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Mark Steyn

Mark at the Movies

To Have and Have Not

Here's a classic film set in the French West Indies that introduced the world to a great Hoagy Carmichael number, and to Lauren Bacall...

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13 Hours

A film for the fifth anniversary of Benghazi

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The Last Picture Show

Steyn celebrates the great coming-of-age movie, set in rural Texas

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The King of Comedy

Steyn remembers a dark classic from Jerry Lewis, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese

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Catch Me If You Can

Today, August 19th, is National Aviation Day in the United States, so I thought for our movie date we'd have an airy confection, about flight in both the aviation and criminal sense: Catch Catch Me If You Can if you can. It's a lovely movie and all the more surprising considering the Hollywood muscle powering it: Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio. These people have all made such terrible choices in recent years that you forget what it's like to see them in anything other than earnest pompous plonkers. Even John Williams dispenses with the big orchestral bombast and turns in his breeziest score in decades. It's almost groovy. Plus Christopher Walken gets to dance - not for long, alas - to "Embraceable You", with Nathalie Baye. ...

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Out of the Past

Steyn remembers an iconic American actor, and the role that made him a star

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War for the Planet of the Apes

Steyn on a great novel, a memorable movie, and its latest reboot

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Dunkirk

Steyn on Christopher Nolan's new movie, bringing Churchill's "miracle of deliverance" to an American audience

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Keeping His Hand In

Martin Landau died a week ago at the age of 89. He was a versatile actor who connected less often than he should have with the perfect part, but, when he did, there was none better. In the late Sixties, he was a TV fixture on "Mission: Impossible", playing the most watchable character Rollin Hand, a master of disguise who could pass himself off as almost anyone. It was a fun role for Landau, and created for him (the name of the part in early scripts was "Martin Land") and his particular talents: half the time, to make it even more enjoyable, they had him play the guy he was meant to be impersonating, too...

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Air Force One

Who needs the Secret Service? President Harrison Ford swings into action as his own one-man security detail...

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To Die For

Nicole Kidman's finest hour - and in New Hampshire, too

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49th Parallel

What could be more Canadian than Laurence Olivier as a Quebec fur trapper?

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Les Invasions Barbares

Steyn on Socialized Health Care - The Movie

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No Way Out

Steyn looks back on a terrific and oddly timely Kevin Costner thriller

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Dean on Screen

We have a double-feature for you tonight. This weekend's Mark Steyn Show includes a video edition of Mark at the Movies with Steyn and Rick McGinnis discussing The Founder, Michael Keaton's biopic of the man behind McDonald's. If you prefer Mark at the Movies in print, we're in centenary mode: Dean Martin was born one hundred years ago this week - June 7th 1917 - in Steubenville, Ohio and, if it's nowhere as big a deal as his pallie Frank's centenary, his reputation is in better shape than it was at the time of his death. On Christmas Day 1995, when Dino bought the big casino, the consensus was that he ended his days a pathetic, lonely anachronism - a drunk act in an age when the likes of Carly Simon declined to duet with Sinatra on "One ...

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The Jolliest of Rogers

Steyn salutes Roger Moore, a longtime James Bond and the definitive Simon Templar

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Mrs Brown

For Victoria Day, a glimpse of the woman under the Crown

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Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Steyn marks the anniversary of a shagadelic classic

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Les Parapluies de Cherbourg

On the eve of a bizarre French election, in which the establishment have had to go to unusual and creative results to get their candidate across the finish line, I thought I'd pick a Gallic picture for our Saturday movie date: Les Parapluies de Cherbourg - or The Umbrellas of Cherbourg...

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High Society

From the Steyn archives, Mark talks to the late Celeste Holm about a classic film musical

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The Graduate

The 50th anniversary of a Sixties landmark

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The Passion Of The Christ

Steyn on Mel Gibson's big blockbuster from thirteen Easters ago

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The Great Stone Face

This month marks the one hundredth anniversary of the motion picture debut of Buster Keaton - in Fatty Arbuckle's film The Butcher Boy. Mark looks back at one of the silent screen's most lustrous stars...

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Distant Intimacy in the Dining Car

North by Northwest is back on the big screen this week - on Sunday and Wednesday, across America. Don't miss it! There'll be plenty of praise for the director and his stars - Cary Grant, James Mason, Eva Marie Saint - but Mark has always had a special regard for the contribution of its screenwriter, Ernest Lehman...

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A Celluloid Mount Rushmore

From this weekend's Mark Steyn Show, here's an inaugural edition of Mark at the Movies, in which New York Post film critic Kyle Smith joins Steyn to look back at the Lyman Administration, the Mitchell Administration and the Shepherd Administration. If you don't remember those presidents, click below:

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Metropolis

From this weekend's Mark Steyn Show, here's another video edition of our Mark at the Movies department, in which Tom Gunning, author of The Films of Fritz Lang, joins Mark to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Lang's futuristic masterpiece, Metropolis:

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La La Land

From this weekend's Mark Steyn Show, here's a video edition of our Mark at the Movies department, in which The New York Post's Kyle Smith joins me with a remembrance of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, and we discuss this year's supposed Oscar shoo-in, La La Land:

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New Year at the Movies

Some films for the end of the year, and the end of the world

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Christmas in the Trenches

Wartime movies with a seasonal twist

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The Apartment

Mark celebrates one of his favorite Christmas movies

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The House of Mouse

Mickey and Minnie Mouse made their screen debuts in 1928 in an obscure silent short called "Plane Crazy", a quickie Lucky Lindbergh cash-in whose only claim to fame is that it briefly played as the supporting feature to the very first talkie, Warner Brothers' The Jazz Singer. That set the tone for Walt Disney's relationship with Hollywood: for most of his life, he was a pipsqueak supporting player to the big boys; the real moguls were the brothers Warner, Harry Cohn, Louis B Mayer, Daryl Zanuck...

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Interstellar

My thoughts on John Glenn and the abandoned frontier reminded me of this film from 2014. I went to see Interstellar mainly because I was tickled by the fact that the bad guy is called "Dr Mann"...

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The Road to Wellville

Kellogg's "values" have evolved over the years

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Jerry Maguire

For the first and only time, Tom Cruise had Mark at hello

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Sling Blade

The twentieth anniversary of Billy Bob Thornton's terrific directorial debut

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We Were Soldiers

For this day after Veterans Day, here's a film about soldiering that wears its allegiance in its very title...

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Mister Norm

The only actor to wind up on a winning presidential ticket

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Wolf

A Halloween horror starring a whiskery Jack Nicholson...

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Hollywood's Hillaryphobia

Hillary Clinton enjoys the support, one assumes, of 99 per cent of Hollywood liberals. Yet it wasn't that way last time she was in the White House...

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Fangs, Light Sabers and a Supernumary Papilla

Mark remembers the great Christopher Lee, from Dracula to a Dark Lord of the Sith

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Spectre

Steyn on the new Bond film - and the return of Blofeld

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Hail, Caesar!

Mark reviews the latest Coen Brothers film

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Coffee & Cigarettes

Eleven minutes with Oscar-nominated Aussie Cate Blanchett

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Romantic Comedian

Last year for our Valentine's Day movie pick we featured Clint Eastwood's valentine to himself. This year I thought I'd celebrate one of the great romantic chemistry sets in motion pictures - the now all but forgotten Shirley Ross and a young Bob Hope. So for hopeless romantics here's some romantic Hope: Back in the late Thirties, Bob Hope and his writers created two "Bob Hopes", two public personas that kept him in business for the next six decades. For radio, he was smart, sharp, sly, with tremendous confidence: in my mind's eye, I always see him walking out from the wings to the mike — the first great saunterer in show business. He was the pioneer stand-up and the inventor of the modern Oscar ceremony. Until the late Thirties, the ...

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Gladiator

In this month before the Academy Awards, we always like to offer a few Oscar winners and losers from years past. This one won big 15 years ago - Best Actor, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects and, of course, Best Picture...

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Rickman's Worth

More or less exactly thirty years ago, I saw Alan Rickman in the role that made his name - as the Vicomte de Valmont in Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Barbican Pit. Theatre critics are overly fond of the phrase "a commanding performance", but I've rarely seen anything as commanding as Rickman on stage that night: he was a very palpable flesh-and-blood embodiment of the title. From about 20 minutes after his entrance, you could feel all around you that approximately 90 per cent of the female audience and 30 per cent of the male were just longing to be taken by him. I made the mistake of inviting a young lady along, and at supper afterwards she did her best not to make it too obvious that ...

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Grease

Robert Stigwood, the Aussie producer who rescued the Hollywood musical

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New Year Damewatch

From the Queen's New Year Honours list, here are a trio of damehoods that caught my eye - Kiwi, Cockney and Cymru...

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Pulp Fiction

Steyn looks back at a Tarantino smash

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Mark's Yuletide Movie Vault

A celluloid sleigh ride through the remoter parts of the Christmas catalogue

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Star Wars

Stabilize your rear deflectors! From a galaxy far far away - the summer of 1977 - Star Wars is back, rebooted for the 21st century and in hopes that after a decade's time-out the series has shaken off its turn-of-the-century "prequels"...

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Heel, Hipster, Loner, Loser

For this week's movie date here's a look at Sinatra's film career. He was a memorable actor - and, as Sammy Cahn liked to say, that isn't even what he does...

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Monster Mash-Up

A trio of creature features for Halloween

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Type Cast

In the recent expanded eBook edition of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade, I write about Miss Moneypenny - both the character and her most famous screen incarnation, Lois Maxwell...

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Crash

Sex'n'wrecks on the QEW

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

For America's Columbus Day weekend, here's a film by Chris Columbus. Oh, wait, that's a different Chris Columbus? Too late. We'll save our hommage to Ali MacGraw and Richard Benjamin in Goodbye, Columbus until next year's holiday. But this Chris Columbus is the fellow who beat out Steven Spielberg, Rob Reiner and others to win the chance to bring J K Rowling's Harry Potter series to the big screen. For our weekend movie date, here's the film that launched the then very young Harry, Hermione and Ron into motion pictures - the adaptation of the first book in the saga, Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone - or, for American readers, Sorcerer's Stone: On its release in 2001, this was a huge film. I saw it in New Hampshire and I didn't get ...

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Goldeneye

Just ahead of Spectre, a terrific Bond debut

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Mohammed at the Movies

The man who brought Mohammed to the big screen

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Backbeat

John Lennon would have turned 75 in October. Instead he was shot dead a few weeks after turning 40 and after returning to the rock biz after a self-imposed half-decade exile. The most interesting part of a celebrity's life is always the pre-celebrity years, so for our Saturday movie date this week I thought we'd screen Iain Softley's 1994 biopic Backbeat - the backstory to the beat, when the Fab Four were a fivesome trying to make it in Hamburg: My expectations of this picture were minimal, if only because, not for the first time, the tag-line sells it short: "He had to choose between his best friend, the woman he loved and the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world." In other words, it's the old conflict between personal life and ...

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Kandahar

On this 14th anniversary, I'm struck by how 9/11 seems something woozy and remote to almost anyone under 25. One obvious reason is the event's all but total absence from popular culture...

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Mission: Impossible

Tom Cruise breaks into a Colorado toilet to seize Hillary's server

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The Jackal

A thriller as ridiculous as Hillary's server security

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The Usual Suspects

Two decades ago this weekend, The Usual Suspects opened. It was a cool film with a certain cachet and a hip cast...

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Death Wish

The classic cinematic artifact of New York's dysfunctional past ...and future?

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The Bunny in Winter

Bugs Bunny turned 75 earlier this week. He made his debut in the form we know him today on July 27th 1940 in Chuck Jones' "A Wild Hare"...

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Strangers on a Train

Hitchcock on doubles, double-crossing, crossing one's doubles, and a double-bass

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Amélie

During the filming of Gigi, Maurice Chevalier took a first run at "Thank Heaven For Little Girls" and then turned to the song's lyricist, Alan Jay Lerner. "How was I?" he asked.

"Perfect," said Lerner. "Every word."

"No, no," said Chevalier. "Did I sound French enough?"

A couple of days ahead of Bastille Day, that's what I went looking for for our Saturday movie date: something that's French enough...

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Apollo 13

For whatever reason, it feels a fairly muted Independence Day this Fourth of July. So I thought for our Saturday movie date a tale of American daring and ingenuity triumphing against the odds...

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Herbie: Fully Loaded

Lindsay Lohan, before she got fully loaded

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The Closet

So a reader sent me a link over to this piece, and for some reason the management situation over there made me think this might be an apt film for our Saturday movie date...

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Citizen Kane

or our Saturday movie date this week, a muted centennial: Orson Welles was born one hundred years last Wednesday - May 6th 1915, in Kenosha, Wisconsin - and I thought the anniversary would have been a bigger deal. But I guess the conventional wisdom on the Wunderkind - meteoric rise, then squandered talent - is prevailing posthumously, too...

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

One of my boys said to me the other day, "Hey, can we watch Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?" - which surprised me because I thought the Hitchhiker's cult had waned sufficiently that it would have passed his generation by. As it happens, it's ten years ago this week since the movie came out - intended as the first of a series but received so badly that we'll be waiting for a sequel a long time. Nevertheless, I found the picture interesting as a study in adaptation, which is the main reason it's our Saturday movie date. I came to Hitchhiker's Guide somewhat late and by the time I did its worshippers were so devoted I never felt like putting in the hours to join their ranks. But it ran and reran on BBC Radio Four for what seems like a ...

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Donnie Brasco

Al Pacino turns 75 in a few days' time. He had a great run in the early Seventies - The Godfather, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon - and then made some poor choices. Still, I assumed he'd be one of those Hollywood leading men who aged well and retained their cool. It never occurred to me that he'd decide to spend his late middle-age chewing the furniture and bellowing in ever riper outfits and hairdos. For our Saturday movie date, I was trying to think of the last good Pacino film, and settled on this one - from 1997, Donnie Brasco: One of the rare endearing qualities about Hollywood execs is their habit, for all their much-vaunted insider cynicism, of reacting to hit films like any old rube at the multiplex. Faced with Four Weddings And A ...

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Mister Vitality

Our Saturday movie feature salutes a memorable Hollywood star, born one hundred years ago this month - April 21st 1915, in Chihuahua, Mexico: Anthony Quinn was easy to mock - rough, raw, primal, lusty, throaty, stubbly, the life-force who forces a little too much life on you, who pisses on subtlety, sprays mouthfuls of ouzo on nuance, rubs the prickle of his three-day beard on ambiguity...

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Dressed for Success

So the other night I was watching the second movie in the RED series, which is like the semi-thinking man's Expendables, and reckoning what fun it was to see a great serious actress like Helen Mirren mixing it up with an action star like Bruce Willis. And then I thought: "Hang on, when did Helen Mirren become a great serious actress?" Well, somehow she did...

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The Day After Tomorrow

The hilarious 2004 laugh-riot climate comedy!

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Kingsman: The Secret Service

A cinematic blockbuster in which the megalomaniac super-villain out to take over the world is ...a climate-change activist

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Lost In Translation

For Oscar weekend: Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in a great Oscar-loser

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The Bridges of Madison County

Clint Eastwood's American Sniper continues to do boffo biz, but on this Valentine's Day it's not really what one would call a date movie. So, for our weekend film feature, how about this Clint pic, with a dozen roses and a box of chocolates? In 1995, Eastwood took a schlock novel, and turned it into a valentine to himself...

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Shattered Glass

In the wake of Brian Williams' fantasies, another tale of journalistic fabulism

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Mystic River

One of Clint Eastwood's best movies - as producer, director and composer

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The Madness of King George

The producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr died a week ago. He was the son of Sam Goldwyn, the world's most quotable movie executive and the G in MGM, although he wasn't part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for very long. Goldwyn Jr worked hard at making his own name and left a respectable alternative-Goldwyn filmography...

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Munich

At the end of a week of bloodbaths and hostage sieges, I went looking for something appropriate for our Saturday movie date, and settled on a nine-year-old Spielberg movie about the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics...

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A Baroness on Barrenness

P D James died on Thursday, the undisputed heir to Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers as the "Queen of Crime", although she did not care for either comparison ("Such a bad writer," she sniffed of Dame Agatha). But in her 94 years she did a lot of other things, too: She was a Conservative peeress in the House of Lords, and her time in the bureaucracy (she was a Home Office civil servant) made her an effective chairman of things - whether of the Booker Prize for Fiction, or committees concerned with more earthbound endeavors. I had a slight acquaintance with her during my time at the BBC's "Kaleidoscope", where we used to call her in as a celebrity reviewer. I can recall being slightly skeptical of her judgment only once, when she told me ...

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Primary Colors

A limousine liberal's valentine to Bill Clinton

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Mean Girls

Thanks to The New York Times, I find myself keeping company I don't usually keep: Lena Dunham, Cary Elwes, Russell Brand, Tina Fey...

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Outbreak

Now that Ebola has been loosed upon the land, I thought it would be jolly to have a killer-virus picture for our Saturday movie date...

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Like a Movie

For our Saturday movie feature, here's a film column from Mark's book The Face Of The Tiger that originally appeared in The Spectator a few days after September 11th 2001:

"It was like something out of a movie."

Not everyone said that, but enough people did, watching on television or from the streets of Lower Manhattan. At times it was even shot like a movie, the low crouch of an enterprising videographer capturing the startled "What the fuh…?" of a street-level New Yorker as high above him in the slit of sky between the buildings the second plane sailed across the blue and through the south tower. The "money shots" were eerily reminiscent - the towers falling to earth with the same instant, awesome symbolism as the atomisation of the White House in Independence Day. In Swordfish, just a few weeks ago, a plane clipped a skyscraper; I thought at the time how bored John Travolta's innocent hostages looked...

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Sir Dickie in the Shadowlands

Yesterday would have been Richard Attenborough's 91st birthday. He died five days short, at a grand old age, and as the grand old man of British film, garlanded with knighthoods, peerages, fellowships and life presidencies of worthy bodies. I met him when I was very young, in his capacity as chairman of Capital Radio in London, and he gave me what proved to be excellent advice, although I neglected to take it for several decades. It was an amazing seven-decade career stretching back through Jurassic Park and Gandhi and The Great Escape to an ambitious young stage actor in the post-war West End. He was in the original cast of Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap, which opened in 1952 and is still playing every night at the St Martin's ...

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Good Will Hunting

We had many requests for a Robin Williams pic for our weekend movie feature, but I have to confess I was never the biggest fan...

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Fahrenheit 9/11

Steyn on the high water mark of Michael Moore's cultural moment

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Independence Day

For the post-holiday weekend in America, how about an Independence Day movie? We're not the most inspired chaps around here, so, from 18 Glorious Fourths ago, here's Roland Emmerich's Independence Day. The music for this film is by David Arnold, who went on to succeed John Barry as James Bond's house composer, in part because his score here reassured Barbara Broccoli that he could handle a big-budget blockbuster. You can hear David and other members of the 007 family paying tribute to John Barry and the Bond years in a SteynOnline audio special here. And with that bring on the aliens: In 1996, Independence Day opened in the midst of Bob Dole's auto-subversive post-modern campaign for the Presidency, so he decided to swing by the multiplex ...

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Grace of My Heart

Alison Anders' movie recreates the Brill Building pop sound of the early Sixties

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The Rain Maker

Steyn celebrates Stanley Donen, the last surviving director of Hollywood's Golden Age

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Michael Collins

For the SteynOnline Saturday film feature this week, we thought we'd mark both St Patrick's Day and the release of Liam Neeson's latest movie. Hard to say which is the more celebrated event these days. At any rate, before he hit the big time killing large numbers of Albanians in the Taken movies, Liam Neeson hit the medium time killing small numbers of Englishmen and Irishmen in the 1996 biopic Michael Collins...

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Vertigo

The role that ensured Kim Novak's name will last as long as movies do...

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Schindler's List

We're counting down to the Oscars with the 1994 Best Picture winner...

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A Mighty Wind

A mockumentary about faux folk

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A Theme to a Kill

An encore presentation of Mark's audio salute to James Bond's music man, John Barry

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