November 30, 1999 |
The way we look at sports changed forever on a December day 36 years ago at then-Municipal Stadium in Philadelphia. It happened during the 64th annual Army-Navy game when, early in the fourth quarter, Cadet signal-caller Rollie Stichweh plunged off tackle from the 1-yard-line for a touchdown that would have been long forgotten were it not for what happened next: CBS immediately showed it again. That had never happened before. Instant replay was born. "This is not live!"
March 23, 1999 |
An hour into the Oscar telecast Sunday night, with only four of 26 statuettes distributed, you could hear remote controls across America click off the tube. An IRS 1040 form would have made livelier TV than the 71st annual Academy Awards, a barrage of tributes to dead cowboys and real-life heroes memorialized on celluloid. In a room containing Gwyneth Paltrow, Whoopi Goldberg and Steven Spielberg, why import Sen. John Glenn and Gen. Colin Powell for glamor? If brevity is the soul of wit, then these Academy Awards were positively soulless.
February 10, 1999 |
Last summer, the Allied forces in Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan seemed destined to advance invincibly toward a multiple triumph on Oscar night. But yesterday's Academy Awards nominations have turned the Spielberg sweep into a lively competition. It's a contest that draws the battle lines between Elizabethan England and World War II. Shakespeare in Love, the slyly effervescent and witty speculation on how the Bard beat writer's block, led the way yesterday with 13 nominations, including best picture, director (John Madden)
June 25, 1998 |
Olivia de Havilland wears her 82 years like a new frock and her fame like sensible pumps. With spun-silver hair upswept into a halo and brown eyes brimming with devilry, milady of the Italian bosom and French ankles gambols into the hotel suite. She looks less movie queen than Queen Mum, a role she played in the 1982 telefilm Charles and Diana. And although the valentine face is creased here and there, it beams like that of the lass who was Maid Marian in The Adventures of Robin Hood and Melanie in Gone With the Wind.
May 31, 1998 |
When U.S. Rep. Jon D. Fox called Lower Moreland High School principal Gregory Doviak the Friday before last, he wasn't looking for votes. "Have you heard?" Doviak recalled Fox saying. "You've won. "' The congressman passed the same cheerful message on to Abington High School principal Robert Burt and Sister Karen Dietrich, principal of Mount St. Joseph Academy, a private girls' school in Flourtown. All three institutions had earned recognition by the U.S. Department of Education as National Blue Ribbon Schools.
March 29, 1998 |
The Oscars are the Super Bowl of hubris, a beauty pageant with talent, a political campaign for the surgically enhanced. The show is sport. It's spectacle. It's politics and business. It's got almost everything - well, except art. Think of the stupefyingly dumb dance numbers. Or, save Billy Crystal, the inane scripted patter (and even Crystal sagged this year after the opening montage and medley, reaching with far too many Clinton jokes). Or the musical performances. Or who actually wins.
March 22, 1998 |
It was the the most expensive picture in the history of movies, and the delays and staggering logistical problems that beset its production were eagerly publicized in the media. But the studio that gambled everything on the epic film reaped a huge reward as it became a worldwide blockbuster. Titanic in 1997? No, Ben-Hur in 1959. Ben-Hur went on to win a dozen Oscar nominations and an unprecedented 11 statuettes, a record of suitably biblical proportions that stands to this day. But will it still stand after tomorrow night?
March 24, 1997 |
Fargo, the dark, comic film about a bungled kidnapping in the Midwest, won six Independent Spirit Awards Saturday at a ceremony honoring independent film in Santa Monica, Calif. The Gramercy Pictures film, up for seven Academy Awards tonight, won for best feature film, director Joel Coen, actress Frances McDormand, actor William H. Macy, screenplay and cinematography. Another Oscar contender, actor-director Billy Bob Thornton, took the best-first-feature award for Sling Blade.
March 21, 1997 |
Sergei Bodrov's Prisoner of the Mountains begins with the bonds that develop between two Russian soldiers who are chained together after being captured by Chechnyan rebels. But the unique strength of the film stems from the more paradoxical links that grow between the hostages and those who guard them. This deservedly honored movie - it won the grand public prize at the Cannes Film Festival and is the Russian contender for best foreign-language film at Monday night's Academy Awards - is an antiwar movie of cumulative power.
March 27, 1995 |
Ready or not, tonight's the night for the Academy Awards show, at 9 on ABC (Channel 6). When you review the program's bumpy history, a major question arises: Can a host make or break the annual Oscar telecast? Past and present producers of the Academy Awards ceremony seem to think so. Most agree on one thing: It's easy for participants to get bogged down in the seriousness of the evening's honors and awards. And though a solemn attitude may be great for a Nobel Prize ceremony, it can spell death for a three-hour show that's supposed to be entertaining.