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Creative Genius Bryan Forbes, Director of Stepford Wives, Dies Aged 86


Bryan Forbes Nicole Kidman Richard Attenborough

Bryan Forbes, one of the most creative forces in the movie world for years, has died aged 86. The director, actor and writer was considered one of Hollywood's finest in the 1960s and he helmed the original version of The Stepford Wives (1974) before turning to a life of writing books, both fiction and memoirs.

As The Guardian point it, the turning point in Forbes career came when he formed the independent company Beaver Films with the great Richard Attenborough in 1958. Forbes received an Oscar nomination and a BAFTA award for the company's first project, The Angry Silence (1960). Attenborough played a factory worker persecuted for not joining a strike. 

Forbes went on to write The League of Gentleman (1960) and directed Whistle Down The Wind (1961) about children who mistake an escape convict for Jesus. For 'The Stepford Wives,' Forbes directed a screenplay by William Goldman about Joanna Eberhart, a woman who moves to the quaint town Stepford, Connecticut with her family before discovering that a sinister truth that lies behind the perfect behavior of the female residents. The movie was remade in 2004 by Frank Oz, starring Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick and Bette Midler.

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Filmmaking Pioneer Bryan Forbes Dies At Age 86


Bryan Forbes

The revered film director and writer Bryan Forbes has died at the age of 86, following a prolonged illness. Forbes was best known for work like the classic 70s horror The Stepford Wives and Whistle Down The Wind. Forbes began his career as an actor and screenwriter and went on to become one of the biggest and most respected names in British cinema.

A friend of Forbes’, Matthew D’Ancona said: "Bryan Forbes was a titan of cinema, known and loved by people around the world in the film and theatre industries and known in other fields including politics. He is simply irreplaceable and it is wholly apt that he died surrounded by his family."

In 2004, Forbes won a CBE for services to the arts and the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. He was born in 1926 in Stratford, London and began acting in the early 1940s. He started with a number of supporting roles in notable British films including An Inspector Calls and The Colditz Story, but soon found bigger success as a screenwriter and director. His notable screenwriting credits included I Was Monty's Double (1958) and The League of Gentlemen (1959).

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* THE STEPFORD WIVES DIRECTOR BRYAN FORBES DIES

Bryan Forbes - In 2004, the filmmaker was honoured with a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) medal, and last year (12) he received a prestigious British Film Institute Fellowship Award. (PAW/WNWCCB/KL) - United Kingdom - Wednesday 8th May 2013

BRYAN FORBES
BRYAN FORBES
BRYAN FORBES
BRYAN FORBES

Chaplin Review


Good
Movies about movie stars are always a dodgy affair. They reek of in-jokes, chumminess, and a glossy version of Hollywood that has never really existed.

As actors go, Charlie Chaplin is at least a worthy candidate for a biopic. His impact on the acting profession and especially physical comedy is hard to overstate, and the man remains an icon whose face (or silhouette) embodies cinema. In the hands of Richard Attenborough, Chaplin's life is digested into the highlights -- from vaudevillian youth to his arrival in Hollywood to his amazingly fast rise to fame. Attenborough even dabbles in Chaplin's investigation by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. Naturally, the running series of Chaplin's famous romantic entanglements are carefully tallied, the actresses playing the various Mrs. Chaplins (and near misses) making up a who's who of early-'90s starlets.

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Séance on a Wet Afternoon Review


OK
Here's a good scam: Woman, trying to prove her ability as a psychic, kidnaps the child of a wealthy couple so she can use "her powers" to later find the child. She's not really in it for the money, alas. She's a raving lunatic.

Kim Stanley earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a woman on the edge -- reminiscent of Angela Lansbury's turn in The Manchurian Candidate -- but it's Richard Attenborough who steals the show as her husband, who goes along with the affair but is torn between pleasing his wife and doing the right thing.

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Hopscotch Review


OK
Often touted as one of the great cat-and-mouse games in movie history, Hopscotch's antics just don't stand up to some of its more expertly crafted contemporaries. Walter Matthau is unforgettable as an ex-CIA agent who's so bored he decides to write a tell-all memoir about his experiences as a spy. This sits poorly with his former bosses, who immediately plot to have him killed. Naturally, he outsmarts them at every turn, but the depth of "clever" twists never rises above identity changes and leaving tape recorders in hotel rooms he's just left. Overrated, unfortunately.
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