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73 Segments




Reimagining Gertrude Stein

Jill Godmilow's American Playhouse film explores the relationship between the avant-garde writer and her partner Alice Toklas. While much of the plot is invented, Godmilow was careful to stay true to the women's lives.


We All Have Our Fantasy

After working as prostitute in England, Cynthia Payne started her own brothel which featured parties and other social gatherings in addition to sex. The new film Personal Services tells her story.


A Rags-to-Riches Cliche

Critic-at-large Stephen Schiff says that La Bamba, the new biopic about Ritchie Valens, is a whitewashed portrait of the late musician, and mostly lacks a rock and roll spirit.


A Child's-Eye View of War.

Film Critic Stephen Schiff will review "Hope and Glory," starring Sarah Miles and Ian Bannen, and directed by John Boorman, ("Deliverance"). Told from the point of view of a 9-year-old, it is the story of a family trying to survive during the terror that gripped London during World War II.


"Cry Freedom" is Too Afraid to Be the Movie It Could Be.

Film Critic Stephen Schiff reviews "Cry Freedom," starring Kevin Kline as South African journalist Donald Woods, and Denzel Washington as anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko. The movie portrays the friendship that developed between Woods, a white reporter, and Biko, one of the leading foes of apartheid. "Cry Freedom" is directed by Richard Attenborough.


The Inspiration for "Good Morning, Vietnam."

Adrian Cronauer, the airman disk-jockey whose stint as a rebellious Armed Forces Radio Network announcer during the Vietnam war is the basis for the movie "Good Morning Vietnam," starring Robin Williams. Cronauer, 49, is a former announcer for WQXR in New York and is now studying communications law at The University of Pennsylvania.


Disc Jockey Alan Freed Brought Black Music to the Radio.

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles Alan Freed, one of the most famous, and most notorious, disc jockeys of the 50s and 60s. Freed was one of the first disc jockeys on a mainstream station (WJW in Cleveland) to play the black rhythm and blues that was the foundation of early rock and roll.


Aretha Franklin: An "American Master"

The PBS series' latest episode is a documentary of the legendary soul singer. TV critic David Bianculli say the film gives viewers a chance to see rare interviews and concert footage, but glosses over much of Franklin's personal life.


A Hollywood Time Capsule Now on Home Video

Critic Ken Tucker reviews the home video release of The Great Ziegfeld, a biopic about the famed impresario. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, an honor Tucker says was undeserved. Yet the film is fun, despite some slow moments, and paints a clear picture of a bygone era of of Hollywood.


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