When Harry Met Sally is typical of Rob Reiner's films - hugely popular with audiences, not critically acclaimed. See Misery, The Princess Bride, The Bucket List. Only A Few Good Men received an Oscar nod. Uploaded by moviemobsters.com.
It’s kind of sad that after all he’s accomplished as a writer and director, my first thought of Rob Reiner is to call him “meathead.” That role on All in the Family gave Reiner the credibility he needed to make his move in show business. (Being the son of the great Carl Reiner didn’t hurt, of course.)
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His directorial debut came with the brilliant This Is Spinal Tap (Great American Things, November 21, 2010), which he also co-wrote. Among the movies he directed:
- Stand by Me (1986)
- The Princess Bride (1987)
- When Harry Met Sally (1989)
- Misery (1990)
- A Few Good Men (1992)
- The American President (1995)
- Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)
- The Bucket List (2007)
As an actor, he won two Emmy Awards for his part in All in the Family. He’s maintained his acting skills, performing mostly character roles in such movies as Postcards from the Edge, Sleepless in Seattle, and The First Wives Club. Most of his movies resonated more with audiences than critics, though I’m not sure Reiner would appreciate that point of view. Even so, only one of his films (A Few Good Men) has been nominated for an Oscar. But that filmography demonstrates conclusively why he belongs in the list of Great American Things.
Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca headlined Your Show of Shows, a live variety-comedy show that ran from 1950-1954 and set the stage for such future programs as the Dick Van Dyke Show and the Carol Burnett Show. Uploaded by upi.com.
Things were very different in the early years of television. Most programs were broadcast live, which requires a level of performance discipline that’s unnecessary when tape is available. One of the first blockbuster shows that brought Americans together around their new black and white televisions was a great sketch comedy show that’s become legendary.
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Your Show of Shows starred Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca along with a great supporting cast that included Carl Reiner and Howard Morris (whom you probably remember better as Ernest T. Bass on The Andy Griffith Show). That’s a terrific cast, and it was supported by some equally amazing writers, including Neil Simon and Mel Brooks. The program was created by one of the greatest creative forces in TV history, Sylvester L. “Pat” Weaver – Sigourney’s dad. With that kind of accumulated talent, it’s no wonder that the show is so fondly remembered as a major stepping stone in the new medium’s development.
Your Show of Shows lasted just four seasons, the pressure of doing so many live broadcasts took its toll. Carl Reiner acknowledges that his experiences as one of the show’s writers/performers were the basis of another Great American Thing – The Dick Van Dyke Show. Also in the early years of the industry, Your Show of Shows won Emmy Awards in 1952 and 1953 as Best Variety Show.