"Gone With The Wind" Premiered On This Date In 1939
And a big event it was, for if ‘Gone With The Wind’ is a new high for film making, Atlanta’s premiere out-Hollywooded Hollywood and all points east. When the film’s stars and feature players arrived last Thursday, they found a city facaded in the architecture and finery of the 60’s, its citizens dressed in the hoop skirts and claw-hammer coats of a more prosperous era. Half of Atlanta’s 300,000 population turned out to greet the motorcade that carried the film folk from the airport.
Newsweek December 25, 1939
11/11/11- Happy “Spinal Tap” Day!
Louder than Black Sabbath, more riotous than Quiet Riot, at least as raunchy as Judas Priest … ladies and gentlemen, meet England’s 17-year-old heavy-metal band Spinal Tap. Never heard of them? Can’t recall their ’70s album “Intravenous De Milo” or the recent “Shark Sandwich”? Where’ve you been, man? Now Marty DiBergi, documentarist, has taken camera in hand to correct this glaring cultural gap. He was there for the band’s recent, if somewhat less than glorious, American tour, and he got it down, warts and all, in his revelatory “rockumentary” This Is Spinal Tap.
It is the highest compliment to “This ls Spinal Tap" — a very savvy satire of the rock-and-roll scene — that a number of people are going to take their time getting the joke. It’s easy to miss the fact that Marty DiBergi is actually Rob Reiner. And who would guess that the two lead guitarists from Squatney, England, David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel, are actually American actors Michael McKean and Christopher Guest, so impeccable are their coiffures, their accents and the little cold sores that materialize on their lips? True, you might think it a bit odd to hear that their first drummer died "in a bizarre gardening accident" and that their second drummer choked on vomit ("actually, someone else’s vomit," they explain), but this is the music biz. Strange things happen. Like getting lost backstage in Cleveland and never finding your way to the stage. Like the little miscalculation over the props for "Stonehenge," their major Druid production number: the prehistoric stones that descend are only 18 inches tall, not 18 feet, a fact not disguised by bringing on two dancing midgets to make them loom larger.
Close to the Vest: “This Is Spinal Tap" is a very special, very original hoot. Given a target as wide and vulgar as heavy-metal rock, the surprise is that the movie’s wit manages to be so subtle. Director Reiner, who improvised the film with McKean, Guest and Harry Shearer, plays it very close to the leather vest aping the cinema verite style so knowingly that the film becomes a satire of the documentary form itself, complete with perfectly faded “clips” from old TV shows of the band in its mod and flowerchild incarnations. Reiner won’t sacrifice the pseudodocumentary surface for a gag, with the result that the story of the band’s pathetic tour achieves moments of surprising poignancy, as their gigs get canceled, their manager (Tony Hendra) quits, the lead singer’s girlfriend (June Chadwick) takes control and drives guitarist Tufnel away. Reiner has made a very hip, sophisticated sendup, but his affection and feel for life on the road keep the satire friendly. This is surely the funniest movie ever made about rock and roll, and one of the funniest things about it is that it may also be one of the most accurate.
Newsweek March 5, 1984
Return to Oz!
Two years ago, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of The “Wizard of OZ”, our video team interviewed the five surviving “munchkins”. The result was poignant, hilarious and deserving of a new audience!
"Tower Heist" opens today marking Eddie Murphy’s return in a lead comedic role. Here’s our 1985 cover story as a reminder what a monster star he was. Also, check out our own Ramin Setoodeh’s review of “Tower Heist.”
"I have so much I want to do in this business," Murphy says. "I want to direct and write and score and produce — like Chaplin used to do. Nobody does that anymore."
Newsweek January 7, 1985
Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in November 2012 with “Skyfall”. Here’s an excerpt from our review of the first Bond film “Dr. No” starring Sean Connery.
The work of Ian Fleming has filled a real gap in the popular culture, for until he invented James Bond, there was absolutely no one with whom the cultivated sado-masochist could identify. With his cabalistic 007 number (his license to kill from the British Secret Service), his Balkan Soubraine special cigarettes, his nifty cars, and his passion for gambling, Bond is the exquisite thug.
Newsweek May 13, 1963
From David Ansen’s 1978 review:
'Halloween', a schlock horror movie made for a pittance by 30-year-old John Carpenter, happens to be the most frightening flick in years…a superb exercise in the art of suspense, and it has no socially redeeming value whatsoever. Nasty, voyeuristic, relentless, it aims at nothing but to scare the hell out of you…the apprehension of horror is more unnerving than the actual event. He spares us graphic scenes of blood and gore, but he plays on our expectations of violence like a sadist maestro…cult status seems assured.
Newsweek December 14, 1978
Courtesy: Compass International Pictures
As Tatum O’Neal pens our current “My Turn” column reflecting on childhood memories honoring recently deceased agent Sue Mengers, it seemed an opportune time to unearth this fascinating cover story of the then 12-year old from February 9, 1976.
…My relationship with my dad is extremely precious. Nobody in the world has a relationship like that. Me and my dad- it has nothing to do with sex. It’s not perverse. Some people think like that because we’re too close. People are weird…