FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Joseph L. Mankiewicz |||
Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Mankiewicz directed 20 films in a 26-year period, and was very successful at every kind of film, from Shakespeare to western, drama to musical, epics to two-character pictures, and regardless of the genre, he was known as a witty dialogist, a master in the use of flashback and a talented actors' director.

The 1950 Oscar for Best Picture and Screenplay brought Mankiewicz wide recognition as a writer and a director, with his sardonic look at show business glamour and the empty lives behind it. This well orchestrated cast of brilliant and catty character actors is built around veteran actress Bette Davis and Anne Baxter as her understudy desperate for stardom.

One of Mankiewicz’ more intimate films, this highly regarded and major artistic achievement is a spirited romantic comedy set in England of the 1880’s about a widow who moves into a haunted seashore house and resists the attempts of a sea captain specter to scare her away. This is a pleasing and poignant romance that is equally satisfying as a good old ghost story.

Mankiewicz wrote and directed this witty dissection of matrimony that has three women review the ups and downs of their marriages (with all its romance, fears and foibles) after receiving a letter telling them that one of their husbands has been unfaithful. Once again Mankiewicz deftly utilizes the skills of a well-chosen ensemble, which includes a young Kirk Douglas at his dreamiest.

Recommended by CarrieSpecht

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Jimmy Kimmel Seeks Ballroom-Dancing Tranvestite!

By AmyLawrence

April 30th, 2003

Casting calls and news items in the film and TV community come in each day here to FilmJerk.com. Amy Lawrence catches the minutiae that falls through the cracks, and discusses them more in depth than most of them probably deserve. Today's call includes notices on "The West Wing," "The Wire, "The Dead Zone" and more!


The Bold and the Beautiful: Twin toddlers and a 5-year-old boy are the newest members of this cast.

Carnivale: Episode 108 has an evil carnival barker stealing away Lobster Boy. Brother Justin is locked up in a mental ward. I am still looking forward to this one. A lot.

Dead Like Me: George (Ellen Muth) has her first affair in the afterlife with a living schizophrenic whose disease allows him to see her. Remember, this is Showtime, there will be afterlife sex!

The Dead Zone: Johnny sees a storm but the locals don’t believe him. Beautiful Toni the meteorologist eventually sees the light-ning.

House Rules: A new show on TBS will have married couples remodeling a house over three months. At the end, America will choose which couple did the best job and they will win their home.

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jimmy is seeking a ballroom dancing transvestite! And, beautiful girls with special talents like sword swallowing and baton twirling!

Lab Rats: Sci Fi Channel continues to court lawsuits with this new show where contestants participate in outrageous science experiments and product tests.

Law and Order: Criminal Intent: An epileptic woman is passing off her illness as clairvoyance and a wealthy woman is so convinced that she wants to gain that power at any cost. Santeria is invoked. I thought this show was classy?

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit: In the episode “Tragedy,” David is living the dream, engaged to his rich boss’s daughter. But when his pregnant girlfriend appears, and then disappears, who disappeared her?

Monk: Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man sees Monk investigating the death of the world’s oldest man.

One Life to Live: Wesley is Asa’s new proper British butler (Paul!) and Nigel is not happy about having a butler rival.

Peacemakers: USA is filming this detective show set in 1882. Star Katie is a reporter who works with Marshal Jared Stone and some Pinkerton detectives. Pinkerton is really fun to say.

Reno 911: Comedy Central is spoofing Cops with this improv sketch comedy show.

She Spies: Still filming and adding a new character. Mr. Cross is a James Bond type pulled from the field. He loves his girls, but is always one step ahead of them. And his name is...Charlie.

Strong Medicine: In episode 404 of this Lifetime show, a chef finds out she has leprosy, which ruins her career. I applaud this storyline for at least being original. I mean, when was the last time you heard about lepers!

The West Wing: Episode 22 will bring Judge Sharon Day, an African-American Judge and the Treasury Secretary. Another episode will show young Zoey at 4.

The Wire: Brother Mouzon is an educated black Muslim, never far from his holy books. He never uses street slang, even when he’s killing people. Brother’s a hitman.