Cinema

Entry Category: Cinema - Starting with M

Man Outside

Directed and co-written by Mark Stouffer, brother of Arkansas-born documentary filmmaker Marty Stouffer, Man Outside (1987) is a modestly budgeted independent romance-thriller made and set in rural Arkansas. In an effective opening sequence, Arkansas-born lawyer Jack (played by Robert Logan) speeds his expensive sports car recklessly across Mississippi and Arkansas, finally crashing and abandoning the vehicle in the Ozarks woods. Remorseful that his wife had died in a house fire while he was out drinking, Jack becomes a hermit—with enough funds to afford a house much nicer on the inside than the outside. He is friendly only with a few subsistence farmers, although college professor Grace (Kathleen Quinlan) makes some progress befriending the recluse. After a local boy disappears, Jack …

Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf

Directed and written by Lebanese American Susan Youssef, Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf (2019) is a feature film made and set in and around Little Rock (Pulaski County), including at Central High School and rural Pulaski County. Filming also took place at Magnolia Grove Monastery, a Buddhist community in Batesville, Mississippi. Youssef had previously made one feature film and several shorts, including a 2006 short of the same title, Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf, which told a similar story with a different cast.   The feature’s young heroine, Marjoun, is played by Veracity Butcher, who is of mixed Moroccan and Cajun heritage. In Little Rock in 2006, the Lebanese American teenager faces many problems. She is angry that her father has been unjustly imprisoned by U.S. authorities for innocent cash transfers to relatives in Lebanon. At school, her little sister Jinane is bullied, and Marjoun is harassed for her style of dress, snapping at …

McKrell, Jim

Jim McKrell is a broadcast personality whose career spanned many decades and included work in radio, television, and film. From his work in commercials for both local and national television to hosting game shows and appearing in TV shows and films, he compiled a wide-ranging set of credits for work both behind and in front of the camera. Jim “Mac” McKrell was born James MacKrell Jr. on October 12, 1937, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to James “Mac” MacKrell Sr. and Bess Irene Townsend MacKrell. He later changed the spelling of his last name. His father was a prominent local radio personality before getting involved in politics. He graduated from Covington High School in Covington, Louisiana, in 1955 and returned …

Miles, Ann

Ann (Annie) Miles is a former actress, stuntwoman, Playboy bunny, Broadway hairstylist, and model from Malvern (Hot Spring County). Miles began her career as a stuntwoman riding the famous diving horses on Atlantic City’s Steel Pier. Among other stunts on television and film, she performed the “spiderwalk” in director William Friedkin’s 1973 film The Exorcist, a scene that was cut from the film’s original release and for which she was initially uncredited. Miles worked as a hair and wig stylist on and off Broadway in Manhattan, where she spent the bulk of her career. Ann Miles was born in Malvern in 1940. Her father, Hubert Eastham, later became executive vice president at Pine Bluff National Bank. Miles had a talent …

Minari

Filmed in Oklahoma but set in Arkansas, the 2020 movie Minari tells the story of a Korean family who moved from California to the rural Ozarks due to the father’s hopes of establishing himself as a farmer of Korean vegetables. The movie, based upon the family experiences of writer/director Lee Isaac Chung, himself an Arkansas native, received near universal praise from critics and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The movie opens with the Yi family—father Jacob (Steven Yeun), mother Monica (Yeri Han), daughter Anne (Noel Kate Cho), and son David (Alan S. Kim)—moving into a mobile home situated on a patch of farmland in northwestern Arkansas. The exact location is not specified, but it is mentioned …

Moore, Rudy Ray

African-American comedian, singer, film actor, and film producer Rudy Ray Moore was known as “king of the party records” because of the popularity of his comedy albums. He released many comedy albums in the 1960s and 1970s and was best known for the character Dolemite, which he developed in his standup routine and portrayed in two films, Dolemite and The Human Tornado. Rudy Ray Moore was born on March 17, 1927, in Fort Smith (Sebastian County). The oldest of seven children, he often sang in church and developed a taste for performance. After his mother married, he lived briefly in nearby Paris (Logan County) before moving back to Fort Smith. He moved to Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of fifteen …

Movies

aka: Film
aka: Motion Pictures
Even though most American motion picture production has focused on the East Coast or West Coast, Arkansas has made important contributions to cinematic history. Several successful movie stars and directors were born in Arkansas, and the state has hosted the production of several important motion pictures. Since the 1960s, Arkansas’s state government has participated in the promotion of motion picture production, and in the 1990s, Arkansas began hosting film festivals that have captured worldwide attention. The connection between Arkansas and the motion picture business begins with the earliest of American movies. Most scholars consider Edwin S. Porter’s The Great Train Robbery (1903) the first step in developing a Hollywood style of filmmaking. Featured in three roles in that short movie …

Mud

Mud is the third film written and directed by Little Rock (Pulaski County) native Jeff Nichols. The film was shot over an eight-week period in parts of Dumas (Desha County), DeWitt (Arkansas County), Lake Village (Chicot County), Crockett’s Bluff (Arkansas County), and Stuttgart (Arkansas County) in the fall of 2011. The film used more than 400 locals as extras. Other Arkansan actors in the film include Jacob Lofland of Yell County in the role of Neckbone and El Dorado (Union County) native Stuart Greer, a noted character actor, as a bounty hunter called Miller. The film made its premiere at the famous Cannes Film Festival in France on May 26, 2012, and was shown at the Sundance Film Festival before …