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Fame, but no grouses

THE GUN SELLER by Hugh Laurie Heinemann pounds 12.99

'Casablanca' comes to life

MARIANNE MACDONALD

What if... Jeff Bridges had got the part in Taxi Driver, if Ronald Reagan had smouldered in Casablanca, and Indiana Jones had worn a Magnum 'tache? Well, that was the original idea.

As great screen moments go, Frank Sinatra in the back of the taxi with Rod Steiger doing the "I coulda been a contender" speech in On the Waterfront vies with Jeff Bridges looking into a mirror repeating "You talkin' to me?" in Taxi Driver.

THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS

Have you ever wondered what happened to John Travolta's character in 'Saturday Night Fever' after the disco closed down? Or how things turned out for Jessica Rabbit? In the first of two extracts from the forthcoming sequel to his cult 1985 novel 'Suspects',

White Xmas

Rather than see a small fortune in the best brut fizz disappear down the family hatch, it is legitimate to go for something less ambitious

The red hot Chilean

For almost a decade, the New World wine boom passed Chile by - 'wine was for getting drunk'. Now, Chile has won the hearts of British wine drinkers, and the inspiraton can be attributed to Ignacio Recabarren

Losing the plot by the yard

THE USUAL SUSPECTS Bryan Singer (18) The Usual Suspects is a stylish thriller with an opening that evokes classic Hitchcock. But, says Adam Mars-Jones, the story soon snags on its own intricacies

OBITUARY : Howard Koch

Howard Koch has a secure place in movie lore for having written the apogee of modern romanticism, Casablanca (1942). Many have seen it countless times, enthralled by Bogey, Bergman, Dooley Wilson playing "As Time Goes By", "all the usual suspects": its dialogue is as familiar as any in Hamlet, but who wrote what is a matter of dispute. Among the first of several screenplays was one written by the twins Julius and Philip Epstein, under contract to Warner Bros; that was passed on to another contract writer, Howard Koch, and then yet another, Casey Robinson (who received no credit), did some polishing.

Flavours of summer

WINE

Leading Article: Some other happy ending

Thousands of people must have yearned for some sort of happy ending to the John McCarthy and Jill Morrell story. Their book, Some other Rainbow, published after McCarthy's release from five years in captivity, was a bestseller. Although neither of them was cut out for the role of media Royal Couple, neither did they wholly discourage the idea that this most modern of relationships might survive the tribulations to which it was so publicly subjected. As in Nevil Shute's A Town Like Alice, we were persuaded that their love might just survive imprisonment, war and distance.

ANOTHER VIEW : Giving up isn't hard to do

Bryan Appleyard is right that pressuring smokers to stop by telling them what they know already - that the habit is killing them, costing them a fortune etc - does not help. The experience at our clinics is that for most self-respecting smokers No Smoking Day is the one day they will refuse to stop. Many smoke twice as many twice as blatantly that day. I used to. Contrary to popular belief, smokers are not stupid, weak- willed people. They are as intelligent and strong-willed as the rest of us, and they do not like being told what to do.

The anti-smoking fundamentalists

On No Smoking Day, Bryan Appleyard calls on healthists to let us fume in peace

LETTERS : Briefly :

A SMALL error crept into your review of Casablanca magazine (Books, Sunday Review, 22 January). My pocket calendar/ almanac foretold there would be potato galas all over Herefordshire, not Hertfordshire. Please print this correction, or my toweri ng reputation as a seer and prophet may be in jeopardy.

Little Magazines: Casablanca and Outposts

CASABLANCA is "a political magazine that's true, clean and fearless", and its winter issue is a folder supposedly containing "ten desirable things". Where, where? These turn out to be the assorted colour stickers and bumf that cascaded out of the envelope.

BBC editor steve jenkins explains that selection process in full

It should have been easy. Choose 100 films to show on BBC2 during 1995, to celebrate 100 years of cinema. Simple. Start with Citizen Kane, that's obvious, and then...what? Back through Stagecoach, Renoir, Astaire and Rogers, British Hitchcock, W C Fields, and into the silents. Chaplin, Eisenstein, Griffith, German Expressionism, Melies. And forward to take in film noir, The Best Years of our Lives, Bicycle Thieves, Italian neo-realism and David Lean. Plus Bergman, Bunuel, Fellini, Satyajit Ray, that wholeflowering of art cinema in the Fifties and early Sixties. And then all those auteurs discovered and championed by "Cahiers du Cinema" - Anthony Mann, Nicholas Ray, Samuel Fuller... Which brings us neatly to the French New Wave - Godard, Truffaut, Rohmer, Chabrol. And it's still only 1965.
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
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Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

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Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

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Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

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Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

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Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

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Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

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Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism