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Francis Ford Coppola Receives Oscar Lifetime Achievement Award

Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola received the Irving G. Thalberg award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's over the weekend during an Oscar ceremony in Los Angeles. 

"I've learned how to spend money, and Francis has learned how to make it," producer George Lucas said during his tribute to Coppola.

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Dennis Hopper Dead at 74

Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper, the Easy Rider director best remembered for playing whacked-out characters during an acting career that spanned six decades, died from complications of prostate cancer. He was 74.

Hopper died Saturday at 8:15 a.m. in his Venice, Calif., home surrounded by family and friends, the Hopper family said in a statement.

Look back on Dennis Hopper's most memorable roles

Critics and fans often said no one did ...
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George Lucas Hails Maverick Filmmakers, Teases Indy 4

George Lucas

George Lucas is feeling good about television. In his life post-Star Wars franchise, the legendary writer, director, producer, special-effects czar and mega-mogul is still embracing his legacy — the far-far-away galaxy he created for six films that changed the cinematic universe and became a part of world pop culture. But now a new medium will bear the message. In a conversation with TV Guide executive editor Steve Sonsky that began with a discussion of Fog City Mavericks, a Starz documentary (premiering Monday, Sept. 24, at 9 pm/ET) about the history of San Francisco-based filmmakers like himself, Francis Ford Coppola and Clint Eastwood, Lucas also held forth on the status of his two read more

First Serial Killer Flick? And More!

Peter Lorre in M courtesy Criterion Video

Questions about serial murderers in movies a shower of blood The Godfather IIs Troy DonahueMerle Johnson mystery and moreSend your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks in Movie TalkHear Maitland on the weekly TVGuide Talk podcastQuestion I love movies about serial killers and that got me to wondering What was the very first serial killer picture -- AlexFlickChick I love first questions because they always get the discussion going Id argue that Alfred Hitchcocks silent The Lodger 1926 gets the credit for being the earliest movie about a serial murderer That said it focuses less on the killer and his victims than on the increasingly concerned landlady who comes to suspect her upstairs lodger might be this Jack the Ripper fellow she keeps reading about in the newspaper Fritz Langs M 1931 seems to me the first film whose structure resembles that of contemporary serial killer pictures It focuses on both read more

Sopranos to the Silver Screen? Experts Share Their Takes

Tony Sirico and James Gandolfini, The Sopranos

After The Sopranos ended — in a flurry of suspicion and onion rings — rumors started flying: Had creator David Chase kept Tony breathing for a Sopranos movie? ("I never say never," Chase told the Newark Star-Ledger. "An idea could pop into my head where I would go, ‘Wow, that would make a great movie,' but I doubt it.") "It could make a good feature," says director Barry Sonnenfeld, who adapted two beloved TV series, The Addams Family ("No one complained," he says), and Wild Wild West ("Which, let's just say, was problematic"). "But the question is, will the studio that makes the mo read more

A Likable Host for a Long, Low-Key Oscars

The one thing I realized as Oscar night droned on and on for nearly four hours: If I ever had to choose someone to be stranded with for hours on end (say, like those poor Jet Blue passengers a few weeks ago), it would have to be Ellen DeGeneres.Keeping her cool, and her genuine aura of chipper goodwill, throughout three costume changes (in suits from red velvet to all-white to royal blue) and what seemed once again like an overindulgent excess of movie montages (we definitely could have done without Michael Mann’s fuzzy survey of cinematic American history), Ellen was welcome nearly every time she popped up. Offering a spec script to Martin Scorsese, directing Steven Spielberg on how to take her photo with Clint Eastwood, asking the megastars in the front row to lift their legs as she vacuumed the Kodak past midnight (ET), while informing us that Helen Mirren had just asked for a rum and coke (sounded pretty good to me at the time), Ellen did her darndest to deflate the bloat a... read more

In the "Meeting Mr. Kurtz" ...

Question: In the "Meeting Mr. Kurtz" chapter of Adam Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost, he writes that of the three movie versions of the book Heart of Darkness, two weren't even set in Africa. He notes Apocalypse Now as one and I e-mailed him asking whether Werner Herzog's excellent Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972) was the other. He said it wasn't but couldn't remember the other title, though he said it was set in the time of the Spanish Civil War. Do you know what Hochschild was referring to?


Answer: I don't know and my research didn't turn up what I would call a definitive answer. But I think it might be Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón's El Corazón del Bosque (1979), which is set 10 years after the Spanish Civil War. It revolves around a young man who sets out on a journey deep into the heavily forested Spanish hills in search of a legendary loyalis read more

I remember watching a very ...

Question: I remember watching a very short-lived show (it might even have been only a two-hour pilot) about a planet that had one half permanently in the dark and one have permanently in the light. Do you know the name of this show? Thanks.


Answer: You're thinking of Fox's White Dwarf, a two-hour pilot produced by Bruce Wagner (Wild Palms) and Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now Redux, etc.) which originally aired May 1995 and never made it to series.

In what The Los Angeles Times termed "a sort of Willow meets ER set in the time of Star Wars, Neal McDonough starred as a young doctor from Earth who traveled to the planet Rusta in the year 3040 to study the ways read more

How can people in the movie ...

Question: How can people in the movie business have the same name? Like there's a director called Morgan Freeman as well as an actor; isn't there some kind of rule that one of them has to change his name?


Answer: Two actors who are members of the Screen Actors Guild cannot use the same professional name. That's why you have one actress named Vanessa Williams and another named Vanessa L. Williams though, confusingly, both the Vanessas were in Soul Food: Vanessa L. was in the 1997 movie and just-plain-Vanessa was in the cable series. Fortunately, they didn't play the same character. I put in a call to the Directors Guild of America, and they have a similar rule: As long as a DGA member is active (which does read more

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