Tom Cruise

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Posted by bender 03/23/2009 @ 19:07

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Review: Don't criticize Cruise for 'Valkyrie'; 'True Blood' tasty ... - San Jose Mercury News
By Barry Caine Poor Tom Cruise. Not something you hear every day, but let's face it: The guy never seems to get a break. Consider how often he was trashed, bashed and eviscerated for playing a German officer in "Valkyrie" — before the movie even came...
Pop Top: Cruise slips into German uniform for 'Valkyrie - Salt Lake Tribune
DVD » Tom Cruise dons a German uniform for this often thrilling and fast-moving true story of a conspiracy within the Third Reich to assassinate Adolph Hitler. "Valkyrie" (rated PG-13) is competently directed by "X-Men" helmer Bryan Singer, and Cruise...
Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise: Dancing Duo - The Gossip Girls
And while there have been previous rumors of marital strife between Katie and her hubby Tom Cruise over having more babies (as Katie wishes to focus on work), the latest tabloid fodder tells that TomKat are contemplating in-vitro fertilization in an...
DVDs on shelves: First season of 'True Blood,' Cruise's 'Valkyrie' - Hub
This week's DVD releases include a World War II thriller starring Tom Cruise, a goofy comedy featuring Kevin James and the first season of an excellent television drama led by Anna Paquin. 3 stars (out of four). Rated PG-13 for violence and brief...
Tom Cruise - AMCtv.com
An actor whose name has become synonymous with all-American testosterone-driven entertainment, Tom Cruise spent the 1980s as one of Hollywood's brightest-shining golden boys. With black hair, blue eyes, and unabashed cockiness, Cruise rode high on such...
Six Picks: Recommendations from the Monitor staff - Christian Science Monitor
Movie star Tom Cruise made a conscious effort to disappear into the ensemble of Valkyrie, hoping to sell the real-life story of the plot to kill Hitler on its own merits. The film was a critical fizzle and box-office dud but is worth a small-screen...
Movies New to Blu-Ray This Week - The Exception Magazine
This week brings a pretty good selection including Terminator 2 (Skynet Edition) on Blu-Ray, Fanboys only on DVD (boo), Tom Cruise's Nazi movie, and that first mall cop movie. So what do I think you should pick up? Well, read on and find out....
Cruise, Diaz, Apatow chat on AMC's `Storymakers' - The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Cruise says he'd try directing if he weren't so busy with a different kind of off-camera project: parenting. "It's really about my kids," explains Cruise, the father of three children, who says directing a film would be even more...
DVD Reviews: 'Valkyrie' doesn't allow emotional attachment - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Unfortunately, "Valkyrie" doesn't really allow for any type of emotional attachment to the main players, which is unexpected, considering the cast features names like Tom Cruise, Tom Wilkinson, Terence Stamp and Bill Nighy. However, this might not be...
Kelly McGillis confirms she's a lesbian to gay website - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
by Vicki Hyman/The Star-Ledger Kelly McGillis, who played Tom Cruise's flight instructor and lover in 'Top Gun,' has come out as a lesbian. Kelly McGillis, best known for playing teacher to Tom Cruise in "Top Gun," has confirmed long-held rumors that...

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise in 1989

Thomas Cruise Mapother IV (pronounced /ˈtɒməs ˈkruːz ˈmeɪpɒθɚ/; born July 3, 1962), better known by his screen name Tom Cruise, is an American actor and film producer. Forbes magazine ranked him as the world's most powerful celebrity in 2006. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and won three Golden Globe Awards. His first leading role was the 1983 film Risky Business , which has been described as "A Generation-X classic, and a career-maker" for the actor. After playing the role of a heroic naval pilot in the popular and financially successful 1986 film Top Gun, Cruise continued in this vein, playing a secret agent in a series of Mission: Impossible action films in the 1990s and 2000s. In addition to these heroic roles, he also played other roles, such as the misogynistic male guru in Magnolia (1999) and a cool and calculating sociopathic hitman in the Michael Mann crime-thriller film Collateral (2004).

In 2005, Economist Edward Jay Epstein argued that Cruise is one of the few producers (the others being George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer) who are able to guarantee the success of a billion-dollar movie franchise. Since 2005, Cruise and Paula Wagner have been in charge of the United Artists film studio, with Cruise as producer and star and Wagner as the chief executive. Cruise is also known for his support of and adherence to the Church of Scientology.

Cruise was born in Syracuse, New York, the son of Mary Lee (née Pfeiffer), a special education teacher, and Thomas Cruise Mapother III, an electrical engineer. Cruise has German and English ancestry from his paternal great-grandparents, William Reibert and Charlotte Louise Voelker; and Irish ancestry from his paternal great-great-grandfather Thomas O'Mara. It was O'Mara's son Thomas who adopted the name Mapother, the surname of his older half-brothers, becoming Thomas Cruise Mapother I. Tom Cruise's oldest sister, Lee Anne, was born in Louisville. His older sister Marian was born in Syracuse, as were Tom and his younger sister, Cass.

Cruise attended Robert Hopkins Public school for grades three, four, and five. The Mapother family then moved to the suburb of Beacon Hill, in Gloucester, Ontario, so Cruise's father could take a position as a defence consultant with the Canadian Armed Forces. There, Cruise completed grade six at Henry Munro Middle School, part of the Carleton Board of Education, where he was active in athletics, playing floor hockey almost every night, showing himself to be a ruthless player, eventually chipping his front tooth. In the game "British Bull Dog", he then lost his newly capped tooth and hurt his knee. Henry Munro was also where Cruise became involved in drama, unter the tutelage of George Steinburg. The first play he participated in was called IT, in which Cruise won the co-lead with Michael de Waal, one playing "Evil", the other playing "Good". The play met much acclaim, and toured with five other classmates to various schools around the Ottawa area, even being filmed at the local Ottawa TV station. The two were also singled out for a version of Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as a Marcel Marceau-type act. It was at this point that Mary Lee Mapother helped foster her son's acting aspirations: when the religious overtones of the former caused concern for school principal Jim Brown, Cruise's mother convinced him that the play should proceed, and she founded the Gloucester Players, a theatrical troupe where Cruise and some of the boys in Steinburg's class acted.

When Cruise was twelve, his mother left his father, taking Cruise and his sister Lee Anne with her. After a long period of near-poverty, in which Tom's newspaper-delivery earnings helped put food on the table, his mother married a plastics salesman named Jack South.

Besides Ottawa, cities in which Cruise lived included Louisville, Kentucky; Winnetka, Illinois; and Wayne, New Jersey. In all, Cruise attended eight elementary schools and three high schools. He briefly attended a Franciscan seminary in Cincinnati (on a church scholarship) and aspired to become a Catholic priest. In his senior year, he played football for the varsity team as a linebacker, but he was cut from the squad after getting caught drinking beer before a game. Cruise graduated from Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey in 1980.

Cruise has said that he suffered from abuse as a child. This was partially due to his suffering from dyslexia. He stated that when something went wrong, his father came down hard on him. He told Parade Magazine that his father was "a bully" and "a merchant of chaos." Cruise said he learned early on that his father was – and, by extension, some people were – not to be trusted: "I knew from being around my father that not everyone means me well." Having gone through fifteen schools in twelve years, Cruise, who dropped his father's name at age twelve, was also a victim of bullying at school.

Cruise started acting after being sidelined from his high school's wrestling team due to a knee injury. While injured, he successfully auditioned for a lead role in his high school's production of Guys and Dolls and decided to become an actor after his success in the role. His cousin William Mapother is also an actor most known for playing Ethan Rom on Lost.

Cruise's first film role came in 1981, when he had a small role in Endless Love, a drama/romance film starring Brooke Shields. Later that same year he had a more substantial role in the film Taps, appearing alongside George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn. The film about military cadets was moderately successful. In 1983, he was one of many teenaged stars to appear in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders. The cast for this film included Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, and Ralph Macchio, two of which were part of the Brat Pack. That same year Cruise appeared in the teen comedy Losin' It. Cruise's breakthrough came after Risky Business was released, which helped to propel Cruise to stardom. One sequence in the film, featuring Cruise lip-syncing Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" in his underwear, has become an iconic moment in 1980s film. The film has been described as "A Generation-X classic, and a career-maker for Tom Cruise". A fourth film that was released in 1983 was the high-school football drama, All the Right Moves. Cruise's next film was the 1985 fantasy film Legend directed by Ridley Scott.

Cruise was then selected as the first choice by producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson for an upcoming American fighter pilot film. Cruise at first apparently turned down the project, but helped to alter the script he was given and developed the film. After being taken for a flight with the Blue Angels, Cruise changed his mind and signed on with the project. The project was titled Top Gun and opened in May 1986, becoming the highest grossing film of the year, taking in US$354 million in worldwide figures. Also in 1986, he starred in Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money along with Paul Newman, which earned Newman a Best Actor Academy Award. In 1988, he starred in the lighthearted drama Cocktail, which received mixed reviews and Cruise received his first nomination for a Razzie award in 1989. Later that year, Rain Man was released, which also starred Dustin Hoffman and was directed by Barry Levinson. The film was praised by critics and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won four, including Best Picture and Best Actor.

Cruise was welcomed with similar success the following year when he received Academy Award nominations for Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July, which was based on the best selling autobiography of parapalegic veteran and anti-war activist Ron Kovic. In 1990, Cruise starred as hot-shot racecar driver "Cole Trickle" in Tony Scott's Days of Thunder. Cruise's next film was Ron Howard's Far and Away where he again was starring with Nicole Kidman. After Days of Thunder he starred in the military thriller A Few Good Men with Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore. This film was very well received and earned Cruise a Golden Globe and MTV nominations. The following year he starred in Sydney Pollack's The Firm along with Gene Hackman and Ed Harris. It was based on the best selling novel by John Grisham, and won Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture at the People's Choice Awards.

In 1994, Cruise starred along with Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater in Neil Jordan's Interview with the Vampire, a gothic drama/horror film that was based on Anne Rice's best-selling novel. The film was well received, although Rice was outspoken in her criticism of Cruise having been cast in the film, as River Phoenix was her first choice. In 1996, Cruise starred in (as well as produced) Brian de Palma's Mission: Impossible. The film, a remake of the 1960s TV series, grossed US$456 million worldwide, making it the third highest grossing film that year. That same year he played the title role in the comedy-drama Jerry Maguire. The film earned him an Academy Award Best Actor nomination as well as winning co-star Cuba Gooding, Jr. an Academy Award; the film was nominated for five Academy Awards in total. The film also included the catchphrase "Show Me the Money!" which became part of popular culture. In 1999 he starred in the erotic thriller Eyes Wide Shut which took two years to complete and was director Stanley Kubrick's last film. It was also the last film in which he starred alongside then spouse Nicole Kidman. But the film, which had a straightforward description of sex and a recondite story-telling style, raised great controversies. Cruise also played a misogynistic male guru in Magnolia (1999), which netted him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. He was originally intended to play as Jericho Cane in the action horror film End of Days before Arnold Schwarzenegger assumed the lead role.

In 2000, Cruise returned as Ethan Hunt in the second installment of the Mission Impossible films, releasing Mission: Impossible II. The film was directed by Hong Kong director John Woo and branded with his Gun fu Style, and it continued the series' blockbuster success at the box office, taking in almost US$546 M in worldwide figures, like its predecessor, being the third highest grossing film of the year. The following year Cruise starred in the remake of the 1997 film Abre Los Ojos, Vanilla Sky. In 2002, Cruise starred in the dystopian science fiction thriller, Minority Report which was directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick; and the following year, he was in Edward Zwick's historical drama The Last Samurai.

In the 2004 Michael Mann's crime-thriller film Collateral, Cruise took a turn against his generic "good guy" role by playing the role of a sociopathic hitman. In 2005, Cruise worked again with Steven Spielberg in War of the Worlds, which became the fourth highest grossing movie of the year with US$591.4 M worldwide. The film also earned three Razzie nominations including one for Cruise. In 2006, he reprised his role as Ethan Hunt in the third installment of the Mission Impossible film series, Mission: Impossible III. Although it was more positively received by critics than its predecessor, it disappointed at the box office, grossing nearly $150M less worldwide. He appeared in the 2007 drama Lions for Lambs, which bombed, and had a comedic supporting role in the 2008 comedy Tropic Thunder. Cruise's latest starring role is in the historical thriller Valkyrie, released on December 25, 2008 to mixed reviews.

Cruise partnered with his former talent agent Paula Wagner to form Cruise/Wagner Productions in 1993, and the company has since co-produced several of Cruise's films, the first being Mission: Impossible in 1996 which was also Cruise's first project as a producer. He won a Nova Award (shared with Paula Wagner) for Most Promising Producer in Theatrical Motion Pictures at the PGA Golden Laurel Awards in 1997 for his work as a producer for the film Mission: Impossible.

His next project as a producer was the 1998 film Without Limits about famous American runner Steve Prefontaine. Cruise returned to work as a producer in 2000, continuing work on the Mission Impossible sequel. He then served as an executive producer for The Others which starred Nicole Kidman, also that year, he again worked as actor/producer in Vanilla Sky. He subsequently worked on (but did not star in) Narc, Hitting It Hard and Shattered Glass. His next project, which he also starred in, was The Last Samurai, he was jointly nominated for the Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award at the 2004 PGA Golden Laurel Awards. He then worked on Suspect Zero, Elizabethtown and Ask the Dust.

Cruise is noted as having negotiated some of the most lucrative movie deals in Hollywood, and was described in 2005 by Hollywood economist Edward Jay Epstein as "one of the most powerful – and richest – forces in Hollywood". Epstein argues that Cruise is one of the few producers (the others being George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer) who are regarded as able to guarantee the success of a billion-dollar movie franchise. Epstein also contends that the public obsession with Cruise's tabloid controversies obscures full appreciation of Cruise's exceptional commercial prowess in the industry.

Cruise/Wagner Productions, Cruise's film production company, is said to be developing a screenplay based on Erik Larson's New York Times bestseller, The Devil in the White City about a real life serial killer, H. H. Holmes, at Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition. Kathryn Bigelow is attached to the project to produce and helm. Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way, is also developing a film about Holmes and the World's Fair, in which DiCaprio will star.

On August 22, 2006, Paramount Pictures announced it was ending its 14-year relationship with Cruise. In the Wall Street Journal, chairman of Viacom (Paramount's parent company) Sumner Redstone cited the economic damage to Cruise's value as an actor and producer from his controversial public behavior and views. Cruise/Wagner Productions responded that Paramount's announcement was a face-saving move after the production company had successfully sought alternative financing from private equity firms. Industry analysts such as Edward Jay Epstein commented that the real reason for the split was most likely Paramount's discontent over Cruise/Wagner's exceptionally large share of DVD sales from the Mission: Impossible franchise. However, Radar has claimed that the "personal conduct" complained of by Redstone was an allegedly Cruise-inspired attempt to intimidate Brad Grey, CEO of Paramount. According to Radar, when Grey was walking to his car one night after tense negotiations with Cruise over Mission: Impossible 3, he was "surrounded by more than a dozen Scientologists, who pressured him to ease up on the actor … Following a terse exchange, the visitors allowed Grey to get into his car and leave, but the message was clear." Grey reportedly stood his ground and convinced Cruise to accept a lower fee than the actor had initially demanded.

According to an Associated Press report on November 2, 2006, Cruise and Paula Wagner announced that they will be in charge of the United Artists film studio. Cruise will produce and star in films for United Artists, while Wagner will serve as UA's chief executive. Production began in 2007 of Valkyrie, a thriller based on the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler. The film was acquired in March 2007 by United Artists. On March 21, 2007 Cruise signed on to play Claus von Stauffenberg, the protagonist. This project marks the second production to be greenlighted since Cruise and Wagner took control of United Artists. The first was its inaugural film, Lions for Lambs, directed by Robert Redford and starring Redford, Meryl Streep and Cruise. Lambs was released on November 9, 2007, opening to unimpressive box office revenue and critical reception. In August 2008, Wagner stepped down from her position at United Artists; she retains her stake in UA, which combined with Cruise's share amounts to 30% of the studio.

In 1990, 1991 and 1997, People magazine rated him among the 50 most beautiful people in the world. In 1995, Empire magazine ranked him among the 100 sexiest stars in film history. Two years later, it ranked him among the top 5 movie stars of all time. In 2002 and 2003, he was rated by Premiere among the top 20 in its annual Power 100 list.

In 2006, Premiere ranked Cruise as Hollywood's most powerful actor, as Cruise came in at number 13 on the magazines 2006 Power List, being the highest ranked actor.

On June 16, 2006, Forbes magazine published 'The Celebrity 100', a list of the most powerful celebrities, which Cruise topped. The list was generated using a combination of income (between June 2005 and June 2006), web references by Google, press clips compiled by LexisNexis, television and radio mentions (by Factiva), and the number of times a celebrity appeared on the cover of 26 major consumer magazines.

As of August 2006, "a USA Today/Gallup poll in which half of those surveyed registered an "unfavorable" opinion of the actor" was cited as a reason in addition to "unacceptable behavior" for Paramount's non-renewal of their production contract with Cruise. In addition, Marketing Evaluations reports that Cruise's Q score (which is a measure of the popularity of celebrities), had fallen 40%. It was also revealed that Cruise is the celebrity people would least like as their best friend. Cruise came bottom with just 3 percent, while the winner was Jack Black. October 10, 2006 was declared "Tom Cruise Day" in Japan; the Japan Memorial Day Association said that he was awarded with a special day because he has made more trips to Japan than any other Hollywood star.

Cruise was married to Mimi Rogers on May 9, 1987; they divorced on February 4, 1990. Rogers is generally believed to have introduced Cruise to Scientology.

Cruise met Nicole Kidman on the set of their film Days of Thunder. The couple married on December 24, 1990 and divorced on August 8, 2001. He and Kidman adopted two children, Isabella Jane (b. December 22, 1992) and Connor Antony (b. January 17, 1995). They separated when Kidman was three months pregnant, just before their tenth wedding anniversary; she later miscarried.

Cruise was next romantically linked with Penélope Cruz, the lead actress in his film Vanilla Sky. After a three-year relationship, in March 2004, Cruise announced that their relationship had ended in January.

In April 2005, Cruise began dating actress Katie Holmes. Shortly after they began their highly publicized relationship, on June 17, 2005, Cruise announced he had proposed to her at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. She accepted his proposal, and the couple married in Bracciano, Italy on November 18, 2006.

On April 18, 2006 Katie gave birth to a baby girl named Suri at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Cruise stated that the name derives from the Hebrew word for "princess" or the Persian word meaning red rose. (See also Sarah.) She is the first child for Holmes and third for Cruise, who (as previously mentioned) has two adopted children with Nicole Kidman.

Cruise is an outspoken advocate for the Church of Scientology. He became involved with Scientology in 1990 through his first wife, Mimi Rogers. Cruise has publicly said that Scientology, specifically the L. Ron Hubbard Study Tech, helped him overcome dyslexia. In addition to promoting various programs that introduce people to Scientology, Cruise has campaigned for Scientology to be fully recognized as a religion in Europe. He lobbied politicians in France and Germany, where the legal systems regard Scientology as a cult and business respectively. In 2005 the Paris city council revealed that Cruise had lobbied officials Nicolas Sarkozy and Jean-Claude Gaudin, described him as a spokesman and militant for Scientology, and barred any further dealings with him. Cruise co-founded and raised donations for Downtown Medical to offer New York 9/11 rescue workers detoxification therapy based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard. This has drawn criticism from the medical profession, as well as firefighters. For these activities and others, David Miscavige awarded Scientology's Freedom Medal of Valor to Cruise in late 2004.

A controversy erupted in 2005 after he openly criticized actress Brooke Shields for using the drug Paxil (paroxetine), an anti-depressant, to which Shields attributes her recovery from postpartum depression after the birth of her first daughter in 2003. Cruise asserted that there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance, and that psychiatry is a form of pseudoscience. This led to a heated argument with Matt Lauer on The Today Show on June 24, 2005. Medical authorities said Cruise's comments had further stigmatized mental illness and Shields herself called them "a disservice to mothers everywhere." In late August 2006, Cruise apologized in person to Shields for his comments; Shields said that she was "impressed with how heartfelt was . I didn't feel at any time that I had to defend myself, nor did I feel that he was trying to convince me of anything other than the fact that he was deeply sorry. And I accepted it." Cruise's spokesman confirmed that Cruise and Shields had made up but said that Cruise's position on anti-depressants had not changed. Shields was a guest at Cruise's and Holmes's wedding.

Cruise also said in an Entertainment Weekly interview that psychiatry "is a Nazi science" and that methadone was actually originally called Adolophine after Adolf Hitler, a myth well-known as an urban legend. In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, Cruise said that "In Scientology, we have the only successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. It's called Narconon… It's a statistically proven fact that there is only one successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. Period". While Narconon claims to have a success rate over 70%, the accuracy of this figure has been widely disputed. Scientology is well-known for its opposition to mainstream psychiatry.

In January 2008 the Daily Mail (UK) announced a forthcoming biography of Cruise, Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography, by Andrew Morton. Among the book's claims, it said that Cruise had become the church's "second in command in all but name." This has been corroborated by former Scientology staff member Marc Headley. Cruise's attorney Bert Fields said that the unauthorized biography was full of "tired old lies" or "sick stuff".

On January 15, 2008, a video produced by the Church of Scientology featuring an interview with Cruise was leaked to the Internet and uploaded to YouTube. In the video, music from Cruise's Mission Impossible films plays in the background, and Cruise discusses what being a Scientologist means to him. According to The Times, Cruise can be seen in the video "extolling the virtues of Scientology". The Daily Telegraph characterizes Cruise as "manic-looking" during the interview, "gush about his love for Scientology".

Cruise has made several expressions of his feelings for Holmes to the media, most notably the "couch incident" which took place on the popular The Oprah Winfrey Show of May 23, 2005. Cruise "jumped around the set, hopped onto a couch, fell to one knee and repeatedly professed his love for his new girlfriend." The phrase "jumping the couch", fashioned after "jumping the shark", is used to describe someone "going off the deep end" in public in a manner extreme enough to tarnish his or her reputation. It enjoyed a short-lived popularity, being chosen by the editors of the Historical Dictionary of American Slang as the "slang term of the year" in 2005 and by the nonprofit group Global Language Monitor as one of its top phrases for the year.

The "couch incident" was voted #1 of 2005's "Most Surprising Television Moments" on a countdown on E! and was the subject of numerous parodies, including the epilogue of Scary Movie 4.

In early May 2008, Cruise reappeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to celebrate 25 years of being in the film business. The feature was a two hour special, the first hour was Oprah spending the day with Cruise at his house in Telluride, Colorado on May 2. The second part was on May 5 with Cruise making an in studio appearance and ending with every member of the audience receiving a box DVD set of all the films Cruise had ever starred in.

Cruise's more open attitude to Scientology has been attributed to the departure of his publicist of 14 years, Pat Kingsley, in March 2004. He replaced her with his sister, fellow Scientologist Lee Anne DeVette, who served in that role until November 2005. He then demoted his sister and replaced her with veteran publicist Paul Bloch, from the publicity firm Rogers and Cowan. DeVette explained that it was her decision to work on philanthropic projects rather than publicity. Such restructuring is seen as a move to curtail publicity of his views on Scientology, as well as the hard-sell of his relationship with Katie Holmes backfiring with the public.

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Relationship of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Cruise and Holmes at a Yahoo! press conference in March 2006

The relationship of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, commonly known by the portmanteaus "TomKat" or "Tom-Kat", is the relationship of American celebrity supercouple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, whose relationship attracts worldwide media attention. The pairing have been together since early 2005 and have a daughter named Suri (born 2006). While the term TomKat is uniquely a part of American culture, people across the world have expectantly followed the couple's actions.

On April 18, 2005, the twice-divorced Cruise called Holmes for a private meeting at his office. It was reported that they had an instant connection during the four-hour meeting. Dates on his motorcycle and private jet followed. On April 27, 2005, Cruise and Holmes, dubbed "TomKat" by the media, made their first public appearance together in Rome for the David di Donatello Awards. A month later, Cruise infamously jumped on Oprah Winfrey's couch during her show and declared his love for Holmes. Then, he went backstage to pull out a shocked Holmes to the stage. Barely two months into dating, the couple became engaged after Cruise proposed on June 17, 2005, over a candlelit dinner at the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, presenting Holmes with a five-carat diamond ring. The size of the diamond has been much commented on in the media.

On October 6, 2005, Cruise and Holmes announced they were expecting a child, showing to the world Holmes's very visible pregnancy. On April 18, 2006, the couple had a daughter, Suri. On November 18, 2006, exactly seven months after Suri's birth, the couple married in Bracciano, Italy.

The anticipation for Cruise and Holmes's scheduled wedding in Italy attracted "non-stop reports" of the upcoming event. Critics suggested reasons for the popularity of the relationship, which had become to be viewed as a phenomenon. They suggested fans, the media itself, and the couple as contributing factors to the public fascination with the pairing.

The media expressed that excessive attention given to the couple gives the public "what it wants". They cite that ratings and viewer response are consistently higher for stories involving the couple, and that if the public wants more coverage of the couple, the media responds. One university professor, on the other hand, stated that the obsession with Cruise and Holmes's relationship is generated primarily by the media itself. The professor said that the people do not care as much as the media wants them to care and that reporting on the couple has reached the point of "overkill".

Critics feel that the mania surrounding couple is attributed to Cruise and Holmes themselves. Those in show business claim that Cruise uses his relationship with Holmes to promote his projects, referring to appearances with her when War of the Worlds and Mission: Impossible III debuted. There was Cruise's couch-jumping episode on The Oprah Winfrey Show, his public battle with Brooke Shields over her use of anti-depressants to treat postpartum depression, and controversy over his connection to Scientology. Gossip magazine editors claim that the couple is too "mysterious" and "bizarre" for people to not be interested. However, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Holmes confessed that she was bothered by the press coverage.

Residents in Holmes's Toledo, Ohio hometown welcomed the couple's popularity, and have said that the couple's relationship gives Toledo significant attention. Other Toledo residents were or are against the marriage and have voiced their opinions, especially on the Internet. Websites such as Free Katie are solely devoted to this. Reporters from Holmes's hometown have wished that they would "just go away", but also stress that they know it will not happen.

The daughter Cruise and Holmes, Suri, commonly called "TomKitten" by the media, was born April 18, 2006, at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California.

Before Holmes gave birth to her daughter, media outlets questioned the authenticity of Holmes's pregnancy. After she was born, Suri's birth certificate was found to contain some incorrect information. Then, when there were no images of the infant for a few months, people questioned the actual existence of a child, which continued until the first images of Suri were published in Vanity Fair.

In 2007, Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography was published. It included claims that the author was told by Sea Org members that Suri is not the biological daughter of Cruise, but, in fact, a product of impregnating Holmes with the preserved sperm of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. This has been denied by Cruise.

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United Artists

United Artists opening and closing logo, 1975-1981.

United Artists Entertainment LLC (UA) is an American film studio. The current United Artists was formed in November 2006 under a partnership between producer/actor Tom Cruise and his production partner, Paula Wagner, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., an MGM company. Paula Wagner departed the studio on August 14, 2008.

Cruise owns a small stake in the studio, a subsidiary of MGM Studios. MGM is owned by MGM Holdings, Inc., which was formed by a consortium including Sony, Comcast, TPG Capital, L.P. and Providence Equity Partners.

UA was incorporated as a joint venture on February 5, 1919 by four of the leading figures in early Hollywood: Mary Pickford, Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith. Each held a 20% stake, with the remaining 20% held by lawyer William Gibbs McAdoo. The idea for the venture originated with Fairbanks, Chaplin, Pickford, and cowboy star William S. Hart a year earlier as they were traveling around the U.S. selling Liberty bonds to help the World War I effort. Already veterans of Hollywood, the four film stars began to talk of forming their own company to better control their own work as well as their futures. They were spurred on by established Hollywood producers and distributors making moves to tighten their control on star salaries and creative control, a process which would evolve into the rigid studio system. With the addition of Griffith, planning began, but Hart bowed out even before things had formalized. When he heard about their scheme, Richard A. Rowland, head of Metro Pictures, is said to have observed, "The inmates are taking over the asylum." The four partners, with advice from McAdoo (son-in-law and former Treasury Secretary of then-President Woodrow Wilson), formed their distribution company, with Hiram Abrams as its first managing director.

The original terms called for Pickford, Fairbanks, Griffith and Chaplin to independently produce five pictures each year. But by the time the company got under way in 1920-1921, feature films were becoming more expensive and more polished, and running times had settled at around ninety minutes (or eight reels). It was believed that no one, no matter how popular, could produce and star in five quality feature films a year. By 1924, by which time Griffith had dropped out, the company was facing a crisis: either bring in others to help support a costly distribution system or concede defeat. The veteran producer Joseph Schenck was hired as president. Not only had he been producing pictures for a decade, but he brought along commitments for films starring his wife, Norma Talmadge, his sister-in-law, Constance Talmadge, and his brother-in-law, Buster Keaton. Contracts were signed with a letter of independent producers, especially Samuel Goldwyn, Alexander Korda and Howard Hughes. Schenck also formed a separate partnership with Pickford and Chaplin to buy and build theaters under the United Artists name.

Still, even with a broadening of the company, UA struggled. The coming of sound ended the careers of Pickford and Fairbanks. Chaplin, rich enough to do what he pleased, worked only occasionally. Schenck resigned in 1933 to organize a new company with Darryl F. Zanuck, Twentieth Century Pictures, which soon provided four pictures a year to UA's schedule. He was replaced as president by sales manager Al Lichtman who himself resigned after only a few months. Pickford produced a few films, and at various times Goldwyn, Korda, Walt Disney, Walter Wanger, and David O. Selznick were made "producing partners" (i.e., sharing in the profits), but ownership still rested with the founders. As the years passed and the dynamics of the business changed, these "producing partners" drifted away, Goldwyn and Disney to RKO, Wanger to Universal Pictures, Selznick to retirement. By the late 1940s, United Artists had virtually ceased to exist as either a producer or distributor.

The Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers was founded in 1941 by Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Orson Welles, Samuel Goldwyn, David O. Selznick, Alexander Korda, and Walter Wanger - many of the same people who were members of United Artists. Later members included William Cagney, Sol Lesser, and Hal Roach.

The Society aimed to preserve the rights of independent producers in an industry overwhelmingly controlled by the studio system.

SIMPP fought to end monopolistic practices by the seven major film studios - MGM, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, RKO, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. - that controlled the production, distribution, and exhibition of films.

In 1942, the SIMPP filed an antitrust suit against Paramount's United Detroit Theatres. The complaint accused Paramount of conspiracy to control first-run and subsequent-run theaters in Detroit. It was the first antitrust suit brought by producers against exhibitors alleging monopoly and restraint of trade.

In 1948, the United States Supreme Court Paramount Decision ordered the Hollywood movie studios to sell their theater chains and to eliminate certain anti-competitive practices. This effectively brought an end to the studio system.

By 1958, many of the reasons for creating the SIMPP had been corrected and SIMPP closed its offices.

In 1951, two lawyers-turned-producers Arthur Krim and Robert Benjamin approached Pickford and Chaplin with a wild idea: let them take over United Artists for five years. If, at the end of those five years, UA was profitable, they would be given an option to buy the company. Since UA was barely alive, Pickford saw nothing to lose and agreed. Chaplin was against the deal, but changed his mind in late 1952 when the US government revoked his re-entry visa while he was in London for the UK premiere of Limelight. He sold his remaining shares of UA several years later.

In taking over UA, Krim and Benjamin created the first studio without an actual "studio". Primarily acting as bankers, they offered money to independent producers. UA leased space at the Pickford/Fairbanks Studio, but did not own a studio lot as such. Thus UA did not have the overhead, the maintenance or the expensive production staff which ran up costs at other studios. Among their first clients were Sam Spiegel and John Huston, whose "Horizon Productions" gave UA one major hit, The African Queen (1951) and one slightly less successful one, Moulin Rouge (1952), based on the life of Toulouse-Lautrec. Others followed, among them Stanley Kramer, Otto Preminger, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, and a number of actors, newly freed from studio contracts and anxious to produce or direct their own films. UA production-head Arnold Picker could do no wrong in selecting the properties which the company would back. With UA's new success, Pickford saw a chance to exit gracefully, though she still held out for top dollar, walking away with $1.5 million in 1955. That same year, UA won its first Best Picture Oscar, for the film Marty. It starred Ernest Borgnine, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance.

UA went public the following year, and as the other mainstream studios fell into decline, UA prospered, adding relationships with the Mirisch brothers, Billy Wilder, Joseph E. Levine and others. In 1961, United Artists released West Side Story, an adaptation of the Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim stage musical, which won a record ten Academy Awards (including Best Picture). In 1963 United Artists released Stanley Kramer's epic comedy It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. In 1964, UA introduced U.S. film audiences to The Beatles by releasing producer Walter Shenson's A Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965). (The group had already made wildly successful television appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.) At the same time it backed two expatriate Americans in Britain, who had acquired screen rights to Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. For $1 million, UA backed Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli's Dr. No (which was a sensation in 1962) and served as the launching point for the James Bond series. That franchise has outlived UA's life as a major studio, still running forty years later. Other successful projects backed in this period included Blake Edwards's Pink Panther series, which began in 1964, and Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns, which made a star of Clint Eastwood.

In 1958 United Artists Records was created, initially to release soundtracks from UA films, but it later diversified into many types of music. In 1968, UA Records was merged with Liberty Records, along with their many subsidiary labels such as Imperial Records and Dolton Records. In 1972 the group was consolidated into one entity as United Artists Records. It was later taken over by EMI.

In 1959, United Artists offered its first ever television series, The Troubleshooters (after failing to sell several pilots in the previous few years), an adventure/drama on NBC, starring Keenan Wynn and Bob Mathias, as employees of an international construction company.In 1960, United Artists purchased Ziv Television Programs and, using the idea of financial backing for television, UA's television division was responsible for shows like CBS's Gilligan's Island and three ABC programs, The Fugitive with David Janssen, Outer Limits, a science fiction series, and The Patty Duke Show with Patty Duke and William Schallert. The television unit also had begun to build up a substantial — and profitable — rental library, having purchased Associated Artists Productions, owners of Warner Bros. pre-1950 features, shorts and cartoons, as well as Popeye cartoons, purchased from Paramount Pictures a few years earlier. (See note below at '"Film Archives"' for more on this).

In 1964, the French subsidiary Les Productions Artistes Associés released its first production That Man From Rio. On the basis of its fantastic string of film and television hits in the 1960s, the company was an attractive property, and in 1967 Krim and Benjamin sold control of UA to the San Francisco-based insurance giant, Transamerica Corp.

That year, UA released what would turn out to be another Best Picture Oscar winner, In the Heat of the Night, starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, and a nominee for Best Picture, The Graduate, which UA distributed overseas while Embassy Pictures distributed in North America.

For a time the flow of successful pictures continued, including the 1971 screen version of Fiddler on the Roof. New talent was encouraged, including Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Sylvester Stallone, Saul Zaentz, Miloš Forman, and Brian De Palma. In 1973 UA took over the sales and distribution of MGM's films (ironically, MGM would soon be distributing UA's films in the future).

However, Transamerica was not pleased with UA's frequent releases of films rated X by the Motion Picture Association of America, such as Last Tango in Paris; in these instances, Transamerica demanded the byline "A Transamerica Company" be removed from the UA logo on the prints and in all advertising. At one point, the parent company expressed their desire to phase out the UA name and replace it with Transamerica Films. Finally in 1978, following a dispute over administrative expenses, UA's top executives, including chairman Krim and president Benjamin, walked out. Within days they announced the formation of Orion Pictures, with backing from Warner.

The new leadership of UA agreed to back Michael Cimino's pet project, a big-budget western, Heaven's Gate. After a tumultuous two-year gestation, the picture turned out to be a colossal box office bomb, angering critics and alienating audiences. The publicity about runaway costs far overshadowed any appeal the film might have. United Artists recorded a major loss for the year; to Transamerica, it was only a blip on a multi-billion dollar balance sheet, but it soured the relationship forever. To the greater Hollywood community, it also signaled that this was a company that could no longer produce bankable pictures.

MGM, led by Kirk Kerkorian, made an unsolicited bid for UA by estimating that MGM would pay UA $350 Million in distribution fees if the expiring distribution deal was renewed and used the estimated amount to offer the $350 Million to Transamerica to buy United Artists. Transamerica said yes and MGM absorbed UA. Film editors replaced UA logos on the head of most prints to remove any reference to former owner Transamerica (like the "T" striped-logo and the "A Transamerica Company" byline, though in some cases, both were retained). Very rarely are existing film prints altered to reflect change in corporate governance or legal requirements.

The Heaven's Gate fiasco may have saved the United Artists brand as UA's final head before the sale, Steven Bach, wrote in his book Final Cut that there was talk about renaming United Artists to Transamerica Pictures.

Despite the financial ruin, UA's blockbuster franchise films (Pink Panther, James Bond, and eventually Rocky) were emphasized more heavily than the financially unsuccessful films.

In 1975, Harry Saltzman sold UA his 50% stake in Danjaq, LLC, the holding-company for the Bond films. UA was to remain a silent partner, putting up money, while Albert Broccoli took producer credit.

Danjaq and UA have remained the public co-copyright holders for the Bond series ever since, and the 2006 Casino Royale release shares the copyright with Columbia Pictures, part of the consortium that now owns MGM/UA.

In 1981, United Artists Classics, a speciality film division for UA, was created by Michael Barker, Tom Bernard, and Marcie Bloom, who would later go on to form Orion Classics and Sony Pictures Classics. The label mostly released foreign and independent films such as Ticket to Heaven and The Grey Fox, and occasional first-run reissues from the UA library, such as director's cuts of Joan Micklin Silver's Head Over Heels (1979 film) and Ivan Passer's Cutter's Way. When the three founders left to form Orion Classics, the label was briefly rechristened MGM/UA Classics before it was finally shut down in the late 1980s.

In 1990 came the sale to Italian promoter Giancarlo Parretti. Having bought MGM/UA by overstating his own financial condition, within a year Parretti had defaulted to his primary bank, Crédit Lyonnais, which foreclosed on the studio in 1992, also resulting in the sale or closure of MGM/UA's string of US theaters. In an effort to make MGM/UA saleable, Credit Lyonnais ramped up production, reviving two long-running franchises, the Pink Panther and James Bond films. MGM was sold in 1997, again to Kirk Kerkorian.

During the 2000s, UA was repositioned as a specialty studio. MGM had just acquired The Samuel Goldwyn Company, which had been a leading distributor of arthouse films, and after that name was retired, UA assumed SGC's purpose. The distributorship, branding, and copyrights for UA's main franchises (James Bond, Pink Panther, and Rocky) were moved to MGM, although select MGM releases (notably the James Bond franchise co-held with Danjaq, LLC and the Amityville Horror remake) carry a United Artists copyright.

UA (re-christened United Artists Films) distributed a few "art-house" films, among them Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine; 2002's Nicholas Nickleby and the winner of that year's Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, No Man's Land; and 2004's Hotel Rwanda, a co-production of UA and Lions Gate Films.

On April 8, 2005, a partnership of Comcast, Sony and several merchant banks bought United Artists and its parent, MGM, for a total of $4.8 billion.

In March 2006, MGM announced that it would return once again as a distribution company domestically. Striking distribution deals with The Weinstein Company, Lakeshore Entertainment, Bauer Martinez and other independent studios, MGM distributes films from these companies. MGM continues funding and co-producing projects that are released in conjunction with Sony's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group on a limited basis and is producing "tentpoles" for their own distribution company MGM Distribution.

Sony has a minority stake in MGM but otherwise MGM and UA will operate under Harry Sloan's (CEO of MGM and a minority owner himself) direction.

On November 2, 2006, MGM announced that actor Tom Cruise and his long-time production partner Paula Wagner were resurrecting UA (this announcement came after the duo were released from a fourteen-year production relationship at Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures earlier that year). Cruise, Wagner and MGM Studios created United Artists Entertainment LLC and, today, the producer/actor and his partner own a small stake in the studio, with the approval by MGM's consortium of owners.

The deal gave them control over production and development of films. Wagner was named CEO of United Artists, which was allotted an annual slate of four films with different budget ranges, while Cruise serves as a producer for the revamped studio as well as serving as the occasional star.

UA became the first motion picture studio granted a WGA waiver in January 2008 during the Writers' Strike.

On August 14, 2008, MGM announced Paula Wagner will leave United Artists to produce films independently. Her output as head of UA was two films, the flop Lions for Lambs and Valkyrie, a story of Nazi Germany starring Tom Cruise that was originally troubled by reshoots and release delays but according to Box Office Mojo went on to generate $83 Million in the U.S., and $99.3 million other countries as of March 8, 2009 for a total of $182.3 million worldwide. Wagner's departure led to speculation that an overhaul at United Artists was imminent.

The value of film libraries has increased exponentially in recent years, even as ownership gets more fractured. Few studios had the foresight or ability to maintain control over every picture they produced or released.

United Artists, through various strategic purchases, built up a substantial film library. Included were rights not only to some of UA's own releases, but to the pre-1950 Warner Bros. and RKO libraries. Having passed through numerous hands, this catalog now belongs to Time Warner's Turner Entertainment unit. However, one post-1950 WB film, the 1956 version of Moby Dick, is still owned by UA.

Since UA produced very few of the pictures it released, ownership of UA's output often rests with the individual or company producing. Some UA films of the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s fell into the public domain, to be picked up by Republic Pictures (today part of Paramount Pictures) or studios like Castle Hill Productions (with distribution by Warner Bros. Entertainment). A small fraction of UA's silent output is now owned by Kino International.

A good number of United Artists' films from the 1920s through the 1940s, in the public domain, are seldom shown. Of the hundreds of films distributed by UA over eighty-plus years, those which it owns outright today are its own productions from 1951 forward, plus a few pre-1951 films such as 1933's Hallelujah, I'm a Bum and Howard Hawks' Red River (1948).

Films made by UA in co-production with other companies rest with several studios in certain territories or under contractual agreements.

As of now, several United Artists films, such as the James Bond pictures and Man of La Mancha , have been released on DVD and/or shown on television with only an MGM Leo the Lion logo, and not a United Artists one. This sometimes leads to some confusion over which studio originally released the films.

United Artists owned and operated two television stations between the years of 1968 and 1977. Legal ID's for the company would typically say "United Artists Broadcasting: an entertainment service of Transamerica Corporation," along with the Transamerica "T" logo. The company was permittee of another station KUAB (TV) in the Houston, TX area. The station signed on in a time when KVVV-TV was and KHTV (now KIAH) were beginning.

United Artists also owned one radio station, WWSH in Philadelphia, from 1970 to 1977.

UAB/Transamerica left the broadcasting business in 1977 by selling WUAB to the Gaylord Broadcasting Company and WWSH to Cox Communications.

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Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography

Tom Cruise An Unauthorized Biography by Andrew Morton.jpg

Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography is a biography of actor Tom Cruise, written by Andrew Morton. The book was published in the United States in hardcover format on January 15, 2008 by St. Martin's Press, with a first printing of 400,000 copies, and an audio format on five CDs by Macmillan Audio.

Cruise's lawyers and the Church of Scientology have released several statements which question the truthfulness of assertions made by Morton in the book. In an official 15-page statement released to the press, the Church called the book "a bigoted, defamatory assault replete with lies." The book was not published in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand due to strict libel laws in those countries.

The book hit number one on Amazon.com's list of top sellers three days after it was published, and was number one on The New York Times Best Sellers list one week after publication. The book received critical reviews in The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly, and a positive review in The Wall Street Journal. A review in the Chicago Tribune called the book "fascinating", but also questioned its veracity.

Morton asserts in the book that Cruise is the Church of Scientology's "second-in-command in all but name". When asked by the Associated Press what evidence he had about this, Morton stated "Scientology would be a shadow of what it is today if it had not been for the involvement of Tom Cruise. He has been the poster boy. More than that, he has been recruiting fellow celebrities - people like Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith. ... More than that, he's been the front man for the organization".

Nicole Kidman and Cruise were invited to Gold Base in 1990 after spending time together on the set of Days Of Thunder. Morton writes "When Tom confided to the Scientology leader about the couple's fantasy of running through a meadow of wild flowers together, his friend apparently decided to make his dream come true." Morton writes that around the same time Cruise was beginning his relationship with Mimi Rogers, Miscavige made an announcement at a Church of Scientology rally "The most important recruit ever is in the process of being secured. His arrival will change the face of Scientology forever." The recruitment of David Beckham to Scientology was described as Cruise's next mission for the Church, but Victoria Beckham refused to join when it was learned that her second son would have to stop taking medication for epilepsy.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Morton stated that he asked Cruise for an interview, but was turned down: "I asked Tom for an interview and he declined. The Church of Scientology has got a very controversial reputation and that is what he is linked with. An unauthorized biography would essentially be a compromise … I want to investigate it without any kind of fetters." Morton consulted with private investigator and former adult film actor Paul Baressi, who investigated Cruise's private life. He also consulted with Los Angeles, California attorney Graham Berry. Baressi stated he had begun investigating Cruise after his marriage to Nicole Kidman ended, but after six years of research on the actor had not been able to find any evidence that Cruise was gay. Baressi gave all of his research to Morton, and later told InTouch magazine: "Everything I have found, and everything I know, points to Tom being heterosexual." Morton also traveled to Toronto, Canada to interview people who knew Cruise when he was filming Cocktail. Several Paramount Pictures employees were interviewed about Cruise's termination by Sumner Redstone. The book had initially been planned for a February 2006 publication date.

Prior to the book's publication, legal counsel for Cruise made statements to the press regarding the author's research. When an attorney for Tom Cruise read reports that Morton had obtained letters asserting Cruise had a homosexual affair while filming Eyes Wide Shut, he commented on a November 2005 letter he had written to Morton: "I wrote a letter to Mr. Morton back in November and said he obviously was entitled to write the book but 'make sure you check your facts'. If he tries to use my letter to create the impression that Mr. Cruise did have a gay affair, we will certainly sue … because the story is false. Mr. Cruise is not gay." In an interview with InTouch Weekly, Cruise's attorney Bertram Fields commented on the book: "To the extent that Mr. Morton's book sticks to the truth, it can't 'ruin' or 'harm' Tom … My guess is this book will be dull except for those parts that are lies." Cruise's publicist also stated that the book will consist of fabricated lies.

Eliot Abelson said that the Church had attempted to contact Morton and give him a tour, but "received nothing." Abelson stated "This was a pre-ordained mission to trash Tom Cruise. He didn't ask to speak to David Miscavige and wrote some horrible things about him which are totally untrue. No one has ever made complaints of that kind," and denied that Cruise was second-in-command of the Church of Scientology "He is a parishioner, a well respected parishioner, but that's what he is. The only person who runs the Church and makes policy decisions is David Miscavige." "It's not too late for St. Martin's Press to pull this book," Abelson said.

In January 2008 the niece of David Miscavige, the head of the Church of Scientology, released a statement on the internet in favor of Morton's book. Jenna Miscavige Hill, whose father Ron Miscavige is the older brother of David Miscavige, criticized Pouw's statement about the book. Hill stated: "I am absolutely shocked at how vehemently you insist upon not only denying the truths that have been stated about the church in that biography, but then take it a step further and tell outright lies." Hill's statement was part of an open letter to a Church of Scientology official which described how her family had been broken apart by Scientology policies. In response, Karin Pouw told the Agence France-Presse "The church stands by its statement of 14 January. The church does not respond to newsgroup postings." Hill told the Agence France-Presse that she had released the statement in a public forum to draw attention to the Scientology practice of disconnection.

The book hit number nine on Amazon.com's list of top sellers the day it was published in the United States, and was at the number one spot three days after publication. Lycos reported that Internet searches for "Tom Cruise" jumped 333 percent the week the book was published. The book hit number one on The New York Times Best Sellers list one week after it was published, and as of February 3, 2008 it was still at the top of the list for hardback non-fiction. As of January 25, 2008, the book was number 16 on Amazon.com's top sellers. On January 31, 2008 the book was listed at number three in non-fiction on a list of "Publisher's Weekly Best-Sellers" by the Associated Press, and reached the fifth-highest new entry on Nielsen BookScan's survey in February 2008.

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Magnolia (film)

Magnolia poster.jpg

Magnolia is a 1999 American drama film, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, and stars John C. Reilly, Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, and Jeremy Blackman. It interweaves nine separate yet connected storylines, about the interactions among several people during one day in the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles, California. The film was distributed by New Line Cinema.

Magnolia was a critical success in 1999. Of the ensemble cast, Tom Cruise was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards, and won the award in the same category at the Golden Globes of 2000.

Forthright police officer Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly) is called to investigate a disturbance at the home of a woman named Marcie (Cleo King). He finds a body in her closet, but when the other police officers arrive they pay little attention to his report on the situation. A young boy, Dixon (Emmanuel Johnson) offers to help Jim with the case by performing a self-penned rap. Dixon claims that in the words of the rap he told Jim who committed the murder, but, thinking the boy is just joking, Jim ignores him.

Former TV producer Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) is in the final stages of cancer, and is being cared for by a nurse, Phil Parma (Philip Seymour Hoffman), while his young trophy wife Linda (Julianne Moore) is out collecting prescriptions for a strong dose of liquid morphine that will end his pain. Earl mentions to Phil that he has an estranged son and asks him to find him, saying his name is Frank Mackey. Phil, aware that Mackey is the author of the "Seduce And Destroy" self-help system for men, orders in some pornographic magazines, hoping to find a phone number for his self-help system in there. Frank Mackey (Tom Cruise) is giving a seminar to an audience of men, instructing them how they can manipulate women into "sleeping" with them. As his seminar breaks for lunch, a reporter named Gwenovier (April Grace) takes him aside to interview him. He is initially very confident in his interview, but tells Gwenovier that his father is dead.

Claudia Wilson (Melora Walters) is visited by her father, gameshow host Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall), who tries to inform her that he is dying of cancer. However, Claudia is enraged at the sight of him and orders him to leave her apartment. Back at the TV studio, Jimmy informs his wife Rose (Melinda Dillon) by phone of how Claudia "went crazy." One of the young contestants of Jimmy's gameshow, "What Do Kids Know?", Stanley Spector (Jeremy Blackman) arrives at the studio with his neglectful father Rick (Michael Bowen). Whereas the other child contestants are only interested in the fame that comes with being on TV, Stanley is genuinely erudite, but his father encourages him only because he wants the prize money. A former champion of the show in the 1960s, Donnie Smith (William H. Macy) is now working in a department store and is fired by his boss, Solomon Solomon (Alfred Molina) for not making enough sales. Donnie protests, saying he needs money for his "corrective oral surgery," though Solomon tells him he has no need for braces.

Jim (the police officer) is now called to the home of Claudia, after her row with Jimmy earlier has been reported as a disturbance. Jim is immediately attracted to her, and tries to prolong the visit, though he is somewhat awkward at making any advances, and she too is awkward, partly as she is trying to hide any evidence of her drug habit from him, and partly because she is so unused to anyone being so kind to her. Eventually, Jim is called away on another task but before he goes he asks Claudia if she will go on a date with him and she agrees. Meanwhile, Linda collects the various drugs at a pharmacy, but the clerk makes joking remarks insinuating they are for recreational use. Infuriated, Linda chastises him for making judgments on her life when he doesn't know her. She then goes to see Earl's lawyer, Alan Kligman (Michael Murphy), begging him to change Earl's will. She states that she originally married Earl for his money, but has grown to love him, and wants none of his money to avoid the guilt of what she's done. Alan says there's nothing he can do.

The game show finally gets underway, and Stanley's keen intelligence provides the kids with a good start on the adults. However, in a commercial break the producers refuse to let Stanley go to the bathroom. When the game continues he wets himself and stops answering questions out of embarrassment, causing the adults to begin to win. Jimmy feels progressively more ill as the show continues, until he collapses on stage. He orders his friend Burt Ramsey (Ricky Jay) to go on with the show, and in the break, Rick is furious with Stanley for not answering the questions. As the game goes on, Jimmy asks Stanley to come out for the final round, but Stanley refuses, and now asks Jimmy why he should be made to feel like a "doll" just because he is intelligent. Jimmy replies that he doesn't know and the show goes to the credits.

Meanwhile, Gwenovier becomes more curious about Frank's past. Her information shows that Frank's mother died in 1980 and that he had to care for her as she became ill because his father, Earl, wasn't around. Frank becomes deeply insulted at her attempts to probe into his past and refuses to talk for the remainder of the interview. Phil, having called the help-line for Seduce and Destroy, has finally gotten through to Frank's personal assistant. She gives the message to Frank, who, after the interview, is very unhinged. However, Linda gets back and hangs up Phil's phone call, telling him not to get involved in family business, for which Phil apologizes. Meanwhile Donnie heads to a bar that he frequents, mainly so he can watch Brad the bartender (Craig Kvinsland), with whom he is infatuated. Brad has braces, and it is because of this that Donnie is trying to get some himself in hopes that it will somehow make Brad love him. Seeing Brad talking to a barfly, Thurston Howell (Henry Gibson), Donnie talks to Howell and asks him if he has love in his heart. Howell is unsympathetic to Donnie, mocking his stupidity, and Donnie becomes morose remembering how his parents took the money he won on the game show. Driven to desperation, Donnie confesses his love for Brad and storms out.

Jim, driving away from Claudia's, is excited about the date he has arranged. He investigates a jaywalker who seems suspicious. However, as he investigates, a mysterious assailant fires a gun at him, causing him to drop his. The gun is stolen by Dixon, leaving Jim feeling stupid at having lost his gun and terrified of being the laughingstock of his colleagues. Meanwhile, Linda apologizes to Phil for shouting at him and tells him to apologize to Earl for her, then goes out to the car and takes all of the medication she got for Earl, attempting suicide. Lapsing back into consciousness, Earl tells Phil the story of his first love, Lily, whom he loved but cheated on. He tells him of his regret for all the stupid things he did in his life.

Jim and Claudia go on their date, and early on they promise not to lie to each other, to be frank and honest so they can get through the troubles that harm other relationships. Jim confesses to having lost his gun and that he hasn't been on a date since he was married. Claudia seems terrified of committing to conversation with him, claiming that he will hate her when he finds out more about her. She claims she has problems, but Jim assures her that he doesn't care. He kisses her, but she runs off, leaving Jim bewildered.

Jimmy is taken home to Rose, who looks after him, but he then tries to talk to her seriously, saying he has cheated on her and he wanted to be honest. Rose asks him why Claudia doesn't talk to him, and Jimmy replies that she thinks he molested her, but he can't remember if he did or not. Appalled, Rose leaves the house and Jimmy decides to kill himself, taking a gun from the kitchen.

Donnie decides to get revenge on Solomon by using copies of his keys to break in and steal money from the safe. He is successful in this, but breaks his key in the lock as he heads back to the car. After driving away, he suddenly realizes the foolishness of what he is doing, he goes back to replace the money but finds he cannot get back in having broken the key. Instead, he begins to climb a utility pole to try to get in through the roof. Dixon, meanwhile, finds Linda near death in her car. After taking some money from her purse he calls an ambulance and again recites his rap as the paramedics take her away. Having thought over the phone call earlier, Frank arrives at Earl's house and is shown through to Earl by Phil. Watching Earl die, Frank is consumed by sadness and hatred, not knowing what to say to the man who ruined his life. Jim drives morosely back home after his failed date and sees Donnie climbing the utility pole and goes to stop him.

Just then, frogs suddenly start to rain from the sky. As Rose drives through the rain of frogs, she crashes her car outside Claudia's apartment and runs in fear to a reconciliation with her daughter. As Jimmy is about to kill himself, the frogs fall through his skylight and cause him instead to shoot the TV, meaning his house begins to catch fire - whether he survives is never made clear. The frogs cause Donnie to fall from the pole, smashing his teeth, eliminating his need for braces. The rain of frogs abruptly ceases with a final incongruous object - Jim's gun falls from the sky and lands right in front of him. Jim helps Donnie replace the money and to forgive himself - Jim chooses to act in forgiveness, rather than in duty, which would have compelled him to arrest Donnie. Having been given the liquid morphine by Phil, Earl dies as Frank watches (the two of them perhaps finally reconciled). Frank then goes to the hospital to see Linda, who is making a gradual recovery. Stanley goes to his father and tells him that he needs to be nicer to him. Rick curtly responds by telling Stanley to go to bed. The film ends as, the next morning, Jim goes to visit Claudia. He talks to her, telling her that he wants to be honest with her as she told him to, and he wants to make things work out between them. She breaks the fourth wall and smiles at the camera.

The movie ends with the narrator urging the audience to think again about the coincidences mentioned in the intro, implying that the unlikely connections between the characters in the movie are similar.

At the end of the movie, a rare but precedented event occurs: frogs rain from the sky. While the plague of frogs is unexpected, there have been real-life reports of frogs being sucked into waterspouts and then raining to the ground miles inland.

The movie has an underlying theme of unexplained events, taken from the 1920s and 1930s works of American intellectual Charles Fort. Fortean author Loren Coleman has written a chapter about this motion picture, entitled "The Teleporting Animals and Magnolia," in one of his recent books. The film has many hidden Fortean themes. The fall of frogs is merely one of them. One of Charles Fort's books is visible on the table in the library and there is an end credit thanking Charles Fort.

Another explanation could be the scene in which a boy named Dixon tells Jim that "when the sunshine don't work, the good Lord bring the rain in." A Bible verse frequently referenced and alluded to in the film, Exodus 8:2 (NIV), states that "If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs" (In Exodus, the frogs are described as simply crawling out of the "waters of Egypt"). Many of the film's other strange occurrences, such as quotes that seem odd or out of place, can be similarly explained (see the link to Cigarettes and Red Vines' Magnolia page below for more information).

There are various references to Exodus 8:2: for instance, early in the film, the chance of rain is recorded to be 82 percent. At the very beginning, the man being hanged bears a sign reading "82". The plane that kills Darion has "82" painted on the side, and at the poker table, the man asks for a two and gets an 8. In the "Jumping scene" of Sydney Barringer, to the left of Sydney along the roof border, "82" appears to be spelled out in some type of wire formation on the wall, his parents were arguing in room #682, and the forensics meeting is at 8:20. The phone number for "Seduce and Destroy" has 82 in it. At the beginning scene of What Do Kids Know, a fan is seen carrying a sign reading "Exodus 8:2" before an usher (Anderson in a cameo performance) removes the sign; one of the most concrete references towards that verse in the Bible. During the rain of frogs, a sign reading "Exodus 8:2" can be seen on the side of the street. Also, Jim's voice mailbox says that his automated answering machine number is "82." Anderson did not originally include these allusions in his screenplay; after Henry Gibson brought the passage to his attention, he worked it into the script.

Paul Thomas Anderson started to get ideas for Magnolia during the long editing period of Boogie Nights (1997). As he got closer to finishing the film, he started writing down material for his new project After the critical and financial success of Boogie Nights, New Line Cinema, who backed that film, told Anderson that he could do whatever he wanted and the filmmaker realized that, "I was in a position I will never ever be in again". Michael De Luca, then Head of Production at New Line, made the deal for Magnolia, granting Anderson final cut without hearing an idea for the film. Originally, Anderson had wanted to make a film that was "intimate and small-scale", something that he could shoot in 30 days. He had the title of "Magnolia" in his head before he wrote the script. As he started writing, the script "kept blossoming" and he realized that there were many actors he wanted to write for and then decided to put "an epic spin on topics that don't necessarily get the epic treatment". He wanted to "make the epic, the all-time great San Fernando Valley movie". Anderson started with lists of images, words and ideas that "start resolving themselves into sequences and shots and dialogue", actors, and music. The first image he had for the film was the smiling face of actress Melora Walters. The next image that came to him was of Philip Baker Hall as her father. Anderson imagined Hall walked up the steps of Walters' apartment and had an intense confrontation with her. Anderson also did research on the magnolia tree and discovered a concept that eating the tree's bark helped cure cancer.

By the time he started writing the script he was listening to Aimee Mann's music. Anderson used her two solo albums and some demo tracks from a new album that Mann was working on as a basis and inspiration for the film. In particular, Mann's song "Deathly", on her album Bachelor No. 2, features the lyric "Now that I've met you/Would you object to/Never seeing each other again", which was used as line of dialogue in the film. In addition, "Deathly" also inspired the character of Claudia.

The character of Jim Kurring originated in the summer of 1998 when actor John C. Reilly grew a mustache out of interest and started putting together an unintelligent cop character. He and Anderson did a few parodies of COPS with the director chasing Reilly around the streets with a video camera. Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh made an appearance in one of these videos. Some of Kurring's dialogue came from these sessions. This time around, Reilly wanted to do something different and told Anderson that he was "always cast as these heavies or these semi-retarded child men. Can't you give me something I can relate to, like falling in love with a girl?" Anderson also wanted to make Reilly a romantic lead because it was something different that the actor had not done before.

For Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anderson wanted him to play a "really simple, uncomplicated, caring character". The actor described his character as someone who "really takes pride in the fact that every day he's dealing with life and death circumstances". With Julianne Moore in mind, the director wrote a role for her to play a crazed character using many pharmaceuticals. According to the actress, "Linda doesn't know who she is or what she's feeling and can only try to explain it in the most vulgar terms possible". For William H. Macy, Anderson felt that the actor was scared of big, emotional parts and wrote for him, "a big tearful, emotional part".

While convincing Philip Baker Hall to do the film by explaining the significance of the rain of frogs, the actor told him a story about when he was in the mountains of Italy and got caught in bad weather - a mix of rain, snow and tiny frogs. Hall had to pull off the road until the storm passed. According to an interview, Hall said that he based the character of Jimmy Gator on real-life TV personalities such as Bob Barker, Alistair Beck, and Arthur Godfrey. The rain of frogs was inspired by the works of Charles Fort and Anderson claims that he was unaware that it was also a reference in The Bible when he first wrote the sequence. At the time the filmmaker came across the notion of a rain of frogs, he was "going through a weird, personal time", and he started to understand "why people turn to religion in times of trouble, and maybe my form of finding religion was reading about rains of frogs and realizing that makes sense to me somehow".

Tom Cruise was a fan of Anderson's previous film, Boogie Nights, and contacted the filmmaker while he was working on Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Anderson met with Cruise on the set of Kubrick's film and the actor told him to keep him in mind for his next film. After Anderson finished the script, he sent Cruise a copy and the next day, the actor called him. Cruise was interested but nervous about the role. They met with Cruise along with De Luca who helped convince the actor to do the film. Frank T.J. Mackey, the character that Cruise would play in the film, was based in part on an audio-recording done in an engineering class taught by a friend that was given to Anderson. It consisted of two men, "talking all this trash" about women and quoting a man named Ross Jeffries, who was teaching a new version of the Eric Weber course, "How to Pick Up Women," but utilizing hypnotism and subliminal language techniques. Anderson transcribed the tape and did a reading with Reilly and Chris Penn. The director then incorporated this dialogue and his research on Jeffries and other self-help gurus into Mackey and his sex seminar. Anderson felt that Cruise was drawn to the role because he had just finished making Eyes Wide Shut, playing a repressed character, and was able to then play a character that was "outlandish and bigger-than-life".

Anderson wrote the role of Earl Partridge for Jason Robards but he was initially unable to do it because of a serious staph infection. Anderson approached George C. Scott, who turned him down. Eventually, Robards was able to do the film. Robards has said of his character, "It was sort of prophetic that I be asked to play a guy going out in life. It was just so right for me to do this and bring what I know to it". According to Hall, much of the material with Partridge was based on Anderson watching his father die of cancer.

Several of the cast from Boogie Nights return again in Magnolia. As well as the major characters played by Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffmann, William H Macy, Julianne Moore and John C Reilly there are cameo performances from Alfred Molina as 'Quiz Kid' Donnie Smith's employer Solomon Solomon, Luis Guzmán as Luis one of the adult contestants on 'What Do Kids Know?' and Ricky Jay as the TV executive Burt Ramsey who also doubles as narrator.

Before Anderson became a filmmaker, one of the jobs he had was as an assistant for a television game show, Quiz Kid Challenge, an experience he incorporated into the script for Magnolia. He also claimed in interviews that the film is structured somewhat like "A Day in the Life" by The Beatles, and "it kind of builds up, note by note, then drops or recedes, then builds again". The production designers looked at films with close, tight color palettes, films that were warm and analyzed why they did that and then applied it to Magnolia. They also wanted to evoke the colors of the magnolia flower: greens, browns and off-whites. For the section of the prologue that is set in 1911, Anderson used a hand-cranked pathe camera that would have been used at the time. Some of the actors were nervous about singing the lyrics to Mann's "Wise Up" in the film's climactic scene and so Anderson had Moore do it first and she set the pace and everyone else followed.

Anderson and New Line reportedly had intense arguments about how to market Magnolia. He felt that the studio did not do a decent enough job on Boogie Nights and did not like the studio's poster or trailer for Magnolia. Anderson ended up designing his own poster, cut together a trailer himself, wrote the liner notes for the soundtrack album, and pushed to avoid hyping Cruise's presence in the film in favor of the ensemble cast. Even though Anderson ultimately got his way, he realized that he had to "learn to fight without being a jerk. I was a bit of a baby. At the first moment of conflict, I behaved in a slightly adolescent knee-jerk way. I just screamed." In a Rolling Stone article, published around the time of Magnolia's release, Anderson said that he walked out of Fight Club after the first half hour and criticized its director, David Fincher, for making jokes about cancer, saying that he should get it as punishment. Afterwards, Anderson wrote Fincher a note apologizing and explained that he had lost his sense of humor about cancer.

Anderson met Aimee Mann in 1996 when he asked her husband, Michael Penn, to write songs for his film, Hard Eight. Mann had songs on soundtracks before but never "utilized in such an integral way" she said in an interview. She gave Anderson rough mixes of songs and found that they both wrote about the same kinds of characters. He encouraged her to write songs for the film by sending her a copy of the script.

Two songs were written expressly for the film: "You Do," which was based on a character later cut from the film, and "Save Me," which closes the film; the latter was nominated in the 2000 Academy Awards and Golden Globes and in the 2001 Grammys. Most of the remaining seven Mann songs were demos and works in progress; "Wise Up," which is at the center of a sequence in which all of the characters sing the song, was originally written for the 1996 film Jerry Maguire. At the time Mann's record label had refused to release her songs on an album. The song that plays at the opening of the film is "One" by Harry Nilsson.

Anderson produced a music video for "Save Me" that featured Mann in the background of what appeared to be scenes from the film, singing to characters. Unlike in many such music videos, there was no digital manipulation involved; the video was shot at the end of filming days with Mann and actors who were asked to stay in place. The video, which contains exactly seven cuts, won the Best Editing award at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards and was nominated for Best Music Video from a Film.

The soundtrack album, released in December 1999 on Reprise Records, features the Mann songs, as well as a section of Jon Brion's score and tracks by Supertramp and Gabrielle that were used in the film. Reprise released a full score album in March 2000.

Magnolia initially opened in a limited release on December 17, 1999 in seven theaters grossing USD $193,604. The film was given a wide release on January 7, 2000 in 1,034 theaters grossing $5.7 million on its opening weekend. It ended up making $22.4 million in North America and $25.9 million in the rest of the world with a worldwide tally of $48.4 million, above its budget of $37 million.

While Magnolia struggled at the box office, it was well-received critically. It currently has an 85 percent rating (with an 82 percent "Cream of the Crop" designation) on Rotten Tomatoes. USA Today gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four and called it "the most imperfect of the year's best movies". In the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert praised the film, saying: "Magnolia is the kind of film I instinctively respond to. Leave logic at the door. Do not expect subdued taste and restraint, but instead a kind of operatic ecstasy". Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B+" rating, praising Cruise's performance: "It's with Cruise as Frank T.J. Mackey, a slick televangelist of penis power, that the filmmaker scores his biggest success, as the actor exorcises the uptight fastidiousness of Eyes Wide Shut . . . Like John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, this cautiously packaged movie star is liberated by risky business". The Independent said that the film was "limitless. And yet some things do feel incomplete, brushed-upon, tangential. Magnolia does not have the last word on anything. But is superb".

In her review for the New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote, "But when that group sing-along arrives, Magnolia begins to self-destruct spectacularly. It's astonishing to see a film begin this brilliantly only to torpedo itself in its final hour," but went on to say that the film "was saved from its worst, most reductive ideas by the intimacy of the performances and the deeply felt distress signals given off by the cast". Philip French, in his review for The Observer, wrote, "But is the joyless universe he (Anderson) presents any more convincing than the Pollyanna optimism of traditional sitcoms? These lives are somehow too stunted and pathetic to achieve the level of tragedy".

Roger Ebert wrote a Great Movies essay on the film which was published in November, 2008.

Magnolia was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards in 2000, Cruise for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture and Mann for Best Original Song for "Save Me". Cruise won. The film was also nominated for three Academy Awards, including Cruise for Best Supporting Actor, Anderson for Best Original Screenplay, and Aimee Mann's "Save Me" for Best Original Song. Magnolia did not win in any categories it was nominated for. Anderson's film won the Golden Bear at the 50th Berlin International Film Festival.

The Toronto Film Critics Association Awards named Magnolia the Best Film of 1999 and gave Anderson Best Director honors. His screenplay also tied with the ones for Being John Malkovich and American Beauty as the best of the year. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore won Supporting Actor and Actress awards from the National Board of Review.

Many essays and other writings have been composed on the themes in Magnolia. Some themes that are often associated with the film include regret, loneliness, the cost of failed relationships as a result of fathers that have failed their children, not all events and their results can be controlled, but an individual can control his or her own actions, mistakes of the past cannot simply be erased (We might be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us), exploitation, and the limits of forgiveness. Some themes also include familial violence. The opening murder of the boy by his mother, and the implied sexual assault perpetrated on Claudia by Jimmy are among the most obvious.

The Magnolia DVD includes a lengthy behind-the-scenes documentary, That Moment. It uses a fly-on-the-wall approach to cover nearly every aspect of production, from production management and scheduling to music direction to special effects. The behind-the-scenes documentary is an in-depth look into Anderson's motivation and directing style. Pre-production included a screening of the film Network, as well as Ordinary People. Several scenes showed Anderson at odds with the child actors and labor laws that restrict their work time. The character of Dixon has further scenes filmed but, from Anderson's reactions, appear not to be working. These scenes were cut completely and have never been shown on DVD.

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Source : Wikipedia