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  • May 15, 2015

    Richard Pena in conversation with filmmaker Chioke Nassor

    Reel 13 host Richard Pena and filmmaker Chioke Nassor talk about “How to Follow Strangers,” a film about a young man who fakes his own disappearance, inadvertently sparking the interest of a woman who shares his daily commute.

  • April 29, 2015

    Reel 13 Classic “I Want to Live!” Screenwriter Don Mankiewicz dies at 93

    Don Mankiewicz and Glenn Ford

    Screenwriter Don Mankiewicz, a member of one of Hollywood’s most famous families and scribe of the Reel 13 Classic “I Want to Live!,” died at his home in Monrovia, California at 93.

    He was the son of Herman Mankiewicz, who shared a best-original-screenplay Oscar with Orson Welles in 1942 for “Citizen Kane,” and the nephew of Joseph Mankiewicz, who won Oscars for writing and Directing “All About Eve.”

    According to The New York Times, Don Mankiewicz wrote his first published story in less than two hours, an experience he recalled in a 2007 oral history interview with Stephen W. Bowie, a television historian. The story was about an experience in a prisoner-of-war camp and was bought by The New Yorker for $175.

    “So I said, ‘$175? Jesus Christ!’ ” he remembered. “I’d already noticed that my father seemed to live reasonably well, seemed to have money, didn’t fall down exhausted from doing any heavy lifting. So I decided that’s what I would do.”

    See the Times’ full obituary here.

  • April 17, 2015

    Richard Pena discusses GONE WITH THE WIND with Molly Haskell

    Reel 13 host Richard Pena sat down with celebrated film critic and author Molly Haskell at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center to discuss GONE WITH THE WIND (1939). Pena considers Haskell’s book on the film, Frankly My Dear, a “must-read!”

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    Part 3:

  • November 17, 2013

    Best Movies by Farr: Swing Time

    by John Farr

    John Farr discusses the best Astaire-Rogers movie, directed by George Stevens.

    The Americanization of Emily (1964)

    What It’s About:
    John “Lucky” Garnett (Fred Astaire) isn’t so lucky in matters of love. He’s late to his own wedding, and his perturbed would-be father-in-law won’t give him a return engagement until Lucky raises a large sum of money to properly support his daughter. So off the dancer/performer goes with his loyal pal “Pop” (Victor Moore) to make his fortune in New York. There, he quickly meets dance instructor Penny Carroll (Ginger Rogers), and soon all thoughts of his fiancee evaporate. Lucky and Penny (get it?) are soon a couple on and off the dance floor, but before they can twirl themselves away to wedded bliss, there remain some romantic strings to untangle.

    Why I Love It:
    George Stevens’s classic Astaire-Rogers entry too often takes a back seat to the prior year’s “Top Hat”, and shouldn’t, as it’s every bit as good. The dancing sequences are unmatched in the series, particularly the “Bojangles of Harlem” number, and the gossamer Kern-Fields score includes the immortal “The Way You Look Tonight”, and the overlooked “Never Gonna Dance”, among others. Victor Moore provides appealing comic relief, along with “Top Hat” veterans Eric Blore and Helen Broderick. One of the screen’s tip-top musicals.

    Visit Best Movies by Farr for more great DVD recommendations.

  • October 27, 2013

    Best Movies by Farr: The Americanization of Emily

    by John Farr

    John Farr discusses Julie Andrews’ war film, directed by Arthur Hiller.

    The Americanization of Emily (1964)

    What It’s About:
    Officer Charlie Madison (James Garner) has a dream job in World War II catering to the luxurious needs of a two-star admiral (Melvyn Douglas). He advocates for cowardice and survival, but when he meets Emily Barham (Julie Andrews), a principled English war widow, she challenges his self-serving outlook. The two still fall helplessly in love, but will the war keep them together or split them up?

    Why I Love It:
    Written by the gifted Paddy Chayefsky, this is one of the sharper anti-war satires out there. Both leads are solid, with Andrews particularly impressive in her first non-singing role. Veterans Douglas and James Coburn (as Charlie’s womanizing fellow officer) almost steal the movie, however. Fall in love with “Emily”, a touching and engrossing film with something to say.

    Visit Best Movies by Farr for more great DVD recommendations.

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