Happy 80th Birthday Dustin Hoffman August 8th 2017!

DH The Tiger Makes Out.jpgDH The Graduate.jpgDH Madigan's Millions.jpgDH Midnight Cowboy.jpgDH John and MaryDH Little Big Man.jpgDH Who is Harry.jpgDH Straw Dogs.jpgDH Alfredo Alfredo.jpgDH Papillon.jpgDH Lenny.jpgDH All the President's Men.jpgDH Marathon Man.jpgDh Straight Time.jpgDh Agatha.jpgDH Kramer vs Kramer.jpgDH Tootsie.jpgDH Ishtar.jpgDh Rain Man.jpgDh Family Business.jpgDH Dick Tracy.jpgDH Billy Bathgate.jpgDH Hook.pngDH Hero.jpgDH Outbreak.JPGDH Sleepers.jpgDH American Buffalo.jpgDH Mad City.jpgDh Wag the Dog.jpgDh Sphere.jpgDH The Messenger.jpgDH Moonlight Mile.jpgDh confidence.jpgDh Runaway Jury.jpgDH Finding Neverland.jpgDh Huckabees.JPGDh Meet the Fockers.jpgDh Racing Stripes.JPGDH The Lost City.jpgDH perfume.jpgDH Stranger Than Fiction.jpgDH The Holiday poster.jpgDH Mr Margorium.jpgDH Kung Fu Panda.jpgDH Last Chance Harvey.jpgDH The Tale of Desperaux.jpgDH Barneys Version.jpgDH Little Fockers.jpgDH Kung Fu Panda 2.jpgDh Quartet.jpgDH Luck.jpgDH ChefDh the choir.jpgDh The Cobbler.jpgDh Esio Trot.jpgDH The Program.jpgDH Kung Fu Panda 3.jpgDH Medici.jpgDh The Meyerowitz Stories.png

Such a surprising star – and such a lucky break for the audience that he broke through in the late 60s with The Graduate:  the perfect choice for the perfect film. I got such a surprise when I found out he was an LA native. He seemed pure NYC.  As the Seventies progressed it looked like he got even better with every new film,  with some extraordinary performances in magically good movies. Look at them! Midnight CowboyLittle Big Man. Papillon. All the President’s Men…  What a run! He got a bit of a telling off from Laurence Olivier on Marathon Man (“why don’t you try acting, dear boy?”) but starred in that Ur-film of abject masculine paragons, Kramer Vs. Kramer, getting the Oscar. He started directing Straight Time but left it to Ulu Grosbard and wouldn’t return to that role until Quartet in 2012.  The Eighties were straightforward star vehicles albeit with some Oscar bids in Tootsie as the cross-dressing actor and the lovable numbers-obsessed autistic brother in Rain Man.  In between more conventional parts in the 90s were the comic and satiric – wasn’t Wag the Dog pretty great?! Especially his take on Robert Evans! As the roles became less important and more supporting characters he took to kids’ films and quirky family comedy but made time for auteur directors like Tom Tykwer (Perfume) and most recently Noah Baumbach (The Meyerowitz Stories). His heyday may be in the rearview mirror but he is constantly surprising us as he always has. What a guy! Happy birthday Mr Hoffman. Please don’t stop acting!

Happy 75th Birthday Harrison Ford! 13th July 2017

HF Dead Heat on a Merry Go Round.jpgHF Luv.jpgHF A Time for Killing.jpgHF The Virginian title.jpgHF Ironside title.pngHF Journey to Shiloh.jpgHF Mod Squad.jpgHF My Friend Tony.jpgHF The FBI.jpgHF Love American Style.jpgHF Zabriskie PointHF Getting Straight.jpgHF Dan August.jpgHF GunsmokeHF American Graffiti.jpgHF Kung Fu.jpgHF The Conversation.jpgHF Petrocelli.jpgHF Dynasty.jpgHF The Possessed.jpgHF Star Wars.jpgHF Heroes.jpgHF Force 10 From Navarone.jpgHF Star Wars Holiday SpecialHF Hanover Street.jpgHF Apocalypse Now.jpgHF The Frisco Kid.jpgHF More American Graffiti.jpgHF The Empire Strikes Back.jpgHF Raiders of the Lost Ark.jpgHF Blade Runner.jpgHF Return of the Jedi.jpgHF Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.jpgHF Witness.jpgHF The Mosquito Coast.jpgHF Frantic.jpgHF Working Girl.jpgHF Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.jpgHF Presumed Innocent.jpgHF Regarding Henry.jpgHF Patriot Games.jpgHF The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.jpgHF The Fugitive.jpgHF Clear and Present Danger.jpgHF Sabrina.jpgHF The Devils Own.jpgHF Air Force One.jpgHF Six Days Seven Nights.jpgHF Random Hearts.jpgHF What Lies Beneath.jpgHF K19 The Widowmaker.jpgHF Hollywood Homicide.jpgHF Firewall.jpgHF Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.jpgHF Crossing over.jpgHF Extraordinary Measures.jpgHF Morning Glory.jpgHF Cowboys and Aliens.jpgHF 42.jpgHF Paranoia.jpgHF Enders Game.jpgHF Anchorman 2.jpgHF Expendables 3.jpgHF Star Wars The Force Awakens.jpgHF The Age of Adaline.pngHF Blade Runner 2049.png

Harrison Ford is 75 years old. How bizarre is that? He’s still Han Solo (well…). He’s still Indiana Jones (next feature upcoming, in a couple of years, maybe). He says he feels Irish but acts Jewish (it’s a thing.) He acts like acting doesn’t matter (it’s ‘let’s pretend’, he claims) but he’s always been interested in it and signed to Columbia in his earliest days in Hollywood after doing an acting class and sportscasting and summer stock and hoping to work in radio. In between TV and film spots he worked as a carpenter and even built a recording studio for Sergio Mendez. Meeting up with George Lucas and Francis Coppola meant a major turnaround in his fortunes and he became a reliable supporting player in American Graffiti and The Conversation and then … you know the rest. He went from a decade of relative struggle to a decade of incomparable superstardom. Christopher Walken was the first choice for Star Wars;  Tom Selleck for Raiders of the Lost Ark: Ford was now the actor in the (most unexpectedly) biggest grossing films. He made a really great romantic detective film (Witness) and moved into another franchise with the Tom Clancy films. He proved in Working Girl he could do more conventional funny.  He made Presumed Innocent work. Just what is it about this laconic, cynical and economic persona that makes him a star with such huge appeal? He doesn’t reach out to the audience. He doesn’t care about being liked. He’s not begging for it. That distance ironically (in every sense!) makes us appreciate him more. He has come up short in some of the missteps in the late 70s, the mid-90s and a lot of his Noughties output. But when he strikes a film that has the right tone for his particular brand of nonchalance and epic cool, the world feels like it’s on its axis again. Personally I fell in love with him in Raiders – the first film I went to see over and over and over … And I think Blade Runner is a masterpiece (he didn’t, not at the time.) And the sequel 2049 is the only film I’m anticipating this year with anything resembling interest. And 2020? You know there’s only one film I want to see. Archaeology never mattered more, not to anyone! Happy Birthday Mr Ford. Hearts, flowers and safe flying …

Happy 50th Birthday Nicole Kidman 20th June 2017!

NK A Bush ChristmasNK BMX BanditsNK Emerald CityNK Dead CalmNK Days of ThunderNK FlirtingNK Billy BathgateNK Far and AwayNK MaliceNK My LifeNK Batman ForeverNK To Die ForNK The Portrait of a LadyNK The PeacemakerNK Practical MagicNK Eyes Wide ShutNK Moulin RougeNK The OthersNK Birthday GirlNK The HoursNK DogvilleNK The HUman StainNK Cold MountainNK The Stepford WivesNK BirthNK The InterpreterNK BewitchedNK FurNK Happy FeetNK The InvasionNK Margot at the Wedding.jpgNK The Golden Compass.jpgNK Australia.jpgNK NineNK Rabbit Hole.jpgNK Just Go With It.jpgNK Trespass.jpgNK The Paperboy.jpgNK Stoker.jpgNK The Railway Man.jpgNK Grace of Monaco.jpgNK Before I Go To Sleep.jpgNK Paddington.jpgNK Strangerland.jpgNK Queen of the Desert.jpgNK The Family Fang.jpgNK Secret in Their Eyes.jpgNK Genius.jpgNK Lion.pngNK How to Talk to Girls at Parties.pngNK Big Little Lies.jpgNK The Killing of a Sacred Dear.jpgNK The Beguiled.jpgNK Top of the Lake.jpg

The remarkably versatile American-Australian actress Nicole Kidman celebrates her 50th birthday this week – now doesn’t that make us all feel old. Who would have predicted that as the wife of Tom Cruise playing mostly supporting roles she would step out of his shadow (and their marriage) so decisively and with such impact? She has done big genre pieces and smaller independent movies;  tackled the erotic and the slutty, the withdrawn and widowed;  the comic and the horrible; the mad and bad; the active and the intellectual. Her range, ambition and daring ensure her longevity just as her porcelain looks make her so memorable. Happy birthday to a constantly surprising screen presence.

Happy 100th Birthday Dean Martin! Born 06/07/1917

DM My Friend Irma Goes WestDM Sailor Beware.jpgDM The Stooge.jpgDM Thats My Boy.jpgDM At War With the Army.jpgDM My Friend Irma.jpgDM You're Never Too WrongDM Some Came Running.jpgDM The Young Lions.jpgDM Ten Thousand Bedrooms.jpgDM Hollywood or Bust.jpgDM Pardners.jpgDM Artists and Models.jpgDM 3 Ring Circus.jpgDM Living it Up.jpgDM Money From Home.jpgDM The Caddy.jpgDM Scared Stiff.jpgDM Road to Bali.jpgDM Jumping Jacks.jpgDM Career.jpgDM Rio Bravo.jpgDM Bells Are Ringing.JPGDM Who Was That Lady.jpgDM Oceans Eleven.jpegDM All in a Night's Work.jpgDM Pepe.jpgDM Sergeants 3.jpgDM Ada.jpgDM The Road to Hong Kong.jpgDM Come Blow Your Horn.jpegDM Somethings Got To Give.jpgDM Toys in the Attic.jpgDM 4 for Texas.jpgDM Whos Got the Action.jpgDM Whos Been Sleeping in My Bed.jpgDM What a Way to Go.jpgDM Robin and the Seven Hoods.jpgDM Kiss Me Stupid.jpgDM The Sons of Katie Elder.jpgDM Marriage on the Rocks.jpgDM Birds Do It.jpgDM The Silencers.jpgDM Texas Across the River.jpgDM Murderers Row.jpgDM Rough Night in Jericho.jpgDM The Ambushers.jpgDM How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your LIfe.jpgDM Bandolero.jpgDM 5 Card Stud.jpgDM The Wrecking Crew.jpgDM Airport.jpgDM Something Big.jpgDM Showdown.jpgDM Mr Ricco.jpegDM Cannonball Run 2.jpgDM The Cannonball Run.jpg

June 7th marks 100 years since the birth of the King of Cool, Little Ol’ Wine Drinker Dean Martin, that icon of midcentury masculinity. A wonderful singer, his comic chops developed with Jerry Lewis and they made a cycle of amusing films culminating in some good work with live-cartoon auteur Frank Tashlin before making a really great impression as a serious actor in The Young Lions and Some Came Running, where he was teamed with Frank Sinatra. He then became part of The Rat Pack, and later in the Sixties was Matt Helm, that spoof spy par excellence. In between he would become master of the sex comedy with regular forays into comedy westerns. His TV show made him part of everyone’s lives and he remains a keen part of the culture through his masterful performances in all these genres. What a career! He may have died Christmas Day 1995 but there are those of us who still raise a glass to celebrate him. Happy birthday, Mr Martin.

Happy 50th Birthday Sgt. Pepper!

Sgt._Pepper's_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band.jpg

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Side One:
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
With a Little Help From My Friends
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
Getting Better
Fixing a Hole
She’s Leaving Home
Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!
Side Two:
Within You Without You
When I’m Sixty Four
Lovely Rita
Good Morning Good Morning
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
A Day in the Life
Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane were to be included … but George Martin advised against it. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Soundtrack of my life.

Happy 80th Birthday Jack Nicholson! 22nd April 2017

Cry Baby Killer.jpgToo Soon to Love.jpgThe Wild Ride.jpgThe Little Shop of Horrors movie.jpgStuds Lonigan.jpgThe Broken Land.jpgThe Raven poster.jpgThe Terror 1963 poster.jpgThunder Island.jpgFlight to Fury.jpegBack Door to Hell.jpgEnsign Pulver.jpgRide in the Whirlwind.jpgThe Shooting.jpgThe_St._Valentine's_Day_Massacre_film_poster.jpgHell's Angels on Wheels.JPGThe Trip poster.jpgPsych Out poster.jpgHead poster.jpgEasy RiderOn a Clear Day.jpgRebel Rousers.jpgFive Easy Pieces.jpgCarnal Knowledge.jpgA Safe Place.jpgDrive, He Said.jpgThe King of Marvin Gardens.jpgThe Last Detail poster.jpgChinatown poster.jpgThe Passenger poster.jpg

The FortuneOne Flew_Over_the_Cuckoo's_Nest_poster.jpgTommy.jpgThe Missouri Breaks.jpgThe Last Tycoon.jpgGoin South.jpgThe Shining.jpgThe Postman Always Rings Twice 1981.jpgRagtime.jpgReds poster.jpgThe Border.jpgTerms of Endearment poster.jpgPrizzis Honor.jpgHeartburnPoster.jpgThe Witches of Eastwick poster.jpgBroadcast News.jpgIronweed poster.jpgBatman 1989 movie poster.jpgTwo Jakes poster.jpgMan Trouble.jpgA Few Good Men poster.jpgHoffa poster.jpgWolf poster.jpgThe Crossing Guard.jpgBlood and Wine poster.jpgThe Evening Star.jpgMars Attacks.jpgAs Good as it Gets.jpgThe Pledge.jpgAbout Schmidt poster.jpgAnger Management.jpgSomething's Gotta Give poster.jpgThe Departed poster.jpgThe Bucket List poster.jpgIm Still Here.jpgHow Do You Know poster.jpg

Is there anyone who doesn’t like this man? The legendary wild man of the American cinema turns an unbelievable 80 this weekend. The self-proclaimed Irish Democrat from the Jersey shore has never given anything less than an interesting performance and there’s a lot to choose from as you can see from the posters – chronicling sixty years of his films from his beginnings with Roger Corman and the first decade where he really paid his dues and wrote several screenplays into the bargain. We all have our own favourites amongst his work and there are the great films like Five Easy PiecesCuckoo’s Nest and Chinatown (written by Robert Towne for him – they became friends at an acting workshop) and The Shining.  And there are the not fully great ones where he crafts truly hilarious or interesting or moving characters, like The Border or Ironweed, Blood and Wine, The King of Marvin Gardens or The Pledge. He’s been pleasurable in truly terrible films like As Good as it Gets or a challenging one like Carnal Knowledge. His forays into directing have been fascinating – Drive, He Said, The Missouri Breaks, Goin’ South, The Two Jakes. He will hopefully return to the screen in the US version of Toni Erdmann, recently announced, but until then he has a truly magnificent back catalogue to plunder. Choose your own Jack Nicholson Adventure. Happy Birthday to a great star and an astonishing talent.

Happy Birthday Roger Corman! 04/05/2017

RC Monster from the Ocean Floor.jpegRC Swamp Women.jpgRC Five Guns West.jpegRC Beast with a Million Eyes.jpgRC Apache Woman.jpgRC Day the World Ended.jpgRC The Fast and the FuriousRC The Oklahoma Woman.jpgRC Gunslinger.jpgRC It Conquered the World.jpgRC Naked Paradise.jpgRC Carnival Rock.jpgRC Not of This Earth.jpgRC Attack of the Crab Monsters.jpgRC The Undead.jpgRC Rock All Night.jpgRC Teenage Doll.jpgRC Sorority Girl.jpgRC Viking Women.jpgRC I Mobster.jpgRC Night of the Blood Beast.jpgRC War of the Satellites.jpgRC Machine Gun Kelly.jpgRC Hot Car Girl.jpgRC Teenage Caveman.JPGRC Cry Baby Killer.jpgRC She Gods of Shark Reef.jpgRC Bucket of Blood.jpgRC Attack of the Giant Leeches.jpgRC Ski Troop Attack.jpegRC Battle of Blood Island.jpegRC The Wasp Woman.jpgRC House of Usher.jpgRC Little Shop of Horrors.jpgRC Last Woman on Earth.jpgRC Atlas.jpgRC Creature from the Haunted Sea.jpgRC The Pit and the Pendulum.jpgRC Premature Burial.jpgRC The Intruder.jpgRC Tales of Terror.jpgRC Tower of London.jpgRC The Young Racers.jpgRC The Raven.jpg

RC The Haunted Palace.pngRC X The Man with the Xray Eyes.jpgRC Dementia 13.jpgRC Masque of the Red Death.jpgRC The Secret Invasion.jpgRC The Tomb of Ligeia.jpgRC Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet.jpgRC The Wild Angels.jpgRC Blood Bath.jpgRC Devils Angels.jpgRC A Time for Killing.jpgRC St Valentines Day Massacre.jpgRC The Trip.jpgRC Targets.jpgRC The Wild Racers.jpgRC De Sade.jpgRC Target Harry.jpgRC Bloody Mama.jpgRC The Dunwich Horror.jpgRC Gassssss.jpgRC Von Richthofen and Brown.jpg

RC Boxcar BerthaRC Sweet Kill.jpgRC Caged Heat.jpgRC Cockfighter.jpgRC The Arena.jpgRC Godfather 2.jpgRC Death Race 2000.jpgRC Cannonball.jpgRC Fighting Mad.jpgRC Eat My Dust.jpgRC Grand Theft Auto.jpgRC Deathsport.jpgRC Piranha.jpgRC Rock n Roll High School.jpgRC Battle Beyond the Stars.jpgRC The Howling.jpgRC Suburbia.jpgRC Swing Shift.jpgRC Slumber Party Massacre 2.jpgRC Frankenstein UnboundRC Silence of the Lambs.jpgRC Philadelphia.jpgRC Apollo 13.jpgRC Scream 3.jpgRC Death Race 2050.jpg

Aside from being a great opportunity to look at 50 years of wonderful poster art and titles to die for, today is trash-horror-exploitation maestro Roger Corman’s 91st birthday. The legendary Pope of Pop Cinema started life as an engineer but lasted just 4 days in the job. After a spell studying literature and reading scripts for Hollywood studios he got into the whole filmmaking thang himself and created a company that eventually served as a film school for some of the most notable directors in American cinema, from Francis Ford Coppola to Martin Scorsese, Stephanie Rothman to Joe Dante, Peter Bogdanovich to Penelope Spheeris. The most acclaimed of his work is the Edgar Allan Poe series, adapted by top-class scenarists like Richard Matheson and Robert Towne. His own best work as director (The Intruder) was so controversial he steered clear of such subject matter (racism) again and passion projects like Von Richthofen and Brown aka The Red Baron eventually gave way to serial producing:  his last directorial effort was a quarter of a century ago (Frankenstein Unbound). He audited acting classes with blacklistee Jeff Corey to understand performance and meet talent – which is how Jack Nicholson got his break in Cry Baby Killer and Robert Towne started writing screenplays. What I love about his early work is the way the women come to the fore:  June Kenney, Fay Spain, Beverly Garland and Susan Cabot are some of my favourite ladies and some of his alumni like Paul Bartel, Ron Howard and Demme have called upon him to act in small character parts in their mainstream successes. I once presented him with a project on biker movies and it was returned to me with the dry comment ‘Very accurate.’  High praise indeed! A scattering of my own fave raves from this renaissance man would include Gunslinger, Sorority Girl, A Bucket of Blood, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Wild Angels and Cockfighter. So much choice! Happy Birthday Mr Corman!

Happy 93rd Birthday Doris Day! 04/03/2017

DD Romance on the High SeasDD My Dream is Yours.jpgDD It's a Great Feeling.jpgDD Young Man with a Horn.jpgDD Tea for Two.jpgDD The West Point Story.jpgDD Storm Warning.jpgDD Lullaby of Broadway.jpgDd On Moonlight Bay.jpgDD I'll See You in My Dreams.jpgDD Starlift.jpgDd Winning Team.jpgDD April in Paris.jpgDd By the Light of the Silvery Moon.jpgDD Calamity Jane.jpgDd Lucky Me.jpgDD Young at Heart.jpgDD Love Me or Leave MeThe Man Who Knew Too Much 1956.jpgDD Julie.jpgDd The Pajama Game.jpgDD Teacher's Pet.jpgDd Tunnel of Love.jpgIt Happened to Jane poster.jpgDD Pillow Talk.jpgDD Please Don't Eat the Daisies.jpgDD Midnight Lace.jpgDD Lover Come Back.jpgDd That Touch of Mink.jpgDD Billy Rose's Jumbo.jpgThe Thrill of it All.jpgDD Move Over Darling.jpgDd Send Me No Flowers.jpgDD Do Not Disturgb.jpgThe Glass Bottom Boat poster.jpgDD The Ballad of Josie.jpgCaprice poster.jpgDD Where Were You When the Lights Went out.jpgDD With Six You Get Eggroll.jpgThe Doris Day Show.jpgDoris Day 1957.JPGDoris Day.jpg

One of my favourite women is 93 April 3rd. Whoda thunk it?! Doris Day is forever cowgirl, comedienne, romantic heroine, Hitchcock Blonde, dramatic lead, musical star and one of the great singers of the twentieth century. Long retired to Carmel, California, she has remained an animal rights advocate and one of the legendary stars. What an astonishing career! Every day should be Doris Day. Happy Birthday!