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At the Movies

Michael Wood: 'Marriage Story', 2 January 2020

... turn to California because that is where the case is being filed, and having talked to Bert Spitz (Alan Alda) and found him far too nice to win the game, he hires Jay Marotta (Ray Liotta; Baumbach as writer is not going far for his fictional names), the meanest and most expensive lawyer in town. His retainer is $25,000, and he charges $950 an hour. If the ...


John Lanchester: Blogswarms, 2 November 2006

... Republican nomination in the aftermath of Bartlet’s presidency: Senator Arnold Vinick, played by Alan Alda as socially liberal, fiscally conservative and overtly secular. It was an effective way of dramatising what the Republican Party has become – that’s to say, the opposite of all those things – and the least credible thing about Vinick was not ...

How wars begin

Jon Halliday, 23 May 1985

The Korean War: History and Tactics 
edited by David Rees.
Orbis, 128 pp., £7.99, September 1984, 0 85613 649 2
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Der Koreakrieg 1950 bis 1953: Das Scheitern der Amerikanischen Aggression gegen die KDVR 
by Olaf Groehler.
Militarverlag der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, 120 pp., DM 6.50
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The Rainy Spell, and Other Korean Stories 
translated by Suh Ji-moon.
Onyx, 255 pp., £12.95, December 1984, 9780906383179
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The Complete Book of MASH 
by Suzy Kalter.
Columbus, 240 pp., £15.95, October 1984, 0 86287 080 1
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The Last Days of MASH 
by Alan Alda and Arlene Alda.
Columbus, 150 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 88101 008 1
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... On 5 July 1953, three weeks before the end of the Korean War, Winston Churchill was about to step out onto the croquet lawn with his doctor, Lord Moran, and with Field Marshal Montgomery, when Monty asked him: ‘What is our policy in Korea? It is no good making war without a policy.’ Churchill replied with a reference to the President of South Korea: If I were in charge, I would withdraw the United Nations troops to the coast and leave Syngman Rhee to the Chinese ...

Milk and Lemon

Steven Shapin: The Excesses of Richard Feynman, 7 July 2005

Don’t You Have Time to Think? The Letters of Richard Feynman 
edited by Michelle Feynman.
Allen Lane, 486 pp., £20, June 2005, 0 7139 9847 4
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... build the atomic bomb at Los Alamos: ‘He was no ordinary genius. Theirs was no ordinary love.’ Alan Alda played Feynman in Peter Parnell’s well-received New York stage play QED. Christopher Sykes’s BBC Horizon programmes on Feynman were popular hits, in Britain and the US. (A female letter-writer announced that she’d ‘fallen in love’ with ...

The Eerie One

Bee Wilson: Peter Lorre, 23 March 2006

The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre 
by Stephen Youngkin.
Kentucky, 613 pp., $39.95, September 2005, 0 8131 2360 7
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... anywhere else. This was partly because of his quite deliberate scene-stealing manoeuvres. Robert Alda, the father of Alan, acted with Lorre in a horror film which has since become a cult called The Beast with Five Fingers. You ‘had to be prepared’ for his ‘little tricks’ all the time, ...

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