Letter" is noteworthy for its brilliant black-and-white cinematography. What a waste and prostitution of motion picture art! Colorization absolutely destroys; it doesn't enhance any movie.