‘The Wild Bunch’ and ‘Midnight Cowboy’ Turn 45 This Year

Two landmark motion pictures have hit the 45th anniversary milestone this year, and both of them were instrumental in helping usher in the kind of norms, sensibilities, and somewhat radical attitudes that were beginning to burgeon in Tinseltown as the 1960s gave way to the 1970s.

One of them, The Wild Bunch, took screen violence and the western narrative to an entirely different level; the other, Midnight Cowboy, not only became the first X-rated motion picture to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, but it also exemplified a kind of realistic film in which the narrative doused its characters in strife, pain, and struggle, and didn’t offer a seamless resolution at its denouement, but rather the contrary. Its kind of downer tale also became a style and staple for many of the films which followed it into the mid 1970s such as Scarecrow, The Last Detail, etc.

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Oscar-Winning Screen Legend Ernest Borgnine Dies At 95

The past month has brought us the loss of many acting heavyweights, some of whom went unappreciated during their final years. Now comes the saddest loss in quite some time.

Ernest Borgnine, the avuncular and omnipresent acting legend with a film and television career spanning more than six decades, passed away on Sunday, July 8 at the age of 95. The cause of death was renal failure, or kidney failure, according a statement the actor’s longtime spokesman Harry Flynn gave to the Associated Press. Borgnine died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife and children.

Born to Italian immigrant parents in Hamden, Connecticut, on January 24, 1917, Ermes Effron Borgnino spent most of his younger years in New Haven, Connecticut before joining the U.S. Navy in 1935. He served in the Navy for six years before being discharged, only to re-enlist in 1941 when America entered World War II. During his service Ernest received the Navy Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. In 2004 he was granted the honorary rank of Chief Petty Officer from the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy for his support of the Navy and naval families worldwide.

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Bruce Willis & Co. Begin Filming Adaptation Of Warren Ellis Graphic Novel ‘Red’
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Filming has begun in for the new cinematic adaptation of the Warren Ellis graphic novel, Red. The Summit Entertainment production started principle photography in Toronto this week, and with a strong cast and crew, it looks to find some of that sought after success in the world of comic book adaptations.

The film’s impressive cast features Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Academy Award®-winners Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Richard Dreyfuss, and Ernest Borgnine, John Malkovich, Karl Urban (Star Trek, Lord of the Rings), Brian Cox (Super Troopers, Troy), Julian McMahon (Fantastic Four, Nip/Tuck), James Remar (Dexter, Battlestar Galactica) and Rebecca Pidgeon (The Unit, The Shield).

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Disney To Remake Their Own Sci-Fi Adventure ‘The Black Hole’
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The Walt Disney Company is preparing to reinvent one of their own titles. They’ve hired Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski and producer Sean Bailey to develop a new version on 1979’s The Black Hole. Travis Beacham will handle the script writing duties. Beacham doesn’t have a ton of experience, but he was one of the writers on Louis Leterrier’s Clash of the Titans.

The original Black Hole featured many big names for the time including Maximilian Schell, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Anthony Perkins, Ernest Borgnine, and Roddy McDowall and Slim Pickens in voice acting roles. It told the story of a space fleet that discovers a lost ship floating near a black hole (think Event Horizon, but with Disney!). On the ship, they find a scientist who has been missing for twenty years commanding a crew of faceless droids that turn out to be the former crew who tried to form a mutiny. They have received a procedure similar to what we know as a lobotomy in order to ensure their faithful service. The crew attempts to bring the missing team home, but the scientist has no plans to leave or let his servants leave as he plans to enter the black hole and explore where none have explored before.

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