Arts and Entertainment Ryan Guzman (pictured) is signed to Step Up 5

Tinseltown Insider

Film: Still afraid of the men in black

Big bad Hollywood is always bullying British films out of the cinema - so the script goes. Kevin Maher talks to the distributors

No, not Cooney. Clooney

Twentieth Century Fox is planning a film of the quintessential British stage farce 'Run For Your Wife'. The studio wants to capitalise on the success of new wave British comedies such as 'The Full Monty' and 'Brassed Off'. The company is said to be offering more than one million dollars to the show's creator, Ray Cooney, for screen rights to the trouser- dropping farce in the touching belief that it is part of the new wave. Cooney, who is in Los Angeles for negotiations with Fox, said: "I think that with the success of 'The Full Monty' and 'Brassed Off', Hollywood has started to look at British films and British comedy in a very positive way. I am in negotiations and it looks as if this time it is finally going to happen." Cooney remains unfashionable among British theatre critics, though not among audiences. He has written 16 farces and 'Run For Your Wife' ran in the West End for nine years. But none has yet been made into a film. Indeed the Fox project, to be produced by Harold Ramis, the man behind 'Ghostbusters', will be the first attempt by a big studio to film a British farce since 'No Sex, Please, We're British' 20 years ago. But can Cooney's politically incorrect world of randy men, scatterbrained women and gesticulating homosexuals possibly translate? David Lister eavesdrops on a planning meeting at the Hollywood studios.

Moments that made the year: Fine romance proves that big isn't necessarily beautiful

The best films can take you back to the first time you were ever held in the spell of the cinema screen, with the smell of popcorn hanging in your nostrils, and the sound of the projector whispering in the distance. There were a handful of pictures this year that made me remember how intoxicating cinema can be. My favourite film of 1997 was Baz Lurhmann's Romeo & Juliet, which proved to be less a case of the film-maker adapting the text than lunging at it with a broad sword. Rather than simply updating the play, Luhrmann dragged the setting into modern times while audaciously keeping the language firmly plugged into the late 16th century. The results were sensual, witty and bold, with moments that made Fellini look like a master of understatement.

Film: Precocious prankster who gets a thrill from tripping people up

David Fincher is associated with the making of relentless, dark thrillers like `Seven'. Although his latest film `The Game' has its playful moments, Ryan Gilbey finds its director revelling in its depths of illusion

Real Living: The return of the clash

James Sherwood meets one man who has no plans to chuck out his chintz

Box Office London

1 The Full Monty 20th Century Fox

Stirling stuff: welcome to 'Braveheart' country

Sir William Wallace once beat the English here. Now, with Thursday's referendum looming, history could repeat itself.

Style police: Move over, Marilyn...

Slinky pencil skirts, cute stilettoes - the sex kitten is back, says James Sherwood

Mind your backs Fear is the key

Grosse Pointe Blank George Armitage (15)

PIPE DREAMS

Directing the most commercially successful films in Hollywood history is one thing, founding a new studio quite another. And Steven Spielberg could be about to discover the difference. Report by David Thomson

It's Dollywood as Tinseltown sees double

Dolly the Sheep may already be a double - but can she act the part? The world's first cloned sheep is being courted by television and film companies anxious to sign up the woolly star.

Obituary: Irving Caesar

"I write fast", maintained the lyricist Irving Caesar. "Sometimes lousy - but always fast."

A film script for the City

PROFILE : Barry Spikings One of Hollywood's leading Brits wants our money men to go to the movies. Ian Griffiths reports

Teacher Babe

The cinema has invaded the classroom. Media studies in the national curriculum has led to film becoming an increasingly important teaching aid in British schools. Daniel Rosenthal reports

THE CUTTING EDGE OUT

A fantastic voyage through the body is no longer a Hollywood dream. Roger Dobson examines the new technology which enables surgeons to practise skills without ever picking up a scalpel
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?