Category Archives: Film

What movies meant to director Norman Jewison

By Ray Bennett LONDON – ’It kinda scares me,’ Norman Jewison said when I asked him in 2011 about the digital revolution in movies and the future of cinema. ‘Everything I see today is so mixed with violence and action. … Continue reading

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Cary Grant, smooth as silk … on the surface.

By Ray Bennett LONDON – When Cary Grant, born this day 120 years ago, died in 1986, Time magazine film critic Richard Schickel wrote, ‘Some distant day, audiences may come to agree that he was not merely the greatest movie … Continue reading

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How Ben Kingsley dealt with instant fame after ‘Gandhi’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Ben Kingsley, who turns 80 today, had spent fifteen years on the English stage with occasional small screen roles when Richard Attenborough changed his life by casting him in the title role of his epic … Continue reading

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Randy Newman at 80: Part One – songwriter

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Randy Newman, who turns 80 today, has Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards and he is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s also a very funny man. He told me that … Continue reading

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Randy Newman at 80: Part Two – Film composer

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Randy Newman, who turns 80 today,  has Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards and he is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s also a very funny man. He told me that … Continue reading

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John Barry on his favourite directors and composers

By Ray Bennett LONDON — English film composer John Barry, who was born on this day in 1933, won five Academy Awards and created the definitive music for James Bond but he remained very fond of his early British films … Continue reading

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When Burt Lancaster wrote me a letter …

By Ray Bennett LONDON – When the Burt Lancaster film ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’ (below) came out in 1962, I wrote about it in the Gravesend Reporter, where I was doing my training in Kent, England. Fascinated by the prisoner’s story, … Continue reading

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How movie queen Merle Oberon hid her dark past

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Michael Korda, publisher, novelist and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Simon & Schuster who turns 90 today, had a most colourful childhood with his uncle, film producer Alexander Korda who with a string of epic productions was … Continue reading

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Why, oh, so serious Charlton Heston never ran for office

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Charlton Heston, who was born on this day in 1923, was as stiff in person as he invariably was onscreen. He had not yet become a shill for the National Rifle Association when we spoke … Continue reading

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Trevor Howard on hellraising with Flynn and Mitchum

By Ray Bennett LONDON – ‘Nonsense,’ said English actor Trevor Howard. I had asked him if all the tales of him being a hellraiser were true. ‘Well, of course, one used to make noise when one was much younger but … Continue reading

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