Mankiewicz and his wife Rosemary. (Photo: www.MI6.co.uk)
By Lee Pfeiffer
Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz has died after a battle with cancer. He was 68 years old. Mankiewicz came from a legendary Hollywood family of screenwriters, directors and producers. He was a screenwriting novice when he was tapped by producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to write the screenplay for the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. The film was especially important for the franchise because it marked Sean Connery's return to the series after a one-film absence. Although most critics attribute the injection of overt (some would say "over-the-top") humor to Roger Moore's assumption of the role in Live and Let Die (1973), this trait was actually introduced by Mankiewicz in Diamonds Are Forever and continued through his other two Bond scripts: Live and Let Die and The Man With the Golden Gun. Although Bond purists tend to be critical of the Mankiewicz trilogy because it brought the character of Bond into the realm of the absurd, there is no denying the films scored with the public and each proved to be a major financial success. Mankiewicz would later serve as Creative Consultant and uncredited screenwriter on the Superman series, where his flair for humor was more readily accepted by fans. Mankiewicz also wrote and directed the hit 1987 big screen comedy version of Dragnet. For an in-depth look at his career, click here to visit the MI6 web site.
The web site for the magazine Western Clippings has updates on your favorite cowboy stars of yesteryear. Here we have a trio of popular actors from 50s and 60s TV Westerns: Ty Hardin (Bronco), Clint Walker (Cheyenne) and Will Hutchins (Sugarfoot) For more about the magazine, visit the site by clicking here
Cinema Retro columnist Steve Saragossi has launched an exciting new film-related blog, The Screen Lounge. Steve already has a coup: an exclusive interview with acclaimed character actor Ed Lauter, whose talents have enhanced such memorable films as Magic, The Longest Yard, Hickey and Boggs, Executive Action and so many more. Click here to read