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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Old Favorites and a job for Joss Whedon

By AmyLawrence

May 29th, 2004

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, read news on the season finale of Six Feet Under, a bit about Nip/Tuck and, as always, stuff on some L & O's


It’s a bittersweet time of year for TV lovers. Yes, the networks are releasing their fall schedules and we get to see which of our faves “on the bubble” of cancellation get a reprieve. Fox is giving us another season of Arrested Development and Tru Calling, for better and worse. And we get two more years of Scrubs!

In the Season Finale of Six Feet Under, Ruth meets George’s daughter Maggie, a lovely woman who Ruth adores. George has daydreams of a friend from the 1950’s, and, our death may come from an elevator incident.

Nip/Tuck’s eighth episode this season is named for “Agatha Ripp,” a prostitute who may have stigmata. A nun comes in for an eyelift. And, a woman who’s child is born with a tail wants an exorcism, but her husband just wants the tail removed. Also, Liz may be having trouble with her pregnancy.

Law and Order: Criminal Intent is filming season four’s “Eosphoros,” in which April is caught between her Atheist grandmother and born again father. April is often lost in the shuffle, and stages her own kidnapping for attention, but it goes terribly awry.

There’s a new crime boss on One Life to Live. Jaime Padilla takes over the family business after the death of the former leader.

Why do I always want to say Law and Order: SUV instead of Law and Order: SVU? Anyway, in “Outcry,” Tandi is a high school kid at a summer program on a college campus. She goes missing and is found bound and probably raped in an empty dorm room. But, she may have staged the whole thing to cover up going to a drunken college ROTC party instead of doing her homework.

I’ve never watched the show, but I *love* reading about Strong Medicine. In episode six of this season, Caroline has a rare fatal disease, but her sense of humor keeps her going until the end. Her sister doesn’t appreciate all the jokes until Caroline is gone. Lori has five breast surgeries because she wants the girls to look perfect. When the surgeon refuses to do any more work, Lori retaliates--with a scalpel of her own.

The fourth episode of Showtime’s new series Huff is called “Flashpants.” That’s all you really need to know.

Family Guy is back, and sound-alike actors for Mel Gibson, Jim Cavaziel, Matt LeBlanc (“How you doin’?”) and Dick Cheney, for what sounds like the craziest “The Passion of the Christ” spoof yet.

Laura Harris gets a love interest in Showtime’s Dead Like Me. He’s a reality show producer with a dark and violent side.

And, have we marveled that the WB is bringing back not only “Lost in Space” with Doug Petrie’s and John Woo’s Robinsons: Lost in Space but Dark Shadows as well? Dark Shadows has a pretty classy pedigree for the WB, being produced by John Wells and P.J. Hogan among others, but raise your hand if you think this is the perfect project for Joss Whedon. It’s campy and vampy and Joss’s flair for dialogue would be just the thing to bring this show into the 21st Century. Joss my love, I’m very happy about the “Serenity” movie, but I need you in my house every week so if not this, then find a TV project, please.