American Dreamer

By Elizabeth Kaye Smart, May 1990 Old bodybuilders fade away, open gyms of their own, or become religious fanatics. These are grim potentials, indeed, and unsuitable to Arnold Schwarzenegger, a dubious icon who determined, at age ten, to be “one of the top percent in...

A Fistful of Dollars

By Gail Sheehy Rolling Stone, July 14, 1977 November 20th, 1976, a Saturday night, Clay Felker, the New York magazine publisher, invited Rupert Murdoch, the Australian publisher, to dine at Elaine’s to celebrate the announcement that had hit New York by surprise the...

Hope and Glory

By Pauline Kael The New Yorker, October 5, 1987 It’s hard to believe that a great comedy could be made of the blitz, but John Boorman has done it. In his new, autobiographical film, Hope and Glory, he has had the inspiration to desentimentalize wartime England and...

At Large with Bill Murray

By Harold Conrad Smart, July–August 1989 “In the end, everything is a gag.” —Charlie Chaplin It is 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday in January. Bill Murray has just driven his Jeep from Malibu to Palm Springs. I am waiting in his suite at Maxim’s de Paris, an ultrafancy spot...

The Detective

By Luc Sante Threepenny Review, Winter 1994 We know from photographs and eyewitnesses that René Magritte, throughout his entire career, did his painting in a corner of the dining room, and that he went about his work invariably dressed in suit and tie. The dining room...

KORR

By George Malko The Distillery, Winter 1998 Originally published as a short story in The Distillery, Vol. V, No. 1, in the Winter 1998 issue, it is all true, everything happened as I describe it. The movie star in question is no longer alive. Nor is the producer. I...

Annie’s Second Childhood

By Bruce Buschel Philadelphia, June 1977 Act I East Haddam. Connecticut: June, 1976 Scene 1: Auditions The scent is reminiscent of nothing. Though it is uniquely theatrical, few stagehands have ever had their nostrils filled with this odor that visits the legitimate...

Hollywood’s Second Coming

By Brad Darrach Playboy, June 1972 Roaring like a stegosaurus, a yellow monster crashed into a green country store and knocked the front out. A church spire tilted silently and fell off like a hat. Bricks exploded, dust hid the sun. With a flash and a boom, a big...