Alec Guinness

Princess Leia in Star Wars - Troopers

It’s hard not to think about Star Wars with all the news and potential spoilers about Episode VII dropping lately. Still, for the purist, the original will remain the greatest of the series, even if there is no high-quality version of the theatrical releases available. With so much Star Wars lately, it only seems appropriate to go back to the beginning and revisit Star Wars before it was ever known as A New Hope. For the DVD release in 2007, a commentary track was added to the film, which has been preserved through the subsequent Blu-ray releases. Recorded separately and cobbled together for relevant points of the film, the commentary includes George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt, and Dennis Muren. While this particular commentary does not offer a modern perspective of the legacy of the prequels or the upcoming films and spin-offs, it does give a look back at the making of a classic.

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These 20, alongside hundreds of others, redefine what it means to be a movie veteran.

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It seems that when it comes to tales of good and evil – we often see anything besides good winning and evil losing as some kind of a cop out. Like… we’d rather see the villain fall to their death or be eaten by hyenas than learn the error of their ways -something that’s more than evident in Disney films, which have featured both killer hyenas and high places. But, you know – when a bad guy ultimately turns good, if done right, it’s way better to watch. More often than not they still usually end up dying horrible, so there’s that too, but at least they die good. There’s probably going to be a lot of spoilers below.

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Typecasting is death in Hollywood. If you keep doing the same kinds of roles over and over A) you’ll go insane and B) people will get sick of your shit. But the sad paradox of Hollywood is that once you’ve established yourself as one kind of actor, you’re basically stuck that way because that’s all people will send you scripts for, turning the whole thing into a spiral of bullshit. It’s extremely difficult to break out of, and it’s ended numerous careers. (Some for the better.) Some actors get fed up with it, and then you get the roles where those actors try to break out of their type (often unsuccessfully) and as time goes by they end up looking like movies from some creepy alternate dimension or something. But what’s also weird is going back through an actor’s early filmography and finding insane gems where they’re going totally against their later-established type. For some more famous examples, just look at Keanu Reeves in the Bill & Ted movies or Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Neither of those guys would even put their cigarette out on those scripts now, and that’s what makes seeing them in those roles hilarious. So now, in a far from comprehensive list, we’re going to look at some of the weirdest roles that actors have done outside of their typical repertoire.

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With the Academy Awards right around the corner, I’ve had history on the brain. Ever since I bought my mom The History of Oscar in the 11th grade (she’s a lover of Hollywood’s big night), I’ve been curious about Best Picture winners. What made something the Best Picture of its particular year, and how has the criteria for such an award evolved over the years? In an effort to start this journey, I sat down this weekend with four best pics from an era long before my time…

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Alec Guinness in The Horse

Alec Guinness gets his first and only writing credit and dominates the screen as an artist who can’t escape an insane supporting cast no matter how mean he gets.

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