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It's Farewell To Another Hollywood Great! 'The Birds' Star Rod Taylor Dies At 84


Rod Taylor Tippi Hedren

Veteran actor Rod Taylor has passed away aged 84, with reports suggesting he collapsed following a heart attack at his Los Angeles home on Wednesday (January 7th 2015). The news comes ahead of his 85th birthday on Sunday.

Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren in 'The Birds'
Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren in 'The Birds'

The star was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his death according to People, with other reports suggesting he had just left a dinner party. There is no notion that he had been previously suffering from ill health in the months before his death.

Continue reading: It's Farewell To Another Hollywood Great! 'The Birds' Star Rod Taylor Dies At 84

THE BIRDS STAR ROD TAYLOR DIES AT 84

Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor - Shown: Rod Taylor (as Mitch Brenner), Tippi Hedren (as Melanie Daniels) - London, United Kingdom - Friday 9th January 2015

2014 Princess Grace Awards Gala Presented By Christian Dior Couture

Tippi Hedren - A host of stars attended the 2014 Princess Grace Awards Gala which was presented by Christian Dior Couture at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States - Wednesday 8th October 2014

Tippi Hedren
Tippi Hedren

Princess Grace Awards Gala 2014

Tippi Hedren - A host of stars attended the 2014 Princess Grace Awards Gala which was presented by Christian Dior Couture at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States - Thursday 9th October 2014

Tippi Hedren

8th Annual BritWeek Launch Party

Tippi Hedren - 8th Annual BritWeek Launch Party - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 23rd April 2014

8th Annual BritWeek Launch Party

Tippi Hedren - 8th Annual BritWeek Launch Party - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Driven To The Brink: Tippi Hedren And Alfred Hitchock, Documented In The Girl


Alfred Hitchcock Tippi Hedren

“To be the object of someone’s obsession is horrible,” said Tippi Hedren, the actress who was very much the object of Alfred Hitchcock’s affections, for a large part of his career. Hedren’s tale of abuse and sexual harassment, whilst she was filming Hitchcock’s movies, such as The Birds and Marnie, is detailed in Donald Spoto’s biography of Hitchcock’s life and has now been committed to screen in The Girl, a BBC and HBO drama starring Sienna Miller as Tippi and Toby Jones in the role of the controlling movie director.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Hedren reveals that she told Miller to make sure that she was portrayed as a strong woman. “I wanted to make sure she understood where I was coming from,” she explained. “He was so insistent and obsessive, but I was an extremely strong young woman. There was no way he was going to get the better of me.”

Hedren also describes how she was conned into filming scenes in The Birds in which she was attacked by actual ravens, as opposed to the mechanical birds that were used elsewhere in the movie. After being pecked to within an inch of her life, the doctor ordered her to rest, much to Hitchcock’s chagrin. “She can’t rest for a week, we have nobody else to film,” came the unflinching director’s response. At the point that their relationship imploded, Hedren refused to speak to him, other than through intermediaries. He refused to call her by her name, referring to her only as The Girl.

Continue reading: Driven To The Brink: Tippi Hedren And Alfred Hitchock, Documented In The Girl

Retro Glamour: Scarlett Johansson Looking Stunning As Janet Leigh In 'Hitchcock'


Scarlett Johansson Alfred Hitchcock Janet Leigh Anthony Hopkins Tippi Hedren Alma Reville Helen Mirren

Scarlett Johansson is the focus of a new string of photos to be released from Hitchcock – the new movie based on Alfred Hitchcock’s relationship with his wife. The movie centres on the period of time around the filming of Hitchcock’s classic thriller, Psycho, of which Janet Leigh (played by Scarlett) became the undoubted star.

In the photos (courtesy of Deadbolt), we see Scarlett in all her retro glory, wearing pastel coloured, 1950s cats-eye sun-shades and driving a vintage car. Elsewhere, she can be seen wearing a cream coloured cardigan and pencil skirt, being measured by a wardrobe assistant, whilst Hitchcock (played by Anthony Hopkins) looks on, framing her with his hands.

Another recent Hitchcock biopic, The Girl, examined Hitchock’s dubious and allegedly abusive relationship with another of his leading ladies, Tippi Hedren (The Birds) but Hitchcock is more interested with the relationship between the director and his wife, Alma Reville. Of course, Scarlett Johansson’s on-screen glamour plays a large part in the movie and even in the trailer, tension can be detected between the wife and the leading lady, as Reville (played by Helen Mirren) tells her husband “don’t wait until half way through the movie (to kill off the leading actress) – do it after half an hour.”

Continue reading: Retro Glamour: Scarlett Johansson Looking Stunning As Janet Leigh In 'Hitchcock'

Alfred Hitchock and Tippi Hedren's Torturous Relationship Unveiled In HBO's 'The Girl'


Sienna Miller Alfred Hitchcock Tippi Hedren Toby Jones Imelda Staunton Anthony Hopkins Helen Mirren

HBO’s The Girl tells the tale of Alfred Hitchcock’s relationship with the screen star Tippi Hedren - played by Sienna Miller. The story itself seems to be the real winner here; the TV movie explores the theory that Hitchcock (played by Toby Jones) “behaved like a psychotic lout” towards Tippi Hedren during the two films that they made together (The Birds and Marnie).

When Hedren spurns Hitchcock’s sexual advances, he uses his directorial power to torture her. When filming The Birds, he insists that she films take after take of the scenes in which she is attacked by birds. He does his best to break her spirit but ultimately, she remains strong and ultimately retains the upper hand.

New York Daily News have praised the feature, saying that Miller and Jones’ performances “keep the story alive and moving,” though Jones’ Hitchcock has but one dimension: “an arrogant egomaniac who was unpleasant to everyone around him.” Imelda Staunton is landed with the role of his unenviable wife, portrayed here as an “enabler” of his torrid behavior. The power of this disturbing story, according to chron.com is so fierce that you will be left feeling like you need to take a shower afterwards. According to their report though, Toby Jones’ performance is caricatured and lacking in authenticity.

Continue reading: Alfred Hitchock and Tippi Hedren's Torturous Relationship Unveiled In HBO's 'The Girl'

Your Mommy Kills Animals Review


Good
In the first few minutes of the shrewdly named Your Mommy Kills Animals, we're told the U.S. government named the animal rights movement the #1 domestic terrorist threat in 2005. We spend the rest of the documentary determining whether that's a legitimate assessment or a desperate strategy.

If you've never pegged the animal rights universe as painfully complicated, think again. Director Curt Johnson, Oscar-winning producer of the 2002 short Thoth, stirs a whirlwind of history, opinions, and first-person footage that's the most accessible, thorough chronicle of animal rights ever put to film.

Continue reading: Your Mommy Kills Animals Review

The Break Up (1998) Review


Unbearable
Pedestrian thriller. Nonsensical and obvious why it went straight to cable, despite a decent cast of stars. What's with Weber's big moustache, anyway?

A Countess From Hong Kong Review


OK
Not to be confused with The Lady from Shanghai, this is best known as Charlie Chaplin's first film shot in color (as a director), his film with the largest budget, and the last movie he both directed and appeared in (in a cameo that's easy to miss). The story is vintage Chaplin -- a wealthy Russian countess stows away on a cruise ship to escape Hong Kong and winds up in a politician's suite; naturally they fall in love -- but everything else about it feels a bit strange. For starters: Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren in a Chaplin farce? Surprisingly, they both acquit themselves well here, but the repetitive story (with Loren repeatedly running to hide in Brando's bathroom when there's a knock on the door) gets tiresome.

The Birds Review


Extraordinary
Hitchcock aimed to do for avians in The Birds what he did for showers in Psycho, and by and large he succeeded. The Birds is roughly hewn by comparison to Hitch's more deftly plotted films -- it's much closer to a monster movie than a psychological thriller, moreso than any of his other films. Tippi Hedren makes her screen debut here, and it's a bit of a cold and tricky one, though not a terrible performance. She flubs her lines consistently, though -- including one in her very first scene. The Birds is most notable though for turning something completely harmless into an incredible menace -- all with absolutely no explanation. That's where the terror really comes from in The Birds.

The Break Up Review


Unbearable
Pedestrian thriller. Nonsensical and obvious why it went straight to cable, despite a decent cast of stars. What's with Weber's big moustache, anyway?

Citizen Ruth Review


OK
It's been a while since I've anticipated a film this greatly and been let down so much by the actual product. Filmed from Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor's extremely entertaining script, Citizen Ruth had a lot to live up to. Of course, in some ways, it does, and in some, it doesn't. Geez, you'd think I would be used to disappointment by now!

Citizen Ruth is the story of Ruth Stoops (Laura Dern), a "huffer" (paint/glue/other hazardous vapor sniffer) who finds herself the unlikely center of a modern morality play. Ruth, pregnant for the fifth time and up on drug charges once again, is given a choice by an unsympathetic judge: go to jail for criminally endangering her fetus, or have an abortion and face a lighter sentence. Immediately, ires are raised and banners are crafted from both sides of the abortion issue -- with Ruth Stoops, the lowest of the low, right in the middle.

Continue reading: Citizen Ruth Review

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