Andrew V. McLaglen 1920 -2014

Andrew V. McLaglen , film and television director whose career included John Wayne Westerns, has died aged 95, the Journal of the San Juan Islands has reported. 
McLaglen was the son of Oscar winning actor Victor McLaglen, who had won the Best Actor award in John Ford’s The Informer (1935).  oies-sauvages-1978-tou--04-g

Andrew’s taste for the film industry began when he spent two weeks on the set of Gunga Din in 1939, watching his father, Cary Grant, George Stevens and Douglas Fairbanks Jnr.

He was the assistant director on John Ford’s  The Quiet Man (1952) and landed his first directorial film with Man in the Vault (1956).  

He is most noted for directing John Wayne in the comedy western  McLintock! (1963),  the dramatic Hellfighter (1968)  about oil-well firefighters,  the story of the French intervention into Mexico in The Undefeated (1969),  Chisum (1970) which was loosely based on the event of the Lincoln County War, and Cahill U.S Marshal (1973).

Andrew also directed James Stewart in the civil war drama Shenandoah (1965),  and The Rare Breed (1966) which starred Maureen O’Hara.  Other films included the war drama The Devil’s Brigade (1968) starring William Holden, the star-studded The Wild Geese (1978) starring Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Roger Moore and Hardy Kruger, and The Sea Wolves (1980) with Gregory Peck, Roger Moore and David Niven.

His television career included a reported 96 episodes directing Gunsmoke between 1956- 1965, as well as 116 episodes of Have Gun- Will Travel from 1957-1963

When asked in 2009 for the website ‘Senses of Cinema’  whether he loved directing the Western genre he replied: ”No, that was really by mistake… It was totally by mistake because first I did Man in the Vault. Then I got a Western, Gun the Man Down, because I knew Jim Arness. Then, as I told you, I wound up doing a whole bunch of Gunsmoke episodes. I then became the “Western Director”, the star over at CBS. Then everybody thinks, ‘Jesus, that’s his big specialty’… It was what happened. It’s the way my course was laid for me.”

The ‘V’ in his name stood for Victor. His father’s name. 




Susanne Lothar, ‘Funny Games’ actress, has died.

Susanne Lothar, who portrayed the terrorised wife in Michael Haneke’s 1997 film Funny Games, has died aged 51.
Her death was announced by her family lawyer in Berlin on Wednesday.  No cause of death has been released.

Susanne received a German Film acting award nomination in every decade from the 1980s to present.

ImageFilm audiences would recognise her as Anna, the wealthy mother of a family whose life is inexplicably changed forever when they are taken hostage in Haneke’s Palme D’or nominated film.

In 2007 she appeared in Haneke’s The Piano Teacher as Mrs Schober, the mother the young girl Anna, whose musical aspirations are destroyed by an act of sabotage.

Viewers of David Suchet’s Hercule Poirot productions would recognise her as Hildegarde Schmidt, the Armstrong’s family cook, and one of the 13 passengers on the infamous Orient Express.

Once more she teamed with Haneke for his Palme d’Or winning film The White Ribbon where she portrayed the humiliated local midwife.


With her passing the two main characters of Funny Games have now died.  Her screen husband was played by her real life husband Ulrich Muhe. He passed away in 2007.

– by Rhett Bartlett

Screenshots:  Funny Games, The White Ribbon.







Richard D. Zanuck obituary

Richard D. Zanuck, the film producer whose faith in a mechanical shark and a 28 year old director created a cinema blockbuster, died on Friday July 13th 2012.

He had followed in the footsteps of his father, Darryl, who co-founded 20th Century Fox,  won three competitive Best Picture Academy Awards (How Green Was My Valley / Gentleman’s Agreement / All About Eve) and received the Irving Thalberg Award (for Producers) on three occasions.

Richard received his own Thalberg Award in 1991 (it was presented by Michael Douglas), one year after he produced the Best Picture Oscar winning film Driving Miss Daisy.

His speech on Oscar night began with thanks to the non-nominated directed of the film, a rarity for Best Picture winners.
“We are up here one very simple reason, and that is the fact Bruce Beresford is a brilliant director.

It was a shark named ‘Bruce’ in a film called Jaws that cemented Richard’s values of commitment and trust in the film industry.   With an overblown budget and on-set disasters, Richard maintained his belief in the film and its crew.

Director Steven Spielberg’s statement, released a few hours after Zanuck’s passing, read in part:

“In 1974, Dick Zanuck and I sat in a boat off Martha’s Vineyard and watched the mechanical shark sink to the bottom of the sea. Dick turned to me and smiled. `Gee, I sure hope that’s not a sign.’ That moment forged a bond between us that lasted nearly 40 years. He taught me everything I know about producing. He was one of the most honorable and loyal men of our profession and he fought tooth and nail for his directors.”
The film gave Richard Zanuck his first Oscar nomination.  Spielberg was snubbed in the director category.

Richard’s success spanned seven decades, including Compulsion (1959) starring Orson Welles, The Sound of Music (1965) for which he was uncredited as executive producer, The Sting (1973) which won the Best Picture Oscar (he was not one of the 3 names listed in the nominations), Cocoon (1985),  Deep Impact (1999), Road to Perdition (2002) and Dark Shadows (2012).

Zanuck’s publicist, Jeff Sanderson, announced the producer died of a heart attack at his home in Beverley Hills. (i)

Richard D. Zanuck was 77 years of age, the same age his father was when he died.

– by Rhett Bartlett


Photo of Richard Zanuck provided by Alan Light.
(i) New York Times July 13 2012

Andy Griffith’s faces in the crowd.

The late Andy Griffith (June 1 1926 – July 3 2012) began his film career with a scintillating performance in Elia Kazan’s – ‘A Face in the Crowd’ , in 1957.

With his passing, let’s look back at his different ‘faces in the crowd’.  His film performances from 1957 up to 2009.

1. A Face in the Crowd (dir: Elia Kazan) 1957.
as Larry ‘Lonesome’ Rhodes 


2. No Time For Sergeants (dir: Mervyn LeRoy) 1958.
as Private Will Stockdale.


3. Onionhead (dir: Norman Taurog) 1958
as Alvin ‘Al’ Woods 


4. The Second Time Around (dir: Vincent Sherman) 1961
as Pat Collins 


5. Angel in my Pocket (dir: Alan Rafkin) 1969
as Reverend Samuel D. Whitehead


6. Hearts of the West (dir: Howard Zieff) 1975.
as Howard Pike aka: Billy Pueblo


7. Rustler’s Rhapsody (dir: Hugh Wilson) 1985.
as Colonel Ticonderoga 


8. Spy Hard (dir: Rick Friedberg) 1996.
as General Rancor 


9. Waitress (dir: Adrienne Shelly) 2007.
as Old Joe


10. Play the Game (dir: Marc Fienberg) 2009.
as Grandpa Jo

– by @dialmformovies
Rhett Bartlett.