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Film: Jodie Foster plays feisty (again)

Anna and the King (12)

Obituary: Billy Benedict

BILLY BENEDICT was once described as "one of the most prolific Hollywood bit players of all time".

They came in search of paradise

But it was what the makers of The Beach left behind that sparked the biggest drama of all.

10,000 FREE Cinema Preview Tickets

The Independent and Independent on Sunday have teamed up with Twentieth Century Fox to give away 10,000 cinema tickets to an exclusive preview screening of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream on Sunday 19 September.

Obituary: Nancy Guild

THE IMPACT of Lauren Bacall on the cinema of the Forties was such that several young actresses were styled by rival studios to approximate the Bacall personality. The most successful was Lizabeth Scott at Paramount, but, though 20th Century-Fox's answer, Nancy Guild, made only a handful of films before retirement and made comparatively little impact, she acquired a number of admirers and is fondly remembered by filmgoers of the time for her insouciant charm. Ironically, it was actually her resemblance to one of Fox's own top stars, Gene Tierney, that first attracted the attention of the studio head, Darryl F. Zanuck.

Box office record for new `Star Wars'

THE LATEST Star Wars epic has smashed its way to a new box office record, wiping out dinosaurs and marauding aliens as the force to be reckoned with in movie business annals.

McKellen's magnetic role

SIR IAN McKellen (right) is to take a marked change in direction from his usual classical roles. It was revealed in Cannes that he will play the villain in Twentieth Century Fox's X-Men. Sir Ian will play Magneto, Master of Magnetism, in the live-action feature based on the Marvel comics characters who are born with mutated genes that impart superpowers.

Fishing Lines: When a bidder's lot is not a happy one

WHY DO otherwise normal people wave like shipwrecked sailors whenever a television camera passes by? Is it to save them writing home to mum? Is it the hope that Quentin Tarantino will be watching Match of the Day in his quest for a new star? Is it a desire to update Andy Warhol's quote - "famous for 15 seconds"?

Film: It's my film and I'll cry if I want to

Todd Solondz, director of Happiness, says success hasn't changed him. He was miserable before. He still is. By Xan Brooks

Film Out Takes

Thailand's film board has refused 20th Century Fox permission to film a new version of the 1946 film Anna and the King of Siam in the country. It says the film, which starred Irene Dunn as the English governess who arrives to tutor autocratic Rex Harrison's 67 royal offspring, "insults the monarchy". Less suprising than the ban perhaps, is why anyone would want to remake The King and I for the Nineties starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat.

Books: 20th-century fox-hunter

Richard D North hails a classic from a lonely modern mind

News Corp to spin off part of US entertainment empire

NEWS CORPORATION, the media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, is preparing to float off a stake in its US entertainment, television and sports businesses in an attempt to place a market value on the assets and ease the pressure from institutional investors.

Brand name 2000 nears sell-by date

IT IS NOT just computers that will bug some companies when 2000 arrives: those businesses who, in an excess of visionary spirit, attached the crucial number 2000 to their name are now in tortured discussions about what to call themselves on 1 January 2000, writes Mark Rowe.

Apology for `Titanic' gaffe

MAKERS of the film Titanic have apologised to a Scottish town for turning its local hero into a villain. The film showed the first officer, William Murdoch, taking a bribe, shooting a third-class passenger who tried to fight his way into a lifeboat and then turning his gun on himself.
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there