Sports teams perpetuating offensive ethnic stereotypes

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Re: Sports teams perpetuating offensive ethnic stereotypes

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:26 am


but I understand your concern that the cinema of Richard Brooks has been neglected.

MGM
Credited as both writer and director (unless stated).
Crisis (1950).
The Light Touch (1951).
Deadline – U.S.A. (20th Century Fox, 1952).
Battle Circus (1953)
Take the High Ground! (1953), only director.
Flame and the Flesh (1954), only director.
The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954).
Blackboard Jungle (1955).
The Last Hunt (1956).
The Catered Affair (1956), only director.
Something of Value (1957).
The Brothers Karamazov (1958).
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958).

Independent producer
Credited as both writer and director.
Elmer Gantry (Elmer Gantry Productions through United Artists, 1960).
Sweet Bird of Youth, (MGM and Roxbury Productions through MGM, 1962).
Lord Jim (Columbia and Keep Films through Columbia, 1965).
The Professionals (Pax Enterprises through Columbia, 1966).
In Cold Blood (Pax Enterprises through Columbia, 1967).
The Happy Ending (Pax Enterprises through United Artists, 1969).
$ (Frankovich Productions through Columbia, 1971).
Bite the Bullet (Persky-Bright Productions/Vista through Columbia, 1975).
Looking For Mr. Goodbar (Paramount, 1977).
Wrong Is Right (Columbia, 1982).
Fever Pitch (MGM, 1985).

Brooks was born as Reuben Sax to Hyman and Esther Sax, Russian Jewish immigrants. Married teenagers when they immigrated to the United States in 1908, they found employment in Philadelphia's textile and clothing industry. Their only child Reuben Sax was born in 1912 in Philadelphia. He attended public schools Joseph Leidy Elementary, Mayer Sulzberger Junior High School and West Philadelphia High School, graduating from the latter in 1929.

Sax took classes at Temple University for two years, studying journalism and playing on the school's baseball team. He dropped out and left home when he discovered that his parents were going into debt to pay for his tuition. He rode freight trains around the East and Midwest for a period of time but eventually returned to Philadelphia to seek work as a newspaper reporter. At some point in the 1930s, during the Great Depression, Sax began using the name Richard Brooks professionally. He changed his name legally in 1943.

Brooks wrote sports for the Philadelphia Record and later joined the staff of the Atlantic City Press-Union. He moved to New York to work for the World-Telegram; shortly afterward he took a job with radio station WNEW for a larger paycheck. As a newsman for the station, he reported and read stories on the air and provided commentary.

Brooks also began writing plays in 1938 and tried directing for Long Island's Mill Pond Theater in 1940. A falling out with his theater colleagues that summer led him to drive to Los Angeles on a whim, hoping to find work in the film industry. He also may have been trying to escape a marriage; a legal document indicates he was married at least part of the time he lived in New York.

He didn't find film work but was hired by the NBC affiliate to write original stories and read them for a daily fifteen-minute broadcast called Sidestreet Vignettes. His second marriage, in 1941, to Jeanne Kelly, an actress at Universal Studios, may have helped to open the door to writing for the studio. He contributed dialogue to a few films and wrote two screenplays for the popular actress Maria Montez, known as the "Queen of Technicolor." With no prospect of moving into more prestigious productions, he quit Universal and joined the Marine Corps in 1943 during World War II.

Brooks never served overseas during the war, instead working in the Marine Corps film unit at Quantico, Virginia, and at times at Camp Pendleton, California. In his two years in uniform he learned more about the basics of filmmaking, including writing and editing documentaries. He also found time to write a novel, The Brick Foxhole, a searing portrait of stateside soldiers tainted by religious, racial and homophobic bigotry. In 1944 he divorced his wife, then known in films as Jean Brooks. Later he said he had been a self-centered husband and unsuitable for what she needed.

His book was published in 1945 to favorable reviews. It was adapted as the film Crossfire (1947), the first major Hollywood film to deal with anti-Semitism, receiving an Oscar nomination. The novel drew the attention of independent producer Mark Hellinger, who hired Brooks as a screenwriter after he left the Marines.

Working for Hellinger brought Brooks back to the film industry and led to a long friendship with actor Humphrey Bogart, a close friend of the producer. Brooks provided an uncredited screen story for The Killers (1946), which introduced actor Burt Lancaster. He wrote the scripts for two other Hellinger films, notably Brute Force (1947), also starring Lancaster. After Hellinger died suddenly in 1947, Brooks wrote screenplays for three Warner Brothers films, including Key Largo (1948), starring Bogart and wife Lauren Bacall and directed and co-written by John Huston, another Brooks mentor. He was the only co-writer Brooks ever had. Huston allowed Brooks to be on the Key Largo set during shooting so that he could learn more about directing a Hollywood film.

Brooks wrote two more novels shortly after the war, The Boiling Point (1948) and The Producer (1951), a thinly disguised portrait of Hellinger. It may also have contained autobiographical elements about Brooks. In 1946 he married again, in 1946, to Harriette Levin, who had no apparent connection to the film industry. Their marriage lasted until 1957, when she sought a default divorce.


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Re: Sports teams perpetuating offensive ethnic stereotypes

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:32 am


I think I've only seen Lord Jim, The Professionals, and In Cold Blood.

I've seen the trailers for Elmer Gantry and T.W.'s Hot Tin Roof Cat (Liz Taylor is all "Maggie the cat is alive!!!") and decided that I got enough of the gist from the trailers.

I would like to see The Brothers Karamazov because just look at this cast:

Yul Brynner as Dmitri Karamazov
Lee J. Cobb as Fyodor Karamazov
Richard Basehart as Ivan Karamazov
William Shatner as Alexey Karamazov



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Re: Sports teams perpetuating offensive ethnic stereotypes

Post  pinhedz on Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:52 am

^
Don't forget:
Maria Schell as Grushenka
Claire Bloom as Katya
Albert Salmi as Smerdyakov

I had a Russian teacher named Irina that had a hopeless crush on Yul (whom she called "Jule") Brynner after watching that movie (even though Dmitri was supposed to have hair).

I might add that Grushchenka got her nickname from Grushenka (but I'm sure you already guessed that).

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Re: Sports teams perpetuating offensive ethnic stereotypes

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:01 am


I could never forget Albert Salmi.   Albert Salmi died of a self-inflicted gunshot, after first shooting dead his second wife, Roberta.  I could also never forget Maria Schell, for her timeless performance as the Kryptonian, Vond-Ah. As for Claire Bloom, I prefer Claire Trevor.

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Re: Sports teams perpetuating offensive ethnic stereotypes

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:58 am


Success as a screenwriter with Hellinger and Warner Brothers led Brooks to a contract with MGM and the promise of a chance to direct a film. He wrote two screenplays for the studio before he was given the opportunity to direct. His first film as writer and director, Crisis (1950), starred Cary Grant as a brain surgeon forced to save the life of a South American dictator, played by José Ferrer. His second film, The Light Touch (1951), starring Stewart Granger, was a caper film about art thieves and was shot in Italy.

Brooks came into his own when he directed an original screenplay, Deadline – U.S.A. (1952), a 20th Century-Fox film that starred his friend Humphrey Bogart. Based on the closing of the New York World, the film was part gangster picture, part newspaper drama. At its core was an issue Brooks cared about: the consolidation of the newspaper industry and its effect on the diversity of voices in the press. The film remains one of the more highly regarded dramas about American newspapers.

Brooks directed four more films before achieving an unqualified hit with Blackboard Jungle (1955) starring Glenn Ford. Based on a best-seller by Evan Hunter, the film was shocking for its time in its presentation of juvenile delinquency. It also offered a career-making supporting role for a young black actor, Sidney Poitier, and early roles for actors Vic Morrow (who would go on to sire Jennifer Jason Leigh), Jamie Farr and Paul Mazursky. Brooks chose to begin and end the film with the song "Rock Around the Clock", bringing rock 'n' roll to a major Hollywood production for the first time and sparking a No. 1 hit for Bill Haley and the Comets. Blackboard Jungle was nominated for an Oscar for its screenplay, and was MGM's top moneymaker that year.

In 1955, Brooks was one of four American auteur filmmakers named as rebels by the goofy French magazine Cahiers du Cinéma. Box-office success was what gave the writer/director more freedom at MGM, but Brooks also recognized that he would never have complete control of his films while under contract. He avoided writing original screenplays and focused on adaptations of best-sellers or classic novels. He later noted that adapting a novel gave him a head start on developing the story structure required for a screenplay.

He spent the rest of the decade at MGM, when his most notable film was an adaptation of Kentucky Wilson's sexually charged play The Seductive Roof Cat (1958). A huge hit for MGM – it drew more money and a larger audience than any other film Brooks ever directed – the film revived the career of Elizabeth Taylor, who would go on the become best friends with Michael Jackson, and made a star of Paul Newman, who would go on to sell philanthropic salad dressings. It brought Brooks his first Oscar nomination for directing and the first Best Picture nomination for a film he had directed.



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Re: Sports teams perpetuating offensive ethnic stereotypes

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:24 pm




Richard Brooks spent the last third of his film career working in relative independence. He followed the success of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with an independent production for United Artists of Elmer Gantry (1960), based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis. The story of a phony preacher, played by Burt Lancaster, and a sincere revivalist, played by Jean Simmons, was edgy for the time. As it had for Blackboard Jungle and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, controversy accompanied the film's release and helped bring people to theaters. The movie received five Academy Award nominations, including one for best picture, and won Oscars for Lancaster as lead actor, for Shirley Jones as supporting actress, and for Brooks' script.

Brooks adapted and directed another Tennessee Williams play, Sweet Bird of Youth (1962). Ed Begley won a Best Supporting Oscar for his role in the film. While popular and well-received critically, the MGM production did not duplicate the success of the previous Williams film. A dream project followed, an adaptation for Columbia Pictures of Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim (1965), but the lavish film proved to be a misfire at the box office and with most critics. Brooks had spent years writing the script and planning the most expensive project of his career. He had assembled a stellar cast led by Peter O'Toole, Eli Wallach, Jack Hawkins, Paul Lukas, and James Mason. While beautifully photographed in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia by Freddie Young and scored by Bronislau Kaper, Lord Jim did not find the audience that had made David Lean's epics Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago such notable hits of the 1960s.

To recover professionally from the failure of Lord Jim, Brooks surprised Hollywood by choosing to adapt a minor western novel about a wealthy husband who hires mercenaries to rescue his kidnapped wife from Mexican bandits. Brooks worked quickly and within a year released The Professionals (1966), which became Columbia's biggest hit that year. The slick crowd-pleaser starred Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan and Woody Strode as "the professionals" with Jack Palance as the bandit leader and Claudia Cardinale as the kidnapped wife. The film received Oscar nominations for Brooks' screenplay and direction, and for Conrad Hall's cinematography. It has been lauded as one of the most entertaining westerns ever filmed.

Brooks landed the property of the decade when author Truman Capote selected him to adapt his best-selling book In Cold Blood. Once again rejecting the methodical pace that had slowed him with other productions, Brooks worked quickly to adapt the "nonfiction novel," as Capote called it. As a reporter, Brooks also conducted his own research into the murders of four members of a Kansas farm family and the lives of the two drifters responsible for the crime. Brooks rejected Columbia's suggestion that he hire stars to play the killers and instead cast two relative unknowns, Scott Wilson and Robert Blake. He resisted the studio on another point, shooting the film in black and white rather than color because he thought it was a more frightening medium. He used locations where the events occurred, including the house where the family had been killed. In Cold Blood had a documentary style and was considered among the films of the mid-1960s that ushered in a more mature Hollywood style. Brooks received double Oscar nominations; cinematographer Conrad Hall and composer Quincy Jones also were nominated.

The Professionals and In Cold Blood marked the apex of Brooks' career. In the two decades that followed, he wrote and directed just six more films. Of note was The Happy Ending (1969). From his original screenplay about a woman dealing with disappointments in her marriage and her life, it was the kind of low-key personal film more likely to come from Europe than an American director. The film earned an Oscar nomination for star Jean Simmons. (Her own marriage to Brooks ended in divorce in 1980.)

Bite the Bullet (1975) was Brooks' return to the western. He based his original screenplay on the endurance horse races popular at the turn of the century. In 1977, he released another controversial film, an adaptation of Judith Rossner's 1975 novel Looking for Mr. Goodbar. It starred Diane Keaton as a Catholic school teacher who searches for sexual satisfaction in singles bars. Brooks made the film on a tight budget, and its frank treatment of sex and its horrific storyline brought praise and condemnation and sold tickets. He ended his career with Wrong Is Right (1982), a satire about the news media and world unrest starring Sean Connery, and a gambling addiction film, Fever Pitch (1985). Both were critical and commercial failures.

Brooks tried developing other projects in the last years of his life. He suffered from heart ailments and a stroke before dying at his home in 1992 at the age of 79.



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