Monday, December 31, 2007

The Most Popular Classic Film Ever Made

Casablanca has to be the most popular Classic film ever made, It is set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War 11. An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen consequences.

The film was directed by Michael Curtiz [an Hungarian Jewish emigre] and stars Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund. It focuses on Rick's conflict between,love and virtue: he must choose between his love for Ilsa and doing the right thing, helping her and her Resistance leader husband escape from Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.

The score was written by Max Steiner, who was best known for the musical score for Gone with the Wind.

World War II has engulfed Europe, reaching all the way to Rick Blaine’s Cafe Americain in French-held Morocco.This upscale nightclub and gambling den attracts a mixed clientele of Vichy French and Nazi officials, refugees and thieves. The Nazis have overrun France and are heading into its unoccupied possessions in Africa – and all kinds of people are trying to escape them by way of Casablanca. The plot revolves around “letters of transit” [Ugarte (Peter Lorre), a petty criminal, arrives in Rick's club with the letters of transit he obtained by killing two Germancouriers.} that will provide safe passage by air to Lisbon, and then to America, a rare and precious commodity indeed. The papers allow the bearer to travel freely around German controlled Europe.

Ugarte plans to make his fortune by selling them to the highest bidder, who is due to arrive at the club later that night. However, before the exchange can take place, Ugarte is arrested by the local police under the command of Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains), a corrupt Vichy official who accommodates the Nazis. Unbeknown to Renault and the Nazis, Ugarte had left the letters with Rick for safekeeping. because "...somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust."

In the meantime Blaines ex lover, Ilsa Luind[Inrdid Bergman] arrives with her husband VictorLaszio [Paul Henreid] to purchase the letters. When Ilsa first met and fell in love with Rick in Paris, she believed her husband had been killed in a concentration camp. Upon discovering that he had in fact escaped, she left Rick abruptly without explanation and returned to Laszlo. After the club closes, Ilsa returns to try to explain, but Rick is drunk and refuses to listen.

The next night Laszlo speaks with him privately, but Rick refuses to part with the letters, telling Laszlo to ask his wife for the reason. They are then interrupted when a group of Nazi officers, led by Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt), begins to sing "Die Wacht am Rhein", a German patriotic song. Infuriated, Laszlo orders the house band to play "La Marseillaise". When the band leader looks to Rick for guidance, he nods his head. Laszlo starts singing, alone at first, then long suppressed patriotic fervor grips the crowd and everyone joins in, drowning out the Germans. In retaliation, Strasser orders Renault to close the club.

Laszlo is arrested on a petty charge. Rick convinces Renault to release him, promising to set him up for a much more serious crime: possession of the letters. Rick then double crosses Renault, forcing him at gunpoint to assist in the escape. Then Rick makes Ilsa board the plane with her husband. Major Strasser drives up but he is shot by Rick. Renault saves Rick's life by telling them to "round up the usual suspects." He then recommends that he and Rick leave Casablanca. They disappear into the fog with one of the most memorable exit lines in movie history:"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

Casablanca is now ranked among the greatest cinematic achievements of all time.I have never seen a film where the chemistry works so well among all of the actors. This is definitely the most popular classic film ever made.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Review Of The Movie National Treasure

National Treasure is a 2004 movie from Walt Disney Pictures written by Jim Kouf, Cormac Wibberley and Marianne Wibberley, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer,directed by Jon Turteltaub

Staring Nicolas Cage [Ben Gates],along with Diane Kruger [Dr. Abigail Chase],Justin Bartha[Riley Poole],Sean Bean [Ian Hokwe],Jon Voight [Patrick Gates],Harvey Keitel [Peter Sadusky]and Christopher Plummer [John Adams Gates]

It's a story about a treasure hunter is in hot pursuit of a mythical treasure that has been passed down for centuries, while his employer turned enemy is onto the same path that he's on.It is an adventure movie set in the USA that involves stealing the Declaration of Independence, which leads to a trail of clues and a back-story intertwined with the Knights Templar and the Free Masons.[Which is a fraternal organization that arose from obscure origins (theorized to be anywhere from the time of the building of King Solomon's Temple to the mid-1600s). Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, and has millions of members]

The story centers around Ben Gates, whose family believes in the legend of a treasure that consists of artifacts and gold that was hidden by the founding fathers and all but forgotten to all but a few.The first clue that the treasure does exit is when Gates and Riley Poole with the financial help of Ian Hokwe find the wreckage of a colonial ship and find an interesting clue about the whereabouts of the treasure. Ben figures out that the next clue is actually on the back of the Declaration Of Independence and tells Hokwe to forget about it, but Hokwe has other plans and tries to kill Gates and Poole, but fails.

Gates and Poole attempt to warn the F.B.I. and Homeland Security, but no one takes him seriously because of the vast security that surrounds that document.He then decides to visit the National Archives and tries to convince Doctor Abigail Chase about the perceived threat and gets no where again, so he decides to steal the Declaration Of Independence himself so that he can protect it."Somtimes you have to do the wrong thing to make things right", It just so happens that the same night that Gates decides to steal the document, Hokwe is also there trying to do the same thing.

From then on it is a game of cat and mouse between Gates,Dr. Chase,Patrick Chase,Poole,the F.B.I. and Howke. Watching this film is almost like playing a game of charades. Every time another clue is discovered, someone has to decipher it before moving on to the next clue, while at the same time, looking over each other shoulders, until the treasure is finally found and returned. It is a very spell binding movie that will not only keep you entertained, but it will also keep you guessing. National Treasure is a film that is definately worth watching.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Great Epic Car Chase Film

Going back over 35 years ago I remember watching two greatcar chases at the movies in less than a years time. The first one was Steve McQueen in Bullitt and the second one was from one of my favorite actors--Gene Hackman, staring in the French Connection.
This entertaining film was directed by William Friedkin and it was actually shot on the streets of New York. The film was adapted and fictionalized by Ernest Tidyman from the non-fiction book by Robin Moore. The French Connection tells the story of two New York City policemen who are trying to intercept a heroin shipment coming in from France. It is based on the actual, infamous "French Connection" trafficking scheme. It stars Gene Hackman,[Popeye Doyle],Roy Scheider [as his partner "Cloudy" Russo], and Fernando Rey. It also features Eddie Egan and Sonny "Cloudy" Grosso, the real-life police detectives on whom Hackman's and Scheider's characters were based.
The film revolves around the smuggling of narcotics between Marseilles, France and New York City. The film opens in Marseilles with a policeman staking out Alain Charnier, a French criminal who ostensibly works as a former stevedore-turned-shipping executive but is in fact involved in smuggling heroin from France to the United States. The French policeman is eventually assassinated by Charnier's henchman, Pierre Nicoli.
While Doyle and Russo are in a nightclub one night, Doyle becomes interested in two people and decides to trail the couple after they leave the club.Although the suspect, Sal Bocas,only runs a modest nightstand/dinner, Doyle observes that the suspect and his wife lead an ectravagent lifestyle and he decides that they have to involved in some sort of criminal activity.After establishing a connection between Bocas and a man named Weinstock,who has extensive connections with the narcotics underdworld, Doyle and Russo then roust an informent in another bar and he questions him about the appartent shortage of herion on the streets. Doyle finds out about an apparent shipement of heroin and convinces his boss to agree to a wiretap on Bocas's phones and then, by using several ploys, tries and obtains more information about their suspects.
This is where the action starts to pick up when Doyle starts to tail Charnier, who has tricked his friend Henri Devereaux into importing an automobile that is concealing drugs. But both detectives start having trouble with their own boss and also with a federal agent named Mulderig. After a failed attempt on Doyle's life by Charnier henchmen Nicoli, [this is where there is an epic car and train chase]Doyle eventually kills Nicoli after he catches up to him. He finds Devereaux's and has it impounded where after a few hours, they find drugs in the rocker panels. They put the car back together and return it to Devereaus. After following the car to a factory where the drug deal is going down, the police kill Boca in a shootout and Doyle shoots and kills Federal agent Mulderig by mistake.
It was the first R-rated movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture and in 2005 the film was added to the list of films preserved in the United States National Film Registry. And it also containes one of the greatest car chase sequences in movie history. The chase involves Popeye securing a citizen's car (a 1971 Pontiac LeMans) and then obsessively chasing the out-of-control elevated train, on which a hitman is trying to escape. This car chase alone is reason enough to view this film more than once.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Greatest Movie Ever Made

Citizen Kane is a 1941 mystery/drama film. Released by RKO Pictures, it was the first feature film directed by Orson Welles. In 1997 the American Film Institute placed it at number one in its list of the 100 greatest U.S. movies of all time.

The film, budgeted at $800,000, received unanimous critical praise even at the time of its release, although it was not a commercial success until it was re-released after World War II, found well deserved recognition in Europe, and then played on television.

Orson Welles deserves all the credit that he receives from this movie. He was the leading character, producer and director. The major theme of this movie is one of power and wealth. How one man uses his position in life to obtain favors for his friends and family and advance his own political aspirations to become Governor.But in the end dies a lonely old man unable to replacet he emotional losses he had endured in his life.

The film sparked controversy before it premiered in New York City on May 1, 1941, because it appeared to fictionalize and caricatures certain events and individuals in the life of William Randolph Hearst, a powerful newspaper magnate and publisher. There were numerious efforts to stop this film by FBIinvestigations and a number of newspaper smears.The film was accused of drawing remarkable, unflattering, and uncomplimentary likeness's to real life.

This movie was loosely based on the life of William Randolph Hearst. The movie begins with the death of Charles Foster Kane, who was the editor of the New York Journal. He says the name rosebud and drops a crystal ball, which falls to the ground and shatters. News clips are shown about the different occurrences in Kane's life depicting how Kane acquired his fortune. Throughout the whole movie reporters are trying to figure out what the word rosebud meant and why it was the last word he said before he died. The reporters find people who knew Kane throughout his life trying to get information from them that would put some sense to Kane saying rosebud as his last word. Many of the stories told by the people interviewed show the audience a lot about his life through flashbacks.

I think everyone should see this movie at least once. In my opinion it is one of the greatest American movies of all time. This is one of the few films that I have seen more than twice.

Monday, December 17, 2007

One Of The Best Gangster Films Ever Made

Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy.If there was one word that I could use to describe Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" it'd be priceless.And of all the "gangster" movies that I have reviewed I would say that "Goodfellas" is one of the best gangster films ever made.

Directed by Martin Scorsese and written by wiseguy Nicholas Pileggi,it is the the true story of mob informer Henry was released in the U.S. on September19TH, 1990. The film stars Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, Robert De Niro as Jimmy Conway (based on Jimmy Burke), Joe Pesci,as the sociopath Tommy DeVito (based on Tommy DeSimone), Lorraine Bracco as Hill's wife (Karen Hill), and Paul Sorvino as Paulie Cicero (based on Paul Vario).

The blue-collar side of New York's Italian mafia is explored in this crime biopic of wiseguy Henry Hill. As he makes his way from strapping young petty criminal, to big-time thief, to middle-aged cocaine addict and dealer, the film explores in detail the rules and traditions of organized crime.
Although Henry had an Italian mother, because his father was Irish, he could never be made or inducted into the mob, desperate as he was for the opportunity. He grew up in the Brooklyn area dominated by Paul Vario’s enterprises, and eventually became a kind of second son to Vario. Through him, he came into contact with Burke, who also more or less adopted him, teaching him and showing him the finer points of criminal life. Hill repaid their generosity and affection by helping to send them both to jail.This film is based on a true story.

[Based on available figures,in the first ten months of 1967, there were forty-five major robberies at the airport of goods and cargo valued at $2.2 million and $2.5 million in nonnegotiable stocks were stolen within the perimeter. There is no recorded figure for the thefts that occurred outside the airport, which originated from inside the complex.]

Actually Henry comes off as a very likable person in this film. Maybe it has something to do with the fascination that Hollywood has created about gangsters, or the fact that the average person seems to enjoy the basic theme of this movie. But this is not your ordinary ganster movie. I think that a good script and directing, along with the great performances by these actors, make this one of the best gangster films ever made.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Clear And Present Danger--A Review

In one of his best performances onscreen he plays the part of CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel. It was a 1994 film directed by Phillip Noyce, based on the book of the same name by Tom Clancy and directed by Phillip Noyce.

President Bennett [Donald Moffat] wants to avenge the death of one of his friends.The murdered man, and his family,were found by the Coast Guard. He finds out that his friend had skimmed over $600 million dollars from the Cali Cartel. The President tells James Cutter[Harris Yulin], his National Security Adviser, that the Colombian drug cartels represent a clear and present danger to the U.S., indirectly giving Cutter unofficial permission to take down the men responsible for his friend's death.

Jack Ryan is appointed Deputy Director of Intelligence when his friend Admiral James Greer (James Earl Jones) is diagnosed with an aggressive case of pancreatic cancer, which eventually proves fatal. He goes before congress to ask for an increase in funding to support the war on drugs operations going on in Columbia. He gives his word that no U.S. troops would be used in this operation.

But it soon becomes clear that Ryan is kept out of the loop by Cutter who turns to CIA Deputy Director of Operations Robert Ritter [Henery Czerny], who secures a document giving him permission to do what he sees fit to take down the cartel.

Ritter then assembles a black-ops team with the help of John Clark (Willem Dafoe), a secret field operative. John and his team travel to Colombia and begin destroy-ing the various Cartel gangs, their equipment and hidden drug lab facilities.

The plot then thickins from here. The head of the F.B.I. is sent to Columbia and gets killed, along with most of his entourage. Ryan is the only one to escape the ambush.

From the aerial bombing of a villa where all of the Cartel's leaders are supposed to meet to discuss matters, to the point that the back-ops team are betrayed by the people who sent them there,to the final scene where Ryan angrily confronts the President Of The United States, who was indirectly responsible for all the carnage.The movie ends with Ryan testifying about everything that happened to Congress.

This movie seems so realistic with all of denials and back door deals, you might expect to actually see this in the headlines in your morning newspaper. The culmination of the right book,excellent directing and superb acting, made this movie one of the best liked movies of the nineties.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Legendary Marilyn Monroe

There is and old saying that states: Imitation is the highest form of flattery. If this is true then Marilyn Monroe has to be the most remembered women in the history of films. Even today, after more than 45 years after her untimely death,her legendary likeness still appears on T.V.,in magazines and books.

I remember ,even back then, how women[and maybe a few men] would dress like her, walk like her, and even try and sound like her. They would constitutionally talk about her. They would try and outdo each other when the least bit of gossip would appear in one of those supermarket tabloids. I think that to really know her one must know the history of this unique individual. Her apparent vulnerability and innocence, in combination with an innate sensuality, has endeared her to the global consciousness.

She was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California, to Gladys Baker. As the identity of her father is undetermined, she was later baptized Norma Jeane Baker. Gladys had been a film cutter at RKO studios, but psychological problems prevented her from keeping the job and she was eventually committed to a mental institution.

On June 19, 1942 she wed her 21-year-old neighbor Jimmy Dougherty, whom she had been dating for six months. "She was a sweet, generous and religious girl," Jimmy said. After he shipped out to the merchant marines, Marilyn got a job on an assembly line and caught the eye of photographer David Conover. After only 2 years she was doing steady modeling jobs and also taking drama classes.

She started making a few films and in 1947 she appeared with Betty Davis in "All About Eve" but it was her performance in " Niagara' that delivered her to stardom. And who could ever forget "Gentlemen Perfer Blonds" Photoplay magazine voted Marilyn the Best New Actress of 1953, and at 27 years old she was undeniably the best-loved blonde bombshell in Hollywood. On January 14, 1954, Marilyn married baseball superstar Joe DiMaggio. It lasted only 9 months. Marilyn received further recognition for 1959's Some Like It Hot, winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy.

On June 29, 1956, Marilyn wed playwright Arthur Miller.Arthur wrote the part of Roslyn Taber in 1961's The Misfits especially for Marilyn. Unfortunately the marriage ended on Jan. 20th, 1961 The misfits was to be Marilyn's last completed film.

At the 1962 Golden Globes, Marilyn was named female World Film Favorite And if you were alive back then, you would surely remember her singing happy birthday to President John F. Kennedy. But sadly on the morning of August 5, 1962 the 36 year old Marilyn died in her sleep at her home in Brentwood California.

Marilyn's popularity has extended beyond star status to icon. Today, the name "Marilyn Monroe" is synonymous with beauty,and sensuality. The legendaryMarilyn Monroe will be remembered long after mostof us are no longer here.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Hunt For Red October Fact or Fiction?

The is a fictitious Typhoon class submarine in the Tom Clancy novel The Hunt for Red October and the movie which followed.

When I first saw this film, written by Tom Clancy,I thought that an awful lot of research had gone into the making of this movie, but I often wondered where someone would come up with such a plot.Was this filam based on fact, or fiction in the writers mind. And if it was based on fact, where did Clancy get his information from.

The main theme of the story partially centers around the dual capabilities of this submarine. As a submarine of the Typhoon class, it carries many ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads. With a stealthy propulsion unit, it can no longer be detected by NATO naval vessels. As described in both the book and the film, these capabilities combine to create a horrific weapon, whereby the submarine could easily surface near a city, like New York,N.Y. fire its missiles, and destroy key targets before any government or miltary leaders could order a counterattack. One interpretation, as offered in the film and book, is that this submarine's existence is for one puropse: not as a deterrant to an Amerian attack on the Soviert Union, but solely as a weapon of first strike. The U.S.Government know that they have only two options forthis type of submarine. Either they capture it or they destroy it.

Marko Ramius,[Sean Connery] a Lithuanian who has risen to high levels of trust in the Soviet Navy, intends to defect to the United States with his officers and the experimental nuclear submarine Red October, a Typhoon class submarine equipped with a revolutionary stealth propulsion system.
Jack Ryan,[Alex Baldwin] a naval historian turned CIA analyst, deduces Ramius' plans. The U.S. high command agrees warily, while also planning for contingencies in case the Soviet Fleet has other intentions than their stated cover. As tensions rise between the U.S. and Soviet fleets, and the crew of a U.S. attack submarine stumble across the secret to detecting the Red October,

This film was one of the best movies of the 90's. It launched Clancy's successful career as a novelist and the suepurb acting abilities of a number of well known stares.

And yes this novel and movie were based on true facts concerning the defection of two Soviet navel officers.[1]In 1961, Soviet Navy submarine captain Jonas Pleškys sailed his vessel from Klaipėda to Gotland in Sweden.The Soviet authorities sentenced him in his absence to death by firing squad, but the CIA hid him, first in Guatemala and later in the United States.[2]On November 8, 1975, the Soviet Navy frigate Storozhevoy mutinied. At the time, the Western powers believed it was an attempt to defect from Latvia to the Swedish island of Gotland. The mutiny was led by the ship's Political Officer, Captain Valery Sablin. The mutiny was unsuccessful, and Sablin was captured, court-martialed, and executed.
So there you have it. So the next time you go view a "spy thriller"type of movie, you should always ask yourself! Fact Or Fiction?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Place In The Sun

A Place In The Sun was one of the 50's most intriguing films. The release date was October 11, 1951. I celebrated my third birthday party on that exact date, but it wasn't until years later that I actually saw that film. As I was growing older, I developed a big crush, like most of my friends, on Elizabeth Taylor.

The movie depicts an up and coming George Eastman [played by Montgomery Cliff] being thrust into the blue collar life of a rich uncle's family business, and falling in love with another women, despite the fact that his own [secret] girlfriend was now pregnant.

Directed by George Stevens, who did a brilliant job,despite the constraints that were imposed on him by Paramount. This film classic was actually a remake of a film that was made 20 years earlier that was a total bomb. The studio had lost a huge amount of money on the earlier version, so the monetary restraints were put in place before they even started shooting.

A very young Elizabeth Taylor, who plays Angela Vickers,is paired with Montgomery Cliff in this classic story of doomed love.It was Miss Taylor's best work to date and her first dramatic role. Her raw natural beauty lights up the screen.Shelly Winters [who plays Alice Tripp] gives a convincingperformance of the poor homely girl who happens to fall in love with George Eastman.Upon learning that she is pregnant, she fanatasies about the life that she and George will share together but after finding out about George's real love interest, she threatens him with exposure, unless he agrees to marry her.

His mind is full of crazy thoughts about what he should do. He leaves a dinner party to meet Alice and ends up in a boat on moon lake with her. As she starts to describe the dreary, uninteresting life that both of them will live, George's mind is filled only with thoughts of the beautiful Taylor. He changes his mind about his plans of droning Alice and starts back to shore. But in one ironic twist of fate,Alice moves to be closer to George and causes the boat to capsize, falls into the lake and drowns anyway.

He is captured and prosecuted by an ambitious district attorney [played by Raymond Burr].

This is definitely one of the best classic movies that ever came out of Hollywood.It won 6 Oscars, another 7 wins and 8 nominations. This is a classic example of tragic romanticism.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bullitt--The Greatest Car Chase Scene In The History Of Film Making

This is by far the best car chase that I have ever seen. I was home on leave from the Army and a few of my friends suggested that we go see this new movie "Bullitt" staring Steve McQueen. I always thought of him as action type character and I was not disappointed.

Steve stars as Frank Bullitt, a San Francisco police officer who is assigned to guard a Mafia informant.The informant, Johnny Ross,works for the Chicago mobster Peter Ross, his brother. The mob is after Johnny Ross because he siphoned off $2 million of their money.In April 1968 Johnny Ross escapes two attempts on his life and flees to San Francisco, where he is placed in protective custody by politician Walter Chalmers, who hopes to use Ross to further his own national aspirations.

Bullitt's friend is shot and the witness is left at death's door by two hit men who seem to know exactly where the the witness was hiding. Bullitt begins a search for both the killer and the leak, but he must keep the witness alive long enough to make sure the killers return.

But the politician,Chalmars, played by Robert Vaughn,has no interest in finding out who the cop killers were. His only interest in in his own political ambitions and this is where he starts to but heads with Bullitt.
Bullitt actually kidnaps his witness to protect his life.

Bullitt gets a break when the gunman appears at the hospital to finish off Ross, and Bullitt gets a good look at him; now Bullitt must smoke out the gunman and his backup man before Chalmers carries out his threat, leading to a high-speed pursuit.

After being dropped off at his own car - a Ford Mustang - Frank notices that a black Dodge Charger has been following him around the city. He drives about some of the hilly side streets and eludes his pursuers enough to become the pursuer himself. This is where the chase goes into high gear.The two mob assassins, realizing they've been outmaneuvered, make a break and a mad high-speed pursuit ensues through the hills of the city and eventually spilling onto a two-lane freeway.

The shotgun man finally opens fire on Frank but Frank rams his Mustang into the Charger as they approach a gas station/repair shop; the Charger flies off the road, plows through the gas station, and explodes as pumps are sheared off, killing both gunmen.

I was sitting in the front row of the local theater watching this whole chase scene unfold and I have to admit that it felt like my heart was up in my throat. It actually felt like you were in the Mustang driven by Bullitt, as he was chasing the would be assassins.The squealing of the tires, the smoke emanating from the rear of the cars and those unforgiving hills of San Francisco, made this the greatest car chase scene in the history of film making.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Best Rated Band In The World In 1978

The Bee Gees The Bee Gees are three brothers: Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb; three outstanding songwriters, singers, producers and musicians.They have been rated as one of the best musical acts of all time.They were best rated band in the world in 1978.

They were born on the Isle of Man to English parents, lived in Manchester, England and moved to Brisbane, Australia during their childhood years, where they began their musical careers. Their worldwide success came when they returned to England and signed with producer Robert Stigwood.
It has been estimated that the Bee Gees' record sales total more than 220 million, easily making them part of the list of best-selling music artists.

In 1958 The entire family moved to Australia, settling in the Brisbane area.1960, the Brothers were given their own half-hour weekly television show in Brisbane when Barry was still only 13, and the twins were 10!
In 1963, they signed their first recording contract with Festival ]Records in Australia. They released their first Bee Gees written single, "Three Kisses of Love", and wrote songs for other artists the Bee Gees had been voted the top songwriting team in Australia in both 1965 and 1966. Yes, they had been named Australia's best group in 1966. In January, 1967, the Gibb family journeyed back to Great Britain. While on this journey, the Bee Gees finally got their first #1 in Australia with "Spicks and Specks".

By 1969, after numerous hits, the stress of working together and other personal matters, the group split up. It would take 15 months for the group to come back together again.

Two Years On", the next Bee Gees album. That album contained "Lonely Days", which became the Brothers first #1 single in the US, and their first gold US single.The 1972 album "To Whom It May Concern" produced the single "Run To Me", another huge hit.

By 1975 The Brothers Gibb were back on top, commercially and creatively, as "Main Course" went gold and platinum, both "Nights on Broadway" and "Jive Talkin'" shot to #1, and "Jive Talkin'" was a gold single. 1976's "Children of the World" went gold and platinum, both "You Should Be Dancing" and "Love So Right" were gold singles, and "You Should Be Dancing" went to #1 as well.

Saturday Night Fever" gained the music which propelled it into the stratosphere. The soundtrack to "SNF" became the best-selling album ever (a title it held until Michael Jackson's "Thriller" took over), and it remains the best-selling soundtrack album to this day.

They keep on performing hit after hit and they were named the best rated band in 1978.On March 10, 1988, younger brother Andy died at age 30 from myocardial, an inflammation of the heart muscle due to a recent viral infection. Maurice, who had been the musical director of the Bee Gees during their final years as a group, died suddenly on January 12, 2003, from a strangulated intestine.They then decided to retire the groups name.
This article, by no means,has covered all of the great hits that this family had over the more than 4 decades that they were performing. The Bee Gees,in my opinion, were one of the greatest performing families of all times.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Tribute To Simon And Garfunkel

The most successful folk-rock duo of the 1960s, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel crafted a series of memorable hit albums and singles featuring their choirboy harmonies, ringing acoustic and electric guitars, and Simon's acute, finely wrought songwriting.

They met in elementary school in 1953, when they both appeared in the school play Alice in Wonderland.They formed the group Tom and Jerry in 1957, and had their first taste of success with the minor hit "Hey Schoolgirl." The duo split up, and Simon continued to struggle to make it in the music business as a songwriter and occasional performer, sometimes using the names of Jerry Landis or Tico & the Triumphs.

When they re-teamed, it was as a folk duo, though Simon's pop roots would serve the act well in their material's synthesis of folk and pop influences. Signing to Columbia, they recorded an initially unsuccessful acoustic debut (as Simon and Garfunkel, not Tom and Jerry) in 1964, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. They again went their separate ways, Simon moving to England, where he played the folk circuit and recorded an obscure solo album.

Then with the help of Tom Wilson they reunited and made a serious go at a recording career, Simon returning from the U.K. to the U.S. In 1966 and 1967 they were regular visitors to the pop charts with some of the best folk-rock of the era, including "Homeward Bound," "I Am a Rock," and "A Hazy Shade of Winter."

Their final studio album, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, was an enormous hit, topping the charts for ten weeks, and containing four hit singles (the title track, "The Boxer," "Cecilia," and "El Condor Pasa").A 1981 concert in New York's Central Park attracted half a million fans, and was commemorated with a live album; they also toured in the early '80s, but a planned studio session was canceled.

Simon and Garfunkel were among the most popular recording artists of the 1960s, and are best known for their songs "The Sound of "Mrs. Robinson," "Bridge over Troubled Water" and "The Boxer." They have received several Grammys and are inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2007). In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Simon and Garfunkel #40 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"The Secret" Possibly The Most Important Movie Ever Made

The movie "The Secret" has been making its rounds, a few months ago Oprah Winfrey picked it up and did a movie review secret show, with promises for another one in the near future.

Essentially The Secret is all about "manifesting" your desires. Continually thinking about what you want in life, centering all your focus around your goals and with enough continual manifesting, these things then come into your life.

The first time that I viewed this movie, I was blown away. My own belief system was interfering in what I just saw. I have read a number of books on self-improvement and I have even ordered a variety of videos by some well known people, but this movie will put you in an instant feeling of gratitude and hope. I believe that the real secret is sustaining the "rush" you receive after viewing this movie.

THE SECRET website states that producer Rhonda Byrne, in 2004, discovered The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles. It was given to Rhonda in a moment of crisis by her daughter. This book from 1910 opened her eyes to a new way of living and propelled her on a new-found mission to bring the principles of the Universe to the masses - by creating the film THE SECRET!

The Teachers featured in The Secret - Bob Proctor and Jack Canfield have been studying, applying and teaching this material for decades. They earn millions of dollars every year. But that's not what makes this so powerful... many people earn millions of dollars but they are not able to articulate how they are doing it. Therefore, they are not able to share the cause of their good fortune with others, not even with members of their own family.

This is where Proctor and Canfield have distinguished themselves... they Understand... they Apply... and they are Masters at Transferring the Science of Getting Rich to others. They are two of the most powerful coaches in the world today.

Millions of people are already using the Law of Attraction to make their lives successful. It is no longer a secret, but a household term that is rightfully being given the attention it deserves.

You too can learn how to use the "Law of Attraction" to create whatever you want in life - be it money, love or happiness - and generate abundance.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lawrence of Arabia A Great Epic Film

I went to see this film when it first came out.I was 13 years old at the time and I was awe struck, to say the least. I knew then and there that even if I never ended up acting, I could still write about it someday!

This was a major award-winning film that received ten Academy Award nominations and seven Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Picture, Best Color Cinematography (Freddie Young), Best Color Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Sound (John Cox), Best Music Score (Maurice Jarre), and Best Film Editing (Anne V. Coates). Its nominations for Best Actor (Peter O'Toole, with his first of seven unsuccessful Oscar nominations) and directed by David Lean

The opening scene of the film is both a prologue and an epilogue, depicting Lieutenant T. E. Lawrence's (Peter O'Toole) death in mid-May of 1935. After the credits, Lawrence races his motorcycle along an English country road. His daredevil face is alternately illuminated and darkened - foretelling his own destiny

At age 29, young Lawrence began his career in the British headquarters in Cairo during World War I (January 1917), working at a lowly desk job. Bored out of his mind, he desperately wants to go where the action is. He ends up in Arabia.

Once in the desert, he befriends Sherif Ali Ben El Kharish (Omar Sharif, making one of the most spectacular entrances in movie history) and draws up plans to aid the Arabs in their rebellion against the Turks.His first orders is to investigate the progress of the Arab revolt against Constantinople and to appraise the strength of the Arab tribes for the British political bureau. The British desperately want to keep the Turks from gaining control of the Suez Canal.

After successfully completing his mission, Lawrence becomes an unwitting pawn of the Allies, as represented by Gen. Allenby (Jack Hawkins) and Dryden (Claude Rains), who decide to keep using Lawrence to secure Arab cooperation against the Imperial Powers. While on a spying mission to Deraa, Lawrence is captured and tortured by a sadistic Turkish Bey (Jose Ferrer). In the heat of the next battle, the blue-eyed Lawrence screams "No prisoners!" and fights more ruthlessly than ever.

The movie, filmed mostly in Spain and Jordan, ended up costing a then staggering 13 million and won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.The nearly four-hour long film featured a star-studded cast, with a virtually unknown, blue-eyed Irish Shakespearean stage actor, Peter O'Toole in his first starring role.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Blazing Saddles One Of The Funniest Movies Of All Time.

The laughter in the room when Brooks and Pryor combined their heads to create this one. A Jew making fun of Jews, a Black making fun of Blacks, two Western Americans making fun of the West, movie makers making fun of the movies. The childish fart-level humor at the campfire and utter screwball gags keep you rolling of the floor. This movie doesn't pretend to be anything more than screwball humor, but it's one of the funniest movies of all times!

This one of a kind classic funny movie was released on 7 Feb. 1974. Directed by Mel Brooks who also appeared in this movies playing dual parts as the incompentent and horny Governor and in one scene, an Indian chief. Harvey Korman as Hedly Lamarr comes in with a strong performance, but the main characters are played by Cleavon Little [Bart] and Gene Wilder [Jim--the Waco Kid]

The main plot of this movie is the destruction of a small western town for the enrichment of a corrupt political boss. Hedly Lamarr covinces the Governor to appoint a "black" sheriff to bring law and order to this town.

Hoping that the towns people will kill the new sheriff, the plot backfires on Larmarr and the [black] sheriff becomes his most formidable adversary.
The twists and turns that this film takes over the entire 93 minutes are shown as some of the most hilarious scenes ever put on the silver screen.

How anyone could even think of turning one scene [farting cowboys]into a laughable episode is pure brilliance.

This film will always be remembered as one of the funniest comedy movies ever made.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Eric Clapton A Living Legend

When you think about music, what do you think of first? Which aspects of music are important, which are essential, and which ones can you take or leave? You be the judge.

Sometimes the most important aspects of a subject are not immediately obvious. Keep reading to get the complete picture.

Eric Clapton was born March 30th, 1945 in Ripley England, U.K.
He was the illegitimate son of Patricia Molly Clapton and Edward Fryer, a Canadian soldier stationed in England. Patricia left Eric in the custody of his grandparents, Rose and Jack Clapp. Patricia moved to Germany where she eventually married another Canadian soldier named Frank McDonald.
Eric was raised believing that his grandparents were his parents and his mother was his sister. At the tender age of nine the truth was reveled to him by his grandmother.

His formal education consisted of being expelled from the Kingston College of art at the ripe old age of seventeen for playing guitar in class. He then took a job as a manual laborer and spent most of his free time playing the electric guitar.

Clapton eventually joined a number of British blues bands, including the Roosters and Casey Jones, and rose to prominence as a member of the Yardbirds

Eric withdrew from the spotlight in the early seventies, Trying to overcome an addition he took the advice of PeterTownsend and underwent an effective electro- acupuncture treat-ment. He was fully rehabilitated and then landed a role in the rock opera-Tommy

Unfortunately the 1980's brought Eric sliding deeper and deeper into a serious drinking problem even thou this period of his lifebrought some of his most successful albums--Another Ticket (1981), Money and Cigarettes (1983), Behind the Sun (1985), August (1986), Journeyman (1989)
In the following decade he again suffered another personal tragedy when guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and Clapton road crew members Colin Smythe and Nigel Browne--all close friends of Clapton's--were killed in a helicopter crash. A few months after this tragedy, fate was going to deal him another blow when his own son,Conner,fell forty-nine stories from Del Santo's Manhattan high-rise apartment to his death.Clapton channeled his shattering grief into writing the 1992 Grammy-winning tribute to his son, "Tears in Heaven."

Another album, "From The Cradle", came out in 1994 and marked his return to the raw blue standards. In 1997 he was honored with the Record of the year and best male pop vocal performance grammys for "Change the world".

And in the next coming years,success just seemed to follow him no matter where he went.The only triple inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He is often described as an authentic musical genius,but at what a personal price?

There's no doubt that the topic of music can be fascinating. If you still have unanswered questions about music, you may find what you're looking for in the next article.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Beetlejuice A Revered Horror Classic Movie

This classic old horror movie [1988] was directed by Tim Burton and produced by Warner Brothers [Wes Craven was set to direct the film at one time, when it was still more of a horror film. When things fell apart he went on to write _Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, etc]

Thanks to the carelessness of a fluffly little dog, newlyweds Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin are killed in a freak auto accident.

Upon arriving in the outer gates of Heaven, the couple finds that, thanks to a century's worth of bureaucratic red tape, they're on a very long waiting list. Before they can earn their wings, Davis and Baldwin must occupy their old house as ghosts for the next 50 years. Alas, the house is now owned by unlovable yuppies, Catherine O'Hara and Jeffrey Jones.

Horrified at the prospect of sharing space with these "plastic" humans, Davis and Baldwin do their best to scare O'Hara and Jones away, but their house-haunting skills are pathetic at best. In desperation, the ghostly couple engage the services of a veteran bio-exorcist, a yellow-haired, snaggle-toothed, profane, spirit named Beetlejuice (Played by Michael Keaton). But Beetlejuice has an evil agenda behind his plot to help these young newlyweds. He cannot be trusted-especially when he falls in love with O'Hara and Jones' gloomy, black-clad teen aged daughter played by Winola Ryder. [Who happens to be the goddaughter of LSD guru Timothy Leary. This happened to be her breakthrough role!] One of the most tantalizing scenes comes when their is a dinner party and Bettlejuice comes up with some unusual antics to scare the hell out of everyone.This made the calypso music even more popular.

The first time that I viewed it, I laughed so hard that I felt some kind of kinship with the director. Imagine combining comedy, horror and just pure craziness into one film and making it work so well.

Over 19 years after its release, Tim Burton's Beetlejuice remains a revered horror classic and an important film in the career of a young filmmaker who was only beginning to wow us with his distinct way of looking at life and making films.

Al Pacino A Living Legend

When most people think of acting, what comes to mind is usually basic information that's not particularly interesting or beneficial. But there's a lot more to acting than just the basics, if you want to become a true
legend in your own time.

Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there's more to acting than you may have first thought.
The greatest and most accomplished actor of his generation, Al Pacino became a cultural icon thanks to revered performances in a wide range of classic films, including “The Godfather” (1972), “Scarface” (1983) and “Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992). Coming to prominence during the 1970s – a period commonly regarded as Hollywood’s last Golden Age.

His birth name is Alberto Pacino and he was born on April 25, 1940 in East Harlem, New York. He was educated in the high school for the performing arts, Hew York.He studied acting at the Actors Studio and the Herbert Berghof studios which is located in NYC.

Al's mother, Rose Gerard Pacino died when Al was only22. She used to take Al to the movies after work and she is credited with planting the seed for his future acting career. She died at the age of 43.

Al's father, Salvatore Pacino has owned a variety of business's and currently lives in California with his fifth wife. He divorced Al's mother when Al was 7 years old.

In 1966, Pacino studied under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg (alongside whom he would l after feature in the 1974 film The Godfather Part II). However, it did put him in financial straits until the end of the decade when he had won an Obie Award for his work in The Indian Wants the Bronx and the Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?.

He made his first screen appearance in an episode of the television series N.Y.P.D. in 1968, and his largely unnoticed movie debut in Me, Natalie came the following year.

It was the 1971 film The Panic in Needle Park, in which he played a heroin addict, that would bring him to the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola. Pacino's rise to fame came after portraying Michael Corleone in Coppola's blockbuster 1972 Mafia film The Godfather

In 1973 Pacino starred in the very successful Serpico and the less popular Scarecrow alongside Gene Hackman. In 1974, Pacino repriced his role as Michael Corleone The Godfather Part II In 1975. He enjoyed further success with the release of Dog Day Afternoon, In 1977, Pacino starred as a race-car driver in Bobby Deerfield.

During the 1970s, Pacino had four Oscar nominations for Best Actor for his performances in Serpico, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, and Justice for All.Pacino also won a second Tony Award for The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and performing the title role in Richard III for a record run on Broadway.

1983's Scarface, directed by Brian DePalma, proved to be a career highlight and a defining role. Upon its initial release, it did well at the box office, grossing over $45 million domestically.Pacino earned a GoldenGlobe nomination for his performance in Scarface as a Cuban drug gangster. He had stated that this movie was the best of his career.

In the 80's he went into a four year hiatus and returned to the stage.His greatest stage success of the decade was David Mamet's American Buffalo, for which Pacino was nominated for a Drama Desk Award.Pacino has since turned acclaimed performances in such crime dramas as Carlito's Way (1993), Donnie Brasco (1997), the multi-Oscar nominated The Insider (1999) and Insomnia (2002).

In 1995, Pacino starred in Michael Mann's Heat, in which he and fellow film icon Robert De Niro appeared on screen together for the first time. They were both together againin the Godfather Part 111. He then went back to the stage and did "Looking For Richard". {Pacino's greatest stage successes of the decade were in revivals of Eugene O'Neill's Hughie and Oscar Wilde's Salome.}

He then went on to make "The Devils Advocate" He has won two Golden Globes since 2000, the first being the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures, and the second for his role in the highly praised HBO miniseries Angels in America.

On October 20, 2006, the American Film Institute named Pacino the recipient of the 35th AFI Life Achievement Award.[5] On November 22, 2006, the ]University Philosophical Society of Trinity College, Dublin awarded Pacino the Honorary Patronage of the Society.[6]

His latest film 88 minutes is due to be released in 2008 His next release is Righteous Kill where he will be teamed with his Heat co-star Robert De Niro. Pacino is set to play surrealist Salvador Dalí in the film Dali & I: The Surreal Story.

Although he has never been married, he has three children.He has been romantically involved with some of the top female stares in Hollywood and other less known beautiful women.

This is certainly not an all inclusive story of Al Pacino's life, but it will give you some of the highlights of one of the best, if not the best, actors in history.

It never hurts to be well-informed with the latest on actor. Compare what you've learned here to future articles so that you can stay alert to changes in the area of actors.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Still Searching For Inspirational Movie Downloads

The best course of action to take sometimes isn't clear until you've listed and considered your alternatives. The following paragraphs should help clue you in to what the experts think is significant about downloading Inspirational Movies on the Internet.

The information about movies presented here will do one of two things: either it will reinforce what you know about movie downloads or it will teach you something new. Both are good outcomes.

So you are searching for the ultimate free movie and music download sites. You want to find and download Movies, Music and your favorite TV series (even old-time favorites), you want full episodes and seasons of the hottest shows around!

You want to download and watch sports events, get instant access to unlimited dvd quality movies (including new releases), music, mp3s and more. You want to be able to listen to them as you are traveling, jogging or just taking a healthy walk! But is this legal?

In 2003, the Recording Industry Association of America, [RIAA] launched lawsuits against 261 peer-to-peer file sharing users for illegally downloading copyrighted music. Before these lawsuits, the legality of file sharing was widely debated, and all the while P2P file sharing was wildly popular.

Since the first round of RIAA lawsuits, there has been a lot of concern and many misconceptions over where the lines of legality are drawn. Some insisted it was illegal, while others argued it was not. The whole music industry was holding its breath! The answer is this:
It is 100% legal to download music from the Internet. There are plenty of legal downloading services that offer music for a per-download or subscription fee.

But not all Internet downloading music sites are legal!! If your music is free and you are downloading from a P2P file sharing network and if it is copyrighted, then you best beware. Downloading any copyrighted material without express permission is illegal. And every country has its own laws. So be sure, if you are traveling out of the country, to learn the laws of the country you are visiting.

Make it a habit to pay for your music. The fees are so small compared to the cost of a lawyer. And pleading ignorance of the law will not help you in the least. Even if you are downloading less than 1000 songs, it is still illegal.

There are now millions of people using services to download their favorite MP3s, Movies and TV Shows! A few of them will provide you with all the tools you need to start downloading as many MP3's, Videos and DVD quality movies today!!!

Is there really any information about downloading inspirational movies movies that is nonessential? We all see things from different angles, so something relatively insignificant to one may be crucial to another.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Free Acoustic Guitar E-Course

This article explains a few things about Guitars, and if you're interested, then this is worth reading, because you can never tell what you don't know.

Is everything making sense so far? If not, I'm sure that with just a little more reading, all the facts will fall into place.

Why do YOU want to learn how to play acoustic guitar? Do you want to play for personal pleasure? Would you like to be sexier? Play in a Club? Perhaps you want to become a great artist! How about a free6 part Acoustic Guitar e-course to start you on your way?

No matter what your reasons are, if you want to learn how to play the acoustic guitar why not learn from the best!
Ben Edwards is the former lead guitarist for the popular down-under band "DegreesK" He is also a highly respected guitar teacher.Before joining the band, Ben received a Bachelor of Education. His passion for teaching others, especially guitar, sparked him to develop Jamorama - The Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit and now the Jamorama Acoustic Guitar Learning Kit.

Ben Edwards has put together an incredible learning kit that can get you results really fast. It includes 153 powerful video lesions, 26 Acoustic Jam tracks and 1,000's of lines of tabulature. Ben has also recorded 26 Acoustic Jam tracks for you to play along with.

After reviewing countless of websites to be included in his system,this is the BEST site that he could find. You will even learn how to read music, how to recognize chord shapes and how to transcribe songs from the radio and CD's.

And remember,there are countless numbers of useless e-books on the Internet telling you how easy it is to learn to play musical instruments.I often think that learning to play an instrument is like learning a foreign language. The more you listen and practice , the better you'll get. But you have to make sure that the person that you are learning from is a professional instead of just someone throwing together a bunch of useless material, renaming it and trying to sell it.

Learning from Ben Edwards is not only going to save you money and time, you will avoid all the aggravation you have been experiencing by making the same mistakes over and over again. Just for starters, there are 10 ways of fast-tracking your way to becoming a fantastic guitarist.

And as you probably already know learning to play the acoustic guitar is not as easy as you thought it might be. And if you keep on trying to learn to play using the same old time wasting strategies, drills and same old boring exercises, you might end up being worse off. It's like a bad habit--and you know how hard they are to break!

You can't predict when knowing something extra about Guitar will come in handy. If you learned anything new about keyword in this article, you should file the article where you can find it again.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Godfather--The Best Gangster Saga Movie Ever Made

This superb, three-part gangster saga movie was inaugurated with this film from Italian-American director Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy

The cast consisted of Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Al Lettieri, Sterling Hayden, John Cazale

The Godfather (1972). The first two parts of this grand saga are among the most celebrated, landmark films of all time. Many film reviewers consider the second part equal or superior to the original but the first part was a tremendous critical and commercial success because it turned out to be the highest grossing film of its time.This unforgettable gangster saga movie contributed to a resurgence of the American film industry.

Director Coppola collaborated on the epic film's screenplay with Mario Puzo who had written a best-selling novel of the same name about a Mafia dynasty (the Corleones). This gangster saga movie catapulted director Coppola to the top of the best directors list.

Strong performances, solid directing, and a tightly-plotted script all contribute to The Godfather's success.. Every major character - and more than a few minor ones - were sculptured into a separate, complex individual. Stereotypes did not influence Coppola's film, although certain ones were formed as a result of it.

This gangster film re-invented the gangster genre, elevating the classic Hollywood gangster film to a higher level by portraying the gangster figure as a tragic hero.

Rarely can it be said that a film has defined a genre, but never is that more true than in the case of The Godfather. Since the release of the 1972 epic (which garnered ten Academy Award nominations and was named Best Picture), all "gangster movies" have been judged by the standards of this one.

[Al Pacino is best remembered for the role he created in The Godfather.]

The Godfather had three Best Supporting Actor nominees, all well-deserved. The first was Pacino then James Caan and Robert Duvall who's presence in The Godfather isn't flashy or attention-arresting. Like his character of Tom Hagen, he is steady, reliable, and stays in the background. Not so for Caan's Sonny, whose demonstrative and volatile personality can't be overlooked.

There has been countless discussions about not only the violence encountered in this great gangster saga movie, but it raises another moral dilemma. Is it alright to operate outside a corrupt judical system by creating there own sytem of rules to live under!

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Greatest Movie Producer In The World

Harvey Philip Spector,who was later to be called the greatest music producer in the world, was born December 26, 1940 in the Bronx, New York. His grandfather, a Russian Jew named Spekter, emigrated to the United States and his name was changed to Spector at Ellis Island.
The family was lower middle class. His father Benjamin, because of the family's indebtedness, committed suicide in 1949. In 1953, Bertha Specter, with Phil and his older sister Shirley, moved to Los Angeles where she worked as a seamstress.

With little to interest him in high school he was drawn to music studying guitar and piano. He excelled on the guitar, piano, drums, bass and French horn. Spector was drawn to the local rhythm and blues scene.
Phil soon joined a group of would-be-musicians hanging around the studios where he met Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two songwriters that were beginning to have some success producing singles for the Robins on the Spark label.

After graduating from Fairfax High school in 1958 Spector began taking courses to become a court reporter. However, he soon decided that this wasn't the direction he wanted.

Next Spector turned to Marshall Leib,They both shared the love of rock and roll music.Another student at Los Angeles City College, Harvey Goldstein, was promised that he could sing bass. Annette Kleinbard, a sixteen year old student at Fairfax High, joined the first two hour session. She was devoted to recording of Spector's "Don't You Worry My Little Pet."

With demo in hand Spector approached his neighbor Lew Bedell, co-owner of Era Records with Herb Newsome. Bedell and Newsome had started Dore Records,with the intention of recording rock and roll, only a month or two before Spector arrived with his demo.

Spector and friends signed a four record deal that offered royalties of a cent and one-half per sold copy.

Dore mailed five hundred copies of the single to radio stations in early August, 1958. The A-side was still "You Don't Know My Little Pet." In September, a dee jay in Fargo, North Dakota, flipped the single and played "To Know Him Is To Love Him." Soon an order came into Dore offices from a distributor requesting eighteen thousand copies.Radio stations across the country began playing "To Know Him Is To Love Him."
The record was reviewed in the music press and was on the national music charts only a week later.The Teddy Bears were invited to appear on "American Bandstand" in October. There was a slight problem as there was no invitation for Harvey Goldstein because Goldstein had been dropped from the group .Goldstein sued Dore and the Teddy Bears eventually settling out of court for a share of the royalties the group would earn over the next ten years.

The Teddy Bears appeared on "Bandstand" and "To Know Him Is To Love Him" became a number one record, selling more than a million copies before Christmas. "Wonderful, Lovable You," their second record was released late in 1959. They appeared on the The Perry Como Show on January 3, 1960 where they sang "To Know Him Him Is To Love Him" and "It's Only a Paper Moon."

Spector had a falling out with Dore over royalties. Spector and the Teddy Bears signed with Imperial Records and their first single "I Don't Need You Anymore" was released in mid-January.
Spector then teamed up with Lester Sill. Sill had started his own company, Trey Records, along with Lee Hazlewood. Sill had Spector come into the studio to record in an attempt to come up with a hit record. but the group couldn't use the Teddy Bear name, so the Trey singles were issued by the Spectors Three. Neither sold and Spector dismissed the other two and called it quits as far a being a recording star.

Kleinbard was involved in an auto accident in September 1959, but recovered and attempted a solo singing career. She had a number of recording contracts, but enjoyed success as a songwriter. She was a co-writer of "The Nights the Lights Went Out In Georgia" a gold record by Vicki Lawrence In 1973 and a country hit for Reba McEntire in 1992. She also co-wrote "Hey Little Cobra" for the Ripchords and "Gonna Fly Now" the theme from the first Rocky movie. She helped write theme songs for Sophie's Choice and Mr. Mom. Over the years she has been nominated for two Academy Awards and four Emmys.

Leib played guitar on a couple of Duane Eddy sessions. He also was musical supervisor for a few low budget films in the 70s. He and Kleinbard worked together on the score for the film "Tulips."

Phil Spector was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Spector went on to be recognized as a genius when it came to record production.

But the recent events in Phil Spector's life has turned his world upside down. He was charged with murder in the shooting death of Lana Clarkson, a 40 year old B movie actress found dead in Spector's mansion in 2003. But the first trial ended in a hung jury and a retrial is set for the 67 year old sometime in 2008.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Robert De Niro--The Greatest Living Movie Icon Of The Past Fourty years

During the past 40 years thousands of actors have come and gone. Some were good and a few were in the wrong line of work. But what makes an actor a great movie icon in his own life time? Robert De Niro just happens to be such a person.

See how much you can learn about actor when you take a little time to read a well-researched article? Don't miss out on the rest of this great information.

The most celebrated American film actor of his era, Robert De Niro won an Oscar as best supporting actor for The Godfather, Part II in 1974. Over the next few decades he became known for his intense portrayals of mobsters, tough guys, loners and other types.

Born august 17th, 1943 in New York City, His ancestry - strangely, given his cinematic connection with the Mafia - is more Irish than Italian. His parents were both respected artists. His father, Robert Sr, was a painter, sculptor and poet, an abstract expressionist by style. His mother, Virginia Admiral was also a painter.

Robert Jr caught the acting bug early, appearing as The Cowardly Lion in a local production of The Wizard Of Oz at the age of 10. His first break came in 1963 when he appeared in the Wedding Party. [Which was released in 1969]

De Niro entered his most demanding period of work, landing himself an exceptional series of unforgettable roles. First he played the young Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part 2, taking the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his efforts (he and Brando are the only actors to have both won Oscars for the same role).

Then he was back with Scorsese as the unforgettable vigilante Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. He played Monroe Stahr, the big-time Hollywood producer looking for love in The Last Tycoon, and starred in Bertolucci's unmoving epic 1900. And one of my favorites the "Deer Hunter". Having been Oscar-nominated for Taxi Driver and The Deer Hunter (he'd later also be nominated for Cape Fear and Awakenings). He finally took Best Actor for his depiction of boxer Jake La Motta in Scorsese's Raging Bull, a role for which he actually put on 60 pounds.

In the next couple of decades he steadily enhanced his reputation. He was fantastic as Rupert Pupkin, the crazy funnyman kidnapping Jerry Lewis in "King Of Comedy", unforgettable as a baseball-bat-wielding Al Capone in the "Untouchables" in 1978.He also stared as Louis Cyphre in Angel Heart. Then there were excellent oddities like The Mission, Terry Gilliam's Brazil and the ludicrouslycomedy Midnight Run. He hit it big again with Scorsese in "Goodfellas, as the demeaning Max Cady in Cape Fear, and as the Joe Pesci tormented Ace Rothstein in Casino.And what about "Ronin"?

He gave a stunning performance as a conservative security guard who has to endure speech therapy with a transvestite after suffering a stroke. Then came The Adventures ofRocky and Bullwinkle. With Men Of Honor, where he played an alcoholic raciest who had to train Cuba Gooding to be the first African American navy diver. A Golden Globe nominee in "Meet The PARENTS".

And the hits just keep on coming in "15 Minutes","The Score","Showtime","City By The Sea","Analyze with Billy Crystal, "Godsend""Meet The Fockers that broke both Christmas and New Years records at the box office."The Bridge Of San Luis Rey""Hide And Seek"

No wonder that De Niro is an icon in the movie world. And the one important thing that he has always done is to keep his private life absolutely quiet. He has been married twice.He has one adopoted daughter Drena and 3 sons. Aaron,Julian[twins] and Elliot.

Hopefully the sections above have contributed to your understanding of actors. Share your new understanding about actors with others. They'll thank you for it.

The Graduate-A True Classic Film That Could Be Enjoyed By All

The following article lists some simple,informative tips that will help you have a better experience with movies.Reviewing a true classic film of the 60's era broughtback some fond memories.

It's really a good idea to probe a little deeper into the subject of movies. What you learn may give you the confidence you need to venture into new areas.

The themes of the film also mirrored the changes occurring in Hollywood, as a new vanguard of younger directors were coming to the forefront. This unforgetable film was directed by Mike Nichols who also produced "Who Afraid of Virginia Wolf".

Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father's business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her teenage daughter, Elaine.
Benjamin is clearly uncomfortable with sexuality, but he is drawn into the affair with the older, but still attractive, Mrs. Robinson. Their affair appears to last most of the summer. All of their scenes pass in a musically-backed montage, showing the endless pass of time.The inspiring sounds of Simon and Garfunkel

One scene is edited so that it appears Benjamin is walking directly from his parents' dining room into the hotel room he shares with Mrs. Robinson. This seems to highlight the separation of him and his parents, though they all still live toghether in the same house.

Every generation says it won't happen to them. "I'm not going to be like my parents. I'm not going to sell out my dreams." Breaking away from your parents, establishing your own identity, holding on to what you know to be true - these issues are timeless ones - and ones that came blazing into the open in the Sixties. No film captured this better than the The Graduate. In a world of crushed dreams, Benjamin Braddock finds the meaning of having true love. For anyone who grew up during this period, watching it again floods the mind with what love really meant back then.

The film was nominated for 7 Academy awards including best picture,best actor,best actress,best supporting actress,best adapted screenplay and best cimematography. But to all's dismay, the film won only one award--Best Director

I remember it as being the best picture that I had ever seen.I feel in love with the red "Alfa Romeno" convertible that was used in the film. With the sounds of Simon and Garfunkel blasting in the backround, you got the feeling of not only speed, but also one of freedom. What a true classic movie!