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The Essentials: The Brad Bird Era begins May 2


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"Doctor Strangelove" marked the screen debut of the Mississippi-born actor James Earl Jones, who  played B-52 bombardier Lt. Lothar Zogg. Jones went on to become an industry heavyweight for his powerful acting as well as his vocal contributions to the "Star Wars" movie franchise (as Darth Vader) and "The Lion King" (as Mufasa). 

On November 12, 2011, Jones was presented an honorary Oscar for his film career. He was cited by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences "for his legacy of consistent excellence and uncommon versatility." The award gave the actor technical E.G.O.T. status -- he already had two Tonys, two Primetime Emmys, a Daytime Emmy and a Grammy (for the Best Spoken Word Recording category, naturally).

His only competitive Oscar nomination was for Best Actor in "The Great White Hope" (1970). Another "Doctor Strangelove" star, George C. Scott, won for "Patton" but declined the award.

Image result for james earl jones honorary oscar

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In addition to Sellers' Best Actor nomination, "Doctor Strangelove" received three other 1964 Oscar nods: Best Picture (Stanley Kubrick), Best Director (Kubrick) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Kubrick, Peter George and Terry Southern).

One glaring omission: No nomination for production designer Sir Ken Adam, whose creations for the film included the impressive underground war room in the Pentagon.

He recalled that a well-known director memorably complimented him about the set: "I was in the States giving a lecture to the Directors Guild when Steven Spielberg came up to me. He said 'Ken, that war room set for Strangelove is the best set you ever designed'. Five minutes later he came back and said 'no it's the best set that's ever been designed'."

Adam, who died in 2016 at the age of 95, was the production designer for many of the early James Bond films. When it came to 1964's "Goldfinger," for instance, there was no way that the United States government would permit filmmakers to see the actual vaults in Fort Knox where the gold reserves are stored. So Adam had to use his imagination to come up with something believable. The result was pure gold!

Adam won Academy Awards for Kubrick's visually stunning tale "Barry Lyndon" (1975) and "The Madness of King George" (1994).

RIP Ken Adam, Oscar-Winning Production Designer for 'Dr. Strangelove,'  'Goldfinger'

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 The "Strangelove" war room was the site for one of the movie's best lines. During an altercation between U.S.A.F. General  Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) and Soviet Ambassador Alexei de Sadeski (Peter Bull), the president intervened. His line -- "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the war room!" -- was ranked by the American Film Institute as No. 64 in its 2005 survey of the Top 100 movie quotes of all time.

 

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7 hours ago, Hibi said:

Are The Eshentials in reruns already???

The answer to this question is  yes and for quite some time now. I found a link to the schedule on p. 1 of this thread, and while the homepage of the link only shows the selections for this week and the next three weeks, you can click the Schedule tab at the top of the page and see every movie that's aired during Bird's tenure. It appears the final "new" movie he selected was Out of the Past on September 12.  The reruns aren't occurring in the same order, but it's been all reruns since then.

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Kubrick's Cold War classic is the Best Picture Oscar nominee with the most words in its title (13). Two nominated films are tied for shortest title honors (one word, four letters each) -- "Gigi" (named Best Picture of 1958) and "Argo" (the Best Picture of 2012).

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14 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

The answer to this question is  yes and for quite some time now. I found a link to the schedule on p. 1 of this thread, and while the homepage of the link only shows the selections for this week and the next three weeks, you can click the Schedule tab at the top of the page and see every movie that's aired during Bird's tenure. It appears the final "new" movie he selected was Out of the Past on September 12.  The reruns aren't occurring in the same order, but it's been all reruns since then.

So that's it? His run is over?

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7 hours ago, Hibi said:

So that's it? His run is over?

I guess they could do a second season with him, like they did with Alec Baldwin and some others.  But I'm unaware that there's been any announcement about the future of The Essentials.  For now, it looks like every one of his picks is getting a second airing, and those are continuing through the end of January.

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"Doctor Strangelove" was released on January 29, 1964, about eight months before Sidney Lumet's similarly themed drama "Fail Safe." The thriller, which starred  Henry Fonda (as the U.S. president), Dan O'Herlihy, Walter Matthau, Frank Overton, Edward Binns, Fritz Weaver and Larry Hagman (pictured below as the president's Russian interpreter), focused on a grave nuclear crisis.

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It was one of three great 1960s Washington D.C.-based dramas starring Fonda. The others: "Advise and Consent" (1962) and "Gore Vidal's 'The Best Man' " (1964).

But "Fail Safe" was overshadowed by "Doctor Strangelove" at the box office. It also received no Academy Award nominations.

 
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 Slugger Dick Stuart (1932-2002), who played first base for several Major League Baseball teams in the 1950s and 1960s, was a mediocre fielder and once committed 29 errors in a season. After Kubrick's movie was released, Stuart became known as "Dr. Strangeglove."

Baseball and hot dogs - a perfect combination

He embraced the nickname.

Pittsburgh Pirates Dick Stuart autograph baseball | #141222505

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Roger Ebert, who added the film to his list of Great Movies, called it and "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) "Kubrick's masterpieces." 

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The film critic wrote: "The two films share a common theme: Man designs machinery that functions with perfect logic to bring about a disastrous outcome. The U.S. nuclear deterrent and the Russian "doomsday machine" function exactly as they are intended, and destroy life on earth. The computer HAL 9000 serves the space mission by attacking the astronauts."
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In 2011, Time listed its top 25 movie soundtracks of all time. "A Hard Day's Night" and its compilation of songs came in at No. 3, although the magazine noted that The Beatles' 1964 work was also a studio album: "By then, American teenagers had already succumbed to the mop-topped allure of John, Paul, George and Ringo. But 'A Hard Day’s Night' helped turn the group into more than just a passing fad. The album’s 13 songs were all written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Listen to it today -- especially the tracks 'If I Fell,' 'Can’t Buy Me Love' and 'I Should Have Known Better' -- and it’s pretty clear that these lads from Liverpool were going to go far."

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT [ENHANCED, LIMITED EDITION, DIGITAL REMASTER]

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Directed by Richard Lester, the black-and-white fictional version of a couple of days in the lives of The Beatles received an Academy Award nomination for Alun Owen's original screenplay. It also was nominated for Best Adaptation Score (by Sir George Martin, the Beatles' record producer). 

Who could have guessed that The Beatles themselves would be nominated for Oscars six years later? Alas, they were no longer a group.

 

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20 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Funny to see Quincy Jones accepting an Oscar for the Beatles. Not along ago, I believe he called Paul McCartney "the worst bass player of all time". Although he did work with Paul on the recording of "The Girl is Mine".

Quincy Jones could at times be very negative.   E.g.  what he said about Jimi Hendrix.    But in that case I believe he was correct.     Hendrix was a very limited musician and couldn't play over fairly basic jazz chord progressions.          I.e.   Keep up with the rhythm changes,,   key changes,,,,       (unlike Frank Zappa,  who  was proficient on the guitar as well as other instruments).

As for that comment about Paul,  it was based on meeting The Beatles when they were very young (e.g. Paul was 21).      Jones could also be race baiting,  especially towards white rock and rollers.    I.e.  the stereotype of white boys just can't carry the rhythm,,,  but blacks have it in their soul type crap.  

Here is a link to one of his interviews.   I provide a link since he drops the F bomb often.

https://www.vulture.com/2018/02/quincy-jones-in-conversation.html

 

 

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McCartney told GQ magazine in 2018 that Jones called him and denied he said bad things about The Beatles.

“He rang me, and I’m at home on my own,” said McCartney. “And I’d finished work, so I had a drink, and now I’m grooving at home, I’m cooking, I’ve got a little bit of wine going, I’m in a good mood, and I don’t give a ****. So I get a phone call: ‘Is this Mr. McCartney?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Quincy would like to speak with you.'”

“Because he’s always worked through security guys. I said, ‘Hey, Quince!’ ‘Paul, how you doing, man?’ ‘I’m doing great—how are you, you ****!’ I’m just jiving with him. ‘Paul, I didn’t really say that thing—I don’t know what happened, man. I never said that. You know I love you guys!'”

McCartney added: “I said, ‘If you had said that, you know what I would have said? **** you, Quincy Jones!'”

“And he laughed. I said, ‘You know I would say to that: **** you, Quincy Jones, you **** crazy ****!’ So actually we just had a laugh. And he was like, ‘Oh, Paul, you know I love you so much.’ ‘Yeah, I know you do, Quince'”.

“I love Quincy, even after this. He’s a crazy ****”, McCartney said. “But I respect him, he’s done a lot of very good things.”

In new "GQ" cover story, Paul McCartney recalls Beatles-era sexcapades and  "raunchy" teen incident with John Lennon | KTLO

As for the Vulture piece, Jones was persuaded by his daughters -- including the actress Rashida Jones -- to apologize for his comments.

 

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McCartney's devious but clean paternal grandfather John was played by Wilfrid Brambell (1912-1985), a veteran Irish actor. In the 1960s and 1970s, he starred in the BBC sitcom "Steptoe and Son" -- the story of a junk dealer in partnership with his offspring (played by Harry H. Corbett).

The concept was exported to the United States in the early 1970s and became the hit NBC comedy "Sanford and Son," which starred Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson.

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Norman Rossington (pictured below right) co-starred as Norm, a stricter version of The Beatles' real-life manager at the time, Brian Epstein. John Junkin (center) played Shake, the road manager who also happened to be Norm's full-time whipping_boy.

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Two years earlier, Rossington (1928-1999) and the late Sir Sean Connery played British infantrymen at Juno Beach in "The Longest Day" -- producer Daryl F. Zanuck's all-star re-creation of the 1944 D-Day invasion.

History Hit💥 on Twitter: "What's your favourite war film quote?… "

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 Filming "A Hard Day's Night" turned out to be a fruitful experience for George Harrison. He met his first wife, Pattie Boyd, who appeared as one of the schoolgirls on the train at the beginning of the picture. They were married from 1966 to 1977. She was wed to the rock performer Eric Clapton from 1979 to 1988. She inspired The Beatles' songs "Something" and "For You Blue" (written and performed by Harrison) and Clapton's hits "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight." 

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10 hours ago, jakeem said:

McCartney's devious but clean paternal grandfather John was played by Wilfrid Brambell (1912-1985), a veteran Irish actor. In the 1960s and 1970s, he starred in the BBC sitcom "Steptoe and Son" -- the story of a junk dealer in partnership with his offspring (played by Harry H. Corbett).

The concept was exported to the United States in the early 1970s and became the hit NBC comedy "Sanford and Son," which starred Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson.

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I learned earlier this year that Steptoe & Son was attempted in the US before Sanford & Son.  There was a pilot made in 1965 with Lee Tracy and Aldo Ray.  I've also seen writeups that state Jonathan Harris was in this pilot.

 

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9 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

I learned earlier this year that Steptoe & Son was attempted in the US before Sanford & Son.  There was a pilot made in 1965 with Lee Tracy and Aldo Ray.  I've also seen writeups that state Jonathan Harris was in this pilot.

 

I believe the wave of remakes began in 1971 when the British sitcom "Till Death Do Us Part" (starring Warren Mitchell) became "All in the Family" (with Carroll O'Connor) in the States. It's interesting to know that "Steptoe" could have been remade even earlier.

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23 minutes ago, jakeem said:

I believe the wave of remakes began in 1971 when the British sitcom "Till Death Do Us Part" (starring Warren Mitchell) became "All in the Family" (with Carroll O'Connor) in the States. It's interesting to know that "Steptoe" could have been remade even earlier.

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Yes it did.  There was also the news satire show That Was The Week That Was, hosted by David Frost, which ran on NBC from 1963 to 1965, based on the same program from the BBC, also hosted by Frost.  Probably just a bit too ahead of its time for the US.  But the success of AITF certainly opened up the floodgates in the 1970s.

Fawlty Towers had 3 US attempts, none successful: Chateau Snavely, Amanda's, and Payne.  Snavely was a pilot with Harvey Korman and Betty White that was never optioned.  The other two had very short runs.

 

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The Beatles were keen on working with the American-born director Richard Lester because he had collaborated with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, who starred on Britain's "The Goon Show" radio series.

Lester co-directed the comedians in "The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film," a 1959 movie short. Sellers also directed the film.

The cast included Rossington, Leo McKern (who would play the fanatic cult leader in The Beatles' second film, "Help!") and Bruce Lacey (who appeared as George Harrison's gardener in "Help!").

Lester, Richard – Senses of Cinema

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The British screenwriter and playwright Alun Owen (1925-1994), who was from Liverpool, earned praise for how well The Beatles were portrayed in "A Hard Day's Night." He wrote his Oscar-nominated original screenplay after spending time with the band members in Dublin in order to get a feel for them.

"Alun picked up lots of little things about us," Sir Paul McCartney once said. "Little jokes, the sarcasm, the humor, John’s wit, Ringo’s laconic manner, each of our different ways. The film manages to capture our characters quite well, because Alun was careful to try only to put words into our mouths that he might have heard us speak."
 
As I Watch A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, ... - General Discussions - TCM Message  Boards

 

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"A Hard Day's Night" was the first production in which the Welsh actor Victor Spinetti (1929-2012) -- who played the exasperated  TV variety show director -- co-starred with The Beatles. He reunited with them and Lester for the 1965 romp "Help!" -- in which he played a mad scientist who coveted Ringo Starr's ring. In 1967, he appeared in the Fab Four's film "Magical Mystery Tour," which aired on the BBC the day after Christmas.

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