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Turner Classic Movies takes Us To School

Turner Classic Movies Sounds the Trumpet for Hollywood Epics With Latest A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES Special One-Hour Film-Genre Specials from Dreamworks Television Continue Sunday, Dec. 20, With A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: THE GIGANTIC WORLD OF EPICS, Part of a 24-Hour Marathon of Classic Big-Screen Spectacles With spectacular images parading across the screen and stories from the greatest literary and historical sources of all time, epics have been a staple of cinema since its earliest days. Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is devoting the second of its ongoing series of one-hour A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES specials to THE GIGANTIC WORLD OF EPICS, premiering Sunday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. (ET). The special will premiere as part of a 24-hour salute to epics that will include such films as Doctor Zhivago (1965), Ben-Hur (1959) and the 1927 and 1961 versions of King of Kings. A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES is an all-new collection of one-hour specials that provide a Film Studies 101 look at top cinematic genres. In October, TCM premiered THE SUSPENSEFUL WORLD OF THRILLERS to great critical acclaim. The special aired as part of a month-long festival of classic chillers. Future installments will include looks at other genres, from horror films to comedies to romantic dramas. The specials come to TCM from DreamWorks Television, with Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (Las Vegas, TNT’s Into the West) serving as executive producers. THE GIGANTIC WORLD OF EPICS was written, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker and author Laurent Bouzereau, who also helmed TCM’s October special on thrillers. A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: THE GIGANTIC WORLD OF EPICS will look at Hollywood’s biggest screen spectaculars from all sides, including the genre’s beginnings, literary adaptations, great epic directors and actors, the challenges of making big-budget movies, classic set-pieces and epic music scores. The special also looks at how the genre fell out of favor with audiences and filmmakers in the ‘70s and ‘80s, only to be reborn with more recent films like Gladiator, Dances with Wolves, Braveheart and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Throughout, the special is packed with classic scenes and behind-the-scenes images from such films as The Birth of a Nation, Gone with the Wind, The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, Samson & Delilah, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, El Cid and King of Kings. The special will feature interviews with such figures as TCM host Robert Osborne; filmmakers Jean-Jacques Annaud (Quest for Fire), Kenneth Branagh (Henry V), Jeffrey Katzenberg (Prince of Egypt), John Milius (The Wind and the Lion), and Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan); author Kenneth Follett (Pillars of the Earth); actors Omar Sharif (Lawrence of Arabia) and Martin Landau (Cleopatra); stuntmen Loren James (The Ten Commandments) and Diamond Farnsworth (Pearl Harbor); production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas (Elizabeth: The Golden Age); assistant director Michael Stevenson (Doctor Zhivago); film historians Gary Allen Smith, Melvyn Stokes and Rudy Behlmer; and biographer Natasha Fraser Cavasoni. Also included are reminiscences from director Fraser Heston, son of Charlton Heston; Cecilia DeMille Presley, granddaughter of epic filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille; William Bronston, son of producer Samuel Bronston; and Nina Mann, daughter of director Anthony Mann. A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: THE GIGANTIC WORLD OF EPICS will premiere as part of a 24-hour marathon of big-screen spectacles. The following is a complete schedule: Sunday, Dec. 20 6 a.m. Raintree County (1957), starring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Eva Marie Saint. 9:30 a.m. How the West Was Won (1962), starring Henry Fonda, Carroll Baker, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Carolyn Jones, Eli Wallach, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart, John Wayne and Richard Widmark. 12:30 p.m. Doctor Zhivago (1965), starring Julie Christie, Omar Sharif, Rod Steiger, Tom Courtenay and Alec Guinness. 4 p.m. Ben-Hur (1959), starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet and Hugh Griffith. 8 p.m. A Night at the Movies: The Gigantic World of Epics (World Premiere) 9 p.m. King of Kings (1961), starring Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Hurd Hatfield and Ron Randell. Midnight King of Kings (1927), starring H.B. Warner, Dorothy Cumming and Ernest Torrence. 3 a.m. Children of Paradise (1945), starring Arletty and Jean-Louis Barrault. Laurent Bouzereau has written, directed and produced many documentaries on the making of films of some of the world’s most acclaimed directors, including Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Brian De Palma, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean, and many others. He has also written or co-written eleven books on cinema, including The Art of Bond and the upcoming Hitchcock: Piece by Piece. DreamWorks Television is currently in production on seasons five and six of Rescue Me and season two of United States of Tara for Showtime, starring Toni Collette. The company is also set to begin production on a TNT pilot, executive-produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Noah Wyle, about a group of soldiers and civilians struggling against an occupying alien force. In the longform arena, DreamWorks Television and co-production partner Playtone are in post production on The Pacific for HBO. The division previously produced the Emmy award-winning Band of Brothers as well as the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Into the West for TNT and the Emmy award-winning Taken for the SciFi Channel. Other past DreamWorks Television projects include Spin City, Father of the Pride, Freaks and Geeks, The Job, Boomtown, Undeclared, On the Lot, Contender, Wedding Day, Carpoolers and Las Vegas. Turner Classic Movies is a Peabody Award-winning network celebrating 15 years of presenting great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world. Currently seen in more than 80 million homes, TCM features the insights of veteran primetime host Robert Osborne and weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests. As the foremost authority in classic films, TCM offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials, along with regular programming events that include The Essentials, 31 Days of Oscar and Summer Under the Stars. TCM, a part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., also produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs, along with hosting a wealth of materials at its Web site, www.tcm.com. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world. -30-
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