Articles by Brian Trenchard-Smith

Semper Fi – R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey acted in three of my films and was a good friend. Sad to lose him so young. He was so strong, energetic, resolute, in command, I thought he would live forever. He worked hard to build a career after his riveting performance in Full Metal Jacket. As an untrained actor, he could…

ALICE THROUGH THE MULTIVERSE: RE-TOOLING ONE’S WORK

My first novel “ALICE THROUGH THE MULTIVERSE”  had a lengthy evolution. I am a film maker by trade, 42 crimes against Cinema, and counting. For me writing is an integral part of directing.   Here’s an account of this particular creative journey. I often have wild dreams. One such, in 2003, was the genesis of…

VERTIGO: A PERSONAL VIEW

Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece VERTIGO, restored and presented in 70mm, will be shown at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland on July 17, 18, and 19. I’ll be there, because this film has a special place in my heart. In 1959 we lived in the small English village of Odiham in Hampshire. 3000 people, 7 pubs, one…

Bondarchuk’s Waterloo

The 18th of June marks the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. The defeat of Napoleon by the Duke of Wellington reshaped nineteenth century Europe. The movie about Waterloo is a 1970 Russian-Italian co-production, directed by Sergei Bondarchuk and produced by the late, great Dino De Laurentiis. Dino persuaded the Russian government studio Mosfilm…

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE…WHAT?

Another classic Los Angeles cinema bites the dust. Located at 5112 Wilshire Boulevard just west of Highland, this was the Four Star Theatre in its heyday. This is how it looked today, soon to vanish without trace. Built by United Artists with 900 seats, and playing first run United Artists films, it opened in the…

Before Sharknado there was Leprechaun…

All the Warwick Davis LEPRECHAUN movies are coming out in a new Blu Ray combo pack. The commentary tracks offer some memories of my two contributions to the guilty pleasure franchise. Here are a few more. I grew up enjoying the absurdist humor of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus TV series. So why not Absurdist…

By The Sword

Warning; this post is long… if you watch all the links, you’ll have an hour of entertainment. When I was 10, my school screened a 16 mm print of the The Mark of Zorro – 1940 version, starring the dashing Tyrone Power. The clash of steel, the dynamic yet graceful athleticism of the hero as he righted…