She shone in ‘The Sting’ as a weather-beaten brothel-keeper and confidante to Paul Newman

Sorority babes in slime

The B-movie is the heart of American film. B-movie queens are its lifeblood. They die to live. By Nick Hasted


Jack Rose knew what he did best and, surprisingly, so did Hollywood; in a 34-year film career, he wrote or co-wrote some 30 films, all but four of which were comedies or musical comedies.

Underrated the case for the critic

Insolence, a horrible quality in everyday life, can be a splendid thing in comedy, which is one reason why The Simpsons is such a gleefully daring production. Its makers are obviously secure in the knowledge that it's the cleverest comedy of sub-moronism ever to grace the small screen, and that confidence brings it perilously close to rudeness - to sneering openly at the very Joe and Jane Sixpacks who have made it a hit.

Imran's big day may jeopardise his career

IT MAY be a surprising match, but yesterday Imran Khan, 42-year- old former Pakistani cricket captain and reborn Islamic politician, and Jemima Goldsmith, 21-year-old part-Jewish daughter of the millionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith, confirmed they were to be married and announced that they saw eye to eye.

Yes, I see Goldie Hawn as chairman of the bank

Everyone wants Nick Leeson. The stakes are high and the bidders are closing in - the press, publishers and Hollywood - even the Singapore police. And, we can exclusively reveal, some of world's finest creative minds are bringing to life the throbbing sto

Spectacular downfall of a big-shot

Forget bungs, the scandal engulfing an American sporting hero is worth £149m. Phil Reeves reports from Los Angeles


Every actor, they say, has one great part in him. It may be his mouth, it may be his knees, or it may be something less tangible. If you could piece together the perfect male lead, which bits of whom would you choose? David Thomson plays fantasy film- maker and zooms in on the Hollywood great who had 10 shoulders, the one who lived in the shadow of his own moustache, and the one who let his walk do the talking

Nautical language ... who's so vain? ... and furry bikinis


THEATRE / Oh] what a piece of work: Paul Taylor, watching Richard Dreyfuss's debut production of Hamlet in Birmingham, finds himself warming to Claudius

Whatever next, you wondered, on hearing that Richard 'Jaws' Dreyfuss was to direct Hamlet at the Old Rep, Birmingham - Goldie Hawn's Cymbeline at the Bolton Octagon? Ambulance-chasers perked up still further, already twitching on their starting blocks, braced themselves when the news broke that Susan Hampshire (slated to play Gertrude) had left the production during rehearsals.

CINEMA / John Lyttle on cinema

Former New Yorker movie critic, Pauline Kael, once said that even in the worst movie there was always something, a titbit, that redeemed the tedium; a hot song or an eccentric supporting role or a line about wombat sperm. As usual, the divine Pauline is no more than right. Indeed, one should like to pick up her ball and mince very quickly with it and suggest that a scoring system be instituted to alert movie-goers as to why they should attend a film that otherwise would be made to wander the streets calling out 'Unclean, unclean'. Take Bloodhounds of Broadway. It's a major bore but Madonna actually keeps her clothes on. Surely the public should be made aware of this miracle and be encouraged to rejoice? Imagine how ticket sales would have picked up if punters had known the Material Girl was going to - pardon the vulgarism - 'get her tits in'.

Ice Hockey: Gretzky stumbles on his way to coronation: Any day now the 'Great One' will break the NHL goalscoring record. Phil Reeves reports from Los Angeles

AMERICAN sports fans are beginning to get a little impatient. For days now, they have been waiting to uncork the champagne to celebrate the crowning glory of the man who is known, even by his opponents, as the 'Great One'. But Wayne Gretzky, the Pele of ice hockey, has so far been unable to deliver.

Fashion: Honey, I shrunk my wardrobe - The message for spring is this: you can dress like a sex kitten and still be firmly in control, says Jessica Stein

You may wonder what these pictures are doing here in these politically correct, gently feminist times.

FILM / Feast for the eye: The movies have a legendary appetite for food and all its accompanying rituals: John Lyttle digests cinema's most memorable meals

The best chefs say food should be kept simple. If only. Eat to live may be the bottom line, but society seldom allows our relationship with sustenance to be a mere matter of fuel and function.


WHAT is this thing called KFC? A model car for boy racers? A Sega game? In just 10 seconds the current Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial shows you all the problems of pioneering a market, getting 'knocked off' by lookalike operators and falling out of fashion. The issue for Kentucky Fried Chicken is that difficult word 'Fried', not the ideal description for a fast-food offering in an age when people don't want to be forcibly reminded of fat. It means you can't take advantage of the healthy associations of chicken. And, come to think of it, Chicken is a bit of a limitation too when McDonald's can peddle anything from Chinese to pizza.

FILM / Coming to a video store near you: John Lyttle's monthly guide to the latest sell-through and rental videos

TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (Guild 18 129 mins) In typical Lynchian fashion, the prequel to the cult series obscures as much as it reveals. Those seeking answers to the mystery of murder victim Laura Palmer's last week of life will probably feel cheated. Others will appreciate the director's relentless, ornamental excursion into style, even while mourning the abbreviated appearance of Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and the absence of slinky high school siren Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn). Still, the deafening, strobe-lit sequence at the Roadhouse bar is a blase, erotic and alienating vision of disco hell, so powerful one can forgive Lynch almost anything. Even David Bowie's gibbering wreck. On release.
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up