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Being There (United Artists 1979, Peter Sellers, Shirley Maclaine)

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Adapted from Kosinski’s novel, Being There is the story of a mentally deficient gardener, who knows the outside world only through television, and his rise to political power when his idle aphorisms are interpreted as philosophical wisdom by a wealthy industrialist and, soon after, swallowed whole by the American public. Influential and provocative with a marvelously enigmatic performance by Sellers.

Jerzy Kosinski, the Polish emigre writer who adapted Being There from his own book, became internationally renowned for his Holocaust novel The Painted Bird (1965).

Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Actor: Peter Sellers.

Being There Maclaine Sellers

cast
Peter Sellers as Chance
Shirley MacLaine as Eve Rand
Melvyn Douglas as Benjamin Rand
Jack Warden as President ‘Bobby’
Richard Dysart as Dr. Robert Allenby
Richard Basehart as Vladimir Skrapinov
Ruth Attaway as Louise
David Clennon as Thomas Franklin
Fran Brill as Sally Hayes
Denise DuBarry as Johanna Franklin
Oteil Burbridge as Lolo
Ravenell Keller III as Abbaz
Brian Corrigan as Policeman by White House
Alfie Brown as Old Woman asked for lunch
Don Jacob as David

crew details
Director: Hal Ashby
Producer: Andrew Braunsberg
Directors of Photography: Caleb Deschanel, Dianne Schroeder
Editor: Don Zimmerman
Composer: Johnny Mandel
Script: Jerzy Kosinski
Production Design: Michael Haller
Set Design: Robert Benton
Art Director: James Schoppe

production details
Country: USA
Studio: Paramount
Year of Release: 1979
Duration: 130 minutes

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Look Back in Anger (Woodfall 1959, Richard Burton, Claire Bloom)

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Look Back In Anger Burton Bloom

Influential British kitchen-sink” drama Look Back in Anger, directed in gritty black and white by Tony Richardson (Tom Jones) and based on a hugely successful play by John Osborne, follows the apparently doomed marriage of an English couple, Jimmy and Allison Porter.

Richard Burton gives a stunning performance as Jimmy, a role that showed audiences he could perform on screen without the aid of historic armour. Look Back in Anger served as a seminal part of Britain’s “Angry Young Man” movement of theatrical dramas, novels and films and heralded the beginning of the England’s “New Wave cinema.”

Look Back in Anger was Richardson’s first feature for his newly formed Woodfall Films production company.

cast
Richard Burton as Jimmy Porter
Claire Bloom as Helena Charles
Mary Ure as Alison Porter
Edith Evans as Mrs. Tanner
Gary Raymond as Cliff Lewis
Glen Byam Shaw as Colonel Redfern
Phyllis Neilson-Terry as Mrs. Redfern
Donald Pleasence as Hurst
Jane Eccles as Miss Drury
S.P. Kapoor as Kapoor
George Devine as Doctor
Walter Hudd as Actor
Anne Dickins as Girl A.S.M
John Dearth as Pet Stall Man
Nigel Davenport as 1st. Commercial Traveller

crew details
Director: Tony Richardson
Producer: Harry Saltzman
Cinematography: Oswald Morris
Editor: Richard Best
Music: Chris Barber
Script: Nigel Kneale, John Osborne
Production Design: Peter Glazier

production details
Country: UK
Studio: Woodfall – Warner Bros
Year of Release: 1959
Duration: 115 minutes

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Three Coins in the Fountain (TCF 1954, Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire)

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In handsomely photographed romance Three Coins in the Fountain, three American women (Jean Peters, Dorothy McGuire, Maggie McNamara) pin their hopes for love on wishes they make by tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Each finds romance; who wouldn’t in a Rome this beautiful? Ol’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra lends his vocal talents to the title song.

Three Coins in the Fountain was the first CinemaScope picture ever shot on location; the widescreen format makes the most of the stunningly romantic Roman and Venetian landscapes that form the backdrop to the story.

Negulesco tried this one again in 1965 as “The Pleasure Seekers.”

Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Picture.

Three Coins Fountain 1954 Clifton Webb

cast
Clifton Webb as John Frederick Shadwell
Dorothy McGuire as Miss Frances
Jean Peters as Anita Hutchins
Louis Jourdan as Prince Dino di Cessi
Maggie McNamara as Maria Williams
Rossano Brazzi as Giorgio Bianchi
Howard St. John as Burgoyne
Kathryn Givney as Mrs. Burgoyne
Cathleen Nesbitt as Principessa

crew details
Director: Jean Negulesco
Producer: Sol C. Siegel
Original Story: John H. Secondari
Cinematography: Milton Krasner
Editor: William Reynolds
Music: Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne, Victor Young
Script: John Patrick
Production Design: Lyle Wheeler

production details
Country: USA
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Year of Release: 1954
Duration: 102 minutes

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Rack, The (MGM 1956, Paul Newman, Wendell Corey)

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The Rack Paul Newman

Dark courtroom drama The Rack was based on a Rod Serling teleplay, and proved to be (along with “Somebody Up There Likes Me”, 1956) young Paul Newman’s breakthrough role. Newman plays an officer accused of collaborating with enemy interrogators during the Korean War. As his defenders attempt to show that his mental state exposed him to tortures as extreme as the medieval rack, Newman’s buttoned-up father (Pidgeon), an army colonel, must come to terms with his own role in his son’s collapse.

The movie version of The Rack was written by Stewart Stern. When Newman made his directorial debut in 1968 with Rachel, Rachel, he was once again working from a screenplay by Stern.

cast
Paul Newman as Capt. Edward Worthington Hall, Jr.
Wendell Corey as Maj. Sam Moulton
Walter Pidgeon as Col. Edward W. Hall, Sr.
Edmond O’Brien as Lt. Col. Frank Wasnick
Anne Francis as Aggie Hall
Lee Marvin as Capt. John R. Miller
Cloris Leachman as Caroline
Robert Burton as Col. Ira Hansen
Robert F. Simon as Law Officer
Trevor Bardette as Court President
Adam Williams as Sgt. Otto Pahnke
James Best as Millard Chilson Cassidy
Fay Roope as Col. Dudley Smith
Barry Atwater as Maj. Byron Phillips

crew details
Director: Arnold Laven
Producer: Arthur M. Loew
Director of Photography: Paul Vogel
Editors: Harold F. Kress, Marshall Neilan
Composer: Adolph Deutsch
Script: Rod Serling, Stewart Stern
Production Design: Cedric Gibbons, Merrill Pye

production details
Country: USA
Studio: MGM
Year of Release: 1956
Duration: 100 minutes

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