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

||| John Sturges |||
John Sturges

Helming the “Magnificent Seven” should be reason enough, demonstrating that Sturges had the happy talent of taking what was considered strictly “male” oriented stories and making them sexy enough and humorous enough to appeal to female movie-goer as well.

Sturges takes this star-studded gunslinger film based on the Japanese favorite "The Seven Samurai", and makes it a bone fide all-American classic featuring Yul Brynner. At the request of Mexican peasants, Brynner recruits a band of fellow mercenaries, half of whom Sturges introduces as the next generation of action film super-stars including Charles Bronson, James Coburn, and Steve McQueen. Widescreen!

Sturges is responsible for what is renowned as one of the greatest war films ever made, featuring Steve McQueen and his unforgettably daring motorcycle jumps in the face of the enemy. Allied prisoners escape from a German POW camp in this superior effort, noted for a brilliant international cast and Elmer Bernstein's triumphant score. Widescreen!

This day in the life of a stranger in an isolated town has since been done to death, and this is why. In the hands of a lesser director the talents of this exceedingly manly cast (Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan) would otherwise overwhelm this compelling drama with a prejudice theme, but Sturges is able to maintain a firm grasp of the reigns, keeping his actors this side of mellow drama. Widescreen!

Recommended by CarrieSpecht

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In a Huge Week, More News on ''Alias,'' ''Charmed'' and ''Smallville''

By AmyLawrence

July 31st, 2003

Casting calls and news items in the 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 old faves "Alias," "ER," "Smallville," "Sopranos" and two new MTV shows for the "TRL" crowd.


Alexandra the Great: A new pilot for MTV is Alexandra’s video diary of her dysfunctional life. MTV is working on a lot of teen programming for the tots-- See “You are Here” below.

Alias: We've got new Russian bad guys and new German bad guys introduced in episode 302, called "Succession."

All My Children: Maria’s sister Anita returns to Pine Valley, perhaps to become a new age-y healer. Also new is Steven Childs, a young businessman.

All of Us: This Will and Jada Smith-produced show is getting a new character. Jasey will be Tia’s best friend. This means nothing to me.

The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire: The singing auditions for the Easter Pageant heat up, with overweight Sylvie Hump going for the obvious by flashing the judges during her ABBA number.

Boomtown: Police wannabe Wally Pollard becomes part of a crime ring that allows him to impersonate a cop, with tragic results. What Wally calls “duty,” we call “murder."

Charmed: In “Power of Three Blondes," we meet Mabel, Mitzy and Margo, the evil alter egos of the Charmed Ones. In “Forget Me Not," a higher power takes away Wyatt and everyone’s memories of Wyatt, but the girls are stronger that that and get him back. C'mon, you knew they would.

Cold Case: In “The Runner," a mysterious tape opens up a 30-year-old cop killing.

CSI: In “Assume Nothing," a pair of serial killers is brought to justice, but not by the CSI team-- the killers are found dead.

Days of Our Lives: New character Bonnie Lockhart is a NASCAR-loving, lotto-playing maid and single mom to Mimi. She’ll be around for at least three years.

Dragnet: Creepy Victor Hayman shoots a woman during sex play at a Hollywood party. It’s up to Friday to trace “The Magic Bullet."

ER: In "Dear Abby," we meet Jing Mei’s parents, and they do not approve of her relationship with Dr. Pratt. And Abby has to deal with a lot of medical sh*t, including the inept new resident, Morris.

JAG: A woman officer goes M.I.A. during the Gulf War, and takes up the bedouins and marries their sheik. For this, she gets court martialed.

Joan of Arcadia: In the second episode, God speaks through a chess geek and a postman.

Judging Amy: Lauren’s teacher berates Amy for ignoring Lauren and her schoolwork in “Ex Parte of Five."

King of Queens: Rachel Dratch returns as Spence’s girlfriend. Love her.

Las Vegas: Cousin Donny’s in town for his wedding, a 60s affair with Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix impersonators. Vegas being Vegas, Donny’s betrothed is not who she says she is.

Lyon’s Den: Jack must defend the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen in a sexual harassment suit, brought on by one of the woman’s female employees.

Malcolm in the Middle: The fam’s going to Vegas! Or, at least to a Boone Vincent (they couldn’t get Wayne Newton) concert.

Navy N.C.I.S.: An officer dies on Air Force One, and no one can figure out jurisdiction for the case. As the bodies start to pile up, the C.I.S. get to work.

Nip/Tuck: I watched and I hated, but in the episode “Cara Fitzgerald,” plain wallflower Cara has a car accident and life-changing reconstructive surgery. Yep, the guys make her gorgeous and she’s thrilled that she almost died in the wreck, because now she’s popular.

Oliver Beene: Oliver’s dad wages a parking war with a neighbor. In no way will this be as funny as when George Costanza waged a parking war on Seinfeld. Also, Oliver falls for a Swedish exchange student.

Overhaulin’: In this show for TLC, the crew finds and fixes up those junk cars on blocks that guys always say they are “restoring” that the rest of us call “redneck eyesores."

She Spies: In “Last Man Standing,” the sister of a double agent who was killed is out for revenge.

Smallville: In "Extinction", high schooler Van Kersey is out to rid Smallville of all its freaks. This means you, Clark!

The Sopranos: All I got is that Pussy’s brother Duke show up in episode 508.

Strong Medicine: Utilizing the oldest joke in the book, one of the doctors on the show has to go to handwriting school because her prescriptions are illegible. I’m not kidding.

Tarzan: Jane and her boyfriend are cops, but he gets killed on duty. Jane vows that no one will get killed on her watch again, even if she has to ask Tarzan for help.

That 70s Show: Kelso takes up with his back-up girl, Heather, who becomes his fresh start girl when Jackie sees them together and announces she’s not choosing him over Hyde. Heather’s response to her promotion? “Yay!"

Threat Matrix: Homeland Security must investigate terrorists who make their money by selling meth.

Two and a Half Men: Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer??? It’s an unholy alliance!

You Are Here: This MTV pilot takes place in a mall and centers on the lives and loves of the mallrats who hang out there. It’s sort of melty, but oh so delicious.