Hollywood

NWPR Books
8:57 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Film Critic Kenneth Turan Picks 54 Films That Are 'Not To Be Missed'

The 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden, is one of the 54 movies Kenneth Turan says should not be missed.
CinemaPhoto Corbis

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 9:40 am

You normally hear Los Angeles Times and Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan reviewing new movies, but this week, we're talking about old films with him instead. That's because he's written a new book called Not to Be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film. In it, he offers up tidbits of Hollywood history and behind-the-scenes drama, as well as his critical analysis of some of the world's greatest movies — some familiar, some obscure.

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NWPR Books
7:33 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

No One Wants To Be With The Marlboro Man: Terry Crews On 'Manhood'

Terry Crews is a former NFL linebacker and now an actor. Manhood: How to Be a Better Man — or Just Live with One is his first book.
Dimitrios Kambouris Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 4:45 am

When Hollywood needs a big dude — a really big dude — they can call on all sorts of former athletes. Few come with the heart and humor of Terry Crews.

An 11th-round draft pick of the Rams, Crews gave up his NFL dream in 1997 to pursue a different dream in Hollywood. He thought he'd turn his love of art into a job behind the scenes in special effects. Instead, he has stolen scenes on camera — from action movies like The Expendables to TV comedies like the Golden Globe-winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

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NWPR Books
10:04 am
Mon March 3, 2014

During World War II, Even Filmmakers Reported For Duty

Maj. Frank Capra sits at his War Department desk in Washington on March 6, 1942. Capra's non-War Department films include It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.
AP

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 10:35 am

When America entered World War II, some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors enlisted and risked their lives. But they weren't fighting — they were filming combat.

Through the 1930s, Hollywood and the federal government held a mutual suspicion of each other. But after Pearl Harbor, the War Department asked Hollywood directors to make short documentaries that could be presented in theaters before the featured films. The ideas was to show Americans what was at stake, give them a glimpse of what our soldiers were going through and stir up patriotic feelings.

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NWPR Books
10:06 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Hollywood Goes To War In 'Five Came Back'

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 12:43 pm

Hollywood helped win World War II — and by that, we don't mean John Wayne, but five of the country's most celebrated film directors, who went to work making films for the War Department that showed Americans at war, overseas and in the skies, living, fighting, bleeding and dying. Those films changed America — and deepened the men who made them, including John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, George Stevens, and Frank Capra.

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NWPR Books
3:19 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Movie Buff Or Not, There's Something 'Beautiful' About Hollywood

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 4:29 pm

Kevin Roose is a New York Magazine writer. His new book, Young Money, comes out next month.

With the Grammy Awards just two days away, the Academy Awards on the horizon and the results of the SAG and Golden Globe awards already in, we're smack in the middle of awards season.

I don't watch the Oscars. I don't even see many movies, unless you count what's on Netflix. But Jess Walter's very funny novel, Beautiful Ruins, made me want to quit my job, move to L.A. and see the Hollywood train wreck up close.

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Hollywood Horticulture
4:49 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Oregon Trees, Shrubs Get Role In New Action Flick

Oregon-grown plants were used to re-create 18th Century Japan in scenes like this one from the movie '47 Ronin.'
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 4:18 pm

The makers of the new action flick 47 Ronin didn't want to film their movie in Oregon. But that doesn't mean the state won't have a starring role.

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NWPR Books
8:22 am
Tue July 2, 2013

You'll Want To Hang Up On These 'Secret Conversations'

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 2:34 pm

A country girl from Grabtown, N.C., Ava Gardner arrived in Hollywood in 1941 knowing she couldn't act but, gorgeous as she was, she never had to let that slow her down. Her beauty — which reportedly intimidated Elizabeth Taylor — won her not just film roles and studio-paid acting lessons, but the attentions of all-American boy Mickey Rooney, whom she married and divorced before she turned 21. She had a similarly brief union with bandleader Artie Shaw — she called those two her "starter husbands" — before a tempestuous, headline-making marriage to Frank Sinatra.

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NWPR Books
5:43 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Book News: Arthur C. Clarke's DNA Headed For A New Space Odyssey

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Digital Film
6:41 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Small Town Movie Houses Struggle To Switch From Film To Bits Of Data

Chris Wagner watches the 35 mm print for “Pirates! Band of Misfits” cycle through the original 1955 projector at his drive-in theater in Grangeville, Idaho.
Photo by Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

This summer’s blockbuster line-up is teeming with highly anticipated names -- like Batman, Spiderman, and the Avengers. That’s good news for the people who run cinemas. But for many small theaters across the Northwest, opening weekend is becoming a struggle.

More movies are starting to come on hard drives instead of reels. So theaters must make a costly conversion to digital if they want to stay in the game. And, as Jessica Robinson reports, time is running out.

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Music + Culture
9:21 am
Wed May 23, 2012

For Location Scouts, It's All About Making The Scene

Location scout Doug Dresser needs creepy places for a teen fantasy-adventure film. One possibility: the old Linda Vista Community Hospital, built in 1904. Supposedly it's haunted.
Cindy Carpien NPR/Courtesy Doug Dresser (except as noted)

In the old days, movies — even the big epics — were shot on studio back lots. Tara, that iconic Gone With the Wind plantation, was made of plywood and papier maché.

These days, movie locations are mostly real, though. And they're found by location scouts, who are often the first people hired for a film.

Should be easy work, right? You drive around town, spot a house you think could work for a film, drive back home? Not quite.

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