Category Archives: Everything Else

Debating in Two Parts

Dear Friends,

As I’m sure you are aware, last night was the first half of the Democratic Debate on NBC. We watched as 10 candidates waded out into the Presidential waters, many of whom we haven’t had the chance to get to know very well. It was fascinating!

Tonight at 9:00pm is the second half, and we cannot wait to see how the other half of the candidates fare tonight. Of course, there are a lot more well-known names so we think that tonight will have an even livelier debate.

But if you did not watch last night or cannot watch tonight, we urge you not to tune out altogether—we actually found the after-debate analysis and interviews with the candidates far more informative and telling than the debate itself.

There is an entire country of hopes and dreams that will be placed on the shoulders of whomever the Democrats pick to take on Trump and the Republicans. And you can bet that we will be following all of the primaries and the months leading up to them very closely.

To learn more about each of the Democratic candidates click here: https://www.nbcnews.com/2020candidates?icid=politicspromo

To watch NBC’s full coverage of last night’s debate click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ6MrDO0kgY

And tomorrow when tonight’s debate is available to rewatch, we will update today’s newsletter to include both debates, so that you can readily access them.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The 100 Best

Dear Friends,

As we have shared with you numerous times, we are huge fans of watching movies—particularly of tuning in to Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and watching their great line-up!

This year in an effort to make sure we haven’t missed any of the great ones, we consulted the American Film Institute (AFI), who have an on-going list of the Top 100 Movies of All Time.

Throughout the years we have seen many of them, but not all. Therefore, we’ve decided to rectify this and have started working our way through the list below.  For example, recently we’ve seen The Philadelphia Story and It Happened One Night.

AFI’s TOP 100 MOVIES OF ALL TIME

1. CITIZEN KANE (1941)
2. THE GODFATHER (1972)
3. CASABLANCA (1942)
4. RAGING BULL (1980)
5. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952)
6. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
7. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
8. SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993)
9. VERTIGO (1958)
10. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
11. CITY LIGHTS (1931)
12. THE SEARCHERS (1956)
13. STAR WARS (1977)
14. PSYCHO (1960)
15. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
16. SUNSET BLVD. (1950)
17. THE GRADUATE (1967)
18. THE GENERAL (1927)
19. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
20. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
21. CHINATOWN (1974)
22. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
23. THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940)
24. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
25. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
26. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)
27. HIGH NOON (1952)
28. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
29. DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)
30. APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
31. THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)
32. THE GODFATHER PART II (1974)
33. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975)
34. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
35. ANNIE HALL (1977)
36. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957)
37. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)
38. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)
39. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
40. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)
41. KING KONG (1933)
42. BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)
43. MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)
44. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940)
45. SHANE (1953)
46. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
47. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)
48. REAR WINDOW (1954)
49. INTOLERANCE (1916)
50. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001)
51. WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
52. TAXI DRIVER (1976)
53. THE DEER HUNTER (1978)
54. M*A*S*H (1970)
55. NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)
56. JAWS (1975)
57. ROCKY (1976)
58. THE GOLD RUSH (1925)
59. NASHVILLE (1975)
60. DUCK SOUP (1933)
61. SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS (1941)
62. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
63. CABARET (1972)
64. NETWORK (1976)
65. THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951)
66. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
67. WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (1966)
68. UNFORGIVEN (1992)
69. TOOTSIE (1982)
70. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)
71. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998)
72. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994)
73. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
74. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)
75. IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967)
76. FORREST GUMP (1994)
77. ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN (1976)
78. MODERN TIMES (1936)
79. THE WILD BUNCH (1969)
80. THE APARTMENT (1960)
81. SPARTACUS (1960)
82. SUNRISE (1927)
83. TITANIC (1997)
84. EASY RIDER (1969)
85. A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935)
86. PLATOON (1986)
87. 12 ANGRY MEN (1957)
88. BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
89. THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)
90. SWING TIME (1936)
91. SOPHIE’S CHOICE (1982)
92. GOODFELLAS (1990)
93. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)
94. PULP FICTION (1994)
95. THE LAST PICTURE SHOW (1971)
96. DO THE RIGHT THING (1989)
97. BLADE RUNNER (1982)
98. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)
99. TOY STORY (1995)
100. BEN-HUR (1959)

How many have you seen?

Regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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A Smashing Endgame

Dear Friends,

Last weekend, Disney premiered their newest Marvel movie: Avengers Endgame and it was a literal (Hulk) smash, breaking every Box Office record imaginable…and maybe even creating a few more!
$1.2 billion. Yes billion with a “b” dollars—is the official weekend tally.

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Though it’s been a few years now, we remember when our film Judgment at Nuremberg was breaking box office records, but it and many other successful films over the years didn’t even come close to the newest Avengers movie (even taking into consideration the inflation rate!).

We congratulate Marvel Studios on their resounding success with this film and we urge you to go see it if you haven’t already (although judging by the numbers, you already have!)

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Puritanical Thinking

Dear Friends,

Yesterday we had a lovely conversation with a friend who is originally from Bulgaria, but now lives in Texas.

She was telling us how she was brought up in Bulgaria, where both the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches had congregations.

The subject of the conversation was that her family and the people she knew did not believe that mankind arrived in this world as sinners.

Think of that! You and we, when we were born, had not done anything evil. We were completely free, innocent, and kindly human beings. How much evil could we have done in our mother’s womb?

When I (Philip) was a child I went to church every Sunday and was totally sold on the fact that I was loaded with sin!

That’s the end of today’s sermon! We do not have to feel that all our thoughts are EVIL.

Enjoy life!
Philip & Marilyn

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Saving The Drama

Dear Friends,

We can’t tell you how happy we were when we heard the news that the “Hamilton Team” were purchasing The Drama Book Store to prevent it from closing permanently. In a recent New York Times article, the new owners—Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Jeffrey Seller; and James L. Nederlander—cited the book store as having played an important role in their lives and we couldn’t agree more!

We have lost count of the numerous times in our 100 years that we have frequented the Drama Book Store looking for our next inspiration for our 228 plays on Broadway. We were deeply saddened to hear that it might close and breathed a huge sigh of relief when the news broke last month that it would be saved!

We understand that the book store is currently closed while the new owners search for a new home. And when they do, you can bet we’ll be one of the first in line celebrating.

To read more about it, click here and here.

Thank you Hamilton Team for your wonderful help in saving this immeasurable support network for the theatre district. We salute you!

Best,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Lili Marlene

Dear Friends,

Whenever we see one of our cats lounging around the office (picture below sprawled out on the fireplace mantle), we have the urge to sing Lili Marlene to her.

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The song itself was based on a poem written by a 22 year-old solider (Leip) in WWI to his beloved sweetheart. In the early 1930s, Norbert Schultze set it to song. However, it did not become popular until 1941 when German broadcasters in Africa lost a large portion of their records in a bomb raid. Lili Marlene was one of the few surviving records and once it was one the air, it became popular with both soldiers and citizens alike. The original songstress to sing it was Lane Anderson, however, it was Marlene Dietrich’s version which is best remembered.

Originally written and performed in German, it was eventually translated into 48 languages worldwide.

Click on this link to hear the incomparable Marlene Dietrich perform it and you’ll easily see why it was such a popular hit!

Incidentally, I (Philip) spent a good deal of time with Marlen Dietrich when we were filming Judgement at Nuremburg. I even visited her in her apt, where we would sit on the floor and play cards. She was very lovely, friendly, exceptionally talented, and down-to-earth.

To read more about the thrilling history of this song, click here.

Best,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Hope & Fury

Dear Friends,

As we celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, we wanted to share with you a wonderful program that we watched last night on CNBC called Hope & Fury: MLK, The Movement and The Media.

It was such a wonderful and informative show and brought us back to the time when this remarkable man worked tirelessly to change the course of our country. His life serves as a direct contrast to the direction that our current President seems to be leading us and we are hopeful that our country will continue to look to Dr. King’s life and advice to navigate the current crisis we find ourselves in today.

To watch clips of the show, please click on the picture below:

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Dr. King, we salute you!
Best,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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A Day That Shall Live in Infamy

Dear Friends,

December 07, 1941–the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor–is a day we won’t forget.

I was standing outside a building in Connecticut when I heard the news. It seemed so incredible at the time that the Japanese would send out their kamikaze pilots to kill thousands of sailors and civilians alike.

pearl harbor

photo courtesy of msn.com

That was 77 years ago today.

I am sure many of you have been to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu and visited the memorial there—it is such an emotional experience.

We can all be thankful that we are not in a war at the present time. Let us pray that we remain at peace and be grateful for the brave men and women who lost their lives that fateful day.

Best regards,
Philip Langner

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The Cat’s Meow

Dear Friends,

After reading an article in the New York Post, today we wanted to set aside the theatre and discuss something even more important in our lives.

Cats.

No, not the musical. But actual cats. We have four of these lovable and amazing creatures, who bring so much joy to our lives. We have often looked at them and wondered how better to communicate with them and now researcher Susanne Schötz is helping us. She is a professor at Lund University in Sweden and her new book, The Secret Language of Cats, will be released on November 6th.

In The Secret Language of Cats, Schötz offers a crash course in the phonetic study of cat sounds. She introduces us to the full range of feline vocalizations and explains what they can mean in different situations, and she gives practical tips to help us understand our cats better.

cats

It is translated into English by Peter Kuras and is available for pre-order on Amazon right now by clicking here.

And to leave you with a bit of cuteness during all the political ugliness right now, we thought we’d share some pictures of our four cats. Their names are Dorothy Parker (we got her at the Algonquin Hotel), Ondine, Juliet, and McClain Stevenson.

home office

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The Power of Theatre

Dear Friends,

One more prior newsletter to share with you before we head back to New York City and the realities of summer coming to an end.

We cannot—CANNOT—stress the importance that the theatre can—and should!—have in the political realm. The tradition started with Shakespeare himself, and who knows, perhaps even before that!

Our friend Arthur Miller once said that it is the job of an artist to remind people of what they have chosen to forget. And in this political climate, nothing could be more true!

Best,
Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Today we wanted to discuss with you an incredible theatre happening that occurred a couple of weeks ago:

It is the conflict between The Theatre, as represented by Hamilton, and the Government-to-be, as represented by Vice-President Elect Mike Pence.

As you all know, Vice President-Elect Pence went to a performance of Hamilton where he was specifically addressed by the cast at the end of the performance (their spokesperson being Brandon Dixon).

Mr. Dixon made a plea to Vice President-Elect Pence–as a representative of our new government starting 20th of January.  The cast requested that Vice President-Elect Pence look out for their interests, aka those of the common people.  While Mr. Pence was walking out of the theatre at the time of the speech, he stopped and listened to what Mr. Harris had to say.

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To us, it is a fascinating happening.  It is The Theatre…

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