Here's my pitch for a Guest Programmer.
Look at these Oscar-winning films that have one major offscreen talent in common:
I Want To Live! Susan Hayward won Best Actress of 1958 as real-life death row convict, Barbara Graham...
...the comedy, Tootsie, got Jessica Lange the Best Supporting Actress of 1982 Oscar...
In the category of fabulous flops, John Travolta got national attention with his futuristic sci-fi goofiness in Battlefield Earth co-starring Forrest Whitaker. Somehow they both managed to get matching weaves in a galaxy far, far away. Look at their hair.
Trust me ... those are just some of the Lynn Stalmaster film credits. Others bearing his name are Bound for Glory, The Last Detail, Superman (1979), Fiddler on the Roof, Sleeper, Being There, Deliverance, The Rose, The Right Stuff and The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming. For television, he was just as influential and gifted in his casting. He worked on classic TV shows such as Gunsmoke, The Untouchables, Hogan's Heroes, My Favorite Martian and Welcome Back, Kotter. He put Stockard Channing in one of the best made-for-TV movies of the 1970s -- a black comedy murder mystery called The Girl Most Likely To... He did casting for the groundbreaking TV mini-series adaptation Alex Haley's Roots.
Mr. Stalmaster is in his 80s. I feel he'd be a terrific person to put on with Robert Osborne one night as Guest Programmer. I'd like to know how he became passionate to be a casting director, what sort of talent and training it takes to be one and how some stars got the parts they did. Gig Young starred opposite Doris Day several times as the breezy guy who courted her but lost her to characters played by Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable or Cary Grant. How did he get his seedy character role in the Depression Era film, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? How did Stalmaster get Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon together for Billy Wilder? Is it true that Faye Dunaway replaced Anne Bancroft in Mommie Dearest? That's what I heard. And what was the deal with Travolta's space crotch in Battlefield Earth?
When I was a kid, I constantly saw Lynn Stalmaster's name in the opening credits of TV shows, made-for-TV movies and major motion pictures. I bet he's got some great stories to tell and keen observations to make on today's movie business.
Tonight, Reggie Miller selects one Hitchcock classic and three box office champions from 1967. First up is Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951) followed by Cool Hand Luke, The Graduate and Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?