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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

The Last Ty­coon

(M) Sun­day, 11.35pm, ABC1

(M) Satur­day, 10.30pm, 7Mate (NSW, Vic and QLD only)

Black Hawk Down

Seven Brides for Seven Broth­ers

Satur­day, 2.05pm, Gem

The Last Ty­coon

(G) IRV­ING Thal­berg was the leg­endary Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer cred­ited with dis­cov­er­ing the Marx Broth­ers. He be­came the boss of MGM at 25 and made it the most in­flu­en­tial Hol­ly­wood stu­dio of the 1930s. A worka­holic, he con­sid­ered screen­writ­ers a nec­es­sary evil, and summed up his cre­ative phi­los­o­phy with the words, “Movies aren’t made, they’re re­made.” He died, sup­pos­edly of ex­haus­tion, at 37, and was the in­spi­ra­tion for (Sun­day, 11.35pm, ABC1), Elia Kazan’s 1974 film of F. Scott Fitzger­ald’s last (un­fin­ished) novel. With a mag­nif­i­cent per­for­mance from Robert De Niro as artist-busi­ness­man Mon­roe Stahr, it ranks among the best Fitzger­ald adap­ta­tions, along with the Robert Red­ford ver­sion of The Great Gatsby, pro­duced in the same year. Harold Pin­ter wrote the screen­play for a cast in­clud­ing Jack Ni­chol­son, Robert Mitchum and Tony Cur­tis.

The clos­est equiv­a­lent of Thal­berg in our time is Jerry Bruck­heimer, re­spon­si­ble for a string of hits, in­clud­ing ac­tion block­busters such as Speed, Con Air and Pearl Har­bor. He’s on record as say­ing, “I make movies I want to see.”

(Satur­day, 10.30pm, 7Mate), pro­duced by Bruck­heimer and di­rected by Ri­d­ley Scott, is an ac­count of an ill-planned US raid by an elite team of Delta Force op­er­a­tives in Mo­gadishu, So­ma­lia, in Oc­to­ber 1993. The aim was to cap­ture a build­ing oc­cu­pied by hench­men of a ruth­less So­mali war lord, and the re­sult was the long­est sus­tained fire­fight in­volv­ing US troops since the end of the Viet­nam War. More than 100 US soldiers were trapped in the streets of Mo­gadishu while two Black Hawk he­li­copters were downed by rocket-pro­pelled grenades. Eric Bana and Ewan McGre­gor are in the thick of

Hawk Down

Black

things, and Scott gives ev­ery­thing a heroic flavour. It re­mains one of the best ac­tion thrillers in re­cent times.

Miss Congeniality

(Satur­day, 9pm, Nine) helped es­tab­lish San­dra Bul­lock as a comic ac­tress af­ter a ca­reer built largely on thrillers such as Speed. She plays Gra­cie Hart, a grace­less FBI agent who is trans­formed from an ugly duck­ling into a swan to go un­der­cover and com­pete in the Miss United States beauty con­test, which is threat­ened by a ter­ror­ist. Bul­lock’s line, “My goal is to cre­ate small films that we are all crazy about,” was ut­tered in an­other con­text, but au­di­ences were crazy enough about Miss Congeniality to de­mand a se­quel. For a truly great com­edy see

(Satur­day, 2.05pm, Gem), which is also a great mu­si­cal, with dance rou­tines de­signed by Hol­ly­wood chore­og­ra­pher Michael Kidd. Howard Keel and Jane Pow­ell are the lovers, whose de­ci­sion to marry in­spires a bunch of hill­billy moun­tain-men to kid­nap a troupe of lo­cal beau­ties for mat­ri­mo­nial pur­poses. Corny and great fun.

for Seven Broth­ers

Seven Brides

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