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Recommended Viewing: Arthur Miller, 1915 - 2005

Arthur Miller, one of America’s great playwrights, died on Thursday, February 10, 2005.

The Brooklyn Campus Media Center has three films on video that were adapted from his stageplays—All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and The Crucible—as well as one film for which Miller wrote an original screenplay, The Misfits, which also featured his wife at the time, Marilyn Monroe, in her last film role.

Our film version of All My Sons was made in the year 1948, directed by Irving Reis and starred Edward G. Robinson and Burt Lancaster.  The play originated on Broadway in 1947 and won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award.   It is the story of a family torn apart by a manufacturing scandal that caused the death of military pilots during the war.

Death of a salesman is probably Miller’s most famous work: the story of Willy Loman, a desperate middle-aged salesman at the end of the line, a character which would become an American archetype.  It appeared on Broadway in 1949 and won the Pulitzer, the Tony, and the Drama Critics’ Circle.  The stagebound version in our collection, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, was originally broadcast on television in 1985, featuring Dustin Hoffman in the Loman role among a cast that also boasts Charles Durning and John Malkovich. 

Set during the Salem Witch Trials of 17th century colonial America, The Crucible was produced for the stage in 1953, and Miller wrote it in response to the rampaging McCarthyism in the U.S. Senate.  The Crucible (1996), directed by Nicholas Hytner, is the most cinematic of the three Miller adaptations in our collection and features excellent performances by Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen.

Miller wrote the screenplay for The Misfits (1961) for his wife, Marilyn Monroe, and the film debuted shortly after their divorce.  Directed by John Huston, this western has Monroe in a triangle with Montgomery Clift and Clark Gable. 

Miller continued to write for the stage up until his death, but our library does not own any other examples of his work on video.  Along with Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, and August Wilson, Arthur Miller stands as a giant in twentieth century American drama.  We hope you will watch the examples of his work that are available to you in the media center, and that you will look for other examples of great plays adapted to film and video in our collection. 

--Patrick Jewell, Media Assistant, 2/11/05

Recommended Viewing: In Memorium Ossie Davis, 1917 - 2005

The work of actor, writer, director, civil rights activist, and Kennedy Center Honor recipient Ossie Davis is well represented in the Brooklyn Campus Library Media Center.

He wrote and directed the comic crime film Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970). He is also a familiar face to Spike Lee fans, appearing in many of Lee's films, from early work like School Daze and Do the Right Thing, to later films like Get on the Bus. After starring in Herb Gardner's stage play I'm Not Rappaport, he reprised his role for the film version in 1996. He also worked in television, acting in the HBO drama Miss Evers' Boys, about the infamous "Tuskegee Experiment," and in the miniseries Roots, the Next Generations.

It is difficult to think of Mr. Davis without also thinking of his wife and fellow activist, Ruby Dee, who performed in many films with him and was also a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor last year. A list of her work in the Media Center follows the list of her husband's, below. Together or separately, they have been actors of great warmth and humanity.

Ossie Davis on video in the Media Center [#'s 3, 4, 8 as narrator; Cotton Comes to Harlem as writer and director; all others as actor.]:

1.

Roots, the next generations

by Margulies, Stan, Wolper, David L., Erman, John, 1935-, Haley, Alex, Warner Bros. Television., ABC Television Network

Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, [1992]

Call #: E185.97.H24 A33 1992bx

2.

Miss Evers' boys

by Feldshuh, David, 1944-, Woodard, Alfre, 1953-, Fishburne, Larry, Sheffer, Craig, 1960-, Sargent, Joseph, 1925-, Home Box Office (Firm), Anasazi Productions.

 

New York : HBO Home Video, c1997.

 

Call #: PN1997 .M61835 1997bx

 

3.

Full frame documentary film festival

by Nair, Mira., Weisberg, Roger., Nossel, Murray., Booker, Joan., Paounov, Andrey., Saks, Eva., Bertelsen, Phil., Roberto, Kaarina Cleverley., Cinemax Reel Life (Firm)

[United States] : Docurama : Distributed by New Video, c2003.

Call #: PN1995.9.D6 F85 2003

4.

Hughes' dream Harlem

by Joseph, Jamal, Joseph, Jad., Hutson, Darralynn., Davis, Ossie, Cogsville, Donald., California Newsreel (Firm), New Heritage Films.

 

San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 2002.

 

Call #: PS3515.U274 Z656 2002bx

 

5.

Do the right thing

by Lee, Spike, Aiello, Danny, 1935-, Davis, Ossie, Dee, Ruby, Edson, Richard, Esposito, Giancarlo, Nunn, Bill., Turturro, John, 1957-, Universal Pictures (Firm), Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks

 

Universal City, CA : Universal Home Video, c1998.

 

Call #: PN1997 .D63 1998bx

 

6.

Jungle fever

by Lee, Spike, Snipes, Wesley., Sciorra, Annabella., Davis, Ossie, Dee, Ruby, Jackson, Samuel L., Turturro, John, 1957-, Quinn, Anthony, 1915-, Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks, Universal Pictures (Firm

 

Universal City, Calif. : Universal Home Video, 1998.

 

Call #: PN1997 .J8285 1998bx

 

7.

I'm not rappaport

by Matthau, Walter., Davis, Ossie., Irving, Amy, 1953-, Gramercy Pictures.

Universal City, CA : MCA Universal Home Video, c1997.

Call #: PN1995.9.C55 I240 1997bx

8.

Held in trust the story of Lieutenant Henry O. Flipper

by Tate, Laura., Goldberg, Jeffrey, Bragg, Bea, 1914-, Hobbs, Richard, KCOS (Television station : El Paso, Tex.)

 

[Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video [distributor], c1996.

 

Call #: U53.F55 H5 1996bx

 

9.

Cotton comes to Harlem

by Davis, Ossie., Cambridge, Godfrey, 1929-1976., St. Jacques, Raymond, 1930-, Lockhart, Calvin, 1934-, Formosa Productions.

Culver City, CA : MGM/UA Home Video, c1993.

Call #: PN1997 .C7252 1993bx

10.

Jungle fever

by Lee, Spike., Snipes, Wesley., Sciorra, Annabella., Davis, Ossie., Dee, Ruby., Jackson, Samuel L., Turturro, John, 1957-, Quinn, Anthony, 1915-, Universal Pictures (Firm), Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks.

 

Universal City, CA : MCA/Universal Home Video, c1992.

 

Call #: PN1997 .J8285 1992bx

 

11.

Do the right thing

by Lee, Spike, Aiello, Danny, 1935-, Davis, Ossie, Dee, Ruby, Edson, Richard, Esposito, Giancarlo, Nunn, Bill., Turturro, John, 1957-, Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks, Universal Pictures (Firm)

 

Universal City, CA : MCA Home Video, 1990.

 

Call #: PN1997 .D63 1990bx

 

12.

Get on the bus

by Lee, Spike., Dutton, Charles S., Braugher, Andre., Washington, Isaiah., Davis, Ossie., Bonds, DeAundre., Byrd, Thomas Jefferson, 1960-, Belzer, Richard., Hall, Albert., 15 Black Men (Firm), Columbia Pictures., Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks.

 

Culver City, Calif. : Columbia TriStar Home Video, c2000.

 

Call #: PN1995.9.N4 G48 2000bx

 

13.

Do the right thing

by Lee, Spike, Aiello, Danny, 1935-, Davis, Ossie, Dee, Ruby, Edson, Richard, Esposito, Giancarlo, Nunn, Bill., Turturro, John, 1957-, Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks, Universal Pictures (Firm)

 

Universal City, CA : MCA Home Video, 1990.

 

Call #: PN1997 .D63 1990cx

 

14.

School daze

by Lee, Spike., Fishburne, Larry., Esposito, Giancarlo., Campbell, Tisha., Kyme., Seneca, Joe., Evans, Arthur V., Holly, Ellen, 1931-, Davis, Ossie., Spike Lee Joint., Columbia Pictures., Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks, School daze (Motion picture)

 

Burbank, Calif. : Columbia TriStar Home Video, c1988.

 

Call #: PN1997 .S31353 1988bx

 

Ruby Dee on video in the Media Center:

1.

A raisin in the sun

by Poitier, Sidney, McNeil, Claudia, Dee, Ruby, Petrie, Daniel., Hansberry, Lorraine, 1930-1965, Columbia Pictures Corporation

 

[Culver City, Calif. : Columbia Tristar Home Video, c1999]

 

Call #: PN1997 .R2259 1999bx

 

2.

Do the right thing

by Lee, Spike, Aiello, Danny, 1935-, Davis, Ossie, Dee, Ruby, Edson, Richard, Esposito, Giancarlo, Nunn, Bill., Turturro, John, 1957-, Universal Pictures (Firm), Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks

 

Universal City, CA : Universal Home Video, c1998.

 

Call #: PN1997 .D63 1998bx

 

3.

Jungle fever

by Lee, Spike, Snipes, Wesley., Sciorra, Annabella., Davis, Ossie, Dee, Ruby, Jackson, Samuel L., Turturro, John, 1957-, Quinn, Anthony, 1915-, Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks, Universal Pictures (Firm

Universal City, Calif. : Universal Home Video, 1998.

Call #: PN1997 .J8285 1998bx

4.

Nigerian art kindred spirits

by Blue, Carroll Parrott., Dee, Ruby, Olmert, Michael, WETA-TV (Television station : Washington, D.C.), Smithsonian Institution, Blue Sky Productions., UNAPIX Consumer Products., Smithsonian world (Television program)

 

New York : UNAPIX Consumer Products, c1996.

 

Call #: N7399.N5 N53 1996bx

 

5.

Roots, the next generations

by Margulies, Stan, Wolper, David L., Erman, John, 1935-, Haley, Alex, Warner Bros. Television., ABC Television Network

 

Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, [1992]

 

Call #: E185.97.H24 A33 1992bx

 

6.

Jungle fever

by Lee, Spike., Snipes, Wesley., Sciorra, Annabella., Davis, Ossie., Dee, Ruby., Jackson, Samuel L., Turturro, John, 1957-, Quinn, Anthony, 1915-, Universal Pictures (Firm), Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks.

 

Universal City, CA : MCA/Universal Home Video, c1992.

 

Call #: PN1997 .J8285 1992bx

 

7.

Color adjustment

by Riggs, Marlon T., Kleiman, Vivian., Dee, Ruby, California Newsreel (Firm)

San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, [1991?]

8.

Love at large

by Berenger, Tom, 1950-, Perkins, Elizabeth, 1960-, Archer, Anne., O'Toole, Annette, 1953-, Dee, Ruby., Capshaw, Kate., Rudolph, Alan., Orion Pictures.

 

New York : Orion Home Video, c1990.

 

Call #: PN1995.9.D4 L686 1990bx

 

9.

Do the right thing

by Lee, Spike, Aiello, Danny, 1935-, Davis, Ossie, Dee, Ruby, Edson, Richard, Esposito, Giancarlo, Nunn, Bill., Turturro, John, 1957-, Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks, Universal Pictures (Firm)

 

Universal City, CA : MCA Home Video, 1990.

 

Call #: PN1997 .D63 1990bx

 

10.

Do the right thing

by Lee, Spike, Aiello, Danny, 1935-, Davis, Ossie, Dee, Ruby, Edson, Richard, Esposito, Giancarlo, Nunn, Bill., Turturro, John, 1957-, Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks, Universal Pictures (Firm)

 

Universal City, CA : MCA Home Video, 1990.

 

Call #: PN1997 .D63 1990cx

 

11.

A Raisin in the sun

by Hansberry, Lorraine, 1930-1965, Petrie, Daniel., Poitier, Sidney, McNeil, Claudia, Dee, Ruby, Columbia Pictures Corporation

 

Burbank, Cal. : Columbia Tristar Home Video, c1987.

 

Call #: PN1997 .R2259 1987bx

 

--Patrick Jewell, Media Assistant, 2/7/05


Recommened Viewing:
Great Movie Teams
in the LIU Brooklyn Campus Library Media Center Collections


Powell and Pressburger
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger were a British filmmaking team who made movies in a lush, lyrical, and sometimes fantastic style, ranging from the quiet and satisfying romantic comedy I Know Where I’m Going, to the magically theatrical Tales of Hoffmann and The Red Shoes.  The Small Back Room and A Canterbury Tale both take place during WWII, and Black Narcissus tells of a convent in the Himalayas with gorgeous color cinematography.  Recommended film:  I Know Where I’m Going, a sweet, small film full of singular characters and local Scottish flavor. 

The Maysles Brothers
Albert and David Maysles make great documentaries.  Salesman is a masterpiece about the lives of travelling and door-to-door salesmen.  Gimme Shelter documents the tragic Rolling Stone concert at Altamont, and Grey Gardens is the story of an eccentric and reclusive mother and daughter pair from the Bouvier family.  Running Fence, Christo in Paris, Valley Curtain, and Islands, each document projects by the environmental artists Christo and Jean-Claude, who are installing a project in Central Park this year.   

The Coen Brothers
Joel and Ethan Coen’s films swing from wild, Tex Avery-like visual comedy to quieter, more studied films, but always with a reverence for old Hollywood’s genres.  Blood Simple, their first film, is pure film noir, as dark as they come, while their next film, Raising Arizona, is a wild ride of a comedy combining deadpan performances with raucous camera work and visual jokes.  Their next three films traffic in the gangster, behind-scenes-hollywood, and screwball genres respectively, Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, and Hudsucker Proxy.   Fargo is a darkly comic contemporary noir, and The Big Lebowski is a loosejointed, wildy comic take on the detective film [with a little Busby Berkeley thrown in] set during the Gulf War.  O Brother Where Art Thou is a musically rich and comically broad road movie; The Man Who Wasn’t There is, once again, period film noir in gorgeous black and white; and Intolerable Cruelty is another take on the screwball romantic comedy.   While we don’t have their latest film, the comic caper flick The Ladykillers, we do have the original, and brilliant, Alec Guinness film on which it is based. 

Recommended viewing:  Mix it up with some double features.  Watch The Big Lebowski, and then watch The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon, or even Golddiggers of 1933.   Watch Fargo, and also take home Double Indemnity, or the Postman Always Rings Twice.  Watch Raising Arizona with The Palm Beach Story or Some Like It Hot.  Pair Hudsucker Proxy with His Girl Friday or Mr Deeds Goes to Town. 

Writing Teams
Billy Wilder was a great director who worked on many of his own screenplays.  He had fruitful partnerships with two other writers, Charles Brackett during the first half of his career, spanning his move from screenwriter to director [together they wrote the screenplay for the great Ernst Lubitsch’s Ninotchka], and later I.A.L. Diamond, with whom he wrote Some Like It Hot, voted by the American Film Institute as the greatest of American comedies.  Gordon and Kanin used their knowledge of the respective sexes to write Adam’s Rib, one of the best Tracy/Hepburn vehicles.

Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett
Ninotchka
Ball of Fire
The Lost Weekend
Sunset Boulevard

Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Some Like It Hot
The Apartment
One, Two, Three
Kiss Me, Stupid!

Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin
A Double Life
Adam’s Rib

Directors and Actors

Anthony Mann and James Stewart, each having already proven themselves in other film genres, combined in the fifties for some brutal westerns that explored the dark side of human nature.  Mann’s experience with film noir and Stewart’s underrated ability to play conflicted and complex characters are combined to make some wholly original westerns.  John Ford and John Wayne also all well know for their collaborations in the western genre beginning with the archetypal Stagecoach.  However, you may want to try The Quiet Man, for a more lyrical, warmly comic side to this team.  Scorsese and De Niro often delved into dark and violent themes in several crime and gangster films, but they also explore something lighter in the musical New York, New York. 

Federico Fellini’s work with both Giulietta Masina and Marcello Mastroianni is remarkable, especially the touching comic work of Masina in La Strada and Nights of Cabiria, and the world weary sophistication of Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita.

Anthony Mann and James Stewart
Winchester ‘73
The Naked Spur
The Man from Laramie
The Far Country

John Ford and John Wayne
Stagecoach
Rio Grande
The Quiet Man
The Searchers
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro
Mean Streets
Taxi Driver
New York, New York
Raging Bull
King of Comedy
Goodfellas
Cape Fear

Federico Fellini and Marcello Mastroianni
La Dolce Vita
La Notte
8 ½
Ginger and Fred

Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina
Variety Lights
La Strada
Nights of Cabiria
Juliet of the Spirits
Ginger and Fred

Acting Teams
These stars need no introduction….

The Marx Brothers
Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and sometimes Zeppo

Animal Crackers
Monkey Business
Horsefeathers
The Cocoanuts
A Day at the Races

Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn
Woman of the Year
State of  the
Union
Adam’s Rib
Desk Set
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire
Swing Time
Top Hat

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart
To Have and Have Not
Key Largo
Dark Passage

And Now for Something Completely Different, Dept:
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Graham Chapman worked together as writers and actors and directors in tv and film on some of the most influential comedy of our times, sometimes nearly perfect combinations of satire and the absurd. 
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Monty Python and the Life of Brian
Monty Python and the Meaning of Life

Compiled and annotated by Patrick Jewell, 1/05


Recommened Viewing:
Aw, So's Your Old Man!
Film List for June & Father's Day

A Purely Subjective, Unashamedly Personal, and Regrettably Short List of
Recommended Father's Day Viewing from a guy at the Brooklyn Campus Library Media Center

The Quiet Man [ DVD] - "Ah, yes.... I knew your people, Sean. Your grandfather; he died in Australia, in a penal colony. And your father, he was a good man too." My Dad loved movies, and on one St. Patrick's Day I found out that this was one of his favorites, a beautiful John Ford film replete with his stock company actors and shot in gorgeous color in Ireland. John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara never looked better. Chock full of Hollywood Irishisms, or Irish Hollywoodisms, whichever you prefer.

Hoosiers [VHS] - My father spent some time growing up in Indianapolis, playing basketball, and he told me this film got all the details right. Gene Hackman is the high school basketball coach with a mysterious past, and, you know, he's always good.

His Girl Friday [VHS] - My father was a newspaper reporter, and this rapid-fire, old-school, hard-boiled, romanticized slice of newsroom life/screwball comedy is brilliant. If you want something more realistic and contemporary, try All the President's Men [VHS], another flick my Dad liked.

The Lady Eve [VHS] - Eugene Palette and Henry Fonda are a beer baron father and his snake-studying scientist son; Charles Coburn and Barbara Stanwyck are a slick father-daughter con-artist team. Stanwyck falls for Fonda while she and her pop are trying to fleece him, and the rest is the essence of screwball comedy and one of the sexiest flicks around. There is a real and touching father-daughter tenderness in the scenes between Stanwyck and Coburn. My vote for Preston Sturges' best movie. Advice from father to daughter: "Let us be crooked, but never common."

Rushmore [DVD] - Bill Murray plays a rich, if not so great, father of his own sons, who becomes a bit of a father figure, and romantic rival, to an over-imaginative prep school kid in this warm and funny movie. And the kid's barber father is a real gem, too.

Some more great film fathers in our collection:
Atticus Finch - To Kill a Mockingbird
Peter Bailey - It's a Wonderful Life
Kunta Kinte - Roots Don Vito Corleone - The Godfather
John Kinsella - Field of Dreams
Lorenzo Anello - A Bronx Tale
Darth Vader - The Empire Strikes Back

Compiled by Patrick Jewell, Media Center Assistant, New Father, and Longtime Son. Hi, Dad.
6/04


Recommened Viewing: Politics

It’s an election year!
Come on up to the fifth floor of the LLC, and remember to vote early and vote often.

Feature Films: 

TANNER 88 – Dead to rights, and remarkably prescient, satire of an American political campaign, made for television by Robert Altman.

NASHVILLE – Altman’s complex masterpiece interweaves several storylines of politics and Americana.

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE – The paranoid classic of a brainwashed soldier from the Korean War used in an assassination plot.  

ALL THE KING’S MEN – From the Robert Penn Warren novel, and loosely based on the larger-than-life Louisiana politician, Huey Long.

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN – Watergate.  Deep Throat.  Woodward.  Bernstein. 

WAG THE DOG – Manufacture a war to raise poll numbers? Absurd. Intelligent satire pokes as much fun at Hollyword as at Washington. 

THE GREAT MCGINTY – Old school satire of political machinery is as salty and sharp as they come. 

ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS – Young, honest Abe in this topnotch biopic.

MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON – Archetypal Capra tale of young senator in a corrupt Washington.  Filibuster, anyone? 

DICK – Sprightly teen comedy set in the Nixon White House.

JFK and EXECUTIVE ACTION – A lot of paranoia in movies about politics, no?  Especially when it comes to the Kennedys.

BOB ROBERTS – Tim Robbins’ satire revolves around a folk singing conservative politician.   No, it’s not a true story about Newt Gingrich.

CITIZEN KANE – What to say about Citizen Kane.  It’s Citizen Kane, for Pete’s sake.  Trenchant, groundbreaking, rosebud, blah blah.   See it. 

MEDIUM COOL – This electrifying film uses real footage of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and the riots that followed. 

STATE OF THE UNION – Tracy, Hepburn, Capra:  all together at one low price in this comedy where Spencer Tracy is running for president. 

THE CANDIDATE – Robert Redford is an idealistic candidate for the senate in this satire. 

Documentaries:

30-SECOND PRESIDENT – Bill Moyers looks at the role of television advertising in presidential campaigns from Eisenhower to Reagan. 

PRESIDENTS AND POLITICS WITH RICHARD STROUT - Journalist Richard Strout reminisces about his career as a reporter covering Washington and the White House, from the administration of Warren G. Harding up to the Reagan administration.

GREAT AMERICAN SPEECHES – Speakers include FDR, Huey Long, Jesse Jackson, Barbara Jordan, Mario Cuomo, JFK and others in this six-part series. 

CONSTRUCTING PUBLIC OPINION:  HOW POLITICIANS AND THE MEDIA

 MISREPRESENT THE PUBLIC – Examines the use of public opinion polls in politics. 

LEADING QUESTIONS – Campaign consultants and the role of advanced marketing research as a political tool.

THE POLITICAL ARENA – Ruth Messenger, Manhattan borough president, and C. Virginia Fields, city councilman from Upper Manhattan, talk about women in politics. 

 
A selection compiled and annotated by P. Jewell 3/04
 
Long Island University Brooklyn Campus LIU Libraries