Classic film and TV star Harry Morgan dead at 96

Although he is primarily remembered today for his role as Colonel Potter on the long-running television series, “M*A*S*H,” Harry Morgan, who died Wednesday, December 7, 2011, also appeared in many classic films. The Michigan native was particularly known for his appearances in classic Westerns, including an important early role in “The Ox-Bow Incident” (1943). He worked mostly in supporting roles, but Morgan always made his characters memorable, holding his own against iconic stars like Henry Fonda, John Wayne, James Stewart, and Gary Cooper. Here are a dozen classic movies where you can see Morgan in action and learn more about his career before “M*A*S*H.”

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Oscar Winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Score “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

Early in the process for scoring "The Social Network," hard rock veterans Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross confessed to feeling out of their element.

Sitting recently on his Beverly Hills porch, Reznor recalled, "That wasn't the type of film I thought I knew how to score. It's not the film I would have chosen had I set out to score a film."

Reznor and Ross eventually figured it out, as the digital, atmospheric accompaniment to "The Social Network" won the Oscar for original score. By then, Reznor and Ross were already multiple months into their follow-up in the film world, working once again with director David Fincher, this time on "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."


First Look at Daniel Day Lewis as Abe Lincoln

It was just over a year ago that it was announced that Daniel Day-Lewis would be the star of Steven Spielberg's Abraham Lincoln film. There's no question that the two-time Oscar-winner is an astonishingly gifted actor, but when you're playing a revered American president there will always be questions about whether you can do justice to a mythic figure in U.S. history -- especially when some people refuse to accept Day-Lewis in the role since he's English. But we think most folks will be willing to look past such minor issues after checking out this first photo of Day-Lewis sporting his beard for "Lincoln." You have to admit, the resemblance is pretty striking -- and rather presidential.


‘Hugo’ and George Clooney selected as winners by critics of National Borad of Review

In the latest round of awards season jockeying, the National Board of Review announced its picks this afternoon for the best efforts of the movie year, choosing “Hugo” as the best film of 2011.

Martin Scorsese’s simultaneous celebration of cinematic tradition and 3-D magic also earned the veteran filmmaker the best director title from the board, a nonprofit group of film scholars and enthusiasts whose choices typically kick off the annual round of movie prize-giving. The New York Critics Circle beat them to the punch this year by announcing its selections on Tuesday; that group went in a slightly different direction, naming “The Artist” as best picture. Apparently at this stage in Awards Season 2011-12, the battle for supremacy is between two films that both wear their reverence for movie history on their motion-picture sleeves.


Kaui Hart Hemmings – the writer of ‘The Descendants’ on her story

Why do I write about families?

When asked, which is unfortunately quite often, I usually just make something up that sounds reflective. I don't like the question. I have no interest in knowing why I write the things I do, but as it's asked so frequently I figured I should put some thought into it. I keep going back to one particular day. I'll walk you through it, show my work like you're supposed to do in algebra class, and by the end maybe I'll have a sensible answer.

It's the summer of 1987 in Honolulu, Hawaii. I'm an 11-year-old wannabe pro-surfer hitchhiking home in a Camero driven by a man named Eagle. Eagle was in a war and he's telling my sister and me about it. He wears aviator sunglasses that shield his eyes and yet show exactly whatever he's looking at. My sister (technically, my stepsister) is in the front seat and I'm thankful because she has to talk. In the back I can daydream with my arm slung around my surfboard like it's my boyfriend. I'm thinking about the present I'm about to get. I didn't ask for a pony. I didn't want new clothes, a new bikini, a surfboard, or Jimmy Cliff and Yellowman tapes. For my 11th birthday I asked to be adopted.


Martin Scorsese goes kinder, gentler with ‘Hugo’

You think you know by now what you'll get in a Martin Scorsese movie. Someone will be gothically whacked. A person's tenuous grip on reality might slip away, possibly in a mental institution. Vengeance will be doled out — with guns, knives, fists or anything else that causes great bodily injury.

And a sweet orphan will search for a new family.

What looks at initial inspection like Hollywood's version of a shotgun marriage — the man behind "Goodfellas," "Raging Bull," "The Departed," "Shutter Island," "Cape Fear" and "Gangs of New York" directs the 3-D family film "Hugo" — makes sense if you look closer. In some ways, Scorsese's personal life and professional interests have guided him toward a gentle movie like this, even while audiences were cowering from his prior mayhem.


5 Reasons Why TV Shows Should Set an End Date

Over the weekend, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and AMC came to an agreement to keep the critically acclaimed show on the sometimes critically despised network for 16 final episodes. Setting an end date for Breaking Bad lets Gilligan and his writers craft the conclusion of Walter White's story exactly how they want, without the worry of contract negotiations and the fear of running out of ideas.

This isn't a new. In Britain, lots of shows have one or two seasons (see: The OfficeCouplingLife on Mars) and if they are really successful at the end of their run, they get offered a followup episode (The OfficeChristmas Show) or even a spinoff (Ashes to Ashes). (In America, Lost took advantage of this idea of an end-date, as well as Matthew Weiner and Mad Men.) More shows should announce an end date, and here's why:


Leonardo DiCaprio filming ‘The Great Gatsby’ with Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan

This adaptation of F.Scott Fitzgerald's classic is anticipated by literature fans in the same way its chief protagonist Jay Gatsby lusts after the unattainable object of his affections is in the novel.

Their longed for union turns out to be a tragic disappointment, but from the looks of things, this sumptuous film will be anything but.

A beautiful Sydney Summer is providing the backdrop for a floral wonderland of a set at the city's Centennial Park, which has been dressed up to represent New York's Long Island 86 years ago.

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You’ve got a pitch meeting — now what?

As I learned in the fourth grade when my first crush told me oh-so eloquently to "Get lost, creepo!," not everything you go after in life will work out as planned. Now, at the ripe, old age of 28, nothing has reminded me of that schoolyard lesson more than when I recently pitched my first show to a TV network.

After working in TV and film for the past seven years, from an intern to a production assistant to the writers' office, I decided to move from New York to Los Angeles. I'd been out here eight months when, during a meeting, I ran an off-the-cuff show idea by development executives. "We'll get in touch," they said, which in Hollywood translates to "You'll never hear from us again." But then they did something strange. They got in touch.

"We want you to come in and pitch it." Hold up. This was just an idea I had. Not even an idea — a seed of an idea! And now they wanted me to come in with a fully grown flower? In less than a week.


Billy Crystal replaces Eddie Murphy as Oscars host

Billy Crystal is replacing Eddie Murphy as host of ABC’s Feb.?26 Academy Awards broadcast.

The eight-time Oscars host was tapped Thursday to take over for Murphy by Brian Grazer — the movie mogul who was tapped a day earlier to produce the 2012 Oscarcast, replacing Brett Ratner.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Billy back to the Oscar stage,” academy President Tom Sherak said. “He’s a comic legend and Oscar icon, and it feels good to have him back where he belongs.


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