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Autopsy Completed After Epstein's Apparent Suicide; Universal Pictures Cancels Release of "The Hunt"; Walmart Pulls Some In-Store Displays, But Not For Guns; America's Largest Teachers Union Urges Walmart To Stop Selling Guns. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 11, 2019 - 20:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

Breaking news tonight. New York's medical examiner we've learned has performed an autopsy now on Jeffrey Epstein. No details have been released just yet on the findings but we can report that although Epstein was under lock and key, he wasn't under regular surveillance the night he apparently hanged himself.

New details today, from that federal prison in Manhattan where Epstein had been placed alone in a cell. That's a violation of federal prison protocol for inmates coming off suicide watch, we're told. It's also protocol for guards to check on inmates at least every 30 minutes even when they appear to be asleep and that apparently didn't happen either.

Now, the convicted pedophile and accused sex trafficker has taken crucial secrets to the grave. That leaves his many victims, some proven, and some alleged struggling to cope with bitter disappointment.

Joining us now is CNN senior investigative reporter, Vicky Ward, who once profiled Epstein for "Vanity Fair." And Vicky, are you hearing from any of Epstein's accusers, his victims reacting to this news that Jeffrey Epstein was not being monitored, he was not being watched, not being checked on his last night on earth?

VICKY WARD, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Yes, Ana. I mean absolutely outraged, disbelief. I mean the one thing that the victims I've spoken to really wanted was their day in court. So, just outrage that this could have happened.

CABRERA: Let me read you a statement from Jeffrey Epstein's attorneys who denounce, "Breathless reporters excavating every corner of Mr. Epstein's life to pile on, tear him down and kick him at his lowest - while still presumed innocent, before he'd had his day in court. All these actors appear to bear some responsibility for this calamity. All seem to have a share of Mr. Epstein's blood on their hands. All should be ashamed of their behavior." I mean, first of all, he did have a day in court, 10 or eight years ago or more in Florida where he managed to swing the sweetheart deal of all sweetheart deals. Where does the investigation go from here?

WARD: Well, I think you know U.S. Attorney General Geoffrey Berman made it very clear in his statement yesterday that this was a conspiracy. And that there are other people involved. And, you know, I think that the face of this now becomes Jeffrey Epstein's long-time girlfriend, the alleged procurer of a lot of these women, Ghislaine Maxwell.

I mean, she was certainly named in the affidavit of Maria Farmer who was one of the women who spoke to me, one of the victims in 2002. And her sister Annie Farmer who stood up in court at Jeffrey Epstein's bail hearing and asked the judge not to grant Jeffrey Epstein bail, you know told me that she really blamed Ghislaine Maxwell for what happened to her when she was underage. Because Ghislaine Maxwell was - you know she sounded so sort of aristocratic British, reassuring. She told their mother that she would be a chaperone when she invited Annie Farmer then 16 to come stay with Jeffrey Epstein. So, you know a lot of eyes now on Ghislaine Maxwell.

CABRERA: Does anybody know where she is?

WARD: So I had an e-mail from her in April asking me to meet for coffee. She was obviously in New York. At that point, I spoke to a source who I've known for 20 years who's also known Ghislaine for 20 years who saw her on a plain around Christmas coming back to New York from Miami. The source said that she was unrecognizable. Quite transformed, and that she would not be pinned down on where she was living.

CABRERA: And did you end up meeting with her?

WARD: I did not. I have obviously since then said I would be very happy to have that cup of coffee. No response.

CABRERA: So interesting. And of course she was involved in this civil suit that we learned so many ordeals, details from when the documents were unsealed just on Friday, the day before Epstein took his own life. And she obviously was accused in that particular suit, but it's unclear to me if she's actually facing any additional charges or criminal charges. Could she still be criminally prosecuted?

WARD: Well, look, they've talked about a conspiracy. And the time period, 2003 to 2005, that the indictment really focuses on is very much when Ghislaine Maxwell was in Jeffrey Epstein's life. You know, I certainly know from the victims who have spoken to me and I think it's being reported in the "Miami Herald."

[20:05:03] She was there. She was there in Florida. She was there in New York. So she's got to be, I think, you know, a top target for investigators.

CABRERA: We'll see where this goes. Vicky Ward, we know you're going to continue to follow this and talk to your sources. Thank you as always.

WARD: Thank you Ana.

CABRERA: Meantime, the president of the United States used his massive Twitter platform, 63 million followers, this weekend to spread a dangerous conspiracy theory tying Epstein's death to his former political rivals, the Clintons. I'm going to take a second just to repeat that. We're talking about the president of the United States on Twitter and implying a former U.S. president and former secretary of state had someone murdered while he was in prison.

Just imagine the reaction and what it would have been just a few years ago if another president made that same accusation against his predecessor. It would be the biggest scandal in the history of the United States. And yet somehow we've gotten numb it seems to all the scandals and bizarre headlines that are coming out of this White House. It's hardly the first time this president has used his megaphone to amplify baseless claims from lying about President Obama's birthplace to suggesting Ted Cruz's father helped assassinate JFK.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The two investigations are pressing forward. One of them led is by the FBI, the other one from the Department of Justice Inspector General's Office. If that takes place, there's no shortage of conspiracy theories right now that are floating around online including one that's actually been promoted by the commander in chief himself.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Donald Trump, the president who often spreads baseless claims online is at it again. Hours after convicted pedophile and accused sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein, took his own life, the commander in chief took to Twitter, promoting a conspiracy theory about the death.

The original tweet posted by self-proclaimed Trump supporter and comedian, Terrence Williams, suggested Bill and Hillary Clinton were somehow responsible for Epstein's death stating, "#JeffreyEpstein had information on Bill Clinton and now he's dead." Williams includes the #ClintonBodyCount and #ClintonCrimeFamily.

Angela Urena, spokesperson for former President Clinton responded writing the conspiracy theory was, "Ridiculous, and of course no true - and Donald Trump knows it. Has he triggered the 25th Amendment yet?"

While the president was retweeting, his own Attorney General William Barr released a statement saying, "Mr. Epstein's death raises serious questions that must be answered."

Another federal official told CNN no foul play is suspected. The 66- year-old millionaire was discovered dead in a cell at this Manhattan federal detention facility, Saturday morning. AG Barr has even said an inspector general investigation will look into the circumstances of Epstein's death.

There were reactions from both sides of the aisle. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill tweeting, "Something stinks to high heaven. How does someone on suicide watch hang himself with no intervention? Impossible. Unless -

Criticism from Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Saturday who agreed with scrutinizing the suicide but also wrote, "the immediate rush to spread conspiracy theories with someone on the other side of partisan divide having him killed illustrates why our society is so vulnerable to foreign disinformation and influence efforts."

On Sunday White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway attempting to justify the president's retweet.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: This is all speculative and it's not for me to go further than where the DOJ and FBI are right now, but you do hear different people asking questions. And they want to know who else was involved in Epstein's crimes or even just activities. And I guess that that will be revealed in time.


SANDOVAL: It's not the first unfounded theory from Donald Trump. Before becoming presidential candidate, he promoted the theory that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya even after Obama released his U.S. birth certificate.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Do you accept that President Obama was born in the United States?



SANDOVAL: Early in 2016, Trump ridiculously suggested Senator Ted Cruz's father was involved in the JFK assassination.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): This is nuts. This is not a reasonable position. This is just cookie.


SANDOVAL: Recently, Trump wondered about the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.


TRUMP: It's a horrible topic, but they said they found a pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: Authorities said he died in his sleep of natural causes.

SANDOVAL (on camera): And amid the conspiracies, there is perhaps some clarity right now with one source telling CNN that they believe that Epstein was left alone in his cell and the guards weren't checking on him every 30 minutes as required. As for the federal bureau of prisons, they've declined to comment.

Polo Sandoval, CNN New York.


CABRERA: Coming up, it was supposed to be a social satire but in the wake of two mass shootings, Universal Pictures decided the release of an upcoming movie called "The Hunt" was no laughing matter, more on this controversy next.


[20:13:38] CABRERA: Universal Pictures has now pulled the release of its theatrical thriller "The Hunt." The decision follows two back-to- back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. But Universal won't say if its decision is directly tied to those tragedies. At the film which was supposed to arrive in theaters next month was about elite Americans hunting average Americans from states like Wyoming and Mississippi for sport.

CNN's senior media reporter, Oliver Darcy, is joining us now. And Oliver, President Trump had been very critical of this film, right?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yes. I was actually pretty stunned though yesterday when they decided to cancel this movie. Like you said, it was a political thriller, a satire, if you will, where these elite Americans go and they hunt real Americans for sport and those real Americans are so-called deplorables.

And so, there are obviously some clear overtones to this movie, but at the end of the day, I think - and I think most people when they were looking at this figured out that the deplorables are actually the good people in the movie. You know the elites are actually the evil individuals and the deplorables are the good people.

So, this is actually a pro-deplorable movie that was coming out next month, but that really didn't stop it from taking hold in the right wing media particularly on Fox News. I was watching Fox last week and I just kept seeing segment after segment on this controversy. And I guess I am assuming the president of the United States must have been watching one of those segments because on Friday, he used this movie, he didn't identify it by name but it was pretty clear that it was about this movie to attack Hollywood.

[20:15:07] He attacked Hollywood as racist. He attacked Hollywood as wanting to incite violence. And Universal silent Friday night but yesterday, they came out with a statement and I can read part of it to you but effectively canceling the movie. They say that, "While Universal Pictures had already paused the marketing campaign for 'The Hunt,' after thoughtful consideration, the studio has decided to cancel our plans to release the film." And it goes on to say that the film makers - or the Universal stands by the film makers and will continue to release other movies.

CABRERA: Why are they canceling it? Did they say?

DARCY: They're not saying. It seems clear that it's probably due to the controversy and at some point it's just not worth it for them.

CABRERA: Right. You mentioned Fox News. We know the host Tucker Carlson went on vacation right after he sparked controversy over his comments about white supremacy being a hoax. Of course it isn't the questionable comment Carlson has made on this topic of white supremacy. And as you know, police believed the shooter -- the alleged shooter in the massacre in El Paso had this manifesto and was talking about a Hispanic invasion, was anti-immigrant and he even mentions the replacement theory. Tell us about that.

DARCY: Yes. This is a thing that's been in the right wing media for quite some time, the idea that whites are being replaced in this country by minorities and particularly that you know there's an invasion so to speak on the southern border. Obviously there's no invasion, this is not a thing. Minorities are set to overtake whites, you know, in a few decades according to the census. But the idea it's a bad thing is obviously not true either. But this has been a thing in right wing media, Fox News hosts routinely talk about this "great replacement" theory which really is a white nationalist theory if we're being honest. And I think we have some of the audio from that.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Latin-American countries are changing election outcomes here by forcing demographic change in this country at a rate that American voters consistently say they don't want.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Then some parts of the country, it does seem like the America we know and love doesn't exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people, and they're changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don't like.

Of this, my friends, you can be sure. Your views on immigration will have zero impact and zero influence on a House dominated by Democrats who want to replace you, the American voters, with newly amnestied citizens and an ever increasing number of chain migrants.

CHRISTIAN WHITON, CENTER FOR NATIONAL INTEREST SENIOR FELLOW: We've seen this in Europe, we're seeing it here, and they are attempting to replace us with citizens that they think -- future citizens that they think would be more amenable to voting for them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The more these people can be brought in illegally as well as legally the better it is for the Democratic Party because their goal is to transform the United States into a fact simile of California.



DARCY: Really disturbing rhetoric. I should note though. This is their Fox News hosts do say these things all the time. But the president of the United States has really been the one who has set the tone and ratcheted up this rhetoric. Obviously, I think according to "USA Today" instead of using really abrasive language when it comes to immigration at his rallies, over 500 times he's used words like invasion and alien and violence to discuss the immigration crisis on the border. And obviously these words do at some point have consequences.

CABRERA: Yes, words matter. Oliver Darcy, thank you.

DARCY: Thank you.

CABRERA: All right. Coming up, after the shooting in El Paso, will Walmart continue to be one of the world's biggest gun retailers? A look at the changes the company is making and why they're causing controversy.


[20:22:29] CABRERA: A four-day manhunt for an escaped Tennessee inmate charged with murder is over. Authorities captured Curtis Ray Watson around 11:00 a.m. in Western Tennessee. Only 10 miles from the prison he fled, using a tractor at one point.

State police released this video from a resident's home security camera showing Watson walking towards a refrigerator stored on an outdoor patio and that tip helped lead to Watson's capture. He's now charged with the murder of a prison official who official say, he killed in her home on the prison grounds Wednesday morning. Now Watson was already serving a sentence for aggravated kidnapping and had a prior conviction for child abuse.

What happened last weekend is still hard to comprehend. Two deadly mass shootings, 31 lives lost and a lot of questions about what if anything will be done. And one concerned Walmart and whether it will stop selling firearms considering it is one of the world's largest gun retailers.

As CNN's Alexandra Field reports, the stories making some changes but maybe not where it counts.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two deadly shootings in just one week at Walmart.

"My heartaches" writes Walmart's CEO Doug McMillon.

First a shooting an July 30th that claimed two lives at Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, then the massacre at a store in El Paso. Days later, panic sets in at a Walmart in Missouri when a heavily armed man walks in wearing full body armor. This time no shots are fired. The company is facing questions. Will America's largest retailer continue to be one of the world's biggest gun sellers?

At the end of the deadly week Walmart rolled out new guidelines instructing employees not to show violent movies in the entertainment section and banning displays of violent video games. The games themselves are still for sale and so are guns.


PAUL LAMONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: They don't break down just how much revenue they generate from ammunition and firearms, but it's a business that obviously, you know, does well and offer them if they want to stick with it.


FIELD: Top competitors Target and Amazon don't sell firearms.


LAMONICA: Walmart is in a fierce battle with a lot of other retailers around the country and they don't want to lose customers if they don't have to.


FIELD: Walmart markets its firearms for hunting and fishing and no longer sells handguns outside of Alaska. It stopped selling assault rifles since 2015, following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook and others. After the tragedy in Parkland, Walmart raised the minimum age to buy a gun to 21 and pulled toys resembling assault weapons. But a backlash is brewing. There are new calls for the retailer to do more.

[20:25:07] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, I feel it would be more effective if instead of taking down pictures of guns they actually stop selling guns.

THOMAS MARSHALL, WALMART EMPLOYEE: What we're asking really is our main reach is that we would like Walmart to stop the sale of all firearms and ammunition.


FIELD: This week, a Walmart employee sent an e-mail urging thousands of workers to strike. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted his support writing, "Walmart should respect the voices of its workers who are calling on the company to stop selling guns."

The gun used in the shooting in El Paso is not sold in Walmart stores but in the wake of a devastating week, Walmart's CEO says, "We will work to understand the many important issues that arise from El Paso and Southaven as well as those that have been raised in the broader national discussion around gun violence."

Alexandra Field, CNN New York.


CABRERA: The largest teachers union in America is sending a strong message to Walmart's CEO Doug McMillon. Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers writes, "If Walmart continues to provide funding to lawmakers who are standing in the way of gun reform, teachers and students should reconsider doing their back-to-school shopping at your stores."

Randi Weingarten is joining us now. Randi, thanks for being here.


CABRERA: That was just one part of your letter. I know you had a number of demands, requests from Walmart. Have you had any response?

WEINGARTEN: No, we have not. I mean, you know, we've had a public response, but we've not had the kind of thoughtful response that Doug McMillon said that he was going to do post the tragedy in El Paso. And frankly let me just be clear. Teachers care about kids. Kids these days, 80 percent of them, teenagers are more fearful about gun violence than anything else in their lives. And what we're asking Walmart, the biggest employer and retailer in the country is to care about kids as much as we do. And frankly at the very least care about them more than they care about the NRA.

CABRERA: Let's talk about what Walmart has done when it comes to guns. Walmart stopped selling military style rifles in 2015. We know it raised the age to purchase handguns from 18 to 21, that happened just last year. And this past week as we mentioned, they announced a temporary removal of violent video games signs and displays. Do you think these actions have an impact?

WEINGARTEN: Look, I think that thereafter Sandy Hook in a different presidency in saying that they would stop selling assault rifles and weapons was really important, and at that time we and others praised them for that. But let's talk about video games, which seems to be a talking point about the president and others. There are video games in Canada. There are video games in Europe. There are video games in lots of other places. But there isn't the guns that we have in America, and what has happened is we see in America a far greater use of guns, 250 mass shootings this year.

We need to be outraged about that, and it's not hunters, and it's not fishermen. It is an -- and it's not the normal members, the regular members of the NRA, most of whom want background checks, most of whom don't want weapons of war in the streets. We need to have these corporations who have tremendous clout in the United States take the step that Congress hasn't been willing to take. Keep our neighborhoods and our schools safe. CABRERA: Do your teachers feel any safer knowing these video game displays are being taken down?

WEINGARTEN: No. Our members feel just like students that schools should be safe havens, not armed fortresses. And obviously with all the hardening that's going on in schools given the number of guns that are out there, obviously we have worked with people like after Sandy Hook and after Parkland to try to figure out that balance.

But when you have more focus on buying or on selling bullet-proof backpacks as opposed to the kind of sensible gun violence recommendations of background checks and getting assault weapons and those kind of ammunitions off the streets, red flag laws, this is what our focus should be. Thoughts and prayers as important as is and every community that's gone through this has been scarred forever. Less thoughts and prayers and more policy changes.

CABRERA: Quickly if you will -- if the CEO of Walmart is watching right now -

WEINGARTEN: Sorry, I'm so emotional.

CABRERA: It's an emotional -

WEINGARTEN: It's horrible.

CABRERA: I have children in school. That's the worst thing I can ever imagine is them having to deal with this.

WEINGARTEN: It's just horrible.


CABRERA: But if you have the ear, if he's watching right now, what is your message to the CEO of Wal-mart?

WEINGARTEN: My message is, please do something that makes people safer, do community buy backs, bring together CEOs of all -- of all throughout the country, to work together, to put pressure on Congress to do the sensible gun violence things that other countries have done.

ALLEN: Thank you so much Randi Weingarten for coming in.

WEINGARTEN: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up, it is the center of the political universe, this weekend, the Iowa State Fair and the 2020 candidates are really ready to dive into the local cuisine.


ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I saw the butter cow from afar, but I've not actually tried the fried butter or the fried oreo. I've been fasting all day just to be able to have it today, guilt- free. REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have this whole riff about health food, and I don't know if this is the place to give that speech. My intent is to be the first presidential candidate in American history to have, at least, one bite from every single food vendor.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is amazing. So this is a peanut butter jelly sandwich on a stick.


BOOKER: I think the best way to describe this, is a little slice of heaven.



CABRERA: Throw a stick of fried butter or a corn dog, and chances are, you'd hit a presidential candidate at the Iowa State Fair. More than a dozen have been spotted on the fair grounds just six months ahead of the Iowa caucuses. The fair is often called the unofficial kick-off to the fall campaign season.

[20:35:10] CNN's Kyung Lah joins us now from Iowa where she's been traveling along with Senator Kamala Harris. And Kyung, give us just a taste of some of the sights and sounds this year.

KYUNG LAH, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This has been the big event here in Iowa, it's the State Fair, a lot of people converge on it, but it's been a difficult dance for these 2020 hopefuls because it's such a light-hearted affair, yet at the same time, this week, as you know, has been heavy on policy, on heartache, on gun control, that a lot of these candidates, all of them, in fact, have been meaning to address.

But then, they have to make the pivot to the Iowa State Fair, where they have to look at fried foods, how do they handle these moments where people come up to them, want to take a selfie, how do they handle a corn dog?

So, we wanted to walk you through some of these cheekier and light- hearted moments as one candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, made her very first visit as the 2020 presidential hopeful, through the Iowa State Fair.




HARRIS: Oh, the State Fair!


SUE DVORSKY, FORMER IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR: This is the time, right now, to assert joy and vision, moving forward. That's why --

HARRIS: Well, if you say (INAUDIBLE) I do not vote for myself.

I'm so excited to be here, and thrilled. And I just want to thank everyone here because this is one of the great American traditions.

I think I can also put Republicans.

And this is really about what we know about who we are, and so, I just want to thank you all. Good morning, good morning. It's great to be with you.

DVORSKY: OK, they're smarter than they're just crazy.

HARRIS: Hi guys. Hi, I'm Kamala Harris. I'm running for president.

DVORSKY: This is a historic field and looking at it, it's so exciting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my sister.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I take your photo?

HARRIS: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, watch out for this (INAUDIBLE) on your left.

DVORSKY: All of them are electable. The electability is our job. The electability is not the candidate. The electability is our job.


LAH: Now, I'm at the Mt. Pleasant Iowa rally. This is the end of day four of a five-day bus tour across Iowa for Senator Harris. We are expecting her to take the stage here, momentarily. She's going to take a far more serious attack on some of the issues affecting Iowans. But, Ana, I can report to you that she did, indeed, tried the pork chop at the State Fair, and she loved it.

CABRERA: Who doesn't love a pork chop? Kyung Lah, thank you. Coming up, dramatic scenes on the streets of Hong Kong; fire, tear gas and police in riot gear, the latest on the protests, consuming that city.



CABRERA: This is the 10th straight weekend of a completely chaotic, sometimes, violent public uprising in Hong Kong. This happened just today, riot police firing tear gas, trying to break up enormous crowds of protesters, people demanding more democracy and less hands-on influence from mainland China. CNN's Ivan Watson is there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A collective howl of rage. Residents of a Hong Kong neighborhood joined protesters to face down a squad of riot police. They retreat, the focus of so much anger.

This two-month cycle of confrontation resumed Sunday with what police call an unauthorized assembly. Authorities rejected requests for this pro-democracy march. But that didn't stop thousands from joining in. It was peaceful, until a hard core group came to this neighborhood police station.

Hong Kong's now in its 10th straight week of protests, and often it's the city's police stations that become a focus of some of the demonstrators. You can see the officers there, on alert, on the station walls, and this tense face-off there with some protesters in the distance, and the police warning residents to close their windows.

Using vandalized traffic barriers, they push closer, hurling eggs, ignoring repeated warnings from the police. Until -- the protesters were spoiling for a fight, and now they've got one. Squads of riot police storm in, a show of force, repeated week after week.

In the scuffles, people get hurt, both protesters and police. Once the riot police moved in, it took mere minutes for them to clear out thousands of protesters.

The Hong Kong government says it's cracking down on violent riots, arresting hundreds of young demonstrators. But at the scenes of these confrontations, some ordinary citizens lash out at law enforcement, while others appeal to the city government.

VINCENT PANG, PROTESTER: Please respond to what the student react. This is the most important thing. If you don't stand up to explain or to compromise with the student, I think these protests will continue and then there will be no ending.

WATSON: This is a city, divided, and few here see any way out of this mess. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


CABRERA: Coming up, it was three days of peace, love and music that defined a generation, remembering Woodstock 50 years later.



CABRERA: Finally, a break from the violent and contentious news we've all endured the past few weeks. Let's take a look back at Woodstock, 50 years old on Thursday. And our Paul Vercammen, we call him PVC, takes a trip down memory lane with a concert goer still on a Woodstock high.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MAUREEN MCFADDEN, ACTRESS, ATTENDED WOODSTOCK IN 1969: I just can't believe I saw all of those people in one weekend. It is more than any music lover could have asked for.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN REPORTER: Maureen McFadden saw it all in a muddy mess, 50 years ago, the Woodstock music festival in New York. Jimi Hendrix, Santana, The Who.

MCFADDEN: They played every freaking great song that they'd ever written up to that point.

VERCAMMEN: In 1969, McFadden, a 17-year-old theater nerd from Philadelphia, defied her mother's wishes and traveled to Woodstock. Her fellow actor, Denise Montana, came along. They loaded up to get loaded.

MCFADDEN: We had our Mescaline, and we had our hashish, and it was -- it did enhance everything, and it was -- that's what I think -- everybody took care of everybody at Woodstock.

[20:50:15] VERCAMMEN: In this psychedelic celebration, the young stage actresses said they met handsome German bikers and made out.

MCFADDEN: And they had really long hair, you know. It didn't matter that they couldn't speak English, broken English, you know, it was fine. They were -- they were rebels, and we were rebels, so --

VERCAMMEN: For McFadden, the real romance was with her rock idols and the spirit of Woodstock.

MCFADDEN: There are a lot of people who still live by the Woodstock credo of peace and love. I've signed my letters, peace and love, ever since, and I've had a couple people in business say, peace and love, Mo? No idea. Peace and love. Don't forget about that. It's what it's all about.

VERCAMMEN: McFadden is an entertainment publicist. And you would argue that right now, in these troubled times, we could use another Woodstock.

MCFADDEN: Damn straight, we could. Damn straight, we could. We need to be reminded about that, that it's not all the bull [BLEEP] that we hear every day. Take a breath. Think of who you are, think of who you love. Keep them here.

VERCAMMEN: Paul Vercammen, CNN, Santa Barbara, California.


CABRERA: I love that lady. Coming up, a 60s flashback as the CNN Original Series "THE MOVIES" returns tonight with a look at iconic films like this one.


EUNICE GAYSON, ACTRESS, DR.NO: I admire your luck, Mister? SEAN CONNERY, ACTOR, DR. NO: Bond, James Bond.




CABRERA: From small-scale thrillers, like Psycho to epic sagas like Lawrence of Arabia and even the big-screen debut of James Bond, the 60s produced no shortage of iconic films. Here's a quick preview of tonight's brand-new episode of the CNN Original Series "THE MOVIES."


CONNERY: I admire your courage, Miss --

GAYSON: Trench, Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck, Mister?

CONNERY: Bond, James bond.

NELSON GEORGE, AUTHOR AND FILMMAKER: If you grew up in the 60s, it's hard for you not to identify with Bond. He was like, I'm kicking ass, I'm taking names, I'm making quips, I got your girl.

GAYSON: When did you say you had to leave?

CONNERY: Immediately.

CHRISTOPHER LINDNER, EDITOR, THE JAMES BOND PHENOMENON: So, when the first James Bond film was made, a lot of risks were taken, and Sean Connery was one of those.

LOIS MAXWELL, ACTRESS, DR. NO: James, where on earth have you been? I've been searching London for you.

LINDNER: Ian Fleming and others were not super confident about Connery in that role, but the audience reception really proved that Connery could pull off Bond.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sean Connery, I read about you. You said you -- living up to your image.

CONNERY: Well, they pay the fines if I live up to Emmys.

ROBIN SWICORD, SCREENWRITER, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA: Sean Connery was so handsome, there's a kind of naughty fun just in his smile. And you felt as though you didn't need to know him. You weren't asking for an internal performance from him. He was somebody you could project a fantasy on.


CABRERA: Joining us now, Alicia Malone, host of Turner Classic Movies. OK, let's flashback because in the beginning, in the 60s, all of a sudden, there's a big competitor for the limelight. ALICIA MALONE, HOST, TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES: Yes.



CABRERA: How did the arrival of television in more and more homes, of course, change the way movies were being made in the 60s?

MALONE: Well, movie studios realized they needed to make the kind of films that television couldn't produce. So, the big historical epics which had been a mainstay in Hollywood for a long time, they became even bigger. So, huge sets, lavish productions, lots of extras, the kind of spectacle that you had to see on the big screen.

And that plus, you know, fun musicals, lots of techni-color, it was anything that you couldn't stay at home and watch to try to get audiences back into the theaters.

CABRERA: One of the movies in the 60s had such a huge impact, it nearly destroyed the studio that produced it, some say it even put the whole Hollywood, really, industry, at risk. Tell us about Cleopatra.

MALONE: Yes, well, Cleopatra had all the makings of a hit movie. You know, you had Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who were two very big movie stars, very well respected, shot in Rome. It was a big historical epic, everybody was excited about it, but no expense was spared and that was the problem.

The budget went way, way over to the point there was no way the 20th Century Fox could make that money back at the box office. Plus, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton started having an affair, they're married to other people, so that brought a lot of negative publicity to the film.

It actually ended up doing well at the box office, but yes, it brought 20th Century Fox almost to a financial ruin.

CABRERA: Wow. It just (INAUDIBLE) big production. It really was. We talk about a whole new generation of movie stars, also, in the 60s, who were some of the biggest names, and what was their impact on the industry?

MALONE: Yes, it was a real new breed of movie star, you know, it wasn't just these untouchable icons who were put in any movie, they really had a lot of say over the development of their characters. So, even someone like Paul Newman, who is very classically good-looking, he was a trained actor and he could do so many different roles.

You had Barbra Streisand who was really relatable in a way that many movie actresses hadn't been before. Steve McQueen was so cool and did a lot of his own stunts. And also, Sidney Poitier, he had a huge impact on movies, you know. He was in three of the highest grossing films in 1967, alone, and the first black performer to win the Best Actor Oscar.

CABRERA: And one of my favorites, Julie Andrews --


CABRERA: -- and the Sound of Music was my all-time favorite movie, if you know me well, you know how much I love musicals. What's your favorite movie from the 60s?

MALONE: My favorite is the apartment, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Lemmon, a great example of a romantic comedy that's also quite dark at the same time, and I can watch it any time, and I get something different from it each time.

CABRERA: I have not seen that one.

MALONE: Put it on your list.

CABRERA: That's one, that has to go on my list, any others that I need to add?

MALONE: Well, I love Breakfast at Tiffany's, of course, Psycho, and then the films like Easy Rider, The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, these films that really started to change Hollywood from old Hollywood to new Hollywood and became much more exciting.

CABRERA: OK. There you go. That marks that on your list too. Thank you so much, Alicia for joining us. I'm excited to see the episode tonight. That does it for me. I'm Ana Cabrera. The CNN Original Series "THE MOVIES" starts right now here on CNN. Enjoy the show.