Annabella Sciorra Surveys Life After Success

By Helen Dudar The New York Times October 4, 1992 To anyone who has been keeping a careful watch, it would seem as if Annabella Sciorra has been making movies almost without pause. In fewer than four years, she has appeared in seven films, in small and large roles,...

To The Beat

By Will Blythe The New York Times July 8, 2010 If you’re like me, you tend to regard plot summaries as a necessary boredom at best. They’re the flyover country between a reviewer’s landing strips of judgment, revealing almost nothing about the way a book actually...

James Earl Jones At Bat

By Helen Dudar The New York Times March 22, 1987 Just before the opening night curtain rises on Fences on Thursday, a voice in the corridor will call “five minutes,” and James Earl Jones will make his way to the darkest corner of the stage. There, he will stand, rapt,...

And Don’t Call Her Bogie’s Baby

By Tom Burke The New York Times March 22, 1970 Detroit She isn’t even mildly fatigued. For eight nerve‐shredding weeks, Lauren Bacall has been trying out her first musical, Applause, nightly belting a dozen songs in her big applejack‐brandy alto And swooping through...

Uta Hagen, Acting!

By Helen Dudar The New York Times December 15, 1985 Uta Hagen Acting, Acting, in ‘Mrs. Warren’s Profeesion’… Since Uta Hagen is one of the glories of the American theater and since she turns up infrequently in large public performance spaces, she is subject to a...

Agee Unfettered

By Will Blythe The New York Times June 15, 2008 On May 16, 1955, James Agee, 45, died of a heart attack in a New York City taxicab while on the way to his doctor’s office. Elegized by the critic Dwight Macdonald as a literary James Dean, he left behind an...

Benching Himself

By Will Blythe The New York Times November 4, 2001 At 59, the novelist John Edgar Wideman has recently given up the game of playground basketball. His new memoir, Hoop Roots, originates in that loss, which is monumental, the terrifying and inevitable fate of every...

Hi-Diddely-Dee—The Writer’s Life for Me!

By Joe Flaherty The New York Times March 13, 1977 In an interview after winning the Nobel Prize, Saul Bellow contended that most people don’t pay any mind to writers, and his assessment struck me as correct. This fact was bulldozed home to me in 1969 when, as a...

Neighborhood Characters

By Joe Flaherty The New York Times October 21, 1979 Of late, whenever one encounters an urbanbased novel, especially one set in Manhattan (or worse yet, in Greenwich Village), it’s odds on to be a claustrophobic affair; the activity is usually limited to treks to...

Just Another “Fight of the Century”

By Joe Flaherty The New York Times September 20, 1981 It seems the designation of “Fight of the Century” (this has been the third in the last two years) is a masked monicker to disguise the fact they are affairs of violence. Perhaps things will improve when we move on...

Ivana, the Survivor

By Elizabeth Kaye The New York Times May 10, 1992 Ivan Zelnickova Trump never objected to personifying the salient maxim of the 1980’s, which was that everything worth anything could be bought. Her faith in this dainty precept was even more unwavering than that of the...

The Black Berets

By Red Smith The New York Times October 19, 1968 The four-hundred-meter race was over and in the catacombs of Estadio Olimpico Doug Roby, president of the United States Olympic Committee, was telling newspapermen that he had warned America’s runners against making any...