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By Los Angeles Times | March 27, 1992
HOLLYWOOD -- "If you cast wrong, it's not an easy day," said director Barry Levinson, who with Oliver Stone and Barbra Streisand addressed a recent Directors Guild of America seminar. During the course of the 2 1/2 -hour discussion, Mr. Levinson shared some of the agonizing that went into casting Oscar nominees for "Bugsy."Mr. Levinson said that he was "amazed" at the number of people who turned down various roles in "Bugsy." The part of gangster Meyer Lansky, in fact -- for which Ben Kingsley received a best supporting actor Oscar nomination -- wasn't filled until a week before the shoot.
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By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2013
The "Diner" guys, Tracy Turnblad and the moody teens of Hamilton will be basking in the New York spotlight this month, thanks to a Museum of Modern Art exhibition focusing on the works of Baltimore filmmakers Barry Levinson, John Waters and Matt Porterfield. "Our Town: Baltimore," running through Dec. 24 at the venerable Manhattan art showcase, opens Thursday with Levinson's 1982 "Diner," an ode to '50s-era Colts fanaticism and the shift from the easy answers of adolescence to the complicated relationships of adulthood.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2013
What a great weekend: HBO sent a screener for "Phil Spector," a made-for-TV movie about the legendary music producer, starring Al Pacino and Helen Mirren. Barry Levinson is the executive producer, with David Mamet as writer and director. That enough talent for you? David Mamet, whose "Glengarry Glen Ross" is made of the same fine angry American genius as Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," and he's writing and directing a Sunday-night made-for-television movie on HBO. Talk to me some more about how TV dumbs down the culture.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | June 27, 2013
The storied Milford Mill Swim Club in Baltimore County sold at auction Thursday for $775,000 to a religious group, said Dan Billig, managing member of A. J. Billig & Co. Auctioneers. He declined to disclose the name of the buyer. Other bidders included two or three developers and another nonprofit, with bidding starting at $500,000, Billig said. The 19-acre property, which includes indoor and outdoor pools plus a spring-fed quarry lake, had been used a location for "The Buddy Deane Show" and movies by directors John Waters and Barry Levinson.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2012
Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana, the executive producers of "Homicide: Life on the Street," return to prime time tonight on BBC America with "Copper," starring Tom Weston-Jones. (That's Weston-Jones sitting with them in the picture above, taken in California where they were promoting the series.) Set in 1864 in New York, the series is cop drama meets frontier saga, and I like it. I loved "Homicide," "Oz" and Levinson's last TV effort, "You Don't Know Jack," a docu-drama look at Dr. Jack Kevorkian, starring Al Pacino, for HBO. But I hated "The Jury," a series the duo did for Fox. They've had some failed projects since "Homicide" and "Oz," but I think "Copper" could be a winner.
FEATURES
By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,Sun Staff Writer | May 5, 1995
The work of Baltimore's favorite film son, Barry Levinson, is on display twice tonight: on cable with one of his not-so-successful recent releases and in an episode of "Homicide." Also look for cameo guest spots here and there.* "Inside Maryland" (7:30 p.m.-8 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- Jeff Salkin and Sloane Brown are the hosts of this new weekly magazine show that covers Maryland news issues and personalities. The show will repeat at 11 a.m. Sundays. MPT.* "VR.5" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45)
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | September 30, 1990
NEW YORK - On the phone, he's very Hollywood.You can hear it all, the impatience, that tinge of arrogance in the voice of a man who's used to being listened to, the way he cuts to the chase as he hones in on what he wants."
FEATURES
By Judy Gerstel and Judy Gerstel,Knight-Ridder | January 2, 1992
A BARRY Levinson Film."That's what appears above the title of "Bugsy," right after the names of its stars, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening."A Barry Levinson Film" is an official label.But unofficially, too, because it is darkly comic, high class and commercial, "Bugsy" is A Barry Levinson Film.And while any more blathering by or about Beatty or Bening is about as interesting as wadded Christmas wrapping paper right now, Barry Levinson remains as intriguing as an unopened present."Diner," his first movie made in 1982, was clearly A Barry Levinson Film, about a bunch of guys growing up in Baltimore.
FEATURES
By Lou Cedrone | December 20, 1991
Hollywood is into a gangster-film cycle. We seem to be getting one a week, and none, until now, has been that good.The newest, "Bugsy," is very good. It is the story of Bugsy Siegel, the gangster who had Hollywood cowering back in the '40s. He had somehow managed to control the craft unions and was blackmailing the studios until someone shot him dead at his girlfriend's home.Baltimore's Barry Levinson, who directed the film, doesn't concern himself with the studio business. All he is interested in is Bugsy's beginnings in New York, then his move to the West Coast where he picked up with Virginia Hill, a Hollywood starlet.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | December 18, 1992
Barry Levinson has put together such a brilliant career while almost reinventing the grown-up movie with his passionate and intelligent body of work that it gives me no pleasure and even a bit of pain to report my melancholy distaste for "Toys."This is 38 cents worth of ideas supported by $38 million worth of production. It's not without charm, but its willed infantilism and leaden whimsy grows wearying far before its two-hour running time expires. Moreover, watching Robin Williams and Joan Cusack try to out-baby-goo-goo each other is a spectator sport about as edifying as cricket.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2013
Executive producer Barry Levinson urges viewers to think of his HBO film "Phil Spector" as a two-person play - not a docudrama about the first murder trial of the rock producer. "It really is a two-person piece," Levinson said in a telephone interview last week. "And if you're looking for some kind of docudrama, which we are more familiar with on television, this isn't it. " The two persons, Academy Award-winners Al Pacino as Spector and Helen Mirren as his defense attorney, Linda Kenney Baden, can fill a screen like few others.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2013
What a great weekend: HBO sent a screener for "Phil Spector," a made-for-TV movie about the legendary music producer, starring Al Pacino and Helen Mirren. Barry Levinson is the executive producer, with David Mamet as writer and director. That enough talent for you? David Mamet, whose "Glengarry Glen Ross" is made of the same fine angry American genius as Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," and he's writing and directing a Sunday-night made-for-television movie on HBO. Talk to me some more about how TV dumbs down the culture.
NEWS
By Barry Levinson | February 6, 2013
There is joy in Charm City. The Baltimore Ravens are the champions of the football world. Tuesday, upon the Ravens' return from the Super Bowl in New Orleans, hundreds of thousands of fans lined the streets of Baltimore and filled the football stadium. The city was euphoric and the fan base ecstatic. For the second time in this new century, Baltimore's Ravens are the best team in football. And yet, if not for one man, none of this would have been possible. If not for one man, there would be no Ravens football team.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and The Baltimore Sun | January 8, 2013
When it comes to bringing his "Diner" to Broadway, Barry Levinson is feeling a serious sense of deja vu. As detailed in a recent New York Times article, "Diner" is among a number of shows that have had their projected openings pushed back, thanks to a combination of economic skittishness and (at least in the case of "Diner") scheduling problems stemming from the tumult caused by Superstorm Sandy. While the show's producers had hoped for an April opening, fall 2013 is appearing more likely.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | November 2, 2012
It's hard to figure which primal fear Barry Levinson doesn't tap into with "The Bay," a horror-thriller in which, it turns out, the problems in the Chesapeake go much deeper than a declining oyster harvest and too much shoreline development. Of course, there's fear of the unknown, a staple of horror stories since caveman days. But in Levinson's skilled hands, "The Bay" also evokes the fear of science run amok, of nature unbridled (not to mention ticked off), of government censorship, of disease, of unstoppable forces, of darkness, of technology unchecked.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | October 29, 2012
Three decades and more than 25 films into his directing career, and Barry Levinson is still mining his hometown for movie ideas. But his latest film, a horror-mystery about a murderous parasite let loose in the Chesapeake Bay, is about as far removed from the genial atmosphere of his first as two movies could be. If "Diner" made audiences yearn for the bygone days of the neighborhood greasy spoon, "The Bay" - set in the fictional bayside town of...
ENTERTAINMENT
By STEPHEN HUNTER and STEPHEN HUNTER,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 5, 1990
'Avalon'Starring Armin Mueller-Stahl and Aidan Quinn.Directed by Barry Levinson.Rated PG.Distributed by Tri-Star.*** 1/2 Barry Levinson's "Avalon" is something stunning, particularly for Baltimoreans: It's an "Our Town" that really is about our town.No film has ever celebrated the elegant old Baltimore quite so fervently. Levinson re-creates that lost city as a kind of wonderland, a bursting cornucopia of pleasures and delights, a texture of warmths and embraces. And he makes constant associations between the strength of the city and the strength of the families that lived in it and the strength of the country that they comprised, America, as if the three were linked in a syzygy of values.
FEATURES
By Randi Henderson | September 28, 1990
In the town of Pavolatch, in eastern Russia near Kiev, Leib and Malka Krichinsky watched the 19th century turn into the 20th and wished for a better life for their children than they had endured.Leib and Malka had 12 children. Some died in infancy, although family history is unclear on exactly how many. Much more clear to the Krichinsky clan are the stories of how the family emigrated to the United States and settled in Baltimore.These stories, which have survived through several generations, are now being told to the public in "Avalon," a new movie written and directed by Leib and Malka's great-grandson -- Barry Levinson.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2012
Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana, the executive producers of "Homicide: Life on the Street," return to prime time tonight on BBC America with "Copper," starring Tom Weston-Jones. (That's Weston-Jones sitting with them in the picture above, taken in California where they were promoting the series.) Set in 1864 in New York, the series is cop drama meets frontier saga, and I like it. I loved "Homicide," "Oz" and Levinson's last TV effort, "You Don't Know Jack," a docu-drama look at Dr. Jack Kevorkian, starring Al Pacino, for HBO. But I hated "The Jury," a series the duo did for Fox. They've had some failed projects since "Homicide" and "Oz," but I think "Copper" could be a winner.
FEATURES
By Jill Rosen and The Baltimore Sun | March 23, 2012
News broke the other day that "Diner" the musical would premiere in San Francisco. The show's producers trumpeted the news with much fanfare, going on and on about their excitement to open the Barry Levinson/Sheryl Crow collaboration -- which is all about BALTIMORE -- all the way over there on that whole other coast. As the city stewed, it wasn't long before Baltimore Insider got an email from a Mr. Dale Kaplan. "I do not understand why 'Diner' would not open in Baltimore rather than San Francisco," he wrote.
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