A consistently effective scenarist, Axelrod wrote often witty and always acute examinations of American social mores that produced several superior films of the 1950s and 60s. After serving in the Arm...
There've been a lot of great British miniseries over the years. We got Alec Guinness as quiet, analytical spy George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Gillian Anderson as a doomed Dickensian grand dame in Bleak House; Colin Firth participating in a wet T-shirt contest in the literary porn that was Pride & Prejudice. But one really stands out from the pack: BBC's 1990 production House of Cards, starring Ian Richardson as a scheming Conservative MP trying to make a power-play in the aftermath of Margaret Thatcher's tenure as Prime Minister. It was funny and insightful, utilizing an original form of wall-breaking direct-address storytelling where Richardson spoke directly into the camera...and so uniquely British as to resist an easy Americanized adaptation.
Well, 22 years later, executive producer David Fincher's finally about to bring his long-rumored version of House of Cards to the U.S. This time, Kevin Spacey is an ambitious campaign adviser who teams up with a newspaper reporter to bring down the administration he helped elect, after his promised promotion to Secretary of State doesn't pan out. In short, the perfect opportunity for Spacey to indulge his more menacing side. Think of his character like a cross between David Axelrod and Keyser Soze.
You certainly don't have to take our word for it that this is no Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Netflix, which will be releasing the series all at once on February 13, has posted this new trailer. We give you permission to feel all cynical about the political process, so go ahead and watch it.
Despiting looking almost exactly like a Fincher movie, the Social Network auteur has only directed two of the first season's seven episodes. James Foley and Joel Schumacher have helmed the rest. Looking forward to watching House of Cards come February?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: Netflix]
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Every dinner party has one: Rachel Getting Married had Rachel, The Office had Jan. This particular dinner party, however, just happens to include the President of the United States of America and some more of the most powerful people in entertainment and politics. So Lindsay Lohan might want to be on her best behavior when she attends the White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday.
Invited as a guest of Fox's Greta Van Susteren (who was responsible for letting Kim Kardashian in last year) the 25-year-old will be among the Washington and Hollywood elite, including George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis, Reese Witherspoon, Charlize Theron, Stevie Wonder, Viola Davis, President Obama’s senior campaign adviser David Axelrod and, of course, President Barack Obama himself.
Lohan's rep told Hollywood.com in a statement, "Lindsay is obviously extremely excited to attend this event with Shawn [Holley, her attorney] at the kind invitation of Greta and her husband."
Of course, even more fun than speculating how Lohan will react to emcee Jimmy Kimmel's inevitable jabs (whatever you do, LiLo, don't follow the cue of last year's ultimate party pooper Donald Trump) is wondering where they'll seat the Mean Girls star. Will they put Lohan (whose ex Samantha Ronson attended 2011's dinner) at the kids table alongside the likes of fellow first-time guests Josh Hutcherson and Zooey Deschanel?
Or will they really shake things up and seat her alongside Attorney General Eric Holder, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno. Imagine that dinner banter, if you will. Go ahead, I'll give you a few minutes. Though, to be fair, she and Clooney might have more talking points than anyone else there.
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Top Story: Sandler Ties Knot
As Adam Sandler's Web site states, "Sandler got married: Woopity Doo!" The Associated Press reports the comedian wed his girlfriend, actress Jackie Titone, on Sunday in an outdoor ceremony in Malibu, Calif. Photographs of the nuptials showed Sandler in a black tuxedo and white yarmulke, and Titone in a white gown with spaghetti straps, standing among hanging pale rose bouquets and chairs draped with pink satin, AP reports. Even Sandler's dog, Meatball, got in the action, dressed up in a black tuxedo jacket. It is the first marriage for Sandler 36, and Titone, 28.
Lil' Kim's Jewelry Swiped at JFK Airport
Lil' Kim claimed she was robbed of $250,000 worth of jewelry when one of her bags was tampered with at the John F. Kennedy Int'l Airport Friday. AP reports the hip-hop artist's Louis Vuitton bag, which carried as much as $500,000 in jewelry, was mistakenly mixed with her regular luggage before boarding a morning flight to Los Angeles. When the bag was retrieved, it was found to have some jewelry missing, including her signature "Queen Bee" necklace. A spokesman for the Port Authority said Lil' Kim "filed a report for lost jewelry, and the incident is under investigation by the Port Authority police."
Harry Potter Book Flies Off Shelves
And the phenomenon continues. The release of the fifth Harry Potter installment Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Saturday set publishing records all over the world, including in the U.S., where on the first day alone an estimated five million copies were sold, AP reports. "We expected to sell 1 million copies in the first week and we sold that many within the first 48 hours," Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio told AP Sunday. Amazon.com shipped out more than a million copies of the new book, making Saturday the largest distribution day of a single item in e-commerce history, AP reports.
2003 Idols Gear Up for Tour
Ticket sales for the upcoming American Idol tour--which features the second season singers, including winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken--are already surpassing the sales from the first Idol tour, Billboard magazine reports. Expanding to 41 dates from 30 in 2002, the tour starts July 8 at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., and wraps Aug. 31 at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, Calif. Tickets range from $25-$45 apiece, the same as last year, Billboard reports.
Nelly Sets Up Bone Marrow Search for Sister
Nelly has formed a bone marrow campaign in search of a donor for his sister, Jackie Donahue, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2001. AP reports the Grammy-winning rapper was on hand for a drive in St. Louis, Missouri over the weekend. "It's not just a one-day event and you'll never hear from us again," Nelly told AP. "It could be a match for somebody else's brother or somebody else's sister."
Playwright George Axelrod Dies
Writer George Axelrod, best known for writing The Seven Year Itch, Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Manchurian Candidate, died Saturday of heart failure in Los Angeles. He was 81.
Cedric Show Yanked for Now
Fox Television has stopped production on the variety and sketch comedy show Cedric, starring Cedric the Entertainer but plan on running the remaining unseen episodes in the fall, Reuters reports. Despite Cedric's mediocre ratings, Reuters reports Fox originally wanted the show to return for a second season in the fall in hopes to keep the comedian in its fold until the network could develop a more suitable scripted comedy for him.
TV Movie About Fugitive Rapist Changes Ending
Producers of the Lifetime television movie A Date With Darkness: The Trial of Andrew Luster, about real-life fugitive rapist Andrew Luster, are having to rewrite the ending six days before wrapping due to Luster's capture Wednesday in Mexico. Reuters reports Luster, who was confined to house arrest during his trial on charges of drugging and raping three women, escaped five months ago but was apprehended by an American bounty hunter in the Mexican resort of Puerto Vallarta. The heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune had been sentenced to 120 years in prison.
Role Call: Portrait of Dali To Hit Screens
Director Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) has signed on to helm Dali, a biopic on famed artist Salvador Dali. Variety reports the film will focus on the artist who captivated the American art scene with sex, sin and surrealism only to fall eventually into scandal and misfortune.
TV debut as a writer for the CBS series "54th Street Revue"
Served in US Army Signal Corps during World War II
Screenwriting debut, from his story, "Phfft"
Feature directorial debut, "Lord Love a Duck"
Feature producing debut, "The Manchurian Candidate"
Co-wrote (with Billy Wilder) screenplay for "The Seven Year Itch" based on his stage play
A consistently effective scenarist, Axelrod wrote often witty and always acute examinations of American social mores that produced several superior films of the 1950s and 60s. After serving in the Army Signal Corps during World War II, The New York-born Axelrod found work writing scripts for radio programs, including "The Shadow," "Midnight" and "Grand Ole Opry," eventually branching into television. He said he contributed to or collaborated on more than 400 TV and radio scripts, and wrote for a number of top comedians, including Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin before earning breakout success with his 1954 stage version of "The Seven Year Itch," a risque social satire about a middle-class man who has an affair while his wife and children are on vacation. The play was a hit on Broadway but was deemed not ready for a mainstream audience the following year when it was made into a film directed by Billy wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe. The plot was watered-down with the husband (Tom Ewell) only fantasizing about having an affair.<p> Axelrod's next stage hit was "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" a satire on the movie business, which ran for more than a year on Broadway in the mid-1950s. It, too, was turned into a film, starring Tony Randall and Jayne Mansfield. Axelrod was contemptuous of the 1957 movie, however, saying he didn't go see it because the studio, 20th Century Fox, "never used my story, my play or my script."<p> During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Axelrod was one of the best paid writers in Hollywood, and he was nominated for an Academy Award for his 1961 adaptation of Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's. He was also highly regarded for his adaptation of Richard Condon's novel for director John Frankenheimer's Cold War thriller "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962) starring Laurence Harvey and Frank Sinatra. Alexrod, who co-produced, considered it the best adaptation he ever penned. After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, the movie was taken out of circulation and wasn't re-released until 1988, when it became a box office hit and was deemed by critics to be a classic of American cinema.<p> Axelrod's directorial efforts ("Lord Love a Duck 1966, "The Secret Life of an American Wife" 1968), though equally superb, have unfortunately been overlooked. After a decade hiatus, he returned to film work in 1979 providing the screenplay for the remake of "The Lady Vanishes". Subsequent contributions include the scripts for Frankenheimer's "The Holcroft Covenant" (1985) and "The Fourth Protocol" (1987). He is the father of actress Nina Axelrod and stepfather of screenwriter Jonathan Axelrod.<p>
worked in real estate
mother, Joan Stanton
mother, Gloria Washburn
mother, Gloria Washburn
mother, Joan Stanton; second wife is actress Illeana Douglas