TOM HANKS TO STAR IN COBRA REMAKE

HOLLYWOOD – Actor Tom Hanks is to star in a remake of Cobra.

Tom Hanks plans to star in a remake of Sylvester Stallone’s 1988 action movie Cobra. The Castaway star told the Studio Exec that it represented a dream project for him.

I’ve always loved Sly and all his movies. When I was starting out, he was the actor I most looked up to. I kinda modelled my career on his. For instance when I did Forrest Gump, I completely based it on Rocky. The Terminal is Rambo without the explosions. And of course Dragnet was influenced by Cobra. I didn’t watch Sly’s movies: I studied them.

In Cobra Hanks plays Lieutenant Marion Cobretti, a member of the elite Zombie squad. When Los Angeles is terrorized by a White Supremacist group, the LAPD call in Cobretti – codenamed  Cobra – to help clean the streets.

Most of the time I play a liberal, nice guy. The Jimmy Stewart role. But here’s the interesting thing. When I met Jimmy Stewart we got to talking about our favourite actors. His was Jimmy Cagney. And suddenly it made sense that mine was Sly.

We asked how this cop from the 80s will fare in today’s society.

That’s what made me decide the time was ripe. With Black Lives Matter and a time of increased racial tension, we need liberals to be more aggressive. As Michelle Obama once said when they go lower, you dig a tunnel under them a blow them to the f*cking sky.

So the police brutality…?

We’re taking police brutality and using it against fascists. And anyone who doesn’t like it can suck my Da Vinci Code.

Cobra will be released in 2022.

47 FILMS: 42. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER

In our continuing series of 47 films to see before you are murdered in your dreams we present Ernst Lubitsch’s masterpiece The Shop Around the Corner.

Ambitious shop clerk Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) works at Matuschek and Company, a general store in Budapest. His only emotional attachment comes from a correspondence with an anonymous pen pal. New employee Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) grates on Alfred’s nerves and Mr. Matuschek seems concerned about some irregularity that goes further than the accounts.

Lubitsch’s comedy is a masterpiece of comedy and romance. The note-perfect performances deliver and some of the best lines are given to relatively minor characters. Errand boy Pepi Katona (played by William Tracy) is a genius character, for one. There was a remake with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks which I’ve never seen, never want to see, will never see.

For more of our 47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams CLICK HERE.

SIR EDWIN FLUFFER RECALLS ALFRED HITCHCOCK

HOLLYWOOD – Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall the globulous Alfred Hitchcock.

One of the pictures I’m asked about most often is actually a film I never appeared in! I am talking, of course, about Vertigo. I only take Sight and Sound magazine for the crossword and gardening tips so you could’ve knocked me down with a feather when that venerable publication recently announced that Vertigo was the best film ever made! I never cared for it much myself, but I think Jerry Lewis is funny so what do I know?

Little did I think that cinema history was in the making when I answered the phone one morning to none other than Alfred Hitchcock. I’ll never forget his first words to me.
‘Neddy,’ he said, ‘it’s Alfred Hitchcock here.’ 
That’s the kind of man he was you see, friendly, charming, but professional to the soles of his shoes. He wanted me for a scene early on in the picture where a portly gentleman walks past carrying a musical instrument case. Well, it’s the part I was born to play. There was no fee, but I was virtually guaranteed a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Academy Awards so I headed down to the set. There was no rehearsal to speak of, or any script for that matter, Hitch just wanted to capture the moment, so I walked past the camera only for him to shout cut! 
‘Anything the matter darling?’ I asked. 
‘No, no, no,’ said Hitch, ‘just give me another one,’ so we rolled camera and I walked past again. 
And again.  And again. 
After the seventy eighth take I could tell there was something wrong, so I wandered over to Hitch to see if there was a different angle we could try. ‘The problem is’ he said in that familiar cockney drawl, ‘you’re just not portly enough.’ 
It was dear old Jimmy Stewart who had the bright idea of sticking a cushion up my jumper, so we did that and tried again. Then we tried again. Then we tried again with a different cushion, but it was still no good. Say what you will about Hitch but he knows what he wants, and I for one respect him for that. In the end I nipped off for a cigarette and by the time I came back just a couple of minutes later the scene was in the can with none other than Mr Alfred Hitchcock himself playing the part of the portly gentleman who walks past carrying a musical instrument case! 
I was flattered: it’s not many actors who can say their part was played by one of the cinema’s greatest directors, but I’m proud to be one of them. 
As I said there was no fee for my cameo, although Hitch did offer me $50 to push Kim Novak into the harbour.
But that’s another story…

For more of Sir Edwin FLUFFER, be a peach and Click Here.

HIDDEN GEMS: 15. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

Hidden Gems brings to light little known film gems which have somehow slipped through the collective cinematic consciousness. This week It’s a Wonderful Life. You’re welcome.

Possibly the least known Christmas film ever made, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life stars minor character actor James Stewart in a dark tale of financial fraud, sexual repression, oedipal drama, psychosis and schizophrenia. From the viewpoint of a chuckling angel (Henry Travers) we see unfold the life of George Bailey (Stewart), a small town guy who dreams of nothing but escape from the stultifying boredom of Bedford Falls. From boyhood, he dreams of getting out, but he is subjected to physical abuse by the local chemist and psychological warfare from his seemingly gentle but violently racist father. When he is almost killed by local pranksters, he foolishly falls for the manipulative wiles of wannabe librarian Mary (Donna Reed) and her demands for the Moon. To spite his son, the sadistic racist father dies on purpose, leaving George trapped in the town as the only one capable of looking after the family’s piffling Building and Loan company. Kind old geezer Mr. Potter tries to free George via the beauties of capitalism but George prefers to build houses for immigrants to assuage his white guilt. When a number of things go wrong one Christmas Eve, George decides to kill himself and that’s when Clarence the angel arrives to show George what a stupid asshole he’s been. How life would be so much better without him, and how Bedford Falls would have been the sexier and more exciting Potter’s Ville. The whole point being if he hadn’t existed, the World would have come to Bedford Falls. It was George all along who was keeping Bedford Falls in its somnambulant state of paralysis and repression. Even Mary would have got her lifelong wish to be a librarian. Idiot that he is though, George Bailey chooses not to kill himself and the hell that is his life continues.

Happy Christmas everyone!

For more Hidden Gems CLICK HERE.

HIDDEN GEMS 11. VERTIGO

Hidden Gems brings to light little known film gems which have somehow slipped through the collective cinematic consciousness. You’re welcome.

Films about being dizzy were legion in the 1940s and 50s, reflecting a widespread distrust of government and an increasing paranoia about the activities of the Soviet Bloc. Who can forget Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking Whoops-a-Daisy starring Peter Sellers, or Billy Wilder’s hilarious satire I Need to Sit Down, starring Jack Lemmon. In an attempt to bolster his failing reputation – following the little known and underwhelming Read Window – British director Alfred Hitchcock decided to cash in on the trend with Vertigo, a film about a policeman Scottie (played by relative unknown James Stewart) who retires from the force following a dizzy spell during a rooftop chase. Living in San Francisco doesn’t help, nor does a case he takes on as a private investigator involving an old friend’s wife.

Hitchcock’s film is a sun-kissed noir, a convoluted twisting plot taking place in the labyrinthine twists of San Fransisco. Scotty is an empty man filling his empty days with an obsessive pursuit which threatens to consume him entirely. Bernard Hermann’s score is a luscious and hypnotic setting for the story and the acting is superb. Unfortunately, the film was a commercial and critical disaster and is very difficult to get hold of now. Hitchcock went on to make the poorly received Psycho and is now largely forgotten as a film director. If he’s remembered for anything, it’s because he was fat. In this he resembles Orson Welles, a similarly corpulent ghost from the past whose films are unjustly ignored.

The British Film Institute in its recent retrospective of Dizzy Cinema not only neglected Hitchcock’s work but denied that Vertigo even existed and Sight and Sound in its poll of top film critics found the film positioned number one of one hundred films that were considered ‘absolute bullshit’.

For more Hidden Gems CLICK HERE.

5 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

HOLLYWOOD – Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most popular Christmas films ever made, telling the story of how much difference one man’s life – George Bailey (James Stewart) – can make to a small town, Bedford Falls.

But very few people know the truth about It’s a Wonderful Life. Today, Studio Exec can exclusively reveal the 5 facts that nobody knows about one of the most popular Xmas films ever made.

1 . In the original cut of the film, Bedford Falls looked like it does after George Bailey (James Stewart) wishes he’d never been born – with noisy juke joints and neon lights – and then changed to the more sedate boring Bedford Falls after Clarence makes like he’d never existed, but the director – Frank Capra – said that ‘it made no sense’ whatsoever and insisted that it be swapped. 

 2. Donna Reed hated James Stewart so much she would bring a thin bladed flick knife on set and during their scenes together would stab him repeatedly about the upper thigh and torso out of shot. Stewart was such a gentleman about it, he made as if nothing was happening and limped away bleeding.

3. In the scene in which the pharmacist Mr. Gower hits Young George – played by Robert J. Anderson – on the ear, the elder actor hit the boy too hard and a few minutes after the scene Anderson collapsed and was taken to hospital where he died. Fortunately, it was his last scene and the heart-warming classic continued shooting. 

 4. Frank Capra is Italian for Frank Goat.

 5. ‘Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings’ became a code phrase in the times of the Vietnam war which was used to order US aircraft to launch napalm attacks on innocent Vietnamese children. 

For more FACTS on everything from this to that click HERE! 

FLUFFER IS HARVEY

I’ll never forget the first time I met Edward G. Robinson. It was either a Monday or a Thursday, probably in the 1930s but it could’ve been the ‘40s, and I was wearing my lucky bow tie. I tell a lie, it was Jimmy Stewart, the year was 1950, and I was dressed in a bunny costume for my lead role in Harvey.  
Film historians now quite rightly recognise this masterpiece as the Brokeback Mountain of its day, exploring a love that dare not speak its name between a functioning alcoholic and his pet rabbit. Although the script never explicitly mentioned the word ‘bestiality’ I was in no doubt at all about the importance of the issue we were exploring and it had Oscars written all over it. 

Luckily I’ve never felt embarrassed shooting love scenes, but when I started improvising and humping Jimmy’s leg the director shouted cut almost immediately and it never made the final edit. Sadly the carrot scene went as well, but Mr Ed the talking horse told me it moved him to tears. Some say Harvey was my finest performance, and sweating away in the costume I have to say I really felt I got under the skin of that character.

It was Jimmy’s idea to have my name removed from both the title sequence and the end credits to help the audience believe that Harvey was indeed a real rabbit, and to this day people are surprised to find out it was me! I did develop a severe addiction to lettuce which led to years of electric shock therapy, but that’s another story…

FLUFFER’S XMAS TOP TEN: PART 4

As the holiday season approaches actor, raconteur and functioning alcoholic Sir Edwin Fluffer pours himself a large one, and introduces us to his Top Ten Christmas movies.  
Dear me, I must have had a snifter too many because I entirely to forgot to put number three in my Top Ten. Here it is now, and be a dear and don’t tell nurse:
3 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
This is quite simply the funniest movie ever made, but when I got my voting form for that year’s Academy Awards I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been nominated for a single Oscar! I’ve never known a worse travesty of justice! I wrote Chevy Chase’s name in every single category and then put a big tick next to it but to no avail, and so I threatened to resign from the Academy in protest. 

It was only then my agent told me that if I did they wouldn’t let me have my lifetime achievement award.  
In the end I decided it was best to just let it lie.  
Dear Chevy was very understanding, and he still sends a card every year.


The Shop Around The Corner
This was one of my first jobs in Hollywood!  MGM were sure they had another hit on their hands, but they were worried that audiences couldn’t understand what James Stewart was saying. Don’t get me wrong, I think Jimmy was one of the most marvelous actors that the big screen’s been fortunate enough to make rich and famous, but that voice of his could be a bit tricky on the ear. 
In the end I was called in to dub all of Mr Stewart’s lines, and I spent hours in a sound booth going through them over and over again. If I do say so myself the end result was quite impressive, but sadly the studio didn’t agree. They felt that having an English man dubbing the voice of an American actor starring in a film set in Hungary was just too confusing. 
In the end they had to get Jimmy back in to record all his lines again! He wasn’t very happy about it, although I was delighted! There aren’t many actors who can say they’ve been overdubbed by a star of his calibre, but I’m proud to be one of them. To this day The Shop Around The Corner remains one of my finest performances. It’s just a shame that nobody got to see it. Like when I danced on top of the piano and played the kazoo in Casablanca.

FLUFFER’S XMAS TOP TEN: PART 2

‘The size of a healthy penis’

As the holiday season approaches actor, raconteur and functioning alcoholic Sir Edwin Fluffer pours himself a large cognac, and introduces us to his Top Ten Christmas movies.



4. It’s A Wonderful Life

When Frank Capra rang to offer me a role in this Christmas classic I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately I landed awkwardly on top of Lionel Barrymore. Luckily I wasn’t seriously hurt, but poor old Lionel ended up having to film all of his scenes from a wheelchair. It was a simple accident and could’ve happened to anyone after a few large brandies, but I’m afraid that darling Lionel did rather hold it against me. I won’t go as far as to say that he had me fired from the picture, but he certainly wrote a long letter to Frank pointing out my many failings both as an actor and a human being. 

In all fairness some of the points he raised were hard to disagree with and as I read on I soon found myself nodding in agreement.
Jimmy Stewart took it a step further by asking the rest of the cast and crew to sign a petition requesting that my services be no longer required and I mistakenly signed it thinking it was a birthday card for Donna Reed! We did laugh about that!
Even to this day I still can’t think about this film without getting a tear in my eye.


5. Love Actually
I’ve not actually seen this film myself, but the lady who comes in to do my cleaning assures me that it’s very good. The box says it has an all-star cast so there’s every chance that I could be in it.  If there’s a smartly dressed gentleman with an eye for the ladies making witty remarks while pretending not to notice the bunch of mistletoe sticking out of his trousers then that’s probably me.  People including my lawyer say I’m far too old for that kind of behavior, but try telling that to dear old Ollie Reed or darling Dickie Harris. 
Of course Peter O’Toole’s given up on all that sort of thing now, and have you seen the state of him? He looks dreadful! 
Wait! I have seen this one! 
Has it got Charlton Heston doing the chariot racing? 
That’s on every Christmas, and very good it is too.