54 By Wu Ming

Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even President Tito...

The Heart of America - American icon - The Greyhound bus

The slogan reads: "Travel throughout North America with safety, dignity and convenience". Greyhound still sends off more than 20,000 buses every day. The Dog got its start in 1914 in Hibbing, Minnesota, transporting iron miners. Its big break was the film It Happened One Night (1934), in which Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert rode a Greyhound overnight to Florida. The Dog has been a national institution ever since. The rise of the low-cost airlines has hit the very long-distance services, yet Greyhound still has a seamless network of transport covering much of the country. You'll see a different US, one that only rarely makes the American news, the one where almost all Americans live. That's my country, and once you get the knack of navigating it, it's not such a bad place after all.

Lord and lady of the dance

Putting on a 'Strictly Come Dancing' bash for 300-odd guests is par for the course for the party-mad Harrisons, says Simon Beckett

Album: Martina Topley-Bird

Quixotic, Independiente

Camille, Lyric Hammersmith, London

Beauty and the beast

Camille, Lyric, Hammersmith

A feverish affair of the nerves rather than the heart

The Unexpurgated Beaton, by Cecil Beaton (edited by Hugo Vickers)

Nice one, Cecil: your bitch's brew is just delicious

David Boyle: Off to see the euro wizard?

From the alternative Mansion House Speech given by the economist at a meeting in Fleet Street, London

THE GUILLOTINE: Twentieth-Century Classics That Won't Last No 49: `GONE WITH THE WIND'

The argument was most succinctly put by the dramatist Jean Giraudoux. "Il n'y a pas d'oeuvres," he claimed, "il n'y a que des auteurs". There are no works, there are only authors. Or auteurs. For, as the millennial threshold approaches, it's increasingly clear that the auteurists were right. The films destined to survive are those whose formal and stylistic distinction can be traced to an individual creative personality, while the films destined to fade are those whose directors were little more than capable hired hands employed to pull all the material together, celluloid "conductors", so to speak, rather than "composers".

Words: tote, adj. and v.

A CURIOUS aspect of Neil Hamilton's libel case is his daily arrival at court with a London Library tote bag prominently displayed. One must wonder what that august and congenial private library makes of this unusual product placement.

Films of the week

REGENERATION

Arts: Dead stars walking

`Forget Tom Cruise, get me Clark Gable!' Death used to finish a star's career, but not any more.
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness