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50 Years Later, Dick Van Dyke cannot Forget His «Bad Guy» Silent-M Clown Role

A half-century after the actor and director Carl Reiner tried depicting the life of churlish star in ‘The Comic,’ both Hollywood icons reflect on the career footnote: «What we were going for, really, was authenticity.»

Both Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke have always loved silent-movie clowns. At one point, they even teamed up to tell the story of one — a fictional composite of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and other superstars who was portrayed as a lying, cheating, egotistical jerk.

The movie — which opens on the protagonist’s funeral, then jumps back through time — was called The Comic, and, shortly after it hit theaters in New York exactly 50 years ago on Nov. 19, it disappeared. But Van Dyke and Reiner can’t quite forget the film, which has become an odd footnote in their legendary careers.

By way of backstory, Van Dyke, now 93, recalls to The Hollywood Reporter how he became friends with his silent-era idols Stan Laurel, who died in 1965, and Keaton, who passed away the following year. «I was looking through the phone book one day and there was his name,» recalls Van Dyke. «I thought, ‘It can’t be!’ [But] I called and it was Stan Laurel! He had seen our show and knew who I was» —  in fact, Van Dyke and Henry Calvin had re-created a Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy sketch in a 1963 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show called «The Sam Pomerantz Scandals» — «so I went and visited him on several occasions. I have some wonderful pictures of the two of us up in his apartment.» Van Dyke also discovered Keaton in the phone book and visited him at his house in the San Fernando Valley.

Even before the Van Dyke Show ended in 1966, creator-producer-writer Reiner, now 97, and Van Dyke often talked about paying homage to these silent clowns. But both were busy with other projects almost immediately. Van Dyke was in demand for films — starring in such hits as 1967’s Divorce American Style and Fitzwilly — while Reiner directed his first feature, the well-received Enter Laughing, based on his semi-autobiographical novel. He also wrote and starred in the Emmy-winning The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special, which reunited the cast of Your Show of Shows.

But in 1968, the duo set to work rewriting an old script at Columbia with Aaron Reuben. “What we were going for really was authenticity. We wanted to make it look like the era [as best] we could,” says Van Dyke, who even visited a couple of silent-film actors at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital «just to talk and see what life was like.»

https://thehollywoodunlocked.com/putlockers-hd-watch-frozen-2-2019-online-full-for-free

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‘Jumanji’ Star Tibeto-Burman language Gillan Reveals the ‘Avengers’ Scene She jury-rigged

The actor, who has become an action movie go-to, also weighs in on Martha’s journey in ‘Next Level’ and reading the script for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’: «I think it’s the best of the trilogy.»
Karen Gillan never planned on becoming an action star, but based on the skill she’s shown in her recent work, it’s easy to think otherwise. With Jumanji: The Next Level, the title is quite fitting for Gillan’s Martha character as she’s evolved into a confident leader as a result of winning Jumanji already and going away to college. Gillan, as the Ruby Roundhouse avatar, has also upped the ante in terms of her action sequences.

“We had the team from Mission: Impossible [stunt coordinator, second unit director Wade Eastwood] come on to the movie,” Gillan tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m not sure I was quite Tom Cruise level, but I did the whole nunchuck fight for sure. I had nunchucks on me on set every day so that I could practice in between other scenes. I’m pretty sure a few people got hurt in my practicing process. (Laughs.) I did the whole thing by the end.”

Eight months removed from her significant role as Nebula in the biggest film of all time, Avengers: Endgame, Gillan is finally able to open up about the experience of working closely with Robert Downey Jr. as well as the complicated process of playing two different Nebulas. Despite cutting her teeth on the beloved time travel series Doctor Who, even Gillan needed a primer for Endgame’s time travel shenanigans, noting it was confounding, especially since she didn’t have the full script.

“The way we differentiated them was by calling them ‘good Nebula’ and ‘bad Nebula,’” Gillan recalls. “I had a lot of time travel questions coming from a time travel background. The directors really kept me on track. I just found out whatever I needed to know for each scene.”

She also reveals who prevailed in an early scene in which Nebula and Downey’s Tony Stark play paper football.

“Well, I think it was me because that scene was improvised. And I won,” Gillan says with a laugh.

In a recent conversation with THR, Gillan also discusses the latest on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Marvel’s What If…? and how Nebula’s makeup and prosthetics inform her performance.

Since the avatars wore the same wardrobe for the entirety of the first movie and half of the second movie, were you and the rest of the cast thrilled to finally change your avatars’ wardrobe?

I certainly was because we went into some very cold conditions, and I was like, “I’m not going to be wearing that in the cold conditions, am I?” And they were like, “No, we’re going to get you a whole new outfit.” I think everyone was excited to change it up a little bit and evolve the look of the characters.

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Growing up, when you envisioned your career, was being an action star remotely part of the plan?

(Laughs.) Not at all. That sounds so absurd even hearing you say that. No, I grew up in Scotland in the middle of nowhere, studying Greek tragedy. (Laughs.) I aimed for stage, film and television, but even that sounded crazy and far-fetched. Never did I imagine that I would be learning how to use nunchucks.

Your American accent seems pretty dialed in at this point. Do you still need a dialect coach, or do you have it down by now?

For general American, I don’t use a dialect coach anymore, but it depends on where the character is from. If it’s anything except general American, I will still use a dialect coach, and I really like doing that. Sometimes, it’s not even about the accent. It’ll just be: what period are we in, or what is the intonation or rhythm. So, I still like to work on that, but for the general American, modern-day girl, I don’t do that anymore.

It’s well established how good you are at impressions. So, as I was watching the film, I kept wondering what your Danny DeVito or Danny Glover would be like. Did you give director Jake Kasdan a little bit of a hard time about this?

I was a little jealous that I didn’t get to play around… I was and I wasn’t because I do love my character — and I do feel like I’m playing a character. I’m getting to put on an accent and play a teenager. She’s evolved so much from the last film; I did feel like it was something new for me because she was so shy in the last film. She started to access her confidence, but in this film, she has to become the leader of the whole team, essentially. She steps into the Spencer role a little. That was enough of an evolution to keep me satisfied as an actor. So, I was really excited to dive into all of that.

Did you at least do your own versions of DeVito and Glover in between takes?

(Laughs.) I didn’t, but I’ve been doing it a lot on this press tour. I don’t know why.

In the Jumanji berry scene with you and Jack (Black), Martha and Fridge briefly switch avatars. Did you enjoy playing someone different as fleeting as it was?

Yes, that was so much fun. I was so glad that I did get to play around with the character switching a little bit. I can safely say that’s the one and only time I’ll ever get cast as that type of role. (Laughs.) So, I relished the opportunity.

 www.thehollywoodunlocked.com/123moviesuhdwatch-jumanji-the-next-level-2019-online-free-or-full

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David Glasser’s one zero one Studios Nabs Rights to Paradise fireplace soccer Story

‘The Rookie’ producer Mark Ciardi is on board the project, which is based on the book ‘Paradise Found.’

David Glasser’s 101 Studios is developing a screen adaptation of the true story of the football team from Paradise, California, the small town destroyed by 2018’s Camp Fire.

Based on the Bill Plaschke book Paradise Found, the story centers on a high school football team under the dedication of its longtime coach, Rick Prinz, who helped their mountain town rise from the ashes, inspiring a community and a nation with its grit and perseverance.

Mark Ciardi, whose credits include The RookieMiracle and Million Dollar Arm, will produce via his Select Films banner. Glasser, David Hutkin and Bob Yari will executive porduce.

 

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Prinz said in a statement: «11/8/18 at 8:34 AM I sent this text message to the football team — ‘the plan is to practice at 3:00 today. If it is too smoky, we will modify our activity. I will keep you informed if anything changes.’ 11 minutes later, we were running for our lives. These young men had faced the reality of death. They had lost everything, their possessions, their homes, their town. They were living with relatives, in hotels, trailers, and cars. Some were homeless. I could see the anguish and despair in their eyes. We didn’t have a school, we didn’t have a practice field, we didn’t have cleats, we didn’t even have a football. But we had each other.»

Added Plaschke, who will consult on the film: «Imagine a small-town-football-team story that begins with no town and no team. The rebirth of the Paradise High Bobcats in the wake of a fire that decimated their small mountain village is a tale of 39 displaced kids and their coaches fighting together to overcome tragedy, forge a family, dominate a season, and bond a broken community.»

«The Camp Fire in Paradise, California, last year completely devastated the homes and lives of the people who lived there, but we are honored to shine a light on the inspirational reporting and storytelling by Bill Plaschke of this remarkable community, and high school football team, rebuilding their lives,» said Glasser, with Ciardi adding, «A year ago, the town of Paradise endured its complete destruction, due to the deadliest wild fire in California history. Its football team has helped it rebuild literally from the ashes, and given hope where little existed. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a story with this much emotion in it.»

101 Studios most recently released Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Current War: Director’s Cut.

 

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‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — mount Ferencz (‘Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of mount Ferencz’)

«I was the chief prosecutor in what was certainly the biggest murder trial in human history,» says Ben Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg trials prosecutor and the subject of Barry Avrich‘s acclaimed new documentary feature Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, as we sit down at h Club LA to record an episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast. Ferencz, a 99-year-old Hungarian-born Jew, served the U.S. Army valiantly during World War II, fighting in numerous storied battles before becoming an investigator of Nazi war crimes at numerous concentration camps as the war wound to a close. And, after the Allied powers’ victory, Ferencz, at the tender age of just 27, was recruited to represent the the U.S. Army at the Einsatzgruppen Trial. As he puts it, «I had no experience. I had never been in a courtroom before. But I knew my stuff.»

Prosecuting Evil, which is currently streaming on Netflix, was greeted with widespread acclaim following its premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and its theatrical release on Feb. 22, 2019, and it currently stands at 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

* * *

Born to Orthodox Jewish farmers in Transylvania, Ferencz, at just nine months of age, was brought to America by his parents aboard a ship, passing the torch of the Statue of Liberty. («That light, I’m afraid, has gone out, and I very much regret it,» he says in reference to the Trump Administration’s attitudes towards today’s immigrants.) He grew up in poverty and around crime, but studied hard and gained admittance to City College of New York and then Harvard Law School, where he decided to pursue a career in crime prevention and studied with one of the world’s leading experts on what we now call war crimes, Prof. Sheldon Gluck. After graduating and passing the Bar, he entered the U.S. Army in 1943, starting in artillery and then moving to the judge advocate’s section of Gen. George S. Patton’s army. One of Ferencz’s most gut-wrenching assignments during his time in the service was to witness the liberation of numerous concentration camps and seize evidence for future war crimes trials against Nazis. «Anybody who says it didn’t happen,» he says in regard to Holocaust deniers, «they won’t say that didn’t happen to me.»

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After Ferencz’s honorable discharge on Christmas of 1945, he returned stateside — only to be summoned to Washington and recruited to assist in Nuremberg, where, in addition to international military tribunal trials, there were 12 additional trials against people from other segments of Nazi Germany’s society. There originally were to be only 11 additional trials, but Ferencz fought for — and was empowered to serve as chief prosecutor at — a twelfth, the Einsatzgruppen trial, which weighed the behavior of 24 defendants who were alleged to have served as commanders in SS mobile death squads. Ferencz, at just 27 and standing at just 5’2″, delivered his opening statement while standing on a pile of books. «I didn’t recommend a death sentence for anybody,» he reminds. «I asked the court to affirm, as a matter of criminal law, the right of every human being to live in peace and human dignity, regardless of his race or creed. I said if I could get that, that would be a step forward — and that if these men be acquitted, then law has lost its meaning and man must live in fear. That stuck with the judges, and they gave me that judgment» — indeed, 22 defendants were found guilty on three out of three counts, and the other two were found guilty on one out of three counts — «and, of course, it’s been cited a thousand times since then.'»

Ferencz spent the rest of his career as a highly respected and successful lawyer. He was instrumental in the creation of the International Criminal Court in the Hague in 2002. And he continues to write and speak about war crimes to this day, just months shy of his 100th birthday. What is his secret? «There is no secret,» he insists with a chuckle. «I’ve lived a wholesome life. This morning I did my usual 75 pushups, among other things. I used to do 100, but they told me to slow down. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke.» He continues, «But what really drives me, if I want to confess my weaknesses, is the trauma. I had a discussion with God, at one point. I’d been to several of the camps, and it was really quite horrible. And I said, ‘God, how did you let this happen? How did it happen? Where are you still? And it’s still happening. I’m still waiting for an answer.’ But I didn’t wait for an answer. I said, ‘Benny, try to change it.’ And so I’ve spent my life trying to change it.»

While Ferencz feels that much progress has been made in the 75 years since World War II, he is far from satisfied. «Hitler’s happening again and again all around the world,» he laments. «I can look in the White House and pick a few out for you. John Bolton [until recently Pres. Trump’s National Security Advisor] is not a far cry from Hitler.» Ferencz feels particularly strongly about the Trump Administration’s separation of parents and child at the southern border. «That’s a crime against humanity,» he says, noting, with regard to Pres. Trump, «I would welcome them putting him on trial.» Would he himself like to again serve as a prosecutor at such a trial? «The ball is now passing to younger hands,» he demurs. «I have three pieces of advice: one, never give up; two, never give up; and three, never give up. The ball is yours. Never give up, kids.»

https://thehollywoodunlocked.com/putlockers-hd-watch-jumanji-the-next-level-2019-online-full-for-free

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