Russell Crowe

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Posted by motoman 03/23/2009 @ 16:07

Tags : russell crowe, actors and actresses, entertainment

News headlines
Crowe finds journalistic truth in Hollywood - NEWS.com.au
The US film version, released in Australia this week, features Russell Crowe as a journalist compromised by his relationship with a politician (Ben Affleck), with Helen Mirren as his editor at the Washington Globe. The film is a mass-market thriller...
Moving On: Russell Crowe, Tom Ford, Natalie Portman - Times Online
Russell Crowe is looking to rent in west Wales this summer while filming Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. His people approached the owners of two houses — a 12-bedroom Georgian home near Cardigan, on the market for £1.5m, and an eight-bedroom farm in 230...
Christian Bale: Why the 'Terminator Salvation' star's on-set ... - Entertainment Weekly
3:10 to Yuma with Russell Crowe. The Dark Knight with Heath Ledger, of course. In Terminator Salvation, his John Connor takes a back seat to Sam Worthington's character's odyssey. And in July's Public Enemies and 2010's The Fighter, he'll partner with...
A reminder of all that's good about print journalism - Roanoke Times
Russell Crowe's murky ethics and action-hero antics make most journalists squirm in their seats, yearning for a dignified remake of "All the President's Men." Yet Crowe's portrayal of reporter Cal McAffrey performs a valuable service....
New Set Photos From Robin Hood - Screen Rant
Cate Blanchett acquired the role of Maid Marion from Sienna Miller after producers determined Miller wasn't old enough to play the love interest for the forty-five year old Crowe. Early last month, we gave you the first look at Russell Crowe as the...
Russell Crowe takes on Robin Hood persona - NEWS.com.au
ANGER and honour go hand in hand, or so says Russell Crowe, now so immersed in the character of a 12th century Robin Hood that he's begun espousing 12th century values. Crowe is revelling in his role as he shoots Robin Hood in the UK....
Crowe's journey to the dark side - New Zealand Herald
Russell Crowe is renowned for his fiery encounters with journalists so I am a bit concerned when something comes hurtling across the Dorchester Hotel table towards me. Fortunately, it only turns out to be the South Sydney Rabitohs cap that was formerly...
Nick Cave's rejected Gladiator 2 script uncovered! - guardian.co.uk
Fancy seeing a sequel penned by the Bad Seed in which Russell Crowe's character is reincarnated by Roman gods? Neither did the film studios, funnily enough Just be thankful Mel Gibson didn't ask Nick Cave to write a sequel to Braveheart....
State of Play film review: Russell Crowe meets deadline in ho-hum ... - Crikey
Russell Crowe is the newspaper's no-guff hotshot resident writer (we shall call him, say, Bernard Keane), Rachel McAdams is the cub reporter with some lessons to learn (Crikey Intern), Helen Mirren is the dry, acerbic deadline-obsessed editor (that's...

Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe en route to his arraignment for the phone throwing incident

Russell Ira Crowe (born 7 April 1964) is a New Zealand-born Australian actor and musician. His acting career began in the early 1990s with roles in Australian TV series such as Police Rescue and films such as Romper Stomper. In the late 1990s, he began appearing in US films such as the 1997 movie L.A. Confidential. In the 2000s, he has been nominated for three Oscars, and in 2000, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his starring role in the film Gladiator. Crowe is also co-owner of National Rugby League team the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand, the son of Jocelyn Yvonne (née Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom were movie set caterers; his father also managed a hotel. Crowe's maternal grandfather, Stan Wemyss, was a cinematographer who, according to Crowe, produced the first film by New Zealander Geoff Murphy, and was also named an MBE for filming footage of World War II. Crowe's maternal great-great grandmother was Māori, and as a result Crowe is registered on the Māori electoral roll in New Zealand; Crowe also has Welsh, Scottish, Norwegian, English and Irish ancestry. Two of Russell Crowe's cousins, Martin and Jeff Crowe are former New Zealand national cricket captains.

When Crowe was four years old, his family moved to Australia, where his parents pursued a career in film set catering. The producer of the Australian TV series Spyforce was his mother's godfather, and Crowe at age five or six was hired for a line of dialogue in one episode, opposite series star Jack Thompson, who years later played Crowe's father in The Sum of Us and who coincidentally had been educated at the same school which Crowe was to attend for two years: Sydney Boys High School.

From his youth to the present, Crowe has had a special love of horses. "They're just like people," he told CraveOnline, "there are some horses that you have a deeper connection with immediately, and you can work on that over time." He has also noted that he sometimes finds it difficult to part with his equine co-stars when a film wraps.

When he was 14, Crowe's family moved back to New Zealand, where he (along with his brother Terry) attended Auckland Grammar School with cousins Martin Crowe and Jeff Crowe. He then continued his secondary education at Mount Roskill Grammar School, which he left at age 16 to chase his dreams of becoming a musician or actor.

In the mid-1980s Russell, under guidance from his good friend Tom Sharplin, performed as a rock 'n' roll revivalist, under the stage name Russ Le Roq, and had a New Zealand single with "I Wanna Be Marlon Brando." In 1986 he was given his first professional role by director Daniel Abineri in a production of The Rocky Horror Show. He played the role of Eddie/Dr Scott. He repeated this performance in a further Australian production of the show. In the 1988 Australian production of Blood Brothers, Crowe played the role of Mickey. He was also cast again by Daniel Abineri in the role of Johnny in the stage musical of Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom in 1989.

Crowe returned to Australia at age 21, intending to apply to the National Institute of Dramatic Art. "I was working in a theater show, and talked to a guy who was then the head of technical support at NIDA," Crowe recalled. "I asked him what he thought about me spending three years at NIDA. He told me it'd be a waste of time. He said, 'You already do the things you go there to learn, and you've been doing it for most of your life, so there's nothing to teach you but bad habits.'" In 1987 Crowe spent a six-month stint as a busker when he couldn't find other work.

After appearing in the TV series Neighbours and Living with the Law, Crowe was cast in his first film, The Crossing (1990), a small-town love triangle directed by George Ogilvie. Before production started, a film-student protegé of Ogilvie's, Steve Wallace, hired Crowe for the film Blood Oath (1990) (aka Prisoners of the Sun) which was released a month earlier, although actually filmed later. In 1992, Crowe starred in the first episode of the second series of Police Rescue. Also in 1992 Crowe starred in Romper Stomper, an Australian film which follows the exploits and downfall of a racist skinhead group in blue-collar suburban Melbourne, directed by Geoffrey Wright.

After initial success in Australia, Crowe began acting in American films. He first co-starred with Denzel Washington in Virtuosity in 1995. He went on to become a three-time Oscar nominee, winning the Academy Award as Best Actor in 2001 for Gladiator. Crowe wore his grandfather Stan Wemyss's Member of the Order of the British Empire medal to the ceremony.

Crowe received three consecutive best actor Oscar nominations for The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind. Crowe won the best actor award for A Beautiful Mind at the 2002 BAFTA award ceremony. However he failed to win the Oscar that year, losing to Denzel Washington. It has been suggested that his attack on television producer Malcolm Gerrie for cutting short his acceptance speech may have turned voters against him.

All three films were also nominated for best picture, and both Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind won the award. Within the six year stretch from 1997-2003, he also starred in two other best picture nominees, L.A. Confidential and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, though he was nominated for neither. In 2005 he re-teamed with A Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard for Cinderella Man. In 2006 he re-teamed with Gladiator director Ridley Scott for A Good Year, the first of two consecutive collaborations (the second being American Gangster co-starring again with Denzel Washington, released in late 2007). While the light romantic comedy of A Good Year was not greatly received, Crowe seemed pleased with the film, telling STV in an interview that he thought it would be enjoyed by fans of his other films.

Crowe was guarded by Secret Service agents for the next few months, both while shooting films and at award ceremonies (Scotland Yard also guarded Crowe while he was promoting Proof of Life in London in February 2001). Crowe said that he "...never fully understood what the fuck was going on".

On 7 April 2003, his 39th birthday, Crowe married Australian singer and actress Danielle Spencer. Crowe met Spencer while filming The Crossing (1990). Crowe and Spencer have two sons: Charles "Charlie" Spencer (born 21 December 2003) and Tennyson Spencer (born 7 July 2006).

Prior to his marriage to Spencer, Crowe had a relationship with Meg Ryan during and after the filming of Proof of Life in 2000.

Most of the year, Crowe resides in Australia. He has a home in Sydney at the end of the Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo and a 320-hectare rural property in Nana Glen near Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

Crowe also owns a house in the North Queensland city of Townsville: he purchased the $450,000 home in the suburb of Douglas on May 3, 2008. It's believed the home is for his niece, who is studying at James Cook University.

In the beginning of 2009, Crowe appeared in a series of special edition postage stamps called "Legends of the Screen", featuring Australian actors. He, Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett, and Nicole Kidman each appear twice in the series: once as themselves and once as their Academy Award-winning character.

On 19 March 2006, the voting members of the South Sydney Rabbitohs National Rugby League rugby club voted (in a 75.8% majority) to allow Crowe and businessman Peter Holmes à Court to purchase 75% of the club, leaving 25% ownership with the members. It has cost them A$3 million, and they will receive four of eight seats on the board of directors.

Crowe has been a major supporter of the Rabbitohs rugby league club for many years, appearing at many home games, and supporting the club during its time when they were forced from the National Rugby League competition for two years. Crowe paid $40,000 for a brass bell used to open the inaugural rugby league match in Australia in 1908, which he then returned to the club. In 2005, he made them the first club team in Australia to be sponsored by a film, when he negotiated a deal to advertise his movie Cinderella Man on their jerseys.

He is friends with many current and former players of the club, and currently employs former South Sydney forward Mark Carroll as a bodyguard and personal trainer. He has encouraged other actors to support the club, such as Tom Cruise and Burt Reynolds. Business and television personality Eddie McGuire has been offered a seat on the Rabbitohs board.

South Side Story, a mini-series documenting the takeover of the club, revealed Crowe urging Souths players to profess their love for one another during training.

Crowe helped organize a rugby league game that took place in Jacksonville, Florida between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the European Super League champions Leeds Rhinos on 26 January 2008 (Australia Day). The game was played at the University of North Florida. Crowe told ITV Local Yorkshire the game wasn't a marketing exercise.

Crowe is a big cricket fan. He played cricket in school and his cousins Martin Crowe and Jeff Crowe are former Black Caps Captains. Russell Crowe also captained the 'Australian' Team containing Steve Waugh against an English side in the 'Hollywood Ashes' Cricket Match.

He is also a fan of the Richmond Football Club in the Australian Football League and a supporter of the Leeds Rhinos in the Super League (Europe) and the English football (soccer) team Leeds United.

Crowe is a big supporter of the University of Michigan Wolverines football team, an interest that stems from his friendship with former Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr. Carr used Crowe's movie Cinderella Man to motivate his team in 2006 following a disappointing 7-5 season the previous year. Upon hearing of this, Crowe called Carr and invited him to Australia to address his Rugby league team the South Sydney Rabbitohs, an offer Carr took Crowe up on the following summer. In September 2007, after Carr came under fire following the Wolverines' 0-2 start, Crowe traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines' 15 September game against Notre Dame to show his support for Carr. He addressed the team before the game and watched from the sidelines as the Wolverines defeated the Irish 38-0.

Crowe is also a fan of the National Football League, and on 22 October 2007, appeared in the booth of a Monday Night game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is also a devout fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs which stems from his shooting of Cinderella Man at Maple Leaf Gardens.

He is also considered to be a friend of Kostya Tszyu, a former boxing world champion and it is said he helped instruct Crowe while shooting "The Cinderella Man" movie.

Crowe, going under the name of "Rus le Roq", recorded a 1980s tune titled "I Want To Be Like Marlon Brando".

Crowe and a friend formed a band, "Roman Antix", which later evolved into the Australian pub rock band 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts (TOFOG). Crowe performed lead vocals and guitar for the band, which formed in 1992. The band had found neither critical nor popular success but had several releases including 1998's Gaslight, 2001's Bastard Life or Clarity and 2003's Other Ways of Speaking, plus various CD releases now out of print. The band's web site indicates that group has "dissolved/evolved" and states that Crowe's music would take a new direction.

He continued with a collaboration with Alan Doyle of the Canadian band Great Big Sea in early 2005, which also involved members of his previous band. A new single, Raewyn, was released in April 2005 and an album entitled My Hand, My Heart has been released for download on iTunes. The album includes a tribute song to the late actor, Richard Harris, who became Crowe's friend during the making of Gladiator. In 2002, he directed the music video clip (which starred former child actor Duy Nguyen) for his wife Danielle Spencer's single 'Tickle Me' from her 'White Monkey' album. On 10 March 2006, Russell Crowe performed with his new band The Ordinary Fear of God on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Crowe did about 458 performances of The Rocky Horror Show. He played Dr. Frank N. Furter 50 times, and 400 times as Eddie and Dr Scott.

Crowe has been involved in a number of altercations in recent years which have given him a reputation for having a bad temper.

In 1999, Crowe was involved in a scuffle at the Plantation Hotel in Coffs Harbour, Australia, which was caught on security video. Two men were acquitted of using the video in an attempt to blackmail Crowe.

When part of Crowe's appearance at the 2002 BAFTA awards was cut out to fit into the BBC's tape-delayed broadcast, Crowe used strong language during an argument with producer Malcolm Gerrie. Reportedly, Crowe told Mr. Gerrie that " mother bathed in goat's milk and had the voice of a french whore." The part cut was a poem in tribute to actor Richard Harris who was then terminally ill, and was cut for copyright reasons. Crowe later apologized, saying "What I said to him may have been a little bit more passionate than now, in the cold light of day, I would have liked it to have been." Later that year, Crowe was alleged to have been involved in a "brawl" inside a trendy Japanese restaurant in London.

In June 2005, Crowe was arrested and charged with second degree assault by New York City police, after he threw a telephone at an employee of the Mercer Hotel who refused to help him place a call when the system did not work from his room, and was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon (the telephone). The employee, a concierge, was treated for a facial laceration. Crowe described the incident as "possibly the most shameful situation that I've ever gotten myself in... and I've done some pretty dumb things in my life". He was sentenced to conditional release, and paid US$100,000 to settle a civil lawsuit out of court.

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3:10 to Yuma (2007 film)

310 to Yuma poster.jpg

3:10 to Yuma is a 2007 Academy Award nominated Western film that is a remake of the 1957 film of the same name, making it the second adaptation of Elmore Leonard's short story. It is directed by James Mangold and produced by Cathy Konrad, director and producer of Walk the Line, and stars Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Filming took place in various locations in New Mexico. 3:10 to Yuma opened September 7, 2007, in the United States.

Dan Evans (Christian Bale), an impoverished rancher and Civil War veteran, awakens to find his barn in flames, set ablaze by two men working for Glen Hollander, to whom Evans owes money. The next morning, as Evans and his two sons herd, they stumble upon outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) and his gang using Evans' cattle as a road blockade to ambush an armored stagecoach. As he loots the stage, Wade discovers Evans and his two sons watching from the hills. Acknowledging that they pose no threat, Wade takes their horses telling Evans that he will leave them tied up on the road to Bisbee.

Wade travels with his gang to the town of Bisbee, Arizona to enjoy a celebratory drink at the local saloon. Meanwhile, the railroad guards find Evans and his sons with Byron McElroy (Peter Fonda), a Pinkerton agent and lone survivor of the ambush. Evans reveals Bisbee as Wade's likely destination, where the guards immediately return, joined by Evans and McElroy. While Doc Potter (Alan Tudyk), the local medic/veterinarian, treats McElroy, Evans tries negotiating with Hollander, who reveals his intentions to sell the land to the railroad rather than grant water rights to Evans. Enraged at the loss of his livelihood, Evans tries confronting Hollander in the nearby saloon where he finds Wade, whom he distracts long enough for the railroad guards to ambush and arrest him.

The coach's owner, Grayson Butterfield (Dallas Roberts), enlists McElroy, Potter, Tucker (Kevin Durand), one of Hollander's guards, and Evans, who agree for a $200 fee to deliver Wade for arrest. From Evans' ranch, McElroy arranges a decoy wagon to distract Wade's gang, now led by the sociopathic Charlie Prince (Ben Foster), while the real convoy charts a course for Contention, where Wade will be put on the 3:10 P.M. train to Yuma Territorial Prison. As the group prepares to ride out, Evans' older son William (Logan Lerman) demands to accompany them. Evans flatly refuses.

During the journey, Wade kills Tucker and McElroy (the former for claiming his horse and the latter for insulting his mother) but is stopped from escaping by the surprise arrival of William, who had followed the group all the way from the ranch. While taking a shortcut through a canyon, the group is attacked by Apache warriors. Evans is wounded but Wade saves him, arms himself, and kills the attackers. Following the shootout, Wade escapes to a Chinese laborer construction camp blasting a tunnel through the mountain range, where the foreman captures and tortures Wade for having killed his brother. Evans, William, Potter, and Butterfield appear and after unsuccessful attempts at negotiation, Potter leads an attack on the foremen and his miners, freeing Wade. As they flee on their horses, Potter is shot and killed, while Wade and Evans destroy the tunnel behind them with dynamite. The group arrives in Contention several hours before the train's scheduled arrival and check into the bridal suite of the hotel, where they are soon joined by several local marshals hired by Butterfield.

Prince ambushes and interrogates the survivor of the decoy wagon, learning that Wade is being delivered to Contention and will board a train to Yuma; he then burns the wagon with the survivor trapped in it. Upon arriving in Contention and discovering the heavy guard around Wade, Prince offers every townsperson a $200 bounty for every guard they kill. The marshals, unwilling to fight against such steep odds, surrender to Prince, who kills them anyway. Butterfield refuses to complete the mission, offering Evans the $200 salary even if Wade goes free. Evans refuses, noting that was the amount the government paid him for the loss of his leg. Instead he asks Butterfield to escort his son back to his ranch and to pay his wife $1,000 and a guarantee of water rights from Hollander in exchange for Evans delivering Wade to the train.

After Butterfield agrees, Evans escorts Wade out of the hotel and the two make their way across town, evading continuous gunfire from the townspeople before taking refuge inside a storeroom. Wade, tired of running, nearly strangles Evans; he relents when Evans reveals that the reason he has a wooden leg (a subject Wade brought up throughout the journey) is that his real leg was lost when Evans was shot by fellow soldiers while in retreat from battle, a story that would shame his sons, and that delivering Wade to Yuma would serve as an accomplishment his sons would admire. Wade relents and agrees to board the train. The two return to the streets, dodging bullets before barricading themselves in the station to wait for the train, where Wade reveals that he's been to Yuma twice and escaped both times.

Wade's gang set up positions around the station as the train approaches. William, observing the events, stampedes a herd of cattle (echoing a similar act performed by Wade earlier in the film) that provides cover for Evans to push Wade onto the train. As Wade boards, he congratulates Evans. At that moment, Prince steps up and shoots Evans four times, despite Wade's shouted order to stop. Wade steps off the train and catches the gun belt Prince tosses him. After a tense moment of silence, Wade abruptly executes Prince and the rest of his gang. William appears and draws his gun on Wade but finds he can't kill him, instead turning to his dying father. Wade boards the train politely and surrenders his weapon. As the train pulls away, he whistles for his horse, who perks up his ears and immediately canters after the running train into the distance.

In June 2003, Columbia Pictures announced a negotiation with Mangold to helm a remake of the 1957 Western film 3:10 to Yuma, based on a script written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. After being apart from the project for several years, Mangold resumed his role as director in February 2006. Production was slated to begin in summer 2006. In the same month, Tom Cruise expressed an interest in starring as the villain in the film. Eric Bana also briefly sought a role in the film.

In summer 2006, Columbia placed the film on turnaround, and the project was acquired by Relativity Media. Crowe and Bale were cast as the main characters, and Relativity began seeking a distributor for the film. By September, Lions Gate Entertainment signed on to distribute the film. Later in the month, Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Dallas Roberts, Ben Foster, and Vinessa Shaw were cast. Filming was slated to begin on October 23, 2006 in New Mexico. On the first day of filming, a rider and his horse were seriously injured in a scene when the horse ran directly into a camera-carrying vehicle instead of veering off as planned. The rider was hospitalized, and the horse had to be euthanized on the set. The animal's death prompted an investigation from the American Humane Association. By November, the AHA concluded its investigation, finding that the horse did not respond accordingly due to having received a dual training approach and the rider not being familiar with the mount. The organization recommended no charges against the producers. Principal photography took place in and around Santa Fe, Abiquiú, and Galisteo. The Bonanza Creek Ranch represented the film's town of Bisbee as a "kinder, gentler frontier town" while Galisteo was set up to be Contention (now a ghost town), a "much rougher, bawdier, kind of sin city". Filming concluded on January 20, 2007.

After filming concluded, the owners of the Cerro Pelon Ranch petitioned to keep a $2 million expansion to the movie set on their property, which was supposed to be dismantled within 90 days. The set of 3:10 to Yuma made up 75% of the overall sets on the ranch. In April 2007, the request was met by the county's development review committee to keep the expansion, which would potentially generate revenue in the future.

3:10 to Yuma was originally slated for an October 5, 2007 release, but Lionsgate moved the film's release a month earlier to September 7, 2007 to beat competing Western films The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and No Country for Old Men. As a result of the move, the studio was not able to use the Toronto Film Festival as a platform for the film's release, but it was released before a cluster of films similarly vying for awards. According to Lionsgate president Tom Ortenberg, "In what is shaping up to be a very impressive and crowded field of upscale commercial motion pictures this fall, we wanted to be one of the first ones out, so that everything else will be measured against us." The earlier theatrical run positioned it for a prominent high-definition Blu-ray Disc and DVD release in the first week of January, during awards seasons. Lionsgate similarly planned this strategy for Crash (2004), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year.

3:10 to Yuma debuted in the United States and Canada on September 7, 2007 in 2,652 theaters. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $14,035,033 and ranked #1 at the U.S. and Canadian box office. As of April 20, 2008, 3:10 to Yuma has grossed an estimated $53,606,916 in the United States and $14,148,545 in other territories for a worldwide total of $67,755,461.

The film received very favorable reviews from critics. According to the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 89 percent of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 192 reviews. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 76 out of 100, based on 37 reviews.

The film received two Academy Award nominations for the 80th Academy Awards. Marco Beltrami was nominated for Best Original Score, and Paul Massey, David Giammarco, and Jim Steube were nominated for Best Sound Mixing.

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Gladiator (2000 film)

Pollice Verso ("Thumbs Down") by Jean-Léon Gérôme—the 19th century painting that inspired Ridley Scott to tackle the project.

Gladiator is a 2000 epic film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi, and Richard Harris. Crowe portrays General Maximus Decimus Meridius, favorite of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius who is betrayed and murdered by his ambitious son, Commodus (Phoenix). Captured and enslaved along the outer fringes of the Roman empire, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murder of his family and his Emperor.

The film won five Academy Awards in the 73rd Academy Awards ceremony, including Best Picture. Released in the United States on May 5, 2000, it received generally good reviews with 77% of reviews positive and an average normalized score of 64%, according to the review aggregator websites Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, respectively.

General Maximus Decimus Meridius leads the Roman Army to victory against Germanic barbarians in the year A.D. 180, ending a prolonged war and earning the esteem of elderly Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Although the dying Aurelius has a son, Commodus, he decides to appoint temporary leadership to the morally-upstanding Maximus, with a desire to eventually return power to the Roman Senate. Aurelius informs Maximus and offers him time to consider before informing Commodus, who, in a bout of jealousy, murders his father. Declaring himself the emperor, Commodus asks Maximus for his loyalty, which Maximus, realizing Commodus' involvement in the Emperor's death, refuses. Commodus orders Maximus' execution and dispatches Praetorian Guards to murder his wife and son. Maximus narrowly escapes his execution, but is injured in the process. He races home only to discover his family's charred and crucified bodies in the smoldering ruins of his villa. After burying his wife and son, a grieving Maximus succumbs to exhaustion and blood loss as a result of his injuries and collapses on their graves.

Slave traders find Maximus and take him to Zucchabar, a rugged province in North Africa, where he is purchased by Proximo, the head of a local gladiator school (and a freed gladiator himself). Distraught and nihilistic over the death of his family and betrayal by his empire, Maximus initially refuses to fight, but as he defends himself in the arena his formidable combat skills lead to a rise in popularity with the audience. As he trains and fights further, Maximus befriends Hagen, a Germanic barbarian, and Juba, a Numidian hunter, the latter becoming a close friend and confidant to the grieving Maximus, the two speaking frequently of the afterlife and Maximus' eventual reunification with his family.

In Rome, Commodus reopens the gladiatorial games to pay tribute to his father and gain the goodwill of the people, and Proximo's company of gladiators are hired to participate. During a reenactment of the Battle of Zama from the Second Punic War, Maximus leads Proximo's gladiators, in the guise of Hannibal's forces, to a decisive victory against a more powerful force. This happens much to the amazement of the crowd, who expected a historically accurate depiction of Rome's triumph over Carthage. Commodus descends into the arena to meet the victors and instructs "The Spaniard" to remove his helmet and tell him his name. An angry Maximus reluctantly shows his face and says, "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies in the North, General of the Felix Legions, Loyal Servant to the true Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, Husband to a murdered wife; and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next." The Emperor, unable to kill Maximus because of the crowd's roaring approval for him, sulks out of the arena. As the games continue, Commodus pits Maximus against Tigris of Gaul, Rome's only undefeated gladiator, in an arena surrounded by chained tigers with handlers instructed to target Maximus. Following an intense battle, Maximus narrowly defeats Tigris and awaits Commodus' decision to kill or spare Tigris. As the audience urges for death, Commodus signals to Maximus to kill Tigris. However, Maximus spares Tigris, deliberately insulting the Emperor. Instead of booing him, the crowd cheers Maximus, bestowing him the title "Merciful". His bitter enemy now known as "Maximus the Merciful", Commodus becomes more frustrated at his inability to kill Maximus, let alone stop his ascending popularity while his own shrinks.

Following the fight, Maximus meets his former servant Cicero, who reveals that Maximus's army remains loyal to him. Maximus forms a plot with Lucilla, Commodus' sister, and Senator Gracchus to reunite Maximus with his army and overthrow Commodus. Suspecting his sister's betrayal, Commodus threatens her young son and forces her to reveal the plot. Praetorian guards immediately storm Proximo's gladiator barracks, battling the gladiators while Maximus escapes. Hagen and Proximo are killed in the siege while Juba and the survivors are imprisoned. Maximus escapes to the city walls only to witness Cicero's death and be ambushed by a legion of Praetorian guards.

Concluding that legends born in the Colosseum must die there, Commodus challenges Maximus to a duel in front of a roaring audience. Acknowledging that Maximus' skill exceeds his own, Commodus deliberately stabs Maximus with a stiletto, puncturing his lung, and has the wound concealed beneath the gladiator's armor. In the arena, the two exchange blows before Maximus rips the sword from Commodus's hands. Commodus requests a sword from his guards, but they betray him and refuse to lend him their weapons. Maximus drops his own sword, but Commodus pulls a hidden stiletto and renews his attack. Maximus then beats Commodus into submission and kills him with his own stilletto. As Commodus collapses in the now-silent Colosseum, a dying Maximus begins seeing his wife and son in the afterlife. He reaches for them, but is pulled back to reality by the Praetorian prefect Quintus, who asks for instructions. Maximus orders the release of Proximo's gladiators and Senator Gracchus, whom he reinstates and instructs to return Rome to a Senate-based government. Maximus collapses, and Lucilla rushes to his aid. After being reassured that her son is safe and Commodus is dead, Maximus dies and wanders into the afterlife to his family in the distance. Senator Gracchus, Quintus, and Proximo's gladiators carry his body out of the Colosseum. That night, a newly freed Juba buries Maximus' two small statues of his wife and son in the Colosseum, and says that he too will eventually join them, but not yet.

Gladiator was based on an original pitch by David Franzoni, who went on to write all of the early drafts. Franzoni was given a three-picture deal with DreamWorks as writer and co-producer on the strength of his previous work, Steven Spielberg's Amistad, which helped establish the reputation of DreamWorks SKG. Franzoni was not a classical scholar but had been inspired by Daniel P. Mannix’s 1958 novel Those About to Die and decided to choose Commodus as his historical focus after reading the Augustan History. In Franzoni's first draft, dated April 4, 1998, he named his protagonist Narcissus, after the praenomen of the wrestler who strangled Emperor Commodus to death, whose name is not contained in the biography of Commodus by Aelius Lampridius in the Augustan History. The name Narcissus is only provided by Herodian and Cassius Dio, so a variety of ancient sources were used in developing the first draft.

Ridley Scott was approached by producers Walter Parkes and David Wick. They showed him a copy of Jean-Léon Gérôme's 1872 painting entitled Pollice Verso ("Thumbs Down"). Scott was enticed by filming the world of Ancient Rome. However, Scott felt Franzoni's dialogue was too "on the nose" and hired John Logan to rewrite the script to his liking. Logan rewrote much of the first act, and made the decision to kill off Maximus' family to increase the character's motivation.

With two weeks to go before filming, the actors still complained of problems with the script. William Nicholson was brought to Shepperton Studios to make Maximus a more sensitive character, reworking his friendship with Juba and developed the afterlife thread in the film, saying "he did not want to see a film about a man who wanted to kill somebody." David Franzoni was later brought back to revise the rewrites of Logan and Nicholson, and in the process gained a producer's credit. When Nicholson was brought in, he started going back to Franzoni's original scripts and readding certain scenes. Franzoni helped creatively-manage the rewrites and in the role of producer he defended his original script, and nagged to stay true to the original vision. Franzoni later shared the Best Picture Oscar with producers Douglas Wick and Branko Lustig.

The film was shot in three main locations between January and May 1999. The opening battle scenes in the forests of Germania were shot in three weeks in Bourne Woods, near Farnham, Surrey in England. Subsequently, the scenes of slavery, desert travel, and gladiatorial training school were shot in Ouarzazate, Morocco just south of the Atlas Mountains over a further three weeks. Finally, the scenes of Ancient Rome were shot over a period of nineteen weeks in Malta.

In Malta, a replica of about one-third of Rome's Colosseum was built, to a height of 52 feet (15.8 meters), mostly from plaster and plywood (the other two-thirds and remaining height were added digitally). The replica took several months to build and cost an estimated $1 million. The reverse side of the complex supplied a rich assortment of Ancient Roman street furniture, colonnades, gates, statuary, and marketplaces for other filming requirements. The complex was serviced by tented "costume villages" that had changing rooms, storage, armorers, and other facilities. The rest of the Colosseum was created in CG using set-design blueprints, textures referenced from live action, and rendered in three layers to provide lighting flexibility for compositing in Flame and Inferno.

British post-production company The Mill was responsible for much of the CGI effects that were added after filming. The company was responsible for such tricks as compositing real tigers filmed on bluescreen into the fight sequences, and adding smoke trails and extending the flight paths of the opening scene's salvo of flaming arrows to get around regulations on how far they could be shot during filming. They also used 2,000 live actors to create a CG crowd of 35,000 virtual actors that had to look believable and react to fight scenes. The Mill accomplished this feat by shooting live actors at different angles giving various performances, and then mapping them onto cards, with motion-capture tools used to track their movements for 3D compositing.

An unexpected post-production job was caused by the death of Oliver Reed of a heart attack during the filming in Malta, before all his scenes had been shot. The Mill created a digital body double for the remaining scenes involving his character Proximo by photographing a live action body-double in the shadows and by mapping a 3D CGI mask of Reed's face to the remaining scenes during production at an estimated cost of $3.2 million for two minutes of additional footage. The film is dedicated to Reed's memory.

The film is loosely based on real events. Although the filmmakers consulted an academic expert with knowledge of the period of the Ancient Roman empire, in an attempt to provide an accurate interpretation of the era, historical deviations were added by the screenwriters.

The character of Maximus is fictional, although in some respects he resembles the historical figures of Narcissus (the character's name in the first draft of the screenplay and the real killer of Commodus), Spartacus (who led a significant slave revolt), Cincinnatus (a farmer who became dictator, saved Rome from invasion, then resigned his 6-month appointment after fifteen days), and Marcus Nonius Macrinus (a trusted general, Consul of AD 154, and friend of Marcus Aurelius).

The film's plot was influenced by two 1960s Hollywood films of the 'sword and sandal' genre, The Fall of the Roman Empire and Spartacus. The Fall of the Roman Empire tells the story of Livius, who, like Maximus in Gladiator, is Marcus Aurelius's intended successor. Livius is in love with Lucilla and seeks to marry her while Maximus, who is happily married, was formerly in love with her. Both films portray the death of Marcus Aurelius as an assassination. In Fall of the Roman Empire a group of conspirators independent of Commodus, hoping to profit from Commodus's accession, arrange for Marcus Aurelius to be poisoned; in Gladiator Commodus himself murders his father by smothering him. In the course of Fall of the Roman Empire Commodus unsuccessfully seeks to win Livius over to his vision of empire in contrast to that of his father, but continues to employ him notwithstanding; in Gladiator when Commodus fails to secure Maximus's allegiance, he executes Maximus's wife and son and tries unsuccessfully to execute him. Livius in Fall of the Roman Empire and Maximus in Gladiator kill Commodus in single combat: Livius to save Lucilla and Maximus to avenge Marcus Aurelius, and both do it for the greater good of Rome.

Spartacus (1960) provides the film's gladiatorial motif, as well as the character of Senator Gracchus, a fictitious senator (bearing the name of a pair of revolutionary Tribunes from the 2nd century BC) who in both films is an elder statesman of ancient Rome attempting to preserve the ancient rights of the Roman senate in the face of an ambitious autocrat — Marcus Licinius Crassus in Spartacus and Commodus in Gladiator. Interestingly, both actors who played Gracchus (in Spartacus and Gladiator), played Claudius in previous films — Charles Laughton of Spartacus played Claudius in the 1937 film I, Claudius and Sir Derek Jacobi of Gladiator, played Claudius in the 1975 BBC adaptation. Both films also share a specific set piece, where a gladiator (Maximus here, Woody Strode's Draba in Spartacus) throws his weapon into a spectator box at the end of a match as well as at least one line of dialogue: "Rome is the mob", said here by Gracchus and by Julius Caesar (John Gavin) in Spartacus.

The film's depiction of Commodus's entry into Rome borrows imagery from Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will (1934), although Ridley Scott has pointed out that the iconography of Nazi rallies was of course inspired by the Roman Empire. Gladiator reflects back on the film by duplicating similar events that occurred in Adolf Hitler's procession. The Nazi film opens with an aerial view of Hitler arriving in a plane, while Scott shows an aerial view of Rome, quickly followed by a shot of the large crowd of people watching Commodus pass them in a procession with his chariot. The first thing to appear in Triumph of the Will is a Nazi eagle, which is alluded to when a statue of an eagle sits atop one of the arches (and then shortly followed by several more decorative eagles throughout the rest of the scene) leading up to the procession of Commodus. At one point in the Nazi film, a little girl gives flowers to Hitler, while Commodus is met with several girls that all give him bundles of flowers.

The Oscar-nominated score was composed by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard, and conducted by Gavin Greenaway. Lisa Gerrard's vocals are similar to her own work on The Insider score. The music for many of the battle scenes has been noted as similar to Gustav Holst's "Mars: The Bringer of War", and in June 2006, the Holst Foundation sued Hans Zimmer for allegedly copying the late Gustav Holst's work. Another close musical resemblance occurs in the scene of Commodus's triumphal entry into Rome, accompanied by music clearly evocative of two sections—the Prelude to Das Rheingold and Siegfried's Funeral March from Götterdämmerung—from Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungs. On February 27, 2001, nearly a year after the first soundtrack's release, Decca produced Gladiator: More Music From the Motion Picture. Then, on September 5, 2005, Decca produced Gladiator: Special Anniversary Edition, a two-CD pack containing both the above mentioned releases. Some of the music from the film was featured in the NFL playoffs in January 2003 before commercial breaks and before and after half-time. In 2003, Luciano Pavarotti released a recording of himself singing a song from the film and said he regretted turning down an offer to perform on the soundtrack.

Gladiator received positive reviews, with 77% of the critics polled by Rotten Tomatoes giving it favorable reviews. At the website Metacritic, which utilizes a normalized rating system, the film earned a favorable rating of 64/100 based on 37 reviews by mainstream critics. The Battle of Germania was cited by CNN.com as one of their "favorite on-screen battle scenes", while Entertainment Weekly named Maximus as their sixth favorite action hero, because of "Crowe's steely, soulful performance", and named it as their third favorite revenge film. In 2002, a Channel 4 (UK TV) poll named it as the sixth greatest film of all time.

The film earned $34.82 million on its opening weekend at 2,938 U.S. theaters. Within two weeks, the film's box office gross surpassed its $103,000,000 budget. The film continued on to become one of the highest earning films of 2000 and made a worldwide box office gross of $457,640,427, with over $187 million in American theaters and more than $269 million overseas.

The film's mainstream success is responsible for an increased interest in Roman and classical history in the United States. According to The New York Times, this has been dubbed the "Gladiator Effect".

Sales of the Cicero biography 'Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician and Gregory Hays' translation of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations received large spikes in sales after the release of the film. The film also began a revival of the historical epic genre with films such as Troy, Alexander, Kingdom of Heaven, and 300.

Gladiator was nominated in 36 individual ceremonies, including the 73rd Academy Awards, the BAFTA Awards, and the Golden Globe Awards. Of 119 award nominations, the film won 48 prizes.

The film won five Academy Awards and was nominated for an additional seven, including Best Supporting Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Best Director for Ridley Scott. There was controversy over the film's nomination for Best Original Music Score. The award was officially nominated only to Hans Zimmer, and not to Lisa Gerrard due to Academy rules. However, the pair did win the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score as co-composers.

The film was first released on DVD on November 20, 2000, and has since been released in several different extended and special edition versions. Special features for the DVDs include deleted scenes, trailers, documentaries, commentaries, storyboards, image galleries, easter eggs, and cast auditions.

Other DVD editions have been released since this original two-disc version, including a film only single-disc edition released soon after, which put the original two-disc edition out of print. A three-disc extended edition DVD was released in August 2005, which features approximately fifteen minutes of additional scenes, most of which appear in the previous release as deleted scenes. The original cut, which Ridley Scott still calls his director's cut, is also selectable via seamless branching (which is not included on the UK edition). The DVD is also notable for having a new commentary track featuring director Scott and star Crowe. The film spans the first disc, while the second disc contains a comprehensive three-hour documentary into the making of the film by DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika, and the third disc contains supplements.

In June 2001, Douglas Wick said a Gladiator prequel was in development. The following year, Wick, Walter Parkes, David Franzoni, and John Logan switched direction to a sequel set fifteen years later; the Praetorian Guards rule Rome and an older Lucius is trying to learn who his real father was. However, Russell Crowe was interested in resurrecting Maximus, and further researched Roman beliefs about the afterlife to accomplish this. Ridley Scott expressed interest, although he admitted the project would have be retitled as it had little to do with gladiators. In 2006, Scott stated he and Crowe approached Nick Cave to rewrite the film, but they had conflicted with DreamWorks' idea of a Lucius spin-off, who Scott revealed would turn out to be Maximus' son with Lucilla. He noted this tale of corruption in Rome was too complex, whereas Gladiator worked due to its simple drive.

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American Gangster (film)

Denzel Washington, left, and Russell Crowe, right, both met the real-life figures that they portrayed for American Gangster to capture their voices and mannerisms.

American Gangster is a 2007 crime film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. Washington portrays Frank Lucas, a real-life gangster from Harlem who smuggled heroin into the United States on American service planes returning from the Vietnam War. Crowe portrays Richie Roberts, a detective attempting to bring down Lucas' drug empire. Filming was done on location in New York City. American Gangster was released in the United States and Canada on November 2, 2007.

Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson, a disciplined and intelligent gangster, runs much of Harlem and imparts his wisdom onto his former driver turned right-hand man, Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington). Johnson dies of a heart attack in 1968, at an electronics store. Frank dislikes the new, flashy gangsters and decides to take control. To gain money and power, he travels to Bangkok, Thailand, and with the help of his "cousin" who is an Army Staff NCO, strikes a deal with a Chinese nationalist general in the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia, who supplies him with pure heroin. Starting with a first shipment of 100 kilograms, Frank has the drugs transported back to America via military service planes. His final shipment comprises two tons hidden in the coffins of seven dead U.S. soldiers from the Vietnam War.

Meanwhile, Newark Police Department detective Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is juggling a failing marriage, late-night law school classes, and his police career. When Richie and his partner, Javier Rivera, discover nearly $1 million in unmarked bills in a car, Richie resists temptation and turns the money in. His rare honesty makes him a hated member of his precinct, causing his partner to be exiled from the force, while Richie's rampant womanizing behavior and undercover double life leads his wife to seek a divorce and custody of their son. After his exiled partner dies from overdosing on "Blue Magic", a relatively new and powerful type of heroin being sold for less money than its competition, Richie's honesty catches him a break when his superior Captain Lou Toback (Ted Levine) puts him in charge of a newly created task force to stop major drug trafficking in Essex County, New Jersey by going after the actual supplier, rather than the middle-men. Richie handpicks honest cops and gets to work on finding who is supplying Blue Magic.

Frank's unique drug supply enables him to sell pure heroin, as contrasted with the adulterated product sold by his rivals, and at a lower price, because he cut out the middle men in the supply chain. He creates a brand “Blue Magic”, the same heroin that Richie's partner had died from earlier, and with an effective monopoly on quality product, Frank quickly makes a fortune and buys several nightclubs and apartments. He moves his family from North Carolina to New Jersey, where he purchases a large estate for his humble mother. His five brothers are enlisted as his lieutenants in the drug trade – forming “The Country Boys” who work together to traffic and sell dope on Harlem streets. During his rise, Frank meets and falls in love with Eva, a Puerto Rican beauty queen. Through his discipline, organization, and willingness to kill those in his way, Frank quickly rises to the top of the Harlem drug and crime scene.

As Frank's business prospers, he makes a point of operating quietly and dressing with a modest conservatism both as a sign of strength and to avoid attracting the attention of the law. However, Frank disregards this habit for his wife for one ostentatious night out, attending the Fight of the Century between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, in a gaudy chinchilla fur coat and hat, along with a ringside seat. As it happens, Roberts is on duty observing the event and sees this unknown, but obviously wealthy person associating with high-level criminals, as well as having better seats than the Italian Mafia. Roberts becomes suspicious, and he begins to investigate this unknown (to him) figure in New York organized crime.

Richie catches another break when his men witness Frank's cousin shooting a woman. They use the driver’s predicament to get him to wear a wire. The wire allows Richie and his task force to discover when a plane carrying drugs is landing, though Richie is ordered to cease his search of the coffins by a Federal agent who snarls an anti-Semitic slur at him. Meanwhile, Trupo leads his band of police officers to Frank's mansion where they take Frank's emergency cash supply. Frank is enraged at what Trupo did, and sets out to kill him and other associated officers. Frank's mother pleads that he not go through with it, and Frank decides not to murder Trupo. When the plane lands, Richie and his men follow the drugs into Newark's projects and obtain a warrant. A huge group of police and detectives attack the drug apartments en masse and a large shootout ensues. Frank is at church when the bust goes down, but he is arrested after the service ends. Frank and Richie finally meet, and Frank’s attempts to threaten Richie are unsuccessful. Richie tells Frank that he will go to prison for the rest of his life unless he provides all the information he has, and accurately.

With no other options, Frank decides to provide names of numerous other criminals, including his and Richie’s common enemies: corrupt NYC detectives. Numerous corrupt cops are arrested, and a distraught Trupo kills himself to avoid arrest. Richie, having passed the bar exam, prosecutes Frank. Some time after the Lucas trial, he eventually leaves the prosecutor's office, and becomes a defense attorney. The first client he takes is Frank. Because of his cooperation, Frank receives a relatively light sentence of 15 years rather than the original 70. He is arrested in 1975. At the film’s end, he steps out of jail in 1991 significantly older and out of place, but with Richie waiting to pick him up.

In 2000, Universal Studios and Imagine Entertainment purchased the rights to "The Return of Superfly", a New York magazine story by Mark Jacobson about the rise and fall of the 1970s heroin kingpin Frank Lucas. In 2002, screenwriter Steven Zaillian brought a 170-page script to director Ridley Scott, who expressed interest in making two films from it. However, Scott did not immediately pursue the project. In November 2003, Universal and Imagine entered negotiations with Brian De Palma to direct Tru Blu, with a script by Zaillian based on Frank Lucas. Zaillian interpreted the story as one of "American business and race", focusing the script thematically on corporate business. Production was initially slated for a spring 2004 start. In March 2004, the studio entered new negotiations with Antoine Fuqua to direct, as well as Denzel Washington to star in the film as Frank Lucas. The following May, Benicio Del Toro entered negotiations to star as Detective Richie Roberts, who brought down Lucas. Production of Tru Blu was reset to begin in early fall 2004, with the film slated for a release date of June 3, 2005. In September 2004, Dania Ramirez entered negotiations to join the cast of the film, now titled American Gangster.

Universal Studios reported that it greenlit American Gangster with a budget of $80 million, which escalated to $93 million, with $10 million for development costs and $3 million for the delay of the production start date. Sources close to the director insist that the budget was $93 million from the beginning. The studio also sought for American Gangster to be produced in Toronto rather than New York City to save money, but Fuqua resisted the re-location. The studio's parent company General Electric received tax credits in New York City, so production was moved to the city. The move, however, inflated the budget to $98 million. Fuqua's camp insisted that it was seeking ways to reduce the budget, but the studio contended several aspects of the project under him. The director had wanted to film a Vietnam sequence in Thailand and to cast notable names such as Ray Liotta and John C. Reilly in minor roles. To add to the studio's budgetary concerns, Fuqua was rewriting the script during the preproduction process. The director also did not have a shot-list, final locations, and supporting actors signed to initiate production.

Fuqua was fired on October 1, 2004, four weeks before principal photography would begin. The studio cited creative differences for the director's departure. After Fuqua's departure, the studio met with Peter Berg to take over directing the film, and Denzel Washington had approved of the choice. Due to the search potentially escalating a budget already in the US$80 million range and the difficulty in recouping the amount based on the film's subject matter, Universal canceled production of American Gangster, citing time constraints and creative elements for its reason. The cancellation cost the studio $30 million, of which $20 million went to Washington and $5 million went to del Toro due to their pay or play contracts. Entertainment Weekly reported that Fuqua's ambition to produce the film was primarily based on the prospect of an African-American director and an African-American actor leading a big-budget film that would potentially be nominated for Oscars.

In March 2005, American Gangster was revived as Universal and Imagine entered negotiations with Terry George to revise Zaillian's script and direct the film, which was to be financed with a target budget of US $50 million. The following May, Will Smith was approached to replace Washington as Frank Lucas, though an offer would be held off until George completed his revision of the script. Producer Brian Grazer and Imagine executive Jim Whitaker decided against pursuing George's attempt and to return to Zaillian's vision. In February 2006, Ridley Scott entered talks with the studio to take over American Gangster from George, returning to Zaillian's draft as the film's basis. Washington returned to his role as Lucas, and Russell Crowe was attached to star as Roberts.

Scott had discussed the script with actor Russell Crowe as they worked on A Good Year (2006) in France, and then they sought to take on the project. The director reviewed Zaillian's script, Terry George's rewrite, and a revision by Richard Price during the project's incarnation with director Antoine Fuqua. Scott preferred Zaillian's approach and chose to follow it. In realizing the project, the director encountered a challenge in the script since the characters Frank Lucas and Richie Roberts do not encounter each other until twenty minutes before the end of the film. The director sought to flesh out the private universes of the characters that would evolve and have scenes cut between the two characters to provide a balance. Elements like Frank Lucas's interaction with his family and Richie Roberts' dysfunctional marriage were written to add to the characters' backgrounds.

Scott chose to direct American Gangster based on the paradoxical values of Frank Lucas and Richie Roberts. The film focuses a bit on the comparatively ethical business practices of the "wicked gangster" and the womanizing and failed marriage of the "do-gooder" police detective. Washington, who was not normally a fan of gangster films, chose to portray Lucas when he saw "the arc of the character" had ended with prices that Lucas paid for his actions. Crowe was drawn to the project based on his previous work with the director on Gladiator and A Good Year. Production was slated in summer 2006. To prepare for their roles, the actors met their real-life counterparts. Washington acquired Lucas's Southern accent, and Crowe practiced to match Roberts's manner of speaking and body language, requesting tape recordings of Roberts to assist in his preparation. The following March, the studio rehired Zaillian to rewrite the script for American Gangster. It was rumored that Washington got paid another $20 million for when the project was greenlit again, that rumor proved to be false. According to Variety, he only signed on for his gross.

Director Ridley Scott produced television commercials from the 1960s to the 1980s, which entailed visits to New York City in the same time period in which the film's story took place. The director sought to downplay a "Beatles" atmosphere to the film and to instead create a shabbier atmosphere. Scott described his perspective of the setting, "Harlem was really, really shabby, beautiful brownstones falling apart." Production and costume design was emphasized, transforming the location into the rundown streets of upper Manhattan from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Denzel Washington, as Frank Lucas, went through 64 different costume changes.

The director filmed American Gangster in 180 locations, an unusually high number for production, throughout New York's five boroughs. Approximately 50 to 60 locations were set in Harlem alone. The director also found several interiors that had been untouched since the 1940s and despite sanitary concerns, chose to film scenes in these locations. All the locations in the film were authentic, with the exception of Frank Lucas' coffee shop, built as a set at the northeast corner of 122nd St and Lenox Avenue. Scott found filming in Harlem to be difficult, describing it as "an area of wide-avenued boulevards" whose concrete pavement and lack of trees provided poor opportunities for shooting angles. As well as being filmed in the five boroughs it was also filmed in Westchester County in Briarcliff Manor.

Over two weeks before the release of American Gangster, a screener for the film leaked online. The film debuted in the United States and Canada on November 2, 2007 in 3,054 theaters. In its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, American Gangster grossed $43,565,115, placing first in the weekend box office. Brandon Gray of Box Office Mojo reported that the film had the fastest start domestically for a crime saga and the film also had the best opening weekend for Denzel Washington as well as Russell Crowe. As of July 3, 2008, it has grossed $130,164,645 domestically and $135,330,809 in other territories for a worldwide total of $265,495,454. This makes the movie very successful as its budget was $100 million and it recouped over 2 and a half times its budget.

Sterling Johnson, Jr., a federal judge who served as a special narcotics prosecutor and assisted the arrest and trial of Lucas, described the film as "1 percent reality and 99 percent Hollywood." Johnson described the real life Lucas as "illiterate," "vicious," "violent," and "everything Denzel Washington was not." Former DEA agents Jack Toal, Gregory Korniloff, and Louis Diaz filed a lawsuit against Universal saying that the events in the film were fictionalized and that the film defamed them and hundreds of other agents. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed.

The film appeared on 50 critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2007.

Between April and May 2007, composer Marc Streitenfeld recorded the musical score for American Gangster by using an 80-piece orchestra recorded in sections as well as acoustic pre-records, performed by Streitenfeld himself. Additional score material was composed and recorded by Hank Shocklee.

The official soundtrack album for American Gangster was released by Def Jam Recordings within a week of the film's release. In addition to Streitenfeld and Shocklee's score material, the soundtrack album also features 1960s/1970s period songs by blues and soul musicians such as Bobby Womack, The Staple Singers, Sam & Dave, and John Lee Hooker.

A score album was released by Varèse Sarabande on February 19, 2008.

Denzel Washington originally pressed for film producer Brian Grazer to have rapper and Def Jam president Jay-Z compile a soundtrack for the film, but Grazer and director Ridley Scott resisted because they wanted an authentic 1970s feel to the film. As a result, only two new vocal songs, both done by soul singer Anthony Hamilton's in a 1970s style, were recorded for the film. "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)", a Jay-Z song from his 2001 album The Blueprint, was included in the film's trailer. Instead of directly recording for the film, Jay-Z released an album inspired by the film, similarly titled American Gangster, in conjunction with the release of the film.

The film was released on DVD and HD DVD February 19, 2008.

The DVD release of American Gangster includes a 2-Disc Unrated Extended Edition with 18 minutes of unseen footage, which includes an extended ending, the Original Theatrical Version of the film was also included on the set.

A 3-Disc Collector's Edition will also be released which includes the 2-Disc Unrated Extended Edition with a bonus disc and a supplemental collectible 32-page book chronicling the production period of the film. The bonus disc contains two music videos, one by Jay-Z and the other by Ghostface Killah and various movie specials seen on TV about the film, it also includes a Digital Copy of the extended version of the film.

The film was later released on Blu-ray Disc on October 14, 2008, approximately six months after Toshiba official stopped production of HD DVD.

The Blu-ray Disc version of the film includes both the Theatrical and Unrated Extended Edition of the movie on a single 50GB disc.

The film inspired the rapper Jay-Z to create a concept album, also titled American Gangster. Jay-Z had been shown the film at an early screening, which had "tremendous resonance" to him. The rapper recorded tracks that were prompted by specific scenes in the film. The album American Gangster is a rarity among inspired-by albums because only one artist is recording it, especially a major artist that had no role in the film. The New York Times speculated that the album's release in conjunction with the film would attract young moviegoers and help Universal Pictures generate profits to recover from the film's troubled development history.

In November 2007, Gameloft developed a mobile video game based on the movie, American Gangster.

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Jeffrey Wigand

Dr. Jeffrey S. Wigand (IPA: /ˈwaɪgænd/) (born December 17, 1942) is a former vice president of research and development at Brown & Williamson in Louisville, Kentucky who worked on the development of safer cigarettes by eliminating the use of the adulterant coumarin. He currently resides in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. He lectures around the world as an expert witness and consultant for various tobacco issues and devotes time to his non-profit organization Smoke-Free Kids Inc, an organization that attempts to help kids of all ages make better decisions and healthy choices regarding tobacco use.

He became known as a whistleblower—indeed, "the ultimate insider" whistleblower—when on February 4, 1996 on the CBS news program 60 Minutes he exposed his company's practice of 'impact boosting': intentionally manipulating the effect of nicotine in cigarettes. Wigand claims that he was subsequently harassed and received anonymous death threats.

He was portrayed by Russell Crowe in the 1999 film The Insider directed by Michael Mann.

Jeffrey Wigand was born in New York and grew up in the Bronx and later Pleasant Valley, New York. After a brief time in the military (including a short assignment in Vietnam) he earned a Master's and PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He met his first wife Linda in 1970 while attending a judo class.

Prior to working for Brown and Williamson, Wigand worked for several health care companies including Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. In addition he was employed as General Manager and Marketing Director at Union Carbide in Japan and as Senior Vice President at Technicon Instruments.

Wigand began to work for Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation in January 1989 and on March 24, 1993 was fired because he knew that the big tobacco companies head chiefs knowingly put a cancer causing agent and addictive substance in their "chemically-altered" nicotine and, for purely economical reasons, did not recall it from the market. This caused, and is causing, great harm to the general population both of smokers and non-smokers. Big tobacco proved to have more power over the major news corporations and henceforth, of current anti-tobacco legislation.

Following this he taught chemistry and Japanese at duPont Manual Magnet High School in Louisville, Kentucky, and was eventually named Teacher of the Year for the state of Kentucky.

Prior to moving to Michigan Jeffrey Wigand lived in South Carolina for a time.

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South Sydney Rabbitohs

South Sydney Rabbitohs logo.jpg

The South Sydney Rabbitohs, also known as Souths, The Bunnies, SSFC or The Rabbits, are an Australian professional rugby league team based in Sydney, New South Wales. They participate in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership and are one of nine existing teams from Sydney. The club was founded in 1908 and was one of the foundation members in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, the predecessor of the current NRL competition. They are one of only two foundation clubs still present in the league, the other being the Sydney Roosters.

The Rabbitohs' traditional heartland covers the once-typically working class suburbs of inner-south and south eastern Sydney, however they have long held a wide supporter base spread all over New South Wales. The team's home ground is currently ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park.

At the elite competition level, South Sydney are the most successful professional team in the history of Australian rugby league in terms of total championships won, having claimed 20 first grade premierships. However, they have not won a premiership since 1971. In 2007 Souths qualified for their first finals series since 1989.

There is such reverence for the Rabbitohs in Australian rugby league that there is the saying "When Souths are going well, rugby league is going well".

The Rabbitohs are one of the only "foundation clubs" playing in Australia's top rugby league competition to have survived in their original form (even after having been excluded and reinstated), with the likes of North Sydney, Balmain, Western Suburbs (all foundation clubs) and St.George having recently been replaced by newer "hybrid" teams.

The South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club was formed at a meeting on 17 January 1908 at Redfern Town Hall when administrator J J Giltinan, cricketer Victor Trumper and politician Henry Clement Hoyle came together in front of a large crowd of supporters. The club played in the first round of the newly formed New South Wales Rugby League, defeating North Sydney 11–7 at Birchgrove Oval on 20 April 1908. The team went on to win the inaugural premiership then successfully defended their title in the 1909 season, winning the Grand Final by default. During these early years Arthur Hennessy was considered the "founding father" of the South Sydney rugby league club. A hooker and prop forward, Hennessy was Souths' first captain and coach. He was also New South Wales' first captain and Australia's first test captain in 1908.

After further premiership success in 1914 and 1918, South Sydney won seven of the eight premierships from 1925–1932, only missing out in 1930. The 1925 side went through the season undefeated and is only one of six Australian premiership sides in history to have achieved this feat. Such was Souths dominance in the early years of the rugby league competition that the Rabbitohs were labelled "The Pride of the League".

South Sydney struggled through most of the 1940s, only making the semifinals on two occasions (1944 and 1949). South Sydney's longest losing streak of 22 games was during the period 1945-1947. In the 1945 season they only managed to win one game while in 1946 they were unable to win a single game.

In the 1950s South Sydney again had great success, winning five of the six premierships from 1950–1955, and losing the 1952 Grand Final against Western Suburbs in controversial circumstances. The 1951 side's point scoring feat in their 42–14 victory over Manly-Warringah remains the highest score by a team in a Grand Final and "the miracle of '55" involved South Sydney winning 11 straight sudden death matches to win the premiership. Players that were involved in these years included Denis Donoghue, Jack Rayner, Les "Chicka" Cowie, Johnny Graves, Ian Moir, Greg Hawick, Ernie Hammerton, Bernie Purcell and Clive Churchill. Churchill, nicknamed "the Little Master" for his brilliant attacking fullback play, is universally regarded as one of the greatest ever Australian rugby league players.

In the late 1950s Souths began a poor run of form failing to make the finals from 1958–1964. However in 1965 a talented young side made the Grand Final against St. George who were aiming to secure their 10th straight premiership. The young Rabbitohs weren't owerawed by the Dragons formidable experience and in front of a record crowd of 78,056 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, they went down narrowly 12–8. The nucleus of this side went on to feature in Australian representative teams for the next six years and ensured another golden period for South Sydney making five successive grand finals from 1967–1971, winning four. Bob McCarthy, John O'Neill, Eric Simms, Ron Coote, Mike Cleary and John Sattler from 1965 were later joined by Elwyn Walters, Ray Branighan, Paul Sait, Gary Stevens and coach Clive Churchill to form a fearsome combination before internal strife and poaching by other clubs from 1972 onwards unravelled the star studded pack. From this period comes part of South's and Australian Rugby League folklore when in the 1970 premiership decider against Manly, captain John Sattler inspired the side to victory playing out 70 minutes of the match with his jaw broken in three places after being king hit by Manly prop John Bucknall.

Financial problems started to hit Souths in the early 1970s, forcing some players to go to other clubs. The licensed Leagues Club, traditionally such an important revenue provider to all first grade league sides, was closed in 1973 but a "Save Our Souths" campaign ensured the club survived. "Super Coach" Jack Gibson's arrival turned the club's form, winning the pre-season competition in 1978. The club captured victories in the mid-week Tooth Cup competition in 1981 and in the pre-season "Sevens" competition in 1988. The Rabbitohs were able to make the finals on five occasions in the 1980s, including a dominant season to finish as minor premiers in 1989. The 1989 season proved to be the club's most successful in years, but also marked the last time the club was able to reach the finals until 2007. The following season the Rabbitohs finished as wooden spooners.

The club stayed afloat in the 1990s despite major financial problems. Souths' only success came in 1994 when they won the pre-season competition, defeating the Brisbane Broncos 27–26 in the final. The Super League War and the eventual formation of the National Rugby League affected the club greatly when it was determined in 1998 that the newly formed competition would be contracted to 14 teams for the 2000 season. Following a series of mergers by other teams, South Sydney failed to meet the National Rugby League's selection criteria (criticised as unfair, flawed and biased to favour certain News Limited associated teams and those teams located in areas contentiously viewed by News Limited as more important to the future of rugby league) to compete in the competition and were subsequently excluded from the premiership at the end of the 1999 season.

In 2000 and 2001, South Sydney fought their way back into the competition following a string of high profile legal battles against the National Rugby League and News Limited. A number of well attended public rallies took place during this time, as supporters from many different clubs got behind South Sydney's case. Upon appeal to the Federal Court in 2001, South Sydney won readmission into the premiership for the 2002 season.

Since being readmitted, the Rabbitohs have been rather unsuccessful in the premiership, finishing amongst the bottom three teams for five seasons straight including three wooden spoons. However, following the club's takeover by famous Hollywood actor Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes à Court in 2006, the club has had great success in securing a number of major international player signings as well as recruiting several key managerial positions including Jason Taylor as head coach.

The results were shown on the field with South Sydney winning their first three games of the 2007 season (marking their best start to a season since 1972) and being competitive in every game. On the back of one of the best defenses in the competition, the Rabbitohs finished strongly making the semi finals for the first time since 1989. They finished the season in 7th position, going down to Manly in the playoffs.

On 26 January 2008, the Rabbitohs lost 24-26 to the Leeds Rhinos in front of 12,000 fans at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, the first time first-grade professional rugby league teams from Australia and England have played each other in the United States.

May 2008 saw the sudden resignation of the then current Executive Chairman and CEO, Peter Holmes à Court. He had only been appointed to the role of CEO at the start of 2008. Reports suggested that Holmes à Court had been forced to stand down after his relationship with Russell Crowe had deteriorated beyond repair.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs celebrated their centenary year during the 2008 National Rugby League season. The club fielded teams in the National Rugby League Telstra Premiership and the Toyota Cup National Youth Competition.

The Rabbitohs also have affiliate clubs in the New South Wales Cup competition (North Sydney Bears) and the European Super League (Leeds Rhinos, the reigning Super League champions).

On 3 September 2008, the South Sydney Football Club was named the National Trust's inaugural 'Community Icon' in recognition of the club's significant longstanding contribution to sport and sporting culture at both state and national levels.

One version of how the club got the "Rabbitohs" nickname comes from the team's pre-schism days at the turn of the 20th century. During that period, players wearing their cardinal red and myrtle green football jumpers, earned some extra money on Saturday mornings by hawking rabbits around the district with the traditional cry of "Rabbitoh!" echoing through the narrow streets. As they made a sale, they would sling the bunny from their shoulder and skin it on the spot, inevitably accumulating some of the fur and blood on their jerseys as they did so. When they played in those blood stained jumpers that afternoon, opponents from wealthier rugby clubs did not always appreciate the aroma and would mockingly repeat the "Rabbitoh!" cry.

Another account of the legend relates that the Rabbitoh name was a disparaging reference by opposing teams to South's home ground being plagued with "rabbit 'oles". In those early days Redfern Oval was then known as Nathan's Cow Paddock. Yet another version links the Rabbitoh name as being adopted from that of the touring Australian rugby union teams of the early 1900s who where nicknamed "Rabbits" prior to discarding the name in 1908 in favour of the moniker "Wallabies".

The "Rabbitoh" emblem (a running white rabbit) first appeared on the team's jersey in 1959. The Rabbitoh emblem has in various forms been carried as the club's crest on every player's jersey ever since. The original "Rabbitoh" emblem design that appeared on the team's jerseys throughout the 1960s and 1970s has now been incorporated on the current jersey.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs celebrated their centenary year during 2008. The club has released a centenary emblem to commemorate the occasion.

South Sydney has used cardinal red and myrtle green colours on its playing jerseys for the vast majority of the club's history. Prior to the establishment of the rugby league club in 1908, the South Sydney rugby union team originally wore a red and green hooped jersey. Some sources have suggested that this combination of colours was due to the local rugby union club being nicknamed the "Redfern Waratahs". The first British inhabitants had often called the waratah a "red fern" instead, hence giving the suburb its name, and ultimately the local rugby club its emblem. Red and green dominate the colours of the waratah and hence, possibly, the South Sydney Rugby League Football Club adopted these colours for their jerseys. However, the suburb of Redfern was named in honour of Dr. William Redfern, one of the first doctors of the colony, who treated convicts and poor settlers as well as the wealthy.

The club's jersey has been a hooped-styled one comprising of alternating red and green, and has been used for the vast majority of the club's history. In 1945 and 1946 the club broke with this tradition and used a green design with a red "V" around the collar, before reverting back to the original hoop style. From 1980 to 1984 the team played in a strip which saw the inclusion of white hoops within a predominately green design with a central red stripe and was affectionately known as the "Minties" jersey (so-called due to its apparent similarity to the wrapper design of the popular sweet). With the introduction of "away" jerseys towards the end of the 20th century, the club initially introduced a predominantly white jersey for away matches which was changed to a predominantly black one for the 2006 season.

Before the start of the 2007 season, the club announced that the away jersey would be styled identically to the traditional home jersey, with the exception of sponsorship and the rabbit emblem, which as been styled similarly to the one that initially featured on jerseys in the 1960s. For home matches, the rabbit emblem remains white and for away matches the emblem is black.

The playing shorts worn were historically black, though in the late 1970s the club adopted green shorts with a red vertical stripe. This was then superseded by the white shorts of the "Minties" outfit. When the club subsequently reverted to their traditional playing strip, the decision was made to wear black shorts once more.

In 2008 the Rabbitohs wore white shorts to match the white stripe running down the side of their jersey.

During the early years of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, "home games" were not assigned as readily as they are today. However, South Sydney played most of their games at the Royal Agricultural Society Ground from 1908 until the club's final departure in 1920. From 1911 onwards, the Sydney Sports Ground was also used interchangeably with the Agricultural Ground over a decade for hosting matches. In 1947 the club played its final season at the Sports Ground, before relocating to Redfern Oval in 1948. It was here that team played in the heart of the club's territory and played the vast majority of its allocated home matches for an extended period of time.

In 1988, the club began to play in the newly built Sydney Football Stadium, built upon the former Sydney Sports Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground No. 2 Oval.

The side continued to play here up until 2005, with the exception of 2000 and 2001 during South Sydney's absence from the premiership.

During 2004-2005, when the Rabbitohs contract with Sydney Football Stadium was about to expire, new home grounds were investigated at Gosford, North Sydney Oval and Telstra Stadium (Now ANZ Stadium). Eventually the decision was made to relocate to Telstra Stadium at Homebush. The move was controversial as it was claimed to have been made to secure the Rabbitohs future. However history showed that the club was several $ million in the red at the end of 2005 and was forced into privatisation.

In 2006 the club relocated home games to ANZ Stadium in Sydney's west (known as Telstra Stadium until the conclusion of 2007). In February 2008, the Rabbitohs renewed their partnership with ANZ Stadium to play NRL home games and home finals at the venue for the next 10 years, commencing season 2008. The agreement runs until the end of 2017, superseding the inaugural three-year home ground arrangement at ANZ Stadium that started in 2006.

During 2008 the City of Sydney Council completed a $19.5 million upgrade and renovation of Redfern Oval. From season 2009, the upgraded Redfern Oval will provide the Rabbitohs with training facilities and a venue for hosting pre-season and exhibition matches.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs played the Wests Tigers in a pre-season match on Sunday, 8th February 2009. The seating capacity for this games was only 5,000, so only members from South Sydney and the Tigers were allowed to purchases tickets for the match. The Tigers won the game 30-26 in front of a sold out crowd.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs continue to have a large supporter base in their traditional areas of South-Eastern Sydney, despite having moved from Redfern Oval two decades ago, whilst also enjoying wide support throughout other rugby league playing centres around the country.The main South Sydney supporters group at matches is known as "The Burrow." By the start of the 2009 season, membership of the Rabbitohs amounted to over 14,000 (including over 8,000 season ticket holders), after it had peaked at some 22,000 when the club was readmitted to the National Rugby League for season 2002.

Souths Sydney's bid for reinstatement, following their exclusion from the competition at the end of the 1999 season, saw a sustained campaign of public support unprecedented in Australian sporting history. In that year 40,000 people attended a rally in the Sydney CBD in support of South Sydney's cause. In 2000 and 2001, public street marches took place in Sydney with in excess of 80,000 people rallying behind the Rabbitohs. The club also has a number of high-profile supporters as well, many of whom were dominant figures in their battle to be readmitted into the premiership in 2000 and 2001.

In season 2007 supporters set a new club record for attendance with an average home crowd figure of 15,702 being the highest ever for the Rabbitohs since the introduction of the home and away system in 1974.

Souths has a long history of producing talented indigenous players, including stars such as Eric Simms, Eric Robinson, Kevin Longbottom and, more recently, Nathan Merritt. Throughout its history the club has been a provider of opportunity for young Aboriginal players from both the South Sydney district and regional New South Wales. The link that exists between South Sydney Rugby League Club and the Aboriginal community of the district goes back to the formation of the Redfern All Blacks Football Club in 1930, a vitally important nursery for Souths over the years.

Indigenous players in the current Souths squad include Nathan Merritt, Rhys Wesser, Beau Champion and Chris Sandow.

The Rabbitohs and their fans have built up rivalries with other clubs, particularly the Sydney Roosters, the other remaining foundation club. The Rabbitohs and the Roosters share inner-Sydney territory, resulting in a strong rivalry since 1908 when Souths beat Eastern Suburbs in the first grand final 14-12. Games between the neighbouring foundation clubs have since formed part of the oldest "local derby" in the competition. The rivalry increased after 1950 due to conflict between junior territories and since the 1970s escalated once more as both clubs drew key players away from each other (Souths lost internationals Ron Coote, Elwyn Walters and Jim Morgan to the Roosters from their last era of premiership winning teams, whilst more recently Souths lured key forwards Bryan Fletcher and Peter Cusack away from the Roosters 2002 premiership winning side). In June 2007, amid controversy and much public fanfare, Souths signed from the Roosters Craig Wing, a Souths junior and former Rabbitoh player, on a four-year deal commencing season 2008.

Other long-time traditional rivals include the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (who since 1970 purchased many of Souths' star players) and former clubs the St George Dragons (resulting in the annual Charity Shield match) and Balmain Tigers. The rivalry with Balmain began in 1909 when the Tigers failed to appear for the grand final and thereby forfeited to Souths. In 1969 enmity was again fueled between the clubs with Balmain's controversial victory against the Rabbitohs in the grand final that year.

A book, The Book of Feuds, chronicling the rivalries of the Rabbitohs with their NRL competitors was written by Mark Courtney at the instigation of Russell Crowe. It has been used as a motivational tool before Souths matches and was later released on sale to the public.

South Sydney are the most successful club in terms of honours and individual player achievements in the history of Australian rugby league.

The following list comprises players who are in the Rabbitohs full-time first-grade squad for the 2009 season in the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Dean Widders (Castleford Tigers, UK), Jeremy Smith (Salford City Reds, UK), Manase Manuokafoa (North Queensland Cowboys), Nigel Vagana (retired), Ben Rogers (Newcastle Knights after being released mid-season 2008 to St George Illawarra Dragons), Yileen Gordon (Bulldogs), George Ndaira (Newcastle Knights), Sam Huihahau (Canberra Raiders), Shannon Hegarty (North Queensland Cowboys), Eddie Paea (released).

The South Sydney Rabbitohs' greatest club side in history, the South Sydney Dream Team, was announced in Sydney on 29 July 2004. The team consists of 17 players (four being reserves) and a coach representing the South Sydney Rabbitohs Football Club from 1908 through to 2004. The team spans the history of the code of rugby league in Australia and has collectively played 2,135 first grade games for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, 158 games for New South Wales, 3 games for Queensland and 158 Tests for Australia.

In 2002 on the Rabbitohs readmission to the competition, The Magnificent XIII, a team consisting of great South Sydney players over the years was selected by a panel of rugby league journalists and former Souths players and coaches. The team consists of 17 players (four being reserves) and a coach representing the South Sydney Rabbitohs Football Club from 1908 through to 2002.

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Source : Wikipedia