The Week Hollywood Died

It's been a bad week for American cinema.  It seems hard to imagine another seven days or so in which so many generations of Hollywood died off, one after the other.  First, Gloria Stuart died - the actress with the incredible career from the James Whale and James Cameron periods.  Then the director Arthur Penn died - he who helped to announce the new wave of American counter-culture with the splatteringly subversive and sexy Bonnie & Clyde, still one of the great films about American violence.  And, the same day, Sally J. Menke, Tarantino's closest collaborator and editor of all his films, starting with Reservoir Dogs, died - closing another period of American cinematic style.

And, then, today, Tony Curtis, Bronx-born legend of bedroom and bedroom farce, the greatest male comedic sex symbol (the greatest female one was Monroe), and the last of his era's titans, died.  His career was really only 15 years, from Houdini in 1953 to The Boston Strangler in 1968, with perhaps a half-dozen great roles, in Trapeze, The Sweet Smell of Success, Some Like It Hot, The Defiant Ones, and Spartacus (plus the first two mentioned).

What a bad week.  Greats, gone.  We have their films.


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