Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

He is still Warren Beatty ...

Fascinating to see Warren Beatty a day or two ago on Graham Norton's sofa on Norton's UK chatshow here. After the debacle of that Best Picture wrong envelope at the Oscars, Warren was witty, amusing and erudite here. After 15 years or so since his last film and not a regular on the celebrity circuit, it was good to see him up close and well in his 80th year .... perhaps having Annette Bening at home and four children helps keep him young. Just saying ... Warren played along gamely with Norton  - well he did have a film to promote -  denying all those rumours about him and his legendary lifestyle ...
What a fascinating career its been, with just a few duds, the new film is RULES DON'T APPLY, in which he plays Howard Hughes - perfect casting! - and he also directs and co-wrote the screenplay. Great cast in it too, including Bening, Candice Bergen, Steve Coogan, Alec Baldwin, Hart Bochner and another new favourite Alden Ehrenreich (from HAIL CAESAR!). This may be one to match Scorsese's THE AVIATOR ?

Beatty was a star from the start, at the dawn of the 1960s, having impressed the likes of Tennessee Williams, William Inge and Kazan, in the bland era of Troy Donahue and the others, he stood out for his spectacular looks and quirky movie choices - it must be the longest star career of his generation. We like those early ones like THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS STONE, SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS, and our particular favourite then, Frankenheimer's ALL FALL DOWN (left). Followed by Rossen's interesting misfire LILITH in 1964, and Penn's oddball MICKEY ONE in 1965, Then came two forgettable comedies: PROMISE HER ANYTHING with Leslie Caron and KALEIDOSCOPE with Susannah York in Swinging London, 1966, followed by the game-changer BONNIE AND CLYDE in 1967, to be followed in 1969 by another dud, George Stevens' last film THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN, perhaps he did it to work with Stevens and co-star Elizabeth Taylor - they both looked good, but she was really too old and chubby then to be a Las Vegas showgirl. 

The Seventies saw those classics like Altman's McCABE & MRS MILLER with Julie Christie, and Pakula's THE PARALLAX VIEW in 1974 - both still very powerful; and two more with Christie SHAMPOO in 1975 and HEAVEN CAN WAIT in 1978. REDS was another powerful one in 1981, gathering those Awards. Less successful - we did not want to see them - were ISHTAR and BUGSY. THE FORTUNE wasn't all that, LOVE AFFAIR seemed a vanity project, DICK TRACY amused for a while, and we did not want to see the later BULWORTH or TOWN & COUNTRY. It will be interesting to see how RULES DON'T APPLY fares. Not too many other actor-directors his age out there .... Only Beatty and Orson Welles (for CITIZEN KANE) have been nominated by the Academy as an actor, director, writer, and producer for the same film, and Beatty has done it twice Beatty reviews at label.


  1. I will have to watch that Norton show mainly for young Mr Ehrenreich who is both handsome and talented, (a bit like the young Warren in that respect). I guess I will have to give RULES DON'T APPLY a look in. Good story and great cast and a Beatty movie can't be sneezed at. My pal Hurd hadn't a good word to say about him having worked with him on MICKEY ONE saying he agonized over every syllable he had to utter and held the production up no end. Just sayin'.

  2. Beatty is like Dustin Hoffman in that respect - trying to make a project all about him. Seems he drove them mad on LILITH too.