John Lithgow

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Posted by bender 03/05/2009 @ 19:09

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John Lithgow entertains at Valparaiso University - Chicago Tribune
AP VALPARAISO, Ind. - Actor John Lithgow entertained Valparaiso University alumni with his wit while hosting a black-tie dinner marking the school's 150th anniversary. The Tony Award-winning actor presided over Saturday night's gourmet dinner for more...
John Lithgow returns one-man show to Lincoln Center - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
John Lithgow, in the opening of his show, "John Lithgow: Stories by Heart." Um, because it's apparently profitable? Lithgow has returned his one-man show, which premiered last year, to Lincoln Center this month. In it, he performs one of two stories,...
Fonda, Daly, Lithgow and More Will Be Drama League Award Presenters - Playbill.com
By Kenneth Jones Broadway's Jane Fonda, John Lithgow, Tyne Daly, Sutton Foster and Patrick Wilson will appear as awards presenters at The 75th Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon on May 15 at Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan....
US drama awards for Billy musical - BBC News
Jane Fonda, Jim Dale and John Lithgow were among the presenters at Sunday's ceremony in New York, which was hosted by Harvey Fierstein. The 54th annual awards were given by theatre critics and writers to Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway...
Lithgow, Jones, Sadoski and Dano Set for Look Homeward, Angel Reading - Playbill.com
By Adam Hetrick Tony Award winners John Lithgow and Cherry Jones will head the cast of a private reading of Ketti Frings' Pulitzer Prize-winning play Look Homeward, Angel on May 18. As previously reported, Pulitzer-winning playwright David Auburn has...
StudioCanal Scales New Heights With 'Cliffhanger' Reboot - MTV.com
The cast is really what sells it: in addition to the Italian Stallion's Gabe, you have John Lithgow unleashing his inner badass as the leader of the stranded thieves. It's ridiculous and hokey, and it doesn't hold up under close scrutiny,...
Channing, Cullum, De Shields, Lithgow and [tos] Cast Will Be Drama ... - Playbill.com
Presenters for the 9 PM event will include the newly announced Stockard Channing, John Cullum, Jim Dale, Andrė De Shields, John Lithgow, Parker Posey, Tom Wopat, Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley and the cast of [title of show]: Jeff Bowen, Hunter Bell,...
Wiley found guilty in murder of Jensen Beach teenager - TCPalm
Wiley's attorney John Lithgow, however, told jurors Starks' death was “a terrible tragedy” in a circle of violence caused by Mosely's and Stoudemire's domestic dispute. “Dwight Starks was shot because of two guys struggling over a gun....
Lithgow Joins TCM for 'Essentials, Jr.' - About - News & Issues
But starting in June on Turner Classic Movies, John Lithgow will be the host of a series of family-friendly films on the "Essentials, Jr." The series will run Sundays throughout the summer, starting June 7 with the classic musical Yankee Doodle Dandy...
John Lithgow: Stories by Heart - Variety
By MARILYN STASIO A Lincoln Center presentation of a solo show consisting of two one-act monologues in repertory, written and performed by John Lithgow. Directed by Jack O'Brien. Is there another actor breathing who's as sweetly charming as John...

Santa Claus: The Movie

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Santa Claus: The Movie (known on-screen as simply Santa Claus) is a 1985 Christmas film starring Dudley Moore and John Lithgow. It is the last major fantasy film produced by the Paris-based father-and-son production team of Alexander and Ilya Salkind. The film was directed by Jeannot Szwarc and released in North America on November 27, 1985 by Tri-Star Pictures. The 2005 DVD release was released by Anchor Bay Entertainment, now Starz Home Entertainment, under license from the film's current owner, Studio Canal.

Santa Claus: The Movie is a straightforward, nondenominational attempt to explore the mysteries of Santa Claus with the key objective being to answer some of the basic questions many children have about the Santa Claus mythos, such as how Santa's reindeer fly, how he and his wife made it to the North Pole and how Santa ascends chimneys, among other things.

The film chronicles the origins of Santa Claus (David Huddleston), who, along with his wife Anya (Judy Cornwell), goes from being a simple working man to becoming an international icon of Christmas. At the same time, the film also tells a contemporary story in which one of Santa's elves (alternately referred to as the "Vendequm" onscreen), a visionary named Patch (Dudley Moore), sets out to employ Santa's toymaking methods on his own, unaware that he might be ruining the magic of Christmas in the process.

Somewhere in the 14th Century, Claus is an aging, peasant woodcutter who delivers his gifts with his wife Anya to the children of a certain village. One night, Claus, Anya and their reindeer, Donner and Blitzen, are rescued from certain death in a blizzard, only to be transported to the vast "ice mountains, way up at the top of the world." Their expected arrival is heralded with the appearance of several elves, or, as Claus's people call them in their legends, the Vendequm, led by a wise, venerable old elf named Dooley (John Barrard). Here, too, they encounter the overzealous elf Patch (Moore), and his three trusty companions Boog (Tim Stern), Honka (Peter O'Farrell) and Vout (Christopher Ryan). The kindly couple is then led into the wondrous, wooden elf compound. Dooley explains to Claus and Anya that they have been brought here to spend eternity crafting and giving a fantastic array of toys to every child on Earth.

Claus's first Christmas Eve as Santa begins when he is greeted by the Ancient One (Burgess Meredith), the oldest and wisest of all the Elves, who explains to Claus that he and Anya represent the fulfillment of a prophecy that a "Chosen One" would be brought into the Elves' world who, "having no child of his own, would love all children everywhere, and that he himself would be an artisan, and a craftsman, and a skilled maker of toys." He charges Santa with his sacred duties and the name by which he will be known throughout the world for all time to come: Santa Claus. Santa then boards his newly recrafted sleigh, while the reindeer are fed with an incredible feed that grants them the power of flight. Toward the mid-18th Century, Anya recommends not giving an unruly child a present, to punish him for his bad behavior. This is the start of the naughty and nice lists creation of the rule where the good children get presents while the bad children get coal.

The film then jumps forward to present-day Manhattan --- where, in a dark and lonely alley, a young orphaned and homeless boy, Joe (Christian Fitzpatrick) struggles to keep himself warm. Across the street, in an elegant townhouse, a young girl named Cornelia (Carrie Kei Heim) suddenly notices the boy before being scolded by her nanny, Miss Tucker (Dorothea Phillips). Back at the North Pole, after Santa tells both Patch and Puffy (Anthony O'Donnell) that he will choose one of them for the newly-created position of Santa's Official Assistant, the two elves compete for the spot. Patch eventually wins out by mass producing toys using his new Patch-o-Matic Supertoy Constructor, as opposed to Puffy, who chooses slower, more traditional methods of hand-crafting. However, unseen by anyone except the viewer, during operation, the machine malfunctions, screwdrivers snap, and the machine creates toys by means of a faster, more automated method --- but a method of poorer quality. Later, as Santa takes flight on Christmas Eve, he meets Joe who has been searching for food in the trash. Santa is appalled that such a young child is made to live on his own and offers to take Joe along with him. Santa's authenticity gets through to the normally cynical Joe, and the two go for a magical ride in Santa's sleigh. Santa shows Joe all the moves he can do, but falls short of showing him the "Super Duper Looper", as it is too hard for the reindeer. On Christmas morning many children find that their toys from Santa made by Patch's Supertoy Constructor prove defective. Ashamed in the company of his fellow elves, blinded by his own distrust of Santa, Patch leaves the North Pole, determined to prove himself to Santa. Puffy is then appointed Santa's Official Assistant.

Eventually, Patch meets up with B.Z. (John Lithgow), a businessman who is under investigation by the United States Senate for shoddy manufacturing processing at his toy company. Prior to this, we see Patch passing by a toy store, where B.Z.'s toys are being recalled. Mistakenly, Patch thinks the toys must be unable to stay on the shelves, as they must be selling like hotcakes. B.Z. convinces Patch to work with him and B.Z. airs a television commercial that is broadcast on every major television network on Earth. Among those watching the commercial are Joe, Cornelia (B.Z.'s step-niece) and Santa himself. Patch eventually takes flight on Christmas Eve just like Santa, in his own vehicle called the "Patchmobile" and delivering lollipops. Patch's outing turns out to be a large success, with his worldwide popularity now rivaling that of Santa's, a fact which Santa is quick to note as he drops off presents to households that already have Patch's special lollipops. His well-received lollipops result in B.Z. making Patch exclusive to his company at a press conference. After this success, the ever-reluctant Patch considers himself ready to return to the North Pole, but after revealing to B.Z. that the magic lollipops can make children fly, B.Z. is quick to capitalize on this and suggests using the same magic for candy canes in an effort he plans to market as "Christmas II". Joe and Cornelia catch wind of the plan from B.Z. and Towzer (Jeffrey Kramer) a few nights later, resulting in Joe being captured by Grizzard (John Hallam) and taken to B.Z.'s factory.

Towzer then reveals that the candy canes in production overreact when exposed to extreme heat, rendering them volatile. B.Z. dismisses this news as a reckless afterthought, and proposes to Towzer that the two of them escape to Brazil, which has no extradition treaty with the United States, thus leaving Patch to take the blame for all the possible chaos. The next morning, Cornelia writes to Santa about Joe's capture; once he learns of this, Santa wastes little time in taking off for Cornelia's place, regardless of the fact that he must make do with only six reindeer, as a result of Comet and Cupid both having come down with the flu. Cornelia tells Santa that she contacted the police about Joe's kidnapping, but doubts she was taken seriously. Back at B.Z.'s factory, Patch rescues the captured Joe. Though Joe is initially angry at Patch for ruining Christmas, Patch discovers that Joe is carrying a wooden likeness of Patch crafted by Santa, suggesting to Patch that Santa might like him after all. The two now resolve to deliver all the candy canes to Santa as a present in the Patchmobile, unaware of the canes' lethal side effects.

At the same time, B.Z. finds himself surrounded by the New York City Police Department, in response to Cornelia having called them, which they did indeed take seriously. The NYPD, already having apprehended and handcuffed Grizzard and Towzer, yells to B.Z. via a bullhorn that they have a warrant for his kidnapping of Joe, and that he must either surrender or they will enter his office. As the policemen are on their way up to his office, B.Z. eats an entire handful of the magic candy canes — only to find himself floating higher and higher, disappearing into the stratosphere. Meanwhile, Patch and Joe continue on their journey, until they find themselves in need of rescue, as the Patchmobile's continuing speed causes the candy canes to heat up, in turn causing certain unprotected wiring to violently self-activate. Santa, in pursuit, manages to rescue them from the exploding Patchmobile after a tense moment where ultimately, he must execute the one move he has never been able to properly execute: the previously mentioned "Super Duper Looper".

The film ends with a joyous celebration with Santa, Anya and the other elves .... and it seems that Cornelia and Joe will stay with Santa at the North Pole. Dooley reacts to the idea mockingly, saying: "As if I don't have enough to do! Now I'm going to have to be a school teacher!" To which the two children gasp: "School?!" The final scene ends with B.Z. suspended in space along with the remnants of the Patchmobile, floating higher and yelling for help.

Conceived by Ilya Salkind in the wake of the apparently waning critical and U.S. box office success of 1983's Superman III and its immediate follow-up, 1984's Supergirl, Santa Claus: The Movie was directed by Jeannot Szwarc, who had directed Supergirl, from a story by David and Leslie Newman. David Newman, however, took sole screenplay credit. Pierre Spengler, Ilya's longtime partner, and the third key element of Team Salkind, joined Alexander's son as the project's producer. John Carpenter was originally offered the chance to direct, but also wanted a say in the writing, musical score and final cut of the movie. Carpenter's choice for the role of Santa was Brian Dennehy.

Santa Claus: The Movie was filmed in Buckinghamshire, England at Pinewood Studios, between August and November 1984. The film was photographed by Arthur Ibbetson, whose credits, among others, included the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). Santa Claus: The Movie was his final feature film. Serving as film editor was Peter Hollywood.

The production was designed by Anthony Pratt, with costume design concepts by Bob Ringwood. The visual effects unit, as well as several of the production staff, were comprised of Salkind stalwarts from the Superman films: Derek Meddings, director of visual and miniature effects, Roy Field, optical visual effects supervisor and David Lane, flying and second unit director.

The documentary Santa Claus: The Making of The Movie chronicles the film's production. The documentary is introduced by David Huddleston, in character as Santa, with Dudley Moore serving as on-screen host. The voice over commentary is done by Ted Maynard, who had also done voice overs for the film's original UK trailer. The documentary originally aired in the United States on ABC, on Christmas Eve, 1987. Anchor Bay Entertainment's 20th anniversary DVD of the film includes this documentary as a bonus feature.

The elves in the film are portrayed as legendary beings known as the Vendequm. According to the Santa Claus: The Movie novelization written by science fiction/fantasy novelist Joan D. Vinge, the elves keep watch over all that happens in the world that borders their own magical realm. The Vendequm are described as being extremely fond of children since, after all, only children can see them, due to the innocence of their youth. The elves are fond of making things for children, and so they often journeyed out into the children's world, leaving their newly crafted toys where children would find them. According to the novel, with the passing of each new century, and as civilizations continued to rise and fall, it became more and more difficult and dangerous for the elves to venture too far out into the human world. Thus the vast majority of the toys the elves made could not be given out, and were left to gather dust in their magnificent storeroom, the Toy Tunnel.

The novel also describes how, on a certain long-winter's night, the oldest and wisest elf of all, the Ancient One, foresaw the arrival of a man whose love for children would be equal to that of the elves. The Ancient One believed that this man would be the one to whom the elves would grant full immortality, along with the ability to deliver the elves' gifts to children all over the world.

In addition to Patch, Dooley, Puffy, Boog, Honka and Vout, the film's screenplay and cast listing features three additional elves: Groot, the Elves' Senior Chef; Goober, the head of the Elves' tailoring shop, who crafts Santa's full red robes; and Goobler, who trains several of his fellow elves in the art of painting toys with their own beards.

Reaction to Santa Claus: The Movie has generally been negative, with a rating of 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, from the 17 reviews counted. Box Office Mojo lists the film's total United States box office gross as $23,717,291, less than half the film's listed $50 million production budget.

Vincent Canby of The New York Times was less positive than Ebert, calling the production "elaborate and tacky". He described the film as having "the manner of a listless musical without any production numbers". Unlike Ebert, he offered little praise for the film's production design. Canby quipped that "Santa's workshop must be the world's largest purchaser of low-grade plywood" and that the flyover sequences with Santa "aren't great." The only praise he had for the film's acting was for John Lithgow, who Canby wrote "(gave) the film's only remotely stylish performance." A more recent review by William Mager on BBC.co.uk's review section echoed Canby and Ebert's comments.

As previously mentioned, Studio Canal owns the ancillary rights, while CBS Paramount Television controls TV rights (in the U.S., it currently airs on American Movie Classics under license from CBS).

The soundtrack was composed and conducted by Henry Mancini, composer of the themes from The Pink Panther and Peter Gunn, with veteran lyricist and screenwriter Leslie Bricusse contributing five original songs.

1Sung by Aled Jones 2Performed by the Ambrosian Children's Choir. 3Performed by the Ambrosian Singers 4Produced by Ken Scott and performed by Kaja 5Produced by Keith Olsen for Pogologo Corporation, and performed by Sheena Easton.

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3rd Rock from the Sun

John Lithgow as Dick, Kristen Johnston as Sally, French Stewart as Harry, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tommy and Jane Curtin as Mary.

3rd Rock from the Sun is an Emmy Award-winning American sitcom that aired from 1996 until 2001 on NBC. The show is about a group of extraterrestrials on an expedition of what they consider to be the least important planet, Earth (the 3rd Rock from the Sun), while posing as a human family of four, to observe human beings. Reruns currently air in the United States on TV Land and WCIU's sister station Me TV.

The premise of the show revolves around an extraterrestrial research expedition attempting to live as a normal human family in the fictional city of Rutherford, Ohio, where they live in a loft apartment. Humor was principally derived from the aliens' attempts to study human society and, because of their living as humans themselves while on Earth, to understand the human condition. In later episodes, they became more accustomed to Earth and often seemed to be more interested in their human lives than in their mission. The episode "Dick's Big Giant Headache" insinuates that this may be due to the effect the frailty of the human condition has on them.

Dick Solomon (played by John Lithgow), the High Commander and leader of the expedition, is the family provider, and takes a position as a physics professor at Pendelton State University. Information officer Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has been given the body of a teenager and is forced to enroll in high school (later college), leaving security officer Sally (Kristen Johnston) and communications officer Harry (French Stewart) to spend their lives as thirty somethings hanging out at home and bouncing through short-term jobs.

The show derived much humor from the contrast between the outward appearance adopted by each of the aliens and his or her actual, internal nature. Dick, far from being a wise and fatherly figurehead, is arrogant, self-absorbed, petulant, faddish, and often downright foolish. Inside Sally’s glamorous form lives the weapons and security officer: uncouth, swaggering, and macho. Tommy, the oldest of the group, is morphed into a teenager, his former wisdom at odds with the strange and often humiliating life in which his teenage persona and raging hormones casts him. Only the oddball of the group, Harry, seems comfortable with Earth — yet he is the weirdest of them all, particularly when his built-in radio function takes unexpected control over his body, relaying orders from the aliens' home world in an odd, booming voice.

Almost all the episodes revolve around the Solomons' difficulty integrating themselves into Earth culture and understanding human customs — often their view of Earth realities is distorted by the fact that almost all of their experience of Earth comes through the media, especially television, rather than firsthand experience.

Details about their alien nature are rarely given and inconsistent, except to reinforce the idea that their former lives were almost barren of emotion and most of the relationships humans have with each other. Their original forms, for example, are described as nonsexual, with reproduction a matter of sending packets of genetic material to each other in the mail. Leaders like The Big Giant Head are unelected and assumed infallible (in fact, it is stated that politicians on their planet are chosen by seeing which one can outrun the giant fireball). The upshot is that living in an Earth culture provides the Solomons with an almost intolerable degree of emotional stimulation and conflict, which they are very ill-equipped to handle.

Some of the episodes seemingly derive their comedy from affectionate send-ups of TV and films. For example, in the episode "Father Knows Dick," when Harry finds out he is a transmitter, he "goes off the rails" (complete with red jacket as worn by Jim in Rebel Without a Cause), yells "You're tearing me apart!" and goes off to play "chicken" with a tough guy in a bar (But ends up buying fried chicken from KFC instead). In the episode "Dick's Big Giant Headache," both Dick and the Big Giant Head mention seeing something on the wing of the plane after having traveled by airline, a nod to both John Lithgow and William Shatner having played the role of the passenger who sees a gremlin on the wing in The Twilight Zone. In another episode, a face-slapping session with Dick and Sally pastiches the Chinatown sequence: "She's my daughter; my sister; my daughter." In "When Aliens Camp," the Solomons and Mary go on a disastrous camping trip. Dick is captured by a bunch of boy scouts and instantly turns "native", painting his face and sighing "The horror" in a spoof of Marlon Brando's character in Apocalypse Now. In a tribute to silent movies, one episode shows Sally holding a plank on her shoulder and turning from side to side as Tommy ducks, and Harry gets hit.

Occasionally references would be made to specific features of the aliens' abilities and of their experiences on their own world, which built up a common mythology for the show. The theme of the idiot savant repeatedly resurfaces, since each member of the family makes up for their extreme naïveté with some special skill owing to their alien nature.

Though Dick's understanding of physics is weaker than his son Tommy's, it is implied that even his basic scientific knowledge makes advanced Earth physics appear rudimentary, leading to his becoming respected in his field despite his childish behavior. A well-known segment from an episode has him reading a passage from A Brief History of Time and laughing hysterically at Stephen Hawking's description of virtual particles. Even so, Dick is often shown as the member of the family with the least to recommend him in terms of ability, leading them to question his right to his command. Sally, for instance, is depicted as not only having an attractive body (she is often described as being Amazonian), but being amazingly physically strong and fit, able to fight and defeat large groups of men much larger than she (even when doing so is unnecessary and culturally inappropriate).

Tommy, similarly, has been trained with the ability of near-instant recall and has an encyclopedic knowledge about Earth society, which unfortunately seems useless in terms of helping him make appropriate decisions, but ensures that he remains a straight-A student.

Harry is most fascinating, since his behavior is bizarre, unstable and borderline mentally disabled even for a Solomon (a condition, it is implied, engendered by the chip in his brain that allows him to communicate with the home planet), yet somehow this mental condition gives him an inexplicable sex appeal for women and makes him the only Solomon with any talent in the arts — Harry often seems to have a knack for all fine arts, including music and theater, and is consistently shown as being an incredibly talented painter, especially as a portraitist and caricaturist, though his inability to verbally articulate his artistic ideas – or, in fact, any ideas at all – in an intelligent fashion sinks his efforts at making a living through his talent.

One of Dick's driving motivations becomes his desire to master drawing, acting, music, or other pursuits - all of which he fails at miserably because of his lack of understanding of how the clearly less intelligent Harry could possibly possess talents he does not.

Each alien became involved in various relationships with humans throughout the course of the series, primarily focusing on Dick's infatuation – at first met with disgust and then, finally, reciprocation – with anthropology professor Dr. Mary Albright (Jane Curtin), who shares an office with him. Much is often made of Mary's angst, insecurity, and neuroses brought on by a lifetime of studying the human condition as well as an unstable relationship with her parents, and the cheerful, childlike naïveté displayed by Dick, the primary factor in him that attracts her.

Sally similarly acquires a long-term boyfriend, Officer Don Orville (Wayne Knight), an overweight and incompetent police officer who becomes attracted to her after several incidents in which he is forced to confront or arrest the Solomons for various crimes. The two generally have conversations while speaking in a manner similar to an old 1930s crime drama.

Tommy manages an on-again/off-again relationship with August Leffler (Shay Astar), a reserved ice queen teenager and later the more bubbly Alissa Strudwick (Larisa Oleynik).

Harry has a relationship with his landlord Mrs. Dubcek's (Elmarie Wendel) daughter Vicki (played by Jan Hooks), in an on-screen relationship that often features overly melodramatic scenes. Harry, despite no apparent skills in the art of seduction, also manages to foil a plot to dissolve the Earth by seducing Cindy Crawford.

Some humor comes from the fact that at some point in the show most of the character relationships have been mixed up — a strange attraction is briefly shown between Mary and Tommy because of their similar passion for the social sciences and the study of humanity, in which Tommy disturbingly chooses to step aside and let Dick pursue her instead. Nina (Simbi Khali), Dick's assistant who primarily serves as his straight man and comic foil, is seen briefly having a fling with Harry. Mrs. Dubcek also, who is at first merely a source of comic relief, her own bizarre foibles and imperceptibly causing her to be a terrible role model for proper human behavior to the Solomons, is revealed to have had a fling with Harry.

Initially, the only reference to the aliens' true forms was a comment made in the first episode, when upon discovering that human heads cannot swivel to 180 degrees, Dick queries: "How do they lick their backs?". As time went on, the show began to intersperse concrete references to the aliens' nature and their homeworld which played a role in affecting the show's plot. They usually described their original bodies as "gelatinous purple tubes" that lacked sex organs or most of the forms of physical definition that humans possess. In fact, when Sally asks why she had to be the woman, Dick reminds her that she lost the draw. Evidently, individuals in their species are so near-identical to each other that the Solomons were unaware of the concept of race or ethnicity, and had never invented one for themselves, leading to them to attempt to choose one (a source of humor since the Solomons all appear quite white), eventually deciding that they are Jewish because of their surname, which they had taken from the side of a truck.

Occasionally, the Solomons would encounter or think they encountered other extraterrestrials — the most long-lasting such gag being the Solomons' belief that Jell-O is an offshoot of a hostile, amorphous, carnivorous species they have often encountered, prompting them to go into hysterics whenever they see it served and attempt to destroy it. Their first brief encounter with snow was believed to have been attacks from a swarm of albino brain chiggers.

The name of the Solomons' home planet (if they indeed have one) is never revealed throughout the course of the series; in the show's dialogue, it is referred to as simply "The Home Planet." It is located in a barred spiral galaxy on the Cepheus-Draco border. Major twists in the plot, often shown in the various season finales, tended to involve contact with the home planet, involving their superiors' ongoing disapproval at the Solomons' antics and their becoming a laughing stock among their peers.

3rd Rock maintained a constant ensemble cast, the four main characters – Dick, Sally, Tommy, Harry – with the exception of Tommy, all appearing on the show for every episode of the six seasons it ran. Several other main characters who left or joined the show through its original run supplemented these four, and numerous guest stars and one-time characters supplemented all of them.

All six seasons of 3rd Rock from the Sun have been released on DVD in Region 1 by Anchor Bay Entertainment and in Region 2 by Network DVD. Ironically, the sixth season was the first to be released in the UK, as early as 2002, but it was re-released when the fifth season was released. The complete series box-set featuring every episode was re-released in the UK on November 3rd, 2008.

A tie-in book, 3rd Rock from the Sun: The Official Report, was released in 1997. Its pages are printed in black and white; however, there are several glossy colored pictures in the center pages featuring various cast members on the show.

The book is essentially a report of their findings during their stay on Earth (although in Dick Solomon's foreword, he states that the report has been requested too early). Primarily a source of humor, the book includes such features as "What to do if you encounter Jell-O", a fan biography of Katie Couric written by Harry, and Sally's version of a Cosmo quiz. Portions of the book are included in the Booklets inside each season set of the series.

Despite the report's being set within the fictional world of 3rd Rock, there is a foreword written by John Lithgow himself in which he explains how he was abducted by the 3rd Rock producers and forced to work on their production. There is a post-it note attached to the foreword, apparently written by Dick Solomon, stating that he doesn't know why the foreword is there, but that Lithgow is an Earth actor who appeared in "some helicopter movie." A black and white picture of the 3rd Rock cast and crew is also included at the end of the book.

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Twenty Good Years

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John Lithgow played John Mason, a surgeon forced into semi-retirement, while Jeffrey Tambor was Jeffrey Pyne, a judge. .

The comedy show was about two old friends that appeared to be polar opposites in many situations. One thing they agreed upon, however, is that life is short and both men vowed to live every day like it is their last, since they figured at their age, they only had "twenty good years" to live..

On May 14, 2007, the series was officially cancelled by NBC.

Since the series debut, Twenty Good Years had been plagued by schedule changes before the season began, as well as receiving mixed-to-negative reviews. They had also placed fourth in its Wednesday time period and continued to slip since the first episode. On October 25, 2006, NBC announced that it was replacing the Wednesday night comedy block with specials, thus pulling Twenty Good Years from the schedule with no plans for a return.

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Terms of Endearment

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Terms of Endearment is a 1983 romantic comedy-drama film adapted by James L. Brooks from the novel by Larry McMurtry.

The sit-com style film is about the thirty-year mother-daughter relationship between two women: stubborn brunette Emma (Debra Winger) and her devoted, possessive, blond, widowed mother Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine).

As they suffer from unpaid bills (in a wrenching supermarket scene, young Teddy (Huckleberry Fox) hands back a Clark candy bar to the checkout clerk with a simple: "I don't need it"), young mother Emma also discovers that her feckless husband, a college literature professor, is unfaithful and sleeping with one of his graduate students, and she retaliates with her own brief affair with a timid Iowa bank officer Sam Burns (John Lithgow).

Even though she calls herself a "grandmother," they clench and kiss voraciously. They stand on opposite sides of her bed for a final confrontation — and the strong-willed Aurora wins.

The lights go off.

In the heartbreaking, unexpected, tragic, cathartic and touching finale, Emma is hospitalized and dying of cancer. She is slowly reconciled with her mother during her terminal illness. In a stunning hospital scene, Aurora runs completely around the hospital desk while yelling at two hospital nurses to give her ailing daughter a pain-killing shot.

Emma says a final goodbye to her two young sons Teddy and bratty Tommy (Troy Bishop) in her Lincoln General Hospital room just before her death. After she has makeup applied to her face to cover her pale pallor, she speaks to them, but is unable to break through to her distant, over-critical oldest son Tommy.

After the funeral, Garrett supportively pays special attention to Emma's long-neglected son.

Actor Jack Nicholson's character, astronaut Garrett Breedlove, does not appear in the novel. The part was created for Burt Reynolds, but he was already committed to another film, so it was handed to James Garner. Garner quarreled with the director over differing interpretations. The part then went to Harrison Ford who turned it down because he didn't like the age difference between himself and Shirley MacLaine. The role wound up going to Nicholson. Louise Fletcher and Sissy Spacek were the original choices for the mother and daughter roles. Shirley MacLaine quit in mid-production saying "You can take the Oscar and shove it up your keister." She later returned to the film. The film was originally rated R for sexual content and language but re-rated PG on appeal.

The film is one of the few big Hollywood releases of the 1980s featuring a mono soundtrack, although it has been remixed in Dolby Surround for its DVD release.

In 1996, a sequel called The Evening Star was released, featuring MacLaine and Nicholson reprising their original roles. It was not a success with audiences or critics.

The film also was commercially successful. On its opening weekend, it grossed $3.4 million ranking #2 until its second weekend when it grossed $3.1 million ranking #1 at the box office. Three weekends later, it arrived #1 again with $9 million having wide release. For four weekends, it remained #1 at the box office until slipping to #2 on its tenth weekend. On the film's eleventh weekend, it arrived #1 (for the sixth and final time) grossing $3 million. For the last weekends of the film, it later dwindled downward. The film grossed $108,423,489 in the United States.

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Footloose

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Footloose is a 1984 film that tells the story of Ren McCormack (played by Kevin Bacon), a teenager who was raised in Chicago. McCormack moves to a small town where the town government has banned dancing and rock music. Ren and his classmates want to have a senior prom with music and dancing. They must figure out a way to get around the law and Reverend Shaw Moore (played by John Lithgow) makes it his mission in life to keep the town free from dancing and rock music.

The movie was loosely based on events that took place in the tiny, rural farming community of Elmore City, Oklahoma. Much of the film was filmed in Utah County.

Dean Pitchford wrote the screenplay (and most of the lyrics) for Footloose, Herbert Ross directed the movie, and Paramount Pictures co-produced and distributed it.

Oscar winning director Michael Cimino was hired by Paramount to direct the movie when negotiations with Ross initially stalled. After four months working on the film, the studio fired Cimino, who was making extravagant demands for the production, and ended up hiring Ross.

Footloose also starred Lori Singer as Reverend Moore's independent daughter Ariel, a role Madonna also auditioned for. Dianne Wiest appeared as Vi, the Reverend's devoted yet sympathetic wife.

Footloose is one of the earliest film appearances of Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker as Ariel's friend Rusty, a role for which she was nominated for Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Musical, Comedy, Adventure or Drama at the Sixth Annual Youth in Film Awards. It was also an early role for Chris Penn as Willard Hewitt, Ren's best friend, who doesn't know how to dance until Ren teaches him.

The film was made at various locations in Utah County. The high school and tractor scenes were filmed in and around Payson, Utah and Payson High School. The church scenes were filmed in American Fork, Utah. The steel mill was the Geneva Steel mill. The final sequence is filmed in Lehi, Utah, with the Lehi Roller Mills featured in the final sequence.

The movie's soundtrack was released in cassette, 8-track, vinyl, and compact disc format. The soundtrack was also re-released on compact disc for the 15th anniversary of the film. The re-release included four new songs: "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" by Quiet Riot, "Hurts So Good" by John Mellencamp, "Waiting for a Girl Like You" by Foreigner, and the extended 12" remix of "Dancing in the Streets". The soundtrack includes two rock singles, the title song by Kenny Loggins and "Holding Out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler, three R&B singles, "Let's Hear It For the Boy" by Deniece Williams, "Somebody's Eyes" by Karla Bonoff, and "Dancing In the Sheets" by Shalamar and the love theme "Almost Paradise" by Mike Reno from Loverboy and Ann Wilson from Heart. The film was later released in VHS, Laserdisc and DVD formats, Some of the music for the songs was composed by people such as Sammy Hagar, Eric Carmen, Jim Steinman and Kenny Loggins and the soundtrack went on to sell over 9 million copies in the USA.

The first two tracks both hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received 1985 Academy Award nomination for Best Music (Original Song). "Footloose" also received a 1985 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Song - Motion Picture.

The film, despite mixed critical reviews, nonetheless grossed approximately $80,000,000 in domestic box office.

A musical version of Footloose that features many of the same songs from the movie is played at the Playhouse Theatre in London's West End. The musical is generally faithful to the film version, with some slight differences in the story and characters.

Paramount Pictures has announced plans to fast-track a remake of Footloose, with plans to start filming in the Spring of 2009. Zac Efron has been cast as Ren in the new movie. Kenny Ortega is announced as director, with Peter Sollett re-writing the script and Dylan Sellers, producer of The Replacements, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron as co-producers.

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The World According to Garp (film)

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The World According to Garp is 1982 comedy-drama film directed by George Roy Hill based on the novel of the same title by John Irving. John Lithgow and Glenn Close were nominated for Academy Awards for their roles.

The film chronicles the life of T. S. Garp (Robin Williams), the illegitimate son of his feminist mother, Jenny Fields (Glenn Close). The primary themes explored in the film are fatherhood, lust, adultery, and loss.

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Cliffhanger (film)

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Cliffhanger is a 1993 action film directed by Renny Harlin and starring Sylvester Stallone and John Lithgow. Stallone plays a climber, who becomes embroiled in a failed heist set in a U.S. Treasury plane flying through the Rocky Mountains. The film was a huge hit, making more than $250 million worldwide.

In the opening scene, hotshot mountain climber and rescue worker Gabe Walker (Sylvester Stallone) meets with his friends Hal Tucker (Michael Rooker) and Jessie Deighan (Janine Turner) on a narrow peak in the Rocky Mountains. While moving from one mountaintop to another via a steel cable, Hal's girlfriend Sarah's (Michelle Joyner) harness breaks and she is left dangling over a deep chasm. While the others frantically come up with a solution, Gabe straps himself in and goes out to save Sarah, but is unsuccessful as she falls to her death at the bottom of a mountain.

Months later, Gabe returns to town for the first time since Sarah's funeral. Overcome with guilt over having lost Sarah, Gabe has returned only to pack up his remaining possessions so he can leave permanently. However, a radio distress call comes in to the local rescue center where Hal and Jessie still work. Hal heads off to find the stranded climbers while Jessie pleads with Gabe to join Hal's rescue attempt. Battling his inner demons, Gabe meets Hal on the mountain, where the latter, still angry with Gabe for being unsuccessful at saving Sarah, lashes out and almost throws Gabe off the cliff.

The rescue turns out to be a fake; the two climbers are taken prisoner by ruthless thieves led by Eric Qualen (John Lithgow), who seeks to recover three suitcases containing $100 million in uncirculated US currency belonging to the United States Department of the Treasury. With the aid of turncoat Treasury agent Richard Travers (Rex Linn), Qualen and his associates attempt to steal the suitcases via a daring air-to-air transfer, but the transfer is foiled and the three suitcases are lost among the mountains. The thieves' plane loses power during the attempt and crashes. The suitcases holding the money have beacon locators, but the thieves need expert help locating them in the mountainous terrain, thus prompting them to summon the unwitting Gabe and Hal to their aid.

The group locates the first of the three cases, and Gabe is tethered to a rope and ordered to scale a steep wall to retrieve it. Gabe frees himself from the rope, and the group begins firing up the cliff, causing an avalanche which kills one of Qualen's men. Seeing the money flutter down from the top of the cliff, Qualen presumes Gabe dead and orders the group to proceed to the second case.

Gabe survives the avalanche and makes his way to an abandoned cabin where he finds Jessie, who was airlifted into the area earlier. Together, they reach the second case only moments before Qualen and his mercenaries arrive. They find the case empty (except for a single $1,000 bill with the words "Want to Trade?" written on it) and split up to find Gabe. A fight ensues between Gabe and one of the thieves, resulting in the latter plummeting into the darkness. The thieves, with Hal still as their guide, make their way to the abandoned cabin for the night. Meanwhile, Gabe and Jessie hole up in a cave and stay warm by burning the money they found to stoke their fire.

The following morning, Gabe and Jessie attempt to beat the thieves to the remaining case. Qualen flags down and commandeers a rescue helicopter while Travers, Hal, and the last remaining mercenary track the case. Once within a reasonably close distance to the case, Travers leaves the mercenary to kill Hal, only to find that Gabe has beaten him to the case once again. Gabe kills Travers while Hal manages to dump the remaining mercenary, Delmar, off a cliff. Meanwhile, Jessie, who signaled the rescue helicopter thinking it to be a fellow rescue team member, is taken hostage by Qualen.

Communicating by radio, Qualen and Gabe make a deal to exchange Jessie for the money Gabe collected from the third case. Qualen releases Jessie, but Gabe throws the bag of money into the helicopter's rotors. In the following confusion, Qualen's helicopter falls precariously against the side of the mountain, suspended by a steel cable. Gabe and Qualen fight atop the dangling wreck. Gabe manages to jump off as the wreckage plummets several thousand feet, carrying Qualen with it. The film ends as Gabe, Hal, and Jessie are found by federal agents and rescued.

Carolco had originally signed Sylvester Stallone to appear opposite John Candy in a comedy directed by John Hughes about feuding neighbors. When the project was dropped, Stallone was persuaded to appear in Cliffhanger.

Carolco had originally signed Renny Harlin to direct Gale Force, a “Die Hard-in-a-Hurricane” action movie. The special effects proved too difficult at the time, so he was persuaded to direct Cliffhanger.

Three writers claimed that Cliffhanger was their idea. To avoid jeopardizing the film's release, they were paid $250,000 each to drop the case.

The movie's most breathtaking scenes were shot in the Cortina d'Ampezzo area of the Dolomites, Italy. Further filming took place in Durango, Colorado. The credits of the film also thank the Ute Tribe for filming in the Ute Mountain reservation.

Cliffhanger is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the costliest aerial stunt ever performed. Stuntman Simon Crane was paid $1 million to perform the aerial transfer scene, where he crossed between two planes at an altitude of 4,572 m (15,000 ft).

The parachute that the basejumper opens, on his escape from the villains, features the design of the Finnish flag, Renny Harlin's native country (he features the Finnish flag in most of his movies).

The Denver Mint featured in the film as the producer of the cash stolen by Qualen and his associates actually only produces coins. $100 Million from the Denver Mint would weigh 2,500 tons.

The late Wolfgang Güllich, widely regarded as one of the most skilful, daring and popular rock-climbers of all time, performed as a climbing double of Stallone.

The film was generally praised by critics, receiving a 76% on Rottentomatoes.com. It was also credited with reviving Stallone's career. The commercial success of the film was seen as Sylvester Stallone's "comeback" film, that re-established him as a bankable action star after having a string of commercial and critical disasters. This was Sylvester's most successful film at the time until Rocky Balboa (2006).

However, the film was nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor (John Lithgow), Worst Supporting Actress (Janine Turner) and Worst Screenplay in the 1993 Golden Raspberry Awards.

The film is generally disliked by rock climbers for its unrealistic portrayal of rock climbing. Most criticized is the feature of the bolt-gun which fires bolts directly into rock, forgoing the usual rock-drilling and bolt-hammering used in rock-climbing. Also, this ignores certain material properties of rock that should cause the bolt-gun's impact site to shatter and explode with flaky projectiles. The bolt gun is considered the most serious of the film's technical inaccuracies.

The film was originally rated NC-17 by the MPAA on account of its violence. Several short cuts were made to the bloody shootout at the beginning and to Travers' death; originally he was shot in the shoulder by the bolt gun, spins around and is blasted with the shotgun by Tucker, but this was changed to Walker firing the gun three times.

For its British cinema release, the film was edited by one minute, then by a further twenty-five seconds on video and DVD. Chief victim was the scene where Delmar plays football with Tucker's head. Other cuts included language and stronger moments of violence.

The scene where Hal's girlfriend, Sarah, falls to her death, was spoofed in the movies Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and Spy Hard.

This is the only TriStar-distributed Carolco production which the former studio has retained the rights to (and therefore not owned by Carolco successor StudioCanal), and thus Sony Pictures remains responsible for worldwide home video and television distribution.

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Source : Wikipedia