La-La Land Records has released Elmer Bernstein's immortal score for the classic comedy hit Airplane! The CD comes complete with a 20 page collectible booklet containing comments from the filmmakers. Click here for more details and to hear sample tracks - and don't call me Shirley!
Actress Ingrid Pitt, best known for her horror flicks, posted her evaluation of the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service - and finds it to be a terrific entry in the series. Ingrid confesses that, like most people who haven't seen the film in ages, she was prejudiced by critics who lambasted George Lazenby simply because he had the nerve to take over from Sean Connery. Despite a personal, unpleasant encounter with Lazenby, she admits he's very good in the role and the film deserves the praise it has reaped in recent years. Click here to read.
Cinema Retro Editor-in-Chief Lee Pfeiffer (L) and contributing writer Todd Garbarini with Robert Vaughn, who is holding both his recently-published memoir and an ultra-rare promotional brochure for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Photo copyright: Mark Yuknevitch)
By Lee Pfeiffer
On Saturday May 23, actor Robert Vaughn appeared at The Film Society of Lincoln Center's tribute to Steve McQueen, introducing a screening of John Sturges' 1960 classic The Magnificent Seven. Hundreds of classic movie lovers gave Vaughn an enthusiastic greeting, as he reflected on the making of the film in his introduction. He quipped that he got the gig by default because he's the last remaining member of the legendary "Seven". Vaughn recalled how Sturges cast him after seeing the 27 year-old actor's Oscar-nominated performance in The Young Philadelphians.Sturges then asked him if he knew a "Gary Cooper-type" to play the part of Britt, the knife-thrower. Vaughn instantly recommended his college buddy James Coburn, who was then destitute and living in New York. Coburn had to borrow the plane fare from his parents to meet with Sturges, but he and Vaughn remained lifelong friends - and Coburn was always grateful that Vaughn jump-started his big screen career. Vaughn said he recently ran into the other major surviving cast member, Eli Wallach, who played the bandit leader Calvera. The two remembered an amusing aspect of the filming: the presence on the set of a well-known Mexican film director who was employed to do translating to the crew and supporting actors. He said the man's career had only been marginally impacted by the fact that, after a Mexican film critic gave a pan review to one of his films, he killed the critic! Vaughn said that, even from an actor's standpoint, that reaction was a bit extreme for a critic. Following the introduction, Vaughn sat next to Neile McQueen, Steve's first wife, to view the movie on the big screen for the first time since 1960. The print was the best I have seen on a theater screen and the appreciative audience applauded at virtually every name on the opening credits. (You know you are in a sophisticated crowd when composer Elmer Bernstein's name gets as much applause as the stars!).