Turner Classic Movies is joining the effort to help raise awareness of “Save Cahuenga Peak,” a campaign organized to preserve the surrounding area where the iconic Hollywood sign, known the world over, has rested for many years.
As some may remember, the whole mountainside where the famous sign stands was once part of a realty development known as Hollywood Land. Industrialist Howard Hughes purchased the surrounding land in 1940. Hughes had intended to build a home for movie star Ginger Rogers, whom he had planed to marry. Even though that relationship ended, Hughes kept the land, and it wasn’t until 2002 that his estate sold it to the investors who now own it. Those investors in turn placed the land on the market for $22 million, but have failed to attract a buyer. Currently, the area is zoned for four luxury home sites.
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Quentin Tarantino will be appearing in person at the Egyptian Theatre Monday, February 8th to discuss one of his most popular films, “Pulp Fiction,” and this year’s Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, “Inglorious Basterds.”
Monday evening’s lineup starts at 6:00 PM with “Pulp Fiction”, Tarantino’s homage to the gritty crime fiction of the 1930s. Arguably the most audacious and exciting American film of the 1990’s, the movie’s cast includes John Travolta in a role that revived his entire career, catapulted him back into super-stardom, and saved him from ever having to do another “Guess Who’s Talking” sequel. Samuel L. Jackson is equally amazing as Travolta’s philosophical partner in crime, Uma Thurman proves to be a formidable femme fatal, and Bruce Willis gives a memorable performance playing an edgier version of his usual reluctant hero. Harvey Keitel, Eric Stolz, Maria de Medeiros, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Christopher Walken and Ving Rhames round out the exceptional cast. Nearly as many questions have been raised about the plot of this film as there have been for the classic noir, “The Big Sleep”. Here’s your opportunity to get some answers straight from the director’s mouth.
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Known for a broad array of comedies, including incisive satires, stage adaptations, and action-filled farces with brilliant casts, director Arthur Hiller has proven to be one of Hollywood’s most reliable entertainers. Come join The American Cinematheque for a special two-night tribute featuring Hiller’s best known comedies.
First up, this Thursday, February 4th at 7:30 PM, the Aero is presenting a double feature starting with the 1979 version of “The In-Laws”. One of the laugh-out-loud funniest movies of the past 25 years stars Alan Arkin (a personal favorite) as a middle-class dentist who finds himself thrown together with delusional CIA agent Peter Falk (another favorite) when their children become engaged to each other. This is Arkin and Falk at their absolute best as they deliver the most ridiculous lines with absolute aplomb. The two are so great together it will make you wonder why they were never paired up again.
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In 1964, “A Fistful of Dollars” became a mega-hit, leading to a sequel, “For a Few Dollars More,” and the conclusion to the trilogy, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” These masterpieces and a few more are included in The American Cinematheque’s Sergio Leone retrospective at the Egyptian Theatre starting Thursday, January 28th. Each screening begins at 7:30PM.
Beginning this Thursday, the Leone retrospective kicks off with the double feature lineup of “A Fistful of Dollars” and “For a Few Dollars More”. When Leone remade Akira Kurosawa’s “Yojimbo” with Eastwood as a poncho-wearing, cheroot-chewing gunman, he wound up creating the most revolutionary Western of the 1960s and solidified the legendary status of one of Hollywood’s greatest idols. The sequel continued to follow the adventures of the Man-With-No-Name as Eastwood and super bad guy Lee Van Cleef play rival bounty hunters who end up tracking the same man.
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John Ford directed more than 100 films during a prolific career that began in the silent era and continued until the end of the studio system. Ford is remembered as a master of the Western, but his comedies and dramas are just as superb, reflecting American culture at its best, along with all its imperfections. Don’t miss the remainder of this rare retrospective presented by The American Cinematheque.
Sunday, January 24th at 7:30 PM marks a double feature of what is arguably Ford’s two best Westerns: “The Searchers” and “Stagecoach.” John Wayne stars in both films, first as a vengeful bigot who spends years in a search for the niece (Natalie Wood) who was kidnapped by renegade Indians, only to face a tough decision when his prejudice conflicts with his dedication to family. Although he wasn’t even nominated for his portrayal of Ethan Edwards, Wayne gives a definitive performance as a man conflicted with powerful emotions when forced to examine his racism in a very personal manner.
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Late last year, Turner Classic Movies and Universal Studios Home Entertainment teamed up to offer classic movie fans made-to-order DVDs of rare vintage films. These digitally re-mastered titles (never available before on DVD) include features from the TCM archives. New titles will become available each quarter, and three of the latest picks are early Cary Grant vehicles!
The films that become available on DVD can be purchased by request via TCM.com. Particularly interesting (for selected titles) is the added bonus of introductions provided by TCM host Robert Osborne and additional supplemental materials compiled by the TCM archives, such as still galleries, behind-the-scenes photos, never-before-seen interview segments, original movie trailers, trivia, biographies, and more. Exclusive TCM premieres will air as each movie becomes available.
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