Toast of the Town - Ben-Hur Remake/Robert Osborne/Citizen Kane/Film Preservation


With the news of a remake of Ben-Hur  (coming out in August 2016), what could be better than a look to the past to get our bearings?

Musician-composer Stewart Copeland discusses with Valley Performing Arts Center editing the silent film Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925). Watch the 5 minute interview here: Editing Ben-Hur.

Bosley Crowther of the New York Times sings high praise of  the 1959 version of Ben-Hur starring Charleton Heston in his review of the film. He lays particular stress on the effective personal relationships within the vastness of the film.

Variety's review agrees that, "The big difference between Ben-Hur [starring Charleton Heston] and other spectacles, biblical or otherwise, is its sincere concern for human beings."

Here is the official trailer for the new film by Paramount Pictures, starring Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman: Ben-Hur (2016)   

Looks like they are going for a Gladiator (2000)/Christopher Nolan's Batman/ heavily- CG video game version that will get the younger generation into the seats. This should be interesting. Let's hope the human quality is not lost in the action.


Robert Osborne

This month, Theater Talk uploaded to its official Youtube channel an interview with Turner Classic Movie host Robert Osborne. This interview originally aired on CUNY TV in 2010. They discuss the film and Broadway connection.

Watch it on Youtube here:

Who Penned Citizen Kane?

In February 2016, Thomas Dunne Books posthumously published screenwriter Frank Mankiewicz' memoir. It was not without controversy.

Mankiewicz claims in his book So As I Was Saying, that his father, Herman Mankiewicz wrote the classic film Citizen Kane and not Orson Welles (the star and director of the film). This is according to Lou Lumenick of the New York Post: My dad wrote ‘Citizen Kane’ — not Orson Welles.

Ray Kelly of Wellesnet, an Orson Welles online database, disputes this claim here: Mankiewicz book repeats lie that Orson Welles did not co-write ‘Citizen Kane’.

Film Preservation Library

A film preservation facility by David Packard of Hewlett Packard is nearing completion.

According to the LA Times, the building "houses vintage movies in the UCLA Film & Television Archive, including The Maltese Falcon, the Flash Gordon serials, Laurel & Hardy's Way Out West, Cecil B. DeMille's personal collection and producer Hal Wallis' own print of Casablanca."


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