carose59: reviews (only independent source of information)
The movie starts with a woman receiving a manuscript from her ex-husband. He has written a novel and wants her to read it. She does and finds it compelling—she can't seem to stop reading it.

(If this were the beginning of a Stephen King book, that would be literally true and interesting things would follow. This isn't a Stephen King book.)

As she reads, we see the story of the novel. A father, mother, and teenage daughter are driving in the desert. Another drive does something rude, the daughter gives them the finger, and the other driver forces them off the road. This seems like a hobby of the other car's occupants, three young men who deliberately frighten the family before abducting the two women. One of the young men is left with the father. He drives him elsewhere in the desert and leaves him.

The police investigate. The two women were raped and murdered. One of the young men was killed in an attempt to capture him. The other two are apprehended.

The sheriff, who doesn't seem to have a lot else to do, lets the father assist in the investigation and questioning, and when the DA declines to prosecute, tells him that he has terminal cancer. The father doesn't seem to understand this, but eventually he works out that the sheriff would like to kill the two young men, with the father's help. This doesn't work out terribly well. The two young men end up dead and so does the father . . . I think. He was shot, anyway, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out who shot him. I don't know where the sheriff went. I don't think he shot anyone.

Intercut with this dreary story we have the story of the woman and man. They started off very happy, but apparently the woman became just like her materialistic mother and was dissatisfied with him and his failing writing career. So she had an abortion and didn't tell him about it, but he saw her in a car with another man. Then they split up. She marries the other man who has about as much depth as a model in a glossy magazine ad, and spends all his time being important. She is not happy with him, either.

At the end they've made arrangements to meet at a restaurant. He stands her up, either because he's still in love with her and is afraid of the depths of his feelings or to show her what it's like when your wife has an abortion behind your back and leaves you. I hope it's the first, because that's got the be the lamest poetic justice I ever heard of.

A lot of people seem to love this movie because of how beautifully it's shot. It makes me think of something Pauline Kael said, I believe about Cruising. It's like a rat in a Lucite box.
carose59: movies (the real tinsel)
First off, I enjoyed it. It was formulaic, and the Alien formula is: one spunky heroine plus one questionable artificial person plus one HHGeiger alien. Shake well and pour over outer space.

The first two movies had personable actors and memorable characters. The next two at least had Sigourney Weaver. (I found the third movie abysmal to the point that it nearly tainted my fondness for the first two; the fourth was something of a curiosity, and Weaver's character was interesting. I value interesting highly.)

I fell asleep during Prometheus. That's not as meaningful when I say it; I used to fall asleep during movies a lot. I fell asleep during Gone Girl and I loved it. The difference is, I simply didn't care that I fell asleep during Prometheus; it seemed like a better use of my time. It was as though they thought, "What made 2001 a classic? Oh, I know, it was the boring stuff! Let's put in a lot of boring stuff, that'll give this movie what it needs to catch fire!"

(Catching fire wouldn't have been a bad idea, especially if it was sitting on the shelf next to Alien3.)

Covenant seems to be more along the lines of a reboot. Did you like the first two movies? Do you get annoyed when movies you liked are remade? If the answers to these questions are yes and no (in that order), you should like Covenant.

A ship full of colonists follow an SOS signal to the planet we saw in Prometheus. The movie has two! artificial persons of questionable trustworthiness, a spunky heroine, and a crew they want us to like so much, they had three! married couples in the mix. (One way to get the audience to like a character is having other characters like them. We have no vested interest in these people—which is one thing, but they're also replacing character we cared about, which is much harder. Having married couples—loving, happily married couples—makes us like them more, and ups the ante when one of them dies.)

If you saw Prometheus, David the artificial person is back and batshit crazy. The other artificial person is named Walter and I'm not going to tell you whether you can trust him or not. Both are played by Michael Fassbinder, and played well. And I very much enjoyed the meditations on creations and creating. I suspect we'll be hearing more of this.

The other characters are likable, though I could have lived without the captain feeling persecuted for being "a man of faith," especially since we saw no evidence this was true. It made him look paranoid—which might have been interesting if it had gone someplace.

Covenant started off slow, but I don't mind a slow burn. Action-wise, there was nothing we haven't seen before, but I didn't mind that, either; I think the movies are better when they aren't trying to be arty or smarter or whatever they were trying for with movies three and four. They can keep doing this every couple of years and I'll keep going.

(If you want real spoilers, contact me privately and I'll happily give them.)
carose59: dreams (whose mind watches itself)
"OK, Let's Say Hypothetically That It's Not Hypothetical."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

The other night I dreamed all night long, involved, plot-driven dreams that exhausted me.

The worst one was about a man who murdered his young daughter. He drowned her and made it look like an accident. He dressed a wooden doll in her clothes—or dressed her in the doll's clothes, it changed—and put one or the other of them in the swimming pool, so it looked like the doll was just floating there, which sometimes it was. The body just floated there while everyone thought the little girl was missing and hunted for her. When it was discovered that the doll was really the little girl, the man stood by the side of the pool and pretended to cry.

I have zero idea where any of this came from.

Then I dreamed that I was going on vacation by spending a week at my friend Pam's house. (Pam lives walking distance from work, so there wasn't much travel involved. In fact, I think I walked over.) When I got there, we immediately did what you always do when you're spending your vacation in the same city you live in, with someone you work with: we changed into gorilla suits and put on ballerina outfits over them. Not tutus, the longer net skirts. I kept calling them bridesmaids' dresses. And then we spend the evening jumping up and down on the bed.

I really know how to live it up.

And I have zero idea where that came from, either.

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I'm going through my usual spring-is-killing me instability. I know, you don't think it's spring. But under the ground, the plants are starting to do things, and inside me the same thing is happening and I can feel it and it's unsettling. I have lots of weird little aches and pains, I feel like crying, and I'm very, very cranky.

I saw Diane on Saturday and she's very pleased with how I'm handling this. It's not making me as nuts as it used to.

It's good to be told that because honestly, I don't remember. It feels the same inside.

-:- -:- -:- -:-

The other evening I watched a German adaptation of The Colour Out of Space by H. P. Lovecraft. It seems to me that the colour out of space is always purple. The movie was in black & white, but the colour was still purple.

It wasn't scary; it was sad. I'm in that kind of mood, where horror is tragedy.


*Adrian Monk
carose59: PLS (moses supposes his toeses are roses)
"Sure I Would! I Guess I Would. Why? Wouldn't I?"*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

As I remember it, the first day of class at IVTech, Pat came over and asked if she could sit next to me.** I thought she was insane.

I had had twelve years of people mostly trying to avoid being anywhere near me, so the idea of someone volunteering to seemed suspicious. But I said yes.

This was the day after Memorial Day, 1977. I had just graduated from high school. My parents had gone out of town for the King Tut exhibition and I was alone in the house overnight for the first time. That night my friend, Michelle, came over for dinner.

The next night, Pat and I went to the movies. We saw Young Frankenstein, which had been re-released. She drove from Carmel (which is just north of Indianapolis) to the near-east side where I lived then (and live now), drove us back to the Carmel Theatre, then drove me home again. And then drove herself home. In the night. In the dark. Back when she could do things like that. (She hadn't had the cataract surgery yet. She had just turned twenty-three.)

Later that year they also re-released The Producers and Blazing Saddles, and we saw them, too. Gene Wilder was very important to us. (Whenever we'd watch Dark Shadows and they started with something ilke "Collinwood in the year 1840," I would say, "Paris, France, 1789," which both amused and annoyed her. Which describes a lot of our relationship.

It was the beginning of us talking entirely in movie and TV quotes. (We could have whole conversations with nothing but quotes from The Dick Van Dyke Show.)

It was the beginning of everything. It was the beginning of my life.


*Andy Hardy
**Later she would tell me she'd been attracted by my red hair, which I'd recently dyed. I mostly kept it red for the rest of her life, mostly for her. We had such a great time.
carose59: movies (the real tinsel)
I went to the movies Sunday and saw Don't Think Twice. I had planned to see Indignation afterward, but I had developed a low-grade migraine and I had been away from home for too long, so after a short meander in the mall, I went home.

Don't Think Twice was very good. It isn't a comedy; it's a movie about an improve group, so there's a lot of funny stuff, but the movie itself isn't particularly funny. Some members of the group are hoping to get hired by an SNL-like show; some don't want things to change, but their venue is closing, so change is inevitable. One man's father is dying. One has reconnected with a woman he went to college with. One of them actually gets chosen for the SNL-ish show, and it throws the dynamics of their relationships all out of whack.

It's a nice movie about good people. More than anything, it reminded me of a movie I wrote about earlier in the year, Between the Lines. (https://carose59.dreamwidth.org/117348.html) It's a private end-of-an-era movie.

There were previews for a movie called Hell or High Water and I thought about it a lot on the drive home. It's an action movie about two brothers who start robbing banks to save their home/mother's home (I'm unsure which). They are, of course, the heroes. We want them to get away with it. But everything about the tone of the previews tells me that is not going to happen. As I watched them, I thought of Taps (Timothy Hutton leads a military school to resist closure and demolition after the commandant has a heart attack. [That's from memory, the details could be off.]) There are others that I can't think of, but I used to love lost cause movies like that; they were thrilling, at least in the beginning. The problem is that I'm older and more depressed and it's harder to be thrilled by the romance of the lost cause because it's redolent of failure and despair: I can see the ending in the opening credits, and I know when it ends, nobody's going to be happy—particularly me.

Still, as I'm writing this, I'm thinking I want to go home and watch Taps.

And maybe I'll stay for Hell or High Water when I go back to see Indignation. It really is thrilling to watch someone standing up, fighting for that lost cause. Maybe I need to watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington again, too.
carose59: movies (the real tinsel)
"Great, We've All Got Names."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I just finished listening to The Garner Files, James Garner's autobiography. I really enjoyed it. (I was disappointed that the didn't read it, but not surprised. Disappointed because of course James Garner had a lovely voice, but more because I love listening to authors read their work. You'd have to be a stunningly bad reader for me not to prefer you to a pro—nothing against the pros. Actors who read lots of books are generally better at reading than the actors you've heard of. Apparently it's a different skill set.)

My favorite thing in the book was what he said about Victor/Victoria. It's always annoyed me that King tells Victoria that he doesn't care that she's a man right before he kisses her, because he knows she's not a man. When the scene was filmed, he didn't know—Blake Edwards chickened out and added the scene where King finds out Victoria's a woman. James Garner was disappointed by this; he liked it better that King thought he had fallen in love with a man.


I live in constant hope for things that I know won't happen, and listening to this book I was hoping he'd talk about The Dick Van Dyke Show.

James Garner was never on The Dick Van Dyke Show, but he made a movie called The Art of Love with Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner. And then there are the two episodes Stacy Petrie parts one and two.

These are the second two episodes Jerry Van Dyke guest starred in as Rob's brother, Stacy. In these episodes, he's been released from the army and is moving to New York and is engaged. Sort of. You see, he's been writing to this girl he never met. His friend asked him to ghost write his letters, then when the friend lost interest, Stacy began writing for himself. Now he's in love with the girl, but she doesn't know he's him.

One of the running gags is that the friend's name is James Garner. Every time Stacy says the girl thinks he's James Garner, there's a double take and again he has to explain, "Not the actor, he's this drummer friend of mine."

And the things I want to know are myriad. When did Carl Reiner come up with the idea of having the unseen friend be named James Garner? Did James Garner know about this before the episode aired? How did he feel about it? It seems like just a wonderful joke and I want all the details.


*Angel, Angel
carose59: dreams (whose mind watches itself)
"Oh, I Like It, It Has An Air Of Conspiracy To It."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

My dream took place in a 1950's style musical. It was about a dim-witted stage manager engaged to a beautiful, dark-haired starlet. The starlet was just getting her big break in a big musical. (Yes, it's a musical within a musical. My dreams can be very complicated.) The stage manager overhears someone plotting to kill the starlet and calls the police, who add security to the theatre. (I think this bit came from The Phantom of the Opera.)

The murder is part of a much larger plot having to do with smuggling military secrets to Russia. The bad guys all look alike—tall and willowy, like ballet dancers. They're all dressed sort of like Boris Badanov, only in black leotards and tights, and the fabric of their black coats was light and gauzy. At one point they do this wonderful dance number, twirling and flowing across the stage, singing about their plan to drug the stage manager and frame him for the starlet's murder.

They're setting him up as secretly being a homicidal maniac. They have notes he wrote to the cast and have scissored them into meaningless phrases, which they plan to leave with the body. This would be the evidence that he was crazy and that he killed her.

They drug the stage manager, but he groggily escapes. Then they drug the starlet and leave her on her bed in her standard early '50's crummy hotel room. What they don't know is that when the stage manager escaped, he hid in her room, behind the dresser. So when they bring her in, he hears their whole plan--but he's too drugged up to do anything about it.

Except for the bit about The Phantom of the Opera, the only part of this I can place is the overhearing stuff, which was a plot point in an episode of The Good Wife that I watched the other day. Why it was important enough to dream about, I don't know. It was certainly entertaining, and the dance number with the Russian spies was very impressive.

Actually, now that I think of it, that might have come from Bye, Bye Birdie, which I also just recently watched—the drugging of the Russian ballet dancers to speed them up so Birdie will have time to sing. Not that any of that explains why. My brain has billions and billions of things in it and why it dredges up what it does to put in dreams is something I will never fully understand.

Oh, and last week I dreamed that Murphy Brown and Linda Ellerbee were covering Hillary Clinton's campaign, which if had happened twenty years ago could very easily have happened.


*Venus Flytrap

First Saturday in May

Saturday, 7 May 2016 04:21 pm
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
"He's One Of The Few Scientists In The World Who Can't Subtract."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I just finished watching a documentary on the Beatles post-breakup. It's called "The Beatles: Parting Ways." It was mostly OK—very balanced, pretty dull if you already know all this stuff.

That's not a complaint. You're waiting for the complaint, aren't you? Good, because there is one, or rather, a cry of bafflement.

I understand they couldn't get rights to any of the Beatles' music--I'm being generous and assuming this. And I understand they undoubtedly wanted some music in their movie. But what in the name of God could have made them choose The Animals' We Gotta Get Out of This Place? I admit, I'm not the crazy about the song, but that's really not the point.

The point is, couldn't they just get some cheap ambient music? Because playing a song by a contemporary of the Beatles makes me wonder if they were all that clear about who the Beatles were. Also, since the tone of the whole thing seemed to be directed at an audience whose knowledge of the Beatles consists of hearing some songs on the radio, knowing John Lennon is dead (though possibly not knowing there's any connection between John and the Beatles), and having seen some of A Hard Day's Night one Saturday afternoon (but not knowing what it was). This is an audience who is very likely not to know that what they're hearing is not, in fact, a Beatles' song.

I think a documentary should, at the very least, not confuse and mislead its audience.

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I thought that was going to be the most interesting thing to happen to me today, but that was before the phone call.

It was a withheld number, but I was bored, so I answered it. It was a man who asked me if I had a computer. I asked him what his name was and why he had a withheld number. This startled him. He told me his name (which I promptly forgot), then asked me again if I had a computer. I said yes in a decidedly mocking tone that he ignored. Then he asked me the last time I surfed the web. I told him last night, and he told me that he was a computer expert, and that my computer had downloaded something that was very dangerous.

I said it was very peculiar, the information he had and the information he didn't have. He had my phone number, but he didn't know whether I had a computer or whether I'd been online, but he did know that I'd downloaded something dangerous, and how did he explain that?

And that was when he said the best thing I've heard in I-don't-know-how-long. He told me had permission from the internet to call me—

I interrupted him. "Did you say you have permission from the internet?" I really thought I must have heard wrong.

"Yes, permission from the internet," he continued, as though this was actually something that made sense, "to contact you—"

"Permission from the internet." It was too hilarious not to say again.

Unfortunately, that was when my mother called, so I had to go. I wouldn't have had him much longer anyway, since I was going to ask him just how the internet contacted him to give him permission and who exactly he worked for.

Maybe he works for the internet.


*Sabrina Stuart
carose59: dreams (whose mind watches itself)
OK, A Plastic Cupcake, A Picture Of A Candle, And I Promise We Won't Have Any Fun At All.*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

So, I dreamed I was in a cave in Sardinia (which is especially impressive when you consider I don't actually know where Sardinia is). I was there to help a recently former friend excavate the cave in search of historical artifacts from her family. I have no idea if she actually has any family from Sardinia.

Only there weren't any historical artifacts. Instead what there was was a lot of papers strewn about. So I spent a lot of time picking up and collating papers in a cave. Except for the cave part, that sounds a lot like home publishing. (The strewn-about papers come from WKRP, an episode where Johnny tears up some paper to make on-the-spot confetti.)

Next I was in the old West, in a universe that was like some kind of cross between Petticoat Junction and Best of the West. (If you don't know Best of the West, you should check it out. It's an early-eighties Western spoof, and the late, great Leonard Frey was in it.) I don't know what the point of this was; the only thing I remember is there was a stair lift thing only in stead of being inside the building (it wasn't a house), it was on the outside. We were using it to move a piano to the second floor. I think we were going to put it on the roof. (I also have no idea who "we" were, though I think Betty Jo Bradley might have been there.)

That was earlier in the week. Last night, in my first dream I had a black and white cat roaming around my house and I was at a total loss what to do about it. I found him coming out of the kitchen and asked him what he was doing there. He told me he'd been watching Meg for a while and had snuck in when I had the door open, and that he was looking for food.

It's weird about animals in my dreams. Any other animal I dream about is usually really some other animal; if I see a goat in a movie, I might dream about a giraffe that night. But cats are different. Cats are always themselves, and they very often talk to me. Sometimes they come to my house to question me.

And this cat was the yellow cat the other day. He's a young one, fully grown and homeless. (I know he's homeless because he's got a tipped ear, so he's a Trap-Neuter-Release.) He seemed like maybe I could coax him to me if I tried, but Meg would not approve.

Later I dreamed about this movie. A movie theatre was closing, and the owner was doing this odd thing: he was running some kind of marathon. It was several movies from evening 'til dawn, then no movies until the next afternoon. And there were these four (sometimes five) guys in their forties who had been friends in high school. They came in the evening to see the movies and intended to stay all the next day until the next movie started. I'm not sure if this was to avoid paying again or what, but the theatre owner didn't have a problem with it. Their friends and families kept stopping by to visit with them while they waited for the afternoon movie to start. I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be a comedy. (You know, that plot is ridiculous enough, it probably could get made into a movie, if somebody in the movie business came up with it.)


*Natalie Teeger

Movie review

Thursday, 24 March 2016 01:52 pm
carose59: reviews (only independent source of information)
I woke up this morning thinking about Heaven Can Wait.

Now, this gets a little confusing. There are two movies called Heaven Can Wait, one made in 1943 and one made in 1978, and the one made in 1978 is a sequel—but not to the 1948 movie. It's a sequel to a movie called Here Comes Mr. Jordan, made in 1941.

I remember the first commercial I saw for Heaven Can Wait. I was outraged, because I love the 1943 movie of that title and saw no reason for anyone to remake it. (From what I can tell, nobody else has seen any reason for remaking it either. You should see it, it has Don Ameche and Gene Tierney and it's a very happy little movie.)

When I found out it wasn't a remake—well, it was, but not of what I thought it was, and I didn't find out it really was a remake for some time because there was no internet to tell me—I decided to see it. It looked promising.

And, boy, did it deliver.

Heaven Can Wait is an amazing movie. The only other comedy I can think of that's so densely packed is What's Up, Doc? but you can't compare the two. It's not apples and oranges, it's butterflies and cheetahs—they're beautiful, graceful, and entirely different animals. What's Up, Doc? is a fruitcake, with every funny thing imaginable poured into it. Heaven Can Wait is the heaviest of cream whipped to the lightest of peaks.

It tells the story of Joe Pendleton, athlete (in this one he's a football player; in the original, a boxer) who looks to be only a few steps from the top when he's killed in an accident. Only here's the thing: his guardian angel* stepped in at the last moment and pulled his soul out of his body, to spare him the pain. But the angel made a mistake. Joe wasn't going to die in that accident. And before they can get him back into his body, it's cremated. Since it wasn't his time to go, a new body has to be found for him. Well, not a new one; one belonging to someone about to die. His spirit is installed in the body of eccentric multi-millionaire Leo Farnswoth, whose wife and secretary want him dead. Joe promptly falls in love with a woman protesting the way his proposed new factory will destroy her community. He also starts getting in shape to play in the Superbowl. Further complications ensue

It's the incredibly light touch combined with its deep humanity that gives this movie its magic. Joe spends a lot of the movie talking to angels whom nobody else can see—usually while hiding in a closet. Mid-movie, one of the servants is asked about the tray he's carrying; it's loaded with a teapot and two cups. He explains that it's Mr. Farnsworth cocoa. "But why two cups?" he's asked. The explanation is that the butler thought that since Mr. Farnsworth pretending to talk to someone, perhaps he'd like to pretend to have cocoa with them.

Towards the end of the movie, it's revealed that the servant has been having cocoa with Joe. Of course he has; he brought two cups, but he can't mention the imaginary friends Joe's been talking to, and Joe just assumes the other cup is for him. That is who Joe Pendleton is: a man who happily has cocoa with one one of his servants. Warren Beatty's Joe is so sweet and light, he's just this side of cotton candy.

I know, I'm making it sound like it'd put you into sugar shock, but believe me, that's not the case. The early scenes where Joe and Mr. Jordan casually watch potential body-donors die is some of the best black comedy I've ever seen

I have to admit, I don't care for the movie's ending—which I won't reveal. I have a fundamental disagreement with the writers' belief systems. But I've resigned myself, and the rest of the movie is so delightful, I could forgive far more.

And don't get me started on the music. I literally saw this movie twenty-two times in the theatre, very often just to listen to the music because I couldn't find the soundtrack album.


*I call him a guardian angel, but this movie's religiosity is on par with It's a Wonderful Life.

Blech

Thursday, 3 March 2016 08:12 pm
carose59: health matters (an intuition of mortality)
"It's Fine, I Take Catnaps Between Calls, I Sleep In My Chair, I'm Actually Sleeping Right Now."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

Tuesday, around three thirty, I suddenly started feeling not-at-all well. I held on until four thirty, when it was time to go home. I even managed to go to Wendy's for my mother. Then I came home and spent the evening feeling awful: headachy and dizzy and sick to my stomach, with sick to my stomach the most prominent feature. It was bad enough that I wondered if it might be food poisoning.

I didn't get to bed until after midnight, so before I turned in, I called in sick.

Wednesday was slightly better. I was supposed to take my mother to Coumadin clinic, but after cleaning out the car I was too dizzy to drive. By this time I'd figured out that whatever was wrong with me probably had to do with my sinuses; the nausea was caused by the dizziness which was caused by my sinuses.

Today I got up, feeling as I nearly always do when I'm sick: just fine. It takes a half hour or so for how I really am to catch up with me. By five I'd called in sick again and gone back to bed. (It had snowed, which I wasn't expecting, and there was a prediction of snow and rain in the afternoon. That didn't happen, but by staying home I didn't have to worry about it.)

I got up again about nine thirty and have spent the day watching whatever I came across on youtube including the 1964 TV version of Once Upon a Mattress, a documentary on Match Game and one about Jerry Lewis. My head still hurts and I'm maybe still dizzy, but I am feeling better.

The worst part about being sick isn't feeling lousy, it's trying to figure out why I'm sick and what I should do. Is it something a doctor can help with or should I just sleep as much as I can until I feel well again? Since I don't have a fever and I seem to be improving, I'm going with the sleep option. But there's also tomorrow being Friday to consider. If I don't go to the doctor tomorrow, I'll either have to wait until Monday, or go to an instant care place, which is probably more expensive. You see? Figuring out what to do. Too many variables: how I feel (which changes), what's wrong with me (which I don't really know) and money (which I don't have any of). I hate variables.


*Mike, Home Invasion

Mishmash

Wednesday, 2 March 2016 07:49 pm
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
[Originally posted elsewhere December 18, 2005]

Five things about today

1) I had a very strange dream last night. I was sitting at a picnic table outside a grade school where a TV station was doing an interview with Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer. I have no idea what I was doing there, but during the whole interview Robert Downey, Jr. was eating vanilla ice cream, and every so often Val Kilmer would surreptitiously flick some onto his face. It happened several times and Robert Downey, Jr. never caught on how it was happening, he thought he was doing it himself, and he kept apologizing for his messy eating. Just before I woke up Val Kilmer smiled at me like, "He's cute, but God is he dumb."

2) I'm watching America's Sweethearts right now because for the last three days I've had Julia Roberts in my head saying, "Kiki! Someone in the universe is smoking, Kiki! Make them stop!" and I have to hear her actually say it again or it will never go away.

3) I'm having a hard time organizing my thinking, so if there's any way Christmas could be postponed a few days, it would really help me out.

4) Earlier there was a mouse taunting me. Really. It was over by the closet door squeaking at me. I'm thinking it was either telling me it wasn't going to go near my traps, or it was demanding I bring it a cookie.

5) It's snowing again.


-:- -:- -:- -:-


[Originally posted elsewhere January 21, 2007]

My mother's car hasn't been starting lately—probably the battery, since it only goes on very short trips unless I need to drive to work. Anyway, she went out yesterday to see if she could get it started.

My phone rings, and it's my mother. She tells me she's out in her car, it won't start, she's talking about what it's doing and not doing. She lives right next door to me, so while we're talking, I'm putting on my coat, and I go out to talk to her. When I reached the car, I said, "I'm right here by the car now."

She looked out the window at me and said into the phone, "I have to go now. My daughter's here."
carose59: movies (the real tinsel)
"Well, I Was Always Cast As An Artistic Homicidal Maniac. But At Least I Was Artistic!"*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

In 1982, Deathtrap came out. It's a comedy-thriller by Ira Levin, author of Rosemary's Baby, and it's not surprising I fell for it hard.

Ira Levin was a prolific author—he also wrote The Stepford Wives, Critic's Choice, Sliver, The Boys From Brazil, A Kiss Before Dying, Dr. Cook's Garden, No Time for Sergeants, and he ghosted the screenplay for Bunny Lake Is Missing.

He wrote other things, too, but those are the ones that became movies. I've seen them all.

I always thought my introduction to Ira Levin was through The Stepford Wives. It was first published in two parts in The Ladies' Home Journal, which my mother subscribed to and which I read. I was lucky—I happened to read the first part just the day before the next month's issue arrived, so I didn't have to wait long. It's a good thing; I was on tenterhooks. I loved it so much, I bought it in paperback as soon as it came out. I still love it. And I love the movie—the first one, with the screenplay by William Goldman. That man really knows how to write a buddy flick, and he does as well for women as for men.

But I only just found out about Ira Levin ghosting the screenplay for Bunny Lake Is Missing, a movie I have loved since I was six years old. It is definitely not a children's movie, but I was so crazy about it, I told my mother I wanted to read the book it was based on. I don't know if it was my mother or my father who read it. I do know it is really, really not a children's book. My mother didn't tell me I couldn't read it, but she did tell me it wasn't much like the movie, which was enough to discourage me. I did read it when I was in high school.

Next came No Time for Sergeants, which I saw on TV. Andy Griffith was nominated for a Tony for his performance in the play, and he reprised his role in the movie. That was also where he met Don Knotts, and how Don Knotts got his role as Barney Fife. It's also where they got the idea for Gomer Pyle. It's hilarious movie, and for people who are used to seeing Andy Griffith as the straight man, it's a joy to watch him being funny.

I don't remember when I first saw Critic's Choice, but I'm sure it was on TV. I just watched it again yesterday, and it's still just as funny. You wouldn't expect the man who wrote Rosemary's Baby to write such marvelous humor. And even if you're not a fan of Bob Hope movies, you'll like this one. It's not typical Bob Hope.

I don't remember when I first saw Rosemary's Baby, either, but again I loved it. He's so good at grounding his horror in reality, and for me that makes it so much scarier.

I liked the book of Sliver, but I didn't care much for the movie. I actually watched it again fairly recently—and still didn't like it. I saw The Boys From Brazil on DVD a couple of months before Pat died, and I liked it well enough. I'm almost positive we saw the remake of A Kiss Before Dying at the drive-in, and since I have only the vaguest memory of it, I think it's safe to say I didn't have a particularly strong reaction to it.

I had wanted to see Dr. Cook's Garden for years and years. It was a TV movie, and it's pretty obscure. But it's on youtube, and I watched it a few months ago, and I really liked it. It is not a comedy.

And now back to where we started: Deathtrap.

I don't know how many times we saw it in the theatre. We both loved it—that much I'm sure of. Pat and I had the same sense of humor. Our favorite line was, "Do you know what this play would net its author in today's market? Between three and five million dollars. And that is without the Deathtrap T-shirts." And being us, we took the next logical step: we had Deathtrap T-shirts made.

The newspaper ad was a Rubik's cube with the faces of the characters peeking out the top. So we got T-shirts with a Rubik's cube on them. It came with the words I KNOW THE ANSWER on top, and we had added underneath: DEATHTRAP. I seriously doubt if anybody who saw us wearing those shirts had any idea what they meant.

We didn't care. We had Deathtrap T-shirts.


*Donald Sutherland

Another good day

Sunday, 7 February 2016 08:21 pm
carose59: holidays (i got a rock)
If You Want To Survive You Must Find Out How To Love What You Are.*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

Well, it's starting again. I'm cleaning. I mean, today is my birthday and I took the recycling to the park and cleaned two of the shelves in the bookcase in the hall. This is not how I usually celebrate my birthday. There was leftover pizza and chocolate cake, so that was nice. But the cleaning was a thing I wanted to do.

My mother called. Yesterday she told me to have breakfast at Texas Roadhouse which, I don't understand. They're not open for breakfast. Today she called to see how my breakfast was. I told her they don't even open until eleven, and she claimed I used to tell her all the time how I'd gone there for breakfast.

And it stopped being about a present for me and became a story I was supposed to act out because she wanted to see it. So I didn't go at all. Honestly, she's acting like my father when he was having a breakdown: we were supposed to have "fun" and be the "happy family" because he was telling us to. I don't respond well to that.

I did watch a few movies I'd been wanting to see again. First was Applause, which was on TV in 1973. I had loved it then—and I still love Lauren Bacall. But now I've seen All About Eve, and much as I love Lauren Bacall, she's not Bette Davis. She doesn't have the edge. And the rest of the cast really isn't that impressive. Nor is the music. But I'm still glad I got to see it again.

The next one is a comedy with Mary Tyler Moore and George Peppard called What's So Bad About Feeling Good? and it was as good as I remember it. It's a sixties comedy about a virus that makes people happy. Of course the government is against it because happy people aren't dependent on alcohol, tobacco, or anti-depressants, and they don't vote. It's a silly movie, and I enjoyed it very much. It was also Thelma Ritter's last movie, so there's that.

And finally there's Penelope with Natalie Wood. Another sixties comedy, this one about a bank president's wife who robs his bank to get his attention. The best part of the movie is when Peter Falk, the cop, is suspicious of her and they walk around town talking. I with she'd ended up with him, but it was still a fun movie.

Fun is the name of the game. I'm trying to be happy. And I am better. I know this because I watched a horror movie a while ago. Last month I couldn't have, I was feeling too fragile. Between that, and cleaning, and having ideas, I'm definitely better.


*Aaron Raz Link
carose59: movies (the real tinsel)
[Originally posted elsewhere, November 12, 2006]


I'm just home from the first movie I've been out to see since April or so.


This movie is not a comedy. It has a a lot of funny lines in it, but it is definitely not a comedy. Of course it had me thinking about dead people and not-dead people (but I think about that all the time). It also had me thinking about my personal beliefs in God and how the Universe works. (Very simply: In the Beginning was the Word means that God is a writer, which is how God can love even very bad people and "allow" bad things to happen. Without bad people and bad things, there would be no story, and then what would happen? Well, nothing.)

I felt quite miraculous when I left the theatre, and am planning on going to see it again, maybe next weekend, maybe before. Maybe tomorrow, after the ultrasound.

In other news, I bought a birthday card at Target. It was very hard to buy because it's for someone I haven't talked to in something like twenty-five years. On the inside it says something like, "May your day be filled with surprises," to which I'm going to add something like, "I'm guessing this card will be one. I hope a good one." And my phone number and email address. I'm sending it in care of her parents' address, since I have no idea where she's living now. Assuming I send it at all. I'm pretty nervous about it.
carose59: movies (the real tinsel)
So I was watching this old TV movie (Murder on Flight 502) where there's a murderer on an airplane, but they don't know who it is. One thing they know is that there's a guy dressed as a priest but that's he's not a priest, the priest he's pretending to be is dead. And the guy on the ground talking to the pilot says, "The FBI is running him through their files."

And my question is, the FBI is doing what exactly? They don't have his picture, they don't know his name. All they know is that he's pretending to be a priest who is dead. Oh, and he's wearing nail polish. (I don't know.) What would you type in to find this guy?

I love movies like this. Molly Picon is in it, and Ralph Bellamy, and Walter Pidgeon. I love seeing the classic actors and actresses when they're old and still wonderful.

One of my favorite things is seeing actors and actresses that you seldom see together. The best way to do that is to watch the early stuff and the late stuff. If you want to see Katharine Hepburn with Henry Fonda, you have to wait until On Golden Pond. (I loathe that movie, by the way.) If you want to see her with Robert Young and Ralph Bellamy, you have to go back to 1934's Spitfire. If you want to see James Stewart and Bette Davis together, you have to wait for Right of Way. If you want to see him with Ginger Rogers, you have to go back to Vivacious Lady in 1938. There was a lot that was great about the studio system, in terms of producing wonderful movies, but it also limited which actors and actresses* worked together.

Next I watched Congratulations, It's a Boy!, another TV movie. I'm specializing in ABC movies of the week right now. I knew Bill Bixby was in it, but I got the delightful surprise of Ann Sothern, too. I wasn't crazy about her character, but still: Ann Sothern.

And after that, Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate, which I remember from when I first saw it. But it's been over forty years, and now I know who Myrna Loy is, and Helen Hayes, and Mildred Natwick. (And Sylvia Sidney, but I'm not crazy about Sylvia Sidney.) It's not quite a pilot for The Snoop Sisters, but Helen Hayes and Mildred Natwick are close to the same characters. I really enjoyed that one. It's a light murder mystery.

Then came A Touch of Evil, a take on Diabolique with Barbara Stanwyck and Barbara Parkins. I knew somebody was trying to drive Barbara Parkins crazy—I recognized the Diabolique set-up as soon as it started—but I didn't guess who.

And now I'm watching Curse of the Black Widow, a Dan Curtis TV movie. James Storm has a tiny part at the beginning, which is no surprise. And of course the music is by Robert Colbert. It's also got Tony Franciosa playing a Kolchakesque character. And Max Gail is a cop in it. I love seeing Max Gail.

It's surprising how much character they packed into these little movies. They were on network TV in the seventies, they were under two hours, but there's a depth to them You don't even find in some theatrical releases. (As I'm writing this, they set a giant spider on fire and a house blew up for no reason. I don't care, I stand by my assessment.)

I love watching movies on youtube. There are so many strange things I've never heard of, it's so hit-and-miss, it's like back in the old days, watching whatever afternoon movies were on. I love the grab-bag feel of it.



*I dislike that the word actress isn't used anymore, that women are calling themselves actors. In the seventies we fought for terms that included us; this seems like a step backwards.

Three movies

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 08:21 pm
carose59: movies (the real tinsel)
[I wrote this over a year ago. There's probably a reason I never posted it, but I don't know what that reason is.]

You Use A Glass Mirror To See Your Face; You Use Works Of Art To See Your Soul.*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I'm re-watching Return of the Secaucus 7 (my all time favorite movie of all time), and we've come to the basketball scene. Chip, the shortest and newest member of the group, isn't a basketball player—he played squash during basketball season. And he's wearing borrowed shoes that are too big. But he plays, he even scores a basket, in spite of throwing his arms over his head pretty much anytime anyone gets near him. And this is why I love John Sayles: once when he does this, Ron—a guy he only met the day before—puts his hand on Chip's back in a "nobody's going to hurt you" gesture that's so sweet.

I love everything about this movie, even the music I don't much like. I love that even the drama is low key, I love that the people look like real people, I love that they talk about real things. I love that the skinny-dipping scene gives us rear and frontal male nudity, and one woman's breast. (And the woman in question is Sayles's longtime companion, and the movie's producer. I'm pretty sure if she hadn't wanted to show her breast, she wouldn't've.)

Day before yesterday I watched Between the Lines, a 1977 movie with John Heard, Lindsay Crouse, Jeff Goldblum, Jill Eikenberry, and a whole bunch of other people. It's about an underground newspaper on the verge of being bought out and going mainstream. It's the '70's—which is what a lot of people mean when they say the '60's—becoming the '80's, the end of doing things for a reason that's not money. It's disillusioned, downbeat, and I'm not sure why I was so crazy about it when it came out. Of course, there is Jeff Goldblum.

After that, I needed cheeriness, so I watched the story of a funeral: The Big Chill. Another favorite, even though it makes me really crazy every time somebody compares it to Secaucus 7. Secaucus 7's the story of old college friends who get together every summer; The Big Chill is the story of old college friends who are getting together for a funeral. I know I used a lot of the same words in my descriptions, but "funeral" and "every summer" are very different things. The relationships are very different, The Big Chill's funnier, but also more slick. It's what happened after Between the Lines ended.

If you haven't seen The Big Chill, I'm surprised, and you should. If you haven't seen Return of the Secaucus 7, I'm not at all surprised, and you really should. If you have seen Between the Lines, I'm shocked, and if you haven't, I can't exactly recommend that you do. But if you do, do a double feature with The Big Chill. Jeff Goldblum's character could easily be the same guy.

"I get so excited, having people around I don't have to explain all my jokes to." Katie, Return of the Secaucus 7


*George Bernard Shaw
carose59: reviews (only independent source of information)
The week in movies

Last year I dumped Netflix because they don't have enough old movies. Amazon Prime is better for old movies, but our library system has them beat, and they're free. So when my membership was about to expire, I just let it.

I'm on a serious movie kick because when I dumped Netflix, I copied all the movies I'd rated to move the ratings to imdb. The ratings don't mean anything to me; what I like—and prefer imdb to Netflix for—is being able to keep a list of the movies I've seen in a place that's readily available and won't get stolen. (The last list I made was on my last laptop, and God knows where that is.) The reason I prefer imdb—besides not being able to access Netflix unless I subscribe—is that they have everything. Netflix quite reasonably only has what they have, or expect to have.

Anyway, transferring all these movies over has gotten me thinking about things. Like Shirley Temple movies. I've seen a lot of Shirley Temple movies—I might have seen all of them. I really don't remember, because I'm nearly fifty-seven years old, and I saw these movies when I was in grade school. So how do I rate movies I don't even remember? I know, I said the ratings don't mean anything to me. And they don't. If I could just input a list without ratings, that would be fine, but I can't. And if I'm going to do them, I want to do them right, I want consistency.

So I'm watching movies "again" to be sure I've really seen them. Here's what I watched this week

The Wheeler Dealers (1963) A sixties comedy with Lee Remick and James Garner. James Garner is a guy who buys and sells stuff—a wheeler dealer. Lee Remick is a (female!) stockbroker trying to hang onto her job in the face of being a woman doing a "man's" job. They meet, make some money, and fall in love. It was predictable and fun. I gave it seven out of ten stars. It would have gotten six, but Phil Harris was in it, and I like Phil Harris.

Pocket Money (1972) Lee Marvin and Paul Newman are the perfect informed idiot and uninformed idiot, trying to make some money buying cattle in Mexico. Paul Newman's character is utterly stupid and insanely likable. Lee Marvin's seems like he could maybe be dangerous if he had fifty more IQ points, and he's almost as much fun. Since it's a Paul Newman movie, Strother Martin was also in it. I gave it nine stars.

Boys' Night Out (1962) A sixties sex comedy. Four business men (James Garner, Tony Randall, Howard Duff, Howard Morris) rent an apartment for the purposes of extramarital hanky panky. They think they've also rented a girl (Kim Novak), but she's really doing a post graduate thesis on men's sex fantasies. What she finds out is that they're looking for a woman to do something their wives have stopped: being nice and paying attention to them. Except, of course, for James Garner, who isn't married. Fun, clever, genuinely witty, and with an ending you might not expect from this kind of movie. Both this and Wheeler Dealers were written by Ira Wallach, a man who clearly didn't believe women should be kept in the kitchen or the bedroom. I gave it nine stars.

The Invisible Man collection

The original The Invisible Man (1933) stars Claude Rains. What else could you possibly need to know? I gave it six stars because I know the story so well, there's just nothing intriguing about it, beyond Claude Raines. The next one, The Invisible Man Returns, (1940) and the final one, The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944), were nothing special, though The Invisible Man Returns does have Vincent Price, and therefore got six stars. The Invisible Man's Revenge got four.

But in between were The Invisible Woman (1940) and Invisible Agent (1942).

The Invisible Woman is a delightful comedy. How could it not be, with John Barrymore and Charles Ruggles as backup? The leads, Virginia Bruce and John Howard, are both charming. (John Howard is probably best not-remembered as Katharine Hepburn's not-good-enough-for-her fiance in The Philadelphia Story.) Nine stars.

Invisible Agent is nothing special—a WWII spy movie with Claude Raines's grandson using his formula to become invisible, and Axis forces trying to capture him/get the formula. But Peter Lorre is in it, and I love Peter Lorre. If you want to see the real genius of Peter Lorre, don't watch Casablanca or The Maltese Falcon. Watch one of the mediocre or lousy movies he made. He doesn't just shine in these movies, he sparkles, and since he's usually the only bright part of the movie, he's like a sparkler on a pitch black night. He's always the strangest person in the room, and usually seems to be talking to himself. (And it just occurred to me that Jeff Goldblum's manner in Transylvania 6-5000 is very similar to Lorre's. It's a terrible movie, except for the very beginning, which I think I need to watch again.)

And Everything Is Going Fine (2010) is a documentary about Spalding Gray. I like Spalding Gray very much, and I know I've seen one of his monologue movies, but for the life of me I cannot remember which one. I was also unaware that he had committed suicide. (I did know he was dead.) It's a very interesting and enjoyable movie. Nine stars.

Isn't It Shocking? (1973, TV movie) Oh, my God, I love this movie. Alan Alda is a small-town sheriff who has just been offered a job in a slightly larger town. But then the old people started having fatal heart attacks, and he gets suspicious. Lloyd Nolan plays a deputy, Louise Lasser is the strange secretary, plus you've got Will Geer and Ruth Gordon and Liam Neeson and Edmond O'Brien. But mostly what you have is Alan Alda being young and cute and witty. I hadn't seen it since probably whenever it was repeated after the first time it was shown, but I found it on youtube and really enjoyed it again. Ten stars!

The Return of Frank James (1940) Henry Fonda did not annoy me in this movie. That may sound like faint praise, but after the last two movies of his I watched, it was a real relief. It's an OK movie, nothing unexpected. Gene Tierney was playing awfully young—I was half-expecting her to wind up as Jackie Cooper's love interest. Six stars.
carose59: movies (the real tinsel)
I Also Brought Jimmy Belushi Back To Life For That Scene. He'd Been Killed Earlier. I Put A Bandage On His Head And Said, "You're Alive. Here Are Your Lines."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

After my dissatisfaction with Welcome to Hard Times, finding that I actively hated his character in Sometimes a Great Notion was very unpleasant. I need to see him in a comedy. If I have to, I'll watch The Male Animal, undoubtedly my favorite of his films.

The thing is, in certain roles Henry Fonda has this hyper-annoying attitude. It's something I noticed in Wilford Brimley many years ago: a certain sanctimony that just makes me want to slap him—either of them. I think of it as, "Even when I'm wrong, I'm still righter than you."

Right now I'm watching my favorite part of The Pirates of Penzance: With Catlike Tread. Kevin Kline and Rex Smith are so clearly having a blast leaping about, screaming in each others' faces, Russian cossack dancing, using their swords as jump ropes. (The thing that annoyed me the most about The Pirate Move—besides the fact that it was a comedic take-off of a comedy, which seems pointless to me—was that they sang With Catlike Tread in a whisper. It's meant to be sung at the top of your lungs; that's the joke. ["With cat-like tread, Upon our prey we steal; In silence dread, Our cautious way we feel. No sound at all! We never speak a word; A fly's foot-fall Would be distinctly heard—"]) It makes me insanely happy.

I also love The My Eyes Are Fully Open, which started its life in Ruddigore; or, The Witch's Curse but which fits here beautifully.

And, you know, Kevin Kline. He's so insanely alive, you just can't take your eyes off him, and those striking blue eyes—he was beautiful. Pat and I saw it in the theatre and spent half the movie whispering to each other, "Who is that guy?" We agreed that we hadn't seen him before because neither of us would have forgotten him. This happens to be true, we hadn't seen him before, he'd been on one soap neither of us watched, had a couple other TV appearances, and had been in Sophie's Choice, which I still haven't seen. (And don't plan to.)

The last time I watched Pirates, I read up on it some and I found out that Gilbert & Sullivan essentially invented modern comedy as we know it, but I need to do some more reading before I write anything more. I do remember years ago reading that one of them—I think it was Gilbert—was actually abducted by pirates as a small boy while playing at the seashore. But a quick search hasn't told me anything, and I'm not going to keep looking right now.

I'm a little movie-obsessed right now because I've been transferring all my Netflix ratings to imdb. It's not really about rating stuff, it's about having a list of as many of the movies I've seen all in one place where nobody can break in and steal it. I'm up to over three thousand, and I've got over two hundred more to add.

It's gotten complicated, though, in weird, existential way. There are plenty of movies I know I've seen—Shirley Temple movies, for example—but it's been nearly fifty years in some cases, and while I know I've seen them, I have no idea whether or not I liked them. And clearly my opinion as a seven year old is different than my opinion as a nearly-fifty-seven year old. So I'm going to watch a bunch of Shirley Temple movies. Also Andy Hardy movies (I've probably seen all of them, but who knows? I mean, I don't, and really, who else would? Pat, maybe, if she were here to tell me. She remembered stuff. But she wouldn't know what Shirley Temple movies I watched as a kid. (By the way, she loved The Pirates of Penzance and also The Pirate Movie.)

So I'm watching stuff. Hope & Crosby movies. Andy Hardy movies. Shirley Temple movies. Fred Astaire movies.

Not right now, you understand; I don't have any of them here. Right now I'm watching All the President's Men. (I watched my favorite Pirates scenes a couple of times and moved on while writing this.)

William Goldman wrote one version of the screenplay, and he's credited with it, but I can't remember if this is really his version or what. I know there were complications, and other versions—I think Nora Ephron wrote one (she used to be married to Carl Bernstein)—and Goldman wasn't happy about it. (Man, I love his books about writing, about Hollywood. Really, you should read them. His style is so conversational and accessible and entertaining, he could write about paint drying and it would be a page-turner.) I can find him in the movie, I can hear him.


*Penny Marshall
carose59: movies (the real tinsel)
"You Threaten A Man In A South Bronx Social Club, You Come Back Inside And Reach For Your Pocket, You're Supposed To Get Shot."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I re-watched Sea of Grass the other day. If you've never seen it, it's an unhappy Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn movie. If you've seen Giant, you've seen Sea of Grass. The biggest difference is, it's a fight between cattlemen and settlers, and it always makes The Cowman and the Farmer Should Be Friends start playing in my head, which is annoying. My friend Christy described it as, "white men fighting over what to do with the land they stole," and that's it exactly.

I actively dislike Spencer Tracy in it, and wish Katharine Hepburn had left him for Melvyn Douglas. He's oh-so-high-minded in his assertion that his way of living on the land is the best. This land, he says, can't sustain farming.

He's not wrong; it can't. It also can't sustain cattle indefinitely. If he was truly serious about using the land for the purpose it was intended, he'd be raising buffalo. But he's only serious about getting his own way. And Robert Walker ends up dead and nobody's happy.

-:- -:- -:- -:-

The other movie, I didn't finish: Welcome to Hard Times. Henry Fonda is mayor of a small town that is beset by a bad guy with a gun. Fonda is no good guy with a gun, though he does have a gun; he refuses to do anything because it would be dangerous and it's not his job. The bad guy rapes and kills one of the town prostitutes, and nearly kills the other (who Fonda seems to be in a relationship with, but not a close enough one to risk his life). Then he burns the town to the ground.

Elisha Cook Jr. is the only one who tries to stand up to the bad guy. Really, you know you're in trouble when Elisha Cook Jr. is the bravest man in town. And he only did it because the bad buy stole his horse. Of course he just walks towards him while the guy is sitting, watching. So Elisha Cook Jr. gets killed, and so does another man. Nobody had sense enough to sneak up on him or shoot him while he was busy; they just cower and try to talk other people into doing something, then let him leave once the town has been destroyed.

I kept thinking of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Jimmy Stewart would never have put up with this kind of shit. Even Vera Miles would have taken a shot this guy; John Wayne wouldn't have been needed. But Henry Fonda just kept saying it wasn't his job. I didn't care enough to find out what happened next. It wasn't my job.

(Years ago, it seemed like every time one station would show Cat Ballou, another station would show The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance the next day. But you can't watch The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance right after you've watched Cat Ballou because it's impossible to take Lee Marvin seriously. I always wondered if they did that deliberately.


*Davidson, Blossom

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