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Walter Mirisch, Oscar-winning producer, dead at 101




LOS ANGELES — Walter Mirisch, a smart and Oscar-winning movie producer who oversaw classics like “Some Like It Hot,” “West Side Story,” and “In the Heat of the Night,” died of natural causes on Saturday, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was 101.

According to a statement from the Academy’s CEO Bill Kramer and president Janet Yang, Mirisch died on Friday in Los Angeles.

“Walter was a true visionary, both as a producer and an industry leader,” they said, noting that he had previously served as academy president and governor. “His passion for filmmaking and the Academy never wavered, and he remained a dear friend and advisor. During this difficult time, we send our love and support to his family.”

Mirisch won the Academy Award for best picture for 1967′s “In the Heat of the Night,” and the company he and his brothers ran also produced best-picture Oscar winners “The Apartment” and “West Side Story.”

He was born eight years before the first Academy Awards ceremony and was president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1973 to 1977. He received two honorary Oscars for his work and humanitarian efforts in 1978 and 1983.

Mirisch aggressively recruited top filmmakers such as Billy Wilder and Norman Jewison as producers, then gave them free rein to craft the films as they saw fit.

“We provided what these filmmakers required,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1983. “Billy could call me up and say, ‘I’d next like to do a picture about so-and-so’ — and that’s all we’d need to know. … We effectively became partners with our directors.”


Mirisch aggressively recruited top filmmakers such as Billy Wilder and Norman Jewison

In addition to Wilder and Jewison, his company’s regular board of directors included Blake Edwards and John Sturges. The company also produced films by John Ford, John Huston, William Wyler, George Roy Hill, and Hal Ashby.

Mirisch began his career in the film industry as a teenager, working his way up from usher to management positions with a theatre chain before moving on to production work on low-budget action films and Westerns in the late 1940s.

His company, which he founded with his brother Marvin and half-brother Harold in 1957, was one of the most successful independent production outfits to emerge from the old studio system as television reduced movie attendance.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, the Mirischs had a string of hits, including “The Magnificent Seven,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Great Escape,” “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “The Pink Panther,” and its sequel, “A Shot in the Dark.”

Their company began with a few Westerns before producing 1959′s “Some Like It Hot,” a Wilder comedy starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis as cross-dressing musicians fleeing the mob.

Mirisch was open to trying out new projects. He was a Harvard-trained business executive who efficiently oversaw the business side of things, allowing his filmmakers to focus on their films.

Elmore Leonard, the crime novelist and screenwriter on two Mirisch productions, “Mr. Majestyk” in 1974 and “Desperado” in 1987, dedicated his Hollywood satire “Get Shorty” to Mirisch, calling him “one of the good guys.”

Mirisch was also one of a few filmmakers mentioned by Sidney Poitier in his acceptance speech for an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement at the 2002 Academy Awards.


Mirisch was open to trying out new projects.

“Those filmmakers persevered, speaking to the best in all of us through their art,” said Poitier, who starred in Mirisch’s “In the Heat of the Night” and the sequel “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!”

The Mirisch brothers tailored their management style to the level of oversight they felt a director desired or required. Mirisch stated in a 1972 interview in the journal “Films and Filming” that some directors worked well as their producers, while others had little interest outside the actual filmmaking.

“We’ve worked with brilliant directors and producer-directors, and I must say that our relationships with each of them have been very different,” he explained.

The Mirisch brothers worked in theatre as a team for most of their careers. Walter worked as a producer and later as head of the production before joining the Allied Artists production company in the 1940s, while Harold and Marvin worked in administration.


Walter Mirisch continued to make theatrical films until the 1980s.

While at Allied, Walter produced Westerns and a series of low-budget titles in the “Bomba the Jungle Boy” series starring Johnny Sheffield, who had played Boy in the 1940s “Tarzan” films.

Following the death of his oldest brother, Harold, in 1968, the surviving siblings carried on their business with Marvin as chairman and Walter, the youngest brother, in charge of production. Marvin passed away in 2002.

Walter Mirisch continued to make theatrical films until the 1980s. Although his films’ quality and commercial success declined in general, he did have some hits, including Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe for “Same Time Next Year.” Other late-career films included “Midway,” “Gray Lady Down,” and the 1979 remake of “Dracula.” In the 1990s, he was also an executive producer on several television projects.

In New York City, Walter Mortimer Mirisch was born on November 8, 1921. After attending City College of New York, he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1942 from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s in business in 1943 from Harvard.

Mirisch married Patricia Kahan in 1947, and she died before him. Anne, Andrew, and Lawrence were their three children.

The family has asked for donations to the Motion Picture and Television Fund instead of flowers (MPTF).

A memorial service will take place at a later date.



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Prince Harry in London for Privacy Lawsuits Against Daily Mail




Prince Harry in London for Privacy Lawsuits Against Daily Mail

Prince Harry made an unannounced appearance at the High Court in London on Monday morning, where a hearing is being held against the publisher of the Daily Mail. The newspaper is accused of allegedly gathering information from several celebrities illegally.

This hearing pertains to one of Prince Harry’s numerous lawsuits against the media. The expected duration is four days.

In the London court proceedings, the six plaintiffs accuse the publisher of employing detectives to wiretap them in their homes and vehicles.

Attorney David Sherborne stated, “They were the victims of numerous unlawful acts committed by the defendant or by those acting on the instructions of its newspapers, The Daily Mail and The Mail On Sunday.”

Sherborne stated that the allegations date back to 1993 and continue beyond 2018.

The publisher has denied the accusation. In October, it refuted “absolutely and unequivocally these preposterous smears that appear to be nothing more than a planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail’s headlines into the wiretapping scandal involving 30-year-old articles.”

The publisher stated that the claims are too old to be brought and should be dismissed because they are based on confidential information in newspapers provided in 2012 for an investigation into media law-breaking.

After revelations in 2011 that News of the World tabloid employees eavesdropped on the mobile phone voicemails of celebrities, politicians, and a teen murder victim, Britain conducted a yearlong investigation into press ethics.

More than sixty journalists were detained as a result of the scandal.

Prince Harry May Not Be Included In the Procession

The coronation of King Charles III is scheduled for May of this year, and whether his youngest son Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, will attend has been the subject of much speculation.

Leaked plans for the Coronation rehearsal indicate that Prince Harry will likely be on the sidelines if they are present at Westminster Abbey.

According to a report from The Times of London, there is no place for Harry and Meghan in the procession, even though they have been invited to the ceremony. The King’s brother, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, were excluded from the procession.

The procession is significantly smaller than at The Queen’s 1953 coronation, which was reportedly three times as large. Charles’ plans appear to be limited to “working” royals.

William, the eldest son of Charles, will participate in the procession alongside his wife, Kate Middleton. George, Charlotte, and Louis will accompany the Prince and Princess of Wales. In September, Louis was deemed too young to participate in the procession for the Queen’s funeral, but he will be included this spring.

prince harry

The children of Meghan and Prince Harry, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, have not been invited to the Coronation. One may arrive later, but the ceremony is quickly approaching.

Early in March, the Sussexes confirmed that their representative had received an invitation, but a spokesperson added, “At this time, we will not disclose whether or not the Duke and Duchess will attend.”

The Sun reported that an anonymous source told the OK! magazine that “tense” negotiations are underway to determine whether or not Meghan and Harry will be there in May.

The alleged insider stated, “The Palace is attempting to conclude negotiations as quickly as possible because they cannot go to the wire.” “It could result in anarchy. It is possible that it will result in a stalemate and that they will not attend. However, the Palace is doing everything possible to prevent this from occurring.

The Palace is coordinating two separate schedules. One with the Sussexes and the other without. They wish to be ready for any contingency.”

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Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Accuser Calls Utah Ski Crash ‘Serious Smack’



ski accident

PARK CITY, Ute. The man suing Gwyneth Paltrow for a 2016 skiing accident at an upmarket Utah resort told a jury on Monday that the actress-turned-lifestyle blogger hit him from behind and sent him “absolutely flying.”

“All I could see was a lot of snow.” “And I didn’t see the sky, but I was flying,” said Terry Sanderson, 76, a retired optometrist, who described the impact as “a serious smack.”

That contradicts Paltrow’s testimony, and as the trial enters its second week, the jury has heard opposing tales. Sanderson, according to Paltrow, was uphill and hit her from behind. He’s suing her for over $300,000, claiming she skied carelessly and that the incident permanently damaged his personality.

Paltrow testified on Friday that Sanderson hit her gently from behind, but the incident worsened as the two went down the novice slope. She added that his skis went between her legs, causing her to fear as she heard a man sigh behind her. Paltrow appeared in court on Monday.

Sanderson remembered a screaming woman skidding out of control and slamming into him in the rear. Craig Ramon, another skier who claims to be the only eyewitness to the accident, testified last week that he witnessed Paltrow collide with Sanderson.

Regardless of who hit who, both parties agreed that the two fell, and Paltrow landed on top of Sanderson. Paltrow’s attorneys have challenged the extent of Sanderson’s injuries and post-crash disorientation, but both parties agree the impact resulted in four broken ribs and a concussion.

Sanderson was moved to tears several times during his testimony on Monday, especially when he appeared unable to focus or remember things.

ski accident

The fancy mountain must be equipped with a helmet camera because they are commonplace at ski resorts

His legal team attempted to depict his bewilderment and memory lapses as evidence of brain injury. Paltrow’s lawyers used it to call into question his credibility as a witness.

Sanderson’s testimony also raised new concerns regarding the possibility of a GoPro helmet camera recording the crash. Though no video was shown in court, attorneys frequently questioned witnesses about an email one of his daughters sent that said, “I also can’t believe this is all on GoPro.”

Shae Herath that daughter said this week that her statements were speculative, implying that someone on the fancy mountain must be equipped with a helmet camera because they are commonplace at ski resorts.

Paltrow’s attorneys have continued to raise concerns about what happened to the footage Sanderson and his family members mentioned.

On Monday, it became evident that the potentially explosive evidence would not detonate.

Judge Kent Holmberg stated that online sleuths discovered the link, and its contents would be used as evidence. It didn’t include any GoPro footage. Instead, it was a conversation amongst Sanderson’s ski group members in which Ramon — the man claiming to be the crash’s lone eyewitness — stated that Paltrow had plowed into Sanderson on the day of the crash.

“Terry was struck unconscious. “That was a bad hit to the head!” Ramon penned a letter. “I saw the hit.” Terry had no idea what his name was.”

The exchange revealed that Ramon believed Paltrow collided with Sanderson years before any lawsuit was filed. It also demonstrates that Sanderson and those skiing with him recognized Paltrow as the woman in the collision.

ski accident

Simulations of how they believed the collision occurred, with high enough clarity to depict trees, children’s ski jackets

Paltrow’s defense team had an equal opportunity to present their case after Sanderson’s counsel called witnesses for four and a half days. They brought one of her family’s four ski instructors to the stand on Monday afternoon. Attorneys indicated Monday that Paltrow’s two teenage children, Moses and Apple, would have their depositions read into the record later this week rather than testifying in court.

Jurors sat spellbound as Paltrow’s attorneys showed computer-animated simulations of how they believed the collision occurred, with high enough clarity to depict trees, children’s ski jackets, and different vantage points.

The defense called Eric Christiansen, a mustachioed 40-year experienced ski instructor teaching Paltrow’s family at Deer Valley Resort on the day of the crash, as their first witness. He claimed he was monitoring most of the mountain when Sanderson and Paltrow crashed and didn’t see the impact but did observe what transpired just before and after.

Christiansen said that Paltrow was doing “short radius turns” while Sanderson was skiing down the groomed run “edge to edge” and “quite dynamically” in testimony that veered into skiing technique instruction.

He recalled Paltrow landing on top of Sanderson because he approached and removed her skis, then Sanderson’s.

“I believe you told me once that if a soccer player takes out someone’s legs, they’re underneath,” Paltrow’s lawyer, Steve Owens, said as he questioned her about the accident.

Paltrow’s lawyers intend to call a slew of medical specialists to testify against the neurologists, radiologists, and psychologists recruited by Sanderson’s team.

The trial has also touched on wealthy people’s habits and interests, such as Sanderson and Paltrow, and the power — and burden — of notoriety. The amount of money at stake for both parties is modest compared to the standard legal costs of a multiyear case, expert witnesses, a private security detail, and high-resolution animation.

Throughout the first five days of the trial, much of the questioning focused on Sanderson’s reason for suing Paltrow. Her lawyers claim the case is an attempt by an “obsessed” individual to take advantage of Paltrow’s wealth and reputation. Sanderson’s lawyers have attempted to portray Paltrow as a carefree movie star who harmed an elderly man and cannot accept responsibility for the consequences.

“No one believed how serious my injuries were,” said Sanderson, who had previously enjoyed wine tasting and international travel. “There were numerous insults added to that single incident.”


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John Wick: Chapter 4 Ending



john wick 4

For fans, John Wick: Chapter 4’s conclusion was a surprise.

Wick defeats the evil Marquis Vincent de Gramont (Bill Skarsgard) in a dramatic duel, although he appears to be mortally wounded after taking one too many shots. He says the name of his late wife, “Helen,” who passed away in the first scene of the 2014 film John Wick. Winston (Ian McShane) stands at Wick’s grave in the movie’s concluding scene after he appears to pass away.

A fan approached the director Chad Stahelski and the star Keanu Reeves about the movie’s ending when it had just debuted at the South by Southwest Film & TV Festival.

We got to make another movie due to Chapter Three’s audience response, and we wondered, “What was the Why?” Reeves appears to be referring to the main purpose of Chapter 4 when he says this. “And as Chad and I were chatting, the Why? Was death, namely the death of John Wick. John Wick the film aimed for him to find some measure of liberation or calm. Let’s do another one can’t be the only response. In essence, it was about death or a method of dying. ‘The Hagakure’ greatly inspired us.

john wick

And as Chad and I were chatting, the Why? Was death, namely the death of John Wick

Stahelski mentions that the Hagakure is a Japanese code of ethics. Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai is devoted to its principles and calls itself “a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior.”

According to Stahelski, “we kind of took the way of dying — or the way we live well to die well — as the theme.”

When asked which sequence in the movie he liked best, Reeves cited Wick’s climactic exchange. “Maybe him at the end on the stairs,” he continues, “if I just looked at from [John’s perspective] John Wick.” “When he calls me Helen. After filming the [big fight on the other set of stairs] and about eight years into the job, that part was [a moving nod] to the past for me.

john wick

John Wick could have pulled it off earlier; why would he wait until the very end?

Stahelski had planned to film the fourth and fifth episodes back-to-back before the outbreak. Later, the filmmakers notified the media that they were waiting and watching. A post-credits scene provides the possibility for a spinoff centered on Rina Sawayama’s Akira and Caine, played by Donnie Yen.

While Reeves and Stahelski seemed pretty certain that Baba Yaga was dead, the editing of Chapter 4’s final moments leaves just enough room for interpretation (Wick isn’t explicitly shown dead) should the filmmakers choose to bring him back John Wick with a faked-his-own-death revelation. However, doing so would weaken the impact of the Chapter 4 ending and be illogical (if John Wick could have pulled it off earlier, why would he wait until the very end?

A prequel set before Wick retired to start a family is another option, should Reeves decide to take on the role again. However, this would need Wick to play a much younger version of the character than we’ve ever seen. Reeves was told by an SXSW audience member that he doesn’t appear to age, which is a blessing. Yeah, man, I get old,” Reeves said groggily. “Man, it’s happening.”


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