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George Romero & Martin Landau RIP 

It’s sad when a purveyor of a childhood memory is taken.

Sadder still when two are.

I’ve never been a big horror movie fan, falling for the less obvious thriller genre. But I recognize talent when I see it.

1968’s Night of the Living Dead began resurgence of horror films, many of whom were directed yet again by Mr. Romero.

The man had talent and style.

Martin Landau was a character acting fixture in my childhood, even when I didn’t know him by name. 

The Untouchables, Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, I Spy, Mission Impossible (on television) and North By Northwest and Ed Wood (in the movies).

And many other works…

I was never a Space 1999 fan, though…

He could play both charming and lethal.

I shall miss him

RIP Gentlemen 

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The King of Film Noir

Those familiar with this blog know I loves me character actors and film noir.  I’m certain this evolved from my Dad’s love of film and character actors.

Humphrey Bogart is one of my favorites, but there are so many others.

Robert Mitchum is the king.

If you’ve not seen The Night of the Hunter or (the original) Cape Fear, you have missed something.

Of course, he had an ‘interesting’ private life.  One of the early Hollywood types busted for marijuana use, he served a week in the county jail, then more time in a prison farm. (from Wikipedia)

On September 1, 1948, after a string of successful films for RKO, Mitchum and actress Lila Leeds were arrested for possession of marijuana.[7] The arrest was the result of a sting operation designed to capture other Hollywood partiers, as well, but Mitchum and Leeds did not receive the tipoff. After serving a week at the county jail, (he described the experience to a reporter as being “like Palm Springs, but without the riff-raff”) Mitchum spent 43 days (February 16 to March 30) at a Castaic, California, prison farm, with Life photographers right there taking photos of him mopping up in his prison uniform.[8] The arrest became the inspiration for the exploitation film She Shoulda Said No! (1949), which starred Leeds.[9] The conviction was later overturned by the Los Angeles court and district attorney’s office on January 31, 1951, with the following statement, after it was exposed as a setup:

After an exhaustive investigation of the evidence and testimony presented at the trial, the court orders that the verdict of guilty be set aside and that a plea of not guilty be entered and that the information or complaint be dismissed.

He did appear to be an early version of the stereotypical beatnik, but, considering his career, certainly not with an aversion to work(!)  Robert Mitchum was an American actor who was in over 110 films and TV series over the course of his career. (Wikipedia)

He was married to his wife Dorothy for 57 years!  He reportedly proposed by saying to her, “Stick with me Baby, and you’ll be farting through silk!”

Mitchum as Max Cady in Cape Fear (1962)

Mitchum as Max Cady in Cape Fear (1962)

The Trouble With Tribbles

(As the election is FINALLY over, and it’s been a while since we shared a Guffaw!)

As told in LOLtrek GIF style!

Tribbles-Gif_zpsmq6l3lx1

Click to play whole episode, if it doesn’t work right!

When it comes to television entertainment, many times I’ve been behind the 8-ball!  For example, I liked science fiction as a child (must have read Bradbury’s Marooned on Mars 20 times in the 4th Grade, and watched Forbidden Planet and The Outer Limits whenever they were on).

But most 60’s TV, sci-fi wise was lacking.  Lost in Space?  Puleez!

I kept hearing about this show Star Trek from my geek friends.  “Gotta watch it!”  So one night when my parents were out for the evening, I turned it on.  The episode, unfortunately, was ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’.

I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen – right up there with the Adam West Batman show.  Of course, I didn’t understand ‘camp’.

Fast forward a few years and Star Trek went into syndication.  And I started picking it up by default.  Except for Tribbles, I never watched it in prime time.  Later, I learned to appreciate it.  Great stuff!

It was as if I determined I didn’t like all grapes because the one I picked was sour!

Of course, since that time, I became a minor trekker (not trekkie) and have seen most of the later TV permutations and movies.

(I even dated a beautiful sci-fi nerd who had Star Trek porn – but, that’s another post! 🙂 )

My career as an (unsuccessful) television critic continued when it was announced M.A.S.H. would become a TV show.  I’d seen the film, and read the book, and decreed there was no way they could do those things on television!  Of course, they softened and rebranded it, and it lasted (I think) eleven years!

This from the kid who was profoundly annoyed when they replaced The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In!

The times (and me, apparently) were a’changin’!

Who Was The BEST TV/Movie P.I. ?

sherlockIf you’ve read this blog for more that a couple of days, you probably remember one of the many ‘careers’ I had was that of Private Investigator.  Both working for others and myself.  I’ve written about some of my ‘adventures’ in these pages.

And, it got me to thinking.  Obviously, I wouldn’t have become a PI, had they not existed in literature, movies and television.  I was disabled, and didn’t make the cut as a cop, so I went to something related.  Using my college-learned investigative skills.

Sometimes…

I grew up with numerous Hollywood PI influences:  Sam Spade, Phillip Marlowe, Richard Diamond, Mike Hammer, Sherlock Holmes, Peter Gunn, Stu Bailey, Spenser, Jim Rockford, Harry Orwell, John Shaft, V.I. Warshawski, Lew Archer, Dirk Gently…

But, who was the BEST?  However you define best – most realistic representation, most clever, most cutting edge.

I have my answer, but I won’t post it until you vote.  And feel free to comment further, if you like.

Joe Mannix wouldn’t have it any other way.

Quote of the Day, the Second…

View From The Porch does it’s usual stellar job of commenting on the latest movies having been released, aimed at young people.
Complete with snark, at no extra cost!
One of the commenters on her post, however, has another Quote of the Day:

Anonymous said…
I just saw the movie and enjoyed it immensely – it’s a crackerjack action flick. But the whole time I was in the theater, I couldn’t help thinking that Hollywood – a city of arrogant, superficial, self-absorbed parasites who consider everyone else to be sub-intelligent cattle to be manipulated for their benefit has created a movie where the villains are a city of arrogant, superficial, self-absorbed parasites who consider everyone else to be sub-intelligent cattle to be manipulated for their benefit. Maybe I should have invested in that irony mine after all.Game, set, match and the Internets to Anonymous!h/t Tamara

"This is my Cah Gun."

James Coburn

In the classic 1967 film The President’s Analyst, James Coburn plays just that.  Being privy to the Chief Executives’ darkest secrets, he escapes the White House whilst being pursued by the CIA, the FBI, and the KGB.
Trying to hide in suburbia, he befriends a ‘normal’ family, but is spooked by the son bringing a large revolver into the house.  The father explains to the lad (while Coburn is having a paranoid meltdown) that he should have left that particular gun in the car.  “This is my cah gun.”, the father (William Daniels) intones.
Most gunnies I know keep their firearms on their person.  (or within arms reach).
However, when circumstances prevent that, they get relegated to the car, under the seat, in the glove box or the trunk.  Or if so equipped, a special lock-box.
Sometimes, a gun is specifically assigned to live in the vehicle.  Of course, there it’s subjected to changes in weather, temperature and possible thievery.
I know of at least two folks who carried one gun, and kept a second in the car.  And their cars were subsequently burgled.  Neither had silly bumper stickers alerting potential felons to the contents.  “Keep Honking, I’m Reloading!” or “NRA Life Member”  These were auto burglaries of opportunity.
I don’t have a specific ‘cah’ gun, never have.  But I have left firearms locked inside for various reasons.  Had one slide develop rust-pitting because of moisture.  And I live in the desert!
Do you keep guns in the car?  Could they be easily taken?  Can you access them quickly if the need arises?
Can you access them with discretion, perhaps to begin carrying discretely?  What about spare ammunition – magazines, speedloaders, spare ammo?  Holsters? 
Or do you just keep them in the home and/or on your person?
ALSO, if they are in the car, are they readily accessible while you are driving?  Because of recent weather changes, I’ve become able to carry the 1911 again.  (Up to now, I’d been carrying the S&W 442, out of convenience and general laziness).  Fortunately, my method of carry is adjustable when seated. 
What gun is your ‘cah’ gun?  A CCW piece, or perhaps an Evil Black Rifle or shotgun, for repelling zombies ala Mad Max?
Or do you not consider any of this and just carry and sometimes store whatever in the car?
Excuse me, ‘cah’.

Casablanca

I watched the film Casablanca, last night, with a good friend.  It’s easily the 40th time I’ve seen it, although I’d not seen it in a couple years.
Initially, I was watching it on the basic, movie-viewer lever.  Interesting, flawed characters, good vs. evil, heavy (corny) messages throughout the film.  The fact Dooley Wilson just fakes playing the piano, poorly.
But I also drew a comparison to the modern world.
In today’s world, it seems, all is not black and white.  Or so we are told.  Is an entire religion bad, evil?  Or just a sick minority within them?  Do we treat violent, international political acts as crimes, or acts of war?
And how do we declare war on a twisted ideal?
And, to whom do we turn to be selfless?  To act outside themselves to save a culture?  Frankly, I don’t see anyone in either party, correction any party, worth a damn!
So, again, to whom do we turn?
I’ve answers for me.  They may not be your answers.  That’s okay, it’s a free country.  More or less.  I’m looking for my answers on a spiritual level.  Do as you need.  The politicians obviously don’t have the answers.

(see, told you I get philosophical)

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…