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26 search results for Joan O'Brien

  • TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Sci-Fi Adventures

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010

    Includes:The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953) Them! (1954) Satellite in the Sky (1956) World Without End (1956) The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms A longtime "dream" project of production designer-turned-director Eugene Lourie, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms sees the titular beast unleashed on the world via nuclear testing. Making its way from the Arctic Circle, the monster-a carnivorous "rhedosaurus"-begins advancing towards New York. It stomps its way around Wall Street, pausing to have a policeman for lunch. By the time it has reached Coney Island, the rhedosaurus is more of a danger than ever because of the deadly bacteria it carries within its system. It's up to researcher Paul Christian and sharpshooter Lee Van Cleef to try to liquidate the beast with a grenade chock full of radioactive isotopes. Beast From 20,000 Fathoms represented effects artist Ray Harryhausen's first solo effort, after assisting Willis O'Brien on Mighty Joe Young (1949). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Them! A little girl is found wandering in the desert, in a state of complete shock. When she finally revives, she can scream out only one word: "Them!" Any aficionado of 1950s horror films can readily tell you that "Them" are giant ants, a byproduct of the radiation attending the atomic bomb tests of the era. Extremely well organized, these deadly eight-to-twenty-foot mutations converge on the storm drains of Los Angeles in the finale. Forming a united front against the oncoming ant battalions are New Mexico police sergeant James Whitmore, FBI representative James Arness, and father-and-daughter entomologists Edmund Gwenn and Joan Weldon. Since the details of Them are fairly common knowledge today, the mystery-thriller structure of the film's first half tends to drag a bit. Things liven up considerably during the search-and-destroy final reels, as the audience is barraged with convincing special effects and miniature work-not to mention that eerie ant-induced sound effect, so often imitated by subsequent lesser films. Fess Parker appears in a starmaking cameo as a pilot driven to the booby hatch after witnessing the ants in action, while an uncredited Leonard Nimoy is seen pulling info out of IBM machine. Definitely the high point in the careers of director Gordon Douglas and scenarists Ted Sherdeman and George Worthing Yates, Them is also one of the handful of vintage science-fiction thrillers that holds up as well today as it did when first released. (Sidebar: Though filmed in black-and-white, Them is alleged to have been released with a Technicolor opening title, the word THEM! hurtling towards the audience in a vibrant red). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Satellite in the Sky The topicality of Satellite in the Sky enabled the British-based Danzinger Bros. to release the film through Warner Bros., rather than their usual United Artists distribution channels. The story concerns the first manned space satellite, launched from England with commander Michael Hayden (Kieron Moore) at the controls. It is the mission of Hayden and his crew to test out the deadly "tritonium" bomb in outer space. Once he's left the atmosphere, Hayden discovers that he's been harboring a stowaway: reporter and anti-weapons activist Kim Hamilton (Lois Maxwell). Everyone's life is placed in peril when the bomb affixes itself to the side of the satellite. As tension mounts, the crew -- and Kim -- race against time to either remove or defuse the tick-tick-ticking weapon. Satellite in the Sky represented documentary filmmaker Paul Dickson's first fictional effort; like most other directors, Dickson was unable to curb the overacting of the venerable Donald Wolfit, here cast as the near-maniacal creator of the tritonium bomb. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide World Without End The first spaceship to Mars rounds the Red Planet and heads back toward Earth but runs into an unexplained phenomenon in space that accelerates the craft to such a high speed that all four men aboard black out. When they awake, they've crash-landed on a planet that they only gradually realize is Earth -- of the distant future: they have crashed through the time barrier. After they are chased by ugly "Mutates," they are taken in by the declining remnants of human civilization who live underground. It's now 2508 A.D, almost 400 years after an atomic war almost wiped out the human race. John Borden (Hugh Marlowe) falls in love with Garnet (Nancy Gates), daughter of Timmek (Everett Glass), leader of the underground people -- a fact that enrages Mories (Booth Colman), who's always assumed she would someday be his. The scheming Mories tries to turn his people against the space/time travelers, but falls victim to his own nefarious plans. Learning from Deena (Lisa Montell), a servant girl from the surface of Earth, that most people up there are normal though cruelly ruled by the deformed ones, Borden and his friends take on the mutates with modern weaponry and reclaim the Earth for normal humanity. Although this is (surprisingly) the first American feature film to deal with scientific time travel, World Without End is really just another lost-civilization plot, complete with princess, evil grand vizier, and lots of skulking in corridors. There are few imaginative touches -- the giant spiders in particular are pathetic -- and some of the cast isn't very good. But for the period, this is slightly above-average science fiction; the exteriors, shot at the famous Iverson Ranch, have an open, fresh feeling, but the interior sets are unimaginative and routine. The plotline owes more than a little to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine (a lawsuit was filed), which makes the presence of Rod Taylor in the cast (as the hunk from our time) a little ironic, as just a few years later, he starred in George Pal's much-loved movie version of the Wells novel. ~ Bill Warren, All Movie Guide
  • The Notebook - DVD

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010

    Directed by Nick Cassavetes, this adaptation of author Nicholas Sparks' bestselling novel revolves around Noah Calhoun's (James Garner) regular visits to a female patron (Gena Rowlands) of an area nursing home. Rather than bore her with the inanities of everyday life, Calhoun reads from an old, faded notebook containing the sweeping account of a young couple (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) whose love affair was tragically put to a halt after their separation in the midst of World War II. Seven years later, the couple was reunited, and, despite having taken radically different paths, they found themselves unable to resist the call of a second chance. The Notebook also features Joan Allen, Sam Shepard, and Kevin Connolly. ~ Tracie Cooper, All Movie Guide
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    Last Action Hero - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010

    Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a young boy's action hero idol come to life
  • A Secret Affair - DVD

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Nov 24, 2009

    Vanessa Stewart (Janine Turner) has the soul of an artist, but her business tycoon father insists that she follow in his footsteps. As a result, Vanessa convinces herself that she wants to be a globetrotting executive, and also that she truly loves the man to whom she is engaged. But while in Venice on a business trip at the behest of her father, Vanessa meets and falls in love with adventurous Irish TV war correspondent Bill Fitzgerald (Paudge Behan). Deciding to kick over the traces, Vanessa is prepared to turn her back on her family obligations and plight her troth with Bill. But Fate, as it often does, takes a hand in matters when Bill is reported killed during a dangerous combat assignment. Based on a novel by Barbara Taylor Bradford (as if the full title of this made-for-TV feature left any doubt), A Secret Affair first aired October 27, 1999 on CBS. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
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    2014 MTV Movie Awards winners - complete list

    Type: Post | Date: Sunday, Apr 13, 2014

    A full rundown of nominees and winners from the 23rd annual ceremony
  • The-tonight-show-starring-jimmy-fallon_home_top_story

    What worked (and didn't) in Jimmy Fallon's first week of 'The Tonight Show'

    Type: Post | Date: Friday, Feb 21, 2014

    While it was all better than Leno, there are still kinks to be worked out
  • Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight Show' debut ties Conan O'Brien's "Tonight" launch

    Type: Post | Date: Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014

    Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight Show' debut ties Conan O'Brien's "Tonight" launch
  • 'White Collar' is in limbo

    Type: Post | Date: Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

    'White Collar' is in limbo White House's state dinner honoring France features Mindy Kaling, Stephen Colbert, Julia Louis-Dreyfus Matt Lauer says of Bob Costas: "He looked a little like the loser in a prize fight"
  • Community-nbc-jan.-2_home_top_story

    Most Anticipated TV Premieres and Returns of 2014

    Type: Gallery | Date: Sunday, Dec 29, 2013

    Can returning creator Dan Harmon fix what went awry during his one-year absen...
  • CW is rebooting 'Tales from the Darkside'

    Type: Post | Date: Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013

    CW is rebooting "Tales from the Darkside" Josh Holloway's "Intelligence" will premiere in January instead of February Laura Prepon to appear in 4 "Orange is the New Black" episodes next season
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