FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Joseph L. Mankiewicz |||
Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Mankiewicz directed 20 films in a 26-year period, and was very successful at every kind of film, from Shakespeare to western, drama to musical, epics to two-character pictures, and regardless of the genre, he was known as a witty dialogist, a master in the use of flashback and a talented actors' director.

The 1950 Oscar for Best Picture and Screenplay brought Mankiewicz wide recognition as a writer and a director, with his sardonic look at show business glamour and the empty lives behind it. This well orchestrated cast of brilliant and catty character actors is built around veteran actress Bette Davis and Anne Baxter as her understudy desperate for stardom.

One of Mankiewicz’ more intimate films, this highly regarded and major artistic achievement is a spirited romantic comedy set in England of the 1880’s about a widow who moves into a haunted seashore house and resists the attempts of a sea captain specter to scare her away. This is a pleasing and poignant romance that is equally satisfying as a good old ghost story.

Mankiewicz wrote and directed this witty dissection of matrimony that has three women review the ups and downs of their marriages (with all its romance, fears and foibles) after receiving a letter telling them that one of their husbands has been unfaithful. Once again Mankiewicz deftly utilizes the skills of a well-chosen ensemble, which includes a young Kirk Douglas at his dreamiest.

Recommended by CarrieSpecht

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New character in "Battlestar Galactica" season 4 premiere

By CassyHavens

May 6th, 2007

"Battlestar Galactica" returns in season four with a two-part episode entitled "Razor," and with it, comes a new female character.

New character in

For this episode only, we are introduced to Kendra Taggert, a Major from the now-destroyed Pegasus, who lost it when the war with the Cylons started, and is somewhat unhinged now. Her mother was a Quorum delegate who had to call in a few favors to get her aboard the Pegasus, with the expectation Kendra would command the fleet eventually. Another chick in her late 20’s, Kendra should fit in with the other female leads on “Galactica” now, not to mention the fact that she could relate to Lee Adama, given their similar circumstances.

The last season of “Galactica” drew some criticism from fans and critics alike for its unbalanced portrayal of its normally strong female characters. President Roslin’s cancer has relapsed and she had little to do during Gaius Baltar’s trial; Starbuck went more nuts and died only to return in the final moments of the season; and Roslin’s assistant, Tory, who has had nothing to do after rigging the presidential election during season 2, was revealed as a Cylon. With this new addition, are we being set up for more of the same? The Amazonian Cylon women also seemed shortchanged last season. I wouldn’t mind a little more asskicking.

We can also expect a few flashback scenes with a 20-something Admiral Adama, back when he was a rookie fighter pilot.

The two-part season premiere starts filming next week.

The Scorecard
Executive Producers: David Eick, Ronald D. Moore, Harvey Frand
Writer: Michael Taylor
Director: Felix Alcala