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The Playlist

10 Controversial TV Episodes Pulled From Air

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • July 15, 2014 3:00 PM
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  • 13 Comments
10 Controversial TV Eps
Late last week, details emerged online about the plotline to a never-shot season 2 episode of “Seinfeld” titled “The Bet.” It’s an interesting story in its own right, and an extreme case in that while it was scripted and cast, cameras never rolled on it, with both the director and the actors getting cold feet prior to recording and kiboshing the whole thing due to a gun subplot they all felt uncomfortable with. Of course what’s rare about that is not so much that it happened (we’re sure there have been many other occasions) but that with "Seinfeld” as the endlessly recycled, rerun and re-examined show that it is, any off-cuts, side-stories and what-if scenarios are particularly enticing and unusually well-documented.

25 Years After 'When Harry Met Sally,' Can The Rom-Com Be Saved?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 14, 2014 2:05 PM
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  • 4 Comments
WHen Harry Met Sally
Twenty-five years ago today on July 14, 1989, “When Harry Met Sally” went into limited release (MGM carefully platformed the film, something of a rarity for a major summer studio release even then). It became a giant hit, grossing $92 million in the U.S.—about the equivalent of double that when adjusted for inflation. Rob Reiner’s film, made from Nora Ephron’s script, and following the titular mismatched pair (Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan) who set out to explore the question of whether a man and a woman can be friends without sex and/or love getting in the way (spoiler: no), left a permanent mark on pop culture, influencing countless romantic comedies that came after. But did it also break the genre?

Best To Worst: Ranking The 'Planet Of The Apes' Movies

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 10, 2014 2:55 PM
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  • 30 Comments
Ranked: Planet Of The Apes Movies
By now, unless you're totally deaf to advance buzz or have been living on a Luddite commune for the last few weeks, you’ll be aware that Friday’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” will open wide with a great groundswell of critical approval behind it (you can read our own extremely positive review here). Whether that will translate into box office is anyone’s guess, but the omens are in its favor: ‘Dawn’ seems destined to benefit from strong word of mouth, especially around Andy Serkis’ motion-capture performance, the trailers have been playing like gangbusters (even if their violence sparked complaints during the World Cup) and most importantly, it’s the sequel to the remarkably successful “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” which itself took nearly half a billion dollars worldwide.

The Snubs & Surprises Of The 2014 Emmy Nominations

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 10, 2014 1:30 PM
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  • 10 Comments
2014 Emmy Snubs Surprises
This morning brought the announcement of the 2014 Emmy nominations, and as usual, pretty much no one's happy. Well, the nominees are probably happy. But every TV watcher or fan will, as is always the case with these awards, have some bone to pick, from "Walking Dead" fans who don't understand why the biggest drama on TV is ignored by the Television Academy (spoiler: because it's super boring), to your grandparents, still holding out for recognition for "NCIS."

The Essentials: 8 Walter Hill Films You Should Know

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 9, 2014 3:44 PM
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  • 15 Comments
Walter Hill Essentials
No one would love to believe more than film critics that criticism is the repository of the immutable, monolithic truth about a movie's quality. But as much as we may enjoy the dream of our grades and rankings and pithy pullquotes being Carved In Stone, experience has taught us otherwise, and nowhere is the shifting, flux-like nature of the beast more in evidence than in the mysterious processes of reevaluation and reassessment. This process, this ongoing cycle of neglect and discovery, vision and revision as reputation waxes and wanes can be tracked for both films (our feature on critically reassessed movies covers some of those) and for certain directors, who fall out of and come into favor with almost rhythmic regularity.

11 Famous Musicians In 11 Forgotten Movies

  • By Ben Brock
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  • July 9, 2014 2:31 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Famous Musicians, Forgotten Movies
Half a century ago this month, “A Hard Day’s Night” came out, and musicians in the movies were never the same again. When The Beatles took to the big screen in Richard Lester’s anarchic film, playing themselves at the height of their fame, they were hardly the first famous musicians to make the move to movies. Rather, they exploded Hollywood’s weird construct whereby singers like Elvis and Frank Sinatra could have lengthy, successful mainstream film careers: in the light of the-Beatles-as-the-Beatles’ antics, it suddenly seemed silly to see Elvis on screen playing somebody who wasn’t Elvis, or at very least wasn’t famous.

Predicting The 2014 Emmy Nominations

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 8, 2014 2:29 PM
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  • 3 Comments
2014 Emmy Predictions
In forty-eight hours or so, twelve months of programming and several more of campaigning come to a head, as Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly (for some reason) will announce the 2014 Emmy nominees from the Leonard H. Goldstone Theater at about 8:40 AM EST. The biggest back-slapping event in the TV calendar hasn't quite inspired the same kind of cottage industry as the Academy Awards, but at a point where television shows dominate the pop culture almost as much as movies (if not more so), the Emmys certainly become more and more important.

Retrospective: The Films Of Richard Linklater

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 7, 2014 1:22 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Boyhood
It was just a couple of years ago, around the time of “Bernie," that we first ran our retrospective of the films of Richard Linklater. But in the brief period since, he’s made not one, but two films that feel like they, in fact, mark exactly the kind of caesura that should by rights have us looking back in assessment: Linklater’s last two titles deal in time passed and time passing and have slightly transformed the shape of his filmography, certainly bringing us to a newfound appreciation for his insight and intelligence, even though we were fans before.

10 Films To See In July

  • By The Playlist
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  • July 2, 2014 3:46 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Films To See In July
So we've passed the midway mark of the year and we only have technically eight weeks left of summer with July 4th right around the corner. Depending on what kind of moviegoer you are, this is either a godsend, or a melancholy reminder that blockbuster season is almost over (and if it’s the former here’s our wishlist for the Fall Film Festival season).

Awards 2014: If The Oscar Nominations Were Today, Who Would The Academy Vote For?

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 2, 2014 1:18 PM
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  • 18 Comments
Oscars, If They Were Held Now
Recently we ran our Fall Festival 50, a wishlist and prediction piece about the films we expect to see popping up in the fall. Many of them will be on their way to an Oscar campaign, because, as the accepted wisdom goes, if you want your film to have a fighting chance at Academy Awards glory, you secure in a nice cosy October/November/December release date, maybe on the back of a festival premiere, and bombard the trades with For Your Consideration ads. This indeed has been the route taken by five of the six most recent Best Picture winners ("12 Years a Slave," "Argo," "The Artist," "The King's Speech," "Slumdog Millionaire") with only Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” proving that it’s possible to play in summer and still pick up the big one.

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