Hollywood kinda blew it. Now HBO is determined to get it right. Mildred Pierce, a five-hour miniseries based on the classic James M. Cain novel about a single mom struggling through the Great Depression, stars Kate Winslet in the role made famous by Joan Crawford. Mommie Dearest won an Oscar for the 1945 film version, which is hardly considered definitive. In fact, it pretty much mangled and sanitized Cain's starkly sexual feminist saga. Winslet, herself an Oscar winner, watched only five minutes of the Crawford film, then stopped, she says, "because I...
Fringe (Friday, 9/8c, Fox)
This entire season has been a tour de force for Anna Torv. Doing double duty as dueling Olivias from parallel warring universes, she most recently spent an episode channeling her inner Spock — aka Leonard Nimoy — as the ghostly soul of William Bell inhabited her body for a very clever outing. (In the climax, the dormant Olivia resurfaced briefly, freaking out Peter and the viewing audience.) This week, we're back in alt-world, as the pregnant Alt-livia faces mortal danger from several fronts. It's a very harrowing hour, deserving a far larger audience than it's likely to get, tucked away on Fridays. Fox, stand by this show!
Norm Macdonald: Me Doing Stand-Up (Saturday, 11:30/10:30c, Comedy Central)
The sardonic comic...
Walter Seltzer, a Hollywood press agent turned producer, died at the Motion Picture and Television Fund's retirement home, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 96.
Born in Philadelphia, Seltzer moved to Hollywood in 1935, where he got a job with Fox West Coast Theatres. He quickly moved into publicity at MGM, working on films starring Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo and Clark Gable.
Question: I remember seeing a movie, I think made in the '60s, about a mother who for some reason is holding her son's fiancée/girlfriend hostage in a basement or cage or something like that. It was extremely suspenseful, but can't remember the title! It's driving me nuts, because I'd like to see it again. Ring any bells?Answer: My vote goes to Die! Die! My Darling! (1965), one of a string of films starring golden-age movie divas as deranged and/or terrorized crones, notably Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), with Joan Crawford and Bette Davis; Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), with
I've said this before and I'll say it again: This show is a parody of the behind-the-scenes life of a has-been actress trying to make a comeback in Hollywood, but the reason I enjoy it so much is that it's so realistic. I see this type of stuff happening all the time here in L.A. This episode was about how stars yearn so desperately for publicity. If they're not on a magazine cover, they want to hire a new publicist. It was great that Billy, the publicist Valerie hired, was played by Dan Bucatinksy, a good friend of Lisa Kudrow and her costar in two awesome films: All Over the Guy (which Dan also wrote) and The Opposite of Sex (which was written and directed by Dan's boyfriend, Don Roos, who also just directed Lisa in Happy Endings, which I still have to see). Got all of that? So I knew I'd love Dan. Billy literally pushing people and Valerie's look of concern when Billy told her he just left PMK to start his own publicity