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Stars attack Germany's stance on Scientology

Hollywood's finest have risen against German oppression, striking a blow for a well-heeled but persecuted minority. In an "open letter" addressed to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, cunningly disguised as a full-page advert in yesterday's International Herald Tribune, Dustin Hoffman, Goldie Hawn and company accuse the German government of Nazi-style repression of Scientologists.

Mission Impossible: Sir Alastair gets the banks in tow (with apologies to Tom Cruise)

The board of Eurotunnel last night approved a deal to refinance its pounds 8bn debt mountain that sharply dilutes existing shareholders but leaves them in control for the time being and saves the Channel tunnel operator from receivership.

Now all the heroes have hard drives

Suddenly, booting up is very big at the box office. But Hollywood's attempt to get wired has had comic consequences

How Lenzi pulled out of a nose-dive

If you think getting an Olympic gold medal is a first-class ride to riches, then Mark Lenzi would put you right. For the American diver it led to the passage in his life he winces about. He wore fame about as well as an ill-fitting pair of trunks.

PETER YORK ON ADS; Mission PR: Tom Cruise says buy the book



Mission: Impossible, most fashionable movie of the summer, has spawned an unlikely new hero: the tailor Timothy Everest, creator of the film's discreet but impossibly sophisticated grey suits

Tom Cruise's mission implausible

So here it is at last, the distinguished thing, and only one question is really urgent: does it deliver? Does it provide that sine qua non, that Holy Grail of the summer blockbuster known as Bang for your Buck? And the answer: pretty well, provided you don't mind surrendering your claim to other basic gratifications - to plausibility and coherence, for example, not only in such trifles as plot and character but in the workings of the three laws of motion. At two key points in Mission: Impossible (PG), our hero Ethan (Tom Cruise) finds himself in a tight spot which he escapes by blowing himself up with exploding chewing gum - a natty substance which has the property of foiling bad guys but hurling good guys, unscratched, to safety. It's curious to recall that the director, Brian de Palma, was once a science major; the last time we saw physics like this, a coyote was chasing a big land bird that went "Beep! Beep!"

Mission possible: red tape cut to boost film industry

It looked like a mission impossible: making a Hollywood blockbuster in the heart of London without making the movie-makers mad.


The season of the blockbusters has descended upon America. The daddy of them all, Mission: Impossible has, predictably, gone straight to the top of the charts, opening on 3,012 screens across the country. It's released here on 5 July. This takes the wind out of the tornado thriller Twister. The lame James Bond spoof Spy Hard makes a surprisingly good showing. It opened here and in the US on the same day, a trick distributors play to capitalise on business before word gets around of how bad a film is. (All figures denote weekend box-office only)


Don Simpson, the producer of `Top Gun' and `Beverly Hills Cop', was the king of high-concept Hollywood. But unlike his movies, the producer's life did not have a happy ending. David Thomson reports

High-concept high roller

The life and death of producer Don Simpson is a classic tale of modern Hollywood. By Kevin Jackson

It's getting tougher at the top

With US elections on the horizon, the role of president has never been subject to greater scrutiny. Even by Hollywood. Rob Reiner, maker of Spinal Tap, is taking a positive view.

Cinema: How Kevin Costner blew it

'Waterworld' is in big trouble, but the career of its star has been in decline for years. Quentin Curtis reports on an accident waiting to happen

Adonis meets Tom Cruise in the Garden

Classical Music


We don't make 'British films' any more - or not many. But we do have three very famous studios. Rosie Millard visits Pinewood, Shepperton and Elstree to check on their fortunes
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
(David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
footballBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans is the favourite to replace Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear
Boyband star Brian Harvey is on benefits and on the verge of homelessness
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Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor