This Date in History: This week marks two important anniversaries in our nation’s history: the start of the American Civil War on April 12, 1861 — and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln four years later on April 16, 1865.
The Civil War has been the subject of Hollywood dramas many times over the years. One of our favorite Civil War movies is the 2003 romantic drama, Cold Mountain. As the war drags to a bloody, inescapable conclusion, a gravely wounded Confederate soldier is determined to make his way back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina, where the love of his life awaits his return. Starring Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, the powerful love story boasts stunning cinematography and an Oscar-winning supporting performance by Renee Zellweger. The film is based on Charles Frazier’s National Book Award-winning novel by the same title.
You can find both the book and the movie at the library!
The new blockbuster film Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the big winner at the box office this weekend! The film, which stars Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, is the second film in the franchise based on the popular Marvel Comics superhero — although Evans and Johansson also appeared as characters Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff in the 2012 film The Avengers.
Debate over the series finale to the hit show How I Met Your Mother sure lit up the Twitterverse last night! So — did you love it or hate it? Over nine years, fans of the show have listened as architect Ted Mosby (played by Jason Radnor) has relayed the story of how he met his wife (who remained unknown until this season) to his son and daughter. Throughout the years, series regulars Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alyson Hannigan have shined in their supporting roles as Ted’s best friends — all of whom played significant (and often hilarious) roles in Ted’s quest to find a partner.
If you’ve missed out on this popular series — you can find all of the past seasons on DVD at the library!
It’s April Fool’s Day! Celebrate some great tomfoolery by watching The Hoax — a film that tells the true story of one of the biggest media hoaxes of all time. Richard Gere plays Clifford Irving who, in the 1970’s, claimed to have written the only authorized biography of eccentric billionaire recluse Howard Hughes — a claim which set off an absolute feeding frenzy among publishing houses and seasoned journalists. How did he manage to fool so many people?
The 2006 film boasts an outstanding supporting cast, including Alfred Molina, Raul Julia, Marcia Gay Harden, Julie Delpy, and Hope Davis.
March 30th: Happy Birthday to Warren Beatty — who turns 77 today! During his many years in Hollywood, Beatty has distinguished himself as an actor, producer and director, winning an Oscar along the way for his direction of the 1981 film Reds. Early in his career, Beatty was known primarily for his good looks and well-publicized womanizing. He was finally taken seriously as an actor after his notable performance as outlaw Clyde Barrow in Arthur Penn's 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. That film, which also stars Faye Dunaway, is considered a landmark in movie history — a product of the “New Hollywood” era aimed at attracting younger audiences and breaking long-held taboos about the use of sex and violence in films.
You can find this iconic film on both DVD and Blu-ray at the library.
This Date in History — March 27th: On this date in 1973, Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather made Academy Award history when she attended the Oscar ceremony in Marlon Brando’s place, and refused to accept, at his behest, the Best Actor award for his performance in The Godfather. Upon reaching the stage after Brando’s name was called, Littlefeather read a statement prepared by the actor in which he explained that his refusal of the award was made in protest over the manner in which Native Americans were portrayed in film.
Brando’s role in The Godfather is still considered one of his greatest performances. You can find all three of the Godfather films on DVD and Blu-ray at the library.
Chances are you’ve never heard of back-up singer Merry Clayton, but we’ll bet you’ve heard of The Rolling Stones! One of our new favorite films is this year’s Oscar winning documentary — 20 Feet From Stardom — a fascinating look at the talented singers who back-up some of the biggest and best bands in the world. This entertaining film shines a spotlight on the wonderful performers you hear but rarely see.
Check out the trailer above — and then reserve a copy of the DVD at the library!
Holy cow — what just happened?! We think it’s safe to say no one saw that coming!! The CBS drama The Good Wife continues to amaze viewers this season. Now in its fifth year — the critically-acclaimed series just served up one of the most dramatic plot twists in television history! Don’t worry — no spoilers here — but if you haven’t been watching, you’re missing one of the best dramas and best ensemble casts on network television.
Find out what all the buzz is about! Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Christine Baranski lead an exceptional cast. You can find the first four seasons of this smart, sexy legal drama at the library!
This Date in History — March 22nd: On this date in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment, which was meant to provide for the legal equality of the sexes and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, was passed by the U.S. Senate and sent to the States for ratification. Over the next several years, however, the proposed 27th Amendment to the Constitution failed to achieve ratification by the requisite 3/4 of the States, and therefore never became law. Ultimately, it wasn’t until the late 1990’s that new legislation at both the Federal and State levels was passed to protect the legal rights of women.
For a hilarious look at how three women of the era take revenge on their horribly sexist boss, check out the classic 1980 comedy 9 to 5. Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dolly Parton (who also wrote the hit title song) star as the harassed women out to get their boss, played to sleazy perfection by the great Dabney Coleman. The film was later adapted into a hit Broadway musical, featuring additional songs by Dolly Parton.