Hell Boy it’s Ron Perlman

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Today is Ron Perlman’s birthday. He is 64 but is still cracking heads and smoking cigars and making mediocre movies very watchable. A classically trained actor, has appeared in countless stage plays, feature films and television productions. He was born in Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York. With a career spanning over three decades, Perlman has worked alongside such diverse actors as Marlon Brando, Sean Connery, Dominique Pinon, Brad Dourif, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Jude Law, Christina Ricci, Federico Luppi, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Wincott, and Elijah Wood to name a few.

While he has never been a star, Perlman has always had a large fan-base. He started out strong as Amoukar, one of the tribesmen in Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Academy Award-winning film Quest for Fire (1981).

Perlman teamed up with Annaud again, this time as a hunchback named Salvatore in The Name of the Rose (1986).

His first real breakthrough came later when he landed the role of Vincent, the lion-man, opposite Linda Hamilton in the cult-series Beauty and the Beast (1987). His work in this role earned him not only a Golden Globe Award but a underground fan following. Sadly the series got cancelled in its third season shortly after Hamilton’s character’s death.

After that he spent time doing supporting work on television and independent films such as Guillermo del Toro’s debut Cronos (1993)

(where a lifelong friendship and collaboration between the director and Perlman would blossom) as Angel and his first lead role as One in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s surreal The City of Lost Children (1995).

His first real big role in a mainstream film came when Jeunet wanted him for the brutish Johner in his first Hollywood outing Alien: Resurrection (1997).

Perlman has also used his distinctive voice to his advantage, appearing in many animated films/series, commercials and he is a video game fan favorite because of his work on such games as the Fallout: A Post-Nuclear Role-Playing Game (1997) series.

It was not until much later he got worldwide fame when his good friend Guillermo del Toro helped him land the title role in the big-budget comic book movie Hellboy (2004).

Del Toro fought the studio for 4 years because they wanted a more secure name, but he stood his ground and in 2004, after almost 25 years in and out of obscurity, Perlman became and household name and a sought out actor. Perlman has had one of the most off-beat careers in film, playing everything from a prehistoric ape-man to an aging transsexual and will always be a rarity in Hollywood.

Other notable roles include the cunning Norman Arbuthnot in The Last Supper (1995)

sniper expert Koulikov in Enemy at the Gates (2001), vampire leader Reinhardt in Blade II (2002), his reprisal of Hellboy in Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) and biker chief Clarence Morrow in the popular series Sons of Anarchy (2008).

He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Opal, and their two children, Blake and Brandon.


The Man Without A Face

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Today is Georges Franju’s birth date ( he is a figure of immense importance in the history of French cinema, not primarily for his films (exceptional though many of these are) but for being the co-founder, with Henri Langlois, of the Cinematheque Française in 1937–France’s most famous and important film archive.

He worked primarily as a film archivist until 1949, when he made his solo directorial debut with the shocking yet lyrical slaughterhouse documentary Le sang des bêtes / Blood of the Beasts (1949) More documentary shorts followed before his feature debut, The Keepers (1959) in 1958.
which established his uniquely poetic and visually striking style (his films were generally characterized by unforgettable images that owed a great deal to early cinema in general and German Expressionism in particular). His reputation was strengthened with the bizarre plastic surgery horror film Eyes Without a Face (1960); Judex (1963), a tribute to French film serial pioneer Louis Feuillade in 1963; and the Jean Cocteau adaptation Thomas the Impostor (1965), though in the last 15 years of his life he was sadly neglected.

Michael Rooker from Henry to Zombies

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Michael Rooker was born on April 6th 1955 in Jasper, Alabama.

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He caught the acting bug while attending college, and began appearing in local stage productions. On first breaking into film, his intensity and “don’t-mess-with-me” good looks were highlighted to chilling effect as the title Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), filmed in 1986 but, due to its controversial nature, not released until 1990. Film critic Mark Kermode went to see the BBFC on behalf of Electric Pictures to argue against cuts in the film (and won) and did a presentation to the sales force selling this film on video.  Michael had made the Pilot episode of the superb Crime Story in 1986. This episode features David Caruso (CSI Miami ), Ted Levine (Silence of the Lambs), as well as Dennis Farina and Tony Dennison.

Crime Story

Opening Scene

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
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 Eight Men Out (1988)

From Henry to Arnold “Chick” Gandil in a cracking film based on the true story of the Chicago White Sox throwing the World Series  of baseball with John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, Charlie Sheen. John Mahoney, David Strathairn, directed by John Sayles.

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Mississippi Burning (1988)

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L.A.Takedown (1989) Well Heat in another life. This was supposed to be a pilot episode for a series, that never happened so six years later he remade L A Takedown as Heat. Check them both out again.

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Michael Mann on LA Takedown to Heat

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Sea Of Love (1989)

So Michael didn’t get to act with Al Pacino in Heat as it was recast but he did in Sea of Love with the exquisite Ellen Barkin.

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Days of Thunder (1990)

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JFK (1991)


The Dark Half (1993)


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Cliffhanger (1993)

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Tombstone (1998)

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Browns Requiem (1998)

A noir thriller from James Elroy’s novel.

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The Bone Collector (1999)

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He starred with Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie and Ed O’Neil (before  Modern Family) in this crime thriller.


The Walking Dead (2010 – )

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Merle in action. Enjoy.

Michael Rooker Interview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh1UdxFE3Hw (audio)

Michael Rooker Interview

Happy Birthday Michael Rooker.


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The Leningrad Cowboy

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Aki Kaurismäki, born on 4th April 1957, is 57 today. Happy Birthday Aki.  He was born in Orimattila, Finland.

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He did a wide variety of jobs including postman, dish-washer and film critic, before forming a production and distribution company, Villealfa (in homage to  Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville (1965) with his older brother Mika Kaurismaki ,  also a film-maker. Both Aki and Mika are prolific film-makers, and together have been responsible for one-fifth of the total output of the Finnish film industry since the early 1980s, though Aki’s work has found more favour abroad. His films are very short (he says a film should never run longer than 90 minutes, and many of his films are nearer 70), eccentric parodies of various genres (road movies, film noir, rock musicals), populated by lugubrious hard-drinking Finns and set to eclectic soundtracks, typically based around ’50s rock’n’roll. His films are sparse, interesting and full of great characters. Here are a selection of my favourites.

Hamlet Goes Business (1987)

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Ariel (1988)

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Ariel poster


Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989)

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The Leningrad Cowboys

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Film Clip

Rock n Roll will never die.

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The Match Factory Girl (1990)

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Film Clip

I Hired A Contract Killer (1990)

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Joe Strummer – Burning Lights

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Those Were The Days (Short) – 1992

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Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses (1994)

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Rivers of Babylon

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The Total Balalaika Show (1994)

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Happy Together


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Drifting Clouds (1996)

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The Man Without A Past (2002)

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Lights in the Dusk (2006)

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Le Havre (2011)

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So there you have it, a small celebration of Aki’s work on his birthday. If you’ve never seen an Aki Kaurismaki film, do yourself a favour, buy the Artificial Eye Box set and watch Leningrad Cowboys Go America as a start. You’ll love it.

Leningrad Box Set


Marvellous Marlon

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Today, Marlon Brando would have been 90. Sadly he died 10 years ago. Born on April 3rd 1924 in Omaha, Nebraska, widely considered the greatest actor of all time. So here’s my pick of his films. Enjoy.

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A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

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Viva Zapata (1952)

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The Wild One (1953)


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On The Waterfront (1954)

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I Could Have Been A Contender

Marlon accepts his Oscar

Guys and Dolls (1955)

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 One Eyed Jacks (1961)

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Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)

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Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967)

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The Nightcomers (1971)

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The Godfather (1972)

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Interview post Oscar Awards


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James Caan on Marlon Brando


Last Tango in Paris (1972)

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The Missouri Breaks (1976)

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Apocalypse Now (1979)

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Dennis Hopper discusses Marlon Brando

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Colonel Kurtz

A Dry White Season (1989)

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The Freshman (1990)

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The Score (2001)

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Marlon Brando Documentary

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The Ladykiller in the White Suit

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Today is the birthdate of Alec Guiness de Cuffe, Sir Alec Guiness to us. Sadly he died in 2000 of liver cancer but today he would have been 100 years old.

He made 62 films as an actor, Wrote one screenplay (The Horse’s Mouth) in 1958 which was Oscar nominated for Best Screenplay endured the adulation of Star Wars fans but will always remain a permanent beacon of talent from the Ealing Studios days. Here are my top ten Alec Guiness films. Enjoy.

Kind Hearts and Coronets 1949. An amazing performance as he plays eight D’Ascoynes (The Duke, The Banker, The Parson, The General, The Admiral, Young Ascoyne, Young Henry and Lady Agatha) all of whom are bumped off by Dennis Price in his appempt to become the Duke of Chalfont. A superb cast, with the incomparable Joan Greenwood, Valerie Hobson, Arthur Lowe (as the Tit Bits reporter).

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The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

The greatest comedy caper movie of all time? Alongside The Italian Job I suspect, but what a wonderful film. Written by the great T.E.B. Clarke (Hue and Cry, Passport to Pimlico, The Blue Lamp, The Titfield Thunderbolt) who was born in Watford! A great cast with Stanley Holloway, Sid James and Alfie Bass  as the other members of The Mob. Cameos from Sydney Tafler, Richard Wattis, John Gregson and early film roles for Audrey Hepburn and Robert Sahw!

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“Dutch” Holland beats himself up.


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Hello world meet Audrey Hepburn


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The Man in the White Suit (1951)

What if they re-made this as The Man in the Denim Suit? Don’t even dream about it, please. Alec in fine fettle as genius boffin who creates a material that doesn’t wear out, doesn’t stain, the whole world will benefit, except the mill owners will go out of business and they want his forula to destroy it. The lovely Joan Greenwood in fabulous simpering sexy form as his love interest.

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The Ladykillers (1955)

A superb central performance from Alec Guiness with great support from Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Danny Green and Katie Johnson as Mrs Lopsided. All round genius. I’m not even going to mention the Coen Bros re-hash. Stupid idea boys, you’re good but you’re not Alexander Mackendrick good. Leave well enough alone.

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You Can’t Send the Money Back

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Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Just two years later and David Lean’s masterful Bridge on the River Kwai Won 7 Oscars including Best Director, Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Music and of course, Best Actor in a Leading role for Alec Guiness as Colonel Nicholson.

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Madness, Madness

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Alec wins an Oscar (but Jean Simmons picks it up)

Guiness made six films with the great David Lean, Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965)and A Passage to India (1984).

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Peter O’Toole, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif, Jose Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, what an epic.

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Then came Doctor Zhivago (1965) with Omar Sharif again, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, Tom Courtney, Ralph Richardson. Rita Tushingham, Klaus Kinski.

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Lara’s Theme / Somewhere My Love

The Quiller memorandum (1966)


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Star Wars (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and return of the Jedi (1983) opened Alec up to a whole new audience, one he was not always happy with.

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Parkinson talks Star Wars with Alec Guiness

One last outing with David Lean in A Passage to India (1984) once again, an amazing cast, Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Art Malik, Peggy Ashcroft, James Fox, Nigel Havers, Richard Wilson, Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth.

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A great performance but he does look surprisingly like Alf Garnett in this film. With a turban on though.

One of the all time greats, his legacy will live on forever.

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Alec wins an Honorary Oscar


He was also lauded for his performances as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Smiley’s People.

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Talking Pictures on Alec Guiness

Alec Guiness on Parkinson

Christopher Walken

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Today is Christopher Walken’s birthday. He was born Ronald Walken on 31st March 1943 in Queens, New York City. He is 71 today. But, he has made so many memorable cameos, guest appearances and turned mediocre films into very watchable fare, where to start? From Mousehunt to  Annie Hall, from Waynes World 2 to Biloxi Blues, pick your own favourite Walken moments. From dancing on the ceiling for Spike Jonze genius video for Fat Boy Slim’s Weapon of Choice to scooping an Oscar in The Deerhunter.  From Bond villain to cartoon baddie in Antz. Here are my top 10 picks of Walken films I love. Enjoy the memories.

The Deer Hunter (1978)

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Deerhunter 6 Deerhunter 7 Deerhunter 8 Walken in The Deer Hunter (1978). Deerhunter 10 Deerhunter 11 Deerhunter 12 Deerhunter 13  Deerhunter 15 Deerhunter 16


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Walken wins the Oscar


Dogs of War (1981)

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A View to a Kill (1985)

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Max Zorin vs James Bond



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King of New York (1990)

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True Romance (1993)

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The Sicilian Scene

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Pulp Fiction (1994)

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Captain Koons – The watch story.


Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead (1995)

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The Man With The Plan

Touch (1997)

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Antz (1998)

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Man On Fire (2004)

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Cooking With Christopher Walken

Warm Up with Walken

Watch Mojo Top Ten Walken Performances

They picked some weird films, Communion, The Prophecy, Mousehunt, Nick of Time, The Dead Zone, True Romance, Catch Me If You Can, King of New York, Pulp Fiction, The Deer Hunter.

Dancing on the Ceiling


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