BRIAN WILSON: SMILE

It is a true story, an inspiring story and it's one that's never been told before.  It is the story of the most famous “unfinished” album in music history and what happened to its creator, Brian Wilson, when he put that work aside, never to be touched again. And it's what happened when, 37 years after he had conceived it, Wilson finally decided to finish it and present it to the world. That human and artistic drama is the subject of the documentary, “Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson & The Story of Smile.”
 


  DEAN MARTIN: THAT'S AMORE

With exclusive access to the Dean Martin Archive and the original 2-inch master videotapes of "The Dean Martin Show," this performance-driven program weaves together an irresistible blend of wonderful musical performances featuring the one and only Dean Martin. It also includes two delightful duets with the incomparable Petula Clark and the exceptional Peggy Lee. In commentary throughout the program Greg Garrison, Producer/Director of "The Dean Martin Show," shares his memories of Dean, his singing and performance style, and the show itself. 

 


  VINTAGE SINATRA

This remarkable TV special blends full musical performances of classic Sinatra songs with intensely personal reminiscences from his three children, Nancy, Tina and Frank Jr.  The stories are charming, informative and emotional.  These vintage performances are taken from lovingly-restored black and white kinescopes of Frank's television series and specials that were broadcast live from 1957-1960. 

The program's song selection offers a spectacular array of his greatest hits, including such swinging tunes as  "Come Fly With Me,"  "I've Got You Under My Skin," "The Lady is A Tramp" "You Make Me Feel So Young" and "I've Got the World On A String"...classic ballads such as "All The Way," "One for My Baby, One for the Road," "Angel Eyes" and a loving, poignant performance of "My Funny Valentine," that he sings to his daughter, Nancy. 

The program also includes a stirring rendition of Frank's powerful anthem to racial and religious tolerance in America, "The House I Live In."  All performances are presented in their original, complete, uncut form. Most have remained unseen since their original live broadcasts more than 40 years ago.


  FRANK SINATRA: THE CLASSIC DUETS

Having conquered film and recording, by 1957 Frank Sinatra was firmly on top in show business and became the object of a bidding war by the three major television networks who were all vying to bring his unique sound and celebrity to television.  ABC won the battle, and from 1957 to 1960, he starred in both a live weekly show and then in a series of specials. It is from those television programs that the performances for "Sinatra: The Classic Duets" were culled.  These duets, performed with an incredible roster of many of the greatest and most influential jazz and pop singers of all-time, provide a unique (not to mention entertaining) overview of music history. 

Featured alongside Mr. Sinatra are Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Shirley Jones, Peggy Lee, Dean Martin, Ethel Merman, Elvis Presley, Louis Prima & Keely Smith, Dinah Shore and daughter, Nancy Sinatra. In this TV special, Sinatra's family (daughters Tina and Nancy and son Frank Jr.) looks back on those glorious days with insights only they can provide...fond memories of their famous father and "inside" stories of what it was like to be there during the creation of these magical moments.


  BOB HOPE: THE ROAD TO LAUGHTER

Before he was an icon, before he was a legend, before he spent every Christmas with the troops…before he was a fixture on TV and at the Academy Awards…Bob Hope's journey on the road to laughter, began with a series of movies that have become classics.  For nearly a quarter of a century, Bob Hope was a major movie star. This program contains highlights from those legendary films as well as remembrances from Hope's writers -- Larry Gelbart, Mort Lachman, Sherwood Schwartz and Mel Shavelson -- as well as commentary from show business historian Leonard Maltin.



  CHRISTMAS AT THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE

The Hollywood Palace was television's last great variety show, airing on ABC from 1964 to 1970. The creation of Executive producer Nick Vanoff, it presented acts from every aspect of show business and the performing arts -- trained animals, jugglers, acrobats, circus, opera, ballet, Broadway theater, comedy and popular music of all eras.

This special program originally aired on American Public Television and presents the finest moments from the annual Christmas shows as originally hosted by Bing Crosby and Perry Como. This warm, sentimental journey evokes the spirit of Christmas past and features 17 complete and uncut musical performances by Bing, his family, Perry and guest Diahann Carroll.

This very special production includes new and exclusive interviews with Mrs. Bing Crosby, Bing's children (Harry and Mary), Felisa Vanoff, Producer Bill Harbach, and Perry Como's musical director, Nick Perito.


  MWAH! THE BEST OF THE DINAH SHORE SHOW

As the reigning Queen of Primetime Television, Dinah won gigantic ratings, numerous Emmys and was consistently ranked on the list of  “Most Admired Women In America.” From 1951 to 1963, her weekly variety series was one of the most popular on the air…and also one of the most imaginative. Through it all, she performed with infectious enthusiasm, immense warmth and an unfailing smile that endeared her to countless millions of Americans. She was famous for ending each show with a “Mwah” – a resounding goodbye kiss thrown to the audience.  This production showcases the greatest moments from her TV shows, with guest appearances by Pearl Bailey, George Burns, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, Peggy Lee, Jack Lemmon, Groucho Marx and Frank Sinatra. Commentary is provided by Dinah's daughter, Melissa, close friend Pat Boone and show business historian Leonard Maltin.


  ANDY WILLIAMS: MY FAVORITE DUETS

The Andy Williams Show” made its debut on NBC in 1962 and stayed on the air for nearly 11 years.  Andy hosts this TV special, reliving his most cherished memories and reflecting back on the legendary guests he welcomed on his show. He also personally selected 15 dazzling duets, full-length performances including “Where Is Love” with Julie Andrews, “Scarborough Fair” with Simon and Garfunkel, “What’d I Say” with Ray Charles and “Over the Rainbow” with Judy Garland.  Other stars singing with Andy are Pearl Bailey, Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis, Jr., Phil Harris, Lena Horne, Johnny Mathis, Roger Miller, the Osmond Brothers, Peter, Paul and Mary and the Williams Brothers. All duets have been digitally remastered from the original 2-inch master tapes. The program also includes newly-shot interviews with Academy Award-winning composer Dave Grusin (Music Director on “The Andy Williams Show,”) and superstar singer, Johnny Mathis.


  ANDY WILLIAMS: THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY

From obscurity in the tiny town of Wall Lake, Iowa, to international superstar…from the security of working with his brothers to the courageous decision to become a solo performer…from a deep and lasting association with the Kennedy's to a scandal that enveloped Andy and his family…from his classic television series to his on-going performance schedule at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri…Andy has survived and thrived, constantly reinventing himself to meet the challenges of an unforgiving industry. 

Narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Kelsey Grammer, this critically-acclaimed production includes exclusive interviews with Andy’s brothers, children, wife, and friends Pat Boone, Clive Davis, Merv Griffin, Senator John Glenn, Claudine Longet, Jack Nicklaus, Donny and Marie Osmond, the Osmond Brothers, Robert Wagner, Jonathan Winters and the late Steve Allen.

Also showcased are more than 20 classic musical performances such as "Moon River" with an orchestra conducted by Henry Mancini; Williams’ first ever recording of “My Mom” at eight-years old; and his emotional performance of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” at Bobby Kennedy’s memorial service in 1968.

In a career that has spanned eight decades, Andy Williams met every challenge… personal or professional…in his path. Along the way, he created an extraordinary body of work. Andy Williams: The Authorized Biography presents the definitive exploration of this incredible life and musical talent.  


  HAPPY HOLIDAYS: The Andy Williams Christmas Show

Christmas just isn't Christmas without Andy Williams. Every year on his classic TV series Andy presented the equivalent of a video Christmas card, performing seasonal favorites in dazzling production numbers joined by singers, dancers, skaters and his entire family. This very special program unwraps the very best moments from those legendary shows and includes more than two dozen Christmas classics as well as new commentary about the magic of the Christmas shows from Andy, his son Bobby and family friend Donny Osmond.


  ROSEMARY CLOONEY: GIRL SINGER

From the moment she opened her mouth in song, it was clear that Rosemary Clooney had an extraordinary gift -- a sound that would touch the world. During the 1950s she scored four Number One and 13 Top Forty hits. Although Rosemary's voice was sadly stilled in 2002, she left behind a wonderful legacy of recordings and film performances. 

This extraordinary retrospective originally appeared on PBS and features 19 full song performances from long-lost television programs she made in 1956 and 1957. This celebration of the ultimate girl singer also includes exclusive interviews with all of her children (Miguel, Maria, Gabriel, Monsita and Rafael)...her brother Nick Clooney, her nephew George Clooney and her friend, Michael Feinstein.


  SMART TELEVISION: THE BEST OF JACK PAAR

Jack Paar was one of the most controversial and provocative personalities in the history of television.  Witty, well-informed and always spontaneous, Paar was the embodiment of “Smart TV.”  Over the years he starred in TONIGHT SHOW and THE JACK PAAR PROGRAM he played host to some of the most celebrated and famous personalities of the 20th Century and was the first to present a spectacular array of new and important talent.

This acclaimed PBS retrospective contains classic moments from those legendary programs: Parr's infamous interview with Fidel Castro (the only known US on-camera interview in which Catro spoke in English)...an interview with Senator John F. Kennedy, just prior to his bid for the Presidency..., the first Beatles footage aired on American television...an early comedy sketch by Woody Allen...a unique joint appearance by Cassius Clay and Liberace and much, much more. 

"Smart TV" also includes new and exclusive interviews with Dick Cavett, Regis Philbin, Hugh Downs and The Smothers Brothers.


WHEN I FALL IN LOVE: THE ONE AND ONLY NAT 'KING' COLE

In 1956, NBC made the radical decision to feature Nat in his own weekly variety series. It was the first time an African-American starred in a primetime series and Nat's historic breakthrough opened the doors for future artists of color. This program celebrates Nat's immense humanity and  musical magic with 21 full-length songs from that legendary series. Nat performs solo, with the Nat Cole Trio and in duets with Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, jr., Johnny Mercer and the Mills Brothers. Also included in this remarkable presentation are exclusive interviews with Cole family members: his wife Maria; youngest brother Freddy; daughters Natalie, Casey and Timolin; and Bob Henry, producer/director of the TV series.


  THE BEE GEES: "This Is Where I Came In"

This is the definitive exploration of the extraordinary career of this legendary group. Made with the full cooperation of the Bee Gees, the story is told in their own words. In candid interviews covering their career and lives, the brothers Gibb describe the personal journey that has taken then from singing in their bedroom to becoming the second best-selling group of all-time. In addition, this production features interviews with Sir George Martin, Sir Tim Rice, impresario Robert Stigwood, Billboard magazine Editor-in-Chief Timothy White, as well as Bee Gees' wives and their mother, Barbara Gibb. With the use of never-before-seen home movies, archival footage and exclusive access to the Gibb family photo and video collection, the Bee Gees Biography hits every important note in the group's musical legacy. 


  THE BETTE MIDLER BIOGRAPHY

The truth is…there is nothing ordinary about Bette Midler. In a career spanning five decades, she has never failed to amuse, provoke, entertain and inspire. And she's always done it on her own terms. This documentary presents the first in-depth look at her amazing creative and personal journey. Shaped by an unhappy childhood…Struggling to forge a unique persona…From shy girl to outrageous performer…From stage to TV to the big screen…Bette has succeeded in the face of adversity in every aspect of her life…She is not just a singer…not just an actress or comedienne…she is not even just an entertainer.  She is…Bette Midler.  

The Bette Midler Biography is jam-packed with audio and visual gems from throughout her remarkable career: early TV appearances that have not been seen in over 30 years; rare and unusual film clips, photos and other memorabilia; clips from a number of her movie blockbusters. In addition, friends and colleagues such as Barry Manilow, Glenn Close, Danny DeVito, Jann Wenner (Editor and Publisher, Rolling Stone), Ahmet Ertegun (Founding Chairman, Atlantic records), offer their keen insights into an extraordinary life. Best of all, there are fresh interviews with Bette's husband, Martin, and the Divine Miss M herself.  

  THE UNKNOWN JIMMY DURANTE

For nearly 50 years, Jimmy Durante was one of America's most popular entertainers. He was a rousing success in vaudeville, nightclubs, on radio, in movies, as a recording artist and, most especially, on television. This production celebrates the talents of this comedy legend with lengthy clips from his Emmy Award-winning television series (1950-56), most of which have not been seen since their original broadcasts. Jimmy performs solo and in tandem with guest stars Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Bette Davis, Liberace and Carmen Miranda. Also included are new interviews with Mrs. Jimmy Durante, daughter CeCe and show business historian, Leonard Maltin. 


  THE UNKNOWN JONATHAN WINTERS

This program is the first comprehensive celebration of the improvisational genius of Jonathan Winters. Jonathan appears on-camera to guide us through his career and creative process. And, in brand new comedy pieces, we'll also see him working today, walking through his hometown of Santa Barbara making people laugh in his entirely unique fashion. All are blended with classic television appearances most of which have not been seen since their initial broadcast.  Also included interviews with his wife, Eileen, and their children Jay and Lucinda. Friends and colleagues Andy Williams and Robin Williams provide additional insight into Jonathan's character and comedic brilliance. 


  THE UNKNOWN PETER SELLERS

Peter Sellers was an explosive mixture of talent, ambition and contradiction. This comic genius spent the majority of his time on screen making us laugh. In a career that spanned five decades, he was many different people, but never himself.  

His meteoric rise from relative obscurity to film superstardom was nothing short of phenomenal. His most inspired and beloved creation, Inspector Clouseau, sent the world into hysterics. But there's a lot more to his story. Much more. He left behind a large body of work…lost and forgotten pieces of film that have rarely been seen, or have never been seen, even by his most devoted fans. “The Unknown Peter Sellers” utilizes these rare clips to present an in-depth look at an amazing life and career. Interviews with co-stars, directors, friends and biographer (Sir David Frost, Richard Lester, Shirley MacLaine, Joe McGrath, Michael Palin, Alexander Walker) offer additional insight into the brilliance of Sellers' talent. 


  THE UNKNOWN MARX BROTHERS

Leslie Nielsen narrations this roguishly clever and energetic documentary about the brothers Marx that is as humorous and irreverent as the comedy team's distinctive brand of humor. This critically-acclaimed production...the most definitive ever produced on Chico, Harpo and Groucho...offers up hysterical blend of home movies, insightful interviews with family members, never-before-seen outtakes, a "lost" TV pilot, rare live TV appearances and hilarious film clips to paint an intimate portrait of an act that remains as influential today as it was when the Marx Brothers wreaked havoc in Hollywood. 



  MYSTERIES OF EASTER ISLAND

On this remote island...surrounded by more miles of empty ocean than any other place on Earth...stand monstrous monoliths. For nearly 1000 years their origin and meaning have been cloaked in mystery and conjecture. What is the significance of these statues? Who made them...and why? And what happened to plunge the population into chaos and death? After years of fierce debate, theory and archeological research, this absorbing documentary answers the mysteries of Easter Island.


  MYSTERIES OF THE SPHINX

 Across the silvery Nile from Cairo, in the shadow of the pyramids, is one of the true wonders of the world. How long has it been there? Who built it and when?  Why was it built? Whose face is on it?  Are there secret chambers underneath?  These questions have confounded kings, explorers, and experts for centuries. Now, after all the theories, excavations, and disputes, this documentary attempts to solve the mysteries of the Sphinx.


MYSTERIES OF NOAH AND THE FLOOD

 The story of Noah and the Flood is one of the most powerful in all the Old Testament. Scientific evidence has been put forward to prove its essential truth. Yet, many experts challenge such proof. Was there a mighty deluge in which most life on Earth perished? Is it possible that the remains of Noah's Ark still exist? What is the significance of Mt. Ararat and why is it of interest to the CIA? This compelling documentary explores the truth behind the mysteries of Noah and the Flood.


  MYSTERIES OF STONEHENGE 

On a grassy plain two hours southwest of London there looms a remarkable stone monument. For more than 5000 years this cluster of stones has been enveloped in mystery and uncertainty. It seems the more we learn about Stonehenge...the less we actually know. This documentary examines the countless legends that have arisen as to its true origin and purpose. Who built it? How and when was it built? And most intriguing of all, what is it?

THE 100 GREATEST TV CHARACTERS

 The latest LSL production, a 5-part documentary miniseries, "The 100 Greatest TV Characters," aired on Bravo in November, 2004.

   In this comprehensive series, we focus our critical eye on the famous television characters that have become a part of the fabric of American pop culture. The series will run for five consecutive nights at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, counting down the top 20 TV characters of all time on Friday, November 26, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

   Blending classic clips, rare photos and interviews with an extraordinary array of stars and show creators, the series will spotlight how our favorite TV characters broke out of the pack to emerge as pop icons. From Lucy Ricardo to Marge Simpson, Ed Norton to Cosmo Kramer, Magnum P.I. to Monk; they come in all sizes, sexes and combinations.

   Written and produced by John Scheinfeld & David Leaf, this is, in many ways, a history of American television featuring compelling interviews with many of the medium's biggest names.


NO FIGHTING IN THE WAR ROOM (OR DR. STRANGEOVE AND THE NUCLEAR THREAT)

Released in 1964, Stanley Kubrick's “Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Bomb)” is and remains a politically significant and relevant film. It was not, however, born in a vacuum or in the nether regions of a writer's imagination. The apocalyptic events portrayed in the film are a clear and present byproduct of dangerous times. 

This incisive documentary celebrates this classic film by examining the Cold War environment that spawned it…why the film resonated so strongly with audiences in 1964…and why the film remains so powerful and relevant today.  

All will be amply illustrated in numerous clips from the film…never-before-seen production stills…and rare and never-before seen or heard material from the private collection of the star of the movie, Peter Sellers.

 Extraordinary commentary for this compelling special will be provided by Bob Woodward, Spike Lee, Roger Ebert and Robert McNamara (Secretary of Defense, 1961-68).

 There will also be a biographical element as we briefly trace the life and career of Peter Sellers, showing how his early years prepared him for the extraordinary accomplishment of playing three great roles in DR. STRANGELOVE. Friends and colleagues such as Sir David Frost, Michael Palin, Shirley MacLaine, Richard Lester (Director of “A Hard Day's Night”), James Harris (Kubrick's partner) will reveal discuss the film and Sellers' part in its success, also revealing that he was a complex man, an intriguing brew of interests, emotions, contradictions and, above all else, talent.

 Along the way, we will reveal many little-known or previously unknown facts about the making of DR. STRANGELOVE…Examine the unique working relationship between director Kubrick and star Sellers…How Sellers developed and portrayed three distinct characters and, had it not been for an unfortunate set of circumstances, would have managed a fourth….we'll also discuss the legendary “lost ending” also known as “The Pie Fight” sequence, illustrated with rare and never-before-seen photographs.

 To be included as Bonus Material on the Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment deluxe edition re-release of the movie on October 28th, 2004.

This documentary...along with a tribute to Peter Sellers and LSL's complete interview with Robert McNamara...is included on the 2-DVD 40th Anniversary Special Edition of DR. STRANGELOVE, now available from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment.

  IN THE NAME OF HEAVEN

Since the Dawn of Time human beings have dreamed of Heaven, thirsted for Heaven, even killed for Heaven. Over the Millennia, different religions have put forward countless visions of Heaven that are as varied as they are imaginative. This compelling documentary takes viewers on a global journey to explore diverse points of view on Heaven according to believers of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. From Turkey to Thailand, from Azerbaijan to India to America, what extraordinary lives are being lived “In The Name Of Heaven?” This production is not made from any religious point of view. Rather, audience members are challenged to examine existing concepts and come to their own conclusion as to the true nature of Heaven and how to incorporate it into their lives today.


 TOMB OF JESUS

This provocative documentary takes viewers on a compelling historical and scientific journey to discover the true location of one of the world's most sacred sites. Top biblical scholars, archeologists and historians offer their unique perspectives and insights into what really happened to Jesus, his final, fateful week in Jerusalem…what is the truth behind the events that led to his crucifixion and burial…what are the Gospels and how are we to evaluate the stories they tell...and most compelling of all, where is the Tomb of Jesus?

WHO IS HARRY NILSSON (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)

Harry Nilsson was an enigma. The Beatles proclaimed him their favorite American singer, but in a career spanning over 30 years, he never performed live in front of an audience. He was a legendary party animal who could drink John Lennon and Keith Moon under the table, yet, later in life, became a devoted family man.

    A brilliantly eccentric and gifted songwriter, his songs have been covered by a wide range of artists from Three Dog Night to Barbra Streisand. And yet, his greatest fame and success came as a singer of other people's songs. Blessed with a remarkable three and-a-half octave range, he won two Grammys and earned many Gold records, yet never conformed, never joined the mainstream. 

    The people that knew and loved him describe Harry as "reclusive," "gregarious," "shy and diffident," "wild," "endlessly fun," "innocent," "a complete lunatic," and "a pussycat."  A millionaire before he was 30, Harry was on top of the world in the early 70's.  Courted by the elite of popular music and film, he was riding the crest of a remarkable wave of success. Yet, in just a few short years that glorious voice would be in tatters, his health would be irretrievably ruined and he would be left with $300 in the bank.

    Who was Harry Nillson anyway?

    The music was as contradictory as the man himself.  The general public may recall "Everybody's Talkin'" from the classic film, Midnight Cowboy…or, as teenagers, had their first slow dance to "Without You"…or tapped their feet to the quirky and infectious, "Coconut" ("You put de lime in de coconut and drink 'em both up…")…or cranked up the speakers to the hair-raising rocker, "Jump Into The Fire"…or sung along to the whimsical "Me And My Arrow" from Harry's award-winning animated film, "The Point!"  They may even bask in a warm nostalgic glow every time they hear "Best Friend," the theme song from the 60's TV comedy, The Courtship Of Eddie's Father.   But few ever imagined that one man was responsible for these wildly disparate recordings

    This feature-length documentary will thoroughly examine the many contradictions as well as celebrate his musical legacy. The documentary film promises to be filled with twists and turns every bit as dramatic as Harry's life.   

    Friends, peers, co-workers and family members will share their fond memories of Harry. Among those interviewed are: Gerry Beckley (America), Ray Cooper. Micky Dolenz, Terry Gilliam, Mark Hudson Danny Hutton (3 Dog Night), Eric Idle, Al Kooper, Randy Newman, Yoko Ono, May Pang, Van Dyke Parks, Richard Perry The Smothers Brothers, Jimmy Webb, Paul Williams, Robin Williams and Brian Wilson. The film also features in-depth interviews with Harry's wife and children. 

     This production will be jam-packed with musical clips from his infrequent but truly magical appearances on television and in film, many of which have never been seen in the U.S. and some of which have never been seen anywhere.  Amidst the rare footage to be presented will be excerpts from two full-length concerts done for the BBC and "The Ghost And Mrs. Muir," plus promo videos and home movies. We'll also feature clips from "Did Somebody Drop His Mouse," an unfinished documentary about the recording of the best-selling album Son Of Schmillson. Finally, this documentary will also include rare and unreleased recordings by Nilsson.  Of course, the documentary film will also include all of his best-known hits. 

    Ultimately, the tantalizing question -- WHO IS HARRY NILSSON (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?) will be partially answered by Harry himself.  We've uncovered miles of tape recorded interviews, from 1968 to 1993 that will be seamlessly incorporated into the documentary film, allowing Harry to help us tell his remarkable story in his own words. 

    But it won't be just about the music…it's a search for the man himself.


 
 
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