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Jane Fonda

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‘The Chapman Report’: a very un-sexy movie about sex

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Director George Cukor never hid the fact that he had a very bad time in post-production on his 1962 film, “The Chapman Report.” The movie lost 20 minutes at the hands of a studio editor — who worked without the director present — and then an anonymous hack was brought in to shoot a new […] [Read More]
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Bad Movies We Love: ‘Road House’ template ‘The Chase’

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If you want to stump your friends with a trivia quiz ask them to name the movie that co-starred Marlon Brando and Robert Redford. There’s a reason that many people have never heard of the movie in question — “The Chase” — because this 1966 picture about life in an out-of-control small Texas town is […] [Read More]

Film Society series ‘Man of Steel’ marks Lancaster’s 100th birthday

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Born in New York City the same year that Grand Central Terminal opened, Burt Lancaster became the rare movie star of his era who insisted on miscasting himself (in the eyes of studio chiefs) in a series of unsympathetic and/or eccentric roles unlikely to bolster his popularity. The late star’s birth year centennial has already […] [Read More]

Jane Fonda and campus unrest at the dawn of the 1960s

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Warner Archive has released a DVD-on-demand version of the 1960 comedy that gave Jane Fonda her first screen role — “Tall Story” — and while it by no means qualifies as a good movie, as a Hollywood and pop culture time capsule it’s fascinating. Fonda plays June Ryder, a freshman who has enrolled at Custer […] [Read More]

When Hollywood studio films were built around women

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Meryl Streep’s Oscar win last winter was another triumph for an actress who has managed to find good parts on a very regular basis since she started working in movies in 1977. Now 63, Streep has become a sui generis figure in Hollywood — the only woman of her generation who has not been forced into […] [Read More]

‘Miss Representation’: where do women find role models?

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I’ve written here before about the wonderful documentary programming on the new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), but the film debuting tonight at 9 p.m. – “Miss Representation” — is not up to the high standards that have been set by the cable operation over the past few months. Produced and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the […] [Read More]

A late report on the funny and scary ‘Squealer’

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Mixing elements of Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson’s “Balm in Gilead” and those backwoods Southern horror movies (i.e. “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) Jonathan Blitstein has cooked up a wild and woolly play called “Squealer” that ended a too-brief run last night at the Theater for the New City in the East Village. The production was the first […] [Read More]

Scenes from Judi Dench’s brilliant career

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Judi Dench sets us straight right at the start of her brisk new memoir, “And Furthermore” (St. Martin’s Press): “I do not consider this an autobiography. I have neither the time nor the skill to write one, and John Miller has covered much of my life in his 1998 biography, the seventieth birthday book from […] [Read More]

‘Sunday in New York’: when Jane Fonda was a (movie) virgin

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Jane Fonda became such a powerhouse dramatic actress in the 1970s, with movies like “Klute” (1971) and “Julia” (1977), that it is now easy to forget the run of frothy comedies she did when she was just starting out in the movies in the early and mid-1960s. Although being the daughter of Henry Fonda no […] [Read More]

Behind the scenes of a loved/hated landmark play & movie

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Mart Crowley’s play “The Boys in the Band” was controversial when it opened in the spring of 1968 for its frank depiction of a birthday party where all of the guests were gay. Nothing like that had ever been seen on an American stage. Two years later, however, when William Friedkin’s faithful movie version debuted […] [Read More]