March/April 1983

Inside stories on Hollywood ghost-writing, Jeremy Irons interview, Harlan Jacobson on producer Sam Spiegel, midsection on the Italian Cinema Renaissance, David Thomson on Laurence Olivier, Nicolas Roeg’s controversial Eureka, George Cukor obituary

Purchase this issue

Issue Details

GHOST WRITERS IN THE CINEMA
Accepting a screenwriting award for Tootsie, Larry Gelbart praised his co-author, Murray Schisgal, for being such a joy to work with. The joke: Gelbart hadn’t worked with Schisgal on the script, and may never have met him before that night. They were two of at least eight Tootsie writers; and Tootsie is just one of the successful new movies that perpetuates the Old Hollywood traditions of rewriting and ghostwriting. Michael Sragow has the inside stories and some thoughts on the collaborative process in movies.

LAURENCE OF OLIVIER
The most honored actor in British history will receive one more accolade on April 25. Laurence Olivier will be feted by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. David Thomson considers the stage and screen careers of this most protean and daring of performers.

MIDSECTION: THE ITALIANS
Some of the names may not be as familiar to filmgoers as those of Antonioni, De Sica, or Fellini, but they are forging a vital new Italian cinema. Spotlighted in this Dan Yakir folio: Marco Bellocchio (Leap into the Void); Marco Ferreri (Tales of Ordinary Madness); Ettore Scola (La nuit de varennes); the Taviani Brothers (The Night of the Shooting Stars); star actors Cardinale, Gassman, Loren, Mastroianni, Sandrelli, and Tognazzi; the zany new actor-directors; and young Peter Del Monte. Stephen Harvey offers a critical overview of the Italians.

THE SPIEGEL CATALOGUE
The African Queen, On the Waterfront, Lawrence of Arabia: totems of power and quality, credits of producer Sam Spiegel. Harlan Jacobson has words of canny appraisal for Spiegel, and warmer sentiments for our Betrayal cover girl, Patricia Hodge; and Michael Bygrave interviews the star of Betrayal, Jeremy Irons.

JOURNALS
Susan Linfield reports from the Leipzig festival, where the revolutionary flame still burns strong.

THE OSCAR-MAN WEEKEND
That’s when you and your friends try guessing who’s going to win the Academy Awards: Gandhi or E.T.? Newman or Kingsley? Spielberg or Attenborough? Our eight experts—David Ansen, Lee Beaupre, Stuart Byron, Roger Ebert, Myron Meisel, Dale Pollock, Andrew Sarris, and Richard Schickel—to help you choose.

NICOLAS ROEG’S ‘EUREKA’
With a provocative cast and dollops of hot violence and sex, Roeg’s new film has sparked debate within the walls of MGM/UA even before its release. Harlan Kennedy talks with this adventurous British director.

GEORGE CUKOR, 1899-1983
The curmudgeonly craftsman of The Women and Little Women is recalled by his chronicler, Carlos Clarens.

INDUSTRY: GROSSES GLOSS
Our eighth annual appraisal of Hollywood’s hits and flops. By Lee Beaupre and Anne Thompson.

TV: WOUK’S WINDY WAR
So 140 million people watched The Winds of War. Stephen Harvey tells the other 90 million what you missed.

ORBITS: GENE MOSKOWITZ
Mosk., as he signed his reviews, put Variety on the international map. A tribute from his boss, Robert Landry.

BOOKS: EISENSTEIN
The Soviet director and theoretician still provokes controversy. Dennis Jakob’s review demonstrates same.

BULLETIN BOARD