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Thompson on Hollywood

Sound of Music Reunion on Oprah

True confession: I sang along with The Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl a few summers back, with a lot of other happy fans of the 1965 musical, which is still the third most successful movie of all time (after Gone with the Wind and Star Wars). Corrected for inflation in 2005 dollars, according to Blockbusting, the movie's domestic gross (including rereleases) would be $953.9 million (158.9), its cost $49.7 million ($8.0). It took 114 days to make, 25 days over-schedule. Nominated for ten Oscars, it won five, including best picture and actress (Julie Andrews, cast after the director saw advance footage of Mary Poppins) and director (Robert Wise).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 27, 2010 11:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Keith Richards' Memoir Life Wins Raves

Keith Richards' Memoir Life Wins Raves
I bought my first issue of Rolling Stone in a long time to get a slice of the Keith Richards memoir Life (on sale October 26) and I will try to convince my book group (which tends to read fiction) to assign it. Friends and I talked about Life at dinner Saturday night (after which I had the pleasure of singing "Gimme Shelter" during a rousing session of Rock Band). And the NYT's Michiko Kakutani writes her most enjoyable book review in a while--a rave. UPDATE: Here's The NYorker's David Remnick.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 25, 2010 10:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Billy Joel Doc Last Play at Shea to Play 120 Exclusive One-Night Only Shows October 21

Wrekin Hill will open Tribeca Film Fest doc The Last Play at Shea in 120 markets for exclusive one-night stand engagements on October 21. Initial cities include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.. Several theaters will hold the film for an extended theatrical run.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 14, 2010 10:34 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Video: John Turturro Talks Naples Music Doc Passione

Video: John Turturro Talks Naples Music Doc Passione
Italian-American actor-director John Turturro is beloved by the Italians—Venice Fest audiences treat him like a huge star. In fact, ill-fated Romance and Cigarettes, which was caught in the backdraft at the end of United Artists, was such a hit in Italy that financeers stepped up to hire Turturro to direct a doc about the music of Naples. Passione is not unlike Fatih Akin’s Crossing the Bridge: it’s a “musical adventure” showcasing the music, old and new, of Naples, via a mix of old footage and new performances by the city’s top artists. The film was exhilarating, and more than one moviegoer walked out of the theater humming. I also admired Turturro's Mac and Illuminata, even though American moviegoers have yet to click with his movies.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 2, 2010 1:34 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Bollywood Robot Stars Rai, Rajni

Screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost) just tweeted that he was going to India, possibly to see this movie, Shankar's Robot, due out September 24, starring Aishwarya Rai and Rajnikanth, plus a lot of visual effects and music by A. R. Rahman. Looks like Hollywood remake fodder to me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 11:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Taymor's Tempest and Spider-Man Musical Both Open in December

Taymor's Tempest and Spider-Man Musical Both Open in December
Julie Taymor is cheering up these days. Her movie of Shakespeare's The Tempest--which had been in limbo at Miramax-- is now closing night at the Venice Film Fest (here's the new poster) and a centerpiece gala at New York, and is set to open December 10. Meanwhile her long-in-the-works Broadway musical Spider-Man finally has an opening date: December 21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2010 12:54 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Burlesque Stars Cher, Tucci, Aguilera

Never underestimate Screen Gems topper Clint Culpepper. More than most studio execs, he gets to put together an eclectic range of projects under Sony's low-budget Screen Gems label because he's got that magic gut instinct for what audiences want and how to sell it to them. Since 1999, Culpepper has figured out which pictures to make without stepping on the toes of big Columbia and little Sony Pictures Classics: horror, urban and teen flicks like the Underworld, Hostel and Resident Evil franchises and Dear John.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2010 4:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Must-Sees: Despicable Me, The Kids Are All Right, Plus B-Remake Predators

Weekend Must-Sees: Despicable Me, The Kids Are All Right, Plus B-Remake Predators
It's pretty slim pickings this summer. Assuming you've seen Toy Story 3, what else is there?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 9, 2010 11:41 AM
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  • 4 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Experiments with Grease Sing-Along and Indie Labels Insurge, Vantage, Famous

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Experiments with Grease Sing-Along and Indie Labels Insurge, Vantage, Famous
Whatever happened to Insurge, that new micro-budget Paramount division that sought to take an alternative approach to standard studio filmmaking? “We want to find and distribute crazy, unpredictable, and hopefully awesome movies - movies that make you want to line up to see at your local theater with all your friends (and us)," stated the Beta Insurge website. "Movies that a big studio would never release because they’re too risky, too silly, and they don’t star Sandra Bullock.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 6, 2010 3:24 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Brewer's Footloose Remake Finds Cast

Writer-director Craig Brewer has landed his leads for his remake of Footloose, which is set for April 2011 Paramount release. Newcomer Kenny Wormald will play Ren (the role made famous by Kevin Bacon in the 1984 original), Julianne Hough (Dancing With The Stars) will play Ariel (the Lori Singer role), Dennis Quaid is Reverend Moore (John Lithgow) and Miles Teller is Willard (Chris Penn). Back to help with the remake are producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago), who will produce with Brad Weston and Dylan Sellers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 22, 2010 5:27 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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