The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

June 27, 2012

Ephron blazed trail in male-dominated industry

LOS ANGELES — Before Nancy Meyers, before Sofia Coppola, before Julie Delpy and Kasi Lemmons and Nicole Holofcener, there was Nora Ephron.

She was a rare woman writing and directing in what was (and still is) the male-dominated industry of filmmaking. Ephron staked out her spot on the cinematic landscape with a distinctive voice and formidable wit. Now, she leaves behind a legacy of classic moments and quotable lines after succumbing to leukemia Tuesday at age 71.

The very mention of her name calls to mind a certain kind of movie, something you can't say about many filmmakers, regardless of their gender. They were romantic comedies, yes, but ones for smart women, about smart women, with characters who had both bite and vulnerability to them. Maybe they were a tad too hyper-analytical or neurotic, but they were always highly verbal and, more often than not, destined for the kind of happy ending they deserved.

Meg Ryan forged and reinforced her status as America's Sweetheart with roles in movies Ephron either wrote or wrote and directed: The best of these was 1989's "When Harry Met Sally ..." (directed by Rob Reiner), followed by "Sleepless in Seattle" in 1993 and "You've Got Mail" in 1998, both with Tom Hanks in winning form as Ryan's likable everyman co-star.

Decades later, you can still say the line, "I'll have what she's having," and everyone will instantly know what you're talking about. That's how lasting Ephron's work has been and will remain.

Back in the late '80s and early '90s, Kathryn Bigelow was a rare fellow female filmmaker — and since has gone on to become the only woman to win an Academy Award for best director, for "The Hurt Locker" — but she's focused on action pictures. Barbra Streisand also tried her hand at directing around this time with "Yentl," ''The Prince of Tides" and "The Mirror Has Two Faces." But Ephron continued on and endured, for better and for worse.

Text Only
AP story section
  • Iraq violence threatens OPEC's precarious balance NEW YORK (AP) -- The oil market has balanced out quite nicely for OPEC in recent years. Now, upheaval in Iraq shows that balance may be more precarious than it has seemed. Dramatic changes in oil production around the globe have offset each other ins

    June 13, 2014

  • Board of Trade Grain mixed, livestock mostly higher CHICAGO (AP) -- Grain futures were mixed Thursday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for July delivery was 1 cent higher at $5.9025 a bushel; July corn was 1.25 cents lower at $4.4075 a bushel; July oats were unchanged at $3.4625 a

    June 13, 2014

  • Health campaign among nation's costliest CHICAGO -- President Barack Obama's home state agreed to spend $33 million in federal money promoting his health care law, hiring a high-priced public relations firm for work that initially was mocked and spending far more per enrollee on television

    June 13, 2014

  • Some states roll back teacher tenure protections WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even before a judge's scathing ruling against California's teacher tenure policies, the once-sacred protections that make it harder to fire teachers already had been weakened in many states -- and even removed altogether in some pl

    June 13, 2014

  • Tigers' Scherzer outduels Sale CHICAGO -- Max Scherzer already has a Cy Young Award. Now he has a complete game. Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his 179th career start for his first complete game and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 4-0 win over

    June 13, 2014

  • $40M casino for rural Iowa approved BURLINGTON (AP) -- The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has voted 3-2 to grant a license for a $40 million casino development that would be located in rural central Iowa. Supporters of the Jefferson casino burst into applause during a meeting in Bur

    June 13, 2014

  • Principal case leads to two hearings RED OAK -- Two hearings are planned related to a southwest Iowa school district's plan to fire a high school principal. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported the effort to fire Red Oak High School Principal Jedd Sherman will be the subject of a

    June 13, 2014

  • U.S. split outgrows voting booth WASHINGTON (AP) -- Political polarization in America has broken out of the voting booth. A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds Americans are divided by ideology and partisanship not only when they cast ballots, but also in choosing where to

    June 13, 2014

  • Cubs' offense no help for Samardzija PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Samardzija has some advice his pitching brethren when it comes to facing streaking Andrew McCutchen. Don't. The way the Chicago Cubs' ace looks at it, trying to get the Pittsburgh Pirates' star out at the moment only opens yourself

    June 13, 2014

  • State to reopen Juvenile Home DES MOINES -- A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home, telling Gov. Terry Branstad he cannot unilaterally change a law approved by the state Legislature. Judge Scott Rosenberg said the home in Toledo was

    February 6, 2014

AP Video
Facebook
National News