Thursday, August 28, 2014

What Price Fame?

Acting magic fills the screen in The Last of Robin Hood, a fascinating true-life tale about the desire for fame and the price it demands. Because one of my first movie crushes involved Errol Flynn, the swashbuckling hero of The Adventures of Robin Hood, this film captured my interest right away. Kevin Kline doesn’t just play Flynn – he becomes Flynn. Not the early heartthrob, of course, but Flynn in his later years after the booze and legendary philandering have taken their toll. 

The story centers around Flynn’s scandalous affair with star-struck teenager Beverly Aadland, portrayed oh-so convincingly by Dakota Fanning, and how Beverly’s mother enabled that relationship. Kline and Fanning are disturbingly spellbinding together here. But there’s more! As Beverly’s fame-obsessed mom Florence, Susan Sarandon almost runs away with the movie.

Read my full review by clicking on the link below.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Another Rave Review

Thanks to film critic R.J. Smith for posting his enthusiastic reactions to It Had To Be Us,  the romantic memoir my husband and I wrote under the pen names of Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence, on Below is an excerpt from his Five-Star review titled “The Stuff Love Is Made Of.”

A funny and original memoir, overflowing with detail from both sides of the love story. For this special romantic odyssey, Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence take turns illuminating events, often shedding light on little moments which the other person might have missed. From their initial encounter to scenes both light and heavy, it's a narrative bathed in the glow of Technicolor. The potential for a feature length motion picture is strong here. After this short love affair ends, we get some excellent appendices. Readers can indulge themselves in a tasty selection of movie treats, including well-written critiques of romantic fare such as “Music and Lyrics” and “Love Actually.”  You'll laugh and wish that all true stories could be this enchanting.

We are very happy that R.J. enjoyed our Kindle e-book! And, by the way, this month our publisher Denise Cassino has created an Anniversary Re-Launch for this novella, complete with bonus items. Just click on the link below for details and for how to access them.

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

It Had To Be Us Update

I feel very excited about our next Movie Addict Headquarters show! Misha Zubarev will be there for a discussion of his diverse filmmaking experience and to bring listeners up to date on the It Had To Be Us movie project. Plus, Denise Cassino, who published the Kindle edition of It Had To Be Us, will join in to share her plans for introducing new readers to this award-winning romantic memoir my husband and I co-wrote under the pen names of Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence. And our favorite film historian, James Colt Harrison, has agreed to co-host.   

Misha has worked in various capacities on such films as Shooter, Loneliness, Annapolis, Four Funny Families and Synedoche, New York. His film 18 and Out was chosen to be included in NBC's The Screening Room. He also directed an award-winning TV series titled "The Wisdom Tree" and was highlighted in MovieMaker Magazine. After reading It Had To Be Us, Misha became interested in adapting it for the screen. He completed the screenplay last year and plans to direct the film. 

Denise Cassino heads up the Long Story Short Publishing Company and also offers impressive promotional services through her Wizardly Web Designs site. As the publisher of the Kindle version of It Had To Be Us, she organized a launch for the book four years ago which led to a #1 ranking in an important Amazon category. She has now created an Anniversary Re-Launch, complete with the same bonus items from the original launch.  

James Colt Harrison, a founding member of the San Diego Film Critics Society, has written a history of Hollywood studios and contributed film commentary to Classic Movie Guide, Review Express, The La Jolla Village News, Rage Monthly, No Cover Music Magazine, and San Diego Metro Weekly.  

DATE: Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Time: 4 p.m. Eastern Time (1 p.m. Pacific Time)


An archived segment will be available after the live show.  

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Saturday, August 02, 2014

We Love Lucille Ball

On August 5, Movie Addict HQ remembers Lucille Ball, the legendary actress and comedian who charmed people throughout the world with her movies, television shows and stage appearances. Joining in this tribute to the Queen of Comedy are James Sheridan, co-author of Lucille Ball FAQ, and Elisabeth Edwards, author of I Love Lucy: A Celebration of All Things Lucy as well as other books about the beloved show biz icon. Sheridan, a graduate of Fordham University at Lincoln Center, majored in communications and media studies. He’s a lifelong Lucy fan who could name every I Love Lucy episode in order at the age of seven! Edwards works at Desilu, LLC  -- a company Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. put together to manage their parents’ estate.  
 Because Lucille Ball’s fame developed primarily from her ultra-popular TV shows, her film career sometimes gets neglected. But check out the list below for a few titles of movies she made – and the list isn’t even complete!


And here are some favorite I Love Lucy episodes:  Lucy Goes to the Hospital, The Golf Game, Ricky Loses His Voice, Lucy’s Showbiz Swan Song, Lucy Learns to Drive. Plus, who can forget Lucy and Ethel at the chocolate factory or stomping grapes?  

“Lucille Ball: Queen of Comedy” airs on BlogTalkRadio at 4 p.m. Eastern Time (1 p.m. Pacific Time) on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.  If you’re a Lucy fan, please don’t miss this fun episode!


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Sunday, July 20, 2014

James Garner, RIP

I feel sad about the recent passing of actor James Garner. He was so watchable on the big or small screen! Although Garner delivered my favorite performance in Murphy's Romance, many other movies come to mind in which he excelled -- The Notebook, Maverick, My Fellow Americans, The Great Escape, The Americanization of Emily, Victor/Victoria -- and the list goes on. His TV work always impressed me, but The Rockford Files belongs in a class by itself. I could watch all of those episodes over and over again. And I have!

It's no wonder Garner became so popular and received acclaim for his excellent understated portrayals. Below are some of the honors he received.

An Oscar nomination for Murphy's Romance.

Three Golden Globe Awards (Most Promising Newcomer in 1958, Decoration Day in 1991, Barbarians at the Gate in 1994)

Two Emmys (Rockford Files, Promise)

Garner appeared in many different types of films. But when asked if he would ever do a nude scene, he replied, "I don't do horror movies."

We will miss this talented, likable actor. My deepest condolences to his fans, friends and family. 

Thank you, James Garner, for the many hours of pleasure you have given us at the movies!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Congratulations, Cloris Leachman!

What a great time I had this Tuesday at the Movie Addict Headquarters SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY PARTY on BlogTalkRadio! We played clips of famous guests, talked about favorite shows, and announced a book-giveaway drawing.  Joining the festivities were: Mad Movie Man A.J. Hakari, Mr. Show Biz George Bettinger, film historian James Colt Harrison and Classic Film Guide founder Diana Saenger. The Top Ten episodes during the last twelve months were revealed as well as the guest with the most listeners during the past seven years -- who just happens to be the one and only Cloris Leachman (with almost one million listeners!).

The four film-related books below are being given away during our ANNIVERSARY random drawing that closes on August 1, 2014. (Instructions for entering the drawing are covered toward the end of the episode.)

Me and Orson Welles by Robert Kaplow
Hollywood or Bust by Susan Marg
Confessions of a Movie Addict by Betty Jo Tucker
It Had To Be Us by Harry & Elizabeth Lawrence

It was a fun -- and suspenseful -- party, so be sure to listen to the archived segment by clicking on this link:

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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Cagney at His Best

Every year when the Fourth of July draws near, I can’t help thinking about James Cagney’s splendid portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. To me,  Cagney was never better. Perhaps I’m biased because Yankee Doodle Dandy ranks as such an outstanding musical, and that’s my favorite movie genre. Or maybe because my great uncle Charley Brown substituted for George M. Cohan in roadshow productions of his famous musicals.

Still, even though Cagney earned numerous honors for his on-screen work in gangster roles, it was his brilliant performance in Yankee Doodle Dandy that earned him a well-deserved Best Actor Oscar. Because I’m such an avid movie musical fan, my other favorite Cagney films are Footlight Parade and The Seven Little Foys, which also required him to sing and/or dance. And what wonderful and unique dancing he did!  It’s interesting to note that Cagney started out in show biz as a dancer. No wonder Yankee Doodle Dandy was his favorite film.  

Here’s hoping Turner Classic Movies airs this terrific patriotic movie on July 4th again this year!   

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