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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Contributing Writer | November 12, 1993
Brian Dennehy is back on TV, which usually is good news, and tonight's appearance is no exception. The nod for the most exceptional offering, however, probably goes to "Picket Fences," which has gotten, if anything, even stronger this season.* "Family Matters" (8-8:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Taking its cue, or at least its concept, from certain movies starring Jerry Lewis and Cary Grant (independently, that is), tonight's "Family Matters" has ultra-nerd Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) drinking a potion that turns him into a --ing young sophisticate.
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By Sid Smith and Sid Smith,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | January 27, 2005
The Exonerated, a made-for-TV movie (9 tonight, Court TV) based on the off-Broadway play, tells the stories behind the headlines about flaws in our criminal justice system. Here are six heartfelt, in-depth autobiographies, conveyed by actors but based on interviews and true stories, telling of individuals falsely convicted, sentenced to death and freed many years later. The outlines of their stories are shocking enough, but Exonerated explores their intimate experiences and conveys the incalculable and irreversible human cost such injustice exacts.
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By Chris Kaltenbach | April 9, 2000
TV harks back to its first Golden Age at 9 p.m. today on WJZ, Channel 13, with a live, black-and-white broadcast -- an adaptation of "Fail Safe," the 1964 Cold War drama about a potential American nuclear strike on Moscow. Sidney Lumet directed the original film in which, thanks to a faulty transmission of orders, U.S. bombers are sent to the Soviet capital -- and make it past the point of no return before horrified military leaders can stop them. The original starred Dan O'Herlihy, Walter Matthau, and Fritz Weaver, with Henry Fonda as the president who must assure Soviet leaders it's all a terrible mistake.
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By Jean Marbella and Jean Marbella,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | March 6, 2004
NEW YORK - Maybe Martha Stewart should have testified in her own defense. Maybe her lawyer should have presented more than one witness. Maybe, as a former stockbroker, Stewart should have known and abided by the rules. And then maybe Chappell Hartridge would have been able to return to his job still on good terms with a certain colleague. "Don't come back to work if you convict her," Hartridge quoted a co-worker as joking to him. Hartridge, 47, was the only member of Stewart's jury who agreed to speak to the news media after yesterday's verdict was announced.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | May 10, 1991
At the beginning of "FX2: The Deadly Art of Illusion" there's an elaborate movie stunt where a crassly phony alien blows up a couple of cop cars and gets half his head blasted away by a shotgun shell.Our hero, former movie effects genius Rollie Tyler, sniffs, "Typical shlock."Perhaps it was. The problem is, I would have rather seen that movie than the one I did see; it looked pretty neat.Even by the lame standards of sequel culture, "FX2" is dreary stuff.The original, in which Bryan Brown played the clever special effects wizard and Brian Dennehy a smart New York cop, was full of dazzling movie tricks, but what made it stand out was the chemistry between the two stars.
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By Stephen Hunter | March 5, 1992
* "The Vanishing" is a brisk French suspense film that recalls the chill of Hitchcock at his nastiest. It follows the cat and mouse game between an amateur kidnapper and the man whose lover he has stolen. Understated, yet profoundly unsettling, the movie is a real gripper. Unrated.* "Gladiator" follows as an evil promoter (Brian Dennehy) seduces teen-age boys into fighting in a bloody, unsanctioned boxing tournament. The two victims are James Marshall of "Twin Peaks" and Cuba Gooding Jr., of "Boyz N the Hood."
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By Lou Cedrone | May 10, 1991
The gimmicks and plot turns in ''FX 2'' are better than the movie itself, but both represent considerable assets. Both help dispel the initial notion that the new film is not that well directed or edited.Bryan Brown stars. He starred in the original film, one that was released in 1986. ''FX'' was a surprise success, hence the sequel, which is just as entertaining as the first. It also repeats some of the plot lines of the first.You might, however, want to be prepared. The ''FX'' movies are not kind to their women.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | March 6, 2001
"The Fighting Fitzgeralds" is an old-fashioned, ethnic, working-class, network sitcom. That means the characters continually shout at each other, address each other with such terms of endearment as "you moron," and regularly slap each other on the back of the head. And network television executives wonder why viewers tune out and critics are pronouncing the sitcom dead. "The Fighting Fitzgeralds" is a program that makes you wonder how anyone in management would approve spending a million dollars to develop something as old, moldering and oozing with stereotypes as this.
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By Jean Marbella and Jean Marbella,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | March 6, 2004
NEW YORK - Maybe Martha Stewart should have testified in her own defense. Maybe her lawyer should have presented more than one witness. Maybe, as a former stockbroker, Stewart should have known and abided by the rules. And then maybe Chappell Hartridge would have been able to return to his job still on good terms with a certain colleague. "Don't come back to work if you convict her," Hartridge quoted a co-worker as joking to him. Hartridge, 47, was the only member of Stewart's jury who agreed to speak to the news media after yesterday's verdict was announced.
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By Susan King and Susan King,Los Angeles Times | February 9, 1992
HOLLYWOOD -- This town went on a feeding frenzy to obtain the movie rights to Chicago lawyer Scott Turow's phenomenal first novel "Presumed Innocent.""It began a sort of Hollywood mania," Mr. Turow recalled. "It was one weekend's madness." And the big-budget film version, which starred Harrison Ford, Raul Julia and Brian Dennehy, subsequently became one of the critical and commercial hits of 1990.But Mr. Turow seems perfectly content that "The Burden of Proof," his best-selling 1990 follow-up to "Presumed," has gone the miniseries route.
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By Lawson Taitte and Lawson Taitte,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | July 8, 2003
NEW YORK - In an interview days before the Tony Awards ceremony last month, Brian Dennehy said he didn't expect to win the best actor nod. He declared that had he voted, it would have been for Eddie Izzard, a fellow nominee, for his work in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. But Dennehy did win. And he even gloated a bit in his acceptance speech, saying to Izzard, "You're the man," adding after a well-timed pause, "I guess." Whether he was poking fun at the British comic for routines performed in a dress, or not-so-subtly rubbing in his victory against the odds, Dennehy was clearly pleased.
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By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,SUN ARTS WRITER | January 17, 2003
Sure, they made mistakes, some more serious than others. Who hasn't? Sunny Jacobs didn't object when her husband, the father of her two children, went to Florida to close a drug deal. Gary Gauger waited until morning to notify the police that his elderly parents were missing. As a teen-ager, Kerry Max Cook landed in jail twice for minor scrapes with the law. But their missteps didn't justify what followed. Jacobs, Gauger and Cook didn't deserve to spend decades on death row, convicted of murders they didn't commit.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | March 6, 2001
"The Fighting Fitzgeralds" is an old-fashioned, ethnic, working-class, network sitcom. That means the characters continually shout at each other, address each other with such terms of endearment as "you moron," and regularly slap each other on the back of the head. And network television executives wonder why viewers tune out and critics are pronouncing the sitcom dead. "The Fighting Fitzgeralds" is a program that makes you wonder how anyone in management would approve spending a million dollars to develop something as old, moldering and oozing with stereotypes as this.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach | April 9, 2000
TV harks back to its first Golden Age at 9 p.m. today on WJZ, Channel 13, with a live, black-and-white broadcast -- an adaptation of "Fail Safe," the 1964 Cold War drama about a potential American nuclear strike on Moscow. Sidney Lumet directed the original film in which, thanks to a faulty transmission of orders, U.S. bombers are sent to the Soviet capital -- and make it past the point of no return before horrified military leaders can stop them. The original starred Dan O'Herlihy, Walter Matthau, and Fritz Weaver, with Henry Fonda as the president who must assure Soviet leaders it's all a terrible mistake.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | January 3, 2000
Director Robert Falls' 50th anniversary production of the Arthur Miller masterpiece, "Death of a Salesman," was the big winner at last season's Tony Awards ceremony, taking top honors for best revival, best actor (Brian Dennehy) and best supporting actress (Elizabeth Franz). The awards were well-deserved. Falls' interpretation cut right to the emotional heart of Miller's depiction of the devastating decline of a middle-aged salesman deprived of the job by which he has defined his existence.
FEATURES
January 29, 1998
Fresh off his tribute at Monday's American Music Awards, Frank Sinatra shows up again on TV tonight, albeit not exactly in the flesh.The hit 1992 miniseries "Sinatra" (8 p.m.-11 p.m., Family Channel) stars Philip Casnoff as "Old Blue Eyes," the ambitious kid from Hoboken, N.J., who is transformed by success into a crude, cold, self-indulgent narcissist whose ego dwarfs his voice. Perhaps because the Sinatra family was involved with the production (the soundtrack includes original Sinatra recordings)
FEATURES
By Sid Smith and Sid Smith,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | January 27, 2005
The Exonerated, a made-for-TV movie (9 tonight, Court TV) based on the off-Broadway play, tells the stories behind the headlines about flaws in our criminal justice system. Here are six heartfelt, in-depth autobiographies, conveyed by actors but based on interviews and true stories, telling of individuals falsely convicted, sentenced to death and freed many years later. The outlines of their stories are shocking enough, but Exonerated explores their intimate experiences and conveys the incalculable and irreversible human cost such injustice exacts.
FEATURES
January 29, 1998
Fresh off his tribute at Monday's American Music Awards, Frank Sinatra shows up again on TV tonight, albeit not exactly in the flesh.The hit 1992 miniseries "Sinatra" (8 p.m.-11 p.m., Family Channel) stars Philip Casnoff as "Old Blue Eyes," the ambitious kid from Hoboken, N.J., who is transformed by success into a crude, cold, self-indulgent narcissist whose ego dwarfs his voice. Perhaps because the Sinatra family was involved with the production (the soundtrack includes original Sinatra recordings)
FEATURES
By Christy Slewinski and Christy Slewinski,New York Daily News | March 8, 1995
For Dana Delany, star of Lifetime's "Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story," the title of the made-for-cable movie was truly apropos.The film, which will premiere tonight at 9, is the true-life tale of America's first birth control advocate, who, in the early 20th century, campaigned for women to have access to then-suppressed birth control information.Sanger, a nurse who treated mainly poor immigrants in lower Manhattan, witnessed the devastating effects numerous pregnancies and self-inflicted abortions had on women.
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | January 3, 1994
You probably would not recognize John Rothman on sight. I mean, assuming you are not an old Park School classmate or next of kin, you probably would not stop, stare, point and say, "Hey, hey, hey! You're John Rothman, the actor!"John Rothman is not an immediately recognizable name throughout Baltimore -- not yet anyway. And though it has appeared on television and in motion pictures, his is not an instantly recognizable face. Brooks Robinson's face -- now that's instantly recognizable.Just the same, Baltimore should be proud to claim John Rothman as a native son, especially this week.
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